Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has called Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos a great player but said he is not his kind of central defender and Ramos teammate Raphael Varane is the World best defender. This comes after Van Dijk Centre back partner Dejan Lovren called Ramos weak after Croatia’s win over Spain.
Lovren has made his opinion of Ramos clear since the Spaniard injured Mohamed Salah’s shoulder in the Champions League final in May. Liverpool felt aggrieved and that Ramos’ actions were deliberate, something Lovren is still smarting about. He was critical of Ramos prior to Croatia’s Nations League game with Spain on Thursday night and carried on the insults after the beaten World Cup finalist’s dramatic 3-2 victory.
‘Haha! 3-2! Go ahead and talk now buddy. Buddy! They are a bunch of p******,’ Lovren said on a live Instagram story, before adding that he ‘elbowed him good’ in Croatian.’ Now Van Dijk has added further fuel to the flames by backing up Lovren’s assertion that Raphael Varane is on a different level to his centre back partner at Real.
‘He is a great player and I respect what he has achieved but he is not the best, he is not my type of central defender,’ Van Dijk told De Telegraaf. ‘Ramos’ team-mate at Real Madrid, Raphael Varane is my favourite. He is an excellent defender and has already won a lot.’ Van Dijk insisted he did not know if the challenge on Salah was deliberate, but his suggestion that Real’s game-plan altered immediately after he was taken off speaks volumes.
‘I do not know if it was deliberate but mentally something changed when Salah came off,’ the Dutch defender added. ‘Suddenly, Marcelo, [Karim] Benzema and [Cristiano] Ronaldo all appeared at Trent and released the entire right side. With Salah they never dared to do that. ‘The match could have been different. I sometimes think about the match but I hope to be in the final again and on the right side of the score.’
The Cross River State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Mathew Achigbe, was killed in an autocrash along Afikpo Road in Ebonyi State, the Nation reported on Saturday night.
Even though details of the incident could not be immediately ascertained, it was learnt a couple of other people died in the crash with him.
He was travelling to his hometown in Obubra Local Government Area for a meeting when the accident occurred, it was learnt.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Raheem Olawuyi, was on Saturday declared the winner of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency bye-election held across the four councils in Kwara.
The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji, while declaring the result at the Irepodun Local Government Secretariat in Omu-Aran, said Olawuyi polled 21, 236 to emerge winner.
He defeated his closest rival, Saheed Damilare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 18, 095.
Abimbola, who is of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said Olawuyi having scored the highest number of votes in the election was declared winner.
Other contestants in the election were Femi Ona-Ara of Labour Party, Ajadi Olayemi of Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) as well as Olaniyan Ayorinde of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Abimbola gave the total number of total registered voters as collated as 168, 707, accredited voters as 41,185, the total valid votes as 39,599, total number of rejected votes as 1, 331 and total number of votes cast as 40,930.
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has given Dr. Amayo Stella Adadevoh a post-humous Star award for her selfless and heroic service to the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaa Adewole, was also honoured for his efforts towards revitalisation of the dilapidated primary health care facilities across the country. The minister had targeted to upgrade 10,000 primary health care centres.
It was at the MDCAN 2018 Public Lecture and Award, with the theme “Politics and Health: Implications of Nexus To The Nigerian Citizen,” in Abuja
Adadevoh was the lead clinician treating Sawyer in the First Consultant Hospital, Lagos, when he was presented to that hospital.
She, in defending the country, refused all entreaties to allow Mr. Sawyer, the Ebola patient leave the hospital to attend the Calabar conference.
The grand-daughter of late Nigerian foremost politician, Herbert Marculay, was eventually diagnosed of the killer virus and died in the process.
The MDCAN star award, which is the highest in the award category, was therefore in recognition of her strength of character and singular ultimate sacrifice to prevent the spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria in 2014.
In his welcome remark, Prof. Ngim Ngim, MDCAN President, said the honour to Adadevoh was deliberate as she was yet to get the recognition that she deserved.
He said, “The honour on late Stella was a deliberate decision as we believe that not enough have been done to appreciate her sacrifice and to immortalised her.”
Ngim also called on the government to do the needful by giving the late Adadevoh the recognition she so much deserve for her heroic act.
He stressed that for her patriotic act, the country would have been in a serious problem at that time; adding that a lot of people would have died in the process as it would have been very difficult to contain the spread of Ebola if she had not played her part very well.
She paid the supreme price with her life to prevent the country from being plunged into serious calamity.
Ngim who also spoke on the theme of the public lecture, urged medical practitioners to play active role in the politics. Stressing that there is no way the practice will address the health challenges without playing politics.
The immediate past Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on his part blamed some politicians for preventing the past government from honoring the late Adadevoh.
The former minister who was the Chairman of the occasion revealed that the former President Goodluck Jonathan had concluded arrangement to name her along some other Nigerians as national heroes in recognition of their efforts in containing the outbreak of Ebola virus in country when he was advised against the move.
He said: “At a time, I know how many hours I spent on the phone and laptop some time in 2014 with Dr. Rueben Abatan, who you know was the Chief Spokesperson of Mr. President Jonathan,” he said.
He added, “There are people who told Mr. President that this woman cannot be a national hero. Yes but sometimes people just write. Let me tell you it is part of what the guest speaker is going to tell us today on how health mixes with politics.”
“So when someone becomes Mr. President, pity him because he does not take all the decisions but receives blames for what he did not say.”
He, however, assured that he will expose those who went against announcing Adadevoh as a national hero in his book.
Speaking on politics and health, he said even at the World Health Organisation politics goes on.
“Let me just say that health will always be part of politics and politics part of health. Ministers’ are politicians,” he added.
In his lecture, Prof. Akin Osibogun, who was the Guest Speaker, was of the opinion that the contribution of MDCAN may yet set the tone for the expected national debates ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Former Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and public health expert, also revealed that about 70 million Nigerians live below poverty line.
“The poor are more likely to be sick and when sick, least likely to access health services promptly. The cost of illness is not just the cost of treatment, but includes the cost of treatment-seeking activities such as transportation to the hospital.
“Poverty remains a most important determinant of ill-health as it contributes significantly to increased exposure to disease-causing agents and also prevents access to health care services once disease has occurred,” he said.
Other awardees are: Prof. Mohammed Borodo, Emeritus Prof. Umaru Shehu, a royal father, Prof. Itam Hogan Itam, and Prof. Mustapha Abudu Danesi.
MDCAN also recognised it past leaders among who are Prof. Florencio Ike Iweze, Prof. Akitpye Olusegun Coker, Prof. Adenike Grange, Prof. Philip Abiodun, Prof. Edward Ejiro Emuveyan, Prof. Augustine Orhue, Prof. Geoffrey Onyemelukwe, Prof. Stanley Anyanwu, Dr. Wadzani Gashau, Prof. Suleiman Giwa, Dr. Lamidi Isah Audu, Prof. Owoidoho Udofia, Prof. Gadzama and Prof. Balarabe Sani Garko.
A senatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ondo State, Dr. Tunji Abayomi has dumped the ruling party for the Action Alliance(AA), alleging irregularities, marginalisation and unconstitutional action by the APC leadership.
The incumbent Ondo North Senator, Prof Ajayi Boroffice was cleared by the National Working Committee(NWC) to re-contest the seat for the senatorial district in 2019 while the APC leadership in the state favoured Abayomi as its candidate for the seat.
Abayomi in a letter to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, described as unacceptable to his people the denial of their constitutional rights which was against the laid down constitution and rules of the party.
His words ” It is never the leaders who at any rate are expected to be chosen by the people that impose candidates in democracy. This is why the constitution of APC defines candidates as “any person who has been nominated at a primary or party election to contest at a general election”.
“In keeping with long standing determination to fight for my right and your right, I will run for Senate in Ondo North Senatorial Zone on the platform of Action Alliance,” he said.
Pastor Tonye Cole, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, and his team on ward-to-ward consultation narrowly escaped assassination at Bakana-Kalabari in the state, according to a report monitored via the Nation.
Cole, a businessman and co-founder of Sahara Group, however, said yesterday in Port Harcourt, that he remained undeterred in his determination to ensure good governance in Rivers.
The Director-General of Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, also stated that the standard bearer of APC in Rivers would pull the state out of backwardness, poverty and the abyss of bad governance.
He disclosed that it took the security detachment attached to the APC’s governorship candidate to repel the attackers from advancing to kill Cole, a Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
The campaign organisation’s chief said: “Bloodbath was averted at Old Bakana, as gunmen alleged to be sponsored by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) serving commissioner in Nyesom Wike’s government from the area, opened heavy gunfire on Pastor Cole and his team, as they were carrying out ward-to-ward consultation in the community.
“On arrival at the community and as is usual with the team, Pastor Cole and other leaders of the APC on the delegation had gone to pay a courtesy visit on the traditional head of the community, prior to commencement of the exercise, when heavy gunfire erupted from all directions of the community.
“Cole immediately showed courage and leadership by ordering his team members to remain calm indoors, while the security detachment attached to the team was allowed to repel the advancing armed attackers.
“It took a while before the marauding gunmen were repelled by the security men and the area secured. Subsequently, Cole directed that the exercise must go on at the designated arena, after which the team departed for Bakana to continue with the exercise.
“Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation and APC vehemently condemn the dastardly act, reminiscent of what was carried out in 2015 against the APC and its governorship candidate (Dr. Dakuku Peterside) in Okrika and other similar incidents carried out by PDP and their gunmen across Rivers State.”
Lloyd also reiterated that just on Thursday, instead of the PDP members to tackle its internal crisis that had snowballed into open confrontation between them in Ikwerre Local Government, they found it convenient to blame APC members for the violence and killing of two persons at Ipo in the LGA.
He noted that Rivers APC leaders also alerted the world that the PDP leaders were merely pointing at the APC to cover up their internal turmoil, while emphasising the fact that it was a ploy to prepare the grounds for them to commence another round of bloody attacks on APC members in the state, declaring that in just about 24 hours, their fears had manifested.
The Director-General of Tonye Cole campaign organisation said: “The governorship candidate of our party, Pastor Cole, is a God-fearing gentleman, whose only driving force to lead Rivers State is hinged on his conviction that every aspect of Rivers society is broken and needs urgent mending. He believes that if our youths are given jobs, they will not make themselves available for criminal enterprise.
“Let us serve notice that forces of darkness behind the violence and their allies will never be able to deter, intimidate or stop Pastor Cole and his supporters from the task of providing the enabling environment to mend and pull our society out of backwardness, poverty and from the abyss of bad governance.
“We call on the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Director of the Department of State Service and other security agencies to thoroughly and diligently investigate the incident and all such incidents, with a view to bringing to justice those directly and indirectly behind them.”
Lloyd assured that APC’s governorship candidate would be Rivers governor from May 29 next year, through the massive support of the state’s electorate, who he said were yearning for positive and impactful change.
Nigeria is said to practice the most expensive democracy in the world with office holders earning upto N15million or more but outgoing Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has claimed that he did not earn salaries throughout the eight years of his administration.
Speaking during an interactive programme tagged ‘Ogbeni Till Day Break’, the governor who is handing over to his successor Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola on November 27, said since it was the state that was feeding him, fuelling his cars and provided him with accommodation, there was no need for him to be paid.
Aregbesola also said that he did not have bank accounts where money was kept in any part of the world.
He said, “I have not collected salaries since I became the governor of the state. The state feeds me, fuels my car and provided me accommodation. With all these, I don’t need money. I have no money and bank account anywhere.
“I have no house except the one I built before I became the governor. Anyone can go out there to investigate if I have bank accounts.”
He said he would vacate the government house tomorrow adding that the decision to leave the government house earlier was to give his successor enough time to do necessary renovations.
When asked what his regrets were as a governor in the last eight years, he said he had no regrets.
He said, “If you give me another four years to rule again, I will still do what I did before and I will not do anything differently.”
On his next political plans after office, Aregbesola said he was going to rest for awhile from politics.
“I have been in politics since my secondary school days. I have been an absentee husband for many years because of politics but for now, I want to be with my wife,” Aregbesola said.
On his achievements, the governor said he was happy that his social investment programmes supported and transformed the lives of the people in the state.
He also said that the infrastructure development his administration embarked upon would continue to be a reference point in the state, adding that all the roads he built would last for the next 50 years.
Aregbesola, however described his successor as a silent achiever and a goal-getter expected to build on his legacies.
He said “Oyetola is not radical like me but he is a silent achiever. He contributed immensely to the success of my administration and I know he will do well in office.”
Is Senate President Bukola Saraki losing his grip in Kwara State which has traditionally been his stronghold?
That is the question on the lips of many as the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC late Saturday night declared Mr Tunji Olawuyi of All Progressive Congress APC as the winner of the bye-election for Irepodu /Isin/Ole Ero/Ekiti Federal Constituency to fill the vacant seat of Late Finke Adedoyin who passed on recently.
The INEC returning officer, Prof Abimbola Adedoji who announced the result said Mr Tunji Olawuyi of the All Progressive Congress APC polled 21,236 votes to defeat its rival Saheed Alatishe of People Democratic Party PDP who polled 18,095
Earlier, there was massive turn out of voters in most polling units in communities in Oke-Ero Local Government Area.
The atmosphere was peaceful as voters conduct themselves orderly while security agents were seen at polling centres and some other strategic areas monitoring security.
Voters who came to polling centres with temporary voter’s cards could not however vote as card readers did not authenticate their cards.
Speaking with journalists after casting his vote at Oro ward II, Onikoyi polling unit, Oro town, minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, commended the conduct of the election, saying that he was impressed with massive turn out.
The minister, who expressed the APC to win the election, said that people of the area were mobilized before the poll.
Also speaking at Ajase Ipo ward 1, in front of Olupo palace, the PDP stalwart and commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu, who said that the election witnessed impressive turn out of voters, however, said that people complained of malfunctioning of card readers in some areas.
Traditional ruler of Odo-Owa in Ekiti local government area of the state, Oba Joshua Akinyemi Adimula, condemned use of only card reader machine, saying that alternative of manual accreditation ought to be allowed.
He said insistence on the card reader alone denied many people of the right to vote.
Chairman of the local government, Joseph Oni, who voted in his Idofin-Igbana community expressed satisfaction with turn out of voters and the conduct of the election.
Oni, who said that there was no vote buying or any other malpractice in the exercise, explained that replacement of the machines were made by INEC officials where card readers were not functioning properly.
There was however a clash among party supporters in Ekan-meje community but security agents quickly came in to douse tension.
Also speaking, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara State, Alhaji Attahiru Madami, commended voters for their peaceful conduct .
Madami, who spoke to journalists at Osi 07 Unit 0001, S.D.A school , Osi in Ekiti local government area of the state noted that “The electoral process as been so peaceful, perfect and encouraging. In fact, I am highly impressed and it is my hope that Nigerians will emulate Kwara State in future elections.
“Card readers are functioning well and security agents are in full charge. It is my advice that politicians are to accept the outcome of the polls humbly and with the spirit of sportsmanship.”
Leonardo Bonucci described the tactical change that allowed Portugal to neutralise Italy and referred to San Siro boo boys as “idiots.”
The Azzurri dominated the first hour of the Nations League match, but could not go beyond a 0-0 draw.
“We tried our best, with a great first half performance and two or three chances that could’ve allowed us to break through,” the defender told Rai Sport.
“After the break, Portugal changed a few things tactically and managed to block off our creative centres. Bernardo Silva closed up on Marco Verratti and Jorginho, but we still managed to pass our way towards goal and just need to be more determined in attack.”
Bonucci was jeered at his every touch by the Milan supporters at San Siro, who took this Italy game as an opportunity to protest his move back to Juventus.
“There are always idiots out there. I have the confidence of my teammates and the Coach, so that’s all that matters.”
Despite occupying the second position on the log with 9 points behind Nigeria, South Africa could be said to be walking on a tight rope following Libya’s goal feast against Seychelles on Saturday.
The Mediterranean Knights came shot of spelling Seychelles with goals leaving the score line at 8-1. The currently sit on the third position with 7 points and will take on South Africa in their last match in March last year.
Should they claim the maximum three points against the South Africans, they will be on 10 points and could edge the South Africans out of the second position. Two teams will qualify from each group.
Meanwhile South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has expressed disappointment with the 1-1 draw his team recorded against Super Eagles at the FNB Stadium on Saturday. Baxter who nonetheless expressed delight that it did not end in defeat for his side insisted his team played better and should have carried the day. The boys he further added must improve ahead of the final battle against Libya.
“I am disappointed because I believe we should have won the match. We have to do more ahead of the match against Libya” he said shortly after the match.
The Super Eagles who had been tipped in some quarters to come out smoking with intent to revenge on the 2-0 defeat at home by Bafana Bafana, failed to perform to optimal level failing intermittently to create and convert chances.
Interestingly it was Bafana Bafana that scored the two goals recorded in the match. Buhle Mkhwanazi had put Nigeria ahead in the early minutes of the match after deflected Samuel Kalu’s cross into his own goal with goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in no position to save the situation.
Percy Tau however set up an equalizer in the 26th minute of the match when he successfully displaced Nigerian defenders to create chance for teammate Lebo Mothiba to deliver with ease.
Nigeria were the better team in the second-half and had the ball in the back of the net in the 84th minute after Alex Iwobi had played through Ahmed Musa, but the assistant’s flag was raised for offside.
Despite the draw, Nigeria did not only maintain leadership of the group but also picked one of the tickets to Cameroon 2019 with 10 points in the kitty with the last match at home against Seychelles next on the log.