Manchester United Lacking Team Spirit- Ryan Giggs

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Ryan Giggs has suggested that the current squad are lacking the same team spirit which made the club so successful during his playing days.

Ryan Giggs won 34 trophies during his illustrious United career, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns, as they established themselves as the dominant force in English football under Sir Alex Ferguson.

However, the Red Devils have not won the league title since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and went through a trophyless 2017-18 campaign with Jose Mourinho at the helm.

“I think it always helps when you have the nucleus of players who know what the club is about or have been through the youth team. If you can get that then it is something very special. It doesn’t happen very often, for that reason it is very rare,” Giggs, who is now in charge of Wales, told ESPN.

“There was a really tight-knit group, not only the one’s who had known each other for a really long time but we had Roy KeaneOle Gunnar Solskjaerwho were a similar age and we had a really good team spirit.

“I think it is always important to have that, it doesn’t guarantee you success and if you don’t have that it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to win.”

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Dele Alli Insists He Won’t Lose His Temper At The World Cup

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Dele Alli insists he has no concerns about losing his cool at the World Cup this summer.

The England Midfielder has become a target as opposition players attempt to take advantage of his fiery streak.

But Alli, who claims he has never seen footage of David Beckham’s red card against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, expects his football to do the talking in Russia.

“I am a big believer that you have to make mistakes to learn from them,” the 22-year-old said.

“And, yeah, I feel I learned from the things I’ve done before, but it’s not -something I worry about at all.

“I haven’t seen the incident with -Beckham but, you know, I feel I’ve got -everything under control.

“That (opponents winding him up in Russia) is not going to be a problem.

“Obviously, I’ve done some things -before and people seem to think that will be a problem – but it’s not.”

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Santi Cazorla Training With Alaves Youth Team In Bid To Prove Fitness

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Former Arsenal Midfielder Santi Cazorla is training with the youth team of La Liga side Alaves as he bids to prove his fitness.

The Gunners confirmed last month that they would not be offering Cazorla, 33, an extension and that he would leave on the expiration of his contract.

Santi Cazorla had not played a game for the club since October 2016, having undergone 11 separate operations on an Achilles problem that nearly caused him to lose his foot.

Villarreal have also indicated a willingness to allow Cazorla to train with them over the summer though no club has as yet indicated they will offer him a new contract, something which Arsenal believed would be a major risk even after he returned to first-team training in the final weeks of last season.

Whilst Cazorla visits Mikel Sanchez, the surgeon responsible for his recovery, in the Basque Country he has taken the opportunity to train with one of the local teams.

“I am grateful to Alaves for the facilities they have offered to me,” Cazorla said.

“The facilities here are very good and they’re even doing work to improve them further.

“[The youth teams and I] have had a nice experience. I tried to make sure they enjoyed the experience.”

Cazorla evidently had an impact on the Alaves training pitches, with coach Inaki Alonso saying thanking him “for sharing, experiences, rondos [passing drills], high-performance sessions and even match preparation… Thank you for your gratitude to the boys.”

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Mohamed Salah Provides Positive Injury Update Ahead Of World Cup

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Mohamed Salah has posted a positive update on social media as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury.

Mohamed Salah  sustained the damage in his club side’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in last week’s Champions League final, initially putting his World Cup participation in doubt.

Egypt are hopeful that Salah will be able to play some part in the group stage, though, and the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner for 2017-18 also appears to be confident of making a swifter-than-expected return.

Alongside a photograph of him using a resistance band for his arms and shoulders, Salah posted the caption “good feelings”.

Salah smashed 44 goals in 52 games in all competitions, including 11 in the Reds’ dramatic journey to the Champions League final. 

His nation face Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Group A of the upcoming World Cup.

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My Arsenal Transfer Deal Is Not Done Yet – Stephan Lichtsteiner

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Juventus veteran full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner has insisted that his proposed move to Arsenal is not yet complete.

The 34-year-old will become a free agent once his contract in Turin expires this summer, and Arsenal are thought to be on the verge of agreeing to a one-year deal to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.

However, Stephan Lichtsteiner has revealed that he is yet to come to terms with the Gunners and admitted that anything can happen until he puts pen to paper.

“Nothing is finished yet. I cannot comment on the negotiations,” he told reporters in Switzerland.

“As long as nothing is completed, that is always interesting in football. I think we all know that.”

Lichtsteiner added that he did not yet know whether the move would be concluded before Switzerland’s World Cup campaign kicks off against Brazil on June 17, though Arsenal would want to have the switch done and dusted by then.

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France Dismiss Speculation That Zinedine Zidane Will Replace Dider Deschamps As Coach

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French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has played down rumours that Zinedine Zidane could replace Didier Deschamps as France manager.

“We start the World Cup with Didier. He signed a contract at least until 2020. And fortunately! Imagine if I didn’t do that… It’s better to be totally secure, the problem is not there now,” Le Graet told RMC.

“There will not be any talks with him [Zidane] in the coming year. If I see him, we can talk of course, but the Deschamps is here until 2020 or even beyond.”

Zidane, 45, stunningly resigned from Real Madrid last week after he lifted a third-successive Champions League title. This has caused speculation that a poor World Cup 2018 campaign for his fellow World Cup 1998 and Euro 2000 winner could lead to the sack.

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#WorldCupWith360nobs: Nigeria Boss Gernot Rohr Drops Ola Aina And Mikel Agu From World Cup Squad

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Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has dropped right-back Ola Aina and midfielder Mikel Agu on his final 23-man World Cup squad.

Neither player took part in the 2-1 friendly defeat to England at Wembley

“It’s Ola Aina and Mikel Agu,” Rohr told ESPN just before the team made their way to the airport on Sunday morning to leave for the final phase of their training camp in Austria.

“They will be on standby. We go with 23 players to Austria; if there is another problem or injury like happened four years ago when Elderson was injured, they will be on standby for that.”

Aina was in competition with Bryan Idowu and Elderson Echiejile for one left-back spot, while Agu had Joel Obi and John Ogun to contend with in midfield.

Nigeria play their last official friendly match against Czech Republic on June 6 before heading out to Russia where they will face Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in the Group stages.

FULL SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United).

Defenders: William Troost-Ekong and Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC), Leon Balogun (Brighton), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa).

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Joel Obi (Torino, Italy).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone).

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Corentin Tolisso Defends Paul Pogba After France Fans Continue To Jeer Him

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France midfielder Corentin Tolisso has hit out at the fans who jeered Paul Pogba during the 3-1 friendly win over Italy in Nice.

Paul Pogba was jeered after misplaced passes and was also barracked when he was taken off to be replaced by Steven N’Zonzi towards the end of the match.

Tolisso told reporters his fellow midfielder “had a good game” and urged supporters to stick with the team, whose win was secured by goals from Samuel Umtiti, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.

“Personally, when you witness this kind of whistling — and I also noticed some for Florian Thauvin — it’s exasperating, it annoys me,” the Bayern Munich player said.

“We’re France, we are all France players, we’re all fighting for our country and the fans there and we produced a very good performance.

“Paul had a good game, he worked hard. It hurts because I wouldn’t want to be whistled, even if I went to Saint-Etienne, as an ex-Lyon player.

“Fans need to realise this. We’re all in the same boat, and we have to all stick together.”

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Paul Pogba Needs To Raise His Game – Didier Deschamps

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France boss Didier Deschamps has said Paul Pogba “has to raise his level of play” after he was jeered by fans during Friday’s friendly win over Italy.

Paul Pogba was targeted after misplaced passes and barracked when he was taken off to be replaced by Steven N’Zonzi towards the end of the match.

But Deschamps backed Pogba, describing him as “indispensable” after the 3-1 victory in Nice.

“Not everything was successful, but he helped the team to be well organised,” he told Telefoot.

“I don’t question Paul’s potential. If I called him up, it’s because he’s indispensable for me.

“I know what he is capable of. He has to raise his level of play. I have confidence in him, as I do in my other players.”

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It’s No Secret, I’m Leaving Stoke City – Xherdan Shaqiri

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Xherdan Shaqiri wants to leave Stoke in the transfer window and would like to join a Premier League club, but would not dismiss a move elsewhere in Europe.

“It is no secret that I will leave the club,” he told Aargauer Zeitung. “I think the league is perfect for me. I would love to stay in England but I don’t want to rule anything out. It’s the best league with the best players.”

“Everyone wants to compete with the best, that was one reason why I chose the Premier League. And that’s why I want to take the next step now.”

Xherdan Shaqiri, who reportedly has a release clause of £13.5 million that has become active following Stoke’s drop to the second tier, is said to have attracted the interest of Everton.

Asked whether Stoke City had seen the best of him last season, the 26-year-old added: “The best? That is difficult to say. I have a very good season and am satisfied with my services, but the best Xherdan? Probably not.

“I’m disappointed we went down, that is normal, but I need not blame myself. I gave everything for the team, and we resisted the descent by all means, but unfortunately, we could not prevent it.

“Nobody wants to go down, of course. But first, there are worse things in life, and secondly, you can learn from such things. You have to draw the right conclusions for the future.”

Shaqiri’s immediate focus is on Switzerland’s World Cup preparations, with friendlies against Spain and Japan to come before they begin their campaign in Russia against Brazil on June 17.

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Thomas Muller Not Thinking About Leaving Bayern Munich Anytime Soon

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Thomas Muller has said he could be tempted by a new challenge at some point but stressed that he is not considering any imminent move from Bayern Munich.

Thomas Muller, who has spent his entire career at Bayern, told Welt Am Sonntag that a change of scene could be “attractive.”

The Germany international, 28, has previously been linked with Manchester United.

“Another task would certainly be interesting and attractive,” he said. “If the situation is different, a lot can happen.

“Basically, it is very difficult to get away from Bayern. Currently, I have no thoughts to do something else.”

Muller did not play in his country’s 2-1 defeat in a rain-delayed friendly in Austria on Saturday but is expected to do so against Saudi Arabia on Friday.

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Brazil’s Coach Tite Not Surprised By Manchester United’s Interest In Fred

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Brazil coach Tite is not surprised Jose Mourinho wants to bring Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred to Manchester United. 

Shakhtar and United remain in advanced talks over Fred and negotiations are progressing well.

Fred featured as an 82nd-minute substitute in Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Croatia at Anfield on Sunday.

Tite is keen for Fred’s future to be resolved so the 25-year-old can concentrate on the World Cup.

“When this happens, and it is inevitable, they are going to come to us and our advice to them is resolve this as soon as you can so your head is back with us and focusing on the national team,” Tite said.

The Selecao boss later added: “If I was a manager I’d ask to sign him as well.”

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Stoke City’s Ramadan Sobhi Set To Join Huddersfield Town

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Stoke City midfielder Ramadan Sobhi has been released by the Egypt FA to hold talks and have a medical ahead of a move to Huddersfield Town

Ramadan Sobhi played in Egypt’s 0-0 draw with Colombia in Italy on Saturday but has been allowed to make a brief return to England to complete his move.

The Egypt FA confirmed: “Ramadan Sobhi is undergoing a medical screening to move to Huddersfield Town and will return (to Italy) this afternoon.”

Sobhi joined Stoke from Egyptian champions Al Ahly for about £5m in 2016, with excited supporters insisting he was the hottest property to come out of North Africa since former Tottenham striker Mido.

The 21-year-old scored twice and added one assist in 24 Premier League appearances last season.

A move to Huddersfield would allow Sobhi to remain in the Premier League following Stoke’s relegation.

He will become Wagner’s second signing of the transfer window.

Goalkeeper Ben Hamer completed a switch from Leicester this week.

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Samuel Umtiti Signs New Five-year Contract Extension With Barcelona

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Samuel Umtiti has extended his stay at Barcelona, signing a new deal which runs for five seasons until the 2022/23 season.

Samuel Umtiti, 24, only joined Barca two years ago but his €60 million release clause left the club worrying that he could be tempted by the money on offer in the Premier League.

“FC Barcelona and Samuel Umtiti have reached an agreement to extend the player’s contract for a further five seasons through to 2022-23,” a statement said.

“The Frenchman will be putting pen to paper on Monday in the Josep Sunol lounge at Camp Nou. He will then speak to the media in the Ricard Maxenchs pressroom.”

Barca have not yet revealed how much Umtiti’s new release clause will be but we have learnt it will be “significantly more” than the current €60m.

Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe last week, Umtiti said: “It is clear that I want to renew my contract at Barcelona and I hope to be with the team next season.

“I’m at a club that allowed me to realise my dream of playing there.

“I’m still under contract at the moment. So for me to leave, either they throw me out the door or I decide to leave

Umtiti joined Barca for €25m from Lyon in 2016 and he quickly established himself alongside Pique in the middle of the back four.

During his two seasons at the club, he has made 83 appearances in all competitions, helping the club win La Liga once and the Copa del Rey twice.

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

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  • Manchester United are preparing to bring Gareth Bale back to the Premier League and combine the Wales international in a forward line with last season’s high-profile attacking signings, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.
  • Jose Mourinho has put Paris Saint-Germain’s £75m star Marco Verratti on his list of targets.
  • Manchester United are also ready to test Fulham’s resolve with a £50m offer for Ryan Sessegnon.
  • Bayern Munich will watch England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at the World Cup – as question marks grow over Manuel Neuer’s future.
  • Valencia striker Rodrigo is open to a move to the Premier League and could interest Arsenal.
  • Manchester City held further talks with Leicester on Friday as they stepped up their efforts to sign Riyad Mahrez.
  • West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore is a £10m target for Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace.
  • Joe Hart has been left in a transfer limbo because of his £150,000 weekly wage at Manchester City, with Sporting Lisbon the latest club to pull out of a move for financial reasons.
  • Everton’s new manager Marco Silva will make a move for Celta Vigo midfielder Daniel Wass, who is available for £5m because he has only one year left on his contract.
  • Wolves are weighing up selling striker Benik Afobe to Stoke to take a quick profit on the player they only signed from Bournemouth last week.
  • Cardiff are set to make a bid for Everton striker Oumar Niasse, looking at a year-long loan with obligation or option to buy.
  • Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is keen on a loan deal for Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.
  • Middlesbrough want Switzerland striker Michael Frey in a £2m deal from FC Zurich.
  • Unai Emery wants to make Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi one of his first Arsenal signings this summer.
  • New Everton boss Marco Silva has been told by Watford to forget about launching a bid for Richarlison.
  • Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are all hot on the trail of £20m-rated PSV Eindhoven striker Steven Bergwijn.
  • Leeds waited to sack Paul Heckingbottom to save themselves £500,000 in compensation – he would have been due £1m if dismissed before the start of June.
  • Norwich and Swansea are keen on Liverpool’s Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward.
  • West Ham have issued a “hands-off” warning to Manchester United over their pursuit of Marko Arnautovic.
  • John Toshack is in the frame for a return to international management with Cameroon, being on a four-man shortlist for the job along with Lothar Matthaus.
  • West Ham will head the chase for Jack Wilshere if he leaves Arsenal.
  • John Terry could have banked a £4m bonus if Aston Villa had been promoted last weekend.
  • Anthony Martial is pushing Manchester United to indicate whether they want to keep him in the long-term.
  • Gareth Bale is prepared to keep Manchester United waiting for a decision on his future until he sees who is going to replace Zinedine Zidane in the hotseat at Real Madrid.
  • Jurgen Klopp has emerged as the first choice of Real Madrid fans to be the successor to Zinedine Zidane as manager.
  • Brighton are ready to increase their offer to Sunderland for winger Paddy McNair to £5m.
  • Wayne Rooney’s move to MLS with DC United could be finalised on Monday.
  • Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has made the loan signing of striker Dominic Solanke his number one priority.
  • Ally McCoist has emerged as a shock contender to be the new St Mirren boss.
  • Livingston want to speak to free agent Kenny Miller about their vacant manager’s position.
  • Coleraine boss Oran Kearney is vying with Ally McCoist to become the new St Mirren manager.

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Tekno Signs Deal With Universal Music Group, Island Records

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Famous Nigerian singer and music producer, Tekno has signed an international deal, this time a joint partnership with Universal music group (UMG) Nigeria and Island Records UK.

The PANA crooner, who just welcomed a baby girl with his girlfriend Lola Rae, signed the deal on Thursday, May 31.

SMADE Entertainment Welcomes Wizkid, Mr Eazi, Tekno, Maleek Berry And Tiwa Savage To London For The Biggest Afro Republik Concert

Tekno Signs Deal With Universal Music Group, Island RecordsUMG Nigeria also shared the news on social media on Friday with the caption:

“Welcome @teknoofficial to the @umgnigeria & @islandrecordsuk Family 🕺🏾🕺🏾🕺🏾#TeknoIsUniversal “.

The deal is coming on the back of another Universal marquee signing, as renowned Bantu crooner, Mr. Eazi also recently signed a licensing deal with international platform, Columbia Records UK.

The deal introduces Tekno and his unique brand of music to new and exciting markets and this further re-establishes him as one of Africa’s biggest singer, song writer and producer.

Amazing!!! Wizkid, Iwobi, Davido, Victor Moses, Tekno, All In One Amazing Video

Universal Music Group (also known in the United States as UMG Recordings, Inc. and abbreviated as UMG) is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi.

They are often referred to as the world’s leading music group.

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Houses Burnt As Herdsmen Kill 7, Injure 6 In Fresh Benue Attack

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The Chairman, Kwande Local Government Council of Benue, Terdoo Kenti, has confirmed the killing of seven persons and injury of six others by suspected herdsmen.

Mr Kenti also told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone on Sunday, June 3, in Makurdi that the attackers also abducted a woman during the incident on Saturday night at Tseadough village.

Buhari Fears APC May Not Match Opposition’s Financial Power In 2019

Tseadough is a village in Mbachom, Yaav Council Ward near Jato Aka, the ancestral home of Tiv people in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue.

He added that the attackers also burnt down several houses in the community.

Mr Kenti said that the yet to be identified gunmen came unnoticed on the fateful night.

According to him, the remains of the victims have been deposited at the mortuary while those with various degrees of machete wounds were taken to hospital for treatment.

He appealed to the people to remain calm in spite of the unprovoked attack and warned against any form of reprisal, adding that security agencies had been informed of the incident.

10 Boko Haram Fundamentalists Killed In Borno

Besides, the chairman said that all relevant authorities had been briefed over the incident.

(NAN)

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Kanayo O Kanayo, Banky W, Michelle Dede, TBoss, Rahama Sadau, Others Star In New Movie, ‘Up North’

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Kanayo O. Kanayo, Banky W, Michelle Dede, T Boss and Rahama Sadau have been revealed as some of the faces that will star in the forthcoming Anakle Films and Inkblot productions Up North .

Up North is the coming of age story of a young rebellious heir whose NYSC year doesn’t go quite as planned. Shot in Lagos and Bauchi, Up North explores Love, friendship and family politics all of which collide, creating memories to last a lifetime.

Tope Oshin is directing the film from a script by Naz Onuzo and Bunmi Ajakaiye. The original story was by Editi Effiong.  Up North also features Hilda Dokubo, Akin Lewis and Ibrahim Onimisi-Suleiman.

See some Behind The Scenes pictures below

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Nollywood Dominated By Lesbians, Gays

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The former President of the Association of Movie Producers in Nigeria, Paul Obazele, has opened a can of worms about the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood); revealing that lesbian and gay movie producers are the ones ruling the industry.

According to The Punch, the ace actor said it was unfortunate that gay and lesbian movie producers are the ones calling the shots in the movie scene, adding that while he was the president of the association, he tried his best to curtail their activities but to no avail.

His words: “I would not lie, we have gay producers and lesbians in the Nigerian entertainment industry and they are the people in control. Why are we hiding it? When I was president of the Association of Movie Producers, I was against them. Why are we pretending that it does not happen? If you mention the names of some producers, I would gladly tell you if they are gay or not; they cannot do anything to me. If they bring a war to me, I would take it to their doorsteps.

“I do not give into gossips but I have got to a place in my life when some unsolicited pieces of information come to me. They must tell me. I am an elder in this industry and that is why I said if you mention names, I would tell you if the person is gay or not. It does not elude us; it happens within our rank and file. But like I always say, sex is not the ultimate step to attaining success, it is hard work.”

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Mustapha Akanbi: Tributes Pour In For Ex-Court of Appeal President And ICPC Chair Who Died, Aged 84

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Tributes have begun to pour in for Justice Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi, a former President of the Court of Appeal and Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) who is reported to have died.

According to reports on the internet, Akanbi died about 1am on Sunday morning in Ilorin, Kwara State.

His son, Kabir Akanbi, also confirmed the death to The Nation newspaper.

He will be buried later on Sunday according to Islamic rites.

Born in September 1932, Mr Akanbi was called to the English Bar in 1963. He was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar in January 1964 and joined the Ministry of Justice where he became a Senior State Counsel in 1968.

He was until his death on Sunday an elder statesman and respected opinion moulder.

He was aged 85.

Meanwhile, tributes have begun to pour in form him.

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Buhari Fears APC May Not Match Opposition’s Financial Power In 2019

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday expressed fears that the opposition in the country has stupendous resources at its disposal in preparation for the 2019 elections which the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, may not be able to match.

The president also stated that from different angles, the opposition was sponsoring mischief against his government which could not be absolutely stopped.

He was speaking at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday while receiving the Buhari Media Organisation.

Buhari said: “I don’t think I can thank you enough for your steadfastness under very difficult circumstances. It is not easy to defend this administration and more in particular to defend me. But your consistency has given me a lot of confidence. And I know you are doing it as a sacrifice both physical, mental and material.

“Because, as I keep on saying, the opposition now are sitting on incredible resources which I am afraid we might not match it at all. For that reason the opposition is sponsoring mischief from different angles which in spite of the incumbency of government we cannot absolutely stop. It is you that are fighting it and I cannot thank you enough for that.”

He once again referred to the overthrow of his military government in 1985 and how he spent one and a half years in detention.

“Most of the people I jailed had given back all what they have taken before I was jailed. I spent 18 months in detention and luckily they did not find anything against me and I was released,” he said.

“But my problem was that there was a journalist from Edo State, I have forgotten his name now, he wrote that my mother had to die to save me. Because I was only released when my mother died to go and bury her, of course you know according to the Muslim tradition you are buried where you die.

“So I can remember most of you here sitting, the sacrifices you have made in terms of materialism even losing friends to continue to support me. I have been here for three years, you have proven to people that you are not here for material things, your opinion is out of sacrifice and the strength of the moral courage you have is the the strength of the physical, it is the strength of losing the friends you have.

“I am sure you are being asked, this support you are busy giving Buhari what the hell do you get out of it? And that is why I commend your steadfastness and I am very grateful for it. And in this country whether people like it or not, they will remain grateful for your courage because you have the courage to do the research, take your time to reply mischivious representation and we are very grateful.”

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5,000 Debtors Go Into Hiding As AMCON Vows To Release Names In July

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Over 5,000 debtors in the books of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) have gone into hiding making it difficult for the corporation to trace them, but it has vowed to release the list of all the debtors in July.

AMCON was established by the Federal Government in 2010 to buy bad debts from banks and ensure stability in the financial sector.

But the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, at a press briefing in Lagos on Friday, stated that the corporation bought 14,000 non-performing loans, adding, “We borrowed money to buy those loans; so, we also are struggling to pay back the loans.”

He also said, “There are quite a lot of obligors that cannot pay because they don’t have the ability to pay. Quite a lot of them have gone into hiding. More than 4,000 to 5,000 (of the debtors) and that was why, if you recall, not long ago, we had to do some substituted service because some of them have decided to change their addresses.

“And there was even an instance where someone’s house, was number 19, he legally removed it to plot 2015. If we looked for him, we will not find him, because he has changed his address.”

“One basic information that is required is the address because when you are going to recover money, the first thing is: what is the person’s address? We bought 14,000 loans, and when you talk about 14,000 businesses and individuals, it is not a small number.

“In AMCON, we are less than 400 workers. So, it is not possible for 400 people to pursue 14,000 businesses; so we have given out more 7,000 of those accounts to the asset management partners.”

“The import of our advert is that hiding will not help; we just want to talk to you. We are not the EFCC. To borrow money is not criminal; we must take money from banks. However, what you do after is what will make it criminal. Most loans are taken from depositors’ money.”

“It is simple logic, if you do not pay, banks need to collect their money for them to pay depositors. So, we must meet our obligations.”

Kuru said the corporation will by next month be releasing the names of debtors to the press, and the obligations standing against their names.

“But we decided last week that we will give them a last chance, and take this as a final notice. You have N10 billion obligation, and you want to be a senator. Fine, you may not have N10 billion to pay me. But let us sit down and have understanding. I will pay you in two years, or I will pay you in five years. There is no body to give N2 billion or N30 billion today.  But sit down with us and explain how you want to pay. They are just looking the other way and want to take responsibility as leaders. I do not think it is fair”.

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Tobi Speaks On Leaked Semi-Nude Photo Of Himself And Alex In Bed

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Former Brother Naija 2018 housemate, Tobi Bakre, has denied knowledge of the semi-nude picture of him and Alex which has gone viral on the Internet recently.

#BBNaija’s Tobi Reveals Why A Relationship With Alex Won’t Work Now

Speaking with The Punch, Tobi said:

“I don’t know of any picture. There are usually a lot of things written about me online; so, I don’t usually have the time to keep up or comment on things I don’t know about.”

“Nothing has changed about my relationship with Alex. We are still good friends; that’s what it is and that’s what it will always be. I know that media usually links our name together but right now, I am focused on work.

“I am still close to former housemates that I see regularly such as Miracle and Alex. I only see Teddy A and Bambam once in a while but it’s all good vibes with everybody.”

On the lessons he has learnt upon leaving the Big Brother house, he said:

“Within two months that I got out of the house, I have learnt several things and I try to stay around people with positive energy. I have learnt to keep my personal life private. It’s not everything about you that the world has to know.”

“Fame is fleeting and it can be gone at anytime. While you’re out there, try to add value and impact the lives of people; let people know what you stand for. Of course, I want to entertain people, but I also want to make impact on the world. I believe I should be able to inspire people out there and teach them some life lessons.”

Talking about his immediate plans for his career, Tobi said:

“Right now, I have five major projects that I’m working on. The major one is my photo exhibition which would hold soon. I am also going to be starting my Youtube show – Tobi Live – soon. It’s going to involve me sitting down with respected individuals to deliberate on topical issues. I also have a social initiative where I’m partnering with some people and organisations. We would go to schools to teach children about crafts and how to monetise their creativity.”

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10 Boko Haram Fundamentalists Killed In Borno

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The troops of the Nigerian Army have killed no less than 10 Boko Haram Islamist fundamentalists during an operation at Ngelkona in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State.

Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director Public Relations of the Nigerian Army’s Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, confirmed the operation on Saturday in Maiduguri, the state capital, This Day reports.

According to him, the operation was conducted by troops of 153 Task Battalion with the support of the Cameroonian Defence Forces deployed in Operation Lafiya Dole at about 11:30 a.m.

He said: “The terrorists, who were mounted on horse-back were overpowered by the troops in a fierce shootout, as the gallant troops killed the insurgents and recovered two AK 47 rifles from them.

“Other items recovered from the insurgents include one Boko Haram flag, a set of bow and arrows, two mobile handset and one Cameroonian International Passport.

“In a separate clearance operation, troops of 82 Task Force Battalion of Operation Lafiya Dole on Saturday night attacked and routed fleeing elements of Boko Haram insurgents at Ngoshe in Gwoza Local Government Area.

“During the attack, troops killed one insurgent and recovered one AK 47 rifle, 41 rounds of locally fabricated ammunition and four Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

“The recovered IEDs have been safely defused by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.”

“In another operational encounter, troops of 27 Task Force Battalion of Operation Lafiya Dole, on a long range fighting patrol, on Friday 1st June 2018 successfully conducted a raid operation on Boko Haram camp in Yaridiri forest in Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe state.

“During the raid, the superior fire power of the troops forced the insurgents to flee in disarray with gunshot wounds, abandoning a huge sum of money and several other items.”

He added that the troops also recovered three AK 47 rifle magazines, 21 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition, a motorcycle and two mobile handsets.

The troops also recovered the N2,280,000 from the hideout.

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I Have Never Had Issues With Pawpaw – Aki

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Popular Nollywood actor Chinedu Ikedieze, aka Aki, has dismissed rumour of a rift with his fellow colleague Osita Iheme, aka Pawpaw.

Before now, the two actors were inseparable in movies and people loved them together but soon they started doing things differently, which made the public to conclude that they had irreconcilable differences.

However, in a chat with The Punch, Aki insisted there was no time he fought Pawpaw.

His words: “I just finished shooting a film with my friend, Pawpaw. We have not been working together like in the past because we are both engaged in different projects. I am still shooting The Johnsons family series.”

“When they gave us a month break, I quickly went to shoot two films with Pawpaw. I have kept many producers waiting, but some of them looked for other options. I am busy; Pawpaw is busy too. We don’t have any problem.”

“I don’t like people carrying rumours, which explains why I don’t grant interviews any longer. The chemistry between me and Pawpaw is still there on and off the screen as he is more like a brother to me.”

“I only have weekends to rest because of my workload. Whenever I find time to rest, I just stay indoors with my family. I also play games too. I stopped going to clubs years ago. I cannot be clubbing every weekend when I have a family at home. I have to respect my old age.”

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