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BBNaija 2020: Meet Ozo, first male head of house


Ozo has won this week’s Head of House (HoH) game! He becomes the first male HoH and the first Housemate to complete the game.

He subsequently chose Dorothy to be his deputy. This means they both get to live in the luxury Head of House lounge and enjoy immunity from the coming evictions while the other housemates scramble for votes.

The now anticipated Monday night game followed the same pattern, the only difference this time was the introduction of some new obstacles such as a ring toss and having to draw a portrait of oneself. After receiving a gentle reprimand to take the games more seriously from Ebuka, and after witnessing a double eviction during the Sunday live show, the housemates faced the game with the determination to win. The game gives every Housemate an equal opportunity to win so they put in their best hoping to get lucky.

As expected, Lucy did not qualify to partake in the game since she won the title last week. As the game progressed, Nengi and Tochi led the group with 23 and 24 respectively, however Ozo trumped their record with a perfect ‘30’ score when he reached the very last square on the mat. Big Brother gave the other housemates a chance to beat Ozo’s score, but no one came close, so Ozo was officially announced as the Head of House for the week.

Perhaps the only thing more difficult than the actual game for Ozo was choosing who he would have as his Deputy. During his Diary Room session with Biggie, he unsurprisingly chose Dorathy, which she accepted with all her ‘Full Chest’.

Social Housing and the Spirit of Jakande in Cross River


By Jerome-Mario Utomi

Justice according to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is centrally a matter of how individuals are treated, it is also possible to speak of justice for groups – for example when the state is allocating resources between different categories of citizens. Here each group is being treated as though it were a separate individual for purposes of the allocation.

Here there is a contrast with other virtues: we demand justice, but we beg for charity or forgiveness. This also means that justice is a matter of obligation for the agent dispensing it, and that the agent wrongs the recipient if the latter is denied what is due to her.

Definitely not a false argument but there is an important distinction to make.

In a country like Nigeria, the position of justice when allocating resources, in absolute terms, is not a substance of obligation, but largely a function of behaviour, character, habits, of the personality in public office (the agent dispensing justice).

Using as focal points the right to adequate housing which is both a human right and one of the basic needs of man borne out of desire for security, privacy and protection from negative impacts of the environment, it was Alhaji Lateef Jakande as executive governor of Lagos State in 1979, that his administration was sincerely effective, open and implemented the four cardinal policies of; housing, education, transportation and infrastructure.

It is factually documented that he introduced housing and educational programs targeting the poor, building new neighbourhood primary and secondary schools and providing free primary and secondary education. He established the Lagos state University. Jakande’s government constructed over 30,000 housing units. The schools and housing units were built cheaply, but were of great value. Some of the housing units include low cost estates in Amuwo-Odofin, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Anikantamo, Surulere, Iba, Ikorodu and Badagry.

To fund some of the projects, Jakande increased the tenement rates and price of plots of land in affluent areas of Victoria Island and Lekki Peninsula and the processing fees for lottery, pools and gaming licenses. He also completed the construction of the General Hospital in Gbagada and Ikorodu and built about 20 health centres within the state. As a governor, he established 23 local government councils which were later disbanded by the military. He also started a metroline project to facilitate mass transit. The project was halted and his tenure as Governor ended when the military seized power on 31 December 1983.

Since that date, the spirit of social housing-an umbrella term used to refer to rental housing which may be owned and managed by the state, by non-profit organisations, or by a combination of the two, usually with the aim of making it affordable, departed the country.

But however resurfaced recently after about three decade’s this time around in Cross River state, Nigeria.

Its first manifestation in the state was on Friday, May 29, 2020; at Ifiang Ayong- a sleepy riverine community in Bakassi Local Government Area which came alive as dignitaries from all walks of life gathered to witness an epochal and life- changing event. The commissioning of an ultra-modern Estate comprising 52 units of 2- bedroom bungalows built by Governor Ben Ayade. ‘He did not build it for commercial purposes; the sprawling Estate, fully furnished and complete with essential amenities, is the new home to the displaced Bakassi people who lost their ancestral land, homes and livelihoods to the  Republic of Cameroon in 2002 following the ceding of the Peninsula to the Central Africa country’.

Looking at commentaries, one major reason that triggered plaudits and encomium for the state government from various quarters across the nation is that in the early 2000s, the Federal Government inaugurated a Special Committee on National Social Housing Scheme (NSHS) with a presidential mandate to provide housing for its less privileged citizens. In the pilot phase of the scheme, the committee was to build 18,000 units of houses across the country before the end of 2006. However, the Committee could not deliver because the principles of social housing and values were yet to permeate the “development and management” of government’s housing plan and delivery systems. And since then, little has been done to translate such objectives into actionable plans. Or clarify processes and opportunities for citizen’s participation in the development and management of social housing in Nigeria.

But before the happiness elicited by the development at Ifiang Ayong could settle, another was up this time around at Obudu Ranch Resort in Obanliku Local Government Area.

Worried by the squalid and deplorable living conditions and abject  condition, highlighted by shanties and dilapidations of the host communities of the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obanliku Local Government Area, Cross River State governor, Sir Ben Ayade who was on a one-week working visit to the Obudu Ranch Resort, promised to change their situation with the provision of social housing.

“We are here at the Ranch and when you look to the left and right, what you see in the entire place are the aborigines, the original owners of Obudu Cattle Ranch. “They are relegated to the worst form of human existence; reduced to want, in body, in spirit, in soul and in the most sub-human living conditions with collapsing roofs and huge massive temperatures that run your blood chill and your bones cold.”

And so my government is committed to constructing social housing to change their course and prove to them that God uses humans as a vessel; to make your town and your place look beautiful as well. So, for us as a state, we are committed to exterminating this kind of extreme poverty.

On his one week visit to the Ranch, he disclosed that the visit was meant to give him the opportunity to see things for himself as his administration gets ready to revamp the prime jewel of hospitality in the state.

“I decided to take a guided tour to spend one week with the people to feel their pulse as we prepare to make the Ranch the most attractive centre for visits in Nigeria. I want to see how the citizens, the aborigines have been living side by side with the glaring reality of the luxury of the ranch resort.

In what could be likened to a tale of two cities, Governor Ayade lamented: “It is a shame that where I live which is the presidential Villa is as if am in Europe and just a few minutes walk from there, this is what you find. The contrast is unacceptable to my conscience because I have a background akin to this people and so I understand the feeling. I understand the pain.”

“My performance efficiency should be measured by how much I have lifted people from extreme poverty to comfort not by how many culverts, how many bridges, how many superhighways, how many deep seaports I have built. The real growth is human growth and that is why I do not believe in Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

“I believe in human happiness index. I want to be assessed on the basis of how happy these people are with the onset of me being governor. When I leave office, what will be the difference I have in their lives? Until I make such a difference, I would have failed as governor.”

On his determination to reposition the ranch, Ayade hinted: “Very soon the ranch will be the biggest attraction in this country because we are building an international airport to support the ranch for export of potatoes and export of ornamental flowers.

“So, if we are going to do that, and go into commercial farming in Obudu cattle ranch and industrial tourism, where does that leave the host communities? That is why we are here today to assure them that they have a critical role to play. We had a meeting with the leaders of the community and have assured them that the squalor and the sub-human conditions will be exterminated in the next six months. We will be here and you will see the difference.

“Cross River does not have enough but I care enough to make a difference for them and we surely will as a state.This is my commitment.”

Indeed, this is true justice coming from a man who similar to Pa.Lateef Jakande, loves his people and is passionate about their development. Interestingly also, Ayade in my estimation stands out at the forefront of the crop of patriots wanting the best for his community, state and country, Nigeria.

Jerome-Mario Utomi (08032725374-jeromeutomi@yahoo.com), is a Lagos-Based Media Consultant.

BBNaija 2020: Ka3na, Lilo become first housemates to be evicted 


Ka3na and Lilo have been evicted from the Big Brother Naija Lockdown Show. The two housemates were evicted at the first eviction show of the season this Sunday, August 2, 2020 making them the first set of housemates to leave the show.

The two evicted housemates along with Eric and Praise scored the lowest public votes after all the housemates, except for the HoH and Deputy, who were put up for nomination on Monday. After the bottom four were announced by Ebuka during the live eviction show, each housemate was then given the opportunity to nominate two out of the four for possible eviction.

The four housemates with the lowest votes were Lilo, Eric, Praise and Ka3na. After each housemate voted in the diary room, Ka3na and Lilo received the highest nominations from their fellow housemates and were evicted immediately leaving Eric and Praise in the house.

Speaking to Ebuka after her eviction, Ka3na says she will miss all the housemates but particularly Lucy and Dorathy who she has built friendship with. The mother of one also says she will now focus on building her brand and business outside the BBNaija house.

In a similar vein, Lilo will be building her business as well as pursuing a post-graduate studies. The 23-year-old says she has no regrets and was absolutely being herself during her two-week stay in the BBNaija house.

With Lilo and Ka3na out of the house, there are 18 housemates in the house competing for the N85M prize and you can be sure there will be even more drama in the coming weeks.

Blood in your hands


By Gabriel Agbo

“I didn’t do it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer. … You’re killing an innocent man.”  Daniel Lewis Lee

Killing an innocent man? My God! The above chilling statement was made by Daniel Lee as he was about being executed by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana recently. Even at the point of imminent death he was still insisting that he did not commit the crime that he was about being killed. Lee and his gang, members of a white supremacist organisation were accused of killing a gun dealer William Mueller, his wife and their little daughter.

They also stole guns and cash. Now, our interest here is not in the legal processes that brought about the conviction, but on the words of insistence from this dying man. You don’t gloss over the words of a dying man. They are usually from the depths of the person’s soul. Even hardened criminals are broken when faced with imminent death like execution. But Lee already seeing and feeling the hands of death upon him still maintained that he didn’t do it and that they were killing an innocent man. My God! I felt the weight of his words as a read that report. I really don’t envy our judges, law officers and law enforcement agents.

If this man is truly innocent, then imagine how many hundreds of innocent people that are daily convicted, jailed or killed by these agents of law. People in positions of authority, policy makers and others must indeed be careful of what they do. Once your deliberate actions or inaction result to direct or remote loss of innocent lives, then, you sure have blood in your hands. You become a murder.

Killing an innocent man is one of the worst mistakes you will ever make in this life.  It can hurt you, your family and everything around you forever. It can permanently hurt your conscience – keeping you perpetually miserable. It can spiritually hurt and hunt you, your children, your family and your land for generations. Blood is powerful. Very powerful! The life of a being we are told is in the blood. Because people don’t understand this they go about ‘wasting’ others. Today, the spilling of blood means nothing to this generation. People in the occult use their wives, children, parents, relations and others for rituals.

They sacrifice fellow humans to Satan and the demons just for power, position and popularity. The impatient foolish young men and women go on robbery, yahoo, and yahoo plus, kidnapping, cultism, hired assassinations and other nefarious activities that also result in spilling of blood and wasting lives. The leaders, rulers and others in positions of privilege and trust appropriate and misappropriate common funds and this result in avoidable deaths of the masses that should befits from project and policies like provision of clean water, good roads, jobs, power, housing, security, etc. If you are involved in all these, you sure have a lot of the blood of the innocent in your hands and it will definitely hunt you and yours forever.

Others deal with people without minding the consequences. You sack a man from his job unjustly, you defraud people, government, organisations and you secretly instigate actions or policies that incapacitate others financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually, they walk away only to go and die gradually or commit suicide. You are indeed in a deep mess because you must pay for it in this life and in the life to come.

You are a murderer. Yes, you succeeded in manipulating them out of the system and out of life, you succeeded in frustrating them, their families, dependants, but you are not free. Yes, you are not. Their blood will continue to cry against you and your children forever.  Nobody saw what you did, but haven recorded it.

Don’t kill an innocent man. Don’t victimise people. Be upright in all your decisions and actions. We went for a church planting in a village some years ago. And as the service was going on I found out that the compound looked abandoned – personal effect littered everywhere, the fruit on the trees ripened and wasting and the worse was that the people living around the place did not come in to join us.

When I inquired, I was told that an innocent visitor was killed in the compound some years ago and that after the incident strange things began to happen there. All the members of the family, even those living or married out began to die one after the other, until they were all wiped off. Wow! Yes, blood is powerful. Avoid anything that will make you to kill an innocent person. We will continue next week. God bless you!

Rev Gabriel Agbo is of the Assemblies of God and the author of the book Power of Midnight Prayer. Website www.authorsden.com/pastorgabrielnagbo  Email: gabrielagbo@yahoo.com  Tel: 08037113283   

Ukelle: Nigerian community of many untapped potentials


By Lukpata James

Ukelle community in Cross River State falls among minority groups like the Tiv, Benin and Idoma in Nigeria. It is a nation that formed part of Yala II State Constituency of Yala Local Government Area of Cross river state. It has unique cultural heritage and beautiful landscape, densely populated and it is an agrarian society that boasts of tones of various agricultural produce.

Ukelle is strategically located, bordering Ebonyi in the West and Benue in the Northern part respectively. Its inhabitants comprises artsans, peasant farmers, civil servant and technocrats very lovely people,easy-going, industrious, hospitable, brave, and fearless. Their language is kukelle with both old and New Testaments of the Bible still in existence as part of the proved that ukelle nation is identifiable.

In some quarters, especially the adjoining neighbours, Ukelle nation is been described and alluded to the strength of the Israelites in the Bible whose population is not much as compared to other most populous Nations but powerful in warfare at all times. Just like the saying in Achebe’s ‘ Arrow Of God’ that never lay a hand on a man that says nothing, the Ukelle custom and tradition forbid ill treatment and attack on innocent people especially strangers living within them even during crisis situation strangers from the enemies’ camp are allow the liberty to move about without any form of molestation.

As an agrarian society, Ukelle Nation contribute about 40 percent each of garri, rice and yam as major agricultural products in Cross River State.

Unarguably, Ukelle nation boasts of several acres of arable land, reserves, up land, large quantity of lime stones and abundant natural resources such as precious stones, huge salt deposit, lead among others that are yet to be harnessed.

If not for the lack of motorable road connecting Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory and some North central States such as Benue, Nasarrawa and Plateau as well as the challenges linking neighbouring South East states such as Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra, Ukelle should be a leading economic hub in Cross River State and the South South region.

Like a woman in labour longing for help to survive, Ukelle is in dire need of assistance from the Local Government up to the Federal level to catch up with contemporary opportunities.

7 ways you can find inner peace in a relationship


By Nwele Euphemia

Inner peace is a state of deliberate psychological calmness even with mental stress factors that might be surrounding you. Relationships can sometimes feel like an obstacle to you when you are trying to have peace of mind.

People feel internally happy when they have inner peace because they have conditioned their mind to only derive joy from within themselves. They come from your relaxation point, what you think works for you and helps you relax.

Ticking the check box beside my list of things to do or my goal list makes me so happy, so whatever works for you is what you should do, but to help you decide and further understand, below is a list of ways that you can find inner peace.

How to find inner peace:

Surround yourself with things that make you happy: happiness is a food that you cannot get tired of eating, so knowing what makes you happy and doing it is a way to find inner peace and fulfillment. If dancing or singing does the magic for you then go ahead with it.

Your environment matters: where you go to and what you feed your eyes with matters. Experiencing nature helps, just taking in fresh air and feeling the atmosphere around you, you would subconsciously be calm and happy. You know how taking a walk down the park or somewhere calm and beautiful makes you feel, makes you have clear thoughts.

Come with terms with yourself, you know what you can do and you know what isn’t meant for you, so, stay away from those things that aren’t meant for you things that you naturally do not see yourself doing. No pretends.

Quit worrying: when things happen take your mind off them, especially if it is something you cannot control. There would be no point depriving yourself of peaceful thoughts when you have no control over what must have happened.

The food you eat matters: whenever you decide to follow up on a diet and actually pull through you feel good and fulfilled because you know you are eating right. So cut down on your food intake and eat right.

Workout: it is good for your physical wellbeing and it makes you feel good about yourself.

Everyone has a life: do not worry yourself thinking about what you would have done different if you were your friend, people have their life to live and their mistake to make. If you worry yourself about your friends you start thinking of ways to change them and that doesn’t always turn out well.

Notice how all the above ways drives down to ‘feelings’ you feeling good about yourself, you feeling happy with whatever you do? It is proof that your inner peace has to do with you and what you want for yourself. You have to make a choice to find your inner peace by doing things that make you happy and unworried.

Messi, Ronaldo, Lewandowski, others miss out as reactions trail Ballon d’or cancellation


By Victor Akuma

At the end of every football year, players who have made great impacts in their various leagues are often optimistic of one thing and that is the Ballon d’Or title, the crest of award for the most performed players in world football.

However, plans of marking this year’s celebration took a downturn on Monday 20 July, dashing the hopes of players like Messi, C.Ronaldo and of course, Lewandowski who seems to be football fans best option for the award considering the number of goals he has bagged for his German club side, Bayern Munchem in all competitions in the ongoing 2019-2020 season.

The football world stood still on Monday 20 July, 2020 upon the news of Ballon d’Or cancelation on account of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic which has dealt a heavy blow to the sports since the month of February, bringing to abrupt end of a number of football Leagues across the world, while other leagues however, have been forced to play their remaining games in a cluster of matches behind closed doors.

ESPN reported that organisers of the award, Group L’Equipe, reached the conclusion as conditions for the prize to take place had not been met, making it the first cancelation since its creation in 1956.

Editor-in-chief of France Football Pascal Ferre as reported by ESPN stated that “There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met. We believe that such a singular year cannot and should not be treated as an ordinary one,”

Speaking further, the editor said “From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the 11 generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge; without forgetting that the other games were played or will be played in unordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final eight played in a single game).”

He also stated that the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be warranted, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation as all the award seekers will not be in the same boat because some have seen their season cut short. Therefore, making it quite a task to establish a fair comparison. To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, the editor said the organisers had to choose the least bad of the options.”

However, some breathtaking arrangement has been made by the team of organisers to name an 11-man Dream Team at the end of the year and the team will be picked randomly across all European leagues by the Ballon d’Or jury.

Each of the 180 juries will choose 11 players and the players with the most votes will make the final team.

While some football fans have rejected this move by Ballon d’Or, others believe it’s the right thing to do. Crispng sampled their opinions.

According to Christian Onwuka, a Manchester United Fan, the cancelation of Ballon d’Or is only a manifestation of a politicized system.

“Well Ballon d’Or award for the past 5 years has been politicised and I would say that’s same reason they cancelled it. Because their favourite (Goats) someone is now ahead of them, which is Lewandowski. Messi hasn’t won any major trophy yet and their chances of making it to the UCL quarterfinal is 30/100 so they have checked it in all ramifications that it won’t be at their favour and all that and they cancelled it, using Corona as an excuse.” he said.

“They were not idle because they still completed their domestic leagues and UEFA and Europa will still hold, so there’s no reason at all to cancel Ballon d’Or if not for their political selfish reason. Messi and Ronaldo have really been average this season, and Lewandoski on the other hand deserves the award! Ballon d’Or organizers are wrong.” he concluded.

Ogbodo Somtochukwu, a Barcelona fan also thinks canceling the award wasn’t a good move but believes the preference of Lewandowski to other players like Messi and Ronaldo for the title was bogus since all three players were performing well individually.

“i was super surprised when I read the news about the cancellation of d prestigious award for the best football player of the year. This is what every player is working hard for and if it’s not there, what are they now playing for, fun?”

“Personally, it wasn’t a right decision, becuase as long as the players are playing, there is everything to fight for, the award should be given to the best at the end.”

“Now coming down to the players; I have seen a lot of social media outlets that claim it was a robbery on lewandowski who has had an incredible season so far , netting 34 league goals and 41 across all competitions, with the Champions league in view. One must say this seems to be his best season so far but it shouldn’t be the reason to just dash him the award.”

“Take a look at L.Messi’s stats, 25 goals and 21assists in one season, players can only dream about things like this. It’s was also an incredible season for him individually”

“Now look at Ronaldo, with how far he has gone, 30 goals in 30 games and with 4 games in hand. He even has a better chance of surpassing lewandowski in the race for the European Golden shoe and he is having a blissful season also, so as other players like KDB of Man city etc.”

“You can now see that the battle for the award was open and fierce and was everything to fight for before it’s cancellation”

“To me, the award is part of the game and also a great motivating factor to so many of these players and now it’s not there, it’s seems like there is little to fight for,” he concluded.

Recall Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won the 2019 award while U.S. women’s national team and OL Reign captain Megan Rapinoe took home the Ballon d’Or Feminin.

How COVID-19 forced rescheduling of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers


By Victor Akuma

Following the backdrop of sporting events worldwide on account of the impact of coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11 2020, the FIFA 2022 world cup qualifiers which started June 6, 2019, has been cutup in the situation as some confederations under the body have pushed their qualifiers to a later date than planned.

Most domestic sporting leagues worldwide have been shut down, although some like the English Premier League, Spanish La-liga and German Bundesliga, reopened to complete their seasons behind closed doors.

The 2020 Summer Olympics event which was also scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 2020, has now been rescheduled for July 23 to August 8 2021 and the 2022 World Cup has not been left out in this unfortunate situation.

Qualifiers for the next World Cup which is scheduled to take place in Qatar between November 21 and December 18, 2022 have been greatly affected by the pandemic.

Below are confederations that have rescheduled their world cup qualifiers date due to the impact of coronavirus on their local football competitions.

Confederation of African Football (CAF)

The qualifying process has now been confirmed, with a modified format to the 2018 edition.

There are 54 FIFA-affiliated nations under CAF

The new match calendar is as follows:

Matchday 1 – Oct. 5-13, 2020
Matchday 2 – Nov. 9-17, 2020
Matchday 3 – March 22-30, 2021
Matchday 4 – March 22-30, 2021
Matchday 5 – Aug. 30 – Sept. 7, 2021
Matchday 6 – Oct. 4-12, 2021

The groups are:

Group A: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Djibouti
Group B: Tunisia, Zambia, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea,
Group C: Nigeria, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Liberia
Group D: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Malawi
Group E: Mali, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda
Group F: Egypt, Gabon, Libya, Angola
Group G: Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia
Group H: Senegal, Congo, Namibia, Togo
Group I: Morocco, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan
Group J: Congo DR, Benin, Madagascar, Tanzania

Round Three: The 10 group winners will be drawn into head-to-head, two-legged ties for one of the five places at the World Cup. Fixtures to be played in November 2021

Asia Football Confederation (ASF)

The Asian first two rounds of qualifying are exactly the same as four years ago.

Round One: The 12 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties in June 2019. Guam, Macau, Mongolia, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh and Cambodia advanced.

Round Two: The six winners from the first round join the other 34 Asian nations, drawn into eight groups of five teams — also played as qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup finals (for this reason World Cup hosts Qatar will take part).

The eight group winners and the four best group runners-up go through. If Qatar win their group, seven group winners and five best group runners-up progress.

Latest results can be seen here. Qualifying will resume in October 2020 with the stage completed on Nov. 17.

The Groups are as follows according to a report by ESPN;

Group A: China, Syria, Philippines, Maldives, Guam
Group B: Australia, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait, Nepal
Group C: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Cambodia
Group D: Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen, Singapore
Group E: Bangladesh, Oman, India, Afghanistan, Qatar
Group F: Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Mongolia
Group G: United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia
Group H: South Korea, Lebanon, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka.

Done deals: Top 5 EPL signings to lookout for in the 2020/2021 season


By Victor Akuma

After the dramatic end of the 2019-2020 English Premier League season, the summer transfer market has been tightly drawn with clubs angling to make the most of the opportunity to take home clubs best offers.

The 2020 EPL summer transfer window will be a challenging one as clubs combat the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the fate of many clubs in the league is yet indecisive, other clubs like Chelsea feels a bit comfortable with their newly signed players who are believed to boost their fight for the league’s cup in the imminent season which is due to start on the 8 of August, 2020.

The transfer window which officially opened a day after the last round of EPL matches, will run for 10 weeks before closure on October 5.

However, with some big names already introduced in the league, one can’t help but imagine how stiff the 2020-2021 season will be like.

Below are some top signings so far to lookout for in the coming season.

Timo Werner

born 6 March 1996, Werner is a German professional footballer who was signed by Chelsea from RB Leipzig.

The 24-year-old German player netted a total of 78 goals in 127 match appearances for his German club side RB Leipzig in all competitions, before being signed by Chelsea.

At Chelsea, he’s expected to be the club’s Odion Ighalo who will awaken the best in Chelsea’s forward while pushing the team to clinching the league’s cup with his scoring streaks.

Werner signed a five-year contract of £47.5 million worth £170,000 per week with the London side.

Hakim Ziyech

Ziyech is a Moroccan international born 19 March 1993.
The former Ajax player flanks either as an attacking midfielder or a winger. He’s presently signed at Chelsea for a fee tolling to €44m. He has to his credit, 38 goals in 112 matches in all league completions.

Pablo Moreno Taboada

Pablo Moreno Taboada born 3 May 2002, is a Spanish footballer who is expected to play as a forward for English side Manchester City.

Pablo will be experiencing his first senior club career at City after being signed from Juventus U23 team at an undisclosed fee. Before playing for Juventus U23, he has played for Barcelona youth team as well as Juventus youth team.

He’s expected to be a push for Pep Guardiola’s team.

William Saliba

Born 24 March, 2001, William Alain André Gabriel Saliba is a French professional footballer who plays as a defender. He was formally on loan from Arsenal to Saint-Étienne his former club but has been called back once more.

His return to Arsenal is meant to strengthen the defense line of the London side

Adam Lallana

Adam David Lallana is an English national who plays as an attacking midfielder.

Born 10 May 1988, Lallana was Liverpool’s former player before moving to his new team Brighton & Hove Albion.

Lallana is expected to bring a lot of creativity in Brighton’s midfield and help them scoop as much goals as possible in the coming season.

How to address compatibility issues in your relationship


By Blessing Divine

A very healthy relationship could easily be at the brink as a result of mild challenges. As partners, you have both been raised by different parents irrespective of how similar the environment you grew up in could be, hence, the possibility of a slack. Your partner might not measure up to how exactly you want them to be.

People choose who they want based on certain traits or characteristics they desire. Every young man or woman has in mind, the picture of an ideal spouse, one we might have probably picked from the pages of a book, or a movie or even a real human character amongst us. Most times, we choose our partners to complement the features we lack. This probably explains why uneducated men go after the educated ladies most times for the sake of their offsprings.

I had a dialogue with a partially educated man some years back. I was still in Secondary School at the time but I was inquisitive as to why he wasn’t going after ladies like him (someone with an SSCE Certificate) as he just had a fight over an undergraduate student he was aiming to marry. He simply gave me a very long unprepared speech on why a person’s partner must be a plus to one’s life.

I felt that was a really good reason he gave me, but over the years, I discovered that he might be right but is he actually a plus to the life of the lady (whom he ended up marrying)? She is a graduate with a good career and fat paycheck but he was a commercial bus driver in Lagos State with no hope of furthering his education. At the pre-nursery level, their first son developed disinterest in education, at least that was how it seemed to the father who ensured the mother see to how to restore the boy’s interest in school though the little man was just throwing the normal first timer tantrums.

The father was simply scared that his son could end up being a drop out like him but rather than facing the challenge squarely, he is putting the blame on the mother, even though not an educationist. We finally fall in love and tend to place a whole lot of expectations on our spouses even when that’s not who they are.

This happens both ways and in the process, we do not get the best out of each other. I’ve seen very jovial and chatty people turn to taciturn ones due to the impact of their spouses but then they become very morose and moody because that’s not who they are. One could be quiet yet could have a very cheerful demeanour but their case tends to be different: someone else is trying to change them. Of course, the quiet and ‘sane’ spouse has a reason for doing that but do you make someone better by changing them totally? Can you make a lion look better by turning it into a dog? No way!

What precisely is one expected to do? Get prepared. Accept the fact that even twins have separate interests on some issues. You just have to acknowledge that you aren’t perfect either and also have flaws that might displease the other person. When we try to paint a perfect picture of ourselves, we simply make a fool of our existence. I know someone who knows virtually everything about dressing up, what to wear to a certain occassion and how to style it, yet, doesn’t flush a toilet after using one.

Such a contrast but that’s why we are imperfect beings. A person can’t be everything in one, even though you can be good at some things. In the same way, accept the other person first of all the way they are, you can try to mould them to a better being much later.

In the same vein, the issue of pretence comes in. You probably haven’t seen him/ her behave this way for fourteen years and now?

“Oh, but we have been dating for years before we got married and I haven’t seen this trait in him!” Yeah, we surprise ourselves sometimes when we come up with certain character traits. It does happen, it is no pretence! Probably because we haven’t been faced with such situations in time past or we’ve even experienced such but when you weren’t there.

We tend to do our love lives a whole lot of disservice when we allow for distrust. Not necessarily in relation to cheating. We have to trust our partners to know the right thing to do, how to do it and when to do it. Don’t impose your decisions on your spouses. This might however not be applicable to those who are in a relationship with underaged people. Our partners grew up to make decisions every single day of their lives even up to adulthood to their choosing to be with you, they should have a free hand to make their choices. You albeit could be in a place to chip in a piece of advice which could do them a lot of good, not for your own selfish interest.

A relationship which does not make any positive impact in the life of one or both partners isn’t meant to be, in the first place.

We could also be too interested in the life of our partners such that we make everything about us revolve around them. This might go unnoticeable but we tend to choke them with our demands. “But I’m not trying to control his living, I’m only interested in how he’s doing, how does that choke him?”
In many ways! He might want to be left alone, let him. The fact that a person is now in a relationship only affects a portion of their existence not the whole of their beings. He/she goes to bed normally by 8pm and you’re a night crawler, you only place a call across at 12am and your call is met with silence, you shouldn’t get annoyed. Relationship is about sacrifice, true, but some sacrifices are unnecessary.

Don’t make everything and everyone around you have a feel that you’re now in a relationship. A life of purpose is what is intended and while fulfilling purpose, you met someone so great, good! But how about that goal, that purpose?

Calling at every interval, checking up with text messages, social media chats and all might be too occupying for the other person. The best thing to do is to communicate appropriately especially when you notice some flaws on the part of the other person. You could ask questions, make suggestions; that might help a very mild issue from escalating beyond necessary.

The survival of a relationship lies in the hands of both partners. Live and let live, the saying goes. Have a nice weekend!