The Day Our Soldiers Went Mad Again In Onitsha

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The Day Our Soldiers Went Mad Again In Onitsha, By Jude Ndukwe

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On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at the popular city of Onitsha, two soldiers, Corporal Bature Samuel and Corporal Abdulazeez Usman, like demons on a mission, went berserk and grievously brutalised a physically challenged man, Mr. Chijioke Uraku, for wearing a military camouflague.

This piece was written by Jude Ndukwe. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Although the military authorities have pleaded with Nigerians and the international community to treat the incident as an isolated one, facts on the ground show that contrary to being so, Nigerian soldiers have a routine pastime of descending heavily on innocent Nigerians whom they see as mere subjects to be abused and britalised, sometimes without any provocation but for just being ‘bloody civilians’.

Nigerian Army Arrests Soldiers Who Brutalised Crippled Man In Onitsha [Watch Video]

From Onitsha to Zaria, Lagos to Edo, Adamawa to Nasarawa, Abuja to Aba, Ogun to Port Harcourt etc, Nigerians suffer gross abuse from the men in green, whose colour of uniform is supposed to depict life but has recently, mostly and unfortunately, become a symbol of brutality, terror and death.

The venom with which Cpls Samuel and Usman descended upon the helpless and hapless citizen, Chijioke, not minding that he is physically-challenged, proves that the bestial act of brutality has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian military.

Battering him, the two soldiers flagrantly threw Chijioke off his wheelchair, which they also flung away, while flogging him in a manner even the devil ought not to be flogged. The video of the incident, which went viral on social media, showed Chijioke pleading with the soldiers for mercy, even though this fell on deaf ears. Passers-by watched on in helpless indignation as the soldiers dragged him on the ragged ground from one point to the other. One could hear them lamenting the misfortune of citizen Chijioke but could only resign themselves to watching the terrifying debacle helplessly.

The residents of Onitsha themselves have had their own fair share of military brutality. Most of the unlawful killings of IPOB members by soldiers happened in Onitsha. Their psyche must have been so affected that their will to help a helpless citizen being badly dehumanised by rampaging soldiers seems to have ebbed away. The military high-handedness and use of excessive force which have resulted in the avoidable deaths of armless civilians in that region are well documented.

It is the same with citizens in other places.

In Abuja, on January 17, 2017, a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Alex Ochienu, was also beaten into a state of coma by some soldiers attached to the Development Control of the city, who rushed into the building site where Ochienu was supervising projects and ordered everyone on site to frog-jump. The hapless Ochienu had explained to the soldiers that he would not be able to carry out such a strenuous punishment since he was fasting. His explanation, as it always is with our soldiers, infuriated them the more and they descended on him for daring to explain himself, and he was reportedly hit with rifle butts, kicked in the stomach and whipped severally until he passed out.

Although Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State had rescued a downtrodden truck pusher who was a victim of brutal assault from two NAF cadets who had already forced their object of brutality into the booth of their car in December 2015, six months later, and as if to prove that their tyranny knows no class or status, the governor himself was soon to be a victim of military brutality himself as his mother’s police guards were assaulted by soldiers allegedly from Operation MESA. This was simply because one of the police guards had asked a man in mufti, who later turned out to be a military officer, not to park near the gate of the governor’s mother’s house. This infuriated the man and he left only to return with a truckload of military personnel who brutalised the governor’s mother’s police guards.

Before then, in February 2016, a lawyer, Adeyemi Akintoye, was hospitalised after being brutalised by two soldiers from the Ordinance Barracks for “walking slowly”. The incident which occurred near Tejuosho market in Yaba area of Lagos also saw the lawyer allegedly dispossessed of his N350,000, which he just collected from one of his clients.

Trouble was said to have started when the soldiers who were walking behind Akintoye ordered him to walk faster but Akintoye retorted that he was not obstructing their movement and that the road was wide enough for everyone to walk at their different paces. At this point, our soldiers who have since arrogated to themselves the status of gods who must not be questioned, descended heavily on him, leading to his hospitalisation.

It was the same road blockade saga that got our Shiite Muslim brethren in trouble in December 2015 in Zaria when soldiers, like a people suffering from the overdose of psychotropic drugs, descended heavily on them and allegedly killed close to a thousand defenceless civilians in one fell swoop. And, rather than atone for their murderous act by being penitent, the military high command has gone on defending that indefensible massacre of fellow citizens. Salt has also been rubbed on the injury caused our collective sensibilities with the government’s holding of the leader of the Muslim group and his wife in detention till date, in continued flagrance and defiance of multiple court orders to have them released!

So when the military high command tries to sell us the “isolated case” story from the Onitsha incident, they are only further exposing their well know hypocrisy, garnished with falsehood and official tyranny.

There are so many cases of abuse and torture perpetrated by our military personnel but only a very few of these ever get into the public domain. Many citizens suffer unduly and unjustly in the hands of these octopuses of tears, sorrow and blood parading themselves as soldiers.

From Joy Agboghide, who was allegedly dehumanised in March 2016 by some soldiers in Benin City, Edo State for “obstructing traffic”, to nollywood actress and movie producer, Jewel Infinity, who was beaten severely with a rod by a soldier in Port Harcourt on January 31, 2017, for “gossiping”, to the man who was battered by a group of military cadets led by a female soldier simply because he complimented the female soldier and referred to her as beautiful. Also, to Umar Abdulaziz who was reportedly tortured to death by a group of three soldiers in Ganaye Local Government Area of Adamawa State in December 2016 for allegedly stealing a mobile phone belonging to a girlfriend of one of the soldiers, the story of citizens’ brutalisation in the hands of our soldiers for sundry “offences” seem endless.

Soldiers Who Brutalised Crippled Man In Onitsha Face Court Martial As Army Invites Victim

While one must admit that there are lots of very fine officers and men who are highly intelligent and humane among our military forces, the majority of the bad ones – including senior officers who order, supervise and condone the continued killings and brutalisation of fellow citizens like the Shiites, IPOB members and other citizens under one guise or the other – are the ones further dragging the very bad image of the military in the mud. The earlier the military looks inward and does some critical and honest soul searching exercise, the better for them.

It is not too late to begin a radical reorientation of the mindset and psyche of the ‘boys’, which seem to have been battered by the unholy incursion of the armed forces into our politics in the past. Unless this is done, our soldiers might continue to go mad! Its time for the military to save itself from itself!; Twitter: Stjudendukwe

This piece was written by Jude Ndukwe. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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Juventus Missed Out On Signing Cristiano Ronaldo – Gianni Di Marzio

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Former Juventus sporting director Gianni Di Marzio has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo was on the verge of joining the Bianconeri as a youngster in 2002.

Di Marzio, who was in charge of transfers at Juventus from 2001 to 2006, said that Ronaldo even came to Turin for the deal to be completed, but ex-Chile striker Marcelo Salas, who was supposed to head in the opposite direction, refused to do so.

“When I was working for Juventus, I called Turin and said he was going to be the best player in the world, obviously behind [Diego] Maradona,” Di Marzio told Agencia EFE.

“I negotiated [a transfer] and brought Cristiano to Turin in 2002 to sign for Juventus. But [Marcelo] Salas did not accept the swap deal. For a few million euros, Salas did not want to go and he later ended up at River Plate.

 “That is how Juventus lost Cristiano Ronaldo. [Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes] knows this story very well.”

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Martial Eager To Face Saint-Etienne

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Anthony Martial is relishing the chance to once again face Saint-Etienne, a side he has encountered in the Europa League before.

The frenchman scored against the Ligue 1 club when he was at Monaco and was in Lyon, who are rivals of Saint-Etienne .

Manchester United host the first leg of the last-32 against Saint-Etienne and Martial is looking forward to haunting them again.

“There was a huge rivalry while I was still at Lyon,” Martial said to United’s official website.

“It was always a highly charged atmosphere and they were usually massive games, the kind all players love to play in.

“So there will be that added competitive edge whenever I play against them.

“We know it will be a difficult match but if we play with all our quality, I think we can do good things.

“Of course, it would be great if I could score against them again, but I hope we can win the game because that is the most important thing. Then it would be a bonus if I managed to grab a goal.”

He continued: “They have a tremendous following and I’m sure it will be lively, even more so as they are not used to playing against big clubs like United.

“There is always a great atmosphere there even against the smaller teams, so I can’t imagine what it will be like against us. It will be up to us to put it out of our minds.”

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Florentin Pogba Prepared To ‘Foul’ Brother Paul Pogba in Europa League Clash

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Saint-Etienne defender Florentin Pogba has admitted that he will do all he possibly can to stop brother Paul Pogba from making an impact in his side’s Europa League clash with Manchester United.

The siblings face off at Old Trafford on Thursday evening in the first knockout stage of the competition, before locking horns again in the reverse fixture in France six days later.

Florentin has already talked of his pride at facing off against his younger brother, but he is refusing to go lightly on the world’s most expensive midfielder as his team comes first.

“We’re both determined players.” he told Telefoot. “If he’s on a run, and I have to tackle him, I’ll tackle him. I’m not going to knock him out. But if I have to foul him, I’ll do it.”

In December, St Etienne sporting director Dominique Rocheteau hailed the meeting of Florentin Pogba and his brother Paul Pogba as “the beautiful story” of the side’s meeting with United.

St Etienne are currently fifth in the Ligue 1 table after a 4-0 win over Lorient on Sunday, while United are sixth following their 2-0 victory over Watford on Saturday.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic : “My Manchester United Future Isn’t Finalized”

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic says “nothing is done” with regards to his Manchester United future, but claims he has fulfilled the option needed to extend his contract.

The 35-year-old arrived in the summer on a one-year deal with the option of another season. On Friday, United boss Jose Mourinho said he was convinced Ibrahimovic would still be at Old Trafford when 2017/18 got under way, but the 20-goal striker is giving little away just yet.

Asked if he has triggered the extension clause with goals and appearances, the veteran striker said: “Something like that. I have to score 100 goals. The option is already fulfilled. But there’s nothing done yet. “

When asked whether it was case of having to wait and see, Ibrahimovic said: “From my side. We’ll wait and see. Let’s see what happens.”

Anthony Martial appears to be one of those benefiting from Ibrahimovic’s experience. After enduring a difficult season previously the 21-year-old marked his return to the starting line-up with a goal and an assist as Watford were beaten 2-0 on Saturday.

“He’s not going around with his head down,” Ibrahimovic said of Martial. “He’s positive, training hard and has a lot of energy. Obviously he wants to play.

“It’s not like we go around to everybody and talk. It’s about the moment, when the situation is there. When we eat breakfast he sits beside me and we talk. Everybody talks to everybody.

“It’s not like you go to one and try to cheer him up. It’s a good atmosphere, the guys are very professional. Positive vibes.”

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors This Night

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  • Vincent Kompany is not playing for Manchester City because Pep Guardiola prefers ball-playing centre backs.
  • Anthony Martial hasn’t been moody at Manchester United while speculation over his future has been rife after his time spent on the bench, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


  • Per Mertesacker has warned Arsenal “desperately” need to improve their defending to have a chance of knocking Bayern Munich out of the Champions League.


  • Southampton’s £40m-rated centre-back Virgil van Dijk is reportedly being chased by Liverpool but former Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he tried to sign the Dutchman.
  • Aiden McGeady admits his Everton career is all but over.


  • David Moyes says his Sunderland side are struggling to deliver when expectation is on them to secure a Premier League win.


  • Steve Bruce has already admitted that he could abandon his new-look formation less than a fortnight after introducing it at Aston Villa.


  • Wolves boss Paul Lambert has dismissed Rafa Benitez’s call for an FA investigation into Wolves fans for songs they directed at Jonjo Shelvey.


  • Marco Silva will take his Hull City side away on a warm-weather training camp in Portugal this week confident that their Premier League survival bid is firmly on track.


  • Eddie Howe says Bournemouth can take inspiration from two “standard-bearing” performances as they head into tonight’s clash with Manchester City.


  • Andy King has told Leicester City’s doubters it would be naive to question the strength of Claudio Ranieri’s squad.


  • Federico Fernandez has revealed he is close to signing a new contract at Swansea City.


  • AFC Wimbledon’s Paul Robinson believes current disciplinary laws need changing following teammate Tom Elliott’s sending off for excessive celebrating in Saturday’s draw with Charlton.


  • Pontus Jansson could be forced to miss Tuesday’s league game against Bristol City after being taken ill on the morning of Leeds United’s 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City.


  • Middlesbrough have announced that season ticket prices will be frozen for the 2017/18 season.


  • Gary Bowyer paid tribute to Blackpool’s “terrific” pace and power after they bagged their long overdue first league win of 2017 in style at Carlisle.


  • Brighton goal centurion Sam Baldock has likened Solly March to Andros Townsend and says his potential has no limits.


  • Dave King, the Rangers chairman and major shareholder, today confirmed the Ibrox club could bring in an interim manager to take charge of the team until the end of the season.

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PHOTOS: UK Mad Over Runtown

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12th February 2017 saw Runtown headline his first ever UK concert put together by Therapy entertainment and Africa Unplugged limited. The show promoted by popular UK promoter and snap chat/reality star Badguy Toba assisted by Stefi K PR . Runtown didn’t disappoint as he thrilled his adoring fans.

With Valentine vastly approaching the ladies in London came out in full to see the sound God himself Runtown.

Hosted by Beat FM & Factory 78’s Adesope, the stage was warmed up by acts like Kojo funds, Naira Marley, DJ Cuppy, Eugy, kwamz and flava, Kc Pozzy, Ray, Tomi Agape and lots more.

Runtown surprised his fans with his special guest Wizkid who joined him on stage for their rendition of “Lagos to Kampala”.

Performing other hits of his, the night ended with the most popular Afrobeats song of the moment “mad over you ” which he performed multiple times including various versions. He closed the show with the monster hit sending the audience into a frenzy as they belted the words to the song back to back.

It’s safe to say the UK is definitely Mad Over Runtown!

image credit – Michael Tubes Creations

UK Mad Over Runtown

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Yakubu Aiyegbeni Joins Leaague One Club Coventry

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Coventry have signed former Everton striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni on a short-term deal.

The 34-year-old Nigerian, who also had Premier League spells with Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Blackburn, had been training with Coventry after leaving Turkish club Kayserispor.

Sky Blues boss Russell Slade told the club’s official website: “We’re pleased to have secured the signing of Yakubu, who brings vast experience and a terrific goal record.

“His professional career speaks for itself, having scored consistently at the highest level of English football, and will act as a superb role model for the younger players.

“He is astute on the ball, has clear quality and presence, and we’ll continue to work on his match fitness as we prepare for the final 16 games of this season.”

Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Oldham left Coventry five points adrift at the foot of the League One table, having scored just 25 goals in 30 games so far this season.

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Santa Cruz Asked Not To Fight Against Frampton In Belfast By His Father

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The possibility of a third fight between Leo Santa Cruz and Frampton in Belfast is quite slim, with Leo warned by his father not to make the trip.

The American regained his WBA ‘super’ featherweight title after winning on points in a Las Vegas rematch. And Frampton immediately asked for a rematch in his hometown of Belfast.

Santa Cruz seems to have no problems with fighting in Frampton’s hometown, but his father and trainer is wary of making the trip.

“My dad is scared that if I go over there, and even if I beat Carl Frampton, the people and the judges are going to be an influence,” Santa Cruz told Villainfy Media.

“No matter if I beat him, he thinks that even if I beat him I’ll have the victory taken away from me.

“My dad says not to go over there, because going over there would be a really bad decision and, you know, he is right and everything.

“But if I go over there and I get the win and beat him, for all the fans to see that I win, that’s all that matters. Hopefully they see that I win and they give me that.”

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Guardiola: Aguero’s Future At City Is Quite Uncertain

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Sergio Aguero’s future at Manchester City is very uncertain, with manager Pep Guardiola saying he doesn’t know if the Argentine will remain at the club next season.

The Argentina international had scored 18 goals this season, but since Pep Guardiola arrived speculation surrounding his exit has been constant.

Since Gabriel Jesus relegated Sergio Aguero to the bench, there have been questions over of he’ll be still be at the club.

Asked if he feared the striker might leave in the summer ahead of Man City’s match against Bournemouth on Monday, live on Sky Sports, Guardiola said: “At the end of the season I don’t know. I know how difficult it is to find top goalscorers.

“I would like him to remain, but I don’t know what is going to happen. Even in my career I didn’t know what would happen at the end of the season.”

Guardiola has repeatedly said Aguero has earned the right to leave the club at a time of his own choosing.

When asked why Aguero might feel unsure of his future, Guardiola said: “I don’t think he feels that way.

“Sergio knows the intention of his manager and the club. I don’t want to sell him, I want him to stay here for a long time until he decides.

“The reason he’s not played the last two games is because Leroy [Sane], Gabriel and Rash [Raheem Sterling] have played amazing. That’s the only reason why. He remains a top player and an important one for us to achieve our goals. I don’t have doubts about that.”

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‘Drop Mahrez And Vardy’

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Former Leicester City player Tony Cottee believes if the Foxes want to avoid relegation, they’ll have to drop Mahrez and Vardy.

The defending champions are one point and one spot above of relegation. Mahrez and Vardy are not putting up the same performance they did last season. The pair scored 32 goals between them at this stage to help Leicester win the trophy last season, but they have eight goals between them now.

Cottee believes it’s time to leave the pair out of the starting XI.

“Ranieri should be loyal to his players for what they did last season, but there comes a point where you have to look at how those players are performing,” said Cottee, speaking on Premier League Daily.

“Mahrez has been well off the pace this season, nowhere near the player he was last season.

“Vardy has not been the same player either. There’s a slight argument that the service has not been as good, which is true to a degree, but neither player on form is worthy of retaining their place.

“Ranieri has to look at all options and he needs to look tactically. Traditionally it’s 4-4-2 for Leicester, but can he play a different system? Does he need to play three centre halves? They’ve tried it a bit this season.

“You look at Islam Slimani, Shinji Okazaki, are they better players than Mahrez and Vardy? Probably not, but they’ve got to try it.”

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Ronaldinho: “Gabriel Jesus Can Take Over From Lionel Messi”

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Brazil legend Ronaldinho has backed Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus to succeed Lionel Messi and Neymar as the world’s best player.

The 19-year-old has already usurped Sergio Aguero in the City pecking order under Pep Guardiola, scoring three goals in three starts since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in January.

Former Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldinho believes his compatriot can go on to even greater things, though, eventually taking over from Barcelona stars Messi and Neymar.

“Manchester City have a very special player with Gabriel Jesus,” Ronaldinho said, is quoted by the Daily Mirror. “Maybe even, in the future, the best player in the world.

“At the moment it is Messi. I have always said I think one day it will be Neymar. But at 19, in the future, it can be Gabriel. He has all the abilities to make that happen.”

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Cech: Arsenal’s Position In The Top-Four Is Under Threat

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech says Arsenal need to stay strong, as they’re positing the top four is under threat.

Arsenal have consistently secured qualification for the UCL , but that looks to be under major threat.

The Gunners are joint-second with the Spurs on 50 points and even though Manchester United are in sixth, they’re just two points behind Tottenham and one point behind the fourth position.

And even though Manchester City are fifth, they have a game in hand which could propel them to second should they win.

Cech acknowledges that Arsenal need to keep a close eye on those above and below them.

“They have a big advantage, Chelsea, so we need to keep winning our games,” he told the Gunners’ official website.

“And obviously not only looking ahead but we need to look behind as well because for the Champions League positions the table is very congested.”

He added: “We need to be consistent, that’s the first thing. We have periods when we are doing really well, then we had a week when we lost both games and didn’t play well.

“So we need to make sure that we carry on and improve where we can.

“We need to make sure we are ready for every game because each game will be like a final.”

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Antonio Conte Interested In Juventus Midfielder Claudio Marchisio

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Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has emerged as a summer transfer target for Chelsea, according to La Domenica Sportiva.

Blues coach Antonio Conte would like to strengthen his midfield ahead of their expected return to European football, and is reportedly targeting the Italy international.

It has been claimed that Chelsea are preparing an offer for the 31-year-old, whose present contract with Juventus runs until the summer of 2020.

The 31-year-old has played under Conte during his spells with Juventus and with the Italian national team. 

Marchisio, who has progressed through Juventus’ youth system, has so far amassed 354 appearances for the Italian giants, netting 36 times and providing 40 assists.

He has helped Juventus to five Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies amongst other honours.

Marchisio also has 54 caps and five goals for Italy to his name.

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Jose Mourinho: “Luke Shaw Has Manchester United Future”

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Jose Mourinho has told out-of-favour defender Luke Shaw he can still have a future at Manchester United, reports the Daily Star.

The former Southampton defender has failed to cement his position in the United first-team and was left out of Saturday’s squad against Watford.

Despite not playing the 21-year-old, Mourinho insists Shaw has a future at Old Trafford.

“He has to work and wait,” the United boss said. “AgainstWatfordI wanted one defender on the bench and the defender is someone who can play in more than one position.

“(Matteo) Darmian can play left-back, right-back and an emergency central defender for us so my choice was Darmian.

“The only thing I can say is that Luke is working well. He doesn’t have any problem and he is working well. He is fighting hard. There is no problem with him. He is fighting hard.”

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Hughes: Berahino Is Ready To Move On

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Saido Berahino had a very difficult time at West Bromwich Albion, but Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes he is ready to move on.

Berahino moved from the Baggies to join the Potters for £12 million. The 23-year-old was a key player for West Brom, but his relationship with club turned sour after multiple failed attempts to force a move away .

Recently, it was also alleged that Berahino had served an eight-week ban for testing positive last year for a recreational drug.

“It was unfortunate,” Hughes told the Stoke Sentinel of the reports about Berahino’s failed drug test. “We were all disappointed that it came out. It didn’t have to. It did, so you just move on.

“Everyone is aware of it. Everyone can move on. It’s something that’s happened. He’s been great since he’s walked through the door.

“He’s got a big smile on his face – there’s a weight off his shoulders and he just needs to get on with his career now.”

Hughes said Berahino will likely be involved when Stoke take on Tottenham in two weeks.

“He’s match short, clearly, but we have two weeks away which will help him immeasurably,” Hughes said. “Likelihood is he’ll be involved versus Spurs.”

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors Today

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  • Manchester City are ready to launch a world-record transfer bid for Tottenham’s Dele Alli.
  • Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has quashed rumours that manager Thomas Tuchel is being lined up by Arsenal.
  • Petr Cech will not be leaving Arsenal this summer, says the player’s agent.
  • Yaya Toure insists he still has plenty to offer Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and can even go on playing for another five years.
  • Chelsea and Arsenal target Marco Verratti admits he’s open to leaving Paris Saint-Germain – but only for Barcelona.
  • Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are set for another battle, but this time in the transfer market as they both aim to bring Monaco defender Djibril Sidibe to England.
  • Southampton’s move for Martin Caceres could be about to hit the rocks with Barcelona in need of defensive cover for Aleix Vidal.
  • Argentine midfielder Lucas Mugni has chosen Real Mallorca over Blackburn.
  • Nottingham Forest want Frank McParland as football director after his Rangers exit.
  • Alexis Sanchez is involved in a transfer tug-of-war between Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, who believe they have a strong chance of signing the Arsenal forward.
  • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has told Sergio Aguero he wants him to stay but admits he has no idea where the striker will be next season.
  • Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko is understood to have rejected a contract extension at Monaco.
  • Brazil and Barcelona great Ronaldinho claims new Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus can take over from Lionel Messi as the world’s best footballer.
  • Liverpool bounced back to form against Tottenham on Saturday after the players cleared the air at a no-holds-barred meeting called by captain Jordan Henderson and not attended by manager Jurgen Klopp.
  • Jurgen Klopp will whisk Liverpool away for a winter break after reviving their Champions League chances.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic revealed how his breakfast chats with Anthony Martial helped the young striker rediscover his best form after a difficult season under Jose Mourinho.
  • Sadio Mane’s agent has rejected claims his client turned down a move from Southampton to Tottenham in the summer, joining Liverpool instead, due to his wage demands.
  • Joe Ledley heads a host of out-of-contract Crystal Palace flops sweating over their futures.
  • Ross Barkley is ready to spark a summer transfer scramble by delaying his decision on a new contract with Everton.
  • Manchester United will offer David de Gea a huge new contract in an attempt to keep him out of the clutches of Real Madrid.
  • Jose Mourinho has told Luke Shaw he can still have a future at Manchester United.
  • Manchester United nearly missed out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Juventus chief Gianni Di Marzio.
  • Alex McLeish has opened the door to Rangers by insisting it would be tough to turn down an Ibrox return.

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Manchester United Will Be Left Behind By Top Four, Says Mourinho

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Manchester United will have an enforced three week break from the Premier League and Mourinho doesn’t think the league top four will wait for them.

The Red Devils are within distance of the top four after a good run of form in the Premier League, as they’re on a 16-game unbeaten run.

United will however have to turn their focus away from EPL duties as they’ll have to fave St Etienne in the Europa League and an FA Cup clash against Blackburn Rovers, second leg of the UEL encounter and the EFL cup final against Southampton.

With his side not in league action again until March 4, Mourinho concedes that a hectic schedule is offering positives and negatives.

“They will leave us,” he said of United’s top-four rivals.

“The other teams will have points so, for sure, it’s going to happen.

“That’s the way it is. I don’t think it is easy, because you want to play the competition, but at the same time we have motivation.

“We play the Europa League, so let’s enjoy the Europa League. We also have a cup final. I don’t believe anyone goes to Wembley not happy to go, so we go, we play.

“We know in this moment that Southampton are probably going to have some days off. I don’t know if they go to a summer camp to some nice, beautiful place with nice weather to prepare for the final.

“The only thing I know is their next game is the final and we have to play three matches during this period. We have to train in this cold weather, we have to train on bad pitches at this time, because the weather doesn’t help the pitches.

“So our situation isn’t easy. But we have to enjoy it, because it’s to play football, it’s to play important matches.”

A 2-0 victory over Watford on Saturday had lifted United to within one point of the Champions League places, but Arsenal are the only side above them also about to take a break from Premier League duty.

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Grammys 2017: Adele Breaks Her Award In Half, Declares It Truly Belongs To Beyoncé

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The star of the night, Adele won the Grammy Awards for Best Record and Best Album among others.

Adele remains one of the night's biggest winners, as she won five prizes in all, including three of the top four: Best album, song of the year and record of the year - the latter two both rewarding her 2015 comeback single, Hello.

Adele won five prizes in all, including three of the top four: Best album, song of the year and record of the year – the latter two both rewarding her 2015 comeback single, Hello. [Getty Image]

Receiving her Best Record award for ‘Hello‘ the British artist paid tribute to the ‘Formation’ singer, as well as to her manager, whom she said she loved “like a father”.

Full List Of Winners At The 2017 Grammy Awards

Moments later, when she was brought back to stage, in scenes reminiscent of Mean Girls, Adele broke her Grammy for Album of the Year in half, as she declared that Beyoncé’s Lemonade was a more deserving winner than her own 25.

“I can’t possibly accept this award,” she said during her acceptance speech. “The Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyoncé. It was so monumental and well thought-out and beautiful and soul-bearing… we appreciate that. All of us artists here adore you. You are our light.”

She later added backstage: “I thought it was her year. What the fuck does she have to do to win Album of the Year?”

Adele remains one of the night’s biggest winners, as she won five prizes in all, including three of the top four: Best album, song of the year and record of the year – the latter two both rewarding her 2015 comeback single, Hello.

While Beyonce took home best urban contemporary album and best music video, for the politically-charged Formation.

The Lemonade snub was clearly as much of a shock to her as it will be to those who saw Lemonade as one of the best works Beyonce has produced in years.

Most people believed that Beyonce would scoop the biggest award in music for her concept albumwhich was consistently named as the best album of the year by fans and critics alike.

See more photos below:

Photo credit: Getty Image

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Senate, Reps Begin Public Hearing On 2017 Budget

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The Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations are expected to begin a three-day detailed public hearing on the 2017 budget today, February 13, 2017.

The public hearing is aimed at assisting efforts towards improving transparency in the N7.28 trillion proposed 2017 budget – presented by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.

Full Breakdown Of Nigeria’s ‘2017 Budget Of Recovery And Growth’

It is understood that about 59 stakeholders are expected to submit memoranda.

The stakeholders include the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Civil Societies, and other groups.

Presentations at the hearing are expected to focus on the basic recommendations and budget policies of the president as contained in the budget speech by the president, and the fiscal, financial and economic assumptions used as basis in arriving at total estimated expenditure and receipts.

Earlier this year, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, had pledged to ensure that the 2017 budget process is transparent.

“We would ensure that the procedure and process of consideration and passage of the 2017 budget is transparent, inclusive and professionally handled.

“The details of the budget should be debated and passed in plenary to avoid those needless pitfalls that normally characterise the budget process,” he had said.

Also, the spokesperson of the House, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, while briefing journalists on Sunday explained that some news reports have given the impression that the hearing is being held by the Senate alone.

“It is important to note that the House of Representatives holds the power of appropriation, while the senate holds the power of confirmation.”

“People will be able to provide their opinions and at the end we will have a budget,” he said.

The decision to subject the 2017 budget to  public debate may have been informed by the scandal which trailed the 2016 budget, following allegations of ‘insertions’ and ‘budget fraud’ raised by the former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin.

While the Senate seeks public review of the 2017 budget, it has refused to provide details of its own budget.

The Senate President Bukola Saraki, also the chairman of the National Assembly, has refused to honour repeated promises to Nigerians to publicly disclose the details of the lawmakers’ budget.

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Caballero: Manchester City Still In Contention For Title

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Manchester City are preparing to face Burnley in a late kickoff today and Willy Caballero believes they’re still in the contention for the title.

Pep Guardiola’s men are currently fifth on the table and will be looking for a win against Burnley to go second on the table.

Second on the table will leave them eight points behind table topping Chelsea and Caballero believes they can still win the title.

“We are going to fight until the end,” the goalkeeper told the club’s official website.

“We want to be involved in the fight for the title and we will fight until the last game to compete with Chelsea and the others.

“We are a little bit far away from Chelsea now but we have to do our job and win the next game.

“We must go step-by-step and have a bit of luck to see Chelsea drop some points. We are a big team and we have to focus on big achievements.”

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Eric Arugbayi: How Expired ‘Malaria’ Drugs Killed West Africa Idol Star

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Derrick Arubayi, a brother to the late Nigerian singer, Eric Arugbayi, has revealed that he took expired malaria drugs which led to his death on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

While speaking to Vanguard Newspaper, Derrick revealed that Eric died at a hospital in Delta State after he took expired drugs that were meant to treat his malaria and typhoid ailment. Consequently, leading to liver failure which eventually led to his death.

He said: “He had malaria and typhoid, which was untreated. It later became worse after he took a medication that had expired and this triggered his liver ailment and afterwards, every other thing just followed at a fast pace before his death.

The only thing that we had to say is that he lived for Christ. We just want the world to know that the name Eric Odafe Arubayi was for a reason beyond the West Africa Idol show.

For that reason, God would make manifest even beyond his glorious ascension.”

Until his death, the late musical icon, born on July 14, 1982, is survived by his wife, a son, who would be two in a few months, two brothers, a sister and parents— Professor and Professor (Mrs) Eric Arubayi.

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Allegri: Juventus Should Have Run Riot

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Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus won 2-0 against 10-man Cagliari, but the manager believes they should have run riot.

Higuain’s brace helped Juventus get the win against Cagliari,even though they struggled at times.

The home team were down to 10 men for the last 23 minutes and Allegri feels they should have scored more goals.

“I want a spectacular Juventus,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “When you play football, you need to be spectacular. Cagliari went down to 10 men and we should have run riot.

“Instead, we were hasty and didn’t make the right choices. We need to improve. At a certain stage, we took our foot off the gas and allowed Cagliari to have several chances, which should not happen.

“The team has to be spectacular, yes, but also effective, because there’s no point if you don’t win. The best players in the world play it simple. The trouble is that it’s more complicated than it looks to play it simple.

“With this system, we have more room to breathe and the pitch feels larger for us, but we have to be better in defence and attack in the Champions League. We cannot afford mistakes.”

Allegri did reserve praise for Higuain, though, acknowledging the work the Argentina international does beyond scoring goals.

“Higuain is an extraordinary finisher, but we always knew that,” he added. “The really impressive thing is how hard he works for the team.”

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In Kenya: Court Jails Doctors’ Union Officials For Going On Strike

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A Kenyan court on Monday ordered that officials from the national doctors’ union be jailed for one month over the ongoing strike that has crippled public hospitals for 10 weeks.

“This court decides to resume its order sentencing the applicants to a one month jail term,” Justice Hellen Wasilwa said.

“The applicants have not demonstrated to court any new and compelling issue, or pointed out any mistake or error apparent on the record, or any sufficient cause that would warrant review of the court’s order,” Wasilwa said.

It was gathered that seven officials were handcuffed and driven to jail past placard-waving supporters gathered outside the court.

Following the ruling, truckloads of riot police were seen taking up positions while doctors wearing white gowns and surgical caps blew whistles and chanted angrily in the street.

End Strike Or Go To Jail – Court Tells Doctors

Doctors in public hospitals have been on strike since December 5 over pay and conditions.

This is just as the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union had previously warned that doctors in private hospitals might also strike if union officials were jailed.

A series of corruption scandals, including an investigation into millions of dollars allegedly missing from the Health Ministry, has bolstered support for the doctors, even though Kenyan media has reported that patients have died during the strike.

The union, which has about 5,000 members, wants the government to implement a deal agreed in 2013 to give doctors a 150-180 percent pay rise on basic salaries; review working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions and address under-staffing in state hospitals.

While the government said it can only afford a 40 percent pay rise, doctors have rejected the offer, saying it falls short of promises made in a 2013 agreement.

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Ronaldinho: Match Between PSG And Barcelona Will Be Tough

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Ronaldinho has predicted a tough encounter between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in their UCL encounter on Tuesday.

The Brazilian icon has played for both clubs, and he was productive for both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

Ronaldinho is expecting an electric encounter between both heavyweights and believes PSG can hold their own at home against Barcelona.

Asked by Goal whether Barcelona will prove too strong for Unai Emery’s side, Ronaldinho said: “No, football is not like this. Anything can happen during a game.

“These are two great teams with world-class players and everything can happen. There is nothing certain. In football, nothing is impossible.”

Pressed further on how PSG should approach a meeting with the five-time European champions, the 36-year-old added: “I’m not a coach, it’s difficult for me. I know how to play, that’s it.

“My way to see football is to always play the same way. You don’t have to change because you are going to play against a particular team. For me, you need to play every day the same way.”

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