Chelsea Join the Crowded Race For £21m-rated Serie A Hotshot

Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have all reportedly joined Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Sampdoria forward Patrick Schick at the end of the season.

The 21-year-old, who has also been linked with moves to Juventus and Inter Milan, is believed to have a £21m release clause inserted into his current contract.

Towards the end of last month, it was claimed that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was preparing to launch a move for the Czech Republic international at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, both Manchester clubs, in addition to Chelsea and Arsenal have all been watching Schick in recent weeks.

Schick, who has netted 11 Serie A goals this season, came through the youth system at Sparta Prague, spending two years in their first team before making the move to Sampdoria last summer.

Hope For Arsenal? Mbappe Gives Fresh Update On Future

Hope For Arsenal? Mbappe Gives Fresh Update On Future

Kylian Mbappe has offered a fresh update on his future and insists if he does leave Monaco it will be to move to a club where he will play regularly.

The teenager has enjoyed a stunning season helping his club to the Ligue 1 title and to the semi-finals of the Champions League with 26 goals in all competitions.

Arsene Wenger has openly admitted his interest in Mbappe and has claimed he was close to a move for the striker last year before he opted to renew his deal with Monaco.

Real Madrid have been linked with a world-record bid for the striker but he says he will pick his next club carefully and does not want to sit on the bench.

“I will make a choice based on my sporting career, and my career is first and foremost, and I am at an age where I need to play, and that will be paramount,” Mbappe told beIN Sports.

“I’m not 35 or 36, an age where I have to manage [my body], I still have everything to learn, this year was discovery, and now comes the most important step: confirmation.

“And I will be the sole decision-maker, and I will not go anywhere where I will be forced to go.”

Mbappe’s words are interesting particularly as there will be no shortage of offers for the teenager this summer.

Arsenal’s interest has already been made clear and while they may struggle to compete financially with the likes of Madrid and Manchester United, he is more likely to be first-choice if he opts to move to the Gunners.

 

 

Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane ‘the best coach in the world’ – Florentino Perez

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said Zinedine Zidane is “the best coach in the world” during celebrations after winning the 2016-17 La Liga title.

Zidane’s side edged out Barcelona to clinch their first Primera Division championship in five years on the final day with Sunday’s 2-0 win at Malaga and they can complete a double not seen at the club since 1958 if they win the Champions League final against Juventus in Cardiff on May 3.

After partying past 3 a.m. on Sunday night at the city’s Plaza de Cibeles, the squad were received by both Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena and regional president Cristina Cifuentes during a busy Monday schedule of official engagements.

🏆💬 Read what the champions said when they visited the head offices of The Community of Madrid and the Town Hall! 👇http://bit.ly/CristianoComunidad 

Photo published for Ronaldo: “This trophy is yours and now we’re going for the Champions League” | Real Madrid CF

Ronaldo: “This trophy is yours and now we’re going for the Champions League” | Real Madrid CF

“We’re happy to come here and celebrate this league title with the fans”, said Zidane.

realmadrid.com

Speaking at the town hall, Perez praised the work Zidane had done in getting the team to play exciting but winning football, while maintaining the motivation and spirit among each member of his talented squad.

“Thanks Zizou for all you have given us, and all you keep giving us,” Perez said. “You were the best player in the world, and now you are simply the best coach in the world.

“You, your assistants, and this squad have made history again with exciting football. Madrid scored in every game of the season, which shows our philosophy. They all took part, they are all important and this team spirit has made us stronger.

“This league title is a symbol of our values, it was achieved fighting until the last game, and respecting our opponents, who made it difficult for us. This team has given us something we had wished for a long time.”

Fresh from serenading supporters Cristiano Ronaldo addressed Blancos fans from the town hall balcony and said he hoped to be back again in a fortnight’s time to show off another Champions League trophy.

“Thank you very much for being here today,” Ronaldo said. “This trophy is yours for your support. Now we’re going for the Champions League final. Siiiiii!”

Club captain Sergio Ramos added that the now 33-time champions had again brought the trophy “home” to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

“Thank you for the love and support you always show,” Ramos said. “Once again the league has come home and we want to share it with all of you. Thank you very much and hopefully we can come back in a couple of weeks with the Champions League. Hala Madrid!”

Even James Rodriguez, reported to be leaving Madrid this summer with Manchester United among his potential destinations, joined in and said the title-winning party had been “unique.”

“I’m happy,” James said. “We’ve worked hard to win it. It has been a fair and hard-fought league, and we were able to win it. Yesterday’s celebration was unique. You can only explain it if you experienced it. That is why we’re here, to win titles, and on the third [of June] we can win the Champions League.”

Men Stab OAU Final Year Student To Death

Ayoola Ayorinde aka AYbillion

Two unidentified men on Wednesday, May 17 stabbed to death a Theatre Arts student of the Obafemi Awolowo University while heading home from campus.

Ayoola Ayorinde aka AYbillion, the father of a 4-month-old child he fathered with his course mate, was planning to submit his final year project when the incident occured.

He was reportedly walking home with his brother, because he stayed off campus. His brother was walking some few steps away from him as he was pressing his phone, when two men came with a bike and stab him right on the chest and zoom off.

He removed the knife and tried chasing them, but he couldn’t go far. He fell and was rushed to the hospital, the place was stitched, he stayed for another 4 hours, but later died.

Fighting Corruption in Nigeria: Two Timely Interventions and One Anti-Climax, By Chidi Odinkalu

nigeria-anti-corruption-poster.

…the NACS document disappoints terribly: it focuses on a few symptoms without attempting to show an understanding of the underlying ailments that condemn successive anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria to certain failure.

Three important documents released in the past week – respectively from Nigeria’s federal government and two by respected international NGOs, Chatham House and OXFAM – separately offer important insights into why the present effort to fight corruption in the country is stuck in a mire. Together, they offer a more coherent synthesis of how fighting corruption in Nigeria can achieve take off.

The first document is the 45-page National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), mid-wifed by the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). The absence of a coherent strategy has been a major drag on the fight against corruption. The process of developing one was blighted by visceral inter-agency turf wars, which deferred its completion by over one year. From the wreckage of this conflict, the attorney-general’s department emerged victorious. The result was that other ministries, departments and agencies with complementary expertise on the subject were either relegated or excluded from the process. This absence of joined up thinking is evident in the resulting document. It is confused, self-contradictory and arguably worse than no strategy at all. It is an anti-climax.

The problems with this NACS are too many. Three illustrations will suffice. First, it lacks any clear diagnosis of why fighting corruption in Nigeria has proved so intractable. This is not for want of a recognition, on the part of the drafters, of the importance of such an undertaking. Attorney-General Malami begins his introduction to the strategy with the acknowledgement that “the fight against corruption in Nigeria has had a long history.” He thereafter meanders into some grandiose lingo, at the end of which he forgets to say what this history is and why it has deepened Nigeria’s corruption pathology rather than alleviate it. The result is that the NACS document does not, in any way, offer any assurance that this current phase of fighting corruption in Nigeria will suffer a fate different from its predecessors.

Second, the NACS offers no coherent narrative of the corruption challenge in Nigeria nor does it recognise any other actor in shaping or fighting it beyond the narrow halls of government. This is surprising because the drafters of the strategy begin by acknowledging the need for “a shared national understanding of what corruption is and what it is not”. They appear thereafter to suffer a collective lapse in memory or concentration because the document offers none. The strategy similarly promises “a new approach, which essentially builds on lessons from past efforts at fighting corruption in the country” but ends up merely seeking to “identify and close existing gaps in the anti-corruption initiatives currently in place”. This anaemic mission does not exactly need a strategy. It can easily be accomplished by an inter-agency working group.

Third, the underlying crisis of the NACS is an absence of a coherent thesis of Nigeria’s corruption crisis in its relationship to governance and state evolution. Lacking any such understanding, it fails to evince any need for popular ownership of the fight against corruption nor see any relationship between the nature and incoherence of the Nigerian state and Nigeria’s chronic corruption pandemic.

For a proper acknowledgement of this underlying challenge, one must look to the 53-page report, “Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria: A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions”, recently launched by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, better known as Chatham House. This report focuses on developing “a new approach to anti-corruption” by investigating the “drivers of collective participation in corrupt practices” in Nigeria. In what could easily be a summary of the shortcomings of the NACS, the Chatham House report laments that Nigeria’s focus has mainly been on “‘traditional’ legal and governance-based measures, emphasising the reform of public procurement rules and public financial management, anti-corruption laws and the establishment of various agencies tasked with preventing corruption and punishing those who engage in it.” While acknowledging the importance of these measures, the report emphasises the need “to foster a comprehensive shift in deeply ingrained attitudes to corruption at all levels of society.” Its central argument, therefore, is that “Nigeria’s ongoing anti-corruption efforts must now be reinforced by a systematic understanding of why people engage in or refrain from corrupt activity, and full consideration of the societal factors that may contribute to normalising corrupt behaviour and desensitising citizens to its impacts.” It seeks to demonstrate how “this holistic approach would better position public institutions to engage Nigerian society in anti-corruption efforts.”

Among its major recommendations, the Chatham House report suggests that “anti-corruption efforts may have the greatest chance of success if they stem from a shared sense of responsibility and urgency – and thus foster collective grassroots pressure.” The consequences of this point for both analysis and strategy are radical. It means that the beginning of any anti-corruption strategy lies in political economy and inclusive civics. Unsurprisingly, Chatham House advocates an analysis and framing that gives “ownership and agency to Nigeria’s citizens.” The absence of a shared sense of common citizenship or the presence of fragmented national identity breeds competitive asset stripping of what should be a collective patrimony. It is the failure to realise or reflect this that makes the NACS so awfully deficient.

How this occurs is the focus of the contemporaneous, 56-page OXFAM report: “Inequality in Nigeria: Exploring the Drivers.” This report demonstrates a clear correlation, verging indeed on causation, between deepening inequality and growing corruption in Nigeria. As a point of departure, it asserts that Nigeria’s growing inequality and poverty problems are the result of “the ill-use, misallocation and misappropriation” of resources underpinned by what it calls “a culture of corruption and rent-seeking combined with a political elite out of touch with the daily struggles of average Nigerians.” One of the major drivers of this growing inequality is the prohibitive cost of governance “because it means that few resources are left to provide basic essential services for the wider, growing Nigerian population.” Far from serving as a tool of equity, Nigeria’s tax policy, to the extent that one exists, is “largely regressive: the burden of taxation mostly falls on poorer companies and individuals.” This feeds a system of dependency on one natural resource, hydro-carbons. The underlying edifice of elite plunder that the report identifies is a deliberately manufactured policy innumeracy, such that the country cannot and does not know how much oil it extracts or lifts. To camouflage this egregious failure, we use the template of “grand crude oil theft” for which, by the way, no one has ever been held to account. This manufactured state incapacity drives institutional failure which is merely the symptom that the NACS focuses on.

foraminifera

This, precisely is the reason why the NACS document disappoints terribly: it focuses on a few symptoms without attempting to show an understanding of the underlying ailments that condemn successive anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria to certain failure. Had it attempted to do so, the strategy would have anchored its approach on enlightened political leadership that seeks to build a more inclusive and more equitable society for all in the country. It would have addressed the need for an economic programme that offers hard working Nigerians a path to legitimate livelihood and a stake in paving such a path. It would also have addressed the need to develop a common vocabulary to embed popular ownership of this anti-corruption effort. With no effort to contemplate, let alone include these in the document, the NACS could well end up like its predecessors: much heralded but tragically stillborn. It was not supposed to be such a missed opportunity.

 

See how husband nearly beat wife to coma in their sitting room (photos)

The issue of domestic violence does not seem to come to an end soon in Nigeria, as women will constantly be abused by their boyfriends or husbands. Women on the other hand, will be scared of reporting such a case to the public in order to either keep their home or because of their children. However, this silence is causing them more harm than good. Such is the case of this woman who was filmed while her husband threw several punches at her and nearly even beat her to coma in their own sitting room.

See how husband nearly beat wife to coma in their sitting room (photos)