Maddison Lifts Leicester As Forest Hit Rock Bottom

James Maddison’s performance helped eased the pressure on Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers. [email protected]


James Maddison eased the pressure on Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers and pushed Nottingham Forest to the bottom of the Premier League as the midfielder’s double inspired a vital 4-0 win on Monday.

Rodgers’ side blew Forest away with three goals in the space of 10 minutes in the first half at the King Power Stadium.

Maddison struck either side of a superb finish from Harvey Barnes and Patson Daka netted in the second half as Leicester won for the first time this season at the eighth attempt.

Leicester had lost their previous six games to leave Rodgers fighting to avoid the sack following his criticism of the club’s Thai owners for failing to back him in the transfer window.

Beating their East Midlands rivals should give Rodgers at least a little breathing space, with Leicester moving one place above rock-bottom Forest on goal difference.

Woeful Forest are now without a win in six games, losing five in a row and conceding 16 goals in their last four matches.

That dismal run has turned up the heat on Steve Cooper, who took charge when Forest were bottom of the Championship last season and led them back to the Premier League for the first time since 1999.

It would be incredibly harsh on Cooper to sack him so soon after winning promotion, but Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis would have hoped for better results after sanctioning a hefty investment in 21 new players in the close-season.

Ahead of what he described as a “season-changing” fixture, Rodgers insisted he was the “best person” to save Leicester from relegation.

Rodgers’ players responded to his rallying cry with their best performance for months.

Maddison was the catalyst right from the start as he teased the Forest defence before delivering a precise cross that Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall headed wide.

Dewsbury-Hall flashed a powerful strike just wide moments later before Jamie Vardy headed wide from Maddison’s free-kick.

Forest should have taken advantage of those misses when Taiwo Awoniyi hit the post after racing onto Morgan Gibbs-White’s defence-splitting pass.

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Bickering Forest

That proved the decisive moment as Leicester seized control with two goals in quick succession.

There was more than a slice of luck about Maddison’s 25th-minute opener as he pounced on Jesse Lingard’s awful clearance for a 20-yard strike that took a wicked deflection off Scott McKenna as it looped past Dean Henderson.

If that was fortuitous, there was no denying the excellence of Barnes’ effort in the 27th minute.

Picked out by Vardy’s pass, Barnes took aim from the edge of the area and curled a superb effort into the far corner as Rodgers raised his arms in jubilation.

With several players bickering among themselves, Forest were in disarray.

Maddison was giving England manager Gareth Southgate a reminder of his quality ahead of the World Cup after being left out of the recent Nations League squad.

He delivered the knockout blow to Forest in the 35th minute with a fine free-kick that whistled past Henderson from 25 yards.

In the directors’ box, Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha wore a broad grin that suggested Rodgers had earned a few days of respite.

But down the touchline, Cooper hung his head in despair as Leicester fans chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.

Forest’s ineptitude was summed up by Awoniyi and Brennan Johnson as they bungled a chance to give Forest a lifeline soon after the interval.

Maddison was still tormenting them and his low cross was perfectly placed for Daka to flick an audacious backheeled finish past Henderson in the 73rd minute.


National Conference: Delegates Resolve Voting Modalities

National-conferenceDelegates at the ongoing National Conference have resolved the impasse over the voting modality for reaching a decision at the conference.

The delegates adopted a 70% majority voting requirement, as against the two-third and three-quarter that was proposed.

This was a key decision taken as the delegates resumed for the third week of the conference.

The delegates also rescinded an earlier decision to have delegates in committees pick their chairmen and deputy chairmen.

The conference resolved that the chairman of the conference would now be responsible for these and will try to ensure that the principle of federal character is maintained.

Series of unresolved arguments had delayed the take-off of real deliberations on issues at the National Conference, two weeks into its inauguration by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17.

This led to the setting up of the 50-man consensus group by the delegates, to discuss with the principal officers, so as to resolve the impasse.

According to the Deputy Chairman, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, while presenting the report of the outcome of the group’s meetings.

The committee met on the March 25 and 26 and had cordial deliberations as they worked in harmony to develop and put into effective use, the spirit of consensus with the national interest at heart.

“At the conclusion of deliberations, members reached a decision to amend Order VI Paragraph 4, XI paragraph 2 and XII paragraph 4 (e) as follows:

“In the case of failure to reach consensus, the matter shall be decided by majority vote of 70 per cent of delegates present and voting.

“That is the recommendation which that committee is bringing to you, distinguished delegates,” Akinyemi said.

The recommendation having been greeted with unanimous approval of the delegates, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, representing the Former Senators’ Forum, moved for the adoption of the motion, which was seconded by former Akwa Ibom Governor, Victor Attah, representing the Former Governors’ Forum.

National Conference Is Doing Well Despite Conflicts – Constitutional Law Analyst

Sunrise Collins OkekeA Constitutional Law Analyst, Collins Okeke, feels that Nigeria’s ongoing National Conference is “doing ok” and not as badly as Nigerians see it.

This, he said on Channels Television, in spite of the series of unresolved arguments delaying the take-off of real deliberations on national issues, two weeks into the conference’s inauguration.

He explained that having brought 492 people with different backgrounds and orientations together to deliberate on ideas to move the country forward, “It is expected that there would be conflicts, disagreements, fears, worries and I think the secretariat of the conference are doing their best to see how to resolve these differences.”

Okeke, like many other Nigerians, however, also has issues with the composition of delegates at the conference, complaining that the selection process was not transparent but he believes that what was most important was “getting them to do the right things.”

He agreed with the school of thought that the generation of delegates was too old.

“I think there is something wrong with having old people represent a country that is now populated by more young people. It doesn’t make sense, especially when you take into consideration, the fact that some of these old people have ideas that they’ve concretized and that’s going to be very difficult for them to change.”

On the view that the Nigerian youth who is known to have been starved of quality education for decades, lacked the intellectual capacity to provide quality contribution at the National Conference, Okeke said that indeed there is a question mark on the ability of the youths to provide meaningful contributions, especially considering the way the National Association of Nigerian Students and the National Youth Council have been in crisis.

He, however, said that his support of more youth representation was based on fairness and the fact that they have a greater stake in the discussions. He also admitted that the youths have performed below the standards of the older generation in their youth, but this would not change the fact that Nigerians between age 25 and 45 were not well represented at the National Conference.

He added that there were still very intelligent youths who could add value but only needed a platform to come together.

Mr. Okeke did not see any need for controversies on the voting requirement at the conference. The Constitutional Law Analyst said that he had sat down to do the mathematics of comparing the 75% requirement to the two-thirds requirement and he really did not find much difference as it amounted to just a difference of 41 votes.

He noted that even getting the lesser two-thirds would still be a challenge. “Getting 328 people to agree on an issue is still going to be a challenge.

“If I were to advise, I would simply say they should revert to the modalities for the conference. I think what the President had in mind was a conference that would come up with a recommendation that would be based on consensus.”

He believed that with time, the delegates would begin to understand one another and realize that “it is not a winner takes all (situation) or (that of) one group trying to outdo the other.”

Okeke, in this interview, also reacted to the threat by one of the delegates, and also the Lamido of Adamawa, who said “If you push us to wall, we can easily walk out of this country.”

“For me, I’m a bit disappointed that a traditional ruler would take this kind of position. I would have expected that he would be a bit more circumspect in the things he said”, Okeke said.

Nat’l Conference: Some Delegates Are Major Players In Crisis Bedevilling Nigeria – Enikhuomehin

Sunrise - EnikhuomehinA Legal Practitioner, Benson Enikhuomehin, on Thursday claimed to have foreseen the series of unresolved arguments slowing down the take-off of Nigeria’s National Conference, two weeks into its inauguration in Abuja.

Enikhuomehin was on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, where he discussed developments at the National Conference. He blamed the crisis on the presence of people who should not have been called up to the conference, but who were there.

He said that this class of delegates were “major players in the crisis that had bedevilled the country” till the moment and they have been given a platform to continue the evil they had perpetrated since the independence of Nigeria in 1960 “or even earlier than that.”

He asked, “Are they saying that when they run a relay race, they don’t have a reason to hand over the baton to somebody else to do it?”

Enikhuomehin, while acknowledging that there were indeed quality personalities at the conference whose composition was based on selection, noted that there was need for Nigeria to take a cue from the constitution of similar conferences in other climes.

He made particular reference to the American Convention of 1776, where the makeup of the delegates included patriots and notable Americans like George Washington, in comparison to the 1787 Philadelphia convention that had a makeup of the younger generation.

Enikhuomehin, while regretting the absence of young people who were willing to work hard and engage in research to enrich debates at the National Conference, noted that “James Maddison, who was a notable person in that particular convention of 1787, was barley 36. He came in with bundle of books articulated and gave views.”

He further said, “The strength of a man is barely between the age of 25 to 50” and these were the calibre of people he had expected to be more at the Conference, while the older ones should have been at the background to assist with their wisdom.

Knowing that this was a composition that may not be reversed, he noted that the National Conference was the last chance for the old delegates, who have been part of Nigeria’s governance, to “save themselves”, as he claimed that this provides them the opportunity to correct the wrong they had done to the country.

With a number of adjournments already called at the conference barely 2 weeks to its commencement, Enikhuomehin, said that this was further proof that the conference had too many people who were there just for personal interests. He expressed his disgust at seeing one of the delegates who became aggressive and was willing to fight at the conference.

On the possibility of calling back persons who have been identified to have worked against the smooth running of the conference, Enikhuomehin advised that the delegates be given more time to sort out their issues but also advised that some the delegates need to be sent back to the people they represent to seek wisdom and content.

He disagreed with the 75% requirement for the approval of decisions at the conference, explaining that if the country, based on its constitution had always made important decisions based on the two-thirds majority requirement, then the National Conference should not go higher, rather it should consider going lower. He referred to the requirement as a distortion.

The lawyer feared that the requirement of a 75% majority may hinder the success of adopting many good ideas, and this might make the conference end in a deadlock. He asked, “What if we don’t get that 75%?”

He noted that such requirement should only have been introduced for germane decisions like the impeachment of a sitting President.

He also responded to several calls for a review of Nigeria’s system of government. He said that the major issue in Nigeria was not the system but the people in charge, adding that if corruption still existed in the country, the change from federalism would not solve the country’s problems.

In conclusion, he said that 3 months was still enough time for the delegates to do something reasonable. However, “We lose nothing if we add one more month to it.”