De Rossi: Roma Don’t Have The Same Quality As Last Season

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Daniele De Rossi has said Roma don’t have the same quality they had last season, but believes they make up for it with their physical presence.

Roma sold players like Miralem Pjanic and Seydou Keita last summer and brought in Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio.

“We are different. Compared to last season we perhaps have a touch less quality,” De Rossi told the club’s official website.

“We have lost players like [Miralem] Pjanic and [Seydou] Keita, who were fantastic ball players, but we have gained in brawn and height – and you need that in Serie A too.

“I think we are just as competitive but we do play differently to before. We are neither better nor worse than the side that won all those points in the second half of last season and was just as enjoyable to watch as this team.”

Roma are second in the Serie A table, trailing leaders Juventus by seven points, and De Rossi refuses to concede in the title race just yet.

“Our target is Juventus: they have lost one like us in 2017 but they remain ahead of us,” De Rossi added.

“We are still seven points behind and all we can do is keep trying to make up the gap by playing like we did against Fiorentina on Tuesday and as we have been doing for a while now.”

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Ballack: Ozil Should Join Bayern

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Michael Ballack believes if Mesut Ozil is to ever win a trophy he must leave Arsenal for Bayern Munich.

Arsenal are set to miss out on the trophy once again this season, as they sit 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Ballack has stated that Ozil, who has 18 months left on his contract should join Bayern if he wants to win any silverware.

“Mesut is an amazing player. He knows that he is one of the undisputed stars at Arsenal,” he said. “A lot of clubs would love to have him.

“He lives in London, one of the most beautiful cities ever. To this end, Arsenal is a club that has an incredible impact on the world.

“If you are a top player in England, the cult around you is bigger than in Germany. You are treated more respectfully, especially. These are all reasons for an extension.

“But if he wants to win a major title, he has a bigger chance to achieve that at Bayern.”

But Ballack says Bayern will need to be prepared to spend big to land top players in the future.

“If you look at the recent developments in England and China, it seems inevitable that Bayern will soon pay transfer fees of €50m or so as well,” he added. “They have to if you want to keep competing with the best

“Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have grown older, but also Philipp Lahm. Bayern will not buy as oversized as the two Manchester clubs or Real Madrid. But if you want to bring in world-class player, you will have to invest.”

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Fernandinho Backs Jesus To Become A Top Player

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Gabriel Jesus has settled into life at Manchester City quite quickly and Fernandinho is impressed and expects him to keep improving.

The 19-year-old forward has scored three goals in three appearances since joining from Palmeiras last month.

Jesus has been in spectacular form for City, with Aguero spending the last three matches on the bench.

“He has things to learn, but he is starting very well,” Fernandinho told the club’s official website.

“I am very happy that he is progressing well and with confidence.

“The most important thing is that he is being able to score goals. He adjusted very quickly. The English football is not as easy, so I honestly hope he continues in this level in order to improve even more.

“I am sure he is a player that will develop a lot more and I am absolutely sure that he will be a top-class international player.”

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Lahm Says He Will Return To Bayern

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Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm says he will return to Bayern after announcing his retirement much to the annoyance of the head honchos at Bayern.

The former Germany international announced he would retiring at the end of the season, a year sooner than his contract is expected to expire.

Bayern announced they didn’t expect Lahm to make the announcement alone, as they were going to release a joint statement.

Lahm attempted to provide some clarity by making a Twitter statement on Thursday, which read: “Having had a day to process my decision, I would like to share some more detailed thoughts regarding the choice to end my football career this summer.

“Just as with my retirement from the national team, I trust my inner senses. As a captain, it’s very important for me to always deliver a top quality performance, and I realise that I won’t be able to do so beyond this season.

“I have been a player for FC Bayern since the age of 11. Except for two years in Stuttgart, I have always worn the FCB jersey. Therefore, it is clear for me, that I will be working together again with FCB at some point in the future.

“As you all know, I am a person who likes to be prepared – this is why I’d like to take a step back in order to reflect on football as a whole and think about how best to make use of my expertise and experiences.

“I always approached this decision with a lot of thought. In comparison to my resignation of the DFB team, this one will mean the completion of my football career. I am glad to state my decision to you and to bring some clarity to the situation.

“For now, my focus lies completely on the remaining games. Surely, I will experience them more consciously than ever, knowing they are my last.

“We are in the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup, we want to achieve the fifth consecutive championship in the league – and next week against Arsenal we will face a true performance benchmark. Huge goals and challenges ahead, so packmas [let’s do it]!”

Lahm has won seven Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokal crowns, the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup during his Bayern career.

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Lahm Says He Will Return To Bayern

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Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm says he will return to Bayern after announcing his retirement much to the annoyance of the head honchos at Bayern.

The former Germany international announced he would retiring at the end of the season, a year sooner than his contract is expected to expire.

Bayern announced they didn’t expect Lahm to make the announcement alone, as they were going to release a joint statement.

Lahm attempted to provide some clarity by making a Twitter statement on Thursday, which read: “Having had a day to process my decision, I would like to share some more detailed thoughts regarding the choice to end my football career this summer.

“Just as with my retirement from the national team, I trust my inner senses. As a captain, it’s very important for me to always deliver a top quality performance, and I realise that I won’t be able to do so beyond this season.

“I have been a player for FC Bayern since the age of 11. Except for two years in Stuttgart, I have always worn the FCB jersey. Therefore, it is clear for me, that I will be working together again with FCB at some point in the future.

“As you all know, I am a person who likes to be prepared – this is why I’d like to take a step back in order to reflect on football as a whole and think about how best to make use of my expertise and experiences.

“I always approached this decision with a lot of thought. In comparison to my resignation of the DFB team, this one will mean the completion of my football career. I am glad to state my decision to you and to bring some clarity to the situation.

“For now, my focus lies completely on the remaining games. Surely, I will experience them more consciously than ever, knowing they are my last.

“We are in the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup, we want to achieve the fifth consecutive championship in the league – and next week against Arsenal we will face a true performance benchmark. Huge goals and challenges ahead, so packmas [let’s do it]!”

Lahm has won seven Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokal crowns, the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup during his Bayern career.

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Parker-Fury Could Happen In Manchester

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Joseph Parker’s promoters won the purse bid for the fight against Hughie Fury, but states the fight could still hold in Manchester.

Duco Events promotes the WBO heavyweight and are looking at locations in New Zealand, Samoa, Singapore and Britain.

Fighting in Auckland is the possible location, but Duco Events are looking to boost Parker’s interest in Britain.

“We are going to control the show, but we can hold it anywhere,” Higgins told Sky Sports.

“I’ve had an inquiry out of Singapore. I’ve actually had a couple of suggestions and would look at potentially Manchester, Hughie Fury’s hometown.

“New Zealand obviously is an option, Auckland perhaps maybe a preferred option, but it has got to stack up and the costs for each show are mounting. This show is going to cost considerably more than the last show put on and so our job now is to value each location.

“There is a lot of talent in England in the heavyweight division with Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury could claim a shot back at his former WBO belt that he held, guys like David Haye and so on.

“Joseph is the current WBO world champion, so him fighting Fury could have considerable value in England, if it’s prime time, and then set up quite a juicy unification against say the winner of Joshua-Klitschko.”

“He is already a star in New Zealand,” said Higgins. “Becoming a star in England is not a bad idea, because it’s such a good market with a big, powerful pay-per-view opportunity.

“How do you become a star in England? You knock out Englishman and so doing it in New Zealand that would work, but doing it in England could be better to make an impact up there.

“He is mentally tough and has fought before in Germany on a Klitschko undercard, he’s fought in Pennsylvania, and as an amateur all over the world, and understands the pros and cons and the options etc. He would fight anywhere, it’s just what is the best option?”

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Parker-Fury Could Happen In Manchester

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Joseph Parker’s promoters won the purse bid for the fight against Hughie Fury, but states the fight could still hold in Manchester.

Duco Events promotes the WBO heavyweight and are looking at locations in New Zealand, Samoa, Singapore and Britain.

Fighting in Auckland is the possible location, but Duco Events are looking to boost Parker’s interest in Britain.

“We are going to control the show, but we can hold it anywhere,” Higgins told Sky Sports.

“I’ve had an inquiry out of Singapore. I’ve actually had a couple of suggestions and would look at potentially Manchester, Hughie Fury’s hometown.

“New Zealand obviously is an option, Auckland perhaps maybe a preferred option, but it has got to stack up and the costs for each show are mounting. This show is going to cost considerably more than the last show put on and so our job now is to value each location.

“There is a lot of talent in England in the heavyweight division with Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury could claim a shot back at his former WBO belt that he held, guys like David Haye and so on.

“Joseph is the current WBO world champion, so him fighting Fury could have considerable value in England, if it’s prime time, and then set up quite a juicy unification against say the winner of Joshua-Klitschko.”

“He is already a star in New Zealand,” said Higgins. “Becoming a star in England is not a bad idea, because it’s such a good market with a big, powerful pay-per-view opportunity.

“How do you become a star in England? You knock out Englishman and so doing it in New Zealand that would work, but doing it in England could be better to make an impact up there.

“He is mentally tough and has fought before in Germany on a Klitschko undercard, he’s fought in Pennsylvania, and as an amateur all over the world, and understands the pros and cons and the options etc. He would fight anywhere, it’s just what is the best option?”

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DSS Detains 5 Of Its Personnel For Brutalising Teachers

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The Department of State Security (DSS) has detained five of its personnel in connection with the brutalisation of teachers at the Federal Government Girls College in Calabar, Cross River State.

The five affected officials, it was learnt, were being held at the cell of the Cross River State Command of the DSS in Calabar on Wednesday.

How DSS Stormed FGGC In Calabar, Flogged Teachers For Reprimanding A Student

A source within the polity of the security outfit disclosed that the affected personnel were arrested almost immediately after the incident occurred on February 2 for going against the rules and regulations of the service.

According to the source, the affected personnel were not given official directive to go to the school.

The source further stated that the top hierarchy of the security outfit was apparently mortified by the perceived unprofessional conduct by its personnel, hence their detention.

He said, “Their arrest and detention was an indication that the DSS has officially commenced investigations into the matter in line with its set out standards of arresting such issues that involves their personnel.”

The source also said that the management of the FGGC Calabar had yet to formally lodge any complaint about the brutalisation of its staff.

“As we speak, five of our security personnel are in detention and we have commenced investigation into the incident that happened at the FGGC Calabar. Those who went there did not have official directive to go there.

“The school has not yet reported what happened to us. The matter is going to be thoroughly investigated and if any of our colleagues is found culpable, the person will be punished according to the laws regulating the conduct of DSS staff.

“The DSS remains a law-abiding organisation and will never condone any act of lawlessness from any of its men and officers,” he said.

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DSS Detains 5 Of Its Personnel For Brutalising Teachers

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The Department of State Security (DSS) has detained five of its personnel in connection with the brutalisation of teachers at the Federal Government Girls College in Calabar, Cross River State.

The five affected officials, it was learnt, were being held at the cell of the Cross River State Command of the DSS in Calabar on Wednesday.

How DSS Stormed FGGC In Calabar, Flogged Teachers For Reprimanding A Student

A source within the polity of the security outfit disclosed that the affected personnel were arrested almost immediately after the incident occurred on February 2 for going against the rules and regulations of the service.

According to the source, the affected personnel were not given official directive to go to the school.

The source further stated that the top hierarchy of the security outfit was apparently mortified by the perceived unprofessional conduct by its personnel, hence their detention.

He said, “Their arrest and detention was an indication that the DSS has officially commenced investigations into the matter in line with its set out standards of arresting such issues that involves their personnel.”

The source also said that the management of the FGGC Calabar had yet to formally lodge any complaint about the brutalisation of its staff.

“As we speak, five of our security personnel are in detention and we have commenced investigation into the incident that happened at the FGGC Calabar. Those who went there did not have official directive to go there.

“The school has not yet reported what happened to us. The matter is going to be thoroughly investigated and if any of our colleagues is found culpable, the person will be punished according to the laws regulating the conduct of DSS staff.

“The DSS remains a law-abiding organisation and will never condone any act of lawlessness from any of its men and officers,” he said.

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Mustafi: Arsenal Won’t Stop Fighting

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Shkrodan Mustafi has stated that Arsenal is not giving up the title despite going 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Arsenal have lost consecutive matches to Watford and Chelsea, sending them to fourth on the table.

The Gunners play Hull City on Saturday and Mustafi insists they’ll keep fighting for the trophy.

“I think it’s going to be more difficult than it was before, but I’m a believer,” he told Sky Sports News. “I don’t give up.

“As long as it’s possible we’re going to fight for it, and in the end we will see and if we’re lucky enough and good enough to go for it or not.”

“The first game we lost at home [to Watford] was really disappointing,” Mustafi said. “We woke up a bit late, conceded two quick goals and it was difficult to come back.

“We were disappointed as well with losing at Chelsea, which was a completely different game. We knew it would be difficult at Stamford Bridge, but we knew as well it’s possible to win. I think in the end we didn’t do enough.”

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Bayern Unhappy And Surprised At Lahm’s Retirement

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Bayern Munich have revealed they’re not quite happy with Philipp Lahm’s decision to go public with his retirement.

The 33-year-old announced his decision to retire at the end of the season after the DFB-Pokal match against Wolfsburg and also rejected a chance to be the club’s new sporting director.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did not see Lahm announcing the decision alone, as he expected them to make a joint statement.

“Bayern Munich are surprised by the approach of Philipp Lahm and his adviser,” read a statement from Rummenigge.

“Uli Hoeness and I have held open, intensive and constructive talks with Philipp in recent months about a possible position as sporting director of our club. At the end of last week, he informed us that he is currently not available for such a position and that he would like an early termination of his player contract, which runs until June 2018, at the end of the current season.

“Until Tuesday we assumed that there would be a joint announcement on this decision by Philipp Lahm and Bayern Munich.

“Philipp Lahm has been an important player for Bayern Munich for over a decade. We are convinced that our captain will now concentrate fully with the team on the tough upcoming tasks in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal. We would like to make clear that the door will always remain open for Philipp at Bayern.”

Bayern president Hoeness, meanwhile, said there was no hard feelings despite Lahm’s stance.

“The door will always be open to Philipp Lahm. I can imagine him working at Bayern one day,” Hoeness told WAZ.

“Philipp deserves our utmost respect.

“We are not disappointed with his decision, just surprised. We were in no rush. He could have started as sporting director as per January 1, 2018. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge outlined what we expected from him.”

“I wanted to stick to what we had agreed and calmly discuss how we would go public first. We were not interested in announcing it this early,” Hoeness added.

“But the surprise announcement of his retirement is just a detail and does not change anything.

“Philipp told Rummenigge about it on Friday. But it makes no sense to go public before important games. We faced Schalke on Saturday, there was a supervisory board meeting on Monday and then the next game on Tuesday. We wanted to discuss our course of action on Wednesday.”

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360Hawt: Burna Boy – Hallelujah

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Spaceship recording act and head Burna Boy divulges yet another vibey tune dubbed “Hallelujah”. The feel good tune comes shortly after the dancehall maestro shared photos of him and Drake.

Burna Boy uses the tune to give thanks to The-Most-High – “God” for keeping him in good health and success up to this present day. Like we all know, as on of the “lords of hooks,” Burna never disappoints with his music game.

Catchy lyrics, irresistible hook, crazy vibe on a smooth beat to keep you floating in the celestial realm.

Without much ado, take a minute to jam the feel good conventional thanksgiving tune.

Listen, and Enjoy Hallelujah by Burna Boy below

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

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Giwa Reacts As FIFA Places ‘Worldwide’ Ban On Him, 4 Others

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Factional President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chris Giwa, has reacted with a protest after the five-year worldwide ban placed on him by FIFA on Tuesday.

The world football governing body handed a “worldwide sanction” on Giwa and four other persons from taking part in football-related activities for five years.

CAF Bans Giwa, 4 Other Persons For 5 Years

The Jos-based football financier as well as Muazu Suleiman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Effiong Johnson had their earlier suspensions by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disciplinary committee extended to the world over “breaches of the NFF Statutes and the Fifa Code of Ethics.”

A statement on FIFA’s website read, “FIFA can today (Tuesday) confirm the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed by the Nigerian Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016 against the officials Christopher Giwa, Muazu Suleyman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Johnson Effiong for breaches of the NFF Statutes and the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“In accordance with art. 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity imposed on the five officials to have worldwide effect. The relevant member association as well as CAF has been duly notified of the chairman’s decision.”

However, a statement signed by Habila Ardzard, lawyer for Giwa’s NFF board, said the ban extension by FIFA was orchestrated by the Pinnick-led NFF board.

It read: “The purported ban resulted from the legal actions the Chris Giwa-led NFF board instituted in the court of law to sustain its mandate given to it on August 26, 2014. We find the said correspondence a disingenuous ploy by the Amaju Pinnick-led pretentious board of the NFF to divert attention from the credibility and integrity baggage it is currently in.”

“For the avoidance of doubt Article 1(1) of the NFF Statutes guarantees that the NFF is set up under Nigeria’s law and is bound by same.  The issue of whether or not football matters can be resolved in ordinary court of law has been resolved by the Court of Appeal in Nnaji vs Nigeria Football Association (2011), where it was held that FIFA and CAF statutes, which have not been domesticated into Nigeria’s Municipal Law, have no binding effects on citizens of this country.”

Speaking to BBC Sport, he continued:

“They (FIFA) have not communicated to us directly and reading something on FIFA’s website is not a direct communication.”

“Once we hear from FIFA  then we will take the necessary steps and we cannot rule out (filing an appeal with Court of Arbitration for Sport) over something so excessive.”

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Giwa Reacts As FIFA Places ‘Worldwide’ Ban On Him, 4 Others

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Factional President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chris Giwa, has reacted with a protest after the five-year worldwide ban placed on him by FIFA on Tuesday.

The world football governing body handed a “worldwide sanction” on Giwa and four other persons from taking part in football-related activities for five years.

CAF Bans Giwa, 4 Other Persons For 5 Years

The Jos-based football financier as well as Muazu Suleiman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Effiong Johnson had their earlier suspensions by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disciplinary committee extended to the world over “breaches of the NFF Statutes and the Fifa Code of Ethics.”

A statement on FIFA’s website read, “FIFA can today (Tuesday) confirm the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed by the Nigerian Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016 against the officials Christopher Giwa, Muazu Suleyman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Johnson Effiong for breaches of the NFF Statutes and the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“In accordance with art. 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity imposed on the five officials to have worldwide effect. The relevant member association as well as CAF has been duly notified of the chairman’s decision.”

However, a statement signed by Habila Ardzard, lawyer for Giwa’s NFF board, said the ban extension by FIFA was orchestrated by the Pinnick-led NFF board.

It read: “The purported ban resulted from the legal actions the Chris Giwa-led NFF board instituted in the court of law to sustain its mandate given to it on August 26, 2014. We find the said correspondence a disingenuous ploy by the Amaju Pinnick-led pretentious board of the NFF to divert attention from the credibility and integrity baggage it is currently in.”

“For the avoidance of doubt Article 1(1) of the NFF Statutes guarantees that the NFF is set up under Nigeria’s law and is bound by same.  The issue of whether or not football matters can be resolved in ordinary court of law has been resolved by the Court of Appeal in Nnaji vs Nigeria Football Association (2011), where it was held that FIFA and CAF statutes, which have not been domesticated into Nigeria’s Municipal Law, have no binding effects on citizens of this country.”

Speaking to BBC Sport, he continued:

“They (FIFA) have not communicated to us directly and reading something on FIFA’s website is not a direct communication.”

“Once we hear from FIFA  then we will take the necessary steps and we cannot rule out (filing an appeal with Court of Arbitration for Sport) over something so excessive.”

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Jesus Happy To Be At Manchester City

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Gabriel Jesus is happy at how life at the Etihad has started and surprised at how successful it has been.

The 19-year-old joined from Palmeiras for £27 million and came on from the bench in the match against Tottenham.

He has started in all three of Manchester City’s matches since then and scored three goals. He thanked his teammates for helping him settle into life at City.

“I am very happy,” Jesus told the club’s official website. “Each day I feel that I am adjusting really well, with the support of everyone in the club.

“The players, they help me every day and that makes me happy, even more because I am able to make a good start in a City shirt.”

Jesus also admitted that he did not expect things to fall into place so quickly for him following his £27 million move from Palmeiras.

“Yes, I am very surprised,” he continued. “Although I work a lot every single day, with everyone’s support, in order for that to happen.”

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Jesus Happy To Be At Manchester City

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Gabriel Jesus is happy at how life at the Etihad has started and surprised at how successful it has been.

The 19-year-old joined from Palmeiras for £27 million and came on from the bench in the match against Tottenham.

He has started in all three of Manchester City’s matches since then and scored three goals. He thanked his teammates for helping him settle into life at City.

“I am very happy,” Jesus told the club’s official website. “Each day I feel that I am adjusting really well, with the support of everyone in the club.

“The players, they help me every day and that makes me happy, even more because I am able to make a good start in a City shirt.”

Jesus also admitted that he did not expect things to fall into place so quickly for him following his £27 million move from Palmeiras.

“Yes, I am very surprised,” he continued. “Although I work a lot every single day, with everyone’s support, in order for that to happen.”

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Senate Comes For Amaechi: “You Lied To Nigerians”

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The Senate on Wednesday described the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi as “a liar”, adding that he should immediately withdraw his comment that the upper chamber was delaying infrastructure development.

In a statement signed by the Senate’s spokesperson, Sen, Aliyu Sabi, the senate said it was not delaying any construction and that the minister told a lie.

Amaechi had earlier during a townhall meeting in Ilorin, Kwara state said that the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan and Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna -Kano rail lines were being delayed by the refusal of the National Assembly to sign the loan request by the Federal Government.

However, the Senate spokesman Aliyu Sabi stressed that the statement was false and a misrepresentation of facts.

The statement read: “As at today, the only request for approval from the Executive for loan was the one dated January 27, 2017 and signed by Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo seeking a “resolution of the National Assembly For the Issuance of USD 1 Billion EuroBond In the International Capital Market For The Funding of the 2016 Budget Deficit” and we immediately granted the approval.

“Also, in the letter quoted above, the Government mentioned the two rail lines cited by the minister as part of the projects for which the EuroBond will be utilised. So, we cannot understand what the grouse of Mr Amaechi is.”

“We view that statement based on false and misinformed premise strongly as a mere attempt to incite the people against the National Assembly.”

“The Minister should therefore withdraw that statement. Furthermore, the National Assembly will take up the matter with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.”

“As a former Speaker of a state House of Assembly, we believe that a minister like Amaechi should always check his facts and refrain from making unguarded and inciting remarks against the legislature.”

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Senate Comes For Amaechi: “You Lied To Nigerians”

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The Senate on Wednesday described the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi as “a liar”, adding that he should immediately withdraw his comment that the upper chamber was delaying infrastructure development.

In a statement signed by the Senate’s spokesperson, Sen, Aliyu Sabi, the senate said it was not delaying any construction and that the minister told a lie.

Amaechi had earlier during a townhall meeting in Ilorin, Kwara state said that the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan and Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna -Kano rail lines were being delayed by the refusal of the National Assembly to sign the loan request by the Federal Government.

However, the Senate spokesman Aliyu Sabi stressed that the statement was false and a misrepresentation of facts.

The statement read: “As at today, the only request for approval from the Executive for loan was the one dated January 27, 2017 and signed by Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo seeking a “resolution of the National Assembly For the Issuance of USD 1 Billion EuroBond In the International Capital Market For The Funding of the 2016 Budget Deficit” and we immediately granted the approval.

“Also, in the letter quoted above, the Government mentioned the two rail lines cited by the minister as part of the projects for which the EuroBond will be utilised. So, we cannot understand what the grouse of Mr Amaechi is.”

“We view that statement based on false and misinformed premise strongly as a mere attempt to incite the people against the National Assembly.”

“The Minister should therefore withdraw that statement. Furthermore, the National Assembly will take up the matter with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.”

“As a former Speaker of a state House of Assembly, we believe that a minister like Amaechi should always check his facts and refrain from making unguarded and inciting remarks against the legislature.”

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Reactions Trail Emir Sanusi’s Call For “Mosques To Be Converted To Schools”

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The Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, has charged northern governors to build a giant remedial college to accommodate all northern candidates, who fail to secure admission into conventional universities.

Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), made this known on Tuesday, in his address at the joint convocation of 2,000 teachers held at the Kano Government House.

Emir Sanusi Charges Northerners To “Stop Producing Children Like Commodities”

While lamenting that the North had been lagging behind educationally, the Emir called for the conversion of mosques spread across the country as schools.

“If you look at our educational needs viz a viz the infrastructure deficit, it has become imperative to convert existing mosques to primary schools, and aside cost reduction in this era of recession, it would accelerate education development in the region,” he said.

Sanusi said this model of education was obtainable in Morocco, adding that he advocated this type of educational model in order to revamp the backwardness of the North in education when compared with the Southern part of the country.

Meanwhile, Emir Sanusi’s suggestion has elicited mixed views from some Northern leaders.

“Girl Child Education More Important Than Building Of Mosques” – Emir Sanusi

Reacting to the suggestion, a Second Republic politician, Dr Junaid Mohammed, said the monarch’s suggestion is mischievous.

His words: “Ordinarily, I won’t dignify the statement credited to the Emir with any response because the Emir talks from both sides of his mouth. Though, I agree that there are too many mosques all around and more functional schools need to be built, I don’t think converting a mosque or church to school is what will solve the problem.

“I believe the issue of million beggars on streets in the North is what should have formed the basis of discussion and not the issue of converting mosques to schools.”

However, Alhaji Balarabe Musa approved the suggestion, saying: “I believe the conversion of mosques into primary schools is in order.”

Also in support, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, revealed that Sanusi’s call would eradicate radicalism in the North.

“I think the call by the Emir of Kano is a good one. Before now, some disgruntled elements have tried to portray the North and Islam in bad light. With this call by the Emir, I am optimistic that it will reduce radicalism in the region and erase the wrong impression people have regarding Islam,” he said.

In disagreement to the suggestion, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, said:

‘’It is wrong to apply economics to the worship of God. The choice of doing that is personal and should be between governors and their people. People do things which they believe in. However, if the mosques are converted to schools, how can that add value? In that part of the country, people believe that to worship God is better than worship of worldly things.”

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Source: New feed2

El-Rufai Bars FRSC From Operating In Kaduna

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The Nasir El-Rufai-led government has barred personnel of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) from erecting checkpoints in Kaduna and other urban centres in the state.

Nasir El-Rufai denies slapping his deputy governor

El-Rufai Bars FRSC From Operating In Kaduna

This is contained in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan on Wednesday.

Aruwan, in the statement, said that the decision was taken by the state Security Council after a meeting in which it reviewed complaints from the general public against the road marshals.

He said, “The council acted following complaints that FRSC officials were acting in ways reminiscent of the VIO that was dissolved by the state government following widespread unease at their acts of disrespect for the public and penchant for extortion.”

The government stressed that the FRSC personnel have been barred “from indiscriminately stopping vehicles for inspection in Kaduna town, a situation which has been responsible for avoidable traffic congestion and accidents.”

The government further directed the FRSC officials to, henceforth, concentrate their activities “in ensuring safe travel on highways such as the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.”

It also barred petrol tankers from loading firewood, tomatoes and other goods on top of their vehicles throughout the state, because of the danger the practice pose to lives and property.

It said, “The Security Council, therefore, mandated security agencies to ensure compliance with these directives, and relevant agencies were also directed to impound defaulting tankers.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting of the security council was chaired by the governor, and had in attendance his Deputy, Mr Barnabas Bala, and heads of military and paramilitary agencies in the state.

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Source: New feed2

Nigerian Writer Luvvie Ajayi’s Book To Be Developed Into Comedy Series By Shonda Rhimes

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Nigerian writer Luvvie Ajayi’s debut book, I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual has caught the eye of author and producer, Shonda Rhimes.

Shonda Rhimes’s Shondaland, along with ABC Signature Studios, have acquired rights to the book and plan to develop it as a cable comedy series. The project will fall under Shondaland’s overall deal at ABC Studios.

I’m Judging You is a humorous manual that instructs people on how to do better. Ajayi, creator of the AwesomelyLuvvie.com blog, first gained the attention of Rhimes with her online Scandal recaps.

With drama series like Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Grey’s Anatomy at ABC, Shondaland has been looking to expand its portfolio into comedy.

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Source: New feed

“Buhari Told Me He Wants A VP That Can Hold The Nation Together If He Dies” – Pastor Bakare

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Tunde Bakare, a prominent Lagos pastor and the General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, was quoted to have revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari always wanted a Vice President that could hold the nation together in case he died.

According to TheCable, Bakare said that was why Buhari selected him as running mate in 2011.

It would be recalled, the duo contested the election under the platform of the then Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), but lost to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, while speaking to his congregants in Ogba, Lagos, last month, Bakare said Buhari rejected former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s choice of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance.

He was quoted to have said: “After I was called and I went to Abuja, and I sat with Mr President or General Buhari then, I said why me? ‘I’m not a politician’, ‘I do not belong to any political party’, ‘I am not carrying card of any party, why me’?” he asked.

“He gave me all the reasons, they are written in the book; Strategic Intervention in Governance. He gave three reasons, but the  one that made everyone around me that day to dove their hats was when he said: I am not as young as you think, and even Yar’Adua that is younger is dead.

“In case I die, I know you can hold the nation together. That was when Jim (he didn’t give his surname) removed his cap and said egbon, you must agree.”

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Source: New feed2

Pakistan Places Ban On Bollywood Movie

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A new Indian (Bollywood) blockbuster has been banned by the Pakistan film board for its apparently unflattering depictions of Muslims.

Indian films are enormously popular in Pakistan but the movie “Raees” had been particularly hotly anticipated as it features Shah Rukh Khan, one of India’s most popular male leads, and Mahira Khan, a Pakistani star making her first appearance in a major Indian production.

Rukh Khan, himself a Muslim, has millions of fans all around the world, but his new film “Raees,” about a bootlegger turned politician, has hit a roadblock with Pakistan’s censors.

The movie, scheduled for release last Sunday has been banned because of its “inappropriate depiction of Muslims,” according to Pakistan’s Central Censor Board.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the Pakistan’s film censors said the country’s cinemas would not be allowed to screen the movie.

“Yes, the censor certificate has not been issued to the film Raees for having inappropriate content,” said Mubashir Husain.

The board also said the movie “did not show the real face of Islam” and focused on a “sect of Muslims as bad.”

The decision to ban the movie, which is based on a true story set in Gujarat in the 1980s and 1990s, has caught cinema-goers as well as the cast and crew by surprise.

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Source: New feed

Boko Haram Is Now Broke – UN

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The United Nation (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, has stated that the Boko Haram group is currently plagued by financial difficulties.

Feltman made this statement known on Tuesday while briefing the Security Council on the UN Secretary-General’s Fourth Report on the threat the group poses to international peace and security efforts to “check and roll it back”.

“Boko Haram Gave Me N200 To Detonate Explosive” – Suicide Bomber Narrates Ordeal

The UN envoy also stressed that Boko Haram was under intense military pressure, but warned against undermining its capacity to launch fatal attacks.

“ISIL-affiliate Boko Haram is attempting to spread its influence and commit terrorist acts beyond Nigeria.

“And Boko Haram remains a serious threat, with several thousand fighters at its disposal.

“It is, however, plagued by financial difficulties and an internal power struggle, and has split in two factions,” Mr. Feltman said.

This is just as the previous reports on the subject had focused on South East Asia, Yemen and East Africa, Libya and Afghanistan, the fourth report focused on Europe, North Africa and West Africa.

It noted that ISIL had conducted a range of attacks in Europe since declaring in 2014 its intent to target the region.

Some of these attacks were directed and facilitated by ISIL personnel, while others were enabled by ISIL providing guidance or assistance or were inspired through its propaganda, it said.

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“Nigeria To Stop Importation Of Fuel By 2019” – Ibe Kachikwu

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According to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria will stop importing refined petroleum products by 2019.

The minister said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a public hearing on the review of petroleum pricing template for Premium Motor Spirit organised by the House of Representatives. He said that within two years, the Federal Government revived refineries that were non-functional to contribute about eight million out of over 20 million litres of petrol consumed in the country daily.

He explained that the Federal Government initiated a model which attracted foreign investors to partner with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to repair the country’s refineries within the two years period.

“This has consistently served as a target for this government so that by December 2018, NNPC must be able to deliver on some of the terms given them, one of which is to reduce petroleum importation by 60 per cent. By 2019, we should be able to exist completely on the importation of petroleum products in this country.”

“Cognisant of the fact that Dangote is building one refinery, we expect to have an excess situation.” He said.

The minister said that Nigeria must also have the capacity to stop exporting crude oil.

According to him, selling crude oil is not different from selling agricultural produce in an unprocessed manner.

He said, “The world is leaving that, every member of OPEC is leaving that because of the prizing, volume and market challenges is now shifting from selling crude to selling refined petroleum products.

“That is what this country must do and there is a template we are working on.”

He added that the ministry intended to create an enabling environment that would promote local refining of crude oil. “The issue is not giving licences to illegality, the issue is how do we ensure that we create an investment environment that pulls individuals from illegal creek activities to legal business activities.”

“We are looking at modular refineries, about 60 licences were given out just before this government came in and none of that was utilised because it requires a lot of money, land and crude security.

“But now we are going out to identify refineries, get individuals who can build refineries on the same platforms where our refineries are and identify some key specific modular refineries backed up by foreign investments working with state governments.

“Hopefully this will address the restiveness you see in the Niger Delta.”

On the possibility of reducing the present pump price of fuel, Kachikwu said there was no padding in the petroleum pricing template for PMS currently sold at N145 per litre.

According to him, 71 per cent of the cost is for the production and freight, 18 per cent balance is covered by depot charges and retailers margin.

He said, “In other words, the storage tanks, the amount you get by verge of operating a filling station takes another 18 per cent, the output of those is already taking you to roughly about 90 per cent. The transportation is less than 10 per cent; we probably can do better; the templating is an insignificant 1 per cent or 2 per cent but that’s not where the problem is. The problem is with foreign exchange rate.”

“There are two key elements in the template, how much you buy it is internationally fixed, it is not a Nigerian issue the cost of foreign exchange is a monetary policy issue.

“So, at the time we did the template the Central Bank of Nigeria monetary policy was N245, that was the basis upon which we calculated the pricing, today N305 is the exchange rate.

“And what we have tried to do is to ensure that anybody who sells us foreign exchange follows basically the instructions of the CBN in terms of the amount.”

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Source: New feed2