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I’ll Make Nigeria African Champions Again – Rohr

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Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, has explained that he made sacrifices in his new contract with Nigeria in order to guide the country to a fourth Africa Cup of Nations triumph, reports AFP.

Rohr, 66, has extended his stay in Nigeria till 2022 after he agreed to a pay cut in the local currency and reside in the country. Officials said the German-born coach will earn $49,000 a month, instead of the $55,000 stipulated in his previous contract, and he will live in Nigeria for at least 10 months a year.

According to goal.com, Rohr said he has a free hand to select his players, insisting nobody can dictate to him on who to pick for national duty. He, however, revealed that he selects players in consultation with his assistants, which is strictly based on merit, explaining the best will always have a chance for the Super Eagles.

“This is a special job, because this is my team, I built it with my staff,” the former Niger and Gabon coach said yesterday, on local television.

“It is not a part of my contract to take players who are not so good. I can choose my players myself. It is the most important [thing]. So, nobody can tell me ‘you have to pick this one or that one,” Rohr said.

“I can take the best players and I don’t do it alone. We have a team and our staff. I have my assistant… I have my analyser.

“Each Monday, we have our meetings and we speak about the games played at the weekend and what our players did. We have to take the best ones no matter where they are coming from.”

“It’s a very young team, but the mission is not finished yet, so we want to continue.

“We all have to make sacrifices and I will be the first.” Rohr said the target is to be champions of Africa again. The Super Eagles have won the Africa Cup of Nations three times — in 1980, 1994 and 2013.

“Let’s qualify for (the Nations Cup) and then we want to win it,” he said.

“We have a good team, we’re now number three in Africa. When I arrived (in 2016), we were number 13.
“We have worked together for the past four years and I hope we can progress.”

Rohr led Nigeria to a third place at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations Finals in Egypt, where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions Algeria, in the semi-finals after conceding a stoppage-time goal.

His team top their qualifying group for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations slated for Cameroun with six points after winning their first two games against second-placed Benin and Lesotho, who are third. Sierra Leone are the other team in the group and are bottom, on a point.

The top two teams in the group will advance to the final tournament.In his four years in charge of the Super Eagles, Rohr has faced criticism for overlooking players based in Nigeria for those in Europe.

His employers have ordered him to now pick players from the domestic league, but Rohr has insisted only the best will make his squad. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, Rohr handed an invitation to 23 players for the Super Eagles’ AFCON qualifying game against Sierra Leone, which was scheduled for March, before it was postponed.

The Guardian

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Buhari Approves Suspension of Ex-EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the boss of the country’s anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu days after he appeared at an investigative panel.

The Nigerian Government said Magu’s suspension is to “allow for unhindered inquiry” by the panel investigating allegations of corruption against the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, should take charge and oversee the activities of the Commission pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regards,” Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said in a statement on Friday.

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COVID-19: Fresh Lockdown Likely After Two Weeks – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday lamented the increasing rate of COVID-19 cases among people in government, saying it was directly impacting on governance and security in the country.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who stated this at the task force press briefing in Abuja, also said the possibility of ordering a fresh total lockdown to curtail further spread of the virus could not be ruled out.

The SGF, who advised prominent Nigerians to take COVID-19 protocols seriously, said the virus does not respect status.

Mustapha’s warning came amid rising cases of COVID-19 among state governors and other prominent Nigerians.  Recently state governors, including David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and their Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi  Akeredolu, contracted the virus.

Warning people in authority, the SGF said,  “Of recent, we have witnessed a high rate of positive cases especially among people in authority. This has a direct impact on governance and security of our nation. We urge that vigilance and care should be exhibited by all Nigerians, irrespective of status. This virus does not discriminate and the PTF shall keep sustaining its sensitisation messaging.”

When asked if the task force would be considering a fresh lockdown in the face of what it observed as disregard for guidelines, Mustapha said events of coming weeks would determine the next line of action.

He said, “We will not speculate on what will happen in future but we will protect the lives of Nigerians.

“To achieve that, if it means to lock down again, we will not shy away from that responsibility. We will recommend to the President who will look at the report and take a decision on our recommendation. What happens in the next two three weeks will determine what we will do.”

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Cross River Finally Joins the Fray As Nigeria Records 575 New COVID-19 Cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 575 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 29,286.

Nine deaths were recorded from the virus on Monday bringing the total number of confirmed deaths from the virus to 654.

There was an increase in the number of confirmed cases reported Monday compared to what was reported on Sunday (544).

The health agency in a tweet Monday night said the 575 new cases were reported in 20 states including Lagos, Federal Capital Territory ( FCT), Delta, Edo, Ogun, Katsina, Bayelsa, Rivers, Borno, Plateau, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara, Osun, Enugu, Nasarawa, Abia, Cross River, Kaduna and Ekiti.

All the reporting states already had at least a case of the virus.

As of the time of reporting, all 36 states and the FCT have recorded at least a case of the disease.

NCDC has officially recorded the confirmed cases reported in Cross River, after days of controversies on the cases.

Lagos remains the epicentre for the disease in the country while Zamfara has not reported any new confirmed case in the past 48 days.

“Till date, 29, 286 cases have been confirmed, 11, 828 cases have been discharged and 654 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” the NCDC stated.

The 575 new cases were reported from 20 states: Lagos – 123, FCT – 100, Delta – 58, Edo – 52, Ogun – 42, Katsina – 24, Bayelsa – 23, Rivers – 22, Borno – 19, Plateau – 18, Ondo – 18, Oyo – 17, Kwara – 15, Osun – 13, Enugu – 9, Nasarawa – 7, Abia – 6, Cross River – 5, Kaduna – 3 and Ekiti – 1.

Since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Nigeria in February, NCDC said, 152,952 samples have been tested.

As of the time of reporting, there are 16,804 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, while 11,828 have recovered and have been discharged.

A breakdown of the 29,286 confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 11, 367 cases, followed by FCT – 2,281, Oyo – 1,530, Edo – 1,435, Delta – 1,285, Kano – 1,268, Rivers – 1,205, Ogun – 1,047, Kaduna – 868, Katsina – 628, Borno – 574, Gombe – 520, Bauchi – 518, Ebonyi – 503, Ondo – 474, Plateau – 454, Abia – 391, Enugu – 381, Imo – 352, Jigawa – 318, Kwara – 284, Bayelsa – 268, Nasarawa – 232, Osun – 178, Sokoto – 153, Niger – 122, Akwa Ibom – 112, Adamawa – 99, Benue – 97, Kebbi – 84, Zamfara – 76, Anambra – 73, Yobe – 61, Ekiti – 45, Taraba- 22, Kogi – 5, and Cross River – 5.

While confirmed cases of the virus have continued to increase in the country, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the government is trying to boost overall COVID-19 sample collection, by preparing all public and private hospitals nationwide to become collection hospitals sites.

This, he said will require working with state governments to identify the facilities and the space within them, to conduct training for the personnel selected and supply both PPEs and sample collection kits, as well as the logistics to go around to recover test samples.

“If logistics around sample collection and delivery to test sites are better organised, a lot more will be achieved.

“However, the more we test, the more confirmed cases we shall find, of which the vulnerable will have to be prioritised for admission to treatment centres, even if they are not yet showing symptoms,” he added.

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