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Xavi extends Barcelona contract till 2025


Barcelona coach Xavi has extended his contract with the Spanish champions by one season until June 2025 with the option of an additional year, the club confirmed on Friday.

The former Barca midfielder, who took over as coach in 2021, led the club to their first La Liga title since 2019 and the Spanish Super Cup last season.

“We arrived at a difficult time, in unfavourable circumstances,” Xavi told a press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Celta Vigo.

“Last year we won two important titles. We’re in a process of transition.”

Xavi said Barca had just played “their two best matches” since he took over, with 5-0 wins over both Real Betis in La Liga and Royal Antwerp in the Champions League group stage.

Xavi took over from Ronald Koeman, two years after his retirement as a player, on a contract until June 2024, winning 60 of the 96 matches he managed in all competitions.

Barcelona are currently second in La Liga, two points behind Real Madrid.

Buhari regretted some of his decisions as president – Adesina


Former President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said, on Wednesday, that the ex-President regretted some of the decisions he took while in office and felt he could have done some things better.

According to Adesina, who spoke in Osogbo on Wednesday, such is normal for any human being.

The ex-presidential spokesman was a guest at a programme tagged ‘Media Dialogue with Femi Adesina’ organised by the Association of Veteran Journalists in Osun State.

He said before Buhari left office, he had a two-hour chat with him, during which he asked all manner of questions.

“There is no living human being that will not regret certain things. It is one of the questions I asked the President.

“Before we left office, I sat with him for about two hours and I asked him every question under the sun; there was no question I didn’t ask him. There were things he (Buhari) felt could have been done better,” Adesina said.

He, however, defended Buhari’s controversial naira redesign policy, saying it was for the good of the nation.

Ogun pledges support for SheFarmers initiative


The Ogun State Chapter of the SheFarmers Initiative has been launched as part of efforts to support female farmers.

The Permanent Secretary of Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Samuel Adeogun, who was among the officials of government that witnessed the occasion, commended the initiative and promised that government will connect them with opportunities within the agricultural sector.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the Ogun State Government, under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun, to improve the livelihoods of its citizens and deepen their involvement in agriculture.

Mr. Adeogun highlighted past initiatives where women in the cassava value chain were empowered with production inputs and financial backing, and he announced plans for a budget allocation to further empower women in agriculture.

In his inaugural address, Managing Director of IDEAS CENTRE, Mr. Olusegun Dada, emphasised the significant potential of the SheFarmers initiative in empowering women in agribusiness. He underscored that women are essential for sustainable development programs, citing their creditworthiness, stability, and family-oriented nature as attributes that make them indispensable tools for driving economic growth. Mr. Dada remarked, “IDEAS Centre sees women as pillars of sustainability.”

The SheFarmers Initiative, Ogun State Coordinator, Alhaja Olukemi Ogunmoye, while delivering the inaugural address, highlighted the pivotal role of women in driving innovations and technology in agriculture.

She emphasised that integrating technology, education, and innovations enables women to propel sustainable agricultural practices, boost rural economies, and ensure food security. She said, “Women are catalysts for progress in the agricultural sector.

Mohbad’s wife seeks Falana’s intervention, Ekiti Assembly demands justice


Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said on Wednesday that Omowunmi, wife of deceased musician, Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, visited him to demand justice for her late husband.

The PUNCH reports that the late musician, who passed away on September 12, 2023, was buried a day later.

Following his death, there have been calls for investigations to unravel the circumstances behind the musician’s death.

Speaking with PUNCH Metro in Abuja, Falana noted that he visited the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Idowu Owohunwa, adding that he (Owohunwa) had been assured that investigation had been launched.

“The young widow of Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, also known as Mohbad, visited our office yesterday (Tuesday) to seek support in pursuing justice for her late husband.

“While sympathising with her and the entire Aloba family, we assured her of our unalloyed commitment to ensure that the circumstances of the unfortunate death of the Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter were unearthed.

“Thereafter, we held a meeting with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Idowu Owohunwa, in respect of the investigation being conducted by the police in respect of the matter. The CP furnished me with the progress made so far in the investigation.

“We commend Nigerian youths for protesting peacefully and demanding justice. I assure them and other concerned citizens that we shall collaborate with the coroner to expose those who are remotely and directly responsible for the suspicious death of Mohbad.”

Meanwhile, the Ekiti House of Assembly has called for a thorough investigation into Mohbad’s death.

The assembly made the call on Wednesday while deliberating on a motion by the lawmaker representing Ikere Constituency I, Babatunde Oke,.

Oke, who moved the motion under matter of urgent public importance, said it was important to unravel the circumstances behind Mohbad’s death.

“There is the need for a thorough investigation on this issue. We hear different stories, we need to know what happened,” he said.

source: punchng.com

Sagamu cult clash: Police arrest seven suspects, recover arms


The Ogun State Police Command, in conjunction with the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, has arrested seven suspected cultists and also recovered firearms, three live cartridges and criminal charms in Shagamu, Ogun state.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the state Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the raid was conducted in response to the cult clash between two rival cult groups known as Aiye and Eiye, resulting in the death of four individuals at Ewu Iya in Sakura area of the state.

The suspects apprehended were Asaiye Omolaja, Azeez Nofiu, Mathew Adewale, and Bolaji Ogunkemaya.

He noted that Bolaji Ogunkemaya was found with four deceased persons in the same room where the killings occurred.

One of the arrested suspects, Bolaji Ogunkemaya stated that their leader is known as Azubike aka Better.

He noted that Bolaji Ogunkemaya was found with four deceased persons in the same room where the killings occurred.

One of the arrested suspects, Bolaji Ogunkemaya stated that their leader is known as Azubike aka Better.

The Commissioner of Police, Alamutu Mustapha, visited Sagamu on Monday to assess the situation firsthand and profile all the suspects apprehended.

Man City vs Red Star Belgrade: It will be easier to retain UCL title – Guardiola


Pep Guardiola has said that retaining the Champions League title will be easier for Man City ahead of their group stage opener against Red Star Belgrade.

City lifted their first Champions League crown after a 1-0 win over Inter Milan in Istanbul in June, putting paid to years of disappointment and ill-luck in the competition.

Asked about City’s chances of retaining the title ahead of their Group G opener at home to Red Star Belgrade, Guardiola told his Monday news conference: “It’ll be easier. The most difficult to win is the first one. 

However, Guardiola said his players should not feel at ease, adding: “Tomorrow is the first step. We will try and get the first three points.

“It’s important the players don’t feel relaxed. For our club to win the Champions League is incredible but in perspective how many [clubs have] won one Champions League? A lot.

“We haven’t done anything special with just one, but we are incredibly proud.”

Youths protest, demand justice for Mohbad in Ogun, others


These peaceful rallies are coming days after a protest was launched in Ikorodu, Lagos, in seeking justice for Mohbad.

Mohbad died last Tuesday and was buried on Wednesday in Ikorodu, and his death has attracted concerns, as some accused the owner of Marlian Records and singer, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley.

Renowned artistes have taken to social media to join in demanding justice for the late music sensation.

The Lagos State Police Command has vowed to probe his death, and it inaugurated a special investigation team on Monday.

Manwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed the state Police Command, in partnership with the Department of State Service (DSS) to launch a major investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death with the aim of ensuring justice.

Sanwo-Olu’s directive was announced on Tuesday, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso.

Some youths gathered on Tuesday morning in the Panseke area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, demanding justice for the late Nigerian singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad.

The youths who gathered in their numbers at the skating ground arena in Abeokuta wore blacks and carried placards with inscriptions like #JusticeforMohbad and #WhoOffLight among others.

Oyo LG lawmakers suspend vice chairman, three councillors


The Afijio Local Government Legislative arm of Oyo State has suspended the Vice Chairman of the local government, Oluwatoyin Abiona, alongside three councillors for alleged misappropriation of funds and misuse of power.

A resolution of the House under the leadership of Ajao Oladipupo, a copy of which was obtained by The PUNCH, on Saturday, in Ibadan, the state capital, directed her and others to vacate their positions immediately.

The resolution said, “The House is suspending the Vice Chairman, Abiona for alleged misappropriation of funds, misuse of power and breach of community peace that warranted civil unrest in the local government among others. She should, therefore, vacate her position with immediate effect having confessed and admitted to all allegations levelled against her.

“Also, the councillors suspended are Oguntoyinbo John, representing Ward 7, Awe, Babatunde Adebunmi, representing Ward 8, Akinmorin/Jobele and Ajayi Sunday representing Ward 2, Jobele.

“Oguntoyinbo, Babatunde and Ajayi were suspended indefinitely after they were confirmed to be involved in the attack on the council legislative building, instigating thugs to disrupt the House activities and prevention from its official duties, which resulted in carting away the House symbol. The three lawmakers having found guilty are hereby ordered to stay away from legislative duties indefinitely.”

When contacted, the Vice Chairman, Abiona, told our correspondent that, “It’s a lie. They cannot suspend me or those councillors because they did not form the number of the required councillors to suspend either of us. They did not form that quorum. We have ten councillors in our local government.

“They cannot suspend me just like that. They didn’t call me for any interrogation or anything. There was no committee set up on the allegation levelled against me”, she insisted.

Source: punchng.com

I regret words demeaning women, says Seyi Awolowo


A recently evicted Big Brother Naija (All Stars) housemate, Seyi Awolowo, has apologised for his insensitive remarks on the show. During the show, he had spoken on his intention to pay for his son and their friends to have sexual intercourse with girls.

In an interview with Saturday Beats, Awolowo said, “I appreciate the chance to address this. In light of the controversy surrounding my statements, I regret any harm or misunderstanding they might have caused. It was never my intention to offend anyone, and I have apologised for any offense or confusion my comments might have generated. I am committed to learning from this experience and being more mindful of my words in the future to ensure they promote understanding and positivity.

“I want to clarify that my intention was never to offend or harm anyone. If my words were misconstrued or caused any hurt, I sincerely apologise. My aim is always to promote understanding and positivity, and I will be more mindful of my words in the future to avoid any such misunderstandings.”

On his best moment on the show, Awolowo said, “Being part of the few housemates to be called for the All Stars season is one for the books, and I believe it would go down in history. Also, the incredible bonds I formed with my fellow housemates was another highlight. Building those strong connections and friendships were truly special, and it’s something I will always cherish.”

Neymar beats Pele’s record to become Brazil’s all-time top scorer


Neymar surpassed Pele as Brazil’s all-time top scorer with two second-half goals in a 5-1 win over Bolivia in South America’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers on Friday.

The 31-year-old striker went into the game level with Pele on 77 goals and had a golden opportunity to break the record in the 17th minute when Brazil were awarded a penalty.

But he looked distraught after his soft spot-kick was easily saved by Bolivia keeper Guillermo Viscarra to keep the scores goalless.

Seven minutes later, Brazil got in front when Rodrygo reacted quickly to slot home after a shot from Raphinha was parried out by Viscarra.

Victor Abrego pulled a goal back for Bolivia, bustling through a disorganized Brazil backline before blasting an unstoppable shot past Ederson.

But there was still time for Neymar to extend his record tally, connecting with a low ball from Raphinha in stoppage time to complete the victory and a memorable night for the forward.

The 31-year-old former Barcelona striker recently moved from Paris Saint-Germain to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.

Pele, who died in December aged 82, scored 77 goals for Brazil in 92 appearances between 1957 and 1971.

The win was the perfect start for new coach Fernando Diniz, who took over from predecessor Tite in the wake of the Selecao’s World Cup quarter-final exit last year.

Diniz paid tribute to Neymar, whose role in the squad has been under scrutiny.

“Many did not know what he would come to do, and he came to do what he did: have fun, score two goals and break the record,” he said.

NLC strike: Workers shut down Kano electricity distribution head office 


In compliance, with the two-day warning strike initiated by the Nigeria Labour Congress, the National Electricity Workers Union, on Tuesday morning (today), shut down the head office of Kano Electricity Distribution Company, located on Post Office Road in the metropolitan city.

It would be recalled that the National Executive Council of the NLC at the end of its meeting on August 31, 2023, resolved to embark on a two-day warning strike.

The union directed all its affiliate members to commence on strike, beginning from Tuesday 5 to Wednesday 6, 2023.

The strike is meant to protest the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government without due consultation with key stakeholders.

This is in addition to its refusal to provide proper and effective measures to cushion the effects of the economic hardship resulting from the subsidy removal.

When contacted, the Head, Corporate Communications, KEDCO, Sani Bala, confirmed the development, noting that it is in total compliance with the NLC’s directive.

In his reaction, the Kano State NLC Vice Chairman, Comrade Ado Riruwai, who is championing the enforcement exercise, also confirmed that it has shut down all government offices in the state.

He also said banks in the state also complied with the directive. Riruwai also said he would be heading to Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport to ensure total compliance with NLC’s directive that no aircraft should land or take off.

Panama footballer Hernandez shot dead


Panamanian international defender Gilberto Hernandez was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Caribbean city of Colon, police said Monday.

Hernandez, who won two caps for Panama in March this year, including a friendly against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, died Sunday after shots were fired from a passing car, police said.

Six other people were injured in the shooting.

Crime rates in Colon, around 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Panama City, have surged in what authorities attribute to fighting between rival drug gangs.

Police said Monday a suspect had been arrested in connection with the shooting following “a series of operations and search procedures” in Colon.

The Panamanian Football Federation (FEPAFUT) meanwhile paid tribute to Hernandez in a statement on X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter.

“FEPAFUT extends its condolences to his family and loved ones, as well as to the entire CAI and Panamanian soccer family,” it said.