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Maradona tributes the backdrop as rattled Napoli aim to bounce back

The football world honoured Maradona on the anniversary of his death on Thursday but Napoli are using this weekend’s fixture to enable Neapolitans to finally say goodbye at the place where their icon was most at home.

On Thursday Napoli told supporters to arrive at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona over three hours early so they could be in the stands for an “intense” commemoration ceremony dedicated to the man who led a previously mediocre team to their only two Serie A titles and the 1989 UEFA Cup.

Maradona remains a God-like figure in Naples, where children are still named Diego in his honour and murals of the Argentine can be found all over the city, despite his grisly fall from grace at the end of his turbulent seven years in southern Italy, a failed drugs test and details of a sordid private life dogging him as he fled back to Buenos Aires in 1991.

Now Napoli fans will be able to collectively express their love for Maradona in the stadium where he weaved magic at the peak of his career, after being locked out by Covid-19 a year ago.

“Naples was always there for dad, and he was always there for Naples,” says his son Diego Maradona Junior in a recent Sky Italia documentary.

Napoli will be hoping for a boost from the pre-match events as they take on Lazio off the back of losses at Inter Milan and Spartak Moscow.

The 3-2 defeat at the San Siro last weekend was Napoli’s first of the league season, cut the gap between the league leaders and champions Inter to four points and cost them their star striker Victor Osimhen.

Osimhen is expected to be out of action for three months after fracturing his left cheek and eye socket in a sickening clash of heads with Milan Skriniar.

To make matters worse their hopes of making the Europa League knockouts are still in the balance following a fraught 2-1 defeat in Moscow on Wednesday.

Napoli’s bid to maintain their Serie A lead has also been hit by the absence of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who has been a revelation in midfield since arriving in the summer on loan from Fulham.

Juventus meanwhile travel to high-flying Atalanta still reeling from their 4-0 demolition at Chelsea, four points behind their opponents who sit in the final Champions league spot.

While Napoli prepare to give Maradona the send off they would have liked to a year ago, another Argentine in the shape of Simeone is making waves in Italy.

After striking against both Juventus and Napoli in recent weeks, Simeone is having the best season of his life on loan at Verona under Igor Tudor and has scored his nine Serie A goals in his last eight matches.

Verona travel to struggling Sampdoria with the European places in their sights thanks to the 26-year-old’s red hot form.

1 – the number of games Juventus have won by more than one goal

25 – Atalanta have a club record-equalling number of points after 13 league fixtures ahead of the visit of Juve.

Cagliari v Salernitana (1945)

Empoli v Fiorentina, Sampdoria v Verona (1400), Juventus v Atalanta (1700), Venezia v Inter Milan (1945)

Udinese v Genoa (1130), AC Milan v Sassuolo, Spezia v Bologna (1400), Roma v Torino (1700), Napoli v Lazio (1945)


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Europa League: 3 Nigerian talking points for concluding matchday

Olympique Lyon, Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham United have ended as group winners and will not have to navigate a challenging knockout round against third-placed sides from the Champions League.

This is a path Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey’s Rangers have to cross to feature in the last 16, having ended second in Group A behind Lyon.

Thus, the trio have nothing to play for this week as regards qualification.

Having said that, the final day is not devoid of Nigerian storylines and we have picked out some interesting ones heading into Thursday’s games.

Group C is one of two sections without an assured participant in the next round, with the former still without a qualified side.

While Victor Osimhen will be absent in this four-way tussle involving Leicester City (eight points), Spartak Moscow, Napoli (both on seven) and Legia Warsaw (six), the pair of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi travel to Naples needing to avoid defeat to advance in any capacity.

The former Chelsea man has been involved in four goals — one goal and three assists — in the group stage and the Russian outfit will hope he is decisive in Poland.

Ndidi is expected to start for Leicester against Napoli, although Iheanacho may have to play the waiting game if Brendan Rodgers continues with a lone-striker formation.

While Olympiacos (nine points) are guaranteed a top two finish, ending in first spot remains a target.

The Greek outfit travel to already eliminated Royal Antwerp looking to secure maximum points, and will hope Bright Osayi-Samuel’s Fenerbahce defeat table-topping Eintracht Frankfurt (11).

A draw in Turkey will not suffice for Henry Onyekuru and his colleagues who have an inferior head-to-head against the Bundesliga outfit—losing both fixtures 2-1 and 3-1.

Onyekuru has featured in five of the group stage games, starting four times, and the wide attacker will be keen to add to his one goal contribution in this year’s competition.

Paul Onuachu was the match-winner in that slender success and the forward, who has not scored in the competition since September and was dropped for the last continental game against Dinamo Zagreb, will strive to come up trumps against a Rapid side that have lost both away games so far.

The Smurfs’ fate is out of their hands though, and they will need a West Ham win over Dinamo in London, while they also need to take care of business to end runners-up in the group.

A draw at the London Stadium will not be enough as Genk picked up only a point from a possible six against the Croatian outfit.

Seye Omidiora is a passionate football writer and pundit whose deep appreciation for the beautiful game exceeds the usual. He is currently a columnist for Goal Africa and has previously written for Vital Football UK, IBCity Info and Opera News.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.


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Novak Djokovic’s inclusion in Australian Open sparks concern over vaccination uncertainty

The controversial announcement was immediately followed by massive concerns about the tennis star’s Covid-19 vaccination status after the Australian government mandated that every athlete participating in the tournament championship must be vaccinated.

The statement released by the Australian Open organizers noted that Djokovic will start as the favorite to defend his title as he chases a record breaking 21st grand slam title.

Even hours after the controversial announcement last week ,the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews confirmed that no special exemptions will be made for visiting players with regards to the vaccine mandate.

The 34 year old was also earlier this week, named in the Serbian team to play in the ATP Cup in Sydney, a tournament which would take place a few days before the Grand Slam event.

Some news reports suggested Djokovic might capitalize on a loophole in the vaccination mandate that allows him to seek a “medical exemption.”

However, Tennis Australia have since denied such reports and also shut down any attempts at seeking loopholes on behalf of participating players and the Victorian government have strongly pushed back against any of such ideas.


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Tangerine Africa is making finance sweeter

Built around the everyday needs of everyday people, Tangerine has designed a platform that hosts a range of financial tools and solutions needed to thrive at every stage of life – from instant insurance to free banking to pension plans that deliver greater returns, and a suite of other intuitive financial innovations.

Click here to watch the Finance Made Sweeter video by Tangerine.



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Mo Abudu is the 98th most powerful woman in the world

The founder of EbonyLife Group was named among other 100 very influential and powerful women in the world by the financial magazine.

Abudu’s major partnership deals with Sony Pictures Television, AMC Networks and Netflix were some of the reasons she made this year’s list.

The other Nigerian who made the list was the former minister of finance and current Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.


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Nigerian passport among least powerful in the world in 2021

London-based Henley & Partners receives exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) to form the basis of its ranking the passport strength of nearly 200 countries.

The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required.

Nigeria was ranked 103rd, alongside Ethiopia, for the final quarter of 2021.

The Nigerian passport grants holders visa-free access to only 45 countries, only one more than holders of the South Sudanese passport.

The passport has fallen 19 places from 83rd place in 2011 to 103rd this year, one of the biggest drops over the past decade.

Seychelles, in 29th position, is the highest ranked African country on the global list, with visa-free access to 153 countries.

Passport holders in Morocco (85th), Sierra Leone (85th), Mozambique (86th), Benin (87th), Rwanda (87th), São Tomé and Príncipe (88th), Mauritania (89th), Burkina Faso (90th), Gabon (91st), Cote d’Ivoire (92nd), Senegal (92nd), Equatorial Guinea (93rd), and Madagascar (93rd) also have visa-free access to more countries than Nigerians.

“The global mobility gap is at its widest point ever and continues to expand due to proliferating barriers to entry erected since the outbreak of the pandemic,” the report noted.

Japan and Singapore have the most powerful passports, according to the index, with visa-free access to 192 countries, followed by Germany and South Korea, joint second with visa-free access to 190 countries.

Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain, are joint third with visa-free access to 189 countries; and Austria and Denmark close out the top 10, finishing joint fourth with visa-free access to 188 countries.

Afghanistan finished bottom of the ranking with visa-free access to only 26 countries.

The Henley Passport Index covers 227 different travel destinations, and is regularly updated.


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It’s worrying wealthy nations are limiting investment in fossil fuels — Osinbajo

Osinbajo spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said the theme of forum being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is “Energising Tomorrow.”

Osinbajo said that the world should not have to choose between energy poverty and climate change as the challenge could be addressed with both natural gas and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) as transition fuels alongside other renewable sources.

“It is worrying that a growing number of wealthy nations have banned or restricted public investment in fossil fuels, including natural gas.

“Such policies often do not distinguish between different kinds of fossil fuels, nor do they consider the vital role some of these fuels play in powering the growth of developing economies, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

“As development finance institutions try to balance climate concerns against the need to spur equitable development and increase energy security, the UK, the US, the EU have all taken aggressive steps to limit fossil fuel investments in developing and emerging economies.

“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks are being urged by some shareholders to do the same.

“The African Development Bank, for instance, is increasingly unable to support large natural gas projects in the face of European shareholder pressure.”

According to him, a global transition away from carbon-based fuels must account for the economic differences between countries and allow for multiple pathways to net-zero emissions.

He said that it should not be necessary to have to choose between energy-poverty nexus and climate change since both could be properly addressed simultaneously.

Osinbajo said that were still close to 600 million Africans without access to electricity.

“For developing countries, unlike the rest of the world, the transition to net zero emissions poses two existential problems.

“Aside from the climate crisis, we have the problem of lifting millions out of extreme poverty and access to energy is a huge part of that.

“For the few with access to electricity, it is either unreliable due to lack of generating capacity and infrastructure, or unaffordable due to high prices.

“But a more important aspect of that problem is the 2.6 billion people globally without access to clean cooking solutions, including over 900 million in Africa.

“In fact, this energy-poverty nexus has distinct gender characteristics.

“A report from the World Health Organisation revealed that about 4.3 million people die annually from inefficient cooking practices using polluting stoves paired with solid fuels like charcoal and kerosene…so, clearly there is an urgent need to transition from these fatally hazardous fuels to cleaner energy.’’

Osinbajo spoke on the implementation of Nigeria’s Domestic LPG expansion initiatives, including the LPG policy as part of its National Gas Policy and the National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme.

He said there were specific provisions in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 that elevated LPG as the fuel of choice compared to other competing fuels.

“And we have established a 20 million Cylinder Injection Scheme; 5 -10 million of these are to be introduced in pilot states next year.

“We have also established an LPG Energy Fund in the order of 50 million dollars in its first phase, in partnership with AFREXIMBANK.’’

He also listed the mandated conversion of 58,000 Telecommunications cell sites from diesel to LPG due to identified emissions from the industry and an autogas conversion scheme and capacity building in the 12 pilot states.

WLPGA’s 2021 LPG Week brings together 2,000 delegates from 72 countries, including major LPG companies, senior public sector officials, industry experts and other relevant stakeholders.

Osinbajo was accompanied to the event by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, the Nigerian Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammed Rimi, among others.


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Rights activists urge FG to scrap death penalty in Nigeria

They also asked the National and State Assemblies and State to remove death sentence as punishment for crimes, through the amendment of the Criminal and Penal Code as well as the Robbery and Firearm Act.

The director, Cities for Life, Mrs Linda Ebeh, alleged that most of those sentenced to death were innocent.

She cited an example of a woman who was executed for killing her husband only for an autopsy to reveal that the man died of a heart attack.

“Most African countries are in favour of the abolition of the death penalty.

“Rwanda abolished the death penalty in 2007, Gabon in 2010, Benin in 2010, Congo and Madagascar in 2015, Guinea in 2016 for ordinary crimes and 2017 for military crimes and Burkina Faso in 2018.

Ebeh said in spite of the reason often given for death penalty as a deterrent to capital offences, such offences were still thriving and thereby denying the punishment the expected deterring effect.

She urged state governments to come up with better ways to deal with criminal activities rather than imposing death sentences on citizens, as it had not solved the problem of criminality in Nigeria.

Similarly, the Enugu State Coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Valentine Madubuko, noted that capital punishment was not the best way for the government to punish convicted criminals.

Madubuko said that the Commission was working with the authority to ensure that cases of abuse and sexual harassment of female inmates in the correctional centres were curtailed.

“Aside Lagos and Anambra States that have reviewed their Penal laws, other states in the country have outdated Penal and Sharia laws, with some enacting new death penalty law.

“Most recently, Katsina State approved capital punishment for cattle rustling.

“By the end of 2018, Nigeria’s death row of at least 2,000 inmates was the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

He noted the report of Amnesty International, which stated that at least 46 new death sentences were imposed in 2018 and 621 in 2017.

Ezike described many of the death convicts as innocent or those without anyone to assist them in the judicial process of the country.


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Benue govt wants Police, DSS to investigate alleged rape of student

He said the petition was also sent to the Director, State Security Services (SSS), for the same purpose.

“There is an online publication in which the author indicated that there was a sexual assault on a female student by an employee of the college.

“The governor directed that I take up the matter with the security agencies for proper investigation.

“This is so because the culprit should be brought to justice as his action amounted to a threat on female children who are in schools.

As such, the state government will not fold its arms and watch.

“We want the society to know that government has taken up the matter to ensure that justice is served in the circumstance,’’ Gusa stated.


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Rasheedat Ajibade: Super Falcons striker celebrates 22nd birthday

Born in Lagos Nigeria, Ajibade came through the youth system to the National team.

She represented Nigeria with the Flamingos at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.

To celebrate her special day, Ajibade took to her official Instagram account to post a picture in a dark green outfit.

Along with the post was a message that said, “TODAY, A GREAT PRIVILEGE I WILL NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED 🙇‍♀️, ALL GLORY TO THE MOST HIGH GOD🙌🙏.”

The post had a caption that said, “Happy birthday to “Rash, the blue hair girl.” We wish you many happy returns. pls send in your wishes for @rasheedatt10.”

Ajibade started her professional career in the Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) with FC Robo.

She then moved to Norweigian side Avaldnes and is now in the Spanish Primera Division with Atlético de Madrid.


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Tiwa Savage, Euro 2020, Lukaku, Squid Game, how to check JAMB result top 2021 Google searches

As the pandemic entered its second year, Nigerians used the internet to search for answers and information that revealed their interest in topics related to music, movies, TV shows, sports, food, celebrity personalities, pop culture and lifestyle. Top search topics like ‘Paralympics’, ‘Euro 2020’ , ‘EPL’ , ‘Chelsea F.C.’ and ‘Champions league’ were reflective of the country’s uncompromising love for sport.

Tiwa Savage, Destiny Etiko and Romelu Lukaku topped their respective categories, revealing Nigerians’ love for top entertainment personalities and athletes. Squid Game, the Korean TV series that enthralled the world, topped the category of trending movies and series.

From questions like ‘How to check JAMB result 2021?’, to search terms like ‘Alcohol lyrics’, ‘TB Joshua’ and ‘Pornstar martini cocktail recipe’, Nigerians used Search to make sense of their world this year.

Here are the trending searches in 2021:

Top 10 trending searches

  1. Paralympics
  2. Euro 2020
  3. Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  4. TB Joshua
  5. La Liga
  6. EPL
  7. Champions league
  8. Tiwa Savage
  9. Obi Cubana
  10. Sound Sultan

Top trending people

  1. Tiwa Savage
  2. Obi Cubana
  3. Sunday Igboho
  4. Romelu Lukaku
  5. Nnamdi Kanu
  6. Elon Musk
  7. Baba Ijesha
  8. Omah Lay
  9. Raphael Varane
  10. Fabrizio Romano

Top trending musicians

  1. Tiwa Savage
  2. Omah Lay
  3. Lil Nas X
  4. Ruger
  5. Ayra Starr
  6. Buju
  7. Bobby Shmurda
  8. Seyi Shay
  9. Chidinma Ekile
  10. Naira Marley

Top lyrics

Top trending athletes

  1. Romelu Lukaku
  2. Raphael Varane
  3. Christian Eriksen
  4. Ben White
  5. Erling Haaland
  6. Xavi
  7. Saul Niguez
  8. Thomas Tuchel
  9. Naomi Osaka
  10. Jules Koundé

Top Nollywood Actors

  1. Destiny Etiko
  2. Zubby Michael
  3. Pere
  4. Tonto Dikeh
  5. Iyabo Ojo
  6. Olu Jacobs
  7. Nafisa Abdullahi
  8. Jim Iyke
  9. Nancy Isime
  10. Alex Ekubo

Top EPL teams

  1. Chelsea F.C.
  2. Manchester City F.C.
  3. Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
  4. Leicester City F.C.
  5. Everton F.C.
  6. West Ham United F.C.
  7. Aston Villa F.C.
  8. Newcastle United F.C.
  9. Southampton F.C.
  10. Leeds United

Top recipe

  1. Pornstar martini cocktail recipe
  2. Pancake recipe
  3. Chocolate cake recipe
  4. Puff puff recipe
  5. Fried rice recipe
  6. Egusi soup recipe
  7. Oha soup recipe
  8. Vanilla cake recipe
  9. Ogbono soup recipe
  10. Chinchin recipe

Trending Top devices

  1. iPhone 13
  2. Infinix Note 10
  3. Infinix Hot 10
  4. iPhone 12 pro max
  5. iPhone 13 pro max
  6. Tecno Camon 17
  7. Samsung A12
  8. Infinix Note 8
  9. Infinix smart 5
  10. Tecno spark 7

Trending 2021 loss

  1. TB Joshua
  2. Sound Sultan
  3. Ada Jesus
  4. DMX
  5. Femi Osibona
  6. Dare Adeboye
  7. Rachel Oniga
  8. Prince Philip
  9. Yinka Odumakin
  10. Sani Dangote

Trending movies and series

Trending 2021 Songs

  1. Naira Marley – Coming
  2. Ayra Starr – Bloody Samaritan
  3. Omah Lay – Understand
  4. Naira Marley – Koleyewon
  5. Kizz Daniel – Lie
  6. Ladipoe feat. Buju – Feeling
  7. Ruger – Bounce
  8. Davido – Jowo
  9. Wizkid – Essence (Remix) ft. Justin Bieber
  10. Joeboy – Alcohol

Trending “Who is” general

  1. Who is going to win Champions League 2021?
  2. Who is Obi Cubana?
  3. Who is Ada Jesus?
  4. Who is Sunday Igboho?
  5. Who is the best player in the world?
  6. Who is DMX?
  7. Who is the President of America?
  8. Who is the new chief of army staff?
  9. Who is Abba Kyari?
  10. Who is Cubana Chief Priest?

Trending “How to” general

  1. How to check JAMB result 2021?
  2. How to pack a parcel?
  3. How to open pdf file?
  4. How to open mp3 file?
  5. How to open apk file?
  6. How to check NECO result?
  7. How to register NIN online?
  8. How to vote on BBnaija 2021?
  9. How to reprint JAMB slip?
  10. How to track a package?

Trending “Where is” general

  1. Where is Sunday Igboho now?
  2. Where is White Money from?
  3. Where is Burna Boy from?
  4. Where is Nnamdi Kanu today?
  5. Where is my location?
  6. Where is Maldives located?
  7. Where is Cuba located?
  8. Where is Gaza?
  9. Where is Michigan located?
  10. Where can I download movies?



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Delta Govt approves N434 million bursary for 2020/2021 session

Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, disclosed this in a post Exco briefing presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Tuesday, December 7, in Asaba.

He said the continuous payment of the bursary to Delta State students, despite the economic hardship in the country, is further demonstration of Governor Okowa’s commitment to the human capital development of the state.

Aniagwu also disclosed that Exco approved the commencement of the 2021/2022 cycle for Job Creation Bureau with 650 Deltans expected to benefit from the 7th cycle.

“Exco approved the establishment of a technical college in Kiagbodo, in Burutu Local Government Area.

“Others include approval for the rehabilitation of Orogun Road in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state and approval for the connection of additional government offices to the Independent Power Plant (IPP) to enable the state maximize the benefit of the power plant.

“Also Exco approved the transfer of Institute of Continuing Education from the Ministry of Higher Education to the Ministry of Secondary Education where it ought to be.

On the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni in Lagos, Aniagwu said the state government remains committed to ensuring justice for the family in line with Governor Okowa’s earlier statement on the matter.


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5 simple steps to care for your Afro hair

Here are basic care tips for your hair that leaves it softer and tender:

Hydrating your hair makes sure that it’s never dry. Dryness is the archenemy of every kinky hair. Before styling your hair, make sure to add moisturizing milk or cream to it.

Wearing protective styles like braids needs you to always add extra moisturizer so that when you take it out, it doesn’t leave your hair all dry and tangled.

This is a very essential step to not be missed, especially in the process of detangling your hair. Because of the curly nature of the Afro hair, it is more vulnerable to tangling up especially when one just runs a comb through without proper preparation.

Use of wide-toothed comb

  • If you’re rocking an Afro hair, then this has to be in your hair care package.
  • Use combs that have wider teeth that can go through your hair with little or no stress.
  • Using this ensures you don’t end up losing too much hair in the process of detangling.

Wash day routine

You need to wash your hair at least once every two weeks in order to avoid fizziness and dryness. This also gives you healthier and shinier hair .

Protective Styling

This prevents breakage, drying out, and helps the natural hair grow better without duress and overall damage.

Protective styling might include Bantu knots, braids, twist out, etc. Please ensure that these styles are not too loose or tight so as to protect your edges.

Olopade Adunola create engaging, stimulating, problem solving and solution based content. In the nearest future, I see myself creating ground breaking , inclusive content in the art and fashion industry.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.


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Terrorists burn bus with 42 passengers inside in Sokoto

The incident reportedly took place on Monday, December 6, 2021 while the passengers were travelling from Sabon Birni local government area of the state.

An eyewitness told the BBC Hausa that only about seven of the passengers survived, but in critical condition.

The witness said the remains of those that were burnt to ashes were gathered and buried together.

Sokoto is one of the worst-affected by the activities of armed gangs who have terrorised rural areas and killed thousands of people and abducted more over the past couple of years.

Nearly 50 villagers were massacred in two local government areas of the state last month, an incident Governor Aminu Tambuwal called ‘upsetting’.

“Women and children make up the majority of the recent arrivals and describe killings, kidnappings for ransom, and the looting of their villages,” UNHCR spokesperson, Boris Cheshirkov, said at a press briefing last week.

They took shelter in 26 villages across Bangui, located in Niger’s Tahoua region which already received 3,500 Nigerian refugees since September.


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MARVELOUS: The African Fred Hammond

He released his first album in South Africa in 2008 “THE DEFINITION” which did very well at the time with songs like “All about You” which was performed at the Rhema Church in Johannesburg south Africa.

He is a graduate of the University of Ibadan Nigeria, with a in Political Science .

In 2012, he participated in the MTN PROJECT FAME SEASON 5 and came out 1st Runner up. So grew his legend that the slogan “Marvellous is Marvellous” was chanted at the end of his every stage performance.

He is happily married with Kids.

He is an Entrepreneur and aspires to be a politician in the coming years.

His musical influences are the likes of Fred Hammond just to name a few, which led to him being nicknamed “ Fred Hammond”.

Marvelous is a God lover and passionate worshipper he is dedicated to his craft.


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Champions League Review: 5 Key stats and records as Haller, Salah lead the way in a goal-fest night

Both forwards helped their respective clubs, Liverpool and Ajax, complete a perfect run in the group stages of the competition.

Pulse Sports rounds up all the key stats and records broken from the opening night of the final round of matches on matchday 6.

Cameroon’s Sebastian taller equals Cristiano Ronaldo’s record

Ronaldo is known as ‘Mr Champions League’ and rightly so following his incredible records in the competition, one of which is the player to have scored the most goals in the tournament’s history.

But Tuesday night belonged to Cameroon’s Haller, who equalled one record and set two more when he opened the scoring from the spot for Ajax in the 4-2 win over Sporting Lisbon.

It was his 10th goal of the season in the competition, making him the quickest player to score 10 goals in the history of the Champions League, breaking Erling Haaland’s record of seven games.

The former West Ham striker also became the second player to score in every group stage match in the Champions League. Who was the first? Mr Champions League, Ronaldo, in the 2017/2018 season.

The 27-year-old, who made his Champions League debut in September, is the first player in Champions League history to score in each of his first six appearances in the competition.

European giants Liverpool, Ajax join ‘perfect’ group

It was a night of firsts for both English and Dutch giants, Liverpool and Ajax, as they became the latest clubs to finish the group stages with a perfect score.

At the Amsterdam Arena, Ajax also became the first Dutch club to win all their six games in the group stages after a 4-2 win over Sporting.

Both Liverpool and Ajax join an elite group of clubs, that includes Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and AC Milan, to record a perfect run in the group stages.

Mo goals and records for Egypt’s Salah

As far as Liverpool are concerned, Salah has become inevitable. The Egyptian was at it again on Tuesday night as he inspired the Reds to a come from behind win at the San Siro.

Despite Jurgen Klopp’s decision to rest some key players in his starting line up, he kept his African stars Sadio Mane and Salah.

However, it was another African, Fikayo Tomori, who opened the scoring albeit for the home side, AC Milan, just before the half-hour mark.

Tomori’s goal lasted just seven minutes before Salah equalised for Liverpool as the first half ended with both teams level at 1-1.

Salah’s goal was his seventh in the competition this season, which was a club record as he became the first Liverpool player to score seven goals in a single Champions League group campaign.

With the goal, he has also scored at least once in each of his last seven away matches in the Champions League for the Kops. Inevitable, you say?

Four Africans join the Champions League goal-fest night

Haller and Salah, of course, you already know added to their tallies this season for Ajax and Liverpool. The other two players who scored were Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez, who netted the consolation goal for Manchester City in their shock 2-1 loss to RB Leipzig in Germany.

Nigerian-born defender, Tomori, was also on target for his club, AC Milan. Though his goal opened the scoring for the Rossoneri, it turned out to be a consolation as well as a Salah-inspired Liverpool came from behind to win 1-2.

Mbappe smashes Lionel Messi’s record

While the GOAT debate between Messi and Ronaldo continues to be even more heated, the Argentine’s teammate in France, Kylian Mbappe, is doing his best to join the conversation.

At only 22 years and 352 days old, Mbappe became the youngest player, overtaking Messi, to score 30 goals in the Champions League after his brace against Club Brugge in a 4-2 win for PSG.

The Cameroon-born former Monaco youngster has now scored 31 goals in just 51 matches in the competition and has assisted 19 more.

His latest goals arrived in the space of five first half minutes as the Ligue 1 side proved to be a wicked host to their visitors from Belgium.

Of course, Messi was also on target on the night as he scored the other two goals for PSG. Club Brugge became the 38th different opponent Messi will score against, no player has scored against more teams in the tournament.

The goals were also Messi’s 35th brace in the Champions League alone, and now you understand perfectly why he is in the GOAT conversation.


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