Saturday, 15 June 2013

Reality Star VS Royalty: Kim Kardashian & Kate Middleton May Give Birth The Same Day

Reality Star VS Royalty: Kim Kardashian & Kate Middleton May Give Birth The Same Day

The Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William is due to deliver her first child on July 11 according to Us Weekly.
Ironically, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star is also due on July 11 with her first baby too!
Not only are both reportedly due on the same day – both will have their baby news announced on Twitter!
Funny coincidence, isn't it?!?
Reality Star VS Royalty: Kim Kardashian & Kate Middleton May Give Birth The Same Day

Man Hands His ‘Boko Haram’ Son over to JTF

A Maiduguri based businessman (name is not disclosed for security reasons) on Thursday turned in his biological son, a member of Boko Haram, to the Joint Task Force, JTF, with an order that he should be shot dead, witnesses said.
The son, according to close family sources, had once threatened to kill his father before he fled home and returned only recently; as security operatives continue to clamp down on the sect me. He was said to have returned as a prodigal son, seeking asylum in his father’s compound.
“After confessing all his crimes including how he participated in the killing of people and looting of banks to his father, the old man said he has no such conscience to keep a killer son in his home,” said the family member under anonymity.
The 60-year old Kanuri man who lives in Babban-Line Commercial Area, Maiduguri, simply approached the Sector Office of the JTF and told them about his son.
Witnesses quoted him as saying, “This boy is my son; he is a confirmed member of Boko Haram and has killed many people, he too should be killed too.”
In a dramatic twist, as the young man attempted to flee from the soldiers to whom his father handed him over, he was shot at and struck down by a bullet. He later died. His father, who was yet to completely leave the scene simply turned around, looked at the writhing body of his son on the ground and said, “Masha Allah” meaning, “To God be the glory.”
Before he was handed over to the soldiers, the young man was said to have revealed to his father and family members that he possessed two cars and had millions of naira buried somewhere near his family home. But the father said he had no interest in the ill-gotten assets and has no intentions of inheriting them according to Islamic laws as they are ‘haram’.

England Can’t Play Football – Redknapp

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has hit out at the England national team, saying the Three Lions “do not know how to play football.”
The senior side has come under criticism following recent performances against Brazil and Ireland, while the Under-21s crashed out of the European hampionship in Israel after losing all three of their group games.
Writing in The Sun, Redknapp has called for big changes in the national set-up in order to improve English football.
“I am passionate about the England team at all levels and get terribly disappointed when I see us perform so abjectly against other countries when we have such great individuals,” Redknapp wrote. “But the overriding problem we all face is that English football must change. And it has to come from the very top of the game.
“That means manager Roy Hodgson getting involved with coaches at every level working in the same direction.
“We do not know how to play football. We just boot the ball up the pitch and it gets us nowhere.
“We don’t have the kids coached the same way – the right way – from a young age. As a result we have a senior team that is greatly underachieving.”

Jonathan Congratulates Kano Emir on Attaining 50 Years on the Throne

Jonathan Congratulates Kano Emir on Attaining 50 Years on the ThronePresident Goodluck Jonathan on Friday congratulated the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, for attaining 50 years on the throne.
The President congratulated the Emir in Kano at the launching of a book entitled: ‘KIFAYU DHUA’AFA AL SUDAN’, written by Abdullahi Gwandu, as part of activities commemorating Mr. Bayero’s 50th anniversary on the throne.
Represented by the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, Mr. Jonathan lauded the Emir for his `immense’ contributions to peace and development of the society. He also applauded the contributions of the Emirate in the spread of Islamic knowledge across the country.
“The Emir deserves to be congratulated for attaining 50 years on the throne and attaining the age of 83,” Mr. Jonathan said.
He urged other traditional rulers in the country to emulate the Emir of Kano in order to leave behind lasting legacies. He promised that the Federal Government would partner with traditional institution for the development of the society.
In his remarks, Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State congratulated the Emir and the Emirate Council on the Emir’s golden jubilee on the throne. He expressed appreciation to the Emir for his fatherly role which, he said, had contributed to the development of the state and the nation.
Mr. Kwankwaso also pledged that his administration would work with traditional rulers in the state for the sustenance of peace.
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who described the emir as ‘a living symbol of integrity,’ praised the monarch for his role in ensuring peaceful co-existence in the country.
He also lauded the emir for his patience, steadfastness and selfless service to the people.
The Federal Government bought a copy of the book for N12 million, the former Vice President Abubakar bought one for N25 million, while Kano State Government purchased for N10 million.

'The Hell with you!' - Iran’s Top Leader Response to U.S. Criticism of Presidential Elections

'The Hell with you!' - Iran’s Top Leader Response to U.S. Criticism of Presidential Elections

Iran's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, furiously told Washington 'the hell with you' following U.S. criticism over the openness of the Islamic Republic's presidential contest.
The vote which brought an end to the eight-year era of the combative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has taken unexpected turns in the past days as reform-minded Iranians surged behind the lone moderate left on the six-candidate ballot.
If no candidate wins an outright majority, a runoff pitting the two top finishers would take place June 21, so even a strong showing by former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani, in Friday’s voting could be overturned.
Rowhani’s backers, such as former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani – who was blocked from running by Iran’s ruling system — have urged reformists and others to cast ballots and abandon plans to boycott the election in protest over years of arrests and pressure.
Iran’s security networks now appear to have blanket control, ranging from swift crackdowns on any public dissent to cybercops blocking opposition Internet websites and social media. Yet other cracks are evident.
Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme have pummelled the economy by shrinking vital oil sales and leaving the country isolated from international banking systems. New US measures taking effect July 1 further target the country’s currency, the rial, which has lost half its foreign exchange value in the past year, driving prices of food and consumer goods sharply higher.
Recent comments by Khamenei were interpreted as support for current nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, whose reputation is further enhanced by a battlefield injury during the 1980-88 war with then US-backed Iraq that cost him the lower part of his right leg. Khamenei, however, has not publicly endorsed a successor for Ahmadinejad, who had a spectacular falling out with the theocracy over his attempts to challenge Khamenei’s near-absolute powers.
Khamenei remained mum on his choice even as he cast his ballot early Friday. Instead, he blasted the US for its repeated criticism of Iran’s clampdowns on the opposition and the rejection of Rafsanjani and other moderate voices from the ballot.
“Recently I have heard that a US security official has said they do not accept this election,” Khamenei was quoted by state TV after casting his vote. “OK, the hell with you.”
In Washington on Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that while the US does not think the Iranian election process is transparent, it is not discouraging the Iranian people from voting.
“We certainly encourage them to,” Psaki said. “But certainly the history here and what happened just four years ago gives all of us pause.”
After voting, Rafsanjani said he hoped the election would lead to “national unity, a requirement for success against any domestic and foreign risks.”

Poet Selling His Private Part for £12,000 (N3,000,000) to Fund Holiday

Poet Selling His Private Part for £12,000 (N3,000,000) to Fund HolidayA madcap Columbian poet Raffael Medina Brochero (on the photo) claims he is flogging his male parts for N3,000,000 in equivalent so he can tour Europe with his poetry.
He told a radio host in his home of Magdalena, Colombia, that he will give his private parts to the first person to pay his price.
Brochero said his decision came after a 2012 South America tour left him broke. And he wants to avoid a repeat of his money woes in Europe.
The Colombian poet has published 11 books during his 35-year career.
On his website he states he sometimes wears his trouser legs at different lengths to “denounce social inequality”.

PDP Crisis: Amaechi, Wamakko May Shun Jonathan’s Moves

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Wamakko, may refuse to appear before the peace panel set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to mediate in the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party.
The committee, which was set up by the President following the protracted crisis rocking the party, has six governors as members and ill begin sitting today.
The governors are Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Isa Yuguda(Bauchi).
Also on the committee are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Pius Anyim; Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.
Our correspondents learnt that Amaechi and Wamakko might refuse to honour an invitation from the panel over fears that its composition would not guarantee fairness.
This is hinged on the fact that the six governors are also members of a breakaway faction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum headed by Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang.
The faction arose after the election of Amaechi on May 24 was rejected by some PDP governors, who decided to pitch tent with Jang.
There are also fears that the panel may ask Amaechi to drop his leadership pf the NGF in return for his recall to the party.
Amaechi was suspended from the party some days later for failing to heed its advice not to seek a second term.
Wamakko was suspended last week for failing to heed the party’s invitation to answer charges of alleged anti-party activities.
However, it is believed that his suspension was in reaction to his support for Amaechi.
The presidential panel is expected to review the suspension of both governors and mak recommendations on ways of resolving the crisis.
Amaechi’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iyofor, initially promised to call our correspondent back. But subsequent attempts to reach him failed as he did not pick calls to his phone.
But the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Chidi Lloyd, said Amaechi would not honour any invitation from the panel since a court had restrained parties to his suspension from taking any further step on the matter.
“What I can say is that the matter is subjudice because the court has said that parties in the case (suspension of Amaechi) should not take any action that will affect the matter.
“But the fact remains that the Rivers State governor is amenable to peace and the sustenance of peace.
“Parties are not expected to discuss anything pertaining to the suspension until the determination of the suit,” Lloyd said.
When contacted, Wamakko’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Sani Umar, said the governor would wait and see how the panel conducts its assignment before deciding on the next step.
He also said insinuations that Wamakko’s alleged refusal to acknowledge Akpabio’s leadership of the PDP Governors’ Forum was one of the reasons for the governor’s suspension.
Sani said, “When did he say he would not submit to the leadership of Akpabio and where? It’s a lie and if he did he’ll not deny it. We wait and see how the committee will go about its assignment.”

I Have No Case To Answer – Kabiru Sokoto

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, slated June 21 to determine whether the federal government has adduced sufficient evidence to warrant the prosecution of the alleged mastermind of the Christmas day bomb blast that killed about 44 persons and wounded 75 others at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church at Madalla, Niger State, in 2011.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola fixed the date after the accused person and the federal government adopted written addresses yesterday.
Kabiru Abubakar Dikko, alias Kabiru Sokoto The accused person, Kabiru Umar, a.k.a Kabiru Sokoto, had through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Hassan Lukman, maintained before the high court that he has no case to answer, insisting that the federal government failed to establish a prima-facie criminal case capable of warranting his conviction.
While praying the court to discharge and accquit him from the 2-count terrorism charge that was preferred against him by the government, contended that none of the six witnesses that testified against him, was able to establish a nexus linking him to the commission of the alleged offence.
Arguing through his lawyers, Sokoto, in his no-case-submission, further queried the propriety of allowing him to pass through the rigours of trial “in view of the fact that the prosecution has failed to tender any evidence connecting the accused to the alleged offence.”
In such criminal trial, a no case submission is made when an accused person believes that the prosecution failed to prove the ingredients of the offence for which he is charged or that the evidence adduced in court was such that a judge cannot rely upon to pass a sentence.
Sokoto was said to be a kingpin of the Boko Haram Islamic sect was initially docked before the high court on May 20.
Aside allegation that he trained over 500 men on how to manufacture and detonate Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, the federal government, alleged that he had prior knowledge that the sect planned to bomb the church on Christmas day but failed to disclose it to law enforcement officer as soon as reasonable practicable.
He was said to have between 2007 and 2012, at Mabira Sokoto, Sokoto state, facilitated the commission of terrorist act including planting bombs at the Police headquarters and some government organizations in the state.
FG told the court that the accused person instituted his terrorist training camp at Abaji, a suburb town in Abuja.
Though he was previously arrested by the Police in Abuja on January 14, 2012, he was however declared missing two days later.
His mysterious escape from custody had culminated to the sack of the erstwhile Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim and former Commission of Police in-charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Zakari Biu who was out rightly dismissed from the Force.
He was subsequently re-arrested on February 10, 2012.
It will be recalled that the last prosecution witness informed the court that Sokoto had confessed that one of the recognized leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, told him that only members of the sect that have been initiated into the “Shurah” cadre, are allowed to know the ideology behind the current insurgency in the Northern part of the country.
The witness told the court that Sokoto had disclosed that whereas members of the “Shurah” which he belongs to, plan and mastermind attacks, other lay members are recruited to execute terrorist agenda of the sect.
However, Sokoto, through his lawyer, faulted the testimony of the masked witness, maintaining that he used the Hausa word “Anche” in his statement, a word he said means “they said.”
He told the court that he was only referring to what he was told by those affiliated to the sect.
One of the witnesses had earlier narrated before the court how a donation of N40million divided the sect
According to the witness, Sokoto had in a statement he made on January 14, 2012, confessed that out of the said N40million which he said was received from another terrorist group in Algeria, he got the sum of N500, 000, being the recognized Governor of Sokoto State in the hierarchy of the group.
He told the court that the accused person admitted that he used his share of the money and bought Quran and other Islamic religious books, even as he allegedly volunteered the names of two members of the sect that bombed Catholic church at Madalla, Niger State, on Christmas day.
The witness further told the court that Sokoto gave the names of the two perpetrators as Bashir Mohammed and Muhktar Kafanchan, saying the federal government is currently on the trail of the said culprits.
Besides, the witness who was simply identified as “Mr ABC” testified that the accused person confessed that it was not suicide bombers that attacked the church, but that the bombs were detonated from a car that was parked near the church.
Likewise, another witness, “Mr DEF”, narrated how Sokoto hid behind a wardrobe on February 10, 2012, a day he was re-arrested at Sabongida in Taraba state, few days after he escaped from police custody in Abuja.
The witness who is an operative of the Department of State Service, DSS, told the court that upon his arrest, Sokoto was found with a Nokia phone and six different Sim cards.

Northern Governors’ Forum Meeting Is Dead – Gov Suswam

Governor Gabriel Suswam has declared that with the high level of distrust and wrangling among Governors in the country, the meeting of northern Governors may have ceased to exist.
Also, his Plateau State counterpart and factional chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Governor Jonah Jang has accused opposition parties of being the architects behind the crisis within the forum, adding that their aim was to destabilise the ruling People’s Democratic Party, (PDP).
Gabriel Suswam and Jonah Jang Suswam who made this declaration yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen in Makurdi, said some governors in the north were not playing by the rules and by so doing negating the principles of honour.
He said since the governors could not trust each other and stand in unison on issues of common interest, it was no longer tenable for most members to belong to the forum.
He said, “There is no pretense about it, some of us find it hard to belong to a meeting where decisions reached are flagrantly flaunted. ”It is no longer honourable to belong to the meeting of northern Governors because we cannot pretend that we belong to a meeting, and when certain decisions are reached, members would go out and take a contrary position.
”I’ll find it difficult to sit in such a meeting, it is certainly not honourable to do such a thing and that is the position of some of us and I do not see anything wrong with that because we are not compelled to be part of the meeting.
”But I think there is need for us to talk to ourselves because it will certainly be difficult for us to come together to discuss any issue anymore, when you know that the people will go out and do the opposite.” While recalling reasons responsible for this development, Suswam said, “why would 18 of us in the North unanimously reach a decision in our meeting that Governor Jang should be the next chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, which was also affirmed by the PDP Governors’ forum only for our members who endorsed that decision to turn their backs against our unanimous position; it means the house is divided against itself,” he added.

Carpenter Commits Suicide In Nsukka

Tragedy struck at the University town of Nsukka, Enugu State after a middle-aged carpenter allegedly hanged self at Uwani Ugwu, Nguru in Nsukka Local Government Area.
The carpenter who was simply identified as Tochukwu Obodo, 35, hailed from Ovoko in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area, Enugu State, allegedly hanged self in a mango tree close to his residence at Uwani, Nguru.
Crime Guard gathered that the carpenter returned from his Ovoko Community Monday morning around 11am only to allegedly hang self in the night of same Monday. It could not be ascertained whether he left a suicide note as his lifeless body was still dangling on the mango tree when Crime Guard visited the scene of the incident.
A tenant in the yard Anthony Ezema, who spoke to Crime Guard said the deceased carpenter slept in the same bed with his younger brother, Chinweugo Obodo but he, the brother was surprised to see Tochukwu hanging on a mango tree the next morning.
“Nobody can say exactly why he allegedly hanged self but I can tell you he did not quarrel with anybody the previous day that would warrant such dastardly act,” he noted.
As at the time of this report, people were still trooping to the scene of the incident to have a glimpse of the carpenter who was well known within the area. Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ebere Amarizu told Crime Guard on phone that Police have commenced full investigations to unravel the circumstances surrounding the alleged suicide. “We have been informed of the alleged suicide of Tochukwu Obodo and Police are on top of the incident,” he said.

Retired Soldier Butchers Wife Over Plans To Marry Mistress

THERE was pandemonium in Igarra Community of Akoko –Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday morning, when a retired soldier, murdered his wife, Mrs Onyonishoyi Ukana-Nee Akarutu, following the refusal by the deceased to allow the husband, marry his long time mistress.
Ukana, a retired Warrant Officer 2, was said to have macheted his wife at about 1am Friday morning dismembering her body reminiscent of a scene from a horror movie. Sources close to the family said the 18 year old son of Shakede whose name could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report also sustained several machete cuts in an attempt to rescue his mother.
His son was reported to have raised an alarm which attracted neighbours in the night when he was woken up by the shout of his mother as she was being butchered by his father.
It was gathered that the couple have been engulfed in a running battle over the man’s resolve to formally marry his age long mistress. It was learnt that the deceased had strongly objected to the plans which had always led to fight in the house.
It was also learnt that several attempts made by family members and friends in resolving the crisis hit a brick walk.
The remains of the body of late Mrs Ukana is said to have been deposited at a private mortuary in Igarra, while the accused Mr Shakede is currently in the custody of the police.
The Edo State Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Moses Eguavoen said the command will investigate the matter which he described as barbaric and unacceptable

23 Governors Now In APC –Lai Mohammed

The National Publicity Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says 23 governors in Nigeria are part of the All Progressives Congress merger.
Mohammed spoke at the 7th Town Hall Meeting with constituents of Lagos Central Senatorial District organised by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in Lagos on Friday.
Though the ACN spokesman did not give the names of the governors, he said apart from the 11 governors currently in the parties that were involved in the APC merger, 12 other governors had signified interest to be part of the APC.
Mohammed said, “The governors will make their declaration after the party is registered, likely in two weeks’ time.
“We are likely to get our registration certificate by the end of June or second week of July.”
He explained that the delay in submitting the APC application to the Independent National Electoral Commission was caused by the complexities of merging.
He said, “Merging is not an easy process, it is complicated. Aside from the stipulated name, constitution and logo change, each of the merging parties must hold a special convention of its party to adopt the merger.”
He said contrary to speculations in some quarters, the merger would work and was very much on course.
On her part, Tinubu said the APC would guarantee hope for Nigeria.
She said, “Without the genuine change and development being advocated by the APC, Nigeria risks further descent into the abyss of underdevelopment and backwardness.”

IGP Arrests Minister Of State And Education Nyesom Wike

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Abubakar, on Wednesday ‘arrested’ the Minister of State, Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, right inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.
The ‘arrest’ of the minister, whom a fellow cabinet member was overheard hailing as ‘Wicked Wike’ recently, had nothing to do with the tug of war between him and his state governor, Rotimi Amaechi. It was just one of the big men’s banters that always precede such meetings.
Abubakar had arrived the venue ahead of Wike to witness the swearing in of the chairman and members of the re-constituted Police Service Commission.
He apparently had an unfinished business with the minister. Immediately Wike arrived, he grabbed the police boss from behind. As he turned to see the person that had the effrontery to hold his uniform which is always adorned with many medals in that manner, the IGP declared, “You are under arrest!” Pronto, the minister stretched his two hands towards the police boss and said, “Handcuff me.”
He held Wike and dragged him into the chamber’s tea room where he was “interrogated.” The duo returned to the chambers a few minutes after, laughing. The minister must have been granted bail on self recognition!

Gay Bill: Britain May Suspend Aid To Nigeria

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on Friday said his government might consider cutting off aid to Nigeria over same sex marriage bill passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday. The Senate had passed its own version in November 2011.
Cameron spoke on a British Broadcasting Corporation programme monitored in Lagos.
He said he would take up the issue with President Goodluck Jonathan soon.
The prime minister said he would restate his government’s strong objection to the passage of the bill.
The prime minister was reacting to a question by a Nigerian resident in London, Bisi.
“When we meet with Nigerian politicians and leaders, we will be clear about those things we agreed on. We have to be clear where we disagree. We will make clear where we stand on those issues,” he said.
When asked whether Britain would consider stopping a projected 50 per cent increase in aid to Nigeria or cutting it outright, Cameron said, “Nothing is off the table. We need to have these conversations. We also have some very important objectives with Nigerians, for instance on how to deal with the appalling rates of poverty in Northern Nigeria, which are part of the problems confronting the country.”
Britain and some Western Nation had previously expressed opposition to the bill.
Cameron had in October 2011 threatened to cut off aid to countries which ban gay and lesbians.

Single Term: We Stand By 2015 Date –Senate

President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid may be hanging in the balance, following the insistence of the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution that the single term proposal must begin in 2015.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, told Saturday PUNCH in an exclusive interview that the date would not be changed because there was no indication that Jonathan was intent on seeking a second term.
He was reacting to comments by the Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak, who was quoted as saying that the single tenure proposal was targeted at the President and first term governors.
Gulak had in an interview with Sunday PUNCH published on June 9, said, “You can’t short-change some people in the name of amending the constitution. I’m sure there will be some considerations and the proposal will fail.
“The President and some governors were elected under a constitution that allows them to contest two terms of four years each. You can’t change the rule midway.”
Also on Monday, Gulak said the Presidency would support the amendment, if it would take effect in 2019, thus allowing Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election.
Gulak, who spoke on a Channels Television programme, said, “The committee’s proposal is that those incumbent governors and the President who are supposed to enjoy a second term will not participate.
“What we are saying is that laws are not amended to target a particular group of people. It could have been okay, if all those first term governors are allowed to participate, and after 2019, anybody coming in will know that he is going to be elected under the amended constitution.”
But, Ekweremadu, who is the chairman of the committee, said the President had not told anybody he would contest the 2015 election.
He added that the proposed amendment could not, therefore, be targeted at him.
Ekweremadu spoke to one of our correspondents in an exclusive telephone interview from London on Tuesday.
But responding to Gulak on Tuesday, Ekweremadu said that it would be begging the question for the committee to target an individual, who had yet to tell anyone he was running in 2015.
He said, “President Jonathan has not told anybody that he wants to run in 2015, has he? He has not told anybody so, why are we speculating?
“If the President is running in 2015, at the appropriate time, he will make up his mind. Our proposal wouldn’t have been targeted at somebody who has not said he is running in 2015.
“Please let us leave Mr. President out of the present scenario. The issue is whether it is good for Nigeria or not. If it is good for Nigeria, the President, I know, will respect it.
“The argument should be: will it serve the best interest of Nigerians and help promote our democracy? Will it engender sustainability in the system?
“If the answer is yes, I think the President will not have any problem with it. But if the answer is no, every other person including the President will have a problem with it.
“Let us be objective and not subject it to people’s whims and caprices. It is the people’s assessment of the recommendation that I think will help us.
“Once we begin to have a subjective assessment of it, we are going to run into problems.”
Also speaking on the same subject, a member of the committee, Senator Adegbenga Kaka (Ogun East), wondered why there was so much fuss about the single tenure, whose idea was first broached by the President himself.
He said, “I don’t know what our problem is in this country. As early as 2011, it was President Goodluck Jonathan who first proposed a single term that would preclude him from the race.
“If it was proposed, and our committee included it in its proposals to the Senate, what is the issue?
“We, like most Nigerians, agree that the cost of running elections in this country is too high, what we have done is simply to say, instead of spending so much money, in fact wasting so much money on re-elections, let us do things differently.
“This money can put to better use by improving the lives of our people. We should look at the message and stop looking at the messenger.
“Some of us are even of the view that we should jettison the presidential system of government and go back to the parliamentary system.
“We have only made recommendations, we will go back to plenary where our colleagues will make their input.
“Even after this, it will still go to the states for further input. So, it is not something that is cast in stone.”
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has rejected the recommendation that Jonathan and first term governors should be excluded from seeking re-election in 2015, as a result of the proposal.
The Secretary General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, told one of our correspondents that it has always been the position of Ohaneze that chief executives should hold office for a single term of six years.
“But to exclude President Jonathan, we refuse. He as well as all those currently serving as governors should serve out their tenures and complete their second terms if they win re-election,” Nwarogu said.
Also speaking, the Arewa Consultative Forum has restated its opposition to the proposal.
ACF National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, stated this in a text message to Saturday PUNCH in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the ACF chieftain, the decision to reject the proposal was born out of a principled conviction that it would be counterproductive.
Sani said, “ACF’s position against single tenure is based on principle that it lacks the incentives to motivate for excellence. It has nothing to do with the person of the President or dates of commencement.”

Domestic Violence Threatens Social, Family Stability

The wave of domestic violence in all its forms sweeping across our country is disturbing and a source of serious concern to many people. Personal safety within family framework can no longer be taken for granted. Most victims of domestic violence are left to suffer in vain, sometimes killed, seriously injured or permanently disabled.
Ordinarily, domestic violence is that kind of violence that happens between family members in the home or during relationship between couple or would-be-couples.
Victim of battery Usually, response by neighbours, security agencies like police, even family members are not swift or sharp before any damage is done to either of the feuding parties, most likely the women (wives).
There is no symbolic support for the victim from the immediate environment or neighbourhood. But the world is changing, so also should be our feelings of security. It’s not enough to say the man or husband is callous, wicked who likes to turn the woman into a punching bag. It is also helpful to ask what is it that drove him to such brutality?
There was a recent case of a young man who battered his banker-wife to death barely few months after a high society marriage in Lagos. The sympathy of all civilised and decent people must go to the victims of these atrocities. However, these attacks could be reminder that others in several parts of this country having strained relationships with their spouses are not immuned from such acts of brutality and inhumanity.
Our people should learn to take active part in the protection of neigbours and not be complacent, claiming that they don;’t want to interfere in the private affairs of others
Barrister M.O. Aminah, said that domestic violence falls within civil offence under the law of tort when you cause bodily harm to your neighbour. She explained that battered women and children are people who have been violently attacked by their husbands or fathers.
“Assault is attacking somebody in a violent way. But battery is different from assault which is about beating one’s spouse. Whether battery or assault, a victim can seek redress in both criminal and civil actions. Criminal prosecution can be taken against people who violently attack their wives. Civil action can also be instituted for damages suffered as a result of battery. But one process must finish before starting the other,” she said.
On the causes of domestic violence: The causes are several. These include high temperament of the husband or the wife as the case may be, lack of understanding between the couple, lack of tolerance, incompatibility of the spouses, stress from work and even the daily chores of life.
Once these factors are present in the relationship and in the marriage, there is tendency for friction that can lead to violent attacks. Psychological reasons also can be attributed. When a spouse is suffering from dementia, his or her behaviour will not be stable. Quarrels can also cause fight in the home.
On the frequency of domestic violence: “It has become very rampant in the country. I know that cases are brought to the police stations almost daily. But the police always reluctant to treat such cases.
They will ask the couples to return home and settle their differences. Often police regards domestic violence cases as civil matters, and don’t want to be involved.
What about punishment for offenders?
This is quite dicey. Because the couples are seen as one. But where there are reasonable grounds for divorce when civil actions are brought by either the wife or husband, the court may consider such grounds and grant divorce.
Most victims of domestic violence preferred judicial separation at least to save themselves from further bodily harm, injury and even death
Others notwithstanding the danger inherent in continuing with the hostile and harmful marriage when it seemed to have completely broken down, would still want to save the union for the sake of their children.
Investigation showed that, to a large extent, our culture does not frown against wife battering and some wives have become used to violent attacks by their husbands
Many women have come to accept physical violence as the side effect of African marriage.
The more their husbands beat them, the more they become sexually aroused and submissive. It is only in western societies that women can walk our of marriage because of wife battery. In Africa including Nigeria where the culture of violence against women has thrived over the centuries, wives are obliged to hold to their marital vows to remain till death separates the couple. Infidelity is not tolerated and could lead to death of the woman who commits adultery especially of marriages contracted under native law and customs.

PHOTOS: Movie Producer Tade Ogidan Batters Wife

As written by Stella Dimoko Korkus: Her name is Yewande Ogidan and her hubby is celebrated movie producer Tade ogidan. He beat her on Thursday June 13,2013 and they have three kids together.
This is sad and reports say Tade Ogidan beat his first wife till she ran away.yewande is his second wife.
This is a sad developemend and we hope she has family and friends at this time to support her.

Report Of Vehicles’ Plunge Into Lagoon Near Third Mainland Bridge Turned False – NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, which earlier confirmed two vehicles plunge into the Lagos Lagoon has said that its findings turned out the incident did not happen.
It said the distress call on a commercial bus and a car plunging into the lagoon was a hoax. After confirming the incident earlier, the agency said that it mobilized its officers, got to the scene of the alleged incident only to discover that it was untrue.
“The police on the 3rd Mainland bridge told us that a yellow commercial bus offloaded its passengers and in its effort of trying to take off hit a private car with dent on d car,” said Ibrahim Farinloye, the agency’s South-West Spokesperson.
“The two parties have since left to their respective destinations after (the police) settling the matter for them,” he added.

Why Crime Rate Is High - Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday in Abuja attributed the increase in social vices to deterioration of value system in the country.
Among the social vices enumerated by the President are armed robbery, cultism, ritual killing and drug peddling.
The President, represented by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, said this during the launch of the National Campaign on Social Transformation organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria.
He urged the church, which typifies the body of Christ, to launch the country back on the path of righteousness through its teachings.
Jonathan traced the level of moral decadence in the country to homes, schools and churches.
He said, “We have lost our moral values and principles. So much has gone wrong in our family life, schools, churches and society in general. The whole society has failed, that is one reason we have incidents of cultism, armed robbery, murder, ritual killings, drugs, sale of babies, kidnapping, sexual immorality, and the rest.
“It would appear we have the society we deserve. We therefore need both moral and spiritual transformation. We need to return to God-study and obey the word of God which is able to cleanse us.”
In a sermon entitled, “If God can change Nigeria, God can change me,” the President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, stated that despite the challenges confronting the nation, there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
While admitting the prevalence of deceit at every aspect of national life, he bemoaned the culture of buck passing, stressing that the needed cohesion and peace could only be achieved through the efficacy of prayers and the determination to be a change agent.

Our Army Of Stay-At-Home Husbands

The traditional role of the husband as the Man of the house and breadwinner of the family is under insidious attack from a surfeit of forces in the country. In this piece, DAVID ADUGE-ANI, Abuja reports on the growing phenomenon of stay-at-home husbands in the country
Jake (some names have been changed) lives in Kado village, Abuja. He is a full-time stay-at-home husband. This means Jake virtually does all the family chores, including washing dishes, mopping the floors, bathing the children, cooking, fetching water for the family and even running errands for his wife.
Jake does all of these because he is unemployed. Although he holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Marketing, Jake has been unemployed for five years. In fact, he married his wife five years ago as an unemployed man. According to him, his wife, a businesswoman, footed the wedding bills.
Jake and his wife have three children, whose school fees and upkeep are paid by the wife. She also pays the house rent for their two-bedroom apartment.
Mr. Obot lives with his civil servant wife and daughter in Masaka, Nasarawa state. Every working day, Mrs. Obot rises early to prepare for office and is often out of the house by 6.00am to catch a staff bus to Abuja where she works in a government establishment. It is the lot of Mr. Obot to prepare their four-year-old daughterfor her nursery school, including making a lunch pack for her.
After dropping his daughter off at school, Obot comes home to tidy the family home, do the shopping and generally make himself useful to the household. At closing time, Obot must go back to his daughter’s school and bring her back to the house. He must also prepare the family flat dinner so that when his wife comes back from work, she would have something to eat.
With occasional changes, this has been Mr. Obot’s daily routine in the last three years since he lost his construction job.
For her part, Mrs. Obot is the breadwinner of the family. Her monthly pay goes into paying the rent, utility bills and the general upkeep of the family, including paying her daughter’s school fees.
Jake and Mr. Obot exemplify the growing phenomenon of stay-at-home husbands in the country. According to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND investigation, there is an upsurge of homes such as those of Jake and Obot where women of the house are the breadwinners of the family while their husbands stay at home to take the roles traditionally performed by their wives.
An Unintended Spinoff of Modern Lifestyle
Experts in family and social studies listed economic factors, success of the feminist movement or gender equality campaign and poor attitude to work or outright laziness among some men as some of the factors responsible for the growing number of stay-at-home husbands in the country and beyond.
According to Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Sociology, University of Abuja, Dr. Margaret Bahal, “Society is changing and the family structure and roles of the individuals in it is also bound to be affected. Today, more and more women are out there doing a lot of things that were traditionally seen as the forte of men
Bahal continued: “The capitalist system that we are operating in Nigeria at present, which does not take the welfare of people into consideration, unlike the British and the American systems where many families rely on welfare, is partly responsibility for the increasing number of house husband phenomenon in the society.
“In Nigeria, one or both spouses just have to go out there to work or the family will starve. In most cases, the income made by the husband is not enough to keep the family going and so the woman also has to go out and work. A loss of job by either side usually translates to a bad patch for the family.”
She added “Women are increasingly taking up the role of breadwinners in the family for a number of reasons, mainly economic. It is no gainsaying to assert that many women in the country today are successful in their chosen careers, which translates to higher income than those of some men. In such a situation and under the current harsh economic climate, such women are bound to contribute more to the wellbeing of their families.
“We also find that there many successful middle or high level career women in the country and elsewhere who are single. Such successful women are not immune to filial and societal pressure to get married. These unmarried women in the society who are comfortable in their homes and who can afford to keep a man if he comes along often do so. In some of such marriages, the man can become a stay-at-home husband and the wife, the family breadwinner.”
Also, Mr. Law Mefor, an Abuja-based clinical psychologist, noted that some socio-economic factors led to the increasing phenomenon of women becoming breadwinners in the homes.
His words: “The economic power of many family heads has plummeted in recent times. As a husband and family head, if you don’t have the economic powers, then your presence does not matters much.
“Also, there is an increase in the number of career women in the society, due increase in their levels of education. Many women in that category who are caught up by age become desperate in their need for a husband, and so they end up picking anybody in the desperation to be Mrs. Someone. With the high number of young and unemployed men around, it is inevitable that some of the women would marry men who can’t even fend for themselves, not to talk of a family. These then become stay-at-home husbands.”
A Charged Family Life
Consciously or unconsciously, Jake’s wife is in charge of his home. As he goes about his household chores, she often sits by and watches. Occasionally, she calls out to him to hurry up on a particular task in order to do another. Tongues are wagging in the neighbourhood over this obvious role reversal.
Jake is not enjoying it either. “I there is nothing I can do about it for now. I’m not a lazy man and I’m still searching for a job to enable me contribute towards my family’s sustenance. It is difficult for a man to be a real man in a family where the woman provides everything,” he told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND.
Obot seems to have also accepted his situation with equanimity: “Since my wife goes out to work every day, it is my responsibility to do the household duties to assist her. She provides the money for the sustenance of the home, so I must as well help in my own way in keeping the family going,” he said.
Are Things Falling Apart Then?
Experts opinions differ on the implication of raising children in homes where the husband stays at home to do the house chores while his wife works to take care of the family.
“It is situational,” says Dr. Suleiman Mohammed, associate professor and head, department of sociology, University of Abuja.
“Ordinarily, marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, and the assumption is that the man provides for the sustenance of the family. However, I don’t see it as an issue if a woman takes those responsibilities because it is first and foremost a mutual concept, so they agree between themselves.
“Even in conventional marriages there are some unintended implications. For instance if you have a couple that is quarrelsome, this can rub off on their children. If the stay-at-home husband accepts the relationship and they live in peace, the children will grow up in a peaceful atmosphere and turn out well. But if on the other hand after contracting the relationship they keep quarrelling from the time to time, of course, it will affect the socialisation and training of the children.”
Dr Mohammed maintained that “if there are women who took such responsibilities, it is first of all based on mutual concept. We must also realise that society is dynamic. Even the whole concept of marriage is changing. We know the development concerning the gay marriages and all that.”
Dr Bahal stated: “If you, as a man, agrees to live under a woman, you should be ready to live under any circumstances, because certainly a woman will not feel comfortable feeding you, clothing you and then you lording it over her. It is not done. So if you as a man agree to stay under a woman, you should agree to receive whatever she is giving you. You receive her money; you receive her cloths, then you should be prepared for her heading the family, because certainly you cannot have two heads of the family. And, the one that brings in the money is the head of the family.”
However, Dr. Bahal added: “If the husband and the wife understand themselves and there is no conflict in the house, I think they should be able to put to bring up their children the way they want. But where there is conflict, it is going to split the family because some of the children will be sympathetic to their father, while others will go with the mother. The major implication is that you might have a major division in the family, which can lead to children being maladjusted well into adulthood.”
Dr Bahal urged couples living under this situation to show “understanding especially where the situation is caused by retirement of the father or loss of job and so on. However, if the woman has been the sole provider, it is high time the man wake up and do something. Some men are just lazy and don’t want to work. The man in this situation should really buckle up and work hard to fend for his wife and family, rather leaving the woman to do everything.”
Mefor said: “There is a saying that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. A woman cannot be paying virtually all the bills at home and still not have a say there.
“Bringing up children in the shadows of a cowering stay-at-home husband can affect discipline in children because there is manifest absence of authority figure in the home. Children brought up in such a home might be vulnerable to all sorts of indiscipline in the society, because they are coming from a home that is not properly structured.”
Mr Mefor warned that “every young man must be very careful in walking into such marriages because there is no short-cut to enduring progress
“Such marriages are usually built on falsehood because the woman has not found love in the man but she only wanted to marry at all cost. After the wedding, more pressure is put on the man to sustain the family and since the man is not prepared for family responsibilities, there are bound to be problems.”

How I Dated My Elder Brother’s Friend And Suffered For Love – Singer Omawumi

Popular songstress, Omawumi Megbele, speaks to Ademola Olonilua about the “bad” things she did as a teenage girl back in the day, she also dishes on her latest work and sundry issues:
Why it took me so long to launch my album
I just wanted to take out time and make good music. There are some people who do yearly albums, I try to do like two or three years. There are people whom I emulate. I feel that as music is a craft, you must try to make sure you put out good materials that can stand the test of time. It is not something that can be relevant for only two months or a year. You want something that is good.
My Lasso of Truth album I’m very happy, I have got a lot of positive feedback. The sales in the first week was great. They made about 500,000 copies and it is almost sold out. The sales did very well because the demand is high. I did not even know that the demand was this high, even outside Nigeria, We have been working out platforms where we can sell the album. People outside the country ask whoever is travelling abroad to buy the CD in bulk for them. The demand is that high.
If not music, I would have loved to be a teacher I might be fun to be with, but I’m not a comedian. My mother wanted me to practice law, but I wanted to teach. I have always wanted to teach, I would have been a teacher. I don’t know why I have the capacity to get people to listen to me. Right now, I’m part of an organisation that mentors young girls.
You know when you sit with young girls and you are advising them, if it is someone else advising them, deep down they might not listen and think the person is spoiling their fun. But I come across as somebody who has been there, done that and got the T-shirt. So they listen. I think it would have been a beautiful challenge for me to be a teacher. I’m sure I would have been worried about the pay but it would have been flexible enough for me to have a family as well as enjoy what I’m doing if I was not into music.
My early days I had many experiences but I’d like not to embarrass myself. I was very mischievous as a kid. I used to get into a lot of trouble. I had a lot of older ones, so they used to deal with me a lot. They would say, ‘Omawumi don commit again’. I was the sort of person that would steal my elder sister’s bra and put socks inside; that was when I was bare-chested. The sad thing is that when the thing now came out, it just came out at once. I did the usual things that children do. I can’t say most of it in print. If my older ones should read it, they would discover some things I did back then. I was pretty much a normal kid. I used to play a lot but my parents made us understand the value of education.
Year 2013 so far I have got four endorsements this year. It has been fantastic. The thing about it is that I have been working towards things like this for a while. The way my work is, I have a healthy fan base. I have the kind of music I make and the kind of people who like it and it appeals to. When it comes to endorsements, I’m really grateful to God. It is a process, if you work and you put out good material and you are relatable, it’s a good thing. The fact that I can market so many products proves I’m a true Nigerian. Without blowing my horn and in trying to be as modest as I can, I am educated. Most parents want their children to be educated and even if they want to pursue their dreams, they use me as an example. I pursued my dream but at the end of the day, I got the basic education. Is she street wise? They use me as an example.
Even though you are educated, it doesn’t mean you should be dumb. There are some parts of my life I feel people make comments, like ‘she is a single mother’; it is not supposed to be celebrated. The plus side of it is that I have a beautiful daughter. I figured that it is better for me to keep a life that God has given me as opposed to killing. That it didn’t work the way it should work or that I am not married, it is still a process, I am still a human being.
That is also relatable. It is not like they say that when you get to a stage and you don’t get someone to marry you, you go and get pregnant. Some of my friends, when they look at me and say they want to be like me or that they don’t have time for men, I tell them no. Circumstances and life brought it upon me, I would not regret one day of it. I am happy with my daughter, I am happy about the family that she has and the one I have. Nonetheless, it is not something someone should come out and say this is the way to go.
Criticism I’ll tell you the truth, I’m indifferent. I have developed a thick skin. I would not say that from the outset it never affected me. But it didn’t mean I put my hand under my cheek and started brooding. I was just worried why this sort of thing happened. I am a solutions kind of person and so I started looking for solutions. I found out that there was no solution. Whether you like it or not, people must talk about you.
The more mysterious you are, the more stories would be woven around you. I figured that you win some and lose some, you cannot have it all. The day you are the focus of the press, you just say by God’s grace, this too shall pass. I don’t like it when people form an opinion about me out of negative publicity, especially when it is not true and it affects my career. That is the part I don’t like because I believe everybody puts a lot of hard work into their music.
That’s why I always tell people, I’m not an angel. That is why I encourage people to just enjoy the music. It is the music I am giving you, not my personal life, not who I am. My first crush and boyfriend I can remember him. I think I ‘died’ for him so much I cannot remember how he toasted me.
You know when you like a boy so much and you try to catch his attention. He was my elder brother’s very good friend and it was like a taboo to have anything to do with your elder brother’s friend. The elder brother would beat both the friend and the sister. That was the sort of position I was in. I still collected the beatings because when you are blinded with love, you would stick with the boy no matter what. Eventually, we were so in love for a long time.
What influences my fashion sense I try to be comfortable and look good as much as I can. It is not easy but I try. I’m not much of a fashion icon. I just know you wear fine blouse or skirt. I find it difficult to accessorise or match colours. I don’t know all those type of things. I started hearing it when I came to Lagos. I am a Warri girl.
Before now, I was all about my shirt and jeans. Some people say they like Omawumi but they wish I would dress better or that I need a stylist. I would tell you that it is fine. I wish I would have a stylist, but in a situation where I don’t have one, as I dress, take it like that. The most important thing is that I am putting out good music. The minute I become a 360 artiste – where I am selling my fashion as well as my music, then you can criticise but till then, accept me as I am


ABOVE: Brentford are talking to Harry Forrester
will open fresh talks...
15th June 2013

By Daily Star reporter

BRENTFORD will open fresh talks with out-of-contract winger Harry Forrester, 22, next week.


ABOVE: Owen Coyle has a huge incentive for promotion
Coyle, sacked by Bolton last October, has to rebuild after the departure of a number of stars.
15th June 2013

By Chris McKenna

OWEN COYLE will pocket a tasty £1m bonus if he leads Wigan back to the Premier League.

The Scot, 46, was last night ­confirmed as the successor to Roberto Martinez at the DW Stadium.
Coyle has signed a one-year rolling contract with chairman Dave Whelan, which will earn the former Bolton boss around £1m a year.
However, Whelan will reward Coyle by doubling his wages if he can take the FA Cup holders back into the big time ­after their Premier League ­relegation.
Coyle will become Wigan’s first new manager in four years after Martinez’s departure for Everton.
But he has been warned by Whelan he must achieve promotion within TWO years or he could face the boot.
Coyle, sacked by Bolton last October, has to rebuild after the departure of a number of stars.
Antolin Alcaraz, Franco Di Santo, Maynor Figueroa, Ronnie Stam and David Jones have all left the club after their contracts expired.
Mike Pollitt, Adrian Lopez and Roman Golobart are also out of contract ahead of a season that sees Wigan challenging on four fronts.
The Latics face a 46-game Championship season, FA Cup defence and Europa League and League Cup campaigns.
Coyle, who guided Burnley to the Premier League in 2009, will have to add to his squad with what is expected to be a shoestring budget.
Whelan said: “Getting back into the Premier League is the priority.
“I know we are in Europe next season, but the total, utter priority is to get back in the Premier League in the next two years.
“There is a lot of work to do and we are short of about 10 players, so he’s got a lot of work on.”


ABOVE: Michael Laudrup's agent has refused to comment on his position regarding PSG
When asked if Laudrup was talking to PSG, Tutumlu replied: “No comment.”
15th June 2013

By Phil Cadden

MICHAEL LAUDRUP'S agent has fuelled speculation about the future of the Swansea manager by refusing to deny Paris St-Germain’s interest in him.

Laudrup, 48, has been linked with the hot-seat at PSG with current boss Carlo Ancelotti expected to join Real Madrid.
Reports in France claimed bookmakers’ favourite Laudrup has opened talks with the French champions yet Swansea insist there has been no official approach.
Laudrup’s representative Bayram Tutumlu has fanned the flames by rejecting the chance to give Swansea fans assurances over their manager’s position.
When asked if Laudrup was talking to PSG, Tutumlu replied: “No comment.”
Then asked if he was staying at Swansea, he said: “Right now he is coach for Swansea.”
A furious row between Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins and Tutumlu over transfer policy this summer had put large question marks over the Dane’s future.
Laudrup claims his role has been unaffected by the public fall-out, with his intention to stay put at the Capital One Cup holders.


ABOVE: Steven Taylor is delighted to still be at Newcastle
I'm still living the dream of every young lad in this city.
Steven Taylor
15th June 2013

By Jason Mellor

STEVEN TAYLOR is happy to snub a move to Arsenal to stay 'living the dream' at Newcastle.

Toon's England squad defender is an £8.5m summer target for the Gunners, but the 27-year-old (left) has no intention of quitting St James' Park for a crack at the Champions League.
After a decade and almost 250 games in the senior set-up, Taylor sees no reason to move on when he's loving life so much under Alan Pardew.
With three years left on his £30,000-a-week Toon contract, he said: "Being at Newcastle is the best thing that's ever happened to me.
"I'm still living the dream of every young lad in this city. It's what I've always wanted to do and, to be honest, I have to keep pinching myself that it's happening."


ABOVE: Fernando Torres could be the first to be sold by Mourinho
Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski is the man Mourinho rates highest of all
15th June 2013

By Jeremy Cross

JOSE MOURINHO wants Chelsea to have completed their summer transfer business within a fortnight. The new Stamford Bridge boss wants to begin pre-season training next month with the players he will have at his disposal for the entire season.

And that means he wants new signings in AND players shipped out by the end of the month, so he can have a week on holiday before linking up with his new-look squad on July 8. Touted Top of his list will be to bring in a new striker, though club officials will have their work cut out in trying to secure a marquee signing in that time.
Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski is the man Mourinho rates highest of all, but whether the German club want to do business is open to question.
It is likely to be all change in the attacking department at the Bridge over the summer, with Demba Ba and Victor Moses being touted around to other clubs.
And though Mourinho respects Fernando Torres, Starsport understands Chelsea would be willing to let the Spanish star leave for as little as £18m.
'The Special One' will add to his attacking options, but the club are unlikely to meet the £50m asking price for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, and are fearful of getting into a protracted bidding war with Real Madrid and Manchester City for the Uruguayan. Mourinho is keen to take a close look at Romelu Lukaku in pre-season, having spoken in depth with West Brom boss Steve Clarke to find out just how the Belgian is developing.
Reports have been good and the Portuguese coach is looking to the big striker to play a significant part in his plans going forward.
That leaves Ba, who only arrived in a £7m move from Newcastle in January, facing an uncertain future, but his wages of £70,000 a week could make it hard for him to ship out on a permanent deal.
West Ham have shown an interest in a season-long loan move, though Ba would seek assurances he would be used as a striker and not out wide.


ABOVE: Kevin Phillips could still be playing at Palace next year at the tender age of 40
Kevin is super professional and we know he wouldn't make a decision to stay if he wasn't going to give his all
Steve Parish, co-chairman of Crystal Palace
15th June 2013

By Jonny Fordham

CRYSTAL PALACE want Kevin Phillips to play Premier League football into his 40s.

The Eagles veteran, who celebrates his 40th birthday next month, will be offered another year's contract after scoring the winner in their Championship play-off final victory over Watford in May.
Selhurst Park co-chairman Steve Parish said: "He's someone we feel could still do a job in the Premier League, if we can come to some agreement with him and he is happy to be down in the south of England for another year.
"Kevin is super professional and we know he wouldn't make a decision to stay if he wasn't going to give his all."


ABOVE: Isco looks prized on a move to either Manchester City or Real Madrid
Pellegrini is my footballing father, so you have to think about City and look at it.
15th June 2013

By Jeremy Cross

MANUEL PELLEGRINI is set for a double snub from Edinson Cavani AND Isco.

Manchester City have held talks with Cavani and Isco with a view to signing them for a combined fee of around £80m.
But it has emerged that the duo both favour joining Real Madrid instead.
Cavani is Pellegrini's top summer target, with the Blues willing to match the £55m get-out clause in the Napoli star's contract.
But Cavani's father Luiz has revealed his son wants to join Spanish giants Real instead.
He said: "His intention is to play for Madrid. He is excited about it and quite willing to see it through.
"I hope it happens and that it takes place as soon as possible. Who wouldn't want to play for Real Madrid?" To make matters worse, Spanish international Isco (right) is also leaning towards a £30m switch to the Bernabeu.
The Malaga star knows Pellegrini well following their time together at the Spanish outfit. But signing him is far from guaranteed, with Isco telling friends the chance to join Real might be one he cannot afford to turn down.
Isco said: "Pellegrini is my footballing father, so you have to think about City and look at it. And Madrid? There is that also, so we will see what happens."


ABOVE: Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain, Brian Kidd, Manuel Pellegrini and acadamy ma
‘The Engineer’, as Pellegrini is known, will have to make sure this particular Manchester machine is working properly.
15th June 2013

By Jeremy Cross

WITH a name like Manuel, Manchester City fans can be forgiven for holding their breath following the arrival of a new manager.

The most famous Manuel from these shores, played by Andrew Sachs, was the calamitous waiter in Fawlty Towers.
Most things he did ended in disaster, which is what Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment will be viewed as if he doesn’t deliver success on a plate at City.
The pressure is on Pellegrini, not least because chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has already insisted the Blues are ­expected to win every competition they take part in.
Sacking Roberto Mancini last month was a brave decision considering the success he brought to the underachievers.
Three trophies in as many seasons, including a league title at the expense of rivals Manchester United, was good but not good enough to keep him in a job.
The standards have been set. The question now is can Pellegrini meet them.
His list of triumphs to date is modest to say the least, which means the Chilean is hardly arriving in Manchester with a CV to die for. Yet he is walking into an environment that craves instant success and replacing a manager who achieved God-like status with supporters.
Mancini’s problem was he lost the dressing room. Cliques developed and he was accused of being cold and distant towards a squad containing some of the biggest egos in the business. Pellegrini’s first task will be to win over his new stars and get them performing as a team again.
It promises to be a big challenge, not least because Pellegrini will need time to adjust to the demands of a league and country he has never worked in before
‘The Engineer’, as Pellegrini is known, will have to make sure this particular Manchester machine is working properly.
At Villarreal and Malaga, Pellegrini was in charge of teams who were never expected to win anything. But the Blues’ Abu Dhabi powerbrokers expect the exact opposite and this is something Pellegrini must adapt to. Jose Mourinho has returned to Chelsea and is expected to turn them into title challengers again, while just down the road is the establishment of English football in the shape of United, albeit without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm any more.
For the time being, City supporters should share the faith club bosses have placed in Pellegrini, who had a brief taste of high-level pressure and expectation following his short stint at Real Madrid.
While he was in charge at the Bernabeu, Real won more points and a higher percentage of matches than any side before. Only Barcelona’s remarkable exploits denied him a La Liga crown.
Former Arsenal ­striker Julio Baptista, who worked under Pellegrini at Malaga, reckons the 59-year-old’s ability to create a strong team spirit is one of his greatest strengths.
He said: “Wherever he has worked, he has managed to create very strong groups, not just of football players but of people as well, which is also important.
“He managed to create a strong group here at Malaga out of practically nothing. I think his work speaks for itself.”
Pellegrini is renowned for being calm and composed, the exact opposite of Mancini.
But he will need all of his patience to work successfully at the club that has resembled a circus in recent years.
Winning back the title will be priority No.1, followed by progress in the Champions League.Pellegrini in the prem: New boss needs success or Sachs not far away


ABOVE: Jose Mourinho feels Robert Lewandoski is the man to lead Chelsea's frontline
He will even make a personal trip to Germany to talk Lewandowski and persuade him
15th June 2013

By Duncan Wright

JOSE MOURINHO wants Chelsea to make a major statement by signing Robert Lewandowksi.

The new Blues manager believes the Borussia Dortmund striker is the ideal man to lead his attack at Stamford Bridge and is pulling out all the stops to persuade the Poland international his future is in London.
Dortmund insist their star man is not for sale, having rejected Batern Munich's attempts to sign him this summer. But Mourinho refuses to concede the hitman is off limits - and will test the water with a £20m bid for a player who will be available on a free transfer next summer.
He will even make a personal trip to Germany to talk Lewandowski and persuade him he will be a major part of his plans for his new era back in charge of Chelsea.
Manchester United are also keen on signing the 24-year-old, and have also not been put off by what had appeared to have been a certain transfer to Bundesliga rivals Bayern.


ABOVE: Pellegrini is all smiles after being confirmed as the Manchester City manager
The pressure will be on him right from the start as City look to challenge in the Champions League
15th June 2013

By Jeremy Cross

MANUEL PELLEGRINI admits there will be no excuse for failure after becoming the new Manchester City boss.

The worst-kept secret in the Premier League was confirmed last night when Pellegrini was unveiled by City.
The Chilean has agreed a three-year deal worth around £5m a season to succeed Roberto Mancini, who was sacked last month.
The pressure will be on him right from the start as City look to challenge in the Champions League and win back the Premier League title from Manchester United - and the club's Abu Dhabi owners have made it clear that Pellegrini must win some silverware in his first season in charge.
But Pellegrini admits he is inheriting a fantastic squad and that there is no reason why the Etihad club shouldn't keep on landing trophies. He reckons City have the best team in English football and one that should be winning more titles.
He said: "I am delighted to accept this hugely exciting opportunity. The club has a clear vision for success and I am committed to making a significant contribution.
"Everything is in place for Manchester City to continue to be successful.
"I'm sure we have the best squad in the Premier League, wonderful players and can reach more titles in the next three or four years in Manchester."
Pellegrini revealed he rejected several offers from other clubs in favour of taking charge at City.
And the former Real Madrid and Malaga boss praised Mancini for the job he did, but insisted it was the start of a new era at the club.
The 59-year-old added: "Roberto did a great job here, but we now start a new cycle."