Super Eagles forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, has been included among the top 10 most valuable players in the world, by Soccerex 20 U-21 report.
The Soccerex study ranked footballers born on or after July 1, 1995, using the Prime Time Sport’s Football Value Index. And chiefly situated among them was no other person but Kelechi.
Iheanacho, who plays his football for Manchester City, is ninth on the list, behind Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Leroy Sané (Schalke 04), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Breel Embolo (Schalke 04), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) and Max Meyer (Schalke 04).
Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl finished 10th.
Several Nigerian soldiers are still missing for after an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents in a community in the troubled Borno State, multiple sources have confirmed.
The Army said it was battling to save lives of 19 other soldiers injured during the clash on Thursday.
Operatives of Civilian-JTF, embedded with the military squad, were also badly injured in the deadly encounter in a village called Nguro Gongon.
Spokesman of Nigeria army, Sani Usman, said the injured soldiers have been evacuated to Maiduguri the Borno State capital, while a rescue team was deployed to go searching for the missing soldiers.
Usman, a colonel and acting director of army public relations, said:
“Today morning, troops on clearance patrol at Guro Gongon village and environs to rout out remnants of Boko Haram terrorists hibernating therein, destroyed the terrorists’ makeshift camps and recovered quite a number of weapons, equipment and foodstuff in the process.
“The recovered items include 1 Gun truck mounted with an Anti-Aircraft Gun, a MOWAG Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, 1 Light Machine Gun, 3 AK-47 rifles and motorcycles.
“However, the gallant soldiers basking on the recorded success, returning to their defensive locations, ran into an ambush by a group of Boko Haram terrorists who came to reinforce their fleeing comrades. The troops fought back gallantly killing several of the insurgents.
“Sadly however, 19 soldiers and 3 civilian JTF members were wounded in action while a few others were missing in action.
“The wounded have been evacuated and are responding to treatment, while a search and rescue party comprising of Special Forces personnel has since been dispatched to establish contact with the missing in action troops, some of whom, as at the time of filing this report, have started returning to their defensive location.
“It is pertinent to state that, no stone would be left unturned until every person involved in the operation has been accounted for,” he said.
“Salaam alykun to all my wonderful friends and fans, May almighty Allah grant u all your heart desires. i just want everyone to know that i was born in to a Muslim home my late father’s name is Lasisi Alao, so i reverted back to my root through Alhaji Yusuf Adepoju (Acadip). May almighty Allah bless him and all my wonderful friends and fans…. Thanks love you all.. Rohdiat Omolola Alao Ajibola.”
Olatunbosun said the governor has been misleading the public for long about the status of the case.
The state APC spokesperson challenged the governor to provide the court’s enrollment order discharging him on the poultry project case to convince the public.
He said: “It is regrettable that Fayose has made lies and falsehood a major plank of the state policy of his government.
“There is no iota of truth in Fayose’s claim of acquittal as no court has delivered judgment on the matter, which is still pending before the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti.
“The case was last heard by Mr Justice Adamu Hobon of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, where EFCC gave a blow-by-blow incontrovertible evidence of how Fayose used Biological Concepts Limited owned by his friend, Gbenga James, to defraud Ekiti State of N1.3bn to build houses and purchase a car for his mother.
“After that sitting, what Fayose did was to approach the Supreme Court for an interlocutory injunction to frustrate the trial. This is not the same thing as being discharged and acquitted over a matter that judgment is yet to be given.”
Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has warned oil workers and foreigners to vacate oil fields and terminals as it is ready to fight dirty.
The militant group, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, specifically warned Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) workers as well as foreigners to leave oil fields and terminals because “it will be going to be very dirty very soon.”
In the statement issued in the early hours of Thursday, the group said: “We are warning NUPENG and Pengassan to leave all oil fields and terminals in the Niger Delta because it will be going to be dirty very soon. Foreigners are to leave too”.
NDA, which reacted angrily to the claim by the Nigerian Navy that its logisitics supplier was arrested, described it as the biggest joker of the 21st century boasting that all its members are intact.
It castigated the Nigerian Navy as having lost its sense of professionalism with its attribution of every suspect arrested to the Niger Delta Avengers.
“As it is now, any Tom, Dick and Harry is a suspect of Niger Delta Avengers. Nigeria Navy has lost the sense of professionalism.
“The Nigeria military arrested school students in Oporoza and called them the Niger Delta Avengers; any criminal caught is NDA, even their business partners (illegal oil bunkerers) with which things went sour are NDA. Sea pirates are now NDA”, it said.
Also, the group lambasted the military for always denying any of its successful attacks on oil pipelines only to go after criminals and parade them as its members that breached such facilities.
“When Niger Delta Avengers carries out any major attack, they (Nigerian military) will deny it. First was the NNPC pipeline that was blown; second the 48-inches Exxonmobil pipeline that was blown by NDA. Mobil and the government denied it. Only for Exxonmobil to declare force majeure a few days after the attack”, it stated.
The militant group said emphatically that the Qua Iboe export pipeline operated by ExxonMobil which was blasted two weeks ago is down right now.
“Let me give a little brief about the Qua Iboe Export terminal. This is a subsidiary of Mobil and it is the biggest export stream in Nigeria. They export one million barrels every two days.
“I Brig. Gen Agbinibo personally led this operation, unlike the Nigeria Chief of Naval Staff that sit in the comfort of his office to pass orders”, the statement added.
The Niger Delta Avengers advised the military to stop deceiving the public and its Commander in Chief and come out with the truth on the Akwa Ibom blast instead of claiming that its operatives didn’t blow up the line but system anomaly.
“Shame on the Nigeria military.
Reports from our intelligence agent, the only way funds can be allocated to various departments of the military is only when they arrest the Niger Delta Avengers operatives.
“But soonest the Nigerian public and their Commander in Chief will know that the military is not capable to handle the Niger Delta Avengers.
“How do you explain a military officer having a house in choice areas in Nigeria and outside the country?
“Nigeria serving and retired top officers are the richest people in Nigeria. How do they get such wealth? Right now, they are using Niger Delta Avengers to fraud the Nigeria government and tax payers of their money.”
[This Day Live]
Senate President, Bukola Saraki has reshuffled some chairmanship positions in Senate committees.
Kabiru Marafa, his most vicious critic has been appointed chairman of the Petroleum (downstream) Committee.
He previously headed the Committee on National Population.
Also, Oluremi Tinubu, a key member of the anti-Saraki Unity Forum, was named chairperson of the Committee on Environment.
She was moved from Committee on Women Affairs.
Similarly, Suleiman Hukunyi, another critic of the senate president, is now in charge of the Committee on National Identity.
Saraki made the announcement shortly before the senate adjourned on Thursday.
More Details To Come Later On…
Gold medalist at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Ese Brume, says competing alongside Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguenor in the long jump event at the Rio Olympic Games would be a great inspiration for her.
Brume leapt a distance of 6.83m to seal her place in Rio last month, beating the qualifying distance of 6.70m set by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for the country’s female long jumpers. She is currently at the Abuja camp putting finishing touches to her preparations for the Games. The new mark of 6.83m is Brume’s career best, but the Delta State-born athlete says she could improve on it when placed side by side with top athletes in Rio.
African track queen, Okagbare, is expected to add the long jump to her events in Rio and Brume says her presence would be a source of inspiration for her.
“I am not going to Rio to compete against Blessing Okagbare, but it will be a great inspiration for me to see her in the long jump. Okagbare is my role model in sports and I always copy one or two things from her whenever she participates in the jumps,” Brume said in Abuja yesterday.
Brume returned to her strides earlier this year after a huge setback owing to injury, which saw her missing out of the medal chase at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville. She was one of Nigeria’s celebrated stars in 2014, winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow before beating all contenders to grab the top spot at the African Senior Athletics Championship in Morocco. Before then, she won three medals at the 2013 African Junior Athletics Championships in Mauritius.
Twenty years ago, Nigeria and indeed the West Africa sub region won her first individual Olympics gold medal in a track and field event through Chioma Ajunwa at Atlanta ’96.
Ajunwa, an ex-footballer, made history with a jump length of 7.12 meters (on her first attempt) in the final.At Beijing 2008 Olympics, Blessing Okagbare jumped 6.91 meters to grab a bronze medal, losing the gold to Brazil’s Maureen Higa Maggi (7.04m) and silver to Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva (6.97m).
For Okagbare or Brume to win a medal of any colour in the long jump event in Rio, they must be ready for the stiff challenge from the likes of USA’s Brittney Reese, who won the long jump gold at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championship in Portland, USA, with a leapt of 7.22 meters.
Other top contenders for medals in the women’s long jump will be Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic, who set a national indoor record of 7.00m at Portland 2016, and Australia’s Brooke Stratton, who had already surpassed the seven-metre barrier outdoors this year with 7.05m. Others like Janay DeLoach are waiting to pull a surprise in Rio.
“I am fully set for the challenges ahead because the Olympics Games is only for the best athletes in the world and to win a medal means one has to be in his or her best,” a confident Brume said yesterday.
About 11 persons were killed on Thursday after a commercial bus with 14 passengers on board went up in flames on the Otedola Bridge in the Berger area of Lagos.
It was learnt that the deceased comprised eight males and three females while three persons were rescued from the wreckage alive.
Our correspondent gathered that the bus was at top speed heading towards Berger from the Mushin area of the state when one of its tyres burst.
The bus was said to have somersaulted several times before it was engulfed in flames.
Officials of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the state Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigerian police were on the scene of the crash.
An eyewitness, Ojo Daramola, said the accident happened around 6pm, adding that the driver had struggled to stop the bus but his efforts failed.
He said, “I wanted to buy a satchet of water when I heard the sound of a crash. A few seconds after, the bus exploded and all the passengers were trapped. The fire raged for some minutes before emergency officials came for rescue operation. People by the roadside fled to safety. I learnt the bus was coming from Mushin. Most of the passengers died.”
The LASEMA General Manager, Mr. Michael Akindele, confirmed that 11 people died in the crash.
He said three persons rescued from the explosion had been taken to the Accident and Emergency Unit at Toll gate for treatment while the remains of the deceased had been deposited at the Mainland General Hospital’s morgue.
Akindele said, “A 14-passenger volkswagon commercial bus at top speed somersaulted after it tyre burst. The bus burst into fire afterwards. Eleven persons — three females and eight males — were burnt dead while three persons were rescued alive. They were taken to the Accident and Emergency Unit. We are on identification process to identify the deceased and hand them over to their families.”
The Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe, said firefighters responded swiftly after receiving a distress call. He advised drivers to comply with the speed limit regulation to avoid loss of life.
The Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the bus driver, who escaped the crash, fled the scene.
She said, “The command’s operatives from the Isheri division received a call that an 18-seater bus heading towards Berger from Mushin was involved in a lone accident and caught fire. A total number of 11 people consisting three women and eight men were burnt to death instantly while four others have been rushed to the hospital.
“Investigation revealed that the driver of the vehicle escaped the inferno and later fled the scene immediately the accident occurred. Policemen and firefighters are on ground to put out the fire and clear the obstruction the accident might have caused.”
UYO—Luck ran out of four teens said to be trading in human parts as they were, yesterday, arrested by operatives of Criminal Investigation Department, CID, of Akwa Ibom State Police Command, when the suspects went looking for a buyer of a human skull in their possession.
The suspected teens are Emmanuel Edet Ikot, 17, from Edeabasi, Oron; Ubong Udong, 18; Bright Effiong Okon, 19 and Okon Ita, 20, from Orukim.
The alleged leader of the group, Emmanuel Edet, denied the accusation, saying he only stumbled on a human skull while working at an uncompleted building for a man (names withheld) in Oron.
The Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer, Delia Nwawe, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, Mr. Murtala Mani, said the suspects were arrested by officers of the CID of the command in Mbo Local Government Area on receiving an alert from vigilant youths in the area.
He said with the arrests effected, the suspects would be charged to court for the law to take its course.
Speaking with Vanguard, leader of the gang, Mr. Emmanuel Edet, said: “I was paid to cut grass and clean up an uncompleted building by one man in Oron.
“As I was clearing the place, I stumbled on a human skull. I then rushed to inform my friends of what I found and in the company of those my friends, we went to pick the human skull.
“After picking it, we decided to sell it, but we did not know of any possible buyer. So, it was suggested by one of us that we take it to a native doctor in Mbo. The four of us went together but on our way, we were held by the youth leader of Mbo.
“After the skull was found on me, he called the police to arrest us. That is why we are here. I have not sold human parts before.”