Friday, december 13, 2013
*** Jonathan, OBJ meet over breakfast in Kenya ---- Atiku, others react to ex-President’s letter ------ GEJ has not killed anybody –Ijaw youths *** PDP asks court to axe Amaechi, Nyako, others ...for defecting to APC *** Minister begs NMA to shelve planned strike *** BON vs COSON: Stakeholders move to settle rift *** $49.8bn fraud: Governors insist on talks with President ----- CBN demands transparency in oil sector *** Pandemonium as police shut Rivers Assembly ...teargaslawmakers
$49.8bn fraud: Governors insist on talks with President Pandemonium as police shut Rivers Assembly CBN demands transparency in oil sector OBIORA IFOH AND JOHNSON OKANLAWON Jonathan Vol. 3 N0. 743 G overnor Rotimi Amaechi-led Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, has requested a meeting with President Good- luck Jonathan. This followed the allegation by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>> ...teargas lawmakers P.12 Abubakar Friday, December 13, 2013 N150 Jonathan, OBJ meet over breakfast in Kenya OBIORA IFOH, OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU, ROTIMI FADEYI, FELIX NWANERI, EMMA GBEMUDU AND ADEOLA TUKURU Atiku, others react to ex-President’s letter GEJ has not killed anybody –Ijaw youths P resident Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday had a breakfast meeting in Nairobi, Kenya amidst the raging CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>> OIL WORKERS PROTEST AGAINST PRIVATISATION OF REFINERIES P.6 LEFT: Stranded NNPC staff during the protest by NUPENG and PENGASAN members over proposed privatisation of Nigerian refineries. RIGHT: NUPENG and PENGASAN members protesting in Abuja yesterday. ...for defecting to APC Minister begs NMA to shelve planned strike P.5 P.6 BON vs COSON: B Okoroji Stakeholders move to settle rift FRIDAY Your PDP asks court to axe Amaechi, Nyako, others P.19 Flavour 16 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZ TO START YOUR WEEKEND, BEGIN ON PAGE 19 2 News Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Jonathan, OBJ meet over breakfast in Kenya CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 controversy over the letter written by Obasanjo to the President. The duo was among African leaders that attended the 50th Independence Anniversary celebration of Kenya. Prior to the event, which was held at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi, Obasanjo paid an early morning visit to Jonathan. The former president visited Jonathan at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi where they had a private breakfast together. Obasanjo’s visit took everybody by surprise and the former leader left shortly afterwards. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, in his reaction to Obasanjo’s scathing letter, called on other leaders to speak up now to save the nation from break up. The former Vice President said although he was not competent to speak on Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan because he was not privy to the communication, it was expedient for leaders consulted by the former President before the publication of the letter to intervene and reduce the tension created by the weighty allegations. In a statement issued by his media office in Abuja, Atiku said that just like every other Nigerian, he was worried about the allegations and that those elders mentioned by Obasanjo had a moral duty to add their voices to the issue. According to Atiku, the allegations were too disturbing to be treated with apathy by any political L-R: Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha; his counterpart in Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Rivers State Governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, and Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima after the meeting of the NGF in Abuja on Wednesday. stakeholder like him. He said at a moment of national anxiety or uncertainty, leaders across the country should rise to the occasion and reassure fellow Nigerians about the future. Atiku explained that at a time the rest of the world was looking at Nigeria as a beacon of hope for stability, the content of Obasanjo’s letter should be urgently addressed by former leaders and elders. The former Vice President said with the attention of Nigerians focused on the 2015 elections, there was the urgent need to reassure Nigerians. “Our priorities for Nigeria are forging lasting solutions to our chronic unemployment, providing safety and security for all, and vastly improving our failing education systems. President Jonathan’s government has consistently failed to address these critical concerns. “That said, it is on record that I have firmly fought for a democracy where the voters choose their future $49.8bn fraud: Governors insist on talks with President CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, failed to remit $49.8 billion crude oil sales proceeds to the Federation Account. The governors resolved to call for the meeting at the NFG meeting, held on Wednesday just as the apex bank insisted on the enthronement of a regime of transparency in the sector. The NGF meeting was attended by governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and the deputy governors of Jigawa and Oyo states. The governors, who did not attend the meeting held at Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, were Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), as well as members of the Jonah Jang-led faction of the NGF, who had been invited to participate in the meeting. The meeting was the first since the five rebel governors from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC. The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, which was signed by Amaechi reads: “We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, at our meeting today (yesterday), at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja deliberated on a number of issues and resolved as follows: “Given the weighty allegations contained in a recent letter to Mr. President by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the state of the economy, members mandated the Chairman to request for a meeting with His Excellency, the President in order to deliberate on issues of critical national importance. “The National Economic Council, NEC, meeting scheduled for tomorrow (yesterday), December 12th, 2013 where this issue would have been addressed has been postponed indefinitely. It is instructive to note that the NEC has not been convened in four months. “The need for the meeting with Mr. President has become particularly neces- sary due to the fact that the Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, Meeting for November, 2013 planned for 9 and 10 December, 2013 was shelved for undisclosed reasons.” Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday insisted on the urgent need to improve governance and transparency in the nation’s oil and gas industry amid growing concerns about large scale corrupt practice that have pervaded the sector. In a statement issued yesterday the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, in response to public discourse over a purported letter written by the CBN governor to President Goodluck Jonathan expressing concerns over non remittance of oil revenues by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the apex bank said it shared concerns expressed by President Goodluck Jonathan and other stakeholders over the goings on in the strategic industry. Insisting however that it would neither confirm nor deny the existence of such a letter, the CBN said there was a need to review fiscal terms of sharing revenues between the Federal Government and oil companies. In the statement, which offered some clarifications on its role in ensuring stability in the nation’s financial system, the CBN said it recognise that there is an urgent need to review fiscal terms of sharing revenues between the Federal Government and oil companies and to improve governance and transparency in the official oil sector. The statement reads in part: “The CBN is statutorily mandated to establish price stability, protect the external value of our national currency, manage the external reserves of the federation and ensure the smooth functioning of our financial system, as well act as adviser to the President on economic matters. “ The capacity of the bank to perform its role effectively is strengthened or undermined by the extent to which the nation is able to increase foreign exchange earnings and savings from these earnings, thus boosting the Excess Crude Savings Account; raising reserve levels; providing currency stability and moderating interest rates with limited risks to inflation and financial stability. “In the performance of this role, it is natural for the CBN to be concerned at the low level of accretion to reserves and the Excess Crude Account, in spite of strong international oil prices, especially as Nigeria’s performance is compared with other oil producing economies. “The Central Bank of Nigeria is aware that this concern is shared by Mr. President, the Federal Ministry of Finance, ministers, state governors, legislators, economists, analysts and all stakeholders involved in managing the economy and discussions on how to address the matter are being held at highest levels of Government. The CBN, which said it is aware that the Minister of Petroleum Resources had appointed audit firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, to audit the revenues of the NNPC said it was also aware of a proposal to set up a technical team made up of representatives the Federal Ministry of Finance, the NNPC and the CBN to examine the sources of any revenue leakages and propose appropriate fis- leaders, not political party bosses. “If the incumbent President insists on continuing to destroy his own party with vindictive internal wars and thinks his record of rising youth unemployment, never-ending violence, corruption and scandals is worthy of another term, then he is welcome to run. We are confident Nigerians will exercise their democratic right to choose new leadership in 2015,” he said. The former Vice President said with the attention of Nigerians focused on the 2015 elections, there was the urgent need to reassure Nigerians. Atiku explained that the President was free to run his government without interference, but said sometimes even sitting Presidents needed outside constructive interventions to move the country forward. Also commenting, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC said President Jonathan’s administration has not assassinated anybody in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 cal controls. “ The CBN welcomes these initiatives and believes that they represent a positive contribution to the process of improving the management of the economy, especially if they lead to greater oversight of the Finance Ministry over oil revenues and improvements in disclosure and transparency in the oil industry, it said. According to the statement, “ The CBN recognises that there is an urgent need to review fiscal terms of sharing revenues between the Federal Government and oil companies and to improve governance and transparency in the official oil sector. This underscores the need to urgently pass a Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, that addresses fiscal terms and the structure of the NNPC. We therefore support the effort of the Federal Government to pass a new PIB.” The apex bank, which gave assurances of its continued support in “all efforts aimed at strengthening the economy and reducing its vulnerability to shocks from the external sector,” however foreclosed further comments on the matter. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Friday, December 13, 2013 3 4 Photo News Friday, December 13, 2013 L-R: Governors Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State; Secretary to the Government of Federation, Senator Pius Anyim; the author, Mrs. Funke Egbemode and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal during the presentation of a book “Conversation with my country” in Lagos, yesterday. L-R: Vice President, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria, Mallam Murtala Aliyu; President, Mallam Hussaini; and Supervising Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Musa Sada, at the induction ceremony for newly registered quantity surveyors and practicing firms in Abuja yesterday. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net L-R: Vice President, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, Dr. Feng Zhongping; Chairman, Governing Council, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu and Director-General, NIIA, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, at the roundtable on Enhancing Nigeria-China Relations through Improved Business Environment in Lagos yesterday. L-R: Operations Director, Wincor, Mr. Richardo Marques; President and Chief Executive Officer, Wincor, Mr. Eckard Heidloff; Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group Plc, Mr. Austin Okere and President, Portugal, Middle East and Africa, Wincor, Mr. Paulo Gomes, during the presentation of award Wincor at a ceremony in Dubai recently. National News FG to assist research bodies to access donor-funds, says minister T he Supervising Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, yesterday said the Federal Government is ready to help various research institutions in the country to access several pools of donor-funds. The minister stated this in Abuja at a training workshop on “National Contact Points and Horizon 2020”, organised by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, NOTAP. The minister, who was represented at the workshop by Mr. Abubakar Jakuma, Assistant Director, Policy Analysis, said government would provide the requisite support to enable the Nigerian research community benefit from opportunities available in the internationally-funded joint research projects. “This has become imperative as it has now become necessary to explore all necessary opportunities to strategically position the country’s research community in the implementation of its Science Technology and Innovation Policy. “This will help to drive national development,” John- son said. The minister listed some of the internationally-funded joint research projects to include Horizon 2020 and National Contact Points. Horizon 2020 is the biggest European Union Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly 80 billion euros (about N17.4 trillion) of funding. The funding is available over seven years, from year 2014 to 2020. Johnson said a report from the EU’s Framework Programme Seven (FP7) indicated a low engagement and involvement of Nigerian researchers and organisations in the programme. FP7 is a project meant to facilitate bi-regional partnership in research and innovations between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Johnson said this situation neither represented the potentials of the Nigerian research community nor did it match the expectations of the international community, given the research strength of the country. “Government is therefore poised and committed to providing all requisite support towards ensuring a massive involvement of the Nigerian research community in the Horizon 2020 and subsequent programmes. “The government is also in the process of finalising the appointment of the National Contact Points as a means of sustaining the momentum nationwide and ensuring effective information dissemination on Horizon 2020 and its future calls,” she added. The minister urged participants to use the training to understand the processes and strate- gies for engagement in Horizon 2020. The Director-General of NOTAP, Dr Umar Bindir, urged Nigeria to develop its infrastructure and human capital through the EU and African Union (AU) Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Bindir said the EU was opening its partnership door of research funding system to the AU for relevant institutions to attract funds and equipment through submission of proposals. “Nigeria has a lot to gain in the partnership to develop its infrastructure, human capital and attainment of government goals in the areas of ensuring food security, climate change and others,” he said. Bindir said for the country to achieve this, researchers as well as research and academic institutions must be able to submit standard proposals that could attract such competitive funds. “I think we have been depending on government funding for too long. We have to mature to a level whereby we know how to write proposals that are standard that can win global research funds from anywhere. “We must also mature to a point where we can showcase research results that are competitive. “We hope we can take the knowledge, the skills and the network to the next level to showcase our Nigeria as an industrialised country,” Bindir said. Badagry seaport project on front burner, says Fashola T he Lagos State Government yesterday said that it had not abandoned its plan to construct a seaport in Badagry. Governor Babatunde Fashola gave the assurance while inaugurating the Phase II Market Street in the Badagry Local Government Area. Fashola said that the government kept the seaport project on the front burner. He said that the gov- ernment was aware of the needs of the ancient city, and would attend to them one after the other. Fashola said that his administration would inaugurate more facilities in Badagry, including a court complex and a housing estate. He, however, warned the market men and women against trading on the roadsides, noting that roadside trading was an offence in the state. “This road is supposed to aid easy access to your market; don’t trade on the road. Customers are supposed to meet you in your shops,” he said. He appealed to Badagry residents to shun all forms of vice, and urged them to pay their taxes promptly. Fashola also called on them to participate in the ongoing residents’ registration. Earlier, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, hoped that the road would improve socio-economic activities in the area. “This project was awarded in May, 2012 as part of this administration’s efforts to solve flooding and traffic congestion within the community. “The road will provide a smooth ride for motorists and serve as a strategic road in Badagry,” he said. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net News Friday, December 13, 2013 5 PDP asks court to axe Amaechi, Nyako, others ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA T he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday approached a Federal high court sitting in Abuja with a lawsuit seeking to sack five of its sitting governors who recently defected to the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC. The governors are Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rotimi Amaechi (Riv- ers), Alhaji Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara). In the event the law does not empower the court to declare their tenure expired by reason of their defection, the ruling political party, in the alternative, wanted the court to issue an order directing the Houses of Assembly in the affected five states to commence the impeachment process of the governors. In the action filed on behalf of the party by Dr. Alex Aigbe Izinyon (SAN), the party cited Section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as grounds for the court to declare them unqualified to remain in office as governor, having defected to APC. Named as defendants in the suit along with the five governors is the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. The latest move by the PDP appears to be the last joker to make the affected governors rescind their decision and return back to the political party. In the suit which is yet to assigned Izinyon demanded five question for determination. He is seeking the following reliefs on behalf of the ruling PDP: *A declaration that by the combined provisions L-R: Wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark; Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide; First Lady, Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan and school children during the national Xmas tree lighting ceremony in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA of Section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the five governors who were elected under the platform of the plaintiff cannot continue to enjoy the mandate given to the plaintiff by the people electorate of the respective states as the 2nd - 6th defendants have defected to the APC. *A declaration that in the absence of any division known and recognised by law in the Plaintiff, the 2nd - 6th Defendants who were elected under the plaintiff ’s platform have vacated or forfeited their seats forthwith upon their defection to APC. *A declaration that with the combined provisions of section 87 of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended), section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the 2nd - 6th defendants defection from the plaintiff, the APC, the offices of the 2nd - 6th defendants have reverted to the plaintiff. *A declaration that by combined provisions of Section 177 (c), 221 and 222 Jonathan, OBJ meet over breakfast in Kenya CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 country, noting that Ijaw people detest taking people’s lives. It denied allegations contained in Obasanjo’s letter, claiming that Jonathan government was training snipers to kill perceived political opponents. President of IYC, Udengs Eradiri, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Yenagoa, described Obasanjo’s letter as unfortunate and was capable of heating up the polity. He said: “Obasanjo is one of the respected statesmen in the country. They are in the best position to sit down and resolve issues. The manner in which he presented the issues could be inimical to society, if not properly managed could create more harm than good. He raised issues of training snipers to kill people .Goodluck as an Ijaw man we know does not kill; he is not in his attitude to kill. This kind of statement is worrisome. “This regime has not killed anybody. As Ijaw people we do not take pleasure in taking other people’s lives. We are not happy that this letter that could have been a private one of the President is now in the public domain. At their level we thought it should have been a private discourse especially in the person of Obasanjo.” The IYC President affirmed that Jonathan would contest the 2015 election, adding that Ijaw people were solidly behind him because he had the constitutional power to seek a second term of office. “Because of the agitations in the Niger Delta that was why Obasanjo decided that Jonathan should contest election in 2007. “The people of this region have said there is a constitutional provision for two terms which the past President also enjoys. One term is too short to repair the damage done in the country. For us as Ijaw people, Jonathan is contesting the election. For us as IYC, we are putting our hands together to mobilise other Nigerians to support us based on the achievements of Jonathan,” he added. Eradiri, however observed that Obasanjo’s name was greeted with mixed feelings when it was mentioned in Ijaw land, especially the 1999 invasion of Odi community in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government. According to him, the soldiers’ invasion and destruction of the once bubbling community caused a carnage that is still lingering in the minds of its indigenes. “We are not in the business of disrespecting elders. But, when elders begin to put our future on the balance, some of us will question. The Nigerian project is working we do not expect things to happen overnight. The President needs support and needed the support of people like Obasanjo. How far have the G7 Governors faired in the home states? The conflict they are having within their party, Obasanjo knows how to handle some of these issues if he is willing to move this country forward to resolve the crisis in the PDP,” he said The IYC President admitted that corruption had eaten deep into the fabric of this nation, stressing that Jonathan came and met a dead system. “It is a difficult task to turn the tide over night. Take a look at the civil service and see what is going on there. For me I think the national dialogue is the way forward. Every ethnic nationality must come together so that we discuss the business called Nigeria. Even those who are more corrupt than the President are throwing the tantrums at the President. If you are going to equity why not go to equity with good hands. We observed the corrupt issues that transpired in the National Assembly,” he explained. “Issues of corruption have become a recurring decimal in the country. All the International Oil Companies, IOCs, and their contractors are neck deep in illegal bunkering. The federal government spends N7.5million to repair each vandalized hole in an oil pipeline. Let us go back and investigate all the contractors and the oil companies. The sabotage that is going on in the oil industry is part of corruption,” he added. But, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih kept sealed lips yesterday over the letter. Anenih did not respond when State House correspondents asked for his comment on the matter. When Anenih emerged from the office of Vice President Namadi Sambo after a brief meeting, the PDP stalwart declined comments as his aide shielded him into his waiting vehicle. Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode said the end of the President Jonathan administration has come based on the letter. Fani-Kayode said: “OBJ has finally closed GEJ’s chapter with his letter. Jonathan is finished- mark my words. Abati should shut up and let his boss speak for himself on this one. “The Ebora Owu has spoken and the issues that he has raised are too serious to be ignored or to be responded to with amateurish and cheeky insults and slurs from a mere staff of the Presidency. “The President should find the courage to personally answer the charges and (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) upon the defection of the 2nd - 6th defendants defection from the APC, the mandate reverts to the deputy governor or the speakers of the state Houses of Assembly of the respective states or any officer next in rank who is still a member of the Plaintiff to function and assume the office of the Governor of the respective states in question. *A declaration that by the combined provisions of sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the act of defection by the 2nd - 6th defendant from the PDP under whose platform they were elected to APC amounts to gross misconduct. The plaintiff also sought an order of the court mandating the Houses of Assembly of Adamawa, Rivers, Sokoto, Kano and Kwara states of the respective 2nd - 6th defendants to commence impeachment proceedings against the 2nd - 6th defendants forthwith. address the message rather than get his aides to attack the messenger. As Baba said, Jonathan is ‘bleeding Nigeria to death’. It is time for change. National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and now a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Rotimi Fashakin, said: “They are already bombing themselves. The letter is something that came out of deep frustration on the part of the former President. “You would understand where President Obasanjo was coming from. He staked everything to put Jonathan in power and felt that some dividends would accrue to him from the Jonathan presidency, but unfortunately, the reverse was the case. “There were many better persons that could have stepped into the presidency in 2007, better than the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and Jonathan. “Obasanjo thought he would have his third term by ruling by proxy from Ota through his stoogies, but CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 6 National News Minister urges NMA to shelve planned strike MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA M inister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday appealed to members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to shelve their planned industrial action. NMA had, in a statement issued by its President, Osahon Enabulele, said doctors in the country would paralyse all public hospitals in the country tomorrow, should the Federal Government fail to meet its demands that include improved condition of service, improved infrastructure in the public hospitals and adherence to professional hierarchy in the health sector. Chukwu made the plea in Abuja while receiving an award for “exceptional performance” conferred on him by the Nigerian Medical Students Association (NIMSA), in Abuja. The minister pleaded that for the sake of the yuletide season, the doctors should pity poor Nigerians and resolve the issues amicably so as not to add to the sufferings of the common man, who according to him, would be most affected by the strike. He, however, said that there was no need for the planned strike, because according to him, President Goodluck Jonathan is working hard to meet the demands and agreements reached with the NMA. His words: “I have been told that there is a statement by the NMA threatening to go on strike. We need to be specific, I have reviewed the progress that have been done on some of the areas of the agreement and discovered that we have not done badly. “My take on it is that there is certainly no need for any strike. “I appeal to them not to bring another hardship to Nigerians, particularly in this festive season. This is not the time to cause hardship to ourselves. We should at least pity ourselves and not continue to cause hardship. “You know at this period, usually there will be a lot of accidents, people tend to eat too much, particularly children with gastro enteritis. Certainly this is not the time to go on strike. This is the time to celebrate. “If you are a Christian, you want to remember the coming of Christ, and Christ as a man, when he came was a lover of peace, attended to the poor and did everything to heal the sick. This is not the way to honour Christ. “We are celebrating Mandela because he believes that violence was not the way to go and he can easily reconcile with his enemies, he was not vindictive. Our patients are not our enemies. I think we should attend to them and attend to ourselves because we don’t know who is going to need health services. Friday, December 13, 2013 Oil workers protest planned privatisation of refineries W orkers in the oil industry yesterday in Abuja protested against the planned privatisation of the country’s four refineries. The workers, numbering about 200 under the auspices of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), vowed to resist the privatisation. The workers were led by the NNPC Group PENGASSAN Chairman, Mr. Sanusi Abdulkareem and NUPENG Group Chair- Chekwas Okorie, in his reaction said because so many issues were raised by Obasanjo, he would not be in a haste to react to it, adding that issues raised by the former president are very serious and can affect the corporate existence of Nigeria if not properly handled. He said: “Because so many issues are involved, I am not going to hastily react on the letter. However the issues raised by the former president are very serious and could affect the corporate existence of Nigeria if not properly handled.” The Secretary General of the Conference man, Mr. Richard Otovwievwiere. The protesters, who dressed in red shirts and caps, gathered in the premises of the NNPC building, singing solidarity songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions. Some of the placards read: “We cannot be fooled anymore”, “We say no to illegal sale of our refineries”, “Hide not under privatisation to hijack our refineries.” Otovwievwiere said the protest was symbolic because the workers had reviewed the intention of government officials and faulted the decision to pri- vatise the refineries. He said: “Today, we want to report the Nigerian officials to the Nigerian people. We call on the government and members of the National Assembly to ask questions about the wisdom of privatising our national wealth. “Workers in NNPC believe in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and his development programmes. “We are to develop the refineries and not to sell them. Anybody who is interested in buying the refineries won’t have refineries to buy. Nigerians say no”, Otovwievwiere said. On his part, Abdulka- reem called on the government to rescind the decision, stressing that it would not be in the best interest of the nation. “We are going to move round other NNPC stations to give them words of solidarity’’, he said. Efforts by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), to get the views of management of NNPC proved abortive. NAN recalls that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, recently said the process for privatisation of the refineries would be completed before the first quarter of 2014. President Goodluck Jonathan (right), being received by the senator representing Nyandaruna County, Sen. Muriuki Karue, on arrival at the Nairobi International Airport, on Wednesday. Jonathan, OBJ meet over breakfast in Kenya CONTINUED FROM 5 Jonathan has not proven to be a willing servant. “What happened was that Jonathan had succeeded in uprooting Obasanjo’s erstwhile acolytes in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Unfortunately, Jonathan is leading the country to the precipice and it is a matter of time before we fall over. “The letter shows how precarious the Nigerian situation is. Jonathan is more or less like the king of Otuoke in Aso Rock rather than the President of Nigeria.” The National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, Chief Willy Ezugwu, on his part said Obasanjo cannot absolve himself of the nation’s problems, given his role in the emergence of Jonathan on the national scene. His words: “Obasanjo is a hypocrite, he caused it. He knew what he did; he brought them to the national level under corruption. Is it because Jonathan is not allowing him (Obasanjo) to control the Presidency that has made him to open up? We all know how the companies belonging to Nigeria were sold during his time. All our leaders have failed us; it did not start from Jonathan.” We must improve before 2015 polls –INEC OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA C hairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has charged Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) to improve on their performances ahead of the 2015 general elections. He, however, commended the RECs for delivering on their mandate in spite of numerous obstacles. Jega spoke yesterday in Abuja at the quarterly meeting with RECs in Abuja. He said the recent skill management seminar that was organised for the RECs was to enable them identify risk factors that can serve as a challenge to the conduct of subsequent elections. According to him, two other governorship elections coming up in Osun and Ekiti States would serve to further prepare them for the 2015 general elections. “There are lots of things we learnt from the previous elections, which we would have to factor into subsequent elec- tions. “The challenge is for us to make these elections a success in terms of remarkable improvement before the 2015 elections,” he said, urging them to put in their best. He urged all stakeholders in the electoral process to partner the commission in order to make the 2015 elections credible. Jega also hailed members of staff of the commission for making tremendous sacrifice for the commission, assuring them of improved welfare packages. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Friday, December 13, 2013 7 8 News Friday, December 13, 2013 Ekiti LG workers to get minimum wage arrears this month ABIODUN NEJO ADO-EKITI E kiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday assured local government workers that the arrears of the minimum wage of N19,300 which the state currently pays its workforce would be cleared this month. The governor, who spoke during an interactive session with the local government workers, said machinery had been put in motion to commence clearance of the arrears owed them since the state government began the implementation of the new wage regime The arrears were owed the workers because of the delay in the commencement of the payment of the wage and due to the workers’ alleged refusal to embrace the biometric data capture, the system which the state adopts in the payment of salaries to civil servants. The governor explained that the delay in the payment of the arrears was connected with paucity of funds which states are confronted with and assured that a committee had been set up to look into how much the government owes the council workers from promotion arrears and new wage arrears as well as the way to clear them. Fayemi said that government had decided to clear the debt in batches even as he stated that his administration regularly pays workers their salaries as and when due. The governor, who stated that the interface was held to show that the council workers were not second class citizens, assured that more money would be put into the local government loans board so that more workers could enjoy the scheme. In his remarks, the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, Chief Ranti Adebisi, said that over 3000 council workers had just been promoted. He added that the council workers, who were redeployed to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), were enjoying better working conditions with many of them who were on Grade Levels 4 and 5 upgraded to Level 7 as a result of the professional certificate in education which they hold. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Lagos to produce 150,000 eggs daily by January –Fashola MURITALA AYINLA G overnor Babatunde Fashola said yesterday that Lagos State would, through its farms, produce 150, 000 eggs daily as from January, next year. Fashola also commissioned cassava flour factory set up as part of efforts to ensure food security. He assured that his administration would do its best to ensure food security in the state. The governor spoke at the graduation ceremony of 286 trainee farmers at the Agric Training Institute in Epe. Fashola also commissioned a 50, 000 capacities automated 5-units broiler houses, 200 unit of 2-bedroom apartment for farmers and 2.34 kilometer road network within the Agric Training Institute. All these, the governor said, were parts of efforts to increase food production locally. Fashola stated that the idea behind the AgricYouth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES), “is very simple idea but it has been rigorously developed and unflinching implemented.” He added that the objectives of establishing the youth empowerment programme was to address the food challenges by engaging youths The governor said: “The 32 tonnes cassava mills are meant to provide cassava flour, to supplement what the flour mills are using in their production. It is a small beginning, but it shows that an idea that was started four years ago has become a reality.” Holy Ghost Congress: Adeboye asks worshippers to ‘expect great overflow’ RICHARD EGHAGHE A L-R: Recipient, Doctors of Public Administration/Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Chairman, Lead City Board of Trustees, Mrs. Remi Oyewole-Makele and Recipient, Doctor of Business Administration, Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, at the conferment during the 5th and 6th convocation of Lead City University in Ibadan, yesterday. Osun PFN urges Aregbesola not to polarise Christians’ body ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO O sun State chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) yesterday asked Governor Rauf Aregbesola not to polarise the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) as a result of the education policy introduced by his administration. PFN Chairman in the state, Rev. Olasunbo Ige and the Secretary, Pastor John Adeleke, in a statement made available to journalists in Osogbo, the state capital, that the government had made several efforts to cause division among Christians. The PFN leaders asked the governor to shun attempts to introduce politics into religion all in the name of wanting to achieve a goal at all cost. They said: “We call on Osun State Government to address all issues placed before Governor Rauf Aregebsola by the state cheaper of CAN. We need to caution that politics of divide and rule cannot help in moving us and the state forward.” The Christian leaders, who faulted a story published in some newspapers and broadcast in the state that PFN had disagreed with CAN over the reclassification of schools, affirmed that they are one and nobody could cause disharmony among them. PFN Chairman said: “I was aware on the pages of newspapers that some government officials met with some Christians in Ibokun Local Government Area a few days ago, but I want to tell you that we dissociate ourselves from the group and from such meeting. “No group of Christians in the local government was capable of speaking on behalf of all Christians in the entire 30 local government areas in the state. We ask members of the public to disregard the claim as not true. PFN loyalty to the chairmanship of Rev. Elisha Ogundiya is total. “We stand for what CAN stood for in Osun. PFN is aware of several mischievous plans to create disaffection within the state CAN. But we in PFN reiterate our support for our leaders in CAN and we are solidly behind them in this just battle.” It will be recalled that it was claimed that at a meeting with some government representatives in Ibokun last Sunday the PFN Chairman, represented by his deputy in Ijesa zone, Pastor Joel Balogun, said that the school reclassification was seen as part of the efforts by the government to effectively monitor the education within its limited resources. Pastor Balogun was quoted as saying: “Though, we are not politicians, we are men of God, but we have seen that this government is doing well in terms of development and we are praying for the success of the government. “Instead of spreading rumours, we, as men of God owe it a duty to evangelise to people and bring them to our fold and that is what we should be doing.” ctivities marking the week-long Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) tagged: “The Overflow” peak today with the grand hosting of the Holy Ghost Special Service with the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, ministering. Thousands of worshippers from within and outside the country are expected to throng the massive RCCG’s Redemption Camp Auditorium on Kilometre 46, Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway, Mowe, in Ogun State, for the special vigil service to herald the Holy Ghost Congress. Already, Daddy G.O., as Pastor Adeboye is fondly called, has assured that adequate arrangements had been put in place for freeflow traffic on the Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway against the back-drop of the usual traffic bottle-neck on the highway in past editions of the programme. The traffic jam that characterised the movement into and out of the camp in the earlier years of the congress has been significantly reduced. Team Nehemiah’s intervention, a traffic and man- agement ministry of the church, has improved traffic flow within the camp ground and on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The Holy Ghost Congress was formerly declared opened last Monday, with Pastor Adeboye admonishing worshippers to pray rigorously as forthcoming 2014 would shape not only the destinies of people, but those of families and nations. Speaking on the topic: “Beyond Salvation,” the cleric hinted that although God has not revealed to him all the events that would mark the 2014, but He already disclosed some to him and one of the very crucial things is that the coming year would determine the destinies of people, families and nations. He advised worshippers to spend the rest of the days of this year in absolute commitment to prayers, to prepare themselves well for the coming year. “The year that is coming is a very, very important year. And if you are able to prepare yourself ahead of time, it will be a year you will never, never forget. For the rest of this week, pray with all your heart. Even for the rest of this year, pray with all your heart,” Pastor Adeboye said, while welcoming worshippers to the Redemption Camp ground. National Mirror www.nationalmirroron- Workers protest against board appointment in Ondo HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE W orkers under the aegis of Agricultural and Allied Employees Union of Nigeria (AAEUN) in Ondo State yesterday protested against the appointments of full time Board of Directors for the establishment. The workers, who blocked the main entrance of their offices along the Investment Road in Akure, carried placards with various inscriptions demanding payment of their three months salaries and allowances. The workers said that the appointment of the three full time board members would give room for misap- propriation of the fund being generated by the establishment. According to the leadership of the union, the past board members appointed on full time mismanaged the resources of the company. Speaking on behalf of the union, the Branch Chairman of AAEUN, Babasanmi Daniel, said the protest became necessary to correct anomalies within the system and also to call on the government to re-organise the place without delay. The workers, however, called on the state government to stop the appointment of full time board directors for the establishment, noting that past board members except the chair- man were always appointed on part time basis. The workers commended the re-organisation of the establishment following the appointment of Mrs. Yetunde Adeyanju as the chairman of the board and expressed their readiness to continue to work with her. However, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Mr. Dayo Fadahunsi, who addressed the protesting workers, expressed dissatisfaction over their action, saying that the workers failed to express their grievances through the appropriate channel Fadahunsi said that the need to reposition the company called for the latest appointment of the two board of directors who are professionals. Ajimobi advises graduates to be self-reliant O yo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has urged graduating students in the nation’s higher institutions to be self-reliant and depend less on government and their guardians. Ajimobi spoke on Wednesday at the 5th and 6th graduation programme of the Lead City University in Ibadan. According to him, the reality of a hostile world where white-collar jobs are non-existent dictates that graduating students should depend more on the works of their hands and less on society. The governor said: “The world is not all the time just, nor is it a bed of roses. Dear graduates, reliance on your parents for sustainability will begin to thin out from now. Reliance will, henceforth, be on the works of your hands. You may have to draw largely from that ancient Yoruba aphorism, which says, ‘Ise loogun Ise’ meaning work is the antidote to poverty.” While urging the private sector to partner with his administration in the provision of quality education in the state, he said that developments had shown that no government can fund education alone. “Recent developments in the growth of education have however shown that no government, no matter how benevolent it may be, can be rich enough to solely fund education. It must get the support of the private sector and individuals who are endowed. I therefore want to use this opportunity to appeal to individuals and corporate bodies who are yet to respond to the clarion call for support of education to join hands with this government in the effort to provide qualitative education for all,” he said. Ajimobi said the state government, in its quest to continue the tradition of educational excellence of its forebears, decided to invest heavily in education. N5.6bn fraud: Hearing of bail application for ex-Oyo HoS adjourned KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN T he accelerated hearing of a suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Oyo State Head of Service, Mrs. Kudiratu Adeleke and 11 others before an Ibadan High Court over allegation of N5.6 billion fraud has been adjourned. The hearing, which was billed to begin yesterday, could not do so as counsel to the defendants told the court that they had appealed the ruling which objected to bail applications for the accused. The others standing trial with Adeleke are Muili Hakeem Aderemi, Iyabo Giwa, South West Friday, December 13, 2013 Adesina Jimoh Ayoade, Oguntayo Banji, Adebiyi Musediq Olasunmbo, Muili Adedamola, Adeduntan Johnson, Johnson Bosede, Kareem Rasheed, Olujimi Adebayo and Adewale Kehinde. The EFCC had arraigned them on a 213-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money through false pretence and forgery. The presiding judge, Justice Bolaji Yusuf, while adjourning the case till January 10, 2014, further ruled that the accused should be kept in Agodi Prison pending the determination of the suit. During the hearing yesterday, the court was forced to adjourn till next year when some of the counsel claimed that they had not received some processes filed by the prosecution. However, there was a mild drama in the court as counsel to the EFCC, Mr. G. K. Latona, flared up when counsel to the accused persons asked him to leave his table and come over to their seats so that they could put head together to choose a convenient date for adjournment. He said: “None of you has the right to order me to come over to where you are. Who among you is my senior? The only senior lawyer to me is Mr. Richard Ogunwole (SAN). He is the only one that can order me to do what is right not any of you”. 9 Road: Counter protest in Sango over planned demolition FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA H undreds of residents as well as affected property owners in Sango Ota in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State yesterday staged a counter protest to drum up support for the government’s infrastructural renewal in the area. The protesters, including leaders of the market men and women, community leaders, members of various unions, other interest groups as well as youth organisations, carried placards condemning the earlier protest staged by some traders in the area over the planned further demolition of structures to enhance the execution of the ongoing Sango-Ijoko-AgbadoAkute-Alagbole-Ojodu Road expansion. Some of the placards carried by the protesters bore inscriptions such as: “We are authentic indigenes of Sango-Ijoko,” “We support Amosun,” “We own our land, clear more for the betterment of our people,” “Amosun more blessing; more grace” and “Sango youths are in support Amosun for second term” among others. The protesters appealed to the Ibikunle Amosun led administration in the state to proceed further on the planned demolition for the betterment of the area. The demonstration staged yesterday in SangoOta was organised barely 48 hours when some residents and traders in the same axis protested the planned further demolition of structures by the state government to widen the road. Addressing journalists during the protest which eventually turned to a rally, the trio of Babaloja of Sango, Sakiru Olasege; Iyaloja of Sango, Alhaja Saudat Abeke Balogun; and the leader of the Igbo traders association in Sango Ota, who is also the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Sango, Chief Amadi Madu, disowned the earlier pro- Show of shame Who wrote a dud cheque? testers whom they said were neither indigenes nor genuine stakeholders in the area. The Babaloja said traders were in support of the planned demolition, stressing that the development was long overdue. He said: “We appreciate the state government for giving us this type of development, that is why we are here to drum support for every step being taking by the current administration to facilitate the development of the state.” The Iyaloja of Sango, Alhaja Balogun, who spoke through her daughter, Alhaja Mujidat Olabintan, described those against the demolition as enemies of progress. She said: “If the governor knows that it is necessary to add more to the demolition, he can do it because we have been expecting such a thing for a long time. We need it; we want development in Sango. We are the indigenes of Sango. If it is necessary, let the governor demolish every house that is affected. Pastor Ituah Ighodalo dragged into Doris Simeon’s marital mess OJB Ànally returns ‘Says many of the cheques given to me by so-called celebrities bounced’ Who’s having wedding jitters? Linda Ikeji plays Mother Christmas, doles out N1.5m to fans x SeTalk I’ll never make the mistake of introducing my intended wife to people I don’t want to be jinxed again –Don Jazzy 16 steamy sex secrets This column is x-rated 10 South West Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Alleged fraud: Absence of judge stalls Nnamani’s trial K AYODE KETEFE T he absence of the trial judge hearing the money laundering charge against the former Enugu State Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, at the Federal High Court Lagos, yesterday prevented the case from going on. The judge was said to be away on official assignment. However, the case was fixed to continue on March 4, 2014 by the registrars. Nnamani had been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a Ekiti deputy gov charges parents on child education F or the umpteenth time, Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, yesterday reminded parents of the importance of investing in the education of their children. Reminding them that education remains the most valuable legacy that could be bequeathed to a child, the deputy governor, who doubles as the chairman of the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), urged parents not to consider any amount too much for their child’s education. She was speaking at the maiden edition of the endof-the-year party organised for toddlers at the SUBEB Early Child Development Education Mega Centre, near the state secretariat complex, Ado-Ekiti. The deputy governor described child education as a sure investment that can never fail and the key to future prosperity. She said the centre, established by the state government for that purpose, is not just a pre-school care centre but a discovery house for children as they are exposed to systematic tutoring and teaching that will enable them discover themselves even as infants. Adelabu spoke of plans by the government to organise a workshop for parents of babies at the centre on how to handle their kids at home, to maintain a link between what the children learn in school and at home. She told parents that there would be slots for children who were unable to enroll at the centre when it was inaugurated in October, because they had taken their kids to other day care homes, urging such parents to do so when school reopens next year. Ladoja insists on serving Oyo again KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN F ormer Oyo State governor, Rashidi Ladoja, yesterday said he is still fit to serve the state in any capacity the people want him. The former governor while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, said he will not do anything that will pull down the government of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, stating that Ajimobi needs the peace in the state House of Assembly to focus on governance. The Accord Party leader added that he would not do anything that will disrupt the incumbent government as a peaceful atmosphere is needed for good governance. Ladoja, who said age is a thing of the mind, said 2015 is still far away to decide who will contest or who wouldn’t, but nullified the claim by the ruling government that he was too old to be governor again. He said the Accord Party has started massive mobilisation around the state to position the party for electoral victory in the future. “My party will decide those who will contest in 2015. We have asked members to keep their ambitions to their heart while we embark on statewide mobilisation. “You cannot possibly exclude me from 2015 elections. Age is a thing of the mind. I am as fit as a 40-yearold man. The Government House is not a place people go as governor to crack stones and lift weight. “It is all about administration. An administrator is an administrator. You cannot buy experience with money. If my people want me, I will not reject them,” he said. 105-count charge of money laundering alongside seven others. The other accused are; Sunday Anyaogu, Rainbownet (Nig.) Ltd, Hillgate (Nig.) Ltd, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile (Nig.) Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School. At the last hearing of the matter on May 16, 2013, Justice Yunusa had granted permission to Nnamani to travel overseas for medical attention. It will be recalled that the accused were re-arraigned before Yunusa on March 7, after the former trial judge, Charles Archibong, was transferred. The prosecution alleged that the accused laundered various sums of money to the tune of N5 billion by lodging same in secret accounts. Nnamani was also alleged to have conspired with the other accused, to launder various statutory allocations of some local government areas of Enugu State. The affected local governments are; Aninri, Enugu South, Agwu, Igbo Etiti and Isi Uzor. He was also alleged to have stolen N1.4 billion from the excess crude oil funds allocated to local governments in the state. The embattled governor was further alleged to have fraudulently transferred millions of dollars of Enugu State funds to his personal accounts in the United States through the help of one Chinero Nwigwe. Nnamani allegedly committed these offences during his tenure as governor of Enugu State between 1999 and 2007. The alleged offences are said to have contravened diverse provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004. L-R: Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu with babies at the end of the year party for children of the Early Childhood Development Education Mega Centre, Ado-Ekiti, yesterday. Teachers’ Day: Ondo wants national secondary schools’ commission HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE S econdary school teachers in Ondo State have called for the establishment of a national secondary school commission that will help to raise the standard of secondary education across the country. The call was made yesterday by the state Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), Dayo Adebiyi, during the 2013 World Teachers’ Day Celebration/Day of Honour with the theme; “A Call for Teachers”. The teachers’ union also called on the Federal Government to ensure compliance with the recommendation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the allocation of at least 26 per cent to education in national budget. Adebiyi, who noted that the development of any country is dependent on its educational standard, said there was need for the government to pay proper attention to secondary education in the country. He said: “The most important aspect to pay attention to now should be to set up a National Secondary School Commission so as to have uniform secondary education standard in the country like what obtains in all other levels of education”. He, however, called for the intervention of the Federal Government in the technical and vocational education subsector at the secondary school level if the 6-3-3-4 education policy failed to yield positive results as expected. Adebiyi said the aspect of production and recruitment of technical and vocational teachers and the rehabilitation of dilapidated workshops and moribund technical equipment in secondary schools across the country should be given serious consideration. Lagos APC urges more support for party T he All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos State chapter yesterday urged residents of Lagos to continue to support the party as it is ready to take over power at the center and win more states in the coming elections. APC said the commitment of the residents to the party’s cause is paying off as Nigerians from all parts of the country flock to the party as the alternative to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In a statement in Lagos, the state Interim Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, the party said what is happening at the federal level of governance where the PDP has used corruption and impunity to run Nigeria aground should make Lagosians be proud of the huge pay off they have reaped in good, purposeful and result-oriented governance. The party called on the people to support it as it prepares to take over the governance of the country, after the grand failure of the PDP, promising to reverse the deepening rot in the system. “We are glad that Nigerians are waking up to the reality that the country is being emphatically destroyed through corruption, impunity and wholesale brigandage by the PDP government, especially the present incompetent and clueless government. “These much were confirmed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a ranking leader of the PDP in a recent letter to President Jonathan. “We are happy that internal revolt and schism is hitting the PDP, which callously boasted that even with its history of non-performance and corruption, it will rule the country till eternity. “We are happy that leading lights and founders of the party are seeing the end of that notorious party and are leaving the party in droves. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net South East Friday, December 13, 2013 Contractors abandon road projects in Imo Court dismisses move to stop Anambra LG polls CHARLES OKEKE AWKA CHRIS NJOKU A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, yesterday dismissed the move by the embattled Chairman of the state Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC), Prof. Titus Eze, to stop the commission from conducting the local government election tentatively fixed for the December 21. The court, presided over by Justice M. L. Abubakar, had in a ruling delivered yesterday, dismissed for lack of merit, the motion filed by Prof. Eze wherein he sought for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain ANSIEC from conducting the local government election as scheduled, pending the determination of the substantive suit. Already, Prof. Eze has announced that he will file an appeal against the ruling and also a motion for injunction, pending the appeal. It will be recalled that Prof. Eze, who had in his main suit against ANSIEC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a suit that was brought through the originating summon, is seeking for an order of court mandating that ANSIEC can not conduct the local government election. Local government election was held last in the state in 1998 without a substantive chairman presiding over its affairs. The suit is different from the one Prof. Eze filed at the state High Court challenging his removal as ANSIEC chairman. Speaking with National Mirror on what will be their next line of action since their motion for injunction was dismissed, the learned Senior Advocate, Nnamdi Ibegbu, who appeared for Prof. Eze, said they will challenge the ruling because, according to him, the court erred in refusing to grant an injunction in a case in which an injunctive order was very necessary. Deploring the fact that their main prayer as shown in the motion paper was dismissed, Ibegbu contends. 11 OWERRI S Unit Commander, FRSC Onitsha Unit, Mr. Anthony Metta (3rd right) with newly promoted officers from his command after their decoration in Onitsha, Anambra State, recently. Ndigbo endorse referendum for confab resolutions DENNIS AGBO ENUGU C oncerned Igbo Leaders of Thought led by Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has endorsed popular opinion that the outcome of the proposed national conference be subjected to a referendum before it is promulgated into a new constitution for the country. The Igbo leaders said their position was hinged on the premise that many nations of the world that evolved new constitutions toed the referendum process before implementing their new constitutions. Another reason canvassed by the Igbo group in favour of a referendum was that, it is only logical and a way of democratising the new constitution, adding that over 85 percent of countries of the world adopted referendum in bringing into being, their constitutions. “So the position of Ndigbo is that the constitution must be approved through a new referendum,” said the Secretary of the group, Prof. Elochukwu Amaucheazi, who addressed journalists shortly after their meeting in Enugu yesterday. They said the national dialogue is a conference of all ethnic nationalities/ peoples of Nigeria and not of interest and pressure groups; that it is important and critical with the main purpose of producing a new constitution for country. Prof. Amucheazi said; “We believe that it is a new constitution that is being produced, that the constitution will go for a referendum. That is the way of democratising constitutions and we know that 85 percent of countries of the world had adopted referendum in bringing into being their constitutions. “We accept that there will be an enabling law for the conference. We expect that this law will also make provision for a referendum. It will be embodied in the enabling law that there will be a referendum for the new constitution. “On the modus operandi, we had discussions on how to proceed in the conference; some said there should be a draft that will be brought before the conference as happened in the 90s. “We said no, that this is completely a new constitution and the ethnic nationalities should be involved in drafting the new constitution. They could start with a talk shop, we said nothing should be swept under the carpet, so the conference will discuss every raised issue, they can even spend one month canvassing all issues. “Meanwhile, the conference itself will then constitute a committee, which from these issues canvassed will draw a draft, that is, the draft will be prepared by a committee of the conference and the committee must be representatives of the zones. So every zone must be represented. Having done that draft, the house reconvenes to go through the draft, get it approved and send it to legal draftsmen. “When they complete their work, the product of the legal draftsmen will again be sent to the entire house of the conference for vetting and finally approved of it. When it is finally approved, the constitution will now go for a referendum. ASUU cautions Elechi over proscription call ALIUNA GODWIN EBIONYI A cademic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ebonyi State chapter has said that the governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi, should be called to order over a statement credited to him that the union be proscribed. Chairman of the union, Prof. Ndubuisi Idenyi, made this known in a press statement signed and issued to journalists shortly after a congress by over 97 members of the union that are in attendance, held at the Ebonyi State University (EBSU), said such suggestion by the governor in a democratic dispensation is uncalled for. “ASUU Ebonyi State University chapter notes with discontent the statement credited to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Martins N. Elechi, suggesting that the National Assembly should have proscribed ASUU, reiterating that such a suggestion in a democratic dispensation is uncalled for.” The union further cautioned that the management of EBSU should desist from compelling lecturers into filling forms as a way of identifying those who are teaching since the institution claimed to have reopened in the last three weeks. “Ebonyi State University management should desist from coercing lecturers into signing or filling any form in the name of ascertaining those who are teaching since we are still part of the national strike.” The union further de- cried the level of unfair treatment lecturers are subjected to, adding that the welfare of the members of the union in the state should be considered by the management of the university as well the state government. “This of course is without prejudice to the fact that Ebonyi State University received the highest allocation (N3.05 billion) among state-owned universities in Nigeria in the first tranche of the N100 billion for infrastructural development in our public universities.” ome contractors handling road projects in Imo State have abandoned them after turning out sub-standard jobs, National Mirror investigation revealed yesterday. The roads, particularly the Owerri-Aba road, are now in total disrepair less than five months they were certified completed. Last week, the contractors were seen making frantic efforts to mend washed parts of the road. But some motorists, who were irked by such shoddy jobs, called on the state government to conduct thorough investigation on all executed road projects across the state. They complained that the construction was substandard as some parts of the roads wear off soon after completion, adding that the government should revoke such contracts as the contractors are not competent going by the way they are handling the projects. “Even the water channels and culverts are not properly done. We want the project monitoring team of the state government to give the true picture of the state of these projects,” a motorist, Sunday Amadi told National Mirror. He said: “The Owerri-Aba road, including Akachawa, linking Wetheral road are all in disrepair few months after the job was supposedly completed.” Although, it was learnt that the state government had queried some of the contractors, particularly those that handled the AbaOwerri road project, it was not certain what the government would do for such shoddy jobs done as part of the road had formed deep gullies that now make it difficult for motorists to manoeuvre. Contacted, Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Dr. Theodore Ekechi, said these roads were in terrible shape when the current administration came into office. 12 South South Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Police disobey court order, stop reopening of Rivers Assembly SAM OLUWALANA M any heavilyarmed policemen, apparently acting on the order from above, yesterday prevented members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from holding plenary session at the Assembly Complex in Port Harcourt, the state capital. In its bid to obey Wednesday’s ruling of an Abuja High Court that ordered the state House of Assembly to re-open for its legislative duties, 22 members of the House attempted to move in to the complex yesterday morning, but were prevented from doing so by the about 200 stern-looking and rowdy policemen. As early as 8:0am, the presence of the police was felt by people as the security personnel were seen parking their vehicles at the premises of the state police headquarters, which is adjacent to the Assembly complex. About one hour later, two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) rolled out of the police headquarters to the Secretariat end of the street with about 100 policemen who stationed all over the area. The police, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aliyu Garba, prevented the 22 pro-Amaechi lawmakers from entering the Assembly complex, insisting that the leadership of the House must write to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, in order to gain entrance into the complex. •Fire tear gas at lawmakers This did not go down well with the lawmakers, led by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Leyii Kwanee, who insisted on having access to the hallowed chambers. They told the police that they had decided to resume their legislative duties in obedience to the judgement of the Abuja Court, but Garba refused to shift ground, insisting that apart from the letter, the police had also not received a copy of the judgement ordering the reopening of the Assembly. The refusal by the police to allow them see the Commissioner of Police prompted the pro-Amaechi lawmakers to hold a session presided over by the Deputy Speaker in the middle of Moscow Road. The Deputy Speaker described the police action as surprising, saying that it was absurd for the police to prevent them from entering the Assembly complex to perform their legislative duties, even after a court of competent jurisdiction had ordered that the complex should be opened. The police, however, fired canisters tear gas to the midst of the lawmakers, thus forcing them to scamper for safety. The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Hon. Tony Okocha; Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya; chairmen of some local government council as well as journalists, who had come to cover the resumption of the House of Assembly, were affected by the tear gas fired by the police. The police vowed not to re-open the Assembly complex, which was shut about six months ago, despite Wednesday’s judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which nullified the takeover of the functions of the House by the National Assembly. Addressing journalists on the matter, the member representing Eleme Constituency, Hon. Josiah John Olu, wondered why police should prevent people’s representatives from performing their legislative duties in line with the judgement of the court. Also reacting on the matter, the interim chairman of APC, Chief Ikanya, alleged of a plot by the police to sneak in five anti-Amaechi lawmakers to carry out the duties in the Assembly. He said: “You have seen the situation in Rivers State. You have been here with us to see how power is being used against the people. Today, the majority of the members of the House of Assembly came and sought to see the Commissioner of Police because there was a High Court judgement in Abuja that said they should resume their duties. But surprisingly, the police commissioner has refused to grant entry to these people. “We suspect strongly that there is an attempt to allow the other five lawmakers to sneak into the Assembly to say they are carrying out the functions of the Assembly. This was and logistic support from the Bayelsa State Government, some local governments and communities in Rivers State and a number of corporate organisations. In preparation for the clean-up, the project officials held meetings with stakeholders across Ogoniland, including a consultative meeting with the Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers of Ogoni. Restoration steps already taken include mounting of advocacy signage, provision of drinking water tanks across Ogoniland, development of a medical registry, sourcing of water testing and air pollution facilities and conclusion of cleanup work plan and formation of work groups. Others include donation of lands for Center of Excellence for Environmental Restoration and the Proposed Integrated Soil Management Centre (ISMC), gathering of commercial and technical information for the detailed design of the clean-up plan and a socio-economic study for the development of a livelihood strategy for •Members hold sitting on street the case when they almost succeeded in impeaching the governor by just five of them in a 32-member House of Assembly. “Now, the police are barring genuine House of Assembly members from having access to the Assembly building. They are also stopping them from having access to the Commissioner of Police to seek protection for them Men of the Nigeria Police Force barricading the main entrance to the Rivers State House of Assembly in Port Harcourt, yesterday. Members of the House holding a meeting on Moscow Road after the police prevected them from PHOTO:NAN gaining entrance into the Assembly complex in Port Harcourt, yesterday. UNEP report: FG set for Ogoni clean-up F ollowing the report by the United Nations Environmental Programme on the degradation of Ogoniland by oil companies, the Federal Government is set for the cleaning up of devastated areas through the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) domiciled in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. According to a statement from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the ministry has launched the execution of eight emergency measures with material to resume their sitting. This is unacceptable to APC as a party in Rivers State. We are saying that the police are being used against genuine people of Rivers State.” Ogoniland. Aside the seven steps already taken, the project also created emergency call centres, commenced discussion with Johns Hopkins University in United States on epidemiological studies, development of curriculum on environmental hazards, public awareness to highlight the dangers of artisanal refining activities and crude oil theft. The statement noted further that the restoration project had been repositioned, the technical working groups established in line with UNEP recommendations and a timely conclusion of all ongoing emergency measures ahead of the implementation of the various programmes and projects. The UNEP report had made a number of recommendations to the Federal Government which include establishment of HYPEP governance structure, creation of operational guidelines, preparation of a detailed work plan and implementation of certain emergency measures to ensure a seamless transition from the submission of the report to the com- mencement of full scale cleanup of hydrocarbon contamination. It will be recalled that restoration project established in July 2012 was tasked with the responsibilities of investigating and evaluating all hydrocarbon polluted communities and sites in Nigeria; restoration of all affected communities and sites impacted by hydrocarbon pollution in Nigeria; and implementation of the actionable recommendations of the UNEP Environmental Assessment Report on Ogoniland. Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Politics Politics of Ekiti people’s input into budget PDP is set to reclaim Edo from misrule of APC –Agbonayinma 15 14 Rivers Assembly: APC vows to resist unconstitutional action OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU F ollowing Wednesday’s judgement of a Federal High Court, nullifying the takeover of the Rivers State House of Assembly by the National Assembly, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has strongly warned against any reliance on the ruling to perpetrate mayhem or unconstitutional acts in the state. In a statement yesterday by its interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC also warned the police and other security agencies not to provide cover for renegades to engage in any illegality, saying their role must be to ensure the safety and security of all legislators if and when the House decides to sit. Saying that it was not in doubt that the six legislators opposed to Governor Chibuike Amaechi will try to hide under the cover of the judgement to convene the Assembly with the sole purpose of removing the Speaker as a prelude to impeaching the governor, the APC warned that any such act will constitute an illegality and trigger a reaction, the end result of which no one can predict. The statement said: ‘’The six legislators opposed to Amaechi do not and cannot form a quorum (nine members) that will even allow the House to convene legally, not to talk of at least 20 members - representing two third majority - that can constitutionally impeach the Speaker. “In a House of 32 members, there is no way six members can be more than 26, even under the warped arithmetic which the Jonathan administration has been conjuring in recent times to back the losing faction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF.” He added: ‘’We are therefore constrained to warn, in the strongest possible terms, that we in the APC will take any impunity in Rivers State as an impunity to all, and will vehemently resist such with a spontaneous explosion of people power not only in states un- der our control but across the country.’’ Urging the police not to allow themselves to be used to perpetrate violence and chaos, the party said already, the Police Commissioner in Rivers has ordered that all roads leading to the House of Assembly complex in Port Harcourt be barricaded, perhaps as a prelude to escorting the renegade members to convene to illegally remove the Speaker. The APC called on Presi- dent Jonathan not allow personal and partisan considerations to blot out his responsibility as the father of the nation and put in jeopardy his constitutional role of ensuring the country’s unity. ‘’We are aware of the letter to President Jonathan by former President Olusegun Obasanjo virtually accusing the President of destroying the same nation he was elected to preside over and uplift. We hope he will not alCONTINUED ON PAGE 14 T he leadership of the South-East has been called upon to come together and harmonise its position before the proposed national conference commences to avoid rushing to the confab with a position that may not be accepted to the people. Eze Uche Dimgba, who made the call at reception he organized for the chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Marcel Ohiri in Lagos on Wednesday, said such position should be informed on the need for a Nigeria that guarantees equal opportunity for her citizens. He said: “We are calling Osun 2014: Oyinlola’s aide joins LP to contest guber poll ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO A s the gubernatorial election in Osun State beckons, a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General under the administration of Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Niyi Owolade, yesterday dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the Labour Party, LP, and signified his intention to contest the election. Owolade told newsmen in Osogbo at a press conference that the LP was an alternative party that could move the country from its static position. He added that the party is blessed with seasoned politicians and technocrats. The former commissioner stated that he is optimistic that he would win the election and charged the people of the state to support him. Ekiti: LP accuses APC of destabilisation plot ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI L-R: Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola and British Deputy High Commissioner, Ambassador Peter Carter, during a reception for the Deputy High Commissioner on his visit to the state in Osogbo, yesterday. Confab: Monarch tasks Ndigbo on common position Ogun inaugurates 20-man LG FELIX NWANERI 13 for a unified position by Ndigbo before the national conference begins. Here in Lagos, we have Ohaneaze, Igbo Speaking Community, Aka Ikenga, Ndigbo Lagos and many others. The position of Ohanaeze may not be the position of the others, so it calls for us to come together and harmonise our position before the conference commences. “If we rush to the conference and present a position, that position may not be accepted by everybody. And time has come when some Igbo leaders should understand they don’t have the right to speak for the people because they feel that they can speak for them. If they want to speak for us, they must first feel our pulse; they must understand what the people’s problems are before speaking for them. “However, that does not mean that Ndigbo cannot come together; we have been trying our best to come together and it is paying off, at least in Lagos, we have tried to unite the various associations for the common good of the people.” Dimgba, who is the Eze Ndigbo of Ikeja, Lagos, said: “The position of Ndigbo is very simple – enabling environment for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion to achieve success. We want a Nigeria, where every citizen would be free to work and survive.” consultative, advisory council FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA T he Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday inaugurated a 20-member Local Government Consultative and Advisory Council for the 20 council of the state. The consultative cum advisory council, which consisted of one person per local government area, is to interface between the governor and other stakeholders at the local government level. Aside from interpreting government policies to the people at the grassroots as well as seeing to the people’s need, the council is also expected to provide the state government with the needed intelligence on how to proffer solutions to grassroots problems. At the inauguration, Amosun charged members of the council to check on key projects needed in each of the 236 wards in the state in order to improve on service delivery. He however, cautioned members of the council against struggling for supremacy with the elected officers in the local government administration. “Let me sound a note of caution, that your inauguration as Local Government Consultative and Advisory Council must not be seen as a parallel local government administration.” T he Labour Party, LP, in Ekiti State yesterday accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of planning to destabilise through the sponsorship of some people as LP governorship aspirants to cause crisis The LP state chairman, Akin Omole, who made the allegation, however told journalists in Ado Ekiti that the LP would not allow anybody to be used as agent of stabilisation in its fold, even as he dispelled rumour of internal crisis in the party. Making reference to the alleged invasion of the Ado Ekiti Local Government secretariat of the party by one Adetayo Ogunyemi, an intending governorship aspirant on Wednesday, Omole said that “every eligible citizen and member of the party is free to contest, but we will not tolerate any- CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 14 Politics Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Politics of Ekiti people’s input into budget ABIODUN NEJO writes on the visit of the various communities in Ekiti State by Governor Kayode Fayemi for the people’s input on the state’s 2014 budget. HIS PACT WITH THE PEOPLE IS TO GOVERNMENT WITH THEM AND NOT DO GOVERNMENT TO THEM,” HENCE THEY O ne of the various developmental initiatives of the present administration in Ekiti State is ensuring that the various communities in the state have inputs into the budget of the state through making known their priority needs during the preparation of the yearly financial plan. This is to ensure that the programmes, policies and projects executed in the fiscal year have bearing with the specific needs of the various communities. The state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, however, added another dimension to the process of sourcing for the priority needs of the people for inclusion in the 2014 budget by choosing to visit the entire 132 communities in the state where he held village square meetings in each. In the earlier editions for the preparation of the 2012 and 2013 budgets, Fayemi had held such meetings at the 16 council headquarters where communities in each of the local governments would have gathered to present their needs. But last month, Fayemi, on completion of the month-long third anniversary of his administration, which he marked with commissioning of completed projects and inauguration of new ones across the state, thought it wise to visit individual communities to ensure they had ample time to air their needs for inclusion in the 2014 budget. The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, said the tour “was in line with the policy of transparency, inclusiveness and accountability of the Fayemi administration.” Oyebode described it as yet another opportunity for the governor to “inspect ongoing projects, commission completed projects and get the inputs of the various communities into the 2014 Budget, through the Town Hall meetings, which was the highpoint of the tour.” But a former governor of the state, who is also a governorship aspirant of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, described is as political tours being embarked upon by the governor basically ahead of the forthcoming governorship in the state. Fayose, in a statement by Ayodele Fayose Campaign Organisation, AFCO, Director of Publicity and Research, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said the tour would not prevent the All Progressives Congres, APC, in the state from being voted out of office next year. The former governor, who said the APC government had lost touch with the voting class, described the tour of communities in the state by the governor “as medicine after death because the people had been treating the carrot gifts being distributed by the government with contempt”. But shedding more light on the town hall meetings at the communities, the governor, who said the initiative was not politically motivated, said it was rather borne out of “DO MUST HAVE INPUTS IN HOW THEY ARE GOVERNED Fayemi the respect his administration had for the opinions of the masses who “put me in government”. According to him, his pact with the people is to “do government with them and not do government to them,” hence they must have inputs in how they are governed, adding that that it was inappropriate for a governor to just sit down in the state capital and decide what he felt the people needed when the people’s needs actually differed from the governor’s perception. This, he said, is the reason for the annual town hall meetings to enable the communities have direct input in the budget preparations so that the budget would in reality be owned by the people and serve their needs. And in line with the governor’s conviction, the demands of the various communities during the meetings with the governor might not have been what the decision makers in government would have ordinarily outlined for them in the making of the budget. The people’s needs which resonated strongly in the different communities ranged from autonomy; council creation; how to make public primary and secondary school teachers stay in the rural areas; provision of more social amenities such as roads, electricity, water; encouraging agriculture and industrialisation; security issues and better lives for rural dwellers. Among other assurances by the governor that the people’s need would be accommodated, councils seeking autonomy are already feeling the success of their request in the air as the governor disclosed that he would soon constitute a committee on the creation of additional local governments in the state. Fayemi said the committee would harmonise all the memoranda from intending local governments and towns to effect the creation of the proposed councils, saying: “We have pledged that we are going to create more local governments before the expiration of our tenure. We have not deviated from this promise. He said: “We will soon inaugurate a committee that would consider the memos that would be raised from the interested councils and towns. Creation of new local government is a matter that must be looked at critically because development at the grassroots is a policy that must be pursued with vigour and seriousness. So, we will soon set machinery in motion to actualise this dream.” Pronto, the governor directed the state Ministry of Justice to give legal advice on the issue, asking the ministry to advise on whether the state government could create additional council, and if yes, what concrete steps the state government could take in that direction. The Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr Wale Fapohunda, while presenting the ministry’s legal advice to the governor on Monday, said sections 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 162 of the country’s constitution showed that the state could create local government development areas, listing the conditions to include forwarding a bill to that effect to the state House of Assembly and a referendum, among others. While receiving the presentation, Fayemi assured that everything would be done “in a manner that is fair, objective and re- sponsive to the yearnings of the people” as he advised those who would be on the panel for the process not to attempt to subject it to political machinations. In the same vein, he assured communities seeking autonomy that his administration would not deprive any of them the right to autonomy, “particularly if such community has the history of autonomy” and as well meet all conditions in addition to following the rule of law. Fayemi said any town that had the history of autonomy before being subsumed by a larger community should put up a paper to all relevant authorities for processing, adding that the Council of Traditional Rulers in Ekiti State, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs and the state House of Assembly had roles to play in the matter. It would be recalled that the Fayemi administration had, early in the year, given autonomy to five communities in the state. State Commissioner for Budget, Economic Planning and Service Delivery, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has said that the state 2014 budget would be tailored towards consolidation on the developments that the administration had brought to the state since it assumed office. Oyebanji, who assured that completion and commissioning of all ongoing projects would be ensured, said that the budget, as usual would be designed to achieve the eight-point agenda and to cater for a year of transition, stocktaking and fiscal caution. The commissioner stressed that government would focus intensively on the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to ensure fiscal security and sustainability, emphasising that appropriate criteria would be adopted to evaluate and prioritise capital projects that are revenue generating in nature. Oyebanji, who said that the link between budget and Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, would be strengthened, assured that government would continue to use the Public Private Partnership, PPP, option in ventures that were considered better handled by the private sector. The commissioner, who spoke during the 2014 Budget Negotiation meeting on Sectoral Allocation and Recurrent Envelope organised by his ministry, appealed to the participating top government officials to make good use of their pedigree and wealth of experience as senior officers in government circle to achieve a robust outcome through fully participatory negotiation process. Ekiti: LP accuses APC of destabilisation plot Rivers Assembly: APC vows to resist unconstitutionalism CONTINUED FROM 13 body being used as an agent of destabilisation in our party.” He said both the LP oldand new members have been working together harmoniously, saying “whoever is claiming to be leaders in the party aside the constitutionally composed executive, are mere impostors”. But the APC Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Segun Dipe, said “the allegation has confirmed that the LP and its co-travelers are not politically savvy to run a political party.” CONTINUED FROM 13 low Obasanjo’s prognosis about him to come true so soon by backing any move that can plunge Nigeria into chaos,” it said. While calling on all people of goodwill, especially past leaders, to prevail on President Jonathan to back off the renegade lawmakers who are hell bent on causing mayhem in Rivers, the APC describeded the court ruling as bizarre and alarming, against the background of the massive mayhem that was unleashed in the Rivers House of Assembly last July. He said: “It is laughable pretention for them to allege that we are the one running their party for them. How can we sponsor a LP man against his own party? If we can do that, it means they are not politically savvy and not fit to be called a party.” Dipe said that the biggest party in Nigeria today is the APC and “we don’t need the LP to be relevant in Ekiti or Nigeria. They have a stranger that is a feudal Lord in their midst and they should expect strange results.” Wondering why the court will say there were no facts that the House of Assembly could not carry out its functions, with the mace as well as several heads broken and the hallowed chambers desecrated by a free-for-all that was watched all around the world, the APC said: ‘’What else must occur before the stipulated conditions can prevail for the National Assembly to take over the functions of the Rivers House of Assembly? Is it when MPs are slaughtered like rams that such a condition will be deemed to have prevailed? National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Friday, December 13, 2013 Former Senior Special Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Foreign Relations and current member of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, Hon. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, in this interview takes a swipe at his former boss, saying he has failed the people in his second term in office. FELIX NWANERI brings the excerpts: What is the political situation in Edo State at the moment? Is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, still on the ground in the state? The PDP is still very much on ground in Edo State and it is waxing stronger by the day. The people in Edo will attest to that reality. I am from Edo; I can tell you categorically what is on ground in the state as of today. Edo today is nothing to write home about when you are talking about governance, never mind what you have been hearing on the radio and television or what have you have been reading on the pages of newspapers. People in government tend to deploy the instrumentality of propaganda to hoodwink people living outside the state. Indeed, PDP is on ground. At a time, the party had its downside; that was one of the reasons why Oshiomhole came on the scene but you cannot tell me that as of 2013 that PDP is not on ground. The PDP is formidable and fully on ground because of what Oshiomhole has turned the so-called ACN that is now called APC into. Oshiomhole is a man who said “let the people lead,” but he is now the one leading the people. Edo State is comatose to the extent in Benin City where I come from; there is no where you can see any road that is motorable apart from the federal roads that the governor is competing with the Federal Government for. He is doing the gutters, when the Federal Government had already done the roads; he is now praising himself that he has constructed roads. But he has constructed the Airport road in Benin? Looking at the Airport road that he used almost N15 to N16 billion to construct, the road that is less than seven killometres, up till today, for almost four to five years, the road is not completed. Yet, you can see the humongous amount of tax payers’ money that has gone into the project. Can you say the state has had value for money? Look at the economics: is it not a monumental rip off ? A time will come when he will be answerable to the people for this mismanagement of public funds. But the reports from Edo are that Oshiomhole is in charge of the state. How do you react to this? That is not correct. You know that Oshiomhole is a public space man. He can talk and to the extent that he is good at abusing statesmen and leaders who cannot descend into the gutters with him. So, if he is abusing them and making spurious claims and those people are not responding, people will think that Oshiomhole is in charge of the state; that he has conquered and dominated the terrain. I am not going to insult anybody here but I am going to spell it out the way it is: Oshiomole, today, is worse than the so-called dictators in the military era; he is worse than the military; he is an absolute dictator; his administration is dictatorial and he is now the grand patron of godfatherism in the state. Governor Oshiomhole has virtually privatized Edo State. He believes he owns the state, but I can tell him that he does not own the state; Edo people own the state; they came out to support him in his first term. I was part of it and I supported him; but where are the majority of the people that supported Oshiomhole in his first term, today? You helped people, you gave them ladder to climb to the top, forgetting that a time will come that they will also need the ladder to come down, they pushed the ladder away. That is the Oshiomhole paradox. He never suffered for it, he didn’t even know how it happened but God used the good people of Edo State. Today, he had undermined the same good people thinking that it was his goodness, thinking that it was because he was popular that he won the governorship election. Politics 15 PDP is set to reclaim Edo from misrule of APC –Agbonayinma Agbonayinma Why are you no longer supporting Oshiomhole? I am no longer a member of his party. I used to be his Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Relations, but I quit his administration in 2011. I left him because I was pissed off by the deception in government. I could no longer relate with the lies and manipulations. How come Governor Oshiomole, despite all these, still went ahead to win the 2012 election for his second term? How was he able to unfix the PDP and its leaders? I don’t want to be sentimental; you cannot say that Governor Oshiomhole did not do anything in Edo State at all. Yes, he did work in some areas, like his own local government in Edo North where you have six, eight lanes, roads leading to nowhere in the wilderness. Well, I think his people will be the one applauding him. As a citizen of Edo State, I will say he did well for his people, forgetting Edo South Senatorial District, a district that has 60 per cent of the state’s population. Go to my local government, IkpobaOkha; go to Orhiomwon, Uhumwonde and Oredo local governments; these are the urban local governments. When you now decide to extend, looking at the two Ovia Local Government Areas, there is nothing to write home about; even in Benin City, go to the GRA, even where the Government House is; take a trip to Edo and do your own investigation; then you will now come back and tell me everything I have told you, nothing is far from the truth. Mark my words today; the PDP is set to reclaim Edo from the misrule of the APC. I am confident that the leadership of Chief Tony Anenih and Chief Dan Orbih-led exco in the state with the solid support of the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mke Oghiadohme and Edo South leader, Captain Hosa Okunbo, holds the key for the rescue of Edo from the misrule that the APC is now subjecting it to. TODAY, HE HAD UNDERMINED THE SAME GOOD PEOPLE THINKING THAT IT WAS HIS GOODNESS, THINKING THAT IT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS POPULAR THAT HE WON THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION The question is: Why was he able to win the 2012 election to serve a second term? I must tell you the truth, Governor Oshiomole did not win that election; PDP won that election, just as the recent local government election where the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, acting in concert with the governor, wrote the results. Some of you have been watching and listening to how they said they were going to rig the local government election; how they were going to appoint their own to the EDSIEC; appoint judges and even during the collations, that they would just declare the winners; that he was ready to pay any amount. It would interest you to know that about N10 billion was spent on the election. That was why today Edo State is broke; because they have used the state’s money to conduct the election. In his first coming, he did not spent that kind of money; people came and spent money on his behalf; people brought money to support him; he had no money; those same people who helped him to win the first term, they were not there to support him again. And when he found out that people were no longer forthcoming, he decided to open the treasury, but I tell you that when the time comes, he will have to answer to the people of the Edo State where he got the money to build his home Iyahmo mansions which reportedly cost over N10 billion. I tell you he has to answer to the people. How could a governor, a sitting governor built that kind of monument? He said that he is a comrade; I don’t know what he meant by comrade; one of the former leaders, specifically the late Pa Imoudu, it was the people who came together to even build a house for him. He was not materialistic. That Oshiomhole today is buying houses and property and he is calling himself comrade beats the imagination. Little wonder in some quarters, he is now jokingly called ‘come and raid.’ He will give account when the time comes. Many believe that Oshiomhole has been able to unfix, Chief Tony Anenih, who is the leader of the PDP in Edo State and the PDP. How do you react to this? What Oshiomhole is trying to show to the public is very simple. He wants to let the world know that he is on ground in Edo State, that he is popular because, his popularity, as at today, is gone. It is a thing of the past. Oshiomole is no longer popular in Edo State. Sincerely you can go and cross check what I am telling you about Oshiomole, before we could drive together in the same car, people would start following us; we could trek from the Ring Road to Ikpoba-Okha Hill in a crusade-like fashion and people would join us. He dare not do that anymore because he has offended the same people that brought him into power. Let me be honest with you, Oshiomole is now trying to paint himself as the grand patron of godfatherism in Edo; that he has unfixed Chief Tony Anenih; that he has unfixed the PDP. Now, how can he say he has unfixed Anenih and the PDP when many APC people are now coming to join the PDP? Today, I get phone calls from the APC than the PDP I belong to; the APC people are calling me more, saying that Oshiomole had disappointed them; he has killed the APC in the state. So, he is trying negotiate whether he can be wooed into either presidential or vice presidential slot in the APC or to regain his credibility with Mr. President, a man who wants to carry everybody along, just to make the President say, ‘yes, Oshiomhole owns Edo, let us give him some respect.’ I think that Mr. President is aware that, as of today, the story has changed. Oshiomole is no longer on ground; he can no longer fool anybody. He wants to negotiate his political future; he knows very well that he has totally failed, that is why he is spending so much money on publicity and propaganda. A man that is working like Governor Fashola of Lagos; you don’t see Fashola spending money on publicity the way Oshiomhole is doing it; spending billions on publicity and propaganda. Look at the issue of security votes in Edo State, go and ask him what he has done with the billions of naira he collected as security votes while there is no security in Edo. Editorial 16 Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM ACTING MD/CEO SEYI FASUGBA DAILY EDITOR GBEMI OLUJOBI SATURDAY EDITOR DOZIE OKEBALAMA COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD CALLISTUS OKE EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF KAYODE BALOGUN JNR SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT FRANK OBOH HEAD, GRAPHICS N Appreciating the ISPS code igeria was providentially spared the big hammer of the global community; and the country thus escaped from the deleterious consequences of having her seaports boycotted by international shipping lines following the clean bill of health granted her seaports lately. A favourable endorsement was given by United States Coast Guards team on the second leg of its security assessment visit to the nation’s seaports and facilities after the fiasco of the first leg of last June, for which 90 days grace was given to Nigeria to fix security-related problems, especially ensuring that the seaports and facilities fully comply with the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) code. The leader of the team, Mr. Tivo Romero, had assured the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); the agency entrusted with ensuring compliance, that the US would assist Nigeria with technical support; and also help to put in place the right legal framework for total compliance with the code. This, no doubt, is a welcome development, provided the federal authorities are ready to grab the opportunity. The ISPS has its root in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Diplomatic Conference of December 2002, which adopted new regulations to enhance maritime security through amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974. The said convention requires flag states to ensure that their ships comply with minimum safety standards in construction, equipment and operation. Many countries have turned these international requirements into national laws such that any breach of SOLAS requirements attracts legal proceedings. A lot of countries, including South Africa and the Philippines, have also been complying with the new code since its adoption in 2004. Indeed, Nigeria has sufficient lessons to learn from South Africa in particular. As far back as 2009, all seven South African commercial ports had achieved compliance with the Code and the Regulations of 2004. This has had tremendous positive impact on port operations in the country, such as improvement in the handling of vessel clearance; reduction of crime in the most crime-prone areas of the Ports; standardisation of security policies, measures procedures; and improved co-operation between port/facility security and state security/ emergency agencies/ services. For effective implementation of the provisions of the ISPS Code, the country’s qualifying facilities were delineated into four FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHER COUNTRIES THAT HAVE MADE SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS IN COMPLYING WITH THE CODE, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT IT IS OF IMMENSE BENEFIT geo-functional Maritime Security Zones (MSZs) namely: Lagos MSZ, Delta MSZ, Rivers MSZ and Calabar MSZ. For each of the above MSZs, an inter-national security consulting company was designed as Recognized Security Organization (RSO). From the experience of other countries that have made substantial progress in complying with the code, it is obvious that it is of immense benefit. It contributes a lot to port security and efficient port operations; although experts say it has presented compliance challenges to maritime administration. But an expert in transport management technology, Dr. Lazarus Okoroji of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, among others, however, are of the opinion that it was imperative for the Federal Government and its relevant agencies to adopt a pragmatic approach to the code’s implementation, by complementing security gadgets with human resource training and management. According to Okoroji, particularly, there exists the urgent need for the re-assessment of the implementation strategies with a view to making them more user-friendly and affordable. Indeed, with eight seaports and several jetties to her credit, Nigeria has immense potential for a robust maritime industry. For the full optimization of the potential, the seaports should be secured and the facilities of international standard. It is, therefore, an embarrassment that it took the visit of one of Nigeria’s trading partners’ Coast Guards to expose the underbelly of the country’s ports. Why should the implementation of the International ISPS code, adopted since 2004 by the IMO; and which is mandatory for full implementation by all contracting governments, be treated with contempt by the authorities concerned in Nigeria? It is not unlikely that the problem has to do with capacity building. But with the considerable revenue the FG rakes in from port operations, it should be capable of urgently addressing the inadequacy. ON THIS DAY December 13, 2000 Al Gore conceded the United States’ presidential election to George W. Bush. Albert Arnold “Al” Gore, Jr. (born March 31, 1948) served as the 45th Vice President of the US (1993 – 2001), under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President, but he lost the 2000 US presidential election despite winning the popular vote. Gore is currently an author and environmental activist. Letters tothe theEditor Editor Letters to December 13, 2003 Operation Red Dawn: Former Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, was captured near his home town of Tikrit. Operation Red Dawn was an American military operation conducted on December 13, 2003 in the town of ad-Dawr, Iraq, near Tikrit, that led to the capture of the Iraqi president. The operation was named after the 1984 film, ‘Red Dawn’. The mission was assigned to America’s 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division. December 13, 2011 A murder-suicide attack in the city of Liege (Belgium) left six people dead and wounded 125 others, seven of them seriously, at a Christmas market. The attacker, 33-year-old Nordine Amrani, threw grenades and fired an FN FAL rifle at civilians on Saint-Lambert Square. Amrani then committed suicide by shooting himself with a revolver. Earlier that day, he had also murdered a woman in his house. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Views Friday, December 13, 2013 17 Lessons from our nomadic cattle rearers THINKING WITH PRINCEWILL ALOZIE T he various constitutional arrangements in Nigeria ignore the existence of nomadic cattle rearers. They traverse the length and breadth of the country on foot. They have to protect themselves and their livestock by any means possible. Armed groups attack these cattle rearers to dispossess them of their cattle. They are now known to be moving about with sophisticated weapons that enable them ward off such attackers. In the course of doing their own duty, these cattle rearers destroy farmlands, valuable food and cash crops. Affected communities are forced to see them as enemies. We now read about constant raids by this people on communities they suspect may attack either their stock or their persons. Houses are burnt and lives lost in ensuing mayhem. Benue, Ondo, Ogun, Imo states are examples of places with such bitter experiences. This challenge assumes ethnoreligious colouration in some instances. When it takes this stance, we then read of Muslim-Fulani cattle rearers attacking host communities. The issue has nothing to do with being a Muslim or a Fulani. The first lesson we learn is that all citizens must be given a level playing ground to earn a living. These cattle rearers have not been given a conflict-free environment to do their work. Instead of agonizing over lack of proper environment to practice their trade, this set of Nigerians use force to establish an environment they consider suitable. If the Nigerian state had considered them as human beings who should be catered for, provision would long have been made for their well-being. Both the owners of herds of cattle and the cattle rearers will have to be engaged in the process of modernising the cattle rearing industry. The Nigerian state will have to help find space for the establishment of ranches all over the country. These ranches will be sources for viable dairy farms and allied food and organic manure products. New Zealand, Brazil and a number of countries have developed dairy farms from where dried, fresh milk, butter, cheese are sent to Nigeria! In the process of getting the nomadic cattle rearers settled, they are provided with functional education in science, technology and the social sciences. An educated cattle rearer with a global world-view may not embark on barbaric activities as the case is now. This brings into focus the right for decent living for all Nigerians. Job-creation in Nigeria is not being addressed. The latest fad is the numerous entrepreneurship courses in universities, institutes and designated centres. People are taught how to become owners of businesses. This could be useful in very small enterprises. The establishment of industries, coupled with PEOPLE SHOULD LIVE AND BECOME CITIZENS IN LOCATIONS OF THE WORLD WHERE THEY EARN THEIR LIVING IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD the necessary enabling infrastructural and financial environment is needed in dependent or peripheral capitalist countries like Nigeria. Major strides in job creation for the majority of Nigerians, as well as the developmentally meaningful resettlement of nomadic cattle rearers in desirable parts of the country require massive intervention by the Nigerian state. The second lesson the nomadic cattle rearers are teaching us is that citizenship is an inalienable right. You claim it, if necessary, by force. In modern times, the powers that be should not allow the claiming of citizenship by force to be the norm. Recently in Nigeria, beggars, destitute, the vulnerable in society were deported from some parts of the country. In some cases, the vulnerable, like the widow in Edo State, will be told to “go and die”. Poverty reduction for the ruling class means enabling the wretched of the earth to die-off quickly. What the nomadic cattle rearers are teaching us is that violence can be a two-way traffic. Systemic and state-engendered violence can be check-mated by a requisite violence Orhii’s competence not in doubt KING JAMES YIYE R ecently in Geneva, Switzerland where NAFDAC Director General, Paul Botwev Orhii (OON), chaired a meeting of the Member States Mechanism of the World Health Organization, representatives of many countries told me how optimistic they were that Africa and Nigeria have finally got a voice with Orhii as Chair of this global body. But back home I read a publication in one of the national dailies written by one Sylvester Onubogu who is said to be a Benin City-based ‘public relations consultant’. This man’s writing isn’t only spurious and substandard, the writer himself comes across as an illinformed man with a jaundiced view struggling to crawl unto the public stage. He comes across as a hired writer who is quick to do the job without knowing the job. In the write-up titled, Health professionals and NAFDAC’s boss, Orhii, the writer wasted a valuable space making the trite argument about the qualifications of Paul Botwev Orhii, a medical doctor, lawyer and PhD holder in neuropharmacology to head the agency, which in the last four years he has midwifed to growth and efficiency to the extent that today it is adjudged the foremost food and drug regulatory agency in Africa and one of the top 20 in the world by international bodies. This uninformed man tries to hinge his argument on the enabling law of NAFDAC, THE QUESTION HERE IS WHO ARE THESE DETRACTORS UNDERMINING, ORHII AS A PERSON, OR NIGERIA AS A NATION? citing Section 9, sub-section 1 that recommends that: “there shall be appointed for the agency by the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces on the recommendation of the Minister, a Director General who shall be a person with good knowledge of pharmacy, food and drugs.” While he faithfully quoted this in the fourth paragraph of his ‘hagiography’, he sought to be deceitful and fraudulent by concentrating his attack on Orhii on the fact that he is not a member of the relevant pharmacy bodies in Nigeria. But the fact is, if his argument is taken into consideration based on the provisions of the law he quoted to support his unsustainable arguments, the person occupying the office of the Director-General could be a food scientist; medical doctor; or a pharmacist. Orhii is qualified to head NAFDAC; and the groundbreaking record he has achieved at the agency has been recognized by the WHO, which has recently appointed him the Chair of the Member States Mechanism (MSM), a body with such eminent members from countries like the USA, Canada, EU countries, India, China and Brazil, and which is committed to the fight against Spurious, Substandard, Fake, Falsely-labeled Counterfeit (SSFFC) Medical Products. Appointment to this exalted position involves a lot of high level meetings where candidates’ qualifications, records and achievements in their countries are thoroughly scrutinized by other medicine regulatory agencies in the world. It thus beggars belief that a man who has done so well in his assignment at home and has gone further to prove his mettle at the world stage is the same person who Onubogu and his faceless sponsors will want to cast as unqualified for the job he is holding. The question here is who are these detractors undermining, Orhii as a person, or Nigeria as a nation? Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of the Orhii-led NAFDAC, Nigerian industries in the food and drug sector have been well positioned not only to sell their products locally but to compete internationally. With this, the glorious past where Nigeria was Africa’s major and best pharmaceutical exporter, is coming back. It is the same groundbreaking success that is being recorded in enforcement activities where Orhii has introduced cutting-edge technologies that have made it impossible for counterfeiters to escape detection, and where also for the first time in the history of the agency the most deterring convictions were secured, making sure that criminals caught in the by the victims! People should live and become citizens in locations of the world where they earn their living in a globalized world. The façade about globalization is that only capital is globalized. Passports, visa requirements, immigration laws, are huddles put in place to ensure that people do not migrate with capital. However, the militant method of asserting citizenship right is being adapted by the militarily powerful countries of the world. The battle for the control of the world in one form or the other is also a battle to determine who should be considered a citizen in the new envisaged capitalist order. This race for world dominance through war will turn out to be quite foolish, since there are a number of organizations and countries controlling deadly weapons and the means of delivering them. Violence is no longer the prerogative of two world powers, but of multi-world powers. The tragedy is that Nigeria and Africa do not count in all these permutations. The third lesson we have to learn from the nomadic cattle rearers is that ethnoreligious conflicts do not solve the socioeconomic problems facing the nomads and the settled population alike. This is precisely why the Nigerian state is still in a formative stage after almost a century. The permanent ethnic and religious hatred injected into peoples’ consciousness by the creators of Nigeria have been allowed to weaken Nigeria up to the point of consuming the populace. act are made to serve long jail sentences that will serve as warning to others. NAFDAC is not an island in the fight against counterfeit regulated products; the agency is aligned with similar agencies performing similar roles in countries all over the world. The precedence set up by food and drug regulatory agencies in the world is that experts who come from such varied disciplines like medicine, law, pharmacy, engineering etc, are appointed to the headship of such agencies by their governments based on proven track record of achievements. More instructively, the United States Food and Drug Regulatory Agency (FDA), has been headed by 21 Food and Drug Commissioners. Out of these 13 were medical doctors, including the incumbent commissioner, Margaret Hamburg. A lawyer once headed that body. In the Geneva-based WHO, Dr. Lembit Rago, a medical doctor, is the coordinator of its Quality and Safety Medicines Unit. So what’s the point being made by of this Sylvester Onubogu? Why are people like this ever ready to undermine the hardwon progress of Nigeria by their untiring attempts to distract dedicated public officers like Orhii? Yiye is a Public Affairs Consultant based in Korinya City, Benue State Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such. 18 Mail Mirror Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Proposed confab and challenges of nationhood I For Nelson Mandela W hen we were young growing up, a male child was born to a man in the neighbourhood. At the naming ceremony, the man gave the first and second names of his son as Nelson and Mandela respectively. I couldn’t really comprehend why the man had to go that far then, but now I very much do. Since President Jacob Zuma of South Africa announced the passing away of the first black South African president last Thursday night, there have been torrents of reactions eulogizing the antiapartheid crusader. Mandela’s death at age 95 provoked so much global reactions to the extent that Nigeria declared three days of national mourning in honour of the late global Icon. I wonder if there is any other thing that can be said to extol the late Mandela that have not been said by the Barack Obamas, Stephen Harpers and Ban ki-Moons of this world. In all these, I just wish that our leaders will learn that life isn’t really about how much wealth you leave behind, it’s more about the legacies you bequeathe to humanity. I think the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, got it wrong when while expressing his grief on twitter wrote: “A great light has gone out in the world”. No, the light has not gone out for it still burns in the life of every aficionado of Mandela. Let our youths and all those aspiring for leadership positions in this country chronicle the life of Madiba and make it their handbook. That way, they’ll show the Mandela light as burning in them. Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi sent this through ug.ugovester@ gmail.com. Letters to the Editor t was the late premier of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, who was quoted to have said that “By understanding our differences, we can build unity in our country.” Many past leaders, including Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo, during their lifetimes, had encouraged dialogue in the drive to forge a united country. It is therefore, a welcome development that President Goodluck Jonathan has set up the machinery for the convocation of a national Reading on duty. S conference. It is expected that the forum may come out with strategies that will foster the peaceful coexistence of the nation’s diverse ethnic nationalities and sub nationalities. There are strong insinuations that President Goodluck Jonathan may have a hidden political agenda for proposing the conference at this period, because similar summits were held in the past whose outcomes and resolutions were not implemented. The reality is that the conference is timely, if it could address some of the challenges we currently face as a nation. The President has assured the nation that the outcome of the national conference will be sent to the legislative arm of the government for endorsement, which is a further indication that the national conference may be a success story after all. There is disenchantment in the land considering the level of insecurity: Niger Delta militants and insurgents continue to destroy government property, kidnappers PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO. Tasks for LAUTECH VC ince his appointment as the Acting Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Professor (Prince) Adeniyi Suleiman Gbadegesin has proved that the confidence reposed in him by Oyo State government is not misplaced. From feelers from the institution, Gbadegesin has succeeded in clearing the Augean stable of the institution and is gradually restoring it back on the path of fiscal discipline and sanity, which many years of inept leadership have denied it. He has equally facilitated uninterrupted academic calendar through zero tolerance for workers’ strike, student unrest, all these achieved through pragmatic administrative policies. Among other things, Gbadegesin has made efforts to make moral discipline the watch word on the campus by introducing dress code for the students. It is equally hearth warming that the crisis over the ownership of the institution was nipped in the bud during Professor Gbadegesin tenure. All the above pointed to the fact that the renowned academic is out to restore the lost glory of LAUTECH. In pursuit of this object, however, the VC is advised to direct his searchlight to the academic activities in some faculties as regards poor performances of some students, which were actually caused by negligence and wickedness on the part of some staff of the institution. Of particular interest is the Department of Earth Sciences. Some of the allegations, which some students of this department leveled against its authority, and which the Vice Chancellor should investigate include, delay in releasing the examination results of students, missing of students answer scripts, extortions through payment for field works, which the students may never undertake, unilateral withdrawal of students by the department, and sexual harassment. Some student also alleged that the dearth of professors in this department has turned the only PHD holder and a long time HOD into a tin god, whose words are laws that cannot be challenged by the Senate of the university. The students alleged that through his authority, many students have been expelled verbally based on poor academic performances that are orchestrated with the connivance of some ungodly academic staff of the department. As a matter of fact, all the allegations may not be true; this is because many students are not trust worthy, are unserious, undisciplined and lazy. At times they look for excuses to justify their failures. Nevertheless, the allegations are worth investigating because there are many students in the department who have spent up to 10 years and whose fates hang in the balance unless the VC gives the matter the urgent attention it requires. The news emanating from the department is not helping the image of LAUTECH. The earlier the department is sanitized the better. Adewuyi Adegbite, Apake, Ogbomoso, Oyo State Send your letters or or mails mailsto toPMB PMB10001, 10001,Ikoyi, Ikoyi,ororour ourEmail: Email:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or 08056180209, 07033375481 and firstname.lastname@example.org 08054103275, 07033375481 (SMS (SMS only).Editor The Editor reserves thetoright edit and letters reject letters or photographs. Psuedonyms may be but used, butbe must be clearly marked as such. only). The reserves the right edit to and reject or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, must clearly marked as such. are having a field day abducting innocent citizens and foreigners for ransom without let or hinderance; and armed robbery is also rampant in the southern part of the country, while Boko Haram insurgency in the North has led to the massacre of many Nigerians. All these are indications that things are not well with this nation. If the problems that give rise to these crises are not contained through dialogue, conflict of high magnitude may erupt, especially in 2015 when the nation will be witnessing another political transition. Misrule, corruption and poverty, and unwholesome conducts of some highly placed individuals are the core problems threatening the peace and unity of this country. There is a Hausa proverb that says “Baa mugun Sarki Saimugun bafada” meaning; there is no bad leader but bad ministers or advisers.” We are all living witnesses to unfortunate the malfeasance perpetuated by some cabinet ministers, which detract from the essence of governance; and the intraparty crisis in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is another anomaly that is caused by selfishness among the leadership. The national conference being contemplated is to rescue the nation from the abyss. All good men and women of conscience should support the gesture. Yusuf Issa An-Nuphawi, Kofa Dukawuya, Kano State Benin-Akure highway horrors! R egular travelers on the Benin-Akure Highway have nothing but horrifying tales to tell of their experiences on this all important road. Particularly for private car owners, their experiences in the hands of the unruly hoodlums called revenue collectors who claim they work for the Edo State government are better imagined. On sighting on coming vehicles, they will quickly throw their spiked wooden bars across the road even as they use themselves as human shield to force the vehicles to stop. Before you ask what the problem is they ask for gaseous emission permit, radio licence, environmental and other unimaginable licences. The Odighi, Agbanikaka, Owan areas are the worst. I appeal to Governor Adams Oshiomhole to rein in these boys; they are giving bad name to his government. Please, they should be stopped. It is only in Edo State that private car owners are harassed this way. Bintu James, Idoani, Ondo State, Your FRIDAY A fervent negotiation is currently going on amongst stakeholders in the entertainment sector of the country to bring about a truce in the ongoing imbroglio involving the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, the Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, IBAN and the Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON. This is coming on the heels of the resolution by the two organisations to suspend the broadcast of songs and videos of artistes who have assigned the rights of their works to the Copyright Society of Nigeria led by Tony Okoroji. Friday Flavour gathered that as at yesterday (Thursday) several meetings had been held, where some proprietors of some broadcasting houses were being cautioned on the far-reaching implications of their decision to shut out the music of some of Nigeria’s biggest acts from their airwaves. The source also said that presentations may be made to some members of the National Assembly today in this respect, considering that Article 22.214.171.124 of the Broadcast code issued by National Broadcasting Commission says ‘For the purpose of free-to-air broadcast, Nigerian music shall constitute 80 per cent of all music broadcast’. A source said: “In the coming days, the matter will be resolved, because everyone is worried about the development. It will have very negative effect on the musicians, the broadcast houses, the collecting management organisation. The consultations are going on because this is a serious economic issue. This cannot come on now that the government is concerned about the creative sector, which is being seen as an alternative foreign exchange earner if well-harnessed”. It will be recalled that the Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, had in a statement signed by Sunny Adun and Guy Murray Bruce, chairman and secretary respectively listed the artistes whose songs will remain shut out of the airwaves as: 2Face ldibia, D’ Banj, Inyanya, Olamide, Dr Sid, Sammie Okposo, Banky W, Wiz Kid, Olu Maintain, 9ice, Sunny Nneji, Flavour, Chidinma, Rugged Man, Keffee, Midnite Crew, el Dee De Don, M I, Azeezat, Danfo Drivers, Rhymzo, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Kofi, Jedee, Muma Gee, AY. Com, ID Cabassa, Klever J, Zidon Poperella, Eva, Terry G, Nomoreloss, Mike Okri, Weird MC, Mode 9, Timaya, Sound Sultan, Waje, Mo’Cheddah and Jay Martins. Meanwhile the chairman of COSON, Tony Okoroji has consistently reiterated that the aim of COSON as the sole collecting society approved by government for the administration of musical rights in Nigeria was to make the living conditions of the artistes better. According to him, “I have never heard of anywhere before where broadcasters of music will instead of paying for the works they use now resort to this kind of cheap blackmail that will lead to nowhere. Why are Nollywood and the Nigerian music sector very poor when it produces more movies and music than some other industries across the world? Why are we very poor when people all over the world are queuing to watch our films and listen to our music; so why are we poor? Why are we poor to the extent that when a player in the sectors takes 2face Dbanj Iyanya Wizkid ill, friends and colleagues would be rallying round to raise money for his medical bills? When one of us dies, we also must look for money to bury him.” Mr. Chris Nkwocha, Zonal Manager, Lagos Operational Office of the Nigeri- ’Denrele’s Day P. 34 NGOZI EMEDOLIBE Arty News BON vs COSON: Stakeholders move to settle rift an Copyright Commission in his reaction to the issue said that IBAN should sit down and negotiate with COSON. “The position of the NCC is clear. If COSON that is registered by the NCC to carry out CMO WEEKEND STARTERS National Troupe stages One Legend, Many Seasons Mourning Mandela in Lagos, Asaba performance which holds at the Cinema Hall 2, National Theatre, Lagos, at 4.30 p. m. is the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke and Chairman Governing Board of the National Theatre/National Troupe of Nigeria, Markus Ishaya, who will chair the command performance. One Legend, Many Seasons is one of the many classics by Professor Osofisan. It is a stage creation based on Charles F Duke Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Artmosphere builds Wordcastles in Ibadan T omorrow from 3p.m. the December edition of Artmosphere, one of Nigeria’s literary and art events, will play host to award winning writer, Amu Nnadi, at the NuStreams Conference Centre, Alalubosa GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State. Tagged: ‘Wordcastles’, Amu Nnadi will read from his new poetry collection, through the window of a sandcastle. Organised by WriteHouse, whose mission is to help nurture and deepen growth in Nigeria’s creative industry by facilitating new and innovative media platforms for the development and promotion of literature, arts and culture, the event will also feature a panel discussion, music as well as the announcement of the winner of the 2013 PEN Nigeria/Saraba Poetry Prize. reedom Park, Lagos and the Mandela Garden of 95 Trees, Asaba, Delta State will play host to events in honour of the late South African former president and citizen of the world tomorrow and on Sunday. The Lagos event to feature tributes, music and poetry in honour of the late Madiba will be hosted by Professor Wole Soyinka and begin at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Comedian, Ali Baba will be compere. The Asaba event organised by the non-governmental organisation Fight Against Desert Encroachment, FADE will take the shape of a candle light vigil in honour of the late statesman. It will begin on Sunday at 7p.m. and those who attend will have the opportunity to celebrate Madiba with eulogies. There will also music, comedy and refreshments, the organisers said. Inside FCT. A s part of the annual series of stage plays by the National Troupe of Nigeria, NTN, foremost playwright, Professor Femi Osofisan’s One Legend, Many Seasons will be staged on Sunday. Directed by the Director of Drama, NTN, Josephine Igberaese, Sunday’s show is a command performance but the play will open to the public every other weekend in December. Expected at the Command P. 31 16 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZ TO START YOUR WEEKEND Critics P. 22-23 Friday, December 13, 2013 Flavour P. 24.25 VOL. 3 No. 768 19 Mandela 20 Artman In The House Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net My wife gave me the confidence to Chijioke Amu Nnadi is an award winning poet and former journalist shortlisted in this year’s edition of the Nigeria Literature Prize endowed by Nigeria LNG Limited. In this interview with TERH AGBEDEH, after the three finalists were announced for the Nigeria Prize in August, the poet tells his interesting story in writing. Why do you think you should win the 2013 literature prize? I never told you I thought I would win. You put your book in it. If the financial reward was all it took, I would not enter it. I tell people that I have always felt that I was always on the outside looking in because of my background. I didn’t study literature. So, my experiences, my exposure, my encounters were always like an outsider. I started reading literature generally speaking, not novels because there must be a distinction between the novels we read in the 70s and the 80s and proper literature. I began to read proper literature like the classics as a first year student in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN because my very good friend who was my classmate then challenged me both with his poetry and unhappiness that I had no time to read them. Of all our friends I was always the one who refused to read them. And then I would tell him offhandedly that I don’t have time for this, I don’t have time for poetry. It also says something about the way we bring up our children. My father wanted – I think he loved me too much – he wanted me to be a bit of him. He was a scientist and wanted me to be one but I wrote better words than I put figures together. It took him a while and two failures at JAMB, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board for him to realise that. Then one day he says to me, ‘why don’t you find something else to do instead of wanting to be an architect?’ So I entered Nsukka to study mass communication basically because that was the only course that didn’t require you to pass mathematics, and also because my first passion was to be a lawyer. Now, you needed to pass mathematics to be a lawyer so I went for the next profession that I felt I could fit in and that was mass communication. So, it began for me, this beautiful journey, one because those failures ensured that I didn’t go into school when I should have gone into school. And then I entered school when God ordained for me to go into school because he had seen my future from my present at that time. I felt that I needed to meet somebody like my friend Paul Obi. Is that the poet of your university days? Yes. So that He would reveal to me what He had in store for me. And when I began to read these books I felt like I was an outsider, on the outside looking in. It has been with me all these years. So for me, the LNG prize is both an acceptance and affirmation. I can tell myself that I can write good enough poetry to be considered. That, for me, is a major victory. I tell people this, if I wanted personal promotion, people ask me, ‘why don’t you use your photograph?’ I don’t because there is no linkage between me with my face and the poems because there is something eternal about art, it is immortal. My face itches, I didn’t look this old when I started writing so, if I put my image to the first poems I wrote, if I put my image to the first book that came out in 2002, the fire within and I put another image to through the window of a sandcastle they would be both a commentary to an aging process and a maturing and that is the definition of man. It does not add to the fact that that which is produced, because what gives you the need, the opportunity and the privilege to do that outlives you. You mentioned your dad. He is one of the people you dedicated through the window of a sandcastle to. Yes. Apart from dedicating this book to these two people... My father and my dear dear oga’s wife, Alaere Alaibe, Timi Alaibe’s wife. Are you going to do something for them, perhaps start a poetry festival or foundation? The truth is I am a civil servant and such opportunities are limited for us who work with government to do a lot of things. I feel very comfortable with doing what I do for government, working as a civil servant. Writing poetry is something I do outside of work and I feel very satisfied with the way it is right now. Taking on more responsibilities might actually begin to encroach on my initial responsibilities to my work. I don’t think I can afford that. Maybe when I retire, one can begin to look at other options. You mentioned acceptance earlier, how have people perceived your poems and have attended poetry festivals outside the country or mixed with other poets; how do you think they view your work? I have met a few people outside Nigeria who are writers and they tell me that my poems are good and I take their word for it. When they tell me the poems are not good enough, I try to find out what one can do better basically because when you feel like an outsider looking in, you pay a lot of attention to what you think those who are within I HAVE MET A FEW PEOPLE OUTSIDE NIGERIA WHO ARE WRITERS AND THEY TELL ME THAT I TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT. MY POEMS ARE GOOD AND are telling you. And it reflects a lot in the way I approach the craft. People talk about being more attentive to details, about being more precise and I try as much as possible to do these things. Yes, I have encountered quite a number of people, I belong to a few list serves like Ederi where we has a lot of very inspiring Nigerians like: Afam Ake, Obiwu, and I share a lot with them, listen a lot to them, I learn from them just like I learn from a lot of other mentors that I encounter everyday like Odia Ofeimun or Maxim Uzuota, who is both a contemporary and mentor. I try to learn all the time and it reflects in the way I approach these works because, for me, it is a living thing therefore there is always a reason to add or to subtract. Has any of these people said anything about sticking with writing in small letters? People ask me why and I tell them that it is a funny, quirky philosophy of mine, what we write is bigger than what we are and therefore you approach it with a certain humility. So if I approach everything with that sense of self-effacement and lack of importance it is because I believe that God who gives us the words that we use, that we string together to become poetry is far bigger than we can ever imagine. So we come to this thing that he gives us with a sense of littleness so when it comes to that you discover that you do not have the authority to control it, to emphasise National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Artman In The House Friday, December 13, 2013 publish –Amu Nnadi FACT FILE • Amu Nnadi holds a degree in mass communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN. • He has three poetry collections to his name, his first, out in 2002, is titled: the fire within and won the inaugural ANA/ NDDC Gabriel Okara Prize for Poetry in 2002. The second, pilgrims passage, which was published in 2004 was shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature endowed by Nigeria LNG Limited in 2005, while the third, through the window of a sandcastle, made the final shortlist of three in this year’s edition of the prize. • A public relations practitioner, Amu Nnadi is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA and the African Literature Association, ALA. • He lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria with his family and currently works at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. what authority do we have, what right do we have to claim it as ours? You told the interesting story of how you met your wife. This first poem you wrote, was that poem the one you showed her? No, that was a long time ago, I met her way after that. or deemphasise because when you put for instance a capital ‘C’ to charity you are already bringing your own interpretation to that word. You believe that because a certain man somewhere who helped to define the way we approach the English word says that every first letter to a noun for instance, should be a capital and therefore, that is what it is. I say it doesn’t have to be. So I let every word come stripped of all pretention, any affectation. For someone who didn’t study literature, how did you come about this powerful way of expressing yourself with poetry? I think it is just God really being very merciful with me, and I say this very consciously and advisedly. The first poem I wrote, I woke up in the night and wrote something down, I saw it in the morning and I was like, ‘oh my goodness, I have written a poem, I’m a poet’. It was very overwhelming but over the years I began to wonder that if we write thoughts when we are semi conscious, You said then how you went to look for those sheets of paper some of them eaten by cockroaches... Because I used to be very irreverent towards these works, I didn’t put too much mind nor think I could even publish. One because I was never self-confident so I would write and keep them in drawers and would rather share them with my friends than with anybody but when I met her, by the time I met her I had begun to come out of that shell, I had begun to publish a few. Poetry from the Fringe had published one of the poems, The Guardian had published a few. So when I met her, I had come out from there but to put them all in a book was also a hurdle quite daunting to overcome. But, yeah, when I met her, I was in a place of confusion and grace having lost my job then. I had walked away from the Daily Times, which was my life. By 1992 I was already a deputy editor in that group working with Times Weekly. I spent some years between 1992 and 1994 to 1995 in a state of self-crucifixion. I remember in those days, it was a very low state I tell you because when you lose what you think was your life...I walked away from the Daily Times, I resigned on September 14, 1992, and for me, walking away was like leaving my soul somewhere. It took me meeting my wife to begin to find it. I met her because she was reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I used to visit the British Council just to read those profound books. And I remember reading a commen- 21 again in 2004 and entered it for the LNG Prize. I think it was in 2005, pilgrims passage which was also shortlisted. And these things add to your self-confidence, your belief that doing something, even if you were from the outside looking in, you are doing something that those who were inside felt belonged on the inside. The ANA Prize was endowed by the NDDC is that how you got in there the or it is a different story? st No, I was working in Abuja, in the State House and my editor m in the Daily Times then, T Onyema OgoOn chukwu, who chu was made the chairman of chai NDDC asked me NDD come and work to com with him. I was there before that and my good friend Nduka Otiono was general secretary the gene of ANA at the time asked if NDDC and he as could fund some prizes. We spoke about it and presented the docuhe presente ment and by the grace of tary where Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Anna Karenina were so highly regarded, Anna Karenina was particularly described as the greatest work of literature and I wanted to read it and here was this young girl just out of law school, who was reading it. I felt both little and inspired and asked if I could read it and she let me. To impress her I told her that I write as well and the rest, as they say, is history. I showed her a few of my poems then she saw a lot of them, the edges already eaten by cockroaches. She had been warned to stay away from, that I had nothing to offer her and I had nothing to offer anybody then. When she read those works, and God bless her for me, she said to me, ‘you are not who they described to me. These people don’t know you’. I rather not go there but the important thing is that I showed her a few poems and the way she reacted emboldened me to begin to bring them out from the places where they were lying, to begin to put them together. She gave me the self-confidence to even begin to want to expose them to people in a bound collection. The first collection came out in 2002 finally, the fire within and I entered it for the ANA Gabriel Okara Prize for Literature and by the grace of God it won. I had also done a few other works and it was possible for me to come out God, NDDC agreed to fund four prizes, which were named after institutions in the Niger Delta like Gabriel Okara for poetry, JP Clark for drama, Flora Nwapa for women writing and Ken Saro-Wiwa for the novel. Does your wife still read the classics? She reads all the time, she reads more than I do. Because you have read Tolstoy and his contemporaries, one suspects that the influence for your work comes from there. Have they influenced your work? Yes, there are a lot of influences from diverse places, JP Clark has been an abiding mentor even though he doesn’t know it. Dennis Brutus, a lot of people, Nigerians who have written beautiful poetry like Odia Ofeimun, that I love to read. William Faulkner was a major influence at a point because I was reading The Sound and the Fury and it took me most of my university days to read it, where Benjamin, a 33-year-old man with the mental development of a threeyear-old told his own story. A man who whom time was associated experiences. I was so inspired that in the years between 1992 and 1995, I started working on a novel called, ‘Fragments’. It is a story told from a room in a mental hospital that began to truly challenge my mind and the way I looked at life. JP CLARK HAS BEEN AN ABIDING MENTOR EVEN THOUGH HE DOESN’T KNOW IT. DENNIS BRUTUS, A LOT OF PEOPLE, NIGERIANS WHO HAVE WRITTEN BEAUTIFUL POETRY LIKE ODIA OFEIMUN, THAT I LOVE TO READ. 22 Critics Friday, December 13, 2013 Aviation, safety and the travails of an Amazon (2) Book Few issues tend to draw the attention of the media, the general public and indeed the relevant apparatuses of government like the aviation sector. In this multi-trillion dollar industry, the stakes are very high – for the operators, the regulators and the public clientele. OLUWASEYI STEVENS Y es, we see a picture of a woman who did not seem to get along with so many people in an environment where corruption and strife prevail. But could that be as a result of Odutola’s ‘inability to use diplomacy or her blunt refusal to apply the 11th Commandment of Thou Shall Not Get Caught? Or in plain language, is it her refusal to join them in a game of malfeasance that she could not have beaten them? Could it therefore be that as a brilliant woman with FirstClass degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Glasgow University in Scotland, she was feared and derided by those that were intellectually less-endowed? Was her fearless and stoic disposition that seemed to infuriate so many around her as a result of the combination of her heritage as a Lagos-born with royal blood and a link to the house of Gbonka, the renowned Ife warrior? Could it even be because not only did she enjoy the privilege of having educated parents but also had a banker as a father who had previously had a go at boxing, and therefore made it unlikely that a brilliant daughter raised in that type of environment would be the shy, easily cowed victim of aggression? One good example that is narrated in the book on Page-726 is an encounter with a thief on Lagos traffic. “Suddenly, someone emerged from nowhere and I felt a hand on my neck. With a lightning-speed reflex I instinctively grabbed the person’s arm just above the wrist and dug my teeth into it. He cursed and I cursed back. Thank goodness he wasn’t armed and I got away unharmed – except for the curious uncontrollable shaking of my left leg”. That is the type of Odutola that the reader would encounter in the e book. Not the type that you slap on the e right cheek and would turn the left cheek k to you for an encore, even if you are the e Chief of Army Staff who stormed her offfice one day with a battalion of soldierss to demand how dare she adjudged a plane e he was to fly that day risky. Odutola draws from various influuences, particularly literary giants – from m Shakespeare to Bertrand Russell, to drive e home her point. Yet, humour and raw witt are in abundance in this book, but the e most caustic part of the author’s pennlashes’, is reserved for her adversary collleagues and operators. There is an officerr described as ‘a renegade who’d just been n happily reformed’ and we also encounterr the ubiquitous ‘CNN’ – an NCAA officer with whom your secrets are guaranteed of widest reach among friends and foes. But nowhere is the author’s sense of history and the urgency to truly reform the sector is more felt that in chapter 11 ‘How Safe Are We Then?’ where she gives a critical appraisal of the leading private airline operators up till 2001 from her experiences as the chief regulator for air worthiness. None, apparently, is spared the author’s pen-lashes in the game of death they were accused of playing. From ADC, the first commercial operator to have become a public quoted company, to Easy Link and Chrome Air whose proprietor the DG of NCAA was said to be in mortal fear of offending. There is the story of Fassey Aviation whose ‘smoothtalking’, flamboyant female CEO had a great propensity for getting anyone she could into real big trouble; and the King Airlines whose President/CEO was a federal legislator fond of reminding NCAA that “you will come to us” – a subtle but threatening reminder that the regula- tor’s budget’s would need to pass through the National Assembly for approval. There were Triax and Kabo Air of course with varying degree of drama and subterfuge in compliance issues. However, it is in the author’s focus on the operations of Nigeria Airways that the reader appreciates the point that God has been very merciful to Nigerians in no small measure over the years. And this is all the more germane at a point when the Nigerian Eagle is almost ready to be floated as a national carrier 10 years after NAL’s ignoble exit. Hear the author: “Contrary to expectation, one airline that made itself nearly impossible to regulate was the Nigeria Airways Limited.” The reasons are not far-fetched, as its economic condition bit harder, NAL began to be miserly with its allocation of funds for engineering and maintenance... and there was an obvious demonstration of its desperation to be in the air at all costs.” It becomes understandable why Odutola’s detractors increased from National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net www.nationalmirroro colleagues and bosses colleagu NCAA to NAL staff at NCA and the then to Ministry of Aviation Aviatio top shots when it bec became imminent that the chief regulator might ground NAL’s only rremaining flyable aircraft. aircra It had become painfully evident that painfu Nigeria Niger could not run a n national carrier safely safel and profitably. Sadly, Sadly politics prevailed over safety vaile and it became expedient dien to sacrifice the job of the regulator for that of the MD of NAL and the image ag of the country. The reader would be amused w by the author’s detailed account d of o the airlifting of o hajj pilgrims on o a yearly basis. The politics of selecting operators erato and the sheer drama of coping is stuf stuff for a separate treatise from what the author has described. Against the background of the 1974 accident to the fatal crash in Jeddah in 1991, hajj operations had taken a scary if not deadly tone. The author recalls cases of a dagger-waving passenger who had no way of venting his anger than to bring out the deadly weapon. How the dagger made it on board was a different story altogether. There was yet the story of a passenger who practically turned a plane upside down midair when the captain announced that Kano, rather than Sokoto, would be the final point of disembarkation. Perhaps, to douse the reader’s tension, the author reproduces a hilarious email that was widely circulated within the aviation sector as a good but somewhat exaggerated idea of NAL’s unenviable situation at the time. Titled ‘Nigeria Airways Flight Announcement’, it reads in part: “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This is your captain Boneyface Kasali Yaro welcoming you onboard Nigeria Airways. We apologise for the four-day Event One more literary night to fix Nigeria’s character It was a resounding applause that greeted Professor Grace A. Alele Williams’ speech at the 11th Macmillan Literary Night at the Muson Centre in Lagos on the evening of November 14 where she was guest of honour. The no-nonsense Professor said what was relevant to the theme of, ‘Fix it: The Nigerian Character’ chosen for the 2013 edition. TERH AGBEDEH S o many things have been covered and it makes many of us ashamed, what have we really and truly tried to do? So many large examples, so many little examples, which touch us closely, intimately and daily. That was how Professor Grace Alele Williams started her speech. She was referring to the 18 songs, pieces of poetry, dance and dance drama that thrilled the audience that filled the Agip Recital Hall of the Muson Centre to bursting that evening. ‘We have to fix Nigeria,’ Professor Alele Williams declared. It was the rea- son everyone had come to the gathering and if anyone needed evidence that it was time to fix Nigeria the crowd at the event was a good indication. And when Jumoke Oke and her group opened the show with the song ‘Iba’(Homage) it was magic all the way to the last performance for the night titled: ‘Imagine’, a dance drama from Segun Adefila and the Crown Troupe of Africa. It was the magic that the amiable professor attempted to capture and keep when she went further to appeal to the organisers to make available the video recordings of the event so one could go back to it. It will also be a source of enlightenment and entertainment to those who could not partake in the live perfor- mance. Those who did not witness the life veterans like: Tina Mba, Joke Silva, Nobert Young and Irhia Enakhimio breathed into the poems and prose pieces they performed. For it was not a reading but a performance to lift the heart to heights of triumph in a way that only things on the verge of fixing can be lifted. Then there was the big masquerade for the performance for the night, veteran actress Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, whom the anchor for the evening, Mr Ben Tomoloju described as ‘beautiful everything’ reading ‘Living Life Fearlessly’ take from her weekly column in a Nigerian daily. Many who heard her read so succinctly will definitely try something new every now National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Critics Friday, December 13, 2013 delay in taking off, it was due to bad weather and some overtime I had to put in at the bakery. This is flight 126 to Lagos. Landing in Lagos is not guaranteed, but we will end somewhere in the south. If luck is in your favour, we may even be landing in your village. Nigeria Airways has an excellent safety record. In fact, our safety standards are so high that even terrorists are afraid to fly with us. If our engines are too noisy for you, on passenger request, we can arrange to turn them off ! To make your free-fall to earth memorable, we serve complimentary ‘bongo tea’ and ‘okin’ biscuit. For our not so religious passengers, we are the only airline who can help you find out if there is really a God. We regret to inform you that today’s in-flight movie will not be shown as we forgot to record it from the television... There is no smoking allowed on this airplane. Any smoke you see in the cabin is only the early warning of the engines telling us to slow down. Kindly be seated, keep your seat in the upright position for take-off and fasten your seat belt. For those of you who can’t find a seat belt, kindly fasten your own belt to the arm of your seat... and for those who can’t find a seat, do not hesitate to get in touch with a stewardess who will explain how to fasten yourself to your suitcase. And if we pass your street, please tell the stewardess or shout ‘owa o, pilot’, so we can throw you off safely. Enjoy Nigeria Airways, the best in the world. We hope you will fly with us again”. As tempestuously hilarious as this may be, the intention of the author is apparent, that true progress for a national carrier or any local operator at all, should not be a throwback to such ignoble days of the Nigerian Airways that have been recounted in this book. With very minimal typographical errors as to be discountenanced, “The Big Conspiracy” is well written and very well edited; thoroughly enjoyable as one person’s experience that deserves to be shared. And the author reveals yet another aspect of her personae, that beyond being an upright, even if sometimes a heady ideologue, she’s also a nationalist and a pragmatist who puts the issue of corruption in proper context against realistic wages especially in public service. From her submissions, she desires that her country should get it right rather than get labelled as a Republic of ‘Briberia’ where bribery and corruption are the order of the day. In completing this book, therefore, particularly after she had been vindicated by getting a recall into public service at a higher grade and later on secondment abroad, Mrs Odutola has fulfilled a personal literary obligation and has raised the needed alarm in a delicate sector that needs to get it right and restore confidence. And by so doing, she has assumed the role of an informal Rector General of the aviation industry and has ultimately given herself a befitting 60th birthday gift in a country where courageous voices like hers are in acute shortage. ...concluded. Lagos-based Oluwaseyi Stevens is an award winning journalist, music scholar and arts practitioner. and again as she employed. And when all was said and done the question was, ‘How can we fix Nigeria?’ and ‘Is it only Nigeria we have to fix?’ again asked by Professor Alele Williams speaking the mind of everyone present. According to the professor she had talked to a sister of hers- -sister in the Nigerian sense of the word-some nights ago. “She had been to Ghana, she had to go to Angola regularly, and she had-we all did some time ago-a little bit of experience in South Africa, and didn’t have any better thing to say of these countries. If you don’t believe me, go to Aljazeera every now and then when they talk of Southern Sudan. Is it innate in us? Are we repeating Sodom and Gomorrah? No, we shouldn’t because Jesus came after Sodom and Gomorrah. What can we do in our little way to improve Nigeria?” she stated. Movie 23 WITH OVER 40 NOLLYWOOD SCRIPTS TO HIS CREDIT, MARKETERS NOW ‘DREAM UP STORIES’ AND ASK HIM TO DEVELOP THE PLOT AND DIALOGUE. A scene in the movie Probing Bachelor’s Heart An uncommon story about an unusual man; the director however fails to explain the mystery belying the oddity. NGOZI EMEDOLIBE E very good story starts with a conflict, which is gradually resolved with suspense-filled plots. This is what has made Tchidi Chikere (one of the writer-directors in Nollywood) a dependable name, considering his works like Blood Sisters, Onye Eze, John Bull and Rosekate, My Idol and Street President amongst many others. This movie, Bachelor’s Heart, which stars Kenneth Okonkwo as Frank, started almost in the same light, as he presents him as a man obsessed with ‘local girls’ in spite of the entrapments of splendour suffusing around him. Frank is so cautious of any girl that has a bit of elegance around her that his best friend, Mark (played by Abraham Nwado) and his father are worried sick about him. The movie opens with Frank running into a hawker, Kadeisha (Ejine Okorafor) and gets carried away by her ‘local looks’. He Like in the drama sketch by Crown Troupe of Africa titled: ‘Fix it’ the professor said there have been some changes in this state of ours, while not applauding all the changes she added that nobody else will fix Nigeria for us. There is no doubt that it is this very reason that spurs Macmillan Publishers Limited to put up this very show every year since, like the professor said, nobody else will fix our morals for us. “Nobody else will fix our families for us. Nobody else will take up the trouble of telling our young girls in our government offices, especially government offices not to spend government time, not to waste taxpayers’ money doing things in the office that they should have done at home. Nobody else will tell our teachers not to turn our schools into minimarkets, ready markets. And we all have cause to say, how can is determined to make her happy, and even goes the extra mile by lavishing gifts on her. Naturally, Kadeisha’s family, could not let go of this new meal ticket and they begin to scheme to make it permanent, detailing the girl to lie about certain aspects of her life, including claiming that she is a virgin when she is not. But her light finger is a burden. It sets in and ruins a relationship that seemed headed to the altar. While Frank’s friend and family think it is a relief, good riddance to bad rubbish, he would jump over to yet another ‘local girl’, making everyone sad. Bachelor’s Heart, to a great extent relied on the screen friendliness of Kenneth Okonkwo, who is one of the tested and trusted thespians in the Nigerian movie industry. Of course, he delivered his lines as his numerous fans would expect, but commendation needs to go to the many upcoming acts that paired with him in bringing this movie to reality. In this regards, we choose people as leaders of our country when some of those people do not even understand what they say, what they sign. I didn’t say it first it was in the papers, I read it in the papers. If anybody can come out and say, what was signed with ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) how many years ago was not completely understood by us. Are we not all guilty of that? How did such a person get to such high position?” Alele Williams declared. But our problem here is ‘fix it’, she said, that is what we came to do and we have had wonderful examples given us as to how we can fix some of our problems as quickly as possible. And because the performances were perfectly executed, outlining the problems that need to be fixed and pofering solution, no one will who attended will remain the same. “The beauty of it all is that it doesn’t need the likes of Ejine Okoroafor (Kadeisha) and Chinelo Oloh (Mmesoma) deserve a thumbs up. The idea of pairing these new faces with Kenneth Okonkwo is healthy in the sense that it has the potentials of breeding the stars of the future. Anyone who has followed Tchidi’s scriptwriting history will realise what Bachelor’s Heart is all about. With over 40 Nollywood scripts to his credit, marketers now ‘dream up stories’ and ask him to develop the plot and dialogue. In an industry driven by commerce rather than art, Tchidi would often do that to his disadvantage. Bachelor’s Heart is one of such examples. Perhaps, that is why some gaps are noticeable in the entire story. Beginning with the name of the supporting lead, Kadeisha; one would hardly find a ‘real local Igbo girl’ going by that kind of name. Since the story was about a ‘local girl’, the writer should have given her a ‘truly local name’. But this may have been overlooked considering that nobody had an oversight on the work- the director is also the writer, and happens to be a trusted figure whose name means ‘perfect’ to the executive producers at Upper Iweka end of Nollywood. Such could be avoided indeed. However the aforementioned lapse is not as disheartening as the lack of interest in explaining why Frank is obsessed with local women. Having a character hate something that is good is not an easy trait and the idea of building a character in this vein could have explored the hindsight of unraveling the mystery behind this. Like every movie that has the Tchidi touch, Bachelor’s Heart is entertaining, with so many rib-cracking dialogues; but the morals of the entire project seems hidden in the bank balance of the executive producer. government to fix it, it needs each and every one of us to try our own little bit to fix it. That is what touches one mostly, how deep we all are in Christianity, in religion and yet, how do we put our religious beliefs and join them as it were in our moral values with our worth to ourselves, to our communities and still do something?” Alele Williams concluded. It was a wonderful evening no doubt everyone participant would go home thinking and doing their own bit in their little corner to fix Nigeria. Some of the works that were performed were drawn from diverse writers that shed light on the theme of ‘Fix it’. Jumoke Oke’s songs, poetry from Halima Waziri, Segun Obe, Ogochukwu Promise, Wilson Etim, Sunmi Oyelana and Unoma Azuah. Prose came from: Jahman Anikulapo and Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, while drama was from Crown Troupe of Africa and Promisca Anoni. 24 Inside FCT Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Yuletide: Parents on shopping ADEOLA TUKURU ABUJA A s the yuletide season draws nearer, there have been booming sales for traders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as parents have indicated their interest to purchase goods for their children, family and friends. Parents were seen trooping in and out of various markets, making good bargains and carting away their purchases. Christmas shopping within the FCT is already upbeat with most shopping centres recording brisk sales in the pre-Christmas period. Christmas cloths, toys, shoes, bags, home entertainment appliances, books, perfumes and were in strong demand. ‘Inside FCT’ observed that major places like Ceedee Plaza, Wuse markets, Utako market, Garki market ,Kubwa market, the collector’s items were mainly Christmas decors such as Christmas trees and other accessories. An overwhelming majority of parents expressed their readiness to give their wards a treat this Christmas with many planning on spending up to N10, 000 per child or more. Besides, they said they were willing to present gifts for their loved ones, including family, partners, children and friends. One of the parents, Mrs. Grace Fadayisi said she always looks forward to Christmas because it is period of the year where family members get together to express love and affection for one another. Another parent , M.r James Ogochukwu said spending at Christmas is expected giving the significance a lot of people attach to the occasion. According to him, “Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Like other secular activities, it is one ceremony that attracts a lot of spending. Christians believe that there is no amount of money too small to mark this day because they have this belief that God is the supplier of their needs”. According to Madam Agnes Alabi she usually buys cloths for her six children once in every year, which is the Christmas season. She said she saves close to N100,000 or more to ensure that her children gets the best, as it is only once in a year they celebrate the yuletide. Wares on display On his part, another parent, Mr. George Ufor told ‘Inside FCT’ that he doesn’t bother to buy much things for his family during the season because there are a lot of responsibilities ahead in January like the house rent and school fees for his children. “We just manage what we have in the house and buy small chicken. With the economic situation in the country,I am a civil servant and my wife doesn’t have a job yet, my house rent expires every January and I will also pay my children’s school fees too in January , so I have explained all these to my family and they understands. Food items are also not left behind as it is a must-buy at the yuletide. Expectedly, the prices of some food items such as staple foods like beans, rice, among others have increased in the last few days. Some business people said the expected boom in business was yet to be felt in some segments of the market, as consumers are yet to start buying. This is according to a trader in Wuse market, Miss Jane Ugo. Shoppers at a market in Abuja Group donates education materials to FCT schools JOEL AJAYI ABUJA T he ecstatic event on Thursday December 5, 2013 will for a very long time be fresh in the memories of students and teachers of some secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory. It was the day over 1,000 civic education materials were distributed amongst the schools in the FCT. The gesture is part of donor’s commitment to learning and improving the standard of education, for the growth and development of the country. The group known as ‘Cassava Republic Press’ in collaboration with Open Society Initiative for West Africa OSIWA, donated educational materials worth millions of naira to three junior secondary schools and three senior secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory. The schools that benefited from the NGO’s gesture include: Junior Secondary School, Jabi, Junior Secondary School Garki, Junior Secondary School Bwari, and Government Secondary School kubwa, Government Secondary School Jabi and Government Secondary School, Garki. The civic education books titled: ‘How to Build your Country’ and ‘The Nigeria of my Dream’ are targeted at making sure that all the children or students of the world have access to quality education in order to enrich and equip themselves toward contributing their quota for democratisation and development of the country. Coordinator of Open Society Initiative for West Africa, Jerry Adesewa, explained that the civic education project is organisation’s desire to help the students that really need help. According to him, Nigerians cannot afford to leave everything to government. He said: “We looked around the envi- ronment and felt that the students here really need the materials, so we selected six secondary schools in Abuja, six secondary schools Niger, six secondary schools Benue, six secondary schools in Nassarawa and six secondary schools Lagos. Having observed that civic education is lagging behind in Nigeria and our curriculum is not just rich enough to deliver this to the children that is why we are taking this upon ourselves to carry out civic education project of enlightening the students, the younger Nigerians about their rights and responsibilities in the country called Nigeria especially how to meet the target National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Inside FCT Friday, December 13, 2013 spree in Abuja How original inhabitants become moneybags from illegal land sale MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA I Foundation set for talent hunt in creative arts he James Ene Henshaw Foundation said it has concluded arrangements to commence ‘talent hunt’ in the creative arts as part of its deliberate strategy to boost literary works in the country. The hunt which will be held across the six geo-political zones of the country is expected to enhance the promotion and understanding of African culture through literature and drama. Secretary of the Foundation, Mr. James Henshaw, said in Abuja that the Foundation has a progressive policy of deliberately encouraging and promoting emerging African writers as well as initiate and support projects where young people could engage in creative activities. According to him, there is a continuous dearth of playwrights due to the inability of the younger generation to take over the place of the older generation of writers who have either died or now too old to undertake the rigours of writing. “The idea for the James Ene Henshaw Foundation stems from the playwright’s own concern for literary work that reflects the experiences of African audiences. Of particular concern too, was his desire for plays that could be read and produced by young people in schools and colleges. “To continue this vision, the Foundation will seek to promote James Ene Henshaw’s vision by ensuring that his plays continue to be accessible to a wider and younger range of audiences, through the publication and performances of this plays,” he stressed. According to the Foundatiin scribe, “among the main aims of the Foundation is to contribute to the development of new and emerging African writers through projects and events that will identify, nurture and promote young talent”. The Foundation further noted: “The art of dramatic writing does not operate in a vacuum, it requires a myriad of various other skills to enable the writer’s creative vision become a reality either on stage, the television or the film movie. of being the leaders of tomorrow and particularly we are using a book ‘How to Build your Country’ to enrich and equip them towards contributing their quota for democratisation and development of this country presently and in the future.“ In appreciation of the initiative, Hajia Bilikisu Abdul, the Social Studies teacher of Junior Secondary School, Garki said the gesture would go a long way in helping the society. “I think these books would go a long way in teaching our students how to know their right and do the right thing for the growth and development of Nigeria.” Speaking further, she used the occasion to call on other NGOs to come to their aid in equipping the libraries with different books that would teach and equip the students and aid them to learn more for the benefit of the nation. Another teacher simply identified as Mr. Abimbola Johnson of Junior Secondary School Jabi thanked the NGO for the gesture and appealed for further assistance from government and private organisations, in some other areas affecting teaching and learning in schools. In her speech, the principal of GGSS, Kubwa, Mr. Abudulwahaab Umar, said the educational materials, will contribute immensely to academic activities in the schools, saying that for any profitable teaching process to succeed, civic education is needed for both teachers and the students. He promised that the materials would be used judiciously to improve the learning process in the schools, which would help mould children into future leaders. OMEIZA AJAYI T 25 llegal sale of land by original inhabitants in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, has been a hotbed for getting-rich-quick for over two decades. And, the business is continuously modernised with different strategies to help maximise gains and ensure sustainability. Some of these strategies include planting of crops such as cashews to help lay claim to land and resale of land where houses have been demolished. Besides, a major plus for this business is the routine demolition exercise carried out by the Department of Development Control of the Abuja Metropolitan Council, since it was launched by the former Minister of the FCT, Malam Nasir el Rufai a decade ago. High cost of living, including rents, keeps ejecting non-indigenes from the city’s Municipal. This factor boosts illegal sale of land to desperate citizens who want to live and work in the city. There are chiefs in the vast satellite communities of Abuja who superintend over sale of land. Legally, power to sell land in the FCT is vested in the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, and the Area Councils. Whoever offers land for sale other than these institutions does so in contravention of the law. Given ceaseless minor and major flattening of structures in the FCT, perpetrators of this act may continue to rake in money in the city that accommodates 1,000 new residents, daily. Benjamin Andrew, a resident of the city spoke with ‘Inside FCT’: “Imagine what these villagers do! Sometimes, they approach the Department of Development Control for assistance when they have sold out most part of the land. They may go there and claim some nonindigenes are building on their fathers’ burial ground; they may say others are encroaching on their farm lands. And, the Department which is already looking for a way of pulling down illegal structures will jump at the opportunity. And, within a few days, such houses will fall under the wheels of bulldozers”. Really, in Abuja where there are over 300 satellite communities, the natives freely sell land to whoever is willing to build on them. These buildings are mostly residential and they are not adequately planned. The population is dense and basic amenities are often lacking in them. Consequently, they are more or less ghettos where waste management is poor and risk of diseases is high. As it stands today, the habit goes with impunity as government believes those who pay for what is illegal should be made to bear consequence. For instance, all the villages where houses were demolished along Airport Road last year have come alive with either their former or new occupants. The land was resold by the natives. But, are some non-indigenes truly wise in their decisions? Some have built more than two structures in the city of which none is standing today. They have all been pulled down. Yet, they prefer to build in other parts of the city where the Development Control Department has not beamed its demolition’s radar. “It is better to build a house that will cost you N500, 000 than to pay same as rent for a year,” said Mr Olusola Akintayo in an interview with our reporter. Akintayo noted that, “No matter how long they demolish my house in this land, once I have the opportunity to locate other community, I will still build another. I don’t have the millions of naira to pay as house rent in town. Even, to pay for just boy’s quarters in town, there are places where they demand N500, 000. Where do I get such money? I have a family of five, I must pay school fees, feed them and the likes. Where do I get all that money as a cab operator?” Meanwhile, the reason some villages still exist in Abuja today is government’s inability to relocate their original inhabitants. It is however pertinent to ask: Does FCT law permit original inhabitants to offer any part of the city’s land for sale? Why does the FCTA allow this practice, if not condoled? Would FCTA say it doesn’t compromise standards by always demolishing structures in company of original inhabitants who point to houses to go under wheels of bulldozers, a habit ‘Inside FCT’ has often witnessed at such exercises? Jerry Adesewa (2nd right), presenting books to Hajia Abdul and some students 26 Mirror Mongers Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Banks’ bad days T Sunday Rendezvous in Ogun P eople who are conversant with Nigeria’s show business landscape would definitely remember the hit TV show called ‘Sunday Rendezvous’, which got so many Nigerian glued to the TV sets in the late 80s, making Sundays worth looking out for. That seems to be the lot of residents of Ogun State’s border towns stretching from Ojodu to Alagbole, Akute and Ijoko since the state government started the expansion of the major road linking the state to Lagos. MM gathered that since the demolition exercise started some weeks ago to give way for the construction work going on in the area, ‘Sundays’ have become the day to confirm what ‘Mondays’ would look like. The taste of Monday, according to residents is confirmed whenever the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun visits. At Alagbole, the governor visited on a Sunday and by the next morning bulldozers were everywhere, demolishing buildings that had been marked. It was the turn of the residents of Akute earlier last week after the governor paid a visit to the area on Sunday as usual. Of course, the visit has been leav- ing several dramas. A certain woman who works with the Customs was bold enough to tell the governor to have mercy on her because she obtained a loan of N12m to erect the two storey building the bulldozers were set to pull down, but the arrangements had been made to compensate people whose buildings were demolished at Abeokuta. However as the governor spoke, he kept harping on ‘genuine documents’. But how many of the affected residents have seen what the ‘genuine documents’ look like? As Sullivan Chime takes on Ekweremadu? N ow that Femi Falana who said he has a brief by the (estranged?) wife of the Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime to help pursue her case of domestic abuse has literally backed off ‘His Excellency’, a new bug seems to be ‘worm-ing’ his way into the quietude of Chime. Incidentally, he is also a big shot which means that in Enugu, the masses will soon begin to feel the effect. Of course, the bone of contention is the Enugu Senatorial seat being occupied by Ekweremadu. Like his counterpart in Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, Chime is said to have made it clear that he is interested in going to the senate after 2015, and to achieve this, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu must ‘drop or fight for it’. And this is what is set to happen as 2015 approaches. At the moment, the ‘fight’ is getting fierce as the senator has claimed that the governor is using his clout to block some beautiful projects he has been working so hard to attract to the people of the state from Abuja. But the people of Enugu State are waiting for the Deputy Senate President to mention some of these projects in question. Sullivan he past two weeks have been terrible for some workers in the banking sector. And this is forcing some people to believe that Nigerians may have entered the ‘evil days’ of the past when a job in the bank only left the workers anxiety. First, it was the revelation that a certain trusted bank has forced many of her workers to sign a resignation letter that would make it possible for their retrenchment to be rancour-free. As if that was not enough, Union Bank came up with a report that it was shedding almost a quarter of its work force. While people in the banking sector were recovering from the shock, Enterprise Bank followed suit by laying off Funke Osibodu another batch. The matter at Union Bank seems peculiar since their sister finance company- Union Homes is also battling with the workers after it helped the main bank complete its re-capitalisation exercise. Night of a Thousand Laughs for Ngige T hank God that Opa Willams, one of the originators of standup comedy show has resuscitated his famous ‘Night of a Thousand Laughs’, which is the grooming platform of Nigeria’s hottest comedians. Perhaps that was what gave Senator Chris Ngige one of the contestants in the Anambra Governorship elections the clue to draw his inference while bemoaning to his loss, sorry, the result. According to Ngige, the election was nothing but ‘Night of a Thousand Laughs’ being hosted by ‘Ali Baba and his friends’. The senator ONE-SECOND Q&A Senator Chris Ngige had appeared live on a TV station, where he implied that INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, was the head of the comedy show. Now AlI Baba knows his competitors. Makaziwe Mandela Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela passed on last week at the age of 95 after battling a lung infection. His daughter, Makaziwe Mandela reacts to events that marked her father’s final moments: Can you recollect your father’s final moments? U Makaziwe ntil the last moment, he had us, you know... The children were there, the grandchildren were there, Graca was there, so we were always around him and even at the last moment, we were sitting with him on Thursday the whole day. I think from last week Friday until Thursday, it was a wonderful time, if you can say the process of death is wonderful. But Tata [Nelson Mandela] had a wonderful time, because we were there. When the doctors told us I think Thursday morning... that there was nothing that they could do, and said to me, ‘Maki, call everybody that is here that wants to see him and say bye bye’, it was a most wonderful day for us because the grandchildren were there, we were there. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Friday, December 13, 2013 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 10, 1435AH 27 Call to Worship On the authority of Anas bin Malik, the servant of the Messenger of All, the prophet said: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” RELATED BY BUKHARI AND MUSLIM A ll praise and adoration is due to almighty Allah, the Most-High, the Most-Wise. I usually marvel when I see people doing as if they have control over their souls. Let us live every moment of our life obeying Allah. May Allah make it easy for us, Amin. It will be good to remind ourselves often as humans, we are forgetful. Considering many happenings around us, it will do us a lot good when we act in accordance with Allah’s commandments. Islam has taught us minor and major signs of the End Times, and if we will be sincere, many of these signs are already happening. Truly, Allah has stated that, a year in our counting is a thousand year in Allah’s sight. Already, we have extravagant mansions being constructed, singers are considered respectable, war is prevalent, gambling too, people fear living in their own houses, Earthquakes, Volcano and other natural disasters are now common, good deeds are few, Mosques are decorated profusely but urge towards worship absent, the rate of accidental deaths is on the rise, the rich become godless and the devout become sinful, leaders of opinion are corrupt and overbearing, false witnesses are accepted and true ones rejected, many of us see the Qur’an as an old ancient book. Many persons spending money on sinful purposes will not be criticized, people will thrust their personal opinions in the religion. We have being trying to have proper Islamic banking running throughout the country without Usury (Interest) to no avail while many see it as going too far. The virtuous will be despised for their faith in God, many are followers of selfish desires, pride will be taken for oppressive tendencies, good people will observe silence due to fear of wicked persons’ foul speech, tale bearing and backbiting are considered as good and are prevalent, a wealthy person commands more respect than a pious person, children are cursing their parents and praying for their early death, recitation of the Holy Qur’an is considered as a burden, homosexuality is prevalent among others. Most of these signs have occurred and some are occurring. May Allah protect CSR the Taqwa way as it marks Founders’ Day 28 Be in the know! L-R: Dr. Saheed Timehin; Executive Director, Center for Peace, Democracy and Development, Prof. Darren Kew, presenting a certificate of participation to the Executive Director, Zakat & Sadaqat Foundation, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, at the workshop on Interfaith Conflict Resolution, Strategy Building and Reflective Structured Dialogue held last week at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA. HYPOCRITES WILL BE IN CONTROL OF THE AFFAIRS OF THE COMMUNITY AND EVIL, IMMORAL PEOPLE WILL BE AT THE HELM OF BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS us from Hellfire? Remember that it is said that “Qiyamah will come…When it will be regarded as a shame to act on Quranic injunctions. When untrustworthy people will be regarded as trustworthy and the trustworthy will be regarded as untrustworthy. When the length of days is stretched, i.e. a journey of a few days is covered in a matter hours. Inner dimension of As-Salaam 29 When oppression, jealousy and greed become the order of the day. When people blatantly follow their passions and whims, lies prevail over truth. When violence, bloodshed and anarchy become common. When immorality overtakes shamelessness and is perpetrated publicly. When legislation matters pertaining to Deen is handed over to the worst elements of the Ummat. When the offspring become a cause of grief and anger for their parents. The following is part of a lengthy Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (R.A.). Music and musical instruments will be found in every home. People will indulge in homosexuality. There will be an abundance of illegitimate children. People will establish ties with strangers and sever relations with their near and dear ones. Hypocrites will be in control of the affairs of the community and evil, immoral people will be at the helm of business establishments. The Masjid will be decorated, but the hearts of the people will be devoid of guidance. The courtyards of Masjids will be built beautifully and high mimbars (pulpits) will be erected. Gangsters and evil people will prevail. Various wines will be consumed excessively. Auf bin Malik (R.A.) says: I came to Rasulullah while he was in his skin tent during the Tabuk expedition. He said to me, “Count six things before the advent of Qiyamah: My death, the conquest of Jerusalem, mass deaths amongst you people, just as when sheep die in large numbers during an epidemic, abundance of wealth to such an extent that if a person were to be given a hundred Dinars he will still not be satisfied, general anarchy and bloodshed, that no household will be spared from it. Beware of nuclear weapons 30 28 Call to Worship Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 10, 1435AH Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Let’s have CSR the Taqwa way as it marks Founders’ Day in grand style A s part of their corporatesocial responsibility (CSR), one of the country’s leading private schools, Taqwa Private Schools, recently donated medical equipment to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). This is a quite commendable effort on the part of the school management who deem it fit to give back to the society especially, medical equipment described by medical professionals as a life-saving equipment. For sure, many peopl’s lives will be saved through this equipment and that is the essence of rendering such assistance. This is commendable when some are buying bullet-proof of N255m while many are dying in our hospitals due to lack of some life-saving equipment. Making the donation of the Vital Signs Monitor equipment to LASUTH’s management on Monday, the Proprietress of Taqwa Private Schools, Alhaja Maryam Alimi stated that it is part of activities to commemorate the school’s Founders’ day for this year, a way of giving back to the society and also supporting government’s great strides. What a wonderful way to celebrate Founders’ Day! It will do us a lot of good if many corporate organizations like Taqwa Schools could emulate their good gesture. “With the high level of poverty among the citizenry and the dwindling resources available to the government, it has become obvious that government alone cannot provide all the needed social services without the support of good-spirited people and organisations. It is in realisation of this that Taqwa Private Schools decided to donate this life-saving equipment (Vital Signs Monitor) to LASUTH for use in her intensive care unit (ICU).” Alhaja Alimi explained further. Handing over the medical equipment to LASUTH’s management, the Chairman, Taqwa Private Schools’ Governing Board, Alhaji Lere Alimi, urged other public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies to render their assistance in providing quality healthcare delivery to the citizenry. Responding onbehalf of the hospital, the Chairman, LASUTH’s Board, Dr. Olatunde Williams applauded Taqwa A POSITIVE INITIATIVE LIKE TAQWA PRIVATE SCHOOLS DID IS THE MOTHER OF TRADITION Schools and stated that their kind gesture towards the hospital, in consideration of its contributions to healthcare delivery in the country, is quite appreciated and also appealed to like-minds to emulate Taqwa schools. Alimi said the school has been undertaking various projects with many still in the pipeline in order to ensure that their students and many others get the best of education and medical treatment always. Taqwa Private Schools is a group of schools delivering very qualitative education with high moral values at Pre-Nursery, Nursery, Primary and High school levels, located at 7-11 Taqwa Crescent, Ifako, Agege. According to her, just like Taqwa Schools provide very quality education, they believe LASUTH also provides a high quality health care and that is why they have chosen LASUTH for the donation. According to the Assistant Director of LASUTH’s Nursing Services, Mrs. Modupe Shode, the life-saving equipment donated by the school has multiple functions especially for critically-ill patients in monitoring vital parameters such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature and other vital signs in life-threatening situations like childbirth complications, head injury, burns and others. She revealed that the hospital needs more of such equipment while the Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Ayoade Adedokun also expressed gratitude to the school for the donated medical equipment. In response to the cost of the donated item, he said it is not about how costly the equipment is but the value it can deliver and how many people’s lives it will help in saving. “It is a collective duty for us all to help humanity and we urge people to always take time to visit hospitals, motherless babies home and prisons in order to learn to help others and appreciate God’s favours. It is our belief that the hospital will use it in the best way to save lives,” Alhaji Alimi concluded. L-R: (2nd row) PTA Chairman, Taqwa Private Schools (TPS), Dr. Taiwo Hassan; Chairman, Governing Board of TPS, Alhaji Lere Alimi; Chairman, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Governing Board, Dr. Olatunde Williams; Proprietress of TPS, Alhaja Maryam Alimi; Assistant Director, Nursing Services, LASUTH, Mrs. Modupe Shode; Head of Clinical Services, Dr. Ayoade Adedokun; (back row) Board Member, TPS, Alhaji Bashir Oladejo; HOD, Ophthalmology, LASUTH, Dr. Modupe Idris; Mrs. Qudrah Arinola Olaleye of TPS; some students of TPS and others during the school’s donation of Vital Signs Monitor medical equipment to LASUTH on Monday. This is indeed a clarion call to all! Our noble Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was reported to have said: “Whoever initiates a good practice in Islam and is emulated by others in doing so will get the reward of it and the reward of all those who act upon it without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And whosoever initiates an evil practice in Islam and is emulated by others will bear the sin of it and the sin of all those who act on it without their burden being diminished in the least.” We were also admonished further that; “O you who believe! Fear Allah. Each souls should look towards what it puts forth for tomorrow. Fear Allah, for indeed Allah is well acquainted with what you do.” A positive initiative like Taqwa Private Schools did on Monday is the mother of tradition. We can draw a lesson from this by always deeply moved by people’s suffering and desire to fulfill their needs in any way we can. Verily, as true believers, we should know that being good to people or our community is one of the most important characteristics that Islam exhorts its followers to. Allah says: “Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good.” [Al-Imran: 134] Let us not belittle any act of kindness, even if it were to receive our brothers and sisters with a cheerful, smiling face. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Among mankind are initiators of good deeds and closers of evil deeds. And indeed, among mankind are initiators of evil deeds and closers of good deeds. Blessed be those that Allah makes initiators of good deeds and woe unto those that Al-Muminaat holds convention AISHA TITILAYO L ack of individual accountability has been identified as being responsible for the rise in corruption in Nigeria. The Lagos State Vice President of Al-Muminaat (the believing women) organization said this recently during the society’s 18th annual convention held at Dawah Centre, Ijesha, Lagos State. Mrs Aisha Mustapha Adams further said the situation of the country will become better when people call themselves to order by personally accounting for their actions. She added that everyone holding a position will be called to account for their executive roles on an individual basis. She enjoined all office holders at all levels, be it government or private parastatals to be God-conscious, upright and righteous as their actions are watched by an invisible camera. “For the sake of God and the future generations, we should start accounting for our individual actions. This will make us correct our mistakes on time and Nigeria will ultimately are opener of evil deeds.” This singular act by the management of Taqwa Schools has indicated that they are initiators of good deeds. Let us be initiators of good deeds all the time and Allah will definitely reward us in abundance because we do not know what will give us chance to attain Allah’s approval. Dear brothers and sisters! Always do what is good and right based on Qur’an and Hadith. Remember that there will definitely be a day when neither wealth nor children that we are so much preoccupied with now, will be of any benefit to us except our good deeds. Let us yearn always to be benefactors, openhanded and true servants of Almighty Allah that yearn for prosperity in this world and in the Hereafter, may Allah make it easy for us, Aamin. Kudos to Taqwa Schools! become a better place.” In a lecture on the executive role: individual accountability, the Assistant Director, Al-Hikmah Schools, Agege-Lagos, Mrs Aminah Adeyemi, said the country is in its present state as a result of lack of individual accountability. Adeyemi noted that the leaders don’t want to leave their position; the rich are becoming richer while the poor continue to wallow in poverty. She urged leaders in high positions to continuously account for their actions and ensure all they do benefit the masses. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Call to Worship Friday, December 13, 2013 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 10, 1435AH 29 Inner dimension of As-Salaam How prepared are you? L ife is ephemeral. Human being does not have control over his life’s span. Death will come unannounced. Procrastination is dangerous. Death may come when one is battling with earthly things. Qur’an says in 102:1-8; “the mutual rivalry (for piling up of worldly things) diverts you, until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die). Nay! You shall come to know! Again nay! You shall come to know! Nay! If you knew with a sure knowledge (the end result of piling up, you would not have occupied yourselves in worldly things). Verily, you shall see the blazing fire (hell)! And again, you shall see it with certainty of sight! Then on that Day you shall be asked about the delights (you indulge in, in this world)!” How do you prepare for the hereafter? A companion asked prophet Muhammad (SAW) O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an act which will take me into paradise and will keep me away from the hell-fire. He said: you have asked about a major matter, yet it is easy. You should worship Allah, associating nothing with Him; you should perform the prayers; you should pay the Zakat, you should fast in Ramadan; and you should make the pilgrimage to the House. Then he said: shall entire cosmos. It is then they will really be ready to adopt in wholesomeness, the Islamic cultural values. Man, for instance, has a lot of thins hidden in him, which he cannot see visibly but are fundamental in the functioning of the outer parts of his body. The erection of an edifice too has it strength in the foundation stones, which is hidden underneath the earth. In the first place, AsSalaam confers on a Muslim that very religious character which motivates and rejuvenates proper adherence and identity. The fact that it is the only form of greeting from Allah (SWT) is enough to make it become part and parcel of a Muslim’s life style. Of course, out of the so-called religions, no one has any recognized or unique greeting as that of As-Salaam. Second, this greeting of Islam helps to create and maintain friendship with an unknown person and simultaneously puts his mind at rest as if trying to say “here I am meeting my brother!”Third, it generates an ideological bond of relationship among its Upholders. Wherever a Muslim hears somebody offering him As-Salaam, he instantly gets attached to him in the thinking that, “we are one, serving one Allah, with one Qur’aan and facing the same Qiblah!” This AL-FATHIU QUAREEB MESSAGE SHEIKH with A deeper reflection over everything in life continues to reveal their latent powers. The outward aspects are sustained by the inward components. When man was able to think out the hidden resources in all that Allah (SWT) has created, he came up with the modern technology. The dynamics of all machines is in its inner make-ups. Thus, every terminology or concept in Islam always has its own dynamics. It is only when Muslims are able to realize this that they will appreciate their membership of Islam. It is then that they will be able to discover all the hidden treasures, which Allah (SWT) has stored in the ADANGBA e-mail: email@example.com I not show you the gate of goodness? Fasting (which) is a shield; charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire; and prayer of a man in the depths of night. Then he recited: “their sides forsake their beds invoking their Robb in fear and hope they spend out of what we have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do. The peak of the matter is Islam; the pillar is prayer; and the topmost is jihad. The control of tongue is paramount. Every one of us will give account of his/her stewardship. The Qur’an is intact, no alteration. It is guidance to mankind. It is in every language. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad are there for every soul to imbibe. It is practicable, logical and commonsensical. No aspect of human endeavour is left out in is teaching. One should be dogmatic when it comes to Allah’s commandment. Allah’s commandment and instructions of Prophet Muhammad must be allowed to override individual’s desires. This will bring tranquility of mind and nirvana –the state of peace and happiness that a person achieves after giving up all personal desires- will be achieved. What we want you to realize here is that a lot of human beings keep the (MBA ) account i. e. Monetary/Material Bank account that we explained in the quranic verses above will not but put you into unnecessary accountability in the day of judgment. Spiritual Bank Account (SBA) is highly preferred to the other account because it is presentable acceptable account that will make your accountability in the last day easier. No time is too late. Open SBA today and start depositing in this account from different angles of human living. Allah is all knowing all wise and he is oft rewarding. The only channel to this is Al-Islam. Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. Those who were given the scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except, out of mutual jealousy, after knowledge had come to them. And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, then surely, Allah is swift in calling to account. Qur’an 3:19. Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after You have guided us, and grant us the mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower. Ma assalam. greeting can make him part with others and join his brother of As-Salaam. Fourth, in the spiritual terrain, it earns one reward from the Owner of As-Salaam, and that is Allah (SWT). He says it unto you and you say it unto Him, the angels shower it on all the righteous ones and, they spread it amongst themselves.Fifth, on the Socio-cultural realm, As-Salaam enlivens the Muslims with that voice of unity and uniformity. Wherever they meet themselves, they greet and respond in the same way, and are made to see themselves as Muslims before their colour and language. This is highly demonstrated at the end of the Salaat when Muslims praying behind an Imaam chorus As-Salaam motullahWabarakaatuhto their right and left respectively. It is really, a thrilling moment for the conscious Muslims who are just returning from the presence of Allah (SWT). It is indeed a universal greeting for the Muslims. Imagine a situation where a M u s l i m travels to another country which speaks neither his language nor has Arabic as a language. By happenstance, he recognises somebody as a Muslim by virtue of his dress or he may even be fortunate to locate a mosque nearby, he meets this person and says As-Salaam or he enters the mosque, prays and thereafter says AsSalaam to the next person to him. What a scene! He can neither speak his language nor can he understand his own, but they can both greet in AsSalaam and understand its meaning. At this juncture, the importance of the Muslim having a lingua franca comes to play. It is not enough to greet in AsSalaam alone and part, but that there should be exchange of ideas. This can be effectively achieved with the use of Quranic language. Perhaps that is why the Qur’an has been revealed in it. It will facilitate a broader communication amongst the Muslims whenever they have international conferences or during the yearly Hajj. As-Salaam remains the only authoritative greeting of Islam. In fact, it is the only religiously recognised mode of greeting by Allah (SWT). Hence every Muslim must live to share and spread it and try as much as possible to tenaciously uphold its underlying pledges. It is then that what is Islam can only belong to Islam and whatever is not it cannot be said to be like it. No society will live by As-Salaam except that it is enveloped with peace and solace. This is because Allah Himself is As-Salaam and the whole As-Salaam we are talking about springs from him. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy Do not delay marriage M arriage is a vital part of a Muslim’s life. As a Muslim one should live in accordance with the Islamic injunction in the way shown by the greatest of creations and the person who was the greatest impact on mankind in the existence of the universe, The Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW). The Prophet himself married and also encouraged others to marry. It has been reported that Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said that “A person who possesses the means to marry (i.e. he is able to work etc. to support a wife and children) and does not marry then he is not from amongst us (i.e. the believers)” In another narration, Prophet Muhammed (SAW) has been reported to have said that; “Do not delay in three things; offering of the obligatory prayer, offering of the funeral prayer when the deceased’s body is present and marriage of a woman when her couple is found.” It can be deduced from this statement that to become a complete and true believer one must act upon the advice given by the holy Prophet. The Creator of the Universe, Allah, has stated in chapter 24, verse 32 of the glorious Qur’an that “And wed the single among you.” One can see from the above verse that the Creator of mankind himself has ordered us to marry. Meanwhile, for a marriage to be valid, certain conditions must be met; consent of both parties, a gift from the groom to his bride, witnesses, 2 males or females and the marriage should be publicised. In other words, it should never be kept secret as it leads to suspicion and troubles within the community. Marriage acts as an outlet for sexual needs and regulates it. However, Islam encourages couple to go into relationship based on four things namely: beauty, wealth, religion of Allah and family background but religion is the topmost consideration. In conclusion, marriage is a religious duty and is consequently a moral safeguard. It is a social necessity because through marriage, families are established and the family is the fundamental unit of our society. Furthermore, marriage is the only legitimate way to indulge in intimacy between a man and a woman. Sheikh Abdul Gannyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jublatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBAT) 30 Call to Worship Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 10, 1435AH Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Every Friday with Khalifatul Ahmadiyya Beware of nuclear weapons T he weapons available today are so destructive that they could lead to generation after generation of children being born with severe genetic or physical defects. Japan is the one country to have experienced the abhorrent consequences of atomic warfare, when it was attacked by nuclear bombs during the Second World War. Even today when you visit Japan and meet its people, you see an absolute fear and hatred of war visible in their eyes and from what they say. Yet the nuclear bombs that were used at that time and which caused widespread devastation, were much less powerful than the atomic weapons that are possessed by even very small nations today. It is said that in Japan, even though seven decades have passed, yet the effects of the atom bombs are still continuing to be manifest on newborn children. If a person is shot by a bullet, then it is sometimes possible for him to survive through medical treatment, but if a nuclear war breaks out, then those who are in the firing line will have no such luck. Instead, we will find that people will instantly die and freeze like statues, and their skin will simply melt away. Drinking water, food and vegetation will all be contaminated and affected by radiation. We can only imagine what type of diseases such contamination will lead to. In those places that are not directly hit and where the effects of the radiation are somewhat less, even there the risk of diseases and illness will become much higher and the future generations will also bear much greater risks. Therefore, as I have said, the devastating and destructive effects of such warfare will not be limited to the war and its aftermath, but will pass from generation to generation. These are the real consequences of such warfare, and yet today there are selfish and foolish people who are extremely proud of their invention and describe what they have developed as a gift to the world. The truth is that the so-called beneficial aspects of nuclear energy and technology can be extremely dangerous and lead to widespread destruction, due to either negligence or due to accidents. We have already witnessed such catastrophes, such as the nuclear accident that occurred in 1986 in Chernobyl, in what is now Ukraine, and just last year after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it too had to contend with great danger and the country was placed in fear. When such events happen, then it is also very difficult to repopulate the affected regions. Due to their unique and tragic experiences, the Japanese have become extremely cautious and indeed, their sense of fear and terror is fully justified. It is an obvious statement that people die in wars, and so when Japan entered the Second World War, its Government and its people were well-aware that some people would be killed. It is said that approximately three million people died in Japan, and this came to about 4% of the country’s population. Even though a number of other countries may have suffered higher proportions of deaths in terms of total numbers, yet the hatred and aversion to war that we find in the Japanese people remains much higher in comparison to others. The simple reason for this is certainly the two nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan during World War II, and the consequences of which they are still witnessing and having to bear even today. Japan has proved its greatness and resilience by being able to repopulate and rehabilitate its towns relatively quickly. But let it be clear that if nuclear weapons are used again today, then it is quite possible that parts of certain countries could be completely wiped off the map. They could cease to exist. Conservative estimates put the death toll of the Second World War at about 62 million and it is said that around 40 million of those who were killed were civilians. Thus, in other words, more civilians died than military personnel. Such devastation occurred despite the fact that apart from in Japan, a traditional war was fought with conventional weapons everywhere else. The United Kingdom had to bear the loss of around half a million people. Of course, at that time, it was still a colonial power and so its colonies also fought on its behalf. If we include their losses then the death toll rises to millions. In India alone, around 1.6 million people lost their lives. However, today the situation has changed, and those very countries that were colonies of the United Kingdom, and who fought for the British Empire, could today fight against Great Britain if war breaks out. Moreover, as I mentioned earlier, even some small countries have acquired nuclear weapons. What causes great fear is the knowledge that such nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of such people who either do not have the ability or who choose not to think about the consequences of their actions. In truth, such people do not even care about the consequences, and are trigger-happy. Thus, if the major powers do not act with justice, do not eliminate the frustrations of smaller nations and do not adopt great and wise policies, then the situation will spiral out of control and the destruction that will follow is beyond our comprehension and imagination. Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola (L) and 2nd-prize winner of Quranic Competition, organised by Al-Azhar International College, Hafis Abdul Sataar AbdulSalam in Lokoja, Kogi State. Provost, College of Education, IIorin, Prof. Alli Abdullahi (L) and 1st-prize winner of Quranic Competition, Mallam Alfa Aliyu in Lokoja, Kogi State. L-R: Chairman, Naib Amir, Northern Region, Dr. Habeeb Yeqeen and Missionary in-charge, Maulvi Abdul Khalique Nayyar State Commander, NDLEA, Kogi State, Alhaji Idris Bello (L) and 3rd-prize winner, Miss. Fatimah, at the event. PHOTOS: BAYOOR EWUOSO. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Arty News Friday, December 13 , 2013 31 Nigeria’s music greats thrill at Lagos concert P enultimate weekend in Lagos KCEE, Tiwa Savage, Iyanya, Davido, Wizkid, Banky W., Sound Sultan, Don Jazzy and Patrick Mathias, were the big names at one of the biggest music tours in Nigeria when they thrilled at the MTN Loud in Naija concert. The crowd of young people and fans of Nigeria’s biggest musical superstars was treated to current songs like KCEE’s top-of-the-chart single, ‘Pull Over’ and Sound Sultan’s ‘Orobo’. At the SkyPower Ground, located in GRA, Ikeja, it was another great night that clearly stated MTN’s intention to continually entertain its customers. Don Jazzy made a rare appearance to support his Mavin superstars. With that the over 15,000 strong crowd went wild, dancing and singing such duets like ‘Su- rulere’ and ‘Eminado’. There was also Banky W., who replicated the outstanding performance he had at the Abuja leg a couple of weeks ago. Patrick Mathias, Tiwa Savage, Iyanya, Wizkid and Davido, all had a field day. Other artistes, with exceptional performances were Chidinma, Praize and Sound Sultan. Lagos youths also had the rare opportunity of sharing the stage with MTN’s musical superstars and performed a Karaoke for special prizes of iPad and blackberry mobile phones. The Loud in Naija concert started over a month ago and had been held across the major cities in Nigeria, including Abuja and Port Harcourt. After Lagos, the concert train of musical superstars will proceed to Owerri before berthing in Ilorin, shortly before Christmas. Miss Mega City Lagos berths for big ladies AYO ESAN D idai Entertainment has concluded plans for the new year as it holds ‘Miss Mega City Lagos’ in January 2014 . The pageant is targeted at ‘plus size’ ladies in Lagos. Speaking at the unveiling of the pageant to the media in Lagos , spokesperson of Didai Entertainment, Sarah Owoyemi said the pageant is a follow-up to the ‘Miss Big Unilag’ that was held a few weeks ago. Owoyemi, a final year Creative Arts student of the University of Lagos said the beauty pageant is open to all ‘plus size’ ladies living in Lagos irrespective of tribe or religious leaning. “Even if you are married and you fall between the ages of 16 and 27, no matter your tribe, you are free to participate pro- vided you are plus size. Some ‘plus size’ ladies do not have confidence on their looks. They feel that they are big and ugly but the beauty also has an African approach, if you ask most men”. She also revealed that the pageant will also incorporate health education, considering the peculiarities of ‘plus size’ women. “Medical doctors are going to talk to the participants about one or two things about their body. ‘Plus size’ ladies tend to have bigger boobs and with bigger boobs they can’t do personal check on their boobs. With smaller boobs you can personally do your checks. So this platform gives room for talks that will let you know your body more as we will have some doctors to talk to them about their bodies”, she said. She explained further that the pageant show would be extended to other parts of the country after the Lagos. NFVCB solicits partnerships for HomeVida NGOZI EMEDOLIBE W ith the successful celebration of this year’s Integrity Film Awards (HomeVida), an initiative of Public and Private Development Centre, the motion picture industry has broken more wholesome grounds with the annual film event, conceived to drive creative messaging on integrity and value through the film channel. In view of this, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has urged existing and potential partners to jump on the platform which ‘is loaded with opportunities because the organisers have proven that this initiative is a worthwhile’. In her words, Ms Patricia Bala, DirectorGeneral of NFVCB, said: “ HomeVida has responded positively and embraced the Federal Government’s Private Public Partnership (PPP) initiative to good effect. The Board had noted that this programme has provided film development assistance to many young and budding film makers in Nigeria and has played a significant role in the fight against poverty, drug abuse and corruption. We want to note here that HomeVida has also responded to the different challenges inherent in breathing life into this initiative”. Banky W serenading the crowd. Glo Laffta Fest continues to thrill I n spite of the heavy downpour in Uyo, last Sunday, residents of the Akwa Ibom State capital thronged the Amazing Grace Plaza, venue of Africa’s biggest comedy show, ‘Glo Laffta Fest’ to be a part of the exciting comedy festival, which comes to Asaba, Delta State this weekend. The Glo Laffta Fest dubbed “Invasion L.O.L.” which held at Uyo, paraded 12 Nigerian comedians, three music icons, East Africa’s finest comedian and an upcoming artiste, Vnissi, with the turntable tendered by the Nigeria’s decorated female Disc Jockey, DJ Nana. All the artistes on parade at the show gave a good account of themselves as they put up spectacular performances that confirmed why Nigeria is rated as the home of Africa’s entertainment. Joke merchant, Basketmouth led a cast of equally talented and influential comedians. From the “notoriously” funny 2CanTalk, who came on stage in a clownish Bala Explaining the modalities for the awards, the organisers said the platform currently gives awards in two categories; Short Script Writing and Feature film category competition. The short script writing competition is targeted at young people between the ages of 16 – 30 years. “Short film script entries are received through our website www.homevida.org. The Jury evaluates and selects winning scripts that meet preset criteria for each prize. The platform provides financial support to turn the short scripts into short films which are premiered at the award event as part of the celebration of World anti-Corruption Day each year. The winning entry for each prize category when announced, receives a prize money of N1,000,000. L-R: Bishop, Salvador and Bakasi woman’s wig, to SIM Card, Seyi Law, Buchi, Gandoki, Okey Bakassi, Ime Bishop, Gordons, Akpororo and Bovi, the audience were treated to a night of endless laughter. Akwa Ibom-born Ime Bishop popularly called ‘Okon Lagos’ received a standing ovation as he introduced his new wife to the crowd and laced his jokes with his native Uyo dialect. The comedy sessions were complemented by Burna Boy, MI and Wande Coal who spiced the evening with top Nigerian songs. Speaking with journalists after his performance, ‘Okon Lagos’ said “I was thrilled by the show of affection to me by my people and how they responded to my other colleagues that performed this night. It is not easy to be in your own place and be appreciated the way the audience did and I have Globacom to thank for this”. From the first edition that took place in Lagos, the ‘Glo Laffta Fest’ has berthed in cities such as Abuja, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Benin, Abakaliki and the train moves to Asaba, Delta State this Sunday. 32 Escape Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net LABAF 2013: Let the centenary celebrations TERH AGBEDEH T he 15th edition of the Lagos Book and Art Festival, LABAF may have officially started on November 15 at Freedom Park but there had been events heralding the day for the start of the book-heavy festival that has continued to draw people all over the world. LABAF 2013 was held in memory of the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, who died in March. This year’s theme: Nigeria’s Centenary – The Lagos Narrative, could not have been more apt considering that 2014 is the year Nigeria celebrates 100 years since the amalgamation of 1914. Considering also that the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, which organises LABAF has consistently set the agenda when it comes to Nigeria’s cultural affairs so it was that from November 15, 16 and 17, Nigerians home and abroad as well as their counterparts from other countries came together to rub minds on the past gone by and the future that is to come. But before the big discussion on the three days November 11 opened with the Book Trek, which took place in the garden of the British Council in Ikoyi and featured readings from 15 books selected from the 35 books of the festival. Apart from Jahman Anikulapo and Toyin Akinosho, who have kept the LABAF flame burning all these years, seven board members of CORA were at the event like: veteran Actress, Taiwo AjaiLycett; the Visual Artists Ndidi Dike and Olu Amoda; the poet, banker, Chief Kayode Aderinokun; the Art Patron, now theatre producer (SARO The Musical), Bolanle Austen-Peters; the Architect and designer of the festival’s Venue, Freedom Park, Theo Lawson; and the ex-General Manager of MUSON Centre, now of the Freedom Park, Iyabo Aboaba. About 30 young writers and literature enthusiasts gathered in the Conference room of the British Council the next day on November 12 to drink from the fountain of literary wisdom of Mrs. Sarah Odedina, the Managing Director of Hotkey Books in the UK. It was quite an exciting session as they were taken through the rudiments of writing, with particular attention on how they could get published in the UK. Mrs Taiwo AjaiLycett and UK-based RC. Offodile, author of **Thou Shalt Not** were also at the gathering to speak to the writers. On November 13, Mrs Odedina also conducted a seminar for established and aspiring publishers focusing on the logistical side of budget and planning in advance of a launch as well as the important role of marketing and social media in establishing a presence in the market. Then there was the Publishers Forum at the City Hall, Lagos Goethe-Institut office on November 14, where publishers gathered again this year to talk about the future of their business. On November 15, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, former Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises and chieftain of All Progressive Congress, APC party, Mallam Nassir El-Rufai formally raised the curtain on the festival in a conversation on his controversial book, The Accidental Public Servant, with Mr. Martins Oloja, editor of The Guardian, moderating the explosive session. Comedian, Julius Agwu with his new book, Jokes Apart: How Did I get Here? featured at My Encounter with the Book with the children taking part in the Green Festival. Ayodele Olofintuade of LAIPO and Shola Alamatu of CATE thereafter continued to guide the children on reading, performance and making of handicrafts for bodily adornments for the rest of the three days. The visual art exhibition titled: No Fly List curated by Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo featured works from her, Jelili Atiku, Fidelis Odogwu, Aderemi Adegbite, Diseye Tantua, Aisha Dapchi and Jumoke Verissimo at Kongi’s Hall 2 for the duration of the festival. The festival colloquium, with the theme, The Nigerian Centenary also took place on day anchored by Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S., Akin Adesokan with the keynote titlted: Henry Carr in Lagos: A Narrative of Modern Nigeria. A session followed with Tolu Ogunlesi and Tade Ipadeola. Day two opened with the launch of the first short story collection of science fiction genre in the country, Lagos 2060. With eight contributors, the collection envisions what the future might hold for Lagos. Although hard copies of the book were unavailable for the audience to buy, three of the authors read excerpts from their stories and discussed some of the issues they raise. Publisher of the collection, Ayodele Arigbabu moderated the presentation that had Terh Agbedeh, Afolabi Muiz and Chiagozie Nwonwu. The New Gong Books were also presented. Led by its editor and publisher, Mr. Adewale MajaPearce, the outfit presented its books comprising of a collection of short stories, with contributions from Molara Wood, Mazim Uzoatu, A.Igoni Barrett among others. A symposium on The Key to the Knowledge Economy followed dwelling on a link between books and financial intelligence. Then the session tagged Wired Literature with Anwuli Ojiugo and Dr. Eghosa Imasuen discussed e-books and edevices. Ibadan-based Nelson Publishers Limited presented a collection of short stories, Dream Chasers and a new series for children called Ivana and Daara of the Cowrie Creek Series. Some of the contributors like Jumoke Verissimo, Lola Akande and Silver Ifidigbo were on hand to respond to their works. Then there was the The Caine Prize for Nigerian Writing? session with 2012 winner, Rotimi Babatunde and one of the shortlisted writers for 2013 edition, Elnathan John; while the poet, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo moderated. The books of 2013 session came on with four authors: Tade Ipadeola, with his prize-winning The Sahara Testament, Iquo Eke’s shortlisted, Symphony of Becoming, Igoni Barrett’s Love is Power, Or Something Like That and Sammy Sage Julius Agwu with children at the Green Festival A book stand Joke Silva participating in the Book Trek Hassan’s Dream Maker. Ayodele Olofintuade was moderator and Sage was absent. The Festival Arthouse Party took place in the evening celebrating Prof. J.P. Clark-Bekederemo, who will be 80 next year and the 70th birthday trio of Mrs. Francesca Emanuel, Dejumo Lewis and Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi. November 17, the last day of LABAF was a celebration of the documentary medium in telling Nigeria’s centenary story. The audience got to see documentaries on Nigeria’s centenary and how the book meets film on the life of Nigeria’s foremost Yoruba language author, D.O. Fagunwa. The roller coaster fun culminated in a poetry slam and reggae splash on the evening of November 17. This was no doubt a festival to remember for the special guests like Alan Bissett, Matt Whyman and Sarah Odedina as well as the regulars who will certainly cherish the 2013 edition for a long time. Works at the festival exhibition The writing work shop National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net begin Escape Friday, December 13, 2013 33 Travel News Faze holds fan spellbound at Calabar Festival F aze, one of Nigeria’s hip hop musical icons and a member of the defunct Plantashun Boiz thrilled fans at Calabar Festival at the weekend. Faze went memory lane with his hit tunes since becoming a solo artiste and the teeming crowd kept dancing and singing along while thanking Cross River State Government for giving both established and budding artistes the opportunity to display their kind of music. He used the occasion to introduce his new song, Ifeoma and Lambo as well as Lambo dance steps. In a Disc Jockey (DJ) competition, which nine persons participated, DJ Spin came out first and carted away the star prize of N100,000 while the second and third persons went home with N70,000 and N50,000 respectively. By this feat, DJ Spin became the first Calabar Festival International DJ Champion which qualifies him to defend the title next year. According to Maurice Inok, aka Doctor Grove, Chairman of the panel of judges, criteria used for judgment included ability to use the musical equipment, continuity Faze while not using foul languages, confidence, appearance amongst others. In Calabar’s Got Talent IV, three dancers emerged champions winning free meal tickets for lunch at Beverly Heels Hotel, Calabar while a budding star, Sir James emerged winner of the comedy competition for unknown stars. Artistes who participated also included Smash – (R & B); Pat Reel who did a remix of “Mammy Water” by Sir Victor Waifo and “Emum Isong Eni Nnyin” – an Efik tune by Late Peter Efiom, Okomokom, who played old school tunes, Shaka Jagger, a UK based Nigerian Hip hop star, Julie Hay, a female R & B star and Rugged man. There was also opportunity for young boys and girls to exhibit their talents in singing as those who came out tops were given prizes and assured of recording contracts. Confusion Na Wa sweeps BON Supporting Role in an English Movie. Movie Journalist of the Year went to Independent newspapers’s Hafeez Balogun and Revelation of the Year (Male), went to Charles Billion Pius. Several other Nollywood practitioners also won honours at the awards which showcased the world’s longest red-carpet layout ever, which started from the Dome centre, the venue of the event and spread to the road leading to the State Assembly. Alonge, while speaking to the media, expressed delight at the high-standard of the event, stressing that those who got awards deserved it on merit. She also emphasised that Veleta Fruit Wine and IDL, have become synonymous with Nollywood, as Veleta supported ‘Christmas Night in Nollywood’ last year. ...As Mike Ezoronye wins for Yoruba film C onfusion Na Wa, stood out at the Best of Nollywood, BON Awards which held in Asaba Delta State capital even as Mike Ezenronye, an actor from the Eastern part of Nigeria, won Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Yoruba Movie category. Supported by Intercontinental Distillers Limited, IDL, the ceremony held on December 5. Among the categories carted away by Confusion Na Wa were: Best Movie of the Year, Movie with the Best Production Design, Best Edited Movie, Best Screen Play and Director of the Year (Kenneth Gyang). The crowd, made up of the society’s who-is-who, particularly Nigeria’s movie industry practitioners otherwise known as Nollywood, gave the film a standing ovation and applause. Best Cinematography, went to the movie Ayitale, while Best Comedy of the Year was won by the movie Nanny. Hosted by Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and represented by his deputy, Professor Amos Etuama, the buzz created in Asaba by the event will continue to echo for a long time to come. Also present at the event hosted by Comedian Gbenga Adeyinka was the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Richard Mofe-Damijo. The awards provided the opportunity for legends like Pete Edochie and Lanre Hassan a.k.a Iya Awero, to be celebrated, as they were given Special Recognition Awards for their contributions to the industry. Fred Amata added spice to the awards with jokes when he mounted the stage alongside Chioma Alonge, the Brand Manager, Veleta Fruit Wine, one of IDL’s brands, to present the award Mike Ezenronye’s award. Ace actress, Faithia Balogun, for her role in Irugbin won Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Yoruba Movie, Best Kiss in a Movie was won by Iboronke Ashaolu and Wale Akanbi in Playing Safe, Best Actor in a Leading Role in an English Movie was won by O.C. Ukeje for Alan Poza. Best Actress in a Leading Role in an English Movie went to Omoni Oboli for her role in Brother’s Keeper, Joke Muyiwa took home Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Yoruba Movie for Ayitale, Rita Dominic, for Finding Mercy won Best Actress in a L-R: Brand Manager, Veleta Fruit Wine, Chioma Alonge, ace-actor, Fred Amata, presenting the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role to Omoni Oboli. 34 Denrele’s Day Adenrele Niyi Denrele’s Day is a collection of witty & sincere articles inspired sin by b a zany imagination Friday, December 13, 2013 Ho! Ho! Ho!... Xmas rings CLAPPERBOARD with firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter@MizNiyi Eddie Ugbomah I t is here upon us once more; that jolly season of good cheer, luminous decorations, chiming bells, chocolate cakes, carols and street carnivals. Christmases have come around for centuries, but each time the season makes a full circle, it berths packed full of uproar. There’s no hiding the truth, the spiritual essence of this festive season is tied into a sacrifice so supremely selfless as to be almost surrealistic. Only divinity has the capacity to express love of such magnitude. I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely delighted and thankful to live through this year in Nigeria (with her rabid Boko Haram insurgency, unprecedented and devastating air mishaps that took the young, old and dented the coffin of the dead and police misfiring on civilians harvesting one too many of our citizens). I empathise with Nigerian families who were affected by the ugly developments the country witnessed in the 11 months gone past; it is my most sincere wish their pain fades completely in the New Year replaced by good tidings and enduring pleasures. Personally, two things have me befuddled in this season for which more than half the world’s population rolls out celebratory drums. First, what’s with the last-minute scramble for Christmas shopping and the unusually heavy traffic on Lagos roads? Are we suffering from collective amnesia? Isn’t anybody aware Christmas comes every December and it makes sense to start shopping a little earlier both for bargain and to decongest our roads? Please be like my sister-in-law, Bola who, unless dragged by the hair by gladiators or taken at gun- point, will not set her feet inside any market place once it’s few weeks to Christmas –her husband’s whims or palate desires notwithstanding. It’s all about home management as a matter of reality; markets are rife with thieves and bags snatchers at such time so it makes common sense not be a foolish victim. Another thing that has got me fazed is the inconsistency of the weather around the world –especially in Lagos where it isn’t clear if the rainy season is over or the Harmattan season is finally here. The blazing hot sun though!? The biting cold in some parts of Europe is the worst nightmare for many Africans abroad. Our continent rarely experiences temperatures lower than 22 with exception of some Southern African countries which are blessed with winter between June and September. In England, the weather barometer has been plummeting and its not unusual for parts of the country to declare snow holidays; no work, no going out. My cousin and I got into an interesting debate about the weather in both countries (England and Nigeria). He, who was born, bred and lived in Lagos for 28 years relocated in 2008 and works with Barclays Bank, Leeds. His introspective Blackberry messenger profile where he moans and vents about everything has National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net www.edifosafilm.com Don’t throw stones in a glass house I become one of my daily haunts. His recent BB profile update had five crying smileys and a screaming sentence ‘I wanna go home!!!’ (that is return to Nigeria). I pinged him and a chat ensued: Me: PING! Dude, what are you moaning about? Naija is hotter than fire and the traffic, as always, is so annoying. Him: Oh, *sarcastic smiley* you wanna give the weather here a shot? Can’t work my fingers anymore. I just tire for the cold. Me: Aaah pele. But White Christmas is so beautiful, the snow and the festivities. What I’ll give to be in London for the holidays. Him: Knock yourself out. Abeg forget White Christmas jor, I’ll take my Harmattan Christmas, dust and all, any time any day. Me: Hehehehe, Harmattan Christmas, nice one. And the conversation went into other family matters. This year, it seems I am confined to a hot, dusty Christmas while my cousin is imprisoned in a snowy white Christmas... what irony! White or dusty though, I wish you the most memorable Christmas you have ever experienced! Love and peace for the weekend! TWO THINGS HAVE ME BEFUDDLED IN THIS SEASON FOR WHICH MORE THAN HALF THE WORLD’S POPULATION ROLLS OUT CELEBRATORY DRUMS was born in Christmas season, but I am planning a big 73rd birthday, 50 years in entertainment, launch of my autobiography, a musical concert to remind me of my early days as a promoter and I end it all with a dynamic film. Many politicians don’t care what type of life we leave for the future generation. People have taken on themselves that this country is their colonial gift. Any attempt to change this is like a man from the minority tribe ruling Nigeria -like the American minority ruling the USA. I want all my friends and Nigerians to join me to celebrate me when I am alive. The people in the Presidency have refused to get aggravated by all these political games from the Boko Haram. I want to call on all Nigerians to put God or Allah first in all they do because nemesis is a nasty situation. Everyday, we hear people are killed, injured on the road, no jobs, schools are closed and hospitals are empty of drugs. How can we think of celebrating Xmas and New Year when we are all in pains? There is one thing I can say now, things will soon change for good and we will all celebrate 2014. The problem with this country is that we always want to pass the buck; we are shouting government is the problem; who is to blame? The head, Mr. President. I have said it that I don’t envy Mr. President who is ruling 150 million tribalistic, corrupt and greedy people (plus me). The nasty part is that his advisers say we must not heat up the already heated polity. If elderly, educated, experienced, free-minded and patriotic people like me are to speak the truth, then where do we go? If some people decided out of their tribalistic greed to heat up the polity and make the country hard to live in, then they must be told that one who cries can also see. Those of us who are still sane must let the President know that his followership has dropped from 75% to 45% and we are all watching in the name of peace. I am only trying to use my profession to contribute, warn and prevent future atrocities and tragedy. I don’t believe in late action –prevention is better than cure. My last film Desert Warrior is an example of how some people crash into Nigeria through the desert, today they claim Nigeria is their property. As a world-class movie maker, I will make an action movie and the people will know the truth. It is when harm has been done we shout or set up worthless inquiries with the investigations yielding no results. Many Board of Directors were appointed, which of our movie person AS A WORLD-CLASS MOVIE MAKER, I WILL MAKE AN ACTION MOVIE AND THE PEOPLE WILL KNOW THE TRUTH was picked into the right board? Let the Presidential advisers stop replying every criticism; we need action and results not abusive replies that get us nowhere. The National Assembly, Presidency, Joint Task Force and Police know Mr. President won’t react negatively, but is Aso Rock’s answer not heating up the already heated up polity? As the Presidency’s poll has drastically fallen, all the governors that decamped should be impeached by the PDP House of Assembly -tit for tat. I really don’t want to comment on this situation than to make a statement movie that will expose all the hypocrites who tells the President only what will make him happy. I told General Olusegun Obasanjo (retired) when he was the Head of State that the Indians and Lebanese were not allowing us to survive in the film and entertainment industry. He passed the decree banning them and that is how the movie industry (that turned to home video) survived. The people heating up the polity must be told the truth without violence. Movie makers are prophetic –somebody made the film about Apollo and going to the moon; a film maker made “9/11” about September 11 and I made a film in 1979 on oil which is now the doom of this nation and the world. When my film The Hijack comes out in a year or less, we will get some facts and learn of the nasty people we are living with. Innocent kids are butchered, houses, churches, cars are blow to pieces; this situation must be corrected not by violence, but by urgent and careful disclosure of the crisis. The civil rights activists and politicians are shouting for a National Conference, will the exploited masses be invited, will there be advert to educate the real suffers of the power games? Who will speak for the masses because those we elected into the National Assembly and Executive are not listening to us. What can we say to let them know that the ignored masses are in pain? Schools are closed, no jobs, no roads, no electricity, health is a big joke, yet we say we have a country. Mr. President has appointed ministers and advisers so he can’t be in every places but he is the head and must face the music if we have to remain united. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Friday, December 13, 2013 People In The Mirror 35 Faces at FEGOOSA Dinner and Awards Night It was a grand reunion with pleasant memories reawakened on the 6th of December when the Federal Government College Odogbolu Old Students Association, FEGOOSA, organised the 40th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Night at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Mr. Kelechi Ozuzu; Kunle Areogun; Mr. Taiwo Olushina and Pastor Ayokunle Ajayi. Mr. Ayoola Akinayo; Dr. Babatunde Lawal and Mr. Akintunde Lawal. The world meets at Lagos Jazz Series The Lagos Jazz Series, sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria, this year was as enthralling as expected. The 5-hour concert, which began on Saturday, November 30, at Federal Palace Hotel, ushered participants into the early morning of the first day of December. In attendance were jazz/soul singers from across the world. Principal, Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Mrs. Anne Bassey Duke (left), receiving an honorary award from the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Folarin Longe. Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria, Hakeem Osagie-Bello; Jazz Maestro, Orlando Julius Ekemode; his wife and dancer, Latoya and acting CEO, Etisalat Nigeria, Mathew Willsher. L-R: Yemi Wilde Halim, Jackson Yetunde and Hajia Tawakalit Adebayo Nigerian-German Musician, Ade Bantu; On-Air Personality, Queen Ahneva and Etisalat Director, Brands and Communications, Enitan Denloye. Mr. Adesoji Adeyemi (left) and his wife Yinka. L-R: Mr. Tunde Akinpelu; his wife, Ronke and Mrs. Folake Ogunjimi. American Jazz Maestro, Marcus Miller performing at the event. Hakeem Osagie-Bello and Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Evelyn Oputu. Friday December 13, 2013 36 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Mirror Drive Renault Dokker OLUSEGUN KOIKI I n the last eight years, Renault has the achievement of multiplying its sales by fifteen times in thirty countries of the European Union and Africa especially in Nigeria. The Renault Dokker van combines strength, reliability and simplicity, and succeeds with an outward appearance that conveys solidity thanks to details like a high front grille with a hard thing and a sideline with a marked waist high. With the new Renault Dokker van, whose concept has been baptised by the brand as Combispace, Renault aims to carve a niche among families who need a functional car with which to carry up to five occupants without giving up a large cargo space. And Van Dokker targets “for professionals, craftsmen or merchants autonomous”. What is being a van, come on. Besides, unlike in the past when the Renault products are seldom seen on the Nigerian roads, the recent collaboration between Dana Group and Renault Auto Company, France is now set to dominate the Nigerian roads. At the unveiling of Renault Dokker in Lagos recently, the Chief Commercial for Dana Cars, Mr. Sandeep Malhotra said Dokker as a family van would be well accepted in the Nigerian market. Malhortra informed that Renault has been in Africa, building quality cars made with European technology for the past 40 years and aims to increase its market share in the region as the global trend of foreign direct investments shifts focus from Europe to Africa. He stated that in view of this, Renault has sought after a reliable partnership with the technical-knowhow and experience to drive the change. Renault Dokker is now being marketed in the country by Dana Group. Interior The interior of the latest Dokker is second to none in its category. Apart from the latest state-of-the-art equipment in the interior, Renault also built on the security apparatus of the new model. Dokker has System ABS and brake assist emergency SAFE, while stability control ESC is optional. Both Dokker as Dokker lodgy Van inherit the instrumentation and Media Multimedia Nav system from LG with 7-inch touch screen. navigation, radio, connectivity USB and bluetooth telephony. Also offered as an option the speed limiter and proximity radar with reversing maneuvers. Within the range of accessories, Renault Dacia strip to compose a repertoire that may be interesting to fitting out the Dokker. Arm rest, system DVD, slides in the back seat, child seat, cooler, roof box and grid spacing to the height of the rear seats are the items offered. What seems to be ruled out, for now at least, is the possibility of expanding the number of seats to seven. Loads Capacity The outer dimensions of Renault Dokker Van are 4363 mm long, 2810 mm wheelbase, 1,751 mm wide by 2,004 (counting the mirror) and 1814 mm high. In the current Renault Dokker Van, Van made for big families BOTH DOKKER AS DOKKER LODGY VAN INHERIT THE INSTRUMENTATION AND MEDIA MULTIMEDIA NAV SYSTEM FROM LG WITH 7-INCH TOUCH SCREEN. NAVIGATION, RADIO, CONNECTIVITY USB AND BLUETOOTH TELEPHONY. ALSO OFFERED AS AN OPTION THE SPEED LIMITER AND PROXIMITY RADAR WITH REVERSING MANEUVERS. using the five seats for passengers, cargo space is like a trunk of 800 litres up to the rear headrests, which holds the canvas cubrecarga shutter. In Dokker Van, cargo space ranges from 3300 litres and 3900 litres are achieved by removing the passenger seat, called Easy Seat, to give more room for long objects. In doing so, the fence that separates the occupant load can be closed around the driver, keeping it isolated as by law. Different with 2013 Citroen C-Elysee interior, this car’s access to the back is performed by means of a sliding side door (the latter is optional) that leaves a mouth about 703 mm wide by 1,046 high, the wider market . The rear doors open asymmetric access of 1,082 mm in width (at 1 m from the floor) by 1,100 mm high and can be opened at 90 and 180 degrees. Some possibilities offered by Dokker Van are lining kit isothermal or specific wood cabinets to house tools, tools and hardware. There is also a carrier for the roof. All these options have been designed by coachbuilders approved by Renault. Engine For the Nigerian market are two engines; diesel and petrol. The diesel engine mounted Renault 1.5 dCi (K9K 612) yielding 75 while fuel is used in the 1.6 MPI 85 (K7M 812), 82 HP. The turbocharged 1.2 TCE 115 (HSF p 402), typical of the Renault Mégane , remains out of reach in thee country, at least for now. With these engines, the Renault Van credited Dokker and figures for combined cycle consumption of 4.5 l/100 km for both diesel and 7.5 l/100km for the 1.6 petrol, allowing them to label it CO2 emissions 118 g / km for diesel engines. MAINTENANCE TIPS Clutch on a M ost drivers can expect their clutches to last 40,000 to 60,000 miles, but if you maintain your clutch properly, it can be good for the life of your vehicle, depending on the type of vehicle you drive and how you drive it. Most new vehicles with manual transmissions have self-adjusting clutches that require no adjustment, but if you have an older model without self-adjustment, you can cut down on the wear on your clutch disk by keeping your clutch pedal properly adjusted. Your clutch pedal should move down 3/4 inch to 1 inch without effort and then require a good deal more effort to travel the rest of the way down to the floor. This pedal free-play ensures that when you release the pedal, the clutch disk is fully engaged. Too much free pedal play National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Mirror Drive Friday December 13, 2013 37 Hyundai Motors, Diamond Bank extend sales offer I n a bid to allow lovers of Hyundai products in the country to acquire any brands of their choice especially in this yuletide season, the ongoing collaboration between the Auto Company and Diamond Bank has been extended through the New Year. The Head, Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited, Mr. Jatin Nadkarni said that the extension was necessary as this would afford desiring customers opportunity to purchase new Hyundai products of their choice at affordable rates. He said that the auto company understands the evolving needs and preferences of its customers going by the overwhelming requests it had received since the campaign was unveiled in October this year. Nadkarni reiterated that the essence of the campaign was aimed at providing the best of Hyundai products and services to customers yelling for valueadded experience. He added that the offer was part of effort to implement Hyundai’s brand essence of ‘Modern Premium’ designed to help customers including fleet and individual patrons procure Hyundai cars without hidden charges. The vehicles listed in the offer include Hyundai i10, Accent, Elantra, Sonata and iX35. Nadkarni explained further that the offer was exclusively seamless without any hidden charges and is open to individuals and fleet buyers’. He said, “Prospective customers including those without pragmatic account with Diamond Bank can access the scheme to procure any of the aforementioned Hyundai vehicles, the sales and marketing helmsman affirmed. “We partnered with Diamond Bank to allow customers experience Hyundai cutting edge technology by simply contribut- ing the stipulated monthly installment starting from N32, 000 through N87, 000.” The least monthly installment for the i10 variants for instance he said was N32, 000; Elantra, N62, 000; iX35, N87, 000, while Sonata was N82, 000. He also disclosed that with the offer, beneficiaries have the opportunity of carrying out first three services free of charge in line with Hyundai Service Schedule, adding that Hyundai is keen on providing the best of products and services to customers to enable them enjoy value-added experience. “The Hyundai experience begins from the very moment a customer walks into any Hyundai Motors Nigeria showroom to process an application to discover Hyundai’s Brilliant Moment. “We at Hyundai understand the evolving needs and preferences of our customers and we are optimistic we will receive an overwhelming response to this essential campaign that promises to change the perception of young patrons.” Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited with Diamond Bank PLC had in October unveiled this campaign to showcase Hyundai’s ‘live brilliant’ slogan just as it promises to inspire perceptive customers to discover the true value of Hyundai cutting edge technology. Hyundai has lately made remarkable strides at local and global markets owing to high quality and emotional appeal of its products, which have become part of the brand’s modern premium strategy and brand direction to ‘Live Brilliant’. Hyundai is celebrated for its stylish, sleek curves and fluidic sculpture design that not only implies a sporty and dynamic style, but improves aerodynamics to lower air resistance and enhance outstanding fuel economy and quiet cabin space. New systems make ŠKODA’s production logistics more efficient, environmentally friendly P roduction logistics that functions flawlessly is essential for high productivity in vehicle production. Seamless production in the 13 ŠKODA manufacturing sites worldwide is only guaranteed if vehicle parts and components are available in the right place at the right time in the required quantity. To this end, the Czech car company ŠKODA AUTO uses a sophisticated, efficient, and internationally oriented logistics system. ŠKODA makes its parts logistics now even more efficient, fast, and environmentally friendly with new high-tech solutions for the Mladá Boleslav main production facility. There are three simultaneous logistics innovations in the Mladá Boleslav factory. A new transport container for steering wheels has space for more steering wheels and is also significantly lighter than the model used hitherto. An improved sequence container speeds up the supply of parts to the assembly line. And parts delivery at the touch of a button is now possible thanks to the fully automatic transport system. The use of the most modern storage and transport technology in production is an important element of the ŠKODA growth strategy 2018. “By 2018, ŠKODA will increase the number of sold vehicles to at least 1.5 million units per year,” says ŠKODA’s Production and Logistics board member, Michael Oeljeklaus. “Our new model initiative sets high standards for production and the corresponding logistics structure and processes. Powerful logistics is a precondition for top-level vehicle production. The most recent innovations in our main production facility are an important step towards further optimisation of logistics processes and hence also towards increased efficiency and productivity during production,” he added. The new ŠKODA logistics centre in Mladá Boleslav was put in operation half a year ago. The most recent innovations optimise the logistics processes in the production of the Czech car manufacturer. manual transmission vehicle is not good, either, because too much pedal travel is used up doing nothing: There’s not enough movement left at the bottom of its travel to compress the clutch springs and allow the engine flywheel and the clutch disk to separate. With this excessive pedal play, the gears clash whenever you shift into First or Reverse from a stopped position. If there’s no free pedal play on your clutch pedal, another problem can occur, even if there’s enough play to allow the clutch disk to engage. In this case, the throw-out bearing, which responds to pressure on the clutch pedal by causing the disk to disengage, may go on spinning. If the throw-out bearing is allowed to revolve constantly in this way, it will wear out, which makes getting into or out of gear difficult. Also, avoid riding the clutch because this can wear out the throw-out bearing. You can tell that something is wrong because the bearing makes whirring, whining sounds. If the sounds disappear when you release the clutch pedal and resume when you step on it, you have a bad throw-out bearing. If you think that you have one, or if your clutch misbehaves in other ways, go to a reliable mechanic and have the clutch checked out. If the flywheel is worn, have a professional resurface it as this procedure involves grinding it down to a new, flat surface and then polishing it to a mirror-like finish. If you fail to have this work done, the worn flywheel can wear out the facing of the new clutch disk very quickly. And if you have already had the disk replaced, chances are that it managed to score the flywheel by the time you recognised the trouble signs and had the disk attended to. If the pressure plate is excessively worn, scored, or glazed; or if the springs on the pressure plate become loose, you should have them replaced, as well. Because excessive wear on any part of your clutch results in wear on the other parts, it’s generally a good idea to have the clutch assembly, levers, clutch disk, and throw-out bearings checked and, if necessary, replaced at the same time. You also can have the pilot bearing checked then, too, which saves you money on labor charges by eliminating the necessity of getting into your clutch and putting it back together a second time. 38 Cocktail Friday, December 13, 2013 Teen turns in $2800 found at McDonald’s E rica Clark met her parents for lunch at a McDonald’s in Moorhead, Minnesota and when they parted ways, next to her car the 19-year-old found an envelope filled with $2800 in cash. Valley News Live spoke with Erica about her huge discovery. She said that just before she closed her car door she noticed an envelope sticking out of the snow. Erica explained, “I was just expecting it to be like mail or something. When I opened it and I looked at it, it was all hundred dollar bills and I was just shocked.” Inside the envelope were 28 crisp new $100 bills. It was the most cash the Dilworth, Minnesota teenager had seen, but she never had second thoughts about returning the money. “I couldn’t believe it, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh. I can’t believe somebody lost this much money.’ I couldn’t believe what they probably were feeling at that point,” said Erica. The good samaritan called her father and the two headed to the police department to turn in the cash. Moorhead Police Department Lieutenant Tory Jacobson said, “Well I certainly haven’t seen larger than $2,800 found and turned into the police department during my 24 years on the department,” adding “It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to take a report like this and to deal with this quality of a person.” The officers used a Wells Fargo bank slip containing a transaction number, which accompanied the cash, to determine the rightful owner. Eventually it was found that the man who lost the money had withdrawn the $2800 to purchase a truck. When he realized it was missing he was frantic and worried that it was gone forever. So when it was returned to him, he was overjoyed and has planned to thank Erica in person for her honesty. Erica, a college student at Minnesota State University Moorhead and a volunteer coach working beside her father for the Dilworth Glyndon Felton High School boy’s basketball team, does not expect reward money and feels like she’s already received what she wanted because the money got to the rightful owner. Erica wants people to remember, National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Oddities E Handcuffed woman drives away with police car arly Tuesday morning, United State’s Union City Police showed up to a Walmart to arrest some people suspected of credit card fraud. One of those suspects was Atlanta resident Jenny Clementi. She was handcuffed, with her arms behind her, and put in the back of a patrol car. WXIA 11 Alive News reports it was then that Ms. Clementi managed to get her hands (still cuffed) in front of her, climb through a small opening, and then speed off with the police officer’s car. It’d be impressive if it wasn’t reckless, dangerous, and a crime. WXIA showed just how small a space she had to squeeze through to get up front. My Fox Atlanta said that Clementi drove north on Interstate 85, but then crashed into a car. Union City Police officer Chris Murphy told WXIA, “…the police vehicle rolled to a stop, she jumped out of the vehicle, fled into the woods on foot.” At the time of publication of this Odd News post, she was still at large. WGCL CBS Atlanta points out this isn’t the first time Jenny has been in trouble with Johnny Law, according to jail records, Clementi she was arrested by Atlanta police and charged with criminal trespassing as far back as…September. As for Union City Police, My Fox Atlanta says they were told the department has “…changed their pro- cedures of how they handle suspects, as well as the locking mechanisms on the patrol cars.” They also ask if you have any information as to Ms. Clementi’s whereabouts, you call their Crime Stoppers hotline, 404-577-TIPS. Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 39 Business & Finance Our environment is at a crossroads. We are at a tipping point. Many of our emerging environmental problems are as a result of our unsustainable consumption and production patterns at national, regional and global levels – Supervising Minister, Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Darius Ishaku The apex bank is committed to amending the old Dishonuored Cheques Oﬀences Act of 1977 to ensure the provisions capture emerging trends – DEPUTY GOVERNOR, CORPORATE SERVICES, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, MALLAM SULEIMAN BARAU N4bn NITEL equipment misappropriated, union claims MESHACK IDEHEN T he Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations, SSACTAC, has said that over N4billion worth of kits and equipments belonging to NITEL were misappropriated when Pentascope took over the operations of the institution in the first six months. The union said also that the Federal Government turned down the overtures of the workers in NITEL to buy and manage the firm, when it was obvious that the union has qualified and competent personnel that can turn NITEL’s fortunes around. Speaking on Thursday, the President-General of the SSACTAC, Mr. Adetunji Adesunkanmi, said it is not safe for Nigeria to dispose of its national telecommunications carrier, and that no nation worth its salt carries on the business of governance without a national telecommunications carrier. He said the Federal Government should consider reviving the NITEL for security reasons and economic reasons, pointing out the revival of NITEL would immediately cause a huge reduction in tariff and other abuses that phone users are subjected to in the country. He said that NITEL would also come up with pocket-friendly charges and services for customers due to its national appeal. The union president made reference to the House of Representatives resolution that directed the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, to compel the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, to halt the liquidation of NITEL and its subsidiary, Mobile Telecommunications Limited, MTEL. Berating previous administrations in the country over the fate of NITEL, Adesunkanmi said nepotism, corruption and tribal- ism killed the institution, and that before the advent of mobile telephone system in Nigeria, NITEL will the leader in the sector with over one million functional lines “Successive administrations in Nigeria mishandled and mismanaged the privatisation of NITEL because of tribalism, nepotism and selfish desire to divert the nation’s resources to their personal wealth”, he said. He insisted that the reform of railway services by the Federal Government, alongside a combination of factors such as nepo- tism, self aggrandisement and corruption killed the exercise; saying in order to get the reform right that the 1955 Act which placed the operation of railway under the exclusive preserve of FG must be revoked. “The 1955 Railway Act is obnoxious and must be repealed. There must be legal framework to liberalise railway service in the country in order to allow the private sector to thrive. The private sector must be those who are tested, trusted and can turn the sector around,” he added. C ADVERT HOTLINES: For advert bookings and information, please contact the following: LAGOS: 01-8446073, 08037272933 08094331171, 08023133084, ABUJA: 08033020395, 08036321014 08029002500 Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40, 10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun) Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri); 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (MonFri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) Abv-Beni:08.00, 12.10 (MonFri/Sat)08.56, 12.10 (Sun) BeninAbj:09.55,13.30 Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) Lag-Benin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat) 14.00 (Sun)Lag-Owe: 7.45am, 2pm daily IRS L-R: President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Segun Aina; Managing Director/ CEO, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Mr. Jibril Aku; Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council, Achievers University, Owo, Dr. Bode Ayorinde and Chairman, Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, during their conferment with honourary doctorate degrees in Business Administration by the Achievers University in Owo, Ondo State on Wednesday. Two Chinese firms sign cement deals worth $733m hinese firms Sinoma and CITIC Heavy Industries have agreed deals totalling $733 million to produce cement in Nigeria and Myanmar, respectively, as they expand in emerging markets overseas. Sinoma International Engineering Co Ltd, a unit of China National Materials Co Ltd, signed a $536 million contract with Nigeria’s Dangote Cement FLIGHT SCHEDULE Plc, Sinoma and National Materials said in separate statements yesterday. Sinoma and Dangote will be building two clinker cement production lines, each with a daily capacity of 6,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, CITIC Heavy Industries is collaborating in Myanmar with a unit of Siam Cement Group, Mawlamyine Cement Ltd, on a cement production facility with a capacity of 5,000 tonnes per day, it said in a statement. “The signing of the project and a smooth implementation will have a positive impact on the company’s future operations,” CITIC Heavy said. “It will also further develop the company’s presence in the southeast Asian cement market, giving a boost to our financial results.” The project, worth $197 million, follows a similar contract that CITIC Heavy and Thailand’s Siam Cement signed in May to build a cement production line in Cambodia, CITIC said in the filing on the Shang- NAICOM decries low participation of insurance companies in agri-business 40 hai stock exchange. In November, China Machinery Engineering Corp entered a $236 million agreement with Kar Group for a 6,000 tonne-perday cement plant project in Iraq. The announcements yesterday came after the China and Hong Kong markets closed. Sinoma’s shares ended 0.12 percent lower at 8.35 yuan, while CITIC Heavy’s stock closed 0.29 percent higher at 3.49 yuan, compared with the Shanghai composite index’s 0.06 percent fall. 5,000 consignments trapped at Apapa Port over Risk Report 43 Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 KanoLagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00 NAIC not averse to deregulation of agriculture insurance –Garba 44 40 Business News T he National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, yesterday in Abuja rated low the willingness of insurance companies to participate agribusiness in the country. The Director, Authorisation and Policy, NAICOM, Mr. Leonard Akah, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN. He the situation to the misconception that only the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, NAIC, had the authority to operate in the sector. Akah, however, explained that insurance companies were allowed to provide insurance cover for all aspects of agriculture including crops, livestock, tools, and farm buildings, as long as the farm was not government funded. “There is this misconception that everything agriculture insurance can only be handled by Friday, December 13, 2013 NAICOM decries low participation of insurance companies in agrobusiness the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, NAIC. “They feel NAIC has the monopoly; but truly speaking, that is not the true position. Private insurance companies can underwrite any product for agriculture practitioners with the commission’s approval. “NAICOM, at a point, issued a press release, trying to clarify the true position of the law. “There are some aspects of agricultural insurance you can underwrite apart from the ones being underwritten by NAIC, because the statutory one being handled by NAIC is actually a nogo area. “The reason is simple. Govern- ment will eventually fund part of the premium and this will not be possible, if the insurance is being done by private insurance. “NAIC is government-owned, so, it is easier for them to do that,” he said. He said that if there was a serious claim and the amount was more than 100 per cent of the premium, government would pay the balance. Akah also identified the inadequate number of existing agriculture insurance specialists in the industry as another factor. He underscored the need for the training of more agricultural insurance experts. Akah said the commission L-R: Consultant/Chief Operating Officer, Eurasia Global Services Ltd, Toyin Adegbite-Moore; Music Superstar and Living Legend, Victor Uwaifo and Director, Brands and Communications, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye, at the Etisalat Cloud 9, held at Blu Cabana, Abuja recently. Sorghum farmers get improved seeds, fertilizer –Minister MESHACK IDEHEN T he Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina,has said that 100,000 sorghum farmers in the North East and North West sub regions got high yielding sorghum variety seeds and fertilisers in 2013 under its Sorghum Transformation Value Chain, STVC, programme to boost production of the crop. According to Adesina, the determination of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in boosting the production of the crop in the country has continued to wax stronger, with clearer evidence to show. Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategy to the minister, Dr. Kayode Oyeleye, told National Mirror on Thursday, that the ministry has continued to update farmers with improved modern agronomic and cultural practices in sorghum production for bumper and quality output. He explained the ministry also recently had a training programme that was borne out of National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net recognition that the nation’s farmers needed to be updated with improved/modern agronomic and cultural practices required to attain the full potential of the improved high yielding sorghum varieties distributed to them through FMARD GES platform for maximum productivity and quality grain uptake. According to him, the sorghum transformation value chain of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture focuses on improving the nourishment of the country’s population, and ensuring food and nutrition security of consumers of sorghum in the country, especially within the North East and North West sub regions. He said also that with the improved sorghum seeds already made available to farmers, that the farmers now have yield of between 2.0-2.5 metric tonnes per hectare as against the local variety, which yields only 0.8 metric tonnes per hectare. Oyeleye said participants at the training workshop were given well packaged booklets written in both Hausa and English Lan- guage, containing all the basic information farmers need to know about sorghum production from pre-planting, planting, chemical applications up till harvest and post harvest. The participating farmers, according to him, were also taken to a sorghum farm where it was practically demonstrated to them good practices that would enhance better productivity and quality grain uptake. had introduced policies such as the micro-insurance product and “Takaful’’, an Islamic insurance product, which insurance companies could use to underwrite insurance cover for clients. “We have two types of farmers. Those doing it in small-scale, then the large-scale ones, though very few, but they are the ones that make more impact. “The micro-insurance for instance, helps those at the lower level, those peasant ones, those that just cultivate to feed them- selves. “There is no other source of income for them. So, micro-insurance is targeted at such people. “For ‘Takaful’, it is targeted at those big or small-scale farmers, who do not buy into the conventional, because of their religious beliefs.” Akah, therefore, called on private insurance firms in the country to take advantage of the agriculture sector, adding that NAICOM had put in place a framework to enable its survival. PENGASSAN seeks urgent enactment of PIB T he Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, says the delay in the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Bill is crippling investments in the oil and gas sector. Mr. Oluseyi Gambo, the National Public Relations Officer of PENGASSAN, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, yesterday in Lagos. He said the inaction on the bill had limited foreign investment in the industry. Gambo said the association was optimistic that the bill would become a law to fast track development in the oil and gas sector. “This will give more credibility on investments in Nigeria and also encourage direct foreign investments in the oil and gas sector. “The passage of the bill will certainly move Nigeria towards better direction and attract investors to our country,’’ he said. He also urged the Federal Government to embark on aggressive hydrocarbon oil reserves replacement policy. He said that contrary to other opinions, Nigeria’s estimated oil reserves of 36.2 billion barrels were being depleted at a faster rate. “Nigeria can hit 40 billion barrel oil reserves if adequate mea- sures are put in place to check and address all challenges,” he said. According to him, policies must be put in place for industry to gain time in contracting cycle by shortening and reducing the time for accessing rigs for exploration in Nigerian waters. “Nigeria should make reserves replacement a priority. “If we take a critical look at perspectives for growing reserves in the next decade, the answer is exploration, exploration and more explorations to run parallel to development projects,” Gambo said. He said that competition for capital and supply preferences would be the thrust of the new explorations. Gambo said that enabling environment would be required to stimulate renewed exploration activities in major hydrocarbon heartlands and frontiers basins. “This is why we commend the Federal Government’s initiatives in granting amnesty to youths of Niger Delta and we plead that government make it all encompassing. “Government should also begin to use this opportunity to create a solid platform for a sustainable development and education of the youths in Niger Delta region,’’ he added. Security: Arik Air donates patrol van to Airport Police Command OLUSEGUN KOIKI I n a bid to enhance security patrol around the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, Arik Air management yesterday donated a Toyota Hilux pick up van to the Police Command. The airline said this was part of its efforts to assist security agencies with logistics to improve security and ensure easy movement of security officials within the airport. The Managing Director of the airline, Mr. Chris Ndulue told journalists in Lagos that donation was part of the airline’s Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, programme aimed at reaching out to its immediate community. At the presentation of the vehicle to the Commissioner of Police, MMIA Command, Mr. Waheed Salau, Ndulue said Arik Air was motivated into assisting the Police because of the timely response of its officers and men to security challenges. He said the airline would con- tinue to assist the Nigeria Police as the security and safety of passengers in and around the airports nationwide is part of its corporate objective. The Commissioner of Police expressed gratitude to Arik Air for the gesture, which he said is unique. Salau said the police is highly encouraged by the donation, being the very first from any domestic airline in the country. He assured that the Police would immediately deploy the van for patrol to ensure hitch free operations around the airport. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Business News Friday, December 13, 2013 Collapsed communications masts killed 10 in Lagos –UFRU ...to begin decommissioning of 4,000 masts January KUNLE A ZEEZ M ore than 10 lives have been lost to cases of collapsed communications masts and towers in Lagos State in the past years, the Urban Furniture Regulator Unit disclosed yesterday. UFRU is the Lagos State agency responsible for monitoring the compliance of telecoms masts and towers built in the state to acceptable environmental standards. Give final warning to owners of old masts which include the banks, Internet Service Providers, Insurance firms, oil companies, hotels, hospitals and others to evacuate such masts by the end of December, this year, Head, UFRU, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, who read the riot act, said the presence of such old communications facilities constituted threats human safety. “In the past years, more than 10 people have been killed as a result of collapsed masts. We have the data on our systems. At least, in the past five years, the one I witnessed, we have had up to five of such cases. But in total, we would be talking of up to 10 people that have lost their lives. This is the kind of things we want to discontinue,” he said. He said rough estimate taken by UFRU indicated that there are between 3, 000 and 4, 000 old and hollow-pipe communications masts and towers scattered across the state. According to Igbokwe, “For more than two years, we have been urging local users of ordinary masts in Lagos whether they are banks, ISPS, insurance firms, oli companies, hotel, hospitals, construction firms, clearing & forwarding companies, government agencies, local governments, uni- versities, motot companies and so on to begin the process of decommissioning of their old structures and commission the constructions of new masts.” He said UFRU, having first carried out integrity test on selected sites, found out that the whole lot cannot stand the test of time in Lagos considering it’s coastal nature and the global climate change. “To show that Lagos State government is dead serious on the matter, Governor Raji Fashola decommissioned the old mast in Lagos House, Alausa and commissioned a new one that met the standards set by UFRU. “Now, you would think that this show of leadership by example by the Governor will encourage the mast owners to move into action by gradually removing the old masts and replacing them with new approved ones. No, they are still foot-dragging,” he said. L-R: Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola; Chief Executive Officer, Chair Centre Group and Board member, Bestman Games, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; CEO, Bestman Games, Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe and Head, CSR, First Bank Nigeria Ltd, Ismail Omamegbe at the City of Lagos, Interschool Monopoly Tournament recently. 41 NITMA, Nigeria’s highest IT award holds today KUNLE A ZEEZ T he 2013 edition of the National Information Technology Merit Awards, NITMA, the IT community’s most prestigious and widely recognised award ceremony will hold in Lagos today. The award organised annually by the Nigeria Computer Society provides a platform for the promotion of excellence and innovation by honouring top contributors in the IT profession and industry. Through NITMA, NCS, the nation’s foremost and largest network of Information Technology, IT, Professionals, Interest groups and Stakeholders, recognizes and celebrates the impact of these exceptional achievers and visionaries. According to a statement by the Chairman, Publicity, Events and Trade Services Committee, Mr. Jide Awe, NITMA is the most important and recognized award ceremony in the sector the awards set the benchmark for excellence throughout the IT industry and community. Awe said NITMA sets a standard that all can strive and work towards for accelerated IT development in Nigeria. NITMA reflects the values of NCS by promoting and developing a culture that values hard work, dedication, merit and outstanding accomplishments. “High profile NITMA Awards are uncommon incentives and goals that serve to inspire and motivate practitioners, organisations and members of Nigeria’s IT community,” he said. He said during the ceremony, deserving members of the society who have excelled and have achieved significantly through their work in the IT profession and industry will be upgraded to the Professional Fellow grade of the NCS. GTBank bags most innovative bank award JOHNSON OKANLAWON G uaranty Trust Bank Plc has been adjudged the “Most Innovative Bank” in Africa at the 2013 EMEA Finance Awards and the bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Segun Agbaje was named CEO of the year. A statement from the bank yesterday said the award celebrates Africa’s most innovative bank taking into consideration its market strength, profitability, growth and earnings, potential and quality of management of the financial institutions. The statement quoted the Publisher of EMEA Finance, Mr. Christopher Moore, as saying that the banking sector is developing at a rapid rate and GTBank is at the forefront of many areas of innovation. He said, “Its work in linking its social-media presence to business performance is particularly impressive, including its social banking’ service, which made it the first Nigerian bank to allow customers transfer money and review their account balances on Facebook.” Receiving both awards, the Managing Director, Mr. Segun Agbaje said that the bank uses technology as a strategic means of consistently improving service quality. According to him, being leaders in innovation allows the bank to provide our customers with the best possible value proposition and further consolidate leading position in the African market. “We are delighted to receive this award for our hard work and dedication to delivering the best value to all our stakeholders.” Infinite Impact to develop five million CAC assures of three-hour business registration period business ideas by 2015 T he Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, said it would deploy new software in the first quarter of 2014 to further reduce the registration period of companies to a maximum of three hours. The Registrar-General of the commission, Alhaji Bello Mahmud, stated this while receiving a Quality Management System, QMS, certificate from the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, on behalf of the CAC yesterday in Abuja. Mahmud said that the move was part of efforts by the commission to maintain its current status as one of the best company registries in the world as shown by the ISO certification. “We have been able to reduce the period of registration of companies from five days to 24 hours since the adoption of the International Standard Organisation, ISO, standards. “We intend to reduce it further to a maximum of three hours by the time we deploy new registration software in the first quarter of 2014,” he said. The registrar-general said that Quality Management System had been a veritable tool for the significant improvement recorded by the commission in its service delivery. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the DirectorGeneral of SON, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, presented the QMS certificate to the CAC on behalf of the International Standard Organisa- tion, ISO. Odumodu said that the certificate was in recognition of the commission’s pursuit of excellence in its service delivery to Nigerians. He said that the QMS adopted by the CAC had helped the commission to understand customer needs and meet their expectations as well as improve on its set processes and documentation, among others. According to him, CAC is the first Federal Government agency among four others to obtain certification on QMS from SON. He identified the other agencies as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Federal Roads Safety Commission, FRSC and SON. KUNLE A ZEEZ I nfinite Impact Limited, an idea portfolio management firm in Nigeria, said it was determined to work with young people in the country to develop their ideas into creating not less than 5 million commercially viable businesses in the country. The Chief Innovation Strategist of Infinite Impact, Mr. David Messan, disclosed this during the presentation of prize to the winner of an ‘Idea Challenge’, Mr. Azode Vincent. Idea Challenge is a programme lunched by the company to urging young people to compose the essence of the business idea in 20 words on Facebook. The best ideas were selected and consequently, Vincent emerged as the participant with the best business idea that also emphasises using local resources to run such business. Messan said his company comes up with effective strategy that helps develop creative idea from the point of conception to the point of making the idea commercially viable, working with over 1, 300 venture capitalists within and outside Africa. He noted that over the years, Infinite Impact had worked with 100 individuals, 13 of which, he said had made their Initial N1m in their various businesses. 42 Maritime Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net ‘FG lacks political will to enforce new auto policy’ The new National Automotive Policy, which led to the imposition of 35 per cent duty on imported used vehicles has generated serious controversies. President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nweke in this interview with FRANCIS EZEM insists that just like previous similar policies, the government does not seem to have the political will to enforce the policy as lofty despite the good intentions. Minister of Transport, Ailaji Idris Umar is two years in office, could you assess his performance? I have accessed his performance in the past and I cannot continue to do that. But be that as it may, he is a politician and like many other politicians, he has come to make one impact or the other in the areas that catch his attention. I believe he has made one impact or the other in the area that fascinated him. But in the overall, if he has made impact only in the area of the transport sector that fascinated him, the question one asks, is where is the commitment in developing the sector? That is why some of us in the past insisted that since the government has started segmenting the transport sector, we made a case for the creation of a Railway Ministry so that rail transport system will be given adequate attention. The government should not tie it to the Ministry of Transport, which is already too wide spread to cover maritime just like they succeeded in transferring road to the Federal Ministry of Works and air transport to the Ministry of Aviation and also that of pipeline to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The government should expand more by creating the Ministry of Maritime as presently constituted under Transport to cater for shipping and inland water transport while the Rail Ministry caters for rail transport. We have an overbloated system and until we un-bundle it, we may not be able to address the challenges inherent in the system. But it is either we unify it and have different departments or un-bundle in order to achieve result. What do you think about the cost implication of having three or four ministers? You cannot be talking about cost implications since those running the current system do not think about cost because there are currently too many agencies under the present system so the problem is not about cost. If the issue is cost, we should have one Ministry of Transport but with departments such as rail, maritime, aviation, pipeline and road under experts. Also if you are talking about cost, you also do not consider the existence of multiple agencies saddled with various functions and taxes, which can actually be unified as one. What is your take on the new automotive policy, which many believe will bring more hardship to the people and causing temporary loss of jobs? Well, I am not thinking the temporary loss of jobs or its economic implication because those should be left for students of economics but as a freight forwarder, I want to look at the new policy whether it is masses-oriented or is for the elites. I ask this question because in the last 20 years I do not know how many Nigerians that can afford brand new cars. So if the larger percent of the people can only afford used vehicles in the different brands, then it shows that government has not really balanced the scale. It also shows that past efforts of the government through national transport policies in creating or establishing automobile firms under the MoU arrangement that under 10, 15 or 20 years, to the extent that after assembling in Nigeria that by now technology would have been transferred and that we should be boasting of made in Nigeria automobile but as at this moment, I have not seen any vehicle made in Nigeria, which 80 percent of the components are sourced locally. You now begin to ask yourself question, has such automobile policies yielded fruits in the past? Can Peugeot Nigeria sing a song of success? Can Volkswagen Nigeria tells a success story and exploit in Nigeria to the benefits of Nigerians? Can Land Rover Ibadan, Styer Bauchi, ANAMMCO Enugu say the same thing? The essence of setting up these plants was to create jobs for Nigerians. How many Nigerians are working there today? It is either that they are retrenching or downsizing. Similarly, is there any machinery put in place by the government to regulate the prices of these vehicles? What is the indices to measure the amount of waiver they have collected from the government? That is why NAGAFF said in its recent statement that it will beam its searchlight on the Federal Ministry of Finance so that we begin to take statistics of every single waiver given to importers of these brand new vehicles or any other company for that matter. Government gives revenue target to the Nigeria Customs Service, which now claims that the waiver granted stalls its ability to meet these targets. Now we are not talking about rice but vehicles, which are fast moving equipment and many of them come through unapproved routes. Do Customs have what it takes to cover the totality of the nation’s borders? Has the government equipped the service to really police these borders? Government should look at the policy again because from experience, it might be one that will trigger massive smuggling of vehicles from unapproved routes. Nweke That is why we have suggested that what government needed do was to introduce high duty rate on used vehicles and low tariff rate say fiver percent on brand new vehicles so that they will be cheaper in the long run. Government cannot tell us with certainty that after 15 years that we will not come back to where we are now. You will recall that Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, when she was minister of state under Nenadi Usman imported Peugeot cars under which Peugeot 307 were given to senior officers while the 206 model was given to the junior offers. Why were those vehicles not assembled here? That is policy summersault. I quite commend the President for initiating a policy of growing the local automotive industry because that shows he is thinking. But that should be done in such a way that it does not promote smuggling and boost the economies of neighbouring African countries, who are re-positioning to take advantage of the policy because by the time the policy comes into effect next year, in three months, the volume of cargo and ship traffic especially for specialised ports like the Roll-OnRoll-Off (RORO) operation will drop and firms like the Grimaldi Group, which runs the Ports Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) will begin to downsize. Government imposed the National Automotive Council Levy on imported goods, THE PORT SYSTEM SHOULD BE AUTOMATED AND THAT IS WHY WE ENCOURAGE CUSTOMS TO ACTUALISE THE SINGLE WINDOW NETWORK THAT WILL WORK SIDE BY SIDE THE TRADE HUB SO THAT EVERYBODY WILL HOOK UP TO REDUCE HUMAN CONTACT allegedly designed to grow the local industry. More than 20 years after, has this vision has been achieved? Government is in the habit of dishing out figures and statistics. They will tell you that they have spent over N400bn on vehicle importation but they will not tell you the total amount of the two per cent NAC Levy they have been collecting over the years. Where did they invest it? Thank God President Olusegun Obasanjo cancelled it. Eight years after port concession, it still takes over 21 days to clear cargo. What is the way out? Two things are involved, first is the problem of compliance to international best practices and secondly, we need to be ICT compliant. The port system should be automated and that is why we encourage Customs to actualise the single window network that will work side by side with the trade hub so that everybody will hook up to reduce human contact. It is only when we do that that we will have efficient system because port operators should also be able to plan. There is something called port planning and spacing, which is a daily activity under port management that will give an added edge towards efficient port operations. If your ports are not planned and structured and you receive different types and sizes of cargoes, you cannot achieve efficiency. If after eight years of port reform I cannot sit in my office and track my cargo, having received the bill of laden, we have not achieved anything. 48-hour cargo clearance is achievable when we have collapsed cumbersome procedures, which is what Customs is working towards-simplified procedures. We need to collapse so many structures then create an arrangement that represents one-stop shop. That is the only way out. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM L ess than two weeks after the takeover of the Destination Inspection scheme by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), a major crisis seems to be brewing as no fewer than 5,000 imported consignments are trapped at Apapa Port alone over unresolved Risk Assessment Reports, RAR. The service had on December 1, 2013 taken over the DI scheme, which incorporates the Computerised Risk Management System, CRMS and the scanning services, which follows the expiration of the sevenyear Build, Own, Operate and Transfer, BOOT, entered by the Federal Government with the four service providers. Authoritative maritime sources hinted that at the handover of the scheme some service is providers, no fewer than 5, 000 RARs issued in respect of some imported consignments were not entered into the Automated System for Customs Data, ASYCUDA, even though the physical document has been issued to the importer or his designated agent. A RAR, which has currently been replaced by the Pre-Arrival Risk Assessment ,PAR, issued by Customs, is an advisory document issued by the service providers advising the service on the level of risk associated with a certain consignment under the CRMS. According to the sources, some of the service providers failed to key some of the last batches of RAR they issued be- Maritime Friday, December 13, 2013 5,000 consignments trapped at Apapa Port over Risk Reports Containers at Apapa Port, Lagos. fore the termination of their contracts, a development that has made it pretty difficult to clear the consignments. A freight forwarder, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, who is also a victim of this rather ugly development, disclosed that he took the physical RAR issued to him to the data capture seat of Customs only to be told that the RAR could not be traced in the service’s network, an indication that they were not keyed into the network before handover. “I went to the data capture seat of the Customs for the data of my consignment to be entered into the system and I was told that they could not trace the document in the system and they referred me the import duty bank, which I did but that bank told me to do an application stating all the facts”, the freight forwarder lamented. He also disclosed that an official of the bank told him in confidence that the bank was actually at loss as to what to do about the problem, adding that while the delay lasts, the consignment is busy accumulating both demurrage charges from the shipping company and rent from the terminal operator. Another freight forwarder, whose consignments were affected by the error blame the entire issue on the poor handling of the transition and handover processes by Customs, which he ‘Port reform well concieved, poorly implemented’ N early eight years after the completion of Nigeria’s port reform programme, a maritime expert on Monday took a swipe at the Federal Government over the handling of the exercise, which he said tilted heavily towards political patronage. Publisher of Shipping World, one of the thriving independent maritime publications, Elder Asu Beks, who spoke at symposium organised by Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) as part ofactivities to mark its silver jubilee celebrations in Lagos, observed that the port reform programme in itself was well thought out but very poorly implemented. According to him, the global trend in port management and operation is to involve private sector operators in key segments of port management, especially cargo handling, which the Nigerian port reform also adopted. But he regretted that as well thought out as the programme was, it implementation was marred by political patronage as against expertise and merit, which are the guiding principles of similar exercises 43 elsewhere in the world. “The port reform was so lopsided in favour of cronies of the government and those at the corridor of power and it was tantamount to someone calling out to his friends and family members to come and pick up seaport terminals”, he regretted. He also observed that in government’s mad rush to give out the terminals to its cronies and friends, it failed to put in place legal and regulatory framework that would guide private sector operators involved in the emerging system. This pitfall on the part of the government has given rise to myriads of problems and challenges occasioned by imposition of arbitrary and illegal charges, especially due to the absence of a commercial regulator. Beks, who is also president of the Lagos chapter of Ijaw Youth Forum, also took a swipe at the National Assembly over its failure to pass the Port and Harbour Bill sent to it over eight years ago, adding that the non passage of the bill, which was designed to give le- gal backing to the reform was one of the greatest challenges faced in the system. He said: “The National Assembly should tell Nigerians whether legalising under-age marriage is more important that passing the Ports and Harbours Bill or passing the anti-gay marriage bill is more important that legalising the port reform programme concluded overeight years ago?” Beks, who was the first elected president of MARAN however expressed the hope that the passage of the bill and other related legislations such as the National Transport Commission Bill will address some of the challenges faced in the industry now. The Federal Government had sometime in 2002 conceived the idea of the port reform, which was aimed at addressing some of the problems faced in the port system then such as high dwell time of cargo, long waiting time of ships that call at the nation’s seaports and the attendant imposition of additional freight charges on Nigeria bound cargo by multinational shipping companies. said was not properly handled. “The DI contract provided for a transition period of at least six months under which officials of Customs would be attached to the various service providers with a view to understudying the operations of the service providers, which Customs failed to adhere to”, he also lamented. It was also gathered that the Comptroller General of the ser- vice, Mallam Abdullahi Dikko refused to recognise and work with a transition committee set up for the purpose of ensuring a hitch-free takeover as provided under contract but instead set up his own committee, which did also not carry others along. “The importers and their agents have always been at the receiving end in such issues even though they never contributed in any way to the problems associated with the poor take-off of the scheme. We will have to additional rent and demurrage charges as long as the consignments remain at the terminals and there is nothing anyone us can do about that, he further lamented. Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of the Apapa Area 1 command of the service, Mr. Emmanuel Ekpa, who reacted to the development, however assured that the service is committed to resolving all such issues. While disclosing that the command has set up a help desk to collate and handle such complaints, he noted that it was human for every new system to have such teething problems, which will all fizzle out with time. Container shipping partners consolidate freight routes W ith the future of the P3 network, which draws together the world’s three largest container shipping lines, Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, still to be decided by the authorities, the members of the already established G6 Alliance have announced plans to expand their cooperation to the Asia-North America West Coast and Trans-Atlantic trade lanes, a move seen by many in the freight industry as a challenge on the potential dominance of the proposed P3 Global Alliance, by providing a network comprising all East-West trade lanes deploying a total of about 240 vessels connecting 66 Asian, American and European ports. The G6 Alliance, whose members are APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui OSK Line (MOL), Nippon Yusen Kaisha ,NYK, and Orient Overseas Container Line ,OOCL, plans to deploy about 76 ships across 12 services connecting 27 Asian and North America West Coast ports, with approximately another 42 ships deployed across five services including two pendulum services in the Trans-Atlantic trade lane calling at 25 ports covering the US East Coast, US West Coast, Canada, Panama, Mexico, Netherlands, the UK, France, Belgium and Germany. According to the member carriers of the G6 Alliance, the aim of the expanded cooperation is to provide customers with more service choices and increased sailing frequency, highlighting the Asia-North America West Coast trade where each member will apparently be able to offer almost twice as many sailings, compared to what is currently offered separately by The New World Alliance (APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and MOL and the Grand Alliance (HapagLloyd, NYK and OOCL). The new services are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2014, pending regulatory approval, with details on services and port rotations to be announced at a later date and, subject to regulatory approval, it seems that ZIM Lines may also cooperate in the new arrangement. Rafael Ben-Ari, ZIM VP Shipping, said: “Joint ventures are part of ZIM’s ongoing strategy. We are partners on the PNW with the Grand Alliance since 2009 and discuss to continue moving forward. Our aim as always is to improve the services to our customers.” 44 Agri Business The Managing Director of Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, NAIC, Dr. Tijjani Garba, speaks on the roles of the Corporation and its responsiveness to emerging issues in agricultural insurance business during an interactive session with select journalists in Abuja recently. TOLA AKINMUTIMI was there and captures his views. Excerpts: Friday, December 13, 2013 NAIC not averse to deregulation of agriculture insurance –Garba flood, windstorm, rainstorm, fire, pests and diseases while in livestock, the risks covered are death and injury due to accident, disease, fire, lightening, storm and flood. Now let us consider the issue of accessibility. How accessible are you to farmers in all the States, especially those not close to Abuja, your operational headquarters? The Corporation is highly accessible to farmers nationwide as it has operational presence in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. In addition there are six (6) zonal offices in each of the geopolitical zones that supervises the states offices. The zonal offices are located in Asaba, Bauchi, Ibadan, Kastina, and Owerri. There are places underway to open more offices in the Local Government Areas to enable easy accessibility by the rural farmers. What is NAIC’s role in agriculture development in the country? The overall objective of the Nigeria’s Agricultural Development is self sufficiency and food security and this broad objective can only be sustained through a series of good policies, strategies, in-service delivery, effective marketing and efficient management. Agriculture, unlike many other investment activities is exposed to a wide variety of risks and uncertainties particularly dues to climate change conditions. Therefore, the role of NAIC as implemented by the Federal Government is to manage risks involved in Agricultural business and there-by contributing to the development of Agriculture in the Country. What kind of subsidies do you give to farmers when they insure their farms? The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance scheme is subsidized by the Federal and State Governments to the tune of 50 per cent in the proportion of 37.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively. Thus, the farmer is required to pay only 50 per cent of the premium payable and the subsidy is applicable on food items only as commercial rates are charged on non-food items. NAIC offers the best subsidy to farmers as far as agriculture is concerned in Nigeria as the subsidy funds cannot be directed by any means. It is one unique subsidy that has contributed to reach the beneficiaries, that is the farmers. Based on your experiences with peasant farmers, how enlightened are they about insurance? Peasant or rural farmers contribute about 70- 80 per cent of the farming populace and the majority of them are not enlightened about the scheme. Awareness creation to us is a journey and not destination and as such, the Corporation has been making efforts through various ways to ensure farmers are well enlightened. We do undertake in sensitisation programmes and as I speak with you, we just concluded sensitisation in all the six (6) geo-political zones of the country. We do undertake in publicity via radio jungles and advert placement that have been translated in five (5) different languages namely; English, Pidgin English, Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo. Does NAIC do other type of insurance apart from Agric? Yes, NAIC underwrites other types of insurance apart from Agric. We underwrite policies in general business such as fire, burglary, Workmen’s compensation, motor, marine (hull and cargo), goods-in-transit, performance bond, etc. The enabling Act of the corporation empowers it to underwrite all these other classes of business, except Life. Are your customers only commercial farmers or do small-holder farmers also insure with you? The Scheme was established for the benefit of all categories of farmers namely; small, medium, and large scale farmers either in groups or as individuals. Therefore, anyone or everyone involved in agricultural activities from pre-production, processing and other post harvest activities are entitles to enjoy the services of the corporation. In addition to the above categories of farmers, the scheme is mandatory for all beneficiaries of all agricultural credit facilities of Banks and other lending institutions. How much has NAIC paid to farmers as a result of flood National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Are there other services NAIC is rendering to farmers apart from insurance? Apart from insuring the farms, it is pertinent to mention that it is in the culture of NAIC to carry out periodic visits to insured projects, and also group farmers who are yet under cover. Such visits are carried out by Veterinarians and a host of other experts. The visit provides advisory services to farmers on best farming practice that enhance efficiency in production and risk management. Garba experienced in some parts of the country in the last three (3) years? Claims payment is one of the most important functions of any insurance outfit. In fact, prompt claim response is a primary function of any credible insurance firm. Therefore at NAIC, claims are treated and paid immediately. The corporation has so far paid over N500 million to farmers who had suffered from the 2012-2013 floods across the country. As NAICOM is planning to deregulate agric insurance, in what ways would the initiative affect NAIC’s operation? NAIC is not in any way averse to the deregulation of agriculture insurance as the deregulation will broaden the agricultural insurance market aimed at introducing the much needed completion, dynamism and innovation in the agricultural insurance underwriting sector. The deregulation when implemented will spur NAIC operation for greater and better performance. However, it is my opinion that the liberation of Agricultural insurance is likely to have a negative impact on the Nigerian farmers who are already burdened with high input cost of Agricultural production as the deregulation will lead to an increment of pricing (premium) of agricultural insurance. Could you mention some of the risks you cover in agriculture? NAIC services cover every activity across the agricultural value chain. The risks covered in crops are drought, EVERYONE INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES FROM PRE-PRODUCTION, PROCESSING AND OTHER POST HARVEST ACTIVITIES ARE ENTITLES TO ENJOY THE SERVICES OF THE CORPORATION Sir, could you give us an insight your claims profile? As earlier mentioned, claims are treated and paid with dispatch. The insured are always encouraged to report claim incidence promptly to enable verification and commencement of processing. From January to date over N220 million has been paid as claims by the corporation to various farmers across the country and more claims are under processing for immediate settlement. What kind of loss do the farmers experience most and what is responsible for that? In the last two years most farmers experienced flood and this is due to excessive or abnormal rains occasioned by climatic factors-related conditions. Government has been giving loan facilities to farmers. Is NAIC playing any role to ensure efficient disbursement of these loans? The Corporation is the agency of Government primarily mandated to insure Agricultural risks. Therefore, NAIC does not operate in isolation as it has a very good working relationship with all stakeholders, particularly with Bank of Agriculture, BOA, and all agricultural agencies both at the Federal and State levels. As the scheme operates a mandatory cover, all agricultural loans from banks, financial institutions and other agricultural agencies are mandatorily insured with NAIC. Based on your knowledge about the nation’s agric sector what do you think is the way forward for its development? Agricultural production in Nigeria is associated with various types of risks such as input supply, price, agricultural yield, product prices and production risks due to the effects of climate change. The Agricultural Transformation Agenda, ATA, of the Federal Government is the largest ever Government –enabled private sector –led effort to develop agriculture. In my opinion, a holistic implementation of the transformation agenda will make the agricultural sector more productive, efficient and competitive and thereby ensuring the growth and development of agriculture in Nigeria. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 45 Friday, December 13, 2013 KATSINA STATE GOVERNMENT 2014 BUDGET OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AN ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KATSINA STATE, DR. IBRAHIM SHEHU SHEMA, CON, FNIM (SARKIN FULANIN KATSINA) AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE 2014 BUDGET PROPOSAL TO THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON WEDNESDAY, 11THDECEMBER, 2013 PROTOCOL It is important and indeed absolutely necessary to start by expressing my sincere gratitude to Allah (SWT) for giving me the rare opportunity to be here personally today and present to this Hon. House the 2014 Budget Estimates which in consideration of its paradigm shift we tagged “Budget of Social Responsibility”. 2013 BUDGET REVIEW Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, I wish to seize this opportunity to in a cursory manner review the performance of the 2013 Budget, especially in the provision of infrastructure, Basic Amenities, Social Services, Security, Youth Empowerment and other fundamental services very dear to any responsible and responsive Government. I am happy to state that the 2013 Budget has greatly helped in the implementation of Government Programmes and policies, enhanced service delivery and facilitated the execution of developmental projects in the fields of Education, Health, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Water Supply, Power, Human Capital Development and Security. AGRICULTURE It is axiomatic to state that the Government we are privileged to lead has done so much to boost Agriculture in the State. The implementation of Katsina- Songhai Initiative Programme has recorded an impressive result with the first site at Zobe Dam reaching about 90% completion stage while that of Mairuwa Dam is recording an appreciable level of progress. The government is still making consultation with the Federal Government for the release of Sabke Dam site for utilization as one of the sites of the Programme. It is equally important to mention that the 60No. Youth from the 34 Local Government Areas sponsored for 6 months intensive training at different training Centres in Benin Republic had since returned and are already integrated into the Programme. So far over N1Billion has been spent on the Programme financing. It is on record, that the State Government under the 2013Budget, has sustained the provision of agricultural inputs, expansion of irrigation activities, inoculation of livestock, supply of qualitative veterinary drugs and expansion of Strategic Grains Reserve Programme to stabilize prices and fight food insecurity. The report I received on the impact of the fertilizer distribution system using Polling Unit as a focus of operation was quite encouraging to say the least. To augment our output of the rainy season farming, irrigation activities are also being given distinctive importance. For instance, the State Government just released the sum of N32,000,000 (thirty two million Naira) to meet basic requirements of the Jibia Irrigation Scheme (JIP) which is being run with the understanding of the Federal Government while 27 other State regulated Irrigation Schemes have also been provided with N33,000,000 (Thirty three million Naira) for logistics, lubricants and other ancillary needs. POVERTY ALLEVIATION Mr Speaker, Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, the State Govern- ment has done much in Poverty Alleviation, Programmes under the 2013 budget especially on Micro – Credit facilities to empower the less privileged, implementation of Women Empowerment Credit facilities, Assistance to Physically Challenged, provision of Soft loans and assistance to graduates of Youth and Women Skill Acquisition Centres. In another but similar vain the Department of Community Development (DCD) continue to meet the demands of rural communities through the intervention and provision of basic amenities and services. Let me also state that the SURE-P funds are available and have been allocated for equitable and balanced developmental results. EDUCATION The State Government policy on Free Education and the payment of WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, LABOUR TRADE TEST and NBAIS Examinations Fees for all Candidates in Public Schools has been sustained in 2013. Similarly, the payment of Scholarships to fresh and continuing Students of Katsina State origin studying at various Institutions of higher learning across the Country has just been effected with an overall budget of over N400million. It is also important to mention the sponsorship of indigenes of Katsina State to study Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Computer Science, Engineering, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Radiology etc at various Universities outside the Country to arrest manpower gap in those areas andexpose the State indigenes to international competitiveness among other benefits was also undertaken this year. In a similar development, the Second Phase of Allo Model Education has been implemented under the 2013 Budget. The number of Allo Model Schools being supported by the Government with feeding, clothing, rudimentary craft training of the pupils and stipends for teachers has been increased from 70 to 100 Schools. Similarly, a counterpart funding for SUBEB of over 800 million Naira was promptly provided within the year under review. With regards to Girls Child Education, the State Government meets all the needed logistics requirements of nearly N70,000,000 (Seventy million Naira) for direct disbursements of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of N200,000,000 (Two hundred million Naira) graciously provided by the Federal Government. As for the Female Teacher Training Special Scheme (FTTSS), the sum of about N40,000,000 (Forty million Naira) was released for the purpose to help the indigent enrolled students. HEALTH It is most gratifying to state that the State Government has succeeded in the delivery of effective and Free Healthcare Services across the State. The supply, distribution and administration of free drugs to the State populace for Maternal Services, treatment of children under five years of age, accident victims, malaria and dialysis patients has been sustained in 2013. Consistently operated and implemented also is the Drug Revolving Scheme. The 250 Bed Orthopedic Hospital has been completed, equipment are being installed and is at the handing over stage. Already, the State Government has signed a Memoran- 46 dum of Understanding with the Egyptian Government (NASAR MEDICAL CENTER) on the running and management of the Hospital. It is equally important to mention that under the 2013Budget, new Healthcare Centre was constructed at Kurfi while those of Charanchi and Zango were renovated. Contract was also awarded for the rehabilitation of 3 General Hospitals of Baure, Ingawa and Musawa. The sum of N142million was also released for projects meant to specifically address the accreditation requirements of School of Nursing Katsina and School of Midwifery Malumfashi. One of the remarkable achievements we recorded is in Immunization coverage which for the first time reached the epic level over 90% and KTS has been Polio free for over one year now. Despite the huge salary bill it attracts, 400 Health Personnel were employed in the year for the purpose of improving healthcare delivery. INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT In the area of infrastructural development, it is obvious Mr. Speaker that this administration has succeeded in establishing an astonishing record that I believe posterity will acknowledge and pay tribute to. From 2011 to date 8No. road projects with 247kms length worth over N16billion were completed while 9No. road projects worth over N10billion are on-going. Similarly, most recently another set of 5No. road projects were awarded on contract with an ETC of over N8billion. In awarding the road projects, apart from strategic importance of the roads, we give due cognizance to our geo-political setting of (Katsina, Funtua and Daura) as a State. The Six lane Ring Road which surrounds Katsina metropolis now completed was conceived to act as a sort of centrifugal force to Katsina city and its pattern of growth and development. In order to prepare our society for the dynamics of today’s world an ICT and Business School is being constructed and already projects under phases I and II have been awarded. Furthermore, as part of the infrastructural transformation 250 houses are being built at Kabukawa in Katsina while at Abuja other sets of 100 houses are also being constructed as a strategic move for the future of this State and the people. It is my pleasure also to inform this Honourable House that the new Government House complex and Stadium which has a 34,000 sitting capacity are set for commissioning. SECURITY The issue of security has been given absolute primacy by the present administration. The challenge we are facing on security necessarily jerked up our spending on this vital social enterprise. Permit me at this important occasion to give outstanding accolade to our security agencies, salute the effort of our traditional and religious leaders and other community leaders for jointly making Katsina State one of the most peaceful States in Nigeria. We thank Allah for securing our State and we bow to Him for this great favour and kindness. YOUTH EMPOWERMENT The State Government has in 2013 continued with its multitude of programmes in Youth Empowerment in the State such as Youth for Tree Planting and Environmental Protection Programme. Also various skills acquisition courses at Katsina Youth Craft Village are turning graduates not only self-reliant but becoming employers of labour in their little way. Currently, we have 12 Trades being taught at the Youth Craft Village and the policy of providing resettlement package to the 10 best graduates of each trade is being sustained as a motivational imperative. The trades are: i. Motor Mechanics ii. Carpentry & Wood works iii. Leather Works& Shoe making iv. Film Making& Photography v. Tie & Dye vi. Catering vii. Tailoring viii. Computer repairs ix. GSM Mobile repairs x. Auto Electrical xi. Pottery xii. Welding & Fabrication FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, with retrospective effect I wish to remind you that a total provision of N114,584,263,550 was made for 2013 Budget out of which only N92,000,000,000 was realized from both the Internally Generated Revenue, Capital Receipts and Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account including the opening balance of N22billion thus leaving the State Government with a shortfall of N22,584,263,550 to which Government responded with appropriate spending cuts where necessary. Despite the shortfall, however, the Government did not borrow to finance any of its outlined projects or to meet its recurrent obligation. Through sustained discipline, financial prudence and rational allocation of resources the Katsina State that we have peoples mandate to lead attained greater heights and become a model of development inspite of the huge shortfall we recorded. It is also a commonplace fact that Katsina State was the first to implement the National Minimum Wage among the States in the North and from accounts of Labour Leaders our table of payment to workers remains the highest in its value in comparison to those of other States in the North. Payment of pension and gratuity is also being done timely and any delay ought to be a product of technicalities but not the will or the resources to pay. 2014 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS Tagged “Budget of Social Responsibility”, the main focus in 2014 Financial Year will be delivery of social services to the good people of the State. The welfarist content of the Budget is not entirely opening new frontiers but intensifying and emphasizing on such areas and aspects of public financing with direct connection to the human element. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Members of the State House of Assembly, the 2014 Budget is rooted in Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 71.45% Capital and 28.55% Recurrent expenditure formulated to achieve concrete and formidable dividends of democracy in the areas of Solid Minerals Development, Water Supply and Renewable Energy to support our growing economy and through wealth creation and more employment opportunities. FEATURES OF THE 2014 BUDGET. The total projected expenditure/revenue for the year is N113,603,420,624, the total expected commitments for both capital and recurrent is N112,994,392,182 with a surplus position of N609,028,442. The 2014 Budget which is structured with a total recurrent expenditure of N32,421,651,075 or 28.55% is broken into the following components: i. Personnel Cost N19,167,012,12 = 16.87% ii. Overhead Cost N8,368,612,830 = 7.37% iii. Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges N4,886,026,125 = 4.30% Total - N32,421,651,075 = 28.55% The Capital Expenditure constitutes 71.45% deliberately worked out so as to ensure rapid growth, progress and development which an emergent State like Katsina State requires. The higher allocation for Capital Expenditure (the thrust of our Budgets since 2008) is a policy meant to prepare the substructure upon which other super structures will be enthroned to guarantee balanced development, encourage investment and the realization of individual innate qualities of self – realization. RECURRENT REVENUE The total recurrent revenue to finance the 2014 Budget stands at N86,235,473,892 which comprises N15,224,641,735 Internally Generated Revenue and N71,010,832,157 as revenue receivable from the Federation Account. CAPITAL RECEIPTS The total amount available as capital fund for 2014 is projected to beN81,181,769,549 which is broken down as follows: i. Transfer from Recurrent Budget Surplus = N53,813,822,817 ii. External Contributions = N3,367,946,732 iii. Opening Balance = N24,000,000,000 Total = N81,181,769,549 CAPITAL EXPENDITURE The estimated Capital Expenditure for 2014 Financial Year is N80,572,741,107. The proposed sectional allocations are as follows: i. Economic Sector N22,908,015,355 = 20.16% ii. Social Service Sector N14,734,258,495 = 12.97% iii. Regional Development N33,453,279,793 = 29.45% iv. Administration N5,764,107,465 = 5.07% v. Judiciary N413,080,000 = 0.36% vi. Legislature N1,050,000,000 = 0.92% vii. Statewide/Quick Intervention funds N2,250,000,000 = 1.98% Sub – Total N80,572,741,107 = 70.91% Surplus Budget N609,028,442 = 0.54% Total N81,181,769,549 = 71.45% SUMMARY The 2014 Budget which is projected to be operated with a Surplus is broadly categorized as follows: i. Funds from Federation Account = N71,101,832,157 ii. Internally Generated Revenue = N11,409,248,595 iii. Capital Receipts = N3,815,393,140 iv. 2014 Opening Balance = N24,000,000,000 Total = N113,603,420,624 LESS EXPENDITURE i. Recurrent = N32,421,651,075 ii. Capital = N80,572,741,107 Total = N113,603,420,624 Budget Surplus = N609,028,442 CONCLUSION Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, the figures I have just reeled out to you now are what to guide Katsina State Government in the coming Financial Year and this hallowed chamber that houses the 34 Elected Representatives of the people of Katsina State have the constitutional powers and responsibility to appropriate the proposal into a Law. For the period we have by destiny been working together, I must admit your unflinching support which you give the Executive Arm to operate; the wisdom you exhibit in making Laws and taking decisions and the maturity you always inject as a guiding principle of your action. Without doubt you are a collection of Gentlemen that will in no distant future play the stabilizing role in our society and I am making this statement out of conviction and as a summation of my observations and humble judgment. With these few remarks, I once more wish to earnestly thank you for receiving me and members of my entourage and I am happy to, in the context of the pervading fraternal ambience, present and lay before this Honourable House, the 2014 Katsina State Budget Estimates. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, while wishing you a Happy and Prosperous 2014 in advance, I beseech the pleasure of Allah (SWT) to guide you as you peruse, scrutinize and pass the Budget proposal I presented today. Alhamdulillah. I thank you all. Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 47 Community Mirror Investors were being scared of investing in Bayelsa State as a result of the alarming crime rate. BAYELSA STATE GOVERNOR, SERIAKE DICKSON Two arrested for raping 16 year old girl HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE T he Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Ondo State have arrested two men for allegedly raping a 16 year old girl,even as the command is on the trail of four others still at large. Parading the suspects at the NSCDC State headquarters in Akure, the Public Relations Officer,PRO, Mr. Kayode Baloat Oluwatuyi area of the state capital According to him, the men did not only rape the girl but also filmed the act with their mobile phones. He however said two of the six accused were arrested after a tip off and said they will soon be charged to court, stressing that efforts are on to apprehend four others now at large. He said: “Through intelligence report and tip-off, two of the suspects were arrested. And they have confessed to the crime. They gave her a mark and warned that she should not tell her parents what happened.” Narrating the ordeal, the girl said she was returning from school when three men grabbed and threatened her with axe and knives and even slashed her wrist as a way of initiating her into their cult. She revealed that they forced her to consume gin and cigarette before moving her to another house where she was gang raped. Her words: “On that day, as I was coming back from school, I saw the men and wanted to run. One of them held me. They said I should come and join their cult but I refused. So, they dragged and raped me. “When I wanted to leave they held me back and said they have the video, and will show it to those in our school. “They covered my eyes and slashed my wrist while three of them took turn to rape me. When they took my blood, they said if I tell anyone, I will die”. She however appealed to the security agencies to bring the culprits to book, saying they threatened to kill her if they regain freedom. “They said they will kill me, they should be sent to jail because if they are released they will kill me,” she lamented. Confirming the incident, one of the suspects, Banjo Olaseinde said he was a school drop-out and they all belonged to a secret cult known as “Blue Angel”. The other suspect, Wale Fadahunsi, a tailor said they have recruited some secondary school students into their cult. He said he dropped out of Owo Technical School, adding that the girl was raped because they asked her to join their cult and she refused. New Deji: Obas appeal for transparency in selection OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE T he Ondo State Council of Obas has appealed to kingmakers and heads of ruling houses in Akure to ensure the selection of a new Deji is carried out in accordance with the custom and tradition of the land. According to the traditional rulers, this will help to sustain the peace now being enjoyed in the state. The monarchs, led by former chairman of the council, the L eading soft drinks producer, Coca Cola Nigeria and telecommunications provider Etisalat Nigeria, along with several corporate organisations have teamed up to boost this year’s Christmas party being organised by Journalist Estate Residents Development Association, JERDA, in Arepo, Ogun State. Other corporate bodies behind the big event are Grand Oak, Pepsi, Promasidor, May and Baker, Friesland Campina Wamco and BG Water, Flourmills and prominent individuals. According to Chairman of the Planning Committee for JERDA party, Mr. John Ajayi, the response from corporate organisations demonstrate their belief in the welfare of children and journalists. He added: “This annual children party and get-together has become one of the ways we bond together as members of a united family and this year’s edition will not be an exception.” Top of the activities for the celebration slated for December 14 includes children’s Christmas Party which will start by 11:00 a.m. gift packs for kids, games, bouncing castle, quiz and dancing competition. This will be followed by visitation and donation of gift items to an orphanage home in Abeokuta, Ogun State. There also will be an adult dinner dance by 6:00 pm. Adebayo now major general Scene of a multiple car crash at Lafia, Nasarawa State, yesterday Amapetu of Mahin kingdom, Oba Lawrence Omowole, lauded people of Akure for their maturity during the seven-day traditional rites performed in honour of the late Deji, Oba Adebiyi Adesida. Oba Lawrence described the late Oba Adebiyi as an epitome of justice and advocate of peace who believed in the development of his people. The monarchs lamented that the Deji’s death came when the Council of Obas needed him most. They said the late Deji used Journalists hold Xmas party his position to transform the council and develop Akure and environs, adding that his love for his people and state stood him out. They, however, appealed to his family not to allow the transition weigh them down but to see it as God’s will,even as they called on the Akure Council of Chiefs to stand firmly by the late Deji’s family and ensure they do not feel the vacuum created by his demise. Spokesman of the Obas, Oba Omowole, said the council would forever miss the late Deji for his kindness and unique approach to issues. “We are appealing to all to be calm and see the passage of the Deji as the will of God. We are here to sympathise with you and let you know how we feel about his exit. His death came when we needed him most. His departure is a big blow on us because he left so untimely,” Oba Omowole lamented. They charged Akure indigenes to be united and ensure that the legacies of late Oba Adebiyi are sustained. SEGUN ADIO I t was celebrations galore at Ikere-Ekiti when one of its illustrious sons was promoted to rank of Major General in the Nigerian Army, in a mood reminiscent of hosting a global fiesta. The newly promoted MajorGeneral Sunday Adedapo Adebayo, Commander, Nigerian Army Education Corps, was among the 27 Brigadiers-General recently promoted by the authorities. Ekiti State is known to produce fine gentlemen military officers in the like of former governor of the defunct Western Region, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, who also hails from Iyin-Ekiti. 48 Transition Friday, December 13, 2013 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela R evolutionary anti-apartheid leader and former president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 and died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. He was South Africa’s first black chief executive and served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family. He attended the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. After the South African National Party came to power in 1948, he rose to prominence in the ANC’s 1952 Defiance Campaign, was appointed superintendent of the organisation’s Transvaal chapter and presided over the 1955 Congress of the Baba Aladura Olufemi Phillips People. Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and with the ANC leadership, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961 in association with the South African Communist Party, leading sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial. Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. After series of national and international campaign for his release; he was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa’s first black president. During his tenure in the Government of National Unity he invited several other political parties to join the cabinet. As agreed to during the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa, he promulgated a new constitution. He also created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. While continuing the former government’s liberal economic policy, his administration also introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator between Libya and the United Kingdom in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, and oversaw military intervention in Lesotho. He declined to run for a second term, and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation. T Community Mirror he death has been announced of a religious leader, His Grace Baba Aladura John Olufemi Phillips. Aged 86 years, Pa Phillips who died on November 14, 2013 has since been buried. During his lifetime, the deceased was said to have dedicated himself to the service of God and the growth of the Cherubim and Seraphim (C & S) Church in Mushin, Lagos State. He was also said to be a loving father, a dedicated minister of God who treasured the virtues of building a good Christian family and helped to shape lives of his church members. Baba Aladura is equally revered for his assistance in understanding the problems faced by the less- privileged in the society. A statement by the Phillips family of Mushin said the 40 day- remembrance service and final funeral ceremony of the late Baba Aladura would hold on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at the Mount Shiloh Praying Band of C & S (Inc), Onifade Street, LUTH Access Road, Mushin, Lagos. Entertainment of guests follows immediately at Eko Boys High School, Mushin. Baba Aladura is survived by his wife, children and several grandchildren and great grand children. Paul William Walker Lotteries board to sanitise industry MURITALA AYINLA I n line with the mandate establishing it, the Lagos State Lotteries Board has vowed to ensure that stakeholders adhere strictly to the rules and regulations. Similarly, the board has also promised to put measures in place to ensure a conducive environment for the growth of the industry. The Chief Executive Officer of the Lotteries Board, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila disclosed this ahead of Friday stakeholders’ forum with the super agents holding at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa. He said the meeting is aimed at ensuring efficiency and growth of the lottery industry in the state. According to him, the board will provide a platform for agents and other key players to brainstorm on the way forward. Several papers will be presented at the one-day session by key government functionaries, super agents and others in the industry. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net P aul William Walker was an American actor who died in an auto crash on November 30, 2013. He was aged 40 years. Born on September 12, 1973, Paul Walker became famous in 2001 after his role in the hit film Varsity Blues, but later garnered fame as Brian O’Connor in The Fast and The Furious film series. His other well known works are Eight Below, Running Scared, The Lazarus Project, Into the Blue, Joy Ride, She’s All That, and Takers. Walker began his small screen career as a toddler, when he starred in a television commercial for Pampers. He began modeling at the age of two and began working on television shows in 1985, with roles in shows such as Highway to Heaven, Who’s the Boss? The Young and the Restless, and Touched by an Angel. That same year, he starred in a commercial for Showbiz Pizza. Walker’s film career began in 1986, with the horror/comedy film Monster in the Closet. He and his sister Ashlie were contestants on a 1988 episode of the game show I’m Telling; they finished in second place. In 1993 he played Brandon Collins on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. He and his co-star Heather Tom, who played Victoria Newman, were nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a soap opera at the Youth in Film Awards. In 1998, Walker made his feature film debut in the comedy Meet the Deedles, which finally gained him fame. This subsequently led to supporting roles in the movies Pleasantville (1998), Varsity Blues (1999), She’s All That (1999), and The Skulls (2000). Katsina to construct bridge for N100m JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA M ore than N100 million is to be spent on road and bridge construction by the Katsina State Government to link two council areas of the state. General Manager of the state Road Maintenance Agency, KASROMA, Engr. Jamilu Hassan who stated this, said the road construction is to link Funtua and Dandume council areas. Hassan said the government directed that the road be constructed to help ease transportation difficulty being faced by those along the path where the road would pass. He said the road when completed would link more than 10 communities in the two council areas as well as open the area for easy transportation of their farm produce. He said the road would be completed before the end of the rainy season, even as he called on contractors handling the work to ensure a quality job. Some of the residents in the area said they had been pleading for the road’s construction for the past 40 years, but that their call had been heeded by the incumbent administration. Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net 49 World News “Our integration project (with Belarus and Kazakhstan) is based on equal rights and real economic interests” –Russian President Vladimir Putin South Africa investigates ‘fake sign interpreter’ S outh Africa’s deputy disability minister says the government is investigating how a man who faked sign language at the Mandela memorial was given security clearance. Thamsanqa Dyantyi, who stood alongside world leaders at the event, has denied being a fraud, and said he panicked when he began hallucinating. He said he had schizophrenia, which had in the past made him act violently. The agency that employed him, SA Interpreters, has reportedly vanished. South Africa’s Deputy Disability Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu admitted that hiring an unqualified sign language interpreter was a mistake but denies suggestions that the government should be embarrassed. However, many South Africans, deaf people around the world and no doubt the US presidential security team will disagree. Ms Bogopane-Zulu says the agency through which Thamsanqa Dyantyi was recruited has “vanished into thin air” after providing a sub-standard service for many years - previous clients are said to have included other government agencies and the ANC. Nobody has yet admitted to recruiting SA Interpreters and Mr Dyantyi, but whoever was responsible will no doubt be asked to make a similar mea culpa. This scandal is partially overshadowing the national mourn- Dyantyi: “I see angels come into the stadium” ing for Nelson Mandela, who continues to lie in state. South Africa will hope the outstanding questions will be answered before his funeral on Sunday. The African National Congress (ANC) said it had used Mr Dyantyi as an interpreter several times before, and “had not been aware of any of complaints regarding the quality of services, qualifications or reported illnesses” of the interpreter. But it said Tuesday’s memorial at a stadium in Johannesburg was organised by the state, not the ANC, so the ruling party could not comment on security arrangements. The South African Translators’ Institute said earlier there had been complaints over Mr Dyantyi’s work before, but that the ANC had taken no action. The ANC said it would “follow up the reported correspondence that has supposedly been sent to us in this regard and where necessary act on it”. Mr Mandela died last week at the age of 95, and will be buried on Sunday. His body is currently lying in state in Pretoria, with thousands queuing to pay their respects. During the memorial, Mr Dyantyi stood on the stage next to key speakers including US President Barack Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma and Mr Mandela’s grandchildren, translating their eulogies. Dyantyi’s performance was watched on television by millions of people worldwide and angered the South African deaf community. Pressure has been mounting on the government Bangladesh hangs Islamist leader, Mullah B angladesh has executed the Islamist leader Abdul Kader Mullah, convicted of atrocities in the 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. He is the first person convicted by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) to be executed. The ICT was set up in 2010 to investigate abuses committed during the 1971 conflict, in which some estimate three million people were killed. Mullah was a senior leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. His trial earlier in the year sparked protests from Jamaat supporters. Mullah had been scheduled to be hanged on Tuesday, before gaining a reprieve pending a lastminute appeal. The Bangladeshi Supreme Court dismissed the appeal earlier on Thursday. The 65-year-old was hanged inside Dhaka central jail at 22:01 local time (16:01 GMT). Security has been tightened in the capital. Those being tried by the ICT are accused of collaborating with Pakistani forces who attempted to stop East Pakistan, as Bangladesh was then, from becoming an independent country. However, human rights groups have claimed that the tribunal falls short of international standards. Mullah denied all the charges against him PHOTO: REUTERS PHOTO: BBC to explain why he was hired for such an important event. Deputy Disability Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu told a news conference on Thursday: “Firstly, I don’t think South Africa as a country would put at risk anybody’s security, especially those of heads of state. “Secondly, when somebody provides a service of a sign language interpreter, I don’t think... somebody would say: ‘Is your head ok? Do you have any mental disability?’ I think the focus was on: ‘Are you able to sign? Can you provide the services?’” But she said: “In terms of security clearance that is in a process, we are requesting to check his vetting.” Ms Bogopane-Zulu apologised to the deaf community but said there was no reason for the country to be embarrassed. Thamsanqa Dyantyi signing at an ANC event (undated image) Mr Dyantyi has been employed to sign at ANC events in the past “There are as many as a hundred sign language dialects,” she said, explaining that Mr Dyantyi speaks Xhosa and that “the English was a bit too much for him”. She also accused Mr Dyantyi’s employers of being “cheats”, and said the directors of SA Interpreters had since vanished. Government minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said the interpreting firm had been providing sub-standard services for some time WORLD BULLETIN Somali president names economist as new prime minister Somalia’s president named economist Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed as his new prime minister yesterday, ending weeks of political paralysis as the country strives to secure fragile security gains against Islamist militants. Ahmed previously worked at the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia. He replaces Abdi Farah Shirdon who was forced out by lawmakers in a vote of no confidence after falling out with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. “We have found Abdiweli Sheikh is the most suitable man to become Somalia’s prime minister,” Mohamud told a crowd of ministers, lawmakers and military officials at the heavily fortified presidential palace. “We hope he will move Somalia forward.” Kerry marks 70th birthday with trip to Israel US Secretary of State John Kerry was marking his 70th birthday leaving again for Israel, in his dogged quest for an elusive Middle East peace deal. But there will not be a giftwrapped agreement awaiting him as he travelled back to Israel yesterday, less than a week after his last trip to the Jewish state. The top US diplomat, who joked this week about his “commute” to the Holy Land, is embarking on his 20th overseas trip since he took office in January. It will be his ninth night trip to Israel and the West Bank. He was due yesterday to have dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and was expected to also meet with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, before heading for east to Vietnam and Manila. U.S. begins air lifting Burundian troops to CAR The United States began air lifting Burundian troops to Central African Republic yesterday, part of efforts to help African and French forces prevent a descent into civil war, Burundi’s army said. “Burundi is deploying a battalion of troops to the Central African Republic,” Colonel Gaspard Baratuza, Burundi army spokesman, told Reuters. “A U.S. plane today airlifted the first team and the operation with U.S. logistics will continue.” The Burundian troops are due to join an African peacekeeping force which has struggled to contain the violence in Central African Republic that has killed more than 500 people in the past week. Previously a Central African force, the mission is being broadened to fall under African Union command. 50 North Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Boko Haram responsible for raid on military formations –Shekau •Sect kills nine passengers in Borno fresh road attack INUSA NDAHI (WITH AGENCY REPORT) B oko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau claimed to have been killed by military troops in Borno State resurfaced yesterday in a video obtained by AFP, stressing that the group was behind the deadly raid on military formations in Maiduguri earlier in the month. This is even as some Boko Haram members yesterday ambushed motorists with passengers on the Maiduguri-Damboa- Biu Federal Highway in Borno State. The terrorists killed nine of the passengers by slitting their throats. Also in the fresh attack by the sect members which has become the order of the day in Borno, one 18-seater bus belonging to Biu Local Government Area and a vehicle loaded with loaves of bread were all seized by the terrorists who later fled into the Sambisa Game forests. Sources said the terror attack took place at about 8:45 am along MaiduguriDamboa-Biu Road which has, in the last one week, claimed the lives of over 30 innocent civilians, including passengers and motorists travelling in or out of Maiduguri, the state capital. Some travellers, who returned to Maiduguri upon hearing the sad news on the road, told out correspondent that the rate at which the terrorists were unleashing terror on motorists and passengers on the highways called for serious concern. One of the travellers, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “The road is not good today, we have to turn back because we saw and counted nine dead bodies on the road and so we were afraid to continue our journey to Biu.” Meanwhile, Shekau, in his new video clip, vowed that his group would continue to wage war against the military, police and other security agencies, claiming that the sect had begun winning the war and not the military. “Allah the Almighty has given us victory in the attack we launched inside Maiduguri (which was) called Borno in ancient times,” said Abubakar Shekau in the 40-minute clip. Speaking in Arabic, Hausa and Kanuri widely spoken in northeast Nigeria as culled from AFP, Shekau added: “We stormed the city and fought them (and) Allah blessed us with lots of booty.” The video, which was obtained through an intermediary, showed Shekau dressed in military fatigues with a turban and Kalashnikov assault rifle leaning on his chest. He spoke for 19 minutes in all while the rest of the tape showed images of burning buildings and aircraft said to be from the December 2 attack in Maiduguri. It also showed a display of weapons the banned Islamist group said it seized in the attack, including dozens of Kalashnikovs and rockets. The authenticity of the tape could not be verified independently. The terrorist, who arrived on pick-up trucks, besieged an army and air force base, destroying aircraft, razing buildings and setting shops and petrol sta- tions ablaze, witnesses said. The early morning raid was seen as significant because the Nigerian military had previously claimed to have pushed the militants out of urban centres and into more remote and rural areas. But Shekau said only seven fighters lost their lives -three in suicide bombings, three were shot and one in “friendly fire”. Shekau singled out in particular the United States, which on November 13, 2013, designated Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru as international terror groups. Shekau’s claims about the international nature of Boko Haram stand at odds with analysts’ general assessments that the group is largely Nigeriabased. But the United States has said the group and Ansaru have links the wider Islamist jihadi network, in particular Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has provided limited training and funding. 100 graduates get Niger SURE-P’s cars for commercial purpose PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA T Participants at a workshop on Organisational Transformation Through Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies in Gombe, yesterday. Jang lifts suspension on convocation in Plateau tertiary institutions JAMES ABRAHAM JOS G overnor Jonah Jang of Plateau State has given approval for the state-owned higher institutions to hold convocations, 10 years after such ceremonies were suspended. Rector of Plateau State Polytechnic, Mr. Dauda Gyemang, told journalists yesterday in Jos, the state capital, said that government had approved December 17 for the institution’s convocation and fixed December 20 for the state College of Education’s convocation. According to him, activities lined up to mark the combined convocation ceremony and the 35th anniversary of the Plateau State Polytechnic, Gyemang said the ceremony would see seven sets of graduates from 2004/2005 to 2011/2012 having their convocation as well as award of fellow to four distinguished citizens for their contributions to education, science and technology, infrastructural development and general human capacity-building. He disclosed that about 10,000 students are to partake in the convocation and all security agencies would be involved in ensuring a hitch-free ceremony, which will last for three days. The Rector said: “At 35 years, the institution has passed through various stages and these are characterised by successes, setbacks and numerous challenges, but despite all odds, a lot has been achieved.” “The institution was established in 1978 as a College of Technology, but upgraded in the same year to a polytechnic and from a humble beginning, the institution can now boast of 29 Academic departments, 18 courses accredited at HND level and 21 accredited at OND level by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) with five National Certificate of Education (NCE) programmes accredited by the National Commission for Colleges of Education.” he Niger State Government, in conjunction with the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), has distributed 100 cars at the cost of N 330 million to some unemployed graduates. The vehicles are to be used for commercial purposes as part of the effort to reduce unemployment in the state. The state government also distributed 50 transformers and their installation materials purchased at the cost of over N410 million to some communities. Distributing the cars to each of the beneficiaries, the state governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, said the vehicles had been subsidised by 33 percent with a repayment period of 36 months instead of the earlier agreed period of 24 months. He urged the beneficiaries to maintain well, while pointing the need to work hard in order to repay the loan within the agreed period. The governor said that the 50 electricity transformers and their accessories would boost electricity supply in the benefitting communities. According to him, the transformers would stimulate employment generation through the provision of regular power supply to artisans as well as other small and medium scale enterprises that depend on electricity. Claiming that the supply of transformers is not the responsibility of state or local governments to the communities, Aliyu, therefore, stressed the need for the new owners of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to be alive to their responsibility to the people. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net North Friday, December 13, 2013 51 Jos stands still as court holds valedictory session for Lar JAMES ABRAHAM JOS J os, the Plateau State capital, yesterday stood still in honour of the late former governor of the state and pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Solomon Lar. There was heavy traffic in major parts of the city as the corpse was brought into the city with many surging forward to catch a glimpse of the late elder statesman. The hearse conveying the body of the late politician arrived in the premises of the Jos High Court at about 10.50am, in the company of the deceased’s wife, Mrs. Mary Lar, his daughter, Beni and other relations, where a valedictory session was held in his honour. The Chief Judge of the state, Hon. Lazarus Dakyen, who led other judges both from within and without the state, described the late former governor as a man who would be greatly missed by the people of the state. Speaking at the occasion, Chairman of the funeral planning committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, described the deceased as a man of vision, who understood the yearnings of the people. He said the late Lar was a man of courage and was the voice of the voiceless. Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, who was represented by his Deputy, Ignatius Longjang, said Plateau is proud of Chief Lar and he would be greatly missed by citizens of the country. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of the state, Edward Pwajok, further said that the father of the state is gone. In his words: “Lar is the most senior lawyer in the state both by age and the time he was called to the bar. “In honour of the late icon, Governor Jang has ordered the construction of a new court complex in the state. Speaking earlier, Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, said the people of his state benefited immensely from the late Solomon Lar. He described him as a man of love, peace and justice. Delivering her vote of thanks on behalf of the family, a member repre- senting Langtang North/ Langtang South in the House of Representatives, Hon. Beni Lar, who is also a daughter of the deceased, expressed gratitude to the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, for the show of love and respect since the demise of the elder statesman. She said Jang has rallied round the family since the death of her father. Beni described her father as a man who stood for justice. Shema signs law prohibiting homosexuality, others K A cross section of participants at the 22nd meeting of the National Council on Water in Kaduna, yesterday. WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN P Police arrest armed robbers, gun manufacturer in Ilorin olice in Ilorin, Kwara State, yesterday said it has arrested seven armed robbery suspects and one manufacturer of guns in Ilorin in the last one month. State Police Commissioner, Agboola Oshodi-Glover, who made the disclosure at a press conference, said within the same period, the command discovered some criminal hideouts and Indian hemp smoking joints, where crimes were freely hatched. Announcing the readiness of his command for the yuletide season, Oshodi-Glover said his men embarked on intensive raids on criminal hideouts, brothels, conducted stopand-search exercise, gather intelligent reports and gave distress calls a priority response. The police boss said there was a special focus on late night motorcyclists, who despite the state ban on their operations at night, still WALE IBRAHIM Opposition tackles Kogi over LG workers’ sack LOKOJA A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Prince Rotimi Obadofin, has urged the Kogi State government to prevail on council chairmen in the state not to sack workers. Obadofin, who made this call while speaking with journalists in Lokoja, said the government should take a clue from the Osun State government that employed over 20, 000 youths in less than 50 days in office. He said sacking 10, 000 youths from the local government councils in the state will further fuel insecurity in the state, stressing that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. “As bonafide citizen of Kogi, I am opposed to enjoyed breaking the rules and even go about riding unregistered motor bikes, which they suspiciously use to commit crimes and get away with it. According to him, early last month, a suspected four-member armed robbery gang, consisting of Alabi Olawole, Kabir Sanusi, Atunde Abiola and Yissau Muideen, were arrested at Gaa Odota area of the state and a black Honda Accord car with registration number LAGOS: KM25 any form sack for workers in the state in whatever guise. The labour market is already soaked up. What do you think that those denied their source of livelihood will fall back to? This will create a security challenge in the state. “If anybody has to be retired, if they are due for it, pay their entitlements. We want Kogi State to emulate Osun State, where the AAA and a Toyota Camry car registration number KWARA FFA 296 AE were recovered from them. Also, he said three robbery suspects; Wale Azeez, Abdulfatah Isiaka and Qudri Rafiu were arrested with a black Toyota Corolla car with registration number LAGOS KSF 621 AG found on them while one Adeola Odetoye, an alleged gun manufacturer was also nabbed in Otte village, a suburb of Ilorin. governor employed over 20, 000 youths. In virtually all departments and ministries, many youths were employed and that was why Osun has a low crime rate in the country,” he stressed. On the death of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Obadofin described the death of the late icon as a great loss to South Africans, Africa and the world. atsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, yesterday signed a law prescribing 14 years imprisonment, without an option of fine, for those found guilty of homosexuality, lesbianism and sexual harassment. The House of Assembly recently amended sections 284 and 285 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 96, Laws of Katsina State 1991, to provide stiffer punishment for those found engaged in these illegal acts. The law states: “Whoever has carnal knowledge against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with 14 years imprisonment and liable to N10, 000 fine. “Any woman, who employs means of satisfying her sexual desire through bodily contact with another woman or otherwise, with or without her consent, shall be liable to 14 years imprisonment together with a N10, 000 fine. “Whoever commits gross indecency upon another person; sexually harasses or causes fear by use of force or otherwise or threatens another person with failure in examination, promotion, admission or employment, or colludes with others to commit the above offences, shall be punished with 14 years imprisonment and a N10, 000 fine.” The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Hajiya Fatima Jibo, told journalists in Katsina that the law also empowered the court to ask the offender to pay compensation to the victim. 2015: Lawyers warn against unguarded comments OTHMAN SALIHU KANO T he recent outburst of Second Republic member of the House of Representatives and critic, Dr. Junaid Muhammad, threatening bloodshed if President Goodluck Jonathan contests the forthcoming 2015 presidential election has elicited reactions from a group of professionals. The lawyers, under the auspices of the Professionals Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria in a press release yesterday, described Junaid’s outbursts as uncalled for and unguarded. National Coordinator of the association, Mr. Muhammad Zubair, who signed the press statement said the Junaid’s comments were capable of seriously overheating the already tensed political atmosphere in the country. According to him, the association chooses to respond to the comments to warn against any further unguarded comments by individuals and groups while also condemning such behaviour in totality. The release reads in part: “We call on politicians and the general public to guard against utterances that would undermine the peaceful co-existence of Nigeria” even as we urged all law abiding citizens to do the same. 52 Friday, December 13, 2013 CONFIRMATION OF NAME t CHAMGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t ADEYEMI: Formerly Miss Adeyemi Adejoke Ruth, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Sunmola Adejoke Ruth. All former documents remain valid. SUBEB and general public should please take note. AGUNBIADE: Formerly Miss Agunbiade Motunrayo Adenike, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Omonijo Motunrayo Adenike. All former documents remain valid. Osun state Government and general public should please take note. CHANGE OF NAME t ODEGE: Formerly known and addressed as Odege Odoge Johnson, now wish to be known and addressed as Okorie Kalu Johnson Odoge. All fomer documents remain valid. General public take note. AJAYI: Formerly known and addressed as Ajayi Funmike Mary, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. Oladeji Funmike Mary. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note. CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t ADENIYI: Formerly Miss Adeniyi Rachel Adebisi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adeyemo Rachel Adebisi. All former documents remain valid, Osun state TESCOM and general public should please take note. ABOLANLE: Formerly known as Miss Abolanle Abigael Olukemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Akinboro Abigael Olukemi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. TEKEDOUMENE: Formerly known and addressed as Tekedoumene Leighe S., now wish to be known and addressed as Teke Hosannah Leighe. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. UKWUCHOME: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ukwuchome Edebo Deborah, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ida Deborah Edebo. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. UDEWENA: Formerly known and address as Miss Udewena Evangeline Ogechukwu, now wish to be known and address as Mrs Oguama Evangeline Ogechukwu. All former documents remain valid. General Public to take note. BELLO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Bello Christianah Adetola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Osarumwense Joyce Christianah Adetola. All former document remain valid. Osun LGSC, Iwo L.G and General public should please take note. BADEJO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Badejo Olaomopo Taibat, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Majekodunmi Olaomopo Taibat. All former documents remain valid. General public take note MOTAJO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Victoria Ayoola Motajo, now wish to be known and addressed as Miss Victoria Ayoola Aluko. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. KWARPO: Formerly known and addressed as Lengkat Francis Kwarpo, now wish to be known and addressed as Lengkat Fwangmun Makan. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note. IZUCHUKWU: Formerly known and address as Miss Izuchukwu Ruth Chisom, now wish to be known and address as Mrs Ilorah Ruth Chisom. All former documents remain valid. General Public to take note CHANGE OF NAME t CHAMGE OF NAME t CONFIRMATION OF NAME t OYENIRAN: Formerly Miss Oyeniran Shefiyat Nike, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adeyemo Shefiyat Nike. All former documents remain valid. Osun state Government and general public should please take note. This is to confirm that Mr. JinaidEko is the same person as Mr. Junaid-Eko, that henceforth wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Junaid-Eko Waheed. All former documents remain valid. GTB and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t OZIOKO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ozioko Blessing Ebere, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Isiaku Blessing Ebere. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t CONFIRMATION OF NAME t ODIHI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Odihi Ada Blessing now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Odey Ada Blessing. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t SIGNED: JERRY S. DUNG. BSC, PGDE, PGDM, MBA, PHD, AMNIM, DFPFM,FCAI, FCPA. TEL: 08065315027 OR 07032380248 CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t ELIJAH: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Elijah Anariochi, now wish to be known as Mrs Sunday Anariochi. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t NKEMDILIM: Formerly known as Miss Nkemdilim Chibuzor Kate, now wish to be known as Mrs Udeh Chibuzor Kate. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. OKWUBUNNE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Okuwbunne Adaeze Gift, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oluka Adaeze Gift. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t IKWUEGBU: Formerly known as Miss Ikwuegbu Glory Chinosom, now wish to be known as Mrs Ejikeme Glory Chinosom. All former documents remain valid, General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t EZEIGBO: Formerly known as Miss Ezeigbo Onyinyechi Lilian, now wish to be known As Chukwuemeka Onyinyechi Lilian. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. MBAMI: Formerly know and address as Miss Vera John Mbami, now wishes to be known and addressed as Mrs Vera Jones Bompy. All former documents remains valid. The general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t AKINYELE: Formerly Miss Akinyele Mercy Olufunke, now wish to known and addressed as Mrs Yusuf Mercy Olufunke. All former documents remain valid. Standard Organization of Nigeria and general public take note. EZE: Formerly known and address as Miss Eze Josephine Chinyere, now wish to be known and address as Mrs Ajogwu Josephine Chinyere. All former documents remain valid. General Public to take note. CHANGE OF NAME t OLISA: Formerly known as Miss Olisa Uchenna Maureen, now wish to be known as Mrs Okafor Uchenna Maureen. all former documents remain valid. Anambra State University Igbariam Campus, NYSC and general public take note. ADEBAYO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Adebayo Victoria Funke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ojo Victoria Funke. All former documents remain valid. Local Government Service Commission AdoEkiti, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Ekiti State and general public take note. t OGUNSAKIN: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunsakin Olabisi Florence, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adegbola Olabisi Florence. All former documents remain valid. Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission and general public take note. OKOYE: Formerly known and address as Miss Okoye Chibuzo Chioma now wish to be known and address as Mrs Chikadibia Chibuzo Chioma. All former documents remain valid. General Public to take note CHANGE OF NAME t NWANDU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Nwandu Adaku Anthonia, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Chilaka Adaku .A. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t ANACHUNAM: Formerly known and addressed as Anachunam Benjamin Uzochukwu now wish to be known and addressed as Amuche Benjamin Okey. 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To organise a professional body for Audit Managers in Nigeria 2. To be a leading Association for Audit Managers of Nigeria 3. To organise workshops, seminars, conferences and publication within Nigeria, worldwide, issuance of certified diplomas and certificates 4. To organise links with individual and similar Professional Association in Nigeria and worldwide as affiliates, accredited learning providers, commission agents or overseas representative 5. To do all such other lawful things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above object or any of them. t AKINSOLA: Formerly known and addressed as Akinsola Abosede Abidemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Oladiji Abosede Abidemi. All former documents remain valid. The general public take note. t (Chairman) (Secretary) (Member Board of Trustees) CHANGE OF NAME NWUCHE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Nwuche Prisca Ogochukwu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Modozie Prisca Ogochukwu. All former documents remain valid. Diamond Bank and the general public take note. OLUTAYO: Formerly known and addresses as Ajayi Samson Olutayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Ajayi Samson Ojo. All former documents remain valid First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Adebayo branch, Ado Ekiti and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME THE TRUSTEES ARE: t ODUNAIYA: Formerly known and address as Miss Alice Mopelola Odunaiya, now wish to be known and address as Mrs Alice Mopelola Adeworan. All former documents and certificates remain valid. General public should please CHANGE OF NAME t EGUH: Formerly known as Miss Eguh Eziamara Egondu, now wish to be known as Mrs Okpara Eziamara Egondu. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. 1. Dr. Jeremiah, Sale Dung 2. Mrs. Dung, Irene Jeremiah 3. Mr. Dung, Kelvin Jeremiah t CHANGE OF NAME ALAGBAOSO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Alagbaoso Eucharia Uzoma, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ikeorji Eucharia Uzoma. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. t CHANGE OF NAME t OKUM: Formerly known as Miss Okum Felicia Chidinma now wish to be known as Mrs Nwaonyeukwu Felicia Chidinma. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. The public is hereby notified that the above named professional body has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part ‘C’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990. CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME CHANGE OF NAME t ODEBEATU: Formerly known as Miss Odebeatu Cordelia O. now wish to be known as Mrs Azuka Cordelia .O. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. PUBLIC NOTICE AUDIT MANAGERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA t CHANGE OF NAME NIMPAR: Formerly known and addressed as Julna Christabel Nimpar, now wish to be known and addressed as Julna Christabel Nimpar-Puepet. All former documents remain valid. The general public take note. IKUMAPAYI: Formerly known and addressed as Mrs Ikumapayi Rachael Iyabode, now wish to be known and addressed as mrs Adeniji Rachael Iyabode. All former documents remain valid. Yewa South Local Government Primary Healthcare and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t NWOKE: Formerly known As Miss Nwoke Augustina Nkechi, now wish to be known as Mrs Ikwuegbu Augustina Nkechi. all former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. t CHANGE OF NAME EGBUJONUMA: Formerly known and address as Miss Egbujonuma Augusta Ifeoma, now wish to be known and address as Mrs Duru Augusta Ifeoma. All former documents remain valid. General Public to take note. CHANGE OF NAME t OKEKE: Formerly known as Miss Okeke Nkechi Ezinwanne, now wish to be known as Mrs Mbanefo Nkechi Ezinwanne. all former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t CHANGE OF NAME t OLA: Formerly known as Mrs. Ola Kemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Miss Felix Kemi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME t ALOZIE: Formerly known as Miss Alozie Nora Friday D. now wish to be known as Mrs Alozie Nora Igbe D. All former documents remain valid. Abia State Polytechnic, NYSC and general public take note. ELESHO: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Elesho Bamidele Priscilla, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Bamidele Ayoola Adejimola. All former documents remain valid. Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Hospital Management Board (HMB), Ekiti State and general public take note. CHANGE OF NAME OGUNLAJA: Formerly know and address as Miss Ogunlaja Aderonke Abisola now wishes to be known and addressed as Mrs Ogundalu Aderonke Abisola. All former documents remains valid. The general public take note. NWAEZE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Nwaeze Ngozi Mary Juliana, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Elele Ngozi Mary Juliana, All former documents remain valid. General public take note. t t This is to confirm that Elizabeth Opeyemi Ademola is the same person bearing Elizabeth Ebunoluwa Ademola. All documents bearing the two names remain valid. General public should please take note. UGWUADU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Immaculata Ngozi Ugwuadu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Azubuike Immaculata Ngozi All former documents remain valid. General public take note. CHANGE OF NAME CHANGE OF NAME OSUOJI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Osuoji Faith Chinwe, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ikechukwu Faith Chinwe. All former documents remain valid. Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, NYSC and general public take note. OGUNLUSI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunlusi Funmilola Lucia, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Akanle Funmilola Lucia. All former documents remain valid Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State and general public take note. FATOKIMI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Fatokimi Abiola Olanrewaju, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adedayo Abiola Olanrewaju. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net - Chairman - Secretary AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To support quality education in ijesaland through the provision of grants, sholarship and financial assistance to indigent but brilliant ijesa students 3. To develop and sustain industrialisation of ijesaland through air programme and activities 3. To maintain recreation parks in major urban centres across Ijesaland. PUBLIC NOTICE CHRIST GLOBAL ZION RECONCILIATION CHURCH. This is to inform the general public that the above named Ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Rev. Pst. Samuel Oluwaseun Olakanmi. 2. Pst. Mrs. Elizabeth Olayinka Olakanmi. 3. Rev. Dr. Moses Olawale Olakanmi 4. Rev. Mrs Olufunmilayo Salami 5. Pst. Joseph Abiola Lasilo. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To preach total gospel of salvation. 2. To reach out to the un reached with genuine gospel campaign to total reconciliation with God. 3. To build the true church of God on the solid foundation of Christ. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the registrar-general, Corporate Affairs Commission plot 429 Tigris Crescent Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama PMB 198 Garki Abuja Nigeria within 28 days of this publication. Any objection to this Registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: SECRETARY. SIGNED: SECRETARY Friday, December 13, 2013 West Ham close up on Martins 54 Mikel S ness and the zeal to win,” Mikel said. Below are excerpts from the interview: The Eagles have made it to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, how would you rate the qualifiers? It wasn’t easy to qualify, but we put in all within us to actualise our dream of playing in Brazil 2014. dream and that is to win. We will take all the games as they come with all seriousness. We will go for victory in the opening game against Iran, first game is always very important in such a competition. Then, we do so for the other games. I am sure we will progress from the group. Nigeria are now grouped alongside Argentina, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina, what would you say of this first round group? It is a good draw but not an easy one. All the teams at the World Cup have same Which of the team will be toughest for the Eagles in this group? Argentina are favourites, but Iran and Bosnia may be tougher. We will face all of them with seriousness and the zeal to win. This will be your first-ever World Cup appearance after you missed the South Africa 2010 World Cup, how are you looking forward to it? Yes, I missed the 2010 World Cup due to injury. I am looking forward to Brazil with great expectation. It will be a great and fruitful tournament for us; looking at our team right now we are good enough to do well in Brazil. Are you planning to leave Chelsea? No, I am happy at Chelsea and remain a Chelsea player. Falconets battle ready for Tunisia N igeria’s U-20 girls know the ropes and are surely the overwhelming favourites for tomorrow’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifying match against their Tunisia counterparts. The match comes up at the National Stadium, Abuja starting at 4pm. The North African girls raised not a few eyebrows when pounding their Moroccan counterparts 8-1 on aggregate (4-0 in Morocco and 4-1 in Tunis), but that still paled beside the 16-0 aggregate mauling that the Falconets handed out to their opponents from Sierra Leone. The Falconets, silver medallists at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany in 2010, also reached the semi-finals in Japan last year and are considered sure bets for the seventh edition taking place in Canada in August 2014. The Tunisian delegation flew into Abuja on Wednesday aboard an Egypt Air plane and will depart Abuja on Sunday. 53 Sport It’s still early to stick a neck on the Aussie Open. But suffices it that I look forward to the games” – SWISS STAR, ROGER FEDERER Brazil 2014: Mikel sounds Iran, Bosnia warning uper Eagles and Chelsea of England midfield maestro, Obi Mikel, has warned that Iran and BosniaHerzegovina may prove tougher to Nigeria than Group F favourites, Argentina, in next year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In an interview he granted MTNFootball.com, Mikel said he is, however, confident that Nigeria will qualify for the second round of the Mundial in the Samba country. “Argentina are favourites, but Iran and Bosnia may be tougher. We will face all of them with serious- National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Referee Ziga Shriseine from Ghana will take charge of proceedings, to be assisted by Zulu Mercy from Zambia (1st Assistant), Ezodobe Ayawa Mana from Togo (2nd Assistant) and Aloreu Delight from Ghana (4th Official). The match commissioner is Pherese Manguele from Cameroun. Mandela: Maigari condoles SAFA P resident of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has commiserated with his South African counterpart, Dr. Danny Jordaan, over the passing of former South African President and world statesman, Dr. Nelson Mandela. Mandela, who died on the eve of the Final Draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Salvador, Brazil last week, has been remembered by world leaders and has been variously described as one of the world’s truly adorable figures. In his letter of condolence to Jordaan,President of South African Football Association (SAFA), Maigari pointed out that Mandela inspired billions of people all over the world with his story and would forever be remembered across several sectors of human endeavour. “The Nigeria Football Federation and the entire Nigeria football family grieve with you and the football family of the Republic of South Africa on the demise of a truly remarkable figure, who left gigantic footprints in politics and sport, and indeed other areas of human endeavour. “From being a militant freedom fighter to a prisoner and then to the first elected President of multiparty South Africa, Dr. Mandela inspired billions of people with his story, which was underscored by his humility, selflessness, perseverance, a kind heart, honesty and dignified bearing,” Maigari wrote. Mandela Barca look to Neymar to revive fortunes F C Barcelona will be looking up to Brazil’s Neymar to help the champions get back to winning ways in La Liga, with Argentina’s Lionel Messi out with injury. Barca needed a convincing Champions League performance against Celtic FC, after consecutive defeats to Ajax Amsterdam and Athletic Bilbao, and the forward responded with a hattrick in a 6-0 victory. Neymar Bought from Santos in the close season for a fee of close to $82.7 million USD (about N13.64 billion), Neymar had been threatening to explode into life without really delivering. But the 21-year-old’s performance on Wednesday, when he also assisted a Pedro goal, suggested he may have turned a corner. Assuming the mantle of World Player of the Year, Messi, would be a heavy burden for anyone, let alone a man in his early 20s, but not Neymar. He appeared anything but perturbed by the responsibility. “I didn’t feel any pressure,” he told Spanish television broadcaster, Canal Plus. “We are hoping that after the two bad results this victory will help us in La Liga,” the Brazilian added. 54 Sport Friday, December 13, 2013 National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Taekwondo: Chukwumerije launches Manchester campaign YEMI OLUS T hree-time Olympian and Team Nigeria’s captain to the London 2012 games, Chika Chukwumerije, will be in action today at the inaugural World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Grand Prix holding in Manchester. Chukwumerije is making a return to the ring after his last outing at the last World Championships in Mexico earlier this year. The Beijing Olympics medalist, who will face Uzbekstan’s Jasur Baykuziyev, a silver medalist at the 2012 Asian Championships, in the first round of the men’s +80kg, is not seeded for the competition. He is also likely to confront London Olympics gold medalist and fellow African, Anthony Obame in the semifinals; the Gabonese is ranked number one among the eight athletes rated in the category. Meanwhile, President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), George Ashiru, disclosed that Korea’s Sihwan Keum, who tutored the team to the 2012 London Olympics, will coach Chukwumerije. “All 256 qualified participants from 59 countries are chasing crucial Olympic qualifying points. The small Nigerian contingent comprising the lone qualified athlete, Chika Chukwumerije, and myself are in Manchester to make the nation proud,” Ashiru said. “This event marks the final major event for the NTF in its most dynamic and successful year since the federation was inaugurated by the Federal Government in 1987,” he added. The WTF Grand Prix is the first of four global Grand Prix, with the final to be held at the end of 2014 and would be organised by Great Britain Taekwondo in partnership with Manchester City Council and UK Sport’s Gold Event Series. Chukwumerije Umar wins Badminton finals Okoro Vwerosuo of Delta State (in blue) after she defeated Kalu Kasarachi of Abia State in female boxing at the National Youth Games in Abuja yesterday NYG: Delta boxer claims record feat D elta State boxer, Okoro Vwerosuo, became the first female boxing champion as events at the National Youth Games (NYG) continued yesterday. Vwerosuo punched to victory in round three of the only bout in the female 54 weight category at the expense of Kalu Kasarachi from Abia. The female weight category witnessed nine bout with four taking place in the 51 and 57 weight categories each, while the only fight in 54 kg produced Vwerosuo as the first female boxing champion. David David from Cross River State moved into the semifinals of the male boxing event without throwing a punch. David booked his place after his oppo- nent Yusuf Rasheed, from Oyo State failed to show up for the fight, on medical ground. Musa Jazuli representing Kano State also had his semifinals place sealed without a punch after Ayobami Kasali was walked-over in the match, which took at the Abuja National Stadium Velodrome. Williams’ sisters inspired me–Pam P lateau State tennis player, Lizzy Pam, yesterday said she was encouraged by American tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams to win her final game. Pam defeated her opponent Sarah Adegoke from Oyo State in the Singles event in two straight set of 6-2, 7-5 to win the match. The 15-year-old Pam, who is a student of Culford Secondary School, Bury Saint Edmund, England said she had keenly watched matches where the Williams sisters played for a couple of years. “I have been so used to watching their games after my elder sister introduced them to me,” Pam said. “I hope to be up to their standard one day,” she added. Pam commended the organisers of the NYG for staging the games, noting that it had given her opportunity to discover her Pam during the female singles final talent. M ustafah Umar from Bauchi State was the star of the Badminton event as the 14-year-old helped his state to a 2-0 victory in the Male Singles final st category of the competition before joining ca forces with Abdulhamid Musa to win the fo Doubles. D Interestingly, Umar defeated Musa in the Singles final after edging out Eze Chidinma Si from Anambra State and Yunusa Momoh fr from FCT in the quarter final and semi final fr respectively. re Musa had subdued Jasam Jonan from Cross River State and Aliyu Shehu in the Cr quarterfinal and semi final respectively on qu his way to the final. hi Both defeated Olawole Odunayo and Akinsola Simeon from Ogun State 2-0 in A the final of the Male Doubles category after th beating Adamu Emmanuel and Tapshak be Wistong of Plateau State 2-0 in the semiW final. fin ‘Osun’s third place okay’ T itilayo Adewumi of Osun State yesterday described the team’s third place position in the National Youth Games State female volleyball event as deserved. “I am happy we got to this level,” Adewumi said. “I prayed that we get to the finals but I am grateful we won this game,” she added. Adewumi, however, aimed playing in the national team with a view to improving on her game. Meanwhile, Technical Director of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Mr. Tony Oghuma, has commended the National Sports Commission for organising the youth games. “The federation will hold the coaches responsible for their inability to hunt for young talent,” Oghuma warned. National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net Sport Friday, December 13, 2013 Win Window on Nigerian p players abroad with IIKENWA NNABUOGOR email@example.com Arokoyo okays season’s performance M Martins West Ham close up on Martins W est Ham United are believed to have turned their searchlight on Seattle Sounders striker Obafemi Martins and could be heading for a swoop in the January window. Top British newspapers Daily Telegraph reports that West Ham are in the market for a new striker to solve their offensive problems as the London side continue to search for goals to win games in teh English Premiership. The leadership of the Londoners has beamed its searchlight on out - of - favour Nigeria international Obafemi Martins. Obafemi Martins, 29 , is not new to English football having previously defended the colors of Newcastle United and Birmingham City. It is assumed that the Seattle Sounders marksman will arrive the Hammers on loan in the January transfer window which opens in the next 20 days. jällby of Sweden central defender Gbenga Arokoyo says he is impressed with his performance in the Allsvenkan (Swedish Premier League) th that ended few weeks ago. th The young defender grabbed headlines in Sweden with his assured outings in the rear S of the modest Swedish side that finished at 11th position. 11 The 21-year old star played in 26 games of the 30 games for his club in the Swedish top flight, making him one of the most conto sistent defenders. He weighed in with a goal si as his side beat Brommapojkarna in April to a cap a good season for the youngster. ca “It was a very good season for me personally and I thank God for an injury-free seaal son,” he said. so “The games were good and I gave good account of myself though I’m still learning a and I want to improve myself and get on the an higher level. h “This past season was my second in Swe- den and a great improvement from the first. I played 26 league and a lot more in the FA Cup.” Arokoyo, who rode on the back of his performance for the Flying Eagles’ to catch the attention of the Swedish clubs, says his biggest target is the Super Eagles, assuring he will work hard to get there. “I believe I got all it takes to make it to Super Eagles and I will work hard in convincing the coaches to give me a chance,” he hopes. “People have asked me severally in Sweden why I’m not in the Super Eagles, I would laugh and tell them that my time will come some day. “Playing for my country remains a big honour and I’d be glad to be part of it. That will further improve my rating in my club.” Mjällby coach Lars Jacobsen is a avid admirer of the young Nigerian and missed him greatly when he bagged a red card in their league game against Elfsborg in September. Arokoyo No Asia deal for Olomu F ormer Enyimba playmaker Prince Olomu’s search for a fresh start hit the rocks following his fruitless attempt to hook a club in Asia, National Mirror can report. Olomu returned to his South Africa base few days ago without a deal as the unnamed club in the Far East failed to give him a contract. The former Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder told National Mirror that the club did not need a midfielder at the time he arrived and so he had to leave and return to South Africa. He also said his fragile stature denied him a contract because according to him, the club was in search of a huge player. Olomu’s career took a nose dive since his superlative showing for Bloemfontein Celtic where he ended the season second best striker with 14 goals in the 2009/10 season. His name was touted as a possible player to make the final cut in Lars Lagerback’s Eagles’ squad to the last World Cup hosted in his backyard but Lagerback turned a blind eye. Olumo never got his groove back since his impressive one-season wonder and attempts to up his game only met with limited success. Now a South African citizen, Olomu bounced back at National First Division side Sivutsa Stars last season in a desperate bid to get his career back on track. Aneke terminates El-Masry contract F ormer Premier League goaleador Jude Aneke has terminated his contract at Egyptian side El-Masry. Aneke arrived in the Egyptian port city of Port Said to disengage from the club that brought him from Warri Wolves two years ago. Aneke, who netted 18 times in Kaduna United colours in 2011 to equal Ahmed Musa’s record, told National Mirror he was done with the Egyptian club. It was earlier reportedly that Aneke was interesting clubs in Turkey but refused to disclose if he has penned a deal. Aneke’s Turkish agent has been holding talks with Turkish club for a possible transfer. Both were recently in Turkey to tie a deal with an unnamed club but it’s not clear if the talented striker has penned a contract. “I arrived in Port Said three days ago to sort out my contract at El-Masry,” Aneke said. “I’m terminating my contract here and I need to move on with my career. My next destination is close to my heart and it will be known in due course.” Aneke arrived in Egypt in the wake of the internal crisis that rocked the local league following the crowd troubles that claimed hundreds of lives in the league game between hosts El-Masry and Ah-Ahly. Aneke would go on to pen a three-year contract as the league remained suspended. El-Masry leadership decided to take a one season break from the Egyptian Premier League in memory of the departed in the infamous Port Said tragedy, forcing Aneke to go on loan at newly-promoted El Daklyeh. Aneke would manage only a goal in five appearances in his injury-plagued season at the new side before the league in Egypt was suspended again following a fresh political crisis that rocked the North African country. 55 WORLD RECORD Longest sandwich Vol. 03 No. 743 S Friday, December 13, 2013 Boko Haram’s many successes ome of the reasons responsible for the string of successes being recorded by insurgents of the Boko Haram sect in parts of the North against Nigerian security agencies, despite the declaration of state of emergency in Admawa, Borno and Yobe states, all hotbeds of the group’s campaign of violence, are beginning to emerge. The National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Sambo Dasuki, says the country’s security operatives are finding it difficult to give the insurgents a good fight because of poor funding. Speaking through Colonel Bello Fadile, the Director of Special Duties in the Office of the NSA in Abuja penultimate Wednesday at a presentation before the House of Representatives, Dasuki said his office was not only being poorly funded, but that it receives its budgetary allocations late. “As I speak, the office of the NSA has not received its third quarter allocation. Last year, over N7 billion was not FRIDAY WITH Dozie Okebalama firstname.lastname@example.org 08164966858 (SMS only) paid to the agency to do its function”, he said. President Goodluck Jonathan on May 14, 2013, declared state of emergency in the aforementioned states for six months in the first instance; and in a letter dated November 5, 2013 to the Senate President, David Mark, he sought approval for the extension of the emergency period for another six months because “some security challenges still exist in a few parts”. Indeed, President Jonathan polished the reality when he said security challenges still exist in few parts. The security challenges in the entire North East are still monumental; and the task of containing same very daunting for the nation’s security agencies. Worse still, the daring insurgents are taking the battle to the corridors of the military instead of soldiers taking the fight to the inner recesses of their enclaves. Shortly before the President clamped emergency on the states last May, about 50 people were killed in various terror attacks in parts of Adamawa State between January and May; 185 others died and 2,000 houses were razed when insurgents unleashed mayhem on Baga (Borno State) on April 20. On May 7, about 55 people, including 22 policemen, 14 prison officials, two soldiers and four others were killed in Bama in the same state in another attack. Between February and April, three North Korean doctors, six policemen, an army officer and seven others were killed in parts of Yobe State. Sadly, however, it will be dishonest to suggest that a major respite has come the way of Nigerians trapped in the axis of terror, even with the state of eports in Argentina yesterday claimed that Argentina legend, Diego Maradona, is being considered as a replacement for under-pressure Tottenham Hotspur Manager,Andre Villas-Boas. The flamboyant 53-year-old was last involved in management at UAE side Al-Wasl, but has en- IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE SECURITY FORCES ARE FAILING IN INTELLIGENCE AND WEAPONRY emergency in place. Between May and now, the violent sect killed hundreds of people in very gory attacks. They go to schools, line up students and open fire on them, among other atrocities. The latest major success the group pulled through was the attack on a Nigeria Air Force (NAF) base and another military formation right in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital a fortnight ago. One account reported that 22 soldiers lost their lives; and civilian casualties were yet to be determined. Official reports said, however, that 24 of the insurgents were felled, while two NAF personnel were injured. The sect members reportedly stormed their targets with 23 Hilux vehicles and were armed to the teeth. Houses in the NAF base and military barracks attacked were razed, including three military helicopters. More perplexing was the report that both the NAF base and military formation involved were caught napping, as usual, in spite of an intelligence report three days earlier about the attack, when a member of the Boko Haram sect was arrested in Mai- duguri. Not too long ago, it may be recalled, Yobe State governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, literally suggested that the security agencies fighting the insurgency could be more or less a rag-tag army. Gaidam said in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, that members of the Boko Haram sect were better armed than the Nigerian military, a remark that correlates with the complain of poor funding of the security agencies, as well as the successes the sect has been recording on daily basis. In his emergency declaration speech last May, President Jonathan did say: “I want to assure you all that those who are directly or indirectly encouraging any form of rebellion against the Nigerian state or their collaborators; those insurgents and terrorists who take delight in killing our security operatives, whoever they may be, wherever they may go, we will hunt them down, we will fish them out and will bring them to justice. No matter what it takes, we will win this war against terror”. Inherent in the reassuring statement is government’s preparedness to provide the resources needed to fight the insurgents. But if after six months into the war against terrorism in the North East, members of the sect are bold enough to sack the NAF base and another military formation in the heart of Maiduguri, it follows that NSA Dasuki’s claim of poor funding of his office and the security agencies; as well as Governor Gaidam’s insistence that members of the Boko Haram sect are better armed than the Nigerian military, are not far from the truth. It is obvious that the security forces are failing in intelligence and weaponry. And if the failure stems from the Federal Government’s inability to provide funds to enable them frontally tackle the insurgence, like Dasuki suggested, it means the Jonathan government has been paying mere lip service to solving the problem. There is no way “those who are directly or indirectly encouraging any form of rebellion against the Nigerian state or their collaborators; those insurgents and terrorists who take delight in killing our security operatives”, can be contained if the trend is not reversed immediately. Sport Extra w R N150 The longest sandwich measured 735 m (2,411 ft 5 in) and was created by members of three teams in total. These teams were Groupe Notre Dame HazmiehScouts de L’Independence (Lebanon), Municipality of Hazmieh (Lebanon)and Mini-B chain restaurants (Lebanon). Coaching: Maradona in line for Spurs job joyed little success in a coaching career in the Argentina national team which the highlight was a quarter-final exit from the 2010 World Cup. “Maradona is one of the candidates to take over from Andre Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane,” the media in Argentina claimed. However, the prospect of a shrewd businessman like Daniel Levy plumping for as extreme and divisive a character as Maradona is very unlikely and the former Napoli, Boca Juniors and Barcelona star will be forced to try his luck elsewhere. He already has a $100, 000 offer to unveil the new Iran national team kit ahead of next summer’s World Cup. Musa Maradona Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd: Head Office: Mirror House, 155/161 Broad Street, Lagos Tel: 07027107407, Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor, Central Business District Area, Abuja Tel: 08070428249, Advert hotline: 01-8446073, Port-Harcourt Office: Suite 115, NICON Hotel, 6, Benjamin Opara Street, Off Olusegun Obasanjo Rd, GRA Phaze 3, Phone: 07032323254 Email: email@example.com. Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos. Printed simultaneously in Lagos, Abuja and Ondo State. ISSN 0794-232X.