CHAN 2018: Super Eagles Beat Angola, Qualify For Semi-Finals

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The home-based Super Eagles rallied from a goal down to defeat Angola and seal their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 African Nations Championship on Sunday.

Okechukwu Gabriel scored an extra-time winner as Nigeria sealed their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 CHAN with a 2-1 win over Angola at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier, Morocco.

Vladimir Vá’s second-half goal swung the game in Angola’s favour, but Anthony Okpotu levelled scores  in stoppage-time before Gabriel scored the winner  in the 109th minute of the clash.

As a result, Nigeria will take on Sudan in Marrakech on Wednesday for a place in the final.

Okpotu squandered a golden chance to put the Super Eagles in front within the opening 20 seconds of the clash.

But the forward slipped at the vital moment with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Having navigated through a relentless spell of pressure, Palancas Negras threatened to make the Super Eagles rue their missed opportunities as they gained the upper-hand in the closing stages of the first half.

Ikechukwu Ezenwa was impressive throughout in goal for Nigeria and the shot-stopper pulled off three great saves to deny Calesso Manu within the space of six pulsating minutes.

Okpotu, though, had another chance to put Nigeria a goal up just short of the break, but Braulio Nary was well positioned to clear off the line after Mavanga Landu misjudged a cross into the area.

The game continued to ebb and flow following the interval with both teams missing further chances before Vladimiro Antonio’s  opener in the 55th minute.

Timothy Danladi was unlucky as his attempted clearance cannoned off the Angolan midfielder and into the back of the net.

Nigeria surged forward in search of the equalizer, but a place in the final four threatened to slip from their reach as Gabriel squandered two gilt-edged chances in quick succession.

The forward watched in agony as his header  hit  the woodwork, onto the Angolan goalkeeper’s head and away from danger in the 77th minute.

Persistence finally paid dividends for the Nigerians in stoppage time as Okpotu hammered home from close range to send the game into extra-time.

Like Okpotu, Gabriel would also make amends as he struck home what would prove to be the winner in the second-half of added time.

The forward weaved past two Palancas Negras defenders before firing home a left-footed shot into the back of the net from the edge of the area to send the Super Eagles fans into delirium, and Nigeria into the semis.

(NAN)

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CHAN 2018: Super Eagles Beat Angola, Qualify For Semi-Finals

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The home-based Super Eagles rallied from a goal down to defeat Angola and seal their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 African Nations Championship on Sunday.

Okechukwu Gabriel scored an extra-time winner as Nigeria sealed their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 CHAN with a 2-1 win over Angola at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier, Morocco.

Vladimir Vá’s second-half goal swung the game in Angola’s favour, but Anthony Okpotu levelled scores  in stoppage-time before Gabriel scored the winner  in the 109th minute of the clash.

As a result, Nigeria will take on Sudan in Marrakech on Wednesday for a place in the final.

Okpotu squandered a golden chance to put the Super Eagles in front within the opening 20 seconds of the clash.

But the forward slipped at the vital moment with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Having navigated through a relentless spell of pressure, Palancas Negras threatened to make the Super Eagles rue their missed opportunities as they gained the upper-hand in the closing stages of the first half.

Ikechukwu Ezenwa was impressive throughout in goal for Nigeria and the shot-stopper pulled off three great saves to deny Calesso Manu within the space of six pulsating minutes.

Okpotu, though, had another chance to put Nigeria a goal up just short of the break, but Braulio Nary was well positioned to clear off the line after Mavanga Landu misjudged a cross into the area.

The game continued to ebb and flow following the interval with both teams missing further chances before Vladimiro Antonio’s  opener in the 55th minute.

Timothy Danladi was unlucky as his attempted clearance cannoned off the Angolan midfielder and into the back of the net.

Nigeria surged forward in search of the equalizer, but a place in the final four threatened to slip from their reach as Gabriel squandered two gilt-edged chances in quick succession.

The forward watched in agony as his header  hit  the woodwork, onto the Angolan goalkeeper’s head and away from danger in the 77th minute.

Persistence finally paid dividends for the Nigerians in stoppage time as Okpotu hammered home from close range to send the game into extra-time.

Like Okpotu, Gabriel would also make amends as he struck home what would prove to be the winner in the second-half of added time.

The forward weaved past two Palancas Negras defenders before firing home a left-footed shot into the back of the net from the edge of the area to send the Super Eagles fans into delirium, and Nigeria into the semis.

(NAN)

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CHAN 2018: Super Eagles Beat Angola, Qualify For Semi-Finals

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The home-based Super Eagles rallied from a goal down to defeat Angola and seal their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 African Nations Championship on Sunday.

Okechukwu Gabriel scored an extra-time winner as Nigeria sealed their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 CHAN with a 2-1 win over Angola at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier, Morocco.

Vladimir Vá’s second-half goal swung the game in Angola’s favour, but Anthony Okpotu levelled scores  in stoppage-time before Gabriel scored the winner  in the 109th minute of the clash.

As a result, Nigeria will take on Sudan in Marrakech on Wednesday for a place in the final.

Okpotu squandered a golden chance to put the Super Eagles in front within the opening 20 seconds of the clash.

But the forward slipped at the vital moment with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Having navigated through a relentless spell of pressure, Palancas Negras threatened to make the Super Eagles rue their missed opportunities as they gained the upper-hand in the closing stages of the first half.

Ikechukwu Ezenwa was impressive throughout in goal for Nigeria and the shot-stopper pulled off three great saves to deny Calesso Manu within the space of six pulsating minutes.

Okpotu, though, had another chance to put Nigeria a goal up just short of the break, but Braulio Nary was well positioned to clear off the line after Mavanga Landu misjudged a cross into the area.

The game continued to ebb and flow following the interval with both teams missing further chances before Vladimiro Antonio’s  opener in the 55th minute.

Timothy Danladi was unlucky as his attempted clearance cannoned off the Angolan midfielder and into the back of the net.

Nigeria surged forward in search of the equalizer, but a place in the final four threatened to slip from their reach as Gabriel squandered two gilt-edged chances in quick succession.

The forward watched in agony as his header  hit  the woodwork, onto the Angolan goalkeeper’s head and away from danger in the 77th minute.

Persistence finally paid dividends for the Nigerians in stoppage time as Okpotu hammered home from close range to send the game into extra-time.

Like Okpotu, Gabriel would also make amends as he struck home what would prove to be the winner in the second-half of added time.

The forward weaved past two Palancas Negras defenders before firing home a left-footed shot into the back of the net from the edge of the area to send the Super Eagles fans into delirium, and Nigeria into the semis.

(NAN)

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Obasanjo Meets Buhari In Addis Ababa Days After His ‘Letter Bomb’

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Nigeria’s current President, Muhammadu Buhari, and a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, came face to face for the first time in Addis Ababa, barely a few days after the latter released a damning statement requesting the former not to seek re-election in 2019.

It was all smiles when the two leaders met briefly on Sunday at the ongoing African Union summit taking place at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

It was learnt that Obasanjo first went round to exchange pleasantries with other African leaders attending the summit before looking out for Buhari among the crowd to also have a word with him.

It was also gathered that on sighting Buhari at the venue, Obasanjo, who ruled Nigeria as a democratically elected President between 1999 and 2007, approached the President and shook hands with him.

State House Correspondences at the venue observed that the brief pleasantries between the two leader became a sensation inside the Nelson Mandela Hall as photojournalists made frantic efforts to capture the moment.

READ OBASANJO’s FULL STATEMENT HERE

Mr. Obasanjo had stirred up controversies in Nigeria when he released a 13-page statement accusing Buhari of not living up to expectations and therefore should not seek re-election in 2019.

The Federal Government subsequently issued a seven-page statement in reply to Obasanjo’s criticism of the administration of its principal, Buhari.

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Presidency Issues Statement Reacting To Claims On New NIA DG

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The presidency on Sunday, January 28, issued a statement in reaction to claims about the new Director-General for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

Here is the statement below.

NIA DG: FACTS OF THE MATTER

A lot of half-truths, misinformation, and outright falsehood have attended the announcement of a new Director-General for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), in the person of Mr Ahmed Rufai Abubakar .

Some of such unfounded stories include that Abubakar had retired from the services of NIA as an Assistant Director, because he failed promotion examinations twice, and had to quit, willy-nilly. Others claim he is married to a Moroccan, and so cannot hold such sensitive security position, while others say he was born and bred in Chad, and he holds dual nationality.

All these have been widely disseminated on the social, and some mainstream media. With the formal assumption of office by Mr Abubakar, it is now necessary to set the facts straight.

The new NIA DG retired from Foreign Service as Deputy Director (not Assistant Director) and three times during his career, had won Merit Award for competence and meritorious service. Failing promotion examination can only exist in the fecund minds of fiction writers. His last position before the new appointment was as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs/International Affairs where again he quietly proved himself.

Mr. Abubakar’s parents hailed from Katsina State, and had settled in Chad at a point in their lifetime. The new DG did his primary school in Ndjamena (then Fort-Lamy), but returned to Nigeria for his secondary and University education. He never at any time held Chadian nationality.

Mr Abubakar’s only wife hails from Katsina State, indeed, from the same community as the husband. The story of being married to a Moroccan can only be tale by moonlight, concocted by people who love a fib.

The President appointed the new DG because he had worked closely with him in the past two years, and sincerely believes that he would add value to the NIA.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

January 28, 2018

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Alex Ekwueme:‎ Anambra Announces Thursday (Feb 1) As Public Holiday – Ngige Says Buhari Has Spent N1bn On Him

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The government of Anambra State has announced that there would be a state-wide public holiday on 1st February 2018 as the state prepares for the funeral arrangements for the late Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme (GCON).

The announcement was made in a statement issued on Sunday by Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to Government of Anambra State and made available to DAILY POST in Awka.

The statement read: “Please note that Thursday, February 1st, 2018 is work free day in Anambra state. All markets and businesses will be closed on that day to enable Ndi Anambra, friends, associates and well wishers to pay our last respects to the late Vice President.

“All those attending the commendation ceremony including various social, cultural, religious, political, professional, educational groups, market men and women, and all other groups are to be seated by 10am prompt at Ekwueme Square.”

Ekwueme died in a UK hospital after a brief illness in November 2017.

He is expected to be buried on Friday, February 2, 2018 in his country home, Oko, Orumba North local government of Anambra State.

 

  • Ngige Claims Buhari Has Spent N1bn On Ekwueme So Far

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said in an attempt to show his commitment to giving the former VP a befitting burial, President Muhammadu Buhari had committed about N1bn on Ekwueme from the day the Federal Government took over his medical bills to date.

The Punch quoted him as saying: “You know that I belong to the Ekwueme family; I’m part of that family.

“I’m in various committees and subcommittees for the burial of this great statesman. I can tell you authoritatively that Mr President (Buhari) is committed and passionate in ensuring a befitting burial for Ekwueme.

“If he doesn’t come for the burial himself, I’m sure the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will be here for the burial as a matter of right.

“So, I’m here to inspect the facilities in preparation for his burial; and I can tell you that I’m satisfied with the progress of work.

“The Federal Government is doing rehabilitation works on Amawbia/Ekwulobia road, up to Uga and Akokwa in Imo State.

“We’re also doing road rehabilitation on Oko/Umunze road up to Ibinta in Abia State.

“I know the cost of all this, not less than N480m.

“The Federal Government is building the mausoleum, which will contain a modern library and other facilities and I also know the cost of that too.

“And remember that the Federal Government took up all the medical bills of flying him abroad and bringing him back to Nigeria from London upon his death.

“The cost of hiring an air ambulance is not a joke. So, Buhari has honoured this Igbo son in all ramifications.

“He has committed not less than a billion naira in this project because he is passionate about it.”

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WAEC Reveals Date For Newly Introduced Jan/Feb WASSCE For Private Candidates

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The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it is set for the conduct of its newly introduced January/February West African Senior School certificate Examination (WASSCE) for private candidates.

The council’s Head, National Office (HNO) Mr Olu Adenipekun said the examination will take place in major cities across the country this year from January 29 to February 12.

“We are fully ready to go. This examination is the first of its kind in the country for private candidates only, and is to be administered for now only in major cities and towns.

“The result of this examination might likely be released within 30 days, and once we are able to do that, then we will be free to go into the main examination, which will now be the conduct of the May/June WASSCE for school candidates.

“After this, we then also have the opportunity to prepare also for the conduct of the second series of the WASSCE for private candidates in August, popularly known as November/December WASSCE.

“So, in a nutshell, we are fully prepared to win over the confidence of the general public, especially the Nigerian children, to the fact that they have an examination body that is ready and prepared to meet their academic needs,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Adenipekun said the new arrangement was to ensure that those who are unable to pass were given the opportunity to get better prepared and try again.

If You Are Yet To Check NOV/DEC 2017 WASSCE Results Click Here

He said that efforts had also been stepped up in the area of computer and application of hardware for the council’s operation, to impact the activities of the organisation positively.

According to the HNO, council seeks to continually improve on its operation in the new year in order to be able to conduct leakage-free as well as credible examinations and release result s promptly.

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Roger Federer Wins Sixth Australian Open – 20th Grand Slam Title

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Roger Federer on Sunday won his sixth Australian Open and record-extending 20th Grand Slam singles title with a five-set win over Marin Cilic – the second straight year he’d successfully gone the distance in the title match in Melbourne.

The Swiss lost five games in a row as he dropped the fourth set but recovered to win 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1.

Federer, 36, becomes only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles.

Federer broke down in tears — not for the first time — during the trophy ceremony in Rod Laver Arena as Laver himself was taking pictures with his phone from the front row.

“The fairy tale continues, for us, for me,” Federer said, looking toward his team and his family in the players box and fighting to keep his composure. “After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible.”

Federer, who is 155 ranking points behind Rafael Nadal, will return to world No1 on March 5, if Nadal fails to make it to the Acapulco semi-finals.

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The Precarious Political Situation Of President Muhammadu Buhari

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The Precarious Political Situation Of President Muhammadu Buhari, By Frisky Larr

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Today, President Muhammadu Buhari is in a position that no one can envy. His ride to power followed a rough terrain. He had critics including myself. He had admirers too. They were full of hopes in what his military-induced sense of obstinacy would bring to bear on governance in a Jonathan-battered Nigeria. After all, Olusegun Obasanjo before him, had shown how easily a former military General could step on toes for the good of the country, at least, in his own perception. He also had haters and die-hard ones at that. His irredeemable haters will have nothing to do with his ethnic descent. They consider northern Nigerians as enemies of the country for their historical arrogance in leadership. Above all else, though, they naturally detest his military home-based attachment to the unity of Nigeria and that is what the minds that are endeared to his predecessor hated and still hate the most. Buhari was known for modesty and a measured lifestyle. Not known to be corrupt or encouraging corruption!

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

To make Buhari President, we the critics – and “we” were in the shadow of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka – had to make an about face on Buhari to see the back of Goodluck Jonathan with his destructive agenda.

Everyone, except the separatist-minded and non-patriotic Nigerians, was full of hope when Muhammadu Buhari became president. His phlegmatic inaugural speech was, however, everything else but revolutionary. It was the initial shot that struck momentum in the spine. It was soon followed by a long-drawn wait for a cabinet that bore the early signs of unpreparedness on the part of the new president. These negative surprises were willfully suppressed by an overwhelming audience of supporters, who were convinced deep down their heart that this president is, nevertheless, the messiah they envision him to be.

Early Successes

And when cleansing started, he did not disappoint. He ordered the relocation of the central military command to the epicentre of insurgency and in rapid succession, the insurgents soon realised why the Nigerian Armed Forces had a regional reputation. The military was redeemed from the chain of battlefield disgraces that Buhari’s predecessor had subjected it to, in the aftermath of corruption, pillaging and willful decimation.

Henceforth, priority was given to the adequate funding and equipment of the armed forces with armoury and no longer the arming of militants in the creeks.

In a parallel action, the president quickly turned his attention to the corruption that crippled the military and started from his own tribal kinsman, who served as the arrowhead of the National Security Advisory Team, Sambo Dasuki. He was arrested and his financial crimes credibly exposed. Today, he languishes in detention and hardly anyone has tears to shed for him in the light of the gravity of what he collaborated in. This has, so far, made it difficult for critics and haters to wear the president the cloak of tribal and ethnic bigotry. The battle against corruption was launched in earnest. Partial revelations began to make the round and it became apparent, who got what share of which bounty and at what point in time. Money was recovered in quiet domestic diplomacy and prominent arrests were made to signal to the larger audience that the government meant business.

Evil Tidings

Unfortunately, however, it was becoming apparent, in the run-up to the inauguration of the administration, that the fiscal life of the administration was bound to be constrained by some money crunch of sort. The price of the economy’s mainstay had crumbled to a shocking depth in the global market. The economy was going to be cash-strapped and all the ambitious projects that were promised and predicated on a projected level of earnings were bound to run into trouble. A barrel of oil that has sold over several years, for an average of $100.00 on the global market suddenly fell to as low as $30.00. Recession crept in inevitably. While this made neutral minds and admirers of the President sad, it made his haters upbeat and elated. They wasted no time, hammering on what they characterized as the President’s inefficiency. They were promptly tagged “The Wailers” since there was nothing the President did or will do that they will ever appreciate in spite of obvious adverse conditions.

One after the other, problems multiplied for the president. As the noose tightened around efforts to recover looted funds and as former President Jonathan continued to feature prominently in looting-related confessions, calls grew, for the questioning of the ex-president. In the absence of sufficient proceeds of oil sales though, it became incumbent on the government to concentrate on recovering stolen funds. Then the enemies suddenly mounted a formidable front. Sabotage actions began to take hold and the saboteurs called themselves the Niger Delta Avengers. Oil pipelines were blown in succession and output fell dramatically in addition to the plummeting market prices.

From nowhere and seemingly, without warning, a new secessionist movement launched destabilising activities in the East and was led by a little know anti-intellectual youngster of immense nuisance value.

It was difficult not to point accusing fingers at the president’s immediate predecessor in the face of the bitterness that trailed his ejection from power. A novum in the political history of Nigeria, where incumbents hitherto, never lost elections!

The President’s Health

One bizarre feature of President Muhammadu Buhari’s governance since inauguration, has always been his profound invisibility. Many times over, Nigerians clamoured for reassuring public addresses by the president in puzzling times when the president’s authority was challenged or the sovereignty of the country threatened. One highly interesting development was noted when news emerged of acts of corruption perpetrated by the pesident’s inner circle. Most dramatic, was the charge of millions of naira brazenly spent on grass-trimming. Insinuations emerged, of some elements in the government’s circle that have hijacked a part of leadership. In each of these cases, the president excelled in silence and inaction when the folks expected decisive and intimidating leadership to draw the line on errant adventurers.

Then, the president would often launch surprising actions to take corrupt officers unaware. Most notable was the attempted cleanup of the judiciary that is littered with corrupt judges. It was a cosmetic venture of one step forward, two steps backward that, in the end, virtually left the status quo largely intact. Nothing was followed through.

Everyone had problem sunderstanding what the driving forces of the president were. No reaction to credible charges of corruption and power-grab by his inner circle. No visible address to the nation to show that someone was in charge. In more than two years in office, the president has hosted just one comprehensive media chat.

Then, news broke out that the president had serious health problems (probably life-threatening) that required a long-drawn residence overseas for proper medical attention.

A few things, but not all, began to make more sense. His shortage of appetite for and inability to wage an all-out war on the enemies of the country could be appreciated against the backdrop of his declining health.

Achievements

In the long period of his absence on medical leave, the president respected and honored all the relevant constitutional obligations to empower his deputy in his absence much to the chagrin of his inner cabinet, who would have loved to wield his powers. A novum in the country’s political history. A huge success and a serious problem at the same time since it became incumbent upon the president to address the obnoxious deal of a daring cabal.

In spite of his silence and health-induced absence, within which secessionist agitations thrived almost uncontrolled, he soon moved to restore the unity of the country upon recovery and return to the country, much as he had wrestled down Boko Haram long before it. He had also resolved the Avenger’s challenge with visible ease, albeit with non-transparent compromises.

The extent of damage that was done to the economy inherited by the president’s government is well known to the discerning mind. The worst single hallmark was the fact that the owing of salaries by government institutions simply became a routine affair over the years in the face of boom and plenty. At a point, the preceding government took to borrowing from banks to pay federal employees. Pension allocations were simply stolen, and pensioners left to wallow in pains. Contractors’ fees were routinely owed till “thine Kingdom comes”. The foreign reserves that several governments had struggled to boost for the rainy day, were simply stolen and depleted in the understanding that a president from the Niger Delta, which ‘lays the golden egg’, was simply taking or stealing back what rightly belonged to him.

That a nation with a serious intention to grow and better the lot of its citizens cannot thrive on this pedestrian mentality, to say the least, of the practice of owing salaries and pensions, is undisputable to the discerning mind. On this note, President Buhari launched a fight against many adversities to rectify this basic requirement of fixing the economy, without which no progress can ever be made. The president has released bailout funds repeatedly, to help states return the payment of wages and salaries to normalcy, while revenue inflow had dropped dramatically. Yet, some states resisted this blatantly and with impunity invoking their autonomy in the running of their states. The bailout funds were misappropriated, partly stolen, while some states continue to owe salaries all the same, without outrage from the wider public – not even the employees that are owed. President Buhari has moved to reset the clock of routine and regular pension payments to normalcy, while revenue intake has fallen dramatically. The recession that greeted the government’s initial days in office with the crash of crude oil price and little reserves to fall back on, has long fizzled out.

The foreign reserves that are accumulated for the rainy day is now back on track and are being boosted once again. Infrastructural projects are reported to be quietly on course. Now, I hear that the construction of the second Niger Bridge to ease the traffic link of the East with the rest of the nation, has quietly made enormous progress.

Much as it counts as a part of the president’s weakness, the fight against corruption is also one of the president’s success stories. His daring attack on the corrupt judiciary was unprecedented. That will go down in history. Unfortunately, it wasn’t followed through to the bitter end.

That avowed enemies of the administration will have none of this should not change a thing in the perception of the obvious. In part, the enemies do not only live in denial, they take active steps to sabotage progress. That, practically, explains the recent surge in the kidnapping of skilled foreign workers in the country as one act of sabotage to scare off foreign investment, while pipeline sabotage now seems to have become a bit more difficult to execute. And thank goodness, the price of crude oil is bouncing back, while efforts at diversifying the economy is quietly in progress

Weaknesses

The greatest weakness of President Buhari and his administration has been his election as president. To make Buhari the president of Nigeria, the leading priority of many well-meaning Nigerians, was to see the back of a disastrous Goodluck Jonathan. Many forces teamed up and the forces were not homogenous in purpose. While some were “sowing seeds”, others were genuinely interested in the good of the country. One notable force that had and always has the good of Nigeria at heart was and remains former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

How much President Buhari is presently at the mercy of any of the forces who “sowed seeds”, who they are and where they are is largely unknown. But it is true that the very expensive campaign that he ran to win the Presidency was financed by someone. It is also true that his own wife has had cause to cry out repeatedly, that President Buhari is being held hostage by the elements. Many of the president’s supporters do this privately too.

The president has the ill-advised habit of avoiding dialogue with the country when it is most needed. Precisely then, his silence turns out to be poison. By now, the president is well aware of the presence of a cabal in his inner circle burning to usurp his powers and even doing so at any opportunity given. The role reportedly played by the minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation to undermine Acting President Osinbanjo during the sick leave of the president is not forgotten. Cries of corruption in his inner circle are growing louder by the day, and when action is taken, it is obstinately slow and largely cosmetic or too little, too late. Matters that should be referred to the EFCC for action are often referred to commissions of enquiry, with reports that never see the light of day.

While it is incumbent on the president to choose his lieutenants and aides from amongst people that he can best work with, it is also a recipe for disaster to work covertly or overtly, to rekindle the age-old nostalgia for the northern dominance of political power. Even though I consider cries of the extreme northern dominance of the president’s team as superfluous and irrelevant, I still do not think that the cries should be obstinately ignored. This is now even termed ‘nepotism’ in some quarters. Here, President Buhari should have learnt a lot from the colour-blindness of Olusegun Obasanjo in the tribal ordering of things. So far, President Buhari has stuck strictly, to the constitutional requirements of the Federal Character and is doing the rest in line with tribal dictates. Even though I have no problem with this at all since those northerners are Nigerians, many others would have followed my line of reasoning if performance by such people was unblemished and corruption was not involved.

In the fight against corruption, many steps have been taken. Yet, the real big bang is waiting to be seen. Aside the half-hearted incursion into the judiciary, no intimidating, deterrent or exemplary case or cases has/have been recorded. No doubt, a lot of quiet diplomacy may have led to the recovery of stolen funds. Yet, it is, unfortunately, not the essence of fighting corruption. Fighting corruption, the Ribadu-style is the language that Nigerians understand best no matter how much minority deviants will preach one element or the other, of the rule of law. It must not be one-sided. But it must be spectacular to provide a semblance, at least, that no one is above the law. Disgrace the culprits openly and they are well known everywhere. Prominent prosecutions cannot be done for Nigeria only in England, while James Ibori comes back to town to become a kingmaker and not warned sternly to take a back seat for being a discredited role-model. Again, Buhari failed to embrace this crucial lesson from the Obasanjo days and it boils back to the question, who the silent “seed-sowers” may be behind the scene. Even though this assumption of “seed-sowers” may be wrong completely, the fact alone that the president’s approach and attitude have encouraged this insinuation is serious enough as quality lapses and omission.

The reason that President Buhari still remains silent on the serious issue of the Fulani herdsmen and the troubles surrounding their activities is puzzling indeed and may have been the last straw for many observers. Thank goodness, the debate in public space has now served to provide information also, on the herdsmen’s own side of the story that the public had hitherto, known little about. The president has nonetheless continued to do what he does best, namely remaining silent. If the president had applied this obstinacy of silence to the open fighting of corruption and step on powerful toes stubbornly, no matter whose ox is gored, his solid public base would have forever remained reassured and prove battle-ready.

The Obasanjo Conundrum

Now, like every other observer, former President Olusegun Obasanjo is no doubt, also troubled by multiple developments, most of which the public may not even be aware of. I have, therefore, had reasons to be troubled by the reaction of a few intellectuals, to the recent open letter of the former president admonishing the incumbent on his performance and possible future ambitions. From my intellectual friends, I always expect more constructive caution. Social media road-boys for whom the forums represent an outlet for a limited scope of self-realisation will always do what they do best, namely abuse and vilify the former president. That will not come as a surprise. The intellectuals, however, always owe a duty to separate the wheat from the chaff.

From my information so far, I have reasons to believe that the problems of the Fulani herdsmen that have been allowed to persist for so long, may have played a crucial role in the timing of President Obasanjo’s letter to the incumbent president. President Buhari’s inordinate and obstinate silence on the issue has not helped matters any bit.

While I feel very uncomfortable with President Obasanjo’s accusation of the incumbent president’s dismal performance on the economic front because I know the challenges that the Buhari administration has had to confront and the steps it has taken to solve the basic problems, without which progress can never be made, I am, nonetheless, very cautious because I do not know what President Obasanjo knows that is beyond my reach. Since I have the very rare privilege of direct interaction with the former president, I will hold my breath until I meet him personally for a very frank exchange that he always permits and learn my lessons from him in the usual fashion.

So far, Nigerians are aware of a marauding cabal in the president’s inner circle and the charges of corruption associated with them. Who knows the extent and depth of this malaise and how strongly they are impacting the president’s performance? Does former President Obasanjo know more? Does anyone know why President Buhari is not overhauling the engine of his government in spite of the loud outcry also from his own wife? Would former President Obasanjo lose confidence in the system completely and call for a coalition of well-meaning individuals without a serious cause? What simplistic self-actualisation would the former president need at this point in his life that he has never had?

Till the present moment, the public has no clue, what President Buhari’s health challenges were or are. He is an old man that is not growing younger. His health dossier was never made public and Nigerians do not know the nature of the president’s health challenges. Who knows the extent and depth of these challenges and their possible impediment on the president’s capabilities?
President Obasanjo’s submission is impatiently predicated on “early recovery and substantial growth” in the economy. Would he say this unless he knows of a serious restraining condition on the president’s part?

While I also feel very uncomfortable that President Obasanjo is presently gaining applause from the wrong side of the fence, which he himself will not cherish, I fully understand that the Obasanjo conundrum will remain unresolved in the precarious Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari, until the questions asked above are genuinely answered. For now, helpless separatists and irrational haters of the person Buhari, may seek comfort in the submissions of the former Ppesident as much they will, the fact will ever remain that President Obasanjo is principally driven by nothing less than patriotic, nation-building and never separatist or hate-based sentiments and precisely this makes the strictly fact-based reaction of President Buhari’s team and the APC a constructive move to make.

Frisky Larr is the author of Lost in Democracy (amongst others) advancing possible indigenous alternatives to democracy as a political system in Africa.

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

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NBC Clamps Down On Olamide’s New Song, Science Student

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The Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) has placed a Not To Be Broadcast (NTBB) warning on Olamide’s newest single, Science Student.

The warning was sent to all radio and television stations across the country during the week.

The Head of Public Affairs for the Commission, Hajia Maimuna Jimada confirmed the NBC’s stand on the now raving song on Wednesday, told Tribune that while the regulatory body did not ban the song outrightly, it considered it unfit for broadcast.

“NBC does not ban music. Our mandate is on what goes on Radio and TV. Olamide’s Science Student has been declared ‘Unfit for broadcast,’” she said.

She added that the song’s subtle promotion of illegal drugs was the main reason why it was deemed unlawful. Jimada also issued a standing warning to all broadcasting corporations.

“We have communicated all our licensees for compliance or they will face sanctions,” she said.

Olamide himself has come out to say that the song is actually against drug use.

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“40 People Have Been Convicted For Traffic Offences By Mobile Court In Anambra” – FRSC

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The Federal Road Safety Corps said on Sunday that at least 40 motorists were convicted for various traffic offences by a Mobile Court in Anambra.

The FRSC Sector Commander in Anambra state, Mr Sunday Ajayi made this claim while speaking to reporters with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka, the state capital. He added that the convicts were given the option to pay fines depending on the nature of their offences. Ajayi, however, said that four persons were discharged and acquitted by the court.

“During the week we had a Mobile Court session in the command in line with our mandate to ensure full compliance with traffic rules. A total of 44 persons were prosecuted, 40 convicted for various offences and four of them were discharged and acquitted of any offences,” he said.

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NNPC’s Losses Increase By 1,556% In One Month

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the latest figures of its group financial and operations losses, stating that it has increased by 1,556.1 per cent from October to November 2017.

Findings showed that the corporation’s losses had dropped from N2.81bn in September 2017 to N400m in October. But this could not be sustained as the oil firm’s deficit rose to a high of N6.79bn in November last year.

In its November 2017 report, the NNPC stated that the drop in performance was due to reduced revenue in the downstream value chain as well as the shutdown of two of its refineries.

According to the corporation, the refineries are the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company and the Port Harcourt Refining Company.

The oil firm said, “The November 2017 report indicated a trading deficit of N6.79bn, which is comparatively higher than the previous month’s deficit of N0.41bn. This represents N6.39bn increase in trading deficit compared to the October 2017 performance.

“The drop in the performance is attributable to the increased cost in upstream activities as well as the reduced revenue in the downstream value chain occasioned by high crude oil inventory in refineries due to unplanned operational shutdown of the KRPC and the PHRC, which led to increased losses from the refineries in November 2017.”

A further analysis of the report showed that for November 2017, Nigeria’s three refineries produced 55,187 metric tonnes of finished petroleum products and 39,562MT of intermediate products out of 107,748MT of crude processed at a combined capacity utilisation of 5.92 per cent, compared to 17.63 per cent combined capacity utilisation achieved in October 2017.

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Teleology Emerges Preferred Bidder For 9mobile With $500m

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There are strong indications that Teleology Holdings Limited may have been selected as the preferred bidder for 9Mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria, the country’s fourth-largest mobile network.

This development may have put to an end the acquisition process supervised by Barclays Africa, the transaction advisors.

Promoted by Adrian Wood, the pioneer chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria, Teleology emerged as the new owner of 9mobile ahead of Smile, which had been the only other bidder in the final round of the takeover bid.

It is believed that Teleology, a private equity firm with an investment portfolio of $11bn, offered more than $500 million to acquire the mobile network while Smile offered about $300 million.

Though over 10 bidders had indicated interest in acquiring the mobile network, only five were shortlisted before the number was further reduced to three. While Globacom and Helios failed to back their technical bids with concrete financial bids, Airtel later pulled out of the process, leaving just Teleology and Smile Communications.

Industry sources said Airtel developed cold feet over insinuations that whoever takes over 9Mobile may be face mounting debt.

However, ThisDay reports that the preferred bidder is therefore expected to make payment within a given period, to take full possession of the telecoms company.

Although Spectrum Wireless Communication has obtained a court injunction stopping the sale of 9mobile, claiming that it invested over $35 million in the telecoms company, and that the repayment was not factored into the planned sale of 9mobile, the source said the case has been appealed.

Meanwhile, the telecommunications industry awaits an official statement on the development by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the future direction of the network.

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New Watford Manager Javi Garcia Feels Sorry For Fans

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Watford Manager Javi Garcia has played down suggestions that his players were involved in a confrontation with travelling supporters following the 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Southampton.

Watford fans booed off their side when a goal down at half time and again at full time when the playing squad made their way over to the away section.

Christian Kabasele had to be led away by a couple of his teammates following an apparent exchange of words with one spectator, as Watford’s alarming slump in form continued at St Mary’s.

Gracia, drafted in as boss earlier this week following the dismissal of Marco Silva, admitted after the match that he ‘feels sorry’ for supporters.

“I do not understand what supporters sing. I only can say at the end of the match the players went to say thank you, and me too,” he told reporters.

“It is hard because in the first match we did not get a good result but I am happy because I saw the support of a lot of our fans. I am very grateful and I feel sorry for them. I hoped for a better performance. We did not start in the best way and conceded an early goal.

“The only thing I am worried about is trying to get a good result. The match was tough but I have seen a reaction, I have seen the team want to get the goal and fight hard until the end.”

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Zinedine Zidane Happy With Real Madrid’s Performance Vs Valencia

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Zinedine Zidane has revealed that his players are deserving of praise following their 4-1 win away to Valencia on Saturday afternoon.

Two Cristiano Ronaldo penalties in the first half were added to by goals from Marcelo and Toni Kroos late on at the Mestalla, as Real Madrid returned to winning ways.

The pressure has been gradually building on Zidane following a poor 2017-18 to date, which reached a low on Wednesday night with defeat to Leganes in the last eight of the Copa del Rey.

After seeing his side claim a hard-fought win at Valencia, though, closing the gap on their third-placed opponents to two points in the process, the Frenchman claimed that there is still plenty left to fight for this season.

“We deserved the victory, especially for our start to the match,” he told reporters after the match. “We were physically very good; sometimes it’s more psychological than physical.

“I’m very happy with our performance; we played the game very well tactically. I will continue working in the way I have. We must congratulate everyone involved today.

“I will always be questioned, every day, but I won’t change. The good thing about football is that you have so many matches. The situation was difficult and we played with a lot of personality. We are going to keep fighting because there is a lot of the season left.”

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Mauricio Pochettino Relieved To Get A Draw Vs Newport County

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted to being ‘massively relieved’ after his side avoided a major FA Cup upset by salvaging a 1-1 draw at Newport County.

Tottenham showing five changes from their last outing were a goal down at the break following a poor first-half display, leaving them on the brink of a shock exit.

Harry Kane popped up inside the final 10 minutes at Rodney Parade to level the scores, though, giving Tottenham a second chance to get the job done on home soil in a little over a week’s time.

Pochettino questioned the motivation of his players at full time after being left unhappy by what he witnessed in South Wales.

“I’m a little bit relieved – well a lot,” he told reporters at his post-match presser. “We were very disappointed with the first half, in the last half hour we created some chances and deserved the draw.

“We lost every challenge in the first half, found it difficult to play forward and always played safe. The team didn’t really show that they wanted to go through to the next round.

“If we want to go to the next step we need to be strong. That is the competition. We showed the ambition and the decision to play. We want to go further and try to fight to win the competition. We need to be more motivated though.”

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Chelsea Reportedly Reject Multi-million Pound Offer From Netflix

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Chelsea have knocked back a multi-million pound offer from Netflix for a behind-the-scenes documentary, according to a report.

Netflix hoped to follow in the steps of rivals Amazon Prime, who struck a £10m deal with Manchester City last year to shadow the Citizens throughout the 2017-18 campaign.

Chelsea do not see the advantages of letting the cameras into the dressing room, however, and The Times suggests that there are no plans in place to change their stance.

Netflix has already filmed one documentary after being granted permission to get up close and personal with the Juventus squad, with episodes due to be released next month.

A separate report claims that Netflix may still consider bidding for the rights to broadcast Premier League football in the future.

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning

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  • Manchester City are ready to make a £150m move for Chelsea star Eden Hazard.
  • Manchester United are on red alert with Borussia Dortmund considering selling centre-back Marc Bartra.
  • Mauricio Pochettino is top of Real Madrid ‘s wanted list – because of his Tottenham side’s sparkling Champions League displays.
  • Daniel Sturridge is set for an Inter Milan transfer – after Liverpool more than halved the fee.
  • Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino’s job is hanging by a thread, with Mark Hughes being touted as the Argentine’s successor.
  • Chelsea are planning to replace under-fire Antonio Conte with ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique.
  • Burnley want defender Rob Holding from Arsenal in a loan deal until the end of the season.
  • Michael Keane’s Everton future is in doubt as boss Sam Allardyce looks to move him out in this window or the summer.
  • Newcastle have the chance to snatch Brazil forward Luan under the nose of Liverpool.
  • Fulham want a whopping £30m for skipper Tom Cairney after turning down West Ham’s £15m bid.
  • Benik Afobe’s time at Bournemouth could be up after he was drawn into a row with Eddie Howe over a pen.
  • Liverpool have reportedly had a bid for Roma goalkeeper Alisson rejected.
  • Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is set to reject bids from AS Roma and Juventus to take Italian international full-back Matteo Darmian on loan.
  • Chelsea have rejected Real Madrid’s offer to swap Eden Hazard for Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is considering a transfer swoop for Monaco winger Keita Balde with Arsenal also interested.
  • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled out making a late move for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
  • Manchester rivals United and City are squaring up for another transfer scrap this week – over Brazil midfielder Fred.
  • Tottenham are confident they can beat Bayern Munich to the signing of Brazil international Lucas Moura.
  • Middlesbrough are leading the chase for New York City winger Jack Harrison.
  • Aleksander Ceferin will consider a ban on heading in youth football if a Uefa study shows it causes brain damage.
  • Gareth Southgate will attend the Super Bowl in Minnesota next Sunday to join a convention of coaches from across the world to exchange ideas.

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Conte Not Changing Chelsea Approach

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Antonio Conte has stated he will not change his approach to press conferences and intends to remain honest.

Chelsea face Newcastle in the Emirates FA Cup, and it looks like their only shot at silverware.

And Conte insists he does not regret his decision to join Chelsea and is focused.

“Chelsea’s history speaks very clear. This is a great club. This is a great club,” Conte told reporters. “No regrets, no. I think when I take a decision, I don’t want to look behind. I want always to look at the present, to look in front of me.

“I think this is the best way to improve yourself, to try to find a solution, don’t try to find alibis, excuses. I think this is the right way. When you take a decision, you have to go forwards and to try to find a solution, a solution, a solution.

“You ask me if I had regrets, my answer is this: I think when you take a decision, you have to go straight. Because I think this is the best way to find solutions. Otherwise you continue to complain.

“You have to go straight and to try to improve your future if this is possible. Otherwise you must continue to work. I am this way, I am this way. For sure, I’m not a diplomatic man. I think you can see this. Who knows me very well, they know I’m not a diplomatic man.

“At the same time, I think I’m very honest and when you are honest with yourself and with others, no one thinks that I am a failure. I think this. I’m sure if I try to change myself, it’s right to stop, to stop my career when I was a footballer, to stop my career, in this moment that I’m a coach.

“I repeat: I think the honest person speaks very clearly in every moment. I prefer to be honest, to tell the truth in every moment. I hate the fake person.”

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Conte Not Changing Chelsea Approach

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Antonio Conte has stated he will not change his approach to press conferences and intends to remain honest.

Chelsea face Newcastle in the Emirates FA Cup, and it looks like their only shot at silverware.

And Conte insists he does not regret his decision to join Chelsea and is focused.

“Chelsea’s history speaks very clear. This is a great club. This is a great club,” Conte told reporters. “No regrets, no. I think when I take a decision, I don’t want to look behind. I want always to look at the present, to look in front of me.

“I think this is the best way to improve yourself, to try to find a solution, don’t try to find alibis, excuses. I think this is the right way. When you take a decision, you have to go forwards and to try to find a solution, a solution, a solution.

“You ask me if I had regrets, my answer is this: I think when you take a decision, you have to go straight. Because I think this is the best way to find solutions. Otherwise you continue to complain.

“You have to go straight and to try to improve your future if this is possible. Otherwise you must continue to work. I am this way, I am this way. For sure, I’m not a diplomatic man. I think you can see this. Who knows me very well, they know I’m not a diplomatic man.

“At the same time, I think I’m very honest and when you are honest with yourself and with others, no one thinks that I am a failure. I think this. I’m sure if I try to change myself, it’s right to stop, to stop my career when I was a footballer, to stop my career, in this moment that I’m a coach.

“I repeat: I think the honest person speaks very clearly in every moment. I prefer to be honest, to tell the truth in every moment. I hate the fake person.”

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Guardiola: City Cannot Afford Quadruple

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City cannot afford the money to compete in four competitions.

City face Cardiff City in the FA Cup, and are already in the final of the EFL Cup, and also face Basel in the UCL.

Aymeric Laporte is on the club’s radar, in a bid to bolster their defence, but Guardiola does not think it will do.

“If you are in four competitions, fighting to be there, sometimes you have to be lucky in terms of injuries or you have 22 top players to compete in all competitions,” Guardiola told reporters.

“Today, to have 22 players you need – people maybe don’t believe me – the money we don’t have.

“To compete at a high level in four competitions you need 22 top players and today the 22 top players are so expensive. You cannot survive [spending in that manner].”

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Guardiola: City Cannot Afford Quadruple

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City cannot afford the money to compete in four competitions.

City face Cardiff City in the FA Cup, and are already in the final of the EFL Cup, and also face Basel in the UCL.

Aymeric Laporte is on the club’s radar, in a bid to bolster their defence, but Guardiola does not think it will do.

“If you are in four competitions, fighting to be there, sometimes you have to be lucky in terms of injuries or you have 22 top players to compete in all competitions,” Guardiola told reporters.

“Today, to have 22 players you need – people maybe don’t believe me – the money we don’t have.

“To compete at a high level in four competitions you need 22 top players and today the 22 top players are so expensive. You cannot survive [spending in that manner].”

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Pardew Criticises VAR Despite West Brom Win

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Alan Pardew has slammed the use of VAR, for causing his players injuries and confusing the fans in West Brom’s win over Liverpool.

The VAR disallowed a goal for Pardew’s men and awarded a penalty to Liverpool in the first half.

Robson-Kanu and Gibbs had to be forced off with muscle problem, while Evans and Livermore struggled in the closing stages.

He also believes the use of VAR could sap some of the entertainment from matches, even if the decisions are ultimately right.

“It’s hard to know where to start,” he told a news conference when asked about the incidents. “You guys are all experienced reporters and have seen many games but I don’t think that’s what you want to see going forward.

“If you’re a Liverpool fan or a West Brom fan, there’s no communication from the referee to us, like in the NFL. We didn’t know what the decision was, why it was being stopped.

“He reverses the Dawson goal and I think that, were it not for the system, would never be disallowed in any league game. The fourth official told me it was for offside, which is a bit of a surprise from a corner. I’ve looked at it and it’s marginal, really marginal.

“I think there’s a question there; are we going to start taking goals away from the entertainment of the games on those slight margins? I think that’s a worry.

“The second one, you can argue Jake has lifted his arm to stop him. Would Salah have got it, in a normal game without VAR? I don’t know.

“The bigger worry for me is it was four minutes, maybe five for the decision, so you’re going from a high-tempo work rate to nothing. We had a hamstring [injury] just after that.

“I think our fans started singing, ‘it should’ve been four’. Whether they’d seen it on the phones after, or something. Because of social media, it gets flashed down the line, so do you really want fans to get it third hand or do you actually want to know in the stadium?

“As a football person, on the sideline, I wasn’t comfortable with that first half. It was kind of mysterious at times.”

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Pardew Criticises VAR Despite West Brom Win

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Alan Pardew has slammed the use of VAR, for causing his players injuries and confusing the fans in West Brom’s win over Liverpool.

The VAR disallowed a goal for Pardew’s men and awarded a penalty to Liverpool in the first half.

Robson-Kanu and Gibbs had to be forced off with muscle problem, while Evans and Livermore struggled in the closing stages.

He also believes the use of VAR could sap some of the entertainment from matches, even if the decisions are ultimately right.

“It’s hard to know where to start,” he told a news conference when asked about the incidents. “You guys are all experienced reporters and have seen many games but I don’t think that’s what you want to see going forward.

“If you’re a Liverpool fan or a West Brom fan, there’s no communication from the referee to us, like in the NFL. We didn’t know what the decision was, why it was being stopped.

“He reverses the Dawson goal and I think that, were it not for the system, would never be disallowed in any league game. The fourth official told me it was for offside, which is a bit of a surprise from a corner. I’ve looked at it and it’s marginal, really marginal.

“I think there’s a question there; are we going to start taking goals away from the entertainment of the games on those slight margins? I think that’s a worry.

“The second one, you can argue Jake has lifted his arm to stop him. Would Salah have got it, in a normal game without VAR? I don’t know.

“The bigger worry for me is it was four minutes, maybe five for the decision, so you’re going from a high-tempo work rate to nothing. We had a hamstring [injury] just after that.

“I think our fans started singing, ‘it should’ve been four’. Whether they’d seen it on the phones after, or something. Because of social media, it gets flashed down the line, so do you really want fans to get it third hand or do you actually want to know in the stadium?

“As a football person, on the sideline, I wasn’t comfortable with that first half. It was kind of mysterious at times.”

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Klopp Slams Liverpool’s Defending

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Jurgen Klopp has let out his frustration at the poor defending of his squad, in the 3-2 FA Cup loss to West Brom.

Liverpool lost 3-2 to Alan Pardew’s men in front of home fans, as they crash out of the FA Cup fourth round.

Firmino’s opener was cancelled out by a Jay Rodriguez brace in the first half, before a Matip own goal sealed it for West Brom.

VAR was in major use during the match, disallowing a goal for West Brom and awarding a penalty to Liverpool. Firmino missed from the spot and a 78th minute Salah goal started a late comeback.

And Klopp has slammed the defence that could not close down Rodriguez or set an offside trap.

“Everybody saw; we made big mistakes and let them come back in the game,” he told BT Sport . “It’s obvious what we did wrong. We won the first balls but we lost the second and the third, so it makes no sense.

“You must be much more clinical and shoot it in the stand if you are not sure where you can pass the ball.

“The second one; wow, really bad defending. The whole group involved in that situation, not really compact, we let them play the ball, make the cross and the goalscorer is completely free in the box. That’s not how defending should be. Then we don’t use the chamce with the penalty, which can happen, of course.

 

“The third one is then in extra time of the first half. It must be offside; it’s unbelievable he wasn’t. It’s easy to defend; you push up, they pass the ball back and [Craig] Dawson is offside. He wasn’t, he celebrated the goal and he was like, ‘what can I do, if they let me do this?’

“Second half, we had to show character, there’s no doubt about character. We chased the game and scored a little bit too late. We did a lot of good things but, if you start like this, you make the game complicated.

“It was a bit hectic, they tried to save some time, it’s normal, but West Brom deserved it. We have to blame ourselves for this, it’s all about us, but compliments to West Brom.”

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