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And Sanwo-Olu Makes His first Mistake?

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By Eric Elezuo

The best footballers are always those watching from the stands or from their living rooms via cable transmission. These set of people know exactly what a particular player should do or should have done with the ball at any point in time. They know the moves that should result to goals and are quick to heap abuses and insults on the footballers for any slip, no matter how inconsequential. But give this group an opportunity to play the actual game, you will be amazed at the height of their folly. This describes the fact that there is a difference between the game outside and the actual game.

Having said that, it is imperative to recall that not long ago, the governor-elect of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, supposedly played to the gallery, as believed in some quarters, when he informed a set of audience that he would fix permanently the dreaded Apapa gridlock within the first two months of his administration – 60 days in his exact words. Yes, there is nothing wrong with making promises or setting targets for yourself as regards a particular assignment, but the seasoned technocrat should have been guided by precedence as well as the situational variables at work before making such a lofty promise.

Every Lagosian understands how hungry Sanwo-Olu is to make a difference considering the great standard his predecessors vis a vis Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, who is billed to leave office in a couple of days, have set. This is even considering the circumstance surrounding his emergence as his party’s flag bearer in spite of Ambode. The party leadership roundly rejected Ambode, paving the way for Sanwo-olu. At this point, Sanwo-Olu feels he needs to prove a point, but has he done it the right way with the 60 days target of revamping the Apapa gridlock, which has defiled all known solutions so far.

Has Sanwo-Olu consulted the likes of Fashola and his would-be immediate predecessor, Ambode, to find out the situation that assaulted their breakthrough in that regard? Has he done a thorough preliminary or feasibility study of the situation to decide the timing of action and completion?

He would not have made a mistake if by a dint of hard work or stroke of luck he succeeds – the applaud will be loud and sharp. But should he fail; the jeers will last him a lifetime and make a mess of his four years administration. He would spent the rest of his days explaining the whys and hows of the failure. Ask Fashola how he is fairing with the unguarded statement of 2014 that “any serious government will fix the power situation within six months”. No matter how hard he tries to keep a straight face or defend his statement and actions, deep down in his heart, he knows he shouldn’t have said that, and of course he has learnt his nations.

Sanwo-Olu’s zeal to serve the people Lagos State is very obvious and commendable, but common sense demands that he should have kept the timing close to his chest, face the challenge headlong and surmount it without pressure from any quarters. Of course, he is going to be under serious pressure now.

He is already the governor-in-waiting, and has no reason to play to the gallery for anyone to dance or make any political statement – the campaign seasons are over.

Now you have said it sir, it imperative you prove as many that thinks you have made a mistake wrong. Let the Apapa gridlock be the first in your priority list. In fact, whatever plans you have should hit the ground running very early on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

May this utterance not be counted as a mistake against you by July 30, 2019 when 60 days would have elapsed. Nigerians don’t forget!

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Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed

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A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.

The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.

Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.

It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.

The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”

Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.

The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele

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Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.

“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.

The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.

“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.

“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”

His condition had been described as stable.

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.

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We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.

The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”

The Punch

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