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AFCON Opener: Cameroon, Burkina Faso envoys praise players, officials

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CAF 1

Bessem Manga, the consul general of Cameroon in Lagos, applauded the performance of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the team’s opening match against the Stallions of Burkina Faso at the 2021 Cameroon Nations Cup.

On Sunday, the ambassador said this at a mini opening ceremony of the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Cameroon consulate, Victoria Island.

Ms Manga explained that despite the team’s nervousness in the first few minutes, the players brought themselves back into the game.

The host country came from behind to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening match of the Africa Nations Cup in Yaounde.

“When the match started, as it is expected, they were nervous, especially when the goal came in, but they were able to get over that and focused on the game, which paid off eventually,” stated the envoy. “As the opening match, I’d say it was entertaining. Burkina Faso gave a good account of themselves, it could have gone either way because the two teams were fantastic, but I’m glad we won. I believe winning the first match will motivate the players and give them confidence in the next match, which is crucial.”

Also commending the players and the tournament’s organisation was Jean Bengaly, consul general of Burkina Faso.

“I appreciate the level of organisation; as Africans, we have come a long way, and we deserve to applaud ourselves. It will only keep getting better, one Africa. God bless Africa,” stated the envoy. “The players are entertaining. We have seen the beauty of African football, which is commendable.”

Also applauding the players was Bertrand Hedies, the Cameroonian Community in Nigeria’s head.

“It’s a good time coming with what we have seen so far, football is a tool for nation building. I hope after this tournament we remain united as one Africa. The players have done tremendously well, looking forward to the next match,” Mr Hedies said.

Captain Vincent Aboubakar converted two spot-kicks as hosts Cameroon came from behind to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening match in Yaounde on Sunday.

(NAN)

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Osun education policy attracts over N2 billion alumni fund, says Gov. Oyetola

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Adegboyega Oyetola 1

Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun says his administration has attracted over N2 billion in alumni contribution across the state since the review of its education policy.

Mr Oyetola, who was represented by Folorunso Oladoyin, Commissioner for Education, made the disclosure on Saturday at the 60th anniversary of St. John’s Grammar School, Ile-Ife, organised by the Old Students Association, at the school playground.

“Since the reform of education policy that we carried out, we have attracted over N2 billion intervention fund from old students across the state.

“We thank you for your quick intervention in the structural renewal of your school infrastructures.

“We are immensely grateful that you heeded our call for a partnership between the government and all stakeholders in the education sector to move education to the next level.

“Our vision is to deliver 21st-century education that will make our student to be globally competitive, we realise that the four legs on which education stands like a table must corporate and work together.

“We have introduced policies that are impacting education which will attract public schools to the middle and upper class,” he said.

The Chairman of Organising Committee of the Anniversary, Gbenga Adefaye, said the association was not happy with the way the past administration practically destroyed education by decentralising school in Osun.

Mr Adefaye, however, commended the governor for restoring the name, uniform and for collaborating with stakeholders to transform the school. 

(NAN)

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Comoros to face Cameroon without goalkeeper as COVID-19, injury hit squad

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Comoros squad

Debutants in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, Comoros, will be without a goalkeeper and coach Amir Abdou on Monday as they face hosts and five-time champions Cameroon in Yaounde.

Their giant-killers camp has been hit by 12 positive COVID-19 tests, affecting seven players, including the two remaining goalkeepers in the squad.

And this has come with their number one goalkeeper Ben Boina being out through injury.

Officials of the team have, however, assured that they were working round the clock to “do everything in our power to find a solution,” according to the team general manager, El Hadad Himidi. 

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had earlier ruled that teams affected by COVID-19 must play matches even if they have no recognised goalkeeper in their squad.

“A team will be required to play a match if they have a minimum of 11 players available who have tested negative.

“In the event of the absence of a goalkeeper, another player from the team must replace the goalkeeper, provided the total number of available players is at least 11.

“In exceptional cases, the Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will take the appropriate decision,” CAF had stated.

Comoros will now be hoping that the injury suffered by Boina could be considered an exceptional case.

This is because the goalkeeper sustained the injury and had to leave the field following a challenge which led to Ghana’s Andre Ayew being sent off.

Comoros had shocked Ghana 3-2 to eliminate the Black Stars and qualify for the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed sides.

(NAN)

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Nothing can make me return to party politics, Obasanjo tells Iyorchia Ayu

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Sule Lamido Olusegun Obasanjo and Iyorchia Ayu

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday restated his decision to stay off party politics, saying nothing can make him return.

Mr Obasanjo said this while addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting with members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abeokuta.

The former president said he was contented to remain as an elder statesman. “I want to emphasise that I am no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that will bring me back to partisan politics.

“I will always be interested in what is good for Nigeria and anybody who wants to have my advice, I will distinctively give it in the best interest of Nigeria and in the best interest of Africa.

“This is why I have the type of responsibility that I now have in the horn of Africa, which is not an easy thing,” the former president said.

He, however, said that PDP would continue to be part of his life history because he attained the position of the president on the platform of the party.

“I have been with the party right from inception. Whatever I do in my life, because I became president on the platform of PDP, the party will continue to be part of history of my life.

“I must, however, add that the day my ward decided to tear my PDP card, was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. And that day, I vowed that I will no longer be a member of any political party.

“I will remain a statesman in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and indeed in the world at large.

“Though, I have retired from partisan politics, but I cannot retire from the welfare and wellbeing of the people, whether in my own community, in my own state, in my own country, anywhere in Africa or indeed anywhere in the world.”

Mr Obasanjo said the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, has a huge responsibility in restoring the lost glory of the opposition party.

Speaking, Mr Ayu said that the tenure of Mr Obasanjo as Nigeria’s president on the platform of the PDP, remained the golden era of the party.

“During that period, not only did you grow Nigeria’s economy to be the biggest in Africa, you were able to take the country away from slavery by negotiating and cancelling so much of its foreign debts.

“The Direct Foreign Investment (FDI) in the country was on the increase on daily basis with attendant respect for Nigeria from the international community.

“Most of the institutions and agencies set up during your tenure, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), are still useful in the country.

“You are very passionate about this country and you did a lot. So, we thought we should come and thank you for what you have done, not just for Nigerians, but also for our party and the African continent.

“Though, you retired from partisan politics, partisan politics will never retire from your blood.

“You always want the right thing done and since you want the right thing done, for life, you will remain the emeritus member of the PDP. You cannot build a house and leave it to collapse,” Mr Ayu added. 

(NAN)

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