Archive for March 15th, 2015

(Sports) Arsenal 3-0 West Ham: Giroud Stars In Gunners Stroll @Richard

Arsenal 3-0 West Ham: Giroud stars in Gunners stroll

Olivier Giroud scored his fourth goal in as many Premier League games as Arsenal held off a spirited West Ham to keep their top-four charge on track at the Emirates Stadium.

West Ham battled valiantly despite being under the cosh for much of the first half, before Giroud justified his inclusion ahead of Monday’s FA Cup hero Danny Welbeck when he finished off a well-worked move shortly before the interval.

The visitors gave Arsenal some awkward moments in the second half too, but Giroud then combined with Aaron Ramsey for the Welshman to double the advantage nine minutes from time and then played in Santi Cazorla, who in turn laid on the third for Mathieu Flamini.

In the end, Arsenal eased to a 10th consecutive victory over West Ham in all competitions while it also built further confidence as they seek to overturn their 3-1 first-leg deficit in the Champions League against Monaco on Tuesday.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was forced into naming a makeshift centre-back pairing of Cheikhou Kouyate and James Collins due to injuries.

Theo Walcott, meanwhile, was one five Arsenal changes from that cup win over Manchester United, and he should have opened the scoring following Giroud’s neat backheel early on.

Walcott hesitated, allowing Collins to snuff out the danger, before former Arsenal man Alex Song denied Alexis Sanchez a shot on goal with a well-timed challenge.

The hosts’ early onslaught continued, as Alexis’ header was saved by Adrian before Kevin Nolan had West Ham’s first effort on target – volleying at David Ospina following positive play down the left from Matt Jarvis.

That sparked a good spell for Allardyce’s side, although Ramsey – another to come into Wenger’s XI – almost beat Adrian with an improvised effort off his knee as Arsenal started to regain the upper hand.

After several wasted Arsenal chances, Giroud finally rewarded his side’s persistence in first-half stoppage time when he capped off wonderful interplay with a fierce left-footed strike.

Despite that blow, West Ham started the second half strongly, as Diafra Sakho almost connected with a teasing delivery from the left before Jarvis fired a loose ball over the crossbar.

At the other end, the resistance of Collins and Kouyate gradually began to fade, and late on that man Giroud provided the inspiration again to make the result more comfortable.

First, he was on hand to play in Ramsey, who produced a smart finish inside the area for the second goal.

The Frenchman then clipped the ball in for Cazorla this time to find substitute Flamini for a close-range finish six minutes from time, ensuring Arsenal’s 10th consecutive home win in domestic competition.

(Sports) Nigeria Flying Eagles Survive Ivorian Scare @Richard

Flying Eagles finish as group winners

Manu Garba’s side finished as Group A winners after coming from behind twice to force their west African foes to a draw on Saturday

Nigeria U20 played a 2-2 draw with Cote d’Ivoire U20 in the last Group A game of the African Youth Championship on Saturday.

Goals from Christian Pyagbara and a second half penalty from captain Musa Muhammed were all the Flying Eagles needed to end the preliminary round unbeaten and they will now face either Mali or Ghana in the semi final of the championship on Wednesday.

The match played at the Stade Caroline Faye, M’Bour saw Anderson Niangbo put Ibrahim Kamara’s side, who needed a win, ahead in the fourth minute after drilling a shot past goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke after beating his markers.

13 minutes to the half time break, Chris Bedia put the Young Elephants ahead after as Olorunleke goofed his lowly placed shot even as Muhammed’s run towards clearing the line proved abortive.

Kamara’s side could have made it 3-1 in the closing of the first half but Anderson’s effort went over the cross bar as they Flying Eagles found it difficult to penetrate their opponent’s backline.

On resumption of the second half, Nigeria mounted pressure on Cote d’Ivoire and got rewarded as Muhammed was fouled in the penalty area as referee Mutaz Abdelbasit Khairalla from Sudan had no chance than to point to the penalty spot.

Muhammed stepped up to send goalkeeper Aboubakar Diabagate the wrong way for the leveller and his third of the competition.

Both teams struggled to get the match winner as the game drew to a close with Cote d’Ivoire kissing the AYC goodbye.

With this result, Manu’s boys finished Group A with seven points as hosts Senegal finished as runners up after edging Congo 4-3 at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor, Dakar with Sidy Sarr netting a brace.

Mr & Mrs 2face Idibia And Friends @Richard

Photos: Annie Idibia smoulders in Philipp Plein

(Sports) All You Need To Know About The Transfer News @Richard

Ings to reject Liverpool for United

Danny Ings is reportedly ready to reject a move to Liverpool in order to join Manchester United on a free transfer from Burnley this summer.

Source: Daily Star
Sunday, March 15, 2015 01:43

Mystery €42m bid for Dybala

Palermo chairman Maurizio Zamperini has confirmed he has received a €42 million bid from an unnamed club for Paulo Dybala. Arsenal, Manchester United and Juventus are all interested in the Argentine.

Source: Daily Express
Sunday, March 15, 2015 01:41

Newcastle ready Gameiro bid

Newcastle chief scout Graham Carr was in Spain to watch Kevin Gameiro lead Sevilla to a comprehensive win over Villarreal on Thursday and has highly recommended the Frenchman to John Carver. He is valued at €14m.

Source: Daily Mirror
Sunday, March 15, 2015 01:22

Bale ready for Premier League return

Gareth Bale is reportedly ready to move back to the Premier LEague. The 25-year-old has come under fire this year and would be open to a move with Manchester United the heavy favourites.

Source: Daily Mirror
Sunday, March 15, 2015 01:17

Man Utd make Ronaldo contact

Manchester United have made the first move over a potential summer transfer for Cristiano Ronaldo. The Red Devils have contacted his agent Jorge Mendes over a possible €100m bid.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 01:15

Celtic plot Gerrard loan move

Celtic are hopeful of taking Steven Gerrard on loan from LA Galaxy once the Liverpool legend makes the move to the MLS. A loan move to the Glasgow giants would take place in January 2016.

Source: Daily Mirror
Sunday, March 15, 2015 00:38

Man City ready Sterling bid

Manuel Pellegrini is plotting Manchester City’s recovery already and plans on making moves for ‘top players’ beginning with Liverpool star Raheem Sterling. Ross Barkley is also on the radar.

Source: Daily Mirror
Sunday, March 15, 2015 00:25

Alderweireld wants to keep playing for Southampton

The belgian player was playing as loan for Premier League team and it seems that the player doen’t want to return to Atletico this summer.

Juventus have an agreement with Dybala

Juventus keep working to sign a forward and one of their option is Palermo player. He scored 12 goals at Serie A.

Real Madrid to review Ramos situation at the end of this season

Real Madrid has undertaken two attempts to renew Sergio Ramos, buet the defender is not hurry. Both will not longer to talk until June.

(Politics) The Problem With Buhari On Boko Haram, Corruption — Peter Obi @Richard

•‘Jonathan’s re-election will  strengthen Nigeria’s unity’

Mr. Peter Obi, the Deputy Director of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation (South) is a former governor of Anambra State. He was in Lagos on Friday and fielded questions from journalists on issues relating to the forthcoming elections. Excerpts:

You have demonstrated strong commitment to President Goodluck Jonathan. What, really, is the basis of your support for him?

Before I go into reasons why I support him, it is pertinent to clarify the attributes of a good leader. Among others, a good leader is humble, straightforward, tolerant, firm, fair to all, accountable, and of strong character and integrity. He or she must be prepared to learn and to acknowledge and   respect other viewpoints.

Of course, nobody possesses all these qualities, but you have to admit that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan portrays quite a number of them.  We all have our shortcomings, but any person who really loves Nigeria should appreciate that Jonathan has been applying these traits in his role as President.

Over the years, we have seen the ways successive leaders have wielded the tremendous powers of their office. But, President Jonathan has exercised commendable humility in the use of those powers. By way of illustration, he has promoted free, fair & credible elections even at the cost of his party losing some important positions – such as governors of Anambra, Edo and Ondo. These elections were accorded high ratings by local and international observers alike. Nigerians are now seeing that their votes count and their real choices emerge.

On appointments, Jonathan has ensured the steady elevation of merit. A look at the membership of his cabinet and parastatal chief executives is revealing. In the same vein, he has gone beyond the expectations of affirmative action for gender equality in his appointment of women as ministers, Chief Justice of the Federation and a number of other strategic positions.

Jonathan has been committed to freedom of expression, rule of law and fundamental human rights. Soon after his election in 2011, he signed the Freedom of Information Bill into law [Act]. There is no restriction on media ownership and media practitioners operate in liberty – even to throw brick-bats at the President himself. You are aware that the Freedom of Information Bill was passed by the National Assembly 11 years before.

*Gov Peter Obi

In rejecting dictatorial politics, he strengthened the National Human Rights Commission with an independent board of directors led by an international human rights scholar & lawyer. To the best of my knowledge, there are no ‘political prisoners’ or ‘political detainees’ under this dispensation.

Jonathan is the first Nigerian leader to convoke a National Conference, comprising delegates of high integrity. Given their value-added resolutions, Nigerians are now looking forward to getting a People’s Constitution.

Indeed, what Nigeria needs today is not to change its President, but to support him to complete the good work he has started. What Nigeria needs is change of Constitution and the structure of the country for the mutual benefit of its constituents.

I support President Jonathan very much because he represents the unity of our country. This is the first time, by God’s design, that somebody, from the South-South [that for over 40 years had produced the wealth of the nation], has emerged the President of the country. We should, with all sense of justice and equity, allow him a second term — four more years that will strengthen the unity of the country; four more years that will consolidate the tremendous progress of the first term. We should not forget the wisdom in permitting the South-West to produce the President to placate them because of June 12. Let our leaders display that wisdom again for the continued peace and progress of our great country, Nigeria.

Your newspaper articles and commentaries reflect your emphasis on issue-based campaigns. Beside his personal traits, why should the electorate return President Jonathan for a second term?

I am happy this is an issue-based interview. President Jonathan has performed creditably in all the sectors of the economy, polity and society. If we have the time, I will clarify each of them.

The Opposition always says that President Jonathan has not done well on security. What is your take on the claim?

It is ironical that once security is mentioned, people’s minds go to kidnapping in the South-East and Boko Haram in the North-East. You recall what Abia State used to be and how Jonathan co-ordinated security agencies to take on the challenges head-on. Today, you could walk safely on Abia streets anytime. The situation is similar in other South-east states.

We should realize that security challenges which border on terrorism — such as the Boko Haram & ISIS threats – are global phenomena. With the collapse of some governments in the Arab world [such as Iraq, Syria & Libya], thousands of loose cannons literally spiralled into many other countries.

To appreciate the efforts of the Jonathan administration in tackling Boko Haram, we could take note of how long & complicated it has been for a powerful international coalition to deal with ISIS in the Middle East. These are not combatants engaged in conventional warfare, which is perhaps why it took some time to develop strategies to take them on successfully.

In concert with our neighbours [Chad, Cameroun & Niger], quite a lot of successes have been achieved in dealing with Boko Haram.     They have been literally caged, and we are now assured that normalcy would be restored to the affected areas in a few weeks.

It is shocking that the comments of the opposition on Boko Haram give the impressions that they are in partnership with the criminals. They variously criticized the President’s “excessive use of force on the cultists” and his “lack of will” to take them on. On the missing girls and others, the opposition talks as if they know where the victims are being held, even as they have fallen short of accusing the President of supervising the abductions. Every sane person within and outside our shores empathizes with the victims and their families. Many across the world have been praying daily for their safe return.

There is a lot to learn from threats to national security. Nations go through tough times and, with a united front, they emerge stronger and forge ahead. What could be more traumatic for the Americans than the 9/11 tragedy, when the Twin Towers and the Pentagon [Defence Headquarters] were attacked. Americans did not blame President Bush, but rather rallied round him. The MF 370 aircraft on an international flight has been missing for over a year, yet Malaysians are not blaming it on their Prime Minister. Recently, 137 students were murdered in Pakistan by terrorists, but Pakistanis did not blame their President.  The focus has been on containing the threats.   From the inclination of some Nigerians, I know, God forbid, that if earthquake takes place in Nigeria, some Nigerians will say that Jonathan is Poseidon himself.

Alas, in Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan would have been blamed roundly and vilified. It is worrisome to hear APC say that if General Muhammadu Buhari comes to power, he will solve the problem of insurgency. As a former Head of State & a retired officer of the Nigerian Army, General Buhari has direct access to the President, the National Council of State and the leadership of the Armed Forces – to whom he could have availed his ideas on how to defeat Boko Haram and related threats.

That is a patriotic duty; not a political party initiative. All over the world, people & institutions — in and out government — have been proffering solutions to their countries’ problems, which have been applied in the national interest and for the common good. In the US, for instance, how many people know what roles former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush [Snr. & Jnr.] & Bill Clinton have been playing quietly for their beloved country? Or, what about former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the UK?

The opposition has identified corruption as Nigeria’ greatest problem; and that General Muhammadu Buhari has the will and capacity to deal with it.   How do you react to this?

I have always maintained that General Buhari is a respected elder statesman, we must acknowledge that the personal integrity of Buhari does not translate to party or corporate integrity.

Having observed that General Buhari is a man of integrity, we should be bothered by the antecedents of most of the people around him. The primary characteristic of a corrupt person is greed, always manifested in primitive acquisition of everything for himself, his family and cronies. This is exactly the history of the feudal lords. If we exclude Buhari and one or two others in the APC, you will notice that the party boasts the greediest set of Nigerians ready to acquire the country for their selfish ends – if they come into office.

History is not too remote for us to examine these people and their acquisitions in public office and juxtapose our findings with what they had before going into politics. Good leadership requires humility, honesty, tolerance, simplicity and the ability to work with dedication towards making the society a better place. As somebody who has held public office, I can tell you that the more a person is addicted to conspicuous consumption & primitive acquisition, the more corrupt the person will be.

How true is the claim that the Nigerian economy is now the biggest in Africa?

President Goodluck Jonathan

Clearly, President Jonathan has achieved more in economic development than any of his predecessors. All sectors have been positively affected since 2011, when he came into office. The rebasing of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product ranked the nation’s economy 1st in Africa and 26th globally; from 3rd and 46th respectively. It also showed that the economy has been more widely diversified than before.

It will bear repetition to be reminded that Nigeria successfully hosted a World economic Forum in 2014, Foreign Direct Investments    were boosted from US$24.9 million as at 2007 to over US$35 billion by 2014; and virtually all quoted companies doubled in size, assets & profit. The marvels in the road sector show that the Jonathan administration has rendered over 25,000 kilometres of federal road motorable, from barely 5,000 kilometres as at 2011; work is on-going for a second bridge over the River Niger and on the Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue; Onitsha now has a port and the dredging of the River Niger is opening up our inland waterways; Nigerian railways has been resuscitated from a 30-years-old coma, with over 3,500 kilometres of lines now operational. In the meantime, 22 airports have been remodelled to meet international standards.   He is simultaneously constructing five international terminals, as has never witnessed anywhere in the world, in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu.

President Jonathan’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda [ATA] has been making waves across the country and internationally.   We now export cassava and increasingly attaining self-sufficiency in rice production. Other agricultural products are also witnessing tremendous outputs. With the rehabilitation of 19 dams and construction of 14 irrigation projects, millions of Nigerian farmers are engaging in all-season farming across the country.

Taking the courageous decision to privatize the power sector, President Jonathan has given it the necessary fillip. Power generation has gone up from some 2,000 megawatts in 2011 to some 5,000 megawatts as at 2014. Even as more independent power plants are being commissioned, the administration tackling the menace of sabotage of gas supplies.

Similarly, the oil & gas sector has witnessed tremendous growth developments since 2011. Nigeria now has a strong Energy Policy, and the Nigeria Content Act is being faithfully implemented. When passed into law, the widely-acclaimed Petroleum Industry Bill [PIB] will help instil transparency & accountability in the sector; and give the country and its people greater control of its oil & gas resources. To check the twin menace of oil theft & pipeline vandalism, the President instituted a novel mechanism of collective responsibility, involving the three tiers of government, oil companies, oil producing communities and security agencies.

Education and Health have also received concrete support. Aside from investing in primary and secondary education, President Jonathan strengthened the Tertiary Education Trust [TET] Fund. He has since established 14 universities [including a Maritime University at Oron]. In the same vein, primary, secondary & tertiary healthcare establishments across the country have been receiving regular support in funding, personnel and equipment.

In exercising the political will to remove a sizeable amount of oil subsidies, the President put a lot of fraudsters and leeches out of business. The monies so saved are being utilized to finance people-oriented projects under the Subsidy Re-Investment & Empowerment Programme [SURE-P]. SURE-P is actively involved in a wide spectrum of development projects & services across the country. These include dual carriageways, rail-lines, maternal & child health, and Graduate Internships.

What is the problem with the Naira?

The devaluation of the Naira is in response to developments in the global economy. The fall in oil prices has affected Nigeria and other countries which are heavily dependent on it. These include Russia, Venezuela, Mexico, Iran, Iraq, Lybia, among others, which have recorded high depreciation of their currencies. As a matter of fact, we are cushioning the effects better with the growth and expansion of the agricultural sector such that our food import bill has been by over 50%.

Could you give us concrete example of how Jonathan has diversified our economy?

The Agricultural Transformation Agenda [ATA] has really elevated the sector to a pride of place in the economy. As I indicated earlier, we have become self-sufficient in the production of a number of products as over 9 million metric tonnes of food were produced last year alone; we now have dry season farming is many areas with minimum rainfall; and we export some products that we imported a few years ago.

Buhari, Jega and Jonatrhan

It is under Jonathan that Nigeria started to revamp the auto industry. Today, PAN, VON, ANNAMCO are all revived.   New ones such as Innoson Motor Manufacturing at Nnewi and Nissan are doing very well. Other areas of manufacturing are receiving attention. The local content bill has not only empowered local operators, but has led to the local manufacturing and fabrication of components required in the sector, thus creating many jobs.

In the area of Housing, with over 17 million housing deficit and ownership of houses for most Nigerians impossible, the present government has established a Mortgage Re-financing Company to help provide the primary mortgage company the long-term funds. The President will soon launch the Development Bank of Nigeria that will provide finances to our entrepreneurs and the real sector.

The Government has provided various types of intervention platforms. They include the N400 billion & N200 billion MSME Fund as well as the N100 Billion Sugar Intervention Fund.

Nigeria is among the MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) countries – fast-growing economies with immense potentials.

What would you say of the North’s insistence of producing the next president?

All I can say is that fairness demands we allow a southern another four years. Like I said earlier, it will do us more good than harm as a country. In all its political outings at the centre, the North received the full support of the South-South. North should support them and in the next four years they have an ample time to prepare younger and more energetic candidate for 2019, who should possess Buhari’s integrity. My belief is that for the stability and cohesion of our country and people, Jonathan should be voted in. Let us not pretend to be suffering from collective amnesia.

– Vanguard

(Photo News) President Jonathan Visits Adamawa, Holds Meeting With Top Stakeholders @Richard

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