Sack Peseiro from Super Eagles job now, 3 sports writers urge NFF

Three sports journalists based in Abuja on Sunday urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to relieve Jose Peseiro of his Super Eagles Head Coach job before it is too late.

They made the call following the Eagles’ 0-1 loss to Guinea Bissau on Friday in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

Romanus Ugwu, a sports writer and an Assistant Editor with the Sun Newspaper, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that retaining Peseiro was like holding on to expired drug.

“There is nothing we can do unless the NFF takes action, but if you ask me, I will automatically ask for the sack of Peseiro because he has not given us anything.

“Subsequently I will have to decide whether to watch Super Eagles match. I can’t be devastated like this all the time after Super Eagles match.

“I have learnt not to invest emotions in the team because I know that certainly they will disappoint.

“I am not surprised with the outcome of the game but I expected that after we lost the World Cup ticket to Ghana, that we are going to see something else.

“All of a sudden, we are seeing thunder striking twice at the same place,” Ugwu said.

For Ndubueze Chidoka, Chairman of a faction of the FCT Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), noted that everything about the country’s football was on the decline.

“I am disappointed that the Eagles could not fly considering the fact that we are nursing the pain of not qualifying for the World Cup when Ghana came to deny us the ticket at this same venue.

“And many football fans were looking up to the Super Eagles to make up in subsequent matches.

“It was unfortunate that the Super Eagles lost to Guinea Bissau barely 42 hours after the under-23 team drew against Guinea.

“This is a humiliation. The worst would have been a draw. For Guinea to come here and defeat us means that we don’t have a team and a coach.

“Everything about our football is going down drastically and something urgent must be done,” Chidoka said.

A former chairman of FCT SWAN, Victor Iroele, on his part said a lot of factors contributed to the team’s lacklustre performance in recent times.

Iroele noted that weather and the pitch could be contributing factors to the poor show of the team.

But he added that the technical crew had a lot of work to do if they would be retained

“NFF needs to apply the big stick if necessary, to save the country from further embarrassing outings and to ensure the country did not miss the AFCON ticket, the way it missed the World Cup ticket.”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Al-Habibiyyah charges Tinubu to tackle hunger, poverty, inflation headlong

The Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society on Sunday in Abuja urged the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu to prioritise the war against hunger, poverty and inflation as soon as he gets to the seat.

National Chief Imam of Al-Habibiyyah Mosque, Imam Fuad Adeyemi, made the call at the 20th National Unity Ramadan Lecture organised by the society.

It had: “Ramadan Lessons: Inspiration for reform’’ as its theme.

Adeyemi emphasised the need for the president-elect to hit the ground running from the day he is sworn in.

“It is clearly seen by the blind and so audible by the deaf that there is poverty in the land; people are hungry and angry, inflation is so high and recently we started using naira to buy naira.

“He needs to work hard to reverse these unholy trends. Tinubu’s victory didn’t come to us as a surprise; he is known to be a talent hunter, a cerebral and compassionate leader.

“His tenacity and focus is enviable; his victory is testament of his years of investment in people and relationships,’’ the cleric said.

Adeyemi assured that Al-Habibiyyah, as an Islamic organisation would give all the necessary support to the incoming government as instructed in the Glorious Qur’an.

“Qur’an Chapter four, Verse 59 dictates that `believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those from among you who are invested with authority,’ ‘’ Adeyemi noted.

He said the society fed at least 2,000 people at the end of every fasting day during Ramadan as part of efforts to ease difficulties among the less privileged.

“It is not a mistake that I use the word people and not fasting Muslims because over the years, not only Muslims had been benefitting from the programme.

“Non-Muslims are received with open hands and without discrimination at the feeding sessions conducted by the society’s Food Bank.

“Over the years, the first day of Ramadan usually recorded a relatively low turnout of people coming to break their fasts at the Food Bank, but the turnout peaks by the fourth or fifth day of Ramadan.

“We were marvelled this year; we prepared 1,000 meals and we were surprised that the first day turned out more than 2,000 persons, meaning this is a challenge.

“We have firm belief in Allah, that the challenge will be surmountable,’’ Adeyemi said.

Earlier, the guest lecturer, Prof. Usman Shu’aib, noted that circulation of wealth was the precursor of prosperity in nations.

Shu’aib, Director, International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano, urged Muslims to allow Ramadan to pass through them to enable them to acquire all the necessary lessons and benefits.

“We can persevere in the 29 or 30 days of Ramadan, but we must fear Allah and endeavour to be pious throughout and beyond the month of Ramadan,’’ he admonished.

In his remarks, former Gov. Idris Wada of Kogi urged Muslims to maximise the benefits of the month of Ramadan by giving more charity to the less privileged, regular recitation of the Qur’an and other good deeds.

“My message is for us to learn the lessons of Ramadan, particularly during this fasting period; lessons of sacrifice, piety, worship and devotion to Almighty Allah,’’ he charged.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Mba, best choice for Enugu, drop litigations – Rep Okechukwu tells opposition

Chief Toby Okechukwu, Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representative, says that Dr Peter Mbah, the Enugu State Governor-elect remains the best choice for the state.

Okechukwu, who represents Aninri/Awgu/oji River Federal Constituency, made the remarks in Enugu on Sunday, while congratulating the new Governor-elect of the state, Mbah.

The lawmaker said that Mbah’s election by the people of the state was a right step at a time of severe national economic challenges.

He called on the opposition candidates to drop their court cases and join hands with Mbah and work for the greater good of the state.

“I pity Nigerians who see some Labour Party politicians as progressives because they moved out from the dominant parties (either PDP or APC) to the LP to cruise on the Peter Obi bandwagon.

“They won seven out of the eight House of Representative seats in Enugu State, but PDP did not complain.

“They won the senatorial seat of the governor and even the governor’s polling booth during the Presidential and National Assembly Election, yet neither PDP nor Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi complained.

“They won the Enugu East senatorial district where Nkanu East LGA is located and celebrated it. But they would not accept the governorship result that came from the same process the same day,” he said.

Okechukwu explained that Enugu people supported Peter Obi in the name of justice because “we believed it was South-East turn to produce the next President”.

On accusations of Mr Frank Nweke of APGA that the election was marred by irregularities, the lawmaker said, “it beats imagination how a man who managed 17,983 state-wide votes against Dr. Mbah’s 160,895 votes hoped to win the governorship election in the first place.

“On behalf of the good people of Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, I congratulate the governor-elect of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, and the people of Enugu State on this massive victory.

“It is a hard-won victory, but it is worth it, given the quality that Mbah is expected to bring to bear on the leadership of the state.

Okechukwu commended Mbah for his commitment in his acceptance speech to run an all-inclusive government, saying that the unity and brotherhood were imperative if the state must experience the much-needed development under the Mbah administration.

He equally urged the people of the state to continue to support and pray for Mbah as he embarked on the onerous mission of building a new Enugu State.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Nigeria-India direct flight to commence March 31- Envoy

Mr Gangadharan Balasubramanian, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria says the much anticipated direct flights from Nigeria to India is set to commence on March 31.

Balasubramanian told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Air Peace, a private Nigerian airline had concluded plans for the inaugural flight from Lagos to Mumbai, Bombay.

” I can announce to you that that Air Peace will be flying directly from Lagos to India on March 31st for the inaugural flight.

“This is part of the implementation of the

Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) aimed at deepening relations between both countries, so I have been invited for the inauguration, ” he said.

Balasubramanian explained that the direct flight would further strengthen economic, trade, bilateral relations, and people-to-people ties between both strategic countries.

“The volume of trade between both countries as at 2022 is 14.95 billion dollars, so we believe agreements such as this will go a long way in boosting our relations,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the new route would increase the volume of trade between both countries, while opening new vista of opportunities for citizens of both countries.

NAN reports that Nigeria and the Republic of India had in 2019 signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), to deepen flight operations end to end.

Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika had expressed optimism that the agreement would further deepen cooperation between both countries.

BASA covers the basic framework under which airlines are granted bilateral rights to fly two countries. The frequency, designated airlines of the signatories, origin, intermediate points as well as traffic rights, type of aircraft and tax issues are normally covered by Memoranda of Understanding.

The new route is expected to further boost relations between both countries, as more than 135 indian companies currently operate in Nigeria.

India is becoming the prime destination for Nigerians seeking medical tourism, studies, businesses among others.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Twin penalty strikes earn Rangers Int’l 2-1 win over Bayelsa Utd in Awka

Rangers Int’l FC of Enugu on Sunday secured the three points at stake in their Day 10 match in the 2022/2022 abridged national league encounter with Bayelsa Utd at the Awka Township Stadium.

The visitors from Yenagoa had gone ahead through Alax Oyowah in the 36th minute after absorbing a number of attacks by the hosts.

But Rangers returned to parity through a penalty through Godwin Obaje in the 48th minute and later went ahead in the 87th minute when Chidera Ezeh curled a spot kick into the net.

The victory which is the first after the break, placed the Flying Antelopes on seventh position on the log of the Group B after three wins, three draws and four loses in the National Professional Football League (NPFL).

In a post-match press conference, Rangers Coach Mbwas Mangut described the victory as hard fought and well deserved.

Mangut said his team remained a work in progress as their performance wasn’t the best they could offer while pouring encomiums on the competitive prowess of the visitors.

He said they placed more emphasis on garnering more points in their away games and ensuring that they do not drop any point at home.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Lt.-Gen. Diya was pioneer in many endeavours – Aide

Mr Olawale Adekoya, Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to deceased Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya, on Sunday described him as a pioneering leader in many endeavours.

Born at Odogbolu, Ogun, on April 3, 1944, Diya died on March 26 at a Lagos Hospital at the age of 79.

He was one of the pioneer students of Odogbolu Grammar School in 1957.

Diya was also among the pioneer students of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) that graduated as Regular Course One cadets on March 18, 1967.

One of his peers at the NDA is retired Gen. Aliyu Gusau, defence minister from 2014 to 2015.

Another one is Gen. Ishola Williams who walked out on the army and on Gen. Sani Abacha in 1993 on the premise that his and the army’s takeover of government were immoral.

Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya

The same Gen. Abacha appointed Diya as his Chief of General Staff when he took over government from the Interim National Government (ING).

The ING was put in place by military president, retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida when he “stepped aside’’ following strident measures by Nigerians to end military rule.

Before his appointment as Abacha’s deputy, Diya was the pioneer Commandant of the Nigeria War College between 1991 and 1993.

Earlier than these, deceased Gen. Diya was Commander 31, Airborne Brigade of the Nigerian Army.

He was appointed Military Governor of Ogun from January 1984 to August 1985, the period during which he banned night parties and closure of roads by revellers in a state widely known for “owambe’’ all-night parties.

He became General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985.

Diya’s passing on was first announced on Sunday in a terse statement issued by his first son, Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, a lawyer on behalf of the family.

His media aide, Adekoya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the deceased’s residence in Lagos that: “incidentally, Oyesinmilola along with his late father made history when they were both called to the bar on the same day some years back.’’

Diya was survived by Josephine, his wife; many children and grandchildren spread across the world.

“A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Wole Diya is his younger brother; Kehinde Diya, a Barrister, is also his younger brother.

“We also have a General in the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Olusola Diya, who was recently promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General,’’ Adekoya said.

Diya authored a book entitled: “Destiny Anchored on Faith’’ which encompassed the life he lived and elucidated on the role he played during Nigeria’s civil war of 1968 to 1970.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria