Tag Archives: Saudi

Newcastle shows Serious Interest in Barca’s Coutinho

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Newcastle United ‘want to make Philippe Coutinho their statement signing’ once their Saudi takeover is completed and Mauricio Pochettino is installed as manager.

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The £300million deal, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is awaiting the approval of the Premier League but has been held up following Qatar’s broadcast piracy allegations.

Assuming the takeover goes through, Newcastle’s spending power would be transformed with former Tottenham manager Pochettino seen as the man to deliver a potential title challenge.

And, according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Brazilian star Coutinho could be on his way to St James’ Park as one of Newcastle’s first signings.

Barcelona wish to sell Coutinho to raise funds to buy Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez and potentially Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

Valued at around £70million, Coutinho has been linked with Chelsea and Leicester City but Mundo Deportivo believe Newcastle could swoop in.

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Coutinho, 27, moved from Liverpool to Barcelona for an initial fee of £105m potentially rising to £142m in January 2018.

But he has struggled to make an impact at the Nou Camp and is currently on loan at Bayern Munich in Germany, who have no intention of making the move permanent.

~Phillipe Coutinho

Pochettino, the former Tottenham boss, actually coached Coutinho in 2012 when the Brazilian was on loan at Espanyol from Inter Milan.

Mundo report that Barcelona are unwilling to budge on their valuation as they wish to recoup as much of their 2018 outlay as possible on a player contracted until 2023.

Newcastle’s vast new wealth would also be able to comfortably afford the expense.


#NobleSports

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Minor Criminals to escape death sentence in Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia has abolished the death sentence on individuals who committed crimes while still minors, the latest in a series of reforms pushed forward by the Saudi royal family.

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The latest development was disclosed by the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) in a statement, citing a royal decree by King Salman, on Sunday.

This is coming a day after abolished flogging as a punishment, in the country’s Supreme Court announcement on Saturday.

In its latest annual report earlier this month, Amnesty International rated Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s biggest executioners after Iran and China.

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“The decree means that any individuals who received a death sentence for crimes committed while he or she is a minor can no longer face execution.

“Instead, the individual will receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile detention facility,” HRC President Awwad Alawwad said in the statement on Sunday, according to gatherings by NobleReporters.

“This is an important day for Saudi Arabia.

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“The decree helps us in establishing a more modern penal code, and demonstrates the kingdom’s commitment to following through on key reforms across all sectors of our country,” Alawwad said.

According to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019 and these people included at least one person charged with a crime committed as a minor.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Saudi authorities seize 5 million illegally stored medical masks.


Saudi authorities have seized more than five million medical masks that were illegally stockpiled amid the coronavirus outbreak, state media reported on Sunday.

The commerce ministry seized 1.17 million masks from a private store in Hail, northwest of the capital, after authorities Wednesday confiscated more than four million masks stored in a facility in the western city of Jeddah in violation of commercial regulations, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.


The ministry said people behind activities such as the illegal storage of medical masks would be prosecuted, and that the confiscated masks would be redistributed to the open market.

Pharmacies in the oil-rich kingdom have reported shortages of masks amid panic buying, as authorities warned against prices hikes.


Saudi Arabia is scrambling to limit the spread of the deadly disease at home.

The kingdom’s health ministry has reported more than 1,200 COVID-19 infections and four deaths so far, the highest number of cases in the Gulf region.

It has imposed a nationwide partial curfew, barred entry and exit from Riyadh as well as Islam’s two holiest cities Mecca and Medina and prohibited movement between all provinces.

King Salman warned last week of a “more difficult” fight ahead against the virus, as the kingdom faces the economic double blow of virus-led shutdowns and crashing oil prices.


#Newsworthy…

Breaking – FG pledges to deepen Saudi Arabia’s economic ties.

THE Federal Government on Thursday pledged its readiness to deepen economic ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to further promote investment and trade between both countries. Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa expressed government’s position in Abuja at the Nigerian Hajj and Umrah Exhibition (NHAU) and Forum on investment opportunities between Nigeria and Saudi companies.

The exhibition was put together by Saudi Arabia’s companies in collaboration with their Nigerian counterparts to showcase Saudi products and the business opportunities that are abound in Nigeria. Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa described the exhibition as a good sign for Nigeria’s economy.

She asked Nigerians in the diaspora to partner with their home country, saying the objective of NiDCOM was to create a platform where diaspora investors could invest and partner with the country to build Nigeria.

Assuring the commitment of NiDCOM to partner with the promoters, Yaro Brothers, to also showcase Nigeria’s products in Saudi Arabai in subsequent time, she said NiDCOM through Nigerians in the diaspora would continue to bring investment opportunity to the country.

She said: “The exhibition is simply amazing and to see all these people coming from Saudi Arabia to exhibit in Nigeria, it tells a whole lot of the things Nigerian youths can do and we should all be proud of our country.

#Newsworthy…

Buhari sends a victorious salute letter to Anthony Joshua over his win.

Buhari salutes Joshua over Ruiz Jr. victory
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a message of congratulations to Anthony Joshua following his victory over Andy Ruiz Jr, which ensured he regained his world boxing titles which he lost to the Mexican six months ago.

Buhari, speaking through his Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said he was saluting Joshua for bringing joy to millions of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, who had rooted for him to regain the titles he lost about six months ago.

In a tweet on the verified Government of Nigeria Twitter handle, the President said: “The downfall of a man is truly not the end of his life. There’s always another, and better day. This is a lesson we must all learn from you as a country.”

Adesina’s tweet concluded by adding: “He wishes @anthonyfjoshua well as he seeks to bring more glory to Nigeria, and to the boxing profession.”

Saturday’s night win meant Joshua became a two-time word heavyweight champion by exacting revenge over Ruiz Jr in dominant fashion with a unanimous points victory in a tense rematch in Saudi Arabia.

Six months on from the night where Ruiz stunned boxing, Joshua risked his career being left in tatters with a second defeat but served up 36 minutes of movement and well-timed punching to take the IBF, WBA and WBO titles back to Britain, reports the BBC.

After cutting his Mexican rival inside the first round he simply never looked back and picked out smart jabs and right hands throughout before being serenaded with chants of “AJ, AJ, AJ” by the 14,000 or so fans in the largely full Diriyah Arena.

Ruiz never looked close to landing a knockdown and when scores of 118-110 118-110 and 119-109 were read out, Joshua jumped up and down in the ring in celebration, just as the man who had wrecked his US debut did in June.

#NobleSport

#Newsworthy…

Anthony Joshua Defeats Andy Ruiz As He Reclaims His Titles.

…IBF, WBA, WBO

Anthony Joshua has defeated Andy Ruiz Jr at the Diriyah Arena, Saudi Arabia to reclaim his IBF, WBA and WBO titles.

Joshua lost the titles to Ruiz in a shock June defeat in New York. With his victory, Joshua has joined greats such as Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield on the list of heavyweights to reclaim world titles on the first attempt.

Dominating from the outset, Joshua won by margins of 118-110 on two scorecards with the third judge making it 119-109.

#NobleSport

#Newsworthy…

More photos of how Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Fight Amuse The Crowd.

Anthony Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz Jr in their world heavyweight title rematch which took place on Saturday Dec 7 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The British-Nigerian boxer who suffered a shocking defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr back in June in New York City, regained his IBF, WBA and WBO titles as he defeated the Mexican-American boxer by unanimous decision.

See more photos from heavyweight boxing rematch as Anthony Joshua defeats Andy Ruiz to regain his titles

The bout which lasted until 12 rounds was scored 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 by the judges.

Speaking on his victory, Joshua said: “I wanted to put on a boxing masterclass.”

“First of all, thanks to god. The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice,” he said.

“I knew I could win this. This is about boxing, I’m used to knocking guys out.

“I gave the man his credit, I said I would correct myself, I respect Andy, But I wanted to put on a boxing masterclass.

“It’s the sweet science, it’s about hitting and not getting hit.

“No change in mentalist, stay hungry and stay humble. I’m going to remain humble in victory. Thanks to Ruiz and his family, thanks to Saudi, the fans and thanks to god and Eddie Hearn.”

See more photos from the fight below.

See more photos from heavyweight boxing rematch as Anthony Joshua defeats Andy Ruiz to regain his titlesSee more photos from heavyweight boxing rematch as Anthony Joshua defeats Andy Ruiz to regain his titlesSee more photos from heavyweight boxing rematch as Anthony Joshua defeats Andy Ruiz to regain his titlesSee more photos from heavyweight boxing rematch as Anthony Joshua defeats Andy Ruiz to regain his titlesSee more photos from heavyweight boxing rematch as Anthony Joshua defeats Andy Ruiz to regain his titles

#NobleSport

#Newsworthy…

Andy Ruiz regrets after losing to Anthony Joshua, says he has been partying for 3months.

Mexican-American boxer, Andy Ruiz who spearheaded one of the biggest upsets in boxing by defeating Anthony Joshua to win the world heavyweight titles in New York in June, has blamed his defeat in their rematch on three months of partying and celebration.

The boxer who rolled out his excuses at the post match conference, said he partied, became overweight and undertrained for the rematch which took place in Saudi Arabia on Saturday December 7.

Andy Ruiz said: “Three months of partying and celebrating affected me, what can I say?

“Being overweight, I wasn’t fluid enough, I wasn’t moving the way I wanted to move.

“I think if I’m lighter I’m going to let my hands go and be a completely different fighter.”

When asked what he would have done differently if granted a rematch against Anthony Joshua, he said;

“Listen to my coach. Listen to my dad. And take it more seriously.

“I’m OK, I’m just a little disappointed. I should have listened to them.

“I tried to do the training on my own. I should have listened to them more.

“There’s no excuses…the partying and all that stuff got the best of me.

“For being out of shape I did pretty good, I took all his shots.”

Ruiz recognized that he lost a wide decision to Joshua but said he holds a victory too. He said the scores are tied with one win apiece and he wants a trilogy bout.

“I know for the third one I’m going to be a lot better.”

He added: “There’s a lot of responsibility being a champion of the world. I think the partying and all that stuff got the best of me. Next time it’ll be a lot better.”

#Newsworthy…

Saudi Arabia’s king, salman rage at Pensacola barbaric gun attack.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman condemned a gun attack at a US naval base by a Saudi student as “barbaric”, President Donald Trump said.

He tweeted that the monarch had called him to offer “sincere condolences”.

The gunman, an aviation student, killed three people and injured at least eight at the base in Pensacola, Florida, before being shot dead.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the Saudi government was “going to owe a debt” to the victims.

The attacker has been named by US media as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. He used a handgun during the shooting.

The FBI are yet to declare a motive but are believed to be investigating for links to terrorism.

“There are many reports circulating, but the FBI deals only in facts,” special agent Rachel Rojas told a news conference on Friday night.

Saudi Arabia is a key US ally in the Middle East and the two countries have longstanding military exchange programmes. The shooting has already prompted questions about the vetting of foreign military personnel sent to the US for training.

It is the second shooting to take place at a US military base this week.

A US sailor shot dead two workers at the Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii on Wednesday.

What has Saudi Arabia said?
“King Salman of Saudi Arabia just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack,” President Trump tweeted.

“The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.”

In a separate statement, the Saudi foreign ministry called the attack “horrific” and said it would provide “full support” to the investigation.

President Trump has maintained close relations with Saudi leaders despite the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote a column for the Washington Post newspaper, in the country’s consulate in Turkey in October 2018.

Jamal Khashoggi murder trial opens in Saudi Arabia

Jamal Khashoggi: The story so far
Saudi officials have said Khashoggi, a high-profile critic of the government in Riyadh, was killed in a “rogue operation” by a team of agents. But many critics believe otherwise and a UN expert concluded that the death was an “extrajudicial execution”.

How did the attack in Pensacola unfold?
Authorities were alerted to the shooting in a classroom at the base on the waterfront south-west of Pensacola at 06:51 local time (12:51 GMT) on Friday.

The Pensacola base was in lockdown after the attack
The assault ended when a sheriff’s deputy shot dead the attacker. Two officers were shot in the limbs but are expected to recover.

“Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie,” said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

According to its website, Naval Air Station Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel.

Who was the attacker?
Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani was a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force in training at the site, US officials say. There are reports that he posted an online manifesto before the attack but this is yet to be confirmed.

Several Saudi nationals were detained near the scene of the shooting, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

According to the US Navy, there had in recent weeks been 18 Saudi naval aviators and two aircrew members training at Pensacola.

An investigation was taking place and names of victims would not be released until next of kin had been notified, it said in a statement.

What has the reaction been?
“There’s obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi air force and then to be here training on our soil,” said Gov DeSantis.

“Obviously the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims and I think they’re going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals,” he added.

Media captionFlorida governor: ‘The Saudi government will owe a debt here’
Senator Rick Scott, the ex-governor of Florida, called for a review of training programmes for foreign military personnel on US soil.

“We shouldn’t be providing military training to people who wish us harm,” he said.

The US defence secretary, Mark Esper, said he wanted to make sure that vetting was adequate.

“I want to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence to understand: What are our procedures? Is it sufficient?” he told reporters.

Meanwhile Saudi officials have continued to condemn the attack, including vice-minister of defence, Khalid bin Salman, who said he trained at a US base like many others in the Saudi military.

Skip Twitter post by @kbsalsaud

Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان

@kbsalsaud
Replying to @kbsalsaud
A large number of Saudi graduates of the Naval Air Station in Pensacola moved on to serve with their U.S counterparts in battlefronts around the world, helping to safeguard the regional and global security. Today’s tragic event is strongly condemned by everyone in Saudi Arabia

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Timothy Kinsella, the base commanding officer, earlier said he was “absolutely in awe” of the response to the attack.

“There was some real heroism today,” he said. “I’m devastated. We are in shock. This is surreal, but I couldn’t be prouder to wear the uniform that I wear because of my brothers and sisters in uniform, civilian or otherwise, that did what they did today to save lives.”

#Newsworthy…

Chief Kenny Martins – How Saudi Arabia Controls Nigeria.

Abacha, Abiola & IBB connection

Chief Kenny Martins in this interview with CHIDI OBINECHE reveals the undercurrents and untold role of the Saudi Arabia government, and other Nigerians in the June 12, 1993 presidential election saga, presumed to have been won by the late M.K.O Abiola, and the role of other prominent Nigerians to de- annul it and free Abiola from detention.

Nigeria has of recent been facing very difficult times. While the hardship in the land subsists, some men whose names rang bells in the hey days of military rule and pro- democracy struggles went the way of all mortals. I know you did relate with some of them. How do you feel over these sad incidents?

In the last few days, I have lost two great men. I met them as I embarked on my journey or quest to see how I can contribute to the betterment of this nation. In that journey, I met these two men who were also major actors. They were very positive major actors, and two of them made impact along the line. Those two men were Dr. Ore Falomo and Chief Alex Akinyele. I have known Chief Alex Akinyele since the 70s, and I knew him more closely in the 80s. I remember then he used to live in Ilasa. I don’t know whether most people know the story of his closeness with IBB, the former military president you know, he served in the government of IBB as minister of information. I don’t know what IBB will say because some of the nieces and nephews of Chief Akinyele were my friends then, and I practically passed his house every night. There were times that Mr. President then came to his house in the night under the cover of anonymity. He would sneak in without aides, security or convoy and drove himself, and I used to wonder. Mr. President will come all the way from Doddan Barracks to this man’s house in that part of the town. I didn’t have any closeness with IBB then. But I reasoned that no wonder this man always got to know what was happening in Nigeria ahead. He will come with minimum protocol and security officers. I am sure that if I see him (Babangida) , I will also commiserate with him and also ask him what he used to come and do at Akinyele’s house that time? So, while I am writing my memoirs, my book, about some of the things that happened in my life and some of the things that happened in this country, what I believe would have been done right and what should be done right to get the nation to achieve its destiny, I will also review some of these recollections. And I remember these two men. I feel sad over the loss of these men.

What particularly were their contributions to the June 12 debacle beyond Ore Falomo being Abiola’s personal physician and the closeness of Akinyele to IBB?

I would have wanted to meet them, refresh their memories and their contributions, which ultimately will substantially be part of the book we are putting together. When Chief Abiola was jailed, I remember reading an interview by Kola Abiola, Abiola’s son and the other by another key insider of the June 12 struggle and all of them alluded to the fact that it was an epoch in the life of this country. When MKO was in jail, you see, I have this gift of seeing things and hearing things as in the mold of a prophet. For almost one year, the family couldn’t see him. And one day, I will talk on the June 12 saga, how June 12 became a huge problem, how they arrested Abiola, and all the struggles throughout June 12, how he was jailed, Shonekan, Abdullasalm and all the efforts to get OBJ( Obasanjo) to get Abiola out of jail. OBJ himself was also all over the place seeking to find ways to lower the tension in the land. Things were not normal. Abacha was in power. Most of these issues were not necessary and completely avoidable, and they were raising the political temperature, both nationally and globally. There were a lot of things that were not done right. There were fireworks here and there and no one was sure of where the country was heading to without normalcy. It was under this situation that I went to meet Justice Mamman Nasir, Galadima of Malumfashi when that judgment came.

Which judgment are you referring to?

Have you forgotten about the judgment that stiffened the struggle? I went to meet him in his house at Katsina . He asked me to come in, and he said I hope no problems. I said no problem sir. It is just that I am close to Kola and the family, and I have been talking to them, and I know that they have not been able to see their father for over a year. The important thing was to do something about the Abiola issue urgently. “What can we do to get the man out of there? If we don’t do that, he will die and that will be of great consequence to the country. We need to find a way to break this deadlock that has seized the country by the throat”. He pondered and said, ‘but what do we do?’. I said I had to do something. I sold some ideas which I believed could be helpful, provided the government and the late Gen Abacha will also agree and follow that route, and I believe we can involve some of the leaders. You know how Ernest Shoneken came? We used him and others to work, so that all those who were in prison can come out. You remember how Shonekan came, and after a few days in power, we also used him to bring back all those who were in exile, asking him to make a pronouncement so that all the exiles will come back from exile. If these people could be released, we reasoned, the tension in the land will be lowered and the government can function better without the distractions of protests, defiance and cold war. We also prevailed on Obasanjo not to relent on the pressure he was mounting for the release of the prisoners of conscience, particularly Abiola.

But there is widespread information that Obasanjo worked against June 12?

Those stories are not correct. When my book is out, Nigerians will know about who did what or who did not. That is all I can say on that. Back to what I was saying, the pressure to release Abiola by Obasanjo and others gave a lot of international attention to Nigeria. Justice Nasir, asked, “What are you doing?” I said, myself, I have gotten this idea to the Saudi government about Abacha. I told him that I told the Saudi authorities that General Abacha was always complaining about them, that they were not giving him same treatment and accord that they gave General Babangida. When Babangida was in power, he was their blue- eyed prince. But since Abacha had been here as Nigeria’s military ruler, they would not deal with him and he is a Muslim too. He was wondering why they were behaving like that to him. There was this hostility by the Saudi authorities to Abacha’s government.

Apart from Abacha and Abiola being Muslims, what other undercurrents were responsible for the attitude of Saudi Arabia to Abacha, Abiola and June 12?

This dampness of relationship between the two governments was at the root of some of the troubles that we needed to remove in order to get Abiola out of detention and reclaim his mandate. I told him that was the reason and suggested that we optimize the approaching Hajj in that respect. As we were speaking, the Hajj was quite close. The Saudi government had already pronounced that because of isolated cases of meningitis in Nigeria, that Nigerians had been banned from coming to Mecca. And that had created serious problems for the government of Abacha. There must be a way to find a win- win situation between the two governments. The Saudi government said they didn’t have anything against the Abacha government, but he can’t be there holding this true Muslim(Abiola) like him in captivity and everybody was pleading and appealing to him, and he was not allowing the man to go. Why should he do that to a fellow Muslim? Then why do we pray and what is everybody doing to get justice and facilitate the release of the man from prison since he was innocent? They said that if that is what goes on in Nigeria, then, it is bad. So, I didn’t know how close Chief Abiola was to them, and so many efforts were just flying in the air. It became apparent that, this tango was why we were suffering. He would have agreed with them and explore the possibility to take Abiola into their country since they were the ones who supported him in his ITT business. It was their own majority in the business that gave him the position of Chairman, Africa/ Middle East, which helped him to become what he became. I remember Chief Akinloye told me the story of that business and how it boiled down to except Nigeria signed or President Shagari signed, they were not going to give it to Abiola. And they were not going to give it to Abiola because people were prevailing on Shagari not to do it. Akinloye was the chairman of the ruling party, NPN. That was when democracy was democracy, when democracy was a culture, when chairman of the party had regular weekly meetings, twice or so with the president. Actually, the president was subjected to the supremacy of the party, not now when governors and local government chairmen are the ones controlling the party. We have lost democratic culture in this country, and that is behind some of the problems we are having, and why the country is not developing. That’s by the way. So, Akinloye told me how he then prevailed on President Shagari to sign that paper, because except Nigeria endorsed that paper for Abiola, he won’t be awarded that contract. They must approve of you and recommend you if the job must be actualized. That was how it worked then, and it worked in Abiola’s favour despite the party primaries between Shagari and Abiola. Abiola contributed N1.2 billion preparing for the election under SDP where he emerged the party’s presidential candidate. It was about 60%, of the budget. Then, Yar Adua contributed 25%, and others contributed the rest. Some of us drew up the budget, the first budget in Nigeria, where you had everybody catered for- the security, the media and so on, so that there can be peace. And that was one of the reasons why we had the freest and fairest election. SDP, through Abiola facilitated and ensured that everybody was properly mobilized not only to win, but to protect the results. And that was why it still remains the freest and fairest election. So the idea was taken. And as for (National Democratic Coalition) NADECO, and those who were to give problems, you know they had a way of engaging them. Their visa was an issue. It was easy for them if the reasons were real and good to get them in. It was agreed based on the suggestions I made to Justice Nasir, that they could then sit down together and then create a platform so that Abiola and Abacha could discuss. And on top of that, if Abacha agreed, our pilgrims could go to Mecca within the few weeks left. I was optimistic about that and canvassed the possibility of still going to Mecca within the few weeks left. It was an open window to exploit, I reasoned. Justice Nasir said, is that true? I said yes sir. Well, he told me some personal constraints as to why he could not be able to get the president immediately. I was unrelenting. I said sir; this is what you can do. Forget about those who might be blocking you. I said the president will be willing to do business with you. The president will listen and reach you. Between man and God, within five minutes of our discussion, a call came from the villa; it was the Sultan of Sokoto, who I had just mentioned to Justice Nasir. He said “ ah Galadima, the president wants to see us next tomorrow, he will send a plane to pick us tomorrow and we have six leaders and six Emirs on our list. He turned to me and said, ah, you just said it and now I am being invited. I said to him, sir, when you get there, after the northern leaders meeting that they are calling you, call him aside and tell him what you have to tell him. I am sure that he will accede. Number one, the country is at a standstill, Abiola in jail, this one in jail, that one in jail, everybody in jail. He listened to me in rapt attention. The third day, he returned to Kaduna and called me. He said Kenny, where are you? I said I was in Lagos and he said come. I took the next flight to go to him. When I got there, he was in a meeting. He was chairing the meeting. He excused himself and came to me. He said, “come”. Your prayers are good. Abiola can go on bail. He said, it was a done deal but that the problem all along was Abiola’s lawyer, G.O.K Ajayi, who was making it complicated for Abiola to be released on bail for the reason I told you before. They were the ones opposed to the bail, telling Abiola not to accept it. I don’t want to go into details. I told you before, that I don’t want to say these things now. We agreed to change his lawyer, Abiola will get his visa, and he will be released. We will sit down, call a meeting, Nigerians will go on pilgrimage, and we will dot the I’s and cross the T’s. He, the president and I will monitor the changes. The Sultan, Justice Nasir will work to establish a platform that will broker peace. I will witness it. Let’s pronounce a transition and let’s go forward.

#Newsworthy…

Iran dares Israel, America, Saudi Arabia to cross the tehran’s red lines; Says they would be destroyed in no time..

Iran has vowed to ‘destroy’ America, Israel and Saudi Arabia if they cross Tehran’s ‘red lines’.

Gen Hossein Salami, the head of the country’s Revolutionary Guards, accused the US, Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia of stoking last week’s violent protests over fuel price hike.

Addressing a pro-government demonstration on Monday, he warned the West: ‘If you cross our red line, we will destroy you… We will not leave any move unanswered.’ Amnesty International says more than 100 people were killed in the protests.

Iran has not released a death toll and cut off internet for several days, making it hard to ascertain the extent and severity of the demonstrations.

Thousands of young and working-class Iranians took to the streets on November 15 after gasoline price hikes of at least 50 per cent were announced, voicing outrage at a further squeeze on living costs compounding hardships imposed by renewed US sanctions.

Protesters quickly expanded their demands to include a removal of leaders seen as unaccountable and corrupt. Violence erupted with at least 100 banks and dozens of buildings torched, the worst disturbances since unrest over alleged election fraud was crushed in 2009, with dozens killed by security forces.

On Monday, state television carried live footage of demonstrators chanting ‘Death to America,’ and ‘Death to Israel’, while marching toward Tehran’s Revolution Square to hear a speech by a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

State television and the foreign ministry had promoted the government-organised rally since Sunday in response to Western statements of support for the fuel price protests.

#Newsworthy…