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Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Joe Erico, has died at 71 years old

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The former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Joe Erico has died.

The Nigeria Football Federation’s spokesperson, Ademola Olajire, confirmed Erico’s death on Thursday.

A statement from the NFF quoted Erico’s family members as saying that the former assistant coach of Super Eagles complained of body pain and was treated for malaria, “only to be found dead in his bed at dawn” on Thursday.

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“It is another sad day for Nigerian Football. Erico was among the very best of Nigeria’s international goalkeepers and also served the country with fervour and diligence as Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles between 2001 and 2002.

“He will be sorely missed. We pray that Almighty God grant him eternal rest and also grant his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the big loss,” NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, said.

Born Joseph Bassey Eric in the Odukpani local government area in what is today known as Cross River State, Erico belonged to the cast of the very best goalkeepers in the history of Nigeria’s senior team, and served at the same period as the revered Emmanuel Okala and Eyo Essien.

He made his debut for then Green Eagles in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Zambia in Lagos in July 1973 (which Nigeria won 3-2), and then kept goal in all of Nigeria’s six matches at the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations in Ethiopia, where the Eagles finished third – the first time Nigeria would win a medal at the AFCON. Erico was also in goal in all of Nigeria’s pre-tournament friendlies against Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania just before the team flew to Ethiopia.

Nicknamed ‘Jogo Bonito’(Beautiful Game) for his preference for fluency and expression in the rhythm of play of his teams as a coach, Erico was part of the triumvirate (alongside late Amodu Shaibu and late Stephen Keshi) who were shooed in to do a rescue job for Nigeria as the ship to the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals tottered badly under Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere. With three matches left in the campaign and a must-win mandate for all, the trio got the job done and qualified Nigeria for Korea/Japan.

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They also led the team to a bronze-medal finish at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Mali early 2002.

With his death on Thursday morning, it means all members of that historic triumvirate have now passed on.

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BREAKING: Army renames Operation Lafiya Dole in North-East

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, has approved the renaming of the ongoing counterinsurgency operation in the North-East from Operation Lafiya Dole to Operation Hadin Kai, the Nigerian Army has said.

This was contained in statement on Friday signed by Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima.

The statement was titled, ‘Nigerian Army Renames Operation In The North East, Seeks Inclusiveness’.

It read, “The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru has approved the renaming of the ongoing Counterinsurgency Operation in the North East from Operation Lafiya Dole to Operation Hadin Kai.

“This is premised on the fact that the Nigerian Army has made a lot of progress over the years and needs to re-align for better efficiency.

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“Also affected in the re-designation are the Army Super Camps which now reflect the nomenclature of the formations and units followed by the name of the locations they occupy while sub-units are redesigned as Forward Operating Bases followed by the name of their locations. All these changes are with immediate effect.

“The renaming is in line with the COAS Vision of having ‘A Nigerian Army that is Repositioned to Professionally Defeat all Adversaries in a Joint Environment’.

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BREAKING: Five dead as gunmen set ablaze Imo police area command

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Tension heightened in Imo State, on Monday, as unknown gunmen razed the Okigwe South Police Area Command situated in Orieagu in the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.

A police officer at the headquarters, who spoke to our correspondent in the evening, said that on arrival, the gunmen opened fire on the cops who challenged them.

It was learnt that the invaders freed all the suspects in the cells and carted away arms.

The source said that no fewer than five policemen were shot dead by the attackers as they torch the security facility.

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The source said, “Our area command headquarters in Okigwe south is on fire. Six policemen shot dead. They also freed the suspects before igniting a fire on the facility.”

When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, said that five policemen were killed while one was missing during the attack.

He disclosed that the command had launched an investigation into the onslaught.

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Uzodinma’s guest house set ablaze

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Guest House of Imo state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma was this morning set ablaze.

Information to the Lead Newspapers revealed that yet to be identified group of men stormed the House of a suspected IPOB member at Awomama in Oru East LGA, the country home of the Governor for possible arrest and allegedly set his House ablaze when they could not see him.

The said group allegedly set ablaze another HOUSE belonging to the younger brother of same suspected IPOB member.

Upon hearing this, group of gun men stormed the scene and when they could not find the said persons responsible for the act, they proceeded to the Governor’s house where they shot sporadically and set ablaze the Governor’s guest house Lead gathered.

Read Also; BREAKING: Gunmen raze another Imo police station

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