Juventus Sets Bid For Liverpool Star VVD

Juventus Linked With Unlikely £150m Move for Liverpool Star Virgil Van Dijk…

Juventus are reportedly plotting a hugely audacious £150m swoop for Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk in the summer, as they look to follow up their shock signing of Cristiano Ronaldo with the addition of another superstar.

Van Dijk has firmly embedded himself as the world’s best defender over the past 18 months – and his performances have not gone unnoticed by the rest of Europe.

Virgil van Dijk

The Sun reports that the ballon d’Or nominee ‘may be open’ to a move away from Anfield, should the Reds lift their long-awaited first Premier League title at the end of the season – and Juve fancy their chances at luring the Dutch international to Italy.

And while there is little indication that Van Dijk is unsettled at Anfield and is a key part of arguably the best team in the world, a ‘Juventus source’ claims that ‘the club are actively planning to make a huge bid for him in the summer’.

“After winning a bagful of trophies with Liverpool, Juventus think he may be ready for a new challenge at the end of the season — especially as he’s been playing in the UK for a few years,” this so-called source is quoted as saying.

“And the club are actively planning to make a huge bid for him in the summer.”

Although Van Dijk has shown no signs of wanting to leave Anfield since his arrival in 2018, he did recently admit that ‘we can’t look too far ahead’, regarding his long-term ambitions, and confessed that he wants ‘to fulfil every dream’.

UEFA Champions League”Tottenham Hotspur FC v Liverpool FC”

“I’m 28 now and I want to fulfil every dream I ever had.

“Life can be short. Your career can be short as well.

“I’m enjoying playing with this team and this manager. We can’t look too far ahead. But right now, I’m enjoying it.”

The Dutch international is a key figure in this Liverpool side, which has won an astonishing 24 out of 25 league matches this campaign. His wonderful defensive ability led to the Reds lifting last season’s Champions League trophy, and they have since gone on to win the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup

Van Dijk’s future may be tied to that of boss Jurgen Klopp, who recently signed a new contract with the Reds, keeping him at the club until 2024. In a recent interview with Goal, the centre-back admitted that he has ‘a special connection’ with the German coach, who was one of the main factors behind his move to Liverpool.


“I definitely have a special connection with him,” Van Dijk said. “And I will always be grateful for him making sure I was going to come here.

“He’s just a fantastic, complete manager with a clear plan. He has fantastic player-management skills. He does it just on instinct, and he always says the right things.”

A move to Turin would see Van Dijk reunited with Netherlands teammate Matthijs de Ligt, who joined the Bianconeri in the summer in a deal worth around €75m. It is a daring approach from the Italian champions, and one that would send shockwaves throughout the world of football.

However, while fans and the Sun can speculate all they like, this is CERTAINLY one to be taken with a pinch of salt.


ATL Madrid Sets To Re-bid Cavani

Atlético Madrid President Aims Dig at Edinson Cavani’s Agent & Family Over Failed january move…

Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has hit out at the representatives of Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani after a deal to sign the Uruguayan broke down.

Los Rojiblancos were eager to bring Cavani to the club during the January window, and he was keen to make the move after handing in a transfer request. However, the two sides never managed to strike a deal.

Edinson Cavani
Speaking to Movistar Futbol (via Goal) after his side’s 1-0 loss to Real Madrid, Cerezo suggested that the deal was held back by Cavani’s agent and family, whose demands saw the move break down.

“Someday I will tell why Cavani did not come and they will prove me right,” Cerezo explained. “I don’t want to point anyone out, but I think it’s a shame about the situation of some players with their relatives and their representatives. It’s outrageous. We’re not here to be robbed or do anything strange.”

This appears to back up an earlier report from Mundo Deportivo, which claimed that Cavani’s agent, Walter Guglielmone, wanted €18m for his part in the deal – almost equal to the transfer fee which Atlético had offered.

However, Guglielmone hit back at such allegations, telling Cadena SER that the deal broke down because the two clubs could not reach an agreement.

“Do you think that Edi did not play for almost a month with PSG so that I could drop the operation for a commission and stop Edi from fulfilling his dream of going to Atlético Madrid?,” he said.

“And with all the mess we put together with the PSG? If it were for money, Edi would have gone to England, Manchester [United] or Chelsea.

Edinson Cavani
“Atlético could not cover the total economic cost of the operation and PSG did not want to lower their asking price. Atlético Madrid did not close the agreement,” the agent added (via AS).

“Who is Enrique Cerezo? I never saw him this month, I don’t even know what role he plays.”

Manchester United were also deterred from doing a deal for Cavani due to the money involved, estimated to be in excess of £65m according to journalist Paul Hirst. This figure includes a €20m (£16.8m) transfer fee and two and a half years of the Uruguayan’s £360,000 per week wages. These figures were not to the Red Devils’ liking, leading the club to explore different options.


Manchester United prepares £90m Bid For Koulibaly

We’re not even two days removed from the closure of the January transfer window, and Manchester United are already once again being linked with a move for Napoli star defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The 28-year-old has been one of the ‘go-to’ names for United transfer speculation in recent seasons and was among those touted in the summer months before the club broke the bank to land Harry Maguire.

United’s focus in January lay in adding goals and creativity to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, as they landed Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes and former Watford striker Odion Ighalo.

Odion Ighalo,Stephan El Shaarawy
However, United’s continued defensive shortcomings have raised a concern or two of late, leading to plenty of speculation over how they could strengthen their ranks at the back when the window reopens.

Naturally, then, Koulibaly’s name has once again come up. The Mirror this time run with an ‘exclusive’ claiming United have made him their main target ahead of the summer, and are prepared to outlay the vague ‘best part of £90m’ to secure his services.

The bets are of course hedged, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid all credited with interest. It’s also said that Champions League football is likely to prove a deciding factor – something United are still in the running for, although sit six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea after drawing 0-0 with Wolves.

It should be noted that United do have a seemingly established first-choice pairing of Maguire and Victor Lindelof, with Eric Bailly having recently extended his stay at the club and the likes of Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe in reserve.

James Milner,Kalidou Koulibaly

All that in mind, it seems unlikely United will spend another huge fee on a central defender (one who will turn 29 this summer) unless there are significant outgoings, and even more still that they are already planning to do so less than 48 hours removed from the closure of the January window.

French-born Koulibaly too – who has previously spoken of his strong connections with the city of Naples – may be inclined to hold out for a club who can guarantee him top-level European football and match his trophy aspirations, if he were to leave his home of six years.

Perhaps best taking this one with a grain of salt for now.


Carlo Ancelotti Sends Warning to Barcelona Over Richarlison Pursuit

Carlo Ancelotti has warned Barcelona that they would need to make an offer Everton ‘cannot refuse’ to sign Brazilian forward Richarlison at the end of the season, while stressing his reluctance to sell.

The Spanish side were rumoured to have failed with an £85m bid for Richarlison during the January window, and while such claims were quickly rubbished, it is thought that there may be some substance to Barcelona’s interest.

However, regardless of whether they are interested or not, it looks like Ancelotti has little interest in selling a key player.

“I don’t think it will be difficult to resist [a summer bid for Richarlison] because it is enough to say no, there is no possibility because Richarlison is an important part of the future of Everton,” the boss said, via the Daily Star.

“This is the base from which the club has to build the future, and Richarlison is part of it, like the other young players we have – [Jordan] Pickford, [Mason] Holgate, [Moise] Kean, [Michael] Keane, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin. We have a lot of young players.”

Michael Keane is actually 27 years old, but we’ll move on.

Ancelotti did joke that he might listen to a swap deal from Barcelona, hinting that he might be prepared to part with Richarlison if one of the world’s best players was on the other end of the offer.

“I don’t want to say anything but with Barcelona you can also do an exchange, no? They have a lot of fantastic players but I’m not nominating anyone!” he laughed.

“Everything can happen in football. If an offer arrives that you cannot refuse, and it is an offer that can improve the squad, then why not? But, now, I can say Richarlison is an important part.

“Richarlison renewed his contract one month ago. I was not here when he renewed but the fact that he renewed made me happy because he’s a fantastic player.

Carlo Ancelotti,Richarlison
“He can play everywhere. He’s a modern striker in my opinion. He can play left, right, back or as one central striker. Technically he can improve but his movement is really good, his heading his fantastic, I was surprised, and he has a lot of power in his legs.

“He is a really complete striker but technically I think he can improve. In the control and in the controlling movement he can improve. This is the target with him. Individually the control has to be better.


Neymar Gets Booked After Showboating in PSG’s 5-0 Demolition of Montpellier

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar was booked during a French league match on the weekend after a heated conversation with the referee, following an attempted rainbow flick.

PSG were one goal and a man up after 38 minutes against Montpellier on Saturday when the Brazilian treated the crowd to a bout of tricks topped off by an audacious attempted rainbow flick.

However, the referee then called Neymar to one side and after a heated discussion with the player, the official booked PSG’s number ten much to his and the crowd’s dismay.

Neymar talked himself into a yellow card after the referee warned him about showboating against 10-man Montpellier.


The Ligue 1 champions would go on to score four more goals, as Neymar shone throughout the match, assisting his side’s fourth strike of the night, as he continues to put in superb performances in the lead up to the Champions League.

Neymar may have rediscovered the best form of his career in recent weeks, with an astonishing 18 goals and assists in his last ten outings for Les Parisiens, but the Brazilian has never gone long without showcasing his trademark, if controversial, flair.

As one of the most divisive figures in football, Neymar often draws criticism for diving or playacting, but Saturday’s rainbow flick antics was not the first time the Brazil international was met with ire following that particular trick.

In the 2015 Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club the forward, then a Barcelona player, attempted the same skill but instead of the referee’s yellow card, he encountered the opposition’s red mist.

Neymar Santos Jr,Xabier Etxeita,Ander Iturraspe,Carlos Velasco Carballo
It was near the end of the match, unlike the weekend’s rendition in the first half, when Neymar attempted to flick the ball over his opponent’s head before Barcelona saw out the game as 3-1 winners.

Despite the protestations of the Athletic players, Neymar was insistent that this reaction would not deter him in the slightest.

Speaking after the match in 2015, the former La Liga star told Sky Sports: “They can be angry, but it is my way of playing and I have done so for years. Just because others get angry doesn’t mean I am going to change my style of play.”

With all the tricks and flicks pulled out on Saturday, evidently Neymar is a man of his word and the spectacular.


Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: Report, Ratings and Reactions.

Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: Report, Ratings and Reaction as Bergwijn Stuns Champions on debut…

Goals from Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min inflicted yet another blow to the crumbling residue of Manchester City’s title hopes, as José Mourinho’s men took advantage of Oleksandr ZInchenko’s red card to pick up a vital home win.

City might have been reduced to ten men on two occasions in the first half, with both Raheem Sterling and Zinchenko walking the tightrope with borderline challenges on Dele Alli and Lucas Moura, but it was ultimately a foul from a Tottenham player which caused the significant talking point from the first half.

There was no shortage of confusion about it though, as only after play had resumed for around four minutes did VAR award a penalty for a foul by Serge Aurier on Sergio Aguero.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City – Premier League
It was taken by Ilkay Gundogan and saved by Hugo Lloris, before the keeper brought down Sterling on the rebound – VAR this time ruling against a spot-kick.

City dominated for the first hour, but failed to take advantage, and were rapidly brought to their knees in a few explosive minutes. Zinchenko was shown a second yellow for bringing down Gundogan, before Bergwijn marked his debut with a terrific low volley, setting the stage for Son to send the Tottenham Hotspur stadium well and truly into dreamland with a deflected second.

City would huff and puff, but with an advantage of two goals and an extra man, they were able to manage the game with reasonable ease to see out what is a momentous victory for José Mourinho and his men.


Key Talking Point

As much as Mourinho was keen to dismiss the underlying narrative of his famed rivalry with Pep Guardiola heading into this one, there was no escaping it. The two have had a storied history stretching back to their days at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and this was their 23rd meeting – Mourinho having won just five of those going in.

It was as good a time for any to better a less than favourable record for Mourinho, however, as his side needed a big result to catalyse what has been a stop-start spell in North London for the Portuguese boss so far. He called upon January recruit Bergwijn from the start in a bid to get there, while the emerging Japhet Tanganga retained a place at left back.

And while they might not have fancied their chances of doing that after a predictable first half, they should be afforded tremendous credit for the way they took the game to the defending champions following Zinchenko’s red card. They had visitors on the ropes with their pace on the counter, and although they required some good fortune to get there, they fully merited the three points that put them back into fifth place – and just four off the Champions League spots.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Lloris (6); Aurier (6), Alderweireld (8), Sanchez (6), Tanganga (7); Winks (6), Lo Celso (6); Bergwijn (8), Alli (6), Son (7); Moura (7)

Subs: Ndombele (6), Lamela (6), Dier (N/A)

Star Man

It’s the obvious choice, but there’s no denying who carried the most potent attacking threat for Spurs in a game where they were pegged back for long spells – new man Steven Bergwijn.


The Dutch forward was in disbelief when he saw his powerful volley hit the back of the net but it was no less than he deserved for a stellar performance. Spurs don’t lack energy in the final third but his explosive pace and quality on the turn looked a cut above anything else on the pitch, and if he can carry this form on then he looks to have been an inspired January signing.

Manchester City

Key Talking Point

Liverpool may be galloping further and further away at the top of the division, but the remit for City hasn’t changed; win every game with no exceptions.

To that end, Guardiola might have had reason to be pleased with what he saw from his side for the most part. They were distinctly dominant, with Aguero passing up excellent chances to score in either half on a day it just didn’t seem to be happening for the Argentine in front of goal.

That was until they were reduced to ten, however, and thereafter they fell to pieces. They showed a level of fragility that will come as a real concern to Guardiola, but is unfortunately nothing new in what has been a tame season so far – in the league, at least.

They were toothless in the final third, suspect at the back, and almost nonexistent in midfield. A poor day at the office, and if you didn’t think their title hopes weren’t gone already, then City fans, I have some news for you…

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ederson (6); Walker (6), Fernandinho (5), Otamendi (5), Zinchenko (4); Gundogan (5), Rodri (5), De Bruyne (6); Mahrez (7), Aguero (7), Sterling (6)

Subs: Jesus (6), Cancelo (6), Bernardo (N/A)

Star Man

A tough day for City, and one in which their talisman did absolutely everything but stick the ball in the back of the net.

Sergio Aguero,Davinson Sanchez
His intelligent movement terrorised Spurs for long spells in the first half and at the beginning of the second, and the decision to bring him off seems to completely kill his side’s chances of getting back into it. His profligacy may be blamed for his side failing to take the lead, but he was regardless the best of an ultimately poor bunch on the day.


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Since I can be prettier than many other ladies – God, I need a womb – Bobrisky

Popular Cross-dresser Bobrisky has taken to social media to share the one thing, she will love God to bless her with.

According to Bob, she wants God to give her a womb, saying she is already finer than most women adding that all she needs to hold down her boo, is a womb.

”Since God can make me finer than lot of girls y can’t he give me a WOMB… d way pregnant is hungry me ehnnnn. I have money 💴 where can I buy womb 😢😢😢😢😢. If I can be pregnant for bae chai my own don better !!!!”


Liverpool Confidential On Winning epl After Defeating Southampton

Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday carried them to a ludicrous 73 points from just 25 games – a tally which is already better than the Reds managed in 18 of their previous 27 Premier League seasons.

Jürgen Klopp’s men are on track to win their first Premier League title in record fashion. They currently sit 22 points clear at the top of the table, although that lead can be cut to 19 if Manchester City win their game in hand against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp

Regardless of what other teams are doing, Liverpool are very much in control of their destiny. They have been outstanding since the start and have already surpassed the vast majority of their points totals from previous seasons.

Only nine times have the Reds managed more than 73 points in a single Premier League campaign, three of which have come during the last three years.

Their 97 points from last season is their current record for points in a single season, and the Reds can match that with another eight wins from their remaining 13 games. Just one point on top of that would set a new record.

They have finished in the 80s in terms of points totals on four occasions: 2001/02 (80), 2005/06 (82), 2008/09 (86) and 2013/14 (84).

That leaves four other seasons in which Liverpool surpassed 73 points. The first time they did so was back in the 1994/95 campaign, in which they finished with 74 from the 42-game season.

They then picked up 76 points in the 2007/08 campaign, before matching that in the 2016/17 season. 2017/18 brought 75 points, but the Reds have gone from strength to strength ever since.

Jordan Henderson,Virgil van Dijk

By contrast, their worst season was the 2011/12 campaign, in which they managed just 52 points. The current side had already eclipsed that tally by the end of December.

Life at Anfield has never been better in the Premier League era, and Klopp’s men are on track to end their long wait to lift the prestigious trophy.

Oh… and as an extra cherry on top, with the win over Southampton, Liverpool’s points total of 73 is now higher than Everton have ever managed in an entire Premier League season – their best coming in 2013/14 with 72.


Senator shehu sani commend RCCG, Adeboye

A former federal lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has commended General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, for leading a protest against killings and the rising spate of insecurity in Nigeria.

Adeboye had on Sunday morning led his congregation in a protest walk to express his dissatisfaction with the level of insecurity in the country.

Sani in a post on Twitter, said Adeboye had finally disembarked from the fence of caution and neutrality.

He said, “Pastor Adeboye finally disembarking from the fence of caution, moderation and neutrality and leading a match against insecurity is commendable. Protest gives wings and wheels to prayer.”


RCCG Rally – Call on Buhari to resign

We commend the leadership and members of Redeemed Christian Church of God for exercising their constitutional rights as enshrined under Sections 38, 39, 40 and 41 of the 1999 constitution by taking to the street to protest against rising insecurity and wobbling economy in Nigeria.

It is unfortunate that the backward President Muhammadu Buhari regime considers every criticism unpatriotic. The biggest disservice of the regime is its clamp down on human rights, free speech and press freedom.

It is worthy of note that by virtue of S 33 of the 1999 constitution, every Nigerian has right to life and that right cannot be illegally taken away. It is for this purpose that Section 14 (2) of the constitution provides that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’. Where government is failing in its primary responsibilities as prevalent today, patriotic citizens of goodwill must protest and register their displeasure against such anomaly.

We wish to remind President Buhari that if he find it hard to perform his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and properties of citizens, it is very lawful for him to resign as provided by S 306 (1) and (3) of the constitution. Otherwise, the National Assembly should take the bull by the horn and commence impeachment proceedings against him in accordance with S 143 of the constitution.

It is our considered view that there is no more time for Nigerians to sit on the fence or fold their arms over the incompetence of this administration. We hereby call on all Nigerians to raise their voices and demand for the resignation of the president.

Tope Akinyode is a human rights lawyer and National President of Revolutionary Lawyer’s Forum


E.Haaland:there is more to come.

Erling Haaland ‘Not 100% Fit’ as Record-Breaking Dortmund Star Warns There’s More to come…

Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland insists he’s ‘still not 100 per cent’ fit, despite scoring seven goals in his first three appearances – averaging a goal every 19 minutes thus far.

Haaland swapped Red Bull Salzburg for Dortmund during the January transfer window, snubbing interest from other top sides across Europe in an £18m deal.

He scored a debut hat-trick against Augsburg and twice against FC Köln, both of which were as a substitute, but after netting another two from the start in Borussia Dortmund’s 5-0 win over Union Berlin, Haaland warned he’s still not at full fitness.

Erling Haaland
“It was pretty tough today, but it was also nice to play from the start,” Haaland said, quoted by Goal. “I have to get even fitter, I am still not 100 per cent.”

The Norway international has reached his tally of seven Bundesliga goals quicker than any other player in the competition’s history, adding another record to his name following a stunning start to the season in Austria.

In addition, each of the striker’s first seven shots in Germany have resulted in goals.

Haaland became the first player to ever score six goals in his opening three Champions League appearances during his time in Salzburg, going on to score 29 goals in 27 appearances for the Red Bull backed club across all competitions.

The 19-year-old will be looking to score in another competition in midweek when Borussia Dortmund travel to face Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal.

The Champions League knockout stages are also just around the corner, with Dortmund set to welcome their former manager Thomas Tuchel back to the Westfalenstadion in their two-legged clash against Paris Saint-Germain.

Erling Haaland,Jadon Sancho
Haaland isn’t the only teenager to be breaking records at Borussia Dortmund this season either, as Jadon Sancho scored his 25th Bundesliga goal against Union Berlin on Saturday.

The England international became the youngest player in German top-flight history to reach that milestone.


Visa Ban: Adeboye prays for restoration of Nigeria

General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has called on God to restore Nigeria back to its full glory.

The respected Christian leader made the call on Sunday during a special service of the church at the National Headquarters in Ebute Meta, Lagos.

He spoke in reference to a recent visa ban on Nigerians by the United States.

Earlier in the week, the United States had announced fresh restrictions on immigrant visas for Nigerians and nationals of five other countries for not taking adequate measures to combat terrorism.

Following the move by President Donald Trump’s administration, prominent Nigerians have continued to react with many of them appealing to the US Government to reverse its stand on the matter.

In his submission, Adeboye said, “Some countries have banned Nigerians from coming into their territories. We pray for the restoration of our nation. Lord, have mercy on Nigeria.

“Let there be peace and security in Nigeria. God sees all things and knows where the terrorists are hiding. We pray that God sends His light to Nigeria and expose the evildoers in the country.”


Obaseki/Oshiomhole: APC chieftain seek truce

Agbomhere, who is also the former governorship aspirant of APC in Edo, gave the advice in an interview known by NobleReporters in Abuja on Sunday.

He said the crisis did not only discourage potential investors from going to Edo but also de-marketed the state from other states and the world.

“One of the reasons, I am not happy with this present Government of Edo is that I feel that this crisis is de-marketing Edo to the rest of the states and the world.

“Now, they have been burning cars in Edo. They have been shooting and harassing people in Edo. Have you ever heard this government prosecutes anybody for that?

“It means they are not aware or it means they are not working. So, in the last rally, at least we heard that cars were burned,’’ Agbomhere said.

The party’s chieftain urged Edo Government not to tolerate any attack that would affect Edo people.

Godwin Obaseki & Adams Oshiomhole

“If I am a governor of Edo State, I will never support any attack whether in my interest or against my interest because the outcome will affect Edo people and I will not tolerate it.

“For me, I think that this present government has a challenge in its hand and also has the solution in its hand. I believe that the government knows how to solve it,’’ he said.

#Newsworthy ..

Nigeria, U.S to sign pact on looted assets

Dr Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations in the Office of the Minister disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

The Minister is expected to, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sign a tripartite agreement with Nigeria, the Island of New Jersey and the United States of America.

The agreement is for repatriation of 321m US dollars looted assets and as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to recover more stolen funds stashed abroad.

He said the meeting is an annual event between Nigeria and U.S.aimed at reviewing bilateral relations and taking necessary steps to advance mutual interest in all diplomatic areas among the two countries.

“The meeting is not an ad hoc event for addressing impromptu concerns, but a friendly binational meeting that holds annually devoid of intervening concerns or relating to the internal affairs of the participating states.”

Some other Nigerian government delegates expected to be part of the meeting include: the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) as well as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Sadiya Umar Faruk.


Lagos: Police enforce Okada, Keke ban

Commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada riders have started leaving Lagos, as enforcement of ban on motorcycle and tricycle operations in major areas of the state took effect on Saturday.

Many okada riders have already surrendered to the enforcement by relocating from Lagos with their motorcycles.

A resident of Ishaga Close, Itire, Yusuf Salau, said that a number of motorcyclists left Igbeyin Adun Street, Ishaga, around 6am on Saturday in two trucks loaded with their motorcycles. NobleReporters learnt

“The majority of them are not from Lagos. They told me they were going back to their states. It is possible some of them would relocate to neighbouring states where there is no ban,” Salau said.

An okada rider, Salisu Garuba, from Nasarawa State, said he just bought his motorcycle and he did not want to lose it to the police.

He stated, “I am going back to my state. Police once seized my motorcycle and I knew what I went through before I got it back. If they seize it this time around, I doubt I would get it back.”

The state government had on Monday proscribed the operations of okada and tricycle riders in Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate LCDA, and Coker-Aguda LCDA.

Others are Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, Iru-Victoria Island LCDA, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.

The ban covered 2,000 routes, including major roads, expressways and bridges.

Meanwhile, stranded commuters around the state have expressed discomfort caused by the ban which affects six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state.

A hair stylist in Ogba, Mrs Olabisi David, said that she trekked from her residence in Ikeja GRA to Ikeja under bridge, where she boarded a bus to her shop. N.Rs culled

“I suffered today (Saturday),” David bemoaned. “I was at the roadside for one hour without seeing any tricycle to take to Ikeja under bridge,” she said.

David stated that she later walked down to the Police College, hoping to catch up with any tricycle. She was disappointed. “I trekked down to the under bridge. I was so tired. It is not convenient for me to be walking this long distance every day but I have to go to shop. Government should put a human face to the ban,” she stated.

Between 9am and 10am when our correspondent visited Ogunusi Road, no tricycle rider operated along the highway. People were seen at different bus stops along the route, waiting impatiently for buses, many of which had already been filled up from the take-off point in Ojodu-Berger.

“This (the ban) is unfair. The people are the ones bearing the consequence, not the people in government,” a boutique operator in Ikeja, Faith Akindele, told our correspondent at Grammar School bus stop.

She urged the government to device a better means of enforcing road traffic laws rather than the outright ban. “It is usually tough to get a bus en route to Ikeja from here (Grammar School bus stop) in the morning. So many people boarded tricycles,” she said.

Vincent Cletus, a businessman, who sells printing materials on Agege Motor Road, one of the restricted routes, lamented that he was stranded at a park around Jibowu, where he normally took an okada or tricycle to his shop.

He said, “I had to trek down to the shop for about one hour. There were buses but people were very many at the park and I couldn’t struggle to board a bus. I was running late and customers were already calling me.”

“I just got to my office (at 10am) after I started my journey from Egbe to Bode Thomas. The majority of it was with my feet. I trekked so tey (much) that legs ache. Monday go (will be) hard,” A Twitter user, Urueye Shadrach, wrote.

Our correspondent observed that few okada riders operated along Ogunusi Road and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway using ‘pick-and-go,’ tactic as one of them described it.

“I didn’t wait at bus stops as I normally do. I sighted passengers from distance and quickly picked them. I know it’s risky because policemen were on patrol to enforce the ban but this is the only means of livelihood I have,” an okada rider, Musa Idris, said.

The Chairman, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, described the compliance level as “fantastic,” adding that his team went to many areas, including Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki, and Ajah.

“The riders complied even though there were pockets of disobedience. We just started today (Saturday). We will not relent. We arrested seven tricycles and three motorcycles but some police divisions would still bring (seized motorcycles and tricycles) to our office.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, did not pick calls to his mobile and had yet to reply to a text message sent to him on the enforcement as of press time.


Suicide bomber nabbed at Oyedepo’s church in Kaduna

The Kaduna state police command have arrested a 30-year-old suspected suicide bomber at the Sabon Tasha branch of the Living Faith Church aka Winners chapel owned by popular clergyman, Bishop David Oyedepo.

The spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, who confirmed this, said he would be releasing an official press statement soon.

According to reports, the suspected suicide bomber was caught on the church’s CCTV camera entering the church auditorium with a bag. The security officers who became suspicious, accosted him after he had sat down. They searched his bag and found the explosive.

The police was alerted and he was arrested and whisked away.


America will not heed to EU rules – Raab speaks

Britain began an uncertain future outside the European Union on Saturday, as it gears up for likely gruelling negotiations on future relations with the EU after the historic end to almost half a century of membership.

There was joy and sadness on Friday night as the EU’s often reluctant member became the first to leave an organisation set up to forge unity among nations after the horrors of World War II.

Little has changed yet as the UK is now in an 11-month transition period agreed as part of the divorce.

Britons will be able to work in the EU and trade freely — and vice versa — until December 31, although the UK will no longer be represented in the bloc’s institutions.

But legally Britain is out, with attention now turning to what are set to be tough talks with Brussels this year on the future relationship.

British newspapers reported late Saturday that the government was readying for a bruising battle.

The eurosceptic Sunday Telegraph said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already become “privately infuriated” at perceived EU attempts “to frustrate a comprehensive free trade deal”.

A leaked memo from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab orders UK diplomats to make an immediate break with former European allies, in ways such as not sitting alongside them at international summits, the Sunday Times said.

It instructed them to “adopt a stance as a confident independent country,” the paper added.

‘Stunning success’
British voters backed Brexit by a narrow margin in a 2016 referendum, sparking several years of domestic political gridlock about how, or even whether, to deliver it.

Johnson — whose decisive December election victory finally paved the way for Britain’s long-stalled departure — marked the occasion by holding a private party in his Downing Street office.

A clock projected on the walls outside counted down the minutes to Brexit becoming a reality at 11 pm (2300 GMT) — midnight in Brussels.

In a televised address to the nation, the British premier hailed a “new era of friendly cooperation”, acknowledging there could be “bumps in the road ahead” but predicting the country would make it a “stunning success”.

Thousands of people waving Union Jack flags packed nearby Parliament Square and sang the national anthem to herald the occasion.

But Brexit has unleashed deep divisions in British society, with many fearing the consequences of ending 47 years of ties with their nearest neighbours.

Some pro-Europeans, including many of the 3.6 million EU citizens who have made their lives in Britain, marked the occasion with candlelit gatherings.

There was a sombre atmosphere on one of the last ferries to leave the European mainland pre-Brexit and make the 42-kilometre (26-mile) journey across the Channel.

“It’s very depressing what’s happening today,” said Alessio Bortone, an Italian who has lived in Britain for 10 years.

Trade talks loom
Brexit has also provoked soul-searching in the EU about its future after losing a country of 66 million people with global diplomatic clout and the financial centre of the City of London.

French President Emmanuel Macron described it as a “historic warning sign” that should force the bloc and its remaining nations of more than 440 million people to stop and reflect.

Britain’s diplomatic mission in Brussels on Saturday changed the building’s nameplate to read “UK Mission to the European Union”, signalling its new non-member status.

Meanwhile, Joao Vale de Almeida, the newly named EU ambassador to Britain, said on Twitter he looked forward to “laying the foundations for a solid EU/UK relationship”.

Getting to this point has been a traumatic process and, while the divorce terms have been agreed, finding consensus on future relations with the EU — its largest trading partner — could be equally hard.

Both London and Brussels will set out their negotiating positions on Monday.

But Johnson, a polarising figure accused of glossing over the complexity of leaving the bloc, has given himself just 11 months to seal a deal — not enough time, according to his critics.

London is also now free to strike trade agreements around the world, including with the United States, whose President Donald Trump is an enthusiastic Brexit supporter.

One of his top envoys on Friday hailed an “exciting new era”.

At a special Brexit day ministers’ meeting in northeast England, Johnson discussed an aim to get 80 percent of Britain’s commerce covered by trade agreements within three years, a spokesman said.

‘Goodbye & good luck’
In Scotland, where a majority voted to remain in the 2016 referendum and Brexit has revived calls for independence, pro-EU campaigners rallied in Edinburgh on Saturday.

“It’s a sad day for Scotland to be taken — or dragged out, as I would say — out of the EU,” said protester David Eakins, 74.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland — soon to be a new EU frontier — there are fears Brexit could destabilise a hard-won peace after decades of conflict over British rule.

“They’re going to have problems probably, sorting everything out with the border up the Irish Sea,” said Thomas Glover, 77, alluding to possible trade frictions between mainland Britain and the divided island.

“I hope we can make the new realities work,” Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney tweeted, adding: “Goodbye & good luck.”


Coronavirus: Patients to be treated by Army in China

China’s army on Sunday was given control of a nearly-finished field hospital that will treat patients at the epicentre of a deadly virus epidemic that has severely strained medical facilities.

Some 1,400 military medics will treat patients at the 1,000-bed hospital, dubbed “Fire God Mountain”, which will receive its first patients on Monday — just 10 days after construction began, according to state media.

The official Xinhua news agency said many of the staff were involved in the fight against another coronavirus, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed some 650 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

It is one of two makeshift medical facilities that the authorities decided to build in order to relieve hospitals swamped with patients in Wuhan, the central city at the epicentre of the national health emergency.

People in the city of 11 million people, which has been under quarantine for more than a week, have complained of waiting hours in line to see a doctor.

The new coronavirus, which is believed to have originated at a wild animal market in Wuhan, has killed more than 300 people and infected another 14,000.

The second field hospital, “Thunder God Mountain”, is set to start admitting patients on Thursday, with 1,600 beds — 300 more than originally planned.


Nigerians are tired; we don’t want bloodshed in Nigeria again – CAN

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, has called on the Federal Government to put an end to insecurity and bloodshed in the country.

Reverend Ayokunle who spoke to journalists at the end of the three-day special fasting and prayer for Nigeria on Sunday, asked the government to up their game because their best is not enough.

“My message to Nigerians and the government is to urge the administration to up their game on the issues of insecurity.

“They said they are trying but their best is not the best; daily bloodshed is happening and we cannot be playing politics with the lives of men and women, they have the right to live and when they are dying, we cannot keep quiet.

“We don’t want bloodshed in Nigeria again,” he stressed.

The CAN President also called on the security heads to adopt a more modern approach in fighting crime, insisting that there is no reason why a victim will stay for days in the hands of kidnappers.

“We want to urge the security chiefs, in this day of technology; there is no reason why anybody will be with kidnappers for more than three days because through technology that God has given us in the world today, we can monitor anyone anywhere by satellite and through other means.

“What is the Nigerian security and defence doing that people will be kept against their will, be in incarceration and allowed to die or their relatives paying ransom in other to deliver their people.”

He called on politicians to stop using the lives of people to play politics and when there is an eventual stop to the bloodshed in the country, the government will get a commendation.

“The essence of government is to rise up to such nonsense and bring an end to it; Nigerians are very tired, if anybody is telling the government that they are doing their best, that person is not telling the truth.

“He is playing politics with human life and if politicians are playing politics, we in the church cannot play politics, the moment we don’t see bloodshed again, we will begin to commend you,” he said.


Osinbajo: Helicopter crash made my faith strong

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the helicopter crash which he was involved in last year has greatly strengthened his faith.

Professor Osinbajo stated this during the thanksgiving service at the villa chapel in Abuja, celebrating his survival and 11 others from tragedy a year ago.

The Agusta Westland W 139 helicopter conveying 12 of them crashed in the Kabba area of Kogi State during 2019 the presidential election campaign.

Professor Osinbajo was accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, family members and his aides, including some of those who were with him when the accident occurred.

He explained that the incident was so miraculous and despite the crash, none of the occupants had a scratch.

“What happened on that occasion was so amazing, so miraculous; 12 of us in the helicopter, the helicopter crashed and not one scratch on one of us, that’s just incredible.

“So we can only continue to thank God and to praise the Lord Jesus Christ for the awesome deliverance of so many of us.”

He asked “can you imagine a situation where you survive a helicopter crash? Adding that he thinks it “just demonstrates that God is merciful, God is awesome, he is able to do all things and he is able to do everything.

“I think it just greatly strengthened my faith and the faith of all of us who were there,” he stated.

The chopper managed by Caverton helicopter had managed to land at the township stadium before its propeller suddenly pulled off to the surprise of supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had gathered to welcome the Vice President.

According to the Caverton Helicopters, the crash was caused by unusual weather conditions.

Also, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in its preliminary report after carrying out an investigation into the crash, said the crew lost visual contact with the ground at about 50 feet owing to a brownout – (dust generated when landing on a sandy area) – that enveloped the helicopter.

It added that the helicopter experienced a hard landing and consequently rolled over.