Most Nigerian football fans have commended the performance of the Super Eagles in their first match of the ongoing 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Despite falling to the superior fireworks of Argentina 0-1 in their first match in Group B, the fans agreed that the Nigerians put up an impressive display remarkably different from their lethargic performances at the 2010 Africa Nations Cup in Angola and the qualifying series for the World Cup.
They were however, unanimous that goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was the difference between a total humiliation by the Argentines and the respectable loss recorded in the match.
Overall, however, the Super Eagles display was econcuraging enough to inspire hope that they can still get the result that will see them through to the next round.
From Nigerians based in South Africa to football fan at home, the loss to Argentina was bearable.
Honour Sirawoo, chairman of Sport writers Association of Nigerian, SWAN, Rivers State branch said that the Super Eagles showed some promises that can be built on in subsequent matches.
“With a little adjustment and concentration, the Eagles can go far, Sirawoo said.
Ponwang Abari, a civil servant, said that the Nigerian side gave a good account of themselves even though they were unable to convert their scoring chances.
Another Nigerian, Joseph Apollo, a trader, said the out come of the match should galvanise the team’s handlers to devise strategies that would ensure victory in subsequent matches.
Ocheya Obida, a student, said the future of the Nigerian side in the World Cup was bright and called for cooperation from all stakeholders for the country’s success.
Similarly, fans in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State also commended the efforts of the Super Eagles rating them above average in the encounter against Argentina
“I believe the Super Eagles played very well. In fact, they out-played the Argentines in the second half but for the early goal conceded,’’ Alhaji Abdulkadir Kwakwatawa said.
Tidesports source in South Afrcia said that a population of Nigerians who could not obtain match tickets, converged in a popular Nigerian eatery in the locality to watch the match on a big screen.
At the blast of the final whistle, they tropped out on Rockey Street, where the eatery is located, singing and dancing to the admiration of passers by.
Mr Adebayo Ogun, a trader among the cheering crowd said.
“We showed them African soccer; it was just unfortunate we conceded that early goal which made the difference.
“I was happy to see a new Super Eagles and I know there is very high hope that we will still make it to the next round,” Ogun said.
Another fan who simply identified himself as Kabiru, said he felt sad about the loss but said there was still cause to have hope with the team’s performance.
“We will make it against Greece and Korea,” he said, explaining that having watched both teams in their encounter, the Super Eagles had a better chance of qualifying for the next round.
“We can now say Nigeria has a team,” he said, adding that they showed better cohesion and gave hope for better results in their subsequent matches.
“It was unbelievable. I never expected such a performance from the Eagles. They played well beyond the expectations of many Nigerians.
He said the team’s loss was due to ill-luck through wasted scoring chances by Yakubu Ayegbeni and Chinedu Obasi, and lack of midfield firepower.
“The duo of Ayegbeni and Obasi should have scored earlier and later on in the first half. If that had happened, and we had played better in the midfield, the score line would have been different,’’ he added.
Wei Xiangnan, the Abuja-based Chief Correspondent of China Radio International, also told our source that the Eagles’ performance was inspiring and had given more hope to Nigerians.
“I think the Eagles played well, and beyond expectations. They were just unlucky, especially late in the second half.
“But I believe they have given many Nigerians more hope about the World Cup now, and I believe they will do better in their next matches,’’ he said.
Meawhile, the Black Stars of Ghana yesterday in Pretoria recorded Africa’s first victory in the first round of matches of the 2010 World Cup played so far.
The Stars pipped Serbia 1-0 in the first match of Group D to put themselves in good stead for qualification for the second round stage.
Before their victory, three African representatives had taken to the pitch, recording one draw and two losses.
Host Bafana Bafana of South Africa kicked off the world cup seen by many as Africa’s tournament with an impressive 1-1 draw with Mexico on Friday
Nigerian’s Super Eagles and the Fennecs of Algeria failed to match the South African performance narrowly losing 0-1, to Argentina and Slovenia on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
With Ghana’s victory, it is hoped that the road had been cleared for an African success in subsequent matches.
Asamoah Gyan, scorer of Ghana’s first World Cup goal at Germany 2006, was again on hand to open the account in South Africa through a well taken 85th minute penalty, after Serbia’s Kuzmanovic deliberately handled the ball inside the box.
Despite playing with a one man advantage, Ghana though impressive in their game, failed to break down the resilient Serbian defence, until the defensive howler provided the penalty opportunity.
Gyan could have double the score later on but his effort rebounded off the upright after the goalkeeper was well beaten.
Another African team, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun will take to the stage this afternoon in a group match with Japan
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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