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2013: Sizzling, nice and terrible

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Amaechi drops bombshell

More govs, lawmakers to dump PDP before March ... insists party will lose 2015 poll P. 7

His words are empty threats –Babatope HORROR AS 26 DIE IN INDIA TRAIN FIRE

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N O I S PAS Sunday ber 29, Decem 2013

e agazin tyle M A Lifes

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s an bos A wom press a p o ’t won inate subord orin female Som nwa

–Bolari

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ST HTIE NAUG G THIN

t to ked ou I snea and my a party ght me u dad ca lvin Ifili –Ke >>29

s evert a h n a No m n my hear broke ezi Ogoro –Eva

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Oshiomhole in another auto crash A fire-engulfed coach of an express train in southern India yesterday, killing at least 26 passengers, many of whom became trapped and suffocated after the doors failed to PHOTO: YAHOO NEWS open.

...narrowly escapes deathP. 9

Poor reception: NCC moves to punish GSM operators ... as subscribers count losses P. 55

19 die in Bayelsa auto crash, boat mishap News

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Gombe awards contract for snake-bite hospital

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What’s new Politics

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Seven Days TALKING POINTS OF THE PAST WEEK DECEMBER 29, 2013

Blackout mars Christmas celebrations EFCC arrests Kano Investigations by our corNigerians celebrated Speaker, 10 other lawmakers thisMany year’s Christmas in dark- respondent showed that poor

Doctors end five-day-old warning strike

Evaezi Ogoro is an actress and musician who has passion for her vocation. She is one diva who says she has never been betrayed by any man in her life. She is in a serious relationship with a man whom she enjoys an intimate relationship. She speaks about her lifestyle. Excerpts:

Wellness

Health sector: The gains, the losses

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A cursory look at the sector’s success and failures in 2013 is as follows: Primary health care: National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, vested with the responsibility of administering and coordinating primary health care services, nationwide.

ment of its earlier promise that Nigerians would be offered uninterrupted services in public health facilities by the doctors, during the yuletide. The statement added that the group expected government to meet its demands, failure of which it said the association would commence a full blown strike effective from Monday January 6, 2014.

Apo killings: You can’t testify in camera, NHRC tells SSS

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has issued a fresh summon on the Department of State Security Service, DSS, to appear before it on January 7, 2014 to publicly explain the role it played in the killing of eight squatters in a building in the Apo area of Abuja. That was after it turned down a request by the DSS to testify in secret in the ongoing enquiry into the killings. The dead, now popularly described as Apo 8, were mowed

The gale of defection hitting the ruling Peoples Democratic Party may have been put on hold till January as the Senate President, David Mark, successfully

Ex-Anglican primate, Akinola, abducted, rescued Gunmen on Tuesday abducted the immediate past primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Dr. Peter Akinola in Abeokuta, Ogun State. It was learnt that Akinola was on his way from his Youths Empowerment Training Centre along the Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway when the gunmen overtook and stopped his Sports

Utility Van before taking him and his driver to an unknown place around 3pm. The bandits, according to one of the witnesses, shot sporadically into the air to scare passersby away. He said, “The bishop was unperturbed. When his driver tried to resist the kidnappers, we saw him instructing him (driver) to also remain calm.”

Yuletide: FG assures of tight security

The Federal Government has assured of adequate security as Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ today. The Ministers of Police Affairs and the Federal Capital Territory said security operatives had been placed on the alert. Police Affairs Minister, Caleb Olubolade, assured

Nigerians of the capability of the police to provide security throughout the nation. According to the minister, the police were now more than ever before better equipped in training and logistics to detect and prevent crime while also collaborating with other relevant security agencies.

down by combined men of security agencies in the country. They were said to be members of the Boko Haram sect plotting to launch a suicide attack on Abuja before they were extra-judicially killed. But the extra-judicial murder was trailed by identity controversy. The squatters, who were said to be mostly tricycle riders and petty traders, were killed on September 20 by a team of soldiers and SSS operatives in a pre-dawn raid.

PDP crisis: Mark stops 10 senators from defecting to APC

prevailed on over ten senators who had perfected their plots to defect to the All Progressives Congress at the last day of the Senate’s sitting.

Shafar Cole CEO, SHAFCOLE USHRETTES

TUE MON

No man has ever broken my heart –Evaezi Ogoro

Full medical services are expected to resume in all public hospitals Monday, as doctors under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), resume work after a five-day strike that grounded services in all public health facilities nationwide. NMA said in a statement signed by its President, Osahon Enabulele, that the action was suspended in fulfil-

power supply being experienced by consumers was a direct function of limited gas supply and other factors. “Indeed, the electricity generation companies, GENCOs, have the capacity to generate more megawatts but cannot do that because of limited gas supply to thermal plants.

ness as electricity supply dropped from 4,500 megawatts to about 4,000mw as a result of limited gas and poor transmission infrastructure. The drop in power supply means that many parts of the country will be in darkness throughout the weekend as not much would be done until January.

WED

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cratic Party with four other governors to join the opposition party-All Progressives Congress. The EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest to our correspondent in Abuja. He said, “It is true they were invited. They are still with us. They were brought in from Kano today (Monday).” He, however, refused to give details of the arrests and the allegations. Uwujaren, however, debunked insinuations that the arrest had political undertone.

SAT FRI THU

Applause

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arrested the Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly, Gambo Sallau and 10 other principal officers of the house. Media reports gathered their arrest followed a petition over the N25bn supplementary budget presented by the governor, Rabiu Kwakwanso to the lawmakers on December 5. There are suspicions that the supplementary budget is a cover up to financial misappropriation. Kwakwanso recently left the ruling Peoples Demo-

SUN

Fayemi vs Bamidele: The race begins

I would like to say that I work with E star Television for Africa. On Mondays when I get to the office, I arrange the station’s movies schedule for the week. On Tuesday, I usually do a voice-over for soap opera introduction. On Wednesdays, I go to a movie location and get updates of the movie they are shooting for a segment on my show which is known as Nollywood-In-Check, which I present from 5p.m. to 6 p.m. and every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. I go for my celebrity one-on-one interviews. Most Fridays, I go for movie premieres On Saturdays, I record my show, which I told you is Nollywood-In-Check. That is when interviews, movie location updates, premieres and new movies are reviewed. I go to church and from there end up at the office to ensure that the Sunday replay edition of my show is shown and I also try to gather contents for my show. These are my activities for my week and they are not boring to me because I love my job. *By Adaeze Amos (0802 301 2293)


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THE

Big Read SUNDAY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

December 29, 2013

Police P Po Pol ice ce c e He H Headquarter, eadq adq adq quar arter te er, A er Abuja buja buj a

2013: Sizzling, nice and terrible As the year winds to an end, Nigerians will remember it for a number of things. It came with good as well as bad tidings. There were indeed sad, happy, funny, and even ridiculous occurences. 2013 had its fair share of significant events which will help shape the course of history in the years to come. News Editor, Etaghene Edirin, takes a look at the major happenings that are likely to determine how Nigerians will view the outgoing year. Boko Haram/insecurity Perhaps, the most significant and recurrent event of the year, which gave Nigerians course for serious concern, was the incessant attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist sect. The rise in violent crimes, especially terror attacks, kidnapping, armed robbery and other related vices created so much fear in the land, and cast doubts on government’s ability to contain the situation. Coordinated attacks against innocent, defenceless citizens, bombings of public facilities and places of worship, and the killings of high profile personalities, marked the height of insecurity in 2013. Thousands of people were killed in attacks carried out by groups of terrorists, espe-

cially in the north-eastern part of the country. Hundreds of houses were burnt, while hundreds of thousands of Nigerians were rendered homeless. Whole communities were attacked and sacked by the insurgents, even as business, political and social activities grinded to a halt in most of such areas. The state of insecurity, and breakdown of law and order in the area, prompted the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. National Assembly It was a year of endless probes for the Upper House

MANDELA’S DEATH, A WATERSHED

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with the majority of such probes not thoroughly investigated or the outcomes and recommendations not properly implemented. The Senate this year decided to unravel how top officials of 13 federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) had colluded with outsiders to run illegal cashfor-job rackets in their organisations. The Senate also probed $27 million missing embassy money. On June 28, the House began investigations into the alleged disappearance of $27 million from the sale of the Nigerian House in New York, the United States of America. Two former Nigerian envoys and the incumbent appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs in Abuja. The alleged extra-judicial killing of Keke NAPEP riders by the SSS and the military in October in Apo, Abuja had drawn outrage from a cross section of Nigerians as the securitymen that carried out the operation believed the victims were Boko Haram insurgents. The Senate mandated its Committee on National IntelCONTINUED ON PAGE 4

IN ANAMBRA, OBIANO WINS, NGIGE KICKS

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Mandela’s death, a watershed CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 ligence and Security with Judicial and Legal Matters to carry out investigation on the issue. The Senate’s committee ruled out any case of extra judicial killing. Rather, plenary cautioned security agencies to be more circumspect in their operations, especially when lives of unarmed civilians are involved. When the Petroleum Industry Bill came up for debate in the Senate in April, senators were divided along regional lines during the three days discussion of the bill. Most senators from the North were against the powers of the Petroleum minister stipulated in the bill and the funds for the host communities. After three days of intensive debates which polarised the Upper House, Senate President, David Mark, challenged his colleagues to be nationalistic in their ways as they are all senators of the Federal Republic. During the inauguration of the joint committee on the PIB, Mark advocated death penalty for oil thieves as the escalating rate of crude oil theft was threatening the economy of the country. Speaking on the bill, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum, Upstream, Senator Kabir Marafa, said “The bill is taking too much time to pass because of its importance; it is a very important bill that concerns a very important industry; so you cannot pass such a bill in a hurry”. In July, senators were embroiled in an ugly brawl over President Goodluck Jonathan’s rejection of certain provisions of the State of Nation Address Bill (2013) - a bill that will make it mandatory for any sitting President to address a joint session of the National Assembly in July of every year. The Senate stoked controversy when there was a somewhat harmless move by its Committee on Constitution Review, led by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, that sub-section 4b be deleted because it was “discriminatory”. It suggested that a woman of any age, once married, was an adult. Senator Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara APC) insisted that any woman once married is an adult regardless of age. It was seen by many Nigerians as an endorsement of child marriage by the Senate. Many Nigerians demanded for the recall of senators that voted for the supposed child marriage. Mark later stated that there was a misunderstanding of what the Senate was trying to do and added that the Upper House wiould revisit the controversial clause. The Senate in its review of the 1999 Constitution, chaired by Ekweremadu, voted for and against some clauses in the proposed new constitution. The Upper Chamber rejected the single six-year tenure proposed for the president and 36 state governors, just as the federal lawmakers also turned down a proposal to grant the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) a mayoral status. The upper house also rejected amended clauses seeking direct payment (first-line charge) to local governments from the country’s Consolidated Revenue Fund, separation of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and state equivalents from the Office of the Minister of Justice and Commissioner for Justice at state levels. They also voted for a recommendation seeking life pension for principal officers of the National Assembly. Differences of what the crude oil benchmark should be pegged between the executive and legislature created an impasse in the presentation of the budget to the lawmakers by the President. After a series of meetings which included a walkout by the members of the House of Representatives, a compromise was finally reached and oil benchmark was pegged at $77.5, paving the way for the presentation of the budget by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She presented the 2014 Budget estimates of N4.642trn to the Senate. In a dramatic move, 37 members of the House of Representatives, formerly of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) defied threats of losing their seats and defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). By the move, the PDP became a minority party in the Lower House with

Major contenstants in Anambra governorship election

Accused person during the pension scam trial

171 members, as against APC’s 172 members. A courtesy visit by the Kawu Baraje-led PDP National Working Committee triggered physical combat in the House of Representatives as members loyal to the different factions of the PDP resorted to fisticuffs in the expression of their differences. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, declared that President Goodluck Jonathan was encouraging corruption in Nigeria by failing to act on sleaze cases by failing to implement recommendations of probes done by the National Assembly. Tambuwal said the President’s body language sends a signal that he was not sincere with his fight against corruption Merger of opposition parties After several talks and failed attempts, the major opposition political parties in the country announced the formation of a merger party, All Progressives Congress (APC) on February 6, 2013. The party is the result of an alliance by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and a faction of the All Progres-

sives Grand Alliance (APGA). The party received approval from the Independent National electoral Commission, INEC, on July 31, and subsequently withdrew the operating licences of the three previous and merging parties (ACN, CPC and ANPP). In March 2013, it was reported that two other associations – African Peoples Congress and All Patriotic Citizens – also applied for INEC registration, adopting APC as an acronym as well, reportedly “a development interpreted to be a move to thwart the successful coalition of the opposition parties, ahead of the 2015 general elections. The coming of APC has no doubt changed, and will continue to change, the tempo of politics in the country, and form part of the issues that would guide debates for the 2015 general elections. PDP crisis What started as a minor feud within the PDP has continued to snowball. Like an avalanche, the situation has continued to increase in strength and speed, threatening to overwhelm the group touted as the biggest political CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


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The Big Read

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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In Anambra, Obiano wins, Ngige kicks

Al-Mustapha

Super Eagles team

King

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 party on the continent. Initially, watchers believed it was the normal squabble that usually exists among politicians, and that it would be put to rest as soon as overtures were made and accepted. But that was not to be, as several peace meetings between the aggrieved members and party hierarchy failed to yield positive results. Like a hurricane, it continued to create problems, the end of which no one can foretell for now. The crisis in the party came to the fore when former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and some governors angrily walked out of the special delegates’ convention of the party at Eagles Square in Abuja. They and their supporters ended up at Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja where they held a parallel convention. The crisis heightened when five governors defected to the opposition APC. They were followed shortly by some House of Representatives members, a move that suddenly made the PDP slide into minority in the house. Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto) all joined the APC, reducing the number of PDP governors in the country. Hamza al-Mustapha Former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late General Sani Abacha, Hamza al-Mustapha, was set free by the Court of Appeal in Lagos on July 12. The court discharged and acquitted al-Mustapha who was accused of involvement in the murder of Kudirat Abiola. The judgement overturned that of the Lagos High Court which sentenced him to death by hanging. The presiding judge accused the lower court of being “storked to secure a conviction by all means”. On January 30, 2012, a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere convicted Major al-Mustapha for the murder of Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola.

After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, one of the most outstanding personalities of the century, Nelson Mandela died on December 5, at the age of 95. He passed on at 20:50 local time (UTC+2) in his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, surrounded by his family. His death was announced on television by South African President, Jacob Zuma. On December 6, Zuma announced a national mourning period of 10 days, with the main event held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on December 10. He declared Sunday December 8, a national day of prayer and reflection. Mandela’s body laid in state from December 11 to 13, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and a state funeral was held on December 15 in Qunu, South Africa. Approximately, 90 representatives of foreign countries travelled to South Africa to attend the memorial events.

Oduagate/purchase of bulletproof BMW cars Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, found herself in troubled waters with the allegation of the purchase of two armoured bulletproof BMW cars at a cost of N225 million by an agency under her ministry. The purchase of the vehicles drew outrage and condemnations among Nigerians who called for her sack. While the House of Representatives carried out an investigation into the matter and called for her sack, the Senate gave the minister a soft landing and never carried out an investigation on the matter. The minister was scheduled to appear before the Senate at plenary but the Upper House rescinded its decision and referred her to the Senate Committee on Aviation, a

Mandela

move which drew the ire of many Nigerians. When the minister finally appeared before the Senate Committee, no mention of the N225 million bulletproof cars was made as she was asked questions on the Associated Airline crash which claimed 16 lives in October. However, the lower House moved to probe whether the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) purchased the cars for her. After a public hearing, the committee recommended that the minister was the beneficiary of the two cars and asked, among other things, that President Jonathan should review her continued engagement as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They also added that Oduah should be made to face the consequence of spending public money on unbudgeted expenditure by facing a three-year jail term and a fine. Anambra elections The much-awaited governorship election for Anambra state took place on November 16. It was accompanied by the usual drama that trails political events such as an election in the country. Prior to the election proper, the main parties in the state stoked controversy over who should fly their various party flags during the poll. After normal voting, INEC) declared the election inconclusive, and scheduled to hold a supplementary election after two weeks in 210 polling units in 16 local councils across the state. The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, candidate, Chief Willie Obiano, was declared winner of the exercise. The returning officer, Prof James Epoke, said Obiano satisfied all the requirements of the law “and is hereby declared winner”. The result showed that APGA polled 180,178 votes, PDP got 97,700 votes; APC received 95,963 votes, while LP had 37495 votes. Death of Nelson Mandela

ASUU strike On July 1, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, began an indefinite strike nationwide. National President of ASUU, Dr Nasir Isa Fagge, made the declaration, at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after their NEC meeting held at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State. Speaking to newsmen, he said: “We are embarking on indefinite strike nationwide because the Federal Government reneged in the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed with ASUU in 2009 to pay lecturers their earned allowance.” According to Fagge, the Federal Government, in 2009 made a law to pay each lecturer N12, 500 per month as earned allowance which it never did since 2009. The industrial action lasted for about five months, until December 16, when the union called off the strike. Fagge told journalists at a press briefing that it accepted the resolutions signed between ASUU and the Federal Government on December 11, with the President of Nigeria Labour Congress. “Finally, NEC resolves to suspend the strike embarked upon on July 1, with effect from Tuesday, December 17 and directs its branches to resume work forthwith”, he said. Fagge stated that as part of its expectation, the National Executive Committee expects the government to implement fully the resolutions reached and signed with the Union. Pension scams Within the year, there were revelations of massive looting in different pension schemes, with the perpetrators allegedly stealing billions of naira meant for pensioners. Stories of pension scams made the news on several occasions, with depressing regularity. More troubling was an CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


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The Big Read

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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Nation gripped by Agagu’s death, more by crash of plane ers during a routine polio immunisation exercise at Filin Kashu and Shargalle Health Centre (in Hayen Hotoro), both in Kano metropolis, in two separate attacks. The gunmen who came in a tricycle shot three women at Filin Kashu and injured three others, while another set of gunmen also attacked Shargalle Health Centre and killed seven women. The attack drew strong condemnations from across the country. Super Eagles win Nations Cup It was celebration time in Nigeria, when in February, the Super Eagles emerged winners of the 2013 African Cup of Nations. The team defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 to lift the trophy. It was the third time the country was winning the tournament, having previously done it in 1980 and 1994.

L-R: House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, the Awujale of Ijebu land, Oba Sikiru Adetona and a Reps member, Hon. Yemi Ogunnusi at the annual Ojude-Oba festival in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, in October

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 apparent lack of will on the part of government to bring the thieves to book. At the centre of the mess that unfolded in the bid to probe into decades of pension funds mismanagement was a certain Abdulrasheed Maina, chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT. A Deputy Director in the Office of the Head of Service, Maina, was appointed to head the reform team to restore sanity to Nigeria’s deeply corrupted pension scheme. But, in the process, he himself became inextricably enmeshed in allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds. Despite his claims of trying to see the sanitisation process through, which he said led to the recovery of over N151 billion, Maina was mentioned in the weighty allegations that he helped himself with money from the Police Pensions Account. With pension money, he allegedly opened accounts in different banks, one of the accounts in his younger brother’s name. These alleged illegal transactions were reportedly yielding an interest of about N100 million monthly. Among other sundry expenses, Maina was also accused of spending up to N1 billion to carry out biometric verification for retirees, both in Nigeria and abroad. On the whole, he allegedly misappropriated about N195 billion, according to the Senate Pension Probe Committee. This resulted in extreme difficulties in getting money to pay thousands of pensioners their due. In another instance, seven suspects, including a Permanent Secretary in the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, and a Director of Finance and Accounts in the Ministry of Communications, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang were re-arraigned before Justice Hussein Baba of the FCT High Court over a N46 billion Police Pension fraud. The re-arraignment signalled taking over of trial from Justice Abubakar Talba, who faced a probe panel of the National Judicial Council, NJC, for passing alleged ridiculous sentence on the self-confessed pension thief, Mr. John Yakubu Yusuf. In another pension scam case, a director of the Police Pension Office, Mr. John Yusuf, was handed only a twoyear jail sentence for conniving with others to defraud the office and pensioners of N27.2 billion. Yusuf had admitted to stealing N2 billion of the money. But he did not spend the two years in jail as Justice Abubakar Talba gave him an option of fine in the sum of N750,000 for the three offences he pleaded guilty to. Many in the courtroom openly expressed their amazement with Talba’s judgement.

AFTER SUFFERING FROM A PROLONGED RESPIRATORY INFECTION, ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING PERSONALITIES OF THE CENTURY, NELSON

MANDELA DIED ON DECEMBER 5, AT THE AGE OF 95. HE PASSED ON AT 20:50 LOCAL TIME (UTC+2) IN HIS HOME IN HOUGHTON, JOHANNESBURG, SURROUNDED BY HIS FAMILY. Each of the three offences attracts a two-year jail term. The sentences ran concurrently. Yusuf will however forfeit 32 houses in the FCT and Gombe as well as N325 million, which the EFCC said were proceeds from the crime. Yusuf ’s lawyer, Maiyaki Bala, told journalists that they intended to take up the option of fine immediately. The convict, who had been on bail before he was sentenced, was driven away in his personal car. Appeal Court affirms death sentence on Rev. King An appeal court in Lagos affirmed the death penalty for Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, the notorious Lagos preacher, popularly known as “Rev. King”. A panel of judges at the court said the lower court acted in the interest of justice by sentencing the preacher to death. King, who was sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of a female member of his church, appealed against the conviction and is awaiting judgement. Rev. King was sentenced to death by hanging in 2007 by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Ikeja High Court in Lagos on a 5-count charge of murder. The bearded General Overseer of Christian Praying Assembly (CPA), Ajao Estate, Lagos was convicted for setting fire on seven members of his church who he accused of fornication. One of them, Ann King, died as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. During the trial, witnesses, who were mostly his church members, narrated how Reverend King turned them to sex toys. The principal witness in the matter, Kelechi King, in her gory account, told the court how she had aborted four pregnancies for the self-acclaimed ‘god’. She also revealed how Reverend King made her denounce her family and how she served him as his maid, attending to him naked. Gunmen kill 9 health workers in Kano Gunmen morning shot dead nine female health work-

Power: Jonathan presents licences to new owners In what has been described as a historic handing over and a milestone in the power sector reform process, President Goodluck Jonathan in september, handed over share certificates and licences to the 14 new owners of the power distribution companies (discos) and generation companies (gencos) which succeeded the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The generation companies now in the hands of core investors are Geregu, Ughelli, Olorunsogo and Egbin Power plants, as well as Kainji and Shiroro Hydro Electric Plants, while the distribution companies involved are Abuja, Benin, Eko, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Yola. Pope Benedict resigns/new Pope emerges In an unprecedented move, Pope Benedict (XVI) resigned his position as the leader of the Catholic Church. In a letter he sent to the College of Cardinals, the Pope acknowledged that the recent wave of scandals involving Catholic priests had made it impossible for him to do the job he was elected to do. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio emerged as the new Pope after his election. He is the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to be Pontiff. He is called Pope Francis I. Chinua Achebe dies at 82 Professor Chinua Achebe, one of the world’s most celebrated writers and author of the classic novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’, died on March 21. Prof Achebe had been ill for some time. He was 82 years old. Achebe, who was the David and Mariana Fisher Professor of Literature at Brown University, died in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United states. Achebe had been wheel chair-bound since sustaining serious injuries in a 1990 automobile accident near Awka, the capital of Anambra State. The accident left him paraplegic. Since receiving treatment for his injuries in a hospital in the UK, Achebe had lived in the US, teaching at Bard College at Annandale-on-Hudson and, for the last four years, at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Fashola ‘deports’ Igbo from Lagos/apologises In an early morning move, several people of Igbo descent were moved from Lagos and dumped at the Onitsha, Anambra State by agents of the Lagos State government. Those relocated were described as destitute whom the government wanted to reunite with their families. Following widespread condemnation, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, later rendered an unreserved apology to the Igbo for the action by his administration, saying, “The action of our government was misunderstood.” Olusegun Agagu dies, corpse in plane crash Former Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Agagu, slumped and died on September 13, in Ibadan, oyo State. On October 3, 2013, a day before his burial, Associated Aviation Flight 361, the plane carrying his corpse together with 13 passengers and seven crew members, crashed on takeoff from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.


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News

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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More govs, lawmakers’ll soon dump PDP –Amaechi UDUAKABASI PATRICK, PORT HARCOURT; AYO ESAN, L AGOS

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overnor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has said that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party,( PDP) at the weekend issued the red alert to ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as he declared that necessary arrangements have been made for mass defection of governors and other National Assembly members from the PDP to All Progressives Congress, APC. Recently, five state governors, of which Amaechi was among, ditched the PDP for the APC while 37 House of Representatives members followed suit afterwards. Amaechi who addressed a press conference in Port Harcourt on Friday night, noted that he was forced to leave the party due to bad management of its leaders. He also averred that the party would lose the 2015 election at the federal level and in Rivers State owing to “the corrupt tendencies of some leaders in the party”

…Insists party will lose 2015 elections •Accuses Jonathan of failing South-South whom he said were only conscious of their selfish interests. “For me, mis-governance or bad governance was one of the reasons why I left the PDP. I have been shouting and the PDP does not care. But this is the first time they will care,” he added. Amaechi who described

PDP as a drowning party, said it had exhibited a high level of corruption at the federal level, saying, “unless they (PDP) rig election or sit down and announce result, it will be a difficult call for the PDP to win this country.” Amaechi further stated that most of the PDP governors still in the party were

ENUGU

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eputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has urged his constituents to protect all government projects located in their domains. He particularly urged his Enugu west people to protect the numerous projects he attracted to the area. Ekweremadu said he was happy that ninety nine percent of the projects he attracted to his Enugu West Constituency were going on well. The DSP spoke during his Christmas interaction session with stakeholders in his constituency including the members of committee he inaugurated to monitor the projects. He urged them to report anybody that destroys any of the projects to the police so that the law would take its course. He said he has no prob-

APC will still attract more members of the National Assembly, to gain the majority, and control the legislature. “You cannot say it’s opposition because we are gradually forming government. We have taken over House of Reps and before March, I bet you, we will take over the Senate”, Amaechi stated.

Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi (3rd right), and Chief Ben Ene (1st right), his wife, Nkem (2nd left) and their children, Obiora (1st right), Nnamdi (2nd right) and Ifeanyi (3rd left), when they paid Christmas visit to Obi at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

Ekweremadu urges constituents to protect govt projects DENNIS AGBO

very uncomfortable, and assured that more of them were still likely to leave the PDP. “I can assure you that more governors will leave. They are quite uncomfortable; they need to take some shots to come out and by God’s grace, they will come,” he said. According to him, the

lem with anybody in the state, insisting that Enugu State deserved peace for progress and development to take place. He stressed that he was interested in peace, pointing that crisis would lead to nowhere even as he insisted that nobody has the right to stop or destroy any on-going project in his constituency. He charged members of the monitoring committee to work towards the actualization of equitable distribution of projects as well as to make sure that contractors do not do their work haphazardly. Ekweremadu, who is also the speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, said as a parliamentarian, he does not handle money for projects, stating that all he does is to attract projects and ensure that they are awarded to contractors. According to him, money for constituency projects is not given to politicians

but to contractors, adding that they do not even select contractors. He added that what they do is only to pursue the projects. He told the stakeholders that his aim was to provide quality representation for his people, saying he was ready to entertain advices as well as commendations in anywhere he performed well for his people. The deputy senate president assured that he would continue to attract projects to his constituents and urged them not to allow anybody to disrupt ongoing projects in their communities. He told his constituents that he would continue to fight for their interests and advised them to champion the course of peace, saying it was the only way to attract meaningful development. Gift items were given to the constituents and widows that attended the occasion.

He said he left the PDP in the interest of the state, lamenting that although President Goodluck Jonathan received a lot of support from the state during the elections that brought him to power, the state had not benefitted in any way from his presidency. “Instead of Niger Delta benefitting from a SouthSouth President, we are losing. Tell me one thing Rivers State has gained from being part of the SouthSouth under Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidency?”, he asked rhetorically. He maintained that as governor of the state, he had the interest of Rivers people at heart and that was why he moved to the APC, as he could not watch Rivers State being marginalised by the ruling PDP under the administration of President Jonathan. According to Amaechi, politics is about interest and if the interest of Rivers State is not protected under a South-South President, there is no need of having a South-south president; CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Yuletide: Passengers shun luxury buses in Abuja

O

perators of luxury buses in Abuja on Saturday expressed concern on passengers’ preference for mini-buses to convey them to their various destinations during the Yuletide. Some of the operators, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), attributed the development to the smaller seating capacity and faster movement of the mini-buses. Mr Nze Enoch, the Assistant Manager of Uche God Multibiz Transport Company, said the mini-buses

“convey smaller number of passengers and get filled up faster.’’ According to him, passengers are always conscious of time as they will often want to get to their destinations early. “Once people get to motor parks, they want to board a bus that will leave the next minute; the minibuses convey between 14 passengers and 18 passengers. “But the luxury buses will convey between 50 persons and 51 persons and people think it will take

some time to get that number of people on board. “So, they don’t bother about their convenience, safety and cargo; they are forced to squeeze into minibuses,’’ he said. Mr Benjamin Ukapi, the Manager of Chukwudubem and Ebube Motors, argued that many passengers are unaware that luxury buses are safer. He recalled that passengers were attracted to minibuses when the concerned authorities of luxury buses started warning passengers against night journeys.

NDDC boss advocates ethnic cultural carnival in Warri

C

hief Tom Amioku, a Commissioner in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) representing Delta, on Saturday advocated an ethnic cultural carnival to foster unity in Warri. Amioku, at a cultural fiesta organised by the Warri Rebirth Initiative (WRI) in Warri, said the cultural carnival would bring the various ethnic groups in Warri

together. He said that the carnival would engender the spirit of unity that had eluded them. The commissioner said that Warri was a meeting point for people irrespective of origin and cultural background. “The relative peace and tolerance we enjoyed in Warri in the past is no longer there. “This Warri Rebirth Ini-

tiative is set to bring back the lost glory of Warri. “Different ethnic groups residing in Warri coming out for this kind of carnival will promote peace among the people,’’ he said. Also speaking, Mr Austine Uroye, the Transitional Committee Chairman of Warri-South Local Area of Delta, said that government would support the vision of WRI.


8

National News

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

7 perish in auto crash on East-West road in Bayelsa

S

even persons were on Friday burnt to death following a collision between a passenger bus and a private vehicle in Zarama community on the Bayelsa flank of the East-West road. The collision reportedly caused a loud explosion, after the passenger bus, an 18-seater Toyota Hiace with registration number YB 820 AAA, was thrown into a nearby farm. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dead passengers were burnt beyond recognition following the explosion, while nine others survived with fatal injuries. Market women and sympathisers wept uncontrollably at the accident scene while rescue operations were going on at the accident scene, close to the popular Zarama weekly

market. Mr Chukwuma Ukaegbu, the FRSC Unit Commander in Sagbama Local Government Area, blamed the accident on total disregard of traffic regulations by both vehicles. ``The Toyota Siena and the bus were on high speed, and they were both driving recklessly, before the accident occurred as a result of dangerous overtaking. ``We have been able to rush the victims to the Niger Delta Teaching Hospital at Okolobiri in Bayelsa,’’ he said. Ukaegbu disclosed that the burnt victims were trapped inside the vehicle, adding that the bus had gone up in flames after the collision, with its driver reportedly dying instantly. The Bayelsa Commander of the FRSC, Vincent

Jack, also confirmed reports of the accident. He however said he had since dispatched officers to the scene for rescue operations. Mr Joel Ebi, an eyewit-

AYO ESAN

T

he Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, through its improved traffic services and traffic control during the yuletide and New Year festivities has reduced road accidents and ensured free flow of intra-city and inter-city traffic, findings have revealed. Sunday Mirror investigation across the six geo–political zones of the country showed that the traffic services and traffic control have been very effective in the past days. A lot of improvement was noticed on Lagos/Ibadan; Sagamu/Ore/Benin; Abuja/ Kaduna and Kano/Katsina roads. It was also gathered that through improve services, the FRSC was been able to reduce road accidents during this year’s yuletide period when compared to previous years.

conveying a family of eight from Warri to Aba when the accident occurred. The driver of the Toyota Siena however sustained a minor injury. NAN reports that the re-

mains of the dead passengers have been deposited at the morgue, while the rescued commuters were receiving medical treatment at the same hospital. (NAN)

L-R: Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; her husband, Governor Kayode Fayemi; with some aides, serving a cross section of elderly citizens in the ‘Soup Kitchen’ initiative of the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), in Itapa Ekiti, at the weekend.

Yuletide: FRSC reduced gridlocks, accidents –Survey Also in major cities like Lagos, Kaduna, Ibadan, Benin, Kano, and Abuja there were reports of improved services and traffic control which led to free vehicular movements and prevention of traffic jam that usually characterized the yuletide. It was gathered that where accidents occurred, the FRSC officials promptly responded by evacuating accident victims to nearby hospitals, while also coordinating traffic for free flow at the scene of the accidents. Many motorists who spoke to Sunday Mirror said that the FRSC officials were reached through its 122 toll –free phone lines and that they promptly responded to travellers’ emergency calls, resolved traffic problems and rescued accident victims. Speaking, when contacted on the development, the FRSC Corps’ Deputy Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem said the noticed im-

ness, said the commercial bus was travelling from Warri to Calabar when the crash occurred. He said the Toyota Siena car, with registration number BJ 292 BWR, was

provement of traffic control and traffic services was not accidental as according to him the FRSC really planned for the task of reducing accidents during this festivities. “We had improved deployment of patrol cars. We deployed 284 patrol cars nationwide and we deployed 34,000 Special and regular marshals; 102 motor bikes and 63 ambulances. This effectively helped in reducing road accidents and ensure prompt response when accidents occurred”. He said in addition to this, the Corps deployed seven heavy duty towing trucks and eight small and medium scale towing trucks to remove obstruction on the roads. The Corps according to Kazeem also engaged in aerial surveillance with Air Force helicopters just as men on the roads were doing route lining and “this brought a lot of improvement in our services”.

‘More govs, lawmakers to dump PDP’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

rather, the presidency should be given to an individual who would have the interest of Rivers State at heart. “Tell me what we have gained since Jonathan became the president. I have personally spoken to Mr. President privately on our problems but he has paid a deaf ear; Jonathan and his men do not like Rivers State. Even if he does not like me (Amaechi), he should not let the people suffer”, Governor Amaechi said. He further stressed that the President has refused to refund the money the state used in executing some federal projects like road worth N105 billion and as such, the state had some challenges in carrying out some local projects. Amaechi posited that

the president had abandoned the promised skill acquisition centre for Rivers State and denied it of the delivery of the helicopters that were meant to fight crime, as well as took the oil wells from Soku in Kalabari Kingdom and in Etche. He stated that he took the minister for Niger Delta to see the East-west bridge and that for him his signature is everywhere. According to him, even if he leaves power, he would not be bothered because he had made his marks. Speaking on his grouse with the First Lady, Amaechi said he was voted by the people of Rivers State to be the Governor of Rivers State but not the wife of the President despite that “she is a daughter in the state.” He said he has not fin-

ished with the work at the water front because the wife of the president intruded and as such, he stopped working. “I left because of the attempt by the wife of the President to micromanage governance in Rivers and I said ‘no, you can’t so that. If I fail, they will not say the wife of the President failed, Governor Amaechi failed. So, I am accountable to God and to men and the women. The second reason is that all our oil wells were ceded to other states”, he said. Reacting however, a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Ebenezer Babatope sneered, saying there is no basis dissipating energy “over the empty. “However, when the time comes in 2015, we shall meet on the battle field and know who is stronger.”

NIGERIA IN BRIEF Abuja residents commend availability of fuel during celebrations Abuja residents commend availability of fuel during celebrations Residents of Kubwa, FCT, on Saturday commended the Federal Government for ensuring adequate fuel supply during the Christmas celebrations. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents who monitored the fuel situations in the town, reports that the

residents have been buying fuel freely without any queue at the filling stations. NAN recalls that fuel scarcity marred Christmas celebrations in Abuja last year as many filling stations had no fuel while the few ones that sold had to content with long queues. Mr Emeka Orakwe, a property consultant, told NAN that the development was a sign of

committed leadership, aimed at alleviating the suffering of the masses. He said that it was unusual for the yuletide to come without experiencing acute fuel scarcity. ``We all know how it used to be; people create artificial scarcity to either enrich themselves or to spite the government.

Nigerian pilgrims pray at Wailing Wall Some Nigerian pilgrims in Israel made private supplications to God and for country at the famed Wailing Wall on Saturday. The Wailing Wall, located in East Jerusalem, is about 500 metres long, 57 metres high, and is believed to be a very important place of worship. Individuals and groups go to

the place to pray and sometimes wail and slip prayers written on papers through the cracks asking God for divine intervention. The pilgrims also prayed at the Garden Tomb located within the same vicinity with the Wailing Wall and Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. Other holy places they vis-

ited and prayed at were Jordan River, Golan Heights, Jericho, The Tomb where Jesus was buried in a garden owned by a rich man called Joseph of Arimathaea. In Jericho, they visited the Sycamore Tree climbed by Zacchaeus, a short man and tax collector, in order to have a good view of Jesus.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Sunday December 29, 2013

9

Again, Oshiomhole survives road accident SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

F

or the second time in less than two years the convoy of the Edo State governor, comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was yesterdayinvolved in an accident. According to a statement that was signed and released to journalists yesterday afternoon in Benin City by Oshiomhole’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Prince Kassim Afegbua, titled, Governor

Oshiomhole Survives Road Accident, nobody died or sustained an injury in any of the vehicles involved in the accident that occurred at Ewu, a long slope on the Benin–Auchi–Okene Highway that has notoriously claimed several lives and properties in the past. The statement from House explained, “Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole survived a motor accident at Ewu Village along the ever busy Benin-Auchi road in Edo State at about

9.45am Saturday, 28th December, 2013 on his way back to Benin City from his Iyamho Village. “The incident occurred at about 9.45am at Ewu, in Edo Central Senatorial District, when a Peugeot J5 Bus filled with tomatoes and plantains apparently lost control and rammed into the Governor’s Flag Car from the opposite direction before swerving into a road side ditch.” “Three vehicles in the governor’s convoy were

in front of the Governor’s Flag Car and had passed the Peugeot J5 bus before it (J5 bus) had direct impact with the governor’s car which had the governor, his aidede-camp and his driver as occupants. The governor’s car was badly affected but no injuries were sustained by both occupants of the Peugeot J5 bus and that of the governor.” It further stated that “The Peugeot J5 bus was following a truck that was descending the Ewu slope

when it suddenly veered off into the governor’s lane from the opposite direction and directly impacted on the governor’s vehicle, apparently because of brake failure. The good story is that nobody sustained injuries in both vehicles. The Comrade Governor is hale and hearty; his ADC and other occupants of the Peugeot J5 are also in good condition.” The statement concluded that, “The incident has been reported to the Divisional Police Station at Ewu for further investigation. This is to assure all good people of Edo State that there is no cause for alarm. Their loving Comrade-Governor is fine, hale and hearty as well as other occupants of the other affected vehicle. The Comrade-Governor is wishing everyone a prosperous New Year ahead.” It would be recalled that Governor Oshiomhole and his convoy were also involved in a road accident that occurred on Saturday,

April 28, 2012 on the Auchi—Warake Road, situated in the North Senatorial District of Edo State, where he had gone to attend a political campaign ahead of the July 14 governorship election in the state. Three journalists on the governor’s entourage, Messrs Fidelis Okhani (of the African Independent Television) as well as George Okosun and Olatunji Jacob (both of the Independent Television), lost their lives in the accident. While the governor had immediately after the accident stated that it was not just an ordinary auto accident but a direct assassination attempt on his life, he had gone ahead to accuse the opposition party in the state, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of masterminding the accident to kill him. As at the time of filing this report, the PDP was yet to react to this latest accident involving the governor and his convoy.

Yuletide: Olejeme fetes the poor, less privileged

A man with a gunshot wound in his leg being carried in a stretcher from one ward to the other inside the Juba Military Hospital in Juba as fighting continued in South Sudan, yesterday, despite the ongoing ceasefire talks.

Don’t label deities as evil, Adams urges Yoruba ETAGHENE EDIRIN

T

he national coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani Adams has charged Yoruba sons and daughters to desist from labelling deities of the race as evil. He made the call during the celebration of the 2013 edition of Ogun Ajobo/Elegbera Festival, in Ikorodu area of Lagos state recently. Adams noted that there is a need for the Yoruba, and indeed Nigerians to promote the cultures and traditions of their land to retain their identities. He also enjoined sons and daughters of the ancient town of Ikorodu to join hands with the Olokun Festival Foundation to promote Ogun Ajobo/Elegbera Festival to world standard. “And I say that you and I can join hands today to make Ikorodu a tourist destination if we develop this festival to world stan-

dard “Adams added According to him, promotion of traditional cultural festivals is a veritable tourist activity that can attract people from other lands to Nigeria and serve as a source of foreign exchange earnings, while also bringing development to the land. The OPC chief used the event to “remind Nigerians that the world is gradually looking inward to discover ways of boosting their local economies” and that “The era, when oil and other natural resources are the main source of income for countries is gradually coming to an end.” Adams, while speaking on Ogun said that “Ogun plays a very important role in the lives of human beings. Almost all our activities revolve around this important deity. The car we drive, the air planes, we travel in, the spoon we eat with, the cutlass we use and other things are symbols of Ogun” The Olokun Festival Foundation chief also used

the occasion to charge the Federal Government on the need to totally reconstruct the roads and other amenities in the ancient town of Ikorodu town. Adams said that Ikorodu used to be the link to Lagos in the past, before the construction of the Lagos - Ibadan Expressway and that subsequent governments abandoned Ikorodu. He further noted, that “for Ikorodu to fully attain its potentials, there is a need for all of us to play our roles but particularly, the Federal Government must rise up

to joining hands to restore Ikorodu to its place of pride” He continued that before the Lagos - Ibadan Expressway was constructed , Ikorodu was the link road to Lagos but the roads, particularly the Ikorodu-Shagamu Road and the Ikorodu-Ijebu Ode Road have suffered years of neglect and were no longer motorable. “I therefore call on the Federal Government to please restructure these roads. By doing this, the government would have complemented the efforts of the Lagos State government”, he stated.

O

ne time governorship candidate in Delta state, and first female chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Olejeme last week celebrated the yuletide season by giving out various gift and food items to different groups and the less privileged ones. Her U&I Development Foundation office in Asaba,the state capital and the 25 local government areas were packed with people who came to benefit from the largesse. According to Mr. Benjamin Atu, the media Assistant to Mrs Olejeme the gesture was her own way of celebrating the season with the oppressed, and others who could not afford to celebrate. He stated, that the food

and gift items were given out free to as many who needed them without cost, adding, that it was in the nature of Olejeme to constantly share with the society, and as a thing of covenant to always be a voice to the voiceless and a hope to the hopeless. The aide who said Mrs Olejeme gave cash assistance as empowerment to various groups who visited the foundation last month said the scope of the U& I foundation has expanded beyond expectation. He stated that it had gone beyond the less privileged to various NGOs now coming to register under the Foundation in order to secure assistance in touching more lives through payment of medical bills, legal assistance and intervention cases.

Group calls for integration of physically challenged persons into society

M

r Joseph Ebube, the President, Foundation for the Physically-Challenged, JOPAM, yesterday urged the Federal Government to improve on the sensitisation programme for integration of persons with disability into the society. Ebube made the plea

in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the sidelines of a Christmas party for persons with disability. ``There must be sensitisation programme for the physically-challenged to come out of their stigmatisation and integrate themselves into the society, ‘’ he said.

According to him, there are so many disabled persons in their homes who would either want to go to school or access other social amenities but are faced with several impediments. Ebube told NAN that the media should be used to disseminate information to persons living with disabil-

ity through advertisement. ``Government should take care of persons with disability through educational sponsorship and provision of wheel chairs. ``The government should go the extra mile to fight the stigma that does exist with persons with disability.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

10

Man in the News DECEMBER 29, 2013

Most Rev. Peter Jasper Akinola

The cleric’s stint with kidnappers AYO ESAN

T

he outgoing week was a very important one for Christians as last Wednesday marked the birthday of Jesus Christ but to a former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Peter Jasper Akinola, the Christmas eve was a day he would not forget so easily as he was on that day kidnapped by gunmen That same Tuesday that he was kidnapped was also 32 days to his 70th birthday (27th January 2014). The incident happened at about 3.00 p.m in front of the main entrance of the Peter Akinola Foundation Centre for Youth Industrial Training on the Abeokuta-Lagos Expressway Lagos. Akinola who was inside a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), was intercepted by the kidnappers while he was returning from the vocational centre where he went for an inspection. His driver, was also taken away. The kidnappers were said to have shot sporadically to scare people away from the scene and were able to drive the vehicle and the occupants away. In its prompt reaction, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi said the police engaged the kidnappers in a gun duel that lasted for about two hours before the former primate was rescued. Adejobi, a deputy superintendent of police, said, “the fact that gunmen went away with the bishop, his driver and his vehicle before he was rescued does not connote kidnap”. He said that all security agencies in the state had been placed on the alert following the incident. “Our men at the border have been placed on red alert,” Adejobi added, assuring that the ex-primate and his driver would be found alive and their vehicle recovered. While recounting his ordeal after his release, Akinola challenged youths of the country to make themselves available for various opportunities being put in place by government and that Nigerians generally should fully develop their innate and God-given talents. “I want to appeal to all our young people, acquire some skills, put your hand to some work, you can earn a living.” He recounted his conversation with one of his abductors: “This young man was telling me in the car that he was educated, but he has no job, he has nothing to do than to do what he’s doing now but he doesn’t enjoy it. Those were his words “that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing but I have to do it.” He spoke further about his advice to the man to submit himself to be trained and equipped but he vehemently refused: “Me, come to you? So you will hand me over to the Police?” While admitting that the man sounded truly educated as he spoke good English, Most Revd Akinola admonished young Nigerians to shun violence and embrace the positive path to survival. He praised God, the Ogun State Government and the Nigeria Police for their quick intervention which led to his freedom. Akinola later rejoined other Christians in the special church service held at the St. Peters’ Church of Nigeria,

WHILE RECOUNTING HIS

ORDEAL AFTER HIS RELEASE,

AKINOLA CHALLENGED

YOUTHS OF THE COUNTRY TO MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE FOR VARIOUS OPPORTUNITIES BEING PUT IN PLACE BY GOVERNMENT AND THAT

NIGERIANS GENERALLY

SHOULD FULLY DEVELOP THEIR INNATE AND

GOD-GIVEN

TALENTS Anglican Communion, where he recounted his encounter with his abductors. The kidnapping of Rev. Akinola drew immediate condemnation from the Christian community which called for his immediate release. The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, pleaded with the kidnappers to release Akinola unconditionally. Oritsejafor, who spoke through his media aide, Kenny Ashaka, said the incident was sad, unfortunate and unacceptable. The Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, said, “This is a very sad incident, especially during this season of joy and happiness. It is so sad because of the calibre of the person involved, a religious leader, a peaceful and elderly citizen. “Whoever is involved in this kidnap has no reason whatsoever for this; there is no justification. We pray that

God touches the hearts of his captors to release Akinola without harm.” Osu added that the abduction of the former Prelate “goes to show how life has become so cheap in the country.” Lamenting the security situation in the country, he said, “I urge our security agencies to wake up and rescue Akinola. The kidnappers should also not be treated with kid gloves. The root cause of all this is poverty.” Also, the Pastor-in-Charge of the Victory Life Bible Church, Apostle Lawrence Achudume , called for the immediate release of Akinola. Achudume, who expressed shock at the news of the kidnap, appealed to the gunmen to set Akinola free immediately. The cleric said that such a heinous crime should not even be heard of. Achudume said, “It is appalling. I’m shocked, that’s a very bad omen. It should not even be heard of in Abeokuta, Ogun State. I’m highly shocked. Those who did that should release him immediately.” Akinola’s abduction is one of the latest high profile cases in the country. On August 24, 2013, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, was kidnapped in Edo State. He was released three weeks after his family had paid a ransom. Akinola was bborn in Abeokuta Ogun State on January 27, 1944 and he is the former Anglican Primate of the Church of Nigeria. He is also the former Bishop of Abuja and Archibishop of Province III, which covered the northern and central parts of the country. He became the first Archbishop when the division into ecclesiastical provinces was adopted in 2002, and later became the first Archbishop of Abuja Province, a position he held until 2010. On 15 September 2009, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh aged 57 years old, of Bendel Province was elected the Primate of Church of Nigeria at the conference of the House of Bishops in Umuahia. He succeeded Akinola on March 25, 2010


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics PROVIDING FRESH PERSPECTIVES TO ISSUES DECEMBER 29, 2013

Crisis almost tore the umbrella P 12, 13

I WILL MAINTAIN MY

SERENITY BECAUSE BY THIS LETTER I

HAVE DONE MY DUTY TO YOU AS

I HAVE ALWAYS DONE TO YOUR

Senate: Playing the balancing act P 14

GOVERNMENT, TO THE PARTY, PDP AND TO OUR COUNTRY, NIGERIA

Briefly

– CHIEF OLUSEGUN OBASANJO

Lawyer faults Orji’s adoption for Senate in 2015

Bamidele

An Ikeja-based legal practitioner, Mr Monday Ubani, at the weekend faulted the adoption of Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State as PDP’s sole candidate for the 2015 Abia Central Senatorial Zone election. Ubani, who is chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, said in Umuahia that Orji’s adoption by some political stakeholders was unfortunate. “The governor is from Umuahia and I am from Ikwuano in the same constituency. Can he claim that he has so much satisfied his own constituency to deserve wanting to represent us in the Senate? “We don’t have anything against him, but can he claim that he has done anything for his constituency which he wants to go and represent in the Senate? “I was surprised when I came into the state for the Christmas and New Year celebrations to see the extent of rot in my dear state. “There is no good road, no water and I was totally dismayed. “People should begin to speak against what is going on in Abia. Let us enthrone good governance. “I am surprised that, with all the professors, doctors, lawyers, lecturers and prominent people in Abia, nobody is talking. Or, is it that they have been bought over?’’ the lawyer wondered. Ubani said while he had nothing personal against the Orji administration, he still felt that people of the state needed to put the government on its toes. ``That way, the government will give us good governance,” he said.

Fayemi

Fayemi vs Bamidele: The race begins ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

A

fter months of silence and speculations, the berthing of the political train of House of Representatives member, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, in the Labour Party (LP) has suddenly restored life and vibrancy to the party. LP had gone into near oblivion shortly after the 2011 general elections. The party, which suddenly pushed into the limelight in Ekiti State in 2011 following the entry of former governor, Ayodele Fayose, to contest the Ekiti Central Senatorial District seat, soon became a shadow of its former self when Fayose abandoned it midstream for his erstwhile party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), shortly after losing the contest. However, indications that the party was still alive in the state emerged once again some months ago when rumour was rife that it was the platform that Bamidele, popularly called MOB, would use to realise his governorship ambition.

The rumour was against the backdrop that with the lawmaker’s insistence that he would contest the governorship against the incumbent, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who had been endorsed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for another term in office, Bamidele would have to use another platform. Since December 1 when Bamidele openly declared for LP at Emure Ekiti, it has been divergent views on the political future and fortunes of the lawmaker and former commissioner in Lagos State. While some are of the opinion that joining “a party that is not popular in the state can be a costly mistake for MOB,” others are of the opinion that “it is a risk worth taking if he would not be allowed to test his popularity in the APC, on which platform he was elected to the National Assembly in 2011.” But to the debate, Bamidele’s response is clear and unambiguous: “The LP has further enhanced my popularity among Ekiti people. It is a coalition that will bring about revolution against anti-democratic

forces and pioneers of bad governance in Ekiti State in 2014”. Bamidele, who said that the tentacles of LP had spread across the length and breadth of the state, advised those referring to the party as underdog to have a rethink, saying: “LP is a broad based coalition of determined people who are ready to bring the needed change to Ekiti. This is not a matter of political parties, but efforts to rescue Ekiti from doldrums.” Today, political watchers agree that attention is fast shifting from the PDP to LP as the most reckoned opposition party with the inability of the PDP to resolve its internal differences a few months to the election and the cold feet being developed daily by many of its members. These, analysts say, is in addition to the influx of politicians across different political party lines in the state into the LP fold to enlarge its membership coast and boost its strength. The new entrants include its state CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

Orji

We’ve provided social services, says council chairman Chairman of Orile-Agege Local Council Development Area, Hon. Taofik Adaranijo, at the weekend said he had brought succour to the people of the area through provision of basic amenities. Speaking with journalists in his office, Adaranijo said, the council has been able to assist various communities through the provision of basic amenities including good roads, modern drainage and health care system, potable water, text books to pupils and students, scholarships to best students, modern secretariat of the Council, renovation of schools, financial assistance to the less privileged and aged men and women. The chairman, who is being described as a grassroots politician because of his immense contribution to the community, has vowed to lay good example for others to emulate. According to him, all the major roads linking the express road are in good condition. He added that the provision of social amenities had been the priority of the council as the community would benefit immensely.


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Politics

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2013 IN RETROSPECT … 2013 IN RETROSPECT … 2013 IN RETROSPECT … For Peoples Democratic Party, 2013 could be described as a trying period for it. Obiora Ifoh revisits the activities that almost ruined the party.

F

or the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the year 2013 started with crisis and ended with crisis; the party started with its governors numbering 23 but ended with 18; the year started with the party dominating the lower arm of the legislature at the National Assembly but ended up in the minority; but above all, for the first time in the 15-year history of the party, it witnessed break away and fractionalisation; the party could be said to have survived the year by just a whisker. By the close of 2012, the atmosphere within the party was already charged with almost a third of the PDP governors choosing not to work with the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. These governors had undermined all the directives from the party national headquarters including the endorsement of Plateau state Governor, David Jang as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, rather they opted to stick with Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi; a development that not only divided the rank of the governors but worsened the already charged atmosphere in the ruling party. Recall that in March 24, 2012 at the Eagle Square, Abuja, party members came together to affirm the choice of the President, a select team that he hoped to work with in the management of the party all in the name of National Convention, but in the process, jettisoned the party constitution which stipulates that proper voting must take place for candidates to duly emerge. That singular disregard to the party’s constitution turned to haunt the party in 2013 as almost all the positions which were produced at the convention were rejected by both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the court. INEC, in a report by its 12-member committee

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 Chairman, Hon Akin Omole, an erstwhile PDP chieftain who narrowly lost the PDP state chairmanship in 2012; the Accord Party State Chairman, Alhaji Saka Adeleye; PDP chieftain and former House of Assembly Service Commission Chairman, Akogun Bunmi Ogunleye. Among those from the APC and former aides of Governor Fayemi are Mr Akin Olayisade (former Special Adviser on Public Works); Hon Abiola Olowookere (former Senior Special Assistant, Legal Matters); and Mr Adebamigbe Akilaya (former SSA, Elders Matters). Omole did not mince words on the party’s drive when he said LP membership was made up of “men dissatisfied with the way and manner Ekiti State is being run by the APC administration. We have come to deliver Ekiti people from bondage. We have come to give workers and Ekiti peo-

under the chairmanship of Col. M.K. Hammanga (retd.), rejected the adoption/ affirmation of some members of the PDP NWC, a decision ably supported by the court. The commission faulted the process adopted by the PDP in electing the said officials, arguing that it violated paragraph 6.5 of the guidelines used for conducting the 2012 congress and national convention of the party. It, however, approved the election of the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; the Financial Secretary, Bolaji Anani; the sacked National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; and the sacked National Auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha. To remedy the anomaly, the PDP organised a Special National Convention which ended up reelecting most of these officials with the exception of a few officials who were seen as not loyal to the Tukur leadership, chief among them, the Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Jaja. But in what appeared to be more than a coincidence, former, Vice President Atiku Abubakar on the same day of the Special Convention led the famous G7 governors including Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Abufatah Ahmed (Kwara), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Sule Lamido (Jigawa) into a historic breakaway from the mainstream party to form the New PDP. Members of the new PDP also included some former governors, legislators and party leaders while the former National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje was anointed to lead the pack. Among their conditions for peace to reign again ws the resignation of Tukur as the National Chairman; that President Jonathan should do one term only and forget re-election in 2015; that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Rivers State crises should be resolved; and “harassment” of governors by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be stopped. Between that dates in March till October, a dozen reconciliatory meetings held but

Crisis almost tore

Aliyu

Tukur

Ahmed

Nyako

they all ended in dissension. Some of the meetings included the Tukur’s reconciliation tour of the zones and with the grand finale in Abuja; visits which were largely

boycotted, the state tour by the Chief Tony Anenih led BoT, as well as meditative roles of Seriake Dickson which brought some cushion to the embattled Tukur leadership.

Fayemi vs Bamidele: ple generally a new lease of life”. The LP National Chairman, Barrister Dan Nwanyanwu, echoed the influx of members to the party recently when Bamidele was formally admitted to the fold. This was at a grand event attended by LP leaders, including former Steel and Power Minister, Dr Olu Agunloye; and Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; at the LP State Secretariat in Ado Ekiti. Nwanyanwu had assured the new entrants that nobody would be discriminated against in the party, saying, “There is nothing like new or old members. All we have in LP is one united family”. The party chairman, who described the partys as the right vehicle of change and development in Ekiti and beyond, said there was no division in Ekiti LP as being portrayed by some people, assured: “We will not stay in Abuja as they do in other parties and im-

pose anybody as governor. We are going to conduct the primaries in line with the electoral guidelines and the 1999 Constitution”. In his address, Mimiko, represented on the occasion by his Chief of Staff, Dr Kola Ademujimi, lamented that Ekiti was backward in view of the inexperience of its governors, saying Bamidele had got the necessary experience with which he could take the state to the promised land. While appealing to Ekiti people to vote for LP to stop having inexperienced people as governor, Mimiko said: “Experience, they say, is the best teacher. Everything is working in Ondo State because of the experience I had over the years. I served as commissioner in the Old Ondo State. I served as Federal Minister before I was elected the governor. “Opeyemi Bamidele served as commissioner for eight years in Lagos State. He is, at present, in the National Assembly and

has acquired the experiences that would liberate Ekiti from the pangs of backwardness,” the LP governor said. Bamidele, who expressed hope that he would emerge the party’s flagbearer in the 2014 election, said he had strong political structures and goodwill in the state to dislodge the APC government in the election to pave way for “a people-oriented LP government in the state. “This is a mission we must actualise. It is a race I must pursue to put an end to the era of inconsistent policies and programmes in Ekiti. Ekiti needs serious interventions at this critical time and God had given us the scientific understanding of what the people’s needs are and how to solve them,” he said. He, however, advised his political detractors to refrain from harassing him, saying no amount of threats, intimidations and attacks would make him abandon his resolve to rescue the state from the


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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… 2013 IN RETROSPECT ... 2013 IN RETROSPECT … 2013 IN RETROSPECT

the umbrella

Atiku

Wamakko

Other visits included that of the G7 governors to notable party leaders like former head of states, Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, Generals Ibrahim Babangida,

Amaechi

Abdulsalami Abubakar, and former Vice President Alex Ekwueme. There were several meetings at the Presidential Villa between the ‘rebel’ governors and the hierarchy of the party as well as the President, with warnings that if nothing urgent was done, the governors will jump ship. Unable to meet at a common ground, five out of seven rebel governors and other members of Baraje’s led new PDP on Tuesday, 26th November ceremoniously moved to the APC and warned that many more will join them. Both Govs. Lamido and Aliyu refused to leave PDP. Speaking when he arrived Yola airport on return from Abuja, Governor Nyako insisted that the PDP and its leadership had disappointed Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora by the high level of impunity and injustice in the party. “No Nigerian no matter his level in the society today is comfortable with the way and manner the country is drifting. The image of the country is

completely eroded at the international level and yet the PDP-led government and its operators are in Abuja making noise”, Nyako fumed. As for Kwara State Governor, he said that the PDP could no longer “meet their aspirations.” He spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Dr. Femi Akorede. Also Governor Chibuike Amaechi said he joined the APC because President Jonathan failed to address issues raised by the G-7 governors. “Rivers State must know that for me to have taken that decision, I had looked at the general interests of Rivers people. I was not elected to lead Nigeria, I was elected to lead Rivers State and I had looked at the interests of Rivers people and have seen that these interests were not protected in PDP. I have seen the fact that we are losing our oil wells in Etche, in the Kalabari areas and that the more they continue to pilfer these oil wells, the more we will continue to lose our wealth”, he said. Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano said the governors met and decided that “we must meet with the APC leadership and when we met with the APC leadership, it was important we took a position and the position we took is for the good of our democracy and ensure that Nigeria moves forward”. “We can’t continue the way we are, where we are. The picture painted by the PDP was as if we were begging to come back to PDP and issues were not being looked into, issues were not being resolved and it’s important that we resolve it one way or the other”. While the euphoria of the governors’ defection hardly died, about 37 PDP members of the House of Representative also decamped to APC in a power changing game that saw the APC now commanding a norminal majority in the lower chambers. The lawmakers said they joined the APC due to division and factionalisation within the PDP while claiming that their defection to APC is in obedience to section 68 subsec-

tion 1G of the constitution. The 37 members are from the states of Kano, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kwara, Rivers, Katsina and Adamawa. These are some of the states whose governors recently decamped from PDP to APC. With this development, the APC now commands 172 members from its initial 137, while the PDP has 171 from its initial 208. The Umaru Dikko led party’s Disciplinary Committee had only last month expelled the trio of Baraje, Jaja and Oyinlola while the National Chairman of the party in the North East, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure was placed on a watch list. This action was taken in line with Tukur avowed commitment to ensure that discipline is sacrosanct. But obviously shaken by the gale of defection in the party, Tukur has moved fast to ensure that more defection does not take place again with an automatic ticket to the lawmakers at the National Assembly, a proposal that is already believed to be seriously considered by the lawmakers. Tukur, in all these believed that the crisis faced by the party will soon peter away even as he has located his insistence on due process to allow democracy thrive, led to the conflict he had with G-7 governors, “We won’t allow anyone to hijack the party structure to determine who gets what. I am happy that majority of the legislators are in favour of free and fair primaries. “The crises we are witnessing in PDP are about 2015. The promoters are members who wanted to be President at all costs, they are those who wanted to be vice President at all costs and those who wanted to seek re-election as governors. Most of them felt if there was no crisis, their different ambitions would not be fulfilled.” To this end, it is believed that PDP may have seen off its worst year and that with almost certainty that President Jonathan will declare his Presidential ambition in the first quarter of 2014, things will begin to look up for a party that once boasted that it would remain in power for 60 years.

fit or not. But it is curious for APC to brand me as unfit when they once elected me to represent the people at the National Assembly. This perverted reasoning not only smacks of inconsistency and ignorance, but confirmed that they are jittery about my popularity and acceptability among Ekiti populace”. The governorship hopeful, who expressed assurance that APC would become history in Ekiti after the 2014 governorship election since the LP has what it takes to rout the party and consign it to the dustbin of history, located his action within positive historical perspective. His words: “When the former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, decamped from the PDP to Progressive Peoples Alliance, some prophets of doom said that the party would not win a councillorship election because of the fear of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

But to their consternation, Kalu went ahead and installed Chief Theodore Orji as his successor. “When the ever performing Governor of Ondo State, Dr Mimiko, defected to LP from the PDP, the same thing was said about him. But he went ahead and trounced the incumbent, the late Dr Olusegun Agagu, in a keenly contested election. “The most recent was the incumbent APC Governor in Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. He defected when he felt disenchanted with the PDP to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and went ahead to defeat an incumbent, Mr Ikedi Ohakim. “So, I am not really bothered by their vituperations and resort to abuse. But I want to say that my decision to contest for the governorship was borne out of the passion to liberate Ekiti people from the pangs of maladministration.”

The race begins doldrums through the 2014 governorship election. “Let all political parties and politicians embrace issue-based campaign and desist from habits capable of bringing the state to disrepute in the build-up to, during and after the 2014 election,” he said. A PDP chieftain, who preferred anonymity, said although he remained faithful to his party at present, he could not predict the next move, especially in view of the positive disposition of many leaders of his party for the ambition of MOB “in view of the lawmaker’s personality”. While it is believed in many quarters that the MOB threat is real, the ruling APC would always dismiss it with a wave of the hand. APC State Interim Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, who described the lawmaker’s LP move as “perilous and journey to perfidy” said: “This

will not have any effect on our performance in 2014. We are solid and have acceptability among the people of Ekiti State. “We had long suspected that Bamidele had been engaging in anti-party activity. He has been funding the coalition of opposition parties and giving us problems. But with his exit, we now know the real members we have because some of them were acting like moles before,” Awe said. APC State Director of Publicity, Mr Segun Dipe, who said members “know that the party (LP) is dead on arrival,” said in a statement that Bamidele “is not fit to govern an upwardly mobile state like Ekiti and as such could not have realised his ambition within the APC. He is therefore free to join any party where he can continue to nurture his mobster ambition as a vain labourer”. Bamidele, however, said “only the electorate can adjudge whether a candidate is


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Politics

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2013 IN RETROSPECT … 2013 IN RETROSPECT … 2013 IN RETROSPECT … 2013 IN RETROSPECT GEORGE OJI

T

hat 2013 was yet another year replete with serious insecurity and political challenges is to say the least, re-stating an obvious fact. For the legislature in particular, the year was marked by serious turbulence and trying moments. These trying moments arose for instance from the challenge of the imposition of emergency rule in the three north-eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, to the endless industrial strike actions by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), power holding workers and non academic staff of polytechnics, amongst others. There was also the vexatious letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan, the alleged missing $49.8 billion Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) funds, the Rivers State crisis to the series of calls for the impeachment of President Jonathan. All of these issues greatly stoked serious political crises and threatened the continuous existence of the country. It was the National Assembly, albeit the Senate that on each occasion, seized the moment, brought sanity to the polity and saved the situations. However, one fact many Nigerians were perhaps very oblivious of is that the Senate contained the probable implosion that may have resulted from those difficult situations. For instance, while their counterparts from the House of Representatives were busy engineering crisis in the polity for the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), calling for the impeachment of President Jonathan, the Senate remained on the path of caution, seeking instead in all situations, amicable solution to the contentious issues. Starting with the insecurity challenges in the North-eastern parts of the country, the Senate consistently maintained support to the administration of President Jonathan throughout the year to ensure that the situation did not escalate beyond control. First, the Senate in many instances, sponsored several motions, during which, it passed serious resolutions, condemning the acts of terrorism in the regions. The Upper House also passed other resolutions, urging the deployment of improved security personnel to the affected areas, with a view to curtailing the insecurity challenges there. Yet, when public complaints began to mount against the operations of the security agencies in the zone, the Senate was also quick to pass resolutions, condemning the actions of the operatives as well as insisting that their activities must conform to international best practices. This was also as the Senate held several meetings with the security chiefs, during which, the situation in the affected areas came under critical reviews. However, following the continued escalation of insecurity in the north-east and the eventual decision of President Jonathan to impose emergency rule in the three states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa in May, the Senate was first to give their nod to the action. This was as members of the House

Jonathan

Obasanjo

Senate: Playing the balancing act

of Representatives busied themselves, importing all manner of ethnic and religious factors into the matter that needed prompt action. The action of the President, which was hailed by many Nigerians as very desirable but late in coming, followed the near break down of law and order in the affected states and the near takeover of governance by the insurgents in the affected areas, where police stations, immigration, customs and other para military stations had in many parts of the affected states, been overrun by members of the Boko Haram sect. It was also the Senate that promptly renewed the emergency powers to President Jonathan on November 14 when the first authorization expired, to enable the President extend the emergency rule in the affected states following the non cessation of hostilities in the areas. But for the quick action of the Senate, the emergency rule would have automatically abetted following the inability of members of the House of Representatives to accede to the President’s request until the last week of November. It is also on record that it was following the intervention of the Senate that the six-month industrial action by ASUU was finally resolved and the university lecturers agreed to go back to the classrooms to resume teaching. Five months into the industrial action and following signs that none of the parties; the university lecturers and the Federal Government was ready to yield grounds on their positions, the Senate passed a resolution urging the Senate President, David Mark to personally intervene on the matter to find amicable solution to the crisis. It was as a result of this that Mark was able to bring back the parties to the negotiating table. Mark did not only convince ASUU executives to return to the bargaining table, he was also able to influence a meeting with President Jonathan and the

aggrieved university dons where after about 13 hours of serious negotiations a workable deal was struck and the teachers eventually called off the strike. Regarding the issue of the crude oil benchmark, which delayed the presentation of the 2014 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly by Jonathan, again, it was the Senate that broke the ice and reached amicable position with members of the House of Representatives after more than one month of insistence by the House members that the benchmark must be put at $79. The Federal Government had proposed $74 in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which it presented before the National Assembly. But while the House insisted on $79, the Senate accepted the $76.5 agreed between some principal officers of the National Assembly and representatives of members of the federal executive council. Despite several appeals to the House to see reasons, yield grounds and accept the $76.5 proposal, the lower arm of the parliament insisted on having its way. Two separate meetings called by the conference committee of the joint chambers of the legislature to resolve the differences could not achieve any compromise. It only took the maturity and sense of patriotism shown by members of the Senate to resolve the imbroglio by striking a deal, which saw the benchmark finally put at $77. Again, the patriotism and spirit of statesmanship of members of the red chamber was put to acid test following the allegation raised by the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that there was a missing $49.8 billion unremitted funds by the NNPC. While the immediate reaction of members of the House of Representatives and indeed the opposition political parties was the call for the sack of President Jonathan and the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Dezieani Alison-Madueke,

the Senate was the only arm of the parliament that insisted that caution must be applied and that proper investigation must also take place to ascertain the veracity of the allegation before calling for any forms of sanctions. The action of the Senate, which was despite the insistence by members of the opposition political party in the red chamber that the Senate should discuss the matter under the Senate’s standing rule on matter of urgent national importance, turned out to be a very wise approach. This was because it was later discovered in the course of investigations by the Senate committee on finance, which investigated the matter that Sanusi merely sounded a false alarm, as no such amount was found to be missing. Thus, that singular sagacious action of the Senate was able to reveal the truth and doused the political tension generated by that unfounded allegation. There was also the Rivers State crisis. Governor Chibuike Amaechi whose relationship with President Jonathan had taken a nose-dive for the worse also within the year had issues with the state commissioner of police, Mr. Joseph Mbu. The situation degenerated so bad to the point that the governor alleged complicity on the part of the police commissioner and subsequently called for the removal of Mbu as the state’s police boss. The governor was also at the same time engaged in another battle of his life with a splinter group of the state House of Assembly who were determined to impeach Amaechi. It was consequent upon this that members of the House of Representatives passed a resolution, asking President Jonathan to immediately remove Mbu as the Rivers State police commissioner as well as arrogated to itself, the responsibility of legislating for the state. Again, instead of aligning itself with the actions of the lower arm of the National Assembly, the Senate first directed its committee on states and local government to undertake a two-week investigating tour of Rivers State and file a report of its findings before it took further steps on the matter. It was after receiving and debating the report of its fact-finding committee that the Senate resolved on the matter. While an Abuja High Court had since declared the action of the National Assembly arrogating to itself the legislative powers for Rivers State a nullity and illegality, President Jonathan was yet to remove the state’s police commissioner. For these and many more actions of the Senate, members of the red chamber were able to play very crucial role of stabilizing the nation’s polity throughout 2013, hold the balance and prevented any possible break down of law and order in the country. However, one area that the lawmakers failed to live up to public expectations was in the area of effective oversight responsibilities of the ministries, departments and agencies of government. The result was that in the year under review, budget performance continued to be abysmally disappointing, while the issue of corruption continued to be perpetrated with unguarded impunity by civil servants.


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Interview ENCOUNTER WITH A NEWS MAKER DECEMBER 29, 2013

After OBJ’s letter, Jonathan, everyone must repent –Senator Kaka Alhaji Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka is the senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District. In this interview with Ayo Esan, he speaks about power concentration at the centre, corruption, the letter ‘war’ between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan, among other issues. Excerpts: How do you see the recent development which led to five PDP governors and other members of the new PDP defecting to All Progressives Congress, APC? The development is a good omen for the democracy we are practising. It is a manifestation of what Papa Obafemi Awolowo envisaged some 30 years ago in 1983 during the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, convention in Abeokuta. It is part of a dialectical principle he envisaged, that the best in all the political tendencies will come together and offer Nigerians the credible services they are craving for. We welcome the idea and I am sure everybody in the country will agree that it is going to provide a clear-cut choice for the electorate. Instead of multitude of parties jostling for power, the people will now have a clear choice between APC and PDP, and there will be balance of power. When you see what is happening now in the National Assembly, we are having a resemblance of what is going on in the United States of America’s Congress where the House of Representatives is in the hands of the Republican while the Senate and the executive are in the hands of the Democrats. It is good for the development of our democracy. How do you think that the grievances arising from harmonisation of old and new members now in the APC would be resolved by the party leadership? I don’t think there will be any problem whatsoever in politics; and in any facets of human endeavour there are bound to be disagreement and agreement. More often than not, people are bound to agree to disagree and disagree to agree. Since we are in a dynamic environment, it is only natural for those coming to join to want to have a footing and it is only normal for those who are there before to want to defend their existence. By and large, what will happen is the spirit of give and take, of accommodation where they will all realise that half bread is always better than none. Our coming together to give a purposeful administration to the people and for people to have sense of belonging in a progressive party is more than enough to override whatever difference that may be existing. I am sure that between now and 2014, everything will be amicably resolved. What are APC’s chances in the 2015 presidential election? If you are asking for the chance, I would say look outside and see the bright sunshine around. I must tell you that the much-awaited light at the end of the tunnel is already beckoning on Nigerians. It is a matter of Nige-

Kaka

MANY OF THE ALLEGATIONS ARE ALSO TRUE. IT IS LEFT FOR MR. PRESIDENT TO CARRY OUT THOROUGH INVESTIGATION AND BE ABLE TO WASH HIMSELF CLEAN OF

THOSE ALLEGATIONS.

BUT ON THOSE THAT ARE TRUE, HE NEEDS TO BE BORN-AGAIN

rians rejecting the PDP as expected and embracing the APC for a more purposeful leadership for the nation. Victory is certain for APC. How do you see Independent National Electoral Commission’s recent declaration that the 2015 general elections may not hold in three states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno where there has been prevalence of insecurity through the activities of the Boko Haram sect,

unless peace returned to those states? It is a conditional statement that if the crisis persists in those states, elections may not hold there. But you know we have just reviewed rule approval and by the time another six months passed , one would have expected that the problem there would be resolved. The executive will have to be up and doing to ensure that the problem is resolved as not to necessitate the third extension of the emergency period. That is what we are going to work towards because there is no way you can disenfranchise three clear states and say the election is credible. It can’t be if three states are disenfranchised. Everyone should be given the opportunity to get things done so that we don’t go back to the era of inconclusive elections. In the letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he accused President Goodluck Jonathan of given tactical support to corruption and further alleged that he was training a ‘killer squad’, don’t you think the allegations are weighty? That the letter came up, I think, is something good for the nation. That the President also has replied is also good for the nation. A Yoruba adage says that there is CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


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Interview

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Another extension of emergency rule unfair to democracy’ To the glory of God, I believe that it is only the people who can assess, I can’t score myself. I have tried my own best. I am only hoping that my best is good for them. In the area of infrastructural development through constituency project, I have tried my own bit, but some of them are yet to be executed by the executive. The executive has to keep on tracking it and ensure that something is done. To those responsibilities I was elected to do and that I decided on my own volition to do for the people, it is on record that my health care programme is on course. To date, we are taking care of the health situation of more than 12,000 people. On empowerment programme, my budget was to have N20 million revolving loan for the people in the nine local government areas of the district over the fouryear tenure. In two and half years, I have had course to actually increase it beyond that N20 million because I am impressed. Today, over N25 million has been disbursed, and with the rate of repayment, that is highly impressive, I am being tempted to say that before the end of 2014, I am going to add more money to what is circulating right now. When you look at education, they are not lagging behind as well, both in infrastructure and in terms of library books, chairs and desks, as well as notebooks for our pupils.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 no way two personalities can be guilty of a blatant lie. If the person that is being lied to doesn’t know, the person that is lying must know. This time round, the whole country has listened to both sides, and they are already reading in-between the lines. There are elements of truth in what the two sides are saying. Many of the allegations are also true. It is left for Mr. President to carry out thorough investigation and be able to wash himself clean of those allegations. But on those that are true, he needs to be born-again. When I say born-again, it is not only President Jonathan that should be bornagain, the entire Nigerians have to be born-again. Right from our family units, as individuals, by the time we wash ourselves clean, take charge of our immediate family and environment, I am sure things will start taking shape collectively. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, recently said the body language of President Jonathan did not portend that his government was fighting corruption; what’s your take on this, given that the issue of corruption is coming up every day? If you say corruption is coming up every day, it means we are not doing enough or if you think the government is doing enough, then the enough is not enough. Nobody can fault Tambuwal’s statement in whatever form in the sense that nationally, internationally the acknowledgement is that the nation is corrupt. If the nation is corrupt, there is no way we can be playing the ostrich game, where we will bend our head inside the sand and pretend that nobody is seeing us. It is in the public glare that corruption has eaten deep into our fabric, and the only way out is to properly identify the problem so that appropriate solution can be given. What Tambuwal has said is part of the problem identification which he should be commended for, and the necessary solution be prescribed so that we can have focus of what we are doing. What then do you think is the solution to the problem of corruption in the country? You know that recently EFCC cried out that it is broke. If the watchdog that is supposed to fight and deal with corruption is saying that it is broke, then how can it be independent? By the time the independent is broke, and then it has to become a scavenger looking for money, right, left and centre and when it starts doing that, it would become mainly ineffective. If we are serious about curbing corruption, EFCC and other security apparatuses must be adequately funded. After funding it, it is not enough to be chasing those who have committed offences, all the loopholes, the avenues that are open for corrupt practices, we have to find a way of blocking them. When we say blocking it, the over-governance we have been doing with this policy, that policy, regulation, the so-called due process that is not due, we have to review all of them; put them together in a handy form so that unnecessary delay in the execution of projects that normally gives room for manipulation have to be stemmed.

Kaka

ON TOP OF IT ALL, CONCENTRATION OF POWER AT THE CENTRE IS ACTUALLY CREATING A LOT OF AVENUE FOR CORRUPTION BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY EFFECTIVE EVALUATION OF PROJECTS CAN BE DONE FROM

ABUJA. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN

CLAMOURING FOR DECENTRALISATION AND TRUE FEDERALISM, WHICH WE HAVE BEEN RUNNING AWAY FROM The Ministry of Finance would also have to ensure that it is not enough to release money; it should be able to know the time of the release, and what is done with the money. It is not going to be just on quarterly basis, saying we have released so much amount of money. Where is the money going through? Has the result been achieved? On top of it all, concentration of power at the centre is actually creating a lot of avenue for corruption because there is no way effective evaluation of projects can be done from Abuja. People have been clamouring for decentralisation and true federalism, which we have been running away from. We are hoping that the national confab and constitution review that is going on would pay attention to that aspect, whereby more responsibility and equivalent authority will be devolved to the states and the local governments so that the people can really have a feeling of what democracy dividends is.

Political watchers believe that the House of Reps is doing better than the Senate in checking corruption among public officers; how do you see this, especially looking at the pronouncement of the House on the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah? What are the indices to give such impression? I can’t see any indices to justify that. The entire discovery that is being made, for instance the fuel subsidy scam, started from the Senate. There is no law passed by the House of Representatives that was not endorsed by the Senate; we should not create unnecessary dichotomy. The National Assembly is one and the members are one and are working towards the same goal. If there are areas of shortcoming and improvement, we need to improve together, not to dichotomise. How have you been able to bring dividends of democracy to the people of your constituency, Ogun East?

2015 is fast approaching, are you going to consolidate on what you are doing now or you want to extend to other areas by going for a higher post? Again, the people would have to decide. I don’t have the responsibility of that and there is no way I can lord it on people. If it is the wish of the people for me to remain in the Senate, so be it. If people have another responsibility for me, then they will be the ones to voice it out. Mine is to offer myself for service. There is no service that is small or big, once it is genuine, call for me service to humanity. Don’t you think the influx of Labour Party in Ogun State will give APC the real challenge come 2015? I cannot say there is influx of Labour Party in Ogun State. It is just a flash in the pan. It is going to evaporate over time. The Labour Party has got no root in Ogun and the attempt they are making, I can’t see it seeing the light of the day. Rather, I would enjoin everybody in Labour Party to come over to the APC; let’s join hands together to checkmate the PDP, not only in the state but nationally. They should follow the trend of what is going on in the country today and if truly they are progressives, they should team up with APC so that we can get things done for the country. What advice do you have for politicians, especially your party members? The advice is to keep the hope growing. Hope is getting brighter, and we believe that with the situation going on in the country, our party is destined to take over the reign of administration in Abuja come 2015. The people should keep hope alive. They should be up and doing to ensure that what our mind perceive, our sight can see in 2015.


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Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policy

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he Zimbabwean government has adopted an indigenisation policy meant to transfer 51 per cent equity in foreign-owned businesses to its native people. The remaining 49 per cent would be owned by foreign investors resident in Zimbabwe. The indigenisation policy covers retail trade, bakery, barbing and cottage industries. It is meant to provide jobs for Zimbabweans and prevent the control of that country’s economy by foreigners. The indigenisation policy emerged against the backdrop of rising inflation, joblessness and general economic decline occasioned by economic sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe. Similarly, the Mugabeled government has been pursuing a land repossession policy for the country’s black majority population. Between 1945 and 1955, white minority rulers at the helm of affairs in the country sacked natives from their lands and forced them to relocate to so-called ‘native areas’. The expropriated farmlands were redistributed to Western migrants who came to settle in Zimbabwe. The Mugabe administration has, however, been committed to land restitution to address the inequity foisted on the black majority by white supremacist rule. The assertive character of the Zimbabwean government under Mugabe appears a carry-over of the struggle against imperialism and its agents. Hitherto, the Zimbabwean government adopted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank economic prescriptions and reform measures. The devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar severely weakened the national currency and compromised the country’s national economy. The reform measures equally worsened the aggregate performance of the national economy and heightened social tension. As a result, the Mugabe government abandoned the neo-liberal reform measures and opted for a somewhat interventionist state. An

interventionist state lays emphasis on the involvement, superintending and regulatory roles of the government in the processes of economic production, distribution and exchange. We think the land question and indigenisation policy should be understood in this context. Meanwhile, critics of the indigenisation policy are calling for retaliatory economic measures against Zimbabwe by other countries, especially in Africa. The policy, they say, contradicts the effort to promote intra and inter regional trade and investment in Africa. It should be recalled, however, that Zimbabwean and other Southern African miners had been victims of xenophobia in South Africa. In the light of xenophobia, a sizeable number of Zimbabwean un-

While Zimbabwe is striving to protect its national security and strategic interests, Nigeria is consciously compromising all skilled miners had to return to their country, thereby exacerbating the unemployment situation in their nation. Therefore, the Zimbabwean government felt it had a responsibility not to hurt the interests of its populace and to protect the country’s economy from further foreign domination. Here at home in 1978, the Nigerian government pursued the indigenisation policy to address the foreign control and domination of its national economy, too. The country’s relatively strong oil economy strengthened the then General Olusegun Obasanjo military government to play assertive and interventionist roles in the economy. Similarly, the country’s nationalisation of the British Petroleum and its leading role in the liberation struggle

in Southern Africa were informed by the state-led character of Nigeria’s economy. But the economic crisis of the 1980s under General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) and his successors led to the abandonment of state interventionist policies in favour of neo-liberal government policies and ideologies. But such government attitudes meant the reversal of state ownership and rabid privatisation of public assets. The policies, including privatisation, have increased the peripheral and dependent status of the Nigerian political sphere and economy. They also increased the country’s dependence in general terms; heightened the influence of foreign companies in the local economy, externalised fiscal governance; and led to the virtual hijack of the local economy by foreign interests and their local stooges or allies. It is not strange, therefore, that telecommunication service providers in Nigeria and transnational oil companies are not quoted in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The Nigerian state has sold strategic sectors of the economy to foreign investors at the risk of its national security and autonomy. The foregoing provides a contrast between Zimbabwe and Nigeria. While Zimbabwe is striving to protect its national security and strategic interests, Nigeria is consciously compromising all. The Nigerian state should rethink its failed market policies and consider a developmental state option that will make the government a crucial player in production, distribution and exchange. The structural distortions and underdevelopment in Nigeria demand that the government superintendents on the economy on behalf of Nigerians. Neo-liberal policies have failed to restructure the Nigerian economy. They have, instead, increased material poverty and alienated the working people, urban poor and rural peasants. For these reasons, the Zimbabwean government should be commended for protecting its core national interests.

Reminiscences DECEMBER 29 IN HISTORY 1170 – Archbishop of Canterbury assassinated

Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, was assassinated by followers of King Henry II. He subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church. He is called St. Thomas of Canterbury and occasionally St. Thomas of London.

1920 - Yugoslav govt bans communist party

The government of Yugoslavia, already anxious about a destabilisation of the kingdom but also encouraged by the demise of the Communist regime in Hungary, took measures against the revolutionary Communist Party after a policeman and four miners had been killed in a miners’ strike near Tuzla, Bosnia.

1930 - Newton completes longest swim ever

Fred Newton completed the longest swim ever (1826 miles), when he swam in the Mississippi River from Ford Dam, Minn, to New Orleans, United states.

1937 - 2nd Irish constitution becomes effective

The second Irish constitution falls broadly within the tradition of liberal democracy. It establishes an independent state based on a system of representative democracy. It is the second constitution of the state since independence, replacing the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State.

1940 - Germany bombs London

The Blitz (from German, “lightning”) is the phrase used in English to describe the sustained strategic bombing of the United Kingdom by Germany during the Second World War.

1947 - Ship carrying Jewish immigrants driven away from Palestine

Jewish insurgency in Palestine refers to violent campaigns carried out by Jewish underground groups against the British forces and officials in Mandatory Palestine between 1939 and 1947. The struggle lasted until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

1968 - Israeli commandos destroy 13 Lebanese airplanes The Israeli raid on Lebanon, codenamed Operation Gift, was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Special Forces operation at the Beirut International Airport in the evening of December 28, 1968. 1972 – LIFE magazine stops weekly publication

Following 36 years of publication, the last weekly issue of ‘LIFE’magazine hit the newsstands. The magazine later became a monthly publication.


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Opinion

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday December 29, 2013

Uncensored U nc

Sheriff S Folarin

E-mail: sheffie2004@yahoo.co.uk 08094217972 (SMS only)

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ow that President Goodluck Jonathan has finally responded to the open letter to him by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, one can comfortably conclude that the serving president has descended to a pedestrian level that has made his office describable as juvenile presidency. That President Obasanjo wrote him a letter replete with scathing criticism is not a bad idea; but what is bad about it is that the former president condescended to the ridiculous level of leaking it to the media. For someone of Obasanjo’s status, reputation, pedigree and level of political wisdom, one would not have expected such a letter to be an open one. The action and reaction by Obasanjo and Jonathan respectively have therefore called for the need for lessons in political wisdom for national leaders and indeed cast doubts on the statesmanship of our elders and members of the ruling class.

The criticism against Obasanjo should not be about his criticizing Jonathan; what is expected is an outright condemnation of the manner of bringing us all into it by way of the media publication of what should have been strictly confidential. Those who condemn Obasanjo for his criticisms are those who do not know the political history of Nigeria, or at best, the social backgrounds of Obasanjo. This is why the teaching and learning of History is so important for us as Africans. Hitting a serving president below the belt is a regular measure President Obasanjo metes out to incompetent leaders. During the dark days of President Ibrahim

OBJ and GEJ: When two wrongs make ‘a right’ Babangida, Obasanjo was the only one who had the effrontery to lash at him in indescribable terms. In well advertised media reports, including the famous comprehensive Tell interview, OBJ described IBB as lacking integrity, dubious, a liar, evil and challenged him to step down from office and initiate a transparent democratic transition. After IBB, Abacha too got his own fair share of OBJ’s bashing. While IBB and Abacha kept mute and replied OBJ with dignified silence, they understood the import of such vituperations coming from their former boss and a respected statesman. It is natural for protégés to keep quiet when their mentors and leaders are scolding them. The difference between IBB and Abacha however was that Abacha later roped OBJ in a phantom coup to keep him silent. And the difference between IBB/Abacha and Jonathan is that the latter does not understand the significance of golden or dignified silence. And from his response, in which he has described his boss and political benefactor as “a liar and an untrusted ally”, it underpins Jonathan’s lack of respect for his predecessors. I see Jonathan as someone being controlled by some political forces who do not tell him the truths and give him good direction. He should not have responded to OBJ’s open letter. He would have gained more political mileage and leverage if he had played the victim, because an open letter of condemnation from a former president to a serving president (no matter how cantankerous he has become in the course of wielding power), is condemnable. Responding is unpresidential and unstatesman-like. This is where I have my doubts about the wisdom of GEJ’s political advisers, and that is why I think having beautiful scriptwriters is not enough. Drs.

Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe might be brilliant writer and speaker respectively, but they need more of political wisdom at a time like this than their natural talents. Can we recall the episode in 2007 when all manner of criticisms were being heaped on OBJ for seeking to foist an ailing Yar’Adua on us? He ignored us all, but approached it with a comic relief one day when he suddenly put a call across at a campaign rally to the presidential candidate asking, “Umaru, they said you are dead. Are you truly dead?” Late President Umar Yar’Adua simply and calmly responded, “I am very much alive and well”, thus unnerving millions of apprehensive Nigerians and observers. That is wisdom. President Barack Obama is the most criticized president in the world, with all sorts of names, including “anti-Christ”, “incompetent”, “dishonest”, “fraudulent”, etc. Obama responds with smile and calmness, not putting pen to paper nor opening his mouth to utter irreversible blunders. President Jonathan should surround himself with wise elders with forthright counsel. The ones around him know little to nothing about strategy. They are juvenile and inexperienced. They lack respect too. And who says the allegations in the open letter from OBJ are inconsistent with his presidency? On corruption, GEJ is probably the nest advertisement of a failed corruption policy. His aides are corrupt; he cannot tame or prosecute his corrupt ministers and friends; and he acts like he is culpable in those acts. On integrity, Jonathan erred by not keeping to his initial words of not seeking another term after 2015. On national security, the administration is a huge failure. On intra-party leadership, we all can attest to his immense contribution to balkanizing his own party and giving leverage

to the opposition. OBJ might be hard on GEJ. OBJ might be as guilty or culpable as GEJ. OBJ might therefore not have the moral justification to accuse GEJ. But one thing is clear: OBJ is absolutely right on the national question and GEJ. The problem in the whole drama is that the two of them claim a right to speak. As a Nigerian- of whom both are- they have the right to express their opinions and views. As Nigerians, they should be as disturbed as the rest of us for the sinking ship bearing all of us. But as statesmen and leaders, they overshot the runway by publicly advertising their critical darts. It is unacceptable. President Obasanjo should have been relentless in speaking or writing to Jonathan privately, and if the latter remains adamant, he could have simply ignored him or written him that 18-page stinker without allowing any one of us to have a glimpse of it. By demeaning the presidency through such an open letter, he had desecrated and demeaned the same exalted office which he had also held in the past. Jonathan, by replying, has only exhibited immaturity and failure to grasp the understanding of the temperament of a serving president. Both of them are wrong and are poor examples of leadership. One would have expected OBJ to know better, but since he did not prove that, then the president should have, out of respect, at least, kept sealed lips while making underground moves to address the numerous problems on his presidential table. Self-serving or not, there are facts in both letters. Writing publicly to each other is a show of infighting in the ruling class; but they should not have brought us into their personal disagreements.

What does it mean to be a Nigerian? CHRISTEL ODILI

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s there more to our Nigerian identity than socialising around a braai and shouting for our national teams?

The situation of our country this year has brought the issue of our national identity into sharp focus again. Having grown up in a democratic society, their experiences have been different to that of previous generations. As we enter a future that will ultimately be shaped by the next generation, we need to review our progress as a nation and look again at where we are heading. Taking identity as a starting point is useful in the process of re-evaluating our past and future. I regularly experience this in engaging with students Most of them they say that what binds us together is the ideal of embracing everyone’s human dignity in the context of our diversity as a nation. And looking at various on-going debates in the media - such as during the programme Praat Saam, presented by Lynette

Francis, on the SABC station RSG on 2 August 2013 – national identity is an issue of interest to all. Sociologists and anthropologists tell us that identity is not a given; it is constructed. It comes about when an individual or group identifies with certain values or actions. It is a form of consciousness, an awareness of how you define yourself and others, and how society sees you and others - with constant interaction between the self and the other, the personal and the social. The concept of identity is multifaceted, complex and contested. It has both personal and group dimensions. It is a powerful phenomenon that can act as a force for good, but can also have destructive effects. These were some of the initial inputs made at an initial thought-leadership discussion that I recently attended. A useful point of reference in the argument that the idea of a Nigerian identity serves a good purpose is the country’s Constitution In the process of constructing a unity filled country, our first instinct seemed to

be to link this to our diversity. This would be the one thing that we could agree on the existence of various groups in the country, whether defined in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, etc. So why not make a benefit of our diversity instead of a burden? But for this to work, the Nigerian identity constructed in such a way that it embraces diversity has to contain a further notion: Inclusivity. In its founding provisions of the constitution, we come across such values as human dignity, equality, human rights and freedoms, non-racialism and non-sexism, as well as democracy. One cannot speak of these values without interpreting them in an inclusive way. I think the strong emphasis on diversity and inclusivity, on democracy and human rights in these two important documents can best be seen as both a reaction to our history and a yearning for a better future. On the one hand, this entails a rejection of the discriminatory, oppressive and exploitative practices of our democratic and

colonial past. And on the other, it entails striving for such ideals as equality, freedom and justice for all. If identity is a social construct, the question is do we need an on-going construction of the “Nigerian” identity? I think that in light of the history of Democracy and its legacy still dragging on, we cannot sidestep it. And we should particularly emphasize diversity and inclusivity and the other values of our Constitution as part of our identity. The Nigerian identity may not sufficiently capture the full complexity of our humanity, but it is probably necessary to use it to achieve the goal of uniting us in the fight for our ideals and against the legacy of the past. And perhaps a useful starting point for our Nigerian identity is to think of ourselves first and foremost as African. That would mean we consider ourselves part of Africa and we identify with all of our continent’s people in their full diversity. • Odili is a social commentator


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Praise Worship E-mail:richardeghaghe@yahoo.com

E-mail:titusanyanwu.2012@gmail.com

Sunday December 29, 2013

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enowned seer and General Overseer of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Movement (worldwide), Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele (JP), has reeled out his predictions for 2014, revealing what will become of key figures in government and foreseeing the fate of ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Specifically, he foresaw that the ongoing feud between ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan would be resolved soon. Besides, he appealed to Nigerians to be prayerful, regarding the health of First Ladies in the country. He, however, lamented in an interview with Sunday Mirror that, “It is quite unfortunate that the government of the day doesn’t take the word of God through prophecies by His anointed servants seriously”. In his preview of year 2013, the prophet of God remarked: “Most of the things that we said inside your paper (Sunday Mirror) and some other national dailies came to pass because of the carelessness of people at the helms of affairs in this country.

God never goes back on His word but we are the ones who disappoint ourselves; sometimes we are confused, we do not even know what we want for ourselves

–Pastor Utibe-Abasi

EDIFYING GOD

RICHARD EGHAGHE

QUOTE

OBJ, Jonathan will reconcile in 2014, says Prophet •Urges prayers for First Ladies

“So many things that happened were supposed not to happen if the government of the day had taken caution or taken to the precautions of the antecedents we (prophets) prof-

fered on a platter of gold and at no cost, particularly in my book: Warning To The Nation. CONTINUED ON PAGE 43

Briefly Yuletide: Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus share

Three days after Pope Francis paid his predecessor a visit on Christmas Eve, retired Pope Benedict has joined the pope for lunch at the Vatican guesthouse. The two shared the meal over the weekend at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where Pope Francis lives. According to a report by Vatican Radio, the Pope and the retired pope were joined by their personal secretaries and by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s secretary for relations with states, and U.S Mgr Peter B Wells, assessor in the Vatican Secretariat of State. Pope Francis had invited Pope Benedict to lunch on Christmas Eve, when the Pope visited the retired pope in his residence to offer Christmas greetings. Pope Benedict lives in the former Mater Ecclesiae convent, also in Vatican City State. During the Pope’s visit, the two prayed briefly together and then spoke privately for about half an hour.

Primate Ayodele

Couples Classic programme gets boost from MTN

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he Couples Classic Programme of the Dominion City Church, Isolo, Lagos got a boost from MTN Nigeria on December 14 with participating couples awarded gifts like branded mouse pads, flash drives, pens, writing pads, umbrellas and many other items.

At this year’s edition, the pastor of the Church, Pastor David Ogbueli, gave an incisive talk on the themes: ‘Bridging the Communication Gap between Couples’ and ‘Dealing with Problem Areas of Marriages’. “A family is the basic unit of every society and the saying that charity begins at home gives more credence to this witty saying. When there is no proper family background, the society and the nation often suffer, with symptoms of crime, bad leadership, rape, infidelity, adultery and moral decadence being prominent,” he declared. The couples, young and old, gave toasts, fed each other and danced, as the disc jockey serenaded the large hall with sonorous rhythms from the past. They were

Protect your family with prayers 20

asked ‘secret’ questions about their spouses, who wrote down the answers, which was assessed to see if they answered correctly. Coming at a festive season that has Christmas and New Year, two festivities that the marriage institution has been known to observe, the programme created a serene atmosphere for couples to interact with one another, thereby, sharing real life experiences that will save so many families, marriages and children

from the agony of a broken home. The programme is designed to equip couples with the knowledge on how to create a positive society for nation building. The idea behind it is that a happy family can only lead to a happy nation. The event also featured live performances from comedians and musicians like Dan Williams and Diso. Lots of refreshments kept the couples entertained throughout the evening.

Pope Francis

Sunday Mirror/Babcock University Bible Quiz:

A cross section of couples at the Dominion City Church Programme, titled ‘Couples Classic’, which took place at Isolo, Lagos, recently.

The master key to the mirac culous! 42

• Winners can collect their prizes from the office of the Editor, Sunday Mirror, 151/161 Broad Street, Lagos anytime from Monday to Friday. Participants should always indicate their names when sending their entries.

Pastor Bamidele to Christians: Obey your spiritual leaders 44


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Praise & Worship

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday December 29, 2013

Protect your family with prayers Christian Relationship with Taiwo

Odubiyi

E-mail: info@pastortaiwoodubiyi.org.uk

D

ear all, compliments of the season. I’d like to use this opportunity to appreciate you all: everyone at Sunday Mirror newspaper, and the readers of this column and my novels. Thank you for being there, and your support. You have been awesome.

I’d like to remind you today to surround and protect your family with prayers in the remaining few days of this year. The Bible admonishes us to ‘Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.’ (Ephesians 5:15-17) At times like this, some people tend to leave God out of their plans but the Bible makes it clear that life belongs to God and it should not be taken for granted. We should rather commit it into God’s hands because He loves us. Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that. (James 4:13-15) Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. (Proverbs 27:1) There are things that no one can do for you, not even your parents or pastors. No one can give you joy, peace, or protection.

Peace Tabernacle International with Pastor Sola

Aderibigbe

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oday, we would discuss on the topic, “collecting back your mandate” at birth. Heaven has given everyone a mandate to fulfill in life. But in the process of life, the mandate of a lot has been hijacked by destiny (mandate) hijackers. Various means are being used to hijack mandate. We would discuss few of them.

Acts 9:1-6 shows a man whose mandate has been hijacked and how divinely he collected it back. The mandate of Paul was to advance God’s kingdom, to destroy demons but destiny hijackers hijacked his mandate and used him against the kingdom he was supposed to work for. Verses 1 and 2 show how he was so passionate about working against his mandate. How he went to collect legal approval against the kingdom he was supposed to work for many today for many today are working anti-mandate. They are operating in contrary to what heaven designed

Only God can, when you talk to Him in prayer. The Bible also reveals that satan is like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour. We must resist him steadfastly. Satan is the enemy who has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but Jesus has come to give us life in abundance, and this is why we need to be prayerful. Our times are in God’s hands, and He is able to keep us alive and strong. Prayer will take your petitions to God, and where all else fails, prayer prevails. Everyone can pray. The more you pray, the more peace you have; the clearer things become; the stronger you become; the more favour you receive; the more blessings you get; the closer you are to God your maker; the more protection you have; and the more chains are broken. People prayed for Peter in Acts 12, and God delivered him. 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for

certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” Eleven prayer points with Scriptures. Use them to pray 1) Pray that God will cause you and your loved ones to escape calamities in the remaining days of this year 2013. They shall not come near you in Jesus name. Like a bird out of the snare of the fowler, you will escape with every member of your family and make it into the year 2014 in Jesus name. 2) But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. (2Samuel 21:7) Mephibosheth was not killed along with the others, he was preserved. Pray that your life and that of your family members will be preserved. 3) God makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. (Psalm 46:9) Pray that God will cause every war in your life to cease, and let the weapons of the enemies be destroyed in Jesus name. 4) Lord, defend Your interests in our lives in Jesus name. God has plans for you but satan also has his agenda. You need to pray that God’s plans will come to pass. 5) Pray for the removal and destruction of every power contending with the power of God in your life, in Jesus name. Be sure though, that you are doing the right thing, and that you are in the will of God. 6) Help me, O LORD my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, 27 That they may know that this is Your hand— That You, LORD, have done it! (Psalm 109:26-27) Ask God to have mercy on you and help you, so that the world may know that He is the One working in your life. 7) Therefore thus says the LORD concern-

ing the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it.’ (Isaiah 37:33) Pray that no arrow of the enemy will come to you in Jesus name. It shall not stand or come to pass. 8) And He increased His people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. (Psalm 105:24) Pray for great increase to come upon you this year, that the Lord will prosper all that you lay your hands upon to do, that will glorify Him. 9) He made them stronger than their enemies. Pray for God’s strength to come upon you, to help you and give you victory so that the enemies do not prevail against you. 10) And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” (Acts 12:11) Pray that as the Lord delivered Peter, so shall He deliver you from every trouble and danger. 11) God delivered Peter from the expectations of the people. Pray that God will deliver you from people’s expectations of shame, and destruction. 12) Pray that the lord will go ahead of you into the year and level every mountain. As you celebrate this season, do not forget to reach out to the less privileged and do things for them. Do things for your parents and those who are like parents to you as well. Doing good is a seed that will come back to you if the Lord tarries. Till I come your way again next year 2014, I pray that the God of miracles will visit you. His power will overshadow you. His grace will be sufficient for you. And His blessings will come upon you, as the year is fast coming to an end. Sadness is not our portion, troubles will not come in to us. With joy, laughter, and praises we will see the end of this year in Jesus name.

How to get back your mandate for their lives. Such lives, no matter what they possess, can’t be fulfilled. The irony of it was that fail taught he was working for god, not knowing he was working against god. The latter part of verse 5 says “it is hard to kick against pricks”. Working antimandate (when mandate has been hijacked is like kicking against the bricks.) Furthermore, let’s examine two ways to lose mandate or by which mandate is hijacked. 1.Food: Mandate can be lost through food. Gen 25:29-34 shows how Esau lost mandate through food. Many today don’t care what, where and how they eat. If you are in this category, your mandate is vulnerable of being hijacked. Esau lost mandate through food. Many today don’t care what, where and how they eat. If you are in this category, your mandate is vulnerable of being hijacked. Esau sold his birthright because of food. There are so many people, the moment they are hungry, they can’t get anything to feed. Many ladies can give anything (including their bodies) to get their daily bread. Something surprised me in that passage, in verse 30, Esau asked for only pottage, but in 34, Jacob gave him bread and pottage. Therefore, destiny hijackers are

willing and able to offer more than you asked for in order to collect your mandate. To an ignorant person, it looks like he/she is looked or favored, not knowing mandate is flaying away. 2. Covetousness: this is another medium through which mandate is hijacked. We shall use the case study of Gehazi in 2 kings 5. Prophet Elisha collected double portion of the anointing of his boos Elijah as a result of dedication and obedience. All things being equal, if the trend continued, Gehazi was supposed to have double portion of Elisha had. 14. Gehazi in mandate was supposed to performbut he lost it all through covetousness. His covetousness led him to disobedience and lie. Instead of collecting double portion, he collected leprosy. However, if your mandate has been hijacked through the above or other means, you shall be delivered today in Jesus name. just as in act 9:3-4, Paul (formerly saul) was resorted back of his mandate through divine intervention, today your hijacked mandate shall be restored back through divine intervention in Jesus name. The mandate of Paul was recovered. He wrote two-third of the new testament,

he fulfilled mandate. However, before that could happen, he took some steps. If your destiny has been hijacked but you want to fulfill mandate back, you need to take those steps. In verse 5 of the Acts 9, he recognized the lord, you must also recognised the lord Jesus Christ as savior, secondly, in verse 6, he tremble at the feet of Christ. You must also tremble at the feet of Christ. The third step is in that verse 6 as well. He said “what will thou have me do?” if you would fulfil manage back, you must ask for direction from the master, the author and finisher and say “what will thou have me do?” As we close today as your mandate is returning, your testimony shall be that of Esau in Gen. 33:9 where he said “I have enough”. Therefore, I pray that as you fulfill mandate every deficit area of your life shall become surplus in Jesus’ name. Let’s make it a date again next week. •For comments, enquiries, counselling or prayer, don’t hesitate to contact me at: Peace Tabernacle Int’l (Power Palace) between FRSC and Atiba Police Barracks, Oke-Ebo, Oyo, Oyo State. Or 08067142127 or bunmichristy75@yahoo.com


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Praise & Worship

Sunday December 29, 2013

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‘Concerning foundation for signs and wonders...’ The day you make up your mind to link your spirit to the Holy Spirit, you naturally become a harbinger of signs and wonders. This is the focus of this week’s teaching by Rev. Izuchukwu Chukwudebelu, presiding minister of Assemblies of God Church, FESTAC (2). Excerpts:

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f the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Ps 11:3.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Jn 4:23-24, 3:8. The first factor is that you are a spirit. According to our Master, the hour is here when the true worshippers who are to do it in Spirit and truth are taking over. Religion, tradition and Methodism have done much harm to the body of Christ. The church of our time is on fire by the baptism of the Spirit of God. The church is spreading like wildfire across the globe. The reason is that the church has paid adequate attention to the Spirit. As a matter of fact, the book of the Acts of the Apostles was characterised by signs and wonders because the first church gave the Spirit of God His right place. Your understanding of the move of the Spirit in your spirit to an extent is a great advantage for working signs and wonders. If we are in the age of the Spirit of God’s uncommon manifestation, then your spirit-man should be given a complete attention. When your spirit is on fire for God, the Spirit of God will cause unquenchable fire to be burning in your life, thereby making you a reservoir of signs and wonders. When a man’s spirit is weak, everything about him automatically assumes a state of rest. For your spirit to be registered as a willing partner to the Spirit of God in the working of signs and wonders, an essential force is needed. In chemistry, when certain chemical mixtures are put together they aid in chemical reaction. Equally, in the school of the spirit, when spiritual exercises are carried out as they should, they aid spiritual reaction, thereby birthing signs and wonders. Without human spirit aligning appropriately with the divine Spirit, the dream to work signs and wonders is a balloon type. You must have heard the following scripture severally: Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zech. 4:6. I have seen some young ministers engaging gymnastics and other acrobatic displays on the altar as if the Spirit of God answers to physical exercises. Friends; might or power does not have a place in the working of signs and wonders. It may further interest you to know that the Spirit of God is ever willing and available to work with that of man. The day you make up your mind to link your spirit to Holy Spirit, you naturally become a harbinger of signs and wonders. You can become a bank of signs and wonders from where others are to draw.

All it takes is to provoke the Spirit of God. Signs and wonders are the spirit realm invading the physical realm. This invasion is to liberate mankind from all the shackles of the wicked. You are already a selected vessel through whom the spirit realm shall launch out. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God … Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Eph. 1:1-3. Every sign is done in the spirit realm, so it takes the spirit to enter there. Signs are available in the market of the spirit and are purchasable. Everyone can buy into the Spirit of God, it is affordable to all and sundry. When you pay the price, you naturally possess the product. There are many markets and buyers all over the world; however, there is just a market where signs and wonders are sold. Only spirit filled vibrant men can buy. May you qualify as one of the buyers. Hear this: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price… Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. Isa. 55:1-6. People do not carry their wares to the market to be offered free, whenever it has to do with the market, buying is necessary. Nothing of value is free anywhere in the world. This is where the charismatic miss it. Signs and wonders are purchased in the market of the Spirit of God by the spirit of man. Until there is spiritual connectivity, manifestation of sings and wonders will elude you. Equally, in this market none pays for you because none carries and operates your spirit for you. Stop waiting for who would do it for you, if it is truly a need you can get by yourself. In 1988, in Lagos District Assemblies of God Golden Jubilee Pre-crusade Rally held at Alakoto-Apapa Parish, I met God’s servant Dr Uma Ukpai ministering. He commanded the supernatural in a very dynamic way as if he was the owner. The presence of the Spirit of God flooded the place and instant indisputable signs and wonders were evidenced. Though I was a young Christian I earnestly coveted that dimension of gift and ministry. Soon after, I went to the market and bought also whereas it is not exclusive reserve of any. What moved me most was when he said he does not lay hands anymore for God gave him hundred angels to do that for him. That hurriedly pushed me to go and do same. Till date, I have angels God assigned who minister alongside me. Beloved, whatever you appreciate in any man’s ministry is purchas-

Izuchukwu

able. In my early days, I coveted the gifts of prophecy, knowledge and wisdom and got them. In the course of event, I played down on them; however in March 2010 I attended an Apostolic Training Program in Malaysia and saw the convener, Dr

David Wong, powerfully operating these gifts. As I approached the Holy Spirit desperately there for a restoration of the gifts, He restored them even before I set foot in Nigeria. Whatever you do not desire, you do not deserve.


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Praise & Worship

Sunday December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

God has been so good to us, says Muoka As the curtain draws on 2013 to usher in a new year, General Overseer of The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, casts a retrospective look at the outgoing year with thanksgiving, urging all to be steadfast in faith, as the new year reserves God’s abundant blessings.

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eloved, we want to appreciate God for frustrating the devices of our enemies this year and preserving us for His work till date. For we know, if it is not the fervency of the prayers of the saints, maybe, the situation of the country would have been worst. God will always want us to continue in prayer, and not to weary. So, let us use the opportunity offered by the seasonal holidays to offer fervent prayers of appreciation to our Creator for all He has done this year and commit the approaching year into His hand. Let us through prayer remind God that we are besieged from all fronts of life and thus need His intervention for our freedom, for only Him can save us from social, political and economic woes.

Isaiah 62:6 states, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence” God exhorts His Children never to cease to call upon Him by prayer for their deliverance. So, as the year 2013 draws to an end, we are using the seasonal holidays offered as another opportunity to draw your attention to the inevitable last agenda in God’s dairy; that is the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. On our own we are ending the year with lineup of power packed programs which will start with a special thanksgiving service entitled, “Come and behold my glory”. The programme which is part of activities marking the 11th year anniversary of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Movement held on 24th December, 2013. It was followed by our end of the year special programme on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th December 2013, entitled, ‘God’s time for my miracle.’ It is indeed God’s time for our miracle; after escaping all the snares of the enemies, the bickering, the persecution, blackmailing and intimidation that the people of the world hounded at us this year. It is time for our miracle now that we have assumed victory over our enemies. There is now a sign of abundance of miracles as God has assured us that all that will come will receive miracle. Besides, it has been 11 years of revivalevangelism for this ministry and 11 years in pursuit of the threefold vision of grassroots revival all over the world. It has also been 11 blessed years of revival of the Apostolic Christian experiences among the body of Christ and revival of heavenly consciousness in the heart of believers. Above all it has been 11 years of serious quest to meet the 10 billion soul’s mandate. And of course we know that we have about seven billion souls presently on this planet. So the pursuit

Pastor Muoka

of the mandate is from generation to generation until Jesus comes. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all the members of The Lord’s Chosen, and those that are sympathetic to our vision and those that are yet to embrace the product of the vision. My prayer is that we shall all make heaven at last in Jesus name. God has been very faithful to us. He has never left us down, nor forsaken us. We feel His presence every time and in every area of our lives. And with His grace richly in our midst the vision assuredly will be actualized. Although there have been persecution, blackmailing and intimidation by the enemies of the gospel, we shall never rest on our oars until every ground is covered. This is because we are called out from among the world to draw the attention of the world to the implication of sin. This we have been doing in all the places we have gone to preach and we will not hold our peace until the vision and mandate is accomplished and sinners made to repent. We will go any length to tell sinners the fatal consequences of their sin in order to make them repent. If sinners will not do their duty in repenting, we will do ours in reproving, because for this course we are called and for this course we are committed till eternity. We are to inform all men about Christ, the history of His life and death, and His resurrection. We are to tell as many as we can, and bid them

to tell others that sin is now an eccentricity, aberration, and old fashioned. We are to tell the children of men that they are all in a state of misery and danger, condemned by the prince of this world, conquered and enslaved by their enemies, but if they would believe the gospel, and give up themselves to be Christ’s disciples; if they will renounce the devil, the world, and the flesh, and in addition be devoted to Christ as their Saviour, and demonstrate their belief in sincerity, they shall be saved from the guilt and power of sin. This is because a Christian is not a sinner and a sinner is not a Christian. Evil shall no longer rule them nor ruin them. Before the emergence of this church it was like the church was meant for the achievement of this world. It was like the reason for establishing the Church and by extension serving God has been forsaken and God thus, brought us into the scene so that we can change the world and show to them the way to make heaven at last. By the grace of God, through this ministry, people have started talking about making heaven. In our church, the slogan: ‘heaven at last’ appears to be our password in all that we do. It has sown heavenly seed in the hearts of many believers and they have started to teach and evangelize people about making ‘heaven at last’. We have taken this message to the market places, inside the buses and to

our neighbours and have made loud noise, blown our trumpets and at the same time deployed hundreds of buses and cars to the communities and states to accomplish these goals. We are aware that there must be active exertions for the result to be produced. We know it will not be done sitting in the comfort of our homes. Hence, we have taken the gospel to their doorsteps; and put it on their ways; making sure they do not escape it. We are appealing to everybody to embrace the revival going on. We know we can do nothing by ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God. The same speed by which we started when we were called and chosen for this work eleven years ago (2002), the same momentum and impetus has not reduced till date. We are very conscious that this world has expired and will soon come to an end paving the way for a new world order under the direct supervision of Jesus Christ and the saints. We know there is another fellowship after this life. There is another world which is eternal in nature, where only the righteous will live forever with Jesus as the King. We are telling all ears that the world draws the heart from God; and the more the love of the world prevails, the more the love of God decays. We have noticed increase in violent crime, prostitution, the opening of ways to the doctrine of gay practice, high volume of social, political and economic corruption, increased persecution of the Church, blackmailing and etc. All these are pointing to the fact that we are closer to the end of the end. But thank God for this ministry, God has helped us to turn those dead in sin to life. Bringing them from sin to righteousness, and from out of darkness to the kingdom of God our Lord. By the grace of God, so many people are saved today. In fact mentioning the name of The Lord’s Chosen to the haters of evangelism and righteousness, is like piercing a knife through their hearts. But thank God for using us to bring the experiences of the early Apostles in area of genuine salvation, sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism and all the fruit and gift of the Holy Spirit, apostolic soul winning, deliverance, healing and blessing upon the people.

Mgbidi 2014 We are starting the year with our annual power packed international crusade titled, “What God has determined, shall be done,” scheduled to take place at Mgbidi, Imo State on Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th and Monday 6th of January. It is going to be amazing. It is going to be remarkable; it is going to be wonderful and astounding. God is going to do a new thing. Whatever He has determined in your life which the devil has tried to scuttle shall at the crusade be given back to you. The power for dominion and prosperity will be released at the crusade as that is the tonic you needed to enter into the New Year with assurance. There will be deliverance, salvation, healings and breakthrough. Do not miss it. Thanks and God bless you.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship

Sunday December 29, 2013

23

‘What you should know about spiritual attack’ S piritual attack is that attack that happens in our spirit dimension. As the demonic agents consisting of witches, wizards and occult people attack the children of God, we that are in the Lord also attack them. This is to say spiritual attack consists of attacks from both sides. An example of attack from the side of God’s people is the series of plagues placed on the people of Egypt which eventually led to the release of the children of Israel. We can use the encounter of the Israelites with the Amalekites as another example. The lifting of the rod of the Lord by Moses on the hill top, deciding the battle on the plane led by Joshua.

“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi. For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:8-16) The fall of the wall of Jericho resulted from the circling of the city once daily and seven times on the seventh day by the people of Israel. Joshua followed the instruction from the Word of Wisdom and this led to the collapse of the protection and defence of the people of Jericho. (Joshua 6) “Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” (Number 14:9) The Bible makes it clear that our warfare is not against the flesh but takes place in the unseen realm. “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” (2nd Chronicles 32:8) The foregoing is to teach our Christian brothers and sisters that what manifests in your lives today are mere effects. The real cause happens in the heavenly realm. You are expected to demonstrate the word of God as contained in Matt 18:18 so that your earthly action can cause a change in your heavenly dimension where the good and the bad are initiated. “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 18:18) I have always said this in my television

and radio messages that the victims of hatred, stagnation, badluck and spirit of dishonour are usually fighting the wrong persons when they fight those they thought are physically responsible for their misfortune. Situation arises when one prays for the removal of a tyrant boss and when that prayer is answered, a worse and more tyrannous person was brought to replace the boss that left. What we experience are mere results of the attack which took place in the unseen realm. It is for the above reasons that we pray to empower our Guardian Angel for a successful warfare against the invading spiritual forces. The message today is about the attack of the Demonic forces and our main illustrations are the personalities of Balak and Balam. Balak was the king of Moab who commissioned Balam to cast a spell and curse the people of Israel to weaken their power to wage both spiritual and physical warfare against him and his people “He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me. Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. (Number 22:5-6) Balaam was a spiritual giant and champion in that he surpasses every other living person in the act of waging spiritual warfare and manipulating spiritual forces. What the spiritual enemies usually do to the believers is to use a curse or other spiritual means to weaken our ability to wage war or resist spiritual attack. A curse is a pronouncement that changes lives to the worse. Curses can change destiny, destroy ability and capability. A curse can render very commendable attributes completely useless and become condemned in the manner of removal of coat of many colours in the life of Joseph. A curse could turn the free born into a slave in such a way that all his talents will be wasted and derecognised. A curse could make one vulnerable to bad occurrences including accidents and spirit of dishonour. The greatest disadvantage in the lives of victims of a curse is that calamity is usually transferred as heritage to their children. Fortunately, a real believer who understands his spiritual status cannot be cursed. Curse can only work through fear. Fear results from sins or ignorance. Every believer is a sharer in the heritage of Jacob who was blessed by Isaac as follows: “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.” (Gen 27: 28-29) A curse is a spiritual weapon about which the Lord says;

Adewumi

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17) The believer is a heavenly citizen whose life Satan has no control over. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev 12:7-9) The Bible is specific that the gate of hades cannot prevail against us. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt 16:18 The Lord Jesus has climbed into the realm of glory where every power both spiritual and physical, is under His feet and has raptured us to sit with him in the heavenly realm. “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church. Which is his body,

the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph 1:19-23) It was upon the above spiritual incantations that Balaam the Sorcerer failed woefully to curse the children of Israel. It is upon same invocation that I decree that no curse shall have effect in your life. Here is how Balaam fumbled. “And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied? “ (Numbers 23:7&8) “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” (Numbers 23:1920) In the manner by which the man who was by the brook of Bethsaida for 38years was released from the curses of invalidity, every reader of this message is hereby set free. The one who inherited a generational curse that led to his been born lame and invalid was released into freedom by Peter and John at the beautiful gate. You are hereby pardoned and released from all forms of infirmities in your lives. You may read the following passages for your total freedom from all forms of curses. Gal. 3:13&14, Col. 2:13&14, Psalms 3, 57, 69, 78 and 114. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year. 08039425631, 08091663586 houseofprayer177@yahoo.com


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Praise & Worship

Sunday December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Foolish wise men and educated illiterates Footprints with Dr. Tunde

Ojewole Email: ojewolea@babcockuni.edu.ng Phone: 08058299434

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hristmas is a season of love and giving. It is a family time like no other in the year. It is a time to gather and celebrate and reflect on God’s goodness during the passing year. It is a time of religious celebration and spiritual accountability. It forces us to look inward and reprogram our lives. Christmas is a time of wisdom too! As you celebrate, may you have a yummy yuletide and a peaceful passage into the promised paradise.

When Christ was born in Bethlehem of Ancient Israel during the reign of King Herod, wise men from the East had traversed much land over an extended period of time, up till two years, in search of the exact location of His birth. They saw His star and followed its direction; seeking to worship Him (Matt 2:1-2). From Jerusalem, they followed the star to Bethlehem, into the exact house where baby Jesus was. “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matt 2:11). These wise men recognized Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, so they brought him gold-a gift fit for a king. They also gave Him Frankincense, the scent that the priests burned in the temple as they offered sacrifices to God. Frankincense was a perfect gift for a perfect Priest. The third gift they brought was an unusual and inappropriate gift: myrrh. Myrrh was the substance the ancients used to embalm their dead. However, it was intended to communicate a great theological truth: Jesus was born to die. The little child wrapped in warm clothing in a rough manger would

one day hang from a rugged cross and bear the sins of the world. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Today, the truly wise persons still bring their gifts to Jesus! They give Christ the ultimate gift of their unalloyed loyalty and worship. Like those Magi in Matt 2:11; they fall “down, and worship Him”. Wise people worship the Savior. Worship is your wisest response to every situation in life. In the time of joy and success: worship. When the going gets tough, worship! In his time of extreme loss and bereavement, Job “fell to the ground and worshipped,” saying: “blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:20-21). We were created to worship (Rev 4:11). When we do not worship, we are “foolish!” The gospels record that King Herod, his officials and subjects were disturbed at the news of the newborn King! This despot “called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied (Matt 2:5-6a). Herod’s oligarchy of wise men were educated enough to research the ancient records to discover and acknowledge this fact: “but you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel” (Matt 2:6). I call them “foolish wise men and educated illiterates!” They have countless colleagues in the world today! Are you one? Foolish wise people and educated illiterates knew the location of Christ’s birth but did not believe the Lord had come. They were correct: “in Bethlehem of Judea” (Matt 2:5). They knew the location but missed the incarnation! They would doubt Christ’s deity all their lives. They would be thorns in His side. The only gifts they would bring are criticisms and hypocrisy. They would later help bring thorns to his

brow. Many like them today even give Jesus credit for being a good man; acclaim Him as being a great teacher; talk about His wonderful philosophy of life; and may speak of Him as a prophet. All these stop short of salvation. You must not only know but believe and proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Acts 16:31). Foolish wise persons and educated illiterates know the Scriptures but do not find the Savior. Jesus chided them: “and the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form, nor does His word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one He sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:37-40). At the first Christmas those foolish wise men searched the Torah to answer Herod’s question. They were acquainted with Micah 5:2, but failed to apply the biblical answer to their lives, families, circumstances, and governance. Just knowing the Christmas story cannot save you! The foolish wise persons and educated illiterates knew Christ would rule but would not let Him rule their lives. The regurgitated their head-knowledge devoid of heart knowledge: “A Governor that shall rule my people, Israel” (Matt 2:6). The plan of God was unfolding swiftly before them and they had become frigid and standoffish to truth. It was a time of thrilling prophetic fulfillment but they were numb. The facts were clear: the angels, the taxing and the birth in Bethlehem as well as the testimony of the wise men from the East. It is not the facts you cram that would save you but the truth you believe and practice in Christ. Many see prophecy fulfilled today but do not act. They quote the Bible but did not act on its message. It is time to awake from slumber (Prov 6:9; Eph 5:14). Foolish wise persons and educated illiterates refused to hurry to Bethlehem to find Jesus perhaps because of their fear

of ridicule. They may have wondered that it was all a risky rumor. They may have feared loss of favor with Herod. Why worship another King when it was yet unpopular? May be too much religion might bring them loss of popularity and cheapen their hard-earned status in the society. I challenge you today to seek Jesus with everything you have got! Truly wise people spend time and risk all to seek and find the Savior! “They rejoiced with exceedingly great joy!” (Matt 2:10). True joy and peace come from knowing the Lord (Luke 2:14). No Jesus, no Peace! Know Jesus, know peace! In the words of an Army chaplain on the front lines in Afghanistan: “it’s the peace that means the long war between the heart and its Maker is over. It’s a peace treaty offered in Bethlehem and signed in blood on Calvary.” A peace that floods into a human heart when the Savior of the world becomes: “to you a Savior” (Luke 2:11). Be wise unto salvation! Tunde Ojewole, PhD, is the Babcock University Pastor in charge: Division of Spiritual Life. Get your copy of the newly released book: GOD’S FOOTPRINTS. For enquiries, contact: ojewolea@babcock.edu. ng or call/SMS 08058299434/08060376577 Answers to quiz of 1/12/2013 1.Jacob. Overcomer- Genesis 32:28 (King James Version). 2.John, Zechariah- Luke 1:19-21, 62-64. 3.Four-footed animals, reptiles and birds of the air- Acts 10:12. Quiz for the week 1.Each of Gideon’s men had had one of these with a lamp inside. Locate the scripture. 2.I am the petition of faith to the heavenly father. Supply the Bible passage. 3.Biblically, fish must fins and what else to be good for food? Supply the scripture. •Tunde Ojewole, PhD, is the Babcock University Pastor in charge: Division of Spiritual Life. For enquiries, contact ojewolea@babcock.edu.ng call/SMS 080582999434/08060376577.

God can be angry…but is anger not a sin? Holy Inquiry with Pastor Paul

Nkirukah E-mail: pstpaul11@yahoo.com

Dear servant of God, Merry Christmas and happy New Year in advance. As we move into the New Year, I have something bothering me that I will like you to help throw light on. I want to know whether anger is a sin before God as He (God) is said to be the creator of everything, including human beings. Can God be angry, as we are said to have been created in His own image? Thanks. -Onybuchi, Abuja. Dear reader, To begin with, I wish everyone out there merry Christmas and a blessed New Year in Jesus’ Name. Your question sounds very interesting and quite alright. But with the help of the scripture and the Holy Spirit, a convincing answer shall be proffered.

Without any hesitation, let me point it out that to be angry is not a sin, and to also let you know that God, himself can be angry. Before going further, let’s consult our Holy Bible and see what the scripture accurately says concerning your questions. Ephesians 4: 26 – 27 reads, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil.” With the above scripture, I don’t think you will need any more assistance to be able to know whether it is a sin to be angry or not. Hence the Bible states that you can be angry, but advised that you should not be angry till the going down of the sun; that means, you are permitted to be angry, but don’t allow your anger last till the evening. It also means that if you allow your anger to last for too long or till the evening, it becomes a sin before God. Let’s also examine another scripture below for more proof. Psalm 30 : 4 – 5 read: Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness; For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

According to the scriptures above, it is very evident and obvious that God also can be angry, but the bible says that His anger does not last long at all. I hope you know what a moment means, a moment is not even more than one minute; but my dear, I tell you, a moment or minute of God’s anger can destroy almost half of the world; so pray that you will not see or make any mistake that will make you encounter the anger of God. Let’s still take a good look at the scriptures below to be able to know the things that can cause the anger of God. Ephesians 5 : 1 – 7 read, Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour, 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints, 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks, 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and

of God, 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience, 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. My dear, there is no doubt that the above scriptures have informed and warned you on what you should not do to avoid the wrath of God as the wrath of God can be very dangerous. You can now see that it is very clear that anger is not out of place, neither is it a sin, but it will only turn to sin when you allow your anger to last for too long. You are only permitted to be angry if any need be for just a moment; the next moment, you let go to maintain God’s standard. I, therefore, advise that you should always learn to control your anger, and also learn to forgive. God also can be angry as you can see from the scriptures above; so if God can be angry, what then do you think of ordinary man? Have a wonderful New Year celebration. But remember, the Yuletide should not be spent committing sins; you should live a holy and righteous life. Stay blessed.


PASSION

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Sunday December 29, 2013

A Lifestyle Magazine

APPLAUSE

A woman boss won’t oppress a female subordinate –Bolarinwa Somorin >>27

NAUGHTIEST THING

I sneaked out to a party and my dad caught me –Kelvin Ifili >>29

No man has ever broken my heart –Evaezi Ogoro >>27

>>26


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Passion

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

No man has ever broken my heart –Evaezi Ogoro Evaezi Ogoro is an actress and musician who has passion for her vocation. She is one diva who says she has never been betrayed by any man in her life. She is in a serious relationship with a man whom she enjoys an intimate relationship. In this interview with Adaeze Amos, she speaks about her lifestyle. Excerpts: How did you develop the passion for acting? Acting has been part of me from as early as I can remember. When I was very young, I was always in school or church drama. When I gained admission to the University of Lagos to study English, I did my minor in Theatre Arts until my third year. I also used to bug my uncle, Producer and Director, Kingsley Ogoro, to involve me in his movie projects but I guess that he never thought I was serious about it at the time. Also, he was always weary of my late father (his brother) who had other plans for me. Professionally speaking, my acting career took off three years ago when Charles Novia approached me with his script: ‘Alan Poza’ and asked me to take up a role. The project was a success, and the rest is history. How do you combine acting and singing at the same time? Singing and acting come naturally to me. They flow together and as a matter of fact, they are one and the same to me. The difference is just melody. With movie, you give me your script and I act it out with my body and my expressions. With music, I create my own script and act it with notes and pitch. I also use one to boost the other. For instance, if I am on location shooting a movie and I am not feeling the scene or expressing a particular emotion as I should, I often visualise that particular scene to be a music video and I would start singing my lines. This often helps me channel that desired emotion really well. Desmond Elliot once told me on set that I was one of the few good actors…that I’m natural. When he said so, Robert Peters nodded enthusiastically in agreement. I felt elated that night on set. He didn’t know my secret. What movie role won’t you accept no matter the amount involved? I won’t accept any negative role, especially ones that go against what I believe in as a person and as woman. It is not because I am not versatile enough to interpret such roles, no, not at all. I can interpret any role I am given. The issue is that aside from the disease of ‘stereotyping’ actors in certain roles which Nollywood has and does on a regular basis, Nigerians are not yet mature enough to distinguish between fact and fiction. I want to be a great role model to the younger generation in every facet of my career and to be proud of every step I take on my way to the top. I wouldn’t want my kids and their friends to watch one of my films years later and be disappointed. Secondly, I have to consider the feelings of the wonderful man in my life. He means the world to me and I wouldn’t want to ever put him in a position of having to defend my honour if and when folks ask him that I was involved in degrading roles. This is the reason why a lot of marriages crash among celebrities, actors in particular. Who are the actors you admire? Internationally, I admire Idris Elba and Zac Efron. Then in Nollywood I am a great fan of the new generation of actors sprouting therefrom. I am talking about the likes of Blossom Chukwuje-

kwu, Okey Uzoeshi, Bryan (Mr. Nigeria) and Kenneth Okolie; they are brilliant actors. Can you speak a bit about your love life? Well, I am in a serious relationship with someone I am completely and irrevocably in love with. He feels the same way about me. We aren’t perfect but we fit each other well. I will leave it at that. Are you hoping to settle down soon? Of course yes! It is everybody’s dream to settle down with that special someone and build a life together with him. I am no different. I do trust my God to let His will be done in the area of my marriage. I will settle down at the right time and that is when He wants me to. I am in no rush. Right now, I am gradually building my legacy, enjoying life, loving and being loved. You must have suffered a heartbreak before as a human being, what did you do to wriggle out of the hurt? You know when people talk about heartbreak, they usually attribute it to romantic relationships. That isn’t the only cause of heartbreak. In terms of relationships, I have never had a man break my heart before. I have never really experienced t h a t

particular type of heartbreak. However, I have been hurt by friends, family members and I have had my expectations unmet. The first thing I did when it happened was to be in a comical environment or atmosphere. I immediately went to watch a movie or hung out with loved ones who made me laugh. Oddly enough, I don’t like to listen to music when I feel sad or downcast. What movie do you think put you into the limelight? The movie that heralded and inducted me into Nollywood was Charles Novia’s romantic comedy titled ‘Alan Poza’. I played the role of ‘Kiki’, a young talent discovered by a couple of music executives. What is that thing you admire about yourself? And can you define your style? One thing I love about myself is my sense of humour. It has been my saving grace throughout. It has gotten me through really bad and shaky times in my life. My style is simple, unique and edgy. The reason is that I love to blend. What kind of treat are you expecting from your man at this festive period? I am a very simple babe who loves to be loved with what some may believe to be inconsequential things like a smile, a touch, hug or just be silent and cuddled up with my man. He knows this, even though he constantly insists on spoiling me with material gifts. Therefore, a nice, cosy getaway or dinner for two with lots of great foods, music and movies; that would be a great treat for me.


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Applause

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A woman boss won’t oppress a female subordinate –Bolarinwa Somorin ADAEZE AMOS

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mobolarinwa Somorin is the CEO, Zadara Events, an outfit that plans and packages events for clients. She has been in the business for about three years. “I won’t say it has been stressful because it is the work I enjoy doing. I have a wonderful passion for events. But this does not rule out the fact that there are a lot of challenges on the job, especially when you face some clients you know. Challenges in the sense that you need to meet with what clients want and their pressure,” she said, smiling. The memory of how this diva started running her business is etched in her mind. “I took a first bold step into business, and this had to do with catering. I had a catering outfit four years back. This was all about item serving, which I continued doing until my younger brother came and gingered me up and said why don’t I just package the whole event? This was how Zadara Events started. I have been doing well with members of my staff,” she explained. And how do her staff members see her business management style and relationship? Is she overbearing as some describe female bosses? “I’m neither wicked nor overbearing. I disagree that female bosses are overbearing because my boss is a woman and I took my time to manage her. I don’t see a woman boss as being wicked or overbearing,” she opined. But to those female bosses that carry their problems from home to their offices and heap them on their staff, Bola, as she is affectionately called, has some words: “The only advice I have for such category of bosses is if you are going through one or two issues in your home or marriage, I feel you should be able to bottle it up and not bring it to the office where you would be harassing your staff and your clients. Settle your scores at home and when you come to the office, try and become somebody else. Office things should be official while emotional things should be left at home or in your heart.” Bola still unveiled some problems that are inherent in women. “The problem about we, ladies, (I would use the word we because I’m also part of it), is that we want to go with what is in vogue. We don’t consider if it fits us or not. But because somebody else is doing it or wearing it, we want to do it. This is totally wrong. Let us just be the African women that we are and stop trying to be somebody else or doing it like the Americans are. It is better to be ourselves,” she said. She has got her unique style. “My style is simplicity. As you can see it, I am very simple. I like wearing necklace but I decided to leave my neck bare tonight. I don’t wear it all the time,” she said. To women who are heartbroken and battered in their marriage, she has some words:”I feel it is stupidity that could make a woman who is being badly battered by her husband at the slightest provocation to remain in that marriage. I’m not going to stay under the roof of a man who beats me up. I see it as stupidity for some wives to sit down in a man’s house and he keeps beating her. I would never take that. Some, I learnt, manage to stay even when they are maltreated by their husbands because they don’t have a place to run to. But what happened to your father’s house? If I happen to be in that situation, I would run to my father’s house. It is better to leave while you are still alive than when you are already a corpse. That is why I keep saying that a girl child should be empowered so that she won’t see herself being incapacitated when she grows up and gets married. When a girl child is empowered, she would be empowered even in her matrimonial home. We need to start from somewhere to empower a girl child,” she insisted. Apart from empowering the girl child, another problem women have, according to her, is that they don’t love themselves enough. “I know we don’t love ourselves enough but we can still start from somewhere. Let us first curb or reduce petty jealousy and backbiting. But honestly it is going to take a lot of time for women to stop being their own worst enemies,” she lamented. In addition, she left some words of advice and encouragement for people in the same business line with her. “When I see people who want to come into event management, I feel happy, especially if it is what you have passion for. I have passion for it. Pursue your passion with all concentration,” she said.


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&

Weddings Engagements CELEBRATING THE JOY IN MARITAL BLISS DECEMBER 29, 2013

You have a story to tell us about your wedding/engagement, or your new born baby. You can call this line 08051980588

Splendour as Lai Mohammed gives out daughter in marriage VANESSA OKWARA

I

t was a grand affair as Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the interim Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, gave out his daughter’s hand, Aishat, in marriage which held on Sunday, December 22. Aishat got married to her sweetheart, Boonyamin Taiwo, at a colourful wedding ceremony at the All Seasons Plaza, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos. The beautiful bride wore a simple lace and sequined wedding gown that accentuated her curves with her hair curved up in the Muslim wedding fashion. It was indeed a cheery event as Erelu Bisi Fayemi was seen chatting happily with the couple before conducting the cake-cutting ceremony. The reception was well at-

She is my pearl of inestimable value –Groom OLUWASEGUN IJABIKEN

T

he Ogunsakin and Bashorun families hosted numerous guests to a delightful wedding ceremony of their daughter, Foluso Oluwatumbi Ogunsakin and son, Adeniyi Ademola Bashorun on December 7. The holy wedlock took place at Christ Apostolic Church, Miracle Centre, Haruna, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos. Niyi appeared in a black suit, white shirt, bow tie and a colourful boutonnière to match, while Tumbi was looking radiant in her white sleeveless gown paired with a bolero, sewn with sequined bridal lace, she also accessorised with a tiara and hair chokers. The reception took place at Seven Star Event Centre, Akilo Road, Ogba-Ikeja, Lagos and was flamboyantly decorated with turquoise blue and fuchsia pink drapes amidst sparkling lights. There were mouth-watering dishes, drinks and souvenirs to go round. D.J. Elvis was standing by to add musical effect to the atmosphere. There was no dull moment. Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Omoyemi Awobanjo, urged the couple not to compare their marriage with that of others. At the dance floor, the couple exhibited their skills as the bride pulled off her bolero to dance to her heart’s desire. Even old men and women were not left out as they mimed Davido’s ‘Skelewu’ The couple met in 2002 at Lagos State University Christian Fellowship (LASUCF) where Niyi was a student and

pastor at the time. They soon became friends, but he didn’t propose until 2006. However, within four months, May 14, Tumbi who had been praying about it gave her consent. They had their traditional wedding at the bride’s parents’ house in Ifako on December 5. When describing her prince, like she fondly called him, ‘Tumbi said, ‘He is confident, goal-driven, smart, good-looking, friendly, jovial and Godfearing. She further advised spinsters to love God first because “He is the one who made you, the Eve for the Adam he prepared for you. But Niyi said, “She is my pearl of inestimable value”.

tended by the big names in Nigerian politics which cut across the political divide. For instance, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was a guest at the wedding. Many leaders of the APC such as the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Chief Bisi Akande were there to register their support to their friend and colleague. Others include governors Raji Fashola of Lagos, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Abdul Fatah Ahmed of Kwara, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano and Abiola Ajimobi of Ogun. Hundreds of other well-wishers trooped into the All Seasons Plaza to witness the grandiose occasion.


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What to wear … to New Year Eve’s party DECEMBER 29, 2013

VANESSA OKWARA

H

ave you been invited to a New Year Eve party and you are wondering what to wear to such an event? It’s my bet you wouldn’t want to appear in traditional attire or wear something that will be too heavy for you to move around in. You need to wear something that will give you room to dance and flirt all evening if you wish to. It’s best to appear at such event looking simple and chic. Choose colours that will complement your skin colour and make you look fabulous even in a dimly lit room. Damilola Adegbite definitely made heads turn in this hot blue bandage dress with open back that she wore to a party recently. She styled the dress with long heartshaped embellished earrings, a silver cuff, stylish blue clutch and gold-strap heels sandals with black platforms. You too can be a head-turner if you rock that party in this hot look.

Blue colour open back bandage dress

Blue clutch

Wide-plain-cuff

Stylish Bridal clutch purse blue diamond crystal long hand crocheted wire earrings

Jimmy Choo high heel sandals

Gold strappy heels sandals

Embellished silver cuff

Damilola Adegbite


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Perfect Cut

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Peplum, mullet, olokun, velvet wraps, ADAEZE AMOS

F

ashion really was in its element this year. What with many shows where many mind-blowing and amazing styles were displayed on the runway? Galaxy Television Fashion Show which took place four times within this year unveiled so many styles. Models were proud to do what they know best. Also, Ola Emmanuel Abraham’s show that exhibited 100 models at a particular event a few weeks ago unveiled what fashionistas wore often this year. Such styles as peplum, mullet, olokun, doll dresses and hot minis dominated the fashion radar. Mercy Bawa, a seasoned fashion designer, concurred that fashion fared very well this year. “Fashion fared tremendously well this year. We saw many talented and innovative designers coming up with designs that outshone international standards. There were different designs in our own fabrics, mixed with western fabrics. It’s really awesome! The most common styles worn this year are peplum and mullet. Many designers took part in international fashion shows and came out as best. This shows that Nigerian fashion has raised the bar to a much higher level,” she said. Temitope Olanre-Alade fondly called Ibile Vogue, is another hot fashion designer who said that dresses got shorter this year. “Dresses got shorter this year and we experienced more drapes. Oleku styles really rocked major red carpets. Velvet too invaded our wardrobe, bringing a fresh twist to it. The short and trendy dresses in African prints pushed the jumpsuits and rompers to the back stage. Also, ethnic accessories hit the fashion scene with a bang. The fashion industry was more prominent, especially with the contribution of Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria, FADAN, under the present Mrs. Funmi Ajila Ladipo leadership,” she said.


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

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Pregnancy Talk with

Adaeze Amos 08023012293 (SMS ONLY)

‘I’m African and stylish’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29 thick in texture, can be used to design styles that can be worn in winter or very cold season. Even winter coats can be designed using these thick African fabrics I’ve just mentioned.

New year resolutions for pregnant mothers P

regnancy is indeed good as you are the only one that feeds and nourishes your unborn baby. If you doubt that pregnancy makes the married woman a complete wife in her matrimonial home, then you need to hear the lamentations and prayers of those who got married for some years and are yet to get pregnant owing to one reason or the other. Therefore, as you step into the new year in the next couple of days with your protruded tummy, there are some habits you need to jettison so as to live a beautiful pregnant life for the rest of nine or 10 months.

Below are some new year resolutions you need to abide by as a pregnant mother. Pregnancy is not a sickness: If you are one of those that believe that pregnancy is a sickness because of the nausea that goes with it, you need to change that mind set. It is no sickness or disease. Let this be one of your new year resolutions. Pregnancy is a condition a woman needs to go through while carrying her baby. It is a period you alone need to feed and nourish your baby until it is strong enough to be delivered. Don’t take your prayers for granted this year: Remember the biblical saying, ‘Tell it to Jesus in prayer’. So, settle those fears and anxieties of childbirth on your knees. This does not mean you must be kneeling with your eyes close as you are expected to commune with God everywhere - in your office, bus, road and. When the imagination that you would die in childbirth comes, tell it to God in prayer. A prayerful pregnant woman is a winning mum. Learn to talk to your unborn baby: This may

sound funny but mothers and grannies have said unborn babies get to be familiar with their mothers’ voices before they are born. Learn to read the holy book, your favourite magazines loud so the baby can hear. Sing songs and talk out loud while doing the dishes, driving, and going about your daily routine, so that the baby can get to know your voice. Daddy should not be left out. He too can chime in. These may sound funny, but practise them. Eat healthy: This is important. Eat enough fruits and vegetables. Remember to wash them first. Drastically reduce your caffeine intake this new year. This not the period to take kola nuts or coffee because you want to curb early morning vomit and nausea. Stop throwing your prenatal vitamins into trash can: Don’t abandon your prenatal drugs under your pillows. Take your antenatal clinics seriously and keep your doctor’s appointments. Exercise every day Exercises are important for pregnant mothers but don’t do anything that would cause you pain or discomfort. Avoid exercises that would strain your stomach muscles. When tired, take a nap. Who told you it is not necessary to rest or take a nap when you are tired? By so doing, you are gathering momentum for the ‘battle day’ (day of your delivery). If your stomach is upset, prop yourself up with pillows to elevate your upper body. You can also stick pillows under your belly for support and sleep. Watch how you spit: it is normal for you to spit this period but please watch how you do it. Try and see how it can be reduced by opting for some candies and chewing gums.

What is that fashion accessory you wouldn’t mind spending much money on? I wouldn’t mind spending much money on good African fabric. I cherish them a lot because when you have a good fabric, whatever simple design or cut being given to it, would look good. Imagine when you want to sew a shirt from a good fabric, you wouldn’t need to bother yourself much. All you need do is to ensure you give a good cut and smooth stitches. For accessories, I wouldn’t mind spending a large amount on a good pair of shoes and wristwatch. What is that fashion blunder that is very common in our society among men? Colour combination to me is the major blunder. Most people don’t know how to combine colours. They just wear whatever colour they like without bothering to blend them well. When you understand fashion well, you would also understand colour combination.


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Connecting with

Vanessa

Vanessaonsunday@yahoo.com

Do you dread spending another New Year’s Eve alone?

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ew Year’s Eve is introspective for most people. It’s a day for sober reflection and stocktaking of all that has transpired in your life that year as you wait anxiously for the clock to strike midnight; signifying the beginning of another year. Such stocktaking always brings to bear how lonely the life a single person is at this time of the year. All around you is the boisterous noise of children and their parents as they go to different event places to enjoy the joy and laughter this season always brings to the whole family, and this makes you to feel all alone and unloved. The pressure of being A model single on New Year’s Eve is even more daunting than being dateless on Valentine’s Day. The reality of having no one to kiss at midnight can make you feel hopeless and discouraged, afraid that next year will be just like the last; that you will never find love. The year has come to an end and you feel like a total failure because you were not able to achieve the simple task of finding someone to call your own this year. You feel the all-too-familiar pressure of trying to be jolly as a wave of sadness fills your heart. You can’t help but think, “Oh please not another year ending and I’m all alone again without someone to love at my side!” You feel like throwing in the towel at the thought that another year is gone and no wedding bells or even a serious relationship came your way. You are absolutely, completely, eternally alone and you hate it. Cheer up and don’t be so dramatic. So maybe you did not imagine making it to your thirtieth birthday or even the big forty without a spouse. You also didn’t imagine that fairy tale wedding to prince charming did not come off the way you imagined it would. That does not mean that you will never find love. Being single also does not mean that you are a failure. Take heart, you can turn your New Year’s experience around by creating your own celebration. You can have a fabulous and exciting time by setting the stage for next year by dedicating the next two days to the end of the year to setting changes in your life on how to get the love you want in 2014. First of all, you have to get out of the pity party and depressive mood your loneliness has subjected you to. Snap out of the despondency you feel and tell yourself, you are still the most wonderful spouse anybody can wish to have; only they are yet to discover it. In fact, your singleness can be a wonderful

state of being. Think of the possibilities of taking any decision in your life without considering the opinion of another person. Now you have your life all to yourself to make informed decision of how you want 2014 to be and you can set agenda towards achieving it now without the cumbersome weight of checking it out with a spouse. Use this time to get to know yourself better. If you are interested in finding a meaningful relationship, knowing yourself and being happy will be very important. Use this few days to the New Year to reflect on what is really important to you aside from being married. Ponder on questions such as: What do I like to do? What have I always wanted to do and just haven’t? Maybe you want to take a trip to some places you have never been to before. Maybe you want to take an art course; tailoring, computer school or you want to learn how to make hair. Reevaluate your likes and dislikes and your passions. Pick one dream and work towards making it happen. If you are absolutely determined to get married in 2014, then begin now to strategise how to go about it. This is a great time to market your selling points in the relationship market. Become more sociable. Identify things that you really like to do. Becoming more comfortable with yourself will make others more comfortable with you. This is also a time for you to learn how to be more minded. There are many ways to meet new people and you need to be open to them. If you want to find love in a less structured way, be friendlier when you are out in public. Hang up that cell phone and learn how to talk to people. A simple hello could send off sparks. Another strategy you may want to try is giving things a chance to grow. Don’t be quick to pass judgement on someone you just met. Remember that no one is perfect, including you. Learn to give that new date a second chance even if you didn’t like him/her at first sight. You never know what surprises await you. Don’t try to hurry love. Yes, biological clocks are ticking and it seems like time is running out. But remember that you want to have the best relationship possible. So don’t rush into a relationship because you want to settle down as quickly as possible. Enjoy being single and wait for real love to come to you. You will know when things are right. See you happy in 2014!

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Heart-throb

...Find your soul mate here Send text only to 08025253996 6

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Faces & Events

Sunday, December 29, 2013

37

Cultural display at Ayanbinrin Mother Drum Arts Festival/Awards ANGELA DAVIES

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he Ayanbinrin Mother Drum Arts Festival/Awards, MDGA, held at the Bolajoko hall, The Event Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, recently. The second edition had numerous traditional superlative performances ranging from drummers, singers to dancers. Guests were all gaily dressed in varied traditional attires to conform to the event. Some Mother Drum Golden Awards recipients include Taiwo Ajai-Lycett for performing arts, Adedayo Liadi for dance/choreography, Moses and Nneka Isaac for culture/ tourism promotion, among others. Dancing time

Ayanbinrin with ushers at the event

Dancer cum choreographer, Adedayo Liadi, diaplaying some dance steps

Drummers on

Ayanbinrin and the Nefretiti group

L-R: Jyd-Pitch, Ayanbinrin and Oluwadamilola Banire

L-R: Tosin Otunaya, Ayanbinrin and Awoulat Alougbin

Okunola Funmilayo and Timah Oladimeji

Aduni and Awoulat Alougbin aka Ife

Bayo and Toyin Ezekiel

L-R: Irawo Drumline, Ayanbinrin and Iquo Eke

Ayanbinrin thrilling guests with traditional meledious tunes

Evelyn Ajaiye

Oluwadamilola Banire

Bunmi Ogunleye and Adekeye Adewunmi

PHOTOS: ANGELA DAVIES


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

& ovies M usic M Edited by Adaeze Amos 08023012293 e-mail: adaezeamos@gmail.com

Nollywood stars who passed on this year ADAEZE AMOS

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he year 2011 came to an end with the demise of veteran actor Sam Loco Efe at the age of 66; Geraldine Ekeocha, a screen princess at 56 and Ashley Nwosu (Pretty Edeh). Many Nollywood stars who survived 2011 were happy that they were alive to witness the new year. But none of them ever imagined or anticipated that the death register or Nigerian Nollywood death list would soar. The reason is that many of them were hale and hearty when they bade 2011 farewell. But before the first quarter of 2012, many stars passed on. That was when the likes of Nollywood stars David Ihezie, who died in January following a battle with Arthritis, Enebeli Enebuwa, who lost the battle to stroke he had suffered the previous year, in December at the age of 65, veteran actor, Pete Eneh, who was snatched by the demon of death after his leg was amputated in Enugu on November of that year. Others were Silifatu Silifona, Cassandra Gabriel, to mention but a few who bowed to the cold hand of death. These left their colleagues in great shock. When 2012 ended and 2013 set in, many among our Nollywood stars were afraid of who would be the next to bite the dust. While some thought that tributes and candlelight in Nollywood had come to an end as the spirit of death had many of them in its custody what with the number of souls it snatched the previous year. They were wrong. When the man of God, the General Overseer and founder, Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries, Dr. D.K. Olukoya, mentioned during the crossover night into 2013, that many Nollywood actors would die if they failed to link up to God in fervent and acidic prayers, that was when the fear of death among our stars rose. Before many of them could come to terms with the prophecy of the man of God, the demon of death had started its ugly operation in Nollywood without wasting much time. In fact, it was Like the biblical era in Egypt, during the days of the plague as the industry started witnessing many deaths. For instance, on the new year’s eve, Bisi Komolafe, an actress, breathed her last. She was Nollywood’s first victim. According to sources, she got engaged

Esiri Okojie

in the previous year and had been on admission at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan for two months before she lost her pregnancy, which resulted in her demise. Bisi was a talented Yoruba actress who featured in ‘Igboro Ti Daru’, ‘Eja Tutu, Bolade Oku’, ‘Asiri Owo Aiya Ore Meji’ and many more. She was survived by her grandmother, father and siblings. Her death which threw the movie industry into mourning also had many notable Nigerian stars on the unfortunate list. On February 21 this year, a few days after the demise of Goldie Harvey on February 14 (Valentine’s Day), veteran Nollywood actor, Justus Esiri, passed at the age of 71. Gabriel Also Ray Daniel Okeugo, an actor in Nollywood film industry, died after a brief illness. Ray as he was affectionately called in the movie world, died on the evening of Friday, October 25, in Lagos at the age of 33. Also Falilat Okerede Oketayo, a Yoruba movie actress, reportedly passed on. Her death came not long after two other stars died. This was after the death of 32-year-old Jane Atayero-Oluseye, followed by that of veteran actor, Pa Ola Ogungbe. Frighteningly, an Edo-born Nollywood actor, Flavian Okojie, was reportedly shot dead in Benin by gunmen, three weeks after his wedding. Flavian and former EBS but now NTA (Benin) presenter, Omo-kivie Adeola, got Murphy married barely three weeks before her actor Prince’s death is still unclear but it was hubby died. Up-and-coming Nollywood actor, Prince- reported that he died after a brief illness. Murphy, died on September 24 this year. Close sources said several efforts to According to information, the cause of

Lekkinson

Komolafe

Udokwu

save the actor’s life yielded no positive result. Murphy was a comic actor who was loved by his fans.

Uchenna Maduka marks parents’ marriage jubilee

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Maduka

ave you heard why the Nollywood super screen diva, Uchenna Nnanna Maduka, who got married some months ago to her Spainbased sweetheart is joyfully busy at the moment? She is planning to celebrate her parents’ 50 years of marriage. Her dad and mum are marking the golden jubilee of their marriage anniversary on December 30. Uche, as she is affectionately called by admirers, refused to allow this day pass her by without throwing a party to thank God for keeping her parents together and alive to this day.

If you are her friend, fan, well-wisher, etc, she is inviting you to celebrate with her. She wrote excitedly, “Dear friends, you are cordially invited as my parents Chief V.O and Lolo Romana Nnanna celebrate the triple most outstanding achievements of their lifetime, 50 years wedding anniversary. That is exactly the feeling, as my siblings and I have decided to honour them in grand style while they are still alive. So, it is going to be fun all the way.” –Adaeze Amos


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

…Those still battling to live T here are some Nollywood stars who have successfully battled with one ailment or the other. Some are still battling with various diseases. Nollywood actor Olukayode Odumosu, popularly known as Pa Kasumu, is one of them. According to reports, he is afflicted with heart and liver diseases. He had pleaded with the public to save his life as according to him, “I don’t want to die...”. Odumosu had received treatment at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for secondary prevention of repeat stroke, after battling a cardiovascular disease, otherwise known as stroke. Now, he needs N12 million to address the health challenges that are pushing him to the brink. But, can he find help to stay alive and do what he loves doing? His ailment began in 2009. Since then, he has been undergoing a series of diagnostic tests and costly medications. All these have deprived him of any meaningful professional engagement in the movie industry; hence, he is suffering serious financial handicap. Peter Bunor is another person. He was struck with a stroke. At a point, many felt that the talented thespian had given up the ghost because his condition was so bad that he was practically given up on, but only recently, he seemed to have been given a new lease of life as he granted some interviews to journalists, narrating his experience. In one of them, he can be quoted as saying among other things, “Since this happened, there has been no single actor that called me to ask about my condition. It’s a shame on their part. Would they say they don’t know that I’m sick?” Ifeanyi Dike is reputed in some quarters to have founded the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). The actor and movie producer battled with a kidney ailment for many years, and called on ‘kind-hearted’ Nigerians to come to his aid before getting a transplant in India. Ngozi Nwosu is another one whose health condition is still fresh in our minds. She acknowledged that she had kidney problems. The actress, who was at a time in a pitiable state pleaded with the public to save her from imminent death staring her in the face. Concerned members of the public raised some money for her before the Lagos State government came to her rescue by sponsoring her treatment in the United Kingdom. Maverick and one-time reigning producer, OJB, recently travelled to India for kidney-related treatment. He was in the news for his widespread appeal to Nigerians to save him from looming death as a result of kidney disease; luckily, he was able to generate the needed funds.

Odumosu Maverick

Nwosu

Bunor

I didn’t listen to sermon on decent living –Anita Joseph

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he rumour making the rounds recently about Nollywood actress, Anita Joseph, has been denied by the screen diva. The grapevine had it that Anita, who has featured in so many movies and soap operas, recently broke down in tears when a colleague of her preached to her about decent dressing and lifestyle. It was said that the ‘preacher’ actually quoted copiously from the Bible of God’s anger on those who wear sexy attires that reveal the body. It was said that in the process, Anita broke down and wept. In a chat with Anita about the story, she said that no such thing ever happened. “That I broke down in tears while listening to a sermon on decent dressing and lifestyle as if I have not been living and dressing decently? It never happened! It is good that you called to find out. Please jettison that story, it never happened. –Adaeze Amos

Actress Chioma Toplis now the Big, Bold and Beauty ambassador

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Joseph

ctress Chioma Toplis has added another feather to her hat. She is now the ambassador of Big, Black, Bold and Beautiful, that organises beauty pageants for plus-sized black beauties. Infocus PR Nigeria made the offer to her as the brand ambassador of Big, Black, Bold beauty pageant. Her appointment would give honour to a project that is meant to celebrate the fuller-figured beauties in the country. According to the CEO, Infocus PR, Chi Tola, the programme is meant to elevate and give honour to African women through beauty pageants. It is a platform that would give a voice to plus-sized beauties as the winner would win a car, diamond-studded beauty crown, $10,000 prize and also act on set with their Nollywood ambassadors. There is also a juicy offer of one year modelling job with Isis Modelling Agency. –Adaeze Amos Toplis


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

40

Lessons of Life

ANGELA DAVIES lessonsoflife2@yahoo.com 08023342083

TRUE LIFE STORY ON MATTERS OF THE HEART DECEMBER 29, 2013

‘I love Oliver but I can’t play second fiddle’

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met Oliver at the Bar Beach one cool Sunday evening when I went to think about my life. I had to think precisely about why men keep breaking my heart after long years of beautiful relationship and what next I should do with my love life. I loved Tony so much; we both knew we were having such a beautiful relationship. As such, I thought he was going to be my last bus-stop, I mean settle down with him. Just when I thought he was going to propose, he broke up with me without any sensible reason. But weeks later, I discovered his real reason for leaving me. I must confess, it was the most painful break-up ever for me. I noticed that Tony had been a bit distant for a while but whenever I asked him what the matter was, he would tell me there was no problem except for work stress. This went on for weeks. However, one Saturday evening while we were relaxing at his place, he gave me the most shocking news of my life instead of proposing as I had expected. “Maureen, there is something I need to tell you,” he said. “What is it my love?” I asked. “I have realised that you are not the woman for me. Yes, you are a wonderful woman but I think we should just end this relationship,” he said. Surprised, I retorted, “Tony please if this is a joke, I am not finding it funny.” He told me he meant every word of what he had said. “What did I do wrong? After four years of dating? Where do you want me to start from?” I asked. “You did nothing to me but I just realised that we cannot continue this relationship,” he emphasised. I cried and begged him to forgive me for whatever wrong he felt I had done. He insisted that it was over and asked me to leave his house. Shattered, I left in tears and felt that was the end of life for me because it was my third relationship and it just ended exactly like the previous two. I felt really bad because I knew I put in a lot into my relationship with Tony. However weeks later, I realised that he was having an affair with my cousin, Brenda, and she was even pregnant for him. That was why he broke up with me suddenly. Several weeks later, I decided to take a walk on the Bar Beach. that was when I met Oliver. After a long walk, I decided to sit down on the sand to watch and listen to the waves of the sea as I reflected on my love life when I saw a tall, dark, young man walk past me. I noticed that he walked to a distance and then walked back; this he did thrice obviously pondering on something. When he got close to me while returning the third time, I couldn’t help but to say “Hi” and he replied, “Hello”. He took a few steps, turned back and sat down with me and introduced himself as Oliver while I also introduced myself as Maureen. He asked me what I was doing all alone on the beach, I threw the question back at him and he started smiling. Immediately, we started talking, we both discovered that we were in the same boat – heartbroken – and came to the beach to reflect on our

love lives. Oliver told me that Azuka was his first true love but she kept messing with his heart just because she knew he loved and adored her. He revealed that she kept telling him he was not man enough for her as such she dated real men and this got on his nerves. “I love her so much that no matter what she does or says to me, I forgive her. The most painful aspect is that most times, she abandons me for months to be with other men but once she is tired of them, she runs back to me for succour just because she knows I will accept her back,” he revealed. Azuka kept doing this until he made up his mind to end it once and for all even though he still loved her dearly. “The last straw that broke the camel’s back as they say, was that once again she went away for about four months, during which she never picked any of my calls nor replied to my text messages, only for her to show up and pleaded with me to forgive her. I happily did too. She promised never to hurt my feelings again and I felt everything was back to normal until when I proposed to her on her birthday. I excitedly proposed to Azuka on her birthday but instead of accepting my proposal, she threw my diamond ring at me and told me to go to hell. She told me in the presence of our family members and friends that she would not marry a weakling like me. Her action landed me in the hospital, nonetheless three days later I was discharged. Today I decided to take a walk on the beach just to clear my head and also assure myself that I am going to forget about Azuka completely and start life with someone else when the time comes. To be sincere with you, Maureen even though I loved her dearly, I just have to forget about her. I still cannot fathom why she keeps

messing with my heart,” he narrated. However, I also narrated how Tony ended our four years old relationship because of my cousin and how that dealt a big blow on me because I believed I was going to marry him. “Well, Oliver, I think for now I have decided to forget about falling in love again,” I emphasised. We talked for a while, grabbed something to eat, exchanged phone numbers and promised to keep in touch. Weeks later, Oliver called and invited me out on a lunch date and we became friends. But as time went on, we went beyond friendship and started dating, however, we decided to take things slowly and see where it would lead. The first time we ran into Azuka when I and Oliver started dating was at his friend’s wedding. She walked up to us and Oliver introduced us. Almost immediately he stepped aside to greet someone when she surprisingly warned me that I should not think I own Oliver because she could take him away from me if she really wanted to. I looked her straight in the eyes and told her she blew her chance with him, hence, he belonged to me and walked away. We enjoyed each other’s company and I must say that Oliver is truly a nice and sweet gentleman. He pampers and showers me with so much love and care. To a large extent, he is my ideal kind of man. But the problem is that Azuka keeps interfering in our relationship. Just because she was sure Oliver adores her, she shows up at his house or even calls him at any time of the day and he makes sure he attends to her immediately. He will then come back to me later to apologise for acting that way and promise that it will never happen again. There are many instances where Oliver had to call off our dates or even

abandon at places to be with Azuka once she called him that she needed him. Sometimes I used to think it was not ordinary because she obviously had him wrapped around her fingers. I still remember what happened sometime back. One Saturday afternoon, Oliver called to invite me to a special dinner in his house and I happily agreed. I got to his place at about 6:30 p.m., and he had set the table. I felt really special at that moment but just when we were about to start eating, his phone rang. “Who is that sweetie?” I asked. “It is Azuka calling,” he replied. He received the call and immediately told me, he had to dash out and meet with her because she needed him. I was so furious and I questioned, “Are you cancelling this special dinner because of her? Are you really going to leave me here and go and meet Azuka? Oliver, this is getting too much and I think I am tired.” “Maureen please, understand, I think she is in trouble and needs me right now. Please, I will make it up for you,” he promised. He gave me a peck on the cheek and ran off to meet her. I felt like a fool, “Yes, I love you Oliver but I will not continue to be a second best. I cannot take this rubbish anymore,” I muttered. I decided to spend the night at his place just to know exactly what time he will come back home. I was fast asleep when he returned and when I checked the time; it was 12:45 a.m. Surprised to see me, he said, “I thought you went home when I left. I am so sorry I would have been home earlier. I am so sorry,” he said. He was trying to explain why he came back late but I told him I was not in the mood to talk about anything and went back to bed. Early in the morning, I left without saying a word to Oliver. He came to my house later in the day to apologise and promised that it would never happen again. “I love you Oliver but I am tired. Why do you keep running to Azuka? Does she have a hold on you or is there something you are not telling me? I am sorry but I will not be a second best to any man. Maybe, we should give ourselves some space, I believe this will give both of us time to think and reflect on our relationship,” I emphasised. At that point, he told me I was the love of his life while Azuka was just a very good friend. But I believe there is something he was not telling me. Oliver recently proposed to me but I told him to give me some time to think about it and he got really upset. Although, I love and adore him very much, the question is, do I want to continue to be a second best? What is the probability that even when we get married, he would not keep running to Azuka whenever she needed him and abandon me even if I also needed him that same time? He is my ideal kind of man but should I continue to be a second best just because I love him dearly? I need your advice. Please send your advice to the phone number or e-mail address above. No calls, please.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship

Sunday December 29, 2013

41

Xmas, New Year’ll never end, says Pastor Chidi Why should you get yourself into trouble in order to make it happen at Christmas and New Year, when you do not really have the means, asks Pastor Chidi Anthony, General Overseer, Kings in Christ Church. Excerpts:

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hristmas has just come and gone. This was the time a lot of people could do anything in order to make money. Some young ladies turned themselves into street prostitutes so as to look good during the festivities. Little girls that do not have any means of livelihood can go to any length to make sure that they secure expensive handsets.

The devil creates strategies, seductive fashions in order to destroy people. Even married women have thrown caution into the wind as they walk about in funny attires as if they have regrets quitting the singles’ forum. You begin to wonder who they are dressing seductively for. Hear me somebody; how you dress determines how people will address you. If you say that dressing that way will make young guys notice you, they will like you and approach you. They can take you to eateries like Mr. Biggs, Tetrazzini or tantalizers, but one place they cannot take you to is the altar of God. The truth is that there are people that are good for friendship and there are people that are good for marriage. You can’t dress like a harlot and expect a reasonable young man to take you home. That is why if many young men who want to marry put their eyes down to search, they go for ladies that have good character. Not those girls who dress funnily and are ever ready to follow any available man to a club. Such ladies do not see any reason why they must not wear blouse with open back; they sag jeans or skirt without an under-pant. They practically walk naked on the street and wrongly believe that people do admire them. Not few people make mockery of such disgustingly dressed ladies; they actually do not appreciate your looks. The Bible says that a man called by God, a man anointed by God and destined

Desti Destiny Hour with Pastor Femi

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Lanre-Oke

elcome to the last week in the year 2013, they thought you wouldn’t last till February, see you now, not only are you alive and well, you have surpassed the expectations of friends and enemies alike. In fact God has made it such that you have surpassed your own expectations and aspirations as well. Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the Lord O My soul and forget not all His benefits….” Persons have lost their lives, some lost their sanity among other things but you are alive and well.

I have only come here this morning to provoke a thanksgiving spirit from within you; some persons are so focused on what did not go well in the year 2013 that they have forgotten to give God adequate thanks for what He did. Let me tell you something, the reason why we don’t see results in life is not because we did not do the right thing but because we have not adequately or suffi-

to deliver his people wasted his anointing on the lapse of a woman; because of enjoyment that does not last up to 10 minutes. The Bible records that the Philistines made mockery of Samson. It says that when they feel merry, the Lords of the Philistines will send for Samson to make them sport, so that watching the fallen Israelite grinding grains for Philistine women as a slave made them happier. As you are reading this message, only you can judge yourself. What have you involved yourself in just to celebrate this Xmas? What you will be hearing in this period are stories of robberies, kidnapping and accidents; just because it is Xmas period. It is a hot season; this is a period that anybody can do anything; it is a season that people deviate from their faith. Is Xmas supposed to be like that? Xmas is supposed to be a time of meditation, a period when people should go into more prayers and seek the face of God. But we have turned this special season to what it ought not to be. Do you know that some young men will squander all the money they have laboured to gather during the festivities; and when they return from the Xmas celebration, they will begin to beg? Check your life. Sister, how many young men are you dating? Let me tell you, when I pray, I ask God not to give me any blessing that does not come from God. The Bible says that on the day of Samson’s humiliation in the hands of the Philistines, he begged God to give him just another chance. He once had the privilege and opportunity; what about people who do not have the privilege until they die? Thank God that you have the chance today. Do not kill yourself or do anything

Chidi

wrong in order to have a rollicking Xmas. Xmas does not finish. If you cannot celebrate it with your loved ones back in your village, next year, you can do that. So why should you get yourself into trouble in order to make it happen when you do not really have the means? It is very unfortunate that some believers now open their shops and business places on Sundays because they are desperately trying to gather money to have a rousing celebration. Hear me somebody; the Bible says, ..”and Samson cried; and he said to the lad that led him into the Philistine sport hall, ‘Please, can you help me to feel the two pillars that held the house.’ And when his hands felt the pillars, Samson cried unto God saying, ‘Oh God, let me avenge my enemies once.” Now let me ask you; how many times have you cried unto God and said, Lord renew my strength? How many times have cried unto God and said, ‘Oh God, please take me back to faith’? How many times have you cried unto God and said, ‘Oh God, kill the seed of sin in my life’? In the 1970s, testimonies that shook the church of that time were testimonies of people who come out and heartily tell the congregation that they were once sinners ‘but thank God I am now born again.’ It is regrettable that such testimonies are not what thrill the church our times. This is

2014? Be committed to praise ciently or consistently done the right thing. Yes, you have thanked God but how well, how sufficiently, have you thanked God? Let me tell you something about that great man David, Jesus is said to have the key of the house of David (Revelations 3:7), meaning King David remains relevant for all eternity. This king had a lot of secrets to his success but one major one was told us in the book of Psalms 199:164 that 7 times he praises God and 3 times he prays meaning your praise for 2013 and for 2014 must be more than your prayers for 2014. Read carefully, King Jehoshaphat had a troublesome battle ahead of him and he was perplexed, after going to seek the face of God, he knew that God will fight for Him but how did he provoke the hands of God to work wonders? It was by praises and thanksgiving 2 Chronicles 20. 2014 is like the battle ahead of King Jehoshaphat and just like him we have the word of God that says God will go ahead of us, He will make the crooked paths straight, create a path way in the wilderness, open unto us the leaved gates, loose the loins of kings for us, give us the treasures of darkness and hid-

den wealth of secret places. He has said His plans and thoughts for us are of good and not for evil to give us a glorious 2014. However, how do you enter the battle front? Through quality praise and thanksgiving; no wonder King David did not lose a battle although he had adversaries throughout his lifetime- his praise and thanksgiving were more than his prayers. I have noticed something in scriptures and in life and it is the fact that people who learn to praise and thank God ahead of any situation and even in the middle of a situation enjoy two things; 1.They enjoy peace of mind throughout the situation because their emotions, their mind is not focused on the issue at hand but they have decided to use their whole being to give thanks to God. Understand that God seeks people who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth meaning that when you become an intense ‘praiser’ you become a special creature, how? Many people will approach God this week with petitions and bombard His throne room with requests but be one of the few who will fill the cup of thanksgiving to overflowing in such a way

not surprising because even many churches do not preach salvation messages again. Today, everyone is running after miracles. Miracle is not everything. That God is blessing you is not because of your righteousness. Check your life. Today is the day for everyone to pray and ask God to give him or her second chance. The Bible says that the chance was given to Samson; and as thousands of Philistines gathered and laughed at Samson, he pushed down the pillars and all of them died with Samson. Let me tell you something, child of God. Ask God for second chance, he will renew your strength; he will also put your enemies to shame. Those Philistines who mocked Samson never believed that he would regain his strength again. Hear me brethren, God will use you to disgrace your enemies. Those who believe that you will die in sin, as you are reading this message today, I decree that every seed of sin in your life will die in the name of Jesus. Sister, do you know that your boyfriend can buy you a ticket of hell and tomorrow he can change? Likewise brother, your girlfriend can give you a ticket to hell and live to enjoy salvation. Hear me; you have an opportunity to change your wrong ways. And as many as will surrender their lives, I prophesy to you; God will renew your strength. That God blessed you is not a guarantee that you will make heaven. And the Bible says that Samson pushed down the pillars that held the hall and all the Philistines perished along with Samson. But our own case is going to be different. As God renews our strengths today, we are not ready to die with our enemies. They will die before us, in Jesus name. Check your life, who are you? God of second chance is calling somebody today. You have another chance, you have another opportunity; anything can happen anytime. How many of us here know that on the last day, you will not face the judgment of God jointly with your wife or children? that when God is seeking for relief from these requests He can turn to the place of praise and thanksgiving and be delighted by what you have to offer. 2.People who give thanks and praise God in situations enjoy consistent victory. When you thank God for His acts and praise Him for what He can and will do then you have committed Him to your situation and God is ‘faithful’. Do you know what this word faithful means? It is a strong word that means that God will never deny what He has said in His word concerning you. Irrespective of the situation or issue you can count on Him to show up in your favour. The bible says they look up unto Him and they were lightened and their faces were ashamed. God is the commander in Chief of the angel army, He is the mighty man of valour that turns the tide of any war just with His presence and a way to God into 2014 with Him is to be a praiser. • For further prayer &counseling, pleases contact: Pastor Femi Lanre-Oke Jesus Praise Evangelical Ministries International, Ibadan, Oyo State 2348030752799, 2348053695097. Email: femi_lanre01@yahoo.co.uk


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Praise & Worship

T The Voice o of wisdom

with Dr. David

Oyedepo E-mail: bishop@davidoyedepoministries.org Phone: 7747546-8

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very child of God is born a sign. Every child of God is born to experience the supernatural. God’s Word says: The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (John 3:8). Everyone born of the spirit is born to experience inexplicable, miraculous life.

You are for signs and wonders (Isaiah 8:18). You are not to be following signs; signs are to follow you (Mark 16:17-18). However, it will take a believer who has a working knowledge of what to do, to provoke signs and wonders. Life is built on demands and supplies. If you don’t subscribe to the demands, the supplies will elude you. Do you want to see the miraculous? Then do whatever God tells you to do! Miracles are not accidents. They are the deliberate acts of God in response to the simple faith of men.

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eople must work before they can eat. If bone does not work, he should not expect to eat. Even God worked before He could be praised. If He did not work, people won’t praise Him.

If people are not alive, would they praise God? Would you praise God when there is no food or water for you to eat and drink? No. God worked and is now enjoying the work He did. Therefore, people must work before they can eat. Looking at this world both spiritually and physically, in doing work and making utterances what can make a person’s glory to shine forth is prayer and hard work. The Bible says in Luke 22:44 “…he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. That was a rigour of prayer. Praying is hard work. Without praying, you are nothing, and cannot achieve anything in life. A prayerful person should know the hourly prayer time. He or she would work to a point before the person could eat. Similarly, people do attend church services but they have to do so to an extent before they can eat. Some people attend church services without receiving anything. There is the need to work in their coming to church. There must be certain things you do in the house of God. The Bible says faith without work is worthless (James 2:14 – 26). So there must be a role a believer of Christ plays in the church either by spending money or physical involvement in the work of God. Brethren, I want to emphatically make people to know that there are three things people are created to do: (1) To eat (2) Serve or Worship God (3) And to die. It is because we want to eat that people do work. A farmer of food crops does not have problem of food to eat because he or she would always

Sunday December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The master key to the miraculous! What is it that connects a man to the flow of the supernatural? What is it that makes a man a sign and a wonder on the earth? What is the thing that puts you in charge? Because we live in a kingdom that operates on keys, there are keys and there are master keys. There is a master key that opens the door to the miraculous. What then are the master keys to a world of the miraculous? Seeking God diligently: Many people know what they are looking for, but they don’t know how to get it. The Psalmist said: The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing (Psalm 34:10). When you seek God, you won’t lack access to the miraculous. Seek God first and everything that pleases Him, and all those things that others are dying to get, shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33). This is the master key! I call it the jackpot of life that puts you in command of every other thing, including the miraculous. Note that diligence is demanded in seeking God (Hebrews 11:6). King Uzziah, for instance, exemplified the value and virtue of seeking after God in truth and in deed. As long as He sought God, God made him to enjoy the

miraculous (2 Chronicles 26:3-5). God’s seekers never lack signs! Loving God: When the love of God is in place in the life of a man, everything begins to work together for good for him. Loving God is a covenant secret card for provoking the supernatural! Apostle Paul, knowing that the love of God is a secret card for the miraculous, further said that nothing would be able to separate him from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). The Fear Of God: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord…his seed shall be mighty on earth…wealth and riches shall be in his house (Psalm 112:1-3). The fear of God guarantees you access to the supernatural. Think of Joseph. He was pursuing hard after God, in spite of the adversity of his life. He said, “How can I do this wicked thing, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). God was at the centre of his life. Following God is no joke! As you follow God, your access to the miraculous shall be unimpeded. Until you settle with God, your case is not settled! Friend, the power for the fear of God is for those saved. You get saved by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as Your Lord and Saviour. If you are set for it, please say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I

come to You today. I am a sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. Deliver me from sin and satan, to serve the Living God. From today, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You for saving me. Now I know I am born again! In a few days time, we shall be celebrating the New Year on January 1, 2014. It is a time for us to make a solid resolution to obey and serve the Almighty God faithfully. God is faithful! I wish you and your family A Prosperous Happy New Year! I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. We have four services on Sundays, holding at 6:00 a.m., 7:35 a.m., 9:10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. respectively. Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge. For further reading, please get my books — Commanding The Supernatural and Walking In The Miraculous. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; or call 77475468; or E-mail: feedback@lfcww.org

A call to work, by Pastor Oloruntimilehin Founder of Omnipotence Mission of God, Pastor Joshua Oloruntimilehin, underscores the need to put service first.

Oloruntimilehin

have food. But it is the desire to have better and improved life that prompted people to go out and work for money to buy cars, houses, clothes etc. All these have no benefit to the body. Imagine, you cannot eat clothes, cars, houses and all the material things you have acquired. Also these things cannot give you peace of mind or make your body to be fresh. Therefore, what make the body to be fresh are the foods you eat. The nutrients bring out the beauty in the person. God created plants and animals to serve as food for people (Genesis 1:28 – 30). All the food crops are for the life of the people. If a person does not

eat these foods he or she does not have life and within few days the person will die. So what you are created for is to eat good nutritional foods for the benefit of your body. However there are food items that are beneficial to your body. Eat moderately and not much and be satisfied. Importantly ensure you a balanced diet always because God wants people to eat satisfactorily. Thereafter, to serve or worship God Almighty. If you refuse to serve God, then you are perished. It is a must for people to serve God no matter the condition or situation they are.

Whether God enriches you or not, you must serve Him. No matter the work you are doing, you must serve God. You are not in this world if you fail to serve God because everything belongs to Him. God wants you to eat to have strength to serve Him. God emphatically spoke in the scripture, Exodus 20:3 – 6 “You shall have no other gods except before me. You shall not make for yourself in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, I am a jealous God...” People need to serve God so that their coming to this world would not be worthless after they die. Serving God is work. If you want to have money and you do not serve God, you cannot have the money. As people are serving God, they are working. If people do not work, they won’t eat and if people do not serve God they cannot get any reward. If you are working and do not serve God, the work will be spoilt and destroyed no matter it may be. Therefore any work you are doing call God into it the work will flourish. Imagine David who did not come to save the Israelites but came into the war for the fame and benefits he was to gain for defeating Goliath. Because David was serving God and invited Him into his work, he was able to win the war and got all the benefits accrued to it (I Samuel 17:22 – 55). So if you are eating, working and still fail to serve God, the work will stop. Brethren, whether you eat or not, serve God or not, you will definitely die one day. You may live long or not. The paramount thing for you is to eat very well, serve God diligently, no matter the situation and wait till death comes.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship

Sunday December 29, 2013

43

‘The only way out, ahead New Year’

Pastor Emmanuel UtibeAbasi of Rock of Salvation Church, Iju, Lagos stresses the importance of piety in the life of a Christian, in this special sermon to close the year. Excerpts:

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od gives wealth. Jesus is our wealth. Psalms 23:1 says, “The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Before you accept Christ, it means you trust and believe in Him, you believe that he can take care of you and supply all your needs. If you look into the world today, not all have accepted Christ, so they worship whatever they have chosen to rule over them. But we that have been accepted and confessed Christ as our saviour and lord and believe that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him should be steadfast.

He says in Isaiah 45:19: I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth, I said not unto the seed of Jacob, seek ye me in vain. I the lord speak righteousness; I declare things that are right. Our God is a righteous God, he can never lie. For all the promises of God in him are yea (yes) and in him Amen ( it is so) unto the glory of God by us (11Cor.1:20). The living Bible explains this in Isaiah 45:19b. It says, “I did not tell Israel to ask me for what I did not plan to give: No, for I, Jehovah, speak only truth and righteousness. God honours His words more than anything, everything shall pass away, but His word shall remain forever. God never goes back on His word but we are the ones who disappoint ourselves; sometimes we are confused, we do not even know what we want for ourselves, you move from one church to the other, looking for a stronger power of darkness after confessing of killing so many, you run there, thinking there is a greater power there that can help you, you go about without focus, from one spirit to the other, committing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 “It is sad, we lost a lot of things and a lot of opportunities during the year,” he lamented. Taking deep insights into year 2014, Primate Ayodele reminded: “Before the middle part of the outgoing year, I revealed in this paper (Sunday Mirror) that there will be a gang-up against President Goodluck Jonathan and that PDP will break. There are equally many other things that I said then, that have come to pass. So, the prophetical word from the Lord for year 2014 for those who cares to know and act accordingly, are as follows:

•President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan is going to be the last PDP president we are going to have in this country. He will get so many things wrong and step on many toes in 2014 with his bid for second term; though, it will not be easy for the president’s clamour. A lot of issues will confront him and lots of official secrets, including how elections are rigged in the country would be exposed. God has revealed that Jonathan is ready to contest the 2015 elections, notwithstanding the many troubles ahead of him. He will win with a slim margin but there will be lots

spiritual fornication, which is against God. I am not against true repentance but against false pretence. There was a CD someone sent to me, that had five parts. As I was listening to the part one, the woman said there are three powers that rule the world, one is God, one of Jesus and one is of the Devil. Who is God and who is Jesus? That is not my topic for today, but I just want you to know that most of these people are agents of Satan, who is trying in every way to win souls to hell. Now, he is coming as an angel of light, pretending, so that you will rush in and be destroyed. Christians are blinded by the things of world. Whatever the devil posts to us, we don’t even wait to think twice, because it’s flashy and beautiful; we just rush and grab it. Isaiah 42: 20 states, “Seeing many things, but thou observe not, opening the ears but he heareth not. God has given us knowledge to ascertain between the good and the evil, but we don’t want to use the knowledge. We allow the flesh to rule our judgment, because we prefer the things we see than the things of the spirit, forgetting that the things we see will perish one day: all these desperate searches for prophesies, running here and there; you allow people to toss you around; you become a wheelbarrow Christian-anywhere you hear or see an advert of miracle, you run there, believing that Christ is there. Matthew 24:23-24 state, “Then shall arise false Christ and false prophet, and shall show great signs and wonders, inasmuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Hell has enlarged herself very wide to consume souls, that if Christ should tarry even the elect shall deceived into it.” (If it’s not happening already) (Read Isaiah 5:14) Things are happening everyday that people seem to forget about God and are distracted, they rather choose the things they see, because they don’t have the patience of waiting and believing anymore. But remember, everything made shall pass away but only the word of God shall remain.

Utibe-Abasi

David said in PsalmS 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” Don’t get yourself distracted over temporal things that will benefit you only for A short while, but always strive for the truth for it is written that only the truth can set you free. John 14:6a says, “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life.” Jesus is not a liar. Sometimes you may think in your heart, “For as long as I know, I have heard about Jesus, and him coming back again (coming soon) for how long will I wait?” For that, you jump into the next available option. “Some will say if I die, let me die; after all, everyone will die, after all, everyone will die someday.” You trample on the truth and choose to suffer, the truth is being said to you in Mark 24:13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Some of you will condemn and persecute me for my teachings because I don’t tell you what you want to hear, that I don’t bless or prophecy wealth to your life. But come to think of it, how can you have success (I mean good success, because there are many ways people are making wealth] when you don’t have Jesus? (Read Joshua 1:8) If I dilute or add to the word of God to satisfy and make you happy, I’m destroying you and also destroy-

ing my life.(Read Rev.22:18-19). I have to tell you the truth, no matter how hard and bitter it might be so that your soul might be saved. In three days’ time, we will be crossing into a new year. Make your decision; don’t let that person beside you be a distraction. I ask you now, how do want your 2014 to be? Do you want to be catapulted to the highest level of life? Do you want success, children or good health? Going to church does not make you a child of God, but accepting Christ totally to be your everything makes you His own. John 10:27 states, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Abraham trusted in God and was called “A friend of God.” He was not distracted by his wife’s barrenness but waited till God’s appointed time. Now, the whole nation sings his praise but learns nothing from him (patience). What about Moses? Moses trusted in God to the extent that when the devil wanted to distract him with a temporal success (which most of us will see as a divine breakthrough) he refused to be distracted, for that, he only saw the promised land from a distance but did not enter into it, his place was given to Joshua. Lot’s wife was distracted, for that from the commandment that god gave them, turned her eyes back to the idols of Sodom and became queen in her place. God knows his true worshippers. If you want to be a winner, to conquer death, to make your enemies submit to you, have to change of mind, you cannot hold two things in your hand, they’ll both fail you. David said, ‘I will lift up my eye unto the hill, from whence cometh my help, my help comes from the Lord which made heaven and earth.’ David’s help came from God because he was holding onto God. Where will your own help come from, when you are holding unto two gods? Matt.6:24 says, “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

OBJ, Jonathan will reconcile in 2014, says Prophet of abracadabra to his victory. If Jonathan does’t contest the election, PDP will still win. But Jonathan is getting set to contest. I have been saying it that Jonathan’s ambition to contest in 2015 will break Nigeria. If were Jonathan, I would have consult God again if to contest or not. Jonathan should watch out for impeachment moves. A lot of changes will be made in government. Some politicians may root for Jonathan to stay seven straight years. Of course there will be so many scandals against the president. So he has to be very careful and prayerful in his activities. The president and his wife must watch and pray seriously over their health, particularly from the middle of 2014.

Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Jonathan will soon reconcile their differences.

Tukur:

The PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur will be sacked.

E.K. Clark:

Clark and Jonathan will have some is-

sues as Tukur is negotiated out of the way.

Party politics:

I see serious rivalry between two political parties for the 2015 election. PDP will struggle to stabilise and fight back in its current crisis. Defecting PDP governors and lawmakers to APC would return to their former party. There will be more political tensions for Jonathan and his aides but Jonathan will go fully out for reconciliation, even with Obasanjo, as there will be serious agitation for Jonathan to step down his ambition for a second term. At the end, the PDP will be left with no better alternative to Jonathan for the 2015 election because stopping Jonathan from the election will destabilise and cause a lot of commotion for the PDP. The president will improve on the development of the Almajaris education in the North to score political point. However, I don’t see him winning in landslide in the 2015 election. He will win by very slim margin but will be saddled with chains of court cases over his victory. PDP will lose a very staunch and promi-

nent member. There will be serious rumble in the APC. There will be constitutional amendments and political negotiation for a change of the Chief of Staff to the president, the vice-President and the Secretary to the Federal Government. There will be crisis in INEC. New Executives will emerge in PDP and APC.

Governors/States:

APC and Accord party will have it neck and neck in the 2015 election in Oyo state. That is, if Ajimobi is careful enough to get a second term. If Ladoja contests, he will not win. So, a strong candidate from the Accord Party stands a better chance of winning the governorship election in the state as the party look set to get APC out of the way. Ajimobi needs to re-strategise seriously. The election in Ekiti will be very tough. It will be marred with crisis. PDP might get it wrong in the state as the APC stands the better chance of retaining the seat. Some speakers will not have it comfortable with their governors, especially in Abia, Enugu, Sokoto states.


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Sunday December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Pastor Bamidele to Christians: Obey your spiritual leaders Pastor Lai Bamidele of Christ Glorious End-time Evangelical Ministries, in this sermon, urges Christians to be good followers of their spiritual leaders, so as to reap the benefit therein. Excerpts:

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ow do you become a successful follower? Now, I will be giving you some revelations on what you need to do to be a good follower. Listen to me, life is a life of responsibility. The progress of a ministry is tied to the discipline of members of the Church. The success of a ministry is tied to the discipline of the followers. I told you I am sharing with you on how to be a successful follower.

What is discipline? What do we mean by the word ‘discipline’? Discipline is knowing how to control yourself in the right way. Discipline is, knowing how to control yourself over any affair of the world. Discipline is knowing the right thing to do and doing the right thing in the right way. When you are a follower and you are not disciplined, you have no place in life. When you are a follower and you are not disciplined, then you go against your leader. When you are a follower and you are doing the negative side of what your leader said you should do, then you are not a good follower. If you are a follower and when your leader is going to the east, you are going to the west; that is an act of indis-

cipline. Discipline is obedience in totality. The question I will ask you is this; many of you, is it not what your pastor rejected that you accepted? Is it not where your pastor is not going that you are going? Many of you; the reason why your life has no meaning, the reason why your prayer is not answered is because you are a disobedient follower. Discipline is setting godly love for yourself. Discipline means self-control. Discipline means ability to put your body under control. Discipline is subjecting yourself to God’s control. Listen to me today, the reason why many of you have been in this church for years , you are counting years without achievements; is it not what your pastor said you should not do that you love most? Is it not where your pastor said you should not go that you love to go? That is why your life has no meaning. But listen to me today; every satanic agenda that is planting indiscipline in your life, that will not make you to succeed in your portion, today, we separate you in Jesus name. Becoming a successful follower is also ability to subject your body to the control of God. How many of you are genuinely submitting yourself to the control of God? How many of you after the message on Sunday, get home and sit down to meditate on the message? Instead for you to sit down and meditate on the message of your pastor, you will engage in all manner of talks. Many of you were not in the vigil on Friday. I was sharing with people on power of friendship. And I was showing people what it entails, that there are some people that you don’t need in the journey of your life. Many of you, you are moving with wrong friends, that is why

your life has no meaning. Many of you are copying people you are not supposed to copy, that is why your life has no meaning. Listen to me today. I wept for a lot of people yesterday. I wept for a lot of members of this church yesterday. Gehaz pursued over what Elisha, his master rejected and his life was destroyed. Many of you in this church, you go against the instruction I give you on the pulpit. Many of you in this church go against the instruction I preached. I told God yesterday I don’t need crowd, I need the candidates of heaven, you cannot drag me to hell fire because of your disobedience. You cannot drag me to where I am not supposed to be. If you eventually find yourself in hellfire, you will have yourself to blame because I am preaching it. But many of you are full of disobedience. Gehaz lusted after what his master rejected and he finished his destiny. Look at yourself, you know where you go, you know where you are going. Listen to me, you are operating a prophetic ministry, you are going against your prophet and you think your life will have meaning? I said it on Friday, many of you, you said Pastor didn’t give you attention. The same attention I give you is the same attention I give others that come but when they come, they obey. Many of you are planted in the church; you don’t even know why you come to the church. You don’t know why you are in the presence of God. The only language is for you to be seeing the fault of your evangelist; it is for you to be seeing the faults of your pastor. It is for you to be seeing the fault of your fellow sisters; it is for you to be seeing the faults of your fellow brothers. Face the business

Bamidele

of what took you to the House of God. Elisha told Naaman, ‘God didn’t say I should collect all these gifts and I will not take them.’ When Elisha turned back, Gehaz looked right and left and pursued the gifts; and see where he found his life. The problem of Naaman came upon Gehaz. Many of you, where I do not go, where I am not going is where you make your living place. Anybody that will not obey God will not have portion in this earth. Listen to me; I am not preaching against any church and I am not begging you to stay in this church and I am not sending you out of the church. If you don’t have testimony, you have yourself to blame. If you have nothing to attest to, you have yourself to blame. I was on the mountain three to four days ago and a message came to someone in our midst.

Nigeria still has reasons to celebrate –Prophet Collins TAI ANYANWU

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he General Overseer of Olive Mountain of Prayer and Praise Ministry, Prophet Collins Timothy, has made a passionate call on Nigerians to disregard those whom he described as people who are hell bent on forcing President Goodluck Jonathan out of the presidential seat while “he is yet to accomplish the task God had sent him to do.”

Prophet Collins was chatting with journalists in Lagos during his church’s annual thanksgiving service held at Ijegun, Lagos, at the weekend. The cleric, who is renowned for his prophetic gift , said Nigerians should pray for the President and his wife, insisting that the President ought to be given chance to fulfill the assignment God had sent him to do in the country’s governance. He words: “We must pray for the President and the First Lady; the President on his part should be very careful because of the raging battles against him. I can see some people fighting hard to remove him from the seat of power.” Prophet Collins though noted that there are crises and bloodshed in some areas of the country, he nonetheless said that there was still the need for Nigerians to give thanks to God. “If you look at other countries, you see some natural disasters like earthquake, demonic waves and landslides but we don’t experience such disasters here.

Some countries are faced with some terrible diseases but we don’t experience such problems; so why mustn’t we thank God for these things?” He added: “God has revealed to me what will happen in the year 2014. One of the things is that there will be plenty of food in Nigeria this year. “Hunger will not be the problem of the people in the coming year because there will be reduced prices in food commodities in the country in the coming year. There will also be employment opportunities across the country. “But what we should be bothered about is the rate of crime. There will be high rate of violent crimes in the coming year. “Some lazy youths that wouldn’t want to work will engage in criminal activities and like caterpillars, they will destroy the resources of many people. “Concerning the next Presidential Election, Jonathan will run and he will win, there is no doubt about it because he has not accomplished what he is there for, he is going to stay there beyond 2015,” the cleric foresaw. Prophet Collins, who spoke at the highpoint of five-day activities marking his church’s 2013 annual thanksgiving programme, was elated at the progress the church had recorded since inception. “This year’s thanksgiving is entitled, ‘Divine visitation. Since the inception of this ministry, God has been visiting his

people here with good things. “Those who were nobody when they came in contact with this ministry have been lifted by God in different aspects of their lives. “Those who came here poor have been made rich by God. He has been promoting men and women in this ministry. Through this programme, we want to reassure those who are coming in contact with the ministry for the first time and the old members to realise that God will still visit them. “It does not matter the position that one is occupying in the society, whether highly placed and lowly placed, God does not look at positions if he wants to distribute his blessing. “Even when you don’t have anybody but

you believe God for one thing or the other, your visitation must be divine; that is why we entitled it, ‘Divine visitation.’ “Many people that have been having different problems that came here in the course of this programme have been visited by God. “There are so many things, especially when they look back at where they are coming from and their present positions. Those who came to this ministry when they were nobody can today boast of many things. I can recall that about three people who came here jobless and without shelter are today landlords. “I dedicated more than eight houses of members of this ministry this year and it calls for celebration,” the cleric related.

L-R: General Overseer Olive Mountain of Prayer and Praise Ministry, Prophet Collins Timothy his wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Rosemary; Guest Speaker and District Evangelist, Assemblies of God Edo East District, Rev. Joseph Airahuobhor, and Chairman, Harvest Committee, Elder Richard Salami, at the annual thanksgiving service of Olive Mountain of Prayer and Praise Ministry, held in Ijegun, Lagos at the weekend


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Praise & Worship 45

Sunday December 29, 2013

Deliverance from pressure (2)

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he vicissitudes of life is real and cannot be over-emphasized. However, when it lingers, it could transform or result into pressure. This is what has left many with no option but to succumb to principles, lifestyles and means of livelihood which are detrimental to both their health and destiny. Amazingly, the word of God has given infallible proofs that in all these we are more than conquerors. My prayer for you today is that as you put pressure on your pressure, the Lord will empower you to where you are supposed to be in Jesus name.

After getting married for thirteen years, a couple had no issue. This man was then cajoled into having an extra marital affair with a girl, which was arranged by his mother. Unfortunately, this girl is an agent of darkness from the marine world. One strange thing about this girl is that whenever the man wants to eat, the food will just appear in a twinkle of an eye. The lady became pregnant and when she was due for delivery, a word of prophesy revealed that the man’s life is about to be substituted with that of the child. When he told me about this, I counseled him and he was di-

Let’s go

BIBLE with Favour

Tioluwani Email: letsgobible@gmail.com

I really want to ask, please Ma, do you believe that there can still be a virgin at age 14? Many, if not all, had been deflowered even when they were in the secondary school. For me, it was when l was in Primary six. What is annoying me is that many of the so-called born-again ladies out there are busy deceiving Christian brothers that they are just like Virgin Mary. Let the innocent ones know that it’s all lies. Miss Shola, Ile-Ife, Osun State Yes, of a truth many have lost their dignity and integrity just for three minutes’ enjoyment. Many have sold out their birthright for a bowl of soup just like Esau in the book of Genesis. Just because of money, latest mobile phones, laptops, cars, etc (things of the world) many have given themselves up. Especially for them to be able to meet up with their mates, they go to any level to have what those ones are having. Research was conducted and the result showed that 85 percent of the youth, both male and female, were deflowered at age 16. The generation we are now so much favours the youth in getting involved in all sorts of immoral acts. As a result of this, the door has been opened for so many unheard of and incurable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, etc. However, this is not supposed to be so. The word of the Lord says in 1 Corinthians 6:18,

rected to go on pray and fast for seven days and God had mercy on him. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Cor 4:8-9 (NLT) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Ps 23:1 The Bible says that He is your Shepherd; this means that He is able to meet all of your needs. Any door you force open will eventually slam back on your face. Need is enough to put pressure on you and the declaration of Apostle Paul in the scripture above confirmed the reality of pressure. My prayer is that God will bail you out of every satanic and demonic need in the name of Jesus. Need becomes terrible when while you are still battling with one another one surfaces. Fact about pressure • You are not the only one that is having pressure, everyone has pressures but it is our ways of handling the pressure that vary. Sometimes, the pressure in life might have satanic undertones in which case you must fight back, I Pet 5:9. Every need that is making you shed secret tears; the Lord will turn it to open testimony in the name of Jesus. • Pressure must not compel you to do anything irrational. Once you are under pressure, do not do anything, rather you must maintain your composure. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God”. Anything

you do under pressure, you would end up in regret. • Have this understanding that you can handle pressure by the help of God. “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me” Phi 4:13 • Pressure is not as bad as it is perceived to be; all you need to do when pressure comes is to put pressure on pressure. How? Wait. When you do this, the pressure becomes weaker. Once you can successfully absorb its weight by buying time, it becomes weaker until its force eventually wanes. Alternatively, if you act or tend to act immediately, it is going to capture you. Also know that pressure has no other aim or objective but to divert and discourage you. Do you know that so many destinies are connected to yours and thus, if you fail, they are going to fail likewise? My prayer for you is that you will not fail. • Every pressure has a time frame because the Bible says that everything on earth has time and season, so also pressure. So when the pressure is much, do not worry because it has its time • I want you to take note of this; pressure comes to special people not to everybody. The biblical accounts of Joseph, David, Hannah and Sarah exemplify this, yet they did not succumb to the whims and caprices of pressure. His anger lasts only a moment, His goodness is for a lifetime. Tears may flow in the night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps 30:5 (GNT) Do not forget, His help is coming and

your miracle is on the way. What you do not have now, very soon you will have it in surplus. The time of weeping is the time of pressure. What is that thing you are expecting? Do not stop at asking, that is why we call you a believer. Do not allow pressure to take your service and sacrifice away from your Maker. When you go to church, do something or work in the church, do not just sit down and be a tithe. You will smile again in Jesus name. Prayer Bullets •As the Lord liveth, this need/problem (mention the need/problem) will not crush my destiny. •My Father, take me to where I ought to be by your mercy. • I crush every power behind pressure in my life. • I refuse to be wasted; I receive the grace to wait. • Every hand joined together to put pressure in my life, be paralyzed. • My Father, bail me out of every satanic and demonic need. •I receive power to put pressure on my pressures. •I refuse to bow to pressure. •The Lord is my Shepherd, my needs are met. …in Jesus name *I know this message has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through; info@thehebrewsng.com. Hotlines – 01-7903163, 08085845864. You can also listen to my messages on our podcast at www.thehebrewsng.com/podcast. Rev’d Femi Akinola – The Hebrews International, Lekki, Lagos

Can there still be a virgin at age 14? “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his body. And Ephesians 5:3-4 adds, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather, giving of thanks. Also, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. The will of God for you is to present your body perfect before The Lord. Romans 12:1-2 buttresses this, stating,, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” On the other hand, l want to let you know that there are still some highly disciplined youths outside there that remain virgins until their wedding night; they were able to keep themselves for their partners respectively. It might sound unbelievable but of a truth there are still some, holding on to the word of God. Mary was able to get all she got because she was a virgin. Luke 1:26-29 says, “And in the sixth

month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” She was highly favoured; she was blessed and she had the presence of The Lord and in the Lord’s presence there is joy, liberty and life, all because she was a virgin. What else do you want in this world? If you want all these, why not keep yourself, you can do it. All you have to do is to walk according to the will of The Lord and He will direct your path. If not, you will find yourself in the pit of different diseases, the pit of abortion, the pit of money ritual or the pit of unwanted babies, for there is a way that seems right unto many, but it’s the path of destruction. Deuteronomy 22:13-21 says, “If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. The girl’s father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to

the girl’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives. “If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.” Well, with these, there would be A LOT of dead women in the world if we followed the ways of the world. Stoning is the ancient form of a firing squad. Wow. As a child if God, learn to live a disciplined life; don’t go beyond your means. Your God is more than able to supply all your needs (Phillipians 4:19). On the other hand, if you have got yourself involved with premarital sex, there is still a way out. You could have lost your physical virginity just once or more times. If you did it, you did it. You can’t get that first time back again. And the past carries with it physical and emotional consequences. If memories have been etched on your brain, you can’t pretend they’re gone. But spiritually, it is quite possible to start all over again. Spiritual rebirth doesn’t destroy the past. It transforms it. A second chance, spiritually, means there are no limitations to what you can become. You can send in your QUESTIONS and the Holy Spirit will be set to give you the ANSWERS. Barr. (Mrs.) Favour Tioluwani Tel: 08050272259 or 07062738213 Email: letsgobible@gmail.com


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

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Opinion

Sunday December 29, 2013

47

2014 missive for Jonathan and team Kayode K Fasua

kayodefasua@nationalmirroronline.net (08034101207; SMS only, pls)

F

rom the orchestra of a village church or the patio upon which a delighted housewife is ensconced, comes this nostalgically enthralling song: count your blessings, name them one by one… But as 2013, a year of wondrous assortment rounds off jerkily in the homeland, it is lucid enough to everyone, including anyone wracked by dementia, that Nigeria can hardly join in the choir of ‘count your blessings’.

For a country reputed for enormous natural resources cutting across geographical belts to still dawdle on, 53 years after independence, clearly bespeaks of perennial bad leadership from which it must urgently seek liberation. From the first strike of oil exploration in the 1950s at Oloibiri and subsequently in other locations in the Niger Delta, which today is the mainstay of the economy, Nigerians have since come to realise that seething poverty is also one of the offspring of wealth, the oil wealth. Though the oil wealth has assisted in improving on infrastructure, it has also brought all through, a culture of idleness and mental lethargy that has negated the law of advancement. The colonial

masters that departed had left behind some early-day manufacturing industries in the core cities of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kaduna and Enugu, among a few others. But having taken possession of these companies, the termite spirit also possessed the native managers who plundered the firms until they folded up, either methodically or through sudden death. In this clime, perfunctory acts have been given the grandeur such that white lies and administrative subterfuge needed to sustain a culture of purposeless governance have become as leech. To wit, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), beyond the madding oil boom of free megabucks, is naturally bare; but ceaselessly, government statistics are full of imaginary export products, right in the face of grinding poverty, massive unemployment, homelessness and general despondency. As of today, Nigeria’s main productive diversification suitable for export value is President Goodluck Jonathan’s pet produce-cassava bread, which can best be accessed through the show-glasses of government’s official functions. With a gleaming and award-winning agriculture minister globe-trotting to gloat over his breakthroughs in the agric sector, aren’t we then a lucky nation? Pray, how many mechanised farms have we had in the rain forest region of Southwest and Southeast that have taken away at least 500 persons from the unemployment market? Poignantly, the industrial sector is

not only in comatose but actually dead. Warehouses of many of the industries that were once thriving are now church cathedrals or home to miscreants, rodents, reptiles and dangerous reptiles. Government’s needed impetus to engender partnership with private investors to revive the be-gone firms are best attained through stereotype speeches that are no more than sweet jabbers, laced with lies of invisible achievements in the industrial sector. Again, the state of insecurity spurned largely now by the Boko Haram insurgents which appears a hard nut to crack, is not helpful to foreign investment needed to survive the trauma of the country’s sagging economic profile. Which is why the government, as another year approaches two days from now, has to put a pin on drastic economic policies coupled with more commitment to tackling the security challenge at hand, to be relevant to the average Nigerian who is sore wrenched by this mish-mash of sundry jeopardy. In specific terms, the Federal Government in 2014 should dissipate less energy on political horse-trading and roiling maneuvering as had been witnessed this year. It should map out realistic industrial development programmes that can reduce the tribe of the unemployed by for instance, initiating the establishment of at least one big industry in each state of the federation. The firm in each state would ideally serve as a pilot one as ultimately, government could target three firms for

each state within a period of three years. Using Ekiti State as an example, there is the moribund textile mill in Ado, the state capital and an abandoned carbon brush industry in Okemesi, in the Ekiti West local council. Up Kaduna, the Peugeot automobile plant can be re-awakened while in Kogi State, the Ajaokuta steel company should be decisively concluded. In all these, the private sector participation is key. Again, for a President whose body chemistry suggests that he would re-contest the Presidency in 2015, core, discernible achievements, rather than political braggadocio and engaging in war of words over a punchy letter from an exgodfather, would best suffice. The bottom-line, of course, is the poorly traded, defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) which is now bifurcated and thrust on the lap of Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and Generation Companies (GENCOs). It is ludicrous that despite steadied, terminal assurances from the government, meeting half of the megawatts needed for national energy consumption remains a pipe dream. As in the case of a sinner whose demons had been exorcised but has now returned to its vomit having absorbed a legion of demons, so appears to be the case with the nation’s seemingly re-branded electricity system. Therefore, for a man who would be king again, and for those who would be courtiers in the palace that is Aso Rock, performance is the key to that dreamland, as a new year, 2014, enters.

Madiba: His soul goes marching on KOLA JOHNSON

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o the Madiba is gone. The last among the titans. He is even more. The titan among the titans. First among the greats. He was veritably primus inter pares. So he is gone. Gone for aye. Never to be seen again.

Nelson Rohilala Mandela!!! He traversed the vast earthly space, leaving an indelible mark not only unique in its own class, but remarkably so, too. Rarely in the history of human existence – so vastly as it stretches, in the spatial frame of time, was the wider gamut of humanity, availed of such beacon of illumination, who by sheer dint of his sterling personal qualities had succeeded in registering a salutarily tremendous influence in the affectionate closet of the general mind. He stood out as the quintessential distillation of the finest of human values; a tower of inspiration, with Solomonic wisdom of a sage and creative statesmanship that remains a model in the annals of exemplary leadership. His sublime features, chivalry, genial frame, quixotic-temper, dignified deportment, and inspiring noble exudation, was such which cuts an almost perfect symmetry with Brutus, in Mark Anthony’s description of him as “the greatest Roman of them all, of whom the element is so made, that nature might stand up and say this was a man”.

In life, the Madiba was great, in death, he sure was - just as he was no less so, in the last phase of his eventuful sojourn on earth. As a young attorney, Mandela gave his all, to the struggle at the critical epoch marking the zenith of the segregationist racial order of apartheid South Africa. As this notorious apartheid segregationism of the racist whites in oppressive chauvinistic manifestation against the blacks thrived and blossomed in South Africa, Mandela as a young practicing Attorney, gave his all, to the struggle. Today, we remember as if it were yesterday, his historic trial before the apartheid juridical apparatus. In this regard, we remember in particular, his great defence. Its historical exudation and heroism. I refer to his fiery oration on that moment of history. It was such that evoked the valour of Socrates at the threshold of the apocalypse of the hemlock and the dare-devil bravura of Stephen at the trial by the Sanhendrin. It was an oration that continues to live. An inspiring, lesson in valour, courage and soldiery. Expectedly as it turned out, the minions of state, in their overzealous ardour, and robotic unabashedness, wasted no time in hounding him into the cauterizing gulag of apartheid authority. There and then, Mandela was left to waste away, amidst the rapacious monstrosity of the apartheid cocoon. Also in

that dundgeon, the primeval essence of his youthful phase, and vitality, expired in absolute totality. The vital force of his prime youth having evanished in the oblivion of apartheid repression, the shifting quicksand of time soon graduated for the Madiba into a fore-boding phase of adulthood, still in the lingering oppression of the apartheid gulag. At this stage, it was as if for him, an entire life span was fated to waste off in prison, as the apartheid Baboon waxed stronger and fatter, and ballooned almost beyond reach in the contextual terms of invincibility. For Mandela, sequestered in the solipsistic soliloquy of his exclusive Island of thought, cut off as he was, from the enervating cross-current of interaction with the wider world - within the repressive overlay of the Robben Island prison - only him and no one but him, was essentially best put in recalling – especially in detailed particulars, the inner workings of his mind as he contended – as of course would have been expected - with the personal burden of the reciprocal channel of familial affection, from which he was cut off; the burden of the struggle, the future of the struggle and of course the future of the blacks. “Will I emerge here alive intact or maimed? How are my family, wife, children and extended family? Will I meet them intact? What omen does the struggle

portend? Any light at the end of the tunnel? Is the struggle fated to end well? If so, for how long? Is it billed to be an exercise in futility, after all?” In one breadth, the illuminating light of optimism seems to surge forth. In another breadth, the mood swing gravitates to despair. “Will my entire existence on earth waste away in this hollow cubicle? Could it come to pass, that an entire span of life could so easily vanish in prison? Supposing I have not stuck my neck, couldn’t I have been at least a shade better off ? At least I would be as free as air; my wife and children milling around me, would in itself have been a salutary feature”. But the rest soon became history. The slow but steady wheel of natural justice soon gravited to the nullification of the apartheid monster, for the democratic institution of majority rule. An election was held. The popular vote endorsed Mandela. Even at this stage, the unfolding of events was such that appeared still like a phantom dream not in the least to Mandela himself. Otherwise come to think of it: “an under - dog bloody God - damned black”, who a moment ago, had languished under the buffetings of apartheid manacles, harassed and ridiculed in bestial dishonour of the most ignoble hue - towering the next moment, to the most celebrated figure on earth. • Johnson, a journalist, lives in Lagos.


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Wellness YOUR HEALTH AND HEALTH RELATED ISSUES DECEMBER 29, 2013

2013 IN RETROSPECT ... 2013 IN RETROSPECT ... 2013 IN RETROSPECT

Health sector: The gains, the losses

National Hospital, Abuja

Onyebuchi-Chukwu

MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he most quoted portion of legendary 20th century writer, William Yeat’s “Second Coming”, aptly captures what currently transpires in Nigerian health sector. That portion of the poem states: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer; things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loose upon the world.” Though, anarchy hasn’t taken over the sector, if the longstanding fundamental crises are not resolved, the end result may be horrible. For those who understand the trends in the nation’s health sector today, some questions

clearly beg for answers in their mind. Some of these are: “Why has politicking and rivalries eclipsed our common goals this far in the sector? Why have personal gains and comforts overshadowed the wellbeing of fellow country people among health professionals and workers? Why on earth would government not be trusted, no matter what it promises and to whom such promises are given? And, which direction is the nation’s health sector heading? The foregoing are some of the ills besetting the Nigerian health sector which yet makes significant progress despite its swelling misfortunes. The sector, under the leadership of Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, has made giant strides to reverse many of its appallingly poor statistics, namely HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal and child death, cholera, cancer, diabetes, among several others.

Gombe awards contract for snake bite hospital Gombe State Government said it had awarded a N500 million contract for the building of a 250-bed capacity Snake Bite Treatment Hospital. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kennedy Ishaya, said the existing snake bite treatment centre had received 500

doses of anti-snake venom for the free treatment of snake bite patients. He told journalists that the General Hospital, Zambuk, in YamaltuDeba local council of the state had been converted to infectious diseases treatment hospital. Ishaya said the government also increased

the budget for free antenatal care and children under the age of five, from N19.5 million quarterly to N25 million. According to him, patients from neighbouring states including Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa access treatment free of charge in Gombe State.

But, inter-professional rivalries and government/workers face-off have erratically impeded policy execution in the sector. 2013 is most notable for crises in the sector within a decade. Doctors and other health professionals are wont to go on strike at will; government, on its part, could decide to implement agreements reached with its employees or not if it so chooses. As this battle of supremacy lingers between the parties, the populace pay the price with their health and lives. A cursory look at the sector’s success and failures in 2013 is as follows: Primary health care: National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, vested with the responsibility of administering and coordinating primary health care services, nationwide, under the leaderCONTINUED ON PAGE 51

HEALTH NEWS

Experts warn against dangers of female genital mutilation Medical experts urged government and stakeholders to make traditional health institutions aware of the dangers and health hazards imposed by traditional laws on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). They told journalists in Lagos that intensified awareness programmes could curb the trend. A public health specialist at

the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr Grace Offor, advocated a strong awareness in the rural areas where such practices existed. ``Female genital mutilation includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. ``The procedure has no health benefits for girls and

women and procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems of urinating and later potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths,’’ she said. Offor also urged the government to see the need for a federal law with stiffer penalties in the struggle against the eradication of FGM.


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Wellness

Sunday, December 29, 2013

51

2013 IN RETROSPECT ... 2013 IN RETROSPECT ... 2013 IN RETROSPECT

As maternal mortality drops, cholera spreads

Mohammed

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 50 ship of Dr Ado Mohammed, is being transformed to impact positively on the lives of the citizenry. Until recently, according to the figure from the National Bureau of Statistics, maternal mortality ratio stood at 545 per 100,000 live births, but by December this year, it has gone down to 350 per 100,000 live births. Polio transmission is almost being interrupted. A number of northern states were endemic with polio and meningitis last year. Today, only Kano in the North-West, and Borno and Yobe in the North-East, in the area where insecurity is still being addressed by government, remain sanctuaries for the polio virus in the whole federation. In 2013, the agency carried out integrated immunisation against measles for 24 million children in the country, according to the NPHCDA boss. The Conditional Cash Transfer of the SURE-P; Maternal and Child Health, MCH; introduction of Community Extension Health Workers, CHEWs; refurbishing of many of the nation’s primary health care facilities; and improved relationships among tiers of government have collectively engendered near equilibrium between demand and supply of health care services at the primary health care level. There is a kind of fusion in the nation’s secondary and tertiary health services. They will, therefore, be considered as an entity in this assessment. The nation does not have any reported case of Guinea worm in 2013; this has been so since 2008 and it currently awaits certification by World Health Organization, WHO, as a Guinea worm-free nation. Other diseases in which Nigeria has made tremendous impacts are: vaccination against yellow fever, increased sensitization on rabies of which the Federal Government gives free treatment at its major tertiary hospitals; and, introduction of new national policies in tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs. There has also been rapid decline in malaria and HIV/AIDS burden. Nevertheless, Nigeria still contributes 25 percent of global malaria burden while it is second most burdened with HIV/AIDS, globally. Its 2013 national HIV prevalence is 3.4 against the earlier 4.1percent of national population of estimated 167 people. The Federal Government recently set up a committee to assist in the fight against hepatitis which it said makes the population vulnerable more than HIV/AIDS. Besides, the Federal Government, this year, introduced a new Yellow Card which puts an end to humiliation that had greeted her citizens in other countries, especially in South Africa, last year. However, at the tertiary level, there are growing concerns over non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, trauma, sickle cell to name a few. For instance, it is estimated that deaths arising from diabetes alone are more than those of HIV/AIDS and cancer put together. This was captured by a Fifth Republic Senator, Lee Maeba, recently in Abuja, while carrying out a sensitization campaign on the disease through his Lee Foundation. He said: “Government is committing so much money to NACA to help fight HIV but nobody is looking at the real killer. Diabetes is a killer disease.

Maeba

Enabulele

HIV and cancer put together are 10 percent of diabetes. The rate at which diabetes kills doubles the rate at which cancer and HIV, put together, kill. So, the real problem is diabetes; you cannot work because diabetes will run you down.” Government needs to step up its commitment to this disease condition.” In terms of infrastructure, significant achievements were recorded this year. Some of these are world-class trauma centres both at the National Hospital and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Abuja; nearing completion; National Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State to name a few. Other milestone feats recorded in the sector include successful kidney transplant at Garki Hospital in Abuja this year, hosting of Abuja+12 conference on HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria, comprising African leaders. Noteworthy projects are on-going in most public health facilities, nationwide. Challenges: Brain drain is a major setback for Nigeria’s health sector. At the middle of this year, according to President, Nigerian Medical Association, Osahon Enabulele, about 8,000 Nigerian medical doctors were practicing in the United States of America and Britain, while their home country, Nigeria, had 27,000 attending to estimated 167 million people. Health professionals abandon the nation’s health facilities because of what they often refer to as poor working environment. This has given the private health facilities in the country an edge over their public counterparts; and those with the wherewithal to afford their services prefer them to public health services. The health sector requires more funding as only six percent of national budget goes into it. This is a far cry from the 15 percent commitment made by heads of African governments in Abuja, in 2001. But, stakeholders are calling for judicious use of the funds allocated to the sector. In an interview with National Mirror earlier this year, President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Dr. Godswill Okara, said the problem of the sector was not funding but probity in leadership. Unfortunately, too, less than ten percent of Nigerians are covered by any form of health insurance policy. Federal Government employees who are automatically enrolled into the scheme are in the majority. However, hope is on the way as the National Health Bill may soon be ready for President Goodluck Jonathan’s endorsement. The bill among others provides for compulsory universal health insurance coverage for Nigerians. Meanwhile, the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, has been moving rather too snail-like for the past two years. Perhaps for the one-legged leadership of Dr Abdulrahaman Sambo who led the scheme on acting capacity within the period, Nigerians are nevertheless optimistic that the newly-appointed substantive Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Dr Thomas Olorunfemi, would rise up to the challenge of making the scheme a worthy regulator of health security for teeming Nigerians. Cholera was a major disease that ravaged the nation in the last quarter of 2013. For instance, Federal Government confirmed 124 people dead from the scourge between

September and October out of an estimated 2,771 cases. It should be noted that Nigerians are largely responsible for cholera outbreaks. Most homes do not have modest toilet facilities and approach of the majority of the citizenry to hygiene is despicably downright poor. The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is an agency in the health sector making giant stride to rid the nation of counterfeit and fake drugs, including other consumables listed under its control. But, the agency’s cutting-edge technologies such as its text-messaging device for detecting fake drugs should be rapidly promoted. This should be made to feature on major products in the country to enhance goods’ originality. The Truscan, another effective device introduced by NAFDAC for checking counterfeiting, is not available in large quantity to detect counterfeit products; more of this should be made available by government. Dr Orhii should use his position as the first substantive Chairman, Member State Mechanism, a global body tackling the global challenge of spurious, substandard and counterfeit medicines, to realize Nigeria’s zero-tolerance to drugs and other related products counterfeiting. NAFDAC won a monumental victory in a record judgement on “My Pikin” saga that claimed the lives of over 80 children in the country in 2008. The company’s assets were forfeited to the Federal Government while two employees of the company were committed to prison. Sadly, the bedrock of the nation’s health system seems to be in a stalemate. This is the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development Agency, NIPRD located in Abuja. The agency’s performance has been visibly poor and except the agency chooses to veil its successes, nothing noteworthy is reportedly happening there. Prof Chukwu recently lashed out at the management of the agency over unsatisfactory state of the agency when he paid an inspection visit to the institution. Effective NIPRD would help in local development and production of most herbal and some orthodox medications that are hauled into the country from other countries, at the expense of the country’s hard-earned resources. Nigeria determines to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals, health MDGs, in 2015 which include reduction of child mortality; improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. But, like in many other countries, the aim is unrealistic in Nigeria, given the current socio-economic realities. But, a solid foundation has been laid for the realizing the goal. Finally, as part of measures to improve on the sector, government plans a new national demographic and health survey for next year to replace the 2008 edition still in use today; the Presidential committee set up to look into government/health workers and professionals’ feud is expected to submit its report soon; new funding techniques are being formulated among tiers of government to tackle critical areas in the sector which hitherto had been funded by foreign donors; and, the President Goodluck Jonathan has pledge to make the sector grow out its varied predicaments through provision of appropriate Federal Government’s intervention.


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

From the Civil Service

Fashola approves 120 new vehicles for traditional rulers

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overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has approved the procurement of 120 new vehicles of various brands for traditional rulers in the state. The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Ademorin Kuye, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos. The commissioner, who said the vehicles would be purchased in 2014, noted that they would enable the traditional rulers to discharge their responsibilities effectively. ``Already, the 120 vehicles have been provided for in the 2014 budget and these would add to the over 30 vehicles that we have provided in the current year. ``These vehicles speak of the commitment of the state government toward improving the welfare of traditional rulers in the state and empowering our Obas to serve their people,

‘’ he said. Kuye also told NAN that the state government was renovating palaces and building some new ones to strengthen the traditional institution and improve the living standards of the traditional rulers. ``We have just delivered a new palace for the Alara of Ilara, Epe and work would soon commence on new palaces for the Akran of Badagry and Olu of Ikeja, ``Renovation of the palaces of Ayangburen of Ikorodu and Elejigbo of Ejigbo are ongoing and we are taking all these steps to strengthen the traditional institution in the state, ‘’ he said. The commissioner added that the state government had set up a committee to consider applications from traditional rulers seeking upgrade. He said that the committee embedded in the State’s Council of Obas would ensure that qualified traditional rulers get the de-

JOEL AJAYI

that many community museums had been established to preserve artifacts found in each community for the promotion of the country’s cultural heritage. He lauded the DG for his pro-activeness, innovation and determination to ensure transparency and accountability in the administration of the commission. Responding, Mallam Usman, who could not hide his joy form the delegation, maintained that his achievements could not have been made possible without the support of his staff. Commending President Jonathan for giving him opportunity to serve his father’s land for second term, Usman added that “we will not be flattered by the encomium, but using it to achieve more. I will continue to put in my best for the promotion and conservation of the country’s cultural heritage.”

Usman reappointed NCMM boss ABUJA

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he Director General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Mallam Yusuf Usman has been re-appointed as the Director General of the commission for a second term. Usman was appointed in 2009 to steer the affairs of the commission, established by decree 77 of 1979. His re-appointment, according to Curators of Museum from North-East geopolitical zone, was due to achievements recorded in his first term, adding that there was certainty that the next four years of Usman would no doubt place the commission in its rightful place in the culture industry. Mallam Babantafa Inuwa while speaking on behalf of the Curators, who paid the DG of NCMM a visit to felicitate with him on his reappointment, in Abuja, noted

served elevation. ``We have different categories of Obas in the state and some of them, based on historical evidence and some other considerations, believe they should be up-

graded to higher categories. ``So the committee on upgrade of traditional rulers will consider applications, scrutinise the evidence provided there-in and make recommendations to the

state government for approval. ``It is State Executive Council that gives the final approval based on the merits of the recommended applications, ‘’ Kuye said.

The commissioner, who said traditional rulers were partners in progress, added that the state government would continue to work with them to ensure development in the state.

Civil servants checking their names to enable them obtain biometric data capturing and access control gate system, at the office of the Head of the PHOTO: NAN Civil Service of the Federation in Abuja at the weekend.

Lagos Council holds CDA election, gets new exco

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ourteen new executive members of Community Development Committee (CDC) in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Lagos, have been elected. They were elected penultimate Friday, in an election conducted by the electoral committee set up by the council chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan, in July, to organize elections into executive positions of the 74 CDAS in the council. Three principal executive members of each of the 74 CDAS, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer were the eligible voters who participated in the election to elect the new CDC executives, at the council secretariat, venue of the election. The fourteen new executive members who emerged after the election were, Alhaji Lamoriu Giwa

as chairman, Alhaji Adejumo Bashir as first vice chairman, Mr. Bashorun Oguntomole as second vice chairman. Comrade Victor Durodola was elected secretary and Alhaji Ibrahim Fatai was elected as the treasurer. Alhaji Raheem Shopeju emerged as the auditor, Mr. Gbolahan Babatunde as financial secretary and Mr. Solomon Onilari as PRO among others. The newly elected CDC executive members will serve for two years and they are expected to oversee the activities of the 74 CDAS in the council area, and also liaise with both the local government and Lagos State regularly on behalf of the CDAS, on how to bring development to their communities. The election of Executive Members of Community Development

Associations in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, held on Saturday,21st,December,2013 has been Chairperson of the Electoral Committee for the election, Mrs. Hontonnu Mary Senapon had declared the election as peaceful, free and fair. She spoke to journalists who monitored the exercise in most of the voting centres in the council area, and added that the committee, as part of efforts aimed at ensuring the success of the election, commenced distribution of voting materials and vehicles to electoral officials as early as 5am and by 8am, they set out for the exercise in 55 CDAS that obtained election forms, out the 74 CDAS registered by the council. Residents who came out to vote were asked by electoral officers to show evidence of payment of their annual development levy of 300 naira

due to the council, before they could be allowed to cast their votes. Mrs Hontonnu explained that the development levy receipt served as voters card for members of the CDAS, and it was used as one of the conditions for voting in order to prevent non residents of Ejigbo from voting.

Fashola


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

From the Civil Service

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Shema canvasses role for traditional rulers on security AKEEM BOLAJI Kano

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overnor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State has said that any policy on public safety and security in Nigeria would surely and definitely require the direct involvement of the traditional institutions, communities, religious leaders and other societal groups. “Going down memory lane, these bodies had once been responsible for public safety and security and had done it so well that in those days every one slept with two eyes closed while public movement, co-existence and security were guaranteed”, the governor said.

Governor Shem stated this in his paper presented at the Stakeholders` Zonal Consultative Forum on the Development of National Policy on Public Safety and Security for States in North-West Geo-Political Zone organized by the Ministry of Police Affairs held at the Tahir Guest Palace Kano recently. The governor who was represented by the Honorable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Katsina State, Alhaji Lawal Rufai noted that the institutions and bodies were still very much relevant and necessary to public safety and security. He said that their roles were indispensible and

lamented that, “It is very unfortunate that today every Nigerian in all sector of the economy has become used to stories of act of terrorism, robbery, hooliganism, etc, to such an extent that people just hear and go, as if nothing has happened”. The lead facilitator at the Forum, Professor Femi Odekunle stated that in view of the existence of “our chronic problem of crimes for decades, increasingly violent inter-communal conflicts, deadly unabated terrorism with emergent disturbing international dimensions and general indiscipline and governance-deficits in the lands, there can be no

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Dankwambo presents N107.4bn budget

doubt in any one`s mind that the country has become a security risk to itself and its citizens”. He explained that the matter of public safety in the Nigeria contexts should go beyond the legally assigned functions of the police and other security agencies and encompass the roles of other appropriate formal and informal bodies. The occasion was well attended by eminent personalities drawn from the North-West geo- political zone of the country with various presentation of papers on topical issues at the forum on the development of national policy on public safety and security for states in the zone.

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ov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State on Friday presented a budget of N107.4 billion for the 2014 Appropriation Act to the state House of Assembly. Tagged “Budget of Restoration”, the governor said it was made up of a recurrent expenditure of N43.5 billion and N63.8 billion capital expenses. According to him, the budget is based on an estimated recurrent revenue of N50.8 billion and capital receipts of N55.8 billion, with an anticipated budget deficit of N678 million. Based on the budget breakdown, the recurrent revenue comprises N6.3 billion as internally generated revenue; N35 billion from statutory allocation and N2.5 billion share of excess crude oil. The governor said the state expected a receipt of N1 billion each from its share of exchange rate gains and Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), while N5 billion was expected from budget augmentation and other sources in the fiscal year. On recurrent expenditure of N43.5 billion, Dankwambo said N14.6 billion was allocated for personnel cost, N16.3 billion on overhead and N12.5 billion for

consolidated revenue fund charges. On the capital receipts of N55.8 billion, he said with an opening balance of N8 billion, government was expecting N7 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT) and N2.5 billion as Federal Government’s reimbursement on projects executed by the state. He said N2.5 billion would also come from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) as the state’s share. Other capital receipts, he said, included an expected N3 billion local government contribution to joint projects, N7.3 billion as transfer to consolidated revenue fund charges and N4 billion as internal loans. Other sources are N500 million from partnership contribution to Agricultural Development Fund and N250 million partnership contribution to Trade Investment Fund. About N300 million is also expected as partnership contribution to Gombe State Geographic Information System (GOGIS). Also being expected is the N500 million from Bank of Industry (BOI) partnership for entrepreneurship development fund.

Former provost applauds improvement in teachers’ education

Civil servants resuming work after Christmas holidays at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja on Friday.

PHOTO: NAN

Ebonyi spent N1.9bn on rural health programme since 2010 –Commissioner

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he Ebonyi State Government said it spent N1.9 billion on its rural healthcare programme since inception in 2010. Dr Sunday Nwangele, the Health Commissioner disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abakaliki. He said that the money was disbursed to the six accredited rural hospitals, including Mater Miseriocordi Hospital Afikpo, Presbyterian Joint Hospital, Uburu and Rural Improvement Mission Hospital, Ikwo.

Others are St. Vincent Hospital, Ndubia, Mile 4 Hospital, Abakaliki and Sudan United Mission Hospital, Onuenyim Izzi. Nwangele said that the rural healthcare programme was aimed at providing quality and affordable healthcare to the rural populace in the state. He said that because of the rural healthcare programme, the government introduced giving of grants in tranches to rural hospitals to implement the programme. ``The grant drives rural

health programmes by providing standard infrastructure development to these hospitals, enables them to recruit skilled healthcare providers, including consultants, nurses. ``It also enables them to procure standard medical and diagnostic equipment. ``It helps to implement one of the highest government policies, which is the free maternal and child healthcare programmes and also general disease control,” he said. According to him, the programme had reduced

drastically the previous negative health indices in the state, reduced maternal morbidity and mortalities and improved child healthcare. He added that the programme had helped the government to provide quality healthcare to the people, reduced referrals and helped to prevent avoidable deaths in the rural communities. Nwangele noted that the programme had helped to sustain continuous medical and health services in the state.

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r Olakunle Filani, a former college Provost, on Friday in Lagos said there had been an improvement in teachers’ education in Nigeria over the years. Filani, who was Provost at the Federal College of Education (FCE), Osiele near Abeokuta, said this was due to Federal Government’s focus on the sector to address its problems. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that teachers’ training was key to an improvement in the education sector, as the trained teachers would in turn train others. ``It is difficult to isolate teachers’ training from the education sector, because it is perhaps the most important factor of education. ``However, teachers’ education has been improving, when conceptualised with-

in the structure of education generally. ``Not minding the degeneration of education over the years, the Federal Government has been addressing the shortcomings,” Filani said. The former provost said the improvement in teachers’ training was because it was made the major pillar of the four-point agenda of the Federal Ministry of Education. He said several seminars and workshops had been organised by the ministry in 2013 to train and equip the teachers. Filani lauded government’s effort at enhancing the quality of teaching by providing infrastructure and training the personnel. He urged government to be consistent in its efforts at developing the teachers. (NAN)


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business FRESH BUSINESS NEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Sunday December 29, 2013

2013 IN RETROSPECT ... 2013 IN RETROSPECT ... 2013 IN RETROSPECT

Economy: Modest achievements, bright future outlook TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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y all assessment parameters, the Nigerian economy may not have impacted on the ordinary Nigerians in terms of their socio-economic well being as many would have expected in the current year, but what cannot be denied in governments’ efforts to strengthen the economy alleviate poverty is that most of the policy measures have the potentials for inclusive growth of the economy in the years ahead. For instance, even when joblessness and poverty still remained big challenges in the nation’s economy in the outgoing year, there are remarkable micro and macroeconomic indices in the year under review that indicated that ongoing economic policy reforms will engender broad-based transformation of the economy, particularly in terms of infrastructure capacity, real sector growth, job creation and poverty alleviation in the medium and long terms. In setting its priorities for the economy as enunciated in the 2013 budget, the Federal Government had promised to reduce cost of governance, adopt a stronger strategy for managing domestic debt; bridge the yawning infrastructure financing deficit; create job, support of real sector growth; and gender empowerment and sports development. At the budget presentation and ministerial briefings, it also promised to continue with the previous year’s agenda of fiscal consolidation with inclusive growth in the current year, and underpinned this with a projected oil production of 2.53 million barrels per day (mpbd) benchmark oil price of $79 per barrel, real GDP growth rate of 6.5 per cent and average Exchange Rate of N160/$. A critical assessment of the economy in 2013 showed that the Federal Government had performed fairly well in terms of sundry policy steps being undertaken to grow the economy. According to the Report on the GDP growth rate by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the third quarter, the growth rate when measured on aggregate basis grew by 6.81 per cent, representing 0.63 per cent higher than the growth rate in the preceding quarter. Inflation rate has also been kept at bay through various monetary and fiscal measures, sustaining a single digit trend through the whole year. In November, the inflation rate rose by 7.9 percent year-on-year, representing a marginal increase of 0.1 percentage points from7.8 per cent recorded in the preceding month. The economy also recorded some measure of success in job creation as the Federal Government continued the implementation of the palliative SURE-P. For instance, the implementation of the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) of the programme which is one of the Social Safety Net (SSN) projects of the SURE-P is being sustained with the creation of the Public Works, Youth and Women Employment (PW/WYE) component, amongst other initiatives. Latest official statistics on the Programme indicated that it had created 130,000 new jobs since its inauguration in February 2012 this is even as the government unveiled plans to empower 50,000 graduates by the year 2015, with quality work experience under the GIS. On the efforts by the government to improve infrastructure capacity base of the economy, substantial progress was also recorded in the power sector reform initiative

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

with the privatisation of the PHCN successor companies and far-reaching upgrade of some critical road networks, including those road rehabilitation projects executed under the SURE-P. Another sector that witnessed transformational changes is the agricultural sector which, during the year under review, attracted substantial investments and enjoyed enabling policy framework for its sustainable development. For instance, the launching of the NFIS early this year by the CBN was followed by the launching of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), which had 60 per cent committed to providing long-term credit at single digit interest rate to women in micro and agro-based businesses in the country. Blumberg Grain, one of the world’s largest food security company, has unveiled plans to invest $250 million (about N40 billion) in a food processing company in the country in demonstration of its confidence in and support for the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). With the planned establishment of the company’s facility in Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said by manufacturing storage warehouses in the country, farmers, agroprocessors and financial services industry would be able to reduce post-harvest losses, improve market access and incomes across agricultural, value chains. Only last month, the Federal Government sealed a N6.6 billion investment pact in form of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and the Bank of Industry (BOI) in furtherance of its efforts to boost cassava HQCF productivity and meet the country’s needs for Cassava bread and export potentials at the international markets. Under the arrangement, BOA is to manage N2.4 billion of the fund while BOI will manage the balance. These and many other initiatives have impacted on the sector with improved productivity across the value chains during the year. Under the ATA, the goal is to add 20 million MT of food to the domestic food supply by 2015 and reducing the esti-

mated 50 per cent loss in produce from post-harvest losses, amongst others. Similarly, a glimpse into the performance of the real sector could be seen in the views of the immediate past President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Goodie Ibru, during the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos recently. The industrialist said: “Ours is the second largest economy in Africa with over $300 billion GDP, what we lack is the capacity to harness these opportunities for our common good. However, some progress has been made in charting the right course. “Economic and business performance in the year was mixed. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Gross Domestic Product growth rate for the second quarter of 2013 was 6.18 per cent as against 6.56 per cent in the first quarter and 6.39 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2012. “However, when compared with global output growth, the Nigeria growth performance could be considered satisfactory. But from our perspective as private sector player, the economic conditions were difficult and the challenges of doing business remained formidable”, the LCCI chief added. Reflecting on the overall performance of the economy during an interview with Sunday Mirror, a frontline investment analyst and management Consultant, Dr. Boniface Chizea, who noted that the economy had fared fairly well during the year argued that there were some steps to be taken by government to improve the impact of the ongoing policy measures on the economy. While describing the efforts by government to reduce cost of governance which is widely acclaimed as too huge as desirable for public sector financial efficiency, however posited that restructuring the budget to allow for improved capital allocation required a focused and consistent drive towards that agenda, particularly tackling headlong corruption and other causes of leakages, over a long time. In the area of infrastructure capacity building, the seasoned public finance analyst, noted that government had given a focused attention in view of the fact that all the money it borrowed recently are all targeted at improving the provision of infrastructure, pointing out however that there is need to ensure effective utilisation of the fund in order to achieve the goals. He also commended the achievements of government on the SURE-P so far which, in his assessment, has massively impacted on available infrastructure with the activation of the Kano – Lagos railway line which has been moribund for more than twenty years and proposed plan to use it to resuscitate other important railway routes such as Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and for the construction of major arterial roads such as the East-west Road, amongst others. According to him, despite the positive side, the inability of the government to enlist private sector involvement in the programme and other road rehabilitation projects through the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement appeared to have slowed down the progress on the infrastructure re-engineering agenda. On job creation scorecard, Chizea, who lamented that one of the worrisome aspects of developments in the Nigerian economy was the challenge of jobless growth, said the SURE-P and its job creation components like the YouWin and the GIS remained laudable, there was “the need to facilitate growth in the real sector of the economy such as is now happening with agriculture for sustainable job opportunities to be realised”.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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Poor services: NCC moves to sanction telecoms firms …as subscribers count losses KUNLE AZEEZ

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elecommunications networks in Nigeria may be in for another heavy sanction by the industry umpire, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), if the lingering poor quality of services currently being complained about by telecoms subscribers is not improved before as before January 1, 2014. The next sanction, it was learnt, may not only come in form of imposition of financial penalty but also ban on further sales of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards by any operator that is found wanting in the area of quality of service delivery, according to a source in the NCC. According to the source, a top official of the NCC,, “We have recently warned the telecoms operators to improve on their services by the end of December, 2013, failure which will result in fresh sanction that may not only be financial but also a ban on further sales of SIM cards.” The source, in a telephone interview, explained that NCC had in past months lowered the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) threshold on Quality of Service (QoS), so as to give the operators ‘ a period of grace’ to improve on their networks. “This grace period expires by the end of this year, which is two days’ time and NCC will go back to the original KPIs and any operator that fails to meet the KPI standards would be visited with necessary regulatory intervention.” The source noted that NCC would not allow the operators to be acquiring more subscribers without having the capacity to meet the increasing service demand by Nigerians. Sunday Mirror investigation revealed that none of the telecoms operators can be said to be getting uninterrupted quality of service, as most telecoms subscribers on the major networks such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat interviewed at the weekend expressed disappointment and indignation at degenerating services n the networks. It was gathered that Nigerians using the over 121 million active telephone subscribers in the country are daily faced with poor network service delivery that makes it impossible for consumers to seamlessly make or receive calls due to cases of drop calls, lack of sustainability of calls. An MTN and Glo subscriber, Mr. Femi Thomas, who is based in Lagos, said, “I am

Omobola Johnson

worried about the service quality of the operators. It is getting worse each day and this festive season, it has worsened. Their services are not characterized by drop incidence of drop calls, undelivered text messages and much more.” Another Etisalat subscriber, Mrs. Catherine Festus, who lives in Ojodu area of Lagos, simply called on the industry regulator to intervene in support of the subscribers, whose hard-earned money is being debited even for calls that do not offer subscriber value. “We all know that every sector is facing challenges. But it is only in the telecoms sector that operators continue to reap the subscriber off without compensations for the money they remove without any value for their consumers. I think NCC needs to come in again to caution them. Complaining further, Festus said: “I used to think Etisalat network is better, so I changed from my former network to the network but my recent experience has shown that none of the networks is offering superior service,” she said. A civil servant at the Lagos State Ministry of Education, who didn’t not want his name mentioned, also unleashed his anger over the poor telecoms services. “There is no doubt that the operators service is quality of getting worse and what pains me is the fact that once your airtime is charged even we you do not get any value, there s nobody that fights for

you. NCC itself only sanctions operators to make money for the government while those of us, subscribers, who suffer the pain of the services, are left uncompensated. In fact, I am serious angry,” he said. Speaking with Sunday Mirror, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chef Deolu Ogunbanjo, decried the degenerating level of service delivery in the telecoms sector. Apart from the poor service delivered in the voice services, Ogunbanjo also said “some telecoms companies are also reaping subscribers off through deception as they make deceptive claims of offering 4G data service in the country, whereas, we get less than 2G experience.” Ogunbanjo, who lamented that more than four months call by NATCOMS on the operators and the regulator on the need to compensate each telecom subscriber with N5, 000 worth of airtime for the poor services they have been providing has continue dto fall on deaf ears of both the operators and the regulator. “In Ghana, which is very close to us here, telecoms subscribers were compensated for poor services in form of airtime reward this year. It is only in Nigeria that telecoms subscribers are abused without regard to consumer right and I think we need to frown at this development,” he said. Already, telecoms subscribers are said to be losing a minimum of N1 billion to persistent cases of call drops or bad network

signal, which results n subscribers making several minutes of call to achieve what they could have achieved with a minute calls. “As a result of poor quality repeat calls, the net loss to telecoms subscribers is estimated at N1 billion daily,” a telecoms quality of service measurement expert, Mr. Monday Ogbe, disclosed to Sunday Mirror. “Nigerian telecom subscribers put together are unknowingly losing this amount and it is unacceptable in this economy where per capita income of Nigerian is very poor.” Meanwhile, telecoms operators, under the auspices of the Association of Licensed Telephone Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) have claimed that while they desired to offer better services, a lot of environmental challenges have been hampering their effort. Speaking at the weekend, ALTON President, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said “We are making major investment to expand their network to cater to the needs of the growing subscriber base on our networks, because it is through providing better service that we a network can attract more subscriber and then make more money.” However, findings revealed that the quantum of investment being made by the operators seemed not to have made significant immediate impact on their service delivery. By mid 2012, Sunday Mirror gathered that the volume of local and foreign direct investments into the nation’s telecoms sector had reached a whopping $25 billion up from N500 million in 2001. This year alone, telcos have proposed a $6.95bn investment on their networks, as by June this year, different financing deals have been struck in that regard. For instance, Airtel Nigeria is investing $1.5 billion in network upgrade; Globacom, $1.25 billion; MTN Nigeria, $3 billion; and Etisalat, $1.2 billion. As cheering as all these interventionist moves, aimed at boosting the network coverage of the operators, poor QoS continues to rear its ugly head with telecoms subscribers being the primary victims of the development. “One would expect the telecoms services to be very perfect in university community. I can tell you that telecoms services experience is become more and more of excruciating headache by the day,” says a postgraduate student of the University of Lagos, Abdullah Mutallib. Mutallib, 32, wonders what would be the faith of other locations across the country, if the telecoms firms, all of which have the starting point of their operations in Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve-centre, could not achieve desirable QoS.

We’ll complete ongoing projects in Ondo –NDDC boss

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he Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at the weekend said the completion of all on-going projects of the Commission in Ondo State would be its priority. The newly appointed representative of the state on the Governing Council of NDDC, Barr. Amuwa Benson, who disclosed this at a reception organised for him by his friends and political associates in Ilaje Local Government at the weekend also warned contractors handling the commission’s projects to avoid shoddy jobs.

Barr. Amuwa said all projects of the commission embarked upon by his predecessors in the state would be given necessary support and attention and ensure that they serve their purposes to the benefitting communities. The NDDC commissioner promised to operate and open door administration and execute projects that will enhance the social and economic lives of the people in the region Amuwa, however, explained that 90 percent of the projects of the commission that will come to the state, would be cited

in the mandate area during his tenure but called on the stakeholders to always remember him in prayers and make useful suggestions that would make him excel. He said the era in which contractors disappear after collecting mobilisation fees for the jobs awarded to them by the commission had gone, warning that any contractor who does so will be dealt with accordingly Amuwa also promised to review cases of abandoned projects in the state and address them accordingly

He said he would soon embark on familiarisation tour of the coastal area of the state, particularly the oil-producing communities in order to identify the problems facing the people and as well proffer appropriate solutions The Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Frederick Akinruntan; the Olubo of Obenla, Oba Kolawole Ikuesan, the Odoka of Ogbaro, Oba Olufemi Ogbaro, Primate Samuel Ayodele of Zion Church Igbokoda and other dignitaries who spoke on the occasion described Amuwa’s appointment as divine.


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SM Extra

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STORIES THAT TOUCH YOU DECEMBER 29, 2013

Nigerian women protesting against rape

VANESSA OKWARA

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ape is one of the heinous crimes that could be committed against womanhood. The wound it inflicts goes beyond the physical as it affects the overall wellbeing of the victim. That notwithstanding, rape incidents in Nigeria is definitely on the rise. Headlines adorning pages of Nigerian Newspapers and the social media are saddening and distressing. The worse cases are those being inflicted on minors and underage girls. 2013 indeed saw quite a number of such cases with their horrific stories. A day hardly passed without news about rape cases from different parts of the country, even as many cases go unreported. It is common knowledge that many incidents of rape and other crimes against women go unreported especially in Nigeria. This is definitely a worrisome trend and the victims cut across all ages, old, young and even kids. Two months ago, news broke all over the media that a nine-year-old girl died, after sustaining injuries caused by alleged consistent rape. According to police authorities, the deceased was raped over five times, by a 14-year-old student, Onyi Adimabua, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos. The 77-yearold father of the girl, Simeon Jigo, took the girl to Ikorodu General Hospital to receive medical attention after she complained of pains in her vaginal and stomach areas. The girl confessed she was raped by the son of the proprietor of the school the girl attended, after the doctor revealed the nature of her injuries to the father. Of all rape cases, the most worrisome is the raping of innocent children by adults. Child molestation is getting too rampant in this country. The rising cases of violation of children by adults, called paedophilia, have become a rising trend in the country, giving all and sundry deep concern. On March 14, 2013, a 40-year-old man allegedly raped a 10-month old baby inside a

Sylvester Ehijele allegedly raped his seven and 23 years old daughters

2013: Tales of woe as rape cases spiral church. The suspect named Ndubuisi was arrested following a complaint by the parents of the victim that the accused at the church defiled their 10-month old daughter by fingering her private part. This resulted in the little girl bleeding from her private part. The incident, according to the police at Elemoro Division, Ibeju Lekki, Eti Osa, Lagos, occurred at the True Tabernacle Church, Lekki, Lagos and he was arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on a one-count charge of felony to wit, defilement of a minor. The police alleged that during interrogation, the accused allegedly confessed to the crime. Also on October 28 2013 at Eyio-Ekiti in Irepodun-Ifelodun Local Government area of Ekiti State, the police arrested a 34-yearold man simply identified as Sunday for allegedly raping his neighbour’s 13-yearold daughter to death on the farm where the two families were working. In Jos, Plateau State, the police arrested five men for gang-raping a nine-year-old girl, and also, a native doctor raped his 14-year-old female patient. Other horrendous stories of children being raped by men who are old enough to be their fathers kept filtering in, in the year. It was reported that a nine-year-old girl was raped by a 25 years old man in Lagos . The culprit, Adeniyi, who works within the area where the girl’s school is situated, allegedly lured her to his home after school hours and forcibly had carnal knowledge of her. Other rape cases of minor reported this year include that of a 15 year old girl raped multiple times, first by a stranger then by a police officer while she was in

police custody. A 16-year-old girl was also gang-raped in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, by five men. A 70 years old pastor was arrested for raping a 10-year-old girl. A seven-year old girl was similarly molested by a neighbour who forced her to have oral sex with him. This month too, a 25-year-old farmer in Jigawa State was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for raping an eightyear old girl. The list goes on and on. Even old women were not spared by the spate of rape in Nigeria this year. The country stood in revulsion when it was reported on May 5 that the police in Enugu State have arrested a man who allegedly specialised in raping old women in Opi, Nsukka Local Government area of Enugu State. In a statement, the Public Relations Officer of the command, Ebere Amaraizu, said t luck ran out of the suspect when he went to rape an old woman who raised the alarm, which drew the attention of some of the people around. According to Mr. Amaraizu, “The suspect revealed that he specialised in raping old women in the town, which he normally carried out in the night. The victim also confessed that at times, he used to visit some of the identified victims’ homes forcefully at night, and claimed that he had raped many old women in the community, not for ritual purposes but to satisfy his sexual urge, since young women could not succumb to his wishes.” All these stories are cruel, and the harm inflicted on the victims goes beyond the physical but affects them for life. Little girls are also not spared as they

are being defiled by their own father; as was the case of the man that raped his daughters, aged seven and 23 years, and his granddaughter. Sylvester Ehijele had on numerous occasions had sex with his daughters while promising them goodies and toys before the actions. Research showed that between 2008 and now, the Police in Kano State have dealt with over 60 cases of child rape and over 60 related arrests. Also, The Attorney-General of Lagos State has reported that in 2012, the Ministry of Justice handled 427 cases of rape of minors. The painful thing about rape is that while the offenders are allowed to go scotfree, the victims are left with lifelong trauma, inability to forge meaningful relations with the opposite sex, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. And because of the unhelpful way the police have reportedly been attending to rape victims who are bold enough to report their ordeal, many cases don’t get to court or when they do, the trial lasts forever. Police officers at crime desks across the country have to be more helpful when victims of rape come forward to report attacks, observers counselled. “Also strengthening the anti-rape laws will encourage more victims to come forward, as it has happened in India after the reform of the rape law and the convictions of the gang-rapists”, says Sola Ayinde, a social worker. Rape has been described by medical experts as forcefully having sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. Since rape is described as a violent crime against women, why do men still indulge in


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SM Extra

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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2013 and spiralling rape cases

A 14-year-old girl raped to death (on the floor) and a rape victim, a minor (right)

this dastardly act? Past Charles Okhai, the presiding pastor of White House Christian Centre in Lagos attributed their action to the handiwork of the devil. “The foundation of rape is inhumanity. The people that go ahead to commit such crime are under the devil’s manipulation. Such people really need prayers because it is the devil’s trick on them to inflict pains on other people. Such people need the word of God to enlighten them to desist from such evil. The Bible let us know that we should flee from the devil. Every human being is exposed to temptation, but it is your responsibility to flee; but such are dominated by their evil senses. It is like a spell. When they are doing it, they derive joy from it and they don’t have conscience anymore.” Speaking on the aftermath of rape on the victim, Dr (Mrs.) Grace Ijarogbe, con-

sultant psychiatrist with Federal NeuroPsychiatric Hospital, Oshodi Annex, Lagos said, “For rape victims, the more common consequences of sexual violence are those related to reproductive health, mental health, and social wellbeing. Pregnancy may result from rape. Experience of coerced sex at an early age reduces a woman’s ability to see her sexuality as something over which she has control. As a result, it is less likely that an adolescent girl who has been forced into sex will use condoms or other forms of contraception, decreasing the likelihood of her not becoming pregnant. “Violent or forced sex can increase the risk of transmitting HIV. In forced vaginal penetration, abrasions and cuts commonly occur, thus facilitating the entry of the virus through the vaginal mucosa. Adoles-

An alleged rapist (left) and his victim

cent girls are particularly susceptible to HIV infection through forced sex, and even through casual sex, because their vaginal mucous membranes have not yet acquired cellular density sufficient to provide an effective barrier that develops in the later teenage years.’’ she said. Ijarogbe also said being a victim of sexual violence and being susceptible to HIV share a number of risk behaviours. Forced sex in childhood or adolescence, for instance, increases the likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex, having multiple partners, participating in sex work, and substance abuse. The consultant psychiatrist advised parents to supervise the kind of films and television programmes their children watch as most rapists learn from what they see from pornographic films. This was seen in

the case of the 14-year-old boy who raped a nine-year-old girl. Adimabua, father of the rapist boy said his son learnt the evil act from watching pornographic movies. “I trained that boy in the way of the Lord and expected so much from him. He has confessed to the act; there is nothing to hide. He told me that he learnt about sex by watching blue (pornographic) films.’’ He called on parents and care givers to be more careful and security conscious of the kind of people the leave in care of their children. “These days, ‘trusted uncles’, teachers and even so-called pastors have been found to be major culprits. Parents also have to spend more time with their children, be closer to them and teach them about sex education early in life to reduce these cases from happening, he urged.

Echo of Xmas: A mobile policeman’s close shave TAI ANYANWU

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riday Moses, a corporal attached to Mobile Police Unit 190 of Mobile Police Barracks, Keffi Street, Lagos, has cause to rejoice, as he recounts how he miraculously escaped death after a trailer loaded with stones crushed a motorcycle he rode, on the eve of Christmas. The incident occurred on the Lagos-Epe Road. The battery-built security agent had seen his wife and children off to the motor park as they made their journey to Niger State for Christmas celebrations. He afterwards returned to his duty post, not having plans to join his family for the festivities in his hometown, because of the call of duties. A day after, he departed his Victoria Island residence with a borrowed motorbike belonging to his friend, to attend to some business on the Ajah axis of the burgeoning Lekki area of Lagos State. He planned to finish in time and get back home early enough, have some rest before resuming duty at 6 pm on that fateful day. The heat of Xmas shopping, preparations was at its peak at the Ajah Model Market. Both lanes of the expanded LagosEpe expressway were jampacked with a crippling gridlock of vehicular and human

The mangled bike

traffic. That was the scenario under which the the cop was scooting his motorbike when a car suddenly hit him from behind, knocking him down. “A car hit me and I was flat on the ground in that traffic, and I tried to roll away from harm but found myself under the trailer which was coming from behind,” he explained. Everyone in sight screamed having given up hope that the Mopol Friday could not survive the impact of the heavy duty vehicle believed to have climbed on top of him. “I saw the trailer tyre matching the Mopol man’s waist region and I could not bear to see him being crushed.

“Everyone within the scene of the accident shouted at the pain and imagination of seeing him crushed to death; but the shout suddenly turned to shouts of glory to God. “Then I opened my eyes to behold the officer rising from under the trailer and walking consciously to the driver of the trailer without any hurt; an eyewitness, Mr. Paul Ikem, explained. But how did Mopol Friday escape death under a trailer believed to have crushed him. “When I found myself under the trailer and suddenly discovered that its tyre was going to crush me, I wriggled out into the centre space, under the truck and God

Mopol Friday on stripe shirt shaking hands with the trailer driver after the accident

saved my life,” he explained still visibly shaken. “It was not the driver’s fault. Let’s not talk about it anymore because God has done it for me,” Mopol Friday said. With those words, he proceeded to make series of calls to his bosses and colleagues first, and then his wife. “I have just had a minor accident,” he told his wife.


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Glamour as ANLCA ends year in style

A cross section of organisers and guests at the high table

Cross section of Clearing and Forwarding agents at the event

Prayer time: Guests praying

Elder Kolade

Deputy Comptroller of Customs, MMA Cargo, Mrs. Dyuran M.

OLADELE LUQMON

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Representatives of Comptroller of Customs MMA Cargo arrving

he Council of Elders of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), on Monday, December 22 marked the end of the outgoing year and launching of the 2014 documentary calendar at the Lagos Chapter of the association, popularly called Agents’ Village at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. The event which had in attendance friends and wellwishers of the Elders Council of the association was declared open by the chairman of the chapter, Nze Alloy Igwe by breaking of kolanuts after the opening prayer was said. In his welcome address, the Elder’s chairman, Elder Alhaji R. O. Oladelewhich read by the Elder Akolade, he congratulated all the elders for setting the pace for the younger generation of the chapter to follow and emulate. He enjoined them to be up and doing in their daily dealings both officially and privately as this will go a long way in shaping their lives for the better, now and in the nearest future. His words: “I want to first of all thank the ANLCA executives for providing a befitting shelter for the agents, a kind of place to rub minds and chart a way forward to make useful deliberation for development and growth of the association. “I want us to comport ourselves gently as we have been doing so that the good names which we have built for ourselves will not be dragged through the mud, Also, on behalf of the elders, I want to use the opportunity to advise every member to go about his operations as required by the laws of the land and we should advise the younger generations to shun all forms actions and/or activities that tarnish the image of the association. “Finally, I thank almighty God on behalf of the elders for His protection and provisions throughout the outgoing year 2013 and pray that our Good Lord into the incoming year 2014 gloriously with good health, all round blessings in all our daily endeavours,” he concluded. In his response, the Chapter chairman, Nze Alloy Igwe, thanked Elder Oladele for his soul moving address and words of admonition for all members both elders and young ones. He praised the council for organizing such wonderful end of the year programme and said that with what he saw that day, elders’ council had set a pace for the younger generation and that he was happy to be witnessing the event and also, the event was his first official function since the commissioning of the Agents’ Village as chairman of the

PRO of Customs, MMA Cargo, Mrs. Williams T.

Staff Officer , MMA Cargo, Mr. Ibrahim H.

chapter not long ago. His words: “Today in my and in lives of all members of the association, what the elders did is worthy of emulation and commendation because they are laying a good foundation for those of us that are coming behind to emulate. It is a worthy gesture and I am seeing these elders becoming resource persons to teach the young ones the rudiments of this profession. “With this, all hands will be on deck to support them so that their well of knowledge will be tapped from for the benefit and good of members, betterment of the society and meaningful contribution to the growth of nation as a whole. “I therefore thank the elders for this because this is my first official function since the village was commissioned,” he said. A host of chapters’ members that made the event memorable were representatives of Comptroller of Customs, MMA Cargo, Ikeja are Mrs. M. Dyuran, Deputy Comptroller; Public Relations Officer of Customs MMA Cargo, Ikeja, Mrs. T. William and Mr. H. Ibrahim, Staff Officer respectively. The Deputy Comptroller, Mrs. Dyuran also commended the elders and indeed the chapter for good comport of their members and their cooperation with the Customs in the outgoing year and prayed and hope that the good relationship will be sustained and maintained in the coming year. She also said that both the Customs and the association have to work in harmony for the good of both parties and the development of the country. In attendance are Deputy BOT chairman, Aare Alhaji Sanni Shittu; chapter chairman, Nze Alloy Igwe, , former chapter chairman and zonal coordinator, Dr. Richard Olalere; women coordinator, Mrs Bola Bello; Chairman, Oodun Maritime Forum, Chief Owolabi Sosanya, South South chairman, Andrew Alizor, South South GeneralSecretary, Goddy Ekun, Chief AbiodunLawal, Egba Forun Chairman, Mr. AbiodunLawal, Total Liberation Forum Chairman Mr. Idris Borokini Aare, Prince TewogbadeAdeniyi, Princess (Mrs) Elizabeth Obanla, MD Allizzy Cargo Services Limited, Chpater’s Treasurer, Mr. Hafiz Afolabi, Financial Secretary, Alex Obanla, host of chapter’s executive members and other dignitaries. The documentary calendar for the year 2014 was later launched by Aare Shittu in while Mrs. Bola Bello represented the chief launcher, Chief Too Much Money, followed by the chairman of the South South Forum, representatives of the Comptroller of Customs and other chairmen of the association.

Nze Alloy Igwe, ANLCA Chairman

Aare Sanni Shittu uveiling the calendar

Balogun, Oodua Maritime Forum, Alhaji Rasheed Oladele

Chairman Oodua Maritime Forum, Owolabi Sosanya

Chairman, South South Forum of ANLCA, Andrew Alizor

Immediate past chairman, ANLCA, Dr. Richard Olalere

Treasurer, ANLCA, Hafiz Afolabi

Financial Secretary, ANLCA, Alex Obanla

Princess Elizabeth Obanla, Motehr of the day

Prince Tewogbade Adeniyi

Women Coordinator, Bola Bello, launching ANLCA 2014 Documentary Calendar

Organisers and guests PHOTOS: OLADELE LUQMON


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South News

Sunday December 29, 2013

12 drown in Bayelsa boat mishap EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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t was a tragic Christmas celebration as 12 passengers including some students of the Niger Delta University, NDU, Amassoma were confirmed dead in a Christmas Day boat mishap which occurred along Ikoli River near Ayama in Ogbia local government, Bayelsa State. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that eight of the corpses

had been recovered from the river by some local divers and deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa. The divers are said to have intensified efforts in recovering the remaining four corpses in the river. An eye witness who maintained anonymity told Sunday Mirror that the accident occurred following a head on collision between a cargo boat and a passenger boat at about 8pm in the area.

It was gathered that a lecturer with NDU was among the victims that lost their lives in the mishap, just as two passengers escape death with injuries in the misfortune. It was learnt that the undergraduates were returning from a picnic at Otuabula in Ogbia local government area of the state when the accident occurred. Just last Friday, seven passengers were roasted to death along Zarama

community, East West road in Bayelsa state when two vehicles were involved in a collision. Eight of the passengers that survived the accident are currently receiving medical treatment at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, near Yenagoa. All efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa state, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, to speak on the issue failed as he did not pick calls placed to his phone.

L-R: Lt. Col. T.I. Agbor representing NAFRC Commandant, Oshodi, Lagos; Col Femi Oguntade; the state chairman Deputy Commandant General, Nigerian Legion and Col E Akoteyon Chairman, Zone A, at the enlightenment seminar and commissioning ceremony of officers of Zone A Command held at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, over the weekend

Christian groups protest over Calabar carnival RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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Christian youth group under the aegis of Christian Youth Group in Cross River State has protested at the Government House in Calabar, over the conduct of carnival activities on Sundays, alleging that the state Government was apparently scheming to suppress Christianity and relegate the religion to the background in the state. The leader of one of the protesters, Reverend Theodore Effiong who is the National Adviser and Patron of the group, also regretted that the Carnival Calabar has caused the state social and moral setback, as there was alarming increase in teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and child abandonment. Expressing their concerns, they lamented that the last carnival to Christmas which took place on Sunday, allegedly hindered

many Christians from attending Sunday worship as most of the major roads were closed to traffic. The protests which took place for two consecutive days, started with the Cross River State Christian Women who appeared in sack cloths at the Government House gate, urging the state Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke not to allow the Carnival or Carnival Dry Runs to hold on Sundays again. They lamented that the last Carnival dry run hindered scores of worshipers, and prevented them from going to church due to the blocking of roads by the Carnival train. The placard carrying women who went through Calabar main market, Watt and the Millennium Park and finally barricaded the Governor’s Office gate, said “no dry run or Carnival on Sunday, it is the Lord’s day”. The youths wing known as Christian Youths in

Cross River, protested the second day and filed out to the Governor’s office in black attire, chanting songs as they appealed to the governor to stop promoting carnival, sexual immorality, ungodly activities and the street dance with its associated ills. In a letter which was delivered to the governor through his Security Adviser, Mr. Rekpene Bassey, the aggrieved youths recalled that Christian-

ity started in Calabar, as the two Efik Kings, King Eyo Honesty 11 and King Eyamba V were the first monarch in Africa in 1841 to write Queen Victoria of England, requesting for Missionaries to fill the gap created with the abolition of slave trade. Besides, they stated, that the Holy Bible was first translated in Efik language in the entire Africa, before any other native language in the continent.

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Opposition as deposed Deji of Akure plots return ETAGHENE EDIRIN

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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eposed monarch of Akure, Ondo State, the ex-Deji, Prince Adebiyi Adesida at the weekend pleaded with the Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, to restore him to the throne, three years after his dethronement and banishment. After his removal from the throne, he was replaced by Oba Adebiyi Adesida who joined his ancestors last month. Sources told sharpedgenews.com, a news web service in Akure, that efforts had been stepped up to aid the campaign for the return of Adesina to the throne. Pressure is said to be mounting from the most unlikely quarters that the town’s kingmakers and the government of Governor Mimiko should reinstate the embattled royal figure. But Sunday Mirror also gathered yesterday that in the ex-monarch’s Osupa royal family, which is to present a candidate, a fresh contender, Prince Kayode Ajomale, has indicated interest, thus sending the royal family into bouts of meetings aimed at picking a consensus candidate. The ex-Deji was deposed over allegations that he beat up his wife during a family scuffle, an allegation which he still denies. However, his queen, Olori Bola Adepoju Adesina, whom he was to have battered in 2010 tragically died in 2011 from unknown causes. The banished Adesina during the week wrote an emotional letter of consideration and appeal to the Ondo State Government to reinstate him as the paramount ruler. “I must passionately plead with your Excellency to remember how well I stood behind you and fought with you towards

ensuring that you won the election and to ensure that you also recovered your stolen mandate,” he said. Recounting how he was deposed from the town because he allegedly poured a concoction on his late wife, he said the avoidable communication gap was the reason behind the widely-reported incident. He claimed that the escalated fracas between him and the late Olori was misconstrued by the press which, he also alleged, refused to report his own version of the story. Dr Ige Ogunleye, the Chairman of the Osupa Ruling house which Adesina hails from, confirmed receipt of the letter, but he declined further comment. Many sources in the ruling house disclosed that the letter comes at an important time, as the Deji throne is vacant. Chiefs in Akure will this week complete traditional rites for the late Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida. A source revealed that the daughter of the deceased, Princess Adetutu, is expected to be installed as Regent of Akure pending the emergence of a new king. According to a reliable source, the belated installation was on account of family exigencies. “The issue is that Princess Adetutu was nursing her baby when the sudden death of her father was pronounced. But immediately after the whole rites, she will be installed as the regent of the kingdom this week or early in the New Year,” the source said. But an aide to the Lisa of Akure, High Chief James Olusoga said that the traditional rites would be completed with the installation of a regent, most likely between Christmas and the New Year festival period.

Awka youths protest alleged illegal sale of community’s land CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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housands of youths drawn from different villages, yesterday stormed the major streets of Awka, the Abia state capital, protesting the alleged illegal sale of plots of Ezinano land by some people of which includes, indigenes of Awka. During the protest, which was led by the Chair-

man of Ezinano Development Forum, Chief Obi Ochije, the youths carried placards bearing varying inscriptions, which berated some groups and key indigenes of the town, who were accused of engaging in contentious activities on the Ezinano land, including sale of many plots without the authority of the about twenty communities that owns the said land. The protesting youths

marched defiantly from the Umuogbu village to the busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Avenue with their placards, and moved in groups, pouring invectives on people they accused of illegal entry and sale of some plots of Ezinano land, which they claimed belongs to the entire sons of Ezinano community. The youths first took their protest to the home of the head of Ozo Awka,

Chief Obuora Essel, where they implored him to move the Ozo society to action and stop the alleged land grabbers from continuing with what they described as illegal action. They later went to the home of the President General of Awka Development Union, Engineer Okechukwu at Umuzocha village, and to the palace of the traditional ruler of the town but did not see them.


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North News

Sunday December 29, 2013

Kidnapped Lebanese businessman in Kano set free AKEEM BOLAJI KANO

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he Lebanese businessman, Hassan Zaid, who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Kano, has been freed. Magaji Musa Majia, spokesperson of the Kano Command of the Nigeria Police confirmed the release while speaking with report-

ers in Kano, at the weekend. Magaji said that the businessman was found at about 9am on Friday by operatives of the command at the outskirt of Sharada Industrial Estate, Kano where he was kidnapped last Monday. Mr. Hassan was found by a team of policemen abandoned on the outskirts of Sharada Indus-

trial Estate unhurt, and has since been re-united with his family. According to PPRO Majia, “No arrest has been made yet, but investigation is in top gear with a view to arresting the fleeing perpetrators of the act”, he said. It would be recalled that Mr. Hassan Zaid was kidnapped at his plastics manufacturing factory at Sharada Industrial Estate Kano last Monday by

three gunmen. However, it was still unknown at the time of going to press if the incident was carried out by Boko-Haram/Ansaru Islamic terrorist groups that have claimed responsibility for the kidnap of foreign nationals. The last count of such act was the kidnap of a French engineer, Francis Colump, in the northern state of Katsina who was able to escape from the custody of his abductors in Zaria.

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Kogi Dep Gov urges PDP members to remain calm despite crisis WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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embers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kogi State have been urged not to be deterred but to remain resolute and focused despite the challenges rocking the party at the national level. The state Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi who made this call while speaking at the commissioning of the new PDP secretariat in Mopamuro LGA of Kogi State, stated that the crisis is for a while. Awoniyi who pointed out that the party was currently passing through a phase, added that the party will emerge stronger and prosperous. The deputy governor, who stated the new secretariat was aimed at repositioning the party for

collective service delivery, said the party remains unbeatable in the state. Awoniyi noted that Mopamuro LGA played a prominent role at the formation of the PDP national, charging the members from the area to strive for a united front that will make the party the envy of all. In his remarks, Prince Olushola Akanmode, who was former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President warned the party against complacency, adding that party politics in Nigeria is no longer business as usual and tasked the members to remain focused and united. Earlier in his address Williams Shogo, party Chairman of Mopamuro PDP said the idea to have a benefiting party secretariat was geared towards repositioning the party.

Sanitation court seals 6 filling stations in Sokoto

A L-R: Managing Director, The Infrastructure Bank, Chief Adekunle Oyinloye; President, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Dr. David Oyedepo and a guest, at the annual general meeting of Omu-Aran Development Association in Omu-Aran, Kwara State, on Friday. PHOTO: NAN

Despite insurgency, Yobe council polls record large turnout

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oters across Yobe State yesterday turned out in large numbers to cast their votes to elect chairmen and councillors of the 17 local government areas in the state. This is despite that the state is under emergency rule owing to Boko Haram insurgency. A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited some polling booths in the capital Damaturu as well as some local government areas reports that scores of people lined up at the various polling booths

as early as 7 a.m. to accredit and cast their votes. A correspondent, who also visited Bamari, Kalalawa, Ajeri, Gaidam and Bukarti towns, also reported large turnout of voters. There was, however, heavy security presence in all the polling booths as well as major streets in Damaturu with a combined team of soldiers, police, civil defence corps and immigration officers watching over. Shops and other businesses were closed while restriction on movement was imposed throughout the

Kogi AFAN elects new officers WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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ll Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN, Kogi state Chapter has elected new officers following the dissolution of former executive led by its former Chairman Mathew Zakari. The body’s state patron,

Chief Babaniyi Asorose disclosed this while speaking after the inauguration of new executive members in Lokoja, the state capital yesterday. He said that this became necessary, in view of resolution of the lingering crisis that rocked the association to its roots. Asorose explained that

state from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reports from other parts of the state also spoke of security build up to forestall any unforeseen circumstances. Only 10 parties participated in the polls while the major opposition party in the state, the PDP, boycotted the election. Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, the state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, said the conduct of the election had proved skeptics wrong on the security situation in the state. He blamed “mischievous politicians’’ for rais-

ing false alarm of a possible breakdown of law of order in the state. Yobe is one of the three states under emergency rule following the activities of the Boko Haram. “We know what is going on here because we are here on the ground. We know the security situation in our state that is why we went ahead to conduct the election,” Mr. Gaidam said. The governor said that from the reports he received, eligible voters cast their votes peacefully in all the 17 local government areas in the state.

due to leadership crisis, a stakeholders meeting was held in September and it was resolved that fresh election of all officers be held. The Patron pointed out that at another meeting it was observed that members were disenchanted following a secret election held in Okene by a factional leader of AFAN. He stated that the protracted crisis had created negative

effect on both the state and Federal government. He therefore urged the new executive officers to try as much as possible to unite all members of AFAN under one umbrella for progress of the association. Those elected were Honourable Adams Aduojo- State Chairman, Chief Joseph A Avazi as the Deputy Chairman and Mr. Dada Emmanuel as the General secretary.

sanitation court in Sokoto on Saturday sealed six filling stations for flouting the end of the month sanitation exercise. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected filling stations included those of major and independent marketers. The court presided over by Magistrate Shu’aibu Ahmad sentenced the operators of the six filling stations to three months imprisonment each with an option of N10,000 fine. In the same vein, the court also sentenced 20

motorists arrested to three weeks imprisonment each with an option of N2, 000 fines. Similarly, six shop owners found wanting by the court were sentenced to two months imprisonment each with an option of N5, 000 fine. No fewer than 50 cyclists arrested were sentenced to two weeks imprisonment each with an option of N1, 000 fines. NAN reports that scores of pedestrians, who were arrested, were warned and released by the court.

Ban on Okada operators has come to stay, says Aliyu

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overnor Babangida Aliyu of Niger says the ban on the operations of commercial motorcyclists in Minna, the state capital, has come to stay. A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Danladi Ndayebo, restated the resolve of the state government to enforce the state’s traffic law with effect from January 2, 2014. The statement, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday, in Minna, said that adequate arrangements had been made to cushion the effect of the ban. It, however, said that the state government had

procured 1000 units of tricycles popularly known as ‘’KEKEN TALBA’’, eight units of 18-seater buses and 12 units of 100 capacity buses to ease the problem of transportation in the state. The statement said that the ban was necessary in order to reduce the spate of road crashes involving the commercial motorcyclists in the last few years in the state. According to the statement, about 1, 000 units of tricycles are also currently being distributed to Okada operators through the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Operators Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN).


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Sport

Sunday December 29, 2013

Pillars P. 62 complete signing of five players

Sport

KEEPING YOU ABREAST OF SPORTING NEWS

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Ezekiel’s brace sinks Kortrijk P. 62

December 29, 2013

Mark tasks sports administrators on unity

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enate President David Mark on Friday in Otukpo, Benue urged Nigerian sports administrators and stakeholders to use sports to unite the nation. Mark made the call while declaring open this year’s “Mark D Ball” Basketball Tournament and Sports Beauty Pageant organised by the Mark Sports Foundation. The Senate President, who was represented by his wife Helen Mark, said sports had the power to change and inspire the world. “Sports has the power to unite the people and speak to the youths in a language they understand. “You must agree with me that our nation is in a critical stage where tolerance and teamwork are very necessary. “The time has come now for us to utilise various sports to change our world,” he said. Gbenga Elegbeleye, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), said in his goodwill message that the initiative would help develop the game of basketball at the grassroots. “We hope that in the next few years we will see young stars in Nigeria coming out of this programme to become national basketball players. “Some of them will become future stars of basketball that will probably play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the U.S.,” he said. Also, Malam Tijani Umar, President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), assured that the “Mark D Ball” basketball initiative would be entrenched in the national basketball calendar. He said this would facilitate the process of identifying talent for the country for participation in international competitions. “For me, what is being done now in the past few years is going to be entrenched in our national basketball calendar. “We are going to put the over 500 kids that are present at this programme through the basics of basketball. “The best among them will be made to be part of development programmes of the Nigerian basketball body. “The NBBF is going to keep an eye on every outcome of this tournament so that we can work together to make it a successful investment,” Umar said.

Edin Dzeko (right) on the prowl for Manchester City against Crystal Palace yesterday.

EPL: Resilient Manchester City climbs to the top ANDREW EKEJIUBA WITH AGENCY REPORT

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anchester City climbed to the summit of the English Premiership table yesterday with a narrow 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium, thanks to Edin Dzeko’s strike. Manchester City, who ousted former leaders Liverpool 2-1 at the Etihad on Boxing Day, needed a 66th-minute strike from Dzeko to beat visiting Crystal Palace at the same venue, extending their 100 percent home record to 10 matches. Manuel Pellegrini’s outfit now have 41 points, two more than second-placed Arsenal, who will contest their game in hand with a trip to Newcastle today. In other matches concluded yesterday, Manchester United edged out Norwich 1-0, while Hull City tore Fulham apart with an emphatic 6-0 win. Champions United were also on the right side of a 1-0 scoreline at the expense of the Canaries, with Danny Welbeck’s

I’d be glad to play for P. 63 Mourinho again –Ronaldo

57th-minute goal separating the teams at Carrow Road. David Moyes’ charges still trail their pace-setting neighbours by seven points. Chelsea and Liverpool, in third and fourth place in the standings with 37 and 36 points respectively, will meet at Stamford Bridge today. Hull, in mid-table, piled more misery on relegation-threatened Fulham with a 6-0 demolition job at KC Stadium. The Tigers recorded their biggest every victory in the Premier League thanks to a Robert Koren brace, coupled with efforts from Ahmed Elmohamady, George Boyd, Tom Huddlestone and Matty Fryatt. In a see-saw contest, West Ham were held to a 3-3 draw by fellow strugglers West Brom. Joe Cole gave the Hammers an early lead at Upton Park, netting barely four minutes in. Nicolas Anelka then fired the visitors ahead with a quick-fire brace just before the interval, celebrating one of his goals

Mourinho regrets P. 63 Chelsea’s wastefulness

with the controversial ‘quenelle’ salute. Modibo Maiga equalised in the 65th minute, with teammate Kevin Nolan putting the hosts in front with a goal two minutes later. However, Berahino hit back in the 69th minute to ensure a share of the spoils. Aston Villa and Swansea City also came away with a point after drawing 1-1, with Roland Lamah’s 36th-minute header cancelling out Gabriel Agbonlahor’s seventh-minute opener at Villa Park. In the final match of yesterday evening, Cardiff City were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-placed Sunderland at the Cardiff City Stadium. Jordon Mutch opened scoring for Cardiff at the 6th minute, before Fraizer Campbell scored the second goal at the 58th minute at the Cardiff City Stadium. However, Sunderland struck at the 83rd minute through Steven Fletcher to reduce the tally before Jack Colback ensured that both sides shared the spoils with an emphatic 90th minute equaliser.

AC Milan denies Balotelli exit rumours P. 63


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Sport

Sunday December 29, 2013

Pillars complete signing of five players

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ano Pillars have completed the signing of five players ahead of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season for 2013/14. Pillars said they base their squad on continuity but that they have been able to look at areas that are weak that need strengthening before next season starts. Sai Masu Gida picked two players from Heartland and Enyimba respectively and another from Sun-

shine Stars. These players are Kingsley Udoh, Abdul Haruna (who is on a second stint to Kano Pillars having left the club in 2010 for Heartland after an impressive performance in the CAF Champions League a year earlier), Eneji Otekpa, Nura Mohammed and Henry Ezekiel. The Media Officer of Pillars, Idris Malikawa told Goal.com that the club took the track record and the current form of the players into cognisance before approaching

them for deals. He predicted that Pillars would never make up the numbers in the CAF Champions League insisting that they are in it to win it for the first time. Malikawa also hinted that Pillars will be taking the game against the Super Eagles on Monday seriously because it will provide them with an opportunity to test their players before their early February grudge match with AS Vita of Congo.

Ezekiel’s brace sinks Kortrijk

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moh Ezekiel was named Man of the Match after bagging a brace in Standard Liege’s 5-1 away thumping of Kortrijk in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League on Friday. The 21-year-old first struck in the 13th minute to extend Standard’s lead, after left-back Van Damme had opened the scoring seven minutes earlier off an assist from Ezekiel at the Guldensporenstadion. Ezekiel netted again for the league leaders deep in first-half injury time, sliding in a pass from strike partner Micky Batsshuayi. Senegalese veteran Elimane Coulibaly pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 55th minute, but Batshuayi restored Standard’s three-goal cushion on the hour-mark before Igor Rinck de Camargo headed in a cross from Ezekiel in the 77th minute. Ezekiel, who has collected eight goals in 21 appearances for his club this season, earned 82% of the votes cast to decide the best performer of Friday’s tie.

Imoh Ezekiel

Knockout IFEANYI Eduzor with

08055829770 ifeduz24@yahoo.com

Stakeholders call for repositioning of boxing in 2014

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ith 2013 gradually coming to an end, stakeholders of the pugilist game has spoken of the need to reposition boxing in 2014, in order to avoid the poor results witnessed in 2013. Some of them, who spoke with our correspondent, noted that there is the need for the National Sports Commission (NSC) to put plan in place for the organisation of many boxing championships as was done in the past, as well as ensure early camping of athletes and training tours for pugilists before any international championship. Speaking on the matter, a veteran boxing coach, Paul Onwuachi (fondly called White Horse) stated that he is looking forward to a better performance of Nigerian boxers in the coming year, especially at

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the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, but cautioned that before this could be achieved, there is the need for early preparation of pugilists before the commencement of the Games. Also, former national boxing coach, Obisia Nwankpa, expressed the view that if adequate arrangements are made in 2014, Nigerian boxers will challenge for titles at major international competitions and equally avoid the mistake of the London 2012 Olympics. Speaking in the same vein, a boxing promoter, Martins Osaile cautioned the NSC on using fire brigade approach to prepare boxers for any major championship, warning that if the mistakes of the past years were not corrected, the country’s pugilists will be going to Glasgow on a jamboree.

Ekpo sets 2014 target Kano pillars

NSC to attract more sporting events to zones –Durotoye

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he National Sports Commission (NSC) yesterday said it had resolved to attract more sporting events at the zonal levels. The Coordinator, NSC North Central Zone 2, Alhaji Bode Durotoye, disclosed in Ilorin while speaking at the annual get-together organised by the NSC staff. Durotoye, who highlighted some of the tournaments organised this year by the zone, said the zone would host three major competitions in 2014. The competitions, he said, include Under-15 squash, Karate and Golf. The zonal coordinator called for more support and assistance from the people of the zone to ensure a successful sporting year. He commended all stakeholders, especially the Kwara, Kogi and Niger State Governments, for their support and encouragement in sports in the zone.

The Kwara State Director of Sports, Mr Tunde Kazeem, commended the Sports Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, for adding value to youth development in the country, especially in the hosting of the Youth Games in Abuja. Kazeem called for the support of all stakeholders, saying that various competitions had been lined up next year. Other speakers at the forum included the General Manager, Kwara United, Alhaji Haruna Maigidansanmo and the General Manager, ABS Football Club, Alloy Chukwuemeka. The representative of Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs Olajide Olanrewaju, and the State Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr Bunmi Adedoyin, commended the NSC for its contributions to sports development.

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BO Africa Super middleweight champion, Isaac Ekpo, says he is looking forward to becoming a more successful boxer in 2014. Ekpo who last October failed in his bid to dethrone WBO Super middleweight champion, Robert Stieglitz, told our correspondent that he is hopeful that next year will offer him the opportunity to win a major title for the country, even as he stated that he has put his loss to the world champion behind him. “I am very optimistic that

sessing the council’s performance in 2013. Akinbulumo said inadequate funding prevented many of the associations from participating in many competitions. The general manager said that in spite of the funding challenge, the state still made appreciable impact at national

and international competitions it took part in. “We did well in the ones we participated in and some of our athletes represented the country in table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling and came back with laurels. “If I were to rate our performance in 2013, I will say that we scored 75 per

cent and I believe we will improve on that in 2014. “The funding problem did not only affect Ondo State as some states pulled out of the recent National Youth Games in Abuja,” she said. Akinbulumo noted that the state did not achieve much at the games but said that participating in it was important.

2014 will bring success to me, and in order to achieve that I have started intensive training to make sure I defend my African title against any opponent and from there look forward to greater things ahead. “Right now, I have put my last loss behind me, only thinking of how to be more focused and avoid the mistake that made me lose the last fight in Germany and I believe that 2014 will bring more glory to me and my country,” the Army officer said.

Isaac Ekpo (right) exchanging punches with Robert Stieglitz during their WBO Super middleweight clash in Germany.

Pacquiao responds to Mayweather’s taunts

Ondo targets more sporting competitions in 2014 F he Ondo State Sports Council (OSSC) yesterday said its sports associations would participate in more local and international competitions in 2014. The council’s General Manager, Mrs Idowu Akinbulumo, said this in Akure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while as-

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ormer eight-division boxing champion, Manny Pacquiao, has responded to Floyd Mayweather’s Twitter campaign mocking him. In his response, Pacquiao noted that he is happy that Mayweather has not forgotten him, which is a clear indication that their mega fight will eventually come to pass. “I’m thanking Floyd Mayweather that he has not forgotten me. I’m glad that he is still thinking of me. “Christmas reminds us of

God’s greatest love for us. He teaches us to love even our enemies. So, I won’t say anything that would hurt anybody,” Pacquiao said. He noted that while it is not uncommon for sportsmen, whether in boxing, wrestling, basketball, or any other competitive sport, to try and devalue their opponent using various online social tools such as Twitter and Facebook, he will not be abusive to Mayweather preferring to settle scores with him in the ring.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Sunday December 29, 2013

63

Moyes delighted with De Gea

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anchester United Manager, David Moyes says goalkeeper David De Gea is improving all the time and will be a big part of the team’s future. The 23-year-old Spain shot-stopper has only kept four clean sheets in the Premier League so far this season as the champions have struggled to keep opponents at bay. However, De Gea has also made several outstanding saves, particularly in recent weeks, and needed to be at his best to keep out James Chester in the closing moments of United’s 3-2 Boxing Day win at Hull. Moyes believes the former Atletico Madrid keeper, who endured a shaky start in Manchester, is among a clutch of United stars that will be around at Old Trafford for a long time to come.

“He is one of five or six young players in the team who are going to be part of the next five or six years and that means he can only get better. “The defenders have always trusted him because they knew the potential for him to get better was there. “His save at Sunderland comes to mind and he did it again at Hull,” Moyes said. “He is also coming and taking crosses and being brave and we want him to do that. “He is now turning into a man and getting stronger and looking at the top of his game. “He is getting used to the Premier League and understanding what he has to do, he is coming and catching and taking things, sometimes that is what you have to do, you have to be brave. He is punching well too.”

Mourinho regrets Chelsea’s wastefulness

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helsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed his side’s profligacy in front of goal so far this season is “killing” him. The Stamford Bridge outfit has struggled to return goals from their strikers, with Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba managing to strike just five times between them this term. It was a similar story in Chelsea’s 1-0 triumph over Swansea City on Boxing Day, with Eden Hazard’s strike settling the game, while Eto’o had opportunities either side of half-time to get on the score sheet. On both occasions he was foiled by goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel, the German making a particularly fine stop just after the break. Mourinho does not fault his forwards for their efforts, but has challenged his frontline to improve their goal return in the second half of the campaign. “They kill me. Every game I’m tired in the end,” he said. “If in the second period of the season, instead of five, they score 10, we have more chances to win the title. “They always give something to the team. Every one of them that plays, no goals, no winning goals! Okay, but they give what they can.”

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ristiano Ronaldo says he would be glad to work with former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho again in the future. The relationship between the pair was reportedly a distant one by the time Mourinho left the Santiago Bernabeu for Chelsea at the end of last season. But Ronaldo insists he holds no grudge against his former coach and after his compatriot recently hailed him as the best player he has coached in his career, the 28-year-old revealed he is open to a reunion one day. “Forgive Mourinho? I forgive every-

one. We never had a confrontation and I have never spoken ill about anyone,” Ronaldo said. “I would work with Mourinho again and with other coaches I have had, like Sir Alex Ferguson, Manuel Pellegrini, and Laszlo Boloni. I learned a lot from them.” Ronaldo has been named on the final three-man shortlist of contenders for the Ballon d’Or and admitted he would love to win the award. “Like last year and the year before, I always think I deserve the Ballon d’Or. I’d like to win it every year.” The 28-year-old recently made his return from a hamstring injury after making a stunning start to the season, in which he has scored 18 goals in just 16 Liga games.

EURO BRIEFS AC Milan denies Balotelli exit rumours Hannover sacks C Milan has released a Slomka

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Mourinho

Podolski thrilled with Arsenal return

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I’d be glad to play for Mourinho again –Ronaldo

rsenal forward Lukas Podolski has spoken of his elation at returning to the pitch from a hamstring injury. The German international missed four months after tearing his hamstring against Fenerbache in August, but came off the bench to score in their London derby success over West Ham on Boxing Day. “When you are out for a long time it is not easy, but I’m happy to be back,” Podolski said. “I’ve never had muscle problems before so it was a new experience and not easy. “I worked hard and I trained hard. When you sit on the bench or in the stadium or on the couch at home it is not easy to watch. You don’t have the feeling with the team and in the dressing room, but that is the way it is in football, so I am all the more happy to be back. “It took a long time. Every morning you come in, you have treatment; you work to get fit while the others are working outside. It is not easy for the head. But this is the way it is and I am young enough to play a lot of matches.”

PREMIERSHIP TABLE Team

P

GD

PTS

1 Man City

19

33

41

2 Arsenal

18

18

39

3 Chelsea

18

15

37

4 Liverpool

18

22

36

5 Everton

18

12

34

6 Man Utd

19

10

34

7 Newcastle

18

6

33

8 Tottenham

18

-5

31

9 Southampton

18

7

27

10 Hull City

19

-1

23

11 Swansea

19

-1

21

12 Stoke City

18

-8

21

13 Aston Villa

19

-7

20

14 Norwich

19

-16

19

15 West Brom

19

-5

18

16 Cardiff

19

-15

18

17 Crystal Palace

19

-16

16

18 Fulham

19

-22

16

19 West Ham

19

-10

15

20 Sunderland

19

-17

14

statement to deny speculation that Italy striker Mario Balotelli could leave in January. They were responding to reports in Italy that Milan President Silvio Berlusconi had decided to sell him after the ex-Man City striker has scored six goals in 12 league games this season.

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Balotelli

annover has sacked their long-serving coach Mirko Slomka after a miserable first half of the season. The former Schalke coach took the reins in January 2010 and saved the club from relegation that season before qualifying for Europe on two occasions.

Leverkusen to extend Sam’s contract

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Sam

ayer Leverkusen is eager to tie Sidney Sam down to a new contract and avoid losing the Germany international on the cheap. Sam has scored 11 goals in 19 games for Leverkusen so far this season, with Sam Hyypia’s side second in the Bundesliga during the mid-season break and safely into the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.

Slomka

New Cardiff boss Boateng admitted in hospital to have large funds chalke star Kevin Prince

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ardiff’s new manager will be given extensive transfer funds in January by owner Vincent Tan. Malky Mackay was sacked on Friday after being told he would not be given a “single penny” for new signings following a transfer spending row.

Boateng

Boateng is recovering in hospital after he was allegedly assaulted on Christmas Day in Germany. The former Tottenham midfielder sustained injuries to his ribs, back and neck after he was attacked in a street in Kaarst, near Dusseldorf.


N I G E R I A

N27

Vol. 3 No. 55

Sunday, December 29, 2013

www.nationalmirroronline.net

N150

billion, figure Nigeria Customs Service says the country will realise from ports, border posts.

I N

F I G U R E S

N99

million, amount approved by Kaduna State Govt for procurement of anti-retroviral drugs.

Hoping and bracing up for 2014

Back Page

Comment

E-mail: nwaunah@yahoo.com Unah is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lagos

with Jim Unah

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s the year 2013 gallops to an uncomfortable end; with today being the last Sunday of the year, people are generally busy preparing and looking up to the coming year for prospects of prosperity; making resolutions—that are hardly kept, anyway—to get it done better, and avoid, where they can, the pitfalls of yesteryears. All this is possible, even where it is pretty obvious that there is nothing on ground to enable individuals attain greater heights and achieve better and different results from what had transpired in the past, because man is fundamentally a hoper. More than anything else, it is hope for a better future that keeps people living. Man ceases to exist the moment he stops hoping. Hope, and not promises, is what keeps mortals living. Hope anchored on faith; faith being assurances that what is hoped for is realizable in concrete terms. Truly, the man dies who stops hoping. But hope not anchored on faith, and faith not bolstered by convictions, faith not built on commitment to work, yields nothing. That is why year in year out, people make resolutions and express their hopes and aspirations, but end up achieving nothing. Their hopes and aspirations were never anchored on faith that it can be done, and such faith is

faith not built on commitment to work. The good Lord has ensured that fishes are there in the rivers and in the seas in large quantity, but you must dig the bait and cast your net. Sitting down and wishing things, the sages say, makes no one great. Work must be done for results to be attained. As we await the arrival of 2014, we as good citizens must hope for the best for our country. We must hope that the calamities of the outgoing year must never repeat themselves in the coming year. We must hope that all the proposed projects that translate to jobs for the people, infrastructure for development of the motherland or fatherland, whichever you prefer, must spring up as planned and as appropriated for in the budget. We must hope for the insecurity that arises from fundamentalist terrorism in the north-eastern part of the country to give way to peace and concord for industry and commerce to thrive and usher in prosperity for the people. We must hope for the political class or the leadership elite to mend their ways and use the wealth of the nation to produce happiness for the people. But as hope not anchored on faith and faith not built on commitment to work is dead and thus can yield nothing, we must learn to task ourselves and our leaders to enter into a new commitment to change our odious ways and rise to the pedestal of goodness; of being our brother’s keepers, and of seeking and striving to eradicate all evils in our society. We must hope for and aspire to global citizenship by compelling our leaders to snap out of the stupor and

low sink of debauchery, ribaldry and profligacy into which they have sunk from our acquiescence and complicity. As a people, we must hope for, maintain faith in, and rise to the expectation of democracy as eternal vigilance and superintend and task our leaders to deliver service to the people, as the people of Kiev in Ukraine stuck doggedly to their guns to get their leaders to respect their wishes or as ASUU pushed harder and harder until it got the government to sign the pact that it entered into with the teachers’ union. We must hope for a better society where opportunities abound and where people are free to pursue their enlightened self-interests, unencumbered by miscreants misguided to transform into kidnappers, suicide bombers and terrorists by self-seeking, power-hungry politicians unscrupulously pursuing public office for private, parochial, ends. We must hope and work for a society where leaders are held accountable and assisted to deploy public resources for public good, welfare, and happiness. We must hope and work for a society where lawmakers are prevented from making self-serving laws, such as the bill seeking to legitimize operation of foreign bank accounts by legislators—a euphemism for money laundering; in a failing state adjudged to be one of the most corrupt nations of the world. The people—the acclaimed repository of power—must assert themselves by demonstrating a capacity to redirect their leaders through constructive engagements. A welfare state, an egalitarian society, with un-

Egwuekwe set to dump CHAN squad

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arri Wolves defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe’s ambition to ply his trade outside Nigeria may prevent him from representing the country in the African Nations Championship (CHAN). The 24-year-old, who is part of national coach Stephen Keshi’s preliminary squad currently camping in Abuja, told Brila FM that he is poised to join a foreign club once the transfer window opens in January. Egwuekwe revealed that he is not short of European suitors, but revealed that he is uncertain if he will make a switch before or after CHAN.

“I have a lot of offers from Europe but I am just keeping it hidden, maybe January by the special grace of God,” Egwuekwe said. “You never can tell, anything can still happen, it may be before or after the CHAN in South Africa.” With Godfrey Oboabona in Turkey, and Sunday Mba certain to move to French Ligue 2 strugglers CA Bastia, Egwuekwe alongside Chigozie Agbim and Ejike Uzoenyi are the most experienced players currently at Keshi’s disposal. CHAN, an event reserved for domestic-based players, is taking place in South Africa from January 11 to February 1.

limited opportunities for human achievements of all sorts is the product of the cooperation of both leaders and followers. The people must hope and work for a 2014 where power is returned to the people in the federating units, at the grassroots; to make the centre less attractive and less prone to corruption; a centre that is a rallying point, not for corrupt practices and corrupt enrichment, but a symbolism for unity in diversity. The people must refuse to be confused by self-seeking politicians that devolution of power from the centre to the federating units is an experiment with disintegration; because it is not. Strong federating units would constitute the backbone of an equally credible, influential, and globally well-positioned Nigeria for regional, sub-regional and continental leadership of the black race. As we trudge on to year 2014 with the likelihood of a back-call of the 2008 recession to mop up corporations that are not built to last, sustained largely by the operation of ponzi, the people need to hope for, dream of, and work towards the actualization of a truly free society, and a truly free enterprise economy where the capacity for job-creation and entrepreneurship of the generality of the people will be matched by their aggressiveness, creativity and adventurism. It is my prayer and fervent wish that as we turn our back at 2013, everyone should resolve to hope and work for a greater, better, more cohesive, crisis-free, and socially and economically vibrant Nigeria as we step into year 2014.

EPL: Resilient Manchester City climbs to the top P. 61 PREMIERSHIP RESULTS West Ham 3-3 West Brom Aston Villa 1-1 Swansea Hull City 6-0 Fulham Man City 1-0 Crystal Palace Norwich 0-1 Man United Cardiff City 2-2 Sunderland Today’s Matches Everton v Southampton 14:30 Newcastle v Arsenal 14:30 Southampton v Tottenham 14:30 Chelsea v Liverpool 17:00 Egwuekwe

Tottenham v Stoke City 17:00

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