Codeine syrup addiction: Nigerian arrested after BBC expose

A former Nigerian pharmaceuticals executive who was implicated in a BBC investigation into the illegal sale of addictive opioids has been arrested.

Chukwunonye Madubuike was detained west of Lagos, close to the border with Benin, police said.

He went on the run in May after he was filmed illegally selling codeine syrup to an undercover BBC reporter.

Police said he told them he thought he was selling to a genuine businessman and regretted not checking his ID.

The BBC documentary exposed the extent of addiction to the codeine-based cough mixture among Nigeria’s youth.

Codeine is a painkiller, which is highly addictive and if taken to excess can cause organ failure and trigger schizophrenia.

The Africa Eye film also exposed the black market practice of selling the medicine to people without a doctor’s prescription or a pharmaceutical licence.

Chukwunonye Madubuike was a business development executive with Emzor pharmaceuticals, who sacked him after the film was aired.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police Imohimi Edgal said the arrest was made in the border town of Idiroko in Ogun State. He had been heading to Cotonou in Benin.

He said Emzor had reported Mr Madubuike in May on suspicion of having “knowingly supplied the controlled drugs to persons who were not supposed to have access to them contrary to” Nigerian law.

Mr Edgal went on to say Mr Madubuike, in his statement, said he was “was only trying to meet his sales target”, acknowledged he should have carried out greater checks to verify the identity of the person he was dealing with and “regretted selling controlled substances to unauthorised persons”.

Since the documentary was aired, more than 2.4 million codeine syrup bottles have been recalled and a number of pharmacists and small-time dealers have been arrested. Hundreds of people turned up to public screenings of the documentary, and it has helped raise awareness of the problem in other African countries.

Codeine cough syrup – the scale of the problem

  • Codeine is a pain killer but also an addictive opioid. Taken in excess, it can cause schizophrenia and organ failure
  • Codeine syrup is commonly mixed with soft drinks and often consumed by students
  • The codeine is imported, but the syrup is made in Nigeria by more than 20 pharmaceutical companies
  • Nigeria’s drug enforcement agency is fighting this epidemic. In a recent raid, it seized 24,000 bottles of codeine syrup from a single lorry in Katsina
  • Codeine syrup addiction is a problem across Africa, with reports of addiction in Kenya, Ghana, Niger, and Chad
  • In 2016, India banned multiple brands of codeine cough syrup following reports of addition


NIGERIA: Drunk Governor’s Son knocks down 6 People in Car Accident

Khalid Al-Makura, a son of the executive governor of Nasarawa state in Nigeria, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has crushed six persons with his car in Mararaba Ankunza area of Lafia, Nasarawa State.

Khalid, who is alleged to be a habitual hit and run driver – was said to be coming from a local Hausa club ”Lancika hotel” when as a result of over speeding he crashed into six persons which led to amputating three-persons legs and hands who are all receiving treatment in Chida Crescent Hospital, Abuja.

The traditional ruler of the area, Ibrahim Mohammed, who confirmed the accident, said about three persons sustained serious injuries, but there was no record of death.

According to him, aside those whose hands and legs were amputated, other only have minor injuries and are currently receiving treatment in National Hospital, Abuja.

He further explained that when the accident happened, he was called upon to intervene, because, “Some youths wanted to kill the driver, but I insisted and asked the vigilante guards to take him away, which they did before they later hand him over to the Police, while those injured were rushed to specialists Hospital. And the Governor immediately ordered that they should all be taken to Abuja,” he stated.

“In fact, if we were not there nobody knows what the youth could have done, because they were angry and ready for jungle justice as they noticed the driver was drunk,” he added.

Khalid is currently in hiding to avoid any negative action from his father.

Below is a Photo of one of the accident victims;

victimi - Drunk Governor's Son knocks down 6 People in Car Accident (PHOTO)


Nigeria Super Falcons name provisional squad ahead of AWCON 2018

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Head coach of Nigeria’s Super Falcons, Thomas Dennerby has named a provisional squad as part of preparations for the 11th edition of the Africa Women Cup of Nations without former captain Evelyn Nwabouku.

The Swedish gaffer invited 29 home-based and 19 foreign-based players, without former captain Evelyn Nwabouku who led them to African glory at Namibia 2014 and has been in fine form for Rivers Angels this season.

Despite an abysmal U20 Women’s World Cup performance in France, Rasheedat Ajibade, Glory Ogbonna, Anam Imo, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Glory Ogbonna were promoted to the team to take part in the first phase of preparations.

All the invited players are to report at the Jubilee Chalets, Chalet Road, off Obafemi Awolowo Road, Epe Town on Thursday as the Super Falcons begin to fine tune for the biannual tournament billed for November 17 – December 1, 2018.


Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens); Alaba Jonathan (Bayelsa Queens); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels); Onyinyechukwu Okeke (Edo Queens)

Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Ibom Angels); Joy Jegede (Bayelsa Queens); Ugochi Emenayo (Nasarawa Amazons); Maureen Okpala (Confluence Queens); Mariam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Sarah Nnodim (Nasarawa Amazons); Ngozi Ebere (Barcelona FC, Cyprus); Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Michael (Pitea IF, Sweden); Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang, China); Juliet Lorliam (Nasarawa Amazons); Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo DFF, Sweden); Josephine Chukwunonye (Asarum AIF, Sweden)

Midfielders: Osarenoma Igbinovia (Bayelsa Queens); Christy Ucheibe (Nasarawa Amazons); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Ogechi Ukwuoma (Pelican Stars); Peace Efih (Edo Queens); Bashirat Amoo (Confluence Queens); Goodness Onyebuchi (Sunshine Queens); Nneka Julius (Edo Queens); Patience Agbokade (Sunshine Queens); Mary Anjor (Osun Babes); Ngozi Okobi (Eskiltuna UTD, Sweden); Rita Chikwelu (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden); Christy Adule (Biik Kazygurt, Kazakhstan); Halimat Ayinde (Asarum AIF, Sweden); Ogonna Chukwudi (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden)

Forwards: Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo Queens); Anam Imo (Nasarawa Amazons); Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels); Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens); Chioma Wogu (Rivers Angels); Rasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo Queens); Asisat Oshoala (Dalian Quanjian, China); Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit, USA); Desire Oparanozie (En Avant Guingamp, France); Chinaza Uchendu (SC Braga, Portugal); Ebere Orji (Mallbackens Lysvik, Sweden); Esther Sunday (Konak Belediyespor); Uchechi Sunday; Courtney Dike (Oklahoma City, USA); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Biik Kazygurt, Kazakhstan)

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Nigeria midwife murders: Brutal IS tactics rekindle new fears

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Hauwa Liman

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Hauwa Liman’s colleagues say she was “truly dedicated to her work helping vulnerable women”

The execution-style killings of two Muslim midwives in north-eastern Nigeria have raised fears that the Islamist insurgency is far from over.

The Islamic State (IS) group and the political tensions ahead of elections in Africa’s most-populous nation are being blamed for the upsurge in violence this year.

Hauwa Liman and Saifura Ahmed Khorsa both worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) when they were kidnapped along with another female aid worker from the town of Rann in March.

Fighters from a Boko Haram faction loyal to IS – known as the Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) – were behind their abduction.

Ms Khorsa, 25, was shot dead in September and a month later Ms Liman, her 24-year-old colleague, was also murdered.

Local journalists who have seen the two videos released by the jihadists after the killings say the women, wearing white hijabs, were forced to kneel down with their hands tied.

They were then shot from behind at close range.

Schoolgirl in captivity

It is not clear what demands the militants were making – but whatever they were the group says the government ignored them.

Iswap, which is believed to receive instructions from IS headquarters, has raised its profile this year and was behind the kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi in February.

Most of the girls were released after a month, except for a 15-year-old who has reportedly refused to convert to Islam and remains in captivity.

Iswap appears to be the dominant Boko Haram faction since a split in the leadership of the group emerged in August 2016.

More on life amid Boko Haram:

Boko Haram launched its insurgency nearly nine years ago taking over large swathes of land in north-eastern Nigeria where it declared an Islamic caliphate.

Its leader, Abubakar Shekau, gained worldwide notoriety five years later after kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok.

In the wake of this, Shekau’s fighters joined IS, but it appears to have been a fractious relationship.

IS sacked him two years ago replacing him with Abu Musab al-Barnawi.

Image copyright
AFP/Boko Haram

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Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to IS in 2015

Many analysts believe Shekau – who is now rumoured to be ill – was removed because of the tactics he used, often sending child suicide bombers to launch indiscriminate attacks on civilians that included targeting places of worship.

Over the last five years, most areas under the militants’ control have been recaptured, though the two factions have continued to carry out attacks.

Gun-mounted trucks

But IS’ influence is becoming more visible – and security analyst Abdullahi Yalwa believes some of Iswap’s insurgents are possibly being trained at IS camps outside the country.

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Both Boko Haram factions continue to carry out attacks – this market was blown up in September

Iswap has been behind several daring and deadly attacks against the military in the last four months.

They brazenly drive in convoy in gun-mounted trucks to target soldiers in an apparent attempt to acquire more weapons and armoured vehicles.

The reticent military has not commented much on the attacks, except to say they were “fierce”.

Many observers believe the authorities are cautious about revealing the actual death toll for fear of demoralising soldiers fighting the insurgents.

It also puts in doubt a key campaign promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari when he came to power in 2015 that he would defeat Boko Haram.

And there are now growing concerns about security in Nigeria ahead of elections due in February when Mr Buhari will be seeking a second term in office.

Mr Yalwa says Boko Haram attacks are motivated by three factors:

  • Business – those involved using it as means of earning a living
  • Ideological – militants participating because of religious indoctrination
  • Political – militants who are allegedly paid to fuel violence by some politicians in an attempt to discredit those in power.

He adds that with thousands of people displaced by the conflict yet to return to their communities, security is increasingly becoming a key campaign issue.

‘Soft commander killed’

The two factions operate in different parts of the north-east.

Shekau’s group is active mainly around Sambisa Forest – where some of the Chibok girls were mainly thought to be held – and other areas bordering Cameroon.

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Iswap gunmen raided the school in Dapchi in February to abduct more than 100 girls

Iswap is based around the Nigerian border with Niger, although they both move around the Lake Chad area.

After the split, there were reportedly deadly clashes between the factions, which has helped the military’s cause.

Within Iswap there are also reported tensions.

It is believed a top commander in that group, Mamman Nur, was killed by his close lieutenants in the wake of the release of the Dapchi girls.

There is a suspicion that he unilaterally ordered the release of some of schoolgirls without any ransom payment.

According to the respected Daily Trust newspaper, this “soft approach” could not be tolerated and he was killed on 21 August.

If he is dead, it could explain the group’s more hard-line approach in the last two months – and the murders of aid workers, reminiscent of IS tactics in the Middle East.

Mr Yalwa says the involvement of IS makes the insurgency more tactical, technical and complicated.

“Extra military intelligence and experience” is needed to make the security forces more proactive, he says.

Defence Minister Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali is more upbeat, saying the recruitment of more soldiers – 10,000 are being trained every year – and better equipment will win the day in the end.

Both the UK and US are giving military support – and the government hopes to start taking delivery of 12 Super Tucano jets from the US next year, he says.

But for the communities in the north-east it is like deja-vu – with the vicious cycle of violence unlikely to end any time soon as both the militants and the army step up their operations ahead of the election.

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Boko Haram kills second aid worker in Nigeria

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Women sift through the remains of a market blown up during a Boko Haram attack on September 20, 2018, in Amarwa, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Borno state capital Maiduguri

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Boko Haram has been responsible for kidnappings and attacks in Nigeria

Boko Haram militants have killed a female aid worker held by the group since March, the Nigerian government has confirmed.

In September, the jihadist group killed a midwife taken at the same time.

The militants have also been holding a 15-year-old schoolgirl and another medical worker.

On Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed for their lives to be spared as a deadline issued by the militants approached.

Nigerian Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said on Monday the government was “deeply pained” by news of the killing, but added it would “keep the negotiations open and continue to work to free the innocent women who remain in the custody of their abductors”.

Medical workers Hauwa Mohammed Liman and Alice Loksha were kidnapped alongside midwife Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa in March while working in the town of Rann with the ICRC.

A schoolgirl who is also being held was among 110 girls kidnapped from a school in the town of Dapchi in February. Most of the other students were freed but the girl, who refused to convert to Islam, remains in captivity.

Ms Khorsa was killed last month and the faction holding her – known as the Islamic State’s West Africa Province – threatened to kill another hostage by Monday if their demands were not met.

An ICRC spokeswoman told Reuters on Monday: “We are hearing devastating reports that Hauwa has been executed. At this stage, we have no confirmation that this is true. We desperately hope not. This situation is heartbreaking and our thoughts remain with the family.”

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Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria coach Rohr wants more despite big win

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Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says his team must improve, despite a 4-0 victory over Libya in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.

Odion Ighalo hit his first hat-trick for the Super Eagles and Samuel Kalu added another late on to help them move up to second in Group E – a point behind leaders South Africa.

But Rohr insists Nigeria, who failed to qualify for the last two Nations Cups in 2015 and 2017, must fix obvious problems in order to reach Cameroon 2019.

“To win by 4-0 is good but this result does not mean we had a perfect game,” Rohr told reporters.

“We had obvious problems defensively especially in the first half and before we play Libya again in three days, we must improve on our weak areas.

“Sometimes you get away with mistakes and another time you can easily be punished, it could make a difference whether you can qualify or not.

“Our expansive play – by exploring the wings – in the second half helped us against a good side. Now we must maintain discipline in all areas.”

The three-time African champions depart Uyo on Monday for their return game against the Mediterranean Knights at Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Sfax, Tunisia on Tuesday.

Nigeria began their campaign to qualify for the 2019 Nations Cup in Cameroon with a surprise 2-0 loss to visiting South Africa in June last year.

They won 3-0 away in Seychelles in last month’s Nations Cup qualifier as they seek to return to the tournament they won in their last appearance in 2013.

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2019 AFCON qualifiers: Ighalo hits hat-trick for Nigeria, South Africa achieve record win

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China-based Odion Ighalo hit a hat-trick for Nigeria in their victory over Libya in Uyo

Odion Ighalo hit his first hat-trick for Nigeria as the Super Eagles defeated Libya 4-0 on Saturday in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The result moves Nigeria up to second in Group E – a point behind leaders South Africa who were emphatic 6-0 winners over Seychelles in Johannesburg, a record winning margin for Bafana Bafana.

In other results on Saturday, Namibia were 2-1 winners in Mozambique and Madagascar won 1-0 away to Equatorial Guinea.

Nigeria, who failed to qualify for the last two Nations Cups in 2015 and 2017, boosted their hopes of reaching Cameroon 2019 with a convincing win over previous Group E leaders Libya in Uyo.

Former Watford star Ighalo, now at Chinese side Changchun Yatai, set the Super Eagles on their way with a penalty in the fourth minute.

The 29-year-old struck again in the second half with a goal after 58 minutes and completed his hat-trick with 20 minutes remaining.

Samuel Kalu made it 4-0 for the hosts with a 90th minute strike.

Libya’s preparations had been hampered after the sudden departure of their coach Adel Amrouche just days before the qualifier.

Earlier in Group E, South Africa achieved their biggest victory when they beat Seychelles 6-0 in Johannesburg.

The previous widest winning margin by Bafana Bafana was 5-0 at home to Guatemala in a friendly as they prepared to host the 2010 World Cup.

Three goals in a frenetic four-minute spell during the first half set South Africa on their way, starting with an own-goal from Nigel Hoareau after 23 minutes.

Thulani Hlatshwayo scored again for the hosts two minutes later with Lebo Mothiba adding a third after 27 minutes.

Thulani HlatshwayoAs the rain fell, Percy Tau struck after 74 minutes to make it 4-0 and China-based forward Dino Ndlovu justified his selection with a goal on 81 minutes.

Teboho Mokoena scored in injury time to give South Africa an emphatic victory over Seychelles who are bottom of the group, still looking for their first points.

In Kampala, Uganda kept up their push for a place at the 2019 Nations Cup finals in Cameroon with a 3-0 win over Lesotho in Group L.

Two goals from Emmanuel Okwi plus a Farouk Miya penalty gave the Cranes a victory which puts them top of the standings on seven points, three points clear of Cape Verde who beat Tanzania 3-0 on Friday.

Madagascar picked up three points away to Equatorial Guinea with a 1-0 victory in Bata in Group A.

Faneva Andriatsima’s 18th minute strike was enough to put Madagascar top of the group, three points ahead of Senegal who were scheduled to play Sudan in Saturday’s late match.

Zimbabwe have a three-point lead over DR Congo in Group G after a 2-1 victory in Kinshasa.

Goals from Ronald Pfumbidzai and Knowledge Musona helped The Warriors secure a vital win. Yannick Bolasie struck a consolation goal late on for the hosts.

Group K is now the tightest of all the groups after Namibia’s last-gasp 2-1 victory away to Mozambique.

Mexer put Mozambique ahead in the first half with Namibia equalising through Petrus Shitembi after 69 minutes.

With the match heading for a draw, Deon Hotto struck a dramatic winner for Namibia in the 90th minute to secure the visitors the win.

The result means that all four teams in the group, which also includes Zambia and Guinea-Bissau, are on four points from three games.

The reverse fixtures will take place on Tuesday 16 October.

The twelve group winners and runners-up will secure places at the finals except in Group B, where next year’s hosts Cameroon and the highest placed of the other three teams will qualify.

Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying results

Group E: South Africa 6-0 Seychelles

Group L: Uganda 3-0 Lesotho

Group A: Equatorial Guinea 0-1 Madagascar

Group K: Mozambique 1-2 Namibia

Group E: Nigeria 4-0 Libya

Group G: DR Congo 1-2 Zimbabwe

Group I: Burkina Faso 3-0 Botswana

Group B: Morocco 1-0 Comoros

Group J: Tunisia 1-0 Niger

Group A: Senegal 3-0 Sudan

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Libya coach Adel Amrouche quits days before Nigeria game

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Adel Amrouche lead Libya to a 0-0 draw against South Africa in his only competitive match in charge

Libya coach Adel Amrouche has resigned just four days before the Mediterranean Knights play Nigeria in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Libyan Football Federation (LFF) confirmed his departure and added that his assistant Omar Al-Maryami will take over in an interim capacity.

The LFF also added it is looking to take action against Amrouche over his sudden departure.

BBC Sport understands that one of his main complaints was unpaid wages.

While Amrouche told the Reuters news agency he was frustrated by working conditions with the team.

The 50-year-old, who was born in Algeria, was only appointed in May and his first match in charge last month saw Libya force a 0-0 draw in South Africa.

Forced to play all their home qualifiers at a neutral venue because of the tenuous security situation in the North African country, Libya travel to face Nigeria on Friday and then play them again in the return in Sfax, Tunisia on Monday.

Libya have four points from their first two games in their bid to qualify for the 2019 finals in Cameroon, ahead of South Africa on goal difference with Nigeria one point behind.

The Seychelles are last in the group without any points with only the top two teams qualifying for the finals next June.

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MTN faces mounting pressure from Nigeria on $8 Billion claim

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MTN Group Ltd. is facing mounting pressure to transfer $8.1 billion to Nigeria after the country’s central bank argued the wireless carrier should pay interest on the disputed repatriation of dividends until it surrenders the full amount.

The stock dropped the most in a month.

The telecommunications company should pay 15 percent annualized interest until the courts rule on the conflict, the Central Bank of Nigeria argued in documents filed with the Federal High Court in Lagos in the past week and seen by Bloomberg News on Thursday. MTN shouldn’t be given an injunction that would let it wait for a ruling before transferring the amount, the central bank argued.

MTN fell as much as 11 percent in Johannesburg on Friday, the steepest decline since Sept. 4, and was trading 9.3 percent lower at 79.17 rand at 9:14 a.m.

The central bank alleged in late August that MTN and four of its banks — Standard Chartered Plc, Citigroup Inc., Stanbic IBTC Plc and Diamond Bank Plc — illegally repatriated the money from Nigeria.

MTN sought an injunction in early September to buy itself time and fight the claim in its biggest market, which wiped as much as 36 percent off its market value.

The court filings suggest the regulator is not prepared to back down over its allegations, despite central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele saying last week that the dispute would be resolved soon and that “everyone will be happy.” Okorafor said shortly beforehand the two sides were in talks that could lead to an “equitable resolution.”

“This is contradicting to what the CBN governor said recently and it’s not clear if the filing was made before his statement that they have received new information that they are reviewing,” said Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers in Cape Town.

A spokesman for the central bank, Isaac Okorafor, didn’t answer calls to his mobile or respond to a text message requesting comment. MTN declined to comment.

The transfers “may have been premeditated and contrived as a scam to make and maximize profits, defraud the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to enjoy unlimited foreign-exchange income perpetually from a single investment without complying with the foreign-exchange laws and regulations of Nigeria,” the central bank said in the documents.

The accusations against MTN — including disputed allegations by the attorney general’s office that it owes $2 billion of back taxes — come as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration faces criticism of its economic management in the run-up to the elections.

Two years ago, MTN negotiated a $5.2 billion fine down to about $1 billion plus a commitment to list its local business in Lagos. That penalty was related to subscribers that weren’t properly registered in the country.

MTN Chief Financial Officer Ralph Mupita has said the spat in Nigeria may cause the carrier to reconsider raising cash through an initial public offering of its local unit in Lagos. Instead, MTN may list the business by way of introduction, which places existing securities on the exchange.

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Nigeria amputees crowd-fund for World Cup in Mexico

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Nigeria’s amputee football team has missed the last three World Cups due to a lack of finances

With just three weeks until the Amputee World Cup