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Zagallo, Brazil’s four-time World Cup Winner, dies at 92

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Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

 Mario Zagallo, who won four soccer World Cups for Brazil as either player or coach, has died, according to a post on his official Instagram account on Saturday. He was 92.

A tough and talented left winger, Zagallo played on the team that won Brazil’s first World Cup in 1958 and he kept his place in the side that retained the title four years later.

In 1970, he coached a Brazil squad that featured all-time greats like Pele, Jairzinho, Rivellino and Tostao – one that many consider to be the greatest national team ever to play the game.

They won Brazil’s third World Cup in Mexico.

That made Zagallo the first person in the sport to win a World Cup as both a player and a manager.

Later, he was assistant coach to Carlos Alberto Parreira when Brazil won their fourth title in 1994 in U.S.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed condolences to Brazil on Saturday, describing Zagallo’s impact on the World Cup as “unparalleled”.

Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said it would hold a seven-day mourning period to honour Zagallo, while the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said it was mourning the loss of the only four-time world champion.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed condolences to Zagallo’s family, friends and “millions of admirers” and declared a three-day period of mourning in Brazil.

His Brazilian fans loved him for his idiosyncratic personality and unapologetic nationalism.

He liked to say he was born with victory at his side and was rarely shy to challenge those who said his teams were too defensive.

One of his most famous outbursts came after Brazil won the Copa America in Bolivia in 1997.

His team were unfancied but when the final whistle went, an emotional Zagallo, his face red thanks to the rarified air of La Paz, screamed into the television cameras:

“You’re going to have to put up with me!”

The phrase is still frequently repeated by Brazilians in all walks of life celebrating vindication.

Zagallo was also known for being highly superstitious and believed the number 13 brought him luck.

He liked to coin phrases that contained 13 letters, he got married on the 13th of the month, and once even joked he would retire from the game at 13:00 on July 13, 2013.

Nicknamed the Old Wolf, Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo was born on Aug. 9, 1931, in Maceio on Brazil’s impoverished northeastern coast.

His family moved to Rio de Janeiro before his first birthday and it was there he fell in love with football.

His first dream was to be an airline pilot but he was forced to abandon that due to poor eyesight.

Instead, he studied accountancy and played soccer in his spare time with local side America, then one of the biggest clubs in the city.

“My father didn’t want me to be a football player, he wouldn’t let me,” Zagallo said in an interview published by the CBF.

“Back then it wasn’t a profession that was respected, society didn’t look kindly on it … That’s why I say football came into my life by accident.”

Zagallo started off as a left midfielder, wearing the No. 10 shirt, which back then, before Pele, had not yet assumed the significance it has today.

But intuition told him he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I saw it would be hard to get into the Brazil side wearing the No. 10 shirt as there were lots of great players in that position,” he said.

“So I moved from left midfield to left wing.”

He also moved from America to Flamengo, where he won three Carioca state championship medals.

The latter half of his career was spent at city rivals Botafogo, where he won two more state titles.

His first World Cup came in Sweden in 1958, where he started all six matches and played alongside Garrincha and Pele, who was then just 17.

“I was 27 and Pele was 17,” he said. “That’s why I say that I never played with him, but that he played with me.”

Four years later in Chile he was champion again, but he only guaranteed his place after making some tactical alterations.

Zagallo would hang back to help mark the rival full back and when his side won the ball he would roar up the wing.

It was unusual for forwards to help out in defense and he is credited with changing the way wingers played the game.

As coach, Zagallo led a string of Brazilian clubs, but he made his mark when he was drafted to replace the controversial Joao Saldanha as Brazil coach just months before the 1970 Mexico World Cup.

Brazil’s form had been erratic and they were not fancied, but Zagallo pulled the star-studded team together, capping a tremendous show with a memorable 4-1 triumph over Italy in the final.

Zagallo stayed on until 1974, taking Brazil to fourth place in West Germany, but it was a disappointing performance that was followed by spells managing clubs back home and national sides in the Middle East.

He was an assistant to Parreira in 1994 when Brazil won their fourth title, and in 2006, when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

He was also in charge in 1998 when Brazil lost 3-0 to hosts France in the final after star striker Ronaldo was hit by convulsions just hours before the match.

The 2006 denouement was a tough one for Zagallo, who had been unwell in the lead-up to the tournament.

He was clearly finding management a strain, and retired from the game.

Always ebullient and ever popular, he did not disappear from public view, though, and often appeared on television, at gala awards and helping out at the CBF.

He married in 1955 to Alcina de Castro and remained with her until her death in 2012. The couple had four children.

  • Reuters
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crime

ENUGU: Police Arrest 83 Suspects, Rescue 20 Kidnapped Victims

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Gunmen Abduct NPC Commissioner, Aides At Rivers Section Of East-West Road

The Police Command in Enugu State says it arrested 83 criminal suspects and rescued 20 kidnapped victims within the state from Jan. 1, 2024, till date.

The offences for which the suspects were arrested included abduction, kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, defilement and vandalism among other crimes committed within the state in the period under review.

The state Commissioner of Police, CP Kanayo Uzuegbu, disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing newsmen on the successes of the Command since the beginning of the year.

Uzuegbu noted that 46 firearms of different calibers were recovered as well as 125 ammunition of different calibres were recovered within the period under review.

According to him, 36 motor vehicles were recovered; six tricycles were recovered and 15 motorcycles were also recovered by gallant and eagle-eyed crime fighting officers and men of the Command.

He said many of the arrested suspects had been arraigned in court and remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Service Custodial Centre, while others would be prosecuted accordingly once investigations are concluded.

The commissioner said that proactive and people’s centred policing approaches of the Command had started yielding the expected results.

Police arraign Lagos businessman for alleged theft of N3.5m phones

“I wish to specially thank the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Mbah, for the immense support his Administration has continued to extend to the police in the state.

“In the same vein, I profoundly thank and appreciate the Inspector-General of Police, Dr Kayode Egbetokun, for his visionary and pragmatic leadership style, which have brought about the policing strides recorded in Enugu State and Nigeria as a whole.

“Additionally, I express my immense gratitude to my colleagues in sister security agencies and the entire security stakeholders in Enugu State, for all the collaborative support we enjoyed in 2023, and which has continued into 2024.

“I also want to thank and appreciate my officers and men for their diligence, hard work and dedication to duty, which have resulted in the operational successes recorded.

“I urge them to remain focused and committed to actualizing the mandates of the Nigeria Police Force in Enugu State,” he said.

The commissioner maintained that discipline remained the bedrock of the Nigeria Police, adding: “I caution officers and men to shun acts of corruption, unprofessionalism and moral debasements, which bring with them severe disciplinary consequences”.

According to him, officers and men must remain professional, firm, upright and diligent in the performance of their duties.

He warned unrepentant criminals to turn over a new leaf, as “we shall more than ever, turn up the heat and make Enugu State more uncomfortable for them and their activities.”

He said: “And if they fail to repent, then we shall stop at nothing to ruthlessly deal with them.

“I also want to strongly caution rumour mongers, rabble-rousers and peddlers of fake, misinformative and disinformative news in Enugu State to desist forthwith, as the Police would not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone found wanting, in accordance with extant laws, particularly the Cybercrime Act.

“There is no doubt that the task of tackling the increasing security challenges in our society is daily becoming daunting.

“Nonetheless, the assurance I bring to the good people of Enugu State is that we will remain focused and unflinching in our commitment to enthrone a crime-free and peaceful environment for all and sundry to thrive in their legitimate enterprises.”

Uzuegbu urged the citizenry to remain law-abiding, security conscious and continue to support the police, through the provision of credible and actionable security information; while also reporting suspected criminals and their activities to the nearest police station. (

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Economy

FG Threatens To Open Borders for Cement Importation Over Price Hike

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Palpable fear has gripped cement manufacturers following the Federal Government’s threat to throw open the nation’s borders for cement importation if the product manufacturers fail to bring down the cost.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Cement and Building Materials Manufacturers.

The meeting was summoned to address the astronomical increase in the cost of cement nationwide.

The minister expressed concerns that in the past couple of months, the country had witnessed a recurring alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials.

“Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery. An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses.

“We are not the only country facing this challenges, many countries are facing the same type of challenges that we’re facing, some even worse than that.

“But, as patriotic citizens, we have to rally round the country when there is crisis, to ensure that we do our best to save the situation,” he said.

The minister added: “Honestly speaking, we have to sit down and look at this critically and know how you should go back and think of it.

“The government stopped importation of cement in other to empower you to produce more and sell cheaper

Bags of cement

“Otherwise the government can open the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash, but you will have no business to do”.

Dangiwa said the reasons given by cement manufacturers for the price increase – high cost of gas and manufacturing equipment – were not enough for such astronomical pricing.

He expressed his displeasure at the position of  Cement Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (CEMAN) that the association “does not interfer with the pricing of cement”.

He said the association should not just fold  its arms when things were going wrong.

“One person cannot be selling at N3500 per bag and another selling at N7000 per bag and you cannot call them to order.

“The association is expected to monitor price control, otherwise the association has no need to exist,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Salako James, Executive Secretary, CEMAN, said the housing policy of the administration of President Bola  Tinubu was laudable and every responsible Nigerian has to key into it.

He, however, identified some areas of concern and appealed to the government to look into them to tackle the issue of cement pricing.

Salako identified the challenges of gas supply to heavy users like the cement industry and urged the government to create a window whereby gas will be bought with Naira instead of dollar.

He also complained about the distribution channel, stressing tha there was a great difference between the price from the manufacturers and the market price.

He, therefore called for government intervention to help stabilise the situation and bring sanity to the economy.

At the end of the meeting, the minister directed that a committee should be constituted to review the situation and come out with implementable resolutions that would benefit the common Nigerian.

The three major cement producers, Dangote Plc, BUA Plc, and Lafarge Plc were represented as well as other industry stakeholders.

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crime

Bill To Establish State Police Passes 2nd Reading At Reps

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Suspected bandits kill NIS personnel, injure 2 others in Jigawa

 …As Bandits kill 6 In Katsina

A  Bill for an act to establish State Police and other Related Matters thereto,  has passed a second reading in the House of Representatives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill which will alter provisions of the 1999 Constitution to provide for the establishment,  was sponsored by Rep. Benjamin Kalu and 12 others.

Leading the debate at plenary in Abuja on Tuesday, Kalu who also presided, said in recent times, the nation’s collective security had been greatly challenged due to an upsurge in insecurity cases.

He said Nigeria operated a federation consisting of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, with 774 Local Government Areas, about 250 ethnic nationalities, and more than 200 million citizens.

Kalu said Nigeria has a vast terrain,  spanning over 920,000 square kilometers but regretted that currently, the nation operates a single centralised police system that employs less than 400,000 police officers and men.

Niger govt. rescues abducted Kagara students

He said there was no denying that the nation’s security architecture was under immense pressure.

Kalu also pointed out that  the fabric of any democracy remained woven with the threads of constant adaptation to the evolving needs of its society.

He added that at this point in our nationhood, state policing is not only inevitable but urgently desired to tackle the mounting challenges of insecurity.

According to him, the bill emerged as a necessary response to several calls for a decentralised and community-oriented approach to law enforcement.

“It seeks to navigate the complex landscape of security challenges by empowering our states with the means to address issues unique to their localities.”

He said the proposed alteration represented not just a legal adjustment to our constitution but a visionary leap toward a safer, more secure, and more harmonious Nigeria.

He said the bill sought the transfer of “police” from the “exclusive legislative list” to the “concurrent legislative list,” adding that the move would effectively empower states to have state-controlled policing.

He said the bill would also prevent unwarranted interference by the Federal Police in state police affairs, emphasising collaboration and intervention only under well-defined circumstances.

Contributing, Rep. Babajimi Benson (APC-Lagos), observed that police should be empowered to license any state willing,  that meet the requirements for state police, set up by the Police Service Commission.

He said the commission should be empowered to revoke and renew the licenses if such a state abused the license, adding that state police would reduce unemployment and relieve the recurrent expenditure on the Federal Government.

On his part, Rep. Awaji-numbek Abiante (PDP-Rivers), noted that the bill would cure the tragedy of the military decree of 1966.

He, however, called for caution, saying, “We have to be careful and committed enough to look at the bill thoroughly because this was not the first attempt for such bill.”

He said the bill should provide a sure way of guaranteeing the security of lives and property while underscoring the need for deliberate efforts toward making it a reality.

Rep. Ali Madaki (NNPP-Kano) noted that the bill was killed in the seventh Assembly but disclosed that the fear was to avert a situation whereby state governors would use the state police against political opponents.

He said there were high-security challenges nationwide,  adding that each state would deploy its police in a manner that would address their peculiarities.

Also speaking, Rep. Sada Soli (APC-Kano), said about 21 states, including Benue and Taraba were caught in the web of socio-political and ethno-religious crises and could surmount such challenges if they had control of their police.

He said some of the states clamoring for the establishment of state police were not economically viable.

He acknowledged that state policing remained a noble idea while citing a scenario where a state governor denied a political opponent landing at the airport.

He argued that such a governor was capable of using the state police for negative purposes,  and urged  the lawmakers to put all issues into perspective before enacting the law.

Rep. Ademorin Kuye (APC-Lagos),  argued that 400,000 policemen to 200 million Nigerians was insufficient.

He said that the deployment of a police officer to a state he was not familiar with would make him inefficient and ineffective in discharging his duties.

Rep. Ben Itanabene (LP-Delta), called for the establishment of a distinct police structure but feared that the use of state police would be under the control of governors.

He urged the house to delete the word ‘state” from the bill while calling for decentralization of the Federal Police by using Police Command.

Kalu, after listening to contributions, put the bill to vote, which was  unanimously passed by the lawmakers

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