Friday, October 31, 2014

American school bar third grade student who visited Nigeria

A Connecticut school superintendent is defending her decision to bar a third-grader from returning to school after visiting West Africa because of concern the girl may have contracted Ebola.

Milford School Superintendent Elizabeth Feser says in a statement Wednesday that her actions were a good-faith response to a public health issue and in the best interest of all students.

Her comments follow a federal lawsuit filed by the father of Ikeoluw Opayemi. He says the decision violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it discriminates against his daughter for a "perceived impairment."

The lawsuit says there is no Ebola in Nigeria, the country the family visited, and the decision to keep his daughter home until Nov. 3 is irrational. He wants the school to allow his daughter to return immediately.


Related stories: Nigeria dropped from Ebola screening list in U.S. and Canada

College in Texas apoligizes for rejecting Nigerian applicants due to Ebola scar

Thursday, October 30, 2014

President Goodluck Jonathan officially throws his hat in 2015 Presidential elections

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has confirmed he will run again in February's elections, his office has said.

Until now he had refused to confirm his candidacy for re-election as president.

The announcement comes as he faces mounting criticism over his handling of the Boko Haram insurgency and its abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls.

The militants are reported to have seized control of the north-eastern town of Mubi.

The government announced a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram earlier this month that was supposed to lead to the release of the schoolgirls. Thousands of people have fled from the rebels' north-eastern stronghold throughout the course of the conflict.

Local residents told the BBC the militants had raised their flag over Mubi and blocked the main access roads.

Earlier there were reports of heavy gunfire and military fighter jets overhead. Mubi is a commercial hub and the second largest town in Adamawa state.

Residents of the town began to flee following reports that the militants were approaching - soldiers were also reported to have fled.

"There is virtually not a single resident left in Mubi. Everybody has left to save their lives," local resident Habu Saidu told the AFP news agency as he made his way through the bush.

"People in thousands left the town on foot because all roads have been blocked by soldiers and it is not possible to leave by road."

Mubi has in the past witnessed violence attributed to militant Islamist group.

The Nigerian government says it has been talking to Boko Haram in neighbouring Chad with both parties agreeing on a ceasefire.

But even after the announcement was made over a week ago, the clashes continued - raising questions about the validity of the truce.

Rampant corruption
Being the incumbent from a well-financed party, President Jonathan is expected to be the main contender during next February's elections.

The BBC's Tomi Oladipo in Lagos says that the president is not only being accused of not doing enough to win the release of the girls - he is also blamed for failing to curb rampant corruption in government and state institutions.

In addition there have been several high-profile defections from the ruling party, including most recently the speaker of the House of Representatives.

The ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram is expected to boost Mr Jonathan's chances if it results in the release of the schoolgirls.

The opposition All Progressives Congress will not select its candidate until early December. The former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari is considered the favourite to lead the opposition challenge for the top job in Africa's largest economy.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Video - FIFA celebrates Nwankwo Kanu's magical hatrick 15 years ago with 15minutes left to play

Throughout his career, Nwankwo Kanu has made his living off the back of having an exquisite touch few men of his size possess, and an instinctive finishing ability that saw him shine on the game's biggest stages.

While a veteran of three FIFA World Cups™, were you only given 15 minutes of his career to see, you could do far worse than the climax to Arsenal's 3-2 victory over Chelsea. Played 15 years ago today, the 6ft 6in Nigerian struck a memorable hat-trick that provided a perfect collage of the finer points of his game.

Two down to Gianluca Vialli's side, who had not conceded at Stamford Bridge all season – largely thanks to World Cup-winning duo Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf in the centre of defence, things looked bleak for the Gunners. However, the former Ajax and Inter Milan striker inspired an unlikely turnaround, with his winning goal becoming the stuff of North London legend.

“I have very good memories of that game,” the Olympic gold medal winner told “It felt great to score against such a formidable team as Chelsea and it just shows the game is not over until it is over.

“I was not particularly out to get the better of Marcel, Frank or [goalkeeper Ed] de Goey that day, I just wanted to play my game and bring out the best of the tricks in my bag to outwit my opponent and score for my team.”

After a pair of headers from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu had put the hosts ahead either side of half-time, and cruising with 75 minutes on the clock, Kanu took the sting out of Marc Overmars' mis-hit shot to expertly toe-poke Arsenal back into the game.

Seven minutes later they were level, with the same duo combining. Overmars skipped into space beyond Leboeuf, before firing low across the box. He found his West African team-mate, where Kanu opened his body to cushion the ball into space, thumping the ball emphatically beyond the Dutch stopper. The momentum had violently swung, but it took until stoppage time for the Arsenal frontman to complete his treble, but it was worth the wait.

Having charged down Albert Ferrer's clearance on the left flank, Kanu was presented with the unexpected and imposing frame of De Goey, charging along the byline and out of his area. To his credit, the former Super Eagles star was coolness personified. “I worked the goalkeeper into a position where I could sell a dummy to him, which of course he bought,” he recalled.“I lifted up my head and picked out the far top corner of the net, which I quickly curled the ball into pretty much from where I stood.”

The former African Player of the Year does himself something of a disservice, as the goal was extraordinary. Standing no more than two yards from the touchline and just inside the penalty area, placing the ball high over Desailly and Leboeuf who were stationed on the goal-line, it was an exceptional finish to cap an exceptional 15 minutes from him.

"I expected him to cross," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted after the game. "If he hadn't scored it could have upset you because he really should have passed. However, great players can prove you wrong. It is one of the best goals I've seen."

It was a stark change in fortunes for Kanu, who had missed a penalty against Fiorentina in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, but starting in place of Dennis Bergkamp – a man Kanu fondly called “'the eye', because of his fantastic foresight” – he repaid the fans in perfect style.

Kanu now spends his time helping run the Kanu Heart Foundation, which has helped carry out open heart surgery on 485 children from Nigeria and around Africa to date. “ Winning the double with Arsenal and being part of 'the Invincibles' [who went a season unbeatenin 2003/04] are good memories but starting the foundation tops them all,” he said with earnest. “But with 300 kids still on the waiting list, we have to do all we can to save the lives of these children.”


Related stories: Super Eagle legend Nwankwo Kanu undergoes corrective heart surgery

Q&A with Nigerian football legend Kanu Nwankwo

Nigeria Football Federation given deadline to avoid ban

Nigeria have been given until Friday to overturn a recent court ruling that voided its football elections or Fifa will ban them until May 2015.

In a letter sent to the Nigerian Football Federation on Tuesday, Fifa said their directive must be met by midday, 31 October.

Fifa wants the reinstatement of the NFF board that was elected on 30 September.
If Nigeria fail to comply, they will be expelled from qualification for next year's Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles are the reigning champions but are now facing the very real prospect of missing the chance to defend their title at the 17 January to 8 February finals.

Already this year, Nigeria have been banned for government interference in the NFF and Fifa warned the country in September and again in October that another incident would result in a lengthy ban.
Fifa's action follows last week's ruling by the Jos High Court annulled last month's election of Amaju Pinnick as Nigeria Football Federation president.

Justice Ambrose Allagoa ruled that the elective congress of the NFF should not be recognised as the Jos High Court had put in place 11 days earlier an order that the elections could not be held.
This injunction was brought by two members of the previous NFF executive led by Chris Giwa, which was stripped of its authority after elections that took it to power on 26 August were deemed invalid by Fifa. The court order was ignored by the NFF, which went ahead with their congress and the Pinnick-led executive was put in place.

Justice Allagoa has ruled, however, that the original injunction remains in place and therefore the 30 September congress should not be recognised. Fifa's letter said: "As stated in our previous letters, Fifa stressed that should the electoral process and the instalment of the newly elected NFF board be affected by any interference, the case would be brought to the attention of the appropriate Fifa bodies for a suspension of the NFF until the next Fifa Congress due to take place on 28 and 29 May 2015.
"We thus hope that by Friday midday, we will receive the requested evidence in order to avoid the adverse consequences of a suspension."


Related story: Nigerian football faces another possible FIFA ban

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nigeria sues Coca-Cola over two half-empty cans of Sprite

The Federal Government of Nigeria is suing Coca-Cola and Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), over alleged failure to comply with Consumer Protection Council (CPC) orders over two half-empty cans of Sprite.

The lawsuits follow a consumer complaint, which ended in investigation into the half-filled cans of Sprite bought at a supermarket in Abuja.

The case was brought to the Federal High Court in Abuja against Coca-Cola Nigeria and its chief executive as well as the Nigerian Bottling Company and its managing director for criminal breach of the Consumer Protection Act.

Both firms stand accused of “deliberately failing, refusing and/or neglecting to comply” with orders over the inspection of their manufacturing processes.

Individuals responsible could face up to five years in prison.

CPC added that during its investigation half-filled cans continued to evaporate. CPC concluded that the Sprite situation in Nigeria poses a threat to public health.