Former Brazil striker Ronaldo hospitalised with pneumonia in Spain


MKO Abiola: Presidency commends Fani-Kayode, other Buhari critics over June 12 declaration

The Presidency has commended staunch critics of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for recognizing the President’s decision to honour M.K.O. Abiola and to recognize the June 12, 1993 election.

Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu particularly commended former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode for recognizing Buhari, and for lauding Buhari for taking such a historic decision.

His commendation was contained in an article entitled: `June 12 Tsunami and the Ones Who Won’t Forgive Buhari.’’

Part of the article read: “Barely after 48 hours by my count, there were over 150,000 tweets on Twitter Trend discussing the new presidential directive. Thankfully and unexpectedly, over 80 per cent of these tweets and reactions hailed Mr. President’s decision.

“In what could be described as a twist, many of such applauses came from well-known opposition voices like Femi Fani Kayode (@realffk) amongst others.

“The story on Facebook was not an exception. Nigerians were thankful to President Buhari for upholding democracy and staging a surprise when it was least expected.’’

Buhari had on Wednesday declared June 12 as Democracy Day and conferred national honours on Abiola, his running mate Amb. Babagana Kingibe, and foremost pro-democracy activist, late Gani Fawehinmi.

In his reaction, Fani-Kayode had commended Buhari for the gesture, saying the declaration was long overdue.

Manchester United vs Chelsea: Courtois warns Lukaku ahead of FA Cup final

Thibaut Courtois has wanred his international team-mate, Romelu Lukaku, that he is not afraid of facing him in Saturday’s FA Cup final, because he knows all his “secrets”.

The Chelsea No1 is set to replace Cup keeper Willy Caballero against Manchester United at Wembley.

Striker Lukaku returns from injury, ready to add to his 27 goals for United this season.

“Romelu has no more secrets for me, everyone knows him.

“He is powerful, fast, has a good shot, is good with the head and I know his qualities and faults — to know where he is going to shoot. He is important for Manchester so hopefully we can keep him out of the match,” Courtois said.

Chelsea were 1-0 winners at Stamford Bridge against United in the Premier League last November. But they were beaten 2-1 by their former boss Jose Mourinho in February at Old Trafford…Always visit our site for more

Mohamed Salah’s boots become museum exhibit : Read more from #kenny9ja.

Mohamed Salah’s boots become museum exhibit

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will be honoured with his own exhibit in the British Museum’s Egyptian collection.

His boots will go on display in the run up to Liverpool’s Champions League final match against Real Madrid on 26 May.

“The boots tell a story of a modern Egyptian icon, performing in the UK, with a truly global impact,” exhibit keeper Neal Spencer said.

The Egyptian’s impressive season has seen him win the Premier League golden boot with a record 32 goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid forward should be fit for Champions League final

ristiano Ronaldo is to have a scan on an ankle injury but is likely to be fit for Real Madrid’s Champions League final with Liverpool, says boss Zinedine Zidane.

The Portugal forward, 33, was injured while scoring his side’s first goal in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Barcelona.

Ronaldo carried on playing until half-time before being replaced at the start of the second half at the Nou Camp.

“We’re not worried about the final,” said Zidane after Sunday’s match.

Real are trying to win the Champions League for a third successive season. They meet Liverpool in the final in Kiev, Ukraine on 26 May.

“He’s not great right now but I think it’s going to be a small thing – it was only a bad movement,” added Zidane.

“I can’t say how long he’ll be out for. Tomorrow he’ll have a scan.”

Ronaldo scored his 25th league goal of the season in the game against Barcelona.

Real are third in La Liga, 15 points behind champions Barcelona. Zidane’s side have three more league games before they meet Liverpool in a repeat of the 1981 European Cup final.

Impeachment brouhaha

The National Assembly is up in arms against President Muhammadu Buhari for permitting the withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account for the purchase of a special brand of jet fighters from the United States without the authorization of the National Assembly as required by law. Senior government officials explain that the expenditure had to be incurred because the sourcing and purchase request for the jets had been long standing, but the orders were turned down by the American government. Agents of the suppliers in Europe were also not keen. Indeed, efforts to acquire them date back to 2015, during the Administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, but these were unavailing. This time there is a window of opportunity which is also time bound. It was, therefore, urgent that funds should be committed. In view of the emergency brought by the serious security challenges menacing the country, Buhari had to authorize the withdrawal and disbursement in anticipatory approval of the National Assembly.

The law requiring the President to obtain authorization of the National Assembly is to prevent the engine of public spending from breaking loose. Both the President and his handlers all seem to appreciate the fact that on the basis of law the legislators are on firm ground, but that the Executive has inherent powers in cases of emergencies. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Legislative Matters in the Senate said what the President forwarded was a request to include the sum in the 2018 budget before the Legislature. Besides, “the law and the constitution recognize contingencies. The question of Section143 is not what is pending before the legislature.”

But the legislators are not impressed. There is division in the polity; there is division in the Assembly in which the President’s party members are in the majority. They are looking for a pound of flesh. No one is buying the Doctrine of Necessity that Festus Keyamo is disingenuously providing as cover. What undermines the argument of the Executive apologists is that the aircraft cannot be picked from the shelves. What is ordered won’t be ready until 2020. So, if it is meant to quell the insurgency in the North East, can we wait for another two years? Even if the law provides for very extenuating circumstances and this was one of such, what would it have cost the President to reach out to the leaders of the National Assembly and say, “Gentlemen, we have this emergency on our hands. If we miss this opportunity we should just forget it. Yet, the insecurity challenges are festering.” How long would it have taken everyone, experts and all, and the finance lady, to assemble at the Villa? In my view, it is the same accustomed arrogance of the Villa that was on display.

What does the law say? Section 80(2) of the Constitution states as follows: “No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by the Constitution or where the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of Section 81 of this Constitution.” The power of the National Assembly is further reinforced and explicit when the law says in Section 80(3): “No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation unless the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Act of the National Assembly.”

The President cannot seek refuge under the umbrella that while the budget is being considered he can withdraw money from the kitty for six months so that the services of the government would not grind to a halt. It is the owners of the umbrella who are crying foul! That part of the law states: “If the Appropriation Bill in respect of financial year has not been passed into law by the beginning of the financial year, the President may authorize of moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government of the Federation for a period not exceeding six months or until the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act, whichever is earlier…” The intendment of that section cannot be for the government to use money meant for the running of government services—to meet overhead costs and maintenance bills, to cover general administration—to order for the importation of war planes that would not be ready in two years. Come to think of it, the transaction did not even permit of part payment. It will be interpretation of the section taken too far, as my senior lawyer friends are wont to tell me.

Should the President be impeached for what legislators are describing as “gross misconduct”? Me thinks not. We cannot use one recklessness to cure another. Chairman of the Committees on Public Accounts in the National Assembly—Kingsley Chinda (House of Representatives, PDP, Obio/Akpor Constituency, Rivers State) and Senator Matthew Urhoghide, (PDP Edo South in the Senate) are pressing that the President must go. They have moved their respective Chambers to commence impeachment proceedings against the President. The motion by Senator Urhoghide was seconded by Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North).

Even if all the hurdles erected in the Constitution can be surmounted such as meeting two-thirds majority, which is doubtful, the circumstances of our land today does not conduce to taking such an ultimate step. The country has not been this divided as we have it today since the civil war. The division is both ethnic and sectarian. By the time the processes kick start, all manner of motives outside the infraction of the law and undreamt of factors supposedly driving the move, would be imported into the exercise. Without the spectre of impeachment hanging like the sword of Damocles, a large swath of the country has been turned into a killing field for a while. There is bitterness; there is mistrust in the land. To add the sword of impeachment to it would amount to insensitivity and crass madness. Are we not in this country? Is it so difficult to see that it would heat up the already charged polity uncontrollably? Given our low level of our political sophistication, impeachment in the present atmosphere is totally unwise. Professor Bolaji Akinyemi is likely to ask, “Who is in control of the streets in certain parts of the country?” As if to prove him right, already there was an attack on Senator Urhoghide on arrival at Benin Airport said to be by APC youths. Impeachment is not like a coup d’état by a band of soldiers who would arrest a head of state and keep him locked up away, cut off from any counter influence whatsoever. The exercise should be dropped. The country has less than a year to decide whether Buhari should go or stay for another four years. At this stage, an orderly and transparent transfer of power through the ballot box is by far preferable. The dust the possibility of the impeachment has kicked sky-high is enough warning that we are now a nation of laws and not a nation of strong men. It will not always be in theory as it is as of today. A King would one day arise that would not know Joseph.



Real Madrid look to crash unbeaten Barcelona

This ‘clasico’ at Camp Nou will have minimal impact on the league, with Barca already crowned champions and Real’s passing interest in pipping Atletico to second place diminished by their ambitions in Europe.

But there is still much at stake in what Madrid’s daily newspaper Marca has billed “the clasico of honour”. It could even be argued this match will go some way to defining the seasons of these two teams.

Barca, in particular, have been careful in celebrating their domestic double, their players aware of the disappointment that lingers from their Champions League crash in the quarter-finals.

Even as they ordered pizza and slurped beer from the top of their open-top bus down Las Ramblas this week, it was noticeable how many interviews still referenced the disappointment in Rome.

“The elimination in the Champions League, it hurt us because it was unexpected,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde. “But it is very difficult to do what we have done and now what are we going to do? We keep trying.”

To soften the blow, Barca’s best response was to win the Copa del Rey and La Liga and finish unbeaten in the league for the first time, while hoping Real do not go all the way in the Champions League. The latter two are still to be decided.

Bye-bye Bale? Real’s march towards a 13th European triumph has certainly weighed heavily on Barcelona, whose sense of absence has been heightened by the progress of their rivals.

“It’s amazing to be in a Champions League final for the third time in a row and have the chance to win it for the fourth time in the last five years,” Real midfielder Toni Kroos said on Tuesday.

“It’s hard for me to find words to describe that. When it comes to the Champions League, we have extra motivation.”

Barca are looking to avoid defeat this weekend, and in their last three league games against Villarreal, Levante and Real Sociedad to seal a historic season.

But if Real snatch a victory at the Camp Nou and also see off Liverpool, perhaps the balance is tipped in their favour.

It will certainly be the last ‘clasico’ for Andres Iniesta as a player while Gareth Bale may also wave goodbye to this fixture, with the Welshman expected to consider his future at Real in the summer.

The suggestion is both teams could give the departing Iniesta, Barca’s captain, a guard of honour, even if Real refuse to do so for Barcelona’s La Liga triumph.

Bale was again a substitute against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, meaning he has now started only one of Real’s six Champions League knock-out games.

Zidane has been playing Bale, and resting key players, in La Liga matches but he is not likely to field a weakened team this weekend.

Elsewhere, Sevilla will play their first match under their caretaker coach Joaquin Caparros on Friday against Real Sociedad.

Vincenzo Montella was sacked after last weekend’s loss to lowly Levante, which left the team eighth in the table and a point outside the Europa League qualification places.

“We have changed some subtle things but there is no time,” Caparros said on Thursday. “Our work with the players so far has been more than anything emotional.”

Atletico Madrid, who are five points ahead of Real, host struggling Espanyol on Sunday.

Fixtures (all times GMT)


Sevilla v Real Sociedad (1900)


Girona v Eibar (1100), Athletic Bilbao v Real Betis (1415), Celta Vigo v Deportivo La Coruna (1630), Villarreal v Valencia (1845)


Malaga v Alaves (1000), Atletico Madrid v Espanyol (1415), Las Palmas v Getafe (1630), Barcelona v Real Madrid (1845) by kenny9ja_worldwide