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‘Obaseki Plans to Abandon APC’

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), on Thursday alleged that Governor Godwin Obaseki planned to abandon the ruling party in the state.

Airhiavbere, who is a former APC governorship aspirant, alleged that Obaseki plotted to abandon the party and seek his second-term bid with another party after realising that it would be difficult to get the ticket because of the way he has handled the party.

The APC chieftain, who spoke to journalists, said the crisis rocking the ruling party became obvious after the presidential election, when the party lost in Edo South and Edo Central.

He said, “After that loss, the party realised that it needed the massive win from Edo North for President Muhammadu Buhari to scale through in the state.”

Aihriavbere said the incompetence of Obaseki was responsible for his falling out with the leaders of the party including his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole.

He said “The presidential election in February gave an account of the APC political instability in the state; during that election we lost in Edo South, we lost in Edo Central, only Edo North produced the percentage that was required for the president to scale through Edo State and that was the beginning of the problems of the APC coming to the public. It became clear that if we don’t do something quickly, there will be problem.”

But Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, described the allegation as a lie from the pit of hell.

He added, “He (Obaseki) is performing. He is the leader of the party. He controls the party, so who will he leave the party for? That allegation is a complete lie from the pit of hell. Governor Godwin Obaseki has a very robust relationship with the presidency and his party at the centre.

“His party is the ruling party in the state and at the centre, so where is he leaving to and why should he leave? The good records of Obaseki cannot be compared to that of Airhiavbere. Obaseki contested for election once and he won.”

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NIS Threatens Foreigners in Nigeria: Register Biometrics or Be Deported

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said it had stopped 1,111 people from entering Nigeria since August 20, 2019 when the country’s land borders were partially closed.

It also declared that any foreigner living in Nigeria that failed to register their biometrics with the NIS before January 19, 2020, would be deported.

The Comptroller-General, NIS, Muhammed Babandede, who disclosed this during a joint press briefing in Abuja, stated that these resolutions were in accordance with the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on Transit.

He said, “The law is very clear and it says ‘Do not enter any ECOWAS country unless you have a valid travel document’. So, it is important to state that if you don’t have travel documents, we cannot allow you to enter or leave Nigeria.”

Babandede said the NIS stopped 142 Nigerians from departing the country during the period, adding that over 1,000 immigrants from other nations had been denied entry into Nigeria

He said, “We have refused entry of 1,111 people who wanted to enter our territory, but because they don’t have the required travel documents we turned them back.

“We have also removed people who had already entered. In fact, 728 people have been removed. We have arrested Pakistanis and North Koreans at the borders and they are meant to be deported.”

On why foreigners staying in Nigeria must register their biometric, the NIS boss said, “Mr President approved an amnesty for all migrants staying in this country. And this means that any migrant that has overstayed in this country can have their biometrics registered between now and January 19, 2020.”

Stakeholders have assumed different positions concerning the total border closure. While palm oil producers applaud it, freight forwarders have condemned it.

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There’s No Hunger in Nigeria, Food’s Very Cheap, Says FG

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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, on Monday, said Nigeria was producing enough food to feed itself and send to neighbouring countries.

He described the cry by some Nigerians of hunger in the land as laughable, insisting that there was no hunger in Nigeria.

The minister, who spoke at a press briefing to mark the 2019 World Food Day in Abuja, said, “I think we are producing enough to feed ourselves. I think there is no hunger in Nigeria; there could be inconveniences. When people talk about hunger in this government, I just laugh.”

According to Nanono, food is very cheap in Nigeria compared to other countries.

“In this country, it is fairly cheap to buy food,” he stated.

He said the Federal Government decided to shut the borders owing to the excesses of neighbouring countries that had made the country a dumping ground for expired rice and other goods.

Nanono said, “That’s the basis for the closure of the border and I think Nigeria tried to make these neighbouring countries understand our predicament but to no avail. So long as these countries bordering us will not respect Nigerian stand on food importation, the borders will remain closed.”

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FirstBank Hits 100th Year of Sponsoring Georgian Polo Cup, Longest Ever

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In furtherance of its commitment to the growth and development of sports, nation building and the economy at large, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its sponsorship of the Georgian Cup of the Kaduna Polo Tournament for the 100th consecutive year, possibly the longest running sports sponsorship in the world and a Guinness Book of Records potential. The 2019 edition of the epoch making sports championship runs from October 12 – 20, 2019 at the Kaduna Polo Club, Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna.

The Kaduna Georgian Cup Centenary Polo Tournament commenced in 1919, with FirstBank sponsoring the sports tournament for a 100 years. The Cup which was donated by the Bank to the Kaduna Polo Club, is the oldest and most respected Polo trophy in West Africa.

The 2018 edition of the tournament was won by team El-Amin, also billed to participate in the 2019 edition to defend its trophy, contested by other teams including Rubicon, Imani, Malcomines, and Lintex Agad. A total of 45 teams are billed for the 2019 tournament.

Speaking on FirstBank’s unwavering centenary sponsorship of the Tournament, the President, Kaduna Polo Club, Alhaji Suleman Abubakar said “the Georgian Cup Polo Tournament is indeed the Premier Polo Tournament in the country and it has proudly birthed many other sporting events across the country as well as the West African sub region as a whole. We are honoured to record such a milestone with FirstBank since the inception of the tournament 100 years ago.

“Indeed, FirstBank remains a noble brand close to our heart at the Kaduna Polo Club and the tournament has indeed been a catalyst of socio-economic growth of Kaduna and the nation as a whole” he concluded.

FirstBank’s sponsorship of the Georgian cup is perhaps the longest standing sports sponsorship in the world, a reflection of a long-lasting partnership that aligns with heritage, shared values, elite performance and quality, all attributes worthy of celebration. This record sponsorship has been filed by the Kaduna Polo Club for consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records under the longest main sponsorship of a sporting world championship title.

Expressing the Bank’s delight on the sponsorship, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “2019 is indeed an eventful year for us and one of the many highpoints since we were founded 125 years ago. Part of our excitement stems from the pride we feel at having supported the Georgian Cup Polo Tournament for 100 years consistently. We are indeed proud to achieve this feat as it reinforces our leadership role as an institution committed to the continued growth and development of sports and the economy at large. The Georgian Cup Polo Tournament is one of the many heritage sporting sponsorships supported by FirstBank over the years. Another example is the FirstBank 58th Lagos Amateur Golf Open tournament, in partnership with Ikoyi Club 1938 holding in November this year which we have also supported for 57 years. We dare say perhaps another record in sports sponsorship”

This unprecedented Polo extravaganza boasts notable players such as Chris Mckenzie, the best South African polo player; Max Charlton, the Best British polo player as well as other top Argentine players in attendance amongst many other professionals.

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