Infantino Hails NFF, Opens Up On VAR At Russia 2018, African Side Winning World...

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who condoled with the Nigeria Football Federation and the family of Kano Pillars defender Chinedu Udoji who died in a car accident on Sunday night, spoke at the post-FIFA Executive Football Summit press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, touching on several important football issues…
NFF Presentation:
I will start by commending the support that we got from the NFF for this programme. Excellent work was done by the NFF team to facilitate the holding of the Summit and FIFA is grateful for this. The presentation by the NFF President was brilliant, and it captured the great work that the administration has done over the past two years. The plan for Mini-Secretariats and Football Pitches in all the States of Nigeria deserves applause and support of everyone involved in Nigerian Football.
FIFA Executive Football Summit:
The Summits are the lifeblood with which we intend to run the game henceforth. Each is a meeting of between 15 and 20 Presidents and General Secretaries of Member Associations drawn from three confederations. Here, we had people from Europe, Concacaf and of course Africa. We discussed the future of youth competitions, including the idea of increasing participating teams for the finals of the boys and girls’ events, and to make it annual instead of biennial. However, it would now be one championship and not of different ages.
Nigeria, having won the FIFA U17 World Cup an unparalleled five times and been at every youth tournament for the girls, is one of the foremost countries in world football with regards to youth competitions. We praise the commitment of the Government and people of Nigeria to youth competitions and football generally.
We also discussed a possible World League for the women, whose idea will be developed and presented very soon, and of course we discussed the Football Development Programme as well as the eligibility of players and issues around transfer of players.
Video Assistant Referee at Russia 2018:
This is not cast in stone, as the meeting of IFAB (International Football Association Board) of March 3 will take a decision on this. The signs are positive. I used to be sceptical about the VAR but statistics now show 99% perfection, which is better than when we started. I think that even at the FIFA World Cup, players and nations will prefer to wait a few seconds to confirm the authenticity of an important decision rather than live with the pain for the rest of their lives. The minutes needed to avoid the clear mistake of a referee are no more than what is usually wasted deliberately or spent attending to a player badly tackled.
An African Country Winning The World Cup:
There has been incredible progress made over the years in the game everywhere, not only the strong nations. And at the last World Cup in Brazil, we saw four-time winners Italy and 1966 champions England sent packing by Costa Rica. So much is now possible and there are a couple of strong African teams heading to Russia. My objective at FIFA is to develop football at the highest level around the world and in all places. We will begin to see the results of this investment very soon.
Plans for Women’s Football:
I have talked about the plan for the World Women’s League. We are also increasing the investment in the women’s game and also to generally encourage the other confederations to start continental competitions for women clubs. Only in Europe do we have this presently.
Constant Crises in African Football Administration:
FIFA is really concerned because this should not be the case. Football is peace; football is love so we don’t want to see crises. We are working and talking with African Governments to avoid interference in football administration. Now, the message is clear that FIFA would not tolerate this. We are also working with Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda who is also President of African Union, to launch a number of projects shortly to drive home this message.
Enforcement of Rules on Transfer of Players:
The rules are there and they must be enforced with new vigour. We need to make the system simpler and clearer. For me, the solidarity and training compensation should be paid upfront before a transfer can happen. We are looking critically at this because even though it may not be a high percentage, it means a lot to the clubs that train the players.
How Ready Is Russia for the World Cup?
I met with President Putin a few days ago and I can tell you that Russia is 99 per cent ready for the 21st FIFA World Cup. Of course, there are a few paintings to be done and some bolts and knots to be tied in some venues, but on the whole they are ready.
We are going to have a great FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.

CAFCC: Akwa United Stun Banjul Hawks In Gambia, Advance

By Adeboye Amosu: Akwa United capped a great day for Nigerian clubs on the continent as they secured their passage into the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup after a 2-0 win against Banjul Hawks of Gambia at the Independence Stadium, Bakau, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Promise Keepers who lost the first leg 2-1 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo qualified on a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.
Cyril Olisema scored a brace for Abdu Maikaba’s men in the keenly contested encounter.
Olisema scored the opener in the 36th minute and got the decisive second goal ten seconds after the break.
It is the first time the Nigeria Federation Cup winners will make it to the first round of the competition after losing to Vita club Mokanda of Congo in their debut appearance two years ago.
The Uyo club will face Al Ittihad of Libya in the first round in March.
Al Ittihad will host the first leg in Tripoli, while the reverse fixture will be staged in Uyo a fortnight later.
Two other Nigerian clubs MFM FC and Plateau United also booked their passage into the next round in the CAF Champions League on Wednesday.

Getting it right with THE GENIE on Soul Conversation

By Chris Onuoha
Changing the landscape of the Nigeria music industry to infuse good music and thoughtfully crafted lyrics to go with it will be the vital narrative point that will be on discuss as Bola Sonola, ‘The Genie’ of Smooth Fm Radio, Lagos champions a new cause to reposition the music industry in the country.
The Genie
With the theme; “The SOUL Conversations with The Genie,” to hold on Sunday, February 25, he will lead some entertainment stakeholders, artistes and media personalities, in an atmosphere of talk, dance, drink and merry that is expected to re-address and create a new platform to showcase talents in its proper direction.
The SOUL Conversations with The Genie, the anchor man of the famous soulful Smooth 98.1 FM’s Sunday brunch is a series of pop up events created for Nigerian soul artistes and the lovers of soul music who would love to see them perform every last Sunday of the month. He has always championed soul music and sees this as an opportunity to discus and chart the way forward for the Nigerian music industry.
“There is a lot of soul artists in Nigeria who are not getting a look inwards, and the SOUL Conversations would serve as a platform to help them showcase their music and help build a viable soul music scene. Not all artistes want to be a Wizkid, Olamide or Davido. I also frown at the term Alternative Music. I think we need to stop creating genres that don’t make sense. There is Soul, Jazz, R&B, Reggae, Gospel, Hi Life, Juju, Sakara and Fuji. People now want to create a genre called Alternative Music and put Soul and R&B under it,” The Genie said.
He said that not everyone is averse to the popular Naija hip-hop scene that is largely about the beats with no meaningful lyrics that would have a lasting impression on the music lovers of today.
The Genie on a personal note expressed his displeasure on the raving acronym ‘OAP’ On-air-personality among the new generation broadcasters as not appropriate. According to him, it stands for ‘Old Aged Pensioner’ which has no bearing to broadcasting parlance.
“A lot of people have gatecrashed the broadcasting profession come on air open the microphone and spew a lot of nothingness. And some don’t even have a personality on-air. I would prefer to stick on ‘Radio Presenter of Host than being called OAP. It is all about the fame these days and not the tenets of the profession.”
Performing on the billing are Asikey George, Maka, Omotayo and Isaac Gerald. Dropping some knowledge in the form of spoken word is Torpedo Mascaw and DJ LINK will fly in from London to get you to move and groove to some lush soul and old school classics.
The post Getting it right with THE GENIE on Soul Conversation appeared first on Vanguard News.

Rohr To Update World Cup List With Poland, Serbia Friendlies; Monitors Ezenwa, Simon

By Adeboye Amosu: Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr says next month’s friendly fixtures against Poland and Serbia present a big opportunity for players to stake claims for spots in his final squad ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The three-time time African champions will face Poland in Warsaw on March 23rd and take on Serbia four days later in London.
Three other build-up games against Congo, England and Czech Republic are also lined up for May 28, June 2nd and June 6th respectively.
Rohr stated that he has pencilled down a list of 28 players for two friendlies and hopes the players push hard to make the final list for the mundial.
“In the next couple of weeks we will release a list of 28 players for the friendly games against Poland and Serbia. We still have one or two players that we want to check on before coming out with the list,” the German coach told CSN at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Wednesday.
“Moses Simon has been injured a couple of weeks now and we expect that he will be back in action for his club (Gent of Belgium) this weekend.
“There is also Ezenwa who is injured at the moment but is working hard to be fit.
“The games against Poland and Serbia is a big chance for the new players to show they have what it takes to play for us. As you know the next game will be in May so now is time for everyone who want to go to Russia to prove their quality.
“The two games are also important for us because the last time we played together was in November against Argentina. So, it will be an opportunity to work together again before the World Cup.
“In May, we will release another 30-man list for the other friendly games from which we will draw the final list for the World Cup.”
The Super Eagles will open their campaign at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on June 16 against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium.
They will also face Iceland on June 22 at the Volgograd Arena. Their final group game is against Argentina on June 26 at the Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg.

Dana Air: AIB sends team to investigate incident at Port Harcourt airport

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the spokesperson for the bureau, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, confirmed the development to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday. The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has dispatched investigators to Port Harcourt Airport to investigate the incident involving a Dana aircraft, which overshot the runway of the airport on Tuesday.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the spokesperson for the bureau, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, confirmed the development to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.The AIB is an agency of government that investigates accidents and serious incidents under the enabling Act of 2006, in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annexe 13.It will be recalled that 49 persons escaped death after the aircraft which flew from Abuja to Port Harcourt skidded off the runway when landing.Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), had said the incident was suspected to have been caused by heavy rain, which was accompanied by strong wind and storm in Port Harcourt.She said in the statement that no casualty was recorded, as all passengers and crew on board were safely evacuated.Similarly, Dana Air in a statement signed by its Communications Manager, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, also confirmed the incident.“On Feb. 20, our aircraft (9J0363) operating the ​Abuja​ – Port Harcourt route ​skidded off​ the runway ​at​ the Port Harcourt International Airport, as a result of the ​bad weather ​and torrential rain at the time of landing.“No casualty was recorded and all passengers and crew disembarked safely.“We commend the pilot in-command who was able to control the aircraft to a complete stop, before passengers and crew disembarked.`We also wish to applaud the captain for exhibiting the highest safety standards and handling the situation professionally,’’ the airline said.

In Lagos: Housemaid steals employer’s N460, 000 jewellery, others, bolts to home state

The accused was arraigned before the the Magistrate, Mrs E. Kubeinje, on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, felony and stealing. A 21-year-old housekeeper, Janet Igwe Ogbu, who allegedly stole  her employers’ property including jewellery valued at N460,250, is facing trial at an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.The accused was arraigned before the the Magistrate, Mrs E. Kubeinje, on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, felony and stealing.Janet, who resides with her employer, however, pleaded not guilty and was admitted to a bail of N100,000 with two sureties.Kubeinje said the sureties should be gainfully employed with an evidence of two years tax payments to the Lagos State Government.According to the Prosecutor, Police Sgt. N. Kenrich, the accused committed the offences between Nov. 12 and Dec. 1, 2017 at Magodo Phase 1, Lagos.He told the court that the accused, who is from Benue, conspired with another man still at large to steal some property including jewellery valued at N460, 250 belonging to the complainants — Mr and Mrs Alex Taiwo.“The accused stole N150, 000 cash, a Samsung S5 phone valued at N85, 000, N120, 000, a suit case worth N25, 250 and jewellery worth N80, 000, totalling  N460, 250 and ran to Benue.”Kenrich said the accused, who again stole in Benue, was re-arrested and brought back to Lagos to face the music.The offences violated Section 287 (7) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the section stipulates seven years imprisonment for offenders.The magistrate has fixed March 14 for further hearing.

Tech: YouTube and Facebook promoted a right-wing conspiracy about a Florida shooting survivor (GOOG)

Far-right outlets have said the video is proof the teenager is a paid actor.
YouTube promoted a video featuring a conspiracy theory claiming that one of the survivors of the school shooting last week in Parkland, Florida, is a paid actor.
Facebook also promoted the conspiracy in its trending news section. The company says it will remove hoax content related to the survivors.
The YouTube video was first in the site’s list of trending videos Wednesday morning. It was later removed.
YouTube and Facebook continue to struggle with people gaming their sites to spread false news.
YouTube on Wednesday promoted a video claiming to show evidence that one of the survivors of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is a paid actor. The video appeared in the top position in the site’s trending section on Wednesday morning before being removed from the section later in the morning after several news stories and tweets about it started to spread.
The video shows a local news clip featuring David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who has made several news appearances over the past few days calling for gun control. The segment comes from a CBS Los Angeles newscast from last summer that shows Hogg telling a reporter how he got into an argument with a lifeguard. Conspiracy theorists say the clip is proof that Hogg shows up in media appearances as a paid actor.
Searching for Hogg’s name on YouTube also brought up a large number of conspiracy videos as the top results.
A YouTube representative told Business Insider in a written statement that the conspiracy video made it to the top of the site’s trending section by mistake, slipping through the site’s safeguards because it contained a clip from an “authoritative news source.”
Here’s YouTube’s statement:
“This video should never have appeared in Trending. Because the video contained footage from an authoritative news source, our system misclassified it. As soon as we became aware of the video, we removed it from Trending and from YouTube for violating our policies. We are working to improve our systems moving forward.”
As for the conspiracy videos that were showing up in YouTube search results, a company spokeswoman sent a followup statement that said changes to the site’s search algorithm designed to promote news from authoritative sources doesn’t always work.
Here’s that second statement from YouTube:
“In 2017, we started rolling out changes to better surface authoritative news sources in search results, particularly around breaking news events. We’ve seen improvements, but in some circumstances these changes are not working quickly enough. In addition, last year we updated the application of our harassment policy to include hoax videos that target the victims of these tragedies. Any video flagged to us that violates this policy is reviewed and then removed. We’re committed to making more improvements throughout 2018 to make these tools faster, better and more useful to users.”
Hogg has become a central figure in the far right’s effort to discredit the survivors of last week’s shooting as they call for tighter gun-control laws.
Facebook encountered similar problems with conspiracy videos Wednesday. Hogg was one of the top topics in Facebook’s Trending module. Clicking his name brought up several videos and articles promoting the conspiracy that he’s a paid actor.
A written statement from Mary deBree, Facebook’s head of content policy, which was sent to Business Insider through a spokeswoman, said the company will take down the hoax content. However, some of the content promoting the conspiracy theories about Hogg and his fellow students were still in the trending section as of Wednesday afternoon. Hogg’s name disappeared from the Trending section on Facebook late in the afternoon.
“Images that attack the victims of last week’s tragedy in Florida are abhorrent. We are removing this content from Facebook,” deBree said in a statement.
Over the past several months, YouTube in the wake of major news events has repeatedly failed to weed out intentionally misleading news and conspiracy theories from its trending sections, search results, and other corners of the site that use algorithms. Such events include the mass shooting in Las Vegas last fall as well as the Amtrak crash involving Republican members of Congress.
YouTube has said it changed its search algorithms in hopes of promoting news videos from only “trusted” sources. The company has also said it plans to hire thousands of human content moderators to make sure videos comply with its policies. So far, those efforts haven’t solved the problem.
Facebook has made similar promises to weed out hoaxes and fake news. The company also said it plans hire thousands of human content moderators and wills start promoting content from “trusted” news sources in the News Feed. Facebook said it will ask users which news outlets they trust through surveys, but hasn’t said how it’ll keep users from gaming the system.
The trending YouTube video had more than 200,000 views Wednesday morning before it was removed.

Real Madrid Fight Back To Win Without Ronaldo

 
Real Madrid’s Spanish defender Sergio Ramos (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the game.  OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP
 
Cristiano Ronaldo was rested as Real Madrid came from behind to win 3-1 at Leganes on Wednesday and move back up to third place in La Liga.
Unai Bustinza had put Leganes in front at Butarque, raising hopes that the home side could record another famous victory just weeks after they ousted Real from the Copa del Rey.
However, the reigning European champions turned this Madrid derby around before half-time with Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro both on target.
Sergio Ramos sealed the win with a late penalty, and Real have now taken 16 points from the last 18 available in La Liga.
“It’s another win, the fourth in a row and it’s important to get the points,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane.
“We’re happy, we’re third in the table and that’s an important result for us. We want to continue like this, we have had hard times so we want to take advantage of this good spell.
“We are confident, we believe more and each player is giving more on the field.”
They are still a massive 14 points adrift of unbeaten league leaders Barcelona, but they are up to third above Valencia and within seven points of city rivals Atletico, who are second.
With the games piling up for his team, Zidane rested Ronaldo for this rescheduled fixture, initially postponed in December due to Real’s involvement in the Club World Cup.
With Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Marcelo all injured and in a race against time to be fit for the Champions League last 16, second leg against Paris Saint-Germain in a fortnight, this was another chance for some of Real’s fringe players to shine.
Theo Hernandez and Isco were among the starters, but Gareth Bale was back on the bench as he struggles to rediscover his best form.
Kiko Casilla was handed a start in goal in place of regular number one Keylor Navas, and Casilla was picking the ball out of his net inside six minutes, with Bustinza bravely stooping to score from almost on the line after his initial effort had been blocked.
However, it took Real just five minutes to draw level, Casemiro helping the ball into the path of Vazquez, who slotted home low.
Casemiro is a defensive midfielder by trade but he put Madrid in front just before the half-hour mark, scoring at the end of a lovely one-touch move also involving Karim Benzema and Vazquez.
It took Real until the 90th minute to make sure of the victory, though, with Ramos scoring from the penalty spot after Mateo Kovacic had been fouled.
Zidane’s side will bid to continue their improved form when they host Alaves at the weekend.
AFP
The post Real Madrid Fight Back To Win Without Ronaldo appeared first on Channels Television.

News Of Missing Yobe Schoolgirls Shocking – PDP

 
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the reports of missing schoolgirls from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) located in Dapchi, Bursari Local Government area of Yobe State as shocking.
The Party said the report is disturbing coupled with the conflicting reports on the whereabouts of the schoolgirls.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is shocked by reports that 94 Nigerian female students have been declared missing after insurgents attacked the Girls Secondary School Dapchi, Yobe state on Tuesday.
“Indeed, we are very disturbed by this ugly development especially given the conflicting reports on the whereabouts of these innocent girls,” the PDP said in a statement.
READ ALSO: Over 50 Schoolgirls Missing After Boko Haram Attack – Yobe Govt 
Missing Yobe Schoolgirls: Buhari Orders Military To Take Charge
The party in the statement which was signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Olagbondinyan, and made available to Channels Television on Wednesday said safety and wellbeing of Nigerians are very important to the PDP.
“Our party restates that the life, safety and well-being of all Nigerians remain of paramount importance to us and we, therefore, insist that all efforts must be exerted to find these students,” the statement read in part.
The PDP also charged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to immediately unravel the situation and recover the missing children.
The post News Of Missing Yobe Schoolgirls Shocking – PDP appeared first on Channels Television.

Tech: YouTube and Facebook are promoting a right-wing conspiracy about a Florida shooting survivor...

Far-right outlets have said the video is proof the teenager is a paid actor.
YouTube promoted a video featuring a conspiracy theory claiming that one of the survivors of the school shooting last week in Parkland, Florida, is a paid actor.
Facebook also promoted the conspiracy in its trending news section. The company says it will remove hoax content related to the survivors.
The YouTube video was first in the site’s list of trending videos Wednesday morning. It was later removed.
YouTube and Facebook continue to struggle with people gaming their sites to spread false news.
YouTube on Wednesday promoted a video claiming to show evidence that one of the survivors of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is a paid actor. The video appeared in the top position in the site’s trending section on Wednesday morning before being removed from the section later in the morning after several news stories and tweets about it started to spread.
The video shows a local news clip featuring David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who has made several news appearances over the past few days calling for gun control. The segment comes from a CBS Los Angeles newscast from last summer that shows Hogg telling a reporter how he got into an argument with a lifeguard. Conspiracy theorists say the clip is proof that Hogg shows up in media appearances as a paid actor.
Searching for Hogg’s name on YouTube also brought up a large number of conspiracy videos as the top results.
A YouTube representative told Business Insider in a written statement that the conspiracy video made it to the top of the site’s trending section by mistake, slipping through the site’s safeguards because it contained a clip from an “authoritative news source.”
Here’s YouTube’s statement:
“This video should never have appeared in Trending. Because the video contained footage from an authoritative news source, our system misclassified it. As soon as we became aware of the video, we removed it from Trending and from YouTube for violating our policies. We are working to improve our systems moving forward.”
As for the conspiracy videos that were showing up in YouTube search results, a company spokeswoman sent a followup statement that said changes to the site’s search algorithm designed to promote news from authoritative sources doesn’t always work.
Here’s that second statement from YouTube:
“In 2017, we started rolling out changes to better surface authoritative news sources in search results, particularly around breaking news events. We’ve seen improvements, but in some circumstances these changes are not working quickly enough. In addition, last year we updated the application of our harassment policy to include hoax videos that target the victims of these tragedies. Any video flagged to us that violates this policy is reviewed and then removed. We’re committed to making more improvements throughout 2018 to make these tools faster, better and more useful to users.”
Hogg has become a central figure in the far right’s effort to discredit the survivors of last week’s shooting as they call for tighter gun-control laws.
Facebook has encountered similar problems with conspiracy videos. Hogg was one of the top topics in Facebook’s Trending module Wednesday morning. Clicking his name brought up several videos and articles promoting the conspiracy that he’s a paid actor.
A written statement from Mary deBree, Facebook’s head of content policy, sent to Business Insider through a spokeswoman said the company will take down hoax content. However, some of the content promoting the conspiracy theories about Hogg and his fellow students were still in the trending section as of Wednesday afternoon.
“Images that attack the victims of last week’s tragedy in Florida are abhorrent. We are removing this content from Facebook,” deBree said in a statement.
Over the past several months, YouTube in the wake of major news events has repeatedly failed to weed out intentionally misleading news and conspiracy theories from its trending sections, search results, and other corners of the site that use algorithms. Such events include the mass shooting in Las Vegas last fall as well as the Amtrak crash involving Republican members of Congress.
YouTube has said it changed its search algorithms in hopes of promoting news videos from only “trusted” sources. The company has also said it plans to hire thousands of human content moderators to make sure videos comply with its policies. So far, those efforts haven’t solved the problem.
Facebook has made similar promises to weed out hoaxes and fake news. The company also said it plans hire thousands of human content moderators and wills start promoting content from “trusted” news sources in the News Feed. Facebook said it will ask users which news outlets they trust through surveys, but hasn’t said how it’ll keep users from gaming the system.
The trending YouTube video had more than 200,000 views Wednesday morning before it was removed.

Dan Orbih: Edo PDP alleges diversion of rice meant for IDPs

Chief Dan Orbih, the state Chairman of the party, made the allegation while receiving about 400 members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state who defected to PDP. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo on Wednesday accused the Edo Government of diverting 4,721 bags of rice donated to the Internally Displaced Persons camp in the state by the Federal Government.Chief Dan Orbih, the state Chairman of the party, made the allegation while receiving about 400 members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state who defected to PDP.According to him, the Nigeria Customs Service had approved 6,822 bags of rice for the camp.He also alleged that the state government proposed demonstration farm for unemployed graduates at Sobe in Owan West Local Government Area of the state was a hoax and conduit pipe being used to defraud the state.He claimed that with more than N600 million supposedly spent by the government on the proposed farm, there was nothing on ground.He, therefore, urged the people of the state to prevail on Gov. Godwin Obaseki to give an account of how he expended the money.He further urged all eligible voters to get registered with INEC and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards in order to be able to cause a paradigm shift in the political situation in the state and the country at large.He stressed that the PDP would remain in the forefront of any movement to liberate and salvage the state and the country.Meanwhile, Chief Anselm Ojezua, the state Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC), while reacting to the allegations, said they were unfounded.He dismissed as forgery the documents presented by Orbih on the NCS approval for the donation of rice to the IDP.He said the PDP action was a ploy to distract a working government, adding that Obaseki’s government would not give in to any distraction.However, NAN investigation revealed that while the Edo State government had taken delivery of all the items, only 2,101 bags of rice had been supplied to the camp.A source at the International Christian Centre Missions (ICCM), where the IDPs were camped, who spoke on condition of anonymity, admitted that the camp received 2,101 bags of rice but declined further comments on the matter.The source also said that management of the camp also received the document detailing the NCS approval of four items to be donated to the camp.The source said the other items included 76 cartons of vegetable oil, 100 sacks of used shoes and another 20 sacks of used shoes.NAN gathered that the balance of the items were reportedly shared for political patronage during 2017 Christmas festivity.The leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) members who defected to the PDP, Mr Ojo Agge, said they decided to join PDP because they wanted to be free from bad government, bad infrastructure and poverty.

In Yobe: State government confirms abduction of over 50 schoolgirls

The state governor Ibrahim Gaidam assured the students’ parent that the government will do everything possible to rescue the girls. Over 50 schoolgirls have been abducted in Yobe State by suspected Boko Haram fighters, the state government has confirmed.The girls were said to have gone missing after gunmen believed to be terrorists stormed Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) located in Dapchi, Headquarters of Bursari Local Government area of the state.The incident reportedly occurred last Monday.The State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam confirmed this in a statement issued on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, and posted on Twitter by Bashir Ahmad, a Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari. Gaidam said, “Out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted for as of the time of this statement.”As the public is aware, the students were helped by their teachers to escape through the night to the surrounding bush and villages as the terrorists stormed the town last Monday”.The statement said that the government received information about some of the girls being found in the general area to which they escaped.It added that State Government has no credible information yet about the whereabouts of the girls.”The Yobe State Government is working with the Nigerian Army and other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all students in the school are fully accounted for,” the Governor said.Gaidam has directed all relevant personnel and agencies to work closely with the army and other security organisations to get the girls back safely to their families.He assured their parents and the community that the state government will ensure the missing girls are found.ALSO READ: Buhari paid Boko Haram €3m for 103 Chibok girlsIn April 2014,  Boko Haram stormed the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok, Borno State and abducted 276 female students.A total of 57 of the girls, however, managed to escape over the next few months while the Federal Government secured the release 21 girls in October 2016 and another 82 of the girls were freed in May 2017 in exchange for ransom.

Army rescues Yobe school girls

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur BurataiSome of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents at Government Girls secondary school Dapchi in Yobe have been rescued by the army.
Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, Director General to Yobe governor on Press affairs, disclosed this in a press statement issued on Wednesday.
“The Yobe State Government hereby informs the public that some of the girls at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) whose school was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists last Monday have been rescued by gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army from the terrorists who abducted them.
“The rescued girls are now in the custody of the Nigerian Army.
“We will provide more details about their number and condition in due course.
“His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who is very grateful for the gallantry and hard work of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army involved in the operation, is monitoring the situation closely and will make a statement in due course” the statement said.

CAF Champions League: Plateau United, MFM FC win to progress to next round

Plateau United and MFM FC both progressed to the next stage of the CAF Champions League after narrow wins in their second leg fixtures. Reigning Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Plateau United and last season’s runners-up MFM have progressed to the next stage of the 2018 CAF Champions League.Plateau United defeat Eding Sports  in both legsPlateau United defeated Eding Sports in their second leg fixture to progress to the next stage of the CAF Champions League.The reigning champions defeated their Cameroonian counterpart by a lone gaol scored by Raphael Ayagwa. Plateau United had earlier defeated Eding Sports 3 – 0 in the first leg to give themselves an advantage going into the second leg.  The Cameroonians had suggested that the referee was responsible for their first leg loss to Plateau, however they could do nothing to prevent a home defeat as Plateau ran out 4 – 0 winners on aggreagate.MFM FC beat Bamako to ProgressMFM defeated Real Bamako in their second leg encounter by a lone goal scored by Akuneto Chijioke in the 85th minute of the encounter, after some good work by Abayomi Lawal.  The victory was enough for MFM to progress to the next qualification phase with a 2 – 1 aggregate scoreline after they played out a 1 – 1 draw in the first leg.MFM will now play the winners between A.S Otoho (Congo Brazzaville) and Mouloudia Clube De Algier (Algeria) in the final qualifying round. A.S Otoho won the first leg 2-0. Playing at home in Jos,  Plateau United thrashed Eding Sports of Cameroon 3-0 in their preliminary round, first leg fixture on Sunday, February 11.

In Anambra State: NBTE accredits additional 18 trade courses for 11 technical colleges

Chief Tony Nnachetta, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at the end of the state Executive Council Meeting in Awka on Wednesday. The Anambra State Government says the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) has accredited 18 additional courses for 11 technical colleges in the state.Chief Tony Nnachetta, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at the end of the state Executive Council Meeting in Awka on Wednesday.He said that of the accredited courses, 16 courses received full accreditation, while two are for partial accreditation making a total of 28 trade courses offered in colleges in the state.Nnachetta said the state had completed and installed new Biology, Physics and Chemistry laboratories in 60 secondary schools, and asphalted 112 kilometres of roads between November, 2017 and February, 2018.The commissioner disclosed that retired teachers would be re-engaged in the ongoing recruitment of 1,000 teachers in the state.According to him, only the physically fit retired teachers will be reengaged.He said the decision to re-engage the retirees was due to their conviction that some retired teachers still had something to impact on the students.The commissioner said that the state government was mindful of the retirement age at 60 years was a constitutional issue, but added that the condition of service for the lucky retirees would be spelt out.“The council approved the recruitment of 100 teachers for technical schools, 500 for secondary and 500 teachers for the primary schools and consideration will be made for retired but not tired teachers who will also serve as mentors’’ he said.On roads, he said the state would no longer complete the Umunya/Nteje/Amawbia end of the Onitsha-Enugu Federal Highway.“The Federal Government currently owed the Anambra State Government about N48.1 billion being the amount spent by the state on federal roads in the state.“This amount is huge and the state utilized the amount on state issues but the federal government was not forthcoming in the refund of the amount; so we cannot continue to spend scare state funds for federal roads,’’ he said.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Umunya/Nteje/Amawbia end of the Onitsha-Enugu federal highway has been completely washed by rains exposing road users to harrowing experience during the rainy season.The commissioner said the state was presently concerned with the construction of Nteje/Umunya Bridge which according to him would provide alternative route for motorists as that section of federal road was no longer accessible.