Saturday, February 16, 2019

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Barcelona scared? We’re top of La Liga, says Valverde

Valverde: Barcelona scared? We're top of La Liga!Sergio Ramos has declared the title race alive after Real Madrid moved second, but the Barca boss isn't worried just yetErnesto Valverde has scoffed at the suggestion Barcelona should be afraid they could be caught by Real Madrid in the La Liga title race.Madrid moved second in the table behind Barca, albeit still six points back, with a derby defeat of their city rivals Atletico Madrid last weekend.Barca's successive draws in the league have opened the door to Madrid, with Valverde's men having seemingly been on track to comfortably defend the title.Madrid have cranked up the mind games with two more Clasico meetings upcoming - the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final and a La Liga clash at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 2.Captain Sergio Ramos said Madrid can catch Barca in the title race while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois claimed teams will be "scared" of facing Santiago Solari's in-form side.Valverde, however, noted Barca are still in a strong position to do the double again, having drawn at home to Madrid in the first leg of their Copa Clasico clash."Afraid of what? We compete against the same teams as ever for the league," Valverde told reporters on Friday."Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla. To be scared when we are top of the league? I don't think so."Barça under Ernesto Valverde:96 games65 wins22 draws9 defeats233 goals for78 goals against1 Liga1 Copa del Rey1 Spanish Super Cup #ForçaBarça — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 15, 2019Valverde ended speculation over his long-term Barca future by agreeing a one-year contract extension on Friday, with the deal including an option for a further 12 months."I always told news conferences I have a good relationship with the club so it came about naturally," he added. "The club made a proposal some time ago and I had some time to think about it and analyse our progress."We felt it seemed like a good time to make an announcement. We are all on the same wavelength at the club so it was an easy decision for me."Whenever you sign a contract with a player or manager you have the best intentions and high expectations but we all know football, it's determined very much by results.Article continues below"I assume that yes they trust in me to get those titles, but we know how capricious football can be. You don't always end up winning even if you think you deserve to."Valverde, though, is fully aware his stabilised position at Camp Nou could come under threat at the end of the season if Barca do not seal any silverware."If that happens then ask me again," he said. "But let's wait and see what happens first."

Romelu Lukaku transfer: How Man Utd’s £75m striker went from untouchable to token sub

Seven minutes vs PSG! How Lukaku went from 'untouchable' to token sub at Man UtdThe £75 million man spends most of his time on the bench under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, casting doubt over his long-term future at Old TraffordAs Jesse Lingard slumped to the ground for a second time, Alexis Sanchez was told to get stripped and ready for action. Anthony Martial had been struggling as well and, by half-time, he too would be forced to withdraw, with Juan Mata replacing him.However, after Paris Saint-Germain began to really show their superior quality in the second half of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash at Old Trafford, Romelu Lukaku stayed rooted to the Manchester United bench until less than seven minutes remained on the clock.It was a curious detail on a night when the hosts lost their unbeaten run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the £75 million attacking figurehead on whom Jose Mourinho had relied so much for the majority of his reign was not trusted for more than the dying embers of the game.This, despite the fact his side desperately needed a spark to give themselves a realistic chance of keeping the tie alive in Paris on March 6.While Sanchez’s fall from grace has been much discussed and his prospects on succeeding at Old Trafford seem to slide away by the week, Lukaku’s transformation from untouchable beacon to untrustworthy inconvenience is every bit as stark.Perhaps to some it was a little more predictable that the Belgian would soon begin to find the going tough at the top level as his skill set’s limitations were tested by the week. But his current predicament is arguably every bit as worrying as Sanchez's malaise.After arriving at United in the summer of 2017, Mourinho gave Lukaku unlimited opportunities to succeed. Scoring 11 times in his first 10 games for the club certainly helped his cause, but even when the goals began to dry up, there was to be no loss of faith from his manager.“I have to protect my players when I feel they deserve it, and Romelu always deserves it because what he does for the team is fantastic,” Mourinho said during a 2017-18 run which would see Lukaku score just once in 12 appearances.“Playing football for a striker isn’t just about scoring goals, so, for me, he is untouchable in my team and I think he should be untouchable in support from the fans.”The manager’s faith was repaid with 27 goals in Lukaku’s debut season and his ankle injury in the run-in to the FA Cup final was seen as a key reason for United not imposing their will on the showpiece as they lost meekly to Chelsea.Yet as Mourinho’s 30-month reign neared its end, Lukaku was no longer untouchable.He was dropped to the bench when Juventus came to Manchester in October amid increasing concerns about his poor build-up play, and his presence in the United line-up was no longer the given it had been the season before.That slide has accelerated dramatically since Solskjaer replaced Mourinho in December, with the former Chelsea and Everton forward starting just four matches under the Norwegian as Marcus Rashford has revelled in the No.9 spot.Two of Lukaku's outings have come in the FA Cup, while the others were against Burnley and Fulham in games in which Solskjaer looked to rest his key players ahead of more pressing fixtures.Against Burnley, with United trailing by a goal and needing inspiration, the caretaker manager’s two tactical changes were to haul off the misfiring Andreas Pereira and then to end Lukaku’s night 66 minutes in.Tuesday’s ignominious late arrival sums up where he is right now in the United pecking order, with his appearances under Solskjaer coming at an average of 40.8 minutes in length as opposed to 79.5 under Mourinho.He also started 81 per cent of league fixtures under the Portuguese but just 22% since Solskjaer took over.Something needs to give at some stage with Lukaku.The Sanchez issue has found the greater spotlight due to the salary being collected by the Chilean, and latterly by the injuries suffered by Lingard and Martial.But if Lukaku was a man in form, Rashford could well be helping to ease the burden in the wide positions right now. Instead, Solskjaer has only three forwards he can truly rely on out of the six senior attackers he has at his service, and Lukaku is not one of them.He is likely to get the nod on Monday when United travel to Chelsea in the FA Cup, with Solskjaer again looking to rotate slightly ahead of a period which sees United take on Liverpool, PSG, Arsenal and Manchester City in the space of a few weeks.Article continues belowIt is an opportunity the No.9 must take if he is to resurrect his United career.While Solskjaer made a career of snatching shortened opportunities off the bench, Lukaku has become used to being the reliable totem from the off.But if he can’t be trusted to have an impact for longer than seven minutes when United are chasing a game, then he has a lot to prove – and quickly – if he is to become anything close to untouchable once more.

Davido Selected As Panelist For Comedy Central Roast | The Guardian Nigeria News –...

Afrobeat sensation Davido has been selected as one of the panelists for the upcoming Comedy Central Roast, making him the first Nigerian to ever grace the stage. Davido will be part of the panel roasting South African rapper AKA.Talking about the upcoming show, Davido says;“I’m such a big fan of Comedy Central, this is going to be a hilarious night. I’m ready, Africa are you ready? This is a Roast so nothing is off limits.”Other than dropping hits, Davido is well known for having a good sense of humour so its safe to say he’ll bring alot of good energy and fun jokes to the show.

The Only Thing Worse Than Valentine’s Day Is Valentine’s Day

The worst Valentine’s Day I ever had was the one where I got dumped the night before. I was 23 years old and madly in love with a wonderful man, who chose the evening of the thirteenth of February to heave me, head first, into the beginning of a rom-com. The next day, I woke up feeling like I’d been broken in half, my eyes so puffy from crying I could barely see, to find the world celebrating love in all its forms. The city was in a February deep freeze, and I was all alone, and I couldn’t remember ever feeling so miserable.That was my worst Valentine’s Day. My second worst Valentine’s Day was... the movie Valentine’s Day. This movie, like the pretend holiday itself, is a tribute to love—specifically, it is a tribute to the audience’s love of the hit romantic comedy Love, Actually. It is a cynical, utterly see-through attempt to take that movie and its many-connected-plotlines formula, add even more movie stars, and plonk it down in Los Angeles, where there are generous tax subsidies for filming and you don’t have to spend any money on fake snow.Don’t get me wrong: I love romantic comedies. I really do. I love them so much I spent four years studying them and wrote an entire dissertation about them (don’t worry, my parents have another child, and she turned out great). I adore Notting Hill and When Harry Met Sally and Warm Bodies, which is a highly underrated romantic comedy about the undead—a zom-rom-com!But this romantic comedy? This romantic comedy is only slightly better than getting your heart ripped out at 9:30 p.m. on February 13.Valentine’s Day was directed by Garry Marshall, who made Beaches and Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries and many other rom-coms (but for my money, his best work was playing Walter Harvey, the Candy Bar King, in A League of Their Own). The screenplay was written in part by Katherine Fugate, who co-wrote The Prince and Me and created the show Army Wives. It came out in early 2010, just before Valentine’s Day, obviously.Here’s a quick and easy plot summary, in case it’s been a while since you’ve watched it:Shutterstock Getty ImagesAshton Kutcher, who works with George Lopez, proposes to Jessica Alba, but is secretly in love with Jennifer Garner, who is dating a secretly-married Patrick Dempsey. In Jennifer Garner’s elementary school classroom is a cute kid, who is the film’s most obvious rip-off of Love, Actually. He should be sad about his absent mother, but instead he is in love with Jennifer Garner, and that creates a hassle for his grandparents, Hector Elizondo and Shirley MacLaine, and his babysitter, Emma Roberts, who is planning to lose her virginity on Valentine’s Day, much to the delight of her best friend, Taylor Swift, and Taylor’s boyfriend, Taylor Lautner. Meanwhile, Jennifer Garner’s sad and neurotic best friend Jessica Biel is trying to find a new gig for her top client, NFL quarterback Eric Dane, whose agent, Queen Latifah, has a temp, Anne Hathaway, who is dating a guy in the mail room, Topher Grace. Jamie Foxx is a sports journalist who wants to cover the football story but whose boss, Kathy Bates, makes him do a segment on Valentine’s Day, but then Dane comes out and wins back his estranged boyfriend, Bradley Cooper, who has spent the entire movie on a plane sitting next to Julia Roberts, who is coming home to her Obvious Rip-Off Of Love, Actually...I mean son. Did I miss anyone? Probably!It’s like going on a speed date that ends in a marriage proposal.I am sure that every single one of these actors worked hard on this movie for the three-and-a-half days each of them was on set. But that is a lot of storylines to cram into 124 minutes, and despite Fugate and her co-writers’ best efforts, you arrive at the end of the movie exhausted and wishing you had a red-twine-covered pinboard on which you could map out all the various connections between them. You’re also barely invested in any of them, even though each couple has gone through a full storyline by the time the credits roll. It’s like going on a speed date that ends in a marriage proposal.Shutterstock Getty ImagesI do want to examine a few storylines, though, starting with the Jessica Alba-Ashton Kutcher-Jennifer Garner one. At the start of the movie, Kutcher’s character Reed proposes to Alba’s character Morley. She is both surprised and shocked by the proposal, which is never a good sign: You can be the former, but you should never, ever be the latter. Before he can propose, though, Reed has to wake Morley up and pull her hand out from under her pillow and when he does, we see that—dun dun duuuun—she has fallen asleep holding her Blackberry.This is rom-com shorthand for “ambitious corporate career lady” See also: falling asleep with a laptop open on the bed, falling asleep at a desk, driving a car very fast then parking with a screech and stepping out in black high heels, shouting things at scurrying subordinates while striding between office cubicles. All these visual cues say “I am devoted to my work and it has rendered me dead inside so that I cannot love unless a man saves me by getting me fired or my sister dies and I have to leave my job to move to the country and raise her child.”After we’re presented with these clues that Morley is a sad hollow product of feminism who cannot love Reed properly because she also loves financial independence and wearing pencil skirts (we never learn what she does for living, only that it involves meetings and a Blackberry and pencil skirts), we are not surprised when, halfway through the movie, she changes her mind about marrying him. “I should be thinking about our future together, but I’m still focused on my future,” she tells Reed as she hands back the engagement ring he gave her five hours ago. “The first phone call I made after you proposed was to my office, to confirm my 10 o’clock meeting.”Shutterstock Getty ImagesIn his heartbreak, Reed turns to his best woman friend Julia (that’s Jennifer Garner, who is dating Patrick Dempsey, who is… sorry, I nearly fell down that rabbit hole again). Julia never thought Reed and Morley were good together, though she never told Reed how she felt. Julia does one of the several jobs that, for women in romantic comedies, signals a good heart capable of love: She’s an elementary school teacher. Other acceptable professions include: baker, writer (fiction only), caterer, wedding planner, assistant, and bookshop owner. These jobs involve taking care of people (bonus points if the people are children!), spending time in a kitchen, and/or making very little money. They’re non-threatening and feminine, and almost never involve stalking through an office or wielding any kind of authority over men.One of the most frustrating things is that many of the paper-thin plots would make for perfectly decent standalone movies.In the years before Valentine’s Day came out, there were lots of movies in which ambitious corporate career ladies learned that feminism had actually ruined their lives: The Ugly Truth, The Proposal, and New In Town were the best (i.e., worst!) examples of this trend. They were a callback to the backlash rom-coms of the 1980s—remember Baby Boom?—in which women were forced to retreat from the workforce in the name of family and motherhood, and discovered that this was what they had secretly yearned for all along.Shutterstock Getty ImagesAnd in fact, the trope pops up a second time in this movie, and there’s another goddamn Blackberry involved! Jessica Biel plays Kara, a workaholic publicist who spends the entire movie eating candy, miserable at being alone on Valentine’s Day. “My closest relationship is with my Blackberry. Thank God it vibrates,” she tells Jamie Foxx, a journalist who covers her client. “You know who’s always been here for me? My best friend, candy. That is my future.” Again, Kara is the personal publicist of an NFL quarterback whose team made the playoffs last year. Also, she weighs 102 pounds and her arms look like steel cables.Even Queen Latifah’s character Paula—the quarterback’s agent—has been rendered all but inhuman by her professional choices: When her receptionist puts down the phone abruptly to talk to her, Paula says, “hangs up on her own mother, that’s cold. We might just get along.”Shutterstock Getty ImagesOne of the most frustrating things about Valentine’s Day is that many of the paper-thin plots in this omnibus rom-com would make for perfectly decent standalone movies. Why not make a rom-com about Shirley MacLaine’s character, who was a Hollywood starlet in the 1960s, and Hector Elizondo, an architect and devoted husband who is heartbroken to learn of her long-ago infidelity? I would watch an entire movie—124 whole minutes—that told the story of their marriage! I would probably watch a rom-com starring Anne Hathaway as a temp who pays off her student loans by moonlighting as a phone sex worker, assuming the very idea of sex work wasn’t treated like a punchline and a threat to her boyfriend’s masculinity, as it is in Valentine’s Day. And, for the love of Aaron Rodgers, someone take the Bradley Cooper-Eric Dane storyline and make us the gay football rom-com we all deserve.Fans of the genre will know that Valentine’s Day wasn’t the last in a line of rom-coms that are not so much star-studded and star-crammed. That’s in part because the formula, as exhausting and unfulfilling as it was, worked. Valentine’s Day made more than $200 million, and was followed by New Year’s Eve and Mother’s Day (and the “30 Rock” parody, Martin Luther King Day ). Even the runaway hit rom-com of 2018, Crazy Rich Asians, has a hint of ensemble-overload to it. Unlike its predecessors, it does have a clear central love story, but there are four other couples whose relationships fall apart or come together over the course of the first film—and if the books are anything to go by, the sequels will involve much more multitasking.Shutterstock Getty ImagesIn theory, you can see the appeal of the omnibus rom-com. You’ve got something for everyone: old people, young people, straight people, gay people. People who love Valentine’s Day, people who hate Valentine’s Day. People who want to watch a science fiction movie in which Los Angeles has no traffic. It’s almost like the movie was written by that famous Oprah meme: you get a plotline, you get a plotline, everybody gets a plotline!It seems like a safe investment strategy: diversify your assets. But the value of a rom-com is that it invests, deeply, in a love story. The rom-com is basically the only genre in which the movies are by, for, and about women. Where women’s stories are told in depth and in detail, with attention and empathy. That’s why rom-coms matter—and, not coincidentally, it’s also why they’re so often the target of mockery and derision. But women deserve movies that focus on us, on our experiences and our feelings. A hundred and twenty-four minutes is not that much to ask for.There are lots of ways to spend your Valentine’s Day. On your own. With your friends. With your Blackberry in hand, because you’ve got important, world-changing shit to do. With your Person, because it’s just a regular Thursday, and you want to spend every regular Thursday with them for as long as you possibly can. Personally, I’m hoping to open a bottle of wine, eat a home cooked meal, and not repeat the experience of being dumped at a deeply ironic moment. Maybe we’ll watch a rom-com. Whatever you do, I hope you put you and your love at the center of it—if only for two hours and four minutes. In other words, this Valentine’s Day, I wish you a love story all to yourself.

Warning! See What Nigerian Immigration Will Do To All Foreigners Who Vote During The...

The Nigerian Immigration Service has issued a warning to foreigners who dare to vote IN the forthcoming general elections.The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has reiterated its warning to foreign nationals to keep off voting areas during elections or face prosecution, deportation, The Nation reports.King Ekpedeme, the head of the service in Lagos gave the warning during a phone chat with our Correspondent on Friday.He said that the NIS had in the past five months engaged leaders of foreign nationals especially those from the Economic Community of West and Central African States (ECOWAS), (ECCAS) to speak to their people on the need to stay out of Nigeria’s elections.Ekpedeme also said the service had retrieved several Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) from none Nigerians, adding that it has emplaced mechanisms to forestall foreigners from taking part in the exercise.He said:-“Lagosians should not be worried about the possibility of foreign nationals voting in this election.Already, the borders have been closed today and the NIS had been retrieving PVCs from non-Nigerians.“Also, we have had several engagements with the leaders of our brothers from neighbouring countries who have spoken to their nationals and assured us they will not come out in election. “We have also made it clear that anyone found will be prosecuted and afterwards deported to their country. I want to believe that the message has been well received by them. This election is for Nigerians only and none Nigerians should stay in their homes.“Share this post with your Friends on

INEC Finally Speaks On Postponing 2019 Presidential Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked reports that the body was planning to postpone Saturday’s elections.Presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled to hold in few hours.National Commissioner for Voter Education and Publicity at INEC, Mr. Festus Okoye, told GQBuzz Friday night that Nigerians should ignore the rumours.His words: “If stories are flying about, allow the stories to fly. What they are reporting is not true.”Asked to respond to information that INEC commissioners were in a meeting, Okoye said: “Yes we are in a meeting but we have not taken such decision.“This is election period and as commissioners, we meet every time”.Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said his camp had foiled a plan to rig the polls in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.However, the recent development of INEC offices being set ablaze in Abia, Anambra, and Plateau states by ‘mysterious fire’, where thousands of electoral materials were burnt, could be major threat to the election.Also, earlier on Friday, the commission in Niger State announced that elections for the senatorial positions of Niger East and Niger North may not hold on Saturday as the ballot papers meant for the zone were missing.

El Salvador supreme court overturns 30-year sentence for a teen rape victim

Evelyn Beatríz Hernández Cruz, 19, was found guilty in July 2017 of aggravated homicide after having a stillbirthEl Salvador’s supreme court has overturned a 30-year sentence for a teenage rape victim who was convicted of aggravated homicide after having a stillbirth.El Salvador teen rape victim sentenced to 30 years in prison after stillbirth Read moreEvelyn Beatríz Hernández Cruz, 19, was found guilty in July 2017 on the grounds that failing to seek antenatal care amounted to murder.But on Friday the court ordered a new trial for Hernandez, who was released after almost three years in jail. She was greeted by activists chanting “Evelyn, you are not alone!”During her trial, Hernandez said she had been repeatedly raped by a gang member and didn’t realize she was pregnant.Hernandez, a high school student, gave birth into the toilet in April 2016 after falling ill with acute back and stomach pain.Medical experts were unable to ascertain whether the foetus died in utero or in the moments after delivery.The female judge accepted the prosecutor’s claims that Hernandez failed to seek antenatal care because she did not want the baby, and threw him into the toilet intending to kill him.Abortion is illegal in all situations in El Salvador.

Gabosky reveals why his dream to revolutionize Nollywood crashed

One of the pioneering distributors of Nollywood movies, Chief Gabriel Okoye popularly known as Igwe Gabosky, has revealed why his dream to revolutionize the country’s movie industry through his nationwide distribution network, G-Media crashed, saying it was due to lack of genuine funding.The popular film distributor about five years ago established the biggest media distribution company for intellectual property in Africa.He was one of the beneficiaries of the Bank of Industry,BoI, intervention fund in developing the creative industry. But unfortunately, the dream crashed following the activities of pirates who wrecked his company in addition to lack of proper funding to sustain the project.Buhari, 36 Govs dragged to court over refusal to pay N30, 000 new minimum wageNarrating his sad experience to NollyNow, during the week, the popular film distributor, said he decided to shutdown the 25 film distribution outlets he opened in 25 states of the federation following his inability to sustain the project.According to him, there was no genuine financial support as the loan granted to him by the BoI was not sufficient to fund the project. “There was no genuine financial support, he said, adding “If you want to set up a newspaper house and you need about N100 million to fund the project. You did your feasibility studies and submit the same to one bank. After going through your proposal, the bank decides to release N1 million to you. Will you succeed? Definitely, you will not. That was what happened to me.”He continued: “If you enter my warehouse, I still have about one million branded jackets that I brought in from abroad to revolutionize the Nigerian entertainment industry. But there was no support from anybody.The support I got could not fund the project and I failed along the way. Though I have failed, I am still working within silently to see how I can resurrect the project. That’s why when the Bank of Industry,BoI, insisted on auctioning my products, I asked them to tell the whole world how much loan they granted to me?”Okowa calls for sustainable implementation of pension“You people advertised that you granted me a loan of N1 billion, which would be given to me in transient. And the initial N100 million was released to me. What would I do with the N100 million. The loan was not able to fund the project, and they are making it to look like I am unable to repay the loan I collected from the bank.”Gabosky, however, revealed that he has shutdown the 25 film distribution outlets he opened in 25 states of the federation . Explaining further, the popular film distributor said “I had to close down the outlets because I was accumulating a lot of debts in rents and in salary arrears of my workers.”

2019 Election: A test of Nigeria’s democratic maturity – GREII

A Non-Governmental Organisation, Grand Rainbow Empowerment Initiative International, GREII, says the general elections scheduled for Saturday, will be used by the world to measure Nigeria’s democratic maturity.President of the organisation, Mr Paul Abbey, stated this while addressing newsmen at a rally in Gombe Main Market on Thursday.The rally, with the theme, “Say No to Violence and Thuggery,” was organised by GREII, in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.The president of the group said that the rally was organised to awaken the consciousness of the people to the need to jettison violence before, during and after the elections.“The world is watching Nigeria and wants to see if we have come of age democratically as to conduct a violence-free election.“It is in this light that we are here to add value to what INEC is doing. We believe that Nigeria is at the threshold of history again as election year is always important to the people.“We want to plead with the electorate to steer clear of vote-buying, selling, violence and thuggery.“It is our civic responsibility to vote and we must do it peacefully so as to consolidate on the previous successes,” he said.In his contribution, National Secretary of the group, Mr Victor Etim, appealed to candidates in all the elections to accept the verdict, whichever way it went and not to jeopardise the process.On the side line, Malam Mohammed Adamu, who claimed to have a voter’s card, said that the call was necessary and timely, adding that youths must be reminded of the gains of having a peaceful election.Adamu said that there were lots of candidates for the electorate to make their choices, and therefore, implored voters in Gombe to vote according to their consciences.Also, another voter, Mrs Patience Dakup, charged all women in the Northern part of the country to come out and vote, and appealed to husbands to give their wives the opportunity to perform their civic rights.(NAN)

SHAME!! When vision, expertise, merit not enough to win

The best in almost every contest wins. It is an age-long truism but it would be an illusion to expect such in today’s presidential election.More competent candidates would lose in manners that defy logic in functional societies. As incredible as it sounds, that kind of outcome makes sense in Nigeria.As you are reading this, the majority of 84 million registered voters may have accredited to vote or may have voted for candidates with the least capabilities and qualifications.Sadly, the action often takes place without fears of what it portends for the nation.As ridiculous as it is, no one cares and truly, none does.After all, being average in knowledge and competence are known characteristics of most elected Nigerian leaders since independence.Characteristics of Nigerian leadersSimply put, there is no evidence that sound education, vision, and broad worldview had earned any other person an electoral victory in Nigeria although the late Chief M.K.O Abiola came close to that.With a First Class in Accounting from Scotland combined, expansive business empire, viable manifesto, and rich international and local connections, Abiola was simply the best in that contest and he won.The inexhaustibility of thanksgivingHowever, the Abiola case remains isolated as most capable candidates with the best ideas hardly win elections in Nigeria where incumbency and vote buying are decisive factors.That such a pattern would play out in today’s exercise has nothing to do with Buhari or Atiku but the Nigerian system which promotes mediocrity at the expense of competence.Saturday Vanguard believes the trend highlights the absence of patriotism among Nigerians, which Chinua Achebe in The Trouble with Nigeria, said, motivates citizens to demand nothing but the best for their country.An illustration of the situation could be seen in the perspective of the author of Democracy: The God that Failed, Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe.He observed that: “Democracy virtually assures that only bad and dangerous men will ever rise to the top of government,” explaining that, “Prime Ministers and Presidents are selected for their proven efficiency as morally uninhibited demagogues.”Poor choice of candidatesThe American Professor of Economics is not alone in that line of argument, which by extension, explains the poor choice of candidates often made every four years.Brain Flapping in Democracy Vs Psychology: Why People Keep Electing Idiots, asserted that: “It is clear that doing or saying unintelligent things is no barrier to political success. There are several psychological mechanisms that lead to apparent idiots being elected into powerful positions.”This perspective, however, helps to understand why voters would ignore people like former Deputy Governor of Central Bank, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu; Serial Entrepreneur and Motivational Coach, Mr. Fela Durotoye; a Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore; CEO of Global Analytics, Mr. Tope Fasua; and Mr. Gbenga Olowepo-Hashim for either Atiku or Buhari.Without malice towards the leading candidates, Saturday Vanguard reports that most Nigerians consider Moghalu, Durotoye, and Sowore more capable of leading a 21st century Nigeria.They are young, vibrant, highly educated and understand the indicators that could make Nigeria an ambitious country in the age of the internet. But they are what Paul Carsten and Didi Akinyelure described in The Men Who Could Lead Nigeria: The Presidency, Power, and Petroleum, as “civil society alternatives,” whose “chances of winning are slim without the big parties’ wealth and patronage.”Notwithstanding, they are men of vision, expertise, and merit, whose profile, Saturday Vanguard, believes, leaves voters with something to ponder on.Moghalu: Simply the bestHad competence been a decisive element in this race, the Harvard-trained scholar and administrator would emerge Nigeria’s President at the end of today’s exercise.The 56-year-old economist, lawyer, former United Nations official, and Professor of International Business and Public Policy, is widely adjudged the best man for the job.We’ve been vindicated by Buhari’s refusal to participate in debate —IPOBHe is loved by the youths and admired by the old generation, but his chances as earlier stated, are challenged by the Nigerian factor.Moghalu’s plans for the country are encapsulated in his manifesto entitled: Build, Innovate and Grow.It is a compendium of his vision for Nigeria which he aims to achieve if elected.“We must stop recycling failed politicians and regenerate our leadership ranks with competent and experienced young men or women. Youths who have prepared themselves with the relevant qualifications must take over the mantle of leadership because this struggle is about the future of Nigeria, not its past,” Moghalu said in his declaration of intent speech.Global leaderAn excerpt of his profile on his website,, reads: “Kingsley Moghalu is a global leader who has made contributions to the stability, progress and wealth of nations, societies and individuals across such domains as academia, economic policy, banking and finance, entrepreneurship, law, and diplomacy.“Kingsley was educated at the London School of Economics and Political Science (Ph.D., M.Phil.), The Fletcher School at Tufts University (M.A.), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (LL.B.), and the Institute of Risk Management in London, UK. He has completed executive leadership programs in economic transformation, macroeconomic management, global leadership, corporate governance, and strategy at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, Wharton, Chicago Booth School of Business, and the International Monetary Fund Institute.”Sowore: Robust grassroots campaignSome may not like Sowore, who is also an activist, owing to his guts but many admire his zeal and vision.Interestingly, his nationwide campaign for the presidency resonated among ordinary people, who actually vote.He may not have the Ivy League qualifications of Moghalu, but the University of Lagos and Columbia University graduate understands the ingredients that could make prosper of fail.Sowore, who is running on the platform of African Action Congress, ACC, wants to take Nigeria back from those he felt had hijacked it. Hence his campaign slogan, Take It Back.The former President of Student Union, University of Lagos, has an 8-point plan which prioritises security, power, infrastructure, anti-corruption, economy and job creation, restructuring. health and education.2019: PDP’ll tell Oshiomhole who owns Delta at the right time – Senator Patrick OsakweThe 47-year-old Sowore started his famous online news platform in New York in 2006 with the aim of fighting “corrupt and wrong government practices.”At a recent presidential debate convened by a Civil Society Organisation, Enough is Enough ,EIE, in collaboration with Television Continental ,TVC, Sowore pledged to: “Hit the ground running upon the assumption of office as President of Nigeria. From day one, Nigeria will be secured, corruption will be clamped down. There will be massive infrastructure development and agricultural revolution.“We will return Nigeria to people who can build and maintain. Under our government, broadband will become a human right. No economic policy in the world will provide jobs without electricity, infrastructure and human capital. In the power sector, we will increase our power generation, massive infrastructural developments, hire 200,000 teachers when we assume office.Durotoye: The new bridgeHis decision to run for the presidency inspired hope and as well, represented a breath of fresh air in the race.Before now, the 47-year-old presidential hopeful was only known as a successful business consultant, leadership expert, and motivational speaker.He is also the founder of Gemstone Foundation, which trains youths for transformational leadership and social change.Durotoye, whose mother and father are both professors, has a degree in Computer Science and Economics in addition to a masters in Business Administration, MBA. He is an alumnus of Executive Education programme of Harvard University and John F. Kenethy School of Government.Durotoye wants to create a new Nigeria and has pledged thus: “If Nigerians give me the privilege to serve as their President, one of the first things my Presidency would instantly achieve on the first day is a presidency with a clear vision for Nigeria. I have been an avid proponent of the new Nigeria for at least 14 years.My vision for Nigeria still remains that we will become the world’s most desirable nation to live in by December 31, 2025. This nation must become the most preferred destination to live, work and do business in.”Drama at presidential debate: Buhari absent, says he is busy; Atiku walks away from debateAt a recent presidential debate, he said: “Under the leadership of ANN, we will deliver a nation that works for everyone, a nation that provides jobs for everyone. On job creation in Nigeria, those who have ruled us have done so with the intent of creating unemployment so as to impoverish the citizens. We will create a special business intervention fund to create five million jobs within one year.”