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World Cup: Argentina sweat over Messi

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Argentina travel to Ecuador for their latest 2014 World Cup qualifier with a big doubt hanging over the head of star striker Lionel Messi.

A victory would all but assure the twice world champions’ place at next year’s showpiece in neighbours Brazil but without Messi, Argentina are not the same animal.

They may lead the qualifying standings by five points from Colombia after the pair’s draw in Buenos Aires on Friday but that match showed just how important the Barcelona great is to the team.

Messi played only the last half hour of an uninspiring match and afterwards his club and country team-mate Javier Mascherano admitted the team isn’t the same without him.

“Obviously if everyone was thinking that we wouldn’t notice his absence, they were mistaken. There’s a reason he’s the best player in the world,” said Mascherano.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero agreed: “You always notice it when Leo is in the team but we have to try to organise ourselves when he isn’t,” he added.

The problem is Messi has been struggling with a hamstring injury for some time.

It was the same injury that reduced him to a single brief substitute’s cameo in Barca’s 7-0 aggregate humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals a month ago.

According to press reports Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella is still unsure whether to risk Messi from the start or keep him on the bench.

Either way, a victory would leave Argentina on 28 points which should be enough to take one of the top four qualifying spots, barring an unlikely winning run from several rivals.

One of those would have to be Uruguay, the 2010 World Cup semi-finalists and current Copa America holders.

They are in a desperate situation having picked up only two points from their last six qualifiers.

It has left them outside the top four and even the fifth-placed play-off spot.

Uruguay are seventh and five points behind Chile in the final automatic qualification spot as well as three behind Venezuela in fifth, which would bring with it a play-off against an Asian team.

Having begun their campaign with three wins and two draws, Uruguay have fallen apart, being thrashed by Colombia 4-0, Argentina 3-0 and Bolivia 4-1.

They travel to Venezuela knowing a defeat could leave them almost out of the running.

Chile host Bolivia, who are second bottom, and if they were to win and Uruguay lose, they would move eight points clear.

The final match on Tuesday sees Colombia host Peru, who are a point ahead of Uruguay.

Bottom placed Paraguay, finalists at the Copa America and quarter-finalists at the 2010 World Cup have a bye.

Fixtures (times in GMT):

Colombia v Peru (1530), Ecuador v Argentina (1600), Venezuela v Uruguay (1930), Chile v Bolivia (2030)

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Posted in Nigeria News. A DisNaija.Com network.

Source: PM News

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Kano Transfers Over 1,000 Almajiris To Different States Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Kano State Government on Saturday said it has transferred 1,098 ‘almajiris’ to different states of the country.

The commissioner for local government, Murtala Garo, disclosed this while presenting a report before the state’s task force on COVID-19 at the government house, Kano.

Almajiris are children who are supposed to be learning Islamic studies while living with their Islamic teachers. Majority of them, however, end up begging on the streets of Northern Nigeria. They constitute a large number of Nigeria’s over 10 million out-of-school children.

Mr Garo said the Kano government transported 419 almajiris to Katsina, 524 to Jigawa and 155 to Kaduna. He said all of them tested negative for coronavirus before leaving the Kano State.

Despite the coronavirus test done in Kano for the almajiris, the Jigawa government earlier said it would quarantine for two weeks all the almajiris that recently arrived from Kano.

Mr Garo said another 100 almajiris scheduled to be taken to Bauchi State also tested negative to COVID-19.

In a remark, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said the COVID-19 situation in Kano was getting worse. He appealed for a collaborative effort to curtail the spread of the virus in the state.

Mr Ganduje, who commended residents for complying with the lockdown imposed in the state, said the decision was taken to halt the spread of the virus.

Kano State, as of Saturday night, has 77 coronavirus cases, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The decision to transfer the Kano almajiris is part of the agreement reached between Northern governors that almajiris in each state be transferred to their states of origin.

However, even before the latest agreement by the governors, the Kano government had been transferring almajiris to other states and neighbouring countries after it banned street begging in the state, most populous in Northern Nigeria.

Despite the transfers, however, no concrete step has been taken to ensure such children do not return to Kano streets as there is freedom of movement across Nigeria although interstate travel was recently banned to check the spread of the coronavirus.

 

Sourced From: Premium Times Nigeria

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COVID-19: ‘Bakassi Boys’ Foil Attempt To Smuggle 24 Women Into Abia In Container

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By Ugochukwu Alaribe

Operatives of the Abia State Vigilante Service, AVS, popularly known as ‘Bakassi Boys’ have arrested 24 market women hidden in a container truck, at Ekwereazu Ngwa, the boundary community between Abia and Akwa Ibom states.

The market women, said to be  from Akwa Ibom State, were on their way to Aba, when they were arrested with the truck driver and two of his conductors for violating the lockdown order by the state government.

Driver of the truck, Moses Asuquo, claimed he was going to Aba to purchase stock fish, but decided to assist the market women, because they were stranded.

A vigilante source told Sunday Vanguard that the vehicle was impounded while the market women were sent back to Akwa Ibom State.

Commissioner for Home Land Security, Prince Dan Okoli, who confirmed the incident, said that  smuggling of people into the state poses great threat to the state government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID- 19.

 

Sourced From: Vanguard News

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Woman Kills Her Maid Over Salary Request

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Operatives of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Yaba of the Lagos State police command have arrested one Mrs Nene Steve for allegedly killing her maid, Joy Adole

The maid was allegedly beaten to death by Nene for requesting for her salary at their residence located at 18, Ogundola Street, Bariga area in Lagos.

Narrating the incident, Philips Ejeh, an elder brother to the deceased said that he was sad when they informed him that his sister was beaten to death.

He explained that the deceased was an indigene of Benue State brought to Lagos through an agent and started working with her as a maid  in January 2020.

‘’She reported that her boss refused to pay her and anytime she asked for her salary she will start beating her.

She was making an attempt to leave the place but due to the total lockdown she remained there until Sunday when her boss said she caught her stealing noodles and this led to her serious beating and death,’’ Ejeh said.

He called on Lagos State Government and well- meaning people in the country to help them in getting justice for the victim.

The police spokesman, Bala Elkana, stated that the woman and her husband came to Bariga Police  Station to a report that their house girl had committed suicide.

Detectives were said to have visited the house and suspected foul play with the position of the rope and bruises all over the body which confirmed that the girl had been tortured to death and the boss decided to hang up the girl to make it look like suicide.

He said: “The police moved on with their investigation and found a lot of sign of violence on her body that she has been tortured before a rope was put on her neck.’’

He added that the police removed the corpse and deposited it in the mortuary for autopsy to further ascertain the cause of the death.

Elkana said the matter has been transferred from Bariga police station to Panti for further investigation while the couple have been arrested and will be charged to court.

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Boko Haram Attacks: Buhari Summons Urgent Meeting Of Service Chiefs

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President Buhari and the Service Chiefs in a meeting. (File photo)

Ostensibly alarmed by the latest killings of dozens of soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents, President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned an urgent meeting of Service Chiefs to find ways to stop the trend. 

He has also dispatched the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, to the neighbouring Republic of Chad for an urgent meeting with President Idris Deby and his defence counterpart. 

Knowledgeable sources said in Abuja on Friday that the president is worried by on the deterioration of security situation on the Nigeria – Chad Border that has led to the recently increased Boko Haram terrorism in the area.

The sources which did not want to be named in Abuja said: “Nigeria has a Chad  problem in the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) put together to secure the Lake Chad basin areas and repeal the Boko Haram terrorist attacks against all the countries neighbouring the Lake.”

The sources noted that Chad is believed to be having their own internal security challenges and this has reportedly led to their pulling away their own troops manning their own border around Lake Chad,  saying: “That lacuna is being exploited by the Boko Haram terrorists, who go in and out of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon to launch terrorist acts.  This is a clear illustration of the fact that terrorism is beyond national borders.”

When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the Defence Minister is going to Chad but said he is unaware of the purpose. 

Meanwhile, the military authorities are said to be in the process of identifying the families of the latest victims with a view to making contact with them. 

Credible sources revealed that it is the reason the president is yet to make any pronouncement on the matter. 

“The President has called an urgent meeting with the Service Chiefs, as well as the fact that families of the latest victims of the Boko Haram are being identified and contacts made before a government pronouncement on the tragic attacks. This, it is understood, is the reason for the silence of the government over the incident,” the source said. 

 

Sourced From: Tribune

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