All posts by Mohammed Lere

Germany captain, Philip Lahm, retires from national team

Philip Lahm

Lahm played 113 times for Germany.

Barely one week after returning victorious from the Brazil World Cup, Germany captain. Philip Lahm, has announced his retirement from international football.

The defender said he had been pondering the decision over the past season.

“I decided that the World Cup in Brazil would be my last tournament,” he was quoted as saying by German Bild newspaper as saying.

Lahm is reported to have told World Cup wining coach, Joachim Löw, of his decision to step down from international football on July 14, a day after Germany’s World Cup final victory.

The World Cup final was Lahm’s 113th international cap. His national team career spanned over 10 years and started in February 2004 in a 2-1 win against Croatia.

The victory in Brazil made him the fourth Germany captain after Fritz Walter (1954), Franz Beckenbauer (1974) and Lothar Matthäus (1990) to lift the trophy. But he is the only one to have lifted the trophy for a unified Germany.

The 30-year-old is expected to see out the rest of his playing career at German club, Bayern Munich. Lahm is captain of the record Bundesliga champions and has a contract until 2018.

Forbes names Real Madrid most valuable sports team for 2014


Real Madrid is worth $3.44 billion

According to Forbes, the three most valuable sports teams in the world play the non-American brand of football.

Spain’s Real Madrid, worth $3.44 billion, leads the way for the second straight year, a notch ahead of fellow Spanish soccer power, Barcelona, which is worth $3.2 billion while England’s Manchester United completes the top three with a value of $2.81 billion.

Also, on the social media platforms, the contrast between elite soccer clubs and top American teams is vast.

Barcelona (69 million), Real (67 million) and United (53 million) have the three biggest Facebook followings among sports teams.

The top eight were all soccer clubs before the Los Angeles Lakers broke the string with 21 million fans. The New York Yankees are the top non-soccer/NBA team with 8 million fans.

The National Football League, NFL’s 32 teams have a combined Facebook following of 75 million people, barely more than that of Barcelona.

NFL and Major League Baseball, MLB, teams play and do business on a national scale, while Europe’s top soccer clubs with fans worldwide can tap every corner of the globe for deals.

Luis Suarez joins Barcelona

Suarez is serving a FIFA ban after biting a fellow player at the ongoing World Cup

The 27-year-old is currently serving a four-month ban which runs until October 26.

The Uruguayan striker, Luis Suarez, had signed a five-year deal with Barcelona.

The deal was revealed on the club’s website and is worth just over €88 million.

The agreement comes after a week of intense negotiations between the clubs.

Barcelona signed Suarez in a straight cash deal after agreeing to meet the release clause in the Liverpool contract he signed last December.

Suarez will undergo initial medical examinations from Barcelona doctors in his native Uruguay, where he has been staying following his country’s elimination from the World Cup.

The 27-year-old is currently serving a four-month ban – which runs until October 26 – for biting Italy defender, Giorgio Chiellini, while playing for Uruguay in his nation’s final World Cup group stage match.

Under the terms of the suspension, Suarez is not allowed to train with his club or enter the confines of any stadium during his ban.

Barcelona will partly fund the signing of the 27-year-old with the proceeds of the sale of Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal. The Chile World Cup star moves to the Emirates Stadium after Arsenal agreed a package worth €40m (£31.8m) with the Spanish club.

World Cup: Romario wants Brazil football chiefs “in prison”


“They will leave with the Cup and we will be left with our overbilled stadiums.”

A Brazil football legend, Romario, now a lawmaker in the Brazilian parliament, said on Thursday that his country’s sports chiefs should be jailed for the national team’s humiliating 7-1 World Cup defeat to Germany.

One day after the semi-final thrashing, Romario said the Brazilian Football Confederation, CBF, was plagued by corruption because clubs have elected the same leaders for years.

“Our football has been deteriorating for years. It is being dragged down by leaders who don’t even have the talent to juggle the ball,” Romario said in a letter posted on social media. “They stay in their luxury box seats, enjoying the millions that go into their accounts.”

The prolific striker said players and coaches were not to blame for the sport’s deterioration. He said CBF president, Jose Maria Marin, and his deputy, Marco Polo del Nero, who will take over in 2015, “should be in prison”.

Romario, a critic of the record $11 billion spent on the tournament, bemoaned the fact that President Dilma Rousseff will have to hand the World Cup trophy to a team other than Brazil in Sunday’s final.

“They will leave with the Cup and we will be left with our overbilled stadiums and no material legacy,” he said. “This will be the Cup of shame.”

‎FIFA bans Luis Suarez for four months

Suarez bit

The punishment takes immediate effect.

Uruguay forward, Luis Suarez, has been banned for nine international matches, and from all football activity for four months, after being found guilty of biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

Suarez, 27, bit the defender during the latter stages of the 1-0 victory that secured their place in the knockout stages of the ongoing Brazil 2014.

FIFA launched an immediate investigation and an independent disciplinary panel confirmed the punishment on Thursday.

The punishment takes immediate effect.

It means that, in addition to his World Cup immediately being over, Suarez will miss nine club matches including the Premier League, Champions League, and Capital One Cup matches.

A FIFA statement said: “The player Luis Suarez is to be suspended for nine official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming [round of 16] FIFA World Cup fixture between Colombia and Uruguay.

“The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay’s next FIFA World Cup matches, as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches.

“The player is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity — administrative, sports or any other — for a period of four months. A stadium ban is pronounced against Luis Suarez, who is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban.”

Suarez was also ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs.

Claudio Sulser, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said: “Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup, when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field.

“The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez’s guilt. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated.”

Winners or Losers? Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme report launch – Live updates

Simon Kenny, DFID

The Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, NSRP, a DFID sponsored programme that aims to reduce violent conflicts in Nigeria is today launching a report titled; “Winners or Loser: Assessing the Contribution of Youth Employment & Empowerment Programmes to reducing conflict risk in Nigeria: at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja.

Sani Tukur and Mohammed Lere are attending the launch and will be provided live updates from the venue.



UPDATE: Nigeria to deploy satellites to track cattle movement


Mr. Jonathan mentioned that terrorists take advantage of pastoralism to cause mayhem among communities in the country.

Federal officials at the Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja are working on a comprehensive livestock information system that will require all cattle in the country to carry electronic chips, while satellite imagery and remote sensing technology are deployed to track their movements as a way to ease the perennial conflicts between herdsmen and farmers across the country.

The Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, disclosed this, Monday, in Kaduna, at the international conference on security and development challenges of pastoralists in West Africa, where he also said governments must establish modern ranches and grazing buffer zones across border areas of countries, to support cross-border pastoralism.

Said Mr. Akinwumi: “Just like buffer dams help to prevent flooding downstream, grazing buffers zones will help alleviate the need for massive movement of live stock further south in to Nigeria,” emphasizing that because of their immense importance, the role of pastoralist in preventing insurgency and conflict to enhance national security, is a reality that cannot be taken for granted.

The technology-based solutions advanced by the minister will also be complimented by the establishment of “pastoralist transhumance certificates,” which he said if implemented “will go a long way in addressing several of the national security and development challenges arising from pastoralism.”

Participants at the Conference
Participants at the Conference

Earlier at the opening ceremony of the two days conference, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the government was doing all it can to making sure that pastoralism is controlled and effectively supported by government.

Mr. Jonathan mentioned that terrorists take advantage of pastoralism to cause mayhem among communities in the country.

“This conference will mark a turning point for the better in Agricultural sector of the country. The federal government is considering the ranching of animals and making the sector a robust one for the growth of the Nigerian economy,” Mr. Jonathan said.

The convener of the conference and National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, welcoming guests, said, Nigeria’s current challenges, made the conference timely and cogent.

The ECOWAS representative, Vivian Iwar, speaking on the ECOWAS Strategic Action Plan for the Development of Livestock in West Africa, said ECOWAS is currently planning to create one uniform certificate that will allow all cattle herdsmen hold when using the regional borders.

“ECOWAS is working on one single certificate that will allow all herdsmen move along the ECOWAS borders freely. The certificate will indicate where you come from and the region you intend to reach,” she said.

BREAKING: Jonathan appoints Bode George’s wife, Roli, as new NDLEA boss

Roli Bode George and wife Roli

The appointee is the wife of a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George.

President Goodluck Jonathan has appointed Roli Bode-George as the new Director General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.

The appointee is the wife of a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George.

Mr. George, a leader of the PDP in Lagos, is currently a delegate, appointed by the president, at the National Conference.

His conviction for fraud, when he served as head of the Nigeria Ports Authority, by a High Court was upturned by the Supreme Court.

Mr. Jonathan’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, announced the appointment on his twitter handle on Thursday evening.

He said the appointment is with immediate effect.

Mrs. Bode-George takes over from Olufemi Ajayi, who was on Wednesday appointed the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF.

President Jonathan had in 2011 also appointed Mrs. Bode-George as a federal commissioner in the National Population Commission, NPC.

Atiku defends Oyegun’s election as APC chairman

atiku 6

New opposition party leadership will be inaugurated on Wednesday

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has described the emergence of the new chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun as “a product of transparency, democracy and compromise.”

He stated this in a statement by his media office on Tuesday in solidarity with the party’s new national working committee, NWC.

Mr. Oyegun and other members of the NWC were elected at the party’s convention in Abuja last Saturday. However, some members of the party, including a former governor of Borno State, Ali Sheriff, are reportedly not pleased with the choice of some of the new officials.

Mr. Sheriff was reportedly backing the candidature of Tom Ikimi.

The NWC will be inaugurated on Wednesday.

Mr. Abubakar advised the newly elected party officials to sustain the tempo and public enthusiasm, which greeted the birth of the opposition party in the country.

He expressed elation at the peaceful conduct of the elections at the party’s inaugural national convention.

The former vice president said as an APC member, he was proud that the elections were conducted without incidents or rancour and that the level of maturity demonstrated by party followers was evidence of their commitment to decent democratic conduct.

He said despite prediction of chaos and crisis before the convention, the event went off peacefully without any incidents.

Mr. Abubakar appealed to aggrieved members to remain loyal to the party as there is reward for loyalty.

He, however, advised APC leaders and members not to rest on their oars because the challenges ahead were still tough.

According to him, complacency is a dangerous attitude, especially for an opposition party struggling to capture power and bring change.

While expressing apologies for his inability to be present for the inauguration of the new leadership due to previous commitments overseas, the former vice president, however, conveyed his support, loyalty and cooperation to the party at all times.

Confab adopts recommendation for removal of immunity clause

Conference 2

If accepted, president, governors and their deputies could be prosecuted for both criminal and civil offences while in office.

The National Conference finally voted on Thursday to strip the president, state governors and their deputies of immunity from prosecution in criminal and civil cases.

The Conference delegates voted overwhelmingly for the removal of the clause from the nation’s constitution while considering the report of the Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment.

Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution provides that no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against the President, Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor.

The Committee chaired by Bola Shagaya representing Women in Business, WINBIZ, and Fola Adeola, an Ogun State delegate had recommend that the Immunity Clause be removed if the offences attract criminal charges to encourage accountability by those managing the economy.

However, while voting on the recommendation, the delegates amended it to include all cases.

The Conference had earlier taken a similar position while considering amendments proposed to the report of the Committee on Public Service.

Before it voted on the issue, the Conference asked the Secretariat to remind it of the decision it took while voting on the report of the Public Service Committee.

During the sitting of the 20 Committees in May the Committee on Politics and Governance had also recommended the removal of the clause. The report is yet to be considered and voted on.

The Conference also adopted a recommendation that the Federal Government should pay the N1 million debt owed to local contractors as a way of encouraging them.

It however rejected an amendment which would have compelled government to award all contracts of less than N10 billion to local contractors in other to grow them.

The Conference also rejected a proposal that women should be appointed Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and heads of all major finance agencies that provide loans to farmers, investors and contractors.

It also rejected an amendment which has sought to compel political parties to name women as their vice presidential and deputy governorship candidates.

Fabregas joins Chelsea


“FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of player Cesc Fabregas to the English club.”

Spanish midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, has joined Chelsea FC of England from Barcelona.

Both clubs announced the deal, believed to be worth 33 million Euros on their websites.

“FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of player Cesc Fabregas to the English club,” a statement on Barcelona’s website stated.

The highly rated midfielder, who joined his boyhood Barcelona in 2011, after an eight-season spell at Arsenal, also spoke of his joy in returning to England.

“Firstly I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed three wonderful years,” Fabregas was quoted as saying on Chelsea’s website.

“It was my childhood club and I will always be proud and honoured that I had a chance to play for such a great team.

“I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time to return. I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice.

“They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies. They have an amazing squad of players and an incredible manager. I am fully committed to this team and I can’t wait to start playing,” he added.

Fabregas has won all major club and national team competitions including the Champions League, Spanish League, European Nations Cup (twice) and World Cup with the Spanish national team.

He is part of the Spanish team trying to defend its World Cup trophy in Brazil.

Nigerian Senator, Awaisu Kuta, dead

Senator Awaisu Dahiru Kuta

A senator, Awaisu Kuta, representing Niger State is dead.

Mr. Kuta died on Thursday morning in Abuja.

Usman Kuta, a family member, who confirmed the death of the senator to PREMIUM TIMES, said, the senator would be buried in Minna Thursday afternoon according to Islamic rites.

The deceased was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character.