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Ahmad Ends Hayatou’s 29-year Reign as CAF President



  • Ahmad Ends Hayatou’s 29-year Reign as CAF President

Madagascar’s Football Federation President, Ahmad, thursday at the 39th General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ended the 29-year reign of Issa Hayatou as president.

Ahmad who is also the deputy senate president of the Indian Ocean island defeat the 71-year old Hayatou 34 votes to 20 to stall the Cameroonian’s eighth term bid that would have made him one of the world’s two longest serving sports administrators.

Moments after his victory inside the main chambers of the African Union House here, the 57-year-old Ahmad and his supporters erupted in a loud celebration. “This is sweet victory. This success is the reward for several months of hardwork. I am glad we have good success,” gushed Ahmad who became Madagascar’s FA president in 2003.

He paid glowing tribute to his team, which included Nigeria’s federation President, Amaju Pinnick, who worked tirelessly for months to make the feat possible.

“There were times when I believe we can effect a change in the leadership of CAF but as human, I times I think it was a tall order. When you try to do something, you mean that you can do it. If I can’t do it, I never stand,” revealed the newly elected CAF chief who automatically will replace Hayatou as First Vice President of football world governing body, FIFA.

Earlier, in his manifesto before voting began, Ahmad promised that his first priority on the job would be to modernise CAF’s operations and make it transparent.

He also promised to introduce a new code of ethics as well as extend the ethics checks on football officials in the continent.

Shortly after the CAF Congress returned from the 30 minutes break after the presidential election, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, was also elected into the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Despite opposition to his candidature, Pinnick defeated Moucharafou Anjorin of Benin Republic by 32 votes to 17.

The NFF boss is the third Nigeria to get to the CAF Council after Etubom Orok Oyo and Dr Amos Adamu were similarly elected in the past.

The 46-year-old former Delta Sports Commission chairman had told THISDAY hours before the elections that he was sure of ousting the Benin Republic football administrator.

Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi defeated Leodegar Tenga of Tanzania by 33-16 votes to get elected to the FIFA Council.

As at the time of filing this report last night, no less than six members of the Hayatou cabinet had lost their bids to return to the executive.

Late Nigerian Nigerian coaches, Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Okechukwu Keshi were remembered and given one minute silence along with other for players and administrators of the game who died recently. Late Uzama Douglas was amongst players also remembered.

Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi defeated

Eight past officials and journalists were also honoured with CAF’s Order of Merit. They include; Mostafa Badri, Joseph Gabio, Mark Glesson, Abel Mbengue, Genene Mekuria, Phillippe Zickgraf, Abennet Meskel and Hassan Hamdy.

Ethiopian President, Mulatu Teshome, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and African Union Chairperson, Mousa Faki Mahamat were at the general assembly that ushered in a brand new CAF executive to pilot affairs of African football for the next four years.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


COVAX Delivered 38m Vaccine Doses To Over 100 Countries, Says WHO



The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday announced that more than 100 countries have received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, the global mechanism for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

It said the milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally, to Ghana on February 24th.

In a statement, the United Nations’ Agency revealed that COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers – AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

It, however, said despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.

According to the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, “In under four months since the very first mass vaccination outside a clinical setting anywhere in the world, it is tremendously gratifying that the roll-out of COVAX doses has already reached 100 countries.

“COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers. As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet.

“If we are going to realise this great opportunity, countries, producers and the international system must come together to prioritise vaccine supply through COVAX. Our collective future, literally, depends on it.”

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Approved Ibom Deep Sea Port, Proposed $1.4B Fertilizer Plant Will Change Akwa Ibom’s Economic Status – Gov. Udom



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Akwa Ibom State Government has said the approved Ibom Deep Seaport and the proposed $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia Plant are expected to change the economic status of the state.

The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, made the assertion in an Easter message to the people of the state.

He maintained that with the recent approval and take off of the federal government’s approved Oil and Gas Free Zone and the ongoing construction of the Sterling Petrochemical Plant at Eastern Obolo, the state would be ready to dump its status as a civil service state.

The governor said the fertilizer and ammonia plants should be supported by all indegenes and residents irrespective of political affiliation because of its capacity to change the economic fortunes of the state.

The governor who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the industrial projects in the state said construction work on the Ibom Deep Seaport would commence very soon.

“In recent past, we have been blessed with life-changing projects such as Sterling Petrochemical Plant in Eastern Obolo, where construction is in an advanced stage.

“Two months ago, the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) approved the license for us to commence the construction of our long desired Ibom Deep Seaport. Work would soon commence on this gigantic project. These are huge achievements for our State and our people.

“Ibom Deep Seaport will open up our economic fortunes; create employment and wealth opportunities for our people and throw open our State as a major maritime hub in our nation.

“We thank the President and the Commander in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for this kind approval,” he said.

Continuing, Emmanuel said: “About three weeks ago, we signed a $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia plant with our Moroccan counterparts. The plant will again create huge employment and other supply chain activities for our people, which will transform us from a civil service oriented state to a fast industrialising one.

“These are huge achievements that should gladden the hearts of every Akwa Ibomite irrespective of political affiliations.”

He reminded the people of the state that the essence of Easter would be lost if the resurrection of Christ is not allowed to illuminate their souls through love and sacrifice to one another.

“Let the fishermen in the ocean fronts of Mbo, Okobo, Eastern Obolo and Ibeno love one another. Let the farmers in the rice plantations at Ini, Ikono, Ika, Onna and Nsit Ibom love one another.

“Let the civil servants and public servants, politicians in all political parties, members of all denominations, preachers of all faiths, love one another.

“When we let love drive our every action and every thought, when we let it drip from our lips and from our hands, then shall the joy of Easter be complete, and our State shall surely attain the lofty height set for it by our ancestors when they named it Akwa Abasi Ibom State.” the Governor stated.

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US Intelligence Says ISIS and Al-Qaeda Are Planning to Attack Southern Nigeria



The United States has warned the Federal Government of Nigeria that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are planning to attack Southern Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Dagvin Anderson, the Commander of the US special operations command, Africa.

According to Dagvin Anderson, AlQaeda is planning to expand into the Southern part of Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.

He, however, said the US will continue to share intelligence with Nigeria.

We have engaged with Nigeria and continue to engage with them in intel sharing and in understanding what these violent extremists are doing,” he said.

And that has been absolutely critical to their engagements up in the Borno state and into an emerging area of northwest Nigeria that we’re seeing al-Qaeda starting to make some inroads in. 

“So, this intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the government of Nigeria to provide them with an understanding of what these terrorists are doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what ISIS-West Africa is doing, and how ISIS and al-Qaeda are looking to expand further south into the littoral areas. 

Anderson regretted that despite successes recorded in previous years, there has been a setback, adding: “We as a community of international nations, keep thinking we have defeated them or we have put them on their back foot and that they’re just moments from disintegration.” Anderson said for international efforts to yield desired results in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, the government must take the lead. 

“When it comes to Nigeria in general, Nigeria, obviously, is a critical nation to West Africa. It is a critical nation and we realise that Nigeria is a lynchpin,” he said.

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