Shooting Stars of Ibadan on Saturday afternoon stunned the mammoth crowd at the Awka Township Stadium with a dramatic comeback to a 2-2 draw with Rangers Int’l of Enugu in the Match Day 36 encounter.
The two sides played out a goalless draw in the first 45 minutes with Rangers also Flying Antelopes having a number of near goal situations with no much anxious moment in their goal area.
Rangers FC broke the deadlock in the 46th minute through Shedrack Asiegbu, just at the resumption of play in the second half and in the 55th minute later through Chidiebere Nwobodo.
The Ibadan based side popularly known as Oluyole Warriors fought back through Moses Omoduemuke who scored in the 73rd and 88th minutes.
The comeback sent the excited Awka fans into a sudden chill while some of them had to leave the stadium before the final whistle.
The enraged fans including some veteran Rangers int’l said the way the team surrendered a comfortable 2-0 lead within 15 minutes called the technical judgment of Coach Abdul Maikaba to question.
Nwakaibeya Anene said, the Rangers spirit was already building up in Awka but the draws from their last two games especially when they were winning was a bad to pay fans for their loyalty.
“First half was good, we defended very well even when we lost chances to score but the game changed after we scored, our defense collapsed, that was why we conceded the goals.
“We even told the coach to play one of our best defenders but he sent him back, the draw was unnecessary, our players were uninspiring,” he said.
Reacting to their performance in the game, Isiaka Mutiu said it was a product of determination and belief in God.
“It is God, I must be honest with you because we can’t explain; all we know is that we put in every effort we could.
“Our general manager told us to believe in ourselves, that everything is possible and thank God we got that all important point.
Agoye Olumide, coach of Shooting Stars said the draw was a product from their game in Ibadan last week when Abia Warriors who came back from 0-2 to draw level.
He said the Awka stadium pitch also brought out the best in his players as it made for free flowing football with no misbehaviour.
“The pitch was good for us, very good, if you don’t know how to play football, this pitch can help you,” he said.
Two late goals by Moses Omoduemuke ensured visiting Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan drew 2-2 with Rangers International of Enugu on Saturday in Awka.
The home draw meant the hosts failed to gain valuable ground on their 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) rivals in the race for the competition’s third position.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Omoduemuke’s 73rd and 88th minutes goals cancelled out strikes by Shedrack Asiegbu and Chidiebere in the 46th and 55th minutes respectively.
The result meant Rangers stayed fourth on the log behind Remo Stars Football Club of Ikenne in third place, with each of them on 53 points.
This may mean that the 1977 African Cup Winners Cup champions may not be having a return next season to the competition now known as the CAF Confederation Cup.
Remo Stars are likely to build a gap when they host fifth-placed Enyimba International of Aba on Sunday, while Enyimba can even leapfrog Rangers if they win in Ikenne.
Sixth-placed Kwara United who host Nasarawa United of Lafia on Sunday in Ilorin can do same if they win.
Eighth-placed Akwa United of Uyo can move up if they beat hosts Wikki Tourists on Sunday too.
Seventh-placed Sunshine Stars of Akure seem to be out of the reckoning for now, after a 0-1 loss to hosts Heartland Football Club of Owerri who are in the 18th place.
Abia Warriors of Umuahia did their campaign a lot of good with a 3-2 win over Gombe United, while Dakkada FC beat visiting Katsina FC 2-0 in Uyo.
Other Match Day 36 fixtures slated for Sunday will see title winners Rivers United of Port Harcourt hosting Kano Pillars, while MFM FC of Lagos will host Niger Tornadoes of Minna.
Second-placed Plateau United of Jos should have their hands full as they host relegation-threatened Lobi Stars of Makurdi.
But knowing a win will cement their position and the 20222023 CAF Champions League ticket, there may be no surprises.
The Nigeria Solidarity Fund (NSSF) has proffered solutions and recommendations to stem the rising brain-drain in the nation’s healthcare system.
This is contained in a communique issued by Dr Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko, the General Chief Executive Officer, NSSF, on Saturday in Lagos at the end of its talk shop on brain-drain in the health sector.
The discussion was entitled: “Nigerian Healthcare System and Brain -Drain — Step up or Sink”.
NSSF said that the discussion was organised as an advocacy strategy with the aim of highlighting current challenges in human capital flight in the Nigerian health sector, and proffering solutions to same.
The discussion was also a rallying call for individuals and organisations to partner with the NSSF on strengthening the healthcare system in Nigeria.
The communique highlighted the following challenge’s in Nigeria’s healthcare system; poor working conditions stemming from epileptic power supply, dilapidated hospitals, interprofessional rivalry, security challenges exposing doctors to kidnapping and harassment from patients’ relatives.
Others included non-existent training opportunities, delays in payments of salaries lasting as long as 23 months in states such as Abia and Imo; and poor follow through of government policies.
The communique argued that it was difficult to train a doctor today to replace the experience and knowledge of consultants who were leaving the country.
According to the communique, the enumerated factors above are in stack contrast to conditions in the West, where salaries and emoluments are paid in a timely fashion; equipment are available and modern; and general conditions are conducive.
The communique noted that NSSF seeks to address this by identifying and funding high impact solutions in line with government strategies.
“Support for human resources for health is in line with the NSSF’s priority of strengthening the healthcare system which is a complex system that is incomplete without available healthcare workers.
“NSSF pools resources from individuals and corporate organisations to support national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted various sectors and worsened migration of healthcare workers,” the communique said.
The communique, however, acknowledged the efforts made by government in solving the problem of brain-drain.
“This included: examining the statistics and the push factors, embarking on a reform programme chaired by Vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
“Negotiating for better pay and infrastructure, establishing the National Health Act to empower workers.
“Establishing the basic health care provision fund, which was created as a source of sustainable and predictable financing for health.
“Exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with countries that have high numbers of Nigerian healthcare workers in a bid to strengthen the healthcare sector in Nigeria
The communique said that if the recommendations were implemented, brain-drain in the nation’s healthcare sector would be a thing of the past.
It said that government should commit to implementing agreed policies such as hazard allowance which took eight months to negotiate and is yet to be implemented.
According to the communique, government should convene roundtable discussions with relevant stakeholders to discuss workable solutions.
“Government should identify data gaps and research agenda and use the information gathered to understand and address brain-drain as well as the risks of the health care system completely breaking down.
‘Government should work toward increasing patriotism by meeting the basic needs of the average citizen and creating an enabling environment,” it added.
The communique also called for regular disbursement of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
span class="Apple-converted-space"> The police command in Abia has confirmed electrocution of a suspected electric accessories thief at Amoji-Ukwu Village, Obingwa Local Government Area of the state.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said that the suspected thief was electrocuted in the early hours of Friday while cutting two cables linked to a transformer.
Ogbonna gave the confirmation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Aba on Saturday.
A resident of Amoji-Ukwu Village, Chinenye Agomuo, had said that there was an explosion in the community on Friday and it occurred when a man cut cables connected to a transformer.
“On Friday morning, about 4: 00 a.m., we heard an explosion suspected to be from a transformer.
“After the explosion, I began to get phone calls from my brother living near the transformer, asking me to come to the scene.
“He said that someone climbed the transformer and was electrocuted.
“When we reached there, it was a young man.
“He had climbed up to cut the amoured cables but unfortunately for him, the current killed him,” Agomuo said.
He said that the community reported the matter to Eastern Ngwa Police Station.
Agomuo said that the body of the suspect was deposited at a mortuary with the assistance of the police.
The Abia chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) says the founding National Chairman of the party, Chief Chekwas Okorie, is no longer a member of the party. The state Chairman of the party, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, said this on Friday in Umuahia, while speaking with newsmen on the authentic national leadership of the party. Ehiemere said that Okorie “was expelled in 2003 for anti-party activities and embezzlement of party funds. “And a few years after his expulsion, he floated the United Peoples Grand Alliance in 2012,” he said, adding that he later joined the APC. The APGA chieftain said that it was preposterous for Okorie to turn around to claim to be APGA’s Presidential flag bearer. He said: “For record purposes, Chekwas Okorie is not a member of APGA let alone being its presidential candidate. “He has lost his political value and credibility as far as Nigerian politics is concerned. “All his efforts now is to see how he can eke a living by joining Chief Edozie Njoku to parade themselves as the National Chairman and Presidential Candidate of APGA, respectively. “They are both aware that their claims are false and fraudulent.” Ehiemere described Okorie and Njoku as “political impostors, who want to reap where they have not sown”. He said that Chief Ike Oye and Prof. Peter Umeadi remained the authentic National Chairman and Presidential Candidate of the party, respectively. “APGA has only one presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections, Prof. Peter Umeadi, who emerged from a special national convention of the party held in Abuja in June,” he said. Ehiemere said that the name of Okorie, who hails from Alayi in Bende Local Government Area of Abia, “is not in the APGA’s ward register and the same for Njoku, who is from Imo”. He, therefore, warned the public to beware of Okorie and Njoku, alleging that they were being used by the enemies of APGA to cause confusion and distract Oye. He expressed the party’s unalloyed loyalty to Oye-led National Working Committee (NWC). He said that Oye’s leadership style had raised APGA’s political profile, making it the first and only political party in the country to own a National Secretariat in Abuja. “Therefore, Abia APGA passes a vote of confidence on the NWC of our great party, led by Chief Victor Oye. “This is to appreciate the committee for its resilience, doggedness and astuteness in piloting the affairs of the party, which we hope would bring victory to us in 2023,” he said. Meanwhile, Ehiemere and the party’s Legal Adviser, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwokoro, have described the alleged Supreme Court’s decision, declaring Njoku as the National Chairman of the party, as “non-existent”. “No such Supreme Court decision exists anywhere. There is no such judgment by the apex court. “It all emanated from their fraudulent intentions to cause confusion in the party,” Nwokoro said. He challenged Njoku to institute a contempt suit against APGA, Oye and INEC, if he was sure of the existence of such Supreme Court’s decision. “When the decision of a court is flouted or disobeyed, the option left to the litigant is to institute a case of contempt of court,” Nwokoro said. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APGA recently faced leadership tussle, with Njoku claiming to have obtained a Supreme Court’s decision in his favour. (