Chibok Girls And The Mirror In Our Faces – Muhammadu Sanusi II

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As we remember the girls captured in Chibok three years ago, we must remember that they constitute only a fraction of the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.

I would urge BBOG, while you keep this issue of Chibok on the table, to broaden your message to cover all girls and boys abducted by Boko Haram, and also draw attention to the condition of girls and women in our society in general.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Marks 3 Years Since Chibok Schoolgirls’ Abduction

To give you an idea of the extent of this problem, as at today, in Dalori 2 IDP camp near Maiduguri alone, there are over 1,500 Boko Haram abducted girls who are either pregnant or carrying babies, and who have been freed by the military. Hundreds of orphaned children are being carried away to unknown destinations and they are all gone into oblivion due to society’s neglect. It is therefore critical for the Bring Back Our Girls movement to gain much broader support in the populace and be more effective, to use the dramatic case of the Chibok girls as a referent and a plank, but not the exclusive focus of its struggle. Our interest should be in bringing back all our girls. But after these girls are brought back, shall we ask ourselves as well: where are they being brought back to? What kind of society? How much better is the “normal” environment we all take for granted than Boko Haram camps?

These questions ultimately force us to face the reality that the kind of society we have created in fact is the root cause for the emergence of groups like Boko Haram and occurrences like the Chibok tragedy.

All my life, I have been engaged deeply with the question of women and the oppressed and marginalised groups in our society. I have come to accept, like you, that remaining committed to this discourse is a risky and potentially costly venture in this environment. The elite consensus is about a culture of silence and complicity, where everyone remains in his or her comfort zone, and where the voiceless majority are allowed to remain where they are.

The argument, it seems, is why should you care about poor rural women when you are able to educate your own daughters in the best schools in the world? Why should you hold up a mirror to our faces, expose our unclean underbelly and remind us of the brutish life to which, over many decades, we have subjected a large mass of our population?

Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the North-East and North-West of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat, the noise is yet to die down. But what really are the facts? The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the UNDP in 2015 published data on the incidence of poverty in Nigeria showing that, on average, 46 percent of Nigerians are living in poverty. This is based on the UN’s Global Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index which focuses on education, health and living standards. Although this average is in itself bad, it masks even more serious internal inequalities and incidences of extreme poverty by region and gender. So, for example, the South-West of Nigeria has less than 20 percent of its population living in poverty, while the North-West has more that 80 percent of its population living in poverty. In the North-East, the figure is 76.8 percent. Over 90 percent of the people in Yobe and Zamfara States are living in poverty, compared to 8.5 percent in Lagos and around 11 percent in Osun and Anambra states.

The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voice that dares shine the light on the society to which we are saying ‘Bring Back Our Girls’. There are those who believe these attacks are aimed at discrediting me personally but even if that is the objective it will not work. I can only be discredited by what I have done and not by insults and lies on the social media. And in any event, personal criticism has no impact on issues.

These attacks are aimed at diverting attention from the issues raised and all of us who are involved in this struggle must remember a few things. We are dealing with an anti-intellectual environment, and with people whose failure has bred a sense of insecurity, which leads to incomprehensible, almost insane, reactions to simple advice. Second, that these problems are deep-seated and have been there for a long time, so that changing mind-sets will be a difficult and painful process. Finally we must never succumb to the temptation to join our opponents in the gutter. You may say what you like about me for as long as you like, so long as you address the issues. As Michelle Obama famously said: “when they go low, we go high”.

Instead of hiding these statistics and being scared of repeating them, what we need to do is bring out even more of these data. These are already published and easily verifiable but not often discussed in the public space. But these data help us understand what poverty means for girls and women.

According to published research:
  1. Over 70.8 percent of women in the North-West are unable to read and write, compared to 9.7 percent in the South-East zone;

  2. More than two-third of 15 to 19 year old girls in the North are unable read a single sentence, compared to less than 10 percent in the South;

  3. In eight Northern states, over 80 percent of the women are unable to read and write;

  4. Only four percent of females complete secondary schools in Northern Nigeria;

  5. 78 percent of adolescent girls are in marriages in the North-West, 68 percent in the North-East and 35 percent in the North-Central. These numbers clearly mirror the poorest regions in the country. The statistics in the other zones are 18 percent in the South-South, 17 percent in the South-West and 10 percent in the South-East.

  6. Apart from the huge loss of productivity and incomes caused by the lack of focus on education, especially for girls, adolescent marriages have led to serious social and health outcomes. One Nigerian woman dies in childbirth every 10 minutes. The North-East zone has a maternal mortality rate of over 1,500 per 100,000. This is more than five times the global average. I can go on and on.

These statistics are not flattering. And they speak to a truth that is inconvenient to most of us. But the culture of silence must end. We have a problem. In fact we have an existential crisis. And all of us in this country – politicians, intellectuals, Emirs and traditional rulers, religious leaders, businesses, NGOS – have to come together to solve this problem. The real patriots in the North are those who are honest enough to accept this reality and insist on change.

The consequences of ignoring this crisis are unimaginable. And I wonder if the public generally recognises this. It is a vicious cycle. Children of educated mothers are 50 percent more likely to survive beyond the age of five, and educated mothers are more likely to send their own children to school. Meanwhile every extra year of education for the girl child could increase her earning capacity by 10 percent. Infants born to mothers under 18 suffer a 60 percent higher risk of dying in the first year of life when compared to infants born to mothers aged 19 or older. Girls who become pregnant below the age of 15 in poor countries have double the risk of maternal death and obstetric fistula than older women. In addition, girls under age 15 are five times more likely to die from maternity related causes than women under 20.

The statistics that are provided therefore represent the tragedy in the lives of real human beings. This problem is most severe in the North-West and North-East but the North-Central zone also fares worse that the three zones in the South.

Let me state, at this point, that the issues faced by women go beyond girl-child education, early marriage and poverty. Educated women still have to deal with issues of equal opportunities in the work-place, and unwritten but no less real gender discrimination.

As governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Chairman of the Bankers’ Committee, I forced the question of addressing the gendered work-place to the fore. We officially adopted a policy of aiming for at least 50 percent of employees of banks and the CBN being female by 2014. Also to address glass ceilings, we pushed for at least 40 percent of senior management in the CBN and banks, as well as 30 percent of the Board of Directors being female.

By the time I left Central Bank, I had ensured that the myth that women were only good enough to run Human Resources and Medical Services departments, which are more suited to what is called, rather condescendingly, their “nature”, was annulled. In addition to these two departments, I appointed women as directors in charge of core technical areas in the Central Bank, including Banking Supervision, Risk Management, Consumer Protection, Internal Audit, Branch Operations and the Governor’s Special Adviser on Environmental, Sustainability and Governance Policies.

By deliberately pushing for the promotion of outstanding and highly competent female staff, we showed the industry what could be achieved by women. We also developed and launched a N220 billion MSME development fund in 2013, with a condition that 60 percent of it is to be devoted to female entrepreneurs and businesses. I declared 2012 as “the year of women’s economic empowerment” and trained Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and CBN employees and management staff on sustainability and gender. Also, in collaboration with International Labour Organisation (ILO), we launched the FAMOS (Female and Male Operated Small Business) toolkit specifically to measure how financial institutions serve their female clients.

I am going over this now to make the point that my engagement with issues of gender and opportunity for women did not begin when I became Emir, and my current engagement with forced marriages, domestic violence, arbitrary divorce, property and maintenance rights for women etc. is not new. It is also not a politically-motivated attack on any group.

The point I seek to stress is that BBOG needs to transform itself from a group defined by the narrow focus on an incident, to one that addresses the broader social reality of African women, and particularly women in Nigeria, especially the North.

We all claim to be horrified by what Boko Haram has done. We all call this primitive and barbaric. They forcefully took young girls out of school, forced them into marriages without their consent or love, impregnated them and turned them into mothers at young ages and exposed them to serious health risks, and maybe inflicted beatings and verbal abuse on them.

We are all horrified. Really. But let us pause a little. These things that horrify us, do they not happen every day in every village in Northern Nigeria and some parts of the South? Do these girls complete their education? Do they all grow up and give their consent to marriage when they are old enough to? Does domestic violence not happen?

It is often not the fault of the girls or their parents. What do they do if there are no educational and health facilities made available to the poor? So the discourse on gender has to be looked at in the context of the discourse on poverty and governance. And this is why many people are not comfortable. The fact is that poverty in the North and in Nigeria is not inevitable but a result of decades of failed social policy. It is only by recognising this and accepting it that we can even hope to make progress. If we do not, then the society to which these girls are brought back will be no better than where they are now.

Anyone who challenges a system or fights for the voiceless must be ready for a serious backlash. Character assassination, slander, blackmail and intimidation are the normal tools employed by those who defend and profit from the status quo.

The poor people for whom you fight are voiceless by necessity. Those of us who are fortunate to be part of the elite and who choose not to speak for them are voiceless by choice. We want to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the pain of being insulted and abused on social media. We want to hold on to the small comforts of our status. We want access to power and to be seen as friends of those in power and members of our inner circle. We are afraid of being destroyed by ruthless state machinery. We have a morbid fear of being isolated, of not belonging to an exclusive club close to power.

The reality is that everything in this world is fragile. Life itself will come to an end and we will lose money and position and loved ones all the time. The only thing we have control over is who we are, what we stand for, what we represent. Being a coward or a sycophant will not add one day to your life or one day to the term of any of the things you hold dear. The worst silence is that which happens in the face of injustice. Do not be intimated. Do not be silenced. Do not betray your conscience or sell your soul. Do not fear any human being. Stand up and take all the bullets that are fired at you but never kneel down. If you have to die, please die standing and not on your knees. Most important, ignore the noise. Do not defend yourself too much against personal attacks because they want your person, not the issues you raise, to be discussed. I know it is tough, I go through this every day, but I have learnt that after all the insults and blackmail the issues remain and will not disappear until they are addressed. That is your task, put these issues on the table and do not walk away until they are resolved.

We pray that Allah return all our girls and boys safely to a better society.

Muhammad Sanusi II (CON) is the Sarkin Kano.

This is the text of a speech given at the 1st Chibok Girls Annual Lecture held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria, April 14, 2017.

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Emir Sanusi Disconnects Self From Social Media Accounts

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The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has declared that he never authorised any person or organisation to open Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media accounts nor post any message on his behalf.

The premier Islamic leader made this known in a statement on Friday in Kano via  his Chief of Staff, Munir Sanusi.

The Emir stressed that this should put to rest series of calls and enquiries to the office of the Emir on some purported malicious and fake social media accounts in the name of the monarch.

‘If Nigeria Is Broken Into Components, Northern Region Will Be Poorest’ – Emir Sanusi

The current development is coming after an earlier advertorial disclaiming a fake Facebook and Twitter accounts created in his name.

The traditional ruler also lamented that the fraudsters have remained unrelenting in their nefarious acts.

“We have officially notified the administrators of the fake Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts requesting that the accounts be closed immediately in addition to detecting the identity of the culprits.

“It is important to reiterate that the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has persistently stood for the unity of the nation regardless of its diversity.

“He always emphasises the need for tolerance and respect for one another.”

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Costa: Mourinho Is One Of The Best

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Chelsea star striker Diego Costa has stated he remains grateful to Jose Mourinho ahead of the match against United on Sunday.

Mourinho brought Costa to Chelsea in 2014, and the blues won the trophy that year, however, the next season saw Chelsea flirt with relegation as Mourinho was once again sacked.

The Spain international is back to his best under Antonio Conte, as Chelsea look set to win the EPL and the striker still has respect for his former mentor.

“In all honesty I always tell people I am grateful to Mourinho because he helped me a lot,” he told Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s meeting at Old Trafford.

“As a player when you want to improve you always look for the best coach and Mourinho is one of the best.

“I wanted to come to Chelsea because of Mourinho. When I considered Chelsea I thought about the fact that Mourinho was here.

“He is a coach that demands a lot from his players, he wants the maximum.

“He helped me a lot and then what happened is that the following season didn’t go well, these things happen, but the truth is that Mourinho helped me a lot to improve as a player.”

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‘I Was Never Banned From Presidential Villa’ – El-Rufai

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has stated that he was never banned from coming to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, adding that nobody can stop him from visiting the place.

El-Rufai Admits Memo To Buhari, Denies Leaking It To The Media

The governor stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after joining President Muhammadu Buhari to perform the two-raka’at Juma’at weekly prayer at State House Mosque, Abuja, on Friday.

Rumours had made the round on social media that the Kaduna state executive was banned from the Presidential Villa for allegedly leaking a memo he wrote to Buhari on September 22, 2016.

Kaduna Governor El-Rufai Under Probe Over ‘Damning’ Memo To Buhari

In the memo, Mr. El-Rufai alerted President Buhari that he was losing the vision and the momentum with which All Progressives Congress, APC, started its change agenda.

The governor also in the memo, advised the President to effect changes in the leadership of some federal agencies and establishments, and to communicate constantly with Nigerians, so they will know the plans of his government.

Mr. El-Rufai, however, told the State House correspondents that he was not stopped from coming to the Aso Rock, and that nobody can stop him from visiting the Villa.

According to him, he stopped frequenting the villa because the President needs quality time to rest and also attend to challenges of governance.

“No one ever stopped me from coming to the villa and no one can stop me from coming to villa.

“As a governor I come here, I have blank cheques, no one checks me at the gate but I believe what the President needs is for those that love him to keep away from him and allow him to rest.

“The President needs quality time to rest because it is meeting too many people that strains leadership.

“I am a governor and I know that when I meet 10 people in a day I get really tired, it is not the paperwork, it is not really the memos approving them or asking questions that strain a leader, it is the stream of visitors.

“I do not want to contribute to the President’s problem by coming here every day. I am in touch with him,” he added.

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Shaw: The Plan Is To Prove Mourinho Wrong

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Luke Shaw has stated he plans to prove Jose Mourinho wrong, after constant criticism from his manager.

Mourinho said the defender is quite a long way behind the rest of his teammates, the criticism came after the 21-year-old suffered a double leg fracture and has only made a single appearance since the end of January.

Shaw has returned to the lineup after a frank discussion with Jose Mourinho, featuring in their last two matches.

“The criticism was very hard but I’ve had it before,” Shaw said. “But this time around I dealt with it better.

“When I first came to United there was a lot of discussion about me and that was hard, it was something that was new to me. I was used to positive feedback and comments in the media but coming to United everything changed, there was negativity.

“I took that badly and it knocked me down a bit but this time I’ve come back wanting to fight and I want to prove everyone wrong.

“At the end of my meeting with the manager I said ‘I’m going to prove you wrong’. I believe and want to do that, not just for myself but for the fans that have been behind me and supported me through this time.

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to push for the best from me.

“I wished the season wasn’t coming to an end, I wish it was the start, because I want to play games and games and hopefully I can keep giving good performances and keep my spot in the team and push for the Europa League and top four.”

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Torino Want To Keep Hart For Another Year

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Sinisa Mihajlovic has called on Manchester City to make a quick decision about Joe Hart, as he would love to keep the goalkeeper for one more year at Torino.

Hart has been on loan at Torino since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, after being replaced by Bravo and Caballero since Guardiola’s appointment.

Mihajlovic would want the England international to remain for one more year at Torino, but on loan.

“I would like Hart to stay at Torino, but we know – the club and him too – that we can’t buy him,” Mihajlovic told reporters.

“At the most, we can take him on loan for another year, but it depends on what Manchester City want to do and what he wants too.

“We would like to know this soon because if we have Hart here next year then that is one thing, but if not we have to make other plans.

“Torino can only take him on loan for another year so it is up to City to decide, but we need a decision quickly so we can plan for the future.”

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Conte: Ibrahimovic Is At His Best

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Antonio Conte is preparing to stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic when Chelsea face United at Old Trafford.

The Chelsea manager believes the Swede striker is at the zenith of his career. United have not lost a league game since losing 4-0 to Chelsea.

Conte has praised the development of Ibrahimovic into one of the most lethal strikers in the world.

“Yes, I agree. I always said this. I think now, Zlatan is at the top of his form in his career,” he said.

“I think he’s a great player now, a top player. Not only a finisher, but he plays for the team.

“It’s good to have this type of player because it’s very good to play for the team. It’s great. For me, he’s one of the best players in the world, Zlatan.

“We must have good defensive organisation, and we must pay attention because, when he attacks the box, he’s very dangerous.

“Also when he receives the ball, he’s dangerous. He’s a dangerous player.

“For this reason, I think my players must pay great attention and great concentration tomorrow to stop him, and not only one player, but the team.”

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Conte: There’s No Plan To Protect Hazard From United Target

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Eden Hazard has always been targeted by Manchester United, but this won’t prompt Antonio Conte to change his tactics to protect the attacker.

Ander Herrera was sent off in the 1-0 FA Cup win over Manchester United, after two bookable offences on the Belgium captain.

Hazard has found the net three times in Chelsea’s last matches, but Conte has no plans to switch his tactics to favour his attacking midfielder.

He told a news conference: “It’s very different to prepare for this situation but we are preparing the game on the tactical aspect.

“We are trying to find the best solutions for this game because, don’t forget, this game will be very tough for both teams and the result is very important for us and United.

“I didn’t prepare anything for this situation for Eden.”

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Conte: There’s No Plan To Protect Hazard From United Target

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Eden Hazard has always been targeted by Manchester United, but this won’t prompt Antonio Conte to change his tactics to protect the attacker.

Ander Herrera was sent off in the 1-0 FA Cup win over Manchester United, after two bookable offences on the Belgium captain.

Hazard has found the net three times in Chelsea’s last matches, but Conte has no plans to switch his tactics to favour his attacking midfielder.

He told a news conference: “It’s very different to prepare for this situation but we are preparing the game on the tactical aspect.

“We are trying to find the best solutions for this game because, don’t forget, this game will be very tough for both teams and the result is very important for us and United.

“I didn’t prepare anything for this situation for Eden.”

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Boko Haram: Nigeria Marks 3 Years Since Chibok Schoolgirls’ Abduction

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Nigerians on Friday held rallies in major cities to mark three years since the mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok by Boko Haram extremists.

This is coming on a day after the government announced that it is in negotiations for the release of those still being held.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Plans To Re-Open Chibok’s Girls School

The government “is in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence, to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed”, President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement on Thursday.

Chibok girls wait outside Aso Villa to see President Buhari

Touching scenes as parents of missing Chibok girls wait outside Aso Villa to see President Buhari

Spearheading the rallies was the Bring Back Our Girls movement, which has been urging the federal government to ramp up efforts to free the 195 girls still held by the radical Islamic group.

One of the rallies was being held in the capital Abuja, where Nigeria’s second most influential traditional Muslim leader, the Emir of Kano, was to make an address and lead prayers.

Quite a number of parents of the missing were congregating at the school where their daughters aged 12 to 17 were kidnapped in the northeastern village of Chibok on April 14, 2014.

Participants were set to plant trees as a symbolic gesture in memory of the missing girls.

The school in Chibok, where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists

The school in Chibok, where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists. Getty Images

Another rally was due in the country’s commercial centre Lagos.

Fifty-seven girls escaped in the immediate aftermath of the kidnapping while three others were found or rescued by the military. Some had babies in captivity.

In October, the federal government announced the release of 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls after negotiations with the extremist group, and it said another group of 83 girls would be released “very soon.”

Buhari Receives 21 ‘Rescued’ Chibok Girls

Buhari Receives 21 ‘Rescued’ Chibok Girls

No one has been freed since then. The government this week said negotiations have “gone quite far” but face challenges. It refused to give details, citing security reasons.

Boko Haram’s seven-year Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation because of the disruption in markets and agriculture.

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Boko Haram: Nigeria Marks 3 Years Since Chibok Schoolgirls’ Abduction

Featured Image

Nigerians on Friday held rallies in major cities to mark three years since the mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok by Boko Haram extremists.

This is coming on a day after the government announced that it is in negotiations for the release of those still being held.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Plans To Re-Open Chibok’s Girls School

The government “is in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence, to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed”, President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement on Thursday.

Chibok girls wait outside Aso Villa to see President Buhari

Touching scenes as parents of missing Chibok girls wait outside Aso Villa to see President Buhari

Spearheading the rallies was the Bring Back Our Girls movement, which has been urging the federal government to ramp up efforts to free the 195 girls still held by the radical Islamic group.

One of the rallies was being held in the capital Abuja, where Nigeria’s second most influential traditional Muslim leader, the Emir of Kano, was to make an address and lead prayers.

Quite a number of parents of the missing were congregating at the school where their daughters aged 12 to 17 were kidnapped in the northeastern village of Chibok on April 14, 2014.

Participants were set to plant trees as a symbolic gesture in memory of the missing girls.

The school in Chibok, where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists

The school in Chibok, where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists. Getty Images

Another rally was due in the country’s commercial centre Lagos.

Fifty-seven girls escaped in the immediate aftermath of the kidnapping while three others were found or rescued by the military. Some had babies in captivity.

In October, the federal government announced the release of 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls after negotiations with the extremist group, and it said another group of 83 girls would be released “very soon.”

Buhari Receives 21 ‘Rescued’ Chibok Girls

Buhari Receives 21 ‘Rescued’ Chibok Girls

No one has been freed since then. The government this week said negotiations have “gone quite far” but face challenges. It refused to give details, citing security reasons.

Boko Haram’s seven-year Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation because of the disruption in markets and agriculture.

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Pulis Has No Issues With Klopp

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West Brom manager Tony Pulis insists he has no problems with Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp ahead of their Sunday match.

West Brom played a 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield back in 2015 and Klopp went to the Liverpool end with his players to celebrate, an action that didn’t go well with Tony Pulis.

The English manager also used Jurgen Klopp as an example of international managers getting more recognition than home grown managers.

However, speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Pulis said: “There’ll be no problems with myself or Klopp.

“He’s a competitive man and wants his team to win. There’s no problems this end.

“They’re [Liverpool] in the mix fighting for those four spots. They’ve picked up injuries like everybody else, it doesn’t flow on the same level all the time, you have your ups and downs in the season.

“You have to accept that you’ll win some games and play well and lose games and play badly, or you could play well and still lose games, that’s the ebb and flow of professional football and that’s what everybody has to put up with.”

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Pulis Has No Issues With Klopp

Featured Image

West Brom manager Tony Pulis insists he has no problems with Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp ahead of their Sunday match.

West Brom played a 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield back in 2015 and Klopp went to the Liverpool end with his players to celebrate, an action that didn’t go well with Tony Pulis.

The English manager also used Jurgen Klopp as an example of international managers getting more recognition than home grown managers.

However, speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Pulis said: “There’ll be no problems with myself or Klopp.

“He’s a competitive man and wants his team to win. There’s no problems this end.

“They’re [Liverpool] in the mix fighting for those four spots. They’ve picked up injuries like everybody else, it doesn’t flow on the same level all the time, you have your ups and downs in the season.

“You have to accept that you’ll win some games and play well and lose games and play badly, or you could play well and still lose games, that’s the ebb and flow of professional football and that’s what everybody has to put up with.”

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Easter Celebration: Private, Public Schools In Lagos To Resume On April 18

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The Lagos State Government has announced that all Public and Private Primary and Secondary Schools operating in the State are to resume on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

The Lagos State Deputy-Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, disclosed this while wishing parents and pupils a happy Easter celebrations in a statement issued by the State Ministry of Education on Friday.

Easter Celebration: Nigeria Declares Friday And Monday As Public Holidays

In the statement, all schools (Public and Private) are urged to adhere strictly to the Y2016/17 Academic Calendar jointly agreed upon at the stakeholders meeting held prior to the commencement of the academic year.

The statement quoted Adebule as saying that the adoption of a uniform calendar allows for proper planning and ensuring that pupils attend school for the number of days required in a term.

Adebule reiterated that the resumption for the 3rd Term was fixed for Tuesday, 18th April, Mid-Term Break will hold between Thursday, 1st and Friday, 2nd June, 2017 while the term ends on Friday, 14th July, 2017.

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Easter Celebration: Private, Public Schools In Lagos To Resume On April 18

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The Lagos State Government has announced that all Public and Private Primary and Secondary Schools operating in the State are to resume on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

The Lagos State Deputy-Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, disclosed this while wishing parents and pupils a happy Easter celebrations in a statement issued by the State Ministry of Education on Friday.

Easter Celebration: Nigeria Declares Friday And Monday As Public Holidays

In the statement, all schools (Public and Private) are urged to adhere strictly to the Y2016/17 Academic Calendar jointly agreed upon at the stakeholders meeting held prior to the commencement of the academic year.

The statement quoted Adebule as saying that the adoption of a uniform calendar allows for proper planning and ensuring that pupils attend school for the number of days required in a term.

Adebule reiterated that the resumption for the 3rd Term was fixed for Tuesday, 18th April, Mid-Term Break will hold between Thursday, 1st and Friday, 2nd June, 2017 while the term ends on Friday, 14th July, 2017.

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Klopp: Liverpool Must Rely On Team Effort

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Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool must not rely on the individual brilliance of players, but on team effort to make it through the end of the season.

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino were key to Liverpool’s comeback in the 2-1 win over Stoke last weekend.

Firmino was rested after a tiring schedule and Coutinho was recovering from an illness, before they were called off the bench to rescue Liverpool.

“It’s very important that players can play together, but if they are only two then it’s pretty difficult still,” Klopp said ahead of Liverpool’s match against West Brom

“Gini Wijnaldum said it after the game, I think – yes, they had a big impact on the game, that’s 100 per cent true, but the whole team played better in the second half.

“If we would have played like that in the first half and Roberto and Phil would have been on the pitch, I can only imagine if the difference would still have been that big.

“But with all playing better and these two highest quality players on the pitch, we could change the game. That was fantastic, really good.

“But, again, if they tried to do it alone… no chance. It’s about fitting in the game, fitting in the team and obviously they are that good that they would fit in nearly each team. It’s good to have them here.”

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Edo Tribunal Affirms Election Of APC’s Governor Obaseki

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The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions tribunal has affirmed the victory of Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the gubernatorial elections held on September 28, 2016.

During its sitting today in Benin, the tribunal overruled the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, challenging the declaration of Obaseki as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The PDP and its candidate in the election had challenged Mr. Obaseki’s election, alleging widespread irregularities.

However, in a two-hour ruling, the Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, dismissed Mr. Ize-Iyamu’s petition for lack of merit and then upheld the election of Obaseki.

But Ize-Iyamu, who was absent at the tribunal on Friday, described the judgment as unacceptable.

While addressing party members and supporters at his campaign office in Benin, he said, “From the snippets I heard of the tribunal judgement, it cannot stand in the higher courts.

“This case must be pursued up to the Supreme Court.”

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VIDEO: Wande Coal Ft. DJ Tunez – Iskaba

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Black Diamond Entertainment CEO, Wande Coal breaks his silence with the release of the highly anticipated video for hit Afro beat sound Iskaba featuring DJ Tunez.

Wande Coal and Dj tunez goes Classic mode with the Gang, as their all took the lead on the fresh wears.

Song Produced by Spellz, and Video Directed by Sesan.

AUDIO DOWNLOAD

Watch ‘Iskaba’ Video below!

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Nigerian Professor, 5 Others Die In Ebonyi Road Crash

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The dean, School of Basic Medical Sciences at the Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ebonyi, Robert Nneli and five others have been reported dead in the two accidents recorded on Thursday night at the notorious 131 junction of the Abakaliki-Enugu federal highway.

Five Die In Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Crash

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Sector Commander of the FRSC in Ebonyi, while confirming the two accidents, said it both occurred between 9pm-11pm.

While blaming the crash on the rain that fell heavily, she attributed it to possible reckless driving, over-speeding and poor visibility.

“In the first accident, the articulated vehicle’s driver blinded with his headlight the driver of the white-coloured Toyota Camry vehicle which made him lose control as he was on top speed.

“The vehicle then veered off its lane and collided with the on-coming articulated vehicle. The car was crushed by the truck.

“The professor died in the accident as his son and another occupant sustained serious injuries and are receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.”

According to Mrs. Uchendu, the second accident involved an SUV with five occupants which also crashed into stationary articulated vehicle due to over speeding and poor visibility.

“When we concluded our evacuation, the police men on duty told us that they would tow the articulated vehicle off the road but they never did.

“The SUV apparently crashed into the articulated vehicle as all its five occupants died and their corpses evacuated to the Federal Teaching hospital Abakaliki,” she said.

She commended her officers for their prompt response to the crashes and urged motorists to always obey traffic regulations.

“Motorists should ensure that when they are confronted with headlights from oncoming vehicles, they should reduce their speed and and keep to their right side.

“Motorists should also avoid night travels, driving under the rain and ensure they obey road regulations to save lives.”

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Fela! The Concert Lagos Kicks Off With An Applaudable First Show

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Smooth FM, connoisseurs of world class entertainment, gave Lagos its most memorable musical experience as Fela! The Concert Lagos kicked off with its first show.

Well attended by Afro beats enthusiasts and lovers, influencers and celebrities, the show played host to an enviable star studded guests.

Fela Reawakens On Stage: Smooth FM To Stage Award Winning Broadway Musical In Concert

Fela! The Concert Lagos presented a dynamic perspective of the original performance to the audience as it amplified the musical elements and tunes from the Broadway Musical shows leaving the crowd with a feeling of nostalgia for the music legend Fela Anikulapo – Kuti.

The concert features the cast of the Tony Award winning Broadway Musical such as Sarh Nguajah who plays Fela, Iris Wilson (Female Ensemble), Rue Brown (Female Ensemble), Jason Herbert (Male Ensemble), Afi Bijou (Female Ensemble), Shawn Fisher (Female Ensemble) and Olutayo Bosede, a Nigerian actor and dancer whose first tour with the band is the current Fela! The Concert Lagos.

Featuring energetic dance performances and flawless musical renditions, the band and performers re-enacted the spirit of the Afro beats’ maestro, Fela in a 2-hour performance while engaging the excited audience.

Guests were also treated to a Fela! inspired make up by Zaron Cosmetics which will continue throughout the show.

Setting a remarkable standard for a first day show, Fela! The Concert Lagos is set to take the notch higher today for its second night.

Day 2 Show:  Friday, 14th April 2017

Press Accreditation: 6pm

Cocktail: 7pm

Show Time: 8pm prompt.

Sponsors: Smooth FM, Lagos State and Lagos @ 50

Partners: DSTV, Africa Magic, EbonyLife TV, Swift 4G, UBER, Mansard, WakaNow, Zaron, Diageo, IMAX Theatre, Africa Movies Channel, Business Day, BellaNaija, Pulse NG, The Guardian, Guardian Life, Guardian Arts, Lost in Lagos, City FM, 360 Nobs and Connect Nigeria.

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Daily Roundup: Latest Football Transfer News Across Europe

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Spain

Real Madrid have approached Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe, who is also a target for Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United. The French striker is a known fan of the Spanish club and his idol is Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has had his eyes on the forward for the past four years. (Marca)

Barcelona have given Valencia the green light to sign Munir El Haddadi this summer. He is currently on loan from the Catalan club but Los Che want to make the deal for the 21-year-old attacker permanent. (Marca)

 

Italy

Napoli’s exciting forward Lorenzo Insigne has been attracting interest from Arsenal and Liverpool, but German giants Bayern Munich have now thrown their name into the mix. (Ii Mattino)

Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea target Patrik Schick could be set to become a Juventus player in the summer. The Turin club are willing to trigger his €25m release clause but would leave him on loan at Sampdoria until 2018. (Tuttosport)

 

Inter Milan have made contact with Monaco regarding the signing of 18-year-old wonderkid Mbappe. Their owners want the Frenchman to partner Mauro Icardi upfront. They are also interested in Manchester United transfer target Bernardo Silva (Tuttosport)

Germany

After the defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, Bayern Munich have agreed on their transfer targets for the summer: Federico Bernadeschi of Fiorentina, PSG’s Marco Verratti and Leverkusen’s Benjamin Henrichs are top of the list. (Sport Bild)

Bayern are not interested in having Manchester City January target Holger Badstuber return to the club after his loan to Schalke. He will be allowed to find a new club in the summer. (Kicker)

France

After a very successful season in Ligue 1, Radamel Falcao will be tempted by many offers this summer, including an audacious bid from Turkish side Besiktas. (AMK Spor)

A target for Arsenal and Manchester City, PSG’s Serge Aurier is set to extend his contract this summer. His current deal runs until 2019. (France Football)

Previously linked with moves to Middlesbrough and Schalke, Lille are expecting a €12m bid from Borussia Dortmund for 24-year-old defensive midfielder Ibrahim Amadou. (Yahoo Sport France)

Belgium

The future of Manchester United target Youri Tielemans is still up in the air, with Borussia Dortmund joining Monaco, Atletico Madrid and Lyon in the chase for the 19-year-old Anderlecht midfielder. (Het Laatste News)

 

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Napoli Want To Sign Gerard Deulofeu If Dries Mertens Leaves

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Napoli will swoop for Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu if Dries Mertens leaves the club this summer, according to reports in Italy.

The Spaniard is currently on loan at AC Milan, where his promising performances have seen the Rossoneri step up their bid to make the move permanent.

Napoli have been impressed with what they have seen from the 23-year-old in Serie A, and Il Mattino claim they are interested in signing him from Goodison Park, should Mertens leave the Stadio San Paolo.

The report goes on to add that Barcelona, where Deulofeu was nurtured as a youngster, have the option to re-sign the winger should they please.

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Harry Kewell Quits Role As Watford U23s Manager

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Harry Kewell says he has left his role as the Watford U23s manager following a poor run of recent results.

The former Leeds and Liverpool winger has been at the club’s academy since July 2015 after he was appointed as the Under-21 manager before stepping up to the next age group at the start of this season.

However, only two wins since September and heavy losses at the hands of Cardiff and Ipswich, including Monday’s 4-1 defeat to Bristol City, have seen the former Australian international move on.

Kewell said in a statement on his official Twitter account: “Regretfully myself and Watford U23s have parted ways.

“Unfortunately results haven’t been on my side however I’m extremely proud as three of my players have made their debut for the first team and five others have been in the squad.

“I’d like to thank Watford for the opportunity and wish the club and my players all the best for the future. I’m looking forward to my next challenge.”

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Lionel Messi Reportedly Wants Five Summer Signings At Barcelona

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Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants the club to make five signings this summer, according to Spanish outlet Don Balon. 

They include Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin and Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, along with Marco Verratti of PSG and Monaco’s Bernardo Silva.

The latter’s club team-mate Kylian Mbappe is also thought to be the favoured attacking option with one of Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele or Vinicius Junior of Flamengo also on the list.

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Leicester City To Make Summer Bid For £30m Middlesbrough Defender Ben Gibson

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Leicester are chasing Middlesbrough’s £30m-rated defender Ben Gibson, the Daily Mirror reports. 

The centre-back is expected to leave Boro if they get relegated at the end of the season, and the Foxes have identified him as a number one priority target. 

Middlesbrough will demand around £30 million for the defender, who is the nephew of club chairman Steve Gibson.

The defending champions have been pursuing a new centre-half for the past 18 months and failed in a bid to sign Burnley’s Michael Keane last summer, with Everton now at the front of the queue to bag the England international.

Leicester also encountered problems in a deal for Anderlecht’s Kara Mbodji in January and eventually signed Udinese’s Molla Wague on deadline day. But Wague dislocated his shoulder on debut at Millwall, ruling him out for the season, to leave Leicester still short of defensive options.

Morgan is facing a desperate race against time to be fit for Leicester’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The Leicester captain has missed the past five games with a back injury but manager Craig Shakespeare has admitted he could be fast-tracked to get him ready.

Huth is suspended for the second leg but Morgan could make his eagerly-awaited return as Leicester bid to reach the last four, following their 1-0 defeat at the Vicente Calderon Stadium. 

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