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Ndubuisi Egbo: A Man Bracing the Hostility of European Football

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EMMANUEL NDUBUISI EGBO: A MAN BRACING THE HOSTILITY OF EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

BY ABIODUN MOHAMMED

Undeniably, many Nigerian footballers are known for cutting the Gordian knot in European football but little or nothing has been heard, until now of a Nigerian coach leading a team in Europe, not to talk of competing in the UEFA Champions League.

The name making waves across Europe is, Ndubuisi Egbo. Interestingly, during his playing days, Egbo hardly caught the eye of the football world as he played for several clubs in Africa and few others in remote European countries.

There is a school of thought that believes great players hardly become great managers. Perhaps, that notion galvanized the 47-year-old to saving the best for the last, becoming a great manager.

The former Julius Berger and Al-Masry goalkeeper burst onto the coaching scene in 2010 while he was still managing the pipes for KF Bylis in the Albanian Superliga.

Egbo retired in 2011 after making 52 appearances for Bylis, a development which helped him concentrate more on his role as goalkeeper’s trainer until 2014 when he joined his former club, KF Tirana as goalkeeper’s trainer.

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However, in 2015, the man who earned 12 caps while playing for Nigeria was asked to take charge of Tirana alongside another member of the technical crew after the team’s head coach, Shkëlqim Muça was sacked. Astonishingly, the 1.82-meter-tall coach guided his team to lifting the 2019/2020 Albanian SuperLiga, becoming the first Nigerian to achieve such feat.

As if that was not enough, Ndubuisi Egbo became the first African to qualify and lead a team in the UEFA Champions League before shocking skeptics by becoming the first African head coach to record a victory in Europe’s premier club football competition on 19th August against Dinamo Tbilisi.

Unfortunately, Egbo and his team could not advance beyond the second qualifying round of the UCL after they lost to Serbian side Crvena Zvezda.

Obviously, the word “first” is dominant on the resume of the man who has managed 21 victories in 32 games since 9th December, 2019, losing only 7 times during that period and many enthusiasts are impressed with his burgeoning record in European football and hope that someday such Nigerian export would help Nigerian football record unparalleled success on the global scene.

“Ndubuisi Egbo has been an outstanding coach, what we never valued before, he has put it straight and let us realize that he has something to offer,” Clement Oloruntoba said.

“I think he is eminently qualified to lead Nigerian teams, he is a Nigerian, he knows the chemistry of our boys so he will be able to do better than when you bring a foreigner into this country,” Ganiyu Oloyede opined.

“It is not time for him to come to the national team setup, he almost got into the Champions League, probably he would get into the Europa League if not this season, next season,” Usha Maidodo stressed.

“It is very good for us to have someone like that doing well in Europe. My prayers for him is to continue the good work and he should extend that good work back home here,” Patrick Pascal said.

At a time when stereotyping blacks is vigorously confronted across the world, outstanding performances like that of the Aba-born tactician would definitely help the course of “black lives matter movement”.

While coach Egbo continues to look out for more records to break in European football with KF Tirana, it remains to be seen if the former goalkeeper will not be poached by bigger clubs in Europe.

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Buhari meets new EFCC chairman Bawa in Aso Villa

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has met with the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.

Though details of the closed-door meeting have not been revealed, photos from the meeting were shared on the official Twitter handle of the Nigerian Government.

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“President @MBuhari received in audience the newly appointed @officialEFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa at the State House, Abuja,” the photos were captioned.

Bawa who was nominated for the EFCC job by Buhari was yesterday confirmed by the Senate after a screening session.

During the screening, he addressed the allegation that some assets belonging to the anti-graft Commission in Port Harcourt were sold by him.

“I never sold a single truck at the Port Harcourt office; the head office handled that at the time,” he said.

“When I took over the Port Harcourt office, they had 34 convictions but when I got there, we recorded 216 convictions.

“Anybody that is familiar with the processes of the EFCC knows that the chairman doesn’t have the power to sell an asset but the secretary of the agency.”

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Biden Revokes Trump’s Immigrant Visa Ban

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President Joe Biden has revoked former President Donald Trump’s order that limited the number of new work visas for temporary foreign workers in the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic.“The suspension of entry imposed in Proclamation 10014… does not advance the interests of the United States.

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“To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here,” Biden said in the order provided by the White House on Wednesday. In June 2020, Trump signed a proclamation that suspended certain categories of non-immigrant work visas as part of an effort to revive the U.S. economy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The list includes H-1B visas for work in high-tech industries and a range of others for low-skill workers, interns, teachers, and company transfers.

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Maina: Court Refuses To Grant Ex-pension Boss Bail

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, refused to grant a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, bail.

Justice Okon Abang, held that Maina’s application for bail lacked merit.

Justice Abang also said though it was at the court’s discretion to grant bail, the ex-pension reformed boss did not deserve bail after jumping the first bail.

The judge added that Maina did not place sufficient materials before the court to convince the court that he deserves the second bail.

He said the medical report brought from the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital showed that Maina was not under any medical emergency.

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The judge said Maina was not only a flight risk but a proving risk, having fled to the Republic of Niger and Chad in violation of the court order.

“He has disappointed the court,” he said.

Justice Abang, who refused to grant Maina’s application for an order directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to release his confiscated property, including a BMW Car, also dismissed his request for an order to set aside the Nov. 18 and Dec. 4, 2020 orders.

The court on November 18, 2020, ordered the trial of Maina in absentia after he jumped bail.

Also on December 4, 2020, the court ordered Maina to be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing and final determination of his matter.

But Maina, who jumped bail last year and fled to the Republic of Niger before his rearrest, had on December 24, 2020, applied for another bail. Maina, through his lawyer, Anayo Adibe, on Jan. 20, approached Justice Abang in a motion on notice.

He argued that the application became necessary over his worsening health condition.

In the motion, the ex-pension boss told the court that he had reasonable and responsible sureties who were willing to act as sureties if granted bail.

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