Michel Platini revealed on Friday he is considering a return to football as the former UEFA president bids to restore his tarnished reputation following his ban from the game. Platini was banned for four years from football and had to quit UEFA after being found to have taken a $2 million (1.8 million euro) payment from then FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2011. But his ban, which was twice reduced from eight and then six years following earlier appeals, expired in October and Platini hopes to get back into football politics, according to an interview the former France star gave to British newspaper The Times. “FIFPRO don’t need me at the moment but if they want to bring the players into football politics I could be important for them, the players are the key to football. Blatter claimed Platini told him Sarkozy had ordered him to vote for Qatar for political reasons.
February 21, 2020 18:56 UTC
Jurgen Klopp has sent a letter to a “cheeky” young Manchester United fan explaining that he can not grant his request for Liverpool to lose matches so they do not win the Premier League. Daragh Curley, 10, from Northern Ireland, wrote to Klopp saying Liverpool were “winning too many games”. “If you win nine more games then you have the best unbeaten run in English football,” he said. I don’t think everybody has to be a Liverpool fan.”READ ALSO: Player banned for biting opponent’s private partsIn his reply to Daragh’s letter, Klopp praised the youngster’s passion but explained Liverpool could not drop points on his behalf. “Luckily for you, we have lost games in the past and we will lose games in the future because that is football.”(AFP)
February 21, 2020 18:00 UTC
Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose says he is not contemplating dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for another party. Olayinka, explained that the claim in some quartres that Fayose had concluded arrangements to embrace the All Progressives Congress (APC), was false. “Someone of the status and pedigree of Fayose can never join APC,” he said. He said, a statement purportedly made by the state chapter of APC to the effect that Fayose was not qualified to join the party, was therefore unthinkable and mischievous. “It is funny that APC lied about Fayose coming to join the party and also went further to react to its own lies,” he said.
February 21, 2020 17:26 UTC
Chukwudi Akasike, Port HarcourtThere was relief among residents of Rivers State as the oil and gas workers’ unions in the state, including the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, called off their strike on Thursday. Following the strike embarked upon by filling stations and tanker drivers in the state, residents had since Wednesday endured a tough time as fuel scarcity hit Port Harcourt, the state capital, and its environs. But all the filling stations began dispensing fuel on Thursday evening as soon as the strike was called off. READ ALSO: Oluwo suspended for six monthsThe PUNCH gathered that the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, the national leadership of NUPENG and other related bodies had intervened in the matter for the strike to be called off. Before the strike was called-off, black market operators sold petrol at the rate of N350 per litre as against the government-approved price of N145 per litre.
February 21, 2020 17:15 UTC
Tunde Oyekola, IlorinProperties estimated at several millions of Naira was on Friday destroyed by a midnight fire that razed over 12 shops at Railway Station area opposite the General Post Office in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. The PUNCH gathered that the quick intervention of the state Fire Service saved a filling station closeby as well as about 180 adjoining shops from being gutted by the fire. At first, I didn’t know I could be involved but getting here, I saw all my items burnt to ashes. I just borrowed one million Naira to restock my shop but, see (pointing to the wreckage) all my items had burnt down. “I am married with a kid, how do I start and where do I start?
February 21, 2020 16:38 UTC
The Federal Government has released N386million to two health agencies to strengthen Coronavirus (COVID19) preparedness in Nigeria. Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Abdulaziz Mashi Abdulaziz, disclosed this to newsmen while providing updates on the preparedness for Coronavirus and Lassa Fever in the country, on Friday in Abuja. “It is true that intervention was sought from the presidency and the Ministry of Finance and Budget Planning. I can confirm to you that N71million was released to the Port Health Services division of the (health) ministry. ”Our capacity for testing has been enhanced because we have three laboratories in Edo, Lagos states as well as in Abuja,” he said.
February 21, 2020 16:07 UTC
Sokoto State government has disbursed an interest-free loan of N1 billion to traders and artisans in the state. The disbursement of the loan was done at the flag-off of the state microfinance bank in its effort to improve the lives of the citizenry and accelerate socio-economic development. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State who flagged off the operations of the Giginya Micro-Finance Bank in Sokoto Friday, stated that “the loan is going to be revolving in nature and will be paid back on monthly installments in two years for others to benefit.” Gov. He added that the loan is not the first to be provided to traders and explained that the sum of N500 million naira has been distributed previously to them. The Chairman of the bank, Alhaji Sambo Bashar, who applauded, the effort of the state government can only be further emphasized by the noble intention of the state governor to lift the poor and women out of penury.
February 21, 2020 15:56 UTC
Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA) is set to establish a public health laboratory that will serve as a reference centre for the North-East subregion in order to combat the outbreak of epidemics. This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of the Agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed at a meeting held to mark 2019 recognition and award ceremony for primary health care delivery in the state on Friday. It will also serve as a reference point for the Northeast region”“The Laboratory will generate between N150 to N200 million annually to the state government coffers. The Primary Health Care Development Agency wants to start doing something that will support the government of Bauchi State” he said. In his address at the occasion, the State Deputy Governor who also doubles as State Chairman Taskforce Committee on Primary Health Care, Sen Baba Tela called on stakeholders in the health sector to put more effort in implementing various programmes for improved health care delivery in the state.
February 21, 2020 15:45 UTC
A Kaduna court on Friday freed 87 members of the Shiite group accused of killing a soldier following clashes with troops more than four years ago, their lawyer said. The court “discharged and acquitted” the members of the Islamic Movement for lack of evidence linking them to the death of the soldier during the bloody encounter in December 2015. But Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat are still behind bars on charges including “culpable homicide” despite previous court rulings ordering their release. Zakzaky’s continued detention has led to street protests by IMN members in the nation’s capital, Abuja, sparking violent clashes with security forces that have claimed dozens of lives. Shiites make up a small minority of Muslim believers in mainly Sunni northern Nigeria.
February 21, 2020 15:45 UTC
Leadership of the Fulani socio-cultural group, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Bauchi State Chapter has expressed dismay over the ugly development of incessant clashes between herders and farmers that has claimed many innocent lives. The newly elected leadership of MACBAN in the state said that the dispute between farmers and Fulani herdsmen has brought a setback to the socio-economic development of the state and the country at large. State Chairman of MACBAN, Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed said that “The challenges facing Fulani herdsmen in the state include lack of cattle colonies, grazing reserves and lack of government intervention in the provision of veterinary services. These are our challenges and we want the government to address these issues so that peace can be restored in our state and country”ALSO READ: PDP National Secretariat confirms Yakubu Chocho as new party chairman in Plateau“This is the area we are calling for the support of stakeholders in the country to bring to the front burner of national issues these challenges of Fulani herdsmen so that both state and federal government can look into these issues and bring a lasting solution to them”, he further said While soliciting for the support of his members, the Chairman promised to carry everyone along in his leadership for the betterment of the association and vowed to work with stakeholders in the country to bring to an end the incessant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers. Some members of the association who spoke during the ceremony expressed confidence that their long term challenges will be addressed with the coming on board of the new leadership.
February 21, 2020 15:33 UTC
Following the resignation of Hon Damishi Sango as the Plateau State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the National Working Committee of the Party has confirmed Yakubu Chocho as the substantive party chairman in Plateau state. Before his confirmation, Chocho was the party’s state organising Secretary. ALSO READ: Kwara gives new operational vehicles to security agenciesIn a letter addressed to him on Friday and signed by the PDP National Secretary, Senator Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri,the PDP National Secretariat said that Chocho’s appointment was in line with section 47(6) of party’s constitution which requires a vacancy in any of the offices of the Executive Committee to be filled by a person from the area or zone where the affected officer originated from to serve out his tenure. The party urged the new party chairman to maintain all actions taken by the immediate past executive led by Amos Gombi and encouraged the new party chairman to practice constitutional democracy and respect the party due processes while ensuring an all-inclusive party administration.
February 21, 2020 15:33 UTC
Kwara State government has handed new Toyota Hilux vans to security agencies in the state as part of its approach to further secure the lives and property of the people. This comes barely two weeks after Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq called a security dialogue that drew participants from various sectors and interest groups across Kwara State. The government said the vehicles were meant to re-energise the Operation Harmony, a state-driven initiative comprising the security agencies in Kwara State. I want to use this opportunity to assure the Governor and the government of Kwara State that these operational vehicles that we are receiving today will be put into optimal use to combat crimes in the state,” he said. Egbetokun spoke on behalf of other security chiefs who attended the brief event in Government House in Ilorin, the state capital.
February 21, 2020 15:22 UTC
Tony Okafor, AwkaA pastor, who is to perform a deliverance on a family in Anambra State, died in his sleep hours before the exercise. It was gathered that the pastor was invited to Anambra from Warri, Delta State. A member of the family, who pleaded anonymity, told The PUNCH that the development was a rude shock to everybody. We invited him to a family deliverance because our family has been having some issues recently. “We were surprised to see the lifeless body of the pastor the next morning which should be the day for the deliverance.
February 21, 2020 15:22 UTC
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said the military has what it takes to end the war against insurgency. Buratai also expressed confidence in the ability of the theatre commander, sector commanders, and commanding officers of Operation Lafiya Dole as well as other troops to end the war. This was contained in a statement to the troops made available by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa. READ ALSO: I didn’t forge my certificates – Sacked Bayelsa dep gov-elect“I foresee that with the renewed zeal, it is just a matter of days to end the menace of Boko Haram terrorists and contain their criminality. “I am more confident now than ever before with your current robust posture that you will end the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province menace in no distant time,” Buratai was quoted in the statement.
February 21, 2020 14:48 UTC
The Minister Of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare and the Governor of Oyo state Mr. Seyi Makinde, will attend the finals of the maiden edition of the Oyo Unity Cup, scheduled to hold on Sunday, 23rd of February, 2020 in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital. The event will also have no shortage of dignitaries from the football fraternity. It would be recalled that the Oyo Unity Cup, a brainchild of the Minister Of Youth and Sports Development, kicked off on the 25th Of January, 2020 at the Soun Stadium in Ogbomosho, Oyo State and is aimed at discovering talents while nurturing them to stardom. Wrestling could be held in Bayelsa, Table Tennis can take place in Ilorin, Basketball can be in kano, and so on”. To grace Saturday’s event are ex-internationals, Daniel Amokachi popularly called “The Bull”, Joseph Yobo, Mutiu Adepoju, and Ike Shorounmu among others.
February 21, 2020 14:48 UTC