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EPL: Fabregas bids Chelsea team-mates farewell

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David Luiz has revealed Cesc Fabregas made an emotional farewell speech to his Chelsea team-mates, after playing his last match for the club.

Fabregas was handed the captain’s armband for the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Saturday, ahead of his expected January move to Monaco.

The Spain international appeared to wave goodbye to the Chelsea supporters when he was substituted in the closing stages of the match and Luiz says Fabregas addressed his team-mates in the dressing room after the game.

“He did a speech and then after that we all said thank you for him, and hugged him,” said Luiz, who declined to reveal what Fabregas said.

Sky reports Fabregas travelled to France on Sunday to hold talks with the Ligue 1 club.

Fabregas won four major trophies, including two league titles, during his time at Stamford Bridge and Luiz believes the 31-year-old will go down as one of the greatest players of the Premier League era.

“It’s always difficult to lose players, especially like him, because, like I say, he’s a world-class player but also I understand it’s part of the process, and if it’s better for him and better for the club, we have to understand that.

“One of the best players playing in England was him, everyone knows that.

“(It is) sad for everybody when you lose this kind of player, this kind of person, but I think everybody has to stand up and clap their hands for him – because he deserves it,” the Brazilian defender added.

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Arewa

Boko Haram: EFCC, ICPC told to probe NGOs undermining Nigeria’s fight against terror

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other anti-graft agencies have been asked to probe some Non Governmental Organizations undermining the ongoing fight against terror in Nigeria.

The Public Accountability Network, a civil society organization, which made this call on Sunday, decried the activities of some NGOs operating in Nigeria, which had contributed to the rising cases of terrorism in the nation.

PAN said it was shocked to discover that some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were in the business of providing wholesale support to Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) in order to remain in business.

Addressing newsmen on Sunday, the group through its Executive Director, Mark Daniel Atawodi, called for ban of any group found to have been collaborating with Boko Haram for their selfish interest.

He also urged the relevant authorities to go the extra length to put indicted organizations and their managers on trial with a view to securing the stiffest punishment possible to deter those that have the intention of supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP to remain persistent threat to Nigerians.

His statement below:

The confirmation by the Nigerian Army that Action Against Hunger, an NGO operating in the Northeast was “aiding and abetting” terrorists in this regard did not come as a surprise to us.

Public Accountability Network(PAN), with its sister NGOs had in the past raised concerns about the surreptitious activities of unscrupulous group that hide behind their international status or affiliation to commit crimes in Nigeria.
It is commendable that the Nigerian Army has proactively banned Action Against Hunger following the discovery of its support for terrorism.

We are however concerned that banning this one NGO is not enough. Action Against Hunger is a mere tip of the iceberg. It is just one of the many organizations that have engaged in activities that are inimical to the interest of Nigeria.

With Action Against Hunger being found out, its other accomplices have by now gone underground, since they will by now be doing their utmost to conceal their illicit activities. The network of these groups is extensive since they include local, continental and international NGOs that gained access to the theatre of operations under the pretext of carrying out humanitarian work.

It is therefore critical at this stage that the Nigerian Army, working with sister security agencies, conduct an audit of NGOs working in areas plagued by Boko Haram insurgency. The essence of this audit is to ascertain the authenticity of the statement of claim that each organization made to gain access to the region. Violation of the terms on which they were accredited to the area would flag other mischief they have been up to.

The Nigerian Army must similarly leverage the special skills available in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the ICPC to trace the sources of finances of these NGOs. This is against the background that many of them are being financed by foreign interests that are obsessed with destroying Nigeria as a sovereign nation.

Even some local NGOs are complicit of running errands financed from such questionable funds that allowed them to operate as proxies and franchises for the larger saboteurs.

We consequently demand that the Army, working with these anti-graft agencies, immediately investigate the finances of all groups operating in the Northeast.

This investigation should cover what entities paid monies to NGOs operating in the area and the expenditure items of these organizations. In order words, Nigerian want to know who gave them money, what the moneys are meant for, who received the moneys and what the funds were spent on. In the event where payments are traceable to individuals, comprehensive background checks should be carried out to rule out any links to Boko Haram, ISWAP or any other terrorist group.

Our demand is based on the realization that these NGOs have the incentive to undermine Nigeria, an assignment they have assiduously carried out with all sense of impunity:

The criminal NGOs are supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP as a way of ensuring that the terrorists survive the military operation in order for them to validate their failed projections that the terrorists will bring about the end of Nigeria. The discovery of this treachery has however confirmed that Nigeria will overcome the evil they plotted for the country.

These NGOs are pained that their militant wings as represented by the terrorists have repeatedly taken beatings from the military. By supplying food and medication to these terrorists Action Against Hunger aims to reverse the progress made against the insurgent. This leaves us wondering if it is only food and medication that this NGO gave the terrorists since they could also have been behind the recent sophisticated weapons that the terrorists have been taking into battle.

They are also disappointed that the campaign of calumny mounted against the Nigerian state by its partners, like Amnesty International have only made the country stronger while the terrorists they are eager to allow to overrun the country are continually being defeated.

But they should not have taken their disappointment to the point where they further compromise the safety of the innocent Nigerians that will become the victims of a well fed Boko Haram.
The quest for increased donor funding, which would be possible when Boko Haram continues to remain a treat is an attraction for these terrorist NGOs.

They want to provide food and logistics that strengthen Boko Haram so that they will continue to have justification for requesting more funds. This is the lowest form of immorality. No one should prop up terrorists simply in order to raise more funds.

There has been concerns that the subversive activities of these questionable NGOs are at the instance of certain countries that have economic and geo-strategic objectives in Nigeria’s northeast. They have become the vehicles for delivering whatever interventions these countries have for undermining Nigeria.

Nigerians should not forget that the Army had in the past caught out some associates of these NGOs using the cover of their work in the region to gather intelligence that they then pass on to the terrorists.

This particular objective of the indicted NGOs is o dangerous that it has been identified as a key factor in the instances when troops were ambushed. Genuine stakeholders had raised concerns about this but they were dismissed as conspiracy theorists.

The lie of providing food and care for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) when in reality they were servicing Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists is also conveniently being used as manipulated data that will be misinterpreted to create the impression that things are more dire than the reality on ground suggests.

Action Against Hunger and its fellow pseudo terrorist NGOs might have tainted the concept and practice of humanitarian relief work as seen from the resulting public ire, we nonetheless recognize that there are good organizations that are doing good work in in providing succour to persons and families affected by the activities of terrorists. We wholeheartedly welcome the objectives and the activities of these good ones especially at a time that humanity is being threatened by insurgents. We recommend such groups as the shining example that those scheming to profit from the human misery caused by terrorism.

With the knowledge that we now have of the subversive role being played by organizations like Action Against Hunger, we call on the United Nations and its subsidiaries, supra-national bodies and responsible donor partners to stop funding this organization and others with links to it. These potential donors must, in the interest of humanity, ensure that they implement stringent pre-qualification parameters for funds recipients to ensure that the resources they have earmarked for helping humanity are not diverted for terrorists’ use.

We want to conclude by asking that ban of any group found to have been collaborating with Boko Haram is not enough. The government should go the extra length to put indicted organizations and their managers on trial with a view to securing the stiffest punishment possible deter those that have the intention of supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP to remain persistent threat to Nigerians.

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Buhari

Soyinka: ‘Sowore, Welcome To The Club’ As Nobel Laureate Slams Buhari Regime As Being Paranoid

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Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says the President Muhammadu
Buhari regime has attained an “unprecedented level of paranoia”
following the charges of treason filed against human rights activist,
Omoyele Sowore.

In a statement on Saturday, Soyinka said the nation had failed to
learn from past experiences.

He said, “This is utterly depressing news. So, the Sowore affair has
moved beyond harassment and taken on a sinister direction. Outside the
country where I happened to be engaged at the moment, I can testify
that the immediate reaction around me was to dismiss this as yet
another grotesque product of fake news, of which Nigerians have become
the greatest practitioners. I confess that I also joined in this
school of thought – at the start.

“Further checks have however confirmed that this government has indeed
attained an unprecedented level of paranoia. I do not believe that the
justice department itself believes in these improbable charges, as
formally publicized.

“So, once again, we inscribe in our annals another season of
treasonable felony. History still guards some lessons we have yet to
digest, much less from which to learn. Welcome to the Club, Mr.
Omoyele Sowore.”

The Buhari regime had on Friday filed seven counts of treasonable
felony and money laundering against Sowore.

The charges were filed a day before the expiration of the detention
order of the Federal High Court in Abuja permitting the Department of
State Services to keep the activist for 45 days.

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Iran declares readiness for war with US, Saudi Arabia

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Iran has expressed its readiness for an “all-out war” if the United States or Saudi military strikes against the country.

Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, made the declaration in an interview with CNN as the US, which has announced highest sanction ever, begins troop deployment to the kingdom.

Notin that Iran hoped to avoid conflict and was willing to talk to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Zarif stated that his country would not discuss with the US unless it gets full relief from sanctions as promised under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Insisting that Iran did not blow up Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, Zarif threatened that a US or Saudi military strike would lead to “all-out war.”

“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” said Zarif.

Tehran’s top diplomat added that a military response based on “deception”would cause “a lot of casualties. But we won’t blink to defend our territory”.

Meanwhile, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Major Gen. Hossein Salami, has issued similar warning.

“Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue any aggressor,” he remarked on state TV broadcast at the weekend.

Earlier, Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said that the kingdom is “certain” that the drone launch did not come from Yemen, as Houthi rebels there claimed.

His words: “It came from the north. It was done with Iranian weapons, therefore we hold Iran accountable for this attack. The kingdom will take the appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability.”

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