Congo opposition Says Its Tally Shows Incumbent Lost Presidential Vote

congo presdentOpposition candidates in elections in Congo Republic said on Wednesday that President Denis Sassou Nguesso placed no better than fourth in any major district, rejecting official partial results that gave him a commanding lead.

Results of Sunday’s ballot announced by the country’s electoral commission on Tuesday, and based on returns from 72 of 111 voting districts, showed Sassou Nguesso with 67 per cent of the vote .

Charles Zacharie Bowao, the head of a coalition of five opposition candidates, posted its summary of preliminary results — showing Sassou Nguesso trailing others — on his Twitter account.

It said this was based on results collected from regions representing more than 75 per cent of the electorate, though no exact vote totals were provided.

“It is impossible that the candidate-president could claim a victory, even taking into account only the partial results,” the coalition said in a statement.

Bowao did not say which of the opposition candidates the summary placed in the lead, or how it was compiled. The opposition previously said it had deployed observers to all polling stations to tally votes.

Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the oil-producing country for 32 of the last 37 years, must win an outright majority against eight opponents in all to avoid a run-off.

The government says the opposition’s publication of its own results is illegal and has imposed a blackout on internet and mobile phone communications since Sunday that it says will help prevent unofficial results circulating and creating unrest.

The U.S. State Department said that it had “received numerous reports of irregularities that have raised concerns about the credibility of the process”, urging authorities in a statement to restore communications.

Final results from the electoral commission are expected as early as Wednesday afternoon amid heightened tensions in southern Brazzaville, an opposition stronghold.

Police fired tear gas on Wednesday morning to disperse opposition supporters who had gathered outside one candidate’s campaign headquarters to await the results, witnesses said.

There was also a heavy police and military presence in the economic hub Pointe Noire, where the opposition is well-supported, a resident told Reuters.

At least 18 people were killed by security forces in protests ahead of a referendum in October that removed term and age limits that would have prevented Sassou Nguesso from running again.

Congo’s election is being watched closely across Africa, where several long-ruling presidents are trying to remove constitutionally mandated term limits to stay in power.

Siasia Invites 31 Players To U-23 Training Camp

siasiaHead Coach of the Nigerian national U-23 team, Samson Siasia, has called up 31 players to camp in preparation for next month’s All-Africa Games, in Brazzaville, Congo.

The list, which is made up of mostly players who qualified the Dream Team for the games, has some new faces including Lucky Jimoh, Bright Onyedikachi and Olisah Ndah amongt others.

The invited players are expected to report in Abuja from Wednesday, August 12.

The dream team will face Ghana, Senegal and Egypt in Group B of the men’s football tournament from September 3 to 18.

Recently, Siasia picked 20 players for the crucial African U-23 Championship qualifier against Congo in Pointe-Noire.




Siasia Commends Team Over U-23 Championship Qualification

siasiaHead Coach of Nigeria’s U-23 national team, Samson Siasia, has commended his team, following their qualification for the CAF U-23 Championship.

The team advanced to the eight nation Championship which will be hosted by Senegal in November, after holding Congo-Brazzaville to a goalless draw in Pointe-Noire.

An elated Coach Siasia said his boys played to instructions, only that they didn’t score any goal, as he had expected.

He said his boys played like true heroes and that he was proud of them. The coach said they had made him and Nigerians proud.

Siasia has expressed confidence that the team will get better, as they will have the opportunity to play more competitive games before the championship.

Siasia Picks 20 Players For Congo Return Leg Clash

siasiaNigeria’s Under-23 Coach, Samson Siasia, has picked 20 players for Sunday’s crucial African U-23 Championship qualifier against Congo in Pointe-Noire.

While addressing the players after their last practice match at the FIFA/NFF Goal Project in Abuja on Wednesday, Coach Siasia said that all the players are good enough to make the trip, but it was impossible for everyone to be in Congo for the battle.

He assured the players left out to continue to work on their game as they could form part of the team for the All Africa Games.

“For those of you selected, this is a golden opportunity for you to show to Nigerians and the world that your first leg victory was not a flash in the pan, and as such you must fight hard when we get to Pointe Noire and beat the Congolese.”

The team takes a slim 2-1 win to Pointe Noire and must avoid defeat to stand a chance of qualifying for the eight nation CAF Under-23 Championship in Senegal.

The selected players for the task ahead are: Daniel Emmanuel, Atanda Sodiq, Stanley Amuzie, Azubuike Okechukwu, Olusegun Oduduwa, Erhun Obanor, Godwin Saviour, Etebo Oghenekaro, Junior Ajayi, Usman Mohammed, Etor Daniel, Yusuf Mohammed, Chima Akas, Semiu Liadi, Shehu Abdullahi, Kingsley Sokari, Taiwo Awoniyi, Umar Aminu, Austin Oladapo and Sincere Seth.

Slim Advantage: Nigeria’s Under-23 Beat Congo 2-1 In Olympics Qualifier

Under-23Nigeria’s Under-23 national team have beaten their Congolese counterparts 2-1 in an African Under-23 Championship final round, first leg qualifying match played in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

Junior Ajayi scored both goals early in the second half – the first a tap-in after Goalkeeper Christopher could not get a good grip of the ball off a pull-out in the 48th minute.

The second goal was a well orchestrated team goal that Ajayi finished with a brilliant header from a Daniel Etor cross six minutes later.

After the 2-goal lead, Samson Siasia’s boys were adjudged to have relaxed and allowed the Congolese back into the game.

The Devils created chances and from one of such, Nkoukou Miose slammed in off a rebound from goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel in the 66th minute.

Coach Siasia had, during a telephone interview on Channels Television’s Sports Tonight, hoped for victory with a large margin against the boys from Congo but they now take a slim advantage into the second leg in Congo.

Siasia’s boys won their two away matches in the qualifying race for the All-Africa Games – for which they have qualified.

They pounded Gabon 4-1 in Libreville and defeated Zambia 2-0 in Lusaka and it is expected that they would remain confident going to Pointe Noire on August 2.

Keshi Should Be Allowed To Complete AFCON 2015 Qualifiers, Amodu Tells NFF

AmoduCoach Shaibu Amodu has appealed to the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to allow Stephen Keshi handle the Super Eagles for the two remaining matches of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The former Super Eagles handler, who was put in interim charge of the team, said that he wanted Keshi reconsidered for the two matches as the time frame is too short to tinker with the fabric of the squad or start to build a new one altogether.

Coach Amodu promised to offer whatever assistance required by Keshi and his crew for the remaining two matches.

Nigeria will play  two ‘must win’ matches with the first against Congo Brazzaville in Pointe Noire on November 15 and the second against South Africa four days later.

Nigeria must not only defeat Congo, but defeat the French-speaking Country by a margin of two goals away, for a chance to qualify for the 2015 finals in Morocco.