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Kidnappers collect N2.5million for release of footballers – Teammate

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NPFL November

The captain of the Sunshine Stars Football Club of Akure, Sunday Abe, on Thursday revealed that the two footballers that were kidnapped on Benin-Akure Expressway, were released after a sum of N2.5million was paid.

The two footballers, Dayo Ojo of Enyimba FC and Benjamin Iluyomade of Abia Comets FC, who were former players of the Sunshine Stars, were kidnapped by some unknown gunmen on their way to Akure from their clubs had gone on vacation due to Covid-19 virus pandemic, on Sunday.

The kidnappers shortly after contacted their families and demanded a sum of N100million before they could be released. They were said to have been released on Thursday morning after the ransom was paid.

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However, Abe, who was a former teammate of the duo confirmed on Thursday in Akure, the state capital, that the hoodlums collected N2.5million before the victims were released, noting that the
money was paid in cash to the kidnappers.

Abe stated that he and some family members of the players took the money to the kidnappers one on one before his former teammates were released.

Narrating how the money was paid, he said:

“They called us around after 4 pm on Wednesday that we should come with the money, at times they asked me to send them recharge card, we tried to speak with them on the financial state of the country.

“We negotiated from N100m to N20m before they finally agreed on N2.5 million. They never asked us to drop the money inside the bush, they met with us one on one.

“They asked me to bring the money before they released them and we reached Akure around 1 am on Thursday.”

He added that the money was raised by the teams and families of the victims, saying Ojo’s team (Enyimba FC ) contributed N1.5m while family rallied round to get the remaining N1 million before they could release the duo.

He also confirmed that the kidnappers were young Fulani boys and the money was paid in cash to them, with other people abducted, bringing their own ransom to the spot where they asked them to come and meet them (the Fulani).

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The Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Leo-Tee Ikoro had confirmed that the footballers had been released.

Ikoro, however, noted that no ransom was paid before the release of the Nigeria Professional Football League players.

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Ighalo speaks on Manchester United loan extension

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Ighalo speaks on Manchester United loan extension

Recall that Manchester United on Monday announced an extension of Odion Ighalo’s loan deal till January 2021.

A really excited Ighalo then vowed to do all he can to make the English side go higher and higher.

Ighalo also appreciated Chinese club Shanghai for giving the support for him to remain at Old Trafford.

“I’m really happy. It’s a dream for me to be here. I’m buzzing and ready to go,” Ighalo told MUTV on Tuesday.

“The last few days have been difficult as there have been different talks about it but now I’m really happy so I need to concentrate fully. I’m here until the end of January, so it’s good for me.

“I decided I want to stay and I’m happy. Since the first day I arrived, I made it clear that I wanted whatever it takes to continue that work. It was very difficult, there were some talks, but I’m happy they finally agreed and got everything done. Everything is official now.

“I’m sending thanks to the Shanghai president and director for the support because they know this is what I want. So I’m thanking them and I’m happy that this has happened. They wish me all the best too.

“Like I’ve said, since I was young, I’ve been supporting this club and playing for it is a dream. Now I’ve extended my loan, it makes it even more clear and I’m committed as I know, in my head, I’m here until January ending. I just want to work hard and enjoy it, support the team and do whatever I can to make us go higher and higher.”

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“It’s different from where I’m coming from and different to where I was before,” he said. “It’s something I’ve never seen before and it makes me wonder if I’m dreaming or it’s reality.”

“I’m getting better and better every day,” he told the club’s website. “We have been training together the past two weeks now, so it’s getting close to the game. The sharpness is coming, the fitness is coming and everything is going well.

Speaking about how Covid-19 has affected his training at Manchester United, Ighalo said;

“It’s been strange, you know because you have to stay two metres apart to talk to your team-mates. Sometimes, you need to get close to give them some signs but now it’s two metres and it’s kind of strange.

“But this is what we have to do for us to be safe and for the game to go on. We are ready to do it and we’re happy to do it. Everybody is looking good. Running, working hard and playing football. Little two-a-sides and doing some ball work.

“Everyone is getting better and better. Everyone is back, even Paul is back training normally and Rashy is back training as normal. Everyone is training normally and training full and all that, so the squad is full and everyone is ready, I think.

“I can’t wait for the league to start again. I’m really looking forward to it. We’re working hard and I believe we’re going to do great.”

Recall that Ighalo joined United in a Deadline Day move in January and he already has four goals in eight appearances in all competitions prior to the suspension of the Premier League.

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Wenger, perfect candidate to become new Arsenal chairman – Martin Keown

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Former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown, has said legendary manager Arsene Wenger, would be the perfect choice to become the new Arsenal chairman.

Sir Chips Keswick retired from the position last week, after spending 15 years on the board.

Keswick admitted he always wanted to leave, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made him bring his decision forward.

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The Gunners are now looking for Keswick’s successor and Keown insists Arsenal should look no further than Wenger.

“It would be something special to see Arsene Wenger come onto the board.

“I don’t think so somehow, I think he’s said recently he doesn’t want to do that, never saw himself as someone who would sit on the board but they could do a lot worse.

“You know that I feel that would be almost the perfect answer for Kroenke, the young Josh Kroenke, he needs that older person perhaps around, someone with the experience,” Keown told talkSPORT.

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Aisha Buhari adopts kids of late Para-Powerlifting champion, Ndidi Nwosu

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Nigerian paralympic gold medalist Ndidi Nwosu is dead

Four-time para – powerlifting world medalist, Mrs Ndidi Nwosu had been laid to rest at her Umuagbada, Umuoba, Eziachi Orlu, home in Imo State.

Speaking at the funeral of the late sports ambassador, the wife of the president and grand patron, Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation, Hajia(Dr) Aisha Buhari, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Enugu State and Matron of the Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation, Hon. (Mrs) Cecilia Ezeilo expressed shock over the death of the late sports ambassador, Mrs Ndidi Nwosu.

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She said that through her Non-Governmental organization, she will carter for the late Ndidi ‘s two children. Hajia Buhari described, Ndidi as a “great Nigerian”, saying:

“She came, represented Nigeria in international Para Powerlifting championships and came home with medals.”

The wife of the president prayed God to grant Ndidi eternal rest.

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In her funeral oration, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State and matron, Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation, Hon. (Mrs) Cecilia Ezeilo said she was touched by her death.

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