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Rivers Very Safe, Homely – American Basketballers

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Visiting American Basketballers and coaches to Rivers State have expressed shock over uncomplimentary media reports on the security challenges in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital which does not reflect the true situation on ground.

Cecil Sievers, Nathaniel Achibald and Mitch Duren made their feelings known yesterday when they accompanied the President of Royal Hoopers Basketball Club, Port Harcourt on a courtesy call on the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Romiti Amaechi at Government House, Port Harcourt.

The Amercians, who were visiting Nigeria for the first time, said the impression given to them in the media and at the Embassy was scary, noting that it was difficult to believe that they would be safe.

“Our visit to the Consulate in Lagos gave us a negative perception of what is happening here but we have been here three days and nothing”, Mitch said.

The visitors contended that what is being fed to the world via the internet or from outside sources do not give the true value of people in the country and urged intending visitors to Port Harcourt to “come and see things for themselves”.

“I’m happy and elated to be here”, Nathaniel Achibald, ace Bolton Celtics Basketballer said, while describing Port Harcourt as a true home.

In his response, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said he was surprised that people were yet to tell the world that the state has achieved about 70 per cent peace at the moment.

“You know, when things were bad they were writing that things were bad but now that things have improved, they are no longer there to write the story that things have changed”, Amaechi observed.

The governor, who admitted that things were not yet perfect, said that for the avoidance of doubt, the state government has been hosting Commonwealth Parliamentarians for the past three weeks, with some delegates as Caucasians, and there has not been any negative report so far.

He argued that it was unfair for the embassies to send wrong signals to their people, noting that if it was that bad, the multinational companies should have left and enjoined the foreign media to report the positive things happening in the state.

The governor, who said the state was tired of being at the receiving end of the propaganda, promised that a media campaign would soon be put in place to correct the negative reporting of the state.

Athletes competing for glory in a meet

Athletes competing for glory in a meet

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NDDC U-17 Peace Cup To Resume In Uyo

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The long awaited finale of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) U-17 Peace Cup would expectedly resume next week as two qualified teams from the nine states converge in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.
Technical Director of the tournament  Etim Esin in a statement on behalf  of the Local Organising Committee Chairman John Ekpeyong and Secretary Ada Gwegwe yesterday said the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, will declare the tournament open.
It added that the Special Assistant to the President Muhammad Buhari, on Sports Development, Coach Daniel Amokachi, NFF Technical Director Coach Augustine Eguavoen along with football legend Taribo West and other notable Niger Delta-based and foreign scouts will be on ground.
The LOC appreciated the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, for his support towards the conclusion of the tournament, adding that it is better late than never, as the competition will still be among his numerous legacies.
According to the statement, the arrival date for participating teams is 11th of December, while screening of teams and official kick off, will take place the following day.
The statement further called on the Coordinators of the states not to forget the rules of engagement, especially on the age bracket of the players, as the screening will be strict, for the aim of the competition to be achieved.

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FIBA World Cup: Kida Lauds D’Tigers’ Strong Qualifiers Start

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Top basketball administrator and immediate past Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) president, Engr Musa Kida, has congratulated the D’Tigers for starting their 2022 FIBA World Cup on a strong note after picking two victories in three matches.
With five points from a possible six and a superior point difference, the team sits comfortably atop group A ahead of the next round of games coming up by the 27th of June, 2022.
Kida described the team’s performance as inspiring despite peculiar circumstances surrounding the federation’s election as well as FIBA’s stance over Nigeria’s participation at the qualifiers.
“It is really nice to start such important qualifiers on a winning note which is very good for our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. We had to put our administrative differences aside for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
“We feel elated and justified that our decision to give FIBA the go ahead to register the team which enabled them participate paid off in the long run as we join hands with all stakeholders to continue growing the game in Nigeria”.
16 teams are vying for the available five spots at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Nigeria grouped alongside Mali, Cape Verde and Uganda.
“The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers and will join three other teams to create two six-team groups with results from the preliminary rounds carried over,” Musa added.

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AWCON Qualifiers: Ebi Targets Revenge Against Ivory Coast

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Super Falcons defender, Onome Ebi, says the team will go all out for revenge when they clash against Ivory Coast in their final 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers next year.
The qualifying game which will be played on a home and away basis is scheduled for February 13 and 17 with the winners qualifying for the AWCON in Morocco.
The Falcons who will be hoping to defend the title they won at the 2018 in Ghana are eyeing their 10th trophy Morocco but to qualify for the event, they’ll have to go past the Ivorians who knocked them out of contention for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Ebi, who is Nigeria’s current longest-serving player says her aim is to avenge the loss that saw them miss out on the 2020 Olympics at the hands of the Ivorians.
“I can tell you that we still nurse the pain of missing out of the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series,” Ebi said.
“This time, we will repay them in their own coins. Personally, I want to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, and I know it is the same for my teammates.”
The Falcons are the most successful African women’s team in the world and have won the AWCON a record nine times and will be hoping to get their 10th next year after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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