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Okoro, others proud of Nigerian roots

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By Oluwamayomikun Orekoya

America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) new boy Isaac Okoro still considers himself a Nigerian despite not being born in the country and representing the USA in age-grade tournaments.


The 19-year-old is heading to the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 5th pick in the 2020 NBA draft and was among eight basketballers of Nigerian descent that got drafted yesterday, including Jordan Nwora, son of former D’Tigers coach Alex Nwora.


Isaac Okoro said: “It feels great to be the first Nigerian in this draft to be drafted. It’s also just a blessing. Like you said, my mom always tells me to keep that Nigerian pride.

“Even though I wasn’t born in Nigeria, I still got Nigerian blood. So it’s just having that on my shoulders.”

The 2020 NBA Draft was also the first time two players born in Nigeria were selected in the first round.

21-year-old Precious Achiuwa, selected by the Miami Heat, was born in Port Harcourt while Utah Jazz’s Udoka Timothy Azubuike, also 21, was born in Lagos.

“First I want to thank God,” Precious Achiuwa said

“I want to thank God for putting me in this type of position where I’m playing for a great organization and able to represent not just myself but where I’m from, my whole country behind me, my whole city.

“And to play for an organization like the Heat is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to be able to get out there and compete with the rest of my teammates.”

For Udoka Azubuike, working hard and a strong belief in his ability will be key to having a successful career in the NBA.

“For me, I’ve just been working hard and keeping my head down. Not listening to the people talking about projections. A lot of people had me in the second round, but I wasn’t concerned about that. I know what I bring to the table. I know what I can bring to a team. I know whatever team drafted me, I’m going to have to go there and have to prove myself and work hard.”

Other players of Nigerian descent picked include Onyeka Okongwu selected by Atlanta Hawks; Daniel Oturu picked by New York Knicks; Zeke Nnaji by Denver Nuggets; and Desmond Bane picked by Memphis Grizzlies.

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Are you a Sneaker lover? Get ready for the First-ever ‘SneakerFest’ in Lagos | December 19th

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The most populous and commercial city in Nigeria, Lagos, is set to experience a new trend in fashion and style as the city braces up for the first-ever sneakers festival “Sneakerfestgeared towards bringing together and celebrating Sneakers’ Enthusiasts. 


SneakerFest is an initiative by a growing Nigerian Sneaker Collector, Ikemesit, otherwise called BadBlood‘ Nkereuwem-Tim, with the aim to promote the Sneaker Culture in Nigeria through guaranteed exhibition of adequate fun and entertainment, including chances to win a minimum of 20 sneakers, set aside for youths who showcase their talents and win the various contests to be featured.


According to statista.com, Nigeria’s revenue in the Sneakers segment amounts to US$361m in 2020. This proves sneakers are not just accessories to Nigerian youths but an important fashion asset and a sense of belonging, which birthed a reason for a culture to celebrate these enthusiasts.

The festival, which will take place on December 19 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, amongst all its goals is set to celebrate Youths’ achievements in Street Wear Fashion, Music, Dance, Sports, Arts, and also in a Festival of games peculiar to the sneakers’ culture, such as Basketball.

Despite the notch to flaunt and showcase individual’s high taste of fashion in kicks, the event promises exciting shows like Rap battle, Dance battle, concerts, fashion shows, a retail marketplace, and networking.

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Bandits now rule in many communities – Jama’atu Nasril Islam

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The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar has reacted to the killing of over 40 rice farmers in Zabarmari, Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.

JNI in a statement released by its Secretary-General Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, alleged that bandits now set rules that must be obeyed in some communities.

Daily Trust reported that the group added that Nigerians have become so much terrified as nowhere is safe.

The statement read;

“Unfortunately, the common man is caught in-between two contending phenomenon; when he goes to the farm, he gets killed and when he stays at home he dies of hunger. It should be known that this singular act of Zabarmari was a calculated attempt to instill fears among farmers and jeopardize the frantic efforts of returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their localities by the Borno state government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umar Zulum.

“JNI identifies with the government and people of Borno State, over the gruesome massacre of innocent rice farmers in Zabarmari, Jere Local Government, which was the height of bloodletting ever committed in recent history. Fourty-three (43) human beings as reported by the media were slaughtered without any intervention by the security forces in the area. The senseless act stand condemned in the strongest of terms.

“Wanton killings, acts of banditry, kidnapping for ransom, high rate of unemployment amongst the youths, rape and all forms of terrorism have now become the ‘New Trend’ in our communities. Nigerians have become so much terrified, as nowhere is safe; the home, the farms and the roads.
For how long, would we continue to live a life in fear?

”For how long, can we continue to wait in vain? For how long shall we continue to condemn acts of terrorism without any concerted efforts in ending it? For how long, would we continue to remain indolent? And for how long can we continue to remain hopeless in a precarious situation such as what we are in presently?

“We appreciate the tireless efforts of the Borno State Governor, His Excellency, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum and once again call on the federal government to rise up to its responsibilities and do well beyond the traditional condemnation, as lip service(s) on security matters should stop.

“Muslims should eschew all forms of disobedience to Allah (SWT), repent and go back to the ways of the Lord of the universe, while Imams must not relent, to recommence the Qunootun-Nawazil (special prayers at calamitous periods in the last Raka’at of each obligatory prayer and non-obligatory prayers), seeking Allah’s intervention for an end to these repeated sad pogroms.”

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Governor Umahi sacks all political appointees from former AGF, Anyim’s local government

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The faceoff between Governor David Umahi and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim has taken another twist as the Ebonyi state Governor has sacked all his political appointees from his former ally’s local government.

The sack came after Anyim wrote an open letter to Mr Umahi and copied President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of security agencies in the country. He accused Mr Umahi of plotting to kill him, among other issues he raised.

However in a statement released on Wednesday December 2 by secretary to the state government, Kenneth Ugbala, the state government said the removal of the appointees from Ivo local government area was based on the policy of inclusive governance by Umahi’s administration.

Those affected by the sack are: All Senior Technical Assistants (STAs) and Technical Assistants (TAs) to the Governor; All Liaison Officers; and All Management Committee members from Ivo Local Government Area.

The affected officeholders are expected to hand over all government property in their possession to the office of the SSG and coordinating commissioner.

The statement read;

“In keeping with the policy of inclusive governance, the Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Engr Chief David Nweze Umahi has approved the removal from office of the following political office holders from Ivo Local Government Area.

“They are All Senior Technical Assistant, STAs and Technical Assistants, TAs from Ivo Local Government Area.

“All Liaison Officers from Ivo Local Government Area; All Management Committee members from Ivo Local Government Area.

“The affected office holders are to handover all Government Property in their possession to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner by the close of work today, 2nd December 2020.”

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