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Vol. 03 No. 16

Saturday, April 6, 2013

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Patience Jonathan returns

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Over 100 killed in Edo, Anambra auto crashes P. 2

INSIDE

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President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) with Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, and some future leaders of the state, after a breakfast meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

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2015: Anenih plans to visit Obasanjo ...’ll propose peace pact with Jonathan •PDP warns Tinubu over comments

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Amnesty: More deadly attacks coming, if... –Balarabe Musa •Northern governors hail president •‘Compensate families of victims’

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Top Stories

Railway sin plaza A city of brothels

Over 100 die in Edo, Anambra auto crashes

Two P.33

SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN, BENIN NWABUEZE OKONKWO, ONITSHA

Fumes of death P.35

Danger beyond labour: Madness after birth P.36

Woman butchers husband over plans to take second wife P.49

Man dumps 8-yr-old grandson in well P.51

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ragedy hit the nation again yesterday as no fewer than a hundred people lost their lives in separate road crashes which spanned two states –Edo and Anambra. In Edo State, close to a hundred causalities were recorded in different accidents on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. In that of Anambra, no fewer than 30 persons were killed, while six others sustained various degrees of injuries when a trailer hit two Onitsha-bound commuter buses at Ihiala, along the ever-busy Onitsha/Owerri dual carriage way in the state. The most devastating crash in Edo occurred on the Benin—Ore—Lagos Expressway at about 1.30pm yesterday. It involved a truck allegedly belonging to Dangote Group of Companies carrying cement, a fuel-laden tanker and a fully loaded, Young Shall Grow Motors luxury bus with about 60 passengers on board. An official of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), at the scene of the accident who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press said

the accident occurred around Ugbogui Village after Ofosu before Okada Junction in Ovia South West Local Government Area of the state. He disclosed that only three passengers were rescued alive from the luxury bus with severe burns. Saturday Mirror learnt that the truck was heading towards Benin and had a burst tyre on motion before ramming into the petrol tanker which in turn fell on the luxury bus. All the vehicles burst into flames. The tanker and the bus were heading towards the opposite direction. While rescue efforts were still being coordinated by the officials of FRSC as at the time of filing this report, it was learnt that fire fighters were yet to arrive the scene to put out the raging inferno which engulfed the whole area. This led to many of the trapped passengers being roasted alive while their cries for help could not be heeded. The development also caused a terrible gridlock in the place which the officials of the FRSC had a difficult time handling. The Edo/Ondo Unit Commander of the FRSC, Mr. Ameen Adewale, who spoke with Saturday Mirror said he could not give a particular figure of the dead but confirmed that close to 100 casualties were recorded in the fa-

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

April 6, 2013

tal crash. “I can’t ascertain the actual number of death as at now. I am still at the scene of the accident trying to quench the fire,” he said. Two previous accidents on Wednesday and Thursday had claimed more than 10 lives in Benin. Meanwhile, the Anambra crash was also a multiple one. According to an eyewitness, it occurred when a truck which had just finished off-loading its consignment of crates of beer at an Ihiala beer depot, hit some Onitsha bound buses from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The buses were filled to full capacity. The truck, Saturday Mirror learnt was on reverse when it crashed into the on-coming two commuter buses, belonging to the Rivers State Transport Company (RTC). The two buses in turn crashed into another truck which was heading towards the same direction. Both buses somersaulted, killing most of the passengers on board. No fewer than 30 people perished in the multiple crashes. At the scene of the incident, officials of the FRSC and the police were sighted with busy taking the dead to the mortuary, while those who sustained injuries were rushed to nearby hospitals.

Kidnapping: Police declare monarch wanted for shielding son CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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traditional ruler of Ogbogbu Autonomous Community in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State, Eze Basil Igwegbe, is now on the run for abetting his son in kidnapping operations. The traditional ruler who deserted his palace on spotting the police on Thursday was implicated by his son, Simeon Igwegbe, 24, who has been arrested by the police following his involvement in various crimes including kidnapping and car theft. When the police officers from the Command Headquarters led by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Musa Mohammed Katsina, stormed his palace, the monarch escaped into the bushes surrounding his house on sighting the law enforcement agents. After an unsuccessful chase, the Commissioner of Police gave the traditional ruler 24 hours to turn himself in to the police for alleged complicity. Katsina disclosed that Eze Igwegbe had shielded his son Simeon “though he knew

Some suspected kidnappers paraded at the Owerri Police Headquarters

that he is a suspected kidnapper and receiver of stolen cars.” The CP added that “the Eze is on the run having realised the obvious legal implication of shielding criminals. “He would not have run if he was unaware of his son’s actions but he escaped into the bushes as soon as he sighted my men and he has not been seen since.”

He warned the traditional ruler to report himself to the nearest police station before the long arm of the law catches up with him. He further warned that anyone who harbours or shields a known criminal or found to be a conspirator or informant would be regarded as an accomplice and made to face the full wrath of the law.


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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April 6, 2013

Saturday Starter

275 days of downpour: Rain is dreaded in most parts of Lagos. With the release of NIMET’s 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) a couple of weeks ago, the fear almost became viral. Reason: The report predicted 275 days of rainfall. Is it true that the state would witness such number of days of rainfall? If such happens, what would be the lot of the residents? Is it not a prediction of doom? DAYO AYEYEMI, THOMAS USHIE AND TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

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couple of weeks ago a report filtered in on both the print and electronic media – Lagos State would experience 275 days of rainfall. From time, residents of many areas of the megacity are in morbid fear of the rainy season. This has always put the concerned government agencies on their toes. Hence, it is not unusual for these agencies to go on air at the onset of each rainy season to warn residents of habits that may aggravate the situation at flood prone areas and to also intimate them on the preparation of the government for the season. All these are when rains are regular in the coastal city. However, when NIMET’s release of 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) which predicted heavy rainfall of high intensity for Lagos, hit residents, the fears

When will the rains start? became palpable and phobia for the predicted downpour went viral. Ordinarily, the prediction would have been dismissed with a wave of the hand in the typical Lagosian lackadaisical way of taking government pronouncements. The big deal, however, remains that the warning came from NIMET and NIMET cannot just be ignored, more so with the effects of last year’s monumental flood still staring them insolently at the face. The Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Anthony Anuforom, had announced the 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) in which he alerted that this year’s rainfall pattern would be similar

to that of 2012. According to NIMET report, there might be excessive rainfall in Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and Kwara states, and the whole of the south-south, among others. The prediction as explained by Anuforom is to create good lead-time for adequate preparation against risks and hazards associated with weather and climate extremes while noting that the conditions that determine the rainfall pattern over Nigeria have become more variable due to the effects of climate change and global warming. The NIMET’s release of 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) predicted heavy rainfall of high intensity for Lagos. According the Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, at a press conference to sensitise the media on the implications of the SRP for Lagos State and to allay the fears of Lagosians on the forecast, the report amongst others showed that the rainfall pattern for Lagos State and South West would not be different from the 2012 predictions. He noted that Lagos State government, in its characteristic manners, had taken adequate measures, such as continuous dredging, construction and lining of drainage channels, to ensure that the state is able to cope with this year’s rains as it did in 2012. According to him, “it has been predicted that rainfall will commence in Lagos between the first and second week in March, with a margin of error of three days, as probable onset dates for year 2013 rainy season” He added that the prediction is further confirmed with the torrential rainfall experienced on Saturday/ Sunday March 1st – 2nd 2013, as well as that of Monday, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


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April 6, 2013

Oludiran Akinleye holds a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics with specialisation in Food and Agricultural Policy. In this interview with THOMAS USHIE, he spoke on the possible implications of flooding on crops production vis-a-vis the prediction that Lagos would face 275 days of rainfall. Excerpts:

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hat is your take on the prediction that there would be 275 days of rainfall in Lagos State, especially as it concerns food production? Firstly, it is a prediction. Sometimes, it comes through and sometimes it does not. Secondly when you say there would be 275 days of rainfall, what is of paramount concern is the volume of rainfall and not the days. We could have a day of rainfall which will turn out high volume of water to cause enough flooding than a week of light rainfall. So, what should interest us is the volume of rainfall and not the number of days. We know that this is the tropics and we do have a period of rainfall of about nine months out of the 12 calendar months. However, it is the relative concentration of some days within few days that makes it important. Last year, there was high volume of rainfall and if it is more this year, the

Saturday Starter ‘Predictions may or may not come to pass’ In the past, the Federal Government had made efforts to construct silos at different locations across the country, do you think Nigeria has the capacity to feed her citizens from her food reserve in case of famine? We do have silos in several locations across the country. But our issues with silos are not so much about storage or the existence of silos. It is the capacity to manage what is inside of it. Much of what we consume from our market are still locally produced and aggregated. So if we have silos that are not being effectively utilized, it is as good as not having any. And if you don’t preserve under the right conditions, and the values are not well maintained, it would be waste of time. My fear for silos storage in Nigeria is that so much money is expended on it but the specifications originated from developed nations who don’t go through the kind of weather systems we do go through. Consequently, after few years, the silos start having problems and losing their values and their abilities to store for long periods are compromised.

government may have to take a look at what would be done with the waste water. The waste water is the water that leaves the stream after the rain and gets into the streets, farms, and other places that do not need it. But for me, I don’t think that the time is ripe to panic until we see the frequency and the volume. And again, the prediction ought to take cognisance of the volume of rainfall over the period of days under consideration against the usual volume to be able to know if the rain would wreck havoc on agricultural produces and others. In the advent of high volume of rainfall as warned, what do you think would be the implications on agricultural produces? If the volume of rainfall is higher than necessary, it will definitively impact negatively on farm produces. It will wash farm produce away. That is certain. Aside from this, it would also hamper the processes of preserving farm produce. In several places in the country, the common way of preserving food is through sunlight. So, a long period of rainfall with high volume would definitely distort this process of preservation. Food items like elubo (dried cassava, yam, potato to be processed into its powder form), garri, cassava, etc, have to be dried in the

Akinleye

sun. Same goes for cocoa, millet, melon, etc. So extended period of rainfall when there is no sunlight, and there is no technology to dry these produces in-house, would bring problems.

‘It is unrealistic’ Pastor Segun Adewunmi is the National President of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association. In this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, he expressed his doubt on the possibility of 275 days rain in this year. Despite his doubt, he said farmers are taking necessary precautions to prevent damage to their crops peradventure there are many days of heavy rain.

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Adewunmi

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ow do you see the revelation that there would be 275 day heavy rain in the country? We have less than 300 days to go in this year and if somebody now says out of those days, he is expecting rain for about 275 days, it cannot happen. If that happens, it means that, it will rain everyday from today. That is very unreal. A year is made up of 365 days and there is prediction that there would be rain for about 275 days; then it means that from today it will start raining and I don’t see that happening. I don’t think we have cause to express any fear because that speculation is very unreal. I don’t think people should be worry about it.

days we have left in the year is not up to 275. Are you planning to add to this year? Do you want to extend this year to March next year? If that is not possible there is nothing to be worried about.

Will having rain for about 275 days affect farm products and what effect would it have on farmers? There is no way we can have 275 days rain this year again because the

Does that mean farmers are already taking precautions? We are prepared and the farmers are taking precautions in our farms and how we plant our crops.

But in case there are many days of heavy rain, will it not affect farm products? I don’t see how it can affect farm products because it flooded last year doesn’t mean that it would this year. But that is not to say we are not taking precautions. We are taking precautions to make sure that we plant most of our crops very early. We are advising our farmers to plant in a good area so that our crops would not be destroyed.

What is your advice to farmers and other people concerned with producing and preserving farm produce vis-à-vis the probable high volume of rainfall for several days? For government and researchers, I think we should start working on how we could put in place technology to dry and preserve farm produces. There are different technologies but we must concentrate on those that would have comparative advantages to our peculiar environment and useful to the majority of our farmers. Many farmers, because of the largely subsistence level of farming in the country, sell their produce usually fresh. So, the greater problem to farmers in Nigeria is the prevention of their crops from being washed off the farm by flooding. I know that there is an insurance scheme for the farmers but it is poorly managed. You just mentioned agricultural insurance cover. Is flooding an insurable risk? Yes, it is. Farmers can take insurance cover against flooding. There is National Agricultural Insurance scheme but it is not efficiently managed. People that get to benefit from it are the ex-generals, and the big time farmers. The subsistence farmers have little access to it. Is the inability of small scale farmers to access the national insurance scheme a matter of policy or bureaucracy? It is more of bureaucracy. The intentions are good but getting to coordinate with millions of subsistence farmers has always been very difficult.


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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April 6, 2013

Saturday Starter

Flooded streets

Lagos: Waiting for the rains? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 4th 2013. Furthermore, Bello pointed out that the state would experience a rainy season of about 249 – 275 days with intermittent stoppage in February and August, stressing that the magnitude of rainfall prediction for 2013 would be heavy with high intensity and thunderstorm as experienced last year. “Lagos is expected to record 1722mm with marginal error of between 21 and 179mm, while heavy thunderstorm would occur during the raining period of June, July and August” he added. With these a lot of questions now weigh heavily on the minds of the residents. One of them, Emmanuel Baoku, while speaking with Saturday Mirror, expressed fears on the facilities that are on ground to checkmate the grievous forecast insisting that they are not enough to stop the onslaught of water when it becomes a running torrent. “Where are the drainages? How many channelization projects in the state have been completed? What about the roads that even in the case of a little rain become flooded and practically impassable thereby giving way to serious traffic gridlock? How many canals and drainages have been cleared for the coming rain even if it is not going to be 275 days?” he queried. Baoku, a structural engineer, went further. “Accepted Lagos is a megacity and rarely practises agriculture, what about neighbouring villages, towns and even states which are agrarian but may likely share the fate of Lagos because of their proximity? Famine is starring the masses at the face.” While some residents and groups took the news with some elements of scepticism, the state government received it hitting the ground running. One of those who tagged the forecast as unrealistic is Pastor Segun Adewunmi, the National President of Nigeria

Cassava Growers Association. Adewumi in an interview with Saturday Mirror described the prediction as unrealistic wondering where the 275 days would come from when already less than the specified number of days remain in the year. “We have less than 300 days to go in this year and if somebody now says out of those days, he is expecting rain for about 275 days, it cannot happen. If that happens, it means that, it will rain everyday from today. That is very unreal,” he added. His lack of conviction in the SRP for Lagos notwithstanding, Adewumi said farmers are prepared for any eventualities including flood, hence there would not be any shortfall in the food production target for the year. “I don’t see how it can affect farm products because it flooded last year doesn’t mean that it would this year. But that is not to say we are not taking precautions. We are taking precautions to make sure that we plant most of our crops very early. We are advising our farmers to plant in a good area so that our crops would not be destroyed,” he explained further. Another expert who spoke with Saturday Mirror is Oludiran Akinleye who holds a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics with specialisation in Food and Agricultural Policy. While Akinyele sees the SRP for Lagos as what it is – a prediction, he would not want it to be ignored. His words: “Firstly, it is a prediction. Sometimes, it comes through and sometimes it does not. Secondly when you say there would be 275 days of rainfall, what is of paramount concern is the volume of rainfall and not the days. We could have a day of rainfall which will turn out high volume of water to cause enough flooding than a week of light rainfall. So, what should interest us is the volume of rainfall and not the number of days.” He, however, held that unnecessarily high volume of water could have an ad-

verse effect on crop production. According to Akinyele, “If the volume of rainfall is higher than necessary, it will definitively impact negatively on farm produces. It will wash farm produce away. That is certain. Aside from this, it would also hamper the processes of preserving farm produce.” One party that is not taking the SRP lying low is the Lagos State government. Immediately the news got out, the state caused a news briefing that was addressed by its Commissioner of the Environment, Tunji Bello Bello told journalists about programmes being put in place to reduce the incident of flooding in the state especially as related to the SRP on Lagos. These, he said, included massive clearing and dredging of primary and secondary channels/collectors in the state; expansion of existing drainage channels in order to contain more storm water; lining of many earth channels; and strengthening of resident engineers/drainage maintenance officers to oversee drainage matters in the Local Governments/ Local Council Development Areas across the state. At the briefing, Bello also enjoined Lagos residents to desist from the acts of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorized places like drains and canals, adding that silted drains around their homes and premises must be evacuated to prevent flooding. Other acts that could lead to flooding, he said included illegal building of structures on drainage alignments, road setbacks, and verges, saying that these acts are remained prohibited, urging that people should not patronise cart pushers who would end up dumping the waste inside canals. He revealed that the state government has worked on over 1000 kilometres drainage projects in the last one year and that works are ongoing on others. He also appealed to people living in

low lying plains, river and drainage channels, which are prone to flooding to relocate to save locations in order to avoid being flooded in the course of the year. He said, “I want to appeal to people living in flood prone areas across the state to relocate to avoid flood disaster in the course of the year. Also people living very close to river and drainage channels should also relocate because they are not expected to build in such locations in the first instance. There is nothing government can do about this, they have to relocate. “Part of Ikorodu, Ketu and Maryland were seriously affected last year because those are areas where water channel passes. So these areas are highly vulnerable.” According to him, climate change challenge which cuts across boundary, has led to wide range of disasters such as drought, desertification, flooding, ocean surge, tsunamis and windstorm among others. The commissioner also remarked that his ministry has been proactive enough to have come up with forwardlooking strategy and work plan which divided its de-flooding programme into a trimester of pre-rain, mid-rain and post-rain plan. The drainage projects inspected recently by the state included Elere Drain in Agege running through Odejobi (350.00m long), Agunbiade/Alfa Nla (1650.00m long) which will deflood Iju road, Elere street, Alfa Nla road, Agunbiade road, Odejobi street, Old Abeokuta Express way. Others in the area are Awori-Moricas Drain (2000.00m long), Adealu Drain (650.00m), Papa Ashafa (1000.00m) which will deflood Moricas, Awori, Adenle, Alfa Nla, Ipaja streets, Roche, Ifelodun streets, Adealu and Papa Ashafa streets and environs. Other drainage works include Ipori/ Iganmu drainage works.


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NATIONAL NEWS

April 6, 2013

Amnesty: More deadly attacks coming if… –Balarabe Musa A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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xcept the federal government addresses the poor state of the nation, more deadly insurgency would be launched notwithstanding the possible granting of amnesty to the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, made this declaration yesterday in a telephone interview with our correspondent. He however called on the vice president, Namadi Sambo and other Northern

leaders to mount pressure on Boko Haram to accept the amnesty if granted by the government. Alhaji Musa noted that it was imperative for government to be more responsible and relevant after the contemplated amnesty programme, by tackling the high rate of unemployment across the country. “There is no alternative to granting amnesty to Boko Haram, but I advise government to sit up, if not I am afraid, more deadly insurgency will come to Nigeria after Boko Haram. I called on Vice President Namadi Sambo and

other Northern leaders to mount pressure on Boko Haram to accept amnesty.” Meanwhile, a pan northern group, Arewa Youth Forum, (AYF) insisted that amnesty would disabuse the mind of youths from indulging in activities inimical to the growth and development of the country. AYF national president, Gambo Gunjugu, commended the visit of Acting American Ambassador to Nigeria, Jeffery Hawkins, in Kaduna, on Thursday, to meet with northern stakeholders on how to end the crisis

in the north as it has affected the relationship between the country and the United States of America. The statement reads in part: “The ambassador held a crucial meeting with the umbrella organisation of youths in the North, Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), on the way and manner in which the two can partner for peace to return to the region. “Both parties discussed the way forward, part of which is how the youths in the region can be gainfully engaged as part of the strategy towards addressing the restiveness.”

L-R: Ministers, Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen; Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe; State for Agriculture, Alhaji Bukar Tijjani; National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Development of National PHOTO: NAN Framework for the Application of Climate Services in Abuja on Friday.

NECO scrapping: VCs, other stakeholders fear WAEC’s monopoly MOJEED ALABI

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ollowing the proposed decision of the federal government to scrap the National Examination Council (NECO), the nation’s examination body in charge of the conduct of the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE), stakeholders including vicechancellors of universities, students and parents have expressed concern over the implication of the monopoly that may be enjoyed by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). It would be recalled that indications began to emerge recently that the federal gov-

ernment is considering the adoption of the report submitted by Steve Orosanyeled committee which recommended the regularisation of government institutions and scrapping of bodies like NECO to save Nigeria’s high rising profile of recurrent expenditure. Speaking with Saturday Mirror yesterday, the former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, said he was yet to understand the reasons for the big hammer, urging all to remain calm as the concerned authorities must be weighing all options. Bamiro, who said as a VC during the time NECO was introduced spearheaded a campaign not to ac-

cept it on the campus considering its questionable credibility, noted that after about two years the body began to sit up and offered, at least, the opportunity of an alternative to WAEC. He said as much as he would be glad to accept the decision to phase it out, he nursed the fear that if WAEC were to take up the sole responsibility of conducting SSCE, it might become too powerful and begin to act with impunity. “It is unfortunate that many questions are still begging for answers before we reach this serious conclusion. I might have spearheaded the campaign not to accept NECO long time ago but I think the body has re-

adjusted itself to discharge its responsibilities. The questions then are that: Has NECO failed to perform its duties as enabled by law? Is its condition not redeemable? If it is about cutting cost, are students not paying for the exams? Can WAEC continue to shoulder all the responsibilities without committing errors? “We must not forget the fact that WAEC is a regional body, do other countries where WAEC operates also have their local examination bodies? If yes, why should Nigeria scrap hers? I am asking these questions because I know very clearly that as an organisation managed by Africans any opportunity to become monopolistic will attract a lot of abuse. This is peculiar to CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

…Northern governors hail Jonathan ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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ome Northern governors have expressed support for the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a committee to consider the option of granting amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect to address the insecurity situation in the country. Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and his Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido, who met separately with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday were unanimous in their opinion that the president did the right thing by setting up the committee in order to ensure peace in the Northern region and the entire country. The position of Shema and Lamido is in tandem with the view of the Northern Elders Forum that the considering the amnesty option was necessary in the face of wanton destruction of lives and property in the Northern region and other parts of the country and its implication on the economy of the nation. Speaking with State House Correspondents after meeting with the president yesterday, Shema maintained that if the committee was set up in good faith, it would go a long way to address the state of insecurity in the country. “I believe if a security committee is set up is in good faith, it is for the good of Nigeria and the resolution of the crisis that has bedeviled most of the northern states of Nigeria on the issue of insecurity”, Shema said “So if a committee on amnesty is set up, it is done because Nigerians and leaders from the Northern part of the country are yearning for a quick resolution to the matter. And the president is responding positively to this request so that our nation can go on in peace, progress and development,” he said. He noted that it was not true that the Northern Governors’ Forum did not champion the move to bringing about a lasting peace in the North over the violent and deadly activities of the Boko Haram sect. “It is not correct that the Northern governors never championed the move be-

cause if you remember the Northern Governors’ Forum did set up a special committee of peace, healing and reconciliation”, he said. Stressing that the committee had been working hard, he said it would soon submit its second report to the Northern Governors’ Forum. He maintained that all hands were on deck, adding that that traditional institutions, religious and political leaders, military, the police and the State Security Services (SSS) were all involved. Shema said that there had been very serious efforts by the Northern Governors’ Form to tackle the problem of insecurity. “We need peace and all hands should be on deck, those who are aggrieved for one reason or the other should come forward and be able to resolve this crisis, such that our nation and our people can progress and develop rapidly”, he stated. While also speaking with State House Correspondents, Lamido said that the decision of the president to set up the committee was an indication that wisdom had prevailed and peace was expected to return to the country while issues of development could now be better focused on. “Wisdom has prevailed. It is all about what do we do to secure our country, especially when Nigeria becomes a country that is very secure and stable so that we confront the problems of human development. “This country needs our energy, our political skill and a number of things which are begging for attention. Therefore, whatever it is to be able to get Nigeria united, to get Nigeria very secure, we should do it. So, ignore whatever has been the other misconceptions, we are now doing the right thing”, Lamido said. Jonathan had on Thursday set up a committee within the National Security Council to consider the request for amnesty for the member of the Boko Haram sect as well as other options to address the insecurity situation in the country. The committee which is expected to report to the National Security Council within two weeks is also to consider the feasibility of the amnesty request.


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NATIONAL NEWS

April 6, 2013

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Amnesty: Compensate Boko Haram’s victims, group tells FG TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

F L-R: General Manager, National Theatre, Mr. Kabir Yusuf; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, and Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, addressing a news conference in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

2015: Anenih to visit OBJ in Ota

...To propose peace pact with Jonathan •PDP warns Tinubu over comments OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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n its spirited efforts at resolving the crises rocking the ruling People’s Demcoratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2015 general election, the party’s chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, is set to lead a team to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The meeting which will be held at the former PDP BoT chairman’s Ota farm, Ogun State, in a few days time is aimed at reconiling Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan. The relationship between the two leaders have become strained and the reconcilation efforts embarked upon are in line with the decision of the party to pacify its disgruntled members. It would be recalled that Chief Obasanjo controversially resigned as the BoT chairman last year. He has since not attended any PDP meeting both at the local and national levels. He has also on different occasions exchanged words with President Jonathan over his style of leadership. But sources from the BoT office confirmed to Saturday Mirror that in a matter of days from now, the new leadership of the BoT led by Chief Anenih will put Obasanjo to task over the need to respect the sovereignty of the party and to subsume self to the leadership of the party. According to the source,

Chief Anenih will put before Chief Obasanjo offers he must accept so that peace would return, not just in the South West PDP, but in the party generally. The source said: “We are set to go to Ota farm very soon to attempt to pacify the former president and to assure him that the leadership of the party in the South West is still very much in his palms. We will let him know that as the father of this party and a former president, this party cannot afford to toy with his contributions and that we will always rely on his wisdom to pilot the affairs of the party. “We are going to arrange for a meeting between him and the president which may hold in the farm as a mark of respect for his statesmanship. The president will stop at nothing to ensure that the man whom he still adores and the man who played major roles in his political transformation is given a befitting role to play.” He warned that the differences between the President and Chief Obasanjo was created and magnified by the opposition as Jonathan has always respected the former president. The source said, “The former president has been playing a major role in this government since he left office in 2007 and has worked hard to restore the image of Nigeria in the international community. He has also headed several govern-

ment delegations. That is acceptable, but we are still not comfortable by his decision to quit party politics, we need him more now to steady the ship ahead of the next general election. We need him to work his miracles to win the South West for the party.” Chief Anenih has been on the road interfacing with political stakeholders, particularly the state governors, who have not worked in harmony with the PDP chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur since his assumption of office over a year ago. His recent state tours have been received with gladness by the president as testimonies of reconciliation have continued to pour into the presidency. Meanwhile the leadership of the PDP has told the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Tinubu, to focus on salvaging his alleged fast crumbling political empire instead of constantly commenting on issues of the ruling party. In an official reaction to the criticism of the formation of the PDP Governors Forum (PDPGF) by the former Lagos State governor, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh questioned the motive of Senator Tinubu in the disparaging comments he made against the emergence of the PDPGF saying “his remarks are contrary to the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association.” “Since the inception of

the current democratic dispensation, governors have had several groups where they meet to aggregate their common interests. We have governors of the ACN always meeting. “We also have groups like the Northern Governors Forum, SouthEast Governors Foum, South South Governors Forum and so on. What is the idea behind Tinubu’s attack on the PDPGF? It goes to show the absence of democratic tenents in him for him to attempt to prevent Nigerian citizens from associating with one another,” the party said.

ollowing the setting up of a special committee by the federal government to look into Boko Haram insurgency based on the clamour for granting amnesty to members of the sect, Christian Association of NigerianAmericans (CANAN), has called on the government to also consider compensating all the victims of Boko Haram insurgents. CANAN, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Pastor Laolu Akande, also questions what Nigerian government has done to assuage the sufferings resulting from the killing of thousands of the Nigerian people by Boko Haram. The statement reads in part: “We have watched with bated breadths, the strident clamour by a group of Nigerian political elite to grant terrorists amnesty. “When the federal government agreed to set up a committee to consider the demand to grant amnesty to terrorists, it completed its treachery against the wives, children and relatives of the victims of

Boko Haram terrorists! “Has the same government considered setting up anything to help those victims? Does the federal government even have a count of the victims? What has the Nigerian government done to assuage the sufferings resulting from the killing of thousands of the Nigerian people by Boko Haram?... “We are not out rightly against a political solution, side by side with the enforcement of law and order; which is government’s primary assignment anywhere. But political approach has to involve both parties to a conflict. So far as we and all Nigerians know, the leaders of Boko Haram have rejected the idea of negotiations and the amnesty itself. They have even killed certain leaders who have been perceived to be leading the charge for a political solution.” CANAN also implored United States government and the international community to pay a very close attention to the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria and intervene as appropriate under international law.

VCs, others fear WAEC’s monopoly CONTINUED FROM 6 Africa but otherwise I could support the idea. We have known Cambridge exam for decades and it never as a result grow out of control. But trust Africans, we will definitely misbehave and it is the students who will suffer the consequences,” Obamiro submitted. Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor of Bells University of Technology (BELLSTECH), Ota, in Ogun State, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, has urged the federal government to have a rethink and consider the pros and cons very well. Adeyemi, also in an interview with Saturday Mirror, urged the concerned authorities to put into consideration the huge population of the country and the need to create alternatives, while also not foreclosing the idea of building strong institutions that could stand the test of time in terms of quality assurance and delivery. The Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State Univer-

sity (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Oladipo Aina, said he was yet to fathom the real reasons behind the suggestion and so had not formed an opinion yet. The VC said Nigeria needs to look deeply inward to address sacrosanct issues and not be misled in its decisions. Meanwhile, a parent, whose son’s WAEC result was cancelled four years after it was earlier released, Mr. Mosees Owoyemi, said arrogating all powers to conduct SSCE to WAEC would be tantamount to subjecting the future of the students to the dictates of a dictator. He lamented his experience dealing with WAEC in the last one year in the course of retrieving his son’s result and the consequent repercussions. “I think as a parent I would never support the idea of cancelling NECO because WAEC in the recent time has become too arrogant and unquestion-

able on some of its actions. In fact, if my advice were to be sought I would strongly advise for a review of the powers wielded by WAEC,” Owoyemi said. Also, Ismail Sulaimon, another student of Ogudu Senior Grammar School, whose 2008 May/June SSCE was cancelled after earlier released, said WAEC should be cancelled instead. “If not for the media what would have become of me by now? I am a final year student in the university and in my final class it was discovered that my result had been withdrawn from WAEC’s website and my certificate was not issued. We asked for our results and no one among their staff deemed it fit to even give us one reason. A lawyer also wrote them and up till now no response has been received. It was after a media publication that they rushed to the web behind everyone to upload the result. It is a shame,” Ismail said.


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Flood: FG sets up committee against disaster Rotimi Fadeyi ABUJA

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head of the rainy season, and in order to forestall a repeat of the disaster caused by flood last years, the federal government yesterday inaugurated a 10-man interministerial committee saddled with the responsibility of mapping out a national framework for application of climate services across the country. Speaking while inaugurating the committee at the

State House, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the exercise had become imperative in view of the early weather warning of heavy rainfall. Sambo noted that government needed to take action on the warning considering the observable effects of global climate change and its resultant consequences in the forms of rise in sea level, shift in rainfall patterns and extreme weather conditions resulting in hazards such as floods and droughts.

He noted that members of the committee had a duty to take advantage of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) “Global Framework for Climate Services” which was adopted by the WMO in 2012 with recommendations and guidelines for developing and implementing the frameworks for climate services at regional and national levels. Sambo implored the committee to discharge their assignment with all commitment and serious-

ness it deserved for its timely completion. The vice president noted that it was imperative to develop a national framework for application of climate services, which could deliver several benefits including improved crop yield and enhancement of national food security. According to him, such action would also reduce economic losses as a result of destruction of roads and other infrastructure as well as ensuring that the gains already recorded in the

provision of infrastructure are not reversed by severe weather events. He noted that the national framework would also help in reducing weather climate related health hazards and also reduce loss of lives and vulnerability of the population to disaster risks associated with extreme weather. In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, promised that the committee would diligently discharge its duties, saying

2015: ‘S’Court will decide Jonathan’s fate’ Obiora Ifoh ABUJA

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L-R: Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; representative of Civil Society, Mr. Olawale Okunniyi and Managing Director, Dermo Impex Ltd., Dr. Anthony Uwa, during the visit of members of the Partnership on Modern Information Management to the minister in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FCTA urges farmers to register for more incentives Omeiza Ajayi

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he Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has urged farmers in the territory to register in the ongoing Growth Enhancement Support (GIS) scheme data capturing exercise for farmers. Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat in the FCTA, Mrs. Olvadi Bema Madayi, said the exercise would ensure that real farmers, both subsistence and commercial, have direct access to farming inputs like fertilizers, improved seeds and seedlings, implements and modern farming information techniques. She emphasised that the exercise would equally help the secretariat to adequately come out with effective, comprehensive and workable plans for the distribution of these farming inputs for the benefit of the farmers. “To key into the drive by the Goodluck Jonathan’s

transformation agenda to transform agriculture into a commercial venture which will steadily lead to economic empowerment of the farmers, there is need to capture a comprehensive data of farmers and farming families residing in the territory so as to take adequate care of them,” Madayi stressed. The secretary called on the traditional rulers and chiefs across the Territory to sensitise their subjects to turn out in large numbers and register in their various wards as those not captured might find it difficult accessing farm inputs during farming season. She, however, expressed satisfaction on the level of cooperation so far received from FCT farmers ever since she became the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat. Madayi also thanked the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, FCT Minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide, National Assembly members and staff of Agriculture and Rural Develop-

ment Secretariat for their support and presence during her recent installation as the Tikulti Bachama kingdom by His Majesty, Hama Bachama, Homum Honest Stephen (Kwire Mana Kpafrato11) in Lamurde in

Adamawa State. It would be recalled that the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme registration exercise is targeted at capturing data of about 80,000 to 100,000 farmers before the closing date.

APGA: ‘Umeh lacks respect for Obi’ Obiora Ifoh

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he political crisis in the All Progressive Grand Alliance has been blamed on the alleged disrespectful action of the party’s national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, against the governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi. Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mike Udah, who made the allegation also said that the purported

intimacy between the late leader of APGA, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, and the former chairman was a ruse. Similarly, he denied ever discussing with Umeh his relationship with the governor. Udah who was reacting to an interview by Umeh recently said that Chief Umeh had the penchant to insult and attack the governor of his state.

that they would not disappoint the government and Nigerians. Ministers who are also members of the committee include Stella Oduah (Aviation); Akinwumi Adesina (Agriculture & Rural Development); Hadiza Mailafiya ( Environment); Sarah Ochekpe (Water Resources); Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu (Health), Mike Onolememen (Works), Professor Ita Ewa Bassey (Science & Technology) and Senator Umar Idris (Transport).

social reforms advocate and political analyst from Adamawa State, Daniel Richards, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan will not only emerge as the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate but insists that just like in 2011 general election, the president will clinch his victory in the Supreme Court. Richards who said that nothing would stop Jonathan from contetsting in 2015 maintained that the merger of opposition parties into All Progressives

Congress (APC) would not achieve its desired goal. Addressing journalists in Abuja, Richards said “I am not seeing any person stopping Jonathan. In the first instance it was not your vote that put him there, it is the Supreme Court that decided our issues. It is not our mandate Jonathan is looking for, it is the Supreme Court that will give him that. If there will be election in 2015, Jonathan will run.” Explaining further why APC merger cannot achieved its goals, Richards said leadership problem would pose a major challenge.

Patience Jonathan returns to Nigeria Rotimi Fadeyi ABUJA

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irst Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, yesterday returned from her trip to Germany. According to a report monitored on the Nigerian Television Authority last night, the First Lady was received at the presidential wing of the airport by the wife of the vice president, Haji Amina Sambo, and some female ministers. She arrived the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, aboard a presidential jet in compa-

ny of her children. Speculations were rife during the week that Dame Patience was flown abroad for medical treatment in a German hospital. Unconfirmed reports had it that the First Lady’s health might have relapsed, thereby necessitating her going abroad to receive fresh medical attention. But her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Ayo Osinlu, in a statement had said that the First Lady was not sick or flown to any German Hospital for medical tretment.

Aero gets permission for full flight operations

Olusegun Koiki

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he Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), yesterday evening granted Aero Airlines permis-

sion to commence full flight operations, barely a week after it was allowed to resume skeletal services due to the industrial action in its organisation.

With this permission, the airline can now extend its services to those airports it was hitherto flying into before the industrial strike, which paralysed its operations

for 18 days in March. Aero had commenced partial services to Abuja, Port Harcourt and Uyo last weekend with three aircraft out of the 12 aircraft in its fleet.


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April 6, 2013

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Our grouse with Minister of Health –Workers MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) yesterday said it hoped all issues causing friction between it and the Federal Ministry of Health would be addressed in few weeks. The union has been at loggerhead with the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, calling for his sack from office at different for a. JOHESU said in a release signed by its chair-

person, Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja, yesterday, that: “It could be recalled that the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations have engaged the Federal Ministry of Health on sundry issues that have continued to pose serious obstacles to the attainment of effective service delivery and harmonious working relationship in the health sector. “This necessitated the issuance by the unions of a

15-day ultimatum on March 13, 2013, to the Federal Ministry of Health to implement the 10th May, 2012 collective agreement. The ultimatum expires today. “As a result of spirited efforts by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, a memorandum of understanding was reached between the parties at a meeting held at the instance of the Minister. The memorandum provided a six-week time frame effective from March 21,

2013 within which all outstanding issues in the dispute will be addressed. “It is against this background, therefore, that the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations hereby extends the ultimatum by six weeks effective from 21st March, 2013, within which the Federal Ministry of Health should implement the following: Implementation of the Justice Bello Abdullahi Presidential Committee

report on harmony in the sector; promotion of Health Professionals from CONHESS 14 to 15 in line with respective Schemes of Service; implementation of the 2008 Job Evaluation Committee Report; review of Retirement Age of healthcare professionals in Teaching and Research Institutes to be at par with their counterparts in the university system and; re-composition of the Boards of Management of Tertiary Health Institutions to en-

sure equitable representation of Health Professional Associations and Registered Trade Unions. “It is our hope that this intervention by wellmeaning Nigerians will be respected by the Federal Ministry of Health. We also reiterate our call on Mr. President to relieve Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu of his appointment as the Minister of Health as he has failed in all ramifications to bring about industrial peace and harmony in the health industry.”

Group lauds FG over airports remodelling OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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President Goodluck Jonathan; Director, Liverpool International College, England; Ms. Olivia McLaughin; Regional Director, West Africa, Kaplan International College, Mrs. Mary Agbu, and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku (R), after a breakfast meeting PHOTO: NAN with some future leaders of Bayelsa State in Abuja, yesterday.

INEC backs APGA April 8 national convention

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he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed its readiness to monitor the congress and national convention of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), scheduled for Monday.

INEC, in a letter titled ‘Re: Notice of the National Convention Pursuant to Section 85 of the Electoral 2012 (As Amended),’ which was signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Abdullahi Kaugama, and addressed to the

Chairman, Pro-Tempore, All Progressive Grand Alliance, noted that INEC will monitor the party’s national convention. The statement which was made available to Saturday Mirror reads: “Please refer to your letters

on the subject respectively dated 11th March, 2013 and 28th March, 2013. The Commission has noted the scheduling of your party’s congress nationwide as well as the national convention to hold on 8th April, 2013 at the Women Development Centre, Awka, Anambra State. The Commission will monitor the Congress and National Convention as schedule by your party.”

pressure group and Non-Governmental Organisation, Aviation Stakeholders Square Table (ASST) has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the recent improvements in the Nigerian civil aviation sector. The president of the group, Capt. Balarabe Usman, observed that the country’s airports, which had suffered infrastructural decay in the last 15 years had suddenly turned into huge construction sites, due to the on-going airport remodelling projects, designed to modernise all Nigerian airports and make them at par with other airports in the globe. Balarabe, in a statement to the media, noted that the airport remodelling project was the second most significant airport development project of the country so far after the Aerodrome Development Programme of the mid-1970s that led to the creation of the then Nigerian Airports Authority, the precursor of the Fed-

eral Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). He said that it was regrettable that rather than receive commendation for bringing about tangible improvements in the aviation industry, the federal government is allegedly being castigated by some industry “stakeholders, who are pursuing selfish and sectional agenda in the industry.” Usman wondered why some of the stakeholders and professionals in the sector did not raise the alarm in the last 15 years when the industry was being run aground, through policies and activities that brought the industry to its knees. He went further to say that it defied all logic that a minister who was doing her best to redress the rots she met in the system, through verifiable projects, was the one being vilified by some sections of players in the industry. He challenged the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, not to be distracted by the antics of these detractors, but to continue with the transformational work she has already began.

Chevron inaugurates student safety campaign HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE.

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n order to save the lives of young children on Nigerian roads, American oil giant, Chevron Nigeria Limited, has inaugurated a Child Safety Campaign programme for pupils and students in Ondo State primary and secondary schools. The programme which was aimed at instilling good road user behaviour

early enough in the lives of pupils and students of the various primary and secondary was also packaged to produce champions who would become Road Safety Ambassadors. Speaking during the inauguration in Akure, Ondo State capital, General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs of Chevron, Deji Haastrup, said the programme was designed to educate children in and

outside their schools, as well as their parents on safety measures on roads. Haastrup, explained that three states - Ondo, Delta and Bayelsa, would benefit from the first phase of the programme this year. He pointed out that very few activities were being undertaken by government and private sector to impart information that could actually help to safe the lives of young children.


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SOUTH WEST

Ekiti 2014: Fayose declares guber ambition, submits letter of intent ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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do Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, stood still yesterday for the declaration of the governorship ambition of former governor of the state, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The event attracted a mammoth crowd of PDP members and supporters from within and outside the state and Fayose told them that he would emerge the state’s next governor of the state based on their support and votes. The former governor, while submitting his letter of intent to participate in the PDP primary to the party’s state chairman, Makanjuola Ogundipe, said he would contest ‘and subsequently win the 2014 governorship election for our party in Ekiti State.’

“This is the letter that begins my journey to the Ekiti State Government House in 2014,” he said when handing the letter to Ogundipe. He also said that he would, on assumption of office, immediately conduct council elections

and that party members were assured of opportunities in his government. He also assured some civil servants purportedly unjustly sacked in the state recently that he would consider them once he returns to the

State House. He, however, appealed for unity among PDP members in the state, saying, “When we have a united front, we can fight. It is still one party.” Speaking, Ogundipe described the PDP as a family party and he ex-

pressed its preparedness to return to the Government House next year. Among party leaders at the event were Lagos State PDP Chairman, Captain Tunji Shelle; his Ogun State counterpart, Engr Dayo Bayo; Ogun State Women Leader,

Barr. Lawumi Eyuba; Zonal Youth Leader, Bolaji Jeje; PDP Board of Trustees member, Senator Clement Awoyelu; former Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief Abiodun Aluko and former Ekiti State PDP Chairman, Bola Olu-ojo.

Osun distributes 100 security patrol vans

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he Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has distributed 100 security patrol vehicles to security agencies in the state. The patrol vans were shared out to the police, immigration, customs, NDLEA, civil defence and the FRSC. In a statement made available to Saturday Mirror, Governor Aregbesola, while distributing the vehicles in Osogbo, said that the state government has paid for some advanced and more sophisticated armoured personnel carriers (APC) for the use of security

operatives in the state. He also assured that his administration would soon place an order for heavy duty motorcycles that would be stationed at every street to maintain security. “We have appealed to the federal government to let us work together to activate the short code 112 so that our people can easily contact us in time of need, but this has proved fruitless. We are ready to take over all the financial requirements to get the centre operational but the federal government should come to the aid of the

people of Osun to guarantee full security of our people. We have our own security code, but without the federal government’s functioning, we cannot get our own to

work,” Aregbesola said. While thanking the state government on behalf of other security agencies, Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mrs Dorothy Gimba,

said that the benefiting security agencies have been re-energised to do their jobs and that they will not relent in maintaining law and order in the state.

Pollution: NASS tasks Ogun quarry firms FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he House of Representatives Committee on Environment yesterday charged quarry operators in Ogun State to make corporate social responsibility a matter priority for them within the communities

they operate. Chairman of the committee, Honourable Lanre Odubote explained that the committee’s visit and tour of all the quarry sites in the state was to enable both the operators and the committee crossfertilise ideas on how to protect the health of the host communities. Odubote stated further that the National Assembly wanted synergy between the quarry operators and the federal

government in such a way that the quarry operators’ activities would not constitute pollution and health hazards to the citizens. Speaking with journalists, another member of the committee, Honourable Debo Ologunagba explained that the committee’s visit and tour was to enable them get firsthand information about the acceptability of the quarry sites in their host communities.

PDP chieftain lauds Jonathan on amnesty ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

A L-R: President, Abundant Life Ministry International Widow Centre, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Evangelist Juliana Oluranti Akintayo; Senator representing Osun East Senatoria District, Babajide Omoworare, and Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Ife Central Local Government chapter, Alh Gabisiyu Olaobaju, during the presentation of food and other items to the widows by the senator in Ile-Ife, yesterday.

chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Prince Bola Oyebowale, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for rescinding his earlier decision not to consider amnesty for Boko Haram by setting up a committee to look into the possibil-

Amosun warns councillors against infringing on LG chairmen’s powers FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday warned all the 236 elected local government councillors in the state not to infringe on the constitution of the country as it relates to their functions.

Amosun gave the warning in Abeokuta, the state’s capital, in his address at the one-day seminar/workshop organised by the state’s Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to educate the local government lawmakers on the importance of making bye-laws and resolutions for the administration of their councils.

Amosun’s advice came against reported cases of rancour between some council chairmen and lawmakers in their localities. He reminded the lawmakers that their duty ends at awarding contracts and that they do not have the authority to take over the execution process. “You can’t allocate the money. It is the respon-

sibility of the local government chairman and not yours. Of course, you can influence certain things but it is not your responsibility to execute. It is just like I am the executive, the House of Assembly cannot tell me this is what I should do,” Amosun said. He urged the 236 councillors to build a har-

monious relationship between them and the executives in their respective council areas. He further used the occasion to inform those who were agitating for the creation of local council development associations (LCDAs) that the state does not have the financial strength to nurture them if they are established.

ity of granting amnesty to the dreaded sect. Describing the step taken by the federal government on the matter as “long expected,” Oyebowale maintained that the decision was a democratic one and charged those saddled with the responsibility to expedite action on the assignment. He also expressed optimism that the federal government would allow the committee members a free hand to carry out the task and advised the committee members to give the assignment the seriousness it deserves. According to him, if the committee members could reach out to the sect genuinely through dialogue and meaningful conversation, the incessant attacks on innocent citizens would become a thing of the past.


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REGIONAL NEWS

April 6, 2013

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SOUTH EAST

Ignore Uwazuruike’s sit-at-home order –Agu Biafra DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ne of the founding fathers of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ndubuisi Igwekani, popularly known as Agu Biafra, has urged Ndigbo both at home and in the Diaspora to ignore the June

8, 2013 sit-at-home order called for by MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. Igwekani, who spoke to our correspondent in Enugu, said there is no justifiable reason for the order, and that the terrorism going on in the northern part of Nigeria is not enough for Uwazuruike to issue such an order.

The MASSOB chieftain also said that if there should be any such sit-at-home, it should be organised by Ndigbo generally and not an individual. Uwazuruike had purportedly called on all Igbo sons and daughters to remain indoors on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in protest of the alleged killing of their people

in parts of the country. But Igwekani is urging all Igbo to go about their normal businesses on the proposed date, saying the order “is ineffective and of no relevance.” “Our people should ignore Uwazurike’s system of drawing government’s attention to himself. Anytime he wants the government to know he is still alive, he will

make one useless comment like the sit-at-home order he said should be observed,” Igwekani said. “I am challenging Uwazuruike that he has no right to tell our people to sit at home because of what is happening in the north or any other part of the country this time around. Our people can-

Anambra 2014: Motorcycle union denies pact with Andy Uba NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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L-R: Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Enugu State Wing, Comrade Chumaife Nze; representative of National President, Comrade Salamatu Aliu and Chairman, Anambra chapter, Comrade Ifeanyi Ofodile, at the inauguration of Nigeria Women in Education Network in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Elechi preaches peace in Ebonyi

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overnor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State has said that peace was indispensable for the overall development of any society. He made the assertion while addressing the people of Abakaliki at Nkwegu Primary School during a thank you visit to appreciate their support for the PDP in the April 2011 general elections. He said no meaningful development could take place in an environment devoid of peace and security and added that peace was necessary for actualising both individual and collective goals. According to him, human and infrastructure development was achievable only when people learnt to live in peace and harmony and tolerate one another. “We are here to thank

you for the massive support you gave our great party, the PDP, in the 2011 general elections. Again, we want to use this opportunity to appreciate you for your continued support and solidarity to the party and also for being lovers of peace,’’ he said.

He commended the Chairman of Abakaliki LGA, Matthew Uguru, saying that his projects were people-oriented. He used the visit to inaugurate some projects, including a six-classroom block, an administrative block, a bridge, a health

centre and medical doctors’ residential quarters executed by Uguru. During the visit, Elechi was also conferred with the chieftaincy title of Ozuoha 1 of Abakaliki by the Abakaliki Local Government Area Council of traditional rulers.

Auto parts traders protest against LG chair NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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raders at the new auto spare parts market in Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State yesterday staged a protest over an alleged plan by the Chairman of the Local Government Transition Committee, Barrister Ralphael Nnabuife, to demolish a control tower inside the market. The protesters, who

locked up their shops and headed for the governor’s office in Awka, the state’s capital, were met by the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Robert Okonkwo, who assured them that their message would be conveyed to Governor Peter Obi who was away from the state at the time. Speaking on behalf of the protesters, secretary of the market, Chief Chuma Eruchalu, said they decided to close the market abruptly because

the council boss, Nnabuife, vowed to pull down the market tower the next day.

Gov Obi

not continue suffering from what they don’t know anything about,” he added. Concluding, he said, “So we are telling our people to go about their normal business. If we want to encounter the federal government, we know what to do, everybody will speak with one voice.”

he national body of the Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria/Autobike Owners Association of Nigeria (MTUN/ AOWAN) has denied signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Senator Andy Uba on his purported quest to contest next year’s gubernatorial polls in Anambra State. Reacting to a recent newspaper publication (not Saturday Mirror) entitled ‘Anambra Okada Union backs Uba, signs MoU with candidate’ and credited to the state chairman of the union, Jude Udegbe, the chairman of board of trustees of MTUN/AOWAN, Dr. Jimmy Okonkwo, dissociated the union from the statement, saying the associations are not political organs, neither do they play partisan politics.

“We embrace any government in power. We are partners to the government in power. The statement of our state chairman, Jude Udegbe, is condemnable because he does not have the mandate of the national secretariat of the union to speak for them,” he said. A statement by Okonkwo claimed that in a bid to douse the tension already generated by the false news, the national body of the union has set up an ad-hoc committee to properly investigate Udegbe’s claim and make necessary recommendations. The national body of the union also urged its members to shun acts capable of causing disaffection among its members and mandated sectional leaders to always consult with the national body before addressing the press on sensitive issues.

Shun vengeance, cleric tells Christians

NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, has charged Christians to shun vengeance and strive to repay evil with good. In his homily during a special mass held at the Onitsha Prisons at the weekend to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Okeke reminded Christians of the biblical injunction which says ‘Vengeance is mine says the Lord of Host’ and added that Christians should have hope in God transforming the situation in the country.

“In the midst of impunity, violence, kidnapping and many anomalies in some parts of the country, the children of God should have hope. Hope that is alive, hope that never dies. They should keep hope alive. God is alive. We should have hope that God has the final word. God is in control, our God is capable. He can give us peace, he can give us stability. He can give us victory,” he said. The cleric donated a cow, biscuits, toilet tissues, toilet soaps, confectioneries, eight bags of cooked rice and some cakes to the inmates and promised to look into their request for a bus to be conveying them to various courts.


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REGIONAL NEWS

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SOUTH SOUTH

N’Delta bomb threat: Ijaw group warns against plunging Nigeria into civil war

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group of Ijaw citizens, under the banner of ‘Izon Ikemi,’ has dissociated the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) from the alleged threat to commence bombing of specific targets in the regions following the sentence of Henry Okah by a South Africa court. The group claimed that any such attempt would plunge the country back into civil war. In a statement issued in Lagos by its chairman, Tony Uranta, and made available to Saturday Mirror yesterday, the group also warned those behind the threat to retrace their steps. It would be recalled that MEND had, in a statement purportedly issued by it after the sentencing of Okah and signed by Jomo Gbomo, announced that it would commence attacks from midnight on Friday, April 5, 2013 in sustained attacks codenamed Hurricane Exo-

dus. But in a swift reaction to the threat, a MEND faction purportedly headed by Okah now in jail in South Africa, rebutted the statement threatening “a plague of attacks” against Nigeria’s oil facilities. The faction, led by a

BENIN CITY

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councillorship candidate of a political party in Edo State is presently fighting the battle of his political career at the High Court in Benin City after he allegedly forged an affidavit for age declaration.

the Niger Delta, said that the people of the region remain committed to the peace and amnesty process in the region. “There is no person of Ijaw or Niger Delta extraction who is involved in any anti-government activities, as our inves-

The aspirant, Osaretin Okunkpolor, allegedly presented an affidavit purportedly deposed to by his father, who investigation later showed, died six years ago. An opponent to Okunkpolor in the councillorship race, Okunbor Paul Ikponmwosa, has therefore filed a suit alleging forgery, perjury, procuring

and execution of a document by false pretence against Okunpkolor. Acting on behalf of the petitioner, a legal practitioner, Barrister Paul Osarenkhoe, said in the petition that was made available to journalists in Benin City that “sometime on or about the 25th day of January 2013, one Mr. Osaretin Okunkpolor falsely prepared an affidavit of age declaration which gave the impression that his father was the deponent of the said document.”

The lawyer appealed to the Director of DSS “to cause an investigation to be made into this matter so as to uncover the relevant facts and save the council from falling under the grips of criminals in offices.” Contacted on the telephone, Okunkpolor said he was in Urhonigbe village for campaigning and that the petition was the handwork of his political opponents who were out to detract him from realising his ambition.

C’River budgets N400m to boost enterprises

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he Cross River State Government has set aside N400 million to boost its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The amount is to be given through the Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency (MEDA) in collaboration with the Bank of Agriculture. Speaking in Calabar at the presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of the scheme, Governor Liyel Imoke said that MSMEs were very important to the state’s economy

tigations have revealed. The threat to commence bombing in the region is surely not from MEND, as the group is no longer in existence, but was dissolved when the Niger Delta armed agitators accepted amnesty,” the group said.

Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi (right) being decorated with a chieftain attire as the “Onwanetiliora of Illah” by the Ogbelani in Council of Illah, before Obi Nwabuenu Mebu in Illah, Delta State, recently. PHOTO: NAN

Edo LG poll: Candidate presents affidavit of age signed by dead father SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

Spain-based Mr. Azizi, on Thursday afternoon condemned the threat, saying it did not emanate from the group and Azizi said he has the mandate of Okah to speak. The Izon Ikemi, while dissociating MEND from the alleged threat to bomb

as the sector has the highest potential for employment creation and socioeconomic development. Imoke, who was represented at the occasion by his deputy, Efiok Cobham, said one of the objectives of his administration was wealth creation. “To pursue this, we have set out to create access to services for Cross Riverians, encourage public-private partnership and to maintain a socioeconomic environment for self-sustaining growth and investment. Government has set out to make

MSMEs more productive and rewarding by encouraging the adoption of best practices and developing a strong private sector-driven economy, growing the purchasing power of our people, and strengthening the real sector of the state economy,” he said. Saying that in spite of the pivotal role of the sector, it was still battling with various challenges including insufficient capital and lack of proper business information, he added that in addition to the loan, MEDA had been mandated to organ-

ise training programmes to address the capacity building needs of beneficiaries and provide business development and advisory services to beneficiaries. Earlier, an executive director of Bank of Agriculture, Waziri Ahmadu, said that N400 million had been budgeted as first installment for the programme. The Director-General of MEDA, Ignatius Atsu, also said that 500 micro enterprises and cooperative groups were selected to benefit from the scheme.

The Ijaw group said that the purported planned attack may have come from other militant agitators from other sections of the country who preferred to drag MEND into the threat for reasons best known to them. “We have deployed our own intelligence all over the region and we will resist any attempt to bomb our people or smear our name,” Izon Ikemi declared. Urging the people of the Niger Delta to remain calm, Izon Ikemi also urged the Boko Haram sect operating in the northern part of the country to accede to a total ceasefire and dialogue with the authorities if they desire amnesty. Other leaders of Izon Ikemi include Chief Ateke Tom, Chief Ebikabowei Ben aka Boyloaf, Chief Soboma Jackreece aka Egberipapa, Chief Kalaiti Jephthah, Chief Dere Akren, and Akpos Mezeh.

I constructed Ediene Bridge to save lives –Akpabio TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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he Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, has said that he resolved to construct the EdieneAbak Link Bridge in Abak Local Government Area of the state because he wanted to preserve the lives of the inhabitants of the benefiting communities. Akpbaio said this while being conducted round the project by Lubasch Detlef, technical director of construction firm, Julius Berger. Describing his administration as a people-oriented one, he explained that he decided to expand the road and construct the bridge to save the lives of road users who could have lost their lives in using the formerly narrow bridge. Stating that plans are underway to provide more infrastructure in

Uyo to urbanise its hitherto rural setting, he also used the occasion to announce plans by his administration to build another bridge on and dualise the deteriorating Abak-Ikot Abasi Road to link East-Way Road as done between Ikot Ekpene and Aba in Abia. According to him, the proposed new bridge would enable people from neighbouring states to have easy access to the state’s Ibaka Deep Seaport and Akwa Ibom International Airport, Uyo.

Gov Akpabio


Politics

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

April 6, 2013

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Information dissemination:

Public office holders turning a new leaf

Patience Jonathan

TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

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he turn of events is changing and there is hope that, to an extent, Nigerians can take information emanating from the nation’s public office holders without a pinch of salt. If there is any pointer to this, it is the recent disclosure of the reason for the latest visit of the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, to Germany. The Presidency was quoted as saying that she flew to Germany for medical check up. This is a clear departure from the previous experience whereby her trip was shrouded in secrecy, an action which later brought embarrassment to the Presidency. In the new turn of events, against enquiries about her conspicuous absence from the special Good Friday service at Aso Rock Villa Chapel in Abuja, the Presidency on Monday disclosed that the First Lady had a history of visiting hospitals in Germany even before she became the First Lady. The Presidency in a statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media to the First Lady, Mr. Ayo Osinlu, explained that Mrs. Jonathan’s latest trip was to attend to her mother who is currently receiving medical attention, saying that it was not true that she was flown abroad for another round of medical treatment. Osinlu added that the President’s wife was using the opportunity to spend quality time with her holidaying children. His words: “For the avoidance of doubt and ambiguities, we wish to state that the First Lady travelled to Dubai, after which she proceeded to Paris, France to participate in the 1st Green Women Conference, which took place in Paris on March 17, 2013 where she received the 2013 Global Women Leaders’ Award for Peace. “She thereafter proceeded to Italy from where she went to Germany to see her mother, Mama Sisi, who

Funmilayo Olayinka

is currently receiving medical attention. The First Lady is spending sometime overseeing the management of her mother’s condition. She is also using the opportunity to spend quality time with her holidaying children before they return to school, as they are with her to see their grandmother.” Osinlu said it was not strange if the First Lady had gone on a medical trip, noting that medical experts had recommended that every human being should undergo medical check-up every six months, even if not suffering ill-health. “It is notable that Her Excellency has a history of visiting the hospital in Germany even before she became the First Lady, thus making her medical trips routine. Therefore, hospital visitations of our leaders should not become leading media issues or attract disrespectful comments, just as the current circumstances of former South African President Nelson Mandela and other African leaders in similar situations, and even those who died, have not attracted negative comments from their people,” he said. Apart from Patience Jonathan’s case, the boldness of Ekiti State government to publicly issue a statement after the news of the recent long absence of the state deputy governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, from office over health related issues has also been seen by many as government’s effort to be accountable to the public. Following the criticisms trailing the absence of Ekiti State deputy governor, the state government quickly issued a statement, stating that the deputy governor took a leave to attend to issues relating to her health. The statement signed by Ekiti State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, reads in part: “Ekiti State Government wishes to inform members of the public that the Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, has taken

leave to attend to issues relating to her health. We urge all well -meaning citizens of the state to remember her in their prayers.” To many political observers the statements about the health status of the president’s wife and Ekiti deputy governor are seen as a resolve by government not to keep as secret, certain things that should be in the public domain. In the past few years, it was common in the country to keep the health status and true reason of the long absence of public office holders from their post. They are usually shielded away from the public for reasons best known to the power brokers. Most prominent, perhaps, among such cases is that of former president, Umar Yar’Adua. For many months, many Nigerians were put in the dark about the health status of their president, and until his death, many Nigerians could not say precisely what went wrong with him and why he spent so many months in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment. Yar’Adua was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment without Nigerians receiving information or updates about his condition till he died in Aso Rock Villa few weeks after he returned to Nigeria in a controversial manner. In the last few months there have been cases of some governors, especially Governors Sulivan Chime of Enugu State and Liyel Imoke of Cross Rivers State; whose long absence from the seat of power as a result of medical issues created lots of controversies in the country. The controversies were based on the fact that the people they were governing were prevented from knowing why the governors were conspicuously absent from office. The song on the lips of many of their associates is that they went on accumulated leave. The case of the First Lady also caused a lot of anxiCONTINUED ON PAGE 15


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POLITICS

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Anambra governorship: Nobody can impose anyone on the people –SSG Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze, a seasoned diplomat, strategic policy advisor, administrator, and literary critic is the Secretary to Anambra State Government. Obaze, a former Senior Political Affairs Officer and Policy Advisor with the United Nations Headquarters, New York, in this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, says the electorates in Anambra State will determine who succeeds Governor Peter Obi in 2014. He also speaks on why local government election has not held in the state and governorship elections among other issues. Excerpts:

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ne of the issues that people seem to be holding against the Governor Peter Obi-led administration in Anambra State is the non-conduct of local government elections. In your own view, why has the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) not conducted council poll in the state? This government has expressed its view on why the council election has not been held. We have spoken about this several times. We are constrained in holding the local government election because there are several cases before the law court and being a law abiding government that believes in due process and the rule of law, we will not act in contempt of court by proceeding to hold an election when those cases are not yet resolved. I have said it often times that if those who are in court withdraw the cases from the state and the Attorney-General of the State confirms that those cases have been successfully withdrawn then there is nothing that will disturb the conduct of the election. The governor will proceed to call for an election and Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) will proceed to conduct the election. At present there seems to be several moves toward the Anambra 2014 governorship election and your senatorial district (Anambra North) is seriously agitating to produce the next governor. Anambra Central and South are also showing interest in the race. How do you see the contest for the governorship seat? The agitation of the Anambra North is a clarion call to discuss what has been the entrenched equilibrium and lack of equity in the way the state has run since 1991. Since 1991, the leadership of Anambra State (governorship seat) has been dominated by Anambra South and Anambra Central senatorial zones while Anambra North Senatorial zone has so far not held any governorship position in the state. Therefore, it is believed that this time we should allow somebody from the North to emerge and take that position. The governorship is not zoned by any means but it is, at least, a shared view by well meaning people of Anambra, which include people from Anambra South and Central zones. It is a view shared by the leadership of Anambra, in the person of Governor Peter Obi, and a view shared by the people of Anambra North senatorial district, which comprises of the people of Omonbala, Oyi, Onitsha and Ogbaru. The discussion is

still ongoing and I think it is a vibrant discussion. What we said is that charity begins at home because it will be an anomaly for Igbo who continue to canvass for an Igbo Presidency, seeking equity and equilibrium, to turn around at home and marginalise their kit and kin or refuse to grant the same benefit of being able to run for the governorship. So, that is the reality. But mind you, nobody has said that only the people from Anambra North senatorial district should run to the exclusion of the people of Anambra South and Central senatorial district. I have not heard that. All they are saying is that we must reach a meeting of the minds which say Yes for a change. We want somebody from Anambra North to emerge as the governor. No matter the agitations, at the end of the day it is the electorates in Anambra State that will vote. It is not something you can impose on anybody. You are one of those rumoured to be eyeing the governorship seat and there is speculation that Governor Obi wants you or your brother to succeed him. What would you say about these? Based on speculation that I am running for the governorship, it is a democracy and people are free to speculate what they want. I know that neither I nor my brother has declared that we are running for any office. In politics, people can speculate what they want. I am from the North and my brother is from the North but I cannot compete against my brother neither would he compete against me. But I think that even His Excellency, Governor Obi, has said that he does not know who will succeed him and that it is only God that knows who the next successor is. And I think at this point, it will be presumptuous for anybody to think that they know who is going to succeed Peter Obi. That is something that is left to the Anambra electorates and free and fair elections. We saw what happened in Edo and Ondo states. If we have free and fair election, the right person will emerge and Anambra electorates will vote with their conscience. That is the way I see it. About one year ago, you left the position of a Senior Political Affairs Officer and Policy Advisor with the United Nations Headquarters in New York to join the Anambra State Government in response to Governor Peter Obi’s appeal to Anambra indigenes in the Diaspora to return home and assist in nation-building and specifically, rebuilding Anambra State. How has the journey been so far since

Obaze

you assumed the office of Anambra SSG on Friday, June 29, 2012? It has been challenging but it is good to serve the people of Anambra State. The challenges are enormous but the greatest challenge that confronts one here is that of the mindset of the people who expect so much from government but fail to understand that there must be a bond of performance between the people and the government. Government has obligations, so do the people. They have the obligation to keep public properties in good shape, pay their taxes, ensure peace and security by playing their roles, helping the law enforcement agencies to apprehend those who are involved in any form of criminality because they all live in communities and each community, I believe, know those who live amongst them who are not upright. Those are things they should be doing, but sometimes people are ambivalent either because they are scared or because they don’t want to get involved. However, the reality is that terrible things happen when good men

keep quiet. So, those are the things you deal with in terms of the challenges. The other aspect of it is that you are dealing with the overall decay of infrastructure which we are trying to redress through Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). Every community you go to in the 177 communities in Anambra State, you must find healthcare centre, potable water, good schools and quality roads. We are not leaving any community behind; every community is marching on simultaneously slowly but surely. That’s where ANIDS comes in and attempts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. So, we are doing all we need to do but the challenges are that you need the resources at hand to come into play in achieving your goals. As it is, we are doing very well financially within our limited resources. We are lucky in the vision and the contacts that the governor has, because we are tapping and drawing on our international partners and what they are willing to give to us to be able to complete our mission.


POLITICS

April 6, 2013

ety for some months late last year when she was out of the country for medical treatment. Mrs. Jonathan was flown to Germany over an undisclosed ailment and she later returned to Nigeria after seven weeks. However, the Presidency then did not issue any official statement on her heath status despite the anxiety the issue generated. Osinlu then said that the president’s wife had not gone for medical treatment in Germany but was only on vacation abroad. When she returned on October 17, 2012, the First Lady also denied being admitted at Horst Schmidt Klinic in Wiesbaden, Germany, saying that she did not have any terminal disease or in the hospital for tummy tuck or cosmetic surgery. On her arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, she said: “I read in the media where they said I was in the hospital. God Almighty knows I have never been to that hospital. I don’t even know the hospital they mentioned. I have to explain what God has done for me. I don’t have any terminal illness. I did not go for cosmetic surgery or tummy tuck. My husband loves me as I am and I am pleased with how God created me.” But to the surprise of many Nigerians, the First Lady, after the initial denial, on Sunday February 17, 2013, during a thanksgiving service held at the Aso Villa Chapter opened up on her admission at a German hospital last year. She disclosed that she was actually “dead” while in the hospital, but God brought her back to life. Her words: “It was not an easy experience for me. I actually died. I passed out for more than a week. My intestine and tummy were opened. I am not Lazarus, but my experience was similar to his. My doctors said all hope was lost. It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days. “I know that some people somehow leaked the information that I was dead. They are people that I trust and rely on. To them, I was dead and I would never return to the country alive. Some of them even sold my things off. I won’t say everything here. It is the Lord’s doing that I returned alive. When God says yes, nobody can say no. “People are always afraid of operation (surgery) but in my own case, while my travail lasted, I was begging for it (surgery) after the third operation because I was going to the theatre everyday. It was God who saw me through. I did eight or nine surgeries within one month. It was not an easy one. God gave me a second chance.” The ease and frankness with which government officials have started talking about what they would have otherwise kept to the chest has begun to draw reactions from Nigerians in general. Speaking to Saturday Mirror, Second Republic Special Assistant to former President Shehu Shagari, elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, commend the statement issued by the Presidency on Patience Jonathan, saying that the action had shown clearly that government is listening to people’s complaints. His words: “Before, government of-

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Information dissemination: Public office holders turning a new leaf ficials don’t tell people about their absence from office or travelling outside the country but that seems to be changing now. The statement issued by the Presidency on Mrs. Patience Jonathan’s recent travelling shows that government is concerned about public opinion. It looks like (government) they are now listening to complaints by letting people know what is happening to them. I think they should be commended for their actions. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Akogun Tunde Odanye said that many leaders’ reactions were informed by the advice given by their aides. “I have always wondered why some public officers would not tell the truth about their health issues, which would eventually emerge anyway. If such situations they hide had been properly managed they would have earned them sympathy as against the opprobrium that follow when people find out they’ve been lied to. “One thing I have discovered is that many leaders’ reactions are informed by the advice given by their aides and if you have seen these aides at work you would be surprised at how convincing they can be. Indeed, if you are not strong willed many atimes they would leave you more confused than you were at the beginning with their conflicting and many times self-serving and insincere advice. “Some leaders would not want to be perceived as weak and ineffective because of their ailments, so, when their aides use this as an argument against full disclosure some would buy the argument, some play on their political insecurities like takeovers being planned behind their backs if their opponents know they’d be out of town for a while; some would play on their superstitions and the list goes on and on. I however believe the right thing is being done and it is part of the development of our political process and democracy. “America has had a President in a wheel chair before, Europe and the USA have had presidents who had been hit by stroke or ailments before, yet they were allowed to carry on and the heavens did not fall. We are all human, we voted for human beings and not superhumans. So, in voting we anticipate our leaders or rulers might fall ill in office and therefore don’t see their falling ill as an indictment or failure on their part. I think disclosure is the path for us to take and if anyone has any doubts about that I think the Late Umar Yar’Adua debacle is a lesson we should not forget in a hurry. “Lastly I think it is better to have the better part of 160million people praying for your recovering and oozing love, empathy and understanding as against cursing because they are furious for being left in the dark and being taken for fools by trying to lead them by the nose.” Former Lagos State Commissioner

Yar’Adua

of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, said public office holders must be accountable to the people. “As a citizen we are supposed to know whatever that is happening to those representing us in government. They are supposed to tell ordinary people what is happening to them. They should use the money they spend on foreign medi-

cal trip to provide equipments for our hospitals,” he said. The National Coordinator of Arewa United Consultative Forum, Alhaji Ado Shuibu Dansudu, said that the money being squandered by public office holders on foreign medical trips should be used to develop Nigeria’s health sector. His words: “The First Lady has been embarking on oversea medical checkup and treatment for many months and nobody knows what was happening then. She was in Germany for many weeks using public funds for her treatment. She came back to the country looking stronger after spending millions of Naira on medical bills. It worries me that she has travelled again for another medical check-up with public funds. “Apart from the First Lady, many ministers are also using public funds to undergo medical check-up and treatment abroad. Many of them did not tell Nigerians that they are sick and it is only when they travel out that we are always aware of their sicknesses. If all those money that are being used for government officials’ foreign medical trips are injected into our health sector, there would have been a change in the Nigeria health sector. I believe it is high time they stopped using public funds for foreign medical trips.”

In your refreshingly different industrial concerns have been DeÀling the environment, Big acknowledged as the engine that propels any economy. In Nigeria, the death by instalment story is not different. But this positive

impact is coming with a cost as investigations have revealed that about 80 per cent of them pollute their business environment. The pollutions are said to be responsible for increase in mortality rate in Nigerian communities, arising from heart-related diseases such as asthma and nose and throat cancers. Find out the havocs so far wreaked owing to the activities of the big corporations, tomorrow.

Interview

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

I’m vindicated at last –Okorie

After a long drawn battle with Victor Umeh over the chairmanship of All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chekwas Okorie eventually left the APGA for another party, United Progressives Party (UPP). But as the Anambra State governorship election knocks on the door, Okorie says emissaries have been sent to him, ‘to forgive and forget the past’, an indication that he has been vindicated. Now, Okorie envisages working closely with Governor Peter Obi towards installing a successor for the governor. He speaks on this and many national issues, in this no holds barred interview.

SMExtra

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The sack of four royal fathers

In one fell swoop, the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, dethroned four traditional rulers, accusing them of taking sides in the lingering contest over the ownership of the Nigeria Cement Company Limited, NIGERCEM, located in Nkalagu, Ishielu Local Government area. But indigenes of the affected communities are up against the governor, accusing him of unfair treatment. Get full detail of the face-off in Sunday Mirror.

Passion

‘My career counts before marriage’ Nollywood star, Moyo Lawal, is a super screen diva you won’t forget in a hurry, as she has actually made an impact on the make-believe world. However, she says she would not be stampeded into getting married as her career is paramount for now. Besides, unlike the situation with some actresses, she assures she’s going to make a success of marriage. Moyo also talks about the movie world and its various challenges, in this breezy interview.

These and many more available tomorrow in your


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April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


MAGAZ INE Sex talk Lending her a handy hand job

p22

Fashion •Aso Oke glam •Kinky Senegalese twists

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Relationships How should you deal with an unplanned pregnancy?

Nenna

...Marching to greatness

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18 Yomi Fash-Lanso is one of Nigeria’s most successful actors. He is also a director. In this interview, he tells OSEYIZA OOGBODO why he is yet to produce a movie, his plans and other matters. Excerpts:

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Celebrity

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hich of your roles would you say has been the most challenging so far? There’s no role I’ve played that is not challenging. In fact, there’s no role that is not challenging, so I don’t see any role as more tasking than another. And maybe it is the way I approach my roles. For instance, as a lover boy, you must be able to provide some characteristics that will make it different from the one you have done before. That’s the way I see it so no role that comes to me is cheap. I take every role I get very seriously. There’s an actor who says he’s not getting roles because he doesn’t collect stipends. Do you get roles regularly because you take whatever money you are offered? What I know is that if you are good at what you do, people will come for you. If you are good, they will give you whatever you ask for. When I started the revolution of charging higher fees some years back, some actors were like Fash, they won’t call you again because of your price, and I said it was okay, that those who know my worth will come for me. And I tell you that for about six months, they did not show face or request my services because of the fee, but in the long run, they started coming back because they know I can deliver. I started the banking thing too that you should go pay the money into my bank account. I also came up with agreement form so everything I’m to do will be documented … how much you are offering, for what job, the duration and all that. If you are not good, there are things you can’t do, so I will advise that actor to go and get his game right. Are you saying you have remained relevant because you are good? Let me tell you what Kush (a marketer) said some time ago at the burial of Alasari in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He said I don’t know what else this Yomi Fash does because his fee is high and he will still shakara with his high fee and he’s not producing. He said it. So if Fash can be living comfortably. My children attend one of the best schools in Nigeria, I have a very good wife, I wear the kind of clothes I want to wear, I do whatever I want to at my convenience and I am not doing any other job aside from acting so that means I don’t come cheap. If I am, I can’t live at where I live, I can’t have my children at one of the most expensive schools in Nigeria, three of them for that matter, so you now judge by yourself. Since the trend is for actors to also produce movies, why haven’t you done so? I am someone who loves to achieve so much. I believe I should excel in one area before crossing to another. We have a

‘I don’t get carried away by romantic roles’ because of things she hears and reads in the paper, that’s why she’s not fully comfortable now. You know, when she reads that actor A or actress B that you are close with was caught doing this or that, it is only normal for her to want to start suspecting and all that because she’s human. Though she’s also aware that the attention is always there from the women, and that it comes with the job, it’s only normal for her to be jittery at times. And mind you, the moment your spouse begins to be careless or does not feel interested in your affairs, then there is a problem. Anyway, my wife is a wonderful woman that I adore, respect and love so How does your wife feel about the much. massive admiration you get from So how does she react to your royour female fans? I must tell you that she’s just about mantic roles? Well, before now, she would say, “Yomi comfortable with it, but I pray and hope she will be totally comfortable with it in see how you kissed that babe” and all the next two or three years. You know, that. But she now handles such with number of sectors in filmmaking: script writing, production, directing and so on. I am currently a director and actor and I keep telling people that you just don’t produce for the sake of producing. I have my certificate as a producer from ITPAN since eight years ago and yet I have not produced a movie because I want to prove something and lay a good example that without producing, you can excel if you know your onions and you are good at what you do. So my argument is, excel in one thing before crossing to another, which I have done, so I can now say I’m ready to produce.

much maturity. She now understands better. Do you sometimes get carried away when acting romantic roles? That will be very unprofessional of me. Apart from that, I can’t get carried away because we always have many people on set, the camera men, director and all the rest, so you only act and get off. You’ve been in the movie industry for years. How have you been able to stay relevant? Training. You go for training, you go for workshops and you keep learning new things. I try to see the making of movies and do general movie studying. You need to do all these to be in form because what is obtainable this year might not be next year so you need to always be on your toes and ready to learn new things.


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19

April 6, 2013

Entervaganza

With OSEYIZA OOGBODO

Black Pope talks big O

08023755142 kingseiza@gmail.com

ne thing about entertainers is that they talk big. Upcoming artistes say they want to be as successful as Tuface and D’Banj. Tuface and D’Banj want to break into the American music industry. And virtually all of them, upcoming and established, say they can win the prestigious Grammy. So, talking big is a prominent characteristic of entertainers, and Black Pope is not different from his colleagues in that regard. In fact, he even talks bigger than most of them. “I know I’m going to be very successful in music because I’m talented,” he told Entervaganza last week. “I’m not forcing myself into music because I see it as a way to become rich and famous. No. I’m only in music because I’m musically talented and that’s why I know I’m going to be extremely successful in it.” He just doesn’t talk, though. He’s making the moves that will assure him success. “Nigerians love big names, so I’m shooting a video very soon with Clarence Peters. It is certain that the video, because of Clarence’s name, will penetrate everywhere, and I’ll become a household name. Shooting a video with big directors like Clarence Peters or Patrick Ellis is a bold step and I’m taking that step any moment from now.” Black Pope is not a stranger to fame. His first album released in 2010, Eko O Ni Baje, was quite successful, and he’s now following it up with the singles, Amaka and Life Is A Challenge, which are the lead singles on his forthcoming sophomore album. Black Pope

Omawumi’s ‘Lasso …’ fever grips town

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ince she released the wildly popular song, If You Ask Me, about two years ago, virtually everyone has been waiting for Omawumi’s sophomore album. If You Ask Me is an evergreen classic that is so lyrically and vocally sound that it epitomised what Omawumi’s sophomore album would be like. And to prove that she meant business, she released another single, Bottom Belle, featuring Flavour, and it was also very successful and created more anticipation for the album. The wait is now over and the album, The Lasso Of Truth, will be launched tomorrow at the Oriental Hotel and Omawumi will be supported in performance by Tuface Idibia, Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay, Wizkid, Timaya, Flavour, Waje, Mercy and Onyeka Onwenu. Already, The Lasso Of Truth album is the most-talked-about in town right now. It is generating more buzz than even that of Iyanya’s Desire and Waje’s debut album, W.A.J.E, which is expected to finally hit the market later this month.

Nenna Yvonne makes progress with Major

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ood times are here for the Nigeria-born America-based singer, Nenna Yvonne. Her latest video, for her song, Major, is generating a lot of buzz worldwide. Just 21 years old, Yvonne is rated very highly and highly praised by the American media. Fox News says she is an “international multi-talented force,” the esteemed Billboard magazine and Mu-

Samklef (L), Terry G (2nd L) and Olamide (2nd R) during the party

Terry G, Olamide celebrate with Samklef

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ow time flies! It still just seem like yesterday when top contemporary music producer Samklef announced to the world that his wife had given birth to a baby boy. That same boy is already a year old and his happy father held a birthday party for him last Saturday. Considering Samklef ’s position in the music industry as the producer of

smash hits like Wizkid’s Pakurumo, Durella’s My Life, Olamide’s Stupid Love and his own Molowo Noni, it was expected that many celebrities would turn up for the party. And they didn’t disappoint Samklef. Top on the list of stars that put in an appearance at the party were Terry G and Olamide. Others included Durella, Soundcity’s Adams, Slizzy E, Omo Akin and Mudina.

Omawumi

Yvonne

sic Choice say she is the “African Lady Gaga” and MTV included her among its list of ‘new age glam pop divas.’ Well, all the critical acclaim arising from her hard work is finally paying off for the sexy singer who has been touring the world to make her voice heard. She has amassed a massive fan base and Major, which she just released, is benefitting immensely from it.


ENTERVAGANZA

20

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

CLASSICAL RYHMES

AIRWAVES LINK

George

Silva

Joke Silva, Lara George, others for R.A.G.E.

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cclaimed actress Joke Silva, singer Lara George and filmmaker Femi Odugbemi are some of the people that will speak to and train participants at Raising Generation X, better known as R.A.G.E, a creative talent summit that will hold all Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays this month at The Capstone, Yaba, Lagos. According to Tokunbo Beulah Johnson, Senior Elder, The Capstone, and convener of R.A.G.E, “Every generation has a dominant influence. “As we press further into the 21st century, certain patterns have emerged which place the accent on creativity as expressed through arts and entertain-

ment.” Speaking further, he said, “Music, film, television, radio, fashion and publishing are broad areas teeming with an astounding number of jobs and roles stretched to cover near-limitless demands. Creativity is boundless after all and this generation of young people is blessed with it in huge doses. “This is why this year’s R.A.G.E conference is centred on empowering young people with the right knowledge and skills to make their creativity serviceable and profitable. And this is coming at no better time than when the present administration has just released the sum of N3 billion in

aid to Nollywood to catalyse capacity development and take it to greater heights.” Adding that creative people should start positioning themselves to reap the forthcoming harvest in the creative industry, he advised them to register and get trained for free by some of the best creative practitioners at R.A.G.E. Apart from Silva, George and Odugbemi, other speaker-trainers at R.A.G.E are information and communications technology expert Chike Maduegbuna, literary enthusiast James Eze, theatre artist Abiola Segun-Williams, actress Funmi Johnson and Beulah Johnson himself.

Twin girls boost Andre Blaze’s profile

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n-air personality, Andre Blaze, is the latest celebrity daddy in town. His girlfriend of many years gave birth to a set of twin girls last weekend

and Blaze is pleased and happy with their arrival. Blaze becoming a father at this time is in synchronisation with his rising profile. Though it was Kwame’s Nigezie TV channel on cable and terrestrial TV that actually made him into a household name a few years ago, his profile has risen very high in recent

times. He was chosen as the host of international talent hunt, Nigeria’s Got Talent, and has also hosted a lot of other important events, including the March edition of Str8 Up Hip-Hop. And with his parental status now, his profile will rise higher as he will be taken more seriously.

Port Harcourt gets own version of Industry Nite

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Blaze

ince Industry Nite, a weekly showcase event for established and upcoming entertainment practitioners began in Lagos some time ago, other states have been striving to emulate the industry enhancing event. Abuja recently began a weekly Synergy Night, and now Port Harcourt is having its own too. Known as Undiscovered, and promoted by Kreek Entertainment, Undiscovered’s maiden edition is pencilled down for June. Billed to be a monthly, KE

describes it as “a showcase for upcoming and unknown talented, musicians, spoken word artistes and comedians in Port Harcourt and its environs that will otherwise not have had the opportunity to be seen or heard. The objective is to give them an easily accessible platform to display and hone their craft supported by fairly or well established acts in the industry. “Artists/performers will be screened and handpicked for each show by the KE team and at the end of each night, the crowd will judge who they

think put up the best performance. All the performers get to show their skills before industry stakeholders, label executives and talent scouts and the winner will be awarded full media coverage (radio play, interviews, and music videos shown on TV) from Silverbird Communications as well as full online publicity from www.hitplayonline. net and www.tooxclusive.com as an incentive. Each event would be hosted by a Rhythm 93.7 FM Port Harcourt on-air personality and covered fully by Silverbird Television.”

Kween

Jebele Artiste: Kween Verse 1 She called the house today Telling me this, telling me that Where you both slept last night Boy you know that ain’t right She said your love’s getting stronger But I can’t hold much longer Na you dey put asunder I just can’t help but wonder Pre-hook Honey mo Gini ka n mere gi Esigwa yin mo Tell me what I’ve done wrong Can you give me one reason Just only one reason I just might let you be Hook Cos I no fit hold your handie o I no fit tie your leg I no fit pluck your eyes o E no make sense abeg If today I lose you Dem no make you for me If I’m supposed to have you Nobody fit take you from me So I say Chorus Jebele jebele (2x) Make you dey go [jebele jebele] I no do again o [jebele jebele] If you dey chop dey go [jebele jebele] Na today e finish [jebele jebele] Leave me alone [jebele jebele] Your monkey don get belle Verse 2 Yes I called her a monkey She jumps on men like a junkie You chose to be with her And that’s so sad I’m going back to my dad You were all I had You broke my heart in two And that’s so sad Repeat pre-hook Repeat hook Repeat chorus


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ENTERVAGANZA

April 6, 2013

BOX OFFICE HITS

BRAIN BEHIND THE SCENE

T

Okoro

Clara Okoro …

innovative events’ organiser

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lara Okoro is one woman who continues to prove her worth as a brain behind the scene. Though she is also in front of the camera as a TV presenter and compere, what she is doing behind the scene is so much that she deserves a lot of praise for her efforts. In her own way, Okoro is doing a lot for the creative industry as a whole. She is a TV producer, a magazine publisher and events’ organiser. These are all ventures that are very tough and challenging but she is not deterred by the challenges. During the maiden edition of her latest initiative, Rock N Rave, last Sunday, she disclosed that the high octane event had no sponsor, yet she went ahead to do it. And considering the concept of

Rock N Rave, which is basically to promote upcoming fashion designers and other creative artists like musicians, dancers and comedians, then Okoro should really be commended for conceiving and executing a project that will be mostly beneficial to others. Like all brains behind the scenes, she is very passionate about upcoming talents and involves them heavily in her many events, another of which is the annual Iceberg Party. Unsurprisingly, the passion with which she encourages unknown talents also impacts her TV show. Known as Brandworld, it has been on air for eight years and continues to wax stronger at a time when many other TV shows have died and many more are dying.

Okoro (R) interviewing a guest for her show

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he Company You Keep is one movie that should set the box office alight when it hits cinemas as its plot is very absorbing. Jim Grant (Robert Redford) is a public-interest lawyer and widower living quietly with young daughter Isabel (singer Jacqueline Evancho) in the upstate New York town of

Saugerties. Quiet for him turns to upheaval with the capture of Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon), the most-wanted radical Weatherman fugitive who has been living underground. Aggressive and ambitious Albany reporter Ben (Shia LaBeouf), using his connection to former college friend and junior FBI agent Diana (Anna Kendrick), gets access to Sharon and clues to Grant, another fugitive, who lives under an assumed name. No thanks to Ben, Jim must now flee, as the overzealous journalist has exposed him. But Jim has other motives for flight, including his being falsely accused of participation in the Weathermen’s headline-grabbing bank robbery 30 years ago that resulted in fatalities. Jim’s mission is to find that one person who knows he’s innocent.

E

vil Dead is back … and in a more horrific way. Even though the Evil Dead movies are among the scariest horror movies ever made, the latest of them, simply titled Evil Dead, is touted to be the scariest of them all. Combining elements of the original, The Evil Dead, a 1981 production, and new elements, there is no doubt that Evil Dead will have a good run at the box office. The only question is: do you have the guts to make it a date with this intensely evil and gruesomely horrific movie at the cinema?

If you have the guts, then you are in for a thrill, but if you don’t, then you can be sure that you aregoing to have a nightmare of a night.


22

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Relationships

How should you deal with Take it easy and plan

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mmm…a thing of beauty and joy is what being pregnant connotes to a lot of people unless it is unplanned and most likely unwanted. Dealing with the issue of an unplanned pregnancy, whether the couple is married or not can be very overwhelming for the parties involved especially the would-be mother who will have to overcome uncertainty, shame, lack of money and a host of other things too. Making the right choice is something that should never be treated lightly and both parties have to make inputs on what to do and when to do whatever they may have decided upon. The idea of a new life coming through you with its attendant complications to your lifestyle will bring with it questions that we will need to answer; fears of the unknown and what it may bring and also the fear of making wrong choices for you, your partner and the pregnancy itself. Financial consideration and what third parties like friends and family will say are the chief reasons why most men decide that a pregnancy may not be wanted even when it is unplanned. It should be expected that when preventive measures are not put in place before, during or immediately after intercourse, pregnancy will be the end result therein. The funny thing is that unplanned pregnancies are quite common and most times the advice you’ll get from people even if well-meaning, will be frustrating and annoying. This advice will mostly often be unsolicited suggestions that will be meddlesome and frustrating because family and friends will see the coming of the unplanned pregnancy as fair game for treating you as an immature adult. Stories will fly around on what you should or shouldn’t do to yourself and the pregnancy. As the expectant father, it is advisable to plan well for the birth of the baby. I do not believe in recriminations nor had I known. Personally, I believe one should man-up to ones responsi-

bilities even if you didn’t expect the caring of the pregnancy to be part of your responsibilities. Being mature means being responsible for one’s actions. Showing a positive attitude to life and your situation will go a long way in determining the outcome of your situation. Don’t be too bothered about criticisms because it will only lead you to doubt your own capabilities as a man. And experiencing doubts, especially if you are not married is something to be expected. It is at this point that minor conflicts will start becoming major ones if care is not taken. Being bombarded with different internalised questions that may even bother on the paternity of the pregnancy at times may result in the man feeling less sure of himself with the misconception that the only way out for playing it safe is to deny the unplanned pregnancy. To tell you the truth, we all grow into the role of being good parents no matter how well we may have planned for it. Nobody was ever born into that role. The worst thing we can ever do when confronted with the facts that there’s an unplanned pregnancy on the way is to act rashly without deep thoughts on the consequences of whatever we decide upon because this may end up alienating the people we care most about. For unmarried couples, it gets worse because we believe that other people’s opinions about us should determine how we act or relate with ourselves. For me this is not a good way to handle things. The best way to go about everything is to try to look at things from a non-emotional point of view. Done in the right way, the issues involved will be seen for what they are and we will be able to acknowledge the truth which is that the coming child is not at fault for our mistakes and we shouldn’t take it out on it. Going through self denials wouldn’t work. Finally, seeking the advice of a medical doctor on how to go about coping with the pregnancy will go a long way in putting everyone’s mind at ease.

SEX TALK

This column is x-rated

18 sex tips for girls (from men)

Who better to get advice on how to please your man than from another man? From foreplay to full-on encounters, we’ve scoured the globe for the best male ‘sexperts’ to provide their top tips on how to make your man go wild.

P

hone sex

Phone sex may sound corny, but men are basic beasts. When he’s least expecting it, phone him up and breath the sexiest moan down the receiver, saying: ‘I was just thinking of you.’ Then hang up. Make sure it’s your man who answers though!

Keep it trim Stubble needs to be avoided at all costs. Think about it, his face will be moving in an upward direction, against the grain, so avoid making him look like he’s put his head into a box of nails. Please keep it smooth!

Stimulate him visually Play up to his eyes with a slow, seductive striptease, and watch him go weak at the knees. Don’t worry about labels or expensive lingerie too much. By all means dress to thrill, but you can just as easily make his heart race by tantalisingly removing your work clothes.

Be uncomplicated This doesn’t mean you have to be easy. Men

enjoy a challenge, just so long as they know where they stand. So, if you want him to do something to you, he’ll rate you for being up front about it, and eager to oblige.

Surprise! Send him for his shower, and while he’s in there start undressing. When he walks into the room, he’ll be in for a great surprise.

Surprise him again! Arrange when he comes in from work that you are in your sexiest undies or whatever he likes. Let him take his coat off then ATTACK HIM!

Get in touch with what makes him tick If he’s not the talkative type, use your hands to find out what works and what doesn’t. Have a fiddle around, and see how he responds.

Guide him by the hand Showing your man what turns you on can be just as arousing for him. If he’s missing the


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RELATIONSHIPS

April 6, 2013

23

CHINWE ANNIE AMAECHI 07028684481 chinweamaechi@gmail.com

an unplanned pregnancy? Abortion is out of it

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This column is x-rated mark, give him directions. If he can see the pleasure he’s giving you, it will boost his confidence and help him to relax.

Lose your inhibitions Go wild in his hands, and he’ll be sure to rise to the challenge. Even if he’s a little shy himself, by taking the lead you’ll bring out the best in him.

Pole position When you’ve grabbed his todger in your hand, don’t just use an up-anddown motion. For variety, wrap your entire hand around the shaft, and twist up and down like you’re following an imaginary stripe on a pole.

This column is x-rated Start and end it with a kiss Kiss him before and after, here and there. Many women don’t know what to do with their mouths! Your guy will give you extra points for being creative with your mouth.

Know the difference between praise and appraisal If he was great in bed then let him know, but be tactful if he’s been lacking. If you can be constructive in your criticism, his ego won’t deflate along with his ‘soldier.’

Water music

Many men are actually worried about whether they are good enough. If you do think he is, then praise him. Tell him how much you like what he is doing. Slip in some dirty talk. You will get his attention, believe me!

When using a condom, slip a few drops of a water-based lubricant inside the tip before you slip it on the head. It allows him to manoeuvre comfortably inside. Add some of the same lubricant, too, on the outside of the condom to give yourself a smoother ride.

Swallow!

Soft touch

Talk to him

Apple, pineapple, watermelon and a host of fruit and food can improve the taste of your partner’s emissions. Beer, red meat, curries and coffee produce the opposite effect.

Buy loads of pillows and experiment with heights, shapes, and widths, so you can use them for extra support during sex, to help give the optimum angle for different positions.

Don’t rush him

Play all the positions in the field

Afterwards, don’t immediately stop as if it’s suddenly done with and time to clean up. Some men are very sensitive about being shoved aside as if they have outlived their usefulness. Show him how much you enjoyed the encounter with a wicked cuddle.

If you’re bored on your back then suggest something new. Athletic sex appeals to the sportsman inside every guy. Even if they can’t keep up, they’ll be aroused by your enthusiasm.

hen two people are dating, the usual expectation (all things being equal) is for them to get engaged, and then get married soon after. In the same vein, when people get married, the society expects to see the woman’s bulging stomach after some time. In normal situations, no one really expects to see such a bulge when people are just dating. Also, considering the state of the economy and family planning, some couples do not look forward to “the bulge” at certain times. So what should a couple do when they find out that “they” are pregnant at a time they did not plan to have a baby? This issue will be much more difficult for an unmarried couple to tackle, for many reasons. What if they are just two young naughty children who decided to indulge in pre-marital sex? If the relationship is still at an early stage and marriage talks have not set in, the pregnant lady is very likely to be dumped big time. In fact, she will be shocked to see the “other side” of the guy when she breaks the news; all the love talk will disappear and her name will change from “angel” to “slut” or “cheap skate”. The guy will suddenly remember how he still has a lot to achieve before marriage and how she is not “marriage material”. For a married couple, there are many slants to this issue. A pregnancy can be categorised as “unplanned” in different circumstances. The couple could be young and newly married and may have decided not to have a child until after a minimum period, only to get pregnant earlier than planned. Another instance could be when a woman gets pregnant within a few months of having a baby. The other instance is when a couple has had “enough” children and are supposed to have closed their book. Of the three instances given for married couple, the easiest to handle is the first instance where the unplanned pregnancy is simply an early one. In this case, it is not that the couple do not desire children; they just were not “ready” to start having children. Abortion should not be an option

in this case. The second case is a bit more challenging than the first – when a nursing mother gets pregnant while she is nursing a baby that is just a few months old. The third instance is the most challenging and the pregnancy could come at any time, e.g. 10 years after the “last born”. It is crazier and more frustrating when it is as a result of a failed IUD. The truth is this: none of the instances highlighted above should cause a woman to abort a baby. Abortion is the last thing that should come to mind when an unplanned pregnancy comes up. If a young girl decides to play around instead of keeping herself until marriage, she should be prepared to have a baby. Any guy who decides to play with a lady who is not his wife must be ready to be a father. All those stories about not being ready to start a family do not hold water; the naughty children should have considered this before indulging in what should be exclusive to married people. Same goes for those in a “serious relationship” who are not ready to get married. Whether the guy walks away or not, abortion should not be the way out. Abortion in marriage may sound logical in certain circumstances, but my stance remains the same – no abortion! Whilst I believe that family planning is very necessary, particularly because of our ever-increasing population, there is no reason why an unplanned pregnancy should be branded an “unwanted pregnancy” which should be aborted. The way to handle such a pregnancy is to accept it, carry the pregnancy to full term and nurture the baby when born. The best way to avoid being faced with this challenge is for unmarried people to totally abstain from sexual relations while married people should strictly follow the pregnancy prevention methods available. Once abortion is not an option, you will be very cautious. A woman has very few fertile days each month, so the solution is simple: zip up! So should you abort an unplanned pregnancy? Not at all!


24

For 50 years and like the colossus that she is, veteran actress, Lanre Hassan Adesina, popularly known as Mama Awero, has made waves in the Nigerian world of entertainment. Hers is a very familiar face in both television soap operas and home movies. In this interview with YEMISI ADENIRAN, the 63 year old actress relives the memories of her younger days in acting, the challenges, her successful marriage and how she has managed to be relevant in the career up till now. Excerpts:

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Woman

Y

ou started your career in acting at a time when acting was very unpopular. How did you manage to convince your parents to allow you pursue the career? It was not easy at all. Apart from the fact that the career was not fancied by a lot of parents and people generally, we were not as bold as children of nowadays to voice out our intentions, dreams and all. Besides, those who were in the profession were not as prosperous as those of these days. So, there were a lot of issues. Actors and actresses in those days were seen and rated as never-do-wells. So, acting was a no-go-career choice for anyone who wanted to enjoy his or her parents’ favour. However, it was my own passion and I was going for rehearsals secretly. One day, somebody hinted my guardian about it and in an uncommon rage, she came to the rehearsal center and dumped my belongings, warning me sternly never to come home again. Why would I choose to be playing and wasting precious times around when my education was there to be faced squarely? She asked me over and over again. I pleaded to her, explained that I was not going to dump my education for acting and that both would not clash. Unfortunately, all pleas fell on deaf ears. She wouldn’t have any of them. Did you pack out of the house as she requested? I did not. I got some people to plead on my behalf and I told a lie that I was not going to go for rehearsals again. It was when I told her that that she took me back and I had my peace in the house. But like I said, I was going for rehearsals secretly after that episode.

I will act till I die –Mama Awero How were you able to make real your career dream? I owe that to God and Professor Wole Soyinka. And this was how. Just as we have talent hunt today, we also had it then. We were going to various places to practise one drama or the other. They would give you a script to read and act and if you were able to act it well or satisfactorily, you would be pencilled down for further competitions. The competitions usually took place at the University of Ife and people like Professor Soyinka were very much involved. It was just a stage play then. The rule was, if you were handpicked and you performed well like I said, you would be given the opportunity of studying drama at the University of Ife It was a challenge and with Soyinka’s

involvement, we were very serious about it. All these while, I did not know that I was being noticed by the scouting group, but one day, I was informed that I had been pencilled down to go for this study at the University of Ife. When my guardian saw the letter, she asked me of its details and I told her. She was impressed, especially with the involvement of somebody as highly rated as Professor Soyinka. She asked me to go that I had her blessing. That was how I went to study drama in Ife. I was very happy, especially because I did not have to make it a secret any longer. How would you compare acting of those years with what is obtainable now? They are poles apart. In those years,

we were doing it for the passion we had for it; we were very committed and were not this attached to its monetary compensation. Generally, however, there has been more improvement in what we had then and now. Home videos have taken over from theatre and stage plays and I guess we are a lot better for it. Is it true that the success of home video is responsible for the misfortune suffered by stage play? Anyone can say so, but we must thank God for home video. If there was no home video, entertainment would have been dead in Nigeria. If home video was not there and people or lovers of theatre didn’t have an avenue to satisfy their need for entertainment, what


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WOMAN

April 6, 2013

would we have been talking about now? Although the home video thing is not exactly what it should be, its presence has ensured that there is a form of entertainment for those who love the art. Home video is a bail out for entertainment lovers and it has really boosted the image of Nigeria in the outer world. You are a role model in the industry. How did you manage to scale through scandals? Scandals are not compulsory features of anybody. You don’t get scandalised if you have not given room for it. I don’t walk in the way of scandals, which explains why I have none to my person. And as for being a role model to many in the industry, I owe that to God. I was trained to be the best in whatever I do and that is what I am committed to. I only allowed the ‘what is worth doing at all is worth doing well’ saying to guide me. What has this cost you over time? Hard work. That is it. You can’t rest on your oars when a lot of people are looking up to you. I have had to put in more efforts on those things that appear well to the people, so I don’t let them down. And these you know go beyond just the acting work; it is about one’s person and all. Being a role model extends to one’s home, husband and children, friends and relatives. So, it is all encompassing. What are the effects of your career on your home? It’s just about more work, that’s all. I am as passionate with my career as I am with my home. And to keep both requires wisdom and a high level of commitment. Was your husband an actor? No, he was not. How was he able to cope with your career which takes you all over the place all of the time? At the initial stage, he raised some dust but he cooled down after a while. This is because he met me as an actress before we got married; but you see, he thought I was going to quit acting after we married. So, when I still continued, he complained but like I said, he let me be when he saw that it was my passion. Why didn’t you marry an actor like you? Actors, for one reason or the other, especially in those days were most times polygamous. And why was this so? They had to be because they needed them to play all kinds of roles and once they married them all, it reduced their financial stress. I did not want to end up in polygamy becausen I grew up in a polygamous home; and I tell you, the experience was not palatable. That was why I chose to marry someone outside my profession and I had no regret at all. The only pain I have is that he is no longer alive to enjoy more and see more of the success I have made of acting and of his

children’s achievements. What are some of your experiences in the polygamous home? I cannot tell you all right now but I must tell you that it was the main reason I did not live with my parents. I lived with a guardian which you know is never the desire of any child. I did not enjoy my parents at all. Honestly, I will never advise anyone to keep a polygamous home, the disadvantages are more than its advantages no matter the angle from where we look at it.

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Keeping ABREAST

Do you have any day you can never forget in life? Yes, I do. In those days, I always went everywhere with my children, so, my husband wasn’t burdened by the responsibility. But one day, our vehicle broke down at Zungeru and we had to sleep on the road. I can never forget that day. Other days that will linger on forever in my memory were the days I lost two of my children. One died while I was on the stage acting, the second one died on the day Baba Mero died. We both went for his burial. We were there a day before his burial. We slept and while I woke up, he did not wake up. It was the hottest blow of my life. I almost pulled out of the profession. How did your husband take it? How else? He was very sad but he had to pull himself together as a man because he saw how I was going about it. He knew I love my job and that was what I was doing at the time. He also knew how much I value my children; they are my joy, my essence of living. But we thank God for everything; He alone knows why anything happens. Like I have also said, the day my husband died is another that I cannot forget. When was this? It was twelve years ago but I thank God we are able to cope till now. Why did you not re-marry? Why should I? What would I have said I was looking for? I had all my five kids for him. I was not barren, not looking for a child. My children are my husbands and I thank God for them all. How would you evaluate your golden jubilee on stage? I would want to than God who has supported me through thick and thin. I want to appreciate Him for the wisdom, the strength and the enablement He has given me to be part of the good history of the Nigerian entertainment world. I would want to appreciate my colleagues, both young and old, those up there and the ones coming up. I would like to appreciate all my fans home and abroad for their love and to advise young actors and actresses to be more focused on making a good impact on their world in the best way that they know. When will you finally retire? I will act until I die.

Woman with world’s biggest hips Hubby– I love her shape. When we met she already had big hips. That’s one of the things that attracted me.

M

ikel Ruffinelli, 39, is a mother of four with the world’s biggest hips measuring more than eight feet round. The mum of four’s amazing natural 100in curves mean she struggles to get through doorways and needs two seats on planes. She, drives a truck as her 30st frame cannot squeeze into a car and needs a reinforced chair at home. Yet the plus-size model, a trim 10st as a teenager is proud of her figure and does not want to lose weight, even though she often attracts jeers. She said: “Everywhere I go I get attention for my hips both good and bad. “When I walk down the street I can hear the shutters going on camera phones and people laughing at me. “Some people assume I’ve had surgery to enhance my hips, but it’s all natural. I think that it’s the result of having four children, but large hips also run in my family.” At 22, she put on four stone after having first child Andrew, now 18. And after daughters Destynee, 13, Autumn, eight, and Justyce, seven, followed, her weight and hips ballooned further. But despite her curves she stands at just 5ft 4ins and has a proportionally small 40-inch waist. Although Mikel, owns up to the difficulties that her size causes in everyday life, she still enjoys joining in family activities such as keep-fit routines at home and trips to the park and seaside where she shows off her 42D boobs in a reveal-

ing two-piece costume. She added: “Finding clothes to fit my bottom half is a challenge. I have my lingerie custom-made by seamstresses.” “And I can’t close the shower door because my hips get in the way. I’ve even been stuck in the bath before.” Mikel also defiantly vows never to diet after vainly struggling for years with slimming plans. She eats an average 3,000 calories a day — 500 more than the recommended intake for an average man. In between meals, Mikel snacks on peanuts, granola bars and crisps. And hubby Reggie Brooks, 40, is delighted at her well-fed figure. The computer technician who has been married to her for ten years beamed: “I love her shape. When we met she already had big hips. That’s one of things that attracted me “When we walk down the street, I see guys checking her out and I feel proud that she’s mine. Mikel who has modeled for a Big Beautiful Women website for five years, hopes that her confidence will make other women embrace their curves. “I want big women to understand that you don’t have to be thin like catwalk models to be beautiful. “I hope I can inspire women to look at me and think, ‘She’s happy with her body and she’s got the biggest hips in the world.’ ” Culled fromwww.thesun.com


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April 6, 2013

Parenting

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression

Dealing with constipation in children C

onstipation is a very common problem for children. For most children, constipation means passing hard poo (faeces, stools or motions), with difficulty, less often than normal. Regular soiling (often mistaken for runny diarrhoea) may indicate that a child has bad constipation with impaction (a blockage of faeces). Where no particular disease or illness is the cause of the constipation, it is called idiopathic constipation. It is important that constipation be recognised early to prevent it from becoming a long-term (chronic) problem. When is your child’s bowels normal? The frequency of bowel movements is not very important. What is important is that the poo (faeces, stools or motions) is soft and easily passed. Breast-fed babies tend to pass runnier, mustard yellow-coloured stools. This is because breast milk is better digested than infant formula (bottle feeds). Newborn breast-fed babies may open their bowels with every feed. However, it is also normal for a breast-fed baby to go up to a week without a bowel movement. Bottle-fed babies often need to open their bowels daily, as the stools are bulkier. Bottle-fed baby stools smell worse (more like an adult’s). It is not uncommon for your baby’s stools to vary in colour

and consistency from day to day. Any prolonged change to harder, less frequent stools might mean constipation. As your baby grows up, into a toddler and then a young child, you may see further changes in their stool frequency and consistency, often dependent on what they are eating. When is your child’s bowel abnormal? As you can see, there is great variation in a child’s bowel habit, dependent on their age and what they are fed. As already mentioned, it is a change in what is normal for your child, that suggests a problem. Anything from three times a day to once every other day is common and normal. Less often than every other day means that constipation is likely. However, it can still be normal if the stools are soft and well formed, and passed easily. How can constipation in children be prevented? Eating foods with plenty of fibre and drinking plenty makes poo (faeces, stools or motions) that is bulky, but soft and easy to pass out. Getting plenty of exercise is also thought to help. Food and fibre This advice applies to babies who are weaned, and children. Foods which are high in fibre are: fruit, vegetables, cereals, wholemeal bread. A change to a highfibre diet is often ‘easier said then done’, as many children are fussy

ParentingUpdate

Taj Mohammad and his daughter, Naghma, at right.

eaters. However, any change is better than none. Listed below are some ideas to try to increase your child’s fibre intake: Drink If a bottle-fed baby has a tendency to become constipated, you can try offering water between feeds. (Never dilute infant formula (milk) that is given to bottle-fed babies.) Although it is unusual for a breast-fed baby to become constipated, you can also offer water between feeds. Older, weaned babies can be given diluted fruit juice (preferably without added sugar). Pureed fruit and vegetables are the usual starting points for weaning, after baby rice, and these are good for preventing constipation. Encourage children to drink plenty. However, some children get into the habit of only drinking squash, fizzy drinks or milk to quench their thirst. These may fill them up, and make them less likely to eat proper meals with food that contains plenty of fibre. Try to limit these kinds of drinks. Give water as the main drink. However, fruit juices that contain fructose or sorbitol have a laxative action (such as prune, pear, or apple juice). These may be useful from time to time if the stools become harder than usual and you suspect constipation may be developing. Some other tips which may help  Try to get children into a

regular toilet habit. After breakfast, before school or nursery, is often best. Try to allow plenty of time so they don’t feel rushed.  Some kind of reward system is sometimes useful in younger children prone to holding on to stools. You could give a small treat, or use stickers or star charts to reinforce the message.  Praise your child for passing a stool in the potty or toilet,

but do not punish accidents. It is easy to become frustrated with soiled pants or a child who refuses to pass a stool.  Try to keep calm and not make a fuss over the toilet issue. If your child can see that you are stressed or upset, they will pick up on this feeling, and the toileting issue can become even more of a fraught battle. The aim is to be ‘matter of fact’ and relaxed about it.

Tiny Feet

NAME: Ayomide Olukotun

BORN TO: Mr. & Mrs Yemi Olukotun AGE: 5 months BIRTH WEIGHT: 3.5 kg Have you just had a baby? Send a picture of your bundle of joy to mirrorbabies@gmail.com

Girl, 6, rescued from child bride fate; countless others not so lucky z They said, ‘Pay back our money,’ and I didn’t have any money, so I had to give my girl,” says father

A

6-year-old Afghan girl sold by her father into an impending marriage to pay off a family medical debt got a reprieve Monday: She will now get to stay with her parents, thanks to an anonymous donor who is paying off the debt of $2,500 through an American lawyer, according to a still-developing. The girl, Naghma, wound up being battered by father Taj Mohammad after he borrowed the $2,500 from a fellow refugee-camp resident over the course of a year. The money was to pay for a hospital treatment for his wife and medical care for some of his nine children, including a three-yearold who later froze to death. If he couldn’t pay it off in another year,

Naghma would be forced to wed the lender’s 17-year-old son. “They said, ‘Pay back our money,’ and I didn’t have any money, so I had to give my girl,” Mohammad said. “I was thankful to them at the time, so it was my decision, but the elders also demanded that I do this.” Soon after the deal was struck, the boy to whom Naghma was engaged insisted that she stop attending school, which she loves”, continued her father. On Monday afternoon, there was no word on who paid off the debt or how. But now that it has been paid, the girl, Naghma, will remain with her family. She will no doubt continue to live in extreme poverty in the Kabul refugee camp, and will perhaps even forced into marriage when she’s

older. Still, she is one of the luckier girls of Afghanistan, where half of all girls are forced to marry under age 15, according to estimates by the United Nations agency UN Women. That’s despite the legal age for marriage in the country being 16 for girls. Ending the practice remains a huge challenge in Afghanistan’s patriarchal society, where it’s somewhat traditional to give girls away to settle debts or pay for their relatives’ crimes. Tribal customs often condone marriage once puberty is reached, or even earlier, and the government has been unable or unwilling to challenge the law effectively. •Culled from www.newyorktimes.com


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

le StyGlam and

with Yemisi Adeniran

27

April 6, 2013

(08037801158) ydiran@yahoo.com

N

o doubt, your Aso-oke colours must be one thing that would set your mind thinking with ideas and sometimes confusion on what would work best. But if you are challenged at combining them with your outfit, these tips will surely guide you: 1, Use one bright colour- If you choose to use one bright colour like red for instance, then you work this out on a neutral background colour like beige, tan or champagne gold. Your bright colour will automatically pop out and become noticeable. In this case, your buba ( blouse) and Iro ( wrapper) might be in the same neutral colour while the Gele and ‘Throw ‘ (Ipele) in the desired colour. Some brides choose to have some coloured designs on their Iro. Whatever be the case, this colour runs through your Gele, Throw, Hand Fan and accessories like shoes, bag and necklace. 2,Two colours combination- Most brides prefer to use two colours that complements each other. Mostly the Gele’s and the Throws (ikpele) will carry these mixed colours, normally patterned. Some have their Buba (blouse) in neutral colours and their Iro (wrapper) in one of the chosen colours. The shoes and bag are always in the same colour. Iro and gele could come in the same patterned design or not but mostly in the same mixed colours. 3, It can be monochromatic- This is also a popular one amongst brides and also the easy one as you are only using one colour but just in different shades. The Gele, Iro and Throw always mostly come in the same deeper shade whilst the Buba used with the lighter shade. The good thing about your traditional attire is the fact that you can choose the way you want it made.! All you need to do is tell the makers/ weavers then leave the rest for the experts.


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STYLE & GLAM

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Fashion Fren

BEAUTY

Q&A

Your candid response to all fashion questions Perfect jean for your body type (III) The Pear: D’banj might like big butts but he isn’t the one trying to find jeans to fit them! If you share the Bell’s bubbly butt and thighs and the Skittle’s less-than-lengthy legs, congratulations, you really are a pear. While you might feel awkwardly disproportionate, especially when you’re buying size XS extra-long tops and heading to the size

large short-inseam pants rack…you’re actually super-easy to shop for in the area of jeans! Your nearly perfectly-shaped butt makes almost any brand look great, and the burden is on them to create cuts that will actually fit over your thighs. Since this is my own body type, I’ll have a LOT of fit advice for my fit twins out there! Features to look for: High rises - they’ll do double duty in balancing out your figure, both lengthening your legs and covering your behind! Cuts that run small

in the wa a gap wai proportio cuts – as ets in fro you could lem.) Clea flares, etc


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

STYLE & GLAM

April 6, 2013

nzy

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Facelift

Dos and don’ts for hair colouring

S

enegalese twists are essentially two-strand twists done with hair extensions to add length and volume. The extensions can be attached to the head with one-inch braids before the twists begin, or they can be attached using the twisting technique from the very beginning. Senegalese twists take time to create but last up

aist compared to the fit of the hips and thighs – nobody likes ist. (Luckily, your long torso makes your waist slightly more onate to your hips than those of your Bell friends), trouser long as they don’t have those annoying angled slash pocknt, which don’t get along with our thunder thighs. (Actually, d probably just stitch down those pockets and avoid the proban front trousers are best. Wider legs in general – boot cuts, c. Straights are about as narrow as you should go and skinnies

to eight weeks. There are a few styling options available to people who would like to carry Senegalese twists: 1.Standard Senegalese twists •The conventional and most popular Senegalese twist hairstyles are long, straight strands of hair twisted with synthetic hair from root to tip. The ends may be curled or left straight (both dipped in hot water to help add shine and hold to the style) and the length and size could vary according to the demands and taste of the wearer. •Kinky Senegalese Twists •Kinky Senegalese twists are usually curled at the tips and can last a bit longer than standard Senegalese twists. They also take a little less time to complete. Other styles •Other variations on Senegalese twists can be accomplished with a blend of cornrows and twists. In one style, the front of the hair is braided in a cornrow style known as Ghana weaving/braids and the ends are twisted in Senegalese twists. In another variation, the entire stand is dipped completely in hot water and then unraveled carefully to give the hair a different texture and a fuller look. These styles are time-consuming but can be worthwhile if done properly.

should be reserved for boot-stuffing only (nor will our calves ever fit into skinny jeans–straights look like skinnies). Thicker, stretch denim will make your life easier, though I’ve found rigids that fit me really well too. Large pockets – preferably without too much detail, if you’d like to minimize your butt. You could always draw attention to your best asset with some pocket bling, though! That’s for the pear-bodied ladies; hope you enjoy your finding

Before you colour your hair at home, or schedule an appointment for a professional hair dye, read these top do’s and don’ts for hair colouring to help protect your hair from damage and to avoid regrets. The dos Take the time to choose the right colour. Always take a little time out to choose the right colour before you dye, and never dye your hair on impulse – that new shade of auburn may seem like a good idea today but tomorrow you may be glad you waited. Choose a quality hair dye. Unfortunately there are plenty of cheap hair dyes available for over the counter purchases. Read the labels carefully and remember that you get what you pay for. Follow instructions to the letter. Never fudge on hair colouring instructions. Use a timer to make sure that the dye and conditioning cream stay in your hair for the right amount of time and always perform a patch skin test before you try out new hair dyes. Use salon services for highlights or dramatic colour changes. If you want to add beautiful highlights to your hair, or achieve a dramatic colour change – such as white hair or bright blonde hair – then it is best to use professional services to make sure you get the right colour and that the damage to hair is minimized during the process. The don’ts Do not experiment with your own recipes. Plenty of online recipes for hair dyes are available, but many of them may damage your hair without even changing the colour. Even worse, depending on the original colour of your hair and the type of hair you have home recipes can end with disastrous colouring results. Do not try to correct mistakes on your own. If an at home hair colouring product produces an off colour, or damages your hair, do not try to fix these mistakes on your own. See a professional to repair your hair’s health and colour.


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April il 6, 2013

Male Essentials

Saturday y Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

08036961187

with Oseyiza w O Oogbodo bodo kingseiza@yahoo.com kingseiza@yyahoo.com

O

ne of the essences of dressing well is to get noticed. Dressing well opens doors for you and gets you noticed by the opposite sex, your employers and other people who are relevant to your existence. And in order to get noticed, some s me guys have had to go to the exso treme trem tr e e to stand out in the crowd. On air personality Denrele is a perfect p pe r ect example. His shoes have rf very ve v ery r high heels that you just can’t ca c an’ n t help but notice. So also DJ Sose. This T is is one Th g u y who

has taken e n tattooing tto o a whole

new level by having a tattoo prominently where no one can ever miss nen it: his face. It’s the first thing you notice about him and you can’t ever forget it. can Singer Tony Tetuila S la also forced his way into pubfor lic reckoning some years ago with his blond hair at a time when it wasn’t asn’t common. Terry G used com d to wear a lot of big chains, we ains, called cal lled himself Mr BlingBllingBling Bli ing and got noticed too. above-mentioned All the above-m A mentioned guys took on an extreme style to get noticed. n They the are not th he only ones who have e done so, though, so o you can do so too, com come me up with your own n extreme fashion style, s and you won’t regret r it.

Extreme

style

6 moustache styles you should try (2) •Continued from last week Full beard o sport a full beard, you’ll need to follow much of the same procedure as you would for growing a goatee (see last week’s piece). That is, clip your moustache down to size and then begin growing the rest of your facial hair, including your sideburns, letting your moustache thicken gradually as the rest of your beard develops. To avoid looking like a mountain man, don’t forget to keep your neck cleanshaven. For inspiration to keep you go-

T

ing when the growing gets tough, check out the full beard sported by Jason Schwartzman and compare them with older pics of the actor. Because he has a small, pointed chin, you’ll notice that Schwartzman actually looks much more handsome and masculine with a significant amount of facial hair rather than none at all. Horseshoe Made popular by modern cowboys, the horseshoe moustache, with its long, vertical extensions down the sides of the mouth, looks like, well, a horseshoe

turned upside down. This conversationstarting moustache is fairly straightforward to maintain, but it does take commitment to grow, so plan on spending a few months perfecting your facial hair style. You also need a good dose of confidence to carry it off as the horseshoe is only for the bold. To put a cool spin on this ‘stache, consider a skinnier style, like the one favored by Terry Richardson, rather than the bushy style that’s Hulk Hogan’s trademark. Painter’s brush If you didn’t have any particular style

in mind when you started growing your moustache, chances are that you inadvertently grew a painter’s brush. This style is characterised by thick hair that covers the entire width of the mouth and gently rounds down at the corner. For guys who have no problem growing a ‘stache, the painter’s brush is ideal because it looks great on most men and all it requires in the way of maintenance is a regular shave and the occasional use of a moustache trimming tool for more obsessive personalities. •Concluded


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31

April 6, 2013

Dear Igho

TTel: e 08023924679 (SMS only) ighomit@gmail.com

Having difficulties with relationships, family, work or any other aspectt off your life? lif Help is at hand with TOBORE IGHO OVUORIE

How long should I hold on? Dear Igho, I want to first say that I have read some of the responses that you have given to others, and have found your advice to be quite useful. With that being said, here is my issue: My boyfriend and I are both 31 years old, and we have been in a relationship for a year and seven months. We moved in together in September 2012, after living an hour and a half away from one another for a little over a year, only seeing each other on weekends and one day during the week. We had issues with communication and our wants and needs were different from the start, as he is very introverted while I am a complete extrovert. When we were looking at places together, we thought that we were going to wait to move in, but when he saw our current place and loved its charm, he wanted to move in much more quickly. The decision to move an hour and a half from his office was known from the start, and he knew it was going to cause some stress and difficulty going from a five minutes to the office commute to an hour and a half. He embraced it for a bit, but then the constant fights, and always being tired and not wanting to spend time together occurred, and we had decided to break up --for about a week. After that week apart, we were able to communicate, for real, for the first time in our entire relationship. I felt that I was finally able to understand him, and I saw that he was starting to make decisions that made me feel a bit more secure about the relationship. Everything seems to be falling in to place: He is getting transferred back to the area and starts this in less than two weeks which will make for a less stressful commute for him, as well as more free time. Now, he doesn’t get home until almost 8 pm each night during the week. So some of the issues and concerns I have: He has not been interested in being intimate with me, but is interested in checking out porn on the Internet, and I make the excuse that he is stressed out from getting ready for the transfer. But then, I notice that he is willing to have sex with me, only if I mention it or initiate it, but then that makes me feel like he is only doing it because I am asking him to. So first issue, while he says that he wants to have sex with me, and is sexually attracted to me, why does he not initiate it? Isn’t sex supposed to be a stress reliever? The next issue, our lease is up in August

2013. When I ask him if he wants to marry me, at this point with everything else going on, he says he doesn’t know. When he says that, I don’t know if it is because there are too many changes going on for him right now, or if I am just making excuses for him. How do I approach him to get him to talk to me about marriage in our future since he seems so willing to have us live together but can’t say that he wants to marry me? How long do I wait for the marriage commitment before I leave? Do I move in to another place with him without the ring? I love him and care for him, deeply, but I have sacrificed a lot for this relationship, as he has as well, and I want to know if we are both interested in the same goals. I do not have a time line, but I do have an expectation, as I feel that by now he should know if he wants to marry me and spend the rest of his life with me. Am I looking at all

of this all wrong? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Amanda, Maitama, Abuja.

Dear Amanda, Flattery will get you everywhere! You and he have had some stresses since this relationship began. Not only the differences that seemed almost insurmountable in the beginning, your wants and needs being different -- and your basic natures -- but you haven’t had a lot of time together under the same roof. At first, it was a long distance relationship and, then, it’s becomes a hellish commute where he falls in the door, after 8PM, exhausted. I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised it lasted. I think it’s easy to lose interest in sex when people are physically spent. He’s also an introverted guy, and his normal libido may not be all that strong, innately. In the “honeymoon” stage of a

relationship, we often come out of ourselves and behave in ways that are not our true nature. We are more accommodating to a new partner. We want to please. After that phase, we fall into our normal patterns. But, again, I can’t tell if his commute has dampened his sex drive, or this is him at his core. The porn watching can desensitize, but if it’s not excessive, it shouldn’t cause problems in the bedroom if he’s been sexually active in the past. You’ve got until August to figure this out, and that’s a good thing. Once he’s on his new schedule, he may have a burst of energy but, if not, that’s cause for concern. Sexual compatibility is important in a relationship. I can’t know if he’s putting off marriage talk because he’s been sidetracked by so many other things and he’s reluctant to commit until they settled down, or he’s simply undecided -- wants to wait and see. Although that doesn’t seem to suit you, committing to marriage, now, I think, would be a mistake. Again, once he gets back on a normal schedule, see if his libido improves, and you two can create a harmonious atmosphere. I know you’re at an age where marriage is strongly appealing to you, but the last thing you want to do is rush into it without having all your relationship ducks in a row. Couples counselling, if things were not going as smoothly as you had hoped, could help. And like a lot of counselling, it not only aids in bringing a couple together in terms of enlightenment and greater commitment, it can also help transition out of one without the emotional shrapnel. Open communication is paramount. Like a mantra, I tell my advice seekers that these are the key elements they should want in a long-term partnership: trust, respect, common interests and values, open communication, and a willingness to form a working and lasting partnership. “Act in haste, repent in leisure” is a famous quote I like to bandy about in my replies to advice seekers. In other words, you have time to get this right. Wish you the best in love!

My husband doesn’t want kids Dear Igho, My husband of six months is 39 years old, and I’m 26. He has had a vasectomy for 13 years. I think I want kids, but he doesn’t want more. He has two from his first marriage. I’m not sure I want kids – some days I do – some I don’t. Is this worth fighting over? Is it

worth leaving over? Help! Didi Daniels, Osborne road, Lagos Dear Didi, Is it worth fighting for? The word “fight” has the connotation of a winner and a loser. I guess you want this

to be a mutual decision, and not an act of coercion. This is something that should have been decided before the marriage, but perhaps you changed your mind. Sadly, that puts a condition on the marriage in terms of success. If you do decide you want kids, and he’s still stalwart about not having them, yes, that is a deal breaker, eventually.


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Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

April 6, 2013

W

Haemorrhoids (Pile)

hat can I do about Haemorrhoids!

Eliminating straining also helps prevent the haemorrhoids from protruding. Good sources of fibre are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Stool softeners are also recommended while some cases may require surgery. To relieve the pain, apart from using analgesics, it is advisable to clean the anus after each bowel movement by patting gently with moist toilet paper or moistened pads such as baby wipes. Ice packs can also be used to relieve swelling.

Haemorrhoids are itchy, painful, enlarged, bulging or bleeding masses of swollen tissues and veins located in and about the anus and lower rectum. Haemorrhoids are very common in both men and women. The type an individual has depends on where it occurs.  Internal haemorrhoid involves the veins inside the rectum. This type usually doesn’t hurt but they may bleed painlessly.  Prolapsed haemorrhoid may stretch down until they bulge outside the anus. A prolapsed haemorrhoid may go back inside the rectum on its own or the individual may gently push it back inside.  External haemorrhoid involves the veins outside the anus. They may be itchy or painful and can sometimes crack and bleed. If you have a haemorrhoid, you may feel a tender lump on the edge of your anus. You may also see blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet after a bowel movement.

Prevention of haemorrhoids

What causes haemorrhoids? Haemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure in the veins of the anus or rectum. One of the causes is as a result of straining to move stool. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, aging, chronic constipation or diarrhoea, sitting on the toilet bowl for too long, obesity, lifting of heavy objects or any activity that causes strain and anal intercourse.

Undescended testes Dear doctor, I’m a 28-year old man and my problem has to do with my sexual organ which has not developed properly. I started having sex at a tender age of 13 in 1995. Although I noticed right then that my organ was not developing like those of other boys around me, I didn’t allow this to disturb me since I learnt this is natural with some people and again, since I enjoy sexual intercourse when it’s erect. I’ve, however, observed that one of my testes is located up and not in the lower place like the other one. Also, my sperm looks watery like okro soup. It doesn’t look whitish or as thick as what I believe the normal sperm should look like.

What are the symptoms of haemorrhoids?

What you can do about haemorrhoid.

Although many people have haemorrhoids, not all experience symptoms. The most common symptom of internal haemorrhoid is bright red blood covering the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl, becoming irritated and painful. This is known as protruding haemorrhoid. Symptoms of the external type may include painful swelling or hard lump around the anus that results when a blood clot forms. This is known as a thrombosed external haemorrhoid. It is important to note that bleeding may also be a symptom of other digestive diseases including colorectal cancer.

The aim is to prevent constipation and relieve the pain The measures to reduce symptoms include ‘warm-tub’ baths several times a day in plain warm water for about 10 minutes. Application of a haemorrhoidal cream or suppository to the affected area for a limited time is advised. Increasing fibre and fluids in the diet is important. Eating the right amount of fibre and drinking 6-8 glasses of fluid (not alcohol) result in softer, bulkier stools. A softer stool makes emptying the bowels easier and lessens the pressure on haemorrhoids from protruding.

The best way to prevent haemorrhoid is to keep stools soft so they pass easily, thus decreasing pressure and to empty bowels without undue straining as soon as possible after the urge occurs. Exercise including walking and eating a high fibre diet help reduce constipation and straining by producing stools that are softer and easier to pass.

LIFE SAVERS 

See your doctor if you notice bleeding to make sure the cause is haemorrhoids and not some other problem.

Bleeding from you rectum or anus or bloody stool may be a sign of something more serious such as cancer.

Painful haemorrhoid usually stops hurting on its own 1-2 weeks. If yours keep causing problem talk with your doctor.

LETTERS Doctor, is this likely to make me infertile? Can the condition be corrected? Worried boy, Ibadan Mirror doctor replies:

The size of your organ should not affect the quality and quantity of your sperm. The fact that your sperm looks watery does not necessarily mean that it is bad. For all it’s worth, I will advise that you

go for a second opinion and a seminal fluid analysis. This will give us a very good insight into the quality, quantity and overall structural composition of your sperm cells. In other words, it will afford us the opportunity of determining how fertile you are. Until this is done, nobody can say you are infertile. Concerning your testicles, the two are never at the same level. One may be down in the scrotum while the other is a bit up

in the scrotum. The important message is that both must be found within the scrotum on either side otherwise, it is said to be an undescended testes which may require a surgical operation to bring down to the scrotum. The undescended testis may sometimes be in the groin or even in the lower abdomen. This is an operation that should be performed early in life to ensure viability of the testes.

Any harm in long use of laxative? Dear Doctor, What is the effect of using laxative for a long time? I have been using it for the past three years to purge myself. I do not go to the toilet regularly and I have resulted to using laxatives to assist me. I am worried because this problem started after I resumed at my new place of work where I had to wake up early and

come home very late then have my dinner late. Mirror doctor replies, I am sure you have read our write-up on constipation. As for the effect of using laxatives for a long time, I suggest that you gradually reduce the use of them to give your body a chance to return to normal. You may have to retrain your

body to go without laxatives. This means eating plenty of fibre, possibly using a bulk-forming laxative, drinking plenty of water, exercising and learning to give yourself time to have a bowel movement. Be patient, it may take many months for your bowels to get back to normal. Finally, avoid taking your dinner late at night as the metabolic rate slows down at night thereby digestion is also slowed down.


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April 6, 2013

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Railway sin plaza Imagine the length of a standard train. Imagine the sea of passengers it discharges at a central train station. These capture the length of brothels and the number of commercial sex workers, their clients and others who love to savour their near naked sights. Welcome to Ijora railway sin plaza, the supposed largest concentration of brothels in the land. THOMAS USHIE

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he houses, if they can be so called, are many. They lined the railway lines at Ijora in Lagos. Behind these is a sea of shanties. They all serve the same purpose. They serve as abodes for practitioners of the supposed oldest profession in the world – prostitution. Imagine the length of a standard train. Imagine the sea of passengers it discharges at a central train station. These capture the length of brothels and the number of prostitutes, their clients and others who love to savour their near naked sights, at Ijora railway prostitute’s plaza. These women of easy virtue, whom Saturday Mirror spent several weeks to understudy and interact with, sit in all sizes, heights and complexions. Their target for the day and night is to get as many patrons as possibly for fees ranging from N300 to N1000 per “round”. To achieve this, they device all sorts of marketing strategies. Some wriggle their

A city of brothels

strategically exposed waists seductively to music belting out of surround speakers while some strut around with their waists, boobs, hairy groin bare. The Ijora railway prostitutes’ complex is a sweet and sour sight dotted with the usual filths and all forms of pollution that characterize a ghetto. Unconfirmed sources label it the highest concentration of brothels in Lagos nay Nigeria in general. They all have their unique “stage names” which is usually English names, obviously to conceal their identity, especially their places of extraction. None of those who spoke with Saturday Mirror identified themselves by an indigenous name. Speaking with Saturday Mirror, one of the commercial workers who identified herself as Joy, described her path to prostitution as fortuitous. Joy, as she calls herself, stands at five feet 11 inches. She is slim, fair in complexion has an oval face and a good command of the English language. She has everything that could win her a modelling contract. But she is a commercial sex worker. However, there was no joy in Joy as she recounted her days in her chosen profession. “Do you think that this is an easy job?” she asked the reporter rhetorically when he enquired about the stress of the business. “You can imagine when a woman would market herself to attract men to have sex with her just to make a living. It is not funny at all. The painful aspect of this job, for me, is when I make love to somebody I don’t have affection for just because I want to make a living. Forget the fact that you

see me dancing around smiling and interacting with guys. The simple truth is that it is sad making love to someone you don’t love. Recently, I came back from one of my away hustling (commercial sex outside the brothel) and when I lied down and was reflecting over my life, I wept,” Joy told the reporter as she stooped low and wept profusely. She continued: “I want to quit this job. But I cannot do it right away because of family issues. I am the bread winner of my family for now. They don’t know what I am really doing here in Lagos but I have no choice for now than to do the job. Immediately I have alternative, I will definitely quit this job.” Another commercial sex worker, Jane, said that “this job” is not for weak and fickle minded women but those who can identify “customers” in a fleeting moment and convince them to “sleep with them”. Asked how she was able to secure accommodation at the brothels she operates in, she said that she was “fortunate” to meet a man who helped her to pay her “sign-on-fee”. “I thought I was somehow fortunate although what has happened over time has proved otherwise. When I learnt that there is a place here at Ijora where one can hustle and make a living, I came here to enquire. Fortunately, I met a young man who helped me to secure an accommodation. I had no money with me but he volunteered to pay the N10,500 that was required, for me,” Jane said. Just like other professions, every day has never been Christmas for these commercial sex workers as the up and down of

the business sometimes put them in trouble. There are weeks that business would be “so dull” that they would not be able to pay their weekly rent as at when due. The rents are paid weekly, every Monday. The “landlords”, the owners of these brothels do not tolerate excuses. And any default in payment attracts fines in addition to the payment of the defaulted rent. The room can accommodate conveniently only a six-spring bed with little space left to contain not more than two people at a time. “We pay N5,500 every week. It must be paid every Monday unfailingly. If we default, our rooms would be locked up. When this is done, we would have to pay additional N500 to open it, making N6000. That is not all. We also pay N1,800 for light and police. Our apartment has about 32 rooms and you can imagine what the landlord is making from us every week. That is why there is no osho free (no free sex) in this business. For us, time is money. When it is hustling time, we don’t joke because we have to pay our bills. It is very important. Na wetin de make our eye dey red o (That is why we are always serious)” Jane revealed. Asked what the “police” fee is meant for, she said that “we pay this to the landlord to settle police so that they would not come here to raid us. If we don’t pay, policemen would come here to arrest us and take us to their stations and we would have to bail ourselves from there. “Instead of the disgrace and harassment, the owners of these clubs decided to be charging us the fee weekly so that CONTINUED ON PAGE 34


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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 they could settle them and keep us out of trouble. It is not easy at all.” No fighting. Any altercation resulting in a brawl, according to Joy, attracts two penalties: the room is locked up and that means there would be no business for the culprit until her room is re-opened. And before that is done, a fine of N10, 000 must be paid as well as another N5,000 for the room to be opened for business. With all the financial burden breathing down the neck of these Ijora commercial sex workers, it is an all month-round services. Saturday Mirror’s investigation revealed that there is “no dull moment 24 hours, seven days of the week, even during menstrual period”. Why would they when “if you slack”, the bills would pile up and you would be ejected without “taking any of your properties” from the six-by-six cubicle they call room. So, Jane told Saturday Mirror that, “during menses, we use cotton wool to insert deep into our private part. So, even if we are having sex, our customer would not notice that we are in our menses. The cotton wool would soak up the blood and when we feel heavy, we would go and put it off. It is very simple and I think there is no risk involved,” she seems so assured of the techniques. Despite the nature of their business, these women who trade their flesh for money still have time for romance. They have boyfriends. “The guy that helped me secure my accommodation at this brothel later became my boyfriend. Although he knows what I am doing, he is in love with me and we have been carrying on as lovers. He is the only one that I can kiss and have romantic affairs with. He is such a loving friend. Even when I could not hustle enough to pay for my rent for the week, if I call him, he could do that for me without complaint. If I just call him now that I am sick, you would see him right here caring for me. He is such a good man” Jane revealed. This reporter summoned courage to ask Jane if she thinks that her boy friend is a lucky man or a good guy with a very bad girl. Surprisingly, she stole a smile and later laughed out loud. “It is very unfortunate. Sometimes, good guys are not lucky to be with good girls. I would not say that I am a good girl, considering the kind of job I am doing. It is not what a girl would be proud of. Not at all. But when it comes to loving him back, I think that I have tried my best. I cannot say I am faithful in the general terms of it. But I am. I don’t have any other boyfriend. All other guys that come here do so strictly for business. I am not the only one that has a boyfriend here. Almost all my friends have their special man whom they have romantic relationship with. All other men are just business associates. Even then, I would not say he is fortunate to have me as his girlfriend. He is too good. He is such a good man,” Jane said. While their boyfriends are aware of their profession, it remains a top secret to their families. Daddy and mummy, brothers and sisters, must not know that they are prostitutes. “My parents don’t know that this is what I am doing. I don’t think that any parent would be happy to know such a thing. Not even my brothers and sisters whom I have been toiling to help. I am the first

Two of the commercial sex workers

‘It is sad making love to someone you don’t love’ born of my parents. I have been married and divorced. It has not been well with my family and I see it as a responsibility on my part to take care of them. That is why, as I said before, I decided to go into this. I am not proud of it,” Joy said. Most of them who interacted with this reporter speak fairly good English while two in particular, speak impeccable English. But why they could not continue their education, they blame it on the economy and their poor background. “You said that you are surprised that I speak good English,” Jane asked this reporter when he complimented her command of English. “I finished secondary school before I ventured into this thing I am doing. If I had somebody to sponsor me to the university, I would have. My parents do not have the wherewithal to do so and I tried my best to get something else doing but I could not. When I had accommodation problem, I was pushed to do this because I could easily hang out with one of my friends who was already into it. I was doing it on part time. I gathered some money and paid my rent here and started it on full time basis. It is from here that I am able to help my parents,” Jane said. Speaking in the same vein, Joy said that “I managed to graduate from the secondary school before I got married. I could not further my studies because of economic factors. In terms of speaking well, when you interact with people who speak good English, you will learn from them. I learn from people every day in the course of hustling”. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others, so said George Orwell in his famous book, the “Animal Farm”. The maxim applies at the railway prostitute plaza. There are “special ones”. They are relatively young, cute and averagely pretty. And their charges are not negotiable. It is N1,000. No kobo less but there could be kobo more.

–Blind kid-hawker

While cigarette popping guys discussed a certain “special gal” in one of the brothels as they savour some bottles of liquor, one boasted that, “I can take her for five ‘hundy’ (N500). Another said that he had tried to no avail. Another who was hailed by his friends as “Wande”, revealed that he evaluated the personality, his worth and mien before such ‘outrageous’ charges wondering “why would I pay a girl here that kind of money when she would not allow me to romance her. Sex is not all about intercourse. It goes beyond that and I would rather go to a club and take a girl to my house rather than pay this kind of money for a girl that would not even let me last for 15 minutes. ‘Bone that kind thing joo’ (forget her) lets finish and get out of here. Is it not the same thing she has that other girls have?” Wande wondered. And Saturday Mirror decided to probe into the girl’s “special status”. Physically, she has the features that could make a priest break his oath of celibacy. She is articulate and soft spoken, diplomatic and friendly. “Special Baby” is boldly written at the lintel of her decently dressed room. Asked why she considered herself special, she said that “it is all about what you think of yourself and how you carry yourself before people that make you special.” On her sex fee, she said that, “I cannot collect anything less than 1kay (N1,000).” And when this reporter offered her N500, she quipped: “Five hundred? How many men would I ‘do’ to make it a day with such money. No. I don’t do it for such money. The stress would be too much for me. This job is very stressful and I am not ready to sleep with so many men before I can pay my house rents and other bills. Excuse me, I want to go and buy fuel for my generator” she diplomatically discharged this reporter for offering her less than her fee. Saturday Mirror’s investigation revealed that the prostitutes generate their

lights when the public power is off. There were several “I better pass my neighbour” (small generators) at the back of the wooden brothels with its noise competing favourably with the deafening music belting out of the brothel’s hall. The veteran prostitutes have their stand and peculiar clientele. With sagged physical fixtures, they are no longer the delight of many young men. The few drunks who stagger towards them obviously under the influence of alcohol are glad to relieve their stress on them. These prostitutes have come a long way. But it seems they did not make retirement plans for themselves as, despite their age, their depreciated physique, the only job they can do is to give sex for a fee. “This is the job we have done all our lives and we cannot find something different to do at this age,” one of them confided on this reporter. “Who told you we have not done anything for ourselves. Some of us trained our junior brothers and sisters from the proceeds of this job. Some of us have houses at our village still from this job. Just forget that thing oo, we are just catching fun at this level now,” one of the old prostitutes who identified herself as Gift boasted while the reporter queried her physical state wondering if she has benefited from the profession. They all believe that time and tide wait for nobody and would not engage in frivolities that would not pay their bills for the week. Hence, any prospective customer that is not discussing “real business” is discharged with disdain. However, some do so with finesse and in the process attract goodwill from the prospective clients. “I am not here to play around. If I want somebody to discuss with, I know where to go. If you no wan do, just get out of my room (If you are not ready for sex, go out of my room),” an obviously enraged prostitute who was not interested to entertain any form of friendliness with this reporter fumed.


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

LIVING

April 6, 2013

Fumes of death

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Ogijo community

While many a community sees the location of a manufacturing company in its domain as the opening of doors to many good things, residents of Ajose community, a small settlement, in Ogijo area of Ogun State are groaning under the yoke allegedly heaped on their health by such a firm, African Foundries. SEGUN ADIO

T

ension is gradually rising in Ajose community, a small settlement, in Ogijo area of Ogun State as residents of the community are threatening fire and brimstone over an alleged emission of fumes from a firm, African Foundries, sited in its locality. The community is alleging neglect on the part of the company which some residents claim is sending them gradually to their early graves. African Foundries is a steel rolling mill located in Ogijo just right behind Ajose community which is now accusing the company, among other things of exposing residents to smokes and other industrial waste emanating from the steel rolling mills. It may sound like a joke, but residents of the community claim they dare not go bed without protective masks covering their nostrils as smoke oozes out from the company without ceasing, day and night. When Saturday Mirror visited the community, smoke was seen hovering round the entire

area, making the entire community look like nightfall has descended on it. Some residents of the community who spoke with Saturday Mirror maintained that several of their kith and kin have been hospitalised on account of inhaling the smoke from the company. A resident, Michael Ikukoyi, shared his experience. “I have been living here with here with my family for about two years now due to the frequent rent increase by my landlord in Lagos. But I must confess that I never envisaged the health problems that the company has brought on people through its lack of human feeling. I have never really enjoyed staying here due to the havoc that the company has wreaked over the years. The smoke from its factory always blows across the community and it has affected my health and those of other residents. The tunnel, which is supposed to lead the smoke out into the air, is faulty and the smoke now comes into our homes,” Ikukoyi said. It is also alleged that many residents of the community have contacted asthma, tuberculosis among other respiratory infections due to the unchecked carbon dioxide emission from the company.

Another resident, A. Ashafa, said: “Recently, there was a blast from the factory, which was reminiscent of the Ikeja cantonment bomb blast of 2002. This happened the day after the last Eid-el-Kabir celebration and it shook my house to its foundation. Initially, I thought armed robbers had besieged us,” he said. A worker in the Community Development Office, Jamiu Akoni, accused the steel firm of reneging on the agreement it entered into with the comminity. Akoni said that the management of African Foundries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the community in September 2012 to address the pollution therein but it has not kept the promise. His words: “How do you want me to explain the fact that we sleep with protective masks at night without power supply? The situation is so terrible that one man in the community was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night after suffering from suffocation from the smoke that the factory emits. Asthma and tuberculosis are among other ailments that people here have had to contend with over the years because of

the unchecked carbon dioxide from the factory. The residents are now appealing to both the state and federal governments to assist them before we are all killed by the smoke emanating from the factory. We are writing a petition to the Ministry of the Environment and other government agencies to come to our aid. The heap of waste from the company is hazardous but they leave it exposed. We need help before people start dying.” Saturday Mirror was at African Foundries factory complex to have firsthand knowledge of things. Speaking with our reporter, a top management staff in the company, identified as Mr. Mike, laughed off the claims of the community. Though acknowledging that the company may still have to do more for the people of the community, Mike maintained that the company had spent a lot of capital and human resources to better the lot of the residents. Mike who conducted Saturday Mirror round the company, presented documentary evidence to show that no fewer than 600 residents of the community are gainfully employed at all strata of the company. Saturday Mirror observed a giant shredding machine and a fume extraction machine in place at the company. According to Mike, “The allegations are unfounded. The shredder and the fume extraction machine you just obCONTINUED ON PAGE 37


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Danger beyond labour: Madness after birth On 22 September, 2011, Saidat Ibrahim, 42, lost her sanity after having a child she had eagerly expected for 10 years. This confirms that beyond the common likelihood of death that a woman faces at child birth, there is also the risk of postpartum depression.

YEMISI ADENIRAN

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or 10 years and two months, Adebisi Ibrahim, a popular baker in Ogba Ijaye area of Lagos and his wife, Saidat, waited to be blessed with a child. They had prayed, fasted and were almost resting on their oars over the situation when in January 2011, Saidat, told her husband that she had missed her period since the previous month. Of course, they went to consult their doctors and were all joyful that their prayers were finally answered by God when the tests readily confirmed her pregnancy. All baby things were bought in preparation for their baby. On September 22, 2011, the baby did come, a healthy bundle of joy. However, the delivery aftermath has been utter anguish for the Ibrahims. Immediately after Saidat was delivered of the baby, the young mother began to behave irrationally. She would suddenly stare into space for a long time wearing a disordered look, soliloquize in an incomprehensive language or threaten to tear her hair out. She seemed not to recognise any of her loved ones and wouldn’t even breast feed her precious child. She would laugh so loud and cry almost all at once. Clearly, Saidat was fast going round the bend. “I can’t imagine why my precious wife would turn to be like this at a time when we were all supposed to be happy; a time when she was to give the best attention to her baby and a time when she was to be pampered. At times, she would defiantly throw away her clothes, scream at people around and would not allow my mum or her own to care for her as it is done for young mothers. It was so sad and beyond cry,” Ibrahim recalled painfully. Her case became a challenge for the gynaecologists and nurses at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAOTECH), Osogbo, Osun State, where the delivery took place. But try as they did to cure her, their efforts bore little success. For a few

Saidat

days, she would act at normalcy only to relapse into fits of insanity. At their wits’ end after two months of assiduous efforts, the doctors discharged Saidat, although they instructed her to report once every week for check and treatment. Days rolled into weeks, and months into years, yet cure seemed to be far away for the young mother. Relatives visited various spiritual homes - churches, mosques and herbal homes but respite remained obsolete. There was no solution. Twice, she was involved in road accidents, the poor baby on her back and both were nearly crushed. Strangely, her husband stood by her. “I love my wife; we dated for five years before we were married and we vowed to stay with each other in good and bad times. There was no case like that in my family and I was not aware of a condition like this in hers too. She is a twin and her twin sister who got married before her had all her three children without this kind of problem or any other.

Many nights, I cried and against suggestions from friends and relatives, I would not take another woman for a wife for this reason. What if I am the one in her shoes for one reason of the other? I had told any of them who came with such suggestion,” Ibrahim added. On doctor’s advice, the Ibrahims have concluded not to have any other child as this can aggravate the wife’s condition. And although the woman’s condition is a bit suppressed, she still presents some anomalies intermittently. “On one occasion, she came to my place of work obviously trekking with her dust-covered feet and gorgeously dressed as if there was an occasion taking place. I was embarrassed. At another time, she left the child at home with nobody around and did not come home until evening. I came home to meet the child, just two years old alone crying but with a neighbour. She did not take her phone with her, so, we all had to wait for her to safely return. Well, she did later that day and I decided to

have a house-help live with us. She has improved though, but really, I am not just scared of taking another wife, I am scared of having another child,” said Ibrahim. Meanwhile, doctors diagnosed Saidat’s illness as post-partum depression. Also called peri-natal or post natal depression, the ailment according to Dr Saheed Bello, a resident doctor of Community Medicine at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital ( LAUTECH), Osogbo, Osun State, is a kind of psychosis caused mainly by a sudden withdrawal of pregnancy hormones produced by the placenta immediately after delivery. Often seen basically as hereditary, medical experts have adduced further factors as being responsible. According to Bello, “Majorly, if the woman has a psychotic illness or a history of psychotic illness in the family or she has had same experience in her previous birth, she is likely to have it.” Other risks are listed as complications at childbirth like still birth, too much bleeding at birth and complications from previous births. Beside the above, he explained that a pregnant woman might find herself in this condition if faced with problems associated with low socio-economic status, unemployment, stress from family problems, thyroid gland dysfunction and sometimes the birth of a female child. “The latter could be problematic if the woman is too eager or too pressurised to have a male child. The announcement of arrival of another girlchild is likely to stress her mentally,” said Bello. Although statistics of PND (Post Natal Depression) are not readily available in the country because of the absence of a screening programme which is in place in other countries, medical experts still affirm that out of every 100 births, about 10 women stand at a risk. A PND patient tends to be violent and uncontrollable. “They cry, hallucinate and feel that they should have given birth to Jesus Christ or that Satan killed their babies. They suspect everyone around and over-protect their babies in the most unusual or even dangerous ways, like backing him or her upside down, covering him up and trying to suffocate the child unknowingly. These tendencies explain why their babies are usually taken away from them,” Bello explained. Prescribing a preventive measure for the ailment, the specialist advised that pregnant women to register for their ante-natal at a good centre as soon as they are three months into pregnancy. “This way, they get opened to every necessary medical attention as early as it CONTINUED ON PAGE 37


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April 6, 2013

A woman in labour

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Bolade

Bello

terwards. “The many vaccinations these women are bombarded with is a major cause and should be reviewed. They do not only constitute harm to the woman, they also account for the kind of maladjusted children who are as heavy as stones that they give birth to these days, “ observed the alternative doctor. To Bolade who has been practising for several years, the best way to attack the illness is by going to the root of the cause. “Traditionally, there is what the Yoruba people call abisiwin ( a situation

where a pregnant woman runs mad immediately she gives birth)and it can be a root cause but civilisation has driven most people from herbal practitioners who will readily solve that kind of condition. If one is able to get to the root of the problem, solution is easy and not far away. A confident Bolade is sure of total cure for PND within three weeks once the root cause is discovered. “Give me a case of post-partum depression and I will give you a woman that is perfectly healthy,” he boasted.

Madness after birth CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 should be,” he said. There, an anti-psychotic drug, she asserted, would be administered on the patient if the tendency is detected early. He advised governments would do well to reduce PND cases by providing jobs for its citizens while husbands and relatives refrain from acts that could stress pregnant wives. On the contrary, High Chief Augustine Adeguloye Bolade, the proprietor of St Augustine Healing Home rather

than attribute causes of PND to heredity and psychological factors, viewed it as fallout from excess orthodox drugs administered on pregnant women during ante-natal. Citing years of herbal practice, Bolade emphasised that “orthodox drugs release into the body lots of toxins that end up damaging the kidneys and the earth.” With a kidney or heart problem, he stated, come further deposits of toxins into the body of a pregnant woman which might make her to experience pre-enclampsia during child birth. This may result to depression af-

‘We sleep with protective masks’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 served are now operational. Go check the records. The shredding machine we have here is the first of its kind in Africa. The shredder helps to sieve rubbers and other unwanted combustible materials from the iron waste we burn here. By this, a lot of materials that could generate smoke had been removed ab initio.” He continued: “It is not right for the community to say that we are not doing any social responsibility in the area. When contacted, the company gave the community’s primary school two trailers of cement. We assisted them with hundreds of thousands of naira to procure a transformer being used in the community. Much as we do not want to join issues with the community on the pages of newspapers, they should understand that the company has not started full operations. What we are doing is to test run the equipment we just installed and by the time we begin full

operation, we will roll out a number of packages that will be beneficial to residents of the community and environs,” he said. African Foundries is also reported to have been picking the bills of a nurse employed to work in the only hospital in the community for upward of two years now. An Indian director in the company who does not want his name in prints described the allegations of the community against the company as ‘unfortunate.’ He claimed that apart from engaging members of the community in the factory, many of them still come seeking for assistance from the company which it (African Foundries) always oblige them. Another top management member of the company, who preferred anonymity, told Saturday Mirror that the latest complaint by the community was the handiwork of a section of the people who seek favours from the company but chose to blackmail it when denied.

Shredder

He said that the firm’s shunning attempts by that section of the community to get favours and support at the detriment of the rest accounted for the latest claim. An official statement from the company read: “We are a responsible company with international environmental

standards, and working to help develop Nigerian infrastructural system. As a result, we cannot do and we are not doing anything harmful to the health of our host community. We are also open to advice on how best to tackle whatever issues that emanate from our environment.”


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LIVING

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How mother, only son were electrocuted in Osun

The electric pole

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hirty five-year-old Sikiratu Awisu was a petty trader. She also sold fried yam at Abe-Obi area of Osogbo, the capital of Osun State. A mother of four girls and a boy, Awisu was a single mother. As someone who was not lettered, the woman had one wish uppermost on her mind: to get her children educated to whatever level they desire. This singular wish of hers was known to all and sundry and often made the butt of jokes. All these, however, came to an abrupt end on Monday night when Awisu met her sudden death. She, however, did not die alone. It was with her 14-year-old only son, Afeez. They were both electrocuted. Up till Thursday when Saturday Mirror visited the site of the ugly incident and the deceased’s residence, the two places were a Mecca of a sort. Sympathisers and sightseers still thronged the two places. Not that both mother and child went out of their way courting death. Rather, it was the typical style of death wishing to harvest an unripe fruit. Eyewitnesses told Saturday Mirror that on the fateful day “It was around mid-night of last Monday when nearly everybody was asleep that the incident occurred. Mama Afeez, as the deceased was fondly called, had closed for the day and indoors when an electric pole close to the residence started sparkling and throwing sparks,” the eyewitness who begged anonymity stated. She continued: “When the sparks fall-

Sympathisers at the residence of the victim of the electrocution at Abe Obi area, in Osogbo

A woman, Sikirat Awosu, with her son, Afeez, were electrocuted in Osogbo, Osun State capital, last Monday. ADEOLU ADEYEMO visited the scene of the incident and investigated the circumstances that led to the sudden deaths. ing became much pandemonium broke out; everybody started running for dear lives. Mama Afeez and her children too did same. They took to their heels. Mrs Awisu had had gone some distance when she realised that she was not with one of her daughters. She turned back. “Being the ‘man’ of the house, Afeez choose to go with her. It was while they were running back to look for the girl that they ran into a live cable dangling down an electric pole. It was instant death.” Awisu’s co-tenant, Mrs.Muiba Ibraheem, also spoke with Saturday Mirror. She described Awisu’s death as unfortunate adding that the deceased’s dream had been cut short. She also described the dead woman a determined woman who always said before her death that though she was not educated, she would make sure she gave all her children a sound education. She quoted Awisu to always say during her life time that: “I have four female children and a son but I will make sure they have what I don’t have in terms of education because of the broken home that I experienced. I will make sure my children progress from letters through alphabets, syllables, words, and sentences. That is why I wake up as early

as possible every day to fry yams and at the same time sell petty things so as to get enough money to finance their education.” Ibraheem disclosed that the deceased mother found herself in Osogbo as a result of problems in her marriage in Isundirin at the Ejigbo Local Governemnt Area of the state. According to Ibraheem, Awisu was allegedly chased out violently with machetes from her husband’s house in Isundirin. She was, however, described as extremely hard-working and epitome of humility. Explaining the situation that surrounded her death, the co-tenant stated that, “she had earlier escaped death with her son when she remembered that one of her daughters was not with her and because of this, she decided to look for her whereabouts and in the process of doing this, she lost her life and that of the son she was holding in her hand.” She stated that the remains of the deceased had been taken to their home town in Isudinrin by their relatives and close associates and buried. Ibraheem who attributed the cause of their death to shoddy job done in the area by workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), called on the concerned authorities to call the power

agency to order “If not because of planks used to demarcate high tension wire that caught fire when there was high voltage of power, the deceased would have been alive,” she lamented. A middle-aged man who identified himself as Abiodun Olutayo described Awisu’s death and that of her son as shocking, sudden and stunning adding that it would affect the inhabitants of the area for the deceased was a good and easy going woman. He added: “She remained a symbol of hope, an embodiment of sincerity, a metaphor of diligence and a demonstrator of godliness. She distinguished herself among her peers. She rose beyond her foes’ imagination. She proved her worth beyond all reasonable doubts and she will forever remain a star among stars.” When contacted on the development, the state Command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Folasade Odoro, said that the law enforcement agency responded promptly to the ugly incident. She confirmed the incident explaining that the woman and her son died when “they ran into an electric wire that fell down in the area. Both of them got electrocuted and died immediately when they ran into the life wire.” The PPRO stressed that the police has commenced investigations into the matter and promised to feed members of the public on the outcome when concluded. All efforts to speak with the state PHCN Public Relations Officer, Mr. Adesanya, proved abortive as he was said to have travelled out of the state.


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

TOURISM

April 6, 2013

39

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

ACCRA:

Ghana’s link with history

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ver since President Barack Hussein Obama’s historic visit to Ghana, Accra has become a destination of choice for more people than ever before. This is not surprising as the city was the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to host the first black President of the United States (US). On the first day of his historic visit, residents as well as tourists trooped out in large numbers to catch a glimpse of the first family of the U S as well as the man whom a tourist described as ‘larger than life’. However, not taking away anything from the visit, it is pertinent to note at this point that the city has always held a charm for tourists due to her intriguing history. The name Accra is derived from the word Nkran, meaning “ants” in Akan which is one of the languages spoken in Ghana, a reference to the numerous anthills seen in the countryside around Accra. The city got her first settlers in the 15th century, when the Ga people migrated there after leaving their previous settlement at Ayawaso, 10 miles (16 km) north of Accra. The site was advantageous as it removed the Ga people from their rivals the Akwamu people. Initially, Accra was not the most prominent trading centre; the trade hubs of the time were the ports at along with

the inland centres of Dodowa and Akusa to the east. However, Accra took on more importance serving as a centre for the slave trade with the Europeans who had built the nearby outposts of James Fort and Ussher Fort. By the 17th century, the Portuguese, followed by the Swedish, Dutch, French, British and Danish, had constructed forts in the town. Such activity went on in Accra until the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. In spite of the abolition of slave trade, the Europeans still did not want to let go till Kwame Nkrumah who is regarded as the father of the independence struggle in Africa successfully spearheaded the fight for independence and Ghana became the first nation in the region to gain independence. Till this day, The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park/ mausoleum stands as a symbol because a significant part of the proceedings on Independence Day took place in that location. On a typical day, tourists from all over the world flock to the Memorial Park to trace the pathway through which Kwame Nrumah and his associates walked through on Independence Day. Just beside the memorial park is the Cultural Centre. Lovely art pieces as well as traditional attires are sold within the vast complex. Actors and

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park at night

dancers meet regularly at the quadrangle on the east side of the building for rehearsals and artistic performances are also held intermittently. Sam Fiscian, the director of Visions Theatre Group, one of the oldest theatre groups in Ghana describes the venue this way “it is a convenient location for rehearsals as it is the hub of artistic activities in Ghana’ Accra is also known for its intellectual human resource potential as it is home to the famous University; University of Ghana which has most of its faculties in Legon and which is one of the most reputable universities in the world. The campus has an international flair as quite a number

of the students and academic population are foreign. Of this population, a significant number are Nigerians. For the students that want to unwind, after a day crammed with lectures, Adabraca which is quite close to Kwame Nkrumah Circle is the place to be as it is home to a number of Nightclubs and inexpensive open air eateries were mouth-watering delicacies like palaver sauce, kenke, okro stew, peppered steak and roast chicken are sold. For a city to truly be on the world map she has to have a variety of attractions and Accra is a city that has so many intriguing and undiscovered qualities that only a visit can unravel. Welcome to Accra! Akwaaba!


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LEISURE

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


Sport

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

April 6, 2013

41

ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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he African continent will be agog this weekend as clubs battle for the ticket of the next round of this year’s CAF Champions League. Rangers of Enugu and Kano Pillars are carrying Nigeria’s flag in the elite competition and will be in action. Rangers will be playing at home against Vital’O of Burundi tomorrow, while Pillars will be playing away to AC Leopards of Congo after winning the first leg 4-1 in Kano. Expressing what fans should expect tomorrow, Rangers’ midfielder, Ugonna Uzochukwu, said his side are focused on grabbing a convincing win against visiting Vital’O at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, after the first leg of the encounter on March 17 at the Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium, Bujumbura, Burundi ended in a barren draw. “We’re done with celebrations over the 3-1 league win against Kwara United and we’re back to intense training and preparation for the continental match against Vital’O of Burundi on Sunday. “Our focus is on the must-win-game. The game looks open following the first leg barren draw in Bujumbura but if you ask me, it’s closed and over for Vital’O because they will fall heavily in Enugu. The spirit in camp and among my colleagues is very high, so we’ll surely roast the visitors with goals,” the Nigerian defensive midfielder enthused. In the other CAF Champions League matches slated for this weekend, Dynamos of Zimbabwe will be searching for facesaving win when they host CA Bizertin of Tunisia at Rufaro Stadium in Harare, in a first round return leg match on Sunday. Zimbabwe’s most successful club in the competition is on the ropes and wobbling from a 3-0 bashing sustained in the first leg on March 17 in North Africa. However, Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa remains upbeat despite the poor build-

Rangers International FC set to crush Vital’O of Burundi in Enugu tomorrow.

Rangers, Pillars, others rumble in CAF Champions League up results before hosting the Tunisians. “All I can say is that we are prepared for the next game and like I said before, we have to go out there and psyche up the guys for us to have the goals coming,” Pasuwa said. In Garoua, Cameroon’s Cotonsport are favoured to reach the second round of the CAF Champions League when they host fellow West Africans AFAD Djekanou on Sunday afternoon. Cotonsport are in charge of the twolegged tie after winning 1-0 away to AFAD in Abidjan last month, thanks to Alexis Kada’s second-half strike. With a lead and an away goal to take into their home leg, the Camerounians are set to take the visitors to the cleaners. However, AFAD felt hard done by the first leg and will be determined to overturn the deficit despite having the disadvantage of playing away from home. The Ivorian side will look to take the game to Coton on their own home turf and they know that if they score the first goal of the game and level the tie at 1-1, it will put the contest right back on a knife edge. The winners of this tie will take on either Casa Sport of Senegal or Mali giants Stade Malien in the next round. Malien

NFF to meet next week over rift in Eagles P. 43

are favourites to progress, as they host the second leg this weekend with a 2-1 lead from the first match. Also, Esperance look set to wrap up their first round tie against Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto when they host the second leg in Tunis today. The ‘Blood and Gold’ defeated Primeiro 1-0 in Luanda in the first leg match played midway through last month, putting them in a hugely favourable position ahead of the return leg. Iheb Msakni scored the decisive goal for Esperance in the first match and will be keen to add to his tally this weekend when the Southern Africans head north to Tunisia. Esperance coach Maher Kanzari has urged his team not to take the challenge of Primeiro lightly despite the strong position they find themselves in, though he has emphasised his confidence that his charges will book a place in the second round. The winners of this clash will take on either Algeria’s JSM Bejaia or Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko in the second round. Their tie is locked at 0-0 after the first leg in Bejaia last month. Also Union Duoala have a mountain to climb when they host FUS Rabat look-

I will bring Hulk P. 44 Hogan, Undertaker to boost pro-wrestling in Nigeria –Mohammed

ing to overturn their 3-0 loss from the first leg of their last 32 CAF Champions League encounter. The match will take place on Sunday afternoon with kick-off at 4:30pm. Duoala will need to pull something quite drastic out of the hat should they turn over their deficit, but as it stands it is Rabat’s game to lose. Troubled El Merreikh battles for survival against Recreativo do Libolo. Libolo are on the verge of a giant-killing act in Sudan when they visit El Merreikh in the CAF Champions League today. The Angola club enjoys a 2-1 lead from their first round first leg meeting at home against El Merreikh played on March 17 in Calulo. Libolo coach Henrique Calisto admitted that the 2-1 win was not comfortable enough, especially after rallying from 1-0 down in the first half to secure the home win. Meanwhile Zamalek face a tricky trip away from home, after taking a narrow 1-0 win from the first leg in Alexandria to Kinshasa where the AS Vita Club will be the hosts in the return leg. And unless the Egyptians encouraged by their last league win over Ismaily buckle up, it could be a bumpy ride in the DR Congo today.

Barca lodge referee complaint to UEFA P. 45


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SPORT

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Taribo’s ‘age falsification’ raises questions

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t was India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who once said: “Evil unchecked grows; evil tolerated poisons the whole system.” This timeless truism throws light on the picture I want to paint in this week’s piece bordering on the recent age fraud allegation levelled against former Super Eagles rock-solid defender, Taribo West, by expresident of Partizan Belgrade, Zarko Zecevic. As a kicker, over the years, the issue of over age players representing the country in competitions has affected Nigeria’s image abroad and its football development. However, there have been serious moves made by few stakeholders of football in the country to expose this cankerworm, yet the issue has continued to haunt the fortunes of our football. Today, the issue of age falsification which has been seen as an African scourge in times past has spread to Asia, Europe and North America, where heavily bearded fathers masquerade as under-17s or under-20s in competitions. The most disturbing aspect is that we live in a society which condones this behaviour and everyone conveniently looks the other way, or grumbles inaudibly, so long as the youth teams keep doing well. In the private sector, this cankerworm is very potent, as ages are easily falsified by those looking for jobs and it goes unchecked because the society has failed to keep records. Even

HARD TACKLE with

Andrew Ekejiuba anelsports@yahoo.com those who can put a stop to this anomaly are the direct beneficiaries of this broken system. Coming back to the subject matter, Taribo’s age falsification allegation began on Wednesday with a foreign online media report credited to ex-president of Partizan Belgrade, Zarko Zecevic. Zecevic has revealed in that report that the former Nigeria centre half, now retired, joined Serbian team Partizan Belgrade in 2002 after leaving Derby County and told club bosses he was 28 when he was actually 40. As if that was not enough, he further accused Taribo of lying; saying the former defender with Derby County, Plymouth and Inter Milan was lying about his age. “He joined us saying he was 28. We only later found out he was 40, but he was still playing well so I don’t regret having him on the team,” Zecevic said. According to the Croatian media, the former defender known for his colourful hairstyles also lied when trying to join Croatia’s Rijeka club. At the age of 44, they said Taribo told club doctors he was only 32. And it was

08054103021

Taribo

only after an examination that the doctors raised suspicions with the club because Taribo’s knees suggested he was older. HT further garnered that Taribo wasn’t signed by the team, but later joined Plymouth and then Iranian side Paykan FC, where he ended his career at the age of 46 in 2008. Taribo who now works as a pastor in the ministry he started as a player expressed shock at the recent revelation this

way: “I don’t really know what they are talking about and that’s why I don’t really have anything much to say. But it is curious that they are raising such matter about 10 years after I left the place. Why was the matter not raised while I was there? Why talk about it long after I retired from the game,” Taribo said. From the foregoing, it is quite clear that between Zecevic and Taribo, one of them is feeding the world with lies on the true age of the ex-player. Why did it take long time for the expresident of Partizan Belgrade to come out with this shocker which is capable of rubbishing the image of the ex-international? Or was he reserving this issue for a future date with a purpose? Only time will tell. Looking at the other side of the coin, did Taribo really deceive Nigerians and the soccerloving world over his true age? I think, this is worth condemning because of the status of the former Nigerian soccer legend. Making it more scandalous is the fact that age cheating has destroyed our beautiful game and brought our youth football to its lowest ebb. Top among the negative aspects of playing with a falsified age is that the so-called promising footballers spend so much time playing for the national youth teams and when they are suppose to be ripe to play for the Super Eagles, they are already over age and cannot withstand the rigours of playing the round leather game. Aside the aforementioned, the careers of these players end

unceremoniously, thereby leaving them to lick their wounds and contend with the trauma that is associated with quitting a sport abruptly. And this is a great lesson for age cheats. Also, it was because of the activities of age cheats that the Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM) was inaugurated by the Sports Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, to revive sports from the grassroots and catch athletes young at their true ages. However, the absence of an authentic data bank, the connivance of cheating parents and sports administrators and the use of non-students in age grade international competitions has continued to aid age cheats. The most annoying aspect of this charade is that foreign clubs have continuously treated some of the country’s players with suspicions in this regard, but HT is glad that this is the first bold and direct accusation made against a Nigerian player which serves as a big lesson to all our footballers. Therefore, if Taribo sincerely wants to set the records straight on this burning issue, he should provide enough evidence to defend himself or forever remain quite over the matter. According to a popular adage; “One cannot run faster than his shadow, because the negative actions of the past will definitely catch up with the person.” Eradicating age cheats from our sports circle is a goal that Nigerians can reach and until those in charge of Nigerian sports understand this, we will continuously do ourselves a great disservice.

SPORT NEWS

NYSC inter platoon women volleyball ends in Lagos ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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latoon 9 has won the grand finale of the batch ‘A’ interplatoon women volleyball competition of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) sponsored by Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk at the Lagos orientation camp. The grand finale of the competition which took place recently had platoons 8 and 9 playing as finalists and the game ended 22 to 19, in favour of Platoon 9. The company rewarded the winners of the volleyball inter-platoon competition with N30, 000, N20, 000 and N10, 000 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions re-

spectively, among several other consolation prizes. Besides the volleyball match, Promasidor Nigeria had other competitions which included raffle draw and dancing competition for individual platoon members. Winners received various awards which included Cowbell travelling bags, electronic gadgets and Cowbell and Amila fabric materials among others. Brand Manager, Cowbell Chocolate, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Uche Nnalie encouraged the competitors to put in their best and that the company has been partnering with NYSC for five years, adding that, it is passionate about sport development in the country.

Gumel assures on beach volleyball IFEANYI EDUZOR

P L-R: Brand Manager, Promasidor Nigeria, Uche Nnalie, Media Purchasing, Manager, Promasidor Nigeria, Festus Akobundu, Captain Platoon 9 Female volley ball team, Okeke Cynthia Ujunwa and Camp Director 2013 Batch A Lagos State, Mrs Francisca Olaleye at the finals of the NYSC Lagos State Volley Ball Competition sponsored by Promasidor’s Cowbell Chocolate in Lagos recently.

“We have been partnering with NYSC for five years. Promasidor is the maker of Cowbell milk, the brand that is sponsoring the competition. We are passionate about sporting development,” he added. Earlier in her address

of welcome, Mrs. Francisca Olaleye, coordinator of the camp congratulated the finalists and welcomed everyone to the event. According to her the game of volleyball is one that takes people to places and also win laurels.

resident of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Alhaji Habu Gumel, has said that the second edition of the Samsung Electronics Beach Volleyball Championship which was held at Jabi Lake, Abuja is capable of uplifting the game in the country, even as he notes that the country boasts of talented beach volleyball players who when fully nurtured will be among the best in Africa According to him, the championship has not only enabled young talented Nigerians to showcase their talents, but has also enabled the federation take stock of its achievements in the game as well as discover areas of improvement for the proper

development of beach volleyball in the country. “I want to tell you that the just concluded beach volleyball championship helped greatly in creating awareness about the game as well as giving youths the opportunity to learn the basic principles of beach volleyball. “The championship has also helped to reposition volleyball development from the grassroots which is part of the objectives of the federation and we will continue to encourage such grassroots competitions as a way of developing the game,” he said. Meanwhile the National Sports Commission (NSC) has assured that beach volleyball would be included in the list of sports for the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Calabar, Cross River State.


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SPORT

April 6, 2013

43

Sharks owe Eguavoen ‘big bucks’

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igeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club, Sharks currently owe former technical adviser/head coach, Augustine Eguavoen N4.7m (about $27,750 USD), the ex-Nigerian international has revealed. Eguavoen resigned his appointment as Sharks gaffer shortly before the club’s Matchday 4 NPFL game against Gombe Unit-

Embattled Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo.

Christopher Green meets next week. A member of the committee, Paul Bassey, informed: “The list could be tweaked a bit when the technical sub-committee meets next week.” The NFF technical committee will be intervening in the recent rifts between Keshi and a few of his other players apart from Yobo. The row with Peter Odemwingie and Emmanuel Emenike will also be revisited by the football federation. Nigeria’s Super Eagles will make a trip to Nairobi to face Kenya on June 5 before moving to Windhoek for the Namibia tie seven days later in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. The African champions will take part in the Festival of Champions, the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil this June and will go up against Tahiti, Uruguay and world champions, Spain in the group stage.

he final of the Ladi Adebutu U-20 Football Competition holds tomorrow at the former Police College, Iperu Remo, Ogun State. The tournament, tagged ‘Ladi Adebutu Cup’, is sponsored by Chief Oladipupo Adebutu in his effort to develop grassroots football in the Ogun East District. Organising Committee member, Mr. Tope Oyekan, said in a statement yesterday that the competition featured teams from the Remo and Ijebu divisions who had earlier participated in the preliminary/ elimination stages. According to the statement, Remo Football Academy will meet Ingenious Football Club in the Sunday’s final. Father of the Day is the Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke Idowu Basibo (Odoru V), while Alhaja Mujidat Ogunnaike will be the Mother of the Day, as Engineer Adebayo Dayo will be Special Guest of Honour.

Bakare laments state of men’s basketball SAYO OGUNDEJI

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oach Ayo Bakare has called on the authorities charged with the administration of basketball in the country to do their best in ensuring that men’s basketball grows, adding that failure to do that would draw Nigeria back. Bakare who led Nigeria to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics stated this following the failure of the federation to commence the men’s local league which

has suffered a couple of postponements. The coach who lauded the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBF) for their efforts in repositioning the game in the country however urged the body to sort out any problem that might be facing the male league, saying failure to commence the league on time may affect the national team’s preparation for the Afrobasket tournament slated for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire later in August. “All we want is for the game of basketball to de-

ly and he received all his salaries until the day he threw in the towel,” Kpalukwu exclusively told supersport.com. Eguavoen has now moved to respond to the declarations by Kpalukwu insisting that he is currently owed by the club. “As I speak to you, I am being owed N4.7 million (about $27,750 USD), if we decide to follow the agree-

ment we reached on how much I will be paid over a 12-month period,” Eguavoen told supersport.com.

ANDREW EKEJIUBA

Airtel has sponsorship agreements in place with Manchester United and Arsenal to develop emerging soccer talent in Africa and utilize their globally recognizable brand assets to enhance youth related commercial activity. ARS has established itself as a strong feeder program for National teams’ coaches on the continent and a good number of the ARS alumni have been absorbed into Africa Premier League Clubs, as well as into their country’s national teams. George Ferreira, Vice President and COO of Samsung Electronics, Africa says: “Africa is the world’s youngest continent. The proportion of youth in the region is higher than on any other continent. And it keeps growing rapidly. The number of young people in Africa is forecast to double by 2045. “Our youth have the potential to be a great impetus for Africa’s development, provided that an appropriate investment in human capital is made. This investment will help spotlight Africa’s potential, and we are proud to be associated with such development.” Commenting on the

partnership, Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer for Airtel Africa said: “The collaboration with Samsung will transcend the commercial arena and enable the Airtel Rising Stars tournament achieve greater scale and long-term sustainability. The next season, which is now in its third year, starts at the end of April 2013. Airtel is already the largest supporter of youth soccer on the continent and together with Samsung; we will ensure it is not just the biggest, but also the most consistent supporter of grassroots football in Africa. It not only showcases talent but most importantly for us, enables the young boys and girls to experience fun and enjoyment.” The pan African tournament has yielded many success stories. Priscilla Okyere’s story is probably the most inspiring one. This teenager, who was discovered during the ARS tournament, is the current captain of Ghana’s Under-17 national girls’ team. She led her team to clinch the bronze medal at the 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.

Iperu Airtel, Samsung sign set for partnership to support ARS Adebutu Cup final

NFF to meet next week over rift in Eagles T T he Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is scheduled to meet next week in Abuja to settle rifts in the Super Eagles and possibly make slight changes to Stephen Keshi’s 30-man squad. Nigeria head coach, Keshi announced a 30man roster for the packed June schedule that will see the African champions play around 10 matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, FIFA Confederations Cup and friendly matches. The exclusion of skipper, Joseph Yobo, has led to the NFF president, Aminu Maigari directing the federation’s technical and development committee to intervene in the rift between Keshi and Yobo. Also the 30-man team announced on Thursday by Keshi will come under scrutiny when the NFF committee chaired by

ed on March 28. Following Eguavoen’s acrimonious departure from the club, the acting general manager of Sharks, Okey Kpalukwu declared that the former Super Eagles coach was paid over N4 million in the five months he spent at the club. “Eguavoen has collected over N4 million (about $25,316 USD) from Sharks. He has been paid regular-

velop in the country and all hands must be on deck to ensure that happens. “Therefore, the federation still needs to double their efforts so that Nigeria can be among the super powers in basketball in the nearest future. “We had a good outing last year as regards the Olympics and we must build on that performance, but the male league must start on time so that it will not affect the preparation for the next Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan,” Bakare said.

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irtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, a global leader in technology, has announced a partnership to support the largest under 17 grassroots tournament on the African continent, the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS). Under the multi-million dollar agreement, Samsung will also become the Official Device Partner of the ARS tournament. Working with various educational institutions in 17 English and French speaking countries, the youth soccer initiative involves over 18,000 teams and more than 400,000 young boys and girls across the continent. The initiative recorded a 65% growth in participation in 2012 and looks set to grow even larger. It is also supported by two of the biggest soccer clubs in the world; Arsenal FC and Manchester United; and aims to identify and nurture future talent in Africa.

Action recorded during last year’s Airtel Rising Stars tournament in Lagos.


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SPORT

April 6, 2013

I will bring Hulk Hogan, Undertaker to boost pro-wrestling in Nigeria –Mohammed Prince Hameed Olanrewaju Mohammed is the President of Nigeria (Pro) Wrestling Federation. Since his assumption of office last year, he has put modalities on ground to reposition the mats-man game in the country. In this interview with IFEANYI EDUZOR, he opens up on his plans for the sport and the programmes mapped out for the year.

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hat efforts have you been making to reposition professional wrestling in the country, since you emerged as the president of the Nigeria (Pro) Wrestling Federation last year? My coming into office was a result of the urge by wrestlers to have a new leadership that will breathe fresh air into professional wrestling in the country. Prior to that time there was a lot of distrust among professional wrestlers in the country. Initially, when some stakeholders in the profession approached me to take over the leadership, I was skeptical but after much persuasion, as a former wrestler who had wrestled in several continents of the world with a lot of experiences, I decided to take the appointment on an interim basis, so as to bring back confidence among the wrestlers before an election is organised. I am happy that the few months I have managed the Federation, we have been able to achieve a lot and now wrestlers are happy once again. As an interim president, when is your Federation planning to hold elections that will usher in a substantive executive body? Like I said earlier, the present executive of Nigeria (Pro) Wrestling Federation is an interim arrangement and as people who believe so much in democratic way of doing things, we do not intend to stay a day longer than necessary. Our tenure as an interim administration will elapse towards the end of this month and already, I have put machineries on ground for a successful election for the body because part of our mandate when we came on board was to revive wrestling and organise a credible election. I hope to set up an electoral committee latest by next week after which campaigns will start and I intend to offer myself for service to enable me complete the good work I started. You organised the first BRF Wrestlemania and followed it up with the second edition; how were you able to achieve this? I must have to tell you that the beginning of every enterprise is always dif-

ficult, but if you are creative and have God by your side, there is nothing you cannot achieve. The first Babatunde Raji Fashola Wrestling championship which we organised at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere Lagos was made possible through the financial and moral support of the Executive Governor of Lagos State. That championship enabled Nigerians to once again have the opportunity of watching live most of the dreaded wrestlers from Europe, America, Asia, Caribbean, and Africa and at the end of the day, the championship was won by Austrian Bambikiller. The success of that maiden competition encouraged us to organise the second edition last December which was also very successful and right now we are planning to organise another one in Edo, Rivers, Kwara, Osun, Imo, Niger, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and many other states. And in each of the hosting states, we are bringing in foreign wrestlers who will entertain Nigerians with the best form of wrestling. I have also concluded arrangements with world renowned wrestler, Undertaker, to be part of the forthcoming Governor Amaechi Wrestling Championship and he is expected to be received by the Lagos State Governor. His coming will not only help improve the game, but will encourage foreign investors to come to Nigeria. What plans have your federation put in place towards organising a successful Governor Rotimi Amaechi Wrestling Championship? The championship is on course and we are putting modalities on ground to ensure a successful tournament in all the six centres in Rivers State because we want to use it and say a big thank you to the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for his transformation agenda of the state. I am in contact with 22-time world champion, Hulk Hogan, as well as the President of Current World Wrestling Federation, Robert Edelhauser and the Secretary General, Christopher Roberts from Canada who will all serve as match commissioners in the tournament. The championship will also be spiced

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up with a beauty pageant that will attract contestants from about eleven countries. Also about 80 dancers from all the geopolitical zones of the country including popular musicians such as Seun Anikulapo Kuti, 9ice and D’Banj will entertain fans during the championship. So, we are really preparing and ready to go. Recently, your Federation announced plans to honour some governors, what criteria did you use to select those that will be honoured? The decision to honour some performing governors was arrived at after an extensive discussion by Nigerian professional wrestlers. When this decision was taken, we immediately sent an inspection team to all the states of the Federation without informing those states in order to avoid a situation where there will be compromises. And at the end of the day, based on the report of the inspection team, we decided to honour Governor Babatunde Fashola for transforming Lagos State to a mega city and Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for making Rivers State the Paris of Africa. We also went further to select Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole whose development projects made Edo people feel the impact of good governance since the creation of the state. The wrestlers also decided that Kwara State, Governor Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, created 2000 jobs in the state and deserves to be honoured while his Osun state counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola deserves an award because he has through his people-oriented projects, eradicated poverty in the state. In the case of Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, his decision to use his security vote to award free education from secondary to University level made him a choice for an award, while we also considered other state chief executives like Babangida Aliyu of Niger for his efforts at eradicating Almajiris in the state. Governors Ibikunle Amosu of Ogun, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa State as well as Senators Oluremi Tinubu and Chris Ngige among others are to be honoured too. Apart from these awards, we are also

Prince Mohammed

planning to organize wrestling championships in all the states that will involve world class wrestlers who will be performing in those states as our own way of saying thank you to the governors. What we are doing is to keep to the challenge given us by then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari who charged us on September 27, 1981 when he inaugurated our board to serve as watchdog over the governors and other public servants. Can you share with us some of your wrestling experiences? I have a very rich wrestling history experience. I was the former national Light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion as well as the former West African cruiserweight champion. Later, I became the Africa cruiserweight champion and Afro/Asian cruiserweight champion respectively. And after moving up in weight, I won the heavyweight title. I am not yet retired but because of my position which makes me to travel to all continent of the world, most of the time, I find it difficult to train because of my very tight schedule. But that does not mean I cannot fight again because once you are a champion, you are always a champion.

Prince Mohammed displaying some of the awards to be given to the governors.


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SPORT

April 6, 2013

Barca lodge referee complaint to UEFA

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arcelona have lodged a formal complaint with UEFA about the refereeing of Wolfgang Stark in Tuesday’s Champions League draw at Paris St Germain. Barca were unhappy with Stark’s handling of the game and claimed the official ‘did not know the rules of the game’ after he allowed play to continue when Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba collided and were both lying prone on the ground in the penalty area. Regulations state that play should stop in that instance, while the official also allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first goal to stand when it appeared he was offside. “The club has written to UEFA due to a series of incidents on the pitch in the understanding that objectively speaking it was evident that the

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ack Wilshere and Theo Walcott may feature in Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Norwich city next weekend. Wilshere, who only returned from a 17-month injury-enforced lay-off in October, has been out since the 2-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 3 March because of an ankle problem, while Walcott has been sidelined since incurring a hip/thigh injury while on England duty in the build up to last month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro. Wolfgang Stark (right) is the subject of complaint from Barcelona.

referee did not apply the rules of the game,” Barca spokesman Toni Freixa told a news conference after a meeting of the club’s board on Thursday. “When two players from the same team are on the floor the referee should stop the match,

which did not happen. “What’s more he then obliged them to leave the pitch, in contravention of the rules. “An incident that is sufficiently serious in a competition like the Champions League to bring to UEFA’s attention so that it

City - they’ll want to come and derail us for a spell. I can understand their motivation - we’d probably have the same thing,” Ferguson said. Robin van Persie is likely to continue in attack despite a goal drought stretching back nine club games. Ferguson, who was a striker during his playing career, said: “The goals will come. All strikers have little dry spells. You have to get through that period and not lose your faith and belief in yourself. “My dad always used to say ‘make sure you batter the ball, don’t tap it or try and side-foot it into the net’. “That’s what I always tell strikers too. If the goalkeeper saves it, you can say what a great save. But if you try to side-foot it and the keeper catches it easily you get criticised.”

does not happen again.” Freixa added: “We are fully conscious of the possibility of errors in refereeing and we do not consider ourselves badly treated. But it surprises us that in a high-level competition a referee does not know the rules. “

Benitez

turn leg in Russia. The goals doubled the Spaniard’s tally for 2013 and came as a relief to his fellow Spaniard Benitez. Benitez said: “We could see today the confidence that he can work hard, so physically he is fine. I think he will play well and score goals until the end of the season.” Torres’ goals could prove invaluable if Benitez’s temporary reign in west London is to end in trophy-lifting success.

Walcott

Rodgers to decide Carroll future

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rendan Rogers says Liverpool will decide if Andy Carroll has a future at Liverpool at the end of the season. Carroll, who is currently on loan at West Ham, signed for Liverpool on transfer deadline day in

January 2011 for £35 million from Newcastle, becoming Liverpool’s most expensive signing, however, the striker’s career at Anfield has failed to ignite with the striker only scoring a total of 11 goals in almost 60 appearances.

Redknapp vows to turn down England offer Roy Hodgson.

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helsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has backed Fernando Torres to kick on after scoring twice in the UEFA Europa League win against Rubin Kazan. The 29-year-old has often looked burdened by his £50million price tag, but on Thursday night, he showed glimpses of his old self in the Blues’ 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge. Torres’ determination allowed him to prod Chelsea ahead 16 minutes in, with Victor Moses doubling their advantage soon after. Bebras Natcho’s spotkick brought Rubin back into the match, only for a fine Torres header to restore Chelsea’s two-goal cushion ahead of the re-

PR boss Harry Redknapp insists he would turn down any approach to manage England and blames his contract at Tottenham for his failure to succeed Fabio Capello. Redknapp was the strong favourite to fill a post he had long coveted when Capello resigned in February last year, only for the Football Association to appoint

The 66-year-old QPR manager, who was sacked by Tottenham in June after failing to agree a new contract, believes the cost of luring him from White Hart Lane convinced the FA to look elsewhere. “I wouldn’t take it (the England job) now, no. Not now, not in the future. “That was my time, really, if I was going to get it.

SWP undergoes ankle operation

TEAM

P

GD

PTS

1. Man Utd

30

39

77

2. Man City

30

29

62

3. Tottenham

31

15

57

4. Chelsea

30

27

55

5. Arsenal

30

26

53

6. Everton

30

12

51

7. Liverpool

31

19

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PR winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has undergone an operation on his injured ankle. WrightPhillips, who last played on 9 March, uploaded a photo to his Twitter page which showed a heavilybandaged right ankle.

Wright-Phillips

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

8. West Brom

31

0

44

9. Swansea

31

1

40

10. Fulham

30

-3

39

11. West Ham

30

-9

36

12. Southampton

31

-9

34

13. Stoke

31

-9

34

14. Norwich

31

-19

34

15. Newcastle

31

15

33

16. Sunderland

31

-10

31

17. Wigan

30

-20

30

18. Aston Villa

31

-26

30

19. QPR

31

-23

23

20. Reading

31

-25

23

Rennes midfielder Diarra targets win over PSG

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Ferguson

EURO BRIEF Wilshere, Walcott boost Arsenal

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Fergie expects ‘intense’ Benitez: Torres set Manchester derby for goal run

ir Alex Ferguson is certain that Monday night’s Manchester derby will be an intense affair, despite the gap at the top of the Premier League table. Manchester City have failed to mount a convincing defence of their first Premier League title and go to Old Trafford 15 points behind bitter rivals United. Victory would leave United needing just four points from seven games to guarantee a 20th English championship but, according to Ferguson, the derby is still the only show in town. “There will still be a great intensity about the game. It will be shown all over the world. “That does seep into the fabric of what the game will be like for both teams. You can’t dismiss that. “It’ll be a big game for

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ennes midfielder Alou Diarra has targeted a return to winning ways against Ligue 1 leaders Paris SaintGermain today. Frederic Antonetti’s side have lost their last two games and lie 10th in the standings ahead of the visit of the table-topping capital club, who drew 2-2 with Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Diarra accepts his side have a massive task today on their hands, but is hopeful they can stop the rot. “This is a game that all players dream of playing,” he said at a press conference on Thursday. “Today, Paris is the best team in the league and they have shown that since the beginning of the season. “They have world-class players in their team and can even compete with Bar-

ca. They have become a toplevel team. “While being realistic, we want to stop this spiral of defeats. We must quickly stop because we have important games ahead. “We have to prepare for the Coupe de la Ligue final. This requires good matches in the league. Against the best team in the league, a televised game in a full stadium, I think the conditions are set for a great game.”

Rennes centre-back John Mensah, who has not played for the Breton club since his January arrival due to back and thigh problems, looks set to miss out again - this time with a hamstring injury. Kevin Theophile-Catherine has been suffering from tendinitis in his right foot and is also doubtful, but fellow defender Herita Ilunga is available again after a month out.


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April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘We are bringing agric into capital market’

breed from different countries like Brazil, Australian. Lack of infrastructure challenge is also there in terms of power and roads from our farm to the market place.

Alhaji Tafida Isa Mafindi, is the Chief Executive Officer of Famag-Jal Nigeria, one of the largest and modern cattle farms in Africa. He is a chartered accountant and former general manager of Audit, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA). In this interview with STANLEY IHEDIGBO, he speaks on abattoir project, development of agriculture in the country and other sundry matters. Excerpts:

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ou are reputed to be one of the largest cattle farmers in Africa. How did it start? I brought about the change in value chain, practices of high level and private sector driven operations of cattle farming in the country. And my recent visit to Lagos was to see another option of how agriculture could be financed on long term bases. Whatever government tried to make for what is budgeted for, their priority is always on the current expenditure and agriculture is purely on capital expenditure, so when there is no enough money, the current expenditure will be settled while the capital is left for whatever is available. Because of this, almost 80 percent that was budgeted is not applied. The only way agriculture gets finance in Nigeria is through banks. The banks get their monies on short term bases; they collect deposit for customers, maximum of one year to two years. And you don’t expect somebody who will pay back in a year or two years to lend money to someone who will pay in 10 years time. It is not possible. So to get alternative ways like other countries in the world do to finance agriculture, was the reason why I came to participate at the Securities Exchange Commission event. The main purpose and the aim were to see how, the capital market, which is the bedrock of finance in capitalism could be applied in agriculture. Do you really believe that all that was discussed about financing farming at the meeting with the Agriculture Minister and the Securities and Exchanges Commission, Director General, will yield

Mafindi

the expected result in the nearest future in the country? Whatever we did there was laying the foundation for the take-off and we had very good deliberations. Other successful farmers were there to testify that agriculture is the only way to create massive wealth and employment for Nigerians, if farming is well financed. We also heard from the finance experts too what finance option that is available for the farmers in the country. Because we have seen countries like the United States, that have agriculture finance associations that took over from banks. We have seen the Agriculture Bank of China, and today it is the biggest bank in the world. The Minister of Agriculture promised to reorganise the Nigerian Agricultural Bank by bringing long term funds and funding partners from Europe, getting them to restructure the bank, so that they can have a pool of fund that can go over a long period of time financing agriculture in the country. I will say it is an achievement if something like that happens, because whatever we call potential is always here, but it is not utilized because of lack of fund.

to cattle farming. And our target is to try to have outlets in various states of the federation and reduce the incident of people moving cattle from one place to another in the country. Also to process meat in a more hygiene environment and well packaged for human consumption.

How long have you being farming? I started farming in 1975 and I have taken the value chain through bringing people together, from organising local farmers to produce rice, maize, corns and the by-products, we milled it to feed our cattle. These cattle provide us the opportunity to build an international standard abattoir which will add value

What are the challenges of a modern cattle farmer? One of my challenges is modality. As people are increasing in number in Nigeria, the fallow grass reserve is being reduced. So we have to get land and plant grass, harvest the grass and settle our cattle in one place. Another one is modernising the cattle by bringing across

As an accountant, what really motivated you to go into farming, precisely cattle farming? Yes, I am an accountant as well as a farmer; the farming I am doing is cattle rearing, as a Fulani man by tribe, cattle farming is our culture. The only difference is that my type of cattle rearing has taken it to a level of modern system. And the people, who you see in the bush or in the cities most cases with cattle, are not the real owners of the cattle they are carrying alone. The real owners are in the public offices, private offices doing their job while, their cattle are managed for them by the people who you see every day. So, that was how I started my farming until I retired from public service and went into full time as a cattle farmer.

Cattle farming is capital intensive; how do you get funds? We borrowed from banks. We are into rural mobilisation. We entered into agreement with First Bank, whereby, soft loans are given to farmers like N500, 000, and then we manage the money for them. This allows the farmers to expand their farms. We monitor them to get the right equipment, the right crops to plant, we monitor them till harvest and we help them to store, also market their products and pay the bank loans. When we started, there were people who started with N500, 000. Today, they are worth over N10 million. It all depends on individual effort; because we are moving with the trend. Through the programme, some farmers upgraded to commercial agriculture. Then, with that status, we went to the First Bank, got some money to put into our system, to build one of the largest abattoirs in Africa. How feasible is the commissioning of the abattoir in two months time as announced by the Minister of Agriculture? What is its cost? The abattoir will be ready very soon and it is part of the effort of the rural mobilisation programme we initiated, the contribution of the local farmers which today are commercial agriculture farmers. With that, we approached the First bank to borrow some money to put into our system to build the abattoir. The abattoir with 8 of 20 metric tons fridges, capable to absorb over one thousand cattle, with a heavy equipment that make slaughter of the cattle so easy, hygienic. And that has been my dream: to provide a highly hygienic meat for Nigerians. We only borrowed about N300 million to make up the balance of N1billion from First Bank. So, it is not an individual that brought the money, it is a group thing. What measures are in place to export your products to the international market? Since we went online to tell the world, this is what we are doing, we have been receiving inquiries, people expressing their interests and some come to see the quality of what we are doing. Some are assuring us of their readiness to partner with us. Also they want to be our distributors. I believe that, whatever you are doing and you are doing it very well, people will surely look for you.


Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

April 6, 2013

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t is estimated that 30 per cent of the cassava tubers are lost as waste due to none processing and preservation mechanisms in Nigeria. One of the more acceptable means of preserving tubers is to convert them to cassava flour. The traditional processing method is out modelled, laborious and grossly inefficient for mass production of quality cassava flour to satisfy the local demand by local industries and make room for the export market to earn foreign exchange. The Federal Government has given flour mills and bakeries in the country up to 10 months to transit from wheat to cassava flour as the major inputs in production According to the 2012 budget, the Federal Government wants to develop cassava production and processing in the country. As a result, cassava flour producing equipment importation into the country is now duty free. Also, importation of agricultural machinery and equipment will attract zero duty as well. Therefore 2012 will be a good year for investment into agriculture. In this investment profile, we shall discuss how to make profitable investment into cassava production and processing into quality and internationally acceptable cassava flour. Cassava flour is acceptable among Africans, Asians and some other parts of the world as raw materials in bakeries. Just like Semovita, Semolina etc, it is also eaten as food by many. Pharmaceutical companies also use it as a raw material. Its processing increases its shelf life, adds value to the cassava tubers (from where they are processed) before being exported to enhance its economic value, reduces waste and cuts down the cost of transporting the product to longer distances compared with the heavy wet cassava tubers that are unprocessed. The fact that this can be preserved helps to stabilise prices during off harvest season. The setting up of this project is seen to be feasible, considering the following

Technical considerations The most important thing to put into consideration when going into this project is quality. The quality of cassava flour has a great role to play in its acceptability and applications within and outside Nigeria. Most producers of cassava flour in Nigeria are victims of this. They ignore quality standard and in the long run, their products are turned down by flour mills in Nigeria and outside. The plant aimed here will be able to produce and package quality finished products for export. Its rated capacity is 5,000 metric tones of well packaged cassava flour per year (eight hours per day of 250 days in a year after allowing about 2.5 per cent waste).This implies

Cassava flour as cash cow

bility of the plant site to urban areas/ markets both for local consumption and export. To accommodate the plant, one needs a large building with an area of about 1,500M2.

The market for cassava flour The market is both local and international. The later should be targeted where there is preponderance of inhabitants of Africans in Europe, America and Asian countries. Based on research, some marketing points internationally have been established and would be given to prospective investors. The factors that have positively affected the demand for this product include the prevalence of foreign exchange crunch, habit/culture, the increase in population of the country, the fact that its consumption cuts across demographic classes, income levels and religious boundaries.

Production process Briefly the processes involved in cassava flour production are (1) Procurement of good quality tubers, their weighing and washing. (2) Peeling the washed tubers (3) Grinding of the peeled tubers into pulp. (4) Drying of the ground cassava pulp (5) Milling of the dried pulp (6) Sieving to avoid having lumps when being prepared for eating (7) Bagging and packaging (2kg, 5kg, 10kg, 25kg and 50kg). Details of the standard required in the international market will be given to prospective investors. a capacity of about 20tones per day. The conversion ratio of raw cassava tubers to flour is 3:1. This means that about 1,500MT of raw cassava tubers will be needed per day, working at full capacity.

The machinery and equipment needed to process cassava flour are (a) Cassava peeler (could be done manually) (b) Boiler (c) Grater (d) Flash dryer (e) International standard scale (f) Automatic sealing machine (g) Packaging machine All the above machines and processing technology can be obtained locally. The machines apart from being obtained locally can also be imported. The addresses of where to obtain both locally made machines and imported ones will be given to prospective investors on getting across to the writer.

Raw materials The raw materials needed are cassava

tubers. These are obtainable from farms cultivated by plantations, small holders and co-operative farmers. There is abundant cassava grown in this country. Nigeria is the world’s largest producers of cassava with over six million metric tonnes per annum; of this output only about 5 per cent is put into industrial use by way of chips and flour. Almost all states of the federation grows cassava.

Location The best place to locate this project is the area where cassava tubers are obtained in abundance. Cassava tubers are heavy and so transport expenses would be reduced if the project is located in areas where they are grown in abundance, hence it can be sited in any part of the country. Other factors to consider include: (a) Availability of labour and raw materials in commercial quantity. (b) Availability of infrastructural facilities (water, power, access road etc). Export processing zones will be most ideal for setting up this project, if it is basically for export. (c) Ease or otherwise of the accessi-

Cost and funding The project can be set up with minimum of N10.5 million using locally made machines. It will be more if imported machines are to be applied. In terms of funding there are some institutions in the country that are interested in the funding of this type of projects. Details will be given to prospective investors

Investment analysis The project is very profitable. With aggressive marketing strategies, good management that is export oriented, the payback period would be less than two years. The return on investment is very encouraging at over 58 per cent. Details will be given to prospective investors. For detailed information on export market, comprehensive and bankable feasibility studies/ report, sourcing of the required funds, please contact the writer

Courtesy: Uba Godwin, ubagodwin@yahoo.com


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April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ekejiuba

‘Sportswear business is capital intensive’ IFEANYI EDUZOR

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n Nigeria today where the level of unemployment is assuming an alarming proportion and many graduates roam the streets looking for non-existing white collar jobs, few youths have taken the bull by the horn, going into private business. Not only have their businesses blossomed, they have also become employers of labour. One of these few Nigerians is Cajetan Ekejiuba the Chief Executive Officer of CEEJAY Sports Company with head office at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Ekejiuba started his business in 2001 after serving his elder brother as an apprentice for nine years. He recalled that immediately he finished secondary school, he joined his brother in sportswear business where he learnt the rudiments of the trade. Upon completion of his internship, he opened a modest shop at the National Stadium. This later grew into one of the biggest sports shops in the city. He was, however, quick to point out that the business is capital intensive. According to the Ideato, Imo Stateborn businessman, whose two shops at the stadium are stocked with assorted types of sports wears and keep-fit machines, patronage used to be high in the past, but the recent economic downturn has affected the business. He lamented that even football club sides that used to spend so much money on sportswear for their teams in the past now cajole their players to provide their

own jerseys and boots. “In the past, sportswear business was booming and the business was good, but the poor economic situation of the country has affected our daily sales. “These days, we find it difficult to record many sales because the purchasing power of the people is very low. But we believe God that things will improve to enable small scale businesses thrive, thereby creating employment opportunities for many Nigerians,” he added. Speaking on the effect of the Super Eagles victory on their business, the young entrepreneur noted that, like most Nigerians he did not give the Coach Stephen Keshi-led Super Eagles chance to lift the trophy. Ekejiuba added that the circumstances surrounding the team’s preparation for the 2013 AFCON 2013 were not encouraging hence they never prepared souvenirs or branded T -shirts of the victorious team which would have increased their sales. Apart from the aforementioned, he complained that during the last National Sports Festival which was hosted by Lagos State, he and his colleagues thought that they will witness business boom, but all that never happened as many states did not release enough money for their athletes to buy quality materials for the festival. “Super Eagles victory at the last Nations Cup took all of us by surprise because many Nigerians never gave them a chance to lift the trophy and this contributed to our not preparing such items as Nigerian flags, jerseys, T- shirts and other souvenirs in large quantities because

PEOPLE WILL PATRONISE YOU MORE WHEN THEY DISCOVER THAT YOU ONLY SELL QUALITY MATERIALS it is only when people have confidence in their team that they will buy such items. “The last sports festival also did not help matters; it did not have much effect on our sales probably because of the poor economic situation of the country,” he said with a tinge of regret. The emerging business guru while lamenting the cost of purchasing their goods noted that most of their materials are imported from China because it is cheaper than locally produced ones. He however expressed regrets that they pay between 20- 50 percent import duties on these goods with an appeal to the Federal Government to reduce the duties paid on sports equipment as a way of developing sports in the country. “Most of our goods are imported from China because the cost of production and labour is cheaper there than in Nigeria. Aside that, most companies in Nigeria have closed shop because of high cost of production caused by epileptic power supply and even the few ones that are still managing to produce sell their goods at a very high price in order to remain in business. “We decided to be buying our goods in China because it is cheaper to produce there, but the high cost of custom duties

and sundry charges by other security agents before these goods get from the airport or seaports to our shops are very exorbitant,” he stated. Ekejiuba, who said he has no regrets going into sportswear business, noted that the satisfaction of his customers is his greatest priority, explaining that since he ventured into the business more than a decade ago, he always ensured his customers get the best service, as that will encourage more patronage especially in an open market economy like Nigeria. “My greatest principle since I started my business more than a decade ago is to satisfy my customers and I have been doing that, ensuring that we sell the best quality materials at all time. “We have to do this so as to get the confidence of the customers especially when you consider that there is a lot of competition in the business and people will only patronise you more when they discover that you only sell quality materials,” he concluded. On his advice for a new comer to the business, he stated that every businessman has its own mode of operation and as such any person aspiring to go into sportswear business must be ready to be under the tutelage of another person for at least one year to enable him understand its dynamics. The person should also understand that it is capital intensive because he needs to have assorted types of sport equipment to attract customers. He however insisted that prudent management of resources can do the magic for a new entrant in the business.


Crime Watch Crime Watch P. 51 Man dumps 8-yr-old grandson in well

BRIEFS

Man, 62, docked for alleged N3.8m fraud

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man, Chidi Njoku, who allegedly obtained N3.8 million under false pretences, was on Friday charged before an Apapa Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. Njoku, 62, of 14, Falodun St., Amukoko-Apapa, Lagos, is standing trial on a one-count charge of obtaining money under false pretence. The prosecutor, Soji Ojaokomo, told the court that the accused collected the money from a businessman, Mr Lukman Bwala, under the pretext of helping him to clear four containers from the Tin Can Port, Apapa, Lagos. Ojaokomo explained that the accused, who claimed to be a clearing agent, had on Nov. 28, 2012 collected the sum of N3.8 million from the complainant to help him clear four containers from the port. ``The accused, after collecting the money, failed to clear the containers from the port or refund the money to the complainant,” he said. Ojaokomo said the matter was reported to the police and Njoku was arrested. He said the offence contravened Section 467 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

Suspect remanded in prison for allegedly defiling minor

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Senior Magistrates’ Court at Karu in Abuja on Friday remanded one Hussaini Gambo, 61, in prison for allegedly defiling a minor. Gambo is facing a one-count charge of defiling a five-year old daughter of his neighbour in March. The Prosecutor, Adams Peter, told the court that the matter was reported at the Maitama Police Station and later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja. ``The accused went to seek employment as a cleaner with the father of the minor, Adamu Hussaini, ``While waiting to be attended to, he saw the little girl, called and asked her in Hausa if she knew what her private part was called in English language. ``The girl said she did not know. The accused held her, removed her pant and placed her on his laps and inserted his penis into her private part. ``He was caught in the act by a passingby who raised an alarm. He was arrested and handed over to the police,’’ Peter said. The prosecutor added that the accused confessed to have committed the offence during police investigation. The offence, according to Peter, is punishable as it contravened the provision of sections 31(1) and (2) of the Child Rights Act of the Federation of 2004.

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Love Triangle

Woman butchers husband over plans to take second wife If Kingsley Wobo had known how things would turn out, perhaps he wouldn’t have planned taking a second wife. Now, he is dead: butchered by his own wife. PAUL OBIAJUNWO PORT HARCOURT

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or allegedly planning to take in a woman he impregnated as a second wife, a contractor with Agip Oil Company, Kingsley Wobo, has been poisoned and stabbed to death by his 36 years old wife, Charity Wobo. However, the woman who took to her heels immediately the deed was done has been apprehended by the police. Charity allegedly killed her husband at Mgboshimini community in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State where the family resides. A source from the family said the deceased, Wobo, had concluded plans to bring the new wife who is now pregnant for him into his matrimonial home before he met his untimely death. The source said: “I am Peter’s best friend, what happened is that there was a mistake somewhere and a lady decided to get pregnant for my friend. And after due consultations, he decided to inform his wife about what happened and that was the genesis of the family’s problem. “Instead of planning with the husband how to resolve the issue she was staging daily quarrel and attack on the husband, calling the husband evil. Who is evil now, a woman who poisoned her husband and still tortured him to death?” Some of the eye witnesses who spoke with ThePost said the house maid alerted neighbours when the suspect was stabbing her unconscious husband to death. Mrs. Igbokwe Onyeka, a neighbour to the family, said: “The family has been quarrelling over the issue of taking a second wife and we didn’t know that Charity would have the mind to poison the husband and then stab him to death. “When the husband came back from

Wobo

work, he entered the house and we didn’t hear any quarrel as usual but later we saw the house maid running out of the house with blood stain all over her body. That was how we noticed that something was wrong.” Speaking with ThePost, the house maid, a 19-year-old girl who simply gave her name as Loveth said she saw the aunty adding something that looks like salt inside her husband’s food. “I was the one who served the food to my aunt’s husband but my aunt added something that looks like salt and mixed it together. So when Oga came back and started eating his food I was monitoring him but after 30 minutes he started behaving strange and fell off from the dining chair and started rolling on the floor shouting for help, that was when my aunt came and started stabbing him till he gave up”. The suspect fled the scene of the incident as soon as the maid raised the alarm while the remains of the deceased had

been deposited at the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital Mortuary, Port Harcourt. However, the police who initially declared a manhunt for the killer have apprehended her. She is now helping them unravel the riddles surrounding her action. A reliable source from the deceased’s family and State Criminal Investigative Department said the police arrested Charity and handed her over to the SCID who is currently investigating the cause of the crime and what transpired on the night the deceased was killed. The source also disclosed that the suspect had made confessional statement on how her husband was stabbed to death by her brothers, a decision she claimed was influenced by the devil. When ThePost visited the elder brother of the deceased who simply identified himself as Mr. Wobo, he said one of the suspects who stabbed his brother to death had been arrested by the police with the deceased’s three mobile phones found on him. He explained that the phones found on the suspect gave him away when he visited the police station to see his sister, the deceased’s wife. The daughter of the deceased who had noticed his face the night the father was killed ordered the police to arrest him and the late father’s phones were found on him. Wobo said he was confident that the police would do justice to the killing of his late brother whom he said was a complete gentleman. “You need to see the shame the day she was brought to the family by the police, market women attempted to descend on the police van to attack her, they actually cast stones at her. As far as the women of Mboshimini are concerned, they will not forgive her for the evil deed”, Wobo added. •Culled from ThePost

Police arraign student for attempting to steal tricycle

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he police on Friday arraigned a student, Mohammed Abubakar, 29, of Karmo village before an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court for attempting to steal a tricycle. Abubakar is standing trail on a twocount charge of attempting to commit offence of theft and joint act. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Simon Emmanuel, told the court that on April 1, the accused and two others now at large, bur-

gled the house of one Abdullahi Yusuf and wheeled out his tricycle. Emmanuel said that while the three suspects were wheeling out the tricycle, they were sighted by people in the neighbourhood who raised alarm. He said that the suspects escaped, adding that Abubakar was eventually arrested and handed over to a police patrol team. He said that the offence contravened Section 95 and 79 of the Panel Code.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge. Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Illelah granted bail to the accused person in the sum of N20, 000 and one surety in like sum. He ordered that the surety must have a defined work and home address and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. Illelah, however, adjourned the case to April 15, 2013, for further hearing.

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CRIME WATCH

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Five men gang-rape vegetable seller Evelyn is known by friends and colleagues to be hard-working. She sells vegetable. On one of her numerous trips in search of her livelihood, she was manhandled and raped by five hoodlums in the presence of her friends. How did it happen? SEGUN ADIO

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five-man gang of robbers allegedly forcefully had canal knowledge of a vegetable seller simply identified as Evelyn. She was allegedly sexually assaulted in the presence of her two colleagues. Evelyn, a resident of Ojo area of Lagos State was at back of a church along railways line, in Oyingbo area. It is the practice of those in that trade to pass the night at an open space in the area, while waiting for the trucks that convey the commodity from other states in the country. The purpose was to get the freshest of vegetables to sell the following day. Evelyn, 28, who had reportedly been in the trade in the last five years, usually joins her colleague in the vigil waiting for the trucks. If she lacks anything, Evelyn does not lack beauty. She is a beauty to behold. It was the usual routine she went for when she encountered the unexpected. In the early hours of Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Evelyn, as usual was among the horde of traders waiting for the truck bringing vegetable into the market. That day, the truck delayed a bit before it came. Around 12:30a.m, Evelyn told two of her colleagues that she wanted to have a stroll down the sparsely busied street, hoping to have something to eat. The two friends reportedly joined her. The three traders trekked some five minutes down the railway line and they came to the kiosk where fried breads and eggs are sold. The kiosk was owned and manned by a Hausa trader. The three women therefore settled down at the grocer’s kiosk and ordered for food to be taken back to their temporary abode. While the grocer was busy frying the eggs, the suspected robbers/rapists

Rape victim

stormed the kiosk, launched an attack on the man. The bread seller was reportedly beaten to a stupor by two of the robbers while the three of them swooped on the three women. While two of the women managed to wriggle out from the claws of the suspected robbers, Evelyn was not as lucky for she was reportedly haggling with the grocer over the price of meal in the innermost part of the shop when the hoodlums struck. It was reported that the five men dragged Evelyn out of the shop and whisked her to a corner close by and where they took turn to rape her while the bread seller wriggled in pain on the floor

of his kiosk. In the end, the grocer was reportedly robbed of a lot of cash and mobile telephone sets. The two women also lost their GSM handsets while Evelyn also reportedly lost some money to the robbers. But rescue came the way of the raped woman when her two friends who raced out of the place ran to Denton Police Station to lodge a complaint of what had just happened. The noise of the two women and Evelyn herself, probably drew the attention of men of the vigilance group patrolling the area to the scene of the rape. The vigilance group reportedly swooped on the robbers cum rapists and engaged them in a fight.

Four members of the gang were later identified to be Saidi, Jamiu, Kashimawo and Atoba. In the end, Evelyn was rescued while three of the rapists were apprehended and handed over to the police at Iponri Police Division. Evelyn managed to narrate her ordeal in the hands of the rapists thus: “I have never experienced this in my life. Two of my colleagues and I, while waiting for the truck to bring the vegetable were hungry and decided to take a walk down the railway line, knowing it is always a beehive of activities at that time of the day. “While we were there waiting for the Mallam to fry the egg, we just saw these men walked in and we thought they also wanted to buy something. The next thing we saw was that they started beating the Mallam while some of them dashed towards me and grabbed me. “My other colleagues were lucky to flee the scene but because I was negotiating with the Mallam right inside the kiosk, I was not so lucky. That was how the men dragged me with them and carried me to one corner and raped me.” Speaking on the development, Agbodemu Ishola Musbau, a community leader and head of the vigilance group that apprehended the rapists, claimed that the rapists/robbers were members of the notorious gang that has been terrorising the community in the past couple of weeks. His words: “We members of the vigilance group are sure that the men we apprehended live in the community and they are the ones that have been terrorising the area for some time now.” Saturday Mirror could not get the comment of the Denton Police Station as its Divisional Police Officer was said to be away while none of his subordinates was ready to speak with the press.

Spiritualist, family escape death from suspected assassins SEGUN ADIO

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hat Alhaji Hassan Ibrahim, a notable spiritualist and businessman in Lagos Mainland, his wife and four children are still alive today could be ascribed to the intervention of the men of the Rapid Response Squad, men of the State CID, Panti and members of the vigilance group operating in the area. But for this, probably the entire family might have been wiped out by suspected armed robbers. Dead in the night of last Wednesday, 3 April, 2013, a five-man gang of suspected robbers stormed the 13A, Old Yaba Road Street residence of the Ibrahims when they were all deep in sleep. Ibrahim lives with his family in the two storey building. Being a spiritual person, he reportedly always says his prayers into the early hours of the morning before he going to bed. Ibrahim was offering his prayers around

3am, when he suddenly noticed strange movements on the first floor of the house. Immediately, he became alert and reportedly switched off the main switch of the entire building. While Ibrahim was trying to wake his family to intimate them of the invasion of their compound, three members of the gang broke some windowpanes but were prevented by the thick iron burglar proof inside. Believing that he would be safe in the hands of his father, one of Ibrahim’s children reportedly jumped onto the man’s neck crying at the top of his voice, while other members of the family hid round the apartment. Following the sound of the boy’s cry, the assailants noticed where the landlord was hiding and chased him there. On sighting father and child, the suspected leader of the gang reportedly ordered Ibrahim to open the door for them, threatening to open fire at them if he refused. Narrating his experience to Saturday

Mirror on phone, Alhaji Ibrahim claimed the assailant did shoot at him and his son. “I was rounding off my prayers when I started hearing footsteps on the balcony of the first floor of my house,. When I looked outside I saw people with guns and other weapons and I knew they were not friends. “I then woke my wife and children to get prepared for the worst. I asked my wife to start making phone calls to the RRS people at Panti and some known members of the vigilance group. While that was going on, they called me to open the door threatening that they would shoot me if I refused. I did not answer them but I held unto my child in my hand,” Ibrahim told Saturday Mirror. The robbers reportedly wanted to force their way in by trying to force the burglar proof iron rods, but they were cut short in their ambition by the sound of the siren from the RRS van advancing towards the area. It was reported that the robbers scampered for safety by scaling the fence of the

building and disappearing into the night. By the time the RRS squad, vigilance group and men from Panti arrived the scene of the incident, two handsets of the robbers were found on the floor where they stood. It was said that the handsets dropped by the assailants were taken away by men of the State CID, who reportedly called some numbers there which showed that the assailants were some bad boys resident in the area. A resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Saturday Mirror that the gunshots from the suspected robbers sent many residents in the street scampering for safety in their abodes. The middle aged man said, “What I thought initially was that the vigilance group came to greet Alhaji, but when the gun was fired, I knew we were in for trouble. It was a bad day for residents of the street. At the end of the day, the arrival of the police team forced them away. We do not know if they will still come back again.”


Crime Extra

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Easter shock!

Man dumps 8-yr-old grandson in well What residents of Ayetoro in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State are yet to comprehend is why Oluyemisi Iyiola Gbadebo, a renowned family man, threw his eight-year-old grandson into a 50-feet-deep well on Easter Sunday. What came over him? Was he in his right senses? SEGUN ADIO

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ost Christians world over were in joyous mood last Sunday which was the climax of Easter festival. But members of the Gbadebo family were in no such festive mood. Rather than join fellow Christian faithful to mark the Easter Sunday, the entire household was in the hospital battling to save the life of one of its own. But for Providence and the alertness of some men around, an eight-year-old boy, identified as Mathew would have passed onto the great beyond after his own grandfather allegedly flung him into a nearby dry well. Oluyemisi Iyiola Gbadebo is a 51-yearold merchant living with his two wives and children at Oshodi area of Lagos State. But

every festive period, the Gbadebos always go to their roots at Alakoro compound in Aiyetoro, Yewa North Local Government of Ogun State. The eldest Gbadebo and his first son, Banji, had not been in talking terms for a little over a decade now. The crisis between father and son, it was gathered, started sometime in 2002, when Banji reportedly introduced his fiancé then, Jumoke, to his father as his future wife. Banji’s father reportedly rebuffed the idea of his son getting married to a lady outside his state of origin, but Banji insisted that he would marry Jumoke or no one else. Gbadebo did not take kindly to his son’s position on the matter and he reportedly told the young man back then that he would disown him if he went ahead to marry the woman of his choice.

In spite of these threats, Banji and Jumoke still went ahead with their romance and their relationship produced Mathew, the first grandson of the Gbadebos. Banji reportedly lives with his wife and son in Port Harcourt, River State where he works. Ever since Mathew was born, his grandfather had not set his eyes on him, as well as his father, Banji. But this year, Banji chose to mend broken fence with his enraged father and decided to join the family at Aiyetoro, hoping that if his father saw his grandson, he would forgive him (Banji) and give his blessing to his marriage to the lady of choice. Banji’s action almost ended in tragedy as the only product of his marriage to Jumoke was almost killed by his enraged father. It was reported that Banji and his family had arrived in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun

April 6, 2013

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State where they stayed with his father’s younger sister, identified as Nimota. Mrs. Nimota had reportedly assured Banji that his father would welcome him and his family back with open arms. With this assurance, Banji, his wife and son as well as Nimota headed to Aiyetoro at dawn on Easter Sunday. At the family compound, the news of Banji’s return elicited wild jubilation. All his younger ones around reportedly trooped to the bus stop, near the family house, to welcome him. While some of them cuddled the unknown young Mathew, others were all over Jumoke singing and dancing as they headed home. News of Banji’s return home apparently got to his father before the welcome party got back home. It was reported that Nimota, Gbadebo’s younger sister, had moved ahead of the dancing group to meet with her brother in his bedroom apparently to appeal to him to let the sleeping dog lie on the matter. For about two hours, Nimota was with her brother remonstrating with him on the issue, but Gbadebo refused to back down on his earlier stance on his returning son and his wife. Gbadebo reportedly excused himself to have his bath. After this, he reportedly changed into a new cloth and told his sister that he wanted to see a friend somewhere in the community. As Gbadebo stepped out of the main building into the compound, Banji, his wife and son were seated on the pavement outside surrounded by all members of the extended family. It was reported that on sighting his father, Banji pushed his son toward his grandfather urging the young boy to go greet grandfather. That was Banji’s undoing after all. As Mathew rushed to embrace his grandfather, Gbadebo, apparently not wanting to have anything to do with the product of the marriage he did not approve of, reportedly shoved the boy off his way. But unfortunately, Mathew was shoved into a dry pit in the compound. The pit, still under construction, is said to be about 50 feet deep. While his son dropped down into the pit, Banji screamed at the top of his voice which drew the attention of passersby, some of who assisted in bringing out the young boy from the pit. Mathew was reported to be badly injured as his entire body had bruises all over. The boy immediately lost consciousness. When he saw what his anger had caused, Gbadebo reportedly hurriedly ordered for one of his cars to be used to convey the boy to the hospital. He was reportedly in sombre mood throughout the festive period where he ordered that no music should be played nor the two rams already set aside for the Easter celebration be touched. Gbadebo declined to speak with our reporter on the matter. He could only say, “Please this is a very private affair and the family would want you to respect it as such. There is no calamity anywhere as you claim,” he said. A neighbour who declined to be mentioned, however said that that night while Jumoke, the boy’s mother and some women stayed with the boy at the hospital, Gbadebo and his son Banji mended fences.


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REGIONAL NEWS

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NORTH

IGR: Gombe moves against defaulting banks DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he Gombe State Government has devised new ways of making erring banks

remit taxes to it, Alhaji Hassan Mohammadu, the state’s commissioner for finance, has said. The move, he added, was to ensure a reengineering of the state’s internally gen-

erated revenue (IGR) for enhanced performance. “Our revenue is heavily dependent on the federation accounts and we are determined to change that,” Mohammadu said

while fielding questions from journalists on the activities of his ministry. “That is why we are reengineering the Board of Internal Revenue, reviewing its obsolete laws

and operational methods and injecting new innovations,” Mohammadu further disclosed. Among the efforts to overhaul the system, according to the commis-

sioner, is the blocking of the loopholes in the system that allow revenuegenerating ministries, departments and agencies to spend the revenue they generate.

Two killed in Gombe communal clashes DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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ragedy struck in Bambam and Maitunku villages yesterday in Dadiya and Waja in Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State when two people lost their lives after communal violence in the villages. A source told Saturday Mirror on phone that several houses were burnt in Bambam village on Gombe-Yola road, making

it difficult for passengers and motorists to have access to other adjoining towns and villages. Confirming the incident, Gombe State Police Public Relations Officer, Fwaje Atajiri, said that security operatives, comprising regular and mobile policemen, were drafted to the village to restore normalcy. Though Atajiri could not give the cause of the crisis and extent of damage, our source said a Waja man was alleged

to have been killed four days ago in Maitunku village. The source continued that yesterday when the Waja man’s corpse could not be found in Maitunku village by his kinsmen, they came back to Bambam where fracas erupted between the two tribes, as dangerous weapons which include guns were used. According to the source, another person form same village was killed in a shootout and

this led to youths setting fire on houses in Bambam.

As at the time of filing this report, the village was said to be calm while

the police spokesman promised to reach reporters on latest development.

Zamfara plans 2,000 tube wells for irrigation farming

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he Zamfara State Government is to construct 2,000 tube wells for irrigation farming to ensure food security in the state. This was disclosed yesterday by the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Malami Yandoto. Yandoto announced

the plan while inaugurating agriculture development projects in Shinkafi Local Government Area, saying the wells would supplement the 1,000 wells constructed by the state government last year. ``We are constructing the wells to give irriga-

tion farmers the opportunity to venture into commercial farming to reduce poverty in the state,’’ he said. He added that the ongoing effort by the federal government to ensure food security could only succeed when state governments joined hands to support farmers to multiply their production.

Benin president, Sambo, Sultan, Tinubu others for Borgu fiesta K AYODE FALADE

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Santurakin Dutse, the district head of Bamaina community of Jigawa State (L) and the state’s Commissioner of Police, Kayode Joel Theophilus in a chat with during the latter’s visit to Bamaina area of the state, recently.

Jang signs 2013 appropriation bill into law JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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overnor Jonah Jang of Plateau State yesterday signed the 2013 appropriation bill into law . In December, the Governor presented a budget proposal of N133 billion to

the state’s House of Assembly for 2013, but the House increased the projected budget to N136 billion before passing it into law last week. Speaking while signing the bill into law in Jos yesterday, Jang said, “We have christened this year’s budget as the Budget of

Continuity and Inclusive Growth III in line with our vision of sustaining our developmental strides knowing very well time is not on our side. We are therefore driven by the belief that with just about two years to the end of our second tenure, this budget is very significant and strategic

in determining the sum of our impact as an administration.” He listed education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, completion of ongoing infrastructure projects and new infrastructure projects as the areas that the budget will touch.

resident Boni Yayi of Republic of Benin is among eminent personalities expected at this year’s Gani-Borgu International Festival holding next week in New Bussa, Niger State. The Benonoise leader will be leading the Borgu Emirate in the Diaspora to the fiesta. The Vice President of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saa’ad Abubakar; Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom, Senator Ahmed Tinubu; Director-General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Segun Runsewe; Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Malam Lamido Sanusi, Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and other top traditional rulers are also expected to be at the festival. The occasion which also will herald the celebration of the 46th anniversary of Nigeria’s

largest resettlement scheme, the 1968 resettlement of the Bussa people from Bussa to New Bussa, will be hosted by Niger State Governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliu, is expected to revive and rekindle hope and peace within the northern frontiers. As the festival will have a lot of water-based events like boat regatta, President of the Tourism Boat Operators of Nigeria, Ganiyu Tarzan Balogun, was in Borgu Kingdom last week to evaluate the preparations for the international cultural fiesta. Borgu Kingdom is said to the biggest beach front Island in Northern Nigeria known as Fogi Island as well as home to important tourist attractions like the site where Mungo Park died on the Niger River, Ruins of old Bussa, ancient Konkosso Iron sites, Kanji Lake, Swashi Dam and Irrigation Scheme, Pissa and Kabe caves and Nigeria’s first national park, Kanji Lake National Park, among others.


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April 6, 2013

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REGIONAL NEWS

April 6, 2013

Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NORTH

Boko Haram: Shema backs Jonathan on amnesty ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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overnor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State has expressed support for the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a committee to consider the option of granting amnesty to the members of the Boko Haram sect. Speaking at the Presdential Villa, Abuja, Shema maintained that if the committee was set up

in good faith, it would go a long way to address the state o insecurity in the country. “I believe if a security committee is set up in good faith, it is for the good of Nigeria and for the resolution to the crisis that has bedeviled most of northern Nigeria on the issue of insecurity. So if a committee on amnesty is set up, it is done because Nigerians and leaders from the Northern part of the country are yearn-

ing for a quick resolution to the matter. And the president is responding positively to this request so that our nation can go on in peace, progress and development,” he said. He also used the occasion to rebuff the allegation that the Northern Governors Forum did not champion the move to finding lasting peace to the violent and deadly activities of the Boko Haram sect. “It is not correct that

the Northern Governors never championed the move because if you remember, the Northern Governors Forum did set up a special committee of peace, healing and reconciliation,” he said. Adding that there had been serious efforts by the NGF to tackle the insecurity problem in the north as no nation can progress without peace and stability, he declared that “we need peace and all hands on deck. Those who are aggrieved for

one reason or the other should come forward and let their grievances be

known so that our nation and our people can progress and develop rapidly.”

Lawmaker wants speedy completion of Nasarawa Eggon roads

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ember representing Nasarawa Eggon East in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Muluku, has called for speedy completion of Nasarawa Eggon township roads to ease movement of persons and goods. Muluku made the call yesterday while inspecting township road proj-

ects in Nasarawa Eggon, headquarters of the Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area. He expressed worry over the pains the people suffered because of the poor condition of the roads, adding that many houses in the town might be washed away in floods if the roads were not rehabilitated.

NECO union bemoans alleged call for scrap PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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L-R: Acting U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jeffery Hawking; member, National Board of Trustees, Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Adamu Mohammed and Secretary-General, Col. Musa Shehu (rtd), during Hawking’s courtesy visit to the forum’s secretariat in Kaduna on Thursday.

Corruption: Jigawa CP reads riot act to defaulters ABDULLAHI ODEY DUTSE

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igawa State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Joel Theophilus, has warned his officers and men against accepting bribe or any form of gratification in the discharge of their duties and also charged them to tell the truth at all times.

The police boss charged the officers and men during his inspection tours of police formations in Gwaram and Birnin Kudu divisions of the state. According to him, the Inspector-General of Police is committed to ridding the force of corrupt elements and has charged all police commissioners in the country to ensure

total eradication of corruption in the force and he was going to uphold the policy in the state. Speaking further, he said the image of the police is stained by criminal activities within the force that should be above board. He therefore warned that any police personnel found to be involved in criminal activity would be shown the

way out of the force. “Police job is a noble job. Anybody who does not want to do the job should give up his uniform and go,” Theophilus said and added that discipline is the bedrock of police work. He also urged officers and men under the Jigawa police command to uphold human rights and protect lives and property.

he National Examination Council (NECO) branch of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASUEAI) has described those calling for the scraping of the examination as “unpatriotic.” The union said those calling on the federal government to discard NECO do not mean well for Nigeria but are simply out to take it back to the colonial era that the conduct of exams for the Nigerian child were monopolised in the country. Chairman of the union, Comrade Abdulrasheed Rabana, who said this in Minna, Niger State, during an interaction with journalists on the issue, called on the federal government to rescind the proposed plan of scrapping NECO, saying the exam body typi-

fies a “national monument.” He also argued that a lot of state resources had been committed to the scheme in the last 10 years. “Whatever are our shortcomings, all the federal government should do is help us channel them properly and take us back to the right path, rather than scrapping NECO or even considering handing it over to WAEC, an outside body,” he said. He also said any effort to scrap the organisation as planned would be a great setback in the nation’s drive towards self reliance in education, a key aspect of the transformational agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration. Rabana then appealed to all well-meaning Nigerians as stakeholders to speak out against the proposed scrapping in the interest of the Nigerian child.

Plateau strike: SSANIP throws weight behind colleagues JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he national body of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) has thrown its weight behind the strike embarked upon by workers of the Plateau State-

owned tertiary institutions. SSANIP’s national president, Comrade Sunday Sabo, who led other national officials of the union to address a press conference yesterday in Jos said the decision to back their colleagues in the state over the strike

was from the conviction that the state government has not handled the matter maturely. He claimed SSANIP took the decision at its last general executive council meeting held at the Delta State Polytechnic last month because it was unfortunate that the

state government could allow the strike to continue even when the workers demands were quite “genuine and legitimate.” Stating that the national body of the union was displeased with the way the state government was handling the mat-

ter, he said, “Plateau remains the only state in the country that is still having issues with her unions over the implementation of CONTEDISS and CONPCASS being the current salary regime paid to state and federal tertiary institutions.”

He disclosed further that statistics available to them also indicated that Plateau State remains the only state in the federation that does not subsidise her stateowned tertiary institutions but treats them like a mere arm of a ministry.


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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

April 6, 2013

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Bird flu: China closes poultry markets

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hinese officials in the city of Shanghai have ordered the temporary closure of its poultry markets due to the H7N9 bird flu outbreak. A spokesman for the city authorities said the decision was taken on grounds of public safety. The city has already begun a mass slaughter of poultry after the virus was discovered in pigeons at a market. Six people have died in this latest outbreak. The H7N9 virus is a form of avian flu not seen before in humans. China has officially confirmed 14 cases and six

deaths due to H7N9 infection as of yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement. The cases are reportedly from eastern China, including in Shanghai and Zhejiang province. WHO says there is currently no evidence of human-to-human transmission. “We have 14 cases in a large geographical area, we have no sign of any epidemiological linkage between the confirmed cases and we have no sign of sustained human-to-human transmission,” WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said in Geneva.

Guinea-Bissau ex-Navy chief in ‘drugs arrest’

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he former chief of the navy in Guinea-Bissau has been arrested and is being transferred to the US, local media have reported. Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was picked up on a boat in international waters near Cape Verde, a local broadcaster said. He is described by the US as a kingpin in GuineaBissau’s huge drugs trade. The small West African

state is a staging post for gangs smuggling cocaine from Latin America to Europe. According to a report by the broadcaster RTC in Cape Verde - the island state off the west coast of Africa - US officials supported by Cape Verde police arrested Adm Na Tchuto and he is expected to face prosecution in the US. There has been no official comment from US officials.

Suicides: Bulgarian President calls for prayers

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ulgaria has begun three days of special prayers requested by the country’s President because of national pessimism and a spate of suicides. The move comes after seven people set themselves on fire, protesting against poverty and corruption. Five died and two were severely injured. Religious leaders from various faiths agreed to hold special prayers.

Recent protests throughout the EU’s poorest nation forced the previous government to resign in February. The prayer appeal from President Rosen Plevneliev followed weeks of protests against high electricity bills, poverty and corruption. He urged people to “pray for an end to the suicides and for passing through the crisis with patience and dignity.”

Argentina flash floods kills 57

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atastrophic flash floods have killed 57 people in the province of Buenos Aires, while hundreds more remain homeless, officials say. The worst hit is the city of La Plata, where 51 people died. Six people also died in the capital Buenos Aires. Many victims drowned as they tried to scramble to safety on rooftops and treetops and some were electro-

cuted. The government declared three days of national mourning after what it called “an unprecedented catastrophe”. Some 100,000 households were destroyed by the floods, La Plata mayor Pablo Bruera said. Although the torrential rains have stopped and the waters completely receded, power lines are yet to be restored.

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama (C) and school children Ariana Docanto (R) and Emilio Vega (L) plant spinach at the fifth annual White House kitchen garden on the South Lawn in Washington

35 killed in India building collapse

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half-finished building that was being constructed illegally in a suburb of India’s financial capital has collapsed, killing 35 people and injuring more than 50 others, police said yesterday. The building in the Mumbai suburb of Thane caved in at 6:08 p.m. Thursday, police said. Rescue workers with sledgehammers, gasoline-powered saws and hydraulic jacks were struggling to break through the rubble in their search for possible survivors. Six bulldozers had been brought to the scene. “There may be (a) possibility people have been trapped inside right now,” the local police commissioner K.P. Raghuvanshi

said yesterday. More than 20 people remained missing and three floors of the building remained to be searched, said R. S. Rajesh, an official with the National Disaster Response Force who was at the scene. “All the three floors are sandwiched ... so it’s is very difficult for us,” he said, adding that rescuers were continuing to pull survivors from the wreckage. Among the dead, were at least 11 children, police said. At least four floors of the building had been completed and were occupied. Workers had finished three more floors and were adding an eighth floor when it collapsed, police inspector

Digamber Jangale said. Some of the dead were construction workers staying in the building as they worked on it, Jangale said. The building did not have the necessary clearances from local authorities, he said. It was not immediately clear what caused the structure to collapse, but Raghuvanshi said the building structure was weak. Police were searching for the builders to arrest them, he said. “The inquiry is ongoing. We are all busy with the rescue operation; our priority now is to rescue as many as possible,” he said. Police with rescue dogs were searching the building yesterday, which appeared to have buckled

and collapsed upon itself. Rescuers and nearby residents stood on the remains of the roof trying to get to the people trapped inside. Residents carried the injured into ambulances and one man carried a small child caked white with dust from the wreckage. Raghuvanshi said rescue workers had saved 15 people from the wreckage. Building collapses are common in India as builders try to cut corners by using poor quality materials and multi-storied structures are built with inadequate supervision. A local resident, who did not give his name, said the site was only meant to hold a smaller structure and said officials turned a blind eye to the problem.

Pope seeks decisive action against sex abuse

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ope Francis indicated yesterday that he will seek to have the church act “with determination” against clergy sex abuse cases. The pope pushed for decisive action during a meeting with the prefect of the

Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the Vatican said in a statement. “The Holy Father recommended that the congregation continue the line sought by Benedict XVI, to act with determination in

regard to cases of sexual abuse,” the Vatican said. Francis cited measures to protect minors, help victims of sexual violence and necessary action against perpetrators, and emphasize that drafting and implementing directives

by bishop conferences around the world is important to the credibility of the church. U.S. victims of clergy abuse have demanded swift and bold actions from the new Jesuit pontiff.

South Korea ‘deploys warships to track North missiles’

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outh Korea has deployed two warships with missiledefence systems, reports say, a day after the North apparently moved a missile to its east coast. Military officials told South Korean media the two warships would be deployed on the east and west coasts.

Seoul has played down the North’s missile move, saying it may be for a test rather than a hostile act. In recent weeks, the North has ramped up its rhetoric and made specific threats to target US territory. One of the targets named by Pyongyang

was the Pacific island of Guam, which hosts a US military base. On Thursday, the US confirmed it would deploy a missile-defence system to Guam in response to the threats. “The moves that we have been making are designed to ensure and to reassure the Ameri-

can people and our allies that we can defend the United States,” said state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. South Korea’s foreign minister told MPs on Thursday that the North had moved a missile to the east coast, which is the location for previous military tests.


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If someone who visited Nigeria for FESTAC 77 came back and wanted to see the National Theatre, we would say it is now a hotel? Converting it to a hotel will be wiping the nation’s history and values. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola while condemning purported plans by the federal government to convert the 36-year-old National Theatre in Lagos to a 5-star hotel.

Saturday, April 6, 2013. www.nationalmirroronline.net

Taking the Atlantic Basin Initiative forward (IV) T he African development picture is increasingly differentiated. While some states are succeeding, others are descending into problems which appear as complex as they are intractable. While half of the top-ten global economic growth performers during the 2000s were African (Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique and Rwanda), others including both Guineas (Conakry and Bissau), Mali, Congo and, most recently, the Central African Republic are mired in difficulty and violent unrest. Understanding the reasons for the vicious cycle of poor performance and political instability is central to remedying the blight of state weakness and collapse. Domestic leadership prefers, understandably, to place the blame for state failure on two features: The colonial inheritance and, as that memory fades and and argument dilutes, a lack of governmental resources. Yet over the past fifty years of independence, a number of persistent and overlapping themes occur across state examples of poor performance. The combination of leadership cultism, a failure to respect the institutions of government including parliaments and a corresponding over-centralisation of power on the executive, weak civil society institutions, societies driven by elite interests including economies geared to monopolistic concerns, and weak national identities compound often in a debilitating cocktail. In this, while each state has its own specific peculiarities, generally overcoming corruption and strengthening internal security are crucial to stability and success. This is not only an African phenomenon of course. There is an extreme

with President Olusegun Obasanjo hexcellency2011@yahoo.com

UNDERSTANDING THE REASONS FOR THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF POOR PERFORMANCE AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY IS CENTRAL TO REMEDYING THE BLIGHT OF STATE WEAKNESS AND COLLAPSE example close to where we are. In the wake of the January 2010 earthquake which claimed, according to government estimates, 316,000 lives, the televangelist Pat Robertson said that Haiti’s collapse is down to a ‘pact with the devil’ it made 200 years ago.15 This explained, he said, why Haiti suffers, is currently the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, while the Dominican Republic — which shares the 30,000m2 of the Caribbean island of ‘Hispaniola’ — is relatively well-off. ‘That island of Hispaniola is one island,’ Robertson said. ‘The Dominican Repub-

lic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty.’ Satellite imagery of Haiti and the Dominican Republic bears out this division.16 One is relatively denuded of forestation. While the Dominican Republic is relatively booming, Haiti is generally seen as an infrastructural basket-case, even before the devastating earthquake and other regular natural disasters. The statistics back up such visuals. At the time of the earthquake in 2010 the United Nations, for example, ranked the Dominican Republic 90th out of 182 countries on its human-development in-

SPORT EXTRA

CAF Confed Cup: Heartland face uphill task in Gabon ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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eartland FC of Owerri will face an uphill task in Gabon today, as they battle Union Sportive Bitam (USB) in the first round reverse fixture of the CAF Confederation Cup. The Naze Millionaires will be filing out against the Gabonese team to defend the slim 2-1 first leg win they recorded against them on March 17, at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri and must avoid defeat in the make-or-burst encounter at the Stade Gaston Peyrille, Bitam to prog-

ress in Africa’s second tier club competition. Meanwhile, Heartland forward, Abdul Haruna, has expressed optimism that the Nigerian club side will be coming full blast against their hosts, so as to guarantee them easy passage to the next round of the competition. “We won’t defend our 2-1 win in the first leg, but we will go all outright from the blast of the whistle to attack and I’m confident we’ll net the vital goals that will see us in the next stage of the competition. “I know we’ll win because the goal they scored against us was merely luck.

They weren’t fantastic but simply ordinary. “We’re in high spirit thinking nothing but the battle against Union Sportive Bitam. Our confidence level is further boosted by our recent league victories. “The coaches have carefully selected the best legs for the encounter and we’re roaring to go,” he enthused. Strikers, Jolly Osas and Isah Akor scored for Heartland in the first fixture at Owerri, while danger man, Alain Djessikadie got USB’s consolation goal. Heartland departed to Bitam, Gabon, on Thursday to keep a date with their hosts today.

dex; Haiti was at 149th. In the Dominican Republic, average life expectancy is nearly 74 years; in Haiti, 61. As the poorest country in the western hemisphere, it is little surprise that Haiti has been beset with problems of political stability. The UN has sent repeated peacekeeping missions to maintain order there since the mid-1990s. The devil aside, why the acute difference? To some extent this is geographic. The mountains that lie across the island can cut off Haiti’s rainfall. Haiti’s semi-arid climate has made cultivation challenging. Deforestation – a major problem in Haiti, but not in its neighbor – has only exacerbated the problem. To an extent it’s historical. Hispaniola’s has a violent and differentiated colonial history; French to the West, Spanish to the East. While both colonies had a history of slavery, by the end of the 18th century, there were about 40,000 white landowners, 25,000 black or interracial freedmen and 60,000 slaves in the Spanish colony, compared with approximately 30,000 whites, 27,000 freedmen, and at least 500,000 black slaves in its French counterpart. In 1804, Haitians declared independence, and the territory so became the world’s first sovereign black republic, the Dominican Republic’s independence following 40 years later. In both, however, constant democratic upsets reflected deep class, racial and cultural differences, along with foreign interference. And in great part it’s about policy and choice.

TO BE CONTINUED

PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES Today’s Matches Reading v Southampton 12:45 Norwich v Swansea 15:00 Stoke v Aston Villa 15:00 West Brom v Arsenal 15:00

CAF Champions League Fixtures Today’s Matches Esperance v Primeiro 15:00 As Vita Club v Zamalek 15:30 El Merreikh v Recreativo 18:00 Stade Malien v Casa Sport 18:00 Orlando Pirates v Zanaco FC 19:15

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Saturday, April 6, 2013