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S’Eagles Rebound To Stun Argentina 4-2

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Alex Iwobi scored twice as the Super Eagles of Nigeria fought back from 2-0 down against an Argentina side missing Lionel Messi to secure a stunning 4-2 friendly victory in Krasnodar.
Sergio Aguero scored his 36th international goal to move clear in third place on Argentina’s all-time scoring list as Jorge Sampaoli’s side looked set to prosper despite the absence of Messi, who had returned to Barcelona after featuring in the 1-0 win over Russia last Saturday.
Having drawn level with Hernan Crespo by scoring a late winner against the Russians, Aguero followed up his first international goal since June 2016 by tapping home Argentina’s second to back up Ever Banega’s free-kick opener.
Yet, their comfortable cushion evaporated either side of the interval, with Kelechi Iheanacho inspiring a Nigeria fightback with a free-kick of his own in the closing stages of the first half.
Two goals in the space of three second-half minutes from Iwobi and Bryan Idowu swung the game further away from Argentina, with the former then slotting home a fourth to secure Nigeria just their second ever win over their South American opponents.
The astonishing turnaround came after Banega’s 28th-minute free-kick gave Sampaoli’s side a deserved lead, albeit they needed help from goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to break the deadlock.
After nudging the ball outside his own penalty area, a careless Akpeyi curiously allowed Aguero to quickly close the gap, forcing him to pick it up to prevent embarrassment.
He did not escape punishment for his error, however, as Banega curled the resulting set-piece opportunity into the net, Akpeyi opening up further space to target by taking an unnecessary step behind his wall.
Aguero added a second eight minutes later to move clear of Crespo, the striker tapping home Cristian Pavon’s low cross from the right, and at that stage, Argentina were coasting.
Nigeria had barely threatened in the first half but still managed to get back in the game, Iheanacho following Banega’s example by scoring from a free-kick in the final minute of the first half.
The Leicester City striker’s effort came after he had earlier left an impression on Nicolas Otamendi, catching his former Manchester City’s teammate with an elbow.
Yet, Iheanacho escaped with only a yellow card and, after halving the deficit, he heaped further pain on Argentina by setting up Nigeria’s quick-fire double after the break.
After providing the square pass from the right that allowed Iwobi to sweep home an equaliser, the 21-year-old forward played in Idowu to curl a right-footed effort beyond goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin.
Hit by a one-two combination, Argentina struggled to mount a response as they looked to get back on level terms in a game that had somehow escaped from their grasp.
With no Messi to inspire any late heroics, Iwobi wrapped up the victory for Nigeria, the Arsenal forward finishing with his left foot after swerving his way beyond Javier Mascherano.

Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun (6) and Troost Ekong (5) closing in on Algerian attacker when both teams met in their final Russia 2018 qualifier, last Friday.

Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun (6) and Troost Ekong (5) closing in on Algerian attacker when both teams met in their final Russia 2018 qualifier, last Friday.

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Rivers’ll Be Known For Peace, Not Crisis -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that peace has prevailed because he draws strength from God to resist insults and tantrums thrown at him while frustrating attempts by some disgruntled persons who wanted to plunge the State into unending crisis.
The Governor also said that because he has anchored his Government on promoting peace, the enabling atmosphere has been provided for investments and sustainable development to flourish.
Governor Fubara made the assertion when he received a delegation of members of the Bishops and Gospel Ministers’ Association International Incorporated, Rivers State Chapter, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by the Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Dr George Nwaeke, Governor Fubara said while most people took his meekness for weakness, his stance on peace has unarguably enhanced harmonious atmosphere of concord as residents sleep with their two eyes closed, and investors and shareholders are happy with the returns on investment.
He said, “Before, what they hear of Rivers State is that they are fighting, and some genuine investors will not come. Some people even ask you: How are you coping in Rivers State?
“But now”, he asserted: “The Governor has brought about a lot of changes in the State. One of the most important things is that he has changed the negative narrative. It is no longer Rivers of blood. It is now Rivers of peace.
“We are enjoying our lives here. Why? Because there is a change in the narrative. We have peace. The Governor is, as much as possible, absorbing any level of insult at him only for one purpose: that Rivers State may have peace; that we may grow; that this state will experience genuine development.”
Governor Fubara urged them, as members of the Christian family in the State, to continue to pray for the State and the Government so that the enemies of the State will be put to greater shame.
“This peace is what I want you to embrace. Go and continue to pray, because when the sower of the seed went and sowed, the enemy went in the night and sowed tares inside there. But the Governor is sowing peace.
“When I listened to the leader of the team, His Grace Eddy Ogbonda, he said you came all the way from Eleme Junction, and stopped at major junctions, and you uttered prayers for the peace of Rivers State.”
He also said: “I, hereby want to thank you for identifying with the Governor at a time like this. At a time when it looks as if someone wants the Governor’s peace posture misunderstood as weakness.
“When someone has the strength to fight back, but refuses to fight back. That is a bigger strength; that power of restrain does not just come, it can only come from God.
“You cannot give peace, if you do not have peace within you. The Governor is not interested in any form of trouble or violence. What he is interested in is known, and it is: let there be peace in Rivers State,” he said.
In his address, leader of the group, Archbishop Eddy Ogbonda, said they had observed a week-long intensive prayers that culminated into a peace rally, which brought them to Government House, and assured the Governor that God will continue to give him victory over his adversaries while preserving Rivers State.
“It is Rivers State Prophetic Prayer Convocation and Rally 2024 with the theme: ‘Peace be still’. Of a truth, everyone of us understands that we live in a time when we need peace much more than any other thing.
“Rivers State needs peace. Everyone as individuals need peace. The country needs peace, and the world at large needs peace. So, we are here to do a peace march. We pray that God will command His peace to reign in Rivers State,” he said.

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Hoteliers, School Owners Charging In Dollars Risk Arrest -EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that hotels, schools, and other establishments that accept payments in dollars from their customers are at risk of facing arrest.
The Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said this in the agency’s publication called EFCC Alert on Monday, adding that action would be taken against individuals involved in the dollarisation of the economy.
According to him, the exception is if foreigners come in to transact business and the only means of transacting is their credit card and dollar but to charge local customers in dollars or other foreign currencies would no longer be allowed.
He said charging local activities and customers in dollars is against Nigeria’s constitution.
The EFCC chairman said, “Schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their property in dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area.
“Yes, if foreigners are coming in and the only means of transacting is their credit card, and dollar, why not? You will get that.
“But document it properly as against selling things within the system, local economy and you will be using dollar as the medium of exchange, it is illegal.
“Our law does not allow for that. And we have also affected some arrests.”

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Eid-El-Fitr: Fubara Felicitates Muslims, Calls For Unity, Tolerance

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has enjoined Muslim faithful to remain steadfast to the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan.
Governor Fubara stated this in his message of felicitations to Muslims as they celebrate the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr Sallah, which marks the end of the one-month Ramadan fasting.
The Governor emphasised the importance for Muslims to also uphold the tenets of Islam by exhibiting the fear of God and showing piety in their daily work.
Governor Fubara said, “We must all continue in the good attributes imbibed during the holy month of Ramadan as directed by God through His Prophet, so as to ensure peace, unity and harmony in the society for a better future.”
While praying that the essence of the festival offers them happiness, peace and prosperity in all aspects of life, Governor Fubara said he recognises and appreciates the critical role that the Muslim community continues to play in the development of Rivers State, and indeed, Nigeria at large.
Governor Fubara charged them to remain unwavering and steadfast in their commitment and positive contributions to advance the development of the State and the country.
“I enjoin you all in the State to remain calm, be patient and continue to do what is right,” the Governor added.
He wished the Muslim faithful in the State and across the country a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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