NIGERIA’S Super Eagles snatched a 1-1 draw in their first of two London-based friendly games last night thanks to an 82nd minute equaliser from the penalty spot in a poorly attended match against Senegal’s Lions of Teranga.
In a game that only attracted 1,400 fans, the Eagles succumbed to a 56th minute goal from a highly physical Senegal team before coming back to snatch a draw. In the blustery wind of Barnet FC’s stadium known as The Hives, Nigeria’s blushes were spared by Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, who converted from the spot after being brought down for a penalty by Senegalese goalkeeper Pape Ndiaye.
Arranged to test out the Eagles against a physically dominant side similar to Cameroon who they will face in a World Cup qualifier in August, the match saw Nigeria bullied and harried by a robust Senegal team. Right from the kick-off, the Eagles were out-physicalled, manhandled and roughed up by the no-nonsense Lions of Teranga.
Senegal nearly took the lead early on in the game when Moussa Sow had a free header on target in the 20th minute but the alert reflexes of Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi saved the day. Akpeyi, who only arrived from South Africa on the morning of the match, managed to push the ball unto the woodwork and prevent a certain goal.
Encouraged by this, the Lions of Teranga continued to forage for a goal but the eagles central defensive partnership of Leon Balogun and William Ekong managed to hold them at bay. They also continued their robust play and in the 25th minute, this resulted in a disaster for Nigeria as skipper Ogenyi Onazi was badly injured in a collision with Mame Diouf and had to be stretchered off.
Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr responded by bringing on the equally physical John Ogu and his introduction stabilised things as he and man-of-the-match Winifred Ndidi had the physicality to restore some stability in midfield. From then on, Nigeria took the game to Senegal, creating several openings.
However, Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa were wasteful in front of goal squandering several clear chances with the Manchester City striker even shooting wide from six yards out. Thanks to this profligacy, Senegal managed to go into the break with a clean sheet after what appeared to be a half of two halves.
At the restart, the Senegalese tried to step things up a gear, re-establishing some form of dominance, resulting in Sow slotting the ball home for the curtain raiser in the 56th minute after some poor defending by Nigeria. It was no more than Senegal deserved after the Eagles failed to clear their lines and engaged in senseless schoolboy passing at the back when the ball should have been cleared to Row Z.
Following the goal, Mr Rohr made some changes, bringing on Oghenekaro Etebo for the hapless Alex Iwobi who was bullied, harried, out-physicalled and manhandled all evening. Out of his depth against the robust Senegalese, Iwobi hardly had a touch of the ball for the 61 minutes he was on the pitch and whenever he did get the ball, he was immediately dispossessed.
Coming on alongside Etebo was Isaac Success, making his senior debut as he replaced Simon Moses out wide. Senegal’s coach Aliou Cisse made a few changes too, bringing on Sadio Mané for Opa Nguette in the 65th minute and Famara Diedhiou for Sow on the 70 minute mark.
As they sought to respond to the numerous physical challenges of the Senegalese, the Eagles ended up picking up four yellow cards on the night with Ndidi, Elderson Echiejile, Leon Balogun and Isaac Success all being cautioned. In the 76th minute, Olanrewaju Kayode came on for Ahmed Musa and this appeared to give the Eagles the attacking edge they lacked.
Kayode’s pace and power opened up the Senegalese defence repeatedly and eventually resulted in the goal when he put Iheanacho through on goal. After collecting the ball, Iheanacho rounded Ndiaye in the Senegalese goal but was brought down by the keeper.
He dusted himself got up and converted the ensuing penalty. Iheanacho nearly made it two in the last minute but he screwed his shot just wide after some nice build-up play between himself and Kayode that carved the Senegalese defence open.
In his after-match press conference, Mr Rohr, who appeared alongside Echiejile, who took over the armband from Onazi when he went off, said that he picked Senegal because of how similar they are to Cameroon. He added that he is hoping to build up his team physically to meet such challenges in the future.
“We picked Senegal because they are similar to Cameroon and I felt it would have been a good test for my players. On the whole, I think we did well but Ogenyi Onazi’s injury looks serious and he will have a scan tomorrow but I am pleased with Daniel Akpeyi who only arrived in the morning and should be given credit for going straight into the team and performing well.
“This is Tyrone Ebuehi’s first outing with the team and it would have been too much to put him straight in as right back but he is likely to play against Burkina Faso, while FC Porto’s Chidozie Awaziem is injured so could not play. John Ogu was brought on after Onazi went off because of his size and physicality and he coped well,” Mr Rohr added.
He said he decided to start with almost the same line-up that played against Algeria because the team had not played together for four months and building chemistry was required. According to Mr Rohr, about half of the boys who started the game were not seeing action in their clubs so he wanted to use this to get them some playing time and make them fit.
Senegalese coach Cisse, added: “I think a draw was a fair result as we had chances to win the game and Nigeria had chances to win the game. Nigeria is a strong team, Senegal is a strong team, Cameroon is a string team and Algeria is a string team, so we like to play these kind of matches from which we will learn.”
Nigeria will now play the second of her scheduled friendly games against Burkina Faso on Monday also at Barnet FC. Ado Don Haag right fullback Ebuehi is expected to make his debut in that match, although it is not yet clear if Awaziem will be fit.
Akpeyi – 7; Omeruo – 6; Echiejile – 6; Ekong – 5; Balogun – 5; Ndidi -9; Onazi – 6; Iwobi – 4; Iheanacho – 6; Musa – 5; Simon – 6;
Ogu – 7; Etebo – 5; Kayode – 6 and Success – 6
Contributed by Mr. Akinfe Ayo
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday said his administration has concluded plans to begin a total revamping of the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos by next month in time for the 2017 Africa Movies Academic Awards (AMAA) ceremony holding in the State later in the year.
Governor Ambode, who spoke when he played host to officials of AMAA led by its President, Mrs. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe at the Lagos House, Ikeja, expressed optimism that the plan to upgrade the Theatre to world class standard would serve as a viable venue for the AMAA event when completed.
“I want to also say that I am very particular about the venue of the AMAA, so we would use everything possible to make sure that the National Arts Theatre is ready. We are in a process and before the month ends, we should have something to start doing within the first week of April to getting the whole place ready,” he said.
Alluding to the fact that Lagos would turn 50 by May 27, the Governor said that the hosting of the AMAA event in Lagos would add more glamour to the celebration of the State’s Golden Jubilee and showcase its hospitality to the continent and the world at large.
“This is a very historic moment for us in Lagos. 2017 we are celebrating the existence of Lagos for 50 years. If you look at the calendar, you would wonder in what ways and manner can we celebrate Lagos?
“Without your sector, there is no Lagos. So, when we say 50 years, we are talking about 50 years of history, so somebody documents it, somebody dramatizes it, and then somebody keeps it, so that those who are yet unborn would see it, so even when we are not there, it would be displayed through your creative talents,” he said.
Governor Ambode said the recent interventions of his administration in the creative industry was in line with his belief that it represents a new opportunity for economic development and unleashing the potentials of youths, assuring that he remains fully committed to breaking the barriers weighing down the industry from thriving.
“We are in a synergy process. Government might not have put so much effort in creative arts, but that’s the new vista that we are going to. We have come to the end of white collar jobs, we are into the era of creativity and innovation and then it’s only a good government that has vision that can actually understand that we need to break down the barriers that allow people with talents to actually display where the real God given asset is. Yes, it’s lowly priced here, so we are just in a joint step here to say that for the very first time, we would deliberately attack the impediments that allow people not to thrive in the creative industry.
While officially accepting the hosting rights for AMAA 2017, Governor Ambode said the State would take advantage of the opportunity to boost its tourism mileage beyond Lagos @ 50.
“The whole essence is to grow the GDP of Lagos; it would bring people into Lagos, they would stay in our hotels, they would come watch the movies and then they would pay their taxes and eventually it’s a conglomerate of goods and services that would escalate our GDP,” the Governor said.
Earlier, President of AMAA, Mrs. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe commended the Governor for his interest in the creative industry, saying that it has given the sector a major boost in recent time.
“It’s amazing to have a Governor who is like a family that seems to understand what our needs are. We’ve never had a Governor of Lagos State who has shown so much deep interest in Nollywood,” she said
She said the 2017 AMAA ceremony, the 13th in the series would feature films from 72 countries with over 23,000 guests from across the African continent vying for various awards.
BEN TV Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday revealed plans by his administration to build a 6000-bed hostel within the campus of Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo in partnership with the private sector to improve on the learning experience in the institution.
Speaking at the 21st Convocation ceremony of LASU held at the university’s auditorium complex, Governor Ambode said government will continue to invest in infrastructure in tertiary institutions in the State including LASU to make them emerge as great citadels of learning and pride of all.
While commending the management and governing council of the institution for the professionalism with which the affairs of LASU had been piloted, Governor Ambode charged them to build on the ranking of the institution as the Best State University in Nigeria to become one of the best five universities in the country by 2020.
The Governor particularly encouraged the management to work assiduously to make LASU emerge as the preferred university of choice by 2025.
He said: “You will recall that at the 20th Convocation of this institution last year, I made a commitment that our Government will invest massively here and upgrade its status to that obtainable anywhere around the world provided all stakeholders can ensure that peace reigns on Campus.
“One of the results of that is the accreditation of this institution’s School of Dentistry; the only State University to have an accredited School of Dentistry.
“We will continue to invest in physical and social infrastructure in this University. We have many projects nearing completion and these legacy projects when completed will no doubt change the entire overview of the landscape of the university. One of these projects is a PPP arrangement to deliver a 6,000-bed hostel for LASU.”
Besides, Governor Ambode urged students of the institution to take advantage of the Ready.Set.Work (RSW) initiative of the State Government to learn necessary entrepreneurial skills to be self-dependent and employer of labour, rather than looking for job after graduating from school.
He said with programmes such as RSW, government will continue to develop the capacity of tertiary institutions in the State to produce graduates who are immediately employable upon entry into the labour market.
While congratulating the eminent Nigerians who were deservedly honoured at the convocation ceremony, the Governor admonished the graduands to be good ambassadors of LASU and the State, especially by conquering the world.
Earlier, LASU Chancellor and retired justice of Supreme Court, Justice Adesola Oguntade, and Chairman of Governing Council of the Institution, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo, in their respective speeches, commended Governor Ambode for matching his words with action in terms of huge investment in infrastructure and academic excellence in the Institution.
They observed that the repositioning of LASU initiated and sustained by the Governor was already yielding results with the recent ranking of the institution as the Best State University in Nigeria in 2016 by the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the first State University to secure full accreditation of its Faculty of Dentistry by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, among other numerous achievements.
Also, Vice Chancellor of LASU, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun thanked the Governor for progressively implementing reforms in the institution, saying while the management of LASU was not resting, it nonetheless can conveniently assert that graduates of the institution have been imbued with cutting-edge ethics and intellectual capabilities to contribute meaningfully to the society.
He also urged public spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the institution especially in building additional lecture halls, among others.
A total of 36, 540 students graduated from various faculties and obtained certificates ranging from diploma, first degree and higher degrees.
Honourary awards were also presented to some eminent Nigerians. They are former NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Peter Okebukola; foremost industrialist, Sir Adebutu Kessington; and one of the richest black women in the world, Chief Mrs Folorunsho Alakija.
BEN TV Lagos
The Lagos State Government on Monday commenced the process of building up data on criminal suspects to aid the gathering of important intelligence that would eventually assist in tracing defendants and providing accurate bio-data for the Courts during prosecution of criminal cases.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, who disclosed this while handing over 750,000 criminal suspect forms to the Lagos State Police Command, said the decision of government on the profiling policy was aimed at bringing about ease of justice delivery and also help in quick record keeping of criminals in the State.
The Attorney-General restated the commitment of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration at ensuring the preservation of law and order and provision of effective criminal justice system in the State, adding that various strategies would be used to gather personal details of suspects, their physical attributes, information about their next of kin and previous convictions.
“With the introduction of the new forms, information about the suspects will assist in profiling and building of important intelligence that could assist in tracing defendants and providing accurate Bio-Data to the Courts during the prosecution of criminal cases in the State”.
“This data will hold information about previous convictions, nature and types of offences committed by convicted persons in the State. The forms will also assist the DNA data-base to be built on the completion of the Lagos State DNA Laboratory which can be interfaced with the collection of data and samples of DNA from suspects and convicted persons which will be warehoused in the Criminal Data Base that will be rolled out to the public soon,” he said.
While assuring the police command that the State Government will continue to partner with the police for effective and efficient justice delivery, Kazeem said the importance of the forms cannot be over emphasized, more so because the information of the suspects and defendants would progressively be transposed to an electronic database which can assist in providing information on previous offending pattern of a suspect.
Besides, the AG urged police officers to adequately use the forms and record information needed when processing suspects through the Charged Room, noting that information not captured at the first opportunity may be difficult to recapture later.
He also promised that the State Government would provide more copies after the initial 750,000 copies are exhausted.
Responding, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who was represented by a Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Command, Bolaji Salami, thanked the Lagos State Governor for his commitment to making the job of Policing more effective and efficient.
BEN TV Lagos
The Nigerian Senate has declared the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Hameed Ali as unfit for holding any public office thereby calling for his resignation as the CG of customs
The Senate takes this decision after deliberating on a letter from the Attorney General of the Federation suggesting that law-makers stay execution on the summon of the customs CG who is billed to appear today with respect to the payment of retrospective custums duties on vehicles
The letter was written in view of a Court process that has been filed to determine if the senate can by the virtue of its oversight responsibilities compel the customs boss to wear uniform.
Reacting to the development, law-makers insist that the Senate should take a decision by declaring the customs CG unfit for his office, saying that the CG Customs action is breach of the Constitution and a grand display of arrogance.
The Senate advises the customs service to totally cancel its policy on payment of retrospective customs duty until a more robust method of collection can be agreed upon,while rejecting the letter written by the Attorney general of the Federation.
In his ruling, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who thanks the Senators for their maturity and contributions in ensuring that no individual undermines democratic institutions, says it is important that the integrity of the Senate must be maintained at all times.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Senate has considered the Request of President Muhammed Buhari for the Approval of the $500m Eurobond to fund the 2016 Budget deficit.
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it would not fold its arms and watch the continuous breach of Environmental and Urban Planning laws of the State, which could pose serious danger to public health and safety of residents.
State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, in a statement, also said the Government would neither be stampeded nor blackmailed into abdicating its constitutional responsibilities to guard against a potential health and environmental hazard in the area by condoning what amounts to a breach of environmental and urban planning laws.
Clarifying its position on why illegal shanties and unwholesome habitation were cleared around Ilado and seafront areas beside Freedom Road, in Lekki, Lagos, Ayorinde said the Environment Ministry’s action was carried out in order to forestall an environmental disaster and another round of deadly skirmishes that led to the razing of the Otodo Gbame Community in November 2016.
The Government denied flouting any court judgment as incorrectly alleged, insisting that it owes a duty to the larger population of the State to ensure that public health and safety is maintained.
According to the statement, the Otodo Gbame Community is one of the 39 claimant communities that had commenced action to enforce their fundamental rights pursuant to Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 before Onigbanjo. J of Lagos Division of the High Court of Lagos State in Suit No. LD/4232MFHR/2016..AKAKPO & 38 ORS vs. AG L/S & 3 ORS.
It added however that the trial judge did not deliver judgment on the matter but rather referred the parties to Multi-Door Court House for mediation.
Ayorinde said: “The leave granted to enforce their rights was tantamount to an order of status quo ante bellum on the parties, which amongst other things, required that the claimants do not take any action within the area after it was destroyed by fire.
“The undisputed fact is that Otodo Gbame was engulfed by fire that razed down the entire community in November 2016, which rendered the area uninhabitable.”
According to the Commissioner, since the claimants had submitted the case for adjudication, it would be unacceptable for them to return to the area or to erect shanties and perpetuate unsanitary and environmentally dangerous conditions, hence, the need for the government to maintain order and public safety.
The statement maintained that the State Government was mindful of the welfare of the affected citizens and had indeed expressed its concerns and willingness to explore an amicable resolution in so far that the demands of the claimants are reasonable and lawful.
The statement reminded the public that Lagos State Government had swiftly responded through its fire services and emergency rescue operations as well as the Police to assist the residents and nearby locations when the entire community was razed down in November 2016 as a result of inter-ethnic clashes there.
Ayorinde stated that the State Government had no interest in the area other than to ensure that the delicate ecosystem of the waterfront remains safe, clean and secure.
He added the State Government appreciates the understanding of the general public and assures its unflinching commitment to the development of the State as an ideal megacity that is sensitive to the needs of the public as well as open and continuous dialogue.
BEN TV Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday assured that his administration will complete the ongoing construction of Ajah Flyover by the end of May 2017, just as he revealed the plans of government to remove three more roundabouts in Lekki-Ajah corridor to ease vehicular movement.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he received the management of Chevron Nigeria Limited led by its Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Jeffrey Ewing, said the roundabouts would be removed starting from next week, adding that the action was in line with the resolve of government to totally eliminate traffic in the axis.
The affected roundabouts, according to Governor Ambode, are Igbo Efon, Chevron and Third Roundabout.
He said since assumption of office, his administration had tried as much as possible to improve on the business environment, and assured that government would continue to invest in security and infrastructure to make life comfortable for residents and investors.
“We have tried to improve services within the State and the area of operation of Chevron which is the Lekki axis is not left out. Few weeks back, we improved on the traffic management towards that axis and we believe that the move would also enhance productivity of the people.
“I also like to use this opportunity to say that because of the impact that we have seen in the elimination of roundabouts in the Lekki axis, we have actually approved another exercise and starting from next week, we will commence the elimination of additional three roundabouts in the axis most especially Chevron, Igbo Efon and Third Roundabout. We believe doing that will totally eliminate traffic in that axis and we hope to also open the Ajah Flyover before the end of May,” Governor Ambode said.
He noted that the essence of government is to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, assuring that he would continue to do his best to provide safe and sound environment.
“Security will be improved upon; we don’t think we have gotten to the ideal state but we will continue to expend resources efficiently on security to ensure that the businesses that come to Lagos and the ones existing in Lagos will continue to thrive,” he said.
Besides, Governor Ambode commended Chevron Nigeria for provision of jobs for people in the State, sound Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as well as being dutiful in the payment of taxes, and expressed readiness to partner with the organization in the interest of the people.
Earlier, Ewing said he was at Lagos House to further advance the partnership that had existed between Chevron and Lagos State, saying that the organization has had a robust relationship with the State for over five decades.
Ewing particularly noted the significant improvement that the present administration in the State had carried out in various sectors of the economy such as road construction, investment in security and education, among others.
He particularly expressed willingness of Chevron to scale up partnership with the State Government in terms of CSR especially on healthcare delivery, education, among others.
BEN TV Lagos
According to him (Dj Nuff Jamz), he has been what he termed an ordinary Dj for over a decade before luck fell before him when he was invited by His Imperial Majesty to set up at the palace for an event which he did without delay. He said ” Oonirisa called me who am I to say no? When Oonirisa calls it’s like a call from above and I did my best not to disappoint and I was amazingly rewarded when after the event he pronounced me as his Official DJ”. He affirmed how he has been made famous by that pronouncement by kabiyesi. “Come to Ife ask for Nuff Jamz everybody knows who I am, come to Palace ask for Nuff Jamz people know the person you want to see, I’m one of those people see as link to Kabiyesi (We give “Eledumare” the glory). He further said, he was able to travel to United Kingdom as a DJ with the assistance of Ooni. Not that he merited it, nor has he done anything so special to deserve that wonderful gesture from the king but because Ooni is a man with a large heart.
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