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Imo State governor, Rochas Okorochas has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for second term and re-election in 2019.

The governor asked Nigerians, irrespective of political or ethnic differences to support Buhari as President of Nigeria in 2019, adding that all South-East Governors and all Igbos are in his support, come 2019.

He also said the recently concluded Anambra election’s result shows the true picture of Igbo’s support for Buhari.

“The Nigeria of today, he is the best man for the job. He is fighting against corruption. It takes an unusual determination to do what he is doing. He stands to end terrorism in North- East. I think Nigerians, all Nigerians should support him. In South East, all the South East governors are for President Muhammadu Buhari,” Okorocha said.

Okorocha said this on Tuesday, November 21, at the government house in Owerri, Imo State capital, while receiving a group of youths called Democratic Youth Congress for Buhari 2019.

The governor said he has decided to subsume his ambition to contest the presidency in order to support President Buhari to recontest the 2019 presidential election. He disclosed that all the south-east governors, irrespective of party differences are in support of Buhari’s re-election.

Mr Okorocha said Nigerians should not judge the support of the President in the south east with the result of the Anambra election, noting that the outcome of the election shows clearly that Igbos like Buhari and they will support him in 2019 as he remains the best candidate that will save The country from its present predicament.

Tottenham sealed their passage into the Champions League knockout phase as Group H winners, after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Borussia Dortmund.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang's 31st-minute opener looked to have boosted Dortmund's slim hopes of reaching the knockout phase.

But second-half strikes from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son dashed their hopes as Spurs maintained their unbeaten run in this season's competition

The result means Spurs will finish ahead of holders Real Madrid - who won 6-0 at APOEL Nicosia - in the group and will play the second leg of their last-16 tie at home

After calling Hugo Lloris into action with the first attempt on target on 13 minutes, Andriy Yarmolenko's floated pass released Aubameyang through on goal, but the striker, without a goal since mid-October, fired wide.

Yarmolenko turned provider again on the half-hour mark as his sumptuous back-heel played Aubameyang in behind, and this time he made no mistake, firing low past Lloris.

Spurs twice went close before half-time as Christian Eriksen's shot was blocked after an excellent Rose cutback and then, from the resulting corner, Eric Dier's header was brilliantly kept out by Roman Burki.

But, within four minutes of the restart, Spurs were level as Kane shifted the ball out of his feet on the edge of the area and guided it inside the post for his 16th goal in 14 club games this season.

The hosts looked on course for a draw but with 14 minutes remaining Dele Alli danced between two defenders, drove into the box and squared to Son, who took one touch before rifling the ball into the top corner.

Eriksen should have made it three with a header and substitute Fernando Llorente spurned a gilt-edged one-on-one with a heavy touch, but it mattered little as Spurs saw out the victory as Mauricio Pochettino's men came of age in Europe.

 

Man City were confirmed as Group F winners after Raheem Sterling's late goal saw them beat Feyenoord 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Heading into the game, Man City had to better the result of second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk to seal top spot and did so, with the Ukrainians losing 3-0 to Napoli and Pep Guardiola's side snatching a late victory at the Etihad Stadium.

After a number of close calls and near misses, Sterling chipped home over Feyenoord goalkeeper and former Liverpool team-mate Brad Jones in the 88th minute to maintain Man City's 100 per cent winning record in the competition this season.

Youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz came on as substitutes in the second half as Guardiola's side went four points clear at the top of Group F with one game to play.

Unlike the reverse fixture in September, it was a quiet start to the game at the Etihad Stadium, with the opening 30 minutes mostly littered with slips from Jones. It was Man City who had the first clear cut chance in the 33rd minute as a superb flicked cross from Kevin De Bruyne found Sergio Aguero in the middle, but he could only head the ball just over the bar.

The chances kept coming for both sides afterwards. A thunderous shot from Sterling was punched away by Jones, before Sam Larsson just poked an effort wide of the upright at the other end. Sterling was then involved again as he picked out Bernardo Silva on the right of the box after a mazy run, but the Portuguese's placed shot was well collected by Jones.

Ederson had few saves to make, but produced a fine fingertip effort as he raced off his line to push away the ball from the feet of the oncoming Tonny Vilhena, although the Feyenoord midfielder went flying as the two collided, leading to calls for a penalty from the visiting fans. However, the referee did not point to the spot as the first half ended without a goal.

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Man City continued to have near misses as the second period got underway with Aguero unable to direct a curling cross from Danilo towards goal, before De Bruyne powered the loose ball just wide in the 50th minute. The Belgian again fired wide in the 63rd minute, before Yaya Toure also skimmed a fine free-kick just past the post not long after.

Feyenoord's best chance of the game came in the 69th minute as Larsson slid in Steven Berghuis down the left of the box, with his effort from close range being pushed over the crossbar by Ederson. Five minutes later, Aguero had another chance as he controlled a superb ball from Silva onto his chest but his shot on the turn went agonisingly past the post.

Foden made his maiden Champions League appearance in the 75th minute, becoming Man City's youngest ever debutant in the competition, and the hosts eventually found the net 13 minutes later. Sterling played a give and go with Ilkay Gundogan, who slotted him in down the right of the box, and the winger chipped ball over the oncoming Jones and into the top corner.

It was to be his last contribution to the match as he was replaced by another Champions League debutant in Diaz with only injury time to play, as Man City saw the game out to take another three points.

Liverpool threw away a three-goal lead against Sevilla as a dramatic 3-3 draw ensured both sides must wait to book their spot in the Champions League last 16.

Three goals in the opening 30 minutes - two from Roberto Firmino (2, 30) and another from Sadio Mane (22) - had Liverpool seemingly cruising into the knockouts as Group E winners.

However, a second-half display strewn with defensive errors saw Sevilla peg them back, with Guido Pizarro netting a 93rd-minute equaliser after a Wissam Ben Yedder double (51, 60 pen) brought the hosts back into it.

Liverpool remain top of Group E, one point clear of Sevilla and three ahead of Spartak Moscow, and the Reds know a draw against the Russian side at Anfield on December 6 will seal their place in the last 16.

It was a perfect start for Liverpool as Philippe Coutinho's corner was glanced across goal by Georginio Wijnaldum, with Firmino popping up to squeeze the ball in at the back post.

Sevilla should have equalised, but Loris Karius tipped Nolito's effort onto the post before Ben Yedder saw his low strike narrowly evade the far post.

Liverpool punished the hosts with an almost-identical second, as Coutinho's corner was glanced across goal by Firmino, with Mane tucking the ball away with a diving header.

The visitors went three clear on the half-hour mark when Firmino tapped into the empty net after Mane's attempt was saved by Sergio Rico.

Six minutes after the break, Sevilla were handed a lifeline when Ben Yedder headed in from Ever Banega's free-kick after Alberto Moreno's needless foul.

Moreno's return to Sevilla then turned into a nightmare as he gave away a penalty when treading on the foot of Ben Yedder, who picked himself up to tuck away the spot-kick after being asked to retake it.

Liverpool appeared to have weathered the storm, but in the third minute of injury time the hosts earned a corner, which saw the ball ricochet into the path of Pizarro, who tucked home to seal a dramatic draw.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has resigned, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has said.

A letter from Mr Mugabe said that the decision was voluntary and that he had made it to allow a smooth transition of power.

The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him.

Lawmakers roared in jubilation and people have begun celebrating in the streets.

Mr Mugabe, 93, was until now the world's oldest leader. He had previously refused to resign despite last week's military takeover and days of protests.

The letter did not mention who would take over from Mr Mugabe, who has been in power since independence in 1980.

The constitution says it should be the current vice-president, Phelekezela Mphoko, a supporter of Grace Mugabe, Mr Mugabe's wife.

Mr Mudenda said moves were under way to ensure a new leader could take over by late on Wednesday.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Mugabe's resignation "provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule".

She said that former colonial power Britain, "as Zimbabwe's oldest friend", will do all it can to support free and fair elections and the rebuilding of the Zimbabwean economy.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he hoped that Zimbabwe was on a "new trajectory" that would include free and fair elections. He said Mr Mugabe should be allowed to "go and rest for his last days".

In other reaction: The US Embassy in Harare, the capital, said it was a "historic moment" and congratulated Zimbabweans who "raised their voices and stated peacefully and clearly that the time for change was overdue"

South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance welcomed the move, saying Mr Mugabe had turned from "liberator to dictator"

Prominent Zimbabwean opposition politician David Coltart tweeted: "We have removed a tyrant but not yet a tyranny"

Robert Mugabe won elections during his 37 years in power, but over the past 15 years these were marred by violence against political opponents.

He presided over a deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe, where people are on average 15% poorer now than they were in 1980.

However, Mr Mugabe was not forced out after decades in power by a popular mass movement but rather as a result of political splits within his Zanu-PF party.

His dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice-president two weeks ago was seen by many as clearing the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader.

It riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest

The leader of the influential liberation war veterans - former allies of Mr Mugabe - said after the army takeover that Mr Mugabe was a "dictator", who "as he became old, surrendered his court to a gang of thieves around his wife".

Yet despite huge demonstrations in the streets celebrating what seemed like his impending demise, Robert Mugabe had until now refused to step down.

Senior cabinet ministers have agreed the government should increase its financial offer to the EU as the UK leaves in 2019, the BBC understands.

There was no substantial discussion of an amount at the meeting held by the prime minister on Monday night.

But more money would be paid if the EU moves on, in December, to talks about a future trade deal and implementation phase after the UK's departure.

Meanwhile, MPs will later continue to debate legislation governing Brexit.

The attention in the Commons will be on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which brings much of EU law into UK law.

Monday evening's cabinet committee meeting at Downing Street was held to try to make progress on stalled Brexit talks with the EU.

This "divorce bill" is one of the main reasons for the logjam in negotiations between the UK and the EU.

Downing Street has dismissed reports the UK could double its £20bn offer. One ex-minister warned voters would "go bananas" if £40bn was offered.

European Council president Donald Tusk has set a deadline of the start of next month for Britain to make further movement on the divorce bill and the Irish border issue.

The reason for the ultimatum is that the EU leaders are due to decide at a summit on 14 and 15 December whether to allow talks on a future trade relationship to begin.

Downing Street has been tight-lipped about what was discussed at the Cabinet Exit and Trade (Strategy and Negotiations) sub-committee, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May.

After the meeting, a No 10 source said: "It remains our position that nothing's agreed until everything's agreed in negotiations with the EU."

But it is understood that the ministers concluded there is the possibility that talks with the EU will move on to the next phase in December but "we are not going to move on our own".

There were also tensions over the future role of the European Court of Justice.

Some believe the court will need to supervise the trading rules between the UK and EU during a period of transition after Britain leaves.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has floated the idea of a tribunal, similar to the arrangements in place in European Economic Area countries such as Norway, to settle any disputes.

But the EU may insist on a continued role for the European Court of Justice.

The EU says the UK needs to settle its accounts before it leaves. It says the UK has made financial commitments that have to be settled as part of an overall withdrawal agreement.

The UK accepts that it has some obligations. And it has promised not to leave any other country out of pocket in the current EU budget period from 2014-20.

But the devil is in the detail.

There are also issues like pensions for EU staff, and how the UK's contribution to these is calculated for years to come, and the question of what happens to building projects - for instance in Spain - that had funding agreed by all EU members including the UK but which will only begin construction after the UK has left.

Large amounts of the EU's budget are spent in two areas - agriculture and fisheries, and development of poorer areas.

Projects include business start-ups, roads and railways, education and health programmes and many others.

The EU says it will not discuss a new trade deal with the UK until issues like the "divorce bill" have been settled, and has given Mrs May a deadline of early December to increase the UK's offer.

The issue of the Irish border and what happens to EU and UK citizens living in each other's countries also needs to be settled.

 

An aspirant for National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Raymond Dokpesi, said he consulted widely with stakeholders, including party leaders and members before entering the contest.

He said that it was the positive responses he got from the consultations that motivated him to pursue the aspiration to lead the party as national chairman.

Dokpesi made this known while addressing Benue State Executive Committee (SEC) members of the party and National Delegates on Monday in Makurdi.

He said that after the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt in May, 2016, he waited to know the party’s decision on micro-zoning for the national chairmanship position.

“I sent out 2,000 text messages and made phone calls to well-meaning Nigerians asking if I could contest and if the position was not zoned to South-West.

“I got positive responses from 1,997 persons, while only three persons said I should not run,” Dokpesi said.

He said that one of the three persons that discouraged him was of the view that PDP members would not allow him to win so that he would not carry out necessary reforms within the party.

“The second person said I should not run because PDP has not learnt lessons and that the party does not appreciate my sacrifice.”

According to him, the second person who advised me not to contest has defected to the All Progressives Congress, while the third person wanted me to go to a foreign country to rest.

Dokpesi, however, said he joined the race because majority of those he consulted advised him to pursue the ambition.

He urged the delegates to give him the opportunity to serve and return PDP to its winning ways and reunite Nigeria.

“I want to work with the state executive to transform, rebuilt, reconstruct, rejuvenate and reposition the PDP to win the 2019 elections, including that of Benue.

“It is only if we work together and we are united that we can effect these changes,” he said.

The Director-General of Dokpesi Campaign Organization, Mr Baba Kachalla, described Dokpesi as “candidate to beat” in the Dec. 9 national convention.

He urged delegates from the state to vote for Dokpesi and shun anybody that may want to buy their votes.

Chairman of the party in the state, Mr John Ugbede, urged party leaders to ensure that right things were done at the convention.

“For our leaders, the process must be correct and transparent.”

Ugbede, who assured Dokpesi of the state’s support, said Benue delegates would always give its bulk votes to the aspirant of their choice.

Other party leaders, who also spoke at the occasion, expressed support for Dokpesi.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called for the promotion of indigenous languages through the translation of the Holy Bible.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by tbe Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Okrika Local Government Area, Governor Wike commended them for translating the Holy Bible into Okrika language.

He stated that the State Government will support the project for the translation of the Holy Bible into Okrika language by the Christian Association of Nigeria.

He said: "I am impressed with the translation of the Holy Bible into Okrika language. We encourage other ethnic groups to translate the Holy Bible into their respective languages.

"Understanding will be easier if when the Bible is duly translated into other languages. The Rivers State Government will continue to promote indigenous languages ".

He urged Christians to continue to pray for Rivers State for enhanced development across the communities.

"We will not let the Church down. We shall continue to work for sustainable development across the state. We urge the Church to continue to pray for greater development in the state", he said.

The governor reiterated his call for the Christians not to leave governance to politicians alone, saying their participation will improve the quality of governance available to the people.

Earlier, the spokesman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Okrika Branch and Anglican Bishop of Okrika Diocese, Rt Reverend Tubokosemie Abere appealed to the governor to support the translation of the Holy Bible into Okrika language.

He commended the Rivers State Governor for his outstanding achievements which have earned him awards across the globe.

They called on Governor Wike to heed the calls of Rivers people by presenting himself for re-election.

A   Dean at the School of Communication, Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Lai Osho has urged media organisations in the country to desist from giving voice to disruptive issues but rather use their platforms to help citizens build consensus.

Osho gave the advice at a three-day retreat organised by the Lagos State Government for Correspondents covering activities at the Governor’s Office, held at the Golden Tulip Hotels, Festac.

Professor Osho who said that as development partners, the media has the responsibility to report good governance, added that journalists and their employers should desist from what he termed “dangerous discusses” in the bid to increase ratings, draw traffic to their websites or sell newspapers as the case may be.

“The media must provide a space for consensus building. There’s too much confrontation, opposition and threatening messages. You’ll find out that some of our so-called leaders, the way they present issues tend to antagonize other people. I don’t think media organisations should lend their spaces to such dangerous discusses”.

“They must try to look at people with moderate views that can build this country, while as much as possible shun cantankerous discusses that we have in the country,” Osho stated.

On the issue of objectivity which is one of the ethics of the profession, the Don who admitted that it is sometimes difficult to avoid bias because of pecuniary factors, however, appealed to reporters to always ensure balance.

While canvassing better working conditions for journalists in the country, Professor Osho decried the commercialisation of news.

“There are organisations now that have turned their reporters to marketing officers. That is against the ethics of journalism. News is the heart of any media organisation, if you have good news, advertisers will come,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Mr. Habib Aruna said that the three-day refresher course was organised because of the dynamism of reporting events at the State House and the need to furnish correspondents covering the beat with information that could enhance their reportage.

He said Governor Ambode believes in the growth and development of the Nigerian media, hence his reason for approving the retreat for the correspondents covering his office, not only to enhance their skills but also do so in a more relaxed and serene atmosphere.

Also speaking at the event, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the training was meant to upgrade the skills of correspondents covering activities of government for better performance.

He said that journalists covering the Government House must display in-depth knowledge of their beat and must be a step ahead of others in reporting the day to day activities of government.

The training spanned across various topics including the role of correspondents in achieving good governance, effective social media practices, techniques to overcome writers’ block, time management and health talk, among others.

The event was rounded off with a dinner and gala night that afforded participants to unwind and network.

Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose, has signed into law, the bill prohibiting secret cults, terrorism and prescribing death sentence on any one caught in the act.

While appending his signature to the bill at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti,  on Monday, Fayose said the signing was a confirmation of the unwavering commitment of the state government to combating terrorism in the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, the governor  frowned at the resurgence of the scourge in the state, especially among students in tertiary institutions.

“From now, any person who is a member of a secret cult, whether or not the person is in possession or in control of any offensive weapon but commits the offence, is liable to conviction to death.

“Any person who gives financial or material support or assistance to a secret cult or in any manner sponsor the activities of a secret cult, commits an offence under this law and is liable or conviction to imprisonment for life” he said.

The governor further explained that anybody who intentionally encouraged the organising of secret cult meeting or activities in places such as houses, night clubs, hotels and other residential areas would be committed to life imprisonment.

He added that buildings where any cult related activities is held would be forfeited to the government, while the owner of such structure would be sentenced to five years imprisonment without an option of fine.

The Ekiti State helmsman, who re-emphasized his administration’s zero tolerance for cultism and terrorism, said lives and property of the people would continue to be protected.

Recall that three students of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti were killed within 10 days in attacks suspected to be related to rivalry among cult groups.

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