Super Eagles Qualify For CHAN 2018 Final After Defeating Sudan

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The home-based Super Eagles team have qualified for the final of the 2018 African Nations Championship currently taking place in Morocco.

The Nigerian team booked their place in the final on Wednesday night after defeating Sudan 1-0 at Stade de Marrakech.

A lone goal from Gabriel Okechukwu in the first half was all the Super Eagles needed to land in the final.

Okechukwu also came close to bagging a brace in the 25th minute when his left-footed shot sailed inches wide of Akram’s left corner.

Substitute goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, who came in for injured Ifeanyi Ezenwa, kept the home Super Eagles in the game after producing two brilliant saves in the 90th minute to ensure they are through to the final.

They would be meeting Morocco, who had earlier qualified for the final, after an impressive 3 – 1 victory over Libya.

 

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9ice Celebrates His Twin Daughter’s Birthday As They Turn 7 Today (See Photos)

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Ace Nigerian Singer, 9ice is in celebration mood as his adorable twin turn 7. The singer who is expecting his fifth child soon shared adorable photo of his daughters on Instagram in the spirit of celebration.

He shared the photo and wrote;

The girls are 7…..Alhamdulilahi. Happy birthday

The award-winning singer had his daughters with one of his baby mama named Victoria Goddis after his huge breakup with Toni Payne in 2011.

See his post below;

The girls are 7…..Alhamdulilahi. Happy birthday🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂

A post shared by 9ice Ancestor Aircomodore (@9iceofficial) on Jan 30, 2018 at 10:26pm PST

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9ice Celebrates His Twin Daughter’s Birthday As They Turn 7 Today (See Photos)

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Ace Nigerian Singer, 9ice is in celebration mood as his adorable twin turn 7. The singer who is expecting his fifth child soon shared adorable photo of his daughters on Instagram in the spirit of celebration.

He shared the photo and wrote;

The girls are 7…..Alhamdulilahi. Happy birthday

The award-winning singer had his daughters with one of his baby mama named Victoria Goddis after his huge breakup with Toni Payne in 2011.

See his post below;

The girls are 7…..Alhamdulilahi. Happy birthday🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂

A post shared by 9ice Ancestor Aircomodore (@9iceofficial) on Jan 30, 2018 at 10:26pm PST

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Tiwa Savage Claps Back At Bizzle For Calling Nigerian Artist Lazy

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Popular PR agent, Bizzle recently released a video criticizing Nigerian artiste for not investing enough in their music while sighting CardiB as an example of hardworking act.

Mavin first lady, Tiwa Savage has reacted to Bizzle’s video with an Instagram post. The singer advised Bizzle to stop using social media comments to create division among artistes in the Industry.

Tiwa commends the efforts of Nigerian artistes on promotion of their works and also pointed out that even Bizzle knows how much effort Nigerian artistes put in promoting their works as artistes manager.

See her post Below;

 

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Chelsea Sign Giroud From Arsenal

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Chelsea have completed the signing of Olivier Giroud from Arsenal for £16 million.

The deal was completed shortly after Aubameyang signed for Arsenal, and Batshuayi joining Dortmund on loan.

Giroud will hook up with Chelsea for the next 18 months, with an option to extend by a year.

The triangle of transfers between all three clubs depended on the other going through.

Dortmund wanted Batshuayi as replacement for Aubameyang, but Chelsea’s failure to get Dzeko, turned to their attention to Giroud.

And Arsenal were not keen on letting the France international leave, only if they would get the Gabon forward.

 

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Nigeria Bans Open Drug Markets In 2019

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The Federal Government says it will shut down all open drug markets this year to curb unwholesome drug distribution system.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this in a statement issued after a ground breaking ceremony of the Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) in Abia.

Adewole, in the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) on Wednesday, frowned at the chaotic drug distribution system in the country thereby endangering the lives of the populace.

He noted that the closure of all open drug markets would immediately kick start full implementation of the CWC component of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG).

The minister, who identified unsatisfactory drug distribution system as one of the challenges in the use of medicine in the country, however said that this has led to poor product handling.

Adewole added that it has also led to difficulty in product tracking for statistical purposes, circulation of substandard products, difficulty in audit trail and destruction of professional practice.

According to him, the ministry issued the NDDG in 2013 in its bid to reverse the ugly trend of unsatisfactory drug distribution system.

The statement also quoted the Registrar of PCN, Mr Elijah Mohammed, describing the CWC as one of the concepts of NDDG to cater for or accommodate open drug marketers.

Mohammed, who identified open drug market as the hub of major drug supply and major drug problem in the country, noted that the measure would assist in sanitising drug distribution system in the country.

The registrar said that the federal government, being sensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians, provided the CWC as an alternative to those in the open drug market instead of pushing them out.

According to him, the CWC will provide effective regulatory activities and ensure good pharmaceutical service delivery in the country.

It would have control over the efficacy of drugs coming into Nigeria and being made available for consumption for Nigerians, he said.

Mohammed described CWC as a purpose built infrastructure that would cater for storage condition, practice environment, security and also in terms of regulatory activities, among others.

“There are some drugs that need to be stored within a specific temperature and CWCs has such warehouses constructed for them unlike the open drug market where everything is lumped under the sun and in stores that have no windows, among others.

“Definitely the quality and efficacy of those drugs are maintained, which is the purpose,” said the registrar.

Mohammed listed the four major open drug markets of concern to the federal government as Idumota Drug market, Lagos; Onitsha overhead bridge, Anambra; Ariaria market, Aba, Abia; and Sabon Gari market, Kano state.

According to him, those centres will boost economy, help ensure product tracking, build confidence in products in the country and increase patronage.

He emphasised that the Abia CWC would accommodate all the owners of medicine shops in Aba and in other clustered areas in the state, when fully developed.

“It is my belief that the speedy development of the coordinated wholesale centre will go a long way in sanitising the drug distribution system in the state and to a large extend the entire nation,” he said.

NAN

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Giggs: Bale Is Not Joining United

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Wales boss, Ryan Giggs believes Gareth Bale will benefit a lot at United, but does not see him leaving Madrid.

Bale has had a number of injuries this season, linking him with an exit from Santiago Bernabeu this window.

Giggs, who lined up for United, is looking to help the Wales international at national level, but does not see him leaving Madrid.

“Bale is a great player, one of the best, and for us, as has been demonstrated in recent months, he is fundamental,” he told Marca.

“It’s clear that the team comes first, but in that team we need the best players and Bale is the best.

 

“Gareth is a player who unbalances opponents. When he has been able to demonstrate his quality at Real Madrid, he has shown that his style of football is fundamental to winning games.

“He’s happy at Real Madrid, he wants to stay, there’s no doubt. He knows that the coach and the club respect him, and he wants to show the fans what he is capable of.

“I don’t know [if United want to sign him], but Bale has no intention of leaving and Real Madrid won’t sell the player. It’s clear that United would’ve been very good for him, but I don’t think that’s an option at the moment, he’s not going to leave Real Madrid.”

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Henceforth, Election Results Will Be Collated, Transmitted Electronically – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that apart from giving physical copies of results of elections to party agents, it will henceforth, electronically collate and transmit results during the 2019 general election.

Therefore, the election body solicited the collaboration of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and telecommunications operators for deployment of electronic devices during the exercise.

The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this during a visit today to Umar Dambatta, NCC executive vice-chairman, in Abuja.

According to Yakubu, the electoral body will adopt the system during the Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections later in the year.

He said the system had been tested in some bye-elections and will be fully implemented in 2019.

His words: “Today, millions of Nigerians communicate by means of mobile phones and equally receive news and information using the same device.”

“For us in INEC, it is one of the most effective means of communicating with citizens in the area of voter education and sensitization.

“INEC is committed to deepening the deployment of technology in elections. To this end, the commission introduced and deployed the biometric voter registration in 2011 general elections and Smat Card Reader, SCR, in 2015 general elections.

“The time has come to electronically collate and transmit election results. We are convinced that by doing so, results will be transmitted caste and more accurately from polling units to the various collation and declaration centres.

“In several re-run and bye elections conducted since the 2015 general elections, the commission has deployed the electronic collation and transmission platforms on a pilot basis. More recently, we conducted simultaneously electronic and manual transmission of results in some majors elections.

“We are planning for full deployment this year in the governorship elections in Ekiti state in July and Osun state in September. Thereafter, we intend to deploy the system in the 2019 general elections.

“In order to achieve this objective, it is imperative to discuss with the telecommunications operators in Nigeria. INEC has the hardware and have developed the software as well. However, we have to rely on the operators for the transmission of both the figures and the scanned images of result sheet.

“Towards the 2019 general elections, we would like the operators, in collaboration with INEC, to send bulk SMS on imperative of peaceful elections, the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by registered voters.”

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#DeadlineDay: Ozil Signs New Deal At Arsenal – Giroud Undergoes Chelsea Medical (Reports)

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There are strong indications that Mesut Ozil has committed his future to Arsenal by signing a new three-and-a-half year deal.

The German international’s deal at the London club was set to expire at the end of the season but BBC is reporting that the 29-year-old has put pen to paper on a deal thought to be worth £350-per-week before tax on Wednesday, January 31.

Ozil had been linked with a summer switch to Manchester United but the former Real Madrid man has committed to the club until the summer of 2021.

The news of Ozil’s new deal broke shortly after the London club had confirmed a club-record deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

 

The playmaker has made 21 appearances this term, scoring four goals and recording six assists, and his new deal commits him to the Premier League club until he is 32.

  • Giroud Undergoes Chelsea Medical

The Sun is reporting that Olivier Giroud is undergoing a medical ahead of an £18million move to Chelsea.

The news outlet said the Arsenal striker was given permission to link up with the Blues this morning after the Gunners finally agreed a fee to sell him to their London rivals.

Nizaar Kinsella (NizaarKinsella), a Chelsea correspondent, is also expecting Giroud to Chelsea to be done soon after the club failed to land Edin Dzeko…

“Chelsea have already bagged Emerson Palmieiri and Ross Barkley but they will now look to complete their squad by bringing in Olivier Giroud.

“Michy Batshuayi is set for a loan move to Dortmund, joining Charly Musonda, Baba Rahman and Kenedy in leaving on temporary deals.

“The club had tried and failed to sign Roma striker Edin Dzeko but, regardless, it is looking like it will be a fairly decent transfer window for the Premier League champions.”

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IT’S OFFICIAL! Arsenal Sign Aubameyang From Dortmund For £56m

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British football club Arsenal have completed the signing of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €63.75 million (£56m, $79m).

The deal was announced after drawn-out negotiations with Dortmund over the transfer fee.

Arsenal announced on their official website the transfer is subject to the completion of regulatory processes and the 28-year-old’s squad number will be confirmed soon.

The completion of the Aubameyang deal is expected to be followed by Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud moving across London to Chelsea, from where Michy Bathshuayi will leave for Dortmund.

Speaking on the transfer, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said:

“Apart from the unpleasant events of recent weeks, we like to remember that the story of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund for more than four years was a success story.

“He has done great things for Borussia Dortmund at this time, scored many important goals and is part of the team that brought the DFB Cup to Dortmund in 2017.

“We wish Pierre-Emerick all the best for his future at Arsenal.”

The Gabon international was prolific during his four and a half seasons at Dortmund, scoring 98 Bundesliga goals in 144 appearances. In all competitions, he had 141 in 213 matches. Since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, the 28-year-old scored 100 goals for Dortmund – 45 more than any player has scored for Arsenal in the same period.

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IT’S OFFICIAL! Arsenal Sign Aubameyang From Dortmund For £56m

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British football club Arsenal have completed the signing of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €63.75 million (£56m, $79m).

The deal was announced after drawn-out negotiations with Dortmund over the transfer fee.

Arsenal announced on their official website the transfer is subject to the completion of regulatory processes and the 28-year-old’s squad number will be confirmed soon.

The completion of the Aubameyang deal is expected to be followed by Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud moving across London to Chelsea, from where Michy Bathshuayi will leave for Dortmund.

Speaking on the transfer, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said:

“Apart from the unpleasant events of recent weeks, we like to remember that the story of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund for more than four years was a success story.

“He has done great things for Borussia Dortmund at this time, scored many important goals and is part of the team that brought the DFB Cup to Dortmund in 2017.

“We wish Pierre-Emerick all the best for his future at Arsenal.”

The Gabon international was prolific during his four and a half seasons at Dortmund, scoring 98 Bundesliga goals in 144 appearances. In all competitions, he had 141 in 213 matches. Since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, the 28-year-old scored 100 goals for Dortmund – 45 more than any player has scored for Arsenal in the same period.

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Lassa Fever: Death Toll Rises To 24 As WHO Confirms More Deaths In Taraba

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The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that Lassa fever has claimed 21 lives across the country.

The National Coordinator Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who made this known on Tuesday, said the deaths were recorded from 77 confirmed cases.

Lassa Fever And Why You Need To Take It Seriously (Must Read)

Ihekweazu spoke at the opening of the National Executive Council meeting of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in Abuja.

He said of the 77 confirmed cases, 10 affected health workers.

The national coordinator quoted Dr Sylvanus Okogbeni, Chief Medical Director, Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State, as confirming that two of the health workers affected were discharged on Monday.

He described the situation as sober, adding that it had resulted in serious emotional trauma, fear, anxiety and sometimes anger among stakeholders.

Nigerian Govt Blames Spread Of Lassa Fever On Doctors’ Carelessness

Ihekweazu said it was high time stakeholders addressed the challenges of hemorrhagic fevers, including Lassa fever.

 

  • WHO confirms three deaths in Taraba

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday confirmed that three persons died of Lassa fever in Taraba State.

A WHO Surveillance Officer, Dr. Bello Ahmed, disclosed this at a sensitisation workshop on Lassa fever in Jalingo, the state capital. The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Health.

Represented by Dr. Zeto Philip, the officer said 12 cases had been reported, three confirmed dead and three positive cases placed under close monitoring.

Bello, who said six local governments –Bali, Ibi, Gassol, Gashaka, Jalingo and Ardo-Kola – had been placed under red alert, explained that two deaths were recorded in Jalingo and one in Ardo-Kola, putting the state at 25 per cent infection rate.

The WHO representative explained that the survey was conducted between January 1 and January 28, with 367 contacts identified across the country.

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SSANU, NASU, NAAT Strike: FG Threatens To Invoke ‘No Work, No Pay’ On Non-Academic Workers

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The Federal Government has threatened that it will invoke Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act of the labour law against the three non-teaching staff of universities, who have been on strike since December last year.

The Joint Action Committee, JAC, which comprised Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; Non Academic Staff Union of Educational Institutions, NASU, and National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, had embarked on strike over alleged failure of government to keep its own part of the agreement with the unions.

Speaking with Vanguard on the protracted industrial action embarked upon by the non-teaching staff in the universities, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stated that the strike was illegal, claiming that the unions went contrary to the agreement reached by the two parties.

He said: “They are on strike and it is an illegal strike, because reached a collective bargaining agreement and then you were not quick in accessing the money and the other union, ASUU accessed plenty of it, about 70 per cent or 80 per cent of it, I don’t know, and then you return and say you are going on strike, it is illegal.

“We don’t want to bring hardship to homes but I am inviting them to come back because if they don’t come back, I will invoke Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, but I don’t want them to be the first group of unions that I will invoke that because if I do so, the story will not be palatable.”

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No, No To Cattle Colonies

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No, No To Cattle Colonies – Niyi Akinnaso

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Let me declare at the outset that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, is my friend. I also want to acknowledge the outstanding job he has been doing in the agricultural sector. But I disagree with his handling of the conflict between herdsmen and farmers. As a friend, I easily could have called him up on the phone to state my disagreement. However, the matter on which I disagree with him is a serious national issue, which is part of ongoing public discourse. I have contributed to the public discourse and this should be regarded as a continuation of that contribution.

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

I agree with the minister that livestock farmers and their cow herders need some assistance; but not for the reasons he gave and not in the manner he is now suggesting. The reason he gave amounts to nothing but buck passing, while the measure he suggested that the government should adopt is historically naive and politically incorrect.

The minister had argued that the ongoing rampage of farmlands and the killing of innocent farmers and their family members by Fulani herdsmen are due to the government’s failure to do for livestock farmers what the government had done for produce farmers: “Over the years, we have not done much to look seriously into the issue of livestock development in the country…we may have done enough for the rice farmer, the cassava farmer, the maize farmer, the cocoa farmer, but we haven’t done enough for herdsmen, and that inability and omission on our part is (sic) resulting in the crisis we are witnessing today.”

I understand the background to the minister’s statement. However, I wish he had not put it this way, because it not only wrongly passes the buck for the herdsmen’s misbehaviour to the government; it also sidetracks the reasons given by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and the affected herdsmen for their attacks on innocent farmers. Didn’t they argue that they killed in place of stolen cows? Isn’t there also the insinuation that part of Benue land belongs to the Fulani and, therefore, must be retrieved by force?

This land-grabbing project cannot be dismissed outright, when one considers the evidence at hand: According to Vanguard Newspaper, at least 17 of Benue’s 23 Local Government Areas have been plundered by the herdsmen “with over 4,000 lives lost and property estimated at N95bn lost” (Vanguard, January 14, 2018).

There is yet another reason Ogbeh’s statement was wrongheaded. It focused on appeasing the wrongdoers at the expense of the victims. Two immediate measures should have preceded any attempt to assist cow owners and their herders. First, the killer herdsmen should have been arrested and indicted for murder. Second, the victims should have been compensated. True, no compensation could adequately replace lost human lives; but at least, it will assuage the pain of their survivors. It is for this reason that the absence of a Federal Government representative at the mass burial of 73 victims on January 11, 2018, was a sad miscalculation.

While I agree with the minister that livestock farmers need some assistance, the proposed establishment of cattle colonies is yet another misadventure in the Federal Government’s attempt to assist cow owners and herders.

The proposal is wrong on many fronts. First, in terms of language and policy, the term, “cattle colonies”, is not politically correct. Political correctness is not just a matter of language choice. It also dictates that policies and measures would not be taken that could be construed as giving offence or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. It is in this sense that cattle colonies are even more repugnant than the earlier proposal of grazing land, and it will be rejected as vehemently as that proposal.

The idea of colonising other people’s land so that others will be able to raise their cattle on it seems to be oblivious to the history and consequences of the colonisation of Nigeria and the forced amalgamation of erstwhile independent nationalities, which underlies the ongoing clamour for restructuring the country.

It is insensitive of the Federal Government to make such a proposal at this time, given its unsatisfactory response to the demand for restructuring. To expect the states in the South and the Middle Belt, which are in the forefront of the call for restructuring, to assent to ceding their land to cattle is preposterous.

Besides, in this penultimate election year, when meaning is read into every measure or action taken by the government, the idea of cattle colonies rings a discordant note in the ears of those who heard about the Fulani expansionist project in Benue. Who knows what will happen to the colonies 50 years from now? Won’t the Fulani claim the land and even the state in which the colonies are located?

If this proposal had been discussed with the state governors, in whom land is constitutionally vested, according to the Land Use Act 1979, before going public with it, the Federal Government would have been properly advised to drop the idea. The ongoing public rejection of the proposal by many governors would have been avoided.

What is more, the Miyetti Allah in the North-East has now made a fool of the Federal Government over cattle colonies by turning around to accept ranching, provided the government can provide some kind of subsidy. On this column last week, I supported the idea of government subsidy, but not the way the Minister of Agriculture seems to be going about it (see, Ranching is the best solution, The PUNCH, January 23, 2018).

Rather than a direct involvement of the Federal Government with the cattle owners, such a subsidy should be given to the relevant states, just as the Federal Government did in 2016 when tomato farmers suffered heavy losses due to the infestation of their farms by Tuta Absoluta, otherwise known as tomato ebola.

The Federal Government’s vacillation on this issue has adversely affected public opinion about President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration. It will be a major development to the President’s advantage if he could follow through on his recent promise to put an end to the conflict between herdsmen and farmers. However he may want to go about the solution, it must be made clear to him that the idea of cattle colonies is out of the question.

This piece was written by Niyi Akinnaso. 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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Troops Arrest, Kill Chief Priest Of Wanted Militia Warlord During Raid On Benue Shrine

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The Army said its troops have arrested a native doctor, Tordue Gber (Tiv Swem), who allegedly acted as spiritual counselor to the wanted armed criminal militia, Akwazar Terwase (alias Gana), in Benue.

A statement by Brig.-Gen Sani Usman, the Director of Army Public Relations, on Tuesday, said the suspect was picked up in Tor-Dunga town in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state during a raid on his shrine.

Usman said troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade arrested Gber on Monday during the operation.

It will be recalled that Terwase was declared wanted by the security agencies and has been at large since 2016.

“Preliminary investigation shows that Tordue Gber (Tiv Swem) acts as spiritual counselor that provides Gana with “diabolical” powers and the shrine serves as hideout for wanted armed militia, meeting and planning point for operations and logistics base for the criminal armed militias that operate in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States.

“The native doctor was arrested along with one of his accomplice, Atoo Kuwe Francis, while planning to carry out an attack and abduct one Mr. Zaya at Tse Bente village in the same local government area,” he said.

The army spokesman, however, said Tordue was shot dead “during the struggle to disarm him.”

Usman said the troops recovered a locally fabricated pistol, two baretta Pistols, 11 rounds of 9mm ammunition, three motorcycles and assorted charms from the shrine

NAN quoted him as saying that troops recovered other items including clothings for concealing weapons, two mobile telephones and three power generators, amongst other items at the hideout.

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Apostle Suleman: Stephanie Otobo Reacts To Online Video, Vows To Mention Her Sponsors

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Stephanie Otobo, the alleged mistress of the founder of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Suleman Johnson, has reacted to a new video making the rounds on social media.

The Canada-based strip club singer, who had previously accused the cleric of having a sexual relationship with her and subsequently made a U-turn, vowed that she will name her sponsors who gave her money to blackmail the apostle.

TRENDING VIDEO: Stephanie Otobo Admits She Was Heavily Paid By Politicians To Blackmail Suleman

Otobo had on Saturday in Suleiman’s church in Auchi Edo State confessed that she lied against the pastor and sought for forgiveness.

She claimed that she was “heavily paid” by powerful politicians and some pastors to blackmail the Apostle.

However, a video where she accused Suleman of pressurising her to make a false confession did the rounds on social media on Tuesday.

But in a chat with Vanguard, Otobo denied being forced to beg Suleman, adding that she did so to have peace.

She also accused her alleged sponsors of blackmail, stating that they are circulating a video made in June 2017 in the Canada home of a certain Chidi, the guy she claimed was responsible for most of her videos last year, to discredit her.

Otobo said the well-rehearsed video was made as an insurance tool against her in the likely event that she ever exposed the plot by her manipulators.

According to her, “That video was made in June, 2017 and it was made by my manipulators so that they would have something against me in case I ever told the truth.”

She continued: “I was not lured, kidnapped, forced or paid to confess. I confessed for my own peace of mind and my wellbeing as a human being.”

“How much can the Apostle pay me that will match what I was paid, and I am still being offered more, by my sponsors?

“For those of you asking me to mention names, sure, I will mention names in court because they have been sending emails and texts offering me a lot of money but I cannot be manipulated anymore.”

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Conte Hails Barkley’s Fitness Level

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Antonio Conte has been left surprised by how quick Ross Barkley has regained his fitness, following a long-term injury layoff.

The former Everton man joined Chelsea for £15 million and was sidelined for eight months with hamstring problem.

Barkley was close to joining Chelsea in the offseason, but that deal fell through due to fitness issues.

“No, I thought I’d find a player who was not in good physical condition,” Conte said to reporters at Cobham Training Ground. “Instead, I was surprised to find a player in good physical condition. Yes, yes, a positive surprise. You saw that during the Arsenal game. He played.

“He was my first substitution after the Willian injury. My worry is not about his physical condition, but only to go into our idea of football, to understand the movement without the ball and with the ball. For this, he needs a bit of period to go into our idea of football. To understand this.

“My worry is not about his physical condition, but to get into our idea of football. Every player is desperate to play every game. I have to try to make the best decision for the team. Sometimes I’m forced to take decisions.

“But, I repeat, in this case I’m very happy. In my mind I thought that his physical condition was worse than the situation I found (when he came). When you arrive from a bad injury and didn’t play for six months, it’s not simple to recover very well the best form.

“But my players are working very well and I gave him the chance in the Carabao Cup against Arsenal, maybe because I was forced to do this. In a normal situation, I’d take more time with him. But the player is working very well. The player is working to come into our idea of football.

“Tomorrow I don’t know, but tomorrow he could be in contention to play. For sure, we have to put a part of the risk to push the player, to push the player to come into the team quickly. Because we need to do this. When you have Morata and Willian out through injury, we don’t have many solutions.

“I’m very happy because the player has great potentiality, and for sure he’s changing his way to play. Now he has to think, to think with the ball and without the ball.”

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

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  • Chelsea are on the verge of clinching the £18m signing of Olivier Giroud that will trigger Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Arsenal and Michy Batshuayi’s loan switch to Borussia Dortmund.
  • Jose Mourinho fears Alexis Sanchez’s huge salary at Manchester United will make him a target for opposition supporters.
  • Swansea City are breaking their transfer record to re-sign Andre Ayew in a deal worth up to £18m.
  • Newcastle are moving for Eliaquim Mangala and Islam Slimani.
  • Manchester United defender Daley Blind is a deadline day target for Roma.
  • Napoli have made a request to take Everton midfielder Davy Klaasen on loan for the rest of the season.
  • Nottingham Forest are in talks to sign Costel Pantilimon from Watford.
  • Newcastle United are hopeful of signing goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague on loan.
  • Mauricio Pochettino believes signing Lucas Moura is too good an opportunity to turn down.
  • Neymar has been urged to return to Spain by La Liga president Javier Tebas.
  • Manchester City will have to stump up £70m to land Riyad Mahrez before tonight’s transfer deadline.
  • Rafa Benitez held crisis talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley yesterday as the clock ticked on yet another bungled transfer window.
  • Celtic could land Scott Bain and solve their keeper crisis after a bid for Motherwell’s Trevor Carson ran into trouble.
  • Celtic remain keen on Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez as they desperately attempt to strengthen their options in goal.

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Bartra Joins Real Betis From Dortmund

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Marc Bartra has officially switched from Dortmund to Real Betis, joining for an undisclosed fee.

The former Barcelona defender returns to the La Liga from Germany, signing a five-and-a-half-year deal with Real Betis.

Bartra sustained an arm injury in the bomb attack on the team bus and returns home after a difficult time.

“I have no words to describe the moments and feelings that I have lived in only a year and a half,” he said in a statement released via his Twitter account.

“It has happened very fast but at the same time I feel like I had been [here] many more years. Everything has been very powerful and I have experienced amazing feelings, inside and offside [sic] the field.

“Thanks to my colleagues who welcomed me and gave me their love from the first to the last day. Thanks to the trainers who trust on [sic] me.

“Above all, millions of thanks to you, supporters. I would never have imagined feeling so much love… you are an example to everyone.

“I gave everything in every moment and we were able to achieve and celebrate a trophy together [last season’s DFB-Pokal].”

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Mourinho Promises To Give Rashford Chance

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Jose Mourinho has insisted that Rashford remains an integral part of the team, despite the addition of Alexis Sanchez.

Mourinho now has a plethora of attackers in his arsenal. With Lukaku, Martial, Mata and Lingard fighting for spots.

With the addition of Sanchez, Rashford’s starting berth comes under concern and Mourinho has promised to give him a chance.

“Marcus’ story is quite interesting because he started playing with Mr [Louis] Van Gaal, when the team was really in trouble, to have options,” said Mourinho.

“Then the monster that kills the little kids arrived, but he plays every game since then. He plays every game, starting or coming from the bench, as a striker, as a left winger, as a right winger. Then he goes to the national team.

“The kid is having a hell of an experience at every level, so an amazing future waits for him and being surrounded by these players can only help him. But the whole story of Marcus — will he get minutes and matches? — that story is really old, because he’s a very important player for us.”

Mourinho added: “In attack, it’s difficult for us to improve. Where are we going to get a better combination of players than we have? We cannot buy Lionel Messi, we cannot buy Cristiano Ronaldo – these are the best players of the last decade.

“Where can we get better players than Mata, Martial, Lingard, Rashford, Alexis, Lukaku? In attack, we have an amazing group of players.”

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Wenger: Aubameyang-Giroud Saga Will Be Solved On Wednesday

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Arsene Wenger has stated that the transfer saga involving Aubameyang and Giroud will become clearer on Wednesday.

Aubameyang is rumoured to be close to signing with Arsenal. And Giroud who came on in the second half of the loss to Swansea clapped the fans at full time.

The France international could join Chelsea or move to Dortmund, as part of Aubameyang’s deal. Wenger insist all will be clear by deadline day.

“It’s a possibility. All that will be decided tomorrow morning,” Wenger told Sky Sports when asked if the Swansea game was Giroud’s farewell appearance for the club.

“We will inform you once that is more definite.”

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