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World Cup: Group demands additional slots for Africa

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World Cup: Group demands additional slots for Africa

World Cup: Group demands additional slots for Africa

A group, African Network For Peace And Good Governance, ANPG, has written to the Federation of International Football Association, FIFA, and President Gianni Infantino, demanding for additional four slots to be given to Africa continent before the 2026 World Cup.

The Executive Director ANPG, Bede Aneke, made the demand in an open letter to the FIFA President and made it available to journalists in Enugu on Monday.

In a letter entitled “An appeal to increase number of slots allocated to Africa in the FIFA World Cup,” Aneke noted that the football body had continued to allocate only five slots to Africa, CAF.

He contended that the number was not only unsatisfactory but inequitable to Africa continents when compared to other continents.

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Aneke said that he and other football lovers in Africa are demanding that the African continent be given at least four more slots in the four-year Mundial to make for a total of 9 slots for the continent, beginning from the next edition of the tournament in 2026.

According to him, FIFA’s recent record showed that FIFA has 208 member associations (countries) from six different Confederations, namely UEFA, CAF, AFC, CONCAF, CONMEBOL and OFC.

“Out of this number, Africa has the most significant number with 54 member associations, followed by Europe (UEFA), which has 52 member associations.

“Asia (AFC) has 46 member associations; North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCAF) has 35 member associations; South America (CONMEBOL) has just 10 member associations while Oceania (OFC) has 11 member associations,” he said.

He further stressed, “It is surprising that Africa has continued to be underrepresented in FIFA World Cup in terms of unbefitting slots to participate in the four-year world tournament.

“Under the present arrangement, 32 teams participate in the World Cup and Europe has the highest number of representation with 13 teams.”

Aneke expressed regret that Africa (CAF), with the highest number of member associations in FIFA, had just five slots. In contrast, AFC (Asia), CONCAF and CONMEBOL, with far fewer member associations, enjoy 5 and 4 slots.

The Director said many in Africa considered the slots given to them unfairly and part of the seemingly entrenched marginalisation of the football-loving continent.

He noted that the recent Bureau of the FIFA Council, comprising – Infantino, and the Presidents of six confederations that make up FIFA, met in Zurich and agreed on expanding the team participating in the World Cup from 32 to 48.

“Under the proposed expansion, UEFA gets three more slots, thereby taking Europe’s total slot to 16; CAF (Africa) will be given four more places, making it up to 9 slots for the continent.

“AFC gets a total of 8 slots; CONCAF and CONMEBOL will enjoy 6 slots each,” he stated.

Aneke appealed to Infantino to ensure that the nine slots proposed for Africa are realised and that Africa is not cheated when the Bureau presents its expansionist report to the FIFA Council for ratification in May 2023.

“This is necessary to give Africa, which parades an array of global stars, a sense of belonging and justice in the decisions and activities of the World’s football governing body.

“Anything short of this will be unacceptable as it portrays a clear unfair treatment and discrimination against Africa.

“If more and corresponding slots are given to Africa, it will make the World Cup more competitive and the real World Cup it ought to be as the present arrangement favours Europe to win the tournament,” he appealed.

World Cup: Group demands additional slots for Africa

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Federal Government Lodges Complaint Against Daily Trust with NMCC Over Samoa Agreement Report

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Federal Government Lodges Complaint Against Daily Trust with NMCC Over Samoa Agreement Report

Federal Government Lodges Complaint Against Daily Trust with NMCC Over Samoa Agreement Report

The Federal Government has filed a complaint against Daily Trust Newspapers with the National Media Complaints Commission (NMCC), also known as the Ombudsman, regarding a story on the Samoa agreement.

On Sunday, the NMCC confirmed receipt of the government’s complaint and stated that an investigation had begun. The statement was signed by Mr. Emeka Izeze, Chairman, and Mr. Feyi Smith, interim secretary of the NMCC.

The federal government’s complaint, dated July 8, was signed by Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, on behalf of Minister Mohammed Idris.

The government alleged that Daily Trust published an article on July 4, 2024, titled “LGBT: Nigeria Signs $150 Billion Samoa Deal,” containing false and misleading information that poses a severe threat to national security.

According to the complaint, the report claimed that the government had endorsed a European Union (EU) partnership agreement, referred to as the “Samoa Agreement,” with member states of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). The article suggested that the agreement included clauses compelling nations to support LGBTQ community recognition.

The government described the report as “false and misleading” and stated that it had resulted in hate speech, threats, intimidation, and cyberbullying directed at individuals and government officials across social media.

The federal government has requested the NMCC to thoroughly investigate the alleged misleading publication. It has also asked the commission to direct the newspaper’s management to publicly retract and correct the false information with equal prominence as the original article and issue an unequivocal apology. Additionally, the government urged the implementation of stricter editorial guidelines to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The NMCC acknowledged the complaint with a letter dated July 10, signed by Interim Secretary Mr. Feyi Smith, informing the ministry that the complaint was under review. The commission assured that the outcome would be communicated to the government and that the management of Daily Trust would be contacted for their response.

“As an independent media regulatory body, it is our duty to promote media adherence to the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct while ensuring the media operate in a free and unfettered environment,” the NMCC stated.

The commission emphasized that its investigation would be thorough and impartial, with full cooperation from all parties involved. Transparency throughout the process was also pledged.

The National Media Complaints Commission (NMCC) is an independent, multi-stakeholder co-regulatory body established by the Nigerian Press Organisations (NPO), including the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). It collaborates with the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) to resolve complaints about the press while maintaining high standards of journalism practice, ethics, and defending press freedom and the public’s right to know.

Federal Government Lodges Complaint Against Daily Trust with NMCC Over Samoa Agreement Report

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Family Narrowly Escapes as Building Collapses in Lagos

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Family Narrowly Escapes as Building Collapses in Lagos

Family Narrowly Escapes as Building Collapses in Lagos

By Halima Abdulkadiri

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) announced on Sunday that a family narrowly escaped death when their house on the outskirts of Lagos collapsed.

Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the agency’s Permanent Secretary, stated that the incident occurred around Adealu Bus-stop in the Ipaja area. LASEMA responded to a distress call received through the 767 and 112 emergency toll-free lines at 10:44 PM on Saturday, July 13.

“The building collapsed at No. 49, Oyinlola Street, off Adealu Bus-stop, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos. Upon arrival at the scene, investigations revealed that it was the boys’ quarters behind the storey-building that collapsed,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.

“Fortunately, the single family involved managed to escape before the collapse. There were no casualties or fatalities.”

Further investigations indicated that neglect and poor maintenance led to the collapse of the boys’ quarters. The agency’s response team conducted public awareness sessions to inform residents about the dangers of remaining in the compromised structure.

“The main building, which consists of nine rooms downstairs and two flats upstairs, has been cordoned off. All occupants have been advised to vacate the building immediately for their safety,” Oke-Osanyintolu added.

He recommended a manual demolition of the remaining structure and clearing of debris from the collapsed boys’ quarters. Additionally, integrity tests by the Material Testing Laboratory have been suggested to assess the safety of the main building.

Family Narrowly Escapes as Building Collapses in Lagos

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Kaduna Police Ban Unlawful Gatherings, Ashura Procession

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Kaduna Police Ban Unlawful Gatherings, Ashura Procession

By Halima Abdulkadiri

The Police Command in Kaduna State has announced a ban on all forms of unlawful gatherings by the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), including its planned Ashura procession.

The command’s spokesperson, ASP Mansir Hassan, issued the ban in a statement on Sunday in Kaduna. Hassan stated, “The command has banned every manner of illegal protest in the state.”

This decision follows intelligence reports indicating that the IMN, also known as Shi’ites, plans to hold a procession to mark the 2024 Islamic Ashura day ceremony. Hassan highlighted the violent history associated with these processions, stating, “The said ritual practice has in the recent past been characterized by unimaginable violence leading to the destruction of properties, injuries to persons, and even loss of lives.”

In response, the police command has issued a stern warning to IMN members to abandon their plans for the procession. Hassan emphasized that the command would enforce the law against any individuals or groups, particularly the outlawed IMN, who attempt to defy the ban.

Commissioner of Police for Kaduna State, Mr. Ali Dabigi, reassured law-abiding citizens to continue their activities without fear. He stressed that the state’s hard-earned relative peace would not be compromised by the actions of a few ‘renegades’.

Kaduna Police Ban Unlawful Gatherings, Ashura Procession

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