President Jammeh Goes Tough On ECOWAS, Vows To Defend Gambian Sovereignty

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Gambian President Jammeh Accuses ECOWAS Of Declaring War Against Him

President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia has accused the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of declaring war against his country for his refusal to step down at the end of his tenure.

I Will Not Step Down” – Gambian President Jammeh Declares

While accusing the World Body of putting forces on alert in case he refused to step down, Jammeh further threatened to stay in power despite losing a December 1 election to rival Adama Barrow.

He also promised to defend Gambia against any outside aggression, in a New Year speech broadcast on state TV.

Ex-Argos Security Guard Set To Rule Gambia As Pres. Jammeh ‘Concedes Defeat’ After 22 Years Of Rule

Jammeh in his New Year speech on Saturday said the ECOWAS summit decision violated the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.

“It is in effect a declaration of war and an insult to our constitution.”

“Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend this country against any aggression.

My government will never opt for such confrontation but defending our sovereignty is a sacred duty for all patriotic Gambians,” he said.

He had conceded defeat to opposition leader, Barrow, after the Presidential election.

A week later, he, however reversed his decision, stating that there were errors in the results.

Gambia’s President Jammeh Makes U-Turn, Rejects Election Result

“Given the unjustifiable and unprecedented anomalies… what we are simply and rightfully asking for is to return to the polls and allow the Gambians to elect who they want to be their president in free and fair elections,” he added.

Barrow’s surprise victory and Jammeh’s initial decision to concede after 22 years in power was initially seen as a moment of hope for the democratic system in Africa – a continent where autocratic leaders are becoming more entrenched.

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Newcastle Show Interest In Bournemouth Striker Callum Wilson

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Newcastle are interested in signing Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson

The 24-year-old has scored five goals this season after recovering from a serious knee injury at the end of last season.

Wilson has been an unused substitute in Bournemouth’s last two matches and this has alerted Rafa Benitez’s Championship leaders, who signed Matt Ritchie from the Cherries in the summer.

But Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe recently insisted that Wilson was simply being rested

Newcastle were previously interested in Aston Villa target man Rudy Gestede, but Villa boss Steve Bruce suggested last week that he is on the verge of joining Middlesbrough.

The Championship leaders signed winger Matt Ritchie from Bournemouth in the summer, but Cherries boss Eddie Howe is not concerned by the Wilson rumours.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “Management of game time at this time of year is crucial. We love Callum, I think he’s an outstanding player.

“He’s done well for us this season but we need to make sure every player is fresh when they play.

“He’s been in the game long enough (not to be bothered by transfer rumours) and he’s had speculation from the minute he signed here and started to score goals straightaway.

“He’s been linked with clubs throughout that period. It’s nothing new for him or for us.

“We’re delighted with him and I’m sure he’s happy here too.”

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Ivory Coast Frustrate Jose Mourinho Over Eric Bailly

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Manchester United Manger Jose Mourinho is frustrated with Ivory Coast after they refused to delay Eric Bailly’s African Nations Cup departure by a mere 24 hours.

The Red Devils asked the Ivory Coast to allow the centre-back to join the squad 24 hours late but their appeal fell on deaf ears, meaning the 22-year-old is likely to be missing for at least a month.

Manchester United will now be without Eric Bailly against West Ham on Monday as the defender heads to the Africa Cup of Nations.Bailly returned to United’s starting XI in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough, and Mourinho was hoping he would be available to take on West Ham on Monday as well.

“Bailly is leaving — he goes to the national team,” Mourinho said. “He has to be with them on Jan. 2. We asked them for him to be on Jan. 3 but they refused, so he cannot play against West Ham.

“With these kind of decisions they are controlling every second, so for sure they are going to win the African Cup. I know I lose Bailly for a month so I’m going to have Smalling, Rojo, Jones … three players for eight matches.”

 

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Crystal Palace Interested In Swansea Winger Modou Barrow

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Crystal Palace are interested in signing Swansea winger Modou Barrow, according to Sky Sports.

The 24-year-old Gambian has impressed for the Swans despite their dismal season so far, making 18 appearances.

Championship leaders Newcastle made an enquiry about Barrow in the summer but were quoted upwards of £10m by the Swans and decided not to pursue a deal.
Sky sources understand that Barrow has a relegation release clause of £5m in his contract and Swansea, who are bottom of the Premier League, are considering whether to sell him for a higher fee in the January window.

Barrow – a Gambia international with five caps – joined Swansea from Swedish side Ostersunds FK in 2014 and has spent time on loan at Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers.

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Arsene Wenger Reveals He Has No Plans Of Signing New Players In January

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed that he is happy with the quality of his Arsenal squad and currently has no desire to bring in any new additions during the January transfer window.

Arsenal have got their season back on track over the past week by claiming back-to-back wins, leaving them third in the table and nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

Arsenal have been linked with numerous players since the summer, including the likes of Ross Barkley, Julian Brandt and Franck Kessie, but Wenger does not expect to delve into the winter window and will instead attempt to get some of his stricken players back up to full speed.

“Nothing planned at the moment,” he told BBC Sport after the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday evening. “You look at the players we missed today – no [Santi] Cazorla and [Mesut] Ozil, we hope to get them back. [Danny] Welbeck is coming back – we have a big squad.”

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West Ham To Make £4 Million Bid For Xhaka In January

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According to reports in the Daily Mirror, West Ham are about to make a January assault on Xhaka. 

Arsenal fans need not worry however, as the player in question is not the Gunners’ midfielder Granit, but his brother Taulant, a versatile 25-year-old who currently plays for Swiss giants Basel.

Spanish club Valencia are also watching developments on the 25 year old who can also play in defence.

West Ham are backing Slaven Bilic in the transfer window and Xhaka would cost around £4m.

His brother has been a regular for Arsenal this season, scoring three goals and receiving one red card.

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Scorpion Kick!!! : Olivier Giroud Admits To Taking Inspiration From Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Goal

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Olivier Giroud has revealed that he took inspiration from the recent goal scored by Henrikh Mkhitaryan when pulling off his own scorpion kick attempt.

Giroud lit up the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Crystal Palace with his audacious goal from 14 yards out, less than a week after Manchester United ace Mkhitaryan produced a similar finish in the meeting with Sunderland.

Giroud was quick to admit that it was the best goal he had ever scored, helping Arsenal to a second win in succession after their recent disappointing run of form.

“It is not difficult to say it is the best one,” he told BBC Sport. “I was a bit lucky but it was the only thing I could do, the ball was behind me and I tried to hit it with a backheel. Maybe [Mkhitaryan’s] goal inspired me; it’s the only thing you can do in that position. It is nice for me and the team because we start the year with a win.

“We were struggling a bit when we came back from the dressing room so it was nice to finish off the game and keep the ball. We have a few games to come before the very important Chelsea one so we want to to keep winning before we go to Stamford Bridge.”

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Chelsea Keeper Jamal Blackman Extends His Loan Stay At Wycombe

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Wycombe have extended the loan of Chelsea goalkeeper Jamal Blackman until the end of the season.

The Chelsea ace has kept 11 clean sheets in 25 appearances for the League Two club so far this term.

And  Wycombe boss Ainsworth is delighted to have tied Blackman down for the rest of the campaign.

Blackman was drafted in by manager Gareth Ainsworth in August following an injury to first-choice goalkeeper Scott Brown, who is now expected to head out on loan.

Ainsworth told the club’s official website: “Jamal has been first class for us and he has real quality which is well above League Two level, so it’s fantastic for us to be able to keep him for the rest of the season.

“He commands his area superbly, his distribution is outstanding and he’s made some saves which are out of this world to help us pick up some valuable points.

“I’d like to think we do things right here when it comes to developing young players and Jamal is another example of someone who’s come in, worked hard and improved his game with us.”

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Report : Real Madrid Drop Interest In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been ruled out as a summer transfer target by  Spanish giants Real Madrid as his asking price is too high, according to new reports.

Aubameyang has scored 16 goals in 15 Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund so far this season.

According to Calcio Mercato, however, Dortmund will not let the Gabonese international leave for less than €80m (£68m), which has reportedly put Real Madrid off making a bid for him.

The Gabon international has previously stated his desire to play for Real, as he made a promise to his grandfather that he would one day wear the club’s famous white shirt.

 

READ ALSO : Family Promise : Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Reveals He Promised His Grandfather He’ll Play For Real Madrid 

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Arsenal To Offer Jack Wilshere A New Contract Before Deadline Day

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Jack Wilshere will be offered a new contract at Arsenal after impressing on loan at Bournemouth.

The Sun on Sunday suggests the midfielder will be offered £100,000 per week.

The Om-loan midfielder had been  seriously hampered by as string of injuries at Arsenal but since moving to the south coast has excelled under Cherries manager Eddie Howe.

According to the report, Arsenal will offer Wilshere a new contract by the end of the month.

Wilshere, 24, will remain at Bournemouth until the end of the season before returning to north London to fight for his place in Wenger’s XI.

Jack  enjoyed a loan spell at Bolton earlier in his career in a bid to up his physicality in the Premier League.

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Chelsea Transfer News: The Blues Make £60 Million Van Dijk Bid

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English Premier League leaders  CHELSEA have launched a £60million bid to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and keep him out of Man City’s clutches after Antonio Conte made him his number one January target.

Antonio Conte is very keen to strengthen in that area due to a lack of depth behind his first-choice back three of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta – the latter of whom is a more natural full-back.

Southampton boss Claude Puel is determined that their star defender won’t be leaving the club during this transfer window.

But the Blues reportedly want to test Southampton resolve with hard cash .

They have seen a succession of players leave St Mary’s and Puel knows that in realty there is nothing he can do to stop Van Dijk’s departure.

It would appear that by making van Dijk their number one target Chelsea have now cooled their interest in Burnley’s Michael Keane.

Van Dijk was sent off for two yellow card offences in Southampton’s 2-1 loss to West Brom yesterday.

 

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Eriksen: I Play Like Iniesta

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Tottenham star, Christian Eriksen has revealed who he plays like and it is Barcelona midfielder, Andres Iniesta.

The playmaker has been exceptional for Tottenham since joining from Ajax in 2013, his creative ability showing once more as he has been involved in five goals so far.

Eriksen has played in a number of midfield positions at White Hart Lane, but loves playing down the middle, which is Iniesta’s position and he’s considered one of the best in that position.

“The one I most admire is Iniesta,” Eriksen told the Telegraph. “His style of play has been fantastic for years. Of course, they run less at Barcelona as they always have the ball…”

“I’ve always been a player on the move. It’s not because I like running. I like getting the ball. If you are smart enough, you don’t need to run.

“I’ve never been one to go past 20 players on the wing. I’m always going to be the guy sneaking the ball through, to build and create something.

Eriksen recognises the evolution of the number 10 role, however, and is thriving under the new-found pressure to aggressive press opponents in Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

“The style we play at Spurs, you need everyone to press, so it is difficult to just walk around,” he says. “If you played as a No. 10 before, they could chill and do whatever. I don’t think that is possible any more.”

“I’ve always been a runner. But the power, the aggression that [Pochettino] really likes: that’s probably changed a bit.”

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“Mikel Obi Almost Made Me Quit Refereeing” – Clattenburg

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Popular referee of the English Premier League, Mark Clattenburg, has opened up that he once considered giving up on refereeing over the row “with respect to racism” with Chelsea midfielder Mikel John Obi.

Clattenburg was investigated after it was claimed that he made a racist remark towards Mikel in 2012.

While the Premier League official was accused of saying “shut up you monkey” to the Super Eagles’ captain, the FA accepted the player had believed the referee had racially abused him – but Clattenburg was found to have no case to answer.

But the whole incident, which Chelsea refused to apologise for, certainly took its toll on the 41-year-old, who was named the Referee of the Year this week.

Chelsea star Mikel was subsequently given a three-match ban and fined £60 000 by the FA for threatening behaviour.

In a rare interview, Clattenburg has spoken only about the incident and how it affected him.

“The mental strength of refereeing now is probably one of the biggest things,” Clattenburg told AP.

“It was a tough moment in life [in the aftermath of the Chelsea accusation], it was a tough moment for the family and the pressures were huge. 

“The Chelsea thing happened in 2012 and it took me a little while to come back because I didn’t know if I wanted to referee or not because I lost the love for refereeing.

“If I look at the positive side of it, it has actually helped us to where I am now and how I am as a person because to deal with something like that allowed us to deal with a lot of other pressures outside of the game. It made me stronger.

“I am strong willed now. I do what I believe is correct. I’m a professional but I have to make sure I apply my personality to the pitch because you have to have personality and not robots. Players want a little bit of personality.”

Over the New Year period, Clattenburg has been appointed for just West Brom’s clash with Hull on January 2.

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Police Commissioner Commits Suicide In Edo State

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An Assistant Commissioner of Police, identified simply as one Christopher Osakue, has reportedly committed suicide in Benin, the Edo State capital.‎

It was gathered that he shot himself in the head with his service pistol inside his private residence in Upper Sokponba area of Benin City, on Wednesday.

The deceased, it was learnt – in order to execute his suicide bid unhindered – sent a woman and a little boy living with him on an errand and  killed himself before they returned.

The late police officer was said to be in charge of training and development at the state police command after his recent posting from Ondo State.‎‎

It was gathered that the ACP had earlier suffered a partial stroke a few years back and was gradually recovering from it before the incident occurred.

A source in the area disclosed that a gunshot from the residence of the deceased was heard at about 5pm on December 28.‎‎

The source said, “A neighbour said she heard a gunshot inside the ACP’s residence about 5pm that fateful Wednesday.

“She added that after the sound of the gun, a frightening silence engulfed the entire building.”

Confirming the incident, Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Haliru Gwandu, said  that  it was a case of suicide.

He explained that the pistol the late police officer used  to commit the act was signed for in Ondo State Police Command from where he was recently posted to Edo Police Command.

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Torino Says They Can’t Afford To Keep Hart

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Torino club president, Urbano Cairo has confirmed that the club cannot afford to keep Joe Hart on a permanent basis.

The England international lost his starting berth at City, since the arrival of Guardiola and Bravo and since gone on a season long loan at Torino.

Liverpool have been among a string of Premier League teams linked with a move for Hart at the end of the season.

“We will enjoy Hart and cuddle him, but we know he is not our player and his wages are not accessible for us,” Cairo said to La Stampa.

“We will see what we are going to do in June.”

Torino sit eighth in Serie A after 18 matches, Hart playing in 16 of those games as his side push for a Europa League spot.

Cairo added: “We are targeting Europe and declared that from the start of the season.

“I would have liked to aim for the Champions League, but one must balance the books.”

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Ibori And A Nation United By Corruption

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Ibori And A Nation United By Corruption – Chido Onumah

One of the highlights of the year that has just ended was the release from a British jail of one of Nigeria’s most notorious politically exposed persons (PEPs), James Onanefe Ibori. Ibori’s rap sheet is as long as the 338km East-West Road in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, but the reason for his latest freedom was the conviction and sentencing—13 years in prison—by a Southwark Crown Court in April 2012 after he pleaded guilty to a 10-count charge of money laundering, corruption and conspiracy to defraud.

This piece was written by Chido Onumah. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Of course, it wasn’t Ibori’s release that dominated the news, as newsy as his expected release was. Rather, it was his triumphant return to the warm embrace of his kinsmen, supporters and well-wishers. James Onanefe Ibori or James Onanefe Ochuko Ibori, depending on if you are appearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, is an enigma. He was governor of Delta State from 1999-2007. He and his bosom friend, Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s current senate president, bankrolled the political machine that led to the emergence of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as president in 2007. And if not for providence—the death of Yar’Adua in May 2010—Ibori, who up until then was the de facto vice president of Nigeria, would have succeeded Yar’Adua.

All Hail James Ibori, The Kleptomaniac “Redeemer”

Yar’Adua died and Nigeria dodged a bullet or so we thought! Ibori was subsequently jailed in 2012, two years after he was arrested—and extradited to the UK—by the Interpol in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he was hiding after fleeing Nigeria. Even in prison, he maintained his godfather role and from the public admission of one of his surrogates played a key role not only in the emergence of high-ranking public officers in Delta State but the leadership of the National Assembly. For the trajectory of the Ibori saga and persona, readers will find this piece, “The welcome party for Ibori” by Simon Kolawole, instructive.

Depending on where you come from, perhaps your political affiliation and how much you benefitted from the Ibori heist in Delta State, either directly or through a third party or even tangentially as a hanger-on, the celebratory Mass held in honour of Ibori’s release from prison, though detestable, was quite understandable. After all, there is an Ibori in many of us. There are countless Iboris in the National Assembly, criminals making laws and posing as “distinguished senators” and “honourable members”. There are Ibori’s in various government houses across the country; scoundrels posing as executive governors. There are Iboris in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Customs, Immigration, Prisons, Police, our universities and sundry public institutions where those who have been kept in charge of what Peter Ekeh in his seminal essay, “Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement”, referred to as “civic public” conveniently and unconscionably steal from it and divert their loot to the “primordial public”.

That is the sorry state of Nigeria. And it explains the Ibori conundrum. According to Ekeh, “A good citizen of the primordial public gives out and asks for nothing in return; a lucky citizen of the civic public gains from the civic public but enjoys escaping giving anything in return whenever he can. But such a lucky man would not be a good man were he to channel all his lucky gains to his private purse. He will only continue to be a good man if he channels part of the largesse from the civic public to the primordial public. That is the logic of the dialectics. The unwritten law of the dialectics is that it is legitimate to rob the civic public in order to strengthen the primordial public.”

So, just as it is often the case where one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s militant, as a people, Nigerians seem not to be in agreement on what constitutes corruption or who a corrupt person is. What one Nigerian sees as corruption, another sees it as “blessing from God”, their own opportunity or “turn to eat”. The national cake is there for the taking. The state has abdicated its responsibilities—roads, water, school, health, sanitation, etc—and instinctively we have learned to “manage” by helping ourselves to as much as the national pottage, in the “civic public”, as we can lay our hands on.

Take the ongoing spat between the current Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and his predecessor, Solomon Arase, who has been accused of making away with over 20 police vehicles when he retired in June 2016. Arase didn’t deny carting away police vehicles. He is just piqued that when it was his “turn to eat”, the police authorities suddenly became amnesic. To show his righteous anger on an issue that has caused public discomfiture, Mr. Arase’s reminded the all-righteous police authorities that there is nothing new in Inspectors General of Police making away with enough vehicles to open a car shop when they retire.

“I expect that former occupants of the office of the Inspector-General of Police should not be demeaned. This explains why Force Order 295 was emplaced by the force management under my leadership as acknowledged in your letter in reference,” Arase wrote to his predecessor in his defence. “In spite of the emplacement of this order and despite the fact that my two immediate predecessors left office with 13 and nine vehicles of different makes and models respectively, I never pressurised either of them to return any of such vehicles neither did I engage in any act that was capable of bringing them to ridicule as being done to me of late by a force I dedicated my life to serving up to the highest level.”

Clearly, pubic office in Nigeria is simply a sinecure and you would be eternally excoriated by your kinsmen and associates for not taking advantage of a life-changing opportunity. As someone once reminded me, public office in Nigeria is like climbing a mighty tree with lots of fruit. Once you climb, you are required to get as much as you can because you may not have a second chance. So, we are all, ceaselessly, engaged in the race of getting a nibble at the cake. To appreciate the Ibori phenomenon, you must understand Nigeria. Here, the best private schools, including universities, are owned by those whose responsibility has included how to make our public schools functional. It is the same story for the health, transport, and indeed, every sector of the Nigerian society.

It is as if Nigerians, wherever we find ourselves in the “civic public”, are in a race for a medal on how best to pillage the country. The “Villa Repair Heist”, as someone has described it, provides a fitting example of this brazen larceny that is called public service in Nigeria. The 2016 budget for repairs and rehabilitation of Nigeria’s Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, was N642.5 million.

By 2017, the budget had shot up to N5.6 billion. “Was the Villa hit by a bomb or earthquake unbeknownst to us citizens?” “Was there a war akin to Aleppo in the place?” one commentator asked. No, there wasn’t. It is simply “their time to eat.” In the same budget, there is a provision of N2.3billion for the Defence Headquarters to clear backlog of electricity bills that is budgeted for every year.

In July 2012, I was part of an audience at Chatham House, London, where an ex-governor of Niger State and Chair of the Northern States Governors Forum, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, was guest speaker. Dr. Aliyu spoke on “Nigeria’s Unity and Regional Socio-Political Groups: Influence and Impact of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF).” He noted that “corruption was the single unifying factor of the elite in Nigeria and that the way to deal with it was to reduce the focus on the centre.” Aliyu is right in many ways. But it is not just the elite. It is about Nigeria.

Today, if someone is robbed, we no longer get jolted. The refrain will be, “Thank God he is alive.” “We praise God the robbers took his possession and spared his life.” “God bless those robbers.” It is the same response you get when kidnappers strike. We no longer bother to interrogate armed robbery, kidnapping and other vices that have become part of our national ethos.

The celebration of Ibori’s return from prison, therefore, provides an opportunity to interrogate what Nigeria means to us as Nigerians. The problem is not really with Ibori or those who have elected to celebrate him. The problem is with Nigeria, a place where allegiance is to the “primordial public”, where rulers live in mansions and religious centres luxuriate in splendor while public schools and hospitals wallow in squalor.

Onumah is the author of We Are All Biafrans Contact him on conumah@hotmail.com; Follow him on Twitter: @conumah

This piece was written by Chido Onumah. 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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Ibori And A Nation United By Corruption

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Ibori And A Nation United By Corruption – Chido Onumah

One of the highlights of the year that has just ended was the release from a British jail of one of Nigeria’s most notorious politically exposed persons (PEPs), James Onanefe Ibori. Ibori’s rap sheet is as long as the 338km East-West Road in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, but the reason for his latest freedom was the conviction and sentencing—13 years in prison—by a Southwark Crown Court in April 2012 after he pleaded guilty to a 10-count charge of money laundering, corruption and conspiracy to defraud.

This piece was written by Chido Onumah. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Of course, it wasn’t Ibori’s release that dominated the news, as newsy as his expected release was. Rather, it was his triumphant return to the warm embrace of his kinsmen, supporters and well-wishers. James Onanefe Ibori or James Onanefe Ochuko Ibori, depending on if you are appearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, is an enigma. He was governor of Delta State from 1999-2007. He and his bosom friend, Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s current senate president, bankrolled the political machine that led to the emergence of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as president in 2007. And if not for providence—the death of Yar’Adua in May 2010—Ibori, who up until then was the de facto vice president of Nigeria, would have succeeded Yar’Adua.

All Hail James Ibori, The Kleptomaniac “Redeemer”

Yar’Adua died and Nigeria dodged a bullet or so we thought! Ibori was subsequently jailed in 2012, two years after he was arrested—and extradited to the UK—by the Interpol in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he was hiding after fleeing Nigeria. Even in prison, he maintained his godfather role and from the public admission of one of his surrogates played a key role not only in the emergence of high-ranking public officers in Delta State but the leadership of the National Assembly. For the trajectory of the Ibori saga and persona, readers will find this piece, “The welcome party for Ibori” by Simon Kolawole, instructive.

Depending on where you come from, perhaps your political affiliation and how much you benefitted from the Ibori heist in Delta State, either directly or through a third party or even tangentially as a hanger-on, the celebratory Mass held in honour of Ibori’s release from prison, though detestable, was quite understandable. After all, there is an Ibori in many of us. There are countless Iboris in the National Assembly, criminals making laws and posing as “distinguished senators” and “honourable members”. There are Ibori’s in various government houses across the country; scoundrels posing as executive governors. There are Iboris in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Customs, Immigration, Prisons, Police, our universities and sundry public institutions where those who have been kept in charge of what Peter Ekeh in his seminal essay, “Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement”, referred to as “civic public” conveniently and unconscionably steal from it and divert their loot to the “primordial public”.

That is the sorry state of Nigeria. And it explains the Ibori conundrum. According to Ekeh, “A good citizen of the primordial public gives out and asks for nothing in return; a lucky citizen of the civic public gains from the civic public but enjoys escaping giving anything in return whenever he can. But such a lucky man would not be a good man were he to channel all his lucky gains to his private purse. He will only continue to be a good man if he channels part of the largesse from the civic public to the primordial public. That is the logic of the dialectics. The unwritten law of the dialectics is that it is legitimate to rob the civic public in order to strengthen the primordial public.”

So, just as it is often the case where one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s militant, as a people, Nigerians seem not to be in agreement on what constitutes corruption or who a corrupt person is. What one Nigerian sees as corruption, another sees it as “blessing from God”, their own opportunity or “turn to eat”. The national cake is there for the taking. The state has abdicated its responsibilities—roads, water, school, health, sanitation, etc—and instinctively we have learned to “manage” by helping ourselves to as much as the national pottage, in the “civic public”, as we can lay our hands on.

Take the ongoing spat between the current Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and his predecessor, Solomon Arase, who has been accused of making away with over 20 police vehicles when he retired in June 2016. Arase didn’t deny carting away police vehicles. He is just piqued that when it was his “turn to eat”, the police authorities suddenly became amnesic. To show his righteous anger on an issue that has caused public discomfiture, Mr. Arase’s reminded the all-righteous police authorities that there is nothing new in Inspectors General of Police making away with enough vehicles to open a car shop when they retire.

“I expect that former occupants of the office of the Inspector-General of Police should not be demeaned. This explains why Force Order 295 was emplaced by the force management under my leadership as acknowledged in your letter in reference,” Arase wrote to his predecessor in his defence. “In spite of the emplacement of this order and despite the fact that my two immediate predecessors left office with 13 and nine vehicles of different makes and models respectively, I never pressurised either of them to return any of such vehicles neither did I engage in any act that was capable of bringing them to ridicule as being done to me of late by a force I dedicated my life to serving up to the highest level.”

Clearly, pubic office in Nigeria is simply a sinecure and you would be eternally excoriated by your kinsmen and associates for not taking advantage of a life-changing opportunity. As someone once reminded me, public office in Nigeria is like climbing a mighty tree with lots of fruit. Once you climb, you are required to get as much as you can because you may not have a second chance. So, we are all, ceaselessly, engaged in the race of getting a nibble at the cake. To appreciate the Ibori phenomenon, you must understand Nigeria. Here, the best private schools, including universities, are owned by those whose responsibility has included how to make our public schools functional. It is the same story for the health, transport, and indeed, every sector of the Nigerian society.

It is as if Nigerians, wherever we find ourselves in the “civic public”, are in a race for a medal on how best to pillage the country. The “Villa Repair Heist”, as someone has described it, provides a fitting example of this brazen larceny that is called public service in Nigeria. The 2016 budget for repairs and rehabilitation of Nigeria’s Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, was N642.5 million.

By 2017, the budget had shot up to N5.6 billion. “Was the Villa hit by a bomb or earthquake unbeknownst to us citizens?” “Was there a war akin to Aleppo in the place?” one commentator asked. No, there wasn’t. It is simply “their time to eat.” In the same budget, there is a provision of N2.3billion for the Defence Headquarters to clear backlog of electricity bills that is budgeted for every year.

In July 2012, I was part of an audience at Chatham House, London, where an ex-governor of Niger State and Chair of the Northern States Governors Forum, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, was guest speaker. Dr. Aliyu spoke on “Nigeria’s Unity and Regional Socio-Political Groups: Influence and Impact of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF).” He noted that “corruption was the single unifying factor of the elite in Nigeria and that the way to deal with it was to reduce the focus on the centre.” Aliyu is right in many ways. But it is not just the elite. It is about Nigeria.

Today, if someone is robbed, we no longer get jolted. The refrain will be, “Thank God he is alive.” “We praise God the robbers took his possession and spared his life.” “God bless those robbers.” It is the same response you get when kidnappers strike. We no longer bother to interrogate armed robbery, kidnapping and other vices that have become part of our national ethos.

The celebration of Ibori’s return from prison, therefore, provides an opportunity to interrogate what Nigeria means to us as Nigerians. The problem is not really with Ibori or those who have elected to celebrate him. The problem is with Nigeria, a place where allegiance is to the “primordial public”, where rulers live in mansions and religious centres luxuriate in splendor while public schools and hospitals wallow in squalor.

Onumah is the author of We Are All Biafrans Contact him on conumah@hotmail.com; Follow him on Twitter: @conumah

This piece was written by Chido Onumah. 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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Koscielny: We Started To Look At Every Game As Easy

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Laurent Koscielny has blamed Arsenal’s recent slump in form on the fact that they started to think victories were coming easy.

After losing to Liverpool on opening day, the Gunners went on a 14-match unbeaten run, winning 10 of the matches.

Arsenal have since gone on to lose consecutive matches to Everton and City, despite going ahead in both matches and Koscielny blames their impressive form.

He told Sky Sports: “When you have so many good results in a row after the Liverpool defeat, we were in too comfortable a position, and think we can win easily every time – it is not like this in football.

“You can have all the talent, but if you don’t put everything in, help your team-mates, you can have bad results. We lost this teamwork quality in the two games we lost.

“Because we scored first in both games we stopped playing. We waited for our opponent to do something.

“We were in too comfortable a position. We needed to push ourselves to score that second goal. That could make a real difference for us.”

However, Koscielny was impressed by the way Arsenal recovered to earn a 1-0 victory over West Brom on Boxing Day, a result that has them in fourth place ahead of the match with Palace.

He added: “It was a hard game, as West Brom played very well.

“They tried to play on the counter-attack, which made it difficult. We were more incisive, and physically we were better than the two games before.

“We tried everything on the pitch to find a solution. It is difficult to play against teams who sit back very deep. We got the late goal, and got the three points. That is what is most important.

“We showed our character against West Brom and it is important to keep this mentality for the rest of the season.”

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Koscielny: We Started To Look At Every Game As Easy

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Laurent Koscielny has blamed Arsenal’s recent slump in form on the fact that they started to think victories were coming easy.

After losing to Liverpool on opening day, the Gunners went on a 14-match unbeaten run, winning 10 of the matches.

Arsenal have since gone on to lose consecutive matches to Everton and City, despite going ahead in both matches and Koscielny blames their impressive form.

He told Sky Sports: “When you have so many good results in a row after the Liverpool defeat, we were in too comfortable a position, and think we can win easily every time – it is not like this in football.

“You can have all the talent, but if you don’t put everything in, help your team-mates, you can have bad results. We lost this teamwork quality in the two games we lost.

“Because we scored first in both games we stopped playing. We waited for our opponent to do something.

“We were in too comfortable a position. We needed to push ourselves to score that second goal. That could make a real difference for us.”

However, Koscielny was impressed by the way Arsenal recovered to earn a 1-0 victory over West Brom on Boxing Day, a result that has them in fourth place ahead of the match with Palace.

He added: “It was a hard game, as West Brom played very well.

“They tried to play on the counter-attack, which made it difficult. We were more incisive, and physically we were better than the two games before.

“We tried everything on the pitch to find a solution. It is difficult to play against teams who sit back very deep. We got the late goal, and got the three points. That is what is most important.

“We showed our character against West Brom and it is important to keep this mentality for the rest of the season.”

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Pastor Adeboye Releases ‘Shocking’ Prophecies On Recession, Earthquakes For 2017

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Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, while prophesying an end to the nation’s economic recession this year, stated that there will be monster earthquakes, hurricanes and floods in other part of the world.

Speaking during the Cross Over service at the church New auditorium in Simawa Ogun State, Adeboye said 2017 would be filled with surprises.

“Mrs Buhari May Be Poisoned, MMM Will Dupe More Nigerians” | Apostle Releases 50 Shocking Prophecies For 2017

The ‘Man of God’ made nine revelations which were divided into 3 groups – individual prophecies, predictions for Nigeria, and what the world should expect in general.

He said “the New Year would be full of pleasant surprises for the oppressed, stressing that those who willingly oppressed the masses would be ‘relocated’. He did not explain whether the relocation meant death for the oppressors or not, but said he would stop at what God told him.”

“2017 will be a year of surprises. But you need to understand that the same surprise may mean different things for the oppressor and the oppressed. Those deliberately making life difficult for the common man will be relocated.

“The downward plunge will slow down, it will stop and a reversal will begin,” he said, presuming that the nation’s economy would bounce back.

For individuals, the man of God prophesied that it would be a year of surprises for both true and false prophets, saying that there would be a large number of weddings, while soul winners would see their prophecies fulfilled almost as soon as they were uttered.

On the international scene, Adeboye prophesied that there would be surprises for many world governments.

He said there would be two monster earthquakes, monster floods, monster hurricanes and typhoons, monster tornadoes, monster fire outbreaks around the world this year.

During the message titled: “Enforcing Prophecy,” the cleric warned the congregation to flee from fake prophets whom according to him were only after what they would eat.

On what to do for prophecies to be fulfilled, Pastor Adeboye told the worshippers to believe God, believe true prophets, appreciate God’s sovereignty, engage in fasting, prayer and avoid all sorts of distractions.”

“Believe God because prophecies come from Him, no matter how unbelievable such prophecy sound, believe it. Believe the true prophets of God, not those who prophecy because of money or properties. Appreciate the fact that God is sovereign.

“He has the right to change His mind, the fire honor Him, stop robbing Him, make Him happy, win souls. Learn to fast, pray without season and put away all forms of distraction,” he said.

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Pastor Adeboye Releases ‘Shocking’ Prophecies On Recession, Earthquakes For 2017

Featured Image

Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, while prophesying an end to the nation’s economic recession this year, stated that there will be monster earthquakes, hurricanes and floods in other part of the world.

Speaking during the Cross Over service at the church New auditorium in Simawa Ogun State, Adeboye said 2017 would be filled with surprises.

“Mrs Buhari May Be Poisoned, MMM Will Dupe More Nigerians” | Apostle Releases 50 Shocking Prophecies For 2017

The ‘Man of God’ made nine revelations which were divided into 3 groups – individual prophecies, predictions for Nigeria, and what the world should expect in general.

He said “the New Year would be full of pleasant surprises for the oppressed, stressing that those who willingly oppressed the masses would be ‘relocated’. He did not explain whether the relocation meant death for the oppressors or not, but said he would stop at what God told him.”

“2017 will be a year of surprises. But you need to understand that the same surprise may mean different things for the oppressor and the oppressed. Those deliberately making life difficult for the common man will be relocated.

“The downward plunge will slow down, it will stop and a reversal will begin,” he said, presuming that the nation’s economy would bounce back.

For individuals, the man of God prophesied that it would be a year of surprises for both true and false prophets, saying that there would be a large number of weddings, while soul winners would see their prophecies fulfilled almost as soon as they were uttered.

On the international scene, Adeboye prophesied that there would be surprises for many world governments.

He said there would be two monster earthquakes, monster floods, monster hurricanes and typhoons, monster tornadoes, monster fire outbreaks around the world this year.

During the message titled: “Enforcing Prophecy,” the cleric warned the congregation to flee from fake prophets whom according to him were only after what they would eat.

On what to do for prophecies to be fulfilled, Pastor Adeboye told the worshippers to believe God, believe true prophets, appreciate God’s sovereignty, engage in fasting, prayer and avoid all sorts of distractions.”

“Believe God because prophecies come from Him, no matter how unbelievable such prophecy sound, believe it. Believe the true prophets of God, not those who prophecy because of money or properties. Appreciate the fact that God is sovereign.

“He has the right to change His mind, the fire honor Him, stop robbing Him, make Him happy, win souls. Learn to fast, pray without season and put away all forms of distraction,” he said.

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Conte To Chelsea Players: Winning Title Won’t Be Easy

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Antonio Conte has words of praise for his Chelsea players after an impressive first half to the season, but has warned that a repeat in the second half will be tough.

The Blues won 16 of their 19 matches, with a 4-2 win over Stoke City giving the London club its 13th straight win.

Conte has warned that a repeat of that feat will be tough to mirror, with the Stamford Bridge club not considered as underdogs.

“I think that the first part of the season was incredible for us, and it will be very difficult to repeat that,” Conte said.

“We played 19 games, we won 16, and drew once and lost twice. It’s a great achievement for us. It’s important to know it isn’t easy to repeat this run.

“The second part of the season, for me, will be difficult for us, because at the start of the season, we started as the underdog, everyone underestimated us, but now the light is on us. We have to know this.

“We have to work more, harder, and to find the right solution to win every game, but it won’t be easy.

“Today, we are very happy.”

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Conte To Chelsea Players: Winning Title Won’t Be Easy

Featured Image

Antonio Conte has words of praise for his Chelsea players after an impressive first half to the season, but has warned that a repeat in the second half will be tough.

The Blues won 16 of their 19 matches, with a 4-2 win over Stoke City giving the London club its 13th straight win.

Conte has warned that a repeat of that feat will be tough to mirror, with the Stamford Bridge club not considered as underdogs.

“I think that the first part of the season was incredible for us, and it will be very difficult to repeat that,” Conte said.

“We played 19 games, we won 16, and drew once and lost twice. It’s a great achievement for us. It’s important to know it isn’t easy to repeat this run.

“The second part of the season, for me, will be difficult for us, because at the start of the season, we started as the underdog, everyone underestimated us, but now the light is on us. We have to know this.

“We have to work more, harder, and to find the right solution to win every game, but it won’t be easy.

“Today, we are very happy.”

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Guardiola: We Can’t Talk About Title

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City are currently a long way from Chelsea, prompting Guardiola to ask his men to forget about the title.

Wijnaldum’s eight minute strike was the only goal in the clash against Liverpool, sending the Citizens ten points behind Chelsea.

City will drop to fifth on the table, if Arsenal and Tottenham win today. And Guardiola is focused on turning City’s fortunes around ahead of their match against Burnley on Monday.

“When you are in that situation [10 points behind] you have to focus on the next one and the next game,” Guardiola told BBC Match of the Day.

“Don’t talk about the target of the Premier League and things like this.

“We play Burnley in the next game and we can see what happens.”

“The game was equal,” Guardiola said. “We stated really good but they arrived with their first chance and scored a goal.

“We controlled their counter-attacks in the first half we didn’t create too much, second half was better.

“There were not many chances but that depended on the quality of the people in front

“In these type of games the little, little details make the difference.”

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Guardiola: We Can’t Talk About Title

Featured Image

City are currently a long way from Chelsea, prompting Guardiola to ask his men to forget about the title.

Wijnaldum’s eight minute strike was the only goal in the clash against Liverpool, sending the Citizens ten points behind Chelsea.

City will drop to fifth on the table, if Arsenal and Tottenham win today. And Guardiola is focused on turning City’s fortunes around ahead of their match against Burnley on Monday.

“When you are in that situation [10 points behind] you have to focus on the next one and the next game,” Guardiola told BBC Match of the Day.

“Don’t talk about the target of the Premier League and things like this.

“We play Burnley in the next game and we can see what happens.”

“The game was equal,” Guardiola said. “We stated really good but they arrived with their first chance and scored a goal.

“We controlled their counter-attacks in the first half we didn’t create too much, second half was better.

“There were not many chances but that depended on the quality of the people in front

“In these type of games the little, little details make the difference.”

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