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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Eagles Camp: One Big Family – United Super Eagles Welcome Back Yobo & Odemwingie

The national team camp is in high spirits ahead of tommorow (Wednesday’s 28th May 2014) friendly match against Scotland with the return to the squad of two of their most experienced members

One big family – United Super Eagles
pic courtesy: Goal.ComNigeria, from London.

Returnees Joseph Yobo and Peter Odemwingie have spoken of their delight at being well received into the Super Eaglescamp in London ahead of the team’s friendly with Scotland on Wednesday.

Coach Stephen Keshi handed a recall to the duo for his 30-man provisional World Cup squad early this month. They will hope to impress and make the final squad to Brazil next month.

Yobo said during breakfast on Monday at the team’s hotel that he was overwhelmed by the shower of love by his team mates. “I am humbled and I pray that I will justify the confidence reposed in me,” the captain was quoted by national team media officer Ben Alaiya.
The defender had been out of the squad since the end of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last year.Deputy captain Vincent Enyeama reinforced the unity in the camp thus: “It’s one big family here and this is the spirit we should carry to the World Cup.”

On his part, Odemwingie, who had fallen out with the coaching crew since 2012, expressed his joy at being part of the national team once again.  
“We will do our best in Brazil to justify this unity that we have in camp,” Odemwingie said.
Out of the 30 invited players, only two were yet to hit camp on Monday. Nnamdi Oduamadi and Sunday Mba had been delayed by travel documents.

The Super Eagles will play their friendly against the Tartan Army at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground on Wednesday by 8pm.
The team will fly out to the United States for further friendly matches against Greece and the US national men’s team before going to Brazil.
Nigeria have been drawn in Group F with Argentina, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

By Lolade Adewuyi - Editor-In-Chief, Goal.comNigeria

*** NUJ Europe members will be giving you links to watch the SCOTLAND vs NIGERIA match  LIVE from the Craven Cottage as the Nigerian Super Eagles faces Tartan Army. BBC Scotland has notified the Chapter of their readiness to show the live cast on TV and radio.

Follow NUJENews on twitter !

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Boris Johnson Compares BBC's Inconsistency Over N-Word To 'Nigerian Maniacs' Of Boko Haram

Boris Johnson Compares BBC's Inconsistency Over N-Word

Boris Johnson has claimed that the treatment of a BBC DJ who accidentally played a song containing the N-word was akin to the inconsistency shown by the "Nigerian maniacs" in Boko Haram.

In remarks criticised by his Labour opponents, the London mayor said Britain was living in a "Boko Haram world", in reference to the terrorist network that has kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.BBC Radio Devon broadcaster David Lowe claims he was forced to quit after playing an 82-year-old version of The Sun Has Got His Hat On which featured the racial slur.

Johnson said the BBC was in a "Boko Haram world"Just as a point of comparison, Boko Haram forbids Muslims to take part in any political or social activity connected to Western society, has killed more than 1,500 people this year, and specifically targets schoolchildren and teachers.In his Daily Telegraph column on Monday, Johnson wrote: "In our own modest way, we live in a Boko Haram world, where it all depends on the swirling rage of the internet mob, and where terrified bureaucrats and politicians are borne along on a torrent of confected outrage.

"There is no consistency in the outlook of the Nigerian maniacs: they use weapons produced by the very capitalist system they claim to deplore, for instance."There is certainly no logic at the BBC. They should restore Mr Lowe to his job - if he will take it - and the entire BBC board should go down to Devon to apologise in person, and at their own expense."He added: "Their treatment of this man is utterly disgraceful.

London Assembly member Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group called the Mayor's comments "totally unacceptable". Lowe, he said, had played "an immensely degrading word that is charged with slavery and the abuse of an entire people for over 150 years".
"Boris is yet again trying to score a cheap point in the battle to succeed David Cameron by pandering to the basest instincts of older Conservative Party members," 
Duvall said. “This time he has gone too far in his endless quest for ‘shock and awe’ publicity. Boko Haram are a terrorist group that have killed thousands of innocent Nigerians, have enslaved hundreds of girls and wreak destruction on the people of northern Nigeria."The BBC, for all of its many faults, does not partake in these activities. For the Mayor to claim we live in a “Boko Harem” world says more about his desperate need for attention than it does about the state of free speech in our country.”

Johnson also pilloried the cyber-mob that attacked the footage of Jeremy Clarkson using the N-word, calling it "a clerisy of self-appointed internet witchdoctors went completely loco - or perhaps boko is the word". He added: "I suppose David Lowe was less valuable to the corporation than Clarkson, which only makes it worse."Their treatment of this man is utterly disgraceful."

Johnson said the treatment of David Lowe was "utterly disgraceful"Johnson pointed out the frequent showings of Pulp Fiction on BBC channels, including the scene where Quentin Tarantino shouts: "Did you notice a sign in front of my house that says dead n***** storage?""

If there were any logic or consistency in the world, the entire cadre of BBC schedulers would be asked to commit harakiri. They should all be sacked, from Tony Hall downwards – every man and woman in the place," Johnson said."Their crime is far worse than the offence of David Lowe of Radio Devon. They did it knowingly. They put Pulp Fiction on air, in the full knowledge that the director of the movie – who is white – gives currency and legitimation, out of his own mouth, to a term that they forbid to their own presenters, even accidentally and off the air.Emma Clements, the station's acting editor, reportedly told Lowe that while he had "properly" dealt with his mistake, she thought it would be best for him to step aside.After his exit, Lowe claims he was asked to say he was pursuing other interests. However, he refused and made the reasons public through his website.The BBC has offered him his job back but Lowe said he declined because his departure caused him so much stress and flared up a medical condition he suffers from.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation admitted the discussion about Lowe's future "could have been handled better" and said the "door remained open" should he want to return.


We compare the Super Eagles 30 as chosen by the Big Boss to the players that were selected by Nigeria fans in the days before the announcement.

The makeup of Nigeria’s 30 man provisional World Cup squad was debated intensely before the federation’s official announcement, and the deliberation has continued extensively since Stephen Keshi revealed his selection.
In the days leading up to the announcement, I invited Super Eagles fans to access an app I had created on my website which allowed supporters to choose their own Nigeria squad of 30. (The Nigeria Squad Selector App)
In the few days before the official squad reveal, over 13,000 people accessed the resource and many posted their results on Twitter or shared them with the rest of the national fanbase.
I have subsequently used the results to calculate the most popular XI and the 30 players who were chosen the most regularly by Super Eagles fans to be a part of their World Cup preliminary squad.
In this feature, I compare the results of my Nigeria Squad Selector with the squad of 30 as chosen by the Big Boss to represent the nation in Brazil.
Keshi | Much Scrutinised
Fascinatingly, the biggest surprise among Keshi’s squad of 30 also happened to be the player who most divided Nigeria fans. Of the 76 options for the Super Eagles squad selector, Joel Obi was the only one who split fans 50-50. Exactly half of Nigeria fans voted him into their squad of 30, while exactly 50% opted to ignore him.
It is intriguing that arguably Keshi took his biggest gamble on the player who exactly divides the Nigeria fanbase.
I would suggest, however, that these results are slightly skewed by the midfielder’s dire injury record.
Certainly, the response to Obi’s inclusion has been almost wholly positive; if fit, there are few Nigerians who wouldn’t want him in the squad. I suspect that the 50% of voters who ignored him, did so largely because of the risk he represents and the suspicion that he might not be fit, rather than because of any inadequacy on the player’s part.
Indeed, I believe that had Nigeria fans realised, five days ago, that Obi would be fit enough for consideration, he would have received the favour of far more than 50% of fans.
Joel Obi | The Perfect 50-50 Split
Seven players featured in the average 30 as chosen by Nigeria fans but didn’t make Stephen Keshi’s final cut. Of these, perhaps only two could be considered a shock.
Leon Balogun, after only a brief cameo with the national side, was chosen by 71% of fans, but was overlooked by Keshi. Almost 16% of respondents even wanted the Germany-based defender in their starting XI.
Again, with opposite results to Joel Obi, injuries may well have been the decisive factor here, as Balogun hasn’t played since making his Super Eagles debut against Mexico in March.
Balogun omission leaves 71% of fans disappointed
Of the shortlist of 76 names, Ideye Brown was the 23rd most popular player.
51% of fans named the Dynamo Kyiv man in their squad of 30, but he too has missed out. Four respondents, @k_ef4real, @FisayoDairo, @rakspd and @adesam1998 even backed Ideye for the starting XI, but it seems as though the forward’s impotent displays have finally caught up with him.
The other six names are interesting, and perhaps reveal that Keshi is more conservative and less adventurous then an average Super Eagles fan.
Obasi | Chosen by 60% of Nigeria fans...but not by Keshi
Over 60% of respondents wanted Chinedu Obasi in their squad of 30—I advocated the Schalke forward’s case in a recent feature with Goal Nigeria but my pleas, it seems, fell on deaf ears, as the versatile forward has missed out.
Further attacking options that were popular among Nigeria fans include Ike Uche (51%) and Sone Aluko (48%). Keshi has resisted the temptation to turn to these two and has, instead, plumped for Uche Nwofor and Michel Babatunde.
The former was chosen by a tiny minority of only 7.3% of Nigeria fans, while Babatunde was hardly more popular, being chosen by less than 10% of respondents.
Uche may have had his (well-publicised) issues with Keshi, but can the Big Boss honestly say that Nwofor and Babatunde are going to be more effective in Brazil than the Villarreal man, Aluko or Obasi?
Taiwo | 40% of you wanted him as backup, Keshi says no
Similarly, Taye Taiwo was a popular option among Nigeria fans, being named by 40% of ‘would-be Keshis’. 8.5% of respondents even backed the Bursaspor man to steal a starting berth ahead of Elderson Echiejile, who has played only thrice since moving to Monaco in January.
Despite ongoing concerns about the left-back’s fitness, Keshi has not been as adventurous as average Nigeria fans about resolving this issue. Instead of turning to Taiwo, the Big Boss has picked Juwon Oshaniwa as backup to Elderson.
Oshaniwa, by contrast, was only selected by 23% of voters.
52% of fans opted to name Lukman Haruna in their World Cup 30, with almost 5% of supporters even backing the Dynamo Kyiv man to take a starting role as the side’s ‘Third Man’. Notably, however, Haruna was less popular than Sunday Mba (73%), Ramon Azeez (60%) and Nosa Igiebor (56%), and only 2% more popular than Joel Obi.
Of the central midfielders in the running to provide backup to Ogenyi Onazi and John Obi Mikel, or even start alongside them, Haruna was always going to face a struggle to reassert himself.
Agbim | The faith of the manager, not of the fans
The squad of 30 contains seven players who were not among the Nigeria fans’ favoured 30. I have already mentioned Uche Nwofor, Michel Babatunde and Juwon Oshaniwa, while Dan Akpeyi cannot fairly be considered in the statistics as his name was added to the squad selector options only after the squad reveal.
Despite his struggles at the Championship of African Nations, and the bad press he has received subsequently, Chigozie Agbim was selected by 26% of voters. Largely, I suspect, this was due to a dearth of other, realistic options.
Similarly, Reuben Gabriel was only called up by 13% of fans who compiled their own squad lists. The electorate, it appears, are unable to perceive what Keshi sees in the Waasland-Beveren man.
Finally, Nnamdi Oduamadi was chosen by only 37% of respondents. The Varese man isn’t too far away from favour among Nigeria fans, but his underwhelming showings recently have erased the memory of his fine outings against Kenya and Tahiti. The Milan loanee needs to make the most of the coming weeks to ensure he is on the plane to Brazil.
Odumadi | Super Eagles fans remain unconvinced
One thing that has become apparent to those Nigeria fans who attempted my Super Eagles Squad Selector is just how difficult Keshi’s job is.
As fans, we aren’t privy to all of the many pressures from above and the intricate dynamics that can formulate within a squad. Nigeria have a wealth of playing options across the world, some will fit, some won’t, some may be on good form, some won’t; it’s impossible to please everyone, and incredibly difficult to stumble upon the ‘best’ or even a ‘right’ answer…if indeed one exists.
The 30 is settled, the blinds have been drawn, and we are in the lap of the gods and upon the wings of the Eagles.

 Ed Dove is a seasoned Sports Journalist who also writes for goal.comNigeria
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Thursday, 15 May 2014

I know where the Chibok girls are – Senator Ahmed Zanna.

A lawmaker representing Borno North at the National Assembly, Senator Ahmed Zanna has confirmed he knows the whereabouts of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls. Zana, who claimed that the government refused to listen to him, told CNN that he won’t reveal the location of the girls and the dreaded Islamist group.

The Senator made this declaration when he was being interviewed via a telephone call by Isha Sesay of CNN. Asked where he thinks the insurgents might be keeping the girls, the Senator replied, “I won’t tell where they are being kept again because I have told the Federal Government where they are likely being kept before the video was released.

Now that I saw the video, the vegetation in the clip confirmed what I have told them earlier,” “If they want to know where they are being kept, then the government should remember what I told them before. What I can tell you is that the girls are no longer here in Chibok.” He affirmed that it would be difficult for Nigeria to get back all the girls abducted by the insurgents, saying that the girls have not only been split by their abductors but ferried through Lake Chad to neighbouring countries among which he said were Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

He said, “I have been in constant touch with the security agencies, telling them the developments, the movement of the girls from one place to the other and then the splitting of the girls and eventually the marriage of these girls by the insurgents. What bothers me most is that whenever I informed them where these girls were, after two to three days, they will be moved from that place to another and still, I will go back and inform them that see, this is what is happening.

“I lost hope two days ago when I found out that some of them were moved to Chad and Cameroon. Actually, some of them were moved through the Mandara Mountain that is in Gwoza and some of them are just a stone throw from their barracks, even now as I am talking to you, some of them are in Kolofata, which is in Cameroon but about 15 kilometres or even less to the borders."

Thursday, 8 May 2014

US Marines In Abuja Over Nigeria Insecurity

US marines are in Nigeria to help the country’s security services tackle increasing threats, NUJENews understands. Nigeria is playing host to the 7th World Economic Forum Africa in Abuja next week amid heightened security challenges.

The summit is expected to be attended by over 10 heads of state and government as well as over 900 delegates from 70 countries. Presidents of Algeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Togo have confirmed attendance. Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and former President of Brazil, Lula da Silva, are expected to attend.Also, over 50 chief executives of big global corporations have confirmed attendance. However, because of recent blasts in Nyanya – on the outskirts of Abuja – there have been heightened fears of a possible terror attack during the summit.

Nigerian government has been assuring the world that it would provide maximum security, announcing a complete shut-down of schools and government offices during the summit. TheCable reported on Tuesday that a 6,000-strong personnel, made up of soldiers and other security agents, will be deployed in Abuja – the heaviest security for a summit in Nigeria. The US marines have already arrived the country, according to sources in the know of their movement.“They are not going to be directly involved in the World Economic Forum event,” a senior American security source told NUJENews.

“Their brief is to train the Nigerian security services. It should be expected that Nigerian agents will handle the security of the summit.”

The marines are highly specialised soldiers who have been deployed in areas affected by serious conflict and terrorism, such as Afghanistan and Iraq. They are described in Wikipedia as “an amphibious, expeditionary, air-ground combined arms task force, capable of forcible entry from the air, land, and sea. It is capable of asymmetric warfare with conventional, irregular, and hybrid forces.While the Marine Corps does not employ any unique combat arms, as a force it can rapidly deploy a combined-arms task force to almost anywhere in the world within days.”

Meanwhile, NUJENews has learnt that some of the extra security measures for the summit include:Immediate deployment of the high security operation as against previous plans to deploy them from TuesdayExpansion of secure zone perimeters at key locations (initially limited to 250 metres radius)Additional security at venues, Abuja airport and key roads, as well as on dedicated shuttle services to and from the airport and between venues.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Investigation: How Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Forced To Marry Extremists.

Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Forced To Marry Extremists: Reports

Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday.

At the same time, the Boko Haram terrorist network is negotiating over the students' fate and is demanding an unspecified ransom for their release, a Borno state community leader told The Associated Press.

He said the Wednesday night message from the abductors also claimed that two of the girls have died from snake bites.

The message was sent to a member of a presidential committee mandated last year to mediate a ceasefire with the Islamic extremists, said the civic leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak about the talks.

The news of negotiations comes as parents say the girls are being sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants. The students are being paid 2,000 naira ($12) to marry the fighters, Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People's Forum told The Associated Press. She said the parents' information about mass weddings is coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria's border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram is known to have hideouts. Click to watch this exclusive NUJ EU Video Reports

"The latest reports are that they have been taken across the borders, some to Cameroon and Chad," Aliyu said. It was not possible to verify the reports about more than 200 missing girls kidnapped in the northeast by the Boko Haram terrorist network two weeks ago.

"Some of them have been married off to insurgents. A medieval kind of slavery. You go and capture women and then sell them off," community elder Pogu Bitrus of Chibok, the town where the girls were abducted, told the BBC Hausa Service.

Outrage over the failure to rescue the girls is growing and hundreds of women braved heavy rain to march Wednesday to Nigeria's National Assembly to protest lack of action over the students. Hundreds more also marched in Kano, Nigeria's second city in the north.

"The leaders of both houses said they will do all in their power but we are saying two weeks already have past, we want action now," said activist Mercy Asu Abang.

"We want our girls to come home alive — not in body bags," she said.

Nigerians have harnessed social media to protest, trending under the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

There also has been no news of 25 girls kidnapped from Konduga town in Borno state earlier this month.

A federal senator from the region said the military is aware of the movements of the kidnappers and the girls because he has been feeding them details that he has gathered on a near-daily basis.

"What bothered me the most is that whenever I informed the military where these girls were, after two to three days they were moved from that place to another. Still, I would go back and inform them on new developments," Sen. Ahmad Zanna is quoted as saying at the Nigerian online news site Persecond News.

Zanna said some of the girls are in Kolofata in Cameroon, about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the border with Nigeria. He said one of the insurgents had called a friend in Borno state to say that he had just got married and was settling in Kolofata. Zanna also said three or four days ago Nigerian herdsmen reported seeing the girls taken in boats onto an island in Lake Chad.

Another senator from the region said the government needs to get international help to rescue the girls. The government must do "whatever it takes, even seeking external support to make sure these girls are released," Sen. Ali Ndume said. "The longer it takes the dimmer the chances of finding them, the longer it takes the more traumatized the family and the abducted girls are."

About 50 of the kidnapped girls managed to escape from their captors in the first days after their abduction, but some 220 remain missing, according to the principal of the Chibok Girls Secondary School, Asabe Kwambura. They are between 16 and 18 years old and had been recalled to the school to write a physics exam.

The failure to rescue the girls is a massive embarrassment to Nigeria's government and the military, already confronted by mounting criticism over its apparent inability to curb the 5-year-old Islamic uprising despite having draconian powers through an 11-month state of emergency in three northeastern states covering one-sixth of the country.

The military trumpets a success in its "onslaught on terrorists" but then the extremists step up the tempo and deadliness of their attacks. More than 1,500 people have been killed in the insurgency so far this year, compared to an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who is from the predominantly Christian south of Nigeria, has been accused of insensitivity to the plight of people in the north, who are mainly Muslims.

People from Nigeria's northeast feel that they are being punished because they did not vote for Jonathan's People's Democratic Party — the entire region is held by opposition politicians, said Aliyu, of the Borno-Yobe People's Forum. "The northeast zone is in flames and nothing is being done because we didn't vote PDP," she said. "Women are raped daily, our children are being carted away like animals and sold like chickens, they (extremists) burn schools, they burn mosques, they raze entire villages."

She said it would take decades to rebuild from the destruction that has forced an estimated 750,000 people from their homes, some into neighboring countries, fleeing the terror of the zealots as well as abuses by the soldiers.

The military's lack of progress in rescuing the girls indicates that large parts of northeastern Nigeria remain beyond the control of the government. Until the kidnappings, the air force had been mounting near-daily bombing raids since mid-January on the Sambisa Forest and mountain caves bordering Chad.

Aliyu said that in northeastern Nigeria "life has become nasty, short and brutish. We are living in a state of anarchy."

 by  MICHELLE FAUL   |AP    Click to watch this exclusive NUJ EU Video Reports

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