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Super Eagles will win AFCON 2021, say football enthusiasts

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Some football enthusiasts in Bauchi have expressed optimism that the Super Eagles would win the trophy in the ongoing African Cup of Nation (AFCON) in Cameroun.

The 33rd edition of the AFCON kicked off on Sunday with 24 teams in Cameroon.

Cameroun beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening match at the newly built 60,000-seater Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.

A cross-section of the fans, who spoke in separate interviews on Sunday, expressed confidence that the Super Eagles would triumph despite challenges with preparations for the tournament.

Mustapha Ibrahim, a football player, urged the Eagles to play their heart out.

“Bringing the new coach might affect performances in the tournament because of blending and coordination. The team has quality players and an experienced coach,” stated Ibrahim. “I am confident that they will do it, and we are wishing them the best.”

Another footballer, Musa Audu, described the Super Eagles’ lineup as superb for the tournament.

“Things can happen, 2013 AFCON success came against all expectations,” he added.

For her part, Tabitha Alford, a football fan, pointed out that if the Eagles players had a high spirit of hard work and teamwork at the tournament, everything would go well.

“I have hope, and I will be happy to see this team surprise me,” she said.

Umar Said, a Bauchi based sports analyst, said he had confidence in the ability of Nigeria’s 28-man squad for the championship in Cameroon and the wealth of experience of Augustine Eguavoen as a coach.

But he admitted that “the preparations have been typically shabby, the players barely had a training camp, and there were no pre-tournament friendly matches.”

Said added, “Eguavoen has to rely on his experience and sheer determination from the players. However, they will do well, and we are expecting good results.”

On Tuesday, Nigeria will face Egypt in Group D at the Roumde Adjia Stadium, Garoua.

(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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