Assault: LMC Fines 3SC N3m, Awards N500,000 To Journalist

3SC’s management had earlier apologised to the journalist.

 

The League Management Company (LMC) on Friday handed a N3m fine on Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan for fans’ assault on a sports journalist Tobi Adepoju. It also asked the club to pay him N500,000.

Tobi was attacked at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan on Wednesday following the team’s 1-1 draw with Remo Stars in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match. Police operatives had to wade in to rescue him from the irate fans.

In its reaction to the incident, the LMC condemned the attack, describing it as “capable of bringing the game to disrepute”.

“The Club has been fined a total of N3m plus a N500,000 compensation to Mr. Adepoju for lost valuables and medical bills and their stadium has been closed to fans for the remaining fixtures of the season while a further breach will lead to their being directed to play outside the Southwest,” the LMC added in a statement on its Facebook page, saying 3SC breached Rule B13.52 and  Rule B8.21 and Rule C1.1 of the LMC Rule Book.

“3SC also stands the risk of two points deduction to last for a probational period ending with the season while the Media Officer, Tosin Omojola, and Kits Manager, Mr. Majolagbe Kolawale have been expelled from all NPFL related activities for a minimum period of 12 months in the first instance.”

READ ALSO: Mali Replaces D’Tigress At FIBA World Cup After FG’s Withdrawal

‘Unfortunate Attack

Earlier, the club had apologised to Tobi over the incident, pledging to investigate the assault.

They also condemned a comment credited to the team’s Media Officer Tosin Omojola in which he reportedly said there would be no repercussion for the incident.

“The Management of the Club wish to state that the utterances he was reported to have made were his personal opinion and do not represent the position of the Club in regards to the incident of Wednesday, June 1, 2022, after the match involving 3SC and Remo Stars,” 3SC said in the statement signed by their Executive Chairman Babatunde Olaniyan

“The Club would not support any utterance, comment, or opinion that tends to promote violence or put the lives of others in danger. The Club regrets the unfortunate attack on Mr Tobi Adepoju and condemns it in its entirety.”

AFCON qualifier: Winning debut for Gasset as Ivory Coast thump Zambia 3-1

French coach Jean-Louis Gasset made a winning debut as boss of the Ivory Coast on Friday when the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations hosts beat Zambia 3-1 in a Group H opener in Yamoussoukro. The first two goals came after corners with captain Serge Aurier poking the Elephants ahead on 67 minutes and Christian Kouame…

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APC screening: 99% presidential aspirants agree to consensus – Odigie-Oyegun

urges APC to drastically prune 13 aspirants The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress’ screening committee, John Odigie-Oyegun, says except for one unnamed aspirant, 22 presidential hopefuls pledged to support the party if it embraces consensus ahead of the primary. Odigie-Oyegun made the revelation during the submission of his report to the APC National Chairman,…

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Why Tinubu won’t accept consensus -Shettima

Former Borno Governor, Senator Kashim Shettima, has said the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, won’t agree to a consensus arrangement. He said this is because Tinubu is “the elephant in the room” and the leading aspirant in the race for the APC’s presidential ticket. Shettima, who spoke in an interview…

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Turkey officially changes name at UN to ‘Turkiye’

Turkey has told the United Nations that, at the behest of its president, it wishes from now on to be called “Turkiye” in all languages, the UN announced Thursday. “The change is immediate,” Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief’s spokesperson, told AFP by email. He noted that Ankara’s official letter requesting the change had been received…

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Nations League: Benzema scores as Denmark fight back to beat France

Substitute Andreas Cornelius scored twice as Denmark recovered from conceding to a brilliant Karim Benzema goal to beat France 2-1 on Friday in the UEFA Nations League at the Stade de France, the first match at the venue since the chaos that marred last weekend’s Champions League final. Benzema’s stunning strike put World Cup holders…

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FIRST CLASS: Why Opeyemi Olugbemiro Is No More Waiting For Success

Olugbemiro Opeyemi is a strong believer in the Nigerian project.

 

When Brand Communication specialist Opeyemi Olugbemiro graduated from university, he was passionate about nation-building. He ran a radio show, organised conferences, and consulted for a State Government. But he was struggling with his finances. Somehow, he believed everything would fall into place if he kept on building a community of like-minded people who could transform Nigeria into one of the most desirable countries on earth. It didn’t, until he tweaked his engagement with the world.

First Class is a column about extraordinary Nigerians aged 35 years and below. It collects their thoughts on what it takes to thrive as a young person in Nigeria. 

Do you know someone who fits the bill? Recommend a name here.

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This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

 

SE: Why do you believe in Nigeria?

OO: Since I’ve known myself, I have always believed in Nigeria. The only time I had doubts about my belief in Nigeria was in October 2020. After October 2020 I couldn’t recite the national anthem for about four to five months.

Where were you?

I was at home in Lagos when October 20 happened. I was at home, praying. I was helpless. But I have always loved the country. Maybe because if you look at the world in general, we are one of the most educated immigrant populations in the US in health, technology, sport, administration, beauty; everywhere you see amazing Nigerians at the top level. The only thing we are not getting right is the system and the place. The system is how to provide an enabling environment for people to succeed. So, I have the belief that if we can get the systems right, we have enough amazing people to push the country forward. 

The system you are talking about, how is it going to come to be?

I don’t know at the moment but what I am looking at building, and which has inspired a lot of my efforts over the years, is achieving a critical mass of people who also believe. And that is why a lot of my events focus on building solution-driven communities. When I launched Convage, it was building a solution-driven community. When I started Gemstone at the University of Benin, Ekehuan Campus, it was the same. When I started my blog, it was about building a solution-driven community. I believe in ripple effects. 

When I was on radio in Akure it was about bringing a lot of more solution-driven people on air so that more people can know them. Because if you don’t have an image you cannot aspire to become something, so you need an image. That has always been my way. I don’t trust the existing political system, to get things done the way things should be, but I also know that you can’t do anything without them. I know one way or the other, we have to work with them to achieve the Nigeria of our dreams. 

Do you think of going into politics?

I don’t know. At the moment it has never crossed my mind. What has crossed my mind is getting enough money to ensure that a lot more people get access to the right thinking and don’t think the way the system has conditioned us to think. I listened to someone who said he looked at his productivity outside the country – I think when he was in the UK – and when he came back to Nigeria, he realised that either it was either he replicate his UK experience in Nigeria for his people or take his people out of Nigeria to build a startup. So I do not know at the moment whether I’d go into politics, but one thing is certain, I’ll work with people who can scale my influence, to get more people to do better with their lives. I don’t know maybe I can help the country as a system, but I’m very sure I can help Nigerians. 

Is your belief in Nigeria shaking?

Yes, it is. 

It showed how much work needs to be done. So maybe I have been underestimating what needs to be done to get us to the promised land. That day showed us that a lot more needs to be done.

I am not in support of breaking up Nigeria, but I strongly believe that the current structure should be negotiated to ensure that people agree to stay as one Nigeria.

So you advocate for a referendum?

I will advocate for a conversation. I don’t want to use the word referendum.

I mean conversation with a focus where people are allowed to say what they want without being scared of repercussions. A lot of the conversation has been coloured and tainted by different political agendas.

I believe that Nigeria should be one but I also believe that oneness should be negotiated. More like, let us decide this thing together.

I don’t even believe that when you divide us, any of the units will be able to survive without each other. We are too close to say just go just go and mind your business. It’s a lie, it will not happen.

We are too close. How do you want to do it? We are already culturally and socio-politically designed to see things in a certain way.

What would you describe as your most interesting work?

In 2018, the Ondo State Government wanted to do a development conference and the conference was to bring partners from across the country and across the world to come and discuss Ondo state and how they can support it. And they wanted a branding for the conference. The branding was to be international enough, for international partners to be able to connect with. And local enough for people on ground to be able to get inspired to action. 

And I led the team, that was my first public sector engagement.

We designed, ideated and defended in front of a number of commissioners and permanent secretaries and it got me going to the secretariat a couple of times to defend what I have. This is 2021, going into 2022, and the idea of that design, which spiralled from just a conference, has now become how the government describes its achievements. At the end of the day, the logo had a DO, which is do. And it became a double entendre. So when the Governor says talk and do on his posters, the DO is from the work I led with two other designers – I led the strategy, communication and execution part of the plan.

Then in November 2016, I covered the Ondo state election. And I covered one of the biggest local governments, Odigbo. Then I also saw the level of work we need to shift Nigeria, because I was on the field. From security, to administrative to political. I saw it in real-time. That was my first time covering an election, so I was trying to capture everything. But my driver kept saying we shouldn’t stay too much in any place. 

Out of Akure, someone wanted to launch a power bank. It was designed in Akure, but production was done in China. It was made in Nigeria but it was shipped all the way from China. When he met me and wanted to sell, I said we won’t just sell it as ‘made in Nigeria’, but as an experience, as something that helps people work, on its own quality. We sold out twice. And that convinced me that I could actually do what I wanted to do.

How do you define success? 

Success for me is a ripple-effect of impact. I am a lot more driven about people being satisfied and happy, than acquiring money for its own sake. If I ever get rich, as rich as those people on the Forbes list, the motivation will be to inspire more people to believe that it is possible to do so, legally. Success is being able to fund and execute projects that have scale of impact. 

What is the biggest factor that helped you to succeed in the journey?

God. You cannot succeed if you are not alive. I mean I should put a lot of thanks attribute a lot to God. Then the second – and this is important to me – is people. I always say that e don tey wey I sabi book but your ability, intelligence and brilliance will only take you to a point, but access to the right people is the only thing that can scale. You can be good, that’s fine, but there are a lot of people that are also good or even better than you.

I group people who have helped me into three categories: One, people who inspire me, two, people I inspire and three, my contemporaries who are doing a lot more to open doors for me and people who are mentioning my name in rooms. 

I can trace a lot of my success to when we relocated to Lagos and I started doing a few more jobs. I have a lot of NDAs for some of the biggest companies in Nigeria and people started to know me and because of that it opened a lot of doors for me. People started calling. I am now working on a project for a bank that will launch next year. That’s how it works.

Like I said people who inspired me, people who I inspire and lastly contemporaries who open doors. Babajide Duroshola used to say – I think it’s an Andela thing – that talent is equally distributed but opportunities are not. And one of the reasons for that is because not everybody has access to the right people. I didn’t grow up in a rich home. So, we are where we are because we started seeing the right images. And it’s the images that made it possible, that we can believe. Now I can aspire to do more. 

What are some of the mistakes you made?

The first one is connected to, I didn’t learn about money early. It didn’t know a lot about money. So, my relationship with money was not the right one. So I came out of university and was pursuing impact, volunteering for civic causes . . . 

Isn’t that a good thing?

No, it is not a good thing. If I could go back, I would do it another way. I was pursuing impact, civic education, running shows about developing Nigeria, achieving the Nigerian dream. I didn’t even know enough about money. I can be empathetic to people. I saw money from a survival perspective. I did jobs for almost free. I had a lot of respect for money. So when they call some certain amount I would be like, so people have this money?

How did that change?

People. Access. As much as people say that reading changes, if you don’t have human beings that you can see that can reinforce those readings, it doesn’t do as much work.

I met Kitan David in Akure and I started working with him. He was one of the loudest voices in tech. And I saw an image that young people can be successful in tech without cutting corners. I started studying him and started to realise the possibilities in tech. Then I started seeing some other people. Kitan was very intentional about images. 

For example, I used to think like if someone or an organisation sends me money to fly somewhere, I’d rather take the bus and save more money. But I stopped thinking that way. Sometimes I see invoices and see what people charge for the same thing I do.

One of the biggest was when I wanted to charge 50k for something and my boss was passing, he saw it and said I should add two to the figure to make it N250,000. I did and the client agreed to pay. The first time I charged over 600k for a job, I could hardly believe it. I wanted to call the price, but I was scared. But a mentor told me never to be afraid to name my price. 

Assuming that being smart and intelligent will make you successful is nonsense. I was very confident in my brilliance. But if I could go back, I’ll be more intentional about relationships and converting ideas to execution. 

What is your advice for someone starting up?

Understand money early. Know the right people. Know that everything in this life is intentional. People think that some things are organic. But the number of things that are organic are not as much as the things that are intentional. 

When I was 25, I tweeted to Editi Effiong to give me some life tips. And he invited me to his office. One of the first things he told me was that time and chance happens to us all, but consistency increases your odds of time and chance happening to you. You can’t control luck. The only thing you can control is that at every point, you are excellent enough for luck to meet you working hard. That’s where intentionality comes in. 

What change can people do now to start seeing results?

Find God. Then take out time and know yourself. I don’t think there is a successful person that I know that is not self-aware. If you listen to people like Jeff Bezos and Jay-Z, you realise they are self aware; they know their strengths, their weaknesses; they are confident. 

The world most times, especially when you want to enter another level, they don’t give you what you deserve, they give you what you ask for.

So you need to know what to ask for. The world is unfair. If you are supposed to get a million and they ask you how much you want and you tell them N6,000, they will give you N6,000.

Who do you think qualifies as a First-Class Nigerian?

Victor Fatanmi. His heart is so innocent and pure it annoys me sometimes. Prosper Otemuyiwa. Peace Itimi, who is one of the people who has influenced me the most. Praise Philemon, who is a mentee that pushes me to be better. Iyin Aboyeji. The strength of his conviction is amazing.

First Class is a column about extraordinary Nigerians aged 35 years and below. It collects their thoughts on what it takes to thrive as a young person in Nigeria. 

Do you know someone who fits the bill? Recommend a name here.

Sign up to receive the latest installment of exclusive First Class interviews in your email.

AU Head Says ‘Reassured’ After Talks With Putin On Food Shortages

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Senegal’s President and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Macky Sall in Sochi on June 3, 2022. Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP

 

African Union head Macky Sall said on Friday he was “reassured” after talks in Russia with President Vladimir Putin on food shortages caused by Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

Putin hosted the Senegalese president, who chairs the African Union, at his Black Sea residence in Sochi on the 100th day of Moscow’s offensive. Global food shortages and grain supplies stuck in Ukrainian ports were high on the agenda.

“I found Vladimir Putin committed and aware that the crisis and sanctions create serious problems for weak economies, such as African economies,” Sall told journalists, adding that he was leaving Russia “very reassured and very happy with our exchanges”.

READ ALSO: Ukraine War ‘Will Have No Winner,’ UN Says On 100th Day Of Fight

Putin in a televised interview in the evening accused the West of “bluster” by claiming Moscow was preventing grain exports from Ukraine.

“There is no problem to export grain from Ukraine,” he said, suggesting several possible routes.

Exports could transit through the Russian-controlled ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, or the Ukrainian-held port of Odessa as long as Ukraine “cleared” the waters around it of mines, according to Putin.

Other transport options include the Danube River via Romania, Hungary or Poland, he added.

“But the simplest, the easiest, the cheapest would be exports via Belarus, from there one can go to Baltic ports, then to the Baltic Sea and then anywhere in the world.”

But Putin said any export via Belarus would be conditional on the “lifting of sanctions” by the West against Minsk, allied to Moscow.

‘On Africa’s side’

Ahead of the talks, which lasted three hours, Sall asked Putin “to become aware that our countries… are victims” of the conflict.

He said it was important to work together so that “everything that concerns food, grain, fertiliser is actually outside” Western sanctions imposed on Moscow after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

In his remarks before the talks, Putin did not mention grain supplies but said Russia was “always on Africa’s side” and was now keen to ramp up cooperation.

“We place great importance on our relations with African countries, and I must say this has had a certain positive result,” Putin added.

Washington and Brussels have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow, pushing Putin to seek new markets and strengthen ties with countries in Africa and Asia.

The Kremlin said the two leaders discussed expanding “political dialogue” between Russia and the African Union as well as economic and humanitarian cooperation.

Speaking to reporters earlier on Friday, Putin’s spokesman said the Russian leader would explain to Sall “the real state of affairs” concerning grain supplies stuck in Ukrainian ports.

“No-one is blocking these ports, at least not from the Russian side,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Putin has said Moscow is ready to look for ways to ship grain stuck at Ukrainian ports but has demanded the West lift sanctions.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected in Turkey next Wednesday for talks on creating a “security corridor” to unblock grain exports from Ukraine.

‘Food emergency’

Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine and a barrage of international sanctions on Russia have disrupted supplies of fertiliser, wheat and other commodities from both countries, pushing up prices for food and fuel.

Cereal prices in Africa, the world’s poorest continent, have surged because of the slump in exports from Ukraine, sharpening the impact of conflict and climate change and sparking fears of social unrest.

The UN has said Africa faces an “unprecedented” crisis caused by the military operation.

On Thursday, landlocked Chad declared a “food emergency”, urging the international community to help.

Ships loaded with grain remain blocked in Ukraine, which before February was a leading exporter of corn and wheat and alone accounted for 50 percent of world trade in sunflower seeds and oil.

Navigation in the Black Sea has also been hampered by mines placed by both Russian and Ukrainian forces.

In 2019, Putin hosted dozens of African leaders in Sochi in a bid to reassert Russia’s influence on the continent.

Though never a colonial power in Africa, Moscow was a crucial player on the continent in the Soviet era, backing independence movements and training a generation of African leaders.

Russia’s ties with Africa declined with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and in recent years China has emerged as a key foreign power on the continent.

AFP

Denmark Recover From Benzema Strike To Beat France In Nations League

Denmark’s forward Andreas Cornelius celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Nations League – League A Group 1 first leg football match between France and Denmark at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on June 3, 2022. Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

 

Substitute Andreas Cornelius scored twice as Denmark recovered from conceding to a brilliant Karim Benzema goal to beat France 2-1 on Friday in the UEFA Nations League at the Stade de France, the first match at the venue since the chaos that marred last weekend’s Champions League final.

Benzema’s stunning strike put World Cup holders France in front six minutes after half-time, only for Trabzonspor striker Cornelius to turn in Denmark’s equaliser midway through the second half and then smash in an 88th-minute winner.

That meant it was a disappointing night for France who also saw both Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane come off with knocks.

There was a near-full house of 75,833 inside the Stade de France, including 1,400 Danish supporters, but the atmosphere outside the ground ahead of kick-off was calm.

READ ALSO: Nadal Into 14th French Open Final As Zverev Quits With Horror Injury

That was in stark contrast to the scenes six days earlier, when serious organisational problems led to fans being unable to get into the stadium while many peaceful supporters were tear-gassed ahead of Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final.

European football’s governing body UEFA on Friday issued an apology to those spectators for what it admitted was a “frightening and distressing” experience for those involved.

Because of the pandemic, Friday’s match was the first France national football team game at the stadium without crowd restrictions since November 2019.

Home supporters were hoping to see Les Bleus start with a victory as they defend the Nations League title they won last year by beating Spain in the final.

This was the first of four matches they will play this month in League A, Group 1 before their players can depart on holiday, and the game did not really come to life in the first half.

Mbappe, Varane come off

France, whose coach Didier Deschamps was absent following the death of his father, were then dealt a blow when Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe pulled up with an apparent knee knock just before the interval.

He did not reappear after the break, with Christopher Nkunku taking his place, and the RB Leipzig forward played a part in the opening goal in the 51st minute.

Benzema, on the same ground where he won the Champions League with Real Madrid last weekend, collected the ball on the right, played a one-two with Nkunku and left the Danish defence for dead before slotting in on the occasion of his 95th cap.

The home side then saw Manchester United centre-back Varane also hobble off, with William Saliba replacing him, and Denmark capitalised as they turned the match on its head.

Cornelius had not long been on the field when he appeared completely unmarked in the area to apply a first-time finish to Pierre-Emile Hojberg’s floated assist.

Hugo Lloris kept out Andreas Skov Olsen’s rasping drive shortly after, before N’Golo Kante crashed an effort off the woodwork at the other end.

Eriksen then squandered a great chance to put the away side in front in the 86th minute as Lloris denied his former Tottenham Hotspur team-mate from point-blank range.

However, the Danes did win it moments later as Cornelius beat the offside trap before running through and holding off Saliba to somehow fire past Lloris from a tight angle.

The result is a warning for France, who will be in the same group as Denmark at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

The sides will be in Nations League action again on Monday with France away to Croatia and Denmark in Austria.

Bordalas sacked as Valencia coach, Gattuso set to take charge

Valencia have sacked Jose Bordalas as coach, the club confirmed on Friday, with Gennaro Gattuso being lined up to replace him. Valencia finished a disappointing ninth in La Liga last season, although they did reach the final of the Copa del Rey, which they lost on penalties to Real Betis. The club have also been…

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