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Enugu State Govt to Host 2024 Sports Festival

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Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu

Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, said that the State government plans to host Enugu State Sports Festival in 2024 as part of the programmes to reposition sports in the state and also prepare Enugu for the next National Sports Festival (NSF) where the state targets top-three position.

Dr. Mbah, who rued the decline in sports development and pedigree of Enugu State, said the positions occupied by the state in the past 20 years do not represent the history of the state as home for champions in various sports fields.

The governor said his administration had designed a state sports policy, which sees sports beyond recreation, but as a huge business and investment platform, explaining that the state would host a sports summit in 2024 to harness the state investment potentials in sports.

Dr. Mbah made these known at the weekend when he received the Minister for Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, who was in his office during a working visit to the state.

He said: “We have designed a comprehensive policy document on sports. Just like the current Federal Government, we see sports as a revenue generation sector. And that is essentially how we have designed a lot of our policies around sports.

“Sometime next year, we will be hosting a sports summit where we will be showcasing the investment opportunities that we have in our sports sector; and we are going to be extending our invitation to you and other sports sector stakeholders and investors.

“Enugu has always been a home to sports legends in all fields, not just football. It also has the history, reputation, and passion for sports. So, we want to bring Enugu back to that past glory as a city and a state for sports legends. We have raw and unharnessed talents, which we want to groom to become world talents.

“We have initiated a couple of programmes. Next year, we are going to have our own Enugu State Sports Festival; and the idea is for us to raise that awareness that we can actually build this talent and groom them so that they become future legends.

“We think that the records we had in the last 20 years do not reflect who we are. Our target is to see that we come within the top three in the next National Sports Festival; and part of why we want to have our own internal sports festival next year is essentially because we want to build the team that we can go with to make Enugu State proud”.

On facilities development and quest for hosting rights of the NSF in the near future, he said: “We also have a couple of sporting facilities in the state, which we have already scoped for intervention in terms of reviving them and investing hugely in that area.

“We are also looking at hosting the National Sports Festival in no distant time. So, we will be able to invite you next year to come back to Enugu so you can look at the facilities we have put in place in the area of infrastructure. By then I am sure you will have no hesitation to accord Enugu State the hosting rights of the 2025 or 2026 National Sport Festival”.

He said the government had moved swiftly to refurbish the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, which turf, track and field and outdoor facilities would be ready for use in the next few weeks. He called for help from the FG towards the rehabilitation of sports indoor facilities to groom skills of the youth in basketball, tennis, handball and all the indoor games.

Earlier, the Minister of Sports Development, Senator Enoh, who lauded Mbah’s initiatives in sports development, expressed FG’s eagerness to partner with Enugu in grassroots sports development.

“The Federal Ministry of Sports Development has fixed a number of offices across the country. Enugu is the headquarters of one of these zonal offices and each of these zonal offices has a Zonal Coordinator and other Zonal members of the Ministry because our goal is to give attention to grassroot sports development.

“We can’t achieve anything meaningful in terms of sports development without the grassroot of sports.

“So, my mission in Enugu today is to inspect the zonal office, meet with the Coordinator and other staff and use this opportunity to introduce our Zonal Coordinator here in Enugu”, Senator Enoh explained.

NEWS

Public Disturbance: Court Orders Kano TikToker to Undergo Mental Evaluation

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A Kano State Shari’a Court on Tuesday, ordered that a Kano Tiktoker Murja Kunya, be taken to a Government hospital for a mental evaluation.

The defendant, who lives at Tishama Hotoro Quarters Kano, is standing trial on a three-count charge of inciting  public disturbance, belonging to criminal gang and criminal intimidation.

Delivering a ruling, the Judge Malam Nura Yusuf-Ahmad, ordered that the defendant be taken to public hospital to ascertain her mental health due to suspected drug influence.

“The defendant previous appearance shows she is allegedly not in a sound state of mind due to suspected drug influence.

” Hisbah board should be updating the court time to time on her well-being for three months”

Yusuf-Ahmad  adjourned the matter untill May for hearing.

Earlier, the Prosecutor Prosecution Counsel, Mr Aliyu Abideen, said Kano State Hisbah Board arrested the defendent after receiving several complaints from members of the public.

He alleged that the defendant usually terrorize Tishama Hotoro Quarters Kano by bringing bad boys at midnight and  also disturbs the area by inciting disturbance and using social media to disturb members of the public.

“The defendant in one of her videos on Tiktok which went viral said she is the leader of all prostitute in the city”

The defendant, however, denied committing the offence.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened section 341, 275 and 227 of Kano State Shari’a Law.(NAN)

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NEWS

NAF Nabs Alleged Notorious Kidnapper in Kano

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Troops of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) deployed at Durbunde in Takai Local Government Area  of Kano State have apprehended a 35-year-old alleged high-profile kidnapper known as Isah Abdul.

This is contained in a statement by NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said that the arrest was carried out on Monday at 6.

30 p.
m. in a well-coordinated operation following credible intelligence on the hideout of the suspect and other members of his gang.

He said that the gang was responsible for several kidnapping incidences in the area.

According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that Isah Abdul was responsible for the abduction of one Yakubu Ibrahim Tagaho, popularly known as Sarkin Noman Gaya, on April 6, 2023, from his residence in Tagaho Village in Takai LGA.

Gabkwet said that Tagaho was released a month later after a ransom of N30 million was collected by his abductors.

“In December 2023, the same criminal abducted two sisters and three others in the same village and released them after collecting a huge ransom.

“He is also responsible for several other kidnapping activities as he has strong ties with  other known kidnapping gangs like the Danbul Fulaku gang that also operates in Takai LGA.

“Isah Abdul is currently in the custody of the Nigerian Air Force and undergoing investigations.

“He will soon be handed over to appropriate authorities,” he said. (NAN)

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Foreign News

Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Rises to 29,195 Amid Israeli Attacks

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The death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 29,195 with 69,170 others wounded as the Israeli attacks continue, The Gaza-based Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Israeli army had killed 103 Palestinians and wounded 142 others in the Strip during the past 24 hours, the ministry said in a press statement.

It was noted that some victims remained under the rubble amid heavy bombardment and a lack of civil defence and ambulance crews.

Meanwhile, Israeli media outlets said the Israeli army forces were continuing their operations in the north centre and south of the Gaza Strip against Hamas, and have killed many fighters.

The Israeli army announced the death of a 22-year-old soldier as a result of his wounds in the Gaza battles.

The death of the 22-year-old soldier raised the death toll of Israeli soldiers killed in the ground operation to 236.

In addition, the Israeli army revealed a video of Israeli detainees alive in the first days of their detention in the Gaza Strip on Monday.

The video was showing a woman and her two children wrapped in a blanket, taken by gunmen in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said that the family had been kidnapped by an organization calling itself the “Mujahideen Brigades.” (Xinhua/NAN)

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