NFF thanks President Buhari for support

Three –time champions Nigeria flew majestically back to the biggest football houseparty on the continent after being held 1-1 by South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday.

It was certainly not one of the classics, but the result meant only one other team in Gourp E (either Libya or South Africa) could end up with the same 10 points that Nigeria already have, by the of the qualification series in March 2019. But Libya’s 8-1 defeat of their hosts Seychelles on Mahé Island would create real fear in the Bafana Bafana going into that last battle against the Mediterranean Knights in Tunisia.

At the FNB Stadium in Soweto on a sunny afternoon, Nigeria made the brightest start with stand –in Captain Ahmed Musa watching his shot held by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in the 6th minute, and two minutes later Nigeria had the ball in the net after a sweet combination by Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho. But Gambian Referee Papa Gassama ruled it off-side, on the prompting of the assistant referee.

A minute later, Nigeria pushed their noses in front as Samuel Kalu, playing in an unaccustomed wing back role, outpaced Sfiso Hlanti and pulled out, only for Buhle Mkhwanazi to divert it past Khune into the net.

In the 11th minute, Bafana had a glorious chance to equalize as the irrepressible Percy Tau got behind the Nigerian defence, only to be thwarted by Kalu.

It became a ding-dong as the match gathered some vibrancy, with Captain Thulani Hlatshwayo arriving late for a free –kick and Mothiba wrong –footed, and at the other end, William Ekong’s run to a good chance from a corner was foiled and Kalu shot too high from an Ahmed Musa corner.

Bafana were level in the 26th minute though, as the nimble –footed Tau, appropriately named Man-of-the-Match, left Ekong and Omeruo in no-man’s-land and drilled a selfless pass to Mothiba, beyond a sprawling Ikechukwu Ezenwa, to slot into an empty net.

Nigeria could have reclaimed leadership in the 36th minute, but after Musa did all the work, Iheanacho’s atrocious first touch bungled the opportunity.

In the second period, both teams sought to conserve energy in a high altitude environment. Two minutes before the hour, midfielder John Ogu’s header from another Nigerian corner was headed for the net before Themba Zwani headed it away, and 15 minutes later, Kenneth Omeruo’s lofty header from yet another corner missed narrowly.

In the 83rd minute, another big talking point surfaced when Musa ran onto a great pass and slotted past Khune, only to be deemed off-side.

Having missed the last two AFCON finals, Nigeria have now joined hosts Cameroon, Madagascar, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Uganda as the teams already guaranteed slots at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, to be hosted by Cameroon.

An ecstatic President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick heaped encomiums on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for providing the conducive environment for Nigerian Football to continue to thrive, while praising specially Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State who led the Nigeria delegation to the big match.

This is great day for Nigerian Football. Just as happened in the qualifying series for the FIFA World Cup, we have won the ticket to the AFCON with a match to spare. This victory is for President Muhammadu Buhari and the Government and people of Nigeria. We commend the technical crew and the players, and I must praise Governor Simon Lalong who is here with his wife to support the team. He has been a pillar of support. I also congratulate the Members of the NFF Executive Committee, NFF Management and Staff, Members of the NFF Congress, Football Stakeholders and the media.

We will begin the preparations for the AFCON immediately. As I have said several times, we do not want the AFCON ticket just to go there and make up the number, but to make a massive impact at the finals,” said Pinnick, who is also the President of the AFCON Organizing Committee, aside being the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football.

The Nigerian delegation is expected to fly back to Asaba, Delta State in the early hours of Sunday. The Super Eagles have a friendly international with the Cranes of Uganda at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Tuesday evening.

South Africa, who host Paraguay in the annual Nelson Mandela Memorial Challenge in Durban also on Tuesday, must avoid defeat to Libya in Tunisia in March to qualify for the 2019 AFCON, while Nigeria have a relatively easy session at home to Seychelles.

Buhari sends special message to the Super Eagles

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The team’s draw score against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday had secured the team the ticket.

In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the President joined millions of football-loving Nigerians in commending the team for their spirited and disciplined performance against a very formidable opponent which earned them qualification with the final match against Seychelles a mere formality.

Having keenly followed the senior national football team’s progress in the qualifying stages, President Buhari was enthused by their confidence, sense of patriotism and professionalism, and recommended these attributes to other Nigerians.

He equally commended the coaching crew, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Supporters Club, especially Nigerians residing in South Africa who turned out in great numbers to cheer the players, for a job well-done, and assured them of the unflinching support of the Federal Government going forward.

The President wished the young Nigerian football ambassadors more successes as they prepare for the AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

2019: See Where Support Is Coming For Buhari

The North East Development Association (NEDA), a political group, has passed a vote of confidence on the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration and called for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The group made the called in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Messrs Mohammed Bulama and Bitako Umar, and issued to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Saturday.

It said their decision was garnered through consultation with all the stakeholders in every sector of the region, influenced by brain cracking, arguments and counter arguments as well as careful researched efforts which formed the basis that the APC administration led by Buhari qualified for re-election.

“This is because the history of governance in Nigeria, APC under President Buhari has done tremendously well in the sub-region,” it said.

According to the statement, Buhari’s laudable projects had direct bearing on the lives of people in the North East and Nigerians.

It explained that their support was based on the president’s numerous achievements in the areas of security, corruption, agriculture and economy, among others, in the region and the entire country at large.

The group said the need for a second term was in order to also sustain the ongoing war against corruption and effective management of Nigeria’s resources.

“Buhari’s re-election would ensure continuity in the positive affairs of the nation.

“The people of the region must also play their parts in the task of nation-building by supporting President Buhari-led government’s effort at moving the country forward.’’‎

The group reiterated that its decision was based partly in recognition of the laudable achievements of the president and his team in the last three years.‎

“We resolved that the region would remain committed to the unity of the entity called Nigeria, despite we have our son who is jostling for same seat,” the statement said.

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See What Fashola Said About Buhari

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said on Saturday that President Muhammadu Buhari was laying the foundation for economic growth of Nigeria through infrastructure renewal.

Fashola said this during an inspection of the Apapa-Wharf Road Reconstruction project and flag-off of the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway in Lagos.

The Apapa-Wharf Road Reconstruction Project was done by AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd and financed by the Dangote Group, Nigerian Ports Authority and Flour Mills of Nigeria.

The Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway project, on the other hand, was awarded to the Dangote Group.

Fashola described port access roads as “blood vessels” that serviced all activities in the ports

He said they had, however, been abandoned alongside various federal highways by previous governments.

The minister said that the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway was constructed between 1975 and 1978 and had not been expanded since then.

He said that the major highways had been abandoned by previous administrations until President Buhari picked up the initiative to turn things around.

“President Buhari is laying the foundation for economic growth that would release economic prosperity, create jobs. It is this road that releases the opportunity,” Fashola said.

He thanked Dangote for investing in the development of Nigeria, pointing out that, four of Dangote’s firms paid about N22 billion as annual taxes to the Federal Government.

The minister said that the two major ports in the nation had been overstretched, as they were designed to take 30 million metric tons but now took over 80 million metric tonnes of cargo.

He said that the federal government was planning the construction of the Lekki and Badagry Sea Ports to complement the two major ones, to ease port congestion.

Fashola appealed for patience of the road users as construction work commenced.

Gov Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos while delivering his speech said that the project was the real Lagos solution to the problem of gridlock in the state.

He said that interconnectivity of rail, road and water transportation was important.

Ambode commended the Federal Government for its efforts in reviving the railway in conjunction with road projects to address gridlock, saying it would bring relief to residents of the state.

“We are happy that this project has finally commenced,” he said.

He promised to increase deployment of traffic and law enforcement agencies to the route to ensure smooth execution of the project.

Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Chairman Senate Committee on Works, said that concrete should be adopted for road construction in the nation as it lasted more, to tackle the huge deficit in roads infrastructure.

Also, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu said that the construction would solve the problem on flooding of the highway.

“The project will reduce stress of commuting for us all,” she said.

President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, while delivering a vote of thanks, commended the Federal Government for adoption of the Road Trust Fund, which gave the private sector opportunity to participate in infrastructure renewal.

Dangote said that the nation was losing huge revenue due to bad roads and assured that his firm would pay “special attention” to the reconstruction of the highway by doing good quality job.

He also thanked government for the proposed Lekki ports project and thanked other stakeholders and ministry officials for efforts in completing the Apapa Wharf Road Reconstruction project.

Dangote promised to deliver the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway project ahead of schedule.

“We will not disappoint you (Fashola) and Nigerians; we will make sure we do the best job.

“We are advocating rigid pavement not because we sell cement but because we want to give Nigerians the best,” Dangote said.

Representatives of Apapa and Ajegunle Residents Association, Truck Drivers and owners unions and various stakeholders took turns to commend the project and the economic development it will bring to Lagos and Nigeria.

The 32 km Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway project will include reconstruction of Creek Road, Liverpool Road, Beach land Estate Interchange, Cele Bus Stop through Anthony Village to the old Toll gate.

It has a completion date of two years.

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Adams Oshiomhole Storms Out Of President Buhari’s Office, Schools The Entire Nation On His Next Move

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole, has dismissed allegations that he collected bribes of about $80 million, to manipulate the outcome of the party’s primaries in some States.


Recall, that some aggrieved Aspirants are accusing Adams Oshiohmole of collecting various sums in bribes, to twist the primaries.



However, Adams Oshiomhole, who spoke to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, described the allegations of corruption against him, as reckless insinuation.


“No tree that will bear fruits that will grow in Sahara desert, and the fact the Publisher of SaharaReporters himself is a Presidential Aspirant; we would soon find out the difference between Sahara and its Reporters, and a green forest and its Reporters.



“The unfortunate thing here, however, is that people, who specialise in libels, they take advantage of our peculiar judicial system.


“When I was a Governor in Edo State, they published all kinds of things against me. At a point I decided to go to court, and my Lawyer told me that I have to be ready to enter the witness box to make my case – whether I was ready to go through that humiliation.


“What is in the Governorship? Before I became the Governor, I entered the witness box and I know after being Governor, I can still go back there one day. So I went there and I won the case. They awarded damages in my favour.



“But by the time you want to check the process of the guy who libeled you and so on, he sells himself, everything put together, he could not compensate for by legal fee, not to talk of really mitigating my paying, as a result of the judgment’’, he said.


On the forthcoming campaign programmes of the APC, the APC Chairman revealed that the party’s campaign for the 2019 Presidential election, would focus on character and integrity of the key Candidates.


According to the APC Chairman, the APC is fully ready to flag off the campaigns soon.



He said: “We are fully ready, we are done with our primaries and filled our nominations.


“As you know, INEC still has a window between now and first of January, to deal with issues of substitution. As of campaigns, we are ready.


“We are going to announce the date and programme for our campaigns. My idea of kick-off, will be the day we will do our first Presidential rally, where Mr. President as our Candidate and other Candidates, party Leaders, will assemble in a venue that will be agreeable to all of us.


“There will be two sets of messages. One, on what we have done in the past, without failing to remind people of where we were before, what we are going to do in the next four years, and a couple of things we believe we will be doing differently.



“President Buhari, if compared to the rest of the Candidates, there is no basis to compare day and night. The real issue in this election is not going to be religion. It is not going to be about ethnicity.


“Central to the issue and given our past experience as a country, we know that what makes a difference, is the character, the issue of integrity of the Candidates.’’


According to Adams Oshiomhole, the campaign is going to be focusing on the character and integrity of those who want to govern the country.

Bloody Betrayal!!! Igbo Leaders Make U-Turn, Endorse President Buhari For 2019, Despite Massive Public Declaration For Atiku Abubakar

Aso Rock in wild jubilation, as the Ohanaeze Igbo socio-cultural group, has denied endorsing the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, in next year’s elections.



President Muhammadu Buhari said that the split within the South-East Leaders of thought, over its reported endorsement of Atiku did not surprise him.


Speaking at a meeting with a select group of South-East Leaders, on Friday, at the State House, Abuja, President Buhari stated that the moment the so-called resolution was announced, he got calls from well-meaning Leaders from the region, asking him to disregard it, as it was without any substance.



According to him: “From that moment, I knew that the resolution would not stand, and alas, there it was.”


President Buhari maintained that his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, got it right from the very beginning, and that the major problems facing the country were mainly on security, corruption, and the economy.

2019!!! President Buhari Delivers Surprise Message To The South-East, Shocks The Entire Igbo Land, Ahead Of The General Elections 

President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that he will win the 2019 general elections in the South-East, despite Atiku Abubakar’s recent endorsement in the region.


Buhari, who spoke through the Spokesperson of his Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, on Friday night, disclosed that the South-East has been benefitting from the infrastructure renewal programme of the present administration.



He spoke ahead of the campaigns towards the 2019 elections, scheduled to begin on Sunday, 18th November, 2018.


He stated that some people from the geopolitical zone, who took the decision to go against the President, must have based their decision on lies being peddled against the administration.

PDP Gives Rotimi Amaechi ‘Quit Notice Order’, As President Buhari Faces The Greatest Integrity Test, Ahead Of 2019 Elections

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to demonstrate his “touted integrity”, by demanding for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.


A statement by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Friday, accused Amaechi of using government funds to campaign for Buhari, ahead of the 2019 general elections.



According to the PDP, Amaechi’s action demonstrates the height of corruption.


The statement reads: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenges President Muhammadu Buhari to demand the immediate resignation of Rotimi Amaechi as the Minister of Transportation, to demonstrate his (Buhari) touted integrity.


“The party maintains that Amaechi, as Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, is using government funds to campaign for Buhari. PDP notes that this action of Amaechi demonstrates the height of corruption, both in the Buhari administration, and the person of his Campaign DG.”



The party further wondered how Amaechi will compare failed President Muhammadu Buhari to the PDP Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who has been generally accepted as the next President of Nigeria, stressing that Amaechi has finally lost touch with Nigerians.


The statement continued: “If Amaechi has not lost touch with reality, how would he be comparing Atiku Abubakar, who is widely celebrated by Nigerians across board, due to his integrity and proven competence in managing resources, to a failed President Buhari, who Nigerians know is responsible for the grinding hardship, hunger, starvation, and escalating insecurity in the nation, in the last three and half years?


“How can Amaechi compare Atiku Abubakar, a known and tested Nationalist, who has become the rallying point for national rejuvenation and reawakening, to President Buhari, who has sunk the nation deeper into the sea of nepotism, divisiveness, dissentions, and agonising despondency?


“How can any one compare Atiku Abubakar, an epitome of wealth creation and youth empowerment, to President Buhari, whose tenure will only be remembered by Nigerians for hardship, unemployment, job losses, wealth destruction, economic frustrations, and destruction of Institutions that engender good governance and freedom?



“Is it not an aberration to attempt to compare Atiku Abubakar, who played key role in a government that paid our nation’s foreign debt, to President Buhari, whose administration specialises in accumulating debts, borrowing money to service debts, and plunging our generations yet unborn into bondage?


“How can Amaechi compare Atiku Abubakar, a promoter of democracy and fundamental human rights to President Buhari, whose administration has stood down all known democratic virtues, and relishes in violation of human rights, disobedience to court orders, disdain for constitutional order and condoning extra-judicial killing, harassment and illegal detention of citizens, as detailed in reports by international bodies?



“While it is a settled fact that President Buhari cannot be a match to Atiku Abubakar, we understand Amaechi’s frustration as a beleaguered salesman of a derelict product, but he should have known that for Nigerians, Atiku Abubakar represents light and a brighter future, whereas President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress, APC, represent a national misfortune.


“Amaechi is aware of the murmurings and frustrations even in the Presidency, regarding President Buhari’s failures in governance, and that most of his Ministers, Aides, and Political Associates, no longer believe in his re-election, since Atiku Abubakar emerged as the PDP’s Presidential Candidate.”


The party concluded the statement by calling on Amaechi to “prepare to return to Rivers State, to face his multiple corruption indictments, instead of trying to promote a failed Candidate.”

BREAKING: President Buhari Quickly Makes New Appointments, Confirms Others, With Brand New Portfolios, Today

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new appointments into key Federal Agencies, while also confirming those earlier appointed.

Among those whose appointments were confirmed, include the Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Adebisi Shonubi, Part-time Chairman, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Muiz Banire, SAN, and Secretary Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi.


A statement signed on Friday by Olusegun A. Adekunle, the Permanent Secretary (General Services Office) Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, added that, those on the confirmed list include five Chief Executive Officers and two Executive Directors of Federal Agencies.


Shonubi, the former Managing Director of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, was named the CBN Deputy Governor in June, with effect from October 17, 2018, for a period of five years in the first instance.

Banire’s appointment at AMCON took effect from October 17, 2018, for a period of five years in the first instance, while Bassi’s appointment at the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, was with effect from October 19, 2018, for an initial period of four years.



The statement also said that the President appointed Senator Abba Ali and Mohammed Sagir, as members (Non- Legal Practitioners) Federal Judiciary Service Commission, for an initial period of five years, with effect from October 24, 2018.

Dr. Yomi Kasali was appointed Director/CEO, National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation, NCAM, Ilorin, for initial term of four years, with effect from October 28, 2018, while Dr. Olufemi Ajayi Oladunni was confirmed Director/CEO Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute, ARMTI, Ilorin. Clement Onyeabo Nze was named the DG, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, for an initial term of four years, with effect from October 28, 2018.

Also, Clement Isong (to replace Mr.Thomas Olawore), was appointed member of the Board of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
David Nyikyaa is the Secretary National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, with effect from November 1, 2018.



Obinna Ogwuegbu is the Secretary Special Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property, with effect from November 2, 2018.

Dr. Akinrinola Samuel Akintunde was named the Provost Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, for an initial term of four years, with effect from November 6, 2018, while Prof. Emmanuel Adebayo Fasakin was appointed Rector, for a second and final term of four years , effect from November 6, 2018.

Obadiah Simon Nkom is the new Director-General/CEO Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office. His appointment takes effect from January 12, 2019, and it is for an initial term of four years.

The five Chief Executive Officers and two Executive Directors of Federal Agencies, whose appointments were confirmed and renewed, include Prof. Okechukwu Ukwuoma DG National Centre for Technology Management, NACETEM; and Prof. Victor Adebayo Adetiloye, Chief MedicalDirector, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife.

The latter is for a second and final term of four years, with effect, from September 22, 2018. Other new appointees are Ambassador Abdul-Jalil Suleiman DG Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa, DTCA, and Dr. Bassey Emem Abasi, Chief Medical Director, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.




Mrs. Mojoyin-Oluwa Dekalu-Thomas and Mrs. Chinedum Olisakwe-Lawrence, were appointed ED (Liability Management) and ED (Corporate Services) Electricity Liability Management Company, NELMCO, respectively, for an initial term of four years, with effect from September 20, 2018, second and final terms of four years with effect from September 20, 2018.

The President also appointed Capt. Junaid Abdullahi, Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency, BDCA, with effect from September 22, 2018, for an initial period of four years.

Buhari, in the statement, enjoined the new appointees to serve the nation with all sense of responsibility, honesty, diligence, and promote good governance in the discharge of their duties.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Defends Nigeria’s $73Bn Debts, Sets The Record Straight, Ahead Of 2019 Elections

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo this week, defended Nigeria’s $73 billion debts profile, insisting the country was still within the safe region compared to other nations.


Although, Osinbajo admitted that the debt increased by another $10bn between 2015 and 2018.



Speaking during a town hall meeting with Nigerians in Abuja, the vice president defended the debt profile, by maintaining that Nigeria was still within the safe region compared to other nations.


The VP stated that people had misconceptions when they argued that the Buhari-led government was piling up more debts than other administrations did.



He dismissed such fears, giving an analysis on why he believed debts were not the country’s key predicaments. Osinbajo argued that the country’s debts rose the “sharpest” between 2010 and 2014 when oil prices were also quite high.


Osinbajo maintained: “I want to give you the facts and figures on the debt issue. The dollar-denominated debts of Nigeria –that is the debts of the Federal Government, the states and local governments.



“In 2010, Nigeria’s debt was $35bn; 2011, it was $41bn; in 2012, it was $48bn; in 2013, it became $64bn; 2014, it rose to $67bn; 2015, it fell to $63bn; 2016, $57bn; 2017, $70bn; 2018, it is $73bn. So, the difference between 2015 and now is $10bn.


“One of the things that I always want you to bear in mind is that when oil prices were at their highest, between 2010 and 2014, that was when we had the sharpest rise in debts.”



“Our debt to GDP is one of the lowest among the countries that are frequently compared to us. Our debt to GDP is 20 per cent. When you compare it to other countries, you will see that Ghana is about 68 per cent, whereas Ethiopia’s is 48 per cent. In terms of the size of our economy and debt, we are doing okay.”


However, he also revealed that the country had a challenge with revenue collection, which did not match its debt profile.


Osinbajo further said: “We are not collecting enough revenue compared to what we want to spend. Are we collecting enough taxes?



“If you look at the Federal Inland Revenue Service Figures, it say 914 Nigerians pay the self-assessed tax of more than N10m. Of the 914, 912 live in Lagos and the other two live in Ogun State.


“No other Nigerian outside of Lagos and Ogun pay the self-assessed tax of more than N10m. So, we are simply not collecting enough revenue.”


Osinbajo also said the federal and state governments were already discussing harmonising tax collections.