President Jonathan to speak on current national issues tomorrow

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Read the State House press release below…

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will host a special edition of the Presidential Media Chat tomorrow, Wednesday, February 11, 2015. During the programme, which will be broadcast live on the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Voice of Nigeria (VON) from 1900 Hours, President Jonathan will respond to questions from a panel of journalists on current national issues. All other television and radio stations in the country may hook-up to NTA and FRCN to relay the programme to their viewers and listeners.

Reuben Abati Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) February 10, 2015

Ninety-one goals in a year, 73 in one season, four Golden Balls: All of Messi’s remarkable records

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ANALYSIS: The Barcelona legend became La Liga’s all-time top goalscorer on Saturday night and we decided to take a look at his most impressive marks for club and country
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

Lionel Messi has made a habit of rewriting history at Barcelona and his hat-trick against Sevilla on Saturday means he is now La Liga’s all-time top goalscorer. The previous mark had stood since 1955. But by the time he has finished, Messi’s may last forever.

Asked about the possibility of Messi surpassing Telmo Zarra’s recently, Luis Enrique’s reply was that the record was of little interest. After all, it was not a matter of if, but when the tally would be surpassed.

Perhaps more significantly, the Barca boss claimed his players had not commented on the record in the dressing room. And that’s possibly because Messi has made a career of achieving the unthinkable, normalising what for most is impossible.

Virtually every time he plays, the Argentine attacker appears to shatter some kind of mark or milestone. His propensity for record-breaking on the football field is nothing new – and it knows no bounds.

Still only 27, the Argentine celebrated 10 years since his Barcelona debut last month and is likely to go on and set many more marks over the coming campaigns. But in light of his latest achievement in La Liga, Goal looks at some of his most remarkable records to date and a few others he is close to breaking for club and country.
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Perfect 10 | Messi has made a habit of breaking records at Barcelona

3 – The Argentine holds the record for most hat-tricks in the Champions League, having hit four (against Arsenal, Viktoria Plzen, Bayer Leverkusen and Ajax).

4 – Messi is the only player in history to win four Ballons d’Or. Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten all won three. He is also the only footballer to finish as top scorer in the Champions League on four separate occasions.

5 – The Argentine is the first player in Champions League history to score five goals in a single match and the first to do so in the formerly named European Cup since Ajax’s Soren Lerby in 1979. He is also the first Barcelona player to net five since Jose Antonio Zaldua in 1965.

6 – In 2009, Pedro became the first player in history to score goals in six competitions over one year. But two years later, Messi emulated his Barcelona team-mate by netting in La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Champions League, the Uefa Super Cup, the Spanish Supercopa and the Club World Cup.

7 – The 27-year-old has been on the final three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or seven successive times between 2007 and 2013, more than any other player in history.

12 – The forward’s 12 goals for Argentina in 2012 saw him match a feat achieved by compatriot Gabriel Batistuta in 1998. No other player has scored as many goals in a calendar year for Argentina.

14 – Messi scored 14 times in the 2011-12 Champions League to equal Jose Altafini’s record for goals in a European season, since surpassed by Cristiano Ronaldo (17) in 2013-14.

19 – The Argentine netted against all 19 teams in La Liga in consecutive matches in 2012-13, a feat never before achieved. Following a break through injury, he also converted in his next two matches and is the only player in history to score in 21 consecutive games in the Primera Division.

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21 – Messi has scored in 21 different cities in the Champions League, more than any other player. He is also the top scorer in Clasico clashes with 21 goals in the famous fixture, having surpassed Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano’s mark of 18 earlier in 2014.

22 – No player has won more trophies at Barcelona than Xavi, but Messi is just one behind his 34-year-old team-mate on 21 titles for the Catalan club. Madrid legend Paco Gento holds the Spanish record with 23, but Leo looks likely to overtake them both as long as he stays in Catalunya for the coming campaigns.

25 – Messi shares the record for most international goals in a calendar year for club and country with Cristiano Ronaldo and Vivian Woodward.

27 – The 27-year-old now has 27 hat-tricks for Barcelona, one more than the 26 scored by Cristiano for Madrid. Of those, 20 have come in La Liga, leaving him just two behind the Portuguese, Telmo Zarra and Alfredo Di Stefano (all on 22). He has also scored three trebles for Argentina.

40 – The Rosario-born attacker is the first player in the history of Spanish football to score 40 or more goals in five consecutive seasons. He hit 47 in all competitions in 2009-10, and then 53, 73, 60 and 41 respectively in the next four campaigns.

45 – Leo has 45 goals for Argentina and is closing in on Batistuta’s national record of 56. Messi passed Diego Maradona’s tally of 34 in 2013.

50 – The Argentine hit 50 goals in La Liga in 2011-12 to set a new record. That came after Cristiano Ronaldo registered 40 in 2010-11 to beat the previous mark of 38 shared by Telmo Zarra and Hugo Sanchez.

71 – The 27-year-old has 71 Champions League goals and recently equalled the mark set by former Real Madrid forward Raul. Cristiano Ronaldo (70) is also in line to break the Spaniard’s record, but Messi will get first crack as Barca are in action away to APOEL on Tuesday. The Argentine has scored his 71 in just 90 games, however, while the Portuguese has played 107 times in Europe’s premier club competition. Raul’s 71 goals came in 142 appearances.

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73 – The Barcelona forward’s 73 goals in all competitions in 2011-12 saw him beat the previous best of 67 in a European season, set by German great Gerd Muller in 1972-73.

91 – Messi also holds the record for most goals in a calendar year, having hit 91 in 2012 to beat Muller’s mark of 85, which had stood since 1972. The 79 he netted for Barcelona also betters the 72 scored by Muller for Bayern Munich in 1972.

101 – With 101 assists in La Liga, the Argentine is just six short of the record held by former Barca and Madrid winger Luis Figo (107). However, statistics for assists only date back to 1995.

142 – Leo is the only player in Barcelona history to score 100 or more league goals at Camp Nou, with 142 of his 253 netted at the Catalan club’s famous home.

203 – Messi is the only player to score 200 goals for Barcelona at Camp Nou, having reached that mark (in all competitions) with his strike against Eibar last month. His hat-trick on Saturday means he now has 203.

253 – The Argentine is now La Liga’s all-time top goalscorer, having surpassed Athletic Club great Zarra (251) with his hat-trick in the match against Sevilla on Saturday.

368 – The 27-year-old has scored 368 goals for Barcelona in official matches and is well clear of the Catalan club’s previous top scorer, Cesar Rodriguez. The former Spanish great hit 232 between 1942 and 1954. No player has scored so many goals for a Spanish side, with the previous best the 335 netted by Zarra for Athletic between 1940 and 1955. Raul is Madrid’s top scorer with 323.

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Lionel Messi: The greatest goalscorer and player La Liga has ever seen

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COMMENT: The Argentine forward now leads the Primera Division’s all-time scoring charts after surpassing a mark set in 1955. Spain’s top-flight has never seen anything like Leo
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

When Telmo Zarra passed away at the age of 85 in February 2006, his long-standing Liga goals record appeared unbeatable. Back then, Lionel Messi was in only his second season at Barcelona and had scored just seven times in La Liga. But eight years on, he has eclipsed the brilliant Basque and is now not only the Primera Division’s greatest goalscorer, but also the finest footballer to ever grace Spain’s top-flight.

Messi surpassed Zarra’s magical mark of 251 Liga goals with his hat-trick in the 5-1 win against Sevilla at Camp Nou on Saturday and, at the age of 27, could go on to smash the record over the next few seasons at Barcelona. Even though he has adopted more of a playmaker role this term under Luis Enrique, there are plenty more goals still to come from the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Zarra watched Messi before his death, yet the legendary Athletic Club striker never witnessed the Argentine in all his goalscoring glory. Back then, Leo was a winger with plenty of promise, but far from the finished article.

It was in 2006-07 that the forward made the world sit up and truly take notice as he scored a carbon copy of Diego Maradona’s famous World Cup goal against England by beating a series of defenders in a remarkable run and finish at home to Getafe in the Copa del Rey.

But it was in 2008-09 that his goalscoring really reached new heights as Pep Guardiola took over and the Catalan club went on enjoy the most glorious era in its entire history, amassing 14 out of a possible 19 seasons in four fantastic seasons. And Messi was the undoubted star.
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Messi’s scoring peaked in Guardiola’s final campaign in charge as he netted 73 goals in 2011-12 and an amazing 50 in La Liga – still the highest tally managed by anyone over a single season in the Primera Division.

By then, the Argentine was operating in a central position after Guardiola and assistant Tito Vilanova moved Messi to a false-nine role in the 2009-10 campaign. “There were many games in which I thought ‘this kid is one of the best we have and there are days when he is out there on the wing when we struggle to get the ball to him’. And I wanted him to participate [as much as possible], so we moved him inside.”

And participate he did, playing a pivotal part in the team’s extraordinary success during the Guardiola era. “Without Leo, we would be a very good team and we would be competitive,” the Catalan coach said during his time at Camp Nou. “But we wouldn’t have been able to achieve all that we have if he were not with us.”

With 38, 47, 53 and 73 goals in his four full seasons under Guardiola, Messi also made his mark on the Liga scoring charts with 138 Primera Division strikes in that time. The Argentine added 46 more league goals under Tito Vilanova in 2012-13 and achieved the remarkable – and unprecedented – feat of netting against all 19 teams in La Liga consecutively.

“Leo scores a spectacular amount of goals,” Vilanova said in 2012. “Sometimes you stop and think about the great, great players who score in seven or eight seasons what Messi scores in only one. And his are not normal goals either – most of them are wonder goals.”

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Even in an injury-interrupted 2013-14, Messi managed 28 more in La Liga under fellow Rosario native Gerard Martino and his 10 strikes in the Primera Division this term have seen him surpass Zarra to become the competition’s greatest goalscorer.

“The fact that the record has stood for so long (since 1955) gives you an idea of what Zarra was,” said Jose Angel Iribar, former Athletic goalkeeper and a friend of the former Spain striker. “Zarra was tall, svelte and fast. He was a very complete player, he was modest and he was humble. Up there, wherever he is, he would be proud that Messi has broken his record.”

And the striker’s daughter, Carmen, echoed those words. “My father would be happy. We are Athletic fans in my house, but he would have been thrilled. Messi is a noble person on and off the pitch.”

Comparing different eras is always difficult and Messi has played in slightly more games than Zarra (289 to 277). Greats such as Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas also made an incredible impact in times gone by, while more recently the likes of Hugo Sanchez, Raul, Xavi and, of course, Messi’s great rival Cristiano Ronaldo have pushed the boundaries of the impossible.

But with assists aplenty and so much more to his all-round game, Messi is surely now not only the greatest goalscorer La Liga has ever seen, but also the finest footballer in the competition’s history as well. And he is far from finished yet.

22 year old Femi Junaid stabbed to death in Stockwell, London

Junaid Babafemi

22year old Babafemi Junaid (pictured above) was found with stab wounds in a car which had collided with a bus around 6pm on Friday February 7th.

The police believe Femi had been stabbed in Clapham Road, near Stockwell underground station, south London and had then got into his car which then collided with the bus as he tried to drive away.

Femi, who is from Peckham, was rushed to the hospital where he later died. A Metropolitan Police statement said a murder investigation is now under way. No arrests have so fare been made.