The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday confirmed receiving part of the money approved by the Federal Government for the participation of some national teams in international competitions.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that the approved money included the fund for the Super Eagles’ participation at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He quoted NFF’s Acting President, Seyi Akinwunmi, as saying yesterday that the Federation received part of the money last Tuesday morning.
Olajire added that Akinwunmi had also disclosed that NFF had immediately launched the process to convert the sum to U.S. dollars to pay the players their only outstanding entitlement.
Akinwunmi had said that this was the win bonus for the match against Burundi, played in Alexandria last Saturday evening, and for subsequent matches.
“We want to specially thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his keen interest in resolving this matter quickly, which has enabled us to receive part of the money in record time.
“We have immediately started the process of converting the money to U.S. dollars at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in order to pay the players the bonus for the win over Burundi three days ago as well as plan for subsequent games,” he said.
Akinwunmi added also that the NFF had on Monday transferred to the players and their officials their camp allowances up to the last day of 2019 AFCON group phase matches.
He had said there was also the fund for the appearance fee for the friendly match against Zimbabwe in Asaba on June 8.
“We have paid these monies through our funds managers, Financial Derivatives Company last Monday.
“The only issue we had was that some of the players did not send their bank accounts and instead authorised the bank to pay their monies to some other individuals. The bank requested clear authorisation for this to happen.
“I was on a telephone discussion with the team captain, Mikel Obi this morning and can safely say that all clarifications have been made and the usual cordial relationship and understanding between the players and we the administrators are still intact.
“I have challenged them to go all out and win the trophy, assuring them that their monies all the way to the final are guaranteed.
“It is now for the players to focus on the championship and deliver glory to the nation. I have no doubt of their ability to do that.”
Akinwunmi, who is deputising for NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, who is fully involved with AFCON’s organisation as its President, also specially commended the maturity of the team and its leaders.
“The team leaders, including skipper Mikel, deserve commendation, especially for their unflinching focus on the job at hand, which is winning the AFCON trophy,” he said.
A’Ibom Rerun: PDP, Ekpeyong Dare Akpabio
Following the ruling by the Appeal Court in Calabar Cross River State, ordering a rerun of the National Assembly elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the Peoples’ Democratic Party as well as the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Senator Chris Ekpenyong have expressed optimism to come out victorious in the rerun.
Ekpenyong and the PDP who said they were never daunted with the ruling of the Appeal court challenged Godswill Akpabio to, first of all, resign his position as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and face a rerun, adding that they would defeat him in the polls as they ‘did before.’
The Appeal Court in Calabar on Saturday cancelled the National Assembly elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area, one out of the ten local government areas that constitute the Akwa Ibom North-West Federal constituency due to reported cases of irregularities and violence.
The court added that election results in the other nine local governments remained valid, leaving Akpabio to scout for 38,056 votes in that local government to upturn the victory of his opponent, Senator Ekpenyong.
Results obtained from the other nine local government, excluding Essien Udim Local Government Area showed that Senator Chris Ekpenyong leads with 114, 973 votes while Akpabio has 76,917.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had said that only 19,455 voters were accredited in Essien Udim local government area.
Meanwhile, the PDP State Publicity Secretary, Ini Ememobong in a statement on Saturday described the Appeal court judgement as an opportunity to widen the margin of victory for the PDP.
According to him, “We welcome the judgement of the Court and hereby indicate our preparedness for elections, as this will provide an opportunity for us to widen the margin of victory against Rt. Hon. Emman Akpan, Senator Akpabio and the APC. We are expectant that the Senator will very soon tender his resignation from his ministerial office to meet us in the campaign field, as the law demands.
“Our party urges the general public to ignore the false stories being peddled by members of the opposition, APC, about the judgement- which specifically ordered a rerun in Essien Udim Local Government Area alone. It is on record that the margin of victory currently outstanding is in tens of thousands of votes, which has not been affected by the judgement of the court.”
Dogara Harps On Patriotic Leadership
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has stated that only patriotic citizens at the helm of affairs can save the nation from its series of challenges.
He stated this on Saturday at the 8th and 9th convocation ceremonies of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State where he was honoured with PhD and subsequently installed as the second Chancellor of the private university succeeding Senator Bode Olajumoke who was installed January 28, 2012.
The federal lawmaker noted that those who are not preoccupied with their parochial ambitions could rescue the nation from the socio-political and economic challenges.
Dogara said: “Nigeria needs true patriots -those who will place premium on the pursuit of freedom rather than the pursuit of personal happiness. This is true if Nigeria would be a great country, especially now that demagogues who are immune to the norms of established society litter the political landscape.”
Meanwhile, the best graduating students in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 are Sofowora Erioluwa and Jolapamo Titilayo respectively.
Out of the 400 graduates who graduated from 15 departments, 22 of them had First Class, 217 got second class upper division, 130 second class lower division and 31 had third class.
Other personalities honoured with PhD are Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Mrs Olusola Momoh, vice chairman of Channels Television and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Samuel Ibiyemi charged the Federal Government to give the private universities access to research grants like their public counterparts.
Bayelsa Poll: INEC Boss, NYSC DG Warn Corps Members
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu and Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, have warned corps members looking to serve as INEC ad hoc personnel at the November 16 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election to play by the electoral laws.
Yakubu urged them to avoid actions that may undermine the integrity of the election.
He stated this yesterday in Yenagoa while addressing corps members during a sensitization forum.
The INEC boss also disclosed that adequate security has been provided for all Corps members and Corps lodges in the state during and after the election.
Mahmood, who described Corps members as the most reliable, dedicated and committed electoral officers promised prompt payment of all Corps members’ entitlements through their bank accounts.
NYSC DG, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim said the involvement of Corps members in the country’s electoral system has added more credibility to previous elections.
He described Corps members, as patriotic Nigerians on national assignment that deserve proper welfare from every Nigerian.
‘Be neutral and non-partisan because NYSC would not tolerate any Corps member that violates the Electoral Act’, he said.
General Ibrahim also advised them to be security conscious and look for escape routes in case of emergency.
“Be courteous when dealing with the electorates, caution yourself when provoked and ensure that your phone is fully charged with enough call cards during the election.
‘Run for your dear lives in case of any emergency and don’t endanger your safety’, the DG added.
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