The United States has expressed worry over reports of deteriorating political climate in Edo and interference by security forces in political matters, ahead of the September gubernatorial election.
The U.S Embassy in Abuja, in a statement called for free, fair and credible elections where the will of the Nigerians would be reflected in results.
According to the mission, the U.S pledges support to Nigeria’s democratic process, stating that as long-time friends, it will continue to follow political developments ahead of off-cycle elections in the country.
“The United States supports a democratic process where the will of the people is reflected in the results, and does not favour any party or candidate.
“We are concerned with reports of the deteriorating political climate in Edo and are disappointed with the role played by some political actors in the state.
“We are especially concerned with allegations of interference by security forces in political matters, which we will continue to monitor closely in the run up to gubernatorial elections in September.
“As we approach the 2020 off-cycle elections in Edo and Ondo, we urge all stakeholders to work toward a free, fair, transparent, and peaceful process.
“We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties and the security services to continue to improve the electoral process. We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent,” it said.
The U.S said that as a democratic partner of Nigeria, it remained committed to working together to achieve mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/edo-polls-u-s-expresses-worry-over-deteriorating-political-climate-security-interference/
NCDC records 97 new COVID-19 infections, total cases now 57, 242
The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Sunday .
It added that three persons died of COVID-19 complications while 138 patients, who recovered at various isolation centres across the country the same day, were discharged.
Based on the figures released, Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 46 new cases.
The data released also indicated that Kwara recorded 12 new infections, Rivers 11, and Adamawa 4.
Others were Niger – 4, Ogun – 4, Osun – 4, Ekiti – 3, Imo – 3, Kaduna – 3, Plateau – 2, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 1.
“Till date, 57, 242 cases have been confirmed, 48, 569 cases have been discharged, and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT,” the centre said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Emmanuel Yashim
Golf: DeChambeau muscles his way to United States Open victory
A bulked-up Bryson DeChambeau bashed his way to a six-shot United States Open victory on Sunday, silencing any lingering questions as to whether his brawny game could translate to the major stage.
World number nine DeChambeau, who began the day two shots back of United States Open debutant Matthew Wolff, clinched his first major title with a mix of jaw-dropping drives and clutch putts.
He shot a virtually flawless three-under-par 67 to reach six under for the tournament at Winged Foot.
“On nine is when I first thought, ‘OK, this could be reality’,” DeChambeau, speaking during the trophy presentation, said of his mindset after an eagle at the par-five ninth.
“I made that eagle, long eagle putt and I shocked myself by making it, too, and I thought to myself, ‘I could do it’. And then immediately after, I said, ‘nope, you’ve got to focus on each and every hole’.”
Wolff (75), appearing in only his second major, was one shot back of DeChambeau at the turn but fell apart over a back nine that included two bogeys and a double-bogey.
A fearless DeChambeau, whose final round included the eagle, two birdies and a bogey, attacked at every chance.
For his efforts was the only player to break par in the final round as he cruised to a maiden major at his 16th attempt.
He attacked Winged Foot all week like few other golfers can.
So confident in his approach, DeChambeau unleashed his driver on practically every par-four and par-five hole as he figured the birdie chances would outweigh the risk that Winged Foot’s nasty rough creates.
DeChambeau grabbed the solo lead after five holes, hit a perfectly-paced 40-foot eagle putt at the ninth to maintain a one-shot cushion.
It was a tournament that came down to a two-horse race between him and Wolff as they made the turn.
The 21-year-old Wolff was bidding to become the first player to win the United States Open on his tournament debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913.
But he bogeyed the 10th and 14th holes, before a double-bogey at 16.
“I battled hard. Things just didn’t go my way,” said Wolff. “But first United States Open, second-place is something to be proud of and hold your head up high for.”
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (73) birdied the last to finish alone in third-place, a distant eight shots back of DeChambeau.
He was one shot clear of Harris English (73), who made a double-bogey at the first where he lost his tee shot.
Xander Schauffele (74) looked ready to make a back-nine charge after making the turn fresh off back-to-back birdies.
But the world number seven made five consecutive bogeys from the 13th and finished in fifth-place.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy (75), who finished in a share of eighth-place, was almost left in a state of disbelief at DeChambeau’s win.
This was given his inaccuracy off the tee at a tournament renowned for its thick rough.
“I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a United States Open champion does,” said McIlroy.
“Look, he’s found a way to do it. Whether that’s good or bad for the game, I don’t know.
“But it’s just – it’s not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played. It’s kind of hard to really wrap my head around it.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghanaian president at Aso Villa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday night met behind closed doors with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bashir Ahmad, the President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, confirmed this on his Twitter handle.
The presidential aide, who could not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders, however, posted pictures in which the Nigerian leader could be seen escorting his guest after the meeting.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closure of shops owned by Nigerian traders in Ghana had heightened tensions between the two countries, a situation which led the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to summon Ghana’s Charge d Affaires to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo for discussions.
Onyeama had also met with representatives of Nigerian traders in Ghana, led by Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN), and the organisation’s National Director, Ruth Ango over the matter.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had also visited Ghana on Sept. 2 with a view to seeing how the issues at stake could be resolved amicably.
According to the speaker, the closure of the Nigerian shops in Ghana contravenes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of citizens of member states, and trade liberalisation scheme.
NAN reports that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) adopted in 1979 with an agreement on agricultural, artisanal handicrafts, and unprocessed products, and extended to industrial products in 1990, is the main framework for trade and market integration in ECOWAS as it addresses protocols on the free movement of goods, persons, and transportation.
The scheme’s main pursuit of consolidating the free trade area is guided by the National Approval Committee that informs the member states.
Similarly, Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS on trade and market integration stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonisation of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market and an eventual culmination in to a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.
NAN further reports that the Ghanaian government had proposed a meeting between the two leaders prior to the one they held behind closed doors on Sunday.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Nasarawa state to host teqball championship in November, official says
Ndudi Edede, Secretary-General of Nigerian Teqball Federation (NTF), says Nasarawa state will host the first edition of the National Teqball Challengers Series scheduled to kick off on Nov. 7.
Edede disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday after a meeting between the federation’s national and state officials.
He urged Nasarawa state officials to step up preparations for the series.
”Nasarawa state will serve as a litmus test for the series in view of the fact that the 2020 series will be the maiden series in the country since the commencement of the sport in Nigeria.”
Edede said the first phase of the event would be held on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 and would provide an opportunity for youths to learn something new.
He added that the second phase of the event would then hold on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 also in Lafia.
“We had Nasarawa state and the FCT bidding for the hosting rights, and now we are certain that this event will take place in Lafia.
“The national challengers series is a qualifier for the Teqball World Cup slated for Europe towards the late part of this year. So, I am sure Lafia will be a good host,” Edede said.
Speaking also, Promise Uwaeme, NTF’s Director of Competition, said the event in Lafia would be streamed live internationally.
He added that athletes from various states of the country would compete in the singles and doubles events of the competition’s male and female categories
Uwaeme added that winners in various categories would represent Nigeria at the international level.
“Teqball is an interesting game and you have to be skillful to play teqball. It is played on a curved table with a regular certified ball. You can play with all parts of the body apart from the hands.
“Then the championship will help our players to get world ranking,” he said.
David Allu, The Nasarawa State Chairman of NTF, expressed happiness with the hosting rights given to the state.
He assured the national officials of a strong synergy between the state’s Ministry of Youths and Sports and the NTF, saying this would ensure the events were a huge success.
“We are quite excited that we will be the first state to host this Challengers Series in the country and we will put in our best to collaborate with the state Ministry of Sports to see that we get a befitting venue and get all the arrangements to host this tournament done.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that teqball is a ball sport played on a curved table, combining elements of football and table tennis.
Back and forth, the players hit a football with any part of the body except arms and hands.
Teqball can be played between two players as a singles game, or between four players as a doubles game.
The game is represented at an international level by the International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ).
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)