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Rivers lawmakers deny plot to impeach Amaechi

Labour may embark on indefinite strike

SAM OLUWALANA AND GODWIN OKONKWO

Vol. 3 N0. 633

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he Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree and 26 other lawmakers

have dispelled the rumour making the rounds in the state that some of the lawmakers have defected to CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

NGF: 7 PDP govs shun pro-Jang faction ...secretariat opened in Abuja

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Army uncovers plot to attack foreign interests Suspects linked to Lebanese Hezbollah group Jonathan meets security chiefs AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST,

ROTIMI FADEYI AND OMEIZA AJAYI

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he Nigerian Army yesterday in Kano said they had uncovered plot by foreign terrorists linked with Lebanese Hezbollah fighters to attack Western and Israeli interests in the country. It said that seized weapons from three Lebanese men on Tuesday might have had their origin with the group. It will be recalled that different types of weapons concealed in a bunker built inside a bungalow located on Gaya Road in Bompai Estate, Kano, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Oduah

FG re-assures relations of Dana Airline crash victims on payment P.7

L-R: Security agents removing arms and ammunition found inside a bunker in the home of a Lebanese suspected to have links with Hezbollah in Kano, yesterday.

President, Mark, northern govs mourn Kontagora P.12

Reps prescribe 14-year jail term for same-sex marriage ...probe $40m Internet surveillance contract L-R: Founder, Robert S. Lauder Foundation, Mr. Ronald Lauder; President, African Development Bank Group, Mr. Donald Kaberuka and Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, at the African Development Bank Annual Board of Governors Meeting at Marrakech, Morocco, on Tuesday.

Appeal Court justice disqualifies self from Al-Mustapha’s case

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President Goodluck Jonathan (8th left) with members of the Presidential Committee on Broadband Plan for 2013-2018 after the presentation of their report at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Reps prescribe 14-year jail term for same-sex marriage

TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill against same-sex marriage in the country. The bill also proposes a 14-year jail term for homosexualism and lesbianism. The draft piece of legislation titled, “Same Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2013” also specifies jail terms for persons who aid and abet same sex marriages or run or register gay clubs and other organisations. The House, after a few amendments to the bill, passed it with a proposal in Section 1(1) that states: “Marriage contract or civil

union entered between persons of same gender is hereby prohibited in Nigeria”. The Bill as passed by the House, states in Section 1 subsection 2 that “Marriage contracts or civil unions entered between persons of same gender are invalid and shall not be recognised as entitled to the benefits of a valid marriage.” Once the bill is signed into law by the President, the country will also disregard same-sex marriage certificates obtained elsewhere. The Bill in section 1(3) warns that: “Marriage contract or civil union entered between persons of same gender by virtue of a certificate issued by a foreign

country shall be void in Nigeria, and any benefits accruing there from by virtue of the certificate shall not be enforced by any court of law in Nigeria.” The bill also seeks an outright ban of such unions in places of worship or any other place whatsoever. According to Section 2(1): “Marriage or civil union entered between persons of same gender shall not be solemnised in any place of worship either church or mosque in Nigeria.” It adds in subsection 2 that “No marriage certificate issued to parties of same sex marriage or civil union in Nigeria shall be valid.” The House in section

3 seeks recognition only for “marriage contract between a man and woman either under Islamic Law, Customary Law and Marriage Act,” which are the laws recognised in Nigeria. The proposed law also seeks to bar registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, their sustenance, processions and meetings”, and also “the public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly”. Section 5 of the Bill proposes that “Persons entered into a same gender marriage or civil union contract commit an offence and are jointly liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment each”.

The report of the Bill also prescribes 10 year jail term for whoever registers or joins such in marriage. “Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations, or directly or indirectly make a public show of same sex amorous relationship commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.” It goes further to state that “Any person or group of persons that witnesses, abet, screens and aids the solemnization of a same sex marriage contract or civil union or supports the registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, processions

or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.” The Bill is expected to be read the 3rd time by the Clerk of the House, before it will be harmonized with the Senate’s version and forwarded to the President for assent. The House through its spokesman, Hon. Zakari Mohammed (PDP-Kwara), said the House or the National Assembly could not to cowed by other countries on their stance on the issue of same sex. He said the House has decided on the side of God and the people, and is not ready to go back on that.”

man. The security chief added that the dangerous weapons intercepted from the home of the suspects had link with the Hezbollah, a military and political group which is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States. The suspects were quoted as admitting during preliminary investigations that the weapons were meant to fight Israeli and Western interests in the country. He also noted that the construction of bunker inside a residential building to conceal weapons of mass destruction confirmed the suspects’ ulterior motive. Abbah said: “On May 28, 2013, a combined team of the JTF involving the NA of the 3 Brigade here in Kano and the Kano State DSS conducted a

thorough search of this house located at No 3 Gaya Road off Bompai Road, Kano belonging to one Abdul Hassan Taher Fadlalla, a Lebanese national who is currently out of the country. “After painstaking search of the whole premises, the search team uncovered an underground bunker in the master bedroom where a large quantity of assorted weapons of different types and calibre were recovered. “The bunker was specially constructed for this purpose. It is worth mentioning to say that the weapons include anti tank weapons, rocket propelled guns, anti tank/anti personnel mines among other dangerous weapons. “All the weapons and ammunition recovered were properly concealed with several layers of concrete and placed in

coolers, drums and bags neatly wrapped. “These discoveries were not accidental but the outcome of an ongoing robust counter terrorism investigation by the Department of the State Services, Abuja in the past several months. The investigation also confirms the existence of a Hezbollah foreign terrorist cell in Nigeria. “Consequently, the DSS on May 16, 2013 arrested one Mustapha Fawaz, the co-owner of the popular Amigo Supermarket, as well as the Wonderland Amusement Park in Abuja. “Thus, his arrest and confession unveiled other members of the foreign terrorists network, which led to the interception of one member of the syndicate named Abdullah Tahini, a Lebanese national at the Mallam Aminu

Kano International Airport with undeclared amount of $60,000 on him en route Beirut. “Thereafter on May 26, 2013 one Talal Roda, also a Lebanese with Nigerian Passport was arrested in this same house. “All those arrested have confessed to have undergone Hezbollah terrorist training and further implicated one Fauzi Fawad, also a co-owner of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park. However, the fellow is now at large. “The arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israel and Western interest in Nigeria; however, the security agencies are making frantic efforts to unveil the true situation. At the end of investigation, all those involved will be prosecuted.” The Army commander

used the occasion to appeal to members of the public to always cooperate with the security agents in the campaign to free the state from the activities of terrorists. Kano State Director of State Security Service, SSS, Bassey Etang, said it was impossible to link the weapons with the Boko Haram Islamic sect until investigation on the issue was concluded. “We cannot say how long the weapons have been in the bunker, the rust you see is as a result of the conditions they have been exposed to, but are still serviceable. Again, we cannot link them with Boko Haram, until the conclusion of investigation, but we suspect such group like Hezbollah can have link with Boko Haram,” Etang said. In a related develop-

Army uncovers plot to attack foreign interests CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

were discovered by security agents on Wednesday. Some of the items seized from the bunker include dynamite for explosives, several AK47 rifles, rocket propelled-guns, anti-tank mines, artillery weapons and hand grenades. Addressing newsmen, Commander of 3 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Kano, Brig.-Gen. Ilyasu Abbah, said the suspects, Abdallah Hassan Fadallah, Mustapher Fawaz and Abdullahi Tigani, had been moved to Abuja for further investigations by security agents. The Army chief recalled that one of the suspects, Tigani, was once arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport over undeclared $60,000 on his way to Lebanon, saying he was an Abuja-based business-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


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Friday, May 31, 2013

Editor, Sunday Mirror, Mr. Bolaji Tunji presenting For Law and Country, a book from the stable of National Mirror to Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido in Dutse recently.

L-R: Head, Logistics, Planning and Business Solution, Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd, Mrs. Justina Oludi; representative of Global Road Safety Partnership, Mr. Benjamin van Rooyen and Corps Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Samuel Obayemi, at the Road Safety Capacity Building Workshop for Regulatory Risk Management Practitioners (North PHOTO: NAN Central) in Abuja, yesterday.

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L-R: Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit and Nigeria Association of Christian Journalists (NACJ) Integrity man of the Year Award recipient, CP Tunde Ogunsakin; President, Rev. Segun Aderiye and Guest Speaker and NACJ Integrity Ambassador Award recipient, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, at the Public Lecture on Integrity: Key to Sustainable Democracy, at the association’s award night, yesterday.

L-R: Legal Luminary, Chief (Mrs.) Folake Solanke; Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Ademola Adeyinka; author of the book, Barr. Adekunle Osibogun and his wife, Moni, during the presentation of the book, The Citizen’s Book on Governance, in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

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NGF: NLC tells governors to respect process, bemoans unemployment OBIORA IFOH, MESHACK IDEHEN AND HAKEEM GBADAMOSI

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he Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday urged the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, to respect the process and outcome of elections and create value, as well as restore dignity to their offices. NLC President, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, in a communiqué issued after the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the Congress said labour has watched with keen interest the developments in the NGF and wants to sound a note of caution. He said that while congress admits that like any group of people, the governors have a right to organise themselves, it should be within the civilised norms of society. Congress, he added, refuses to believe that governors, who are themselves beneficiaries of supposedly credible elections can-

• 7 PDP Govs shun pro-Jang faction not organise a simple election among themselves. Omar said the current situation amongst the governors presupposes that something fundamental must have gone wrong somewhere, saying whatever it is, the governors and their fellow travellers in power should quickly fix it. “As critical custodians of the peoples’ mandate and grand beneficiaries of our democracy, there are certain things governors must not be seen to be doing. We at the congress irrevocably stand for certain values, which we will not compromise for anything. We are opposed to impunity at all levels and the undermining of national security and unity. We have respect for process and its outcome. We stand for justice. “In the light of the foregoing, we call on our governors to create value around as well as restore dignity to their office. Get

back to work instead of unnecessarily overheating the polity,” he said. Omar also advised the governors not to put the nation’s hard-earned democracy in jeopardy through their actions and respect the process and outcome of their election. The congress also said that it has named its subsecretariat in Lagos after the sage of labour movement in Nigeria, late Pa Michael Imoudu, while its national secretariat in Abuja was renamed Paschal Bafyau Labour House, after the labour leader who died last year. Similarly, the NEC-insession also named its auditorium in Abuja, the Olaitan Oyerinde Auditorium, after its slain deputy General Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, who was killed last year, while on secondment to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole. In Akure, Ondo State, social commentator and

politician, Professor Pat Utomi yesterday said the outcome of the NGF election is a pointer to what would happen in the country’s general election in 2015. Condemning the outcome of the election, Utomi said that if the 36 governors could not manage an election within themselves, it is doubtful if they would be able to manage an election involving over 150 million people across the country. Utomi, who spoke at the 2013 National Youth Summit, NYS, organised by Coordinated Youth Campaign of Nigeria, a nongovernmental organisation, said the current trend of power without purpose to make governance meaningful to the people of the country must stop. He said: The election signifies there’s problem, because if there is dispute in an election among 36 people, how can such people manage the election of

over 150 million. So there’s a need for paradigm shift, there is a need to stop this current trend of power without purpose and focus on the essence of government to serve people. “The emphasis should be on creating jobs, making life worth living and this is why people are being recruited into all these anti social activities.” Meanwhile, seven governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday shunned the commissioning of the new secretariat of the faction loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja The governors include Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Babangida (Niger), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Sullivan Chime (Enugu) and Abdullfatah Ahmed (Kwara) The governors are believed to be under intense heat from the party over

their roles at the just concluded NGF election, which returned Governor Amaechi as the chairman. The two-storey butter coloured secretariat building is located at No 2, Nana Street and was formally unveiled by factional chairman of the NGF, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State and his vice, Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo State, accompanied by 14 others. After the unveiling, all the 16 governors, which included deputy governors of Gombe and Benue states, later went round to inspect facilities inside the building. Other governors at the commissioning were those of Delta, Ebonyi, Taraba, Kaduna, Kogi, Abia, Katsina, Bauchi, Bayelsa and Benue. Speaking to journalists after their meeting, Governor Jang flanked by his colleagues said that efforts were being made to reconcile with the Amaechi faction.


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Rivers lawmakers deny plot to impeach Amaechi CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the camp of the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, to prepare the grounds for the impeachment of Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Wike is regarded as the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rival group in the state. The 27 legislators in a statement signed by them said they were aware of the rumour that they had been lured with financial gratifications. The statement also denied media reports that Wike had sought the support of 26 other members

and had gotten their assurance to defect to the faction. The statement reads in part: “We have observed with consternation dangerous rumours making the rounds, even appearing on the pages of national dailies that we, the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have been financially induced to impeach His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, CON, Governor of Rivers State, and Chairman Nigerian Governors’ Forum. “For the avoidance of doubt, we make bold to categorically state as follows: that we have not and will

not receive any pecuniary gratification or marginal oil field; that we are united in our resolve to commit our unalloyed loyalty to His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Chibuike R. Amaechi, Governor and the people of Rivers State. “That we the undersigned do not contemplate the impeachment of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Chibuike R. Amaechi as an option. “We reiterate our loyalty to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Leader of our great party the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.” In another development,

the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday said that it might embark on an indefinite strike in Rivers State. Chairman of Trade Union Congress, TUC, in Rivers State, Chika Onuegbu, who gave indication yesterday in Port Harcourt said that unless the threepoint demand that pushed labour to embark on a twoday warning strike were addressed, labour might proceed on an indefinite strike. The organised labour, made up of the TUC, the NLC and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, JPSNC, had on May 27

embarked on a warning strike to protest the continued occupation of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Secretariat by the police after the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the state government. The union also demanded the payment of salaries of workers in the local government council for April and May as well as the appointment of a Head of Local Government Administration to oversee the affairs of the Obio/Akpor Council, whose elected chairman, vice-chairman and 17 councillors were suspended by the Rivers State House of Assembly recently. Onuegbu, who spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt during the state’s one-day delegates’ conference of the TUC Women Commission, with the theme; ‘Women leadership in trade unionism’, said the TUC was ready to join the NLC in a full-scale strike in the state. He said: “Well, as you are aware, the role of TUC in this strike is that of solidarity. The strike is called for by NLC and TUC gave them the support. I know that NLC will meet, review

whether the warning strike has achieved its objectives or not. If it has not achieved and NLC says they will go on indefinite strike action, TUC will give them the support. That is our commitment from day one. “Our demands are simple. The only problem we have is that people have not taken time to look at our demands. The three reasons why we embarked on strike are all labour issues. We have given our commitment to NLC in writing that we will back them all the way. If they want to go on indefinite strike, we will support them.” The TUC chairman, however, denied an allegation by a Port Harcourt-based group that labour leaders in the state collected N100m from the state government to embark on the warning strike. Onuegbu said: “It is an insult. Do you know how much it takes to organise a strike. When I read the publication, I started laughing because these are men of questionable character, these are men without integrity. These are men who do things because of monetary inducement. So, they think that labour is like them. It is very funny.”

Amosun, Aregbesola, Soyinka visit Igbale Aiye, origin of humanity

L-R: Governors: Peter Obi (Anambra), Theodor Orji (Abia), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Martins Elechi (Ebonyi), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), factional Chairman of Governors Forum, Jonah Jang (Plateau); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and the acting Governor of Taraba State, Umar Garuba, during the commissioning of the factional Nigerian Governor Forum secretariat in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Army uncovers plot to attack foreign interests CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

ment, the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, in Abuja yesterday confirmed the arrest of five Nigeriens and two Chadians which it said were among the fleeing insurgents apprehended by the Special Forces. According to the DHQ, “The seven were among the nine arrested at Tumbu Gini, a border town with Chad, as they tried to cross the border to Chad.” The DHQ said the man suspected to be leading the group however escaped with gunshot wounds. Defence authorities also said that the Boko Haram sect was seeking assistance from terror cells in Afghanistan and

Pakistan. Confirming the development yesterday, Defence authorities in Abuja said it had uncovered attempts by insurgents and their collaborators to push into the public domain, “questionable and manipulated messages meant to misinform the public.” Defence spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said the messages contained “calls for support from Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as other cohorts of the insurgents are clearly a confirmation of the level of pressure which has been brought to bear on the insurgents.” He added that there was no cause for alarm “as the insurgents are actually in

flight, necessitating their call for help from their foreign allies.” He added: “The operation to put an end to the activities of insurgents is continuing and in line with overall plans for the nation’s security.” Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday held a meeting with security chiefs to review the security situation in the county. This would be the first time Jonathan would be meeting with the security chefs after he declared emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states on May 14 and also ordered the deployment of troops to the three states to check the violent and deadly activities of the Boko Haram sect.

The meeting which lasted for several hours at the Presidential Villa was attended by Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh and the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba. Though the service chiefs declined to speak with journalists after the meeting, it was gathered that the issue of the emergency rule in the three North East states was discussed. It was also learnt that the meeting was to review the security situation in the three affected states since the declaration of the state of emergency.

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overnor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, his counterpart from the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in company of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday visited Igbale Aiye, a village believed to be the origin of mankind. Igbale Aiye, a community said to be 450,000 years old, is in Apotoku, Commune de Ketu, Republic of Benin. Speaking during the Convention of The CityHeadquarters of Humanism (Igbale Aiye), organised by Africa-Cultures International Institute and the Government of Republic of Benin, the governors and Soyinka commended the vision of Olofindji Akande, the promoter of Igbale Aiye project. According to a statement by Funmi Wakama, media aide to Governor Amosun, they called for concerted efforts to promote African culture and

values. Amosun promised to support the project in line with his administration's vision to promote the African culture. He said Ogun State had been associated with many firsts and "this project is first of its kind." Aregbesola said further research should be carried out on the link between the Egyptian Pyramids and Igbale Aiye. For his part, Soyinka said the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding had adopted the Igba Aiye initiative because of its historical significance. The visitors were conducted round the relics of the 450,000-year-old underground village said to host the first inhabitants of our planet world "where the builders of the pyramids of Egypt came from." The two governors and culture icon later planted banana trees to commemorate the 2013 Convention.


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Friday, May 31, 2013

Reps investigate $40m internet surveillance contract TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committees on ICT, Justice and Anti-Corruption to investigate the alleged award of over $40 million internet spying contract to a foreign company. The alleged contract was to monitor computers and internet activities of over 45 millions Nigerians on the web. A motion raised under matters of urgent public importance by Hon. Ibra-

him Shehu Gusau (ANPPZamfara state), noted the contact was reported to have been secretly awarded in breach of due process, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, and the Bureau of Public Procurement Act 2007. The sponsor of the motion told the House that the award of the contact contravened the basic privacy provision in Chapter 4, Section 37 of the 1999 constitution, as amended. According to him, the contract was awarded on the pretext of information gathering, but could be a

brazen violation of citizens’ privacy. The House, in a unanimous decision, urged the Federal Government to suspend all actions with regard to the contract, pending investigation. The alleged contract has generated anger from a cross section of Nigerians. The National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mr. Lai Mohammed, had warned the government against its infringement on the rights of journalists and citizens to hold it ac-

countable. Mohammed said the contract was a waste of resources and in breach of the constitution on citizens’ rights. However, President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly initiated moves to cancel the said contract. The President was said to have “summoned” the management of Elbit Systems, an Israeli security firm given the contract, to the Presidential Villa on the matter. But it is not yet clear whether the said contract would be cancelled.

Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso (left) and former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his brief visit to Kano, yesterday.

Reps pass bill to centralise pensions TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill seeking to create a commission that would manage all pensions accrual to the civil service, while retirees are waiting to be paid their pensions. The Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Leo Okuwe Ogor, led debate on the bill. Ogor regretted that “over N200 billion of pension funds have been carted away and our investigation has shown that a lot of our resources have been carted away because of loopholes in the law. “Many pensioners are dying silently because of these lacunae in the Pensions Act”. The bill seeks to repeal the Pension Reform Act 2004 and enact the “Pension Reform

Act, 2013”. Section 4(1) of the amendment bill partly proposes that an employee must contribute “a minimum of 12 per cent,” and a “minimum of eight per cent by the employee” to the pension coffers. The pension law about to be repealed proposes a 7.5 per cent contribution from the employee and also 7.5 per cent from the employer. Other highlights are the streamlining of all pension schemes in the country under one commission with directorates to avoid loopholes of graft by fund managers. The amendment proposals also seek, unlike the extant law, to exempt members of the Armed Forces, the intelligent and secret services of the federation, university professors and others entitled to benefits before the 2004 Act came to

force. One of the highlights of the bill is its proposal to create a commission to manage pensions of different agencies through directorates established under it. Hon. Samson Okwu (PDPBenue), in his contribution to the piece of legislation, said “I believe the bill will slash corruption in the pension sector”. Hon. Chris Eta (PDPCross River), said the bill should succeed because of its central purpose of seeking “to strengthen the pensions board and protect pensioners”. Hon. Karimi Sunday (ACN-Kogi) said “many retirees have passed away because they could not enjoy their pensions, and it was about time this category of poor pensioners was protected” by law.

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Expose Boko Haram sponsors now, CAN tells FG OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has once again called on the Federal Government to expose the sponsors of Boko Haram. Oritsejafor’s call followed recent disclosure by the military that it had uncovered a document containing the names of Boko Haram sponsors. This is even CAN deplored the recent killings of Christians in Borno State, one of the three states under emergency rule. The CAN president made the call in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, and made available to our correspondent in Abuja yesterday. He said: “In the light of a recent statement that the military recovered a document containing the names of Boko Haram sponsors, I call on the Federal Government to expose the sponsors now. “I believe that such exposure will go a long way to enhancing the fight against the Boko Haram sect and serve as a deterrent to others who might want to toe the same line.” While the CAN president noted the great jobs being done by the military with the emergency rule, he drew attention to the recent killing

of Christians in Borno State. He said: “Last Friday, for instance, an executive member of CAN in Gwoza Local Council, Rev. Luka Bazigila, and a member of the COCIN Church, Yohanna, both of whom were in attendance at a Christian fellowship, were shot dead by gunmen who alighted from a tricycle. “The gunmen, apparently angry that they missed their target, the medical director of Borno State Hospital, who was out when they arrived his residence, shot and killed his step mother. “A Muslim guard, employed by a Christian architect in Abuja to watch over his house was mistaken for a Christian and shot dead. “One COCIN Church on the Mandara Mountain was burnt by members of the Boko Haram sect on Sunday morning.” Oritsejafor also drew the attention of those citing reasons other than religion as the cause of the insurgency by Boko Haram to a recent statement by the leader of the sect, Alhaji Abubakar Shekau, where he called on like-minded Islamists in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to join to create an Islamic state in Nigeria. To forestall this, the CAN president urged friends of Nigeria to join forces with the Federal Government in this struggle to save Christians from being exterminated.

Borishade: EFCC obtained confession under duress –Court EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court yesterday held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, obtained a “confessional statement” from one Tunde Dairo, under duress. Dairo, who was a personal assistant to the former Minister of Aviation, Prof. Babalola Borishade, is standing trial alongside the former minister on charges bordering on alleged irregular award of contracts in the aviation sector to the tune of over N5 billion. He was said to have admitted in the disputed statement that there was

neither competitive bidding nor invitation for tender for the contract, which was said to have been awarded by the minister, as required by law. This, the statement purports, was in violation of due process and the rule of law. Other accused are former Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Rowland Iyayi, Managing Director of Avsatel Communications Limited, George Eider, whose company is named as fifth defendant, in the criminal case. Delivering ruling on the admissibility or otherwise of Dairo’s statement in the “trial-within-trial,” the trial judge, Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar, held that

from EFCC’s submissions of as well as those of the defendants, it was his considered view that the anti-graft agency failed to discharge the burden of convincing the court that it obtained Dairo’s statement “voluntarily”. Umar arrived at the conclusion, after observing that the disputed statement made on July 28, 2008, was an “independent statement and should stand on its own”. He said: “I wish to state that the prosecution has failed to prove the voluntariness of the statement made on July 28, 2008. “Accordingly, the said confessional statement is hereby rejected.” The case was adjourned to July 8 for continuation of hearing.


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FG reassures Dana Air crash victims’ families on claims TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday reassured Dana Airline crash victims’ families of its efforts at ensuring prompt payment of their insured claims to legitimate relations of the victims of the ill-fated aircraft. It said everything is being done to forestall a re-occurrence of such unfortunate accidents in the nation’s aviation sector. Giving the assurance at the opening ceremony of the Aviation Safety Week 2013 organised by the ministry in Abuja, Minister of

Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, said the past two years had witnessed remarkable transformation of the sector in terms of human capital and infrastructure capacity building, regulatory standards and technology-driven operations in furtherance of the Federal Government’s commitment to make Nigeria’s air space one of the safest in air transport operations globally. Oduah, who expressed government’s sense of loss and heartfelt commiseration with the bereaved families over the June 3, 2012 air crash in which over 153 lives were lost, said the Nigeria Civil Avi-

ation Authority, NCAA, had worked closely with the management of the airlines and relevant insurance companies to ensure expeditious payment of claims to the families of the victims. She lamented that the delay in payment to some families was occasioned by legal tussles and lack of proper documentation from victims’ families and promised that government would not rest until all verified claims are paid to families of the victims in consonance with existing regulations and statutory provisions of the industry. The minister said: “In

Apo six: Tendering of guns, other weapons proper –Court EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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ustice Ishaq Bello of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, has dismissed an objection raised by the defence in the protracted Apo six legal battle, saying the tendering of guns and sundry weapons, which were earlier admitted, was in order. The development has cleared the coast for continuation of hearing, which has since been slated for July 10. Rickey Tarfa, SAN, counsel to one of the police officers standing trial for the alleged extrajudicial killing of six Apo spare-parts dealers, Mr. Danjuma Ibrahim, had challenged the decision of

the prosecution to re-call a witness. Upon recall, the witness and Investigating Police Officer, IPO, in the incident that occurred in 2005, Ede Ayuba, tendered guns and other weapons alleged to have been used in the dastardly act. In his argument, Tarfa told the court that the action contradicted Section 237 of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC. But, counsel to the Federal Government, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, urged the court to discountenance the position of the defence. Uche had predicated his argument on the ground that the witness’ appearance was to enable him conclude his evidence and also tender

the necessary weapons, in evidence. In his ruling, Justice Bello agreed with the submission of Uche as he stated that the witness’ recall complied with relevant sections of the CPC. It will be recalled that the court had earlier admitted Certified True Copies, CTCs, of reports of the medical examination conducted on the deceased victims namely: Anthony Nwokike, Chinedu Merim, Ifeanyi Ozo, Isaac Eken, Paul Ogbonna and Augustina Arebun. Other police officers charged with alleged murder are Uthman Abdullahi, Nicholas Zachariya, Emmanuel Baba, Ezekiel Acheneje and Sadiq Salami.

Absence of judge stalls Newswatch suit WALE IGBINTADE

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he case instituted by two minority shareholders of the Newswatch Communications Ltd, NCL, Mr. NuhuWada Aruda and Prof. Jibril Aminu, against the company and its new management was stalled yesterday due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba. A witness, Mr. Chukwuemeka Onuorah, a partner in the auditing firm of Marino and Partners, which was the auditor to Newswatch Communica-

tions Ltd till 2009, was to be cross-examined by counsel to the respondents, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN. No reason was given for the absence of Justice Buba, but counsel to the parties urged the registrar to adjourn the case till June 17 and 18 respectively. It will be recalled that Onuorah, while being cross-examined by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, disclosed that the last time the account of Newswatch was edited was in 2009, during which he participated in the auditing. He told the court that he had met with the Pub-

lisher of Newswatch, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, since 2011, when ownership of the business changed hands, but had not received any instructions on auditing or performance of any other accounting services for Newswatch from the business mogul or any other member of the new management. Onuorah added that Newswatch Communications Ltd made a loss of N93 million in 2009, but he also added that he made projections that the company would made a profit of N15 million within three months in 2012.

the last one year, NCAA has worked closely with Dana Airline, relevant insurance companies and the Lagos State government to ensure the expeditious processing of claims and compensation to families of victims. “Specifically, on our request, the Lagos State government granted waivers on the mandatory requirements for the processing of claims, so as to lighten the burden of the bereaved families. “To date, a substantial number of families of the victims have been paid varying percentages of insurance compensation. I, however, wish to place on records that Dana Air has paid over 30 percent of the claims. However legal tussles and lack of proper documentation from families have slowed down the payment process.

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UNFPA, IPPF launch initiative to boost family planning TOBORE OVUORIE KUALA LUMPUR

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he United Nations Fund for Population Activities, UNFPA, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, IPPF, have jointly launched a new initiative at the ongoing women conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to boost family planning services in Nigeria and 12 other countries. The initiative will entail UNFPA and seven IPPF member associations providing about two million family planning services by 2013, with plans to increase it to 25 million by 2015 with young people constituting about 30 per cent of the beneficiaries. Launching the project, UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, described the initiative as a major way of ensuring that hard-to-reach and underserved populations, particularly women, girls and young people, get access to

the reproductive health they need. According to him, the combination of IPPF’s experience of service delivery and UNFPA’s strong country presence would help address the unmet need for voluntary contraception and increase political and financial support for voluntary family planning and sexual and reproductive health services at the national level. He disclosed that the partnership would also ensure that innovative strategies are included and funded by national plans, adding that this was already being fine-tuned with information collected during assessments carried out throughout the year in some of the countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and South Sudan.


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South West

Friday, May 31, 2013

Death sentence: Appeal Court justice disqualifies self from Al-Mustapha’s case WALE IGBINTADE

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ustice Ibrahim Saulawa yesterday disqualified himself from hearing the appeal filed by Major Hamza AlMustapha, former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and Lateef Shofolahan. Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan are challenging a death sentence handed them by Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court for masterminding the assassination of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. The appeal, which ought to be for argument and adoption of processes, was stalled because of Saulawa’s withdrawal.

Other justices in the three-man panel namely Justice Joseph Ikeyegh and Justice Fatima Akinbami could not proceed with the matter. When the matter came up, Saulawa informed counsel to the appellants that he could only assist them in recording a further date for argument, but would not participate in hearing the main appeal for reasons which he described as personal. Saulawa, who did not give details of his withdrawal, said he took the action based on personal reasons. Immediately the court registrar announced the case and the lawyers wanted to announce their appearances, Saulawa said: “I want to let the cat out of the bag.”

He gave an analogy of a similar matter he handled in Calabar, Cross River State and how his life and those of his colleagues were threatened but they stood firm. Saulawa explained that after the judgement was delivered, several petitions were written against him and as such he would not want a similar situation. He therefore adjourned the case to June 10 for hearing. However, the appellate court granted two applications filed by Mr. Pedro Lawal (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo, counsel to the respondent and second appellant respectively. Lawal in his application, sought to amend his respondent’s brief

by substituting it with the correct version, and deeming same as been properly filed and served. Ojo on his part, prayed for an order, deeming his reply to the amended respondent’s brief, as properly filed and served. Saulawa granted the applications, saying that it was the much he could do in the matter. Justice Dada had on January 30, 2012 convicted and accordingly sentenced the duo to death by hanging until they are confirmed dead. Al-Mustapha and Sofolahan had argued in their notices of appeal that the lower court erred in law by arriving at the conclusion that they killed Alhaja Kudirat on June 4, 1996.

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Amosun must focus on industrialisation –Ex-Commissioner FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has been advised to consolidate on the gains his administration recorded in its first two years by exploring business opportunities provided by the state’s proximity to Lagos. An international environmentalist and construction expert, Engineer Anthony Ojesina, gave the advice yesterday in Abeokuta during the maiden edition of the 2013 monthly Guest Forum organised by the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ. The event held at the NUJ Secretariat, Iwe Irohin House in Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta, the state capital. Ojesina, who is also the former commissioner for Environment in the state in the administration of former Governor Gbenga Daniel, also tasked Amosun to identify the local resources which abound in the state and explore them in his efforts at industrialising the state. Noting that the state had fared well within the past two years, the former commissioner said the state had

the needed raw materials for industrialisation as well as the land, adding that if well exploited, they would make Ogun to rank among the best economically stable states in Nigeria. Emphasising that industrialisation remains the key towards sustaining the development achieved by Amosun’s administration, Ojesina also urged the government to create the enabling environment for Public-Private-Partnership, PPP, in order not to depend on federal allocations which, according to him, also depend solely on oil proceeds. He said: “Ogun State, like all states of the federation, is almost totally dependent on federal allocation for sustenance. This has made the states and the Federal Government to totally dependent on oil proceeds. “Ogun should capitalise on its proximity to Lagos and the lack of land and space due to congestion there.” Explaining that all indices pointed to the fact that Nigeria oil would soon dry up, Ojesina said Ogun State should be able to sustain its economy with or without federal allocation which, he said, could only be achieved through industrialisation.

NURTW raises monitoring team on Ajah crisis MURITALA AYINLA

T Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, flanked by youths at the flag-off of the Green Education for the Youths in commemoration of 2013 Children’s Day at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta.

Tension as Supreme Court decides Oni, Fayemi’s fate today ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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ension has enveloped Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, as the Supreme Court in Abuja will today deliver judgement on the appeal filed by Chief Olusegun Oni. Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is challenging his removal as governor by an Appeal Court verdict on October 15, 2010. He is at the Supreme Court over the verdict that declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, as the duly elected governor in the 2007 governorship election in

the state. Although the Appeal Court was the court of last resort in election matters that time, Oni had approached the Appeal Court to reverse itself on the matter, citing the establishment of conviviality between ACN chieftains and the suspended Appeal Court President, Justice Isa Salami, who headed the appeal panel that removed his government. In the appeal, he had sought to “establish that where an issue of bias or likelihood of bias is raised, it bothers on the appellant’s constitutional right to fair hearing which if found to have been denied renders

the proceeding and the judgement based thereon a nullity no matter how well conducted or written”. But following failure of the appeal at the appellate court in February last year, Oni headed for the Supreme Court, seeking the intervention of the highest court in the land “to reiterate and re-establish the trite point of law which has been well settled in our jurisprudence that the same court or a court of coordinate jurisdiction and even a superior court can validly set aside or nullify a judgement or proceeding which is a nullity by reason of denial of fair hearing”. Among others, in the

suit, Oni is seeking an order directing a fresh panel of the Court of Appeal to hear and determine the aforesaid appeal; and another order directing the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly to take over the governance of Ekiti State pending the hearing and determination of the appeal. Ahead of today’s judgement, the PDP and ACN had engaged in verbal war, accusations and counteraccusations, thus heating up the polity. Anxiety heightened in the state yesterday over the judgement as supporters of both parties were confident of victory in the matter.

he Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, has inaugurated a special committee to monitor the activities of its members to prevent them from getting involved in the communal crisis rocking Ajah community. The state NURTW Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, disclosed this at a meeting with all the union leaders in Ajah axis. Agbede described allegations of the union’s involvement in recent clashes in the area as baseless and a calculated attempt to discredit the NURTW. The chairman reiterated that the NURTW was not in any way involved in the mayhem. Urging union leaders in the axis to stay clear of the crisis, he warned that the leadership of the union

would not hesitate to sanction any of its members found engaging in any activity inimical to law and order in the state. Agbede said the monitoring committee was inaugurated to serve as a watchdog and ensure members did not interfere in the mayhem. He said: “No member of the union was directly or indirectly involved in the clashes that reportedly claimed six lives. “After an emergency meeting with unit heads of the Ajah axis, a monitoring unit has been set up to check the activities of NURTW members in the zone. “The committee is to report any suspicious activities to law enforcement agents immediately.” Agbede promised that the NURTW would continue to support efforts of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration to rid the state of all sorts of criminal elements and promote law and order.


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Friday, May 31, 2013

Health care: Oyo set to recruit 300 doctors KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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yo State government yesterday assured its citizens of its determination to turn the health sector around as it has completed job interview for medical practitioners out of which 300 will be offered employment into state-owned hospitals. State Commissioner for Health, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, gave the assurance yesterday while speaking with journalists on the mid-term score card of the ministry. He said the state government was determined to address shortage of personnel in state-owned hospitals with a view to strengthening them to meet the needs of the citizens in their various locations. He said other health workers would also be employed along with the doctors to handle ancillary services that will make the

hospitals responsive to the needs of the people. Gbadegesin also said the ministry has distributed 2.7 million mosquitotreated nets to households in all parts of the state with each family having two nets. According to him, the new method has reduced malaria by eight percent across the state going by statistics from hospitals, disclosing that while the number of malaria cases in the state health facilities was 250,000, it reduced to 230,000 in 2012. He added that a total of 300, 000 Artemisin Combination Therapies, ACT, drugs were distributed to the state health facilities and 80, 000 Rapid Diagnostic Test, RDT, kits distributed to state-owned hospitals where non-existent before the advent of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration. The commissioner added that 34 ambulances were distributed within

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the period while four shelters were built for those attending to accident victims on highways, adding that the four shelters are located at strategic locations within Ibadan while efforts are on to duplicate them in other towns across the state. He said to drive the vision, 60 ambulance service personnel were trained while a control room was set up and toll-free emergency lines established to enable people in distress reach the state’s free ambulance service. Dr Gbadegesin, who said a total of 135 cases have so far been handled by the ambulance service since it started operation three months ago, pledged that government would double its efforts to improve the health of citizens in the next two years with the upgrade of some hospitals and purchase of equipment with the aim of building a world-class healthcare delivery system.

Politics

Amaechi: In the eye of the storm

My suspension from PDP is political witchhunting. The party must rise above political witchhunting. –Governor Rotimi Amaechi Silence by concerned PDP stakeholders is a dangerous option at this point when the party faces the challenges of retaining its leadership in 2015. –Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar We will never go back to slavery. Amaechi and his ambition must be tied to the ambition of his people. –Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, the leader of Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force. There is nothing wrong in a man having ambition. But to be carried away with an ambition without considering the consequence may be dangerous. –Mr. Olufemi Aduwo, National Coordinator, Rights Monitoring Group (RMG)

Saturday Starter

14 yrs of democracy: Any cause for celebration? When the Fourth Republic berthed on 29 May, 1999, Nigerians erupted in joyous noise anticipating the dawn of a better future. But now, 14 years after, how far have the dreams come to reality? How much of the dividends of democracy have the people harvested. In all, how well has the nation fared? Nigerians react. Sample: The democracy we have is a government of the thieves by the thieves and for the thieves. It is not a government of the people at all. It is a government of politicians who want to solve their own poverty by coming into government. –Dr. Joe oe Okei-Odumakin, President, Campaign for Democracy (CD)

x SeTalk Six time-tested, female-approved sex positions This column is x-rated

South West

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Forget about producing a successor, Okonkwo tells Obi DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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nambra State governor, Peter Obi, has been told to forget about working towards producing his successor in the forth coming governorship election in the state. Obi was told that such arrangement has never

worked in the state and that it will not work in the present dispensation. Pioneer Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Chief Joseph Okonkwo, gave the advice in an interview to mark this year’s Democracy Day celebration in Enugu. Okonkwo said he has personally given the ad-

vise to the governor and wished Obi would listen to his advise and stop wasting his energy in that direction. Okonkwo also said that the allegation by Obi’s media aide that the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, was his driver is not correct.

He rather said that Umeh was his special assistant with whom he is well pleased in Umeh’s rising political profile. Okonkwo, who played politics in the second republic, said it was his mentorship of Umeh that has made him excel to the extent that he (Umeh) now prides himself as having produced

two governors in Anambra and Imo States. His words: “I’ve told Peter Obi not to bother himself about installing a successor. It doesn’t work, particularly in Anambra State and we will not allow it this time. The votes will count and whoever will succeed him will have to win fair and square. Nobody will write the results in his room. I read in a newspaper where Obi’s aides said Victor Umeh was my driver. That is a complete fallacy. Truth is that Victor was never my driver, he was my special assistant, he is my boy, my product and I am proud

of him. He has now installed two governors in his party APGA and these are what he learnt from me. “I told Obi to call Nwobu-Alor to order because Nwobu-Alor has a personal grouse with Victor that was connected to me years back. I told Peter to go back and work with Victor because he is a hard working young man and that he should enjoy the fruits of his labour. “Victor is an educated estate manager before he went into politics, I still urge Obi to go and reconcile with Victor because both of them are my boys.”

Creation of Ebonyi a waste, if Nigercem is removed –Elechi ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

L-R: Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Mr. Eugene Odo; Governor Sullivan Chime, at the Democracy Day Town Hall Meeting in Enugu, on Wednesday. PHOTO: NAN

Angry youths lynch robbery suspect in Imo CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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n armed robbery suspect was yesterday lynched by angry youths from UmuhuOnicha Nwenkwo community in Ezinihitte Local Government Area of Imo State. The deceased, identified as Obioma Ndukama, was alleged to be a member of an armed robbery gang that has been terrorising the community. According to the youths, numbering over 100, the suspect was responsible for the killing of the driver to the Eze-elect of the community, Mr. Christopher Ibeokwu, who was shot dead in the presence of his wife and

daughter few weeks ago. It was gathered that the lynched robbery suspect had escaped to a neighboring community after the crime. But the youths who have launched a manhunt for the robbers, stormed their hideout where they caught the dead robbery suspect and dragged him back to the community’s market square, where he was set ablaze before the villagers. One of the aggrieved youths and leader, Kingsley Ezurike, said the deceased and his gang members, who are not only armed robbers but assassins, have made life unbearable for the people of the community due to their nefarious activities. He said youths of the com-

munity have resolved that whenever any member of the gang is caught, such will be burnt alive. “Before we lynched him, he had already revealed to us that his gang has a list of those to be eliminated in the community and we are already searching for the other members of the gang. “We have resolved to take charge of the security of the community because despite the fact that the police and the Imo Security Network are always in the community, the killing has continued,” he said. The youth leader said the deceased, who was a notorious criminal has revealed the names of other gang members, as well as confess-

ing that the group was also responsible for the death of a medical doctor who was shot dead at Ahiara Mbaise, last year. It was also learnt that another member of the gang, simply identified as Chigozie and an indigene of Eziagbogu, who was also apprehended by the mob, was saved from being lynched by the quick intervention of the combined team of the police and the Imo Security Network. However, the Eze-elect of the community, Chief Ohanaga Bakason, condemned the action of the youths, saying that before he could intervene, the rampaging youths had already set the suspect ablaze.

Get ready for governorship position, Chime tells Enugu North DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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nugu State governor, Sullivan Chime, yesterday asked the people of Enugu North senatorial district, to get prepared to produce his successor in 2015. The governor said even though people from the other two senatorial districts of the state are free to contest for the position as some Nsukka candidates contested previously,

the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he said, has an understanding for rotation of the governorship position. He said it is the turn of Nsukka district to produce the governor of the state in2015. Governor Chime, however, said that after the PDP would have thrown up a candidate from Nsukka district, the choice of who wins would still remain with the electorate to decide.

Chime spoke at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel in Enugu, during a town hall meeting organised by the state government to celebrate the 2013 Democracy Day. Chime’s disclosure may have foreclosed the rumoured ambition of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who hails from Aninri in Enugu West senatorial district as the governor. While the former governor of the state, Chimaroke Nna-

mani, hails from Nkanu-West in Enugu East senatorial district, Chime hails from Udi in Enugu West district, leaving Nsukka district to remain the only district yet to clinch the governorship seat since the return to civil rule in 1999. Those in attendance at the town hall meeting are major stakeholders, religious leaders, traditional rulers, the organised private sector, politicians, civil society organisations and the media.

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bonyi State governor, Chief Martin Elechi, has said that the dream, purpose and efforts of the former Head of State, General Sani Abacha, in creating the state in 1996 will be a waste if Nigercem, a cement firm, is removed from the state. Chief Elechi made this known yesterday while addressing journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital. He said the aim of the state government is to ensure that Nigercem is revived to create jobs for the people of the state just as he regretted the attitude of the Ibeto Group, which, according to him, destroyed and cannibalised the cement factory to unimaginable proportion. He said: “Mention was made of Nigercem; I am only mentioning it here because it has become a topical issue in our discussions. In a situation of conflict of arguments, truth becomes the first casualty. Enough has been said about Nigercem; but, when people ask me, I always refer them to my ward chairman or ward secretary. “Don’t bring me to that because the issues are simple, Nigercem has been dead for many years, more than five years. When I came on board, I

wrote to the late President Yar’Adua, briefing him of the problems in Nigercem and my intention to take it over and pay compensation to whoever is operating there.” He, however, lamented that Nigercem is situated in Ebonyi and is owned by the people, that the people have a right to determine who will operate or handle the cement factory, adding that the purpose of creating the state will be a waste if Ibeto Group or any other cement manufacturing concern, goes in there without their permission or order. Elechi added that the intention of the state government is to revive the factory to provide jobs for the youths of the state. “Government owns you a duty to provide the enabling environment to get jobs for the people, no more, no less. “As politics progresses and got adulterated and politicians got into the habit of saying, I provided one million jobs. Okey if you can provide one million jobs, there are 10 million people elsewhere waiting to get the job too. “If we tell ourselves the truth, we won’t go into the extreme of bragging that we provided one million jobs. Meaning that it is within your power to create these jobs and when you fail, the blame is yours.”


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South South

Friday, May 31, 2013

N6.5bn fraud: Sylva must face trial –Court •Rejects ex-gov’s application to travel abroad

ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday dismissed an application by former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, seeking to quash his trial over N6.5 billion fraud. The trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello, ruled that Sylva had a case to answer and that he must face trial without further delay. But the former governor rejected the ruling and immediately prepared a notice of appeal to reverse the court decision. Sylva lost the bid to stop his trial on a day Bello threw out the former governor’s separate request to travel to London. The former governor had told the court that his wife was scheduled for sur-

gery in a London hospital and that his attention was needed to sign some documents and give her moral support. But Bello said Sylva’s application to embark on a foreign trip appeared to be a ploy to evade further investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which was already digging deep into his and his wife’s alleged involvement in a fresh fraud recently uncovered by the anti-graft agency. The judge, who faulted the correspondences exhibited by Sylva to move the court to grant him the permission to travel abroad, observed that there were material contradictions in the information provided by the former governor which suggested that he was not telling the court the whole truth about why

he wanted to travel abroad. For instance, the judge noted that while the letter referring Mrs. Sylva to Cromwell Hospital, London for treatment was written by a Nigerian doctor at the University of PortHarcourt Teaching Hospital, there was no evidence that the foreign hospital responded to the referral letter by the Nigerian doctor. Bello also observed that although the Cromwell Hospital in London wrote two letters in respect of Mrs. Sylva ailment and her impending surgery, it was intriguing that the letters were addressed by the hospital directly to Mrs. Sylva in London, creating an impression that the hospital did not only have a direct relationship with Sylva’s wife but that she was also in London, and not in Nigeria as the court was being made to believe.

The judge also noted that the letter referring Mrs. Sylva for London treatment was made six days after the former governor’s last encounter with EFCC. Bello held that the observed conflicting and intriguing pieces of information were insufficient to sway the court to deny Sylva’s request. He said the fulcrum on which his decision to deny Sylva’s request was based on the grounds that the former governor was still being investigated by EFCC. The judge, therefore, threw out the motion for permission to travel abroad and advised Sylva to make an alternative arrangement to have a relative accompany his wife on the trip, if necessary. On Sylva’s request to quash the fraud charge against him, Bello said his application lacked merit.

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Akpabio gets constituents’ nod to contest senatorial poll

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eaders of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District have agreed to nominate Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State to represent the area at the Senate in 2015. The decision to endorse Akpabio was taken at a meeting of stakeholders, political class and elders of the Senatorial District drawn from the 10 local government areas. The meeting convened by Senator Emmanuel Ibokessien held at Ritman College, Ikot Ekpene on May 26. Conveying the decision to Akpabio, the stakeholders, who paid him a solidarity visit at Governor’s Lodge, Uyo, said this was a mark of appreciation for his performance in office. Ibokessien, who delivered the message, noted that the meeting took time to review the governor’s performance and the impact he had made in the last six years of his administration. He meeting resolved “that the Senatorial District is completely satisfied with the leadership and performance of our son, His Excellency, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, the governor of Akwa

Akpabio

Ibom State in the last six years which are manifest and evident in his uncommon infrastructural, human capital and socioeconomic developmental strides and hereby passes a vote of absolute confidence on him”. The stakeholders congratulated Akpabio on his recent emergence as a member of Board of Trustees, BOT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and a consensus pioneer chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum. They also resolved to work with the governor and the Akwa Ibom State people on the choice of his successor in 2015. Responding, Akpabio accepted the resolution of his people, and noted that the endorsement was a further call to represent the people at the higher level.

Edo, Brazil partner on rice farming

L-R: Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, SAN, former Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Adora Giwa-Amu and wife of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nelly Utuama, during the final of Delta State Talent Quest Competition in Asaba on Wednesday.

Ogboru seeks stay of contempt proceedings

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former governorship aspirant in Delta, Great Ogboru, yesterday filed an application for a stay of contempt proceedings before a Federal High Court, Lagos, pending his appeal. Ogboru filed the application through his counsel, Mr. McCarthy Mbadugha, following a contempt proceeding against him by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, for flouting an order of court. He sought for stay of proceedings pending an appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit. Counsel to AMCON, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), however, raised an objection

to the application, arguing that the notice of appeal was not properly filed and served. He argued that there was no evidence of proper filing before the court, and that it was also not duly certified. Ogunba, therefore, urged the court to refuse the application for stay, describing it as being unwarranted. However, in his ruling, Justice Okon Abang held that the notice of appeal was duly filed by the applicant, adding that he would fix a date for ruling on the application for stay. The judge adjourned the case to June 10 for ruling. AMCON had filed the contempt charge against

Ogboru for flouting the subsisting order of Abang. The order made on January 13, had appointed a Receiver Manager for Fiogret Nigeria Limited, the defendant’s company. The company is subject of a legal action related to a loan transaction between the defendant and Equatorial Trust Bank (now Sterling Bank). Ogunba had argued that the defendant used the company as collateral to secure a loan of N33 million from the bank, for the importation of fish. He said the defendant had been unwilling to liquidate the debt, despite repeated letters of demand, which led AMCON to take over the company.

AMCON then filed an application before the court in January, seeking to appoint its counsel, Ogunba, as receiver manager of the acquired company. Abang had then made the order, appointing Ogunba as receiver manager to the property. AMCON, in the contempt charge, alleged that after Ogunba had taken possession of the assets, the defendant and officers of his company employed thugs to invade the premises and they carted away several truck-loads of fish. In a supporting affidavit, AMCON also alleged that Ogboru also threatened to deal with the receiver manager for executing the court’s orders.

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do State Government said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Government of Brazil on rice farming, to eliminate the importation of rice and other produce. The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Abdul Oroh, made the disclosure yesterday in Ekperi near Fugar in Etsako Central Local Government Area. Oroh said the state was determined to produce 25 per cent of rice consumed by Nigerians. He said the government had created the enabling environment for business to thrive and opened up about 50 communities for farmers to bring their produce to urban areas. Oroh, who received the 30-man trade delegation from Estado Rio Grande Sul, Brazil, who inspected some farms in the locality, gave the assurance of availability of

land. The commissioner emphasised that the state government would partner with investors who would in turn provide employment for the teeming youths. Nigeria’s Ambassador to Brazil, Mr. Vincent Okoedion, who accompanied the delegation, said the MoU would also bring succour to smallholder farmers and corporations in the state. Earlier, the Brazilian Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Agro Business, Mr. Lois Menadi, told Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Benin that the project intended to strengthen the cooperation between the state and Brazil. Menadi added that Brazil was also interested in partnering with the state government in health, education, agriculture and finance sectors. The farms inspected included T4M Agro-Tech farms and Jarsof farms both in Ekperi.


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Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jonathan, Mark, northern govs mourn Kontagora GEORGE OJI, ROTIMI FADEYI AND PRISCILLA DENNIS

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resident Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President, David Mark and the 19 northern governors yesterday expressed shock at the death of the Deputy Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, Major-General Mamman Kontagora (rtd),

who died yesterday at the age of 69. They described his demise as a great loss to the country. President Jonathan, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the country would always honour the memory of the late army engineer for serving the country with commendable patriotism and distinction during an excellent career in the army.

Kontagora also served the country in various other capacities, including being a federal minister, sole administrator of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and also chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Development of National Stadia for the World Youth Soccer Championship in 1995. The Northern States Governors’ Forum, NSGF, through its Chairman and Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu,

expressed its condolences in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo. The NSGF described the late General Kontagora as a patriot who died in the service of his fatherland. The statement said they were pained by the demise of Gen. Kontagora, but takes solace in the fact that he lived an exemplary and purposeful life with remarkable achievements as a military officer, administrator, com-

munity leader and a dedicated family man. Aliyu said the late former Minister of Works was a rare gem and will be missed for his immeasurable contributions towards the development of the country as a soldier and leader. According to the statement; “He was an uncommon statesman, a dependable ally, a devout Muslim, a great military officer, a highly disciplined gentleman and a respected mentor of his subordinate officers,” the message added. NSFG then prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest and the immediate family of the late former sole administrator of the Ahmadu Bello University, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Mark in a statement described the death of Kotangora as shocking, describing the late retired general as a fine officer and complete

gentleman. Mark said: “I received with shock and deep sorrow the news of the death of General Kotangora. I feel so sad about this. I never knew he was even sick. He was a brilliant officer and a distinguished administrator. “I recall the revolution he brought to bear in the construction of road networks across Nigeria as the then minister of works and housing. “He was an honest man and a disciplinarian, who never compromised on standards. He was a goal-getter.” In addition, Mark said Kotangora was a true nationalist and a patriot who stood to be counted when it mattered. He also described the late general as reliable and dependable, saying he was one officer who never pretended about his position on national issues no matter how hard and sensitive such issue may be.

Lagos-bound train crushes man in Minna PRISCILLA DENNIS L-R: Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko and others during an onthe-spot assessment of the ongoing construction works at the Sokoto State University Complex, yesterday.

Group flays call to extend emergency rule to Plateau Afuwa failed to appreciate. To consolidate on the prevailing peace and foster good and harmonious relationship with the various people residing in the state, the association said Governor Jonah Jang has appointed a South-South indigene as one of the senior special assistants in his cabinet. SSIA said there are other senior special advisers that are also appointed from other parts of the country. The body therefore implored Chief Afuwa to always verify facts before

orried by the call by the Iyase of Ogwashiukwu, Delta State, Chief Collins Afuwa that President Goodluck Jonathan should extend the state of emergency to Plateau State, the South-South Indigenes Association, SSIA, in Plateau State has flayed such call, saying it was borne out of ignorance. According to a statement issued by the SSIA in Jos, Plateau State yesterday, its

President-General in the state, Mr. Smart Irabor and the Senior Special Assistant on South-South Matters to Governor Jonah Jang, Mr. Sunny Iyere, the association said Afuwa has no knowledge of the politics of Plateau State and the root causes of the problems that previously existed in the state. The body said Plateau State is presently a united state and a place where indigenes of other states live in peace with one another, adding that peace has since returned to the state which

A ZA MSUE

NIS arrests 900 illegal immigrants

JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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KADUNA

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he Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, yesterday said 900 suspected illegal immigrants had been arrested in Kaduna State in the last five months. Addressing a news conference to repatriate another batch of 35 Nigeriens, Kaduna State Controller of Immigration Service, Abdullahi Yerima, said their staying in Nigeria without documents was a treat to national secu-

rity. Yerima explained that 78 suspects were initially arrested in Kaduna South but after screening, 43 who were found to be Nigerians were released while the remaining 35 have being sent to Niger Republic, their country of origin. The Immigration Service had on Monday arrested and repatriated 103 Chadians and Nigeriens suspected to be illegal immigrants in Ka-

duna. Yerima, however, maintained that the Immigration Service would not tamper with foreigners who have valid documents, especially the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, passports. His words: “In continuation with our raid operations, the Nigeria Immigration Service, Kaduna State command again arrested 78 suspected illegal immi-

making sensitive statements capable of heating up the polity. The SSIA called on President Jonathan to ignore the call, more so that such call was coming from somebody who neither lives in Plateau State nor understand the dynamics of the politics of the state. It will be recalled that one Iyase of Ogwashiukwu, Delta State, Chief Collins Afuwa, recently called on President Goodluck Jonathan to extend the state of emergency in parts of the country to Kano, Kaduna and Plateau States. grants but after screening, 35 are Nigeriens and they will be repatriated this evening. There are allegations that insurgency in the country is being carried out by these illegal immigrants. “Repatriating them now show clearly that the insurgency will be reduced. Only this year, we arrested 900 suspected illegal immigrants. Any of them who return back to Nigeria without documents will be sent to our headquarters for prosecution.”

MINNA

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Lagos bound train from Kano State on Wednesday, crushed to death an unidentified man in Minna, the Niger State capital. But the timely arrival of the police at the Minna railway station prevented the breakdown of law and order after the incident. National Mirror learnt that the incident occurred at about 8.00 pm as the commercial train, fully loaded with passengers and cargo, which departed Kano, killed the man less than 50km to the train station. The death of the man was said to have thrown residents of the area into disarray, but for the quick arrival of the police that calmed the situation. The deceased was said to have been sleeping on the rail track and despite the loud blast from the horn of the fast approaching train, he did not move and was crushed to death instantly. The Lagos bound train is presently stranded at the Minna train station as it was also gathered that the AkereJebba route has been shot to traffic due to a derailment from a cargo train transporting cement to Kaduna and

Kano from Lagos. The Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Minna rail station, Sebastine Ayejime, confirmed the development, noting that as soon as it occurred, men of the police were sent to forestall any problem that may arise, adding that the deceased was crushed to death by the Lagos bound train few metres away from the station. “Later, we succeeded in evacuating his body from the scene of the accident and took it to the general hospital and there, the Medical Director of Minna General Hospital and his team refused to accept his remains. Ayejime continued; “And we know that under the Nigerian Railway Corporation law, anyone that obstructs the free movement of locomotives even if it leads to the death of such individuals will still be liable to prosecution, based on that, we have no reason to detain the train.” As at the time of filing the report, efforts to get comments from the District Manager, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Minna failed as he was said to be out of town on a rescue mission alongside other officials to clear the way for free flow of traffic on the Akere-Jebba route.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Nigerians must not allow military to interfere in govt –Babatope

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

Stifling LG administration through JAC

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14

Don’t blame opposition for your failure, ACN tells Jonathan FELIX NWANERI

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has berated President Goodluck Jonathan for blaming imaginary enemies of his administration for his token achievements in the face of mounting challenges facing the country. The party stated this while reacting to the President’s backlash against the opposition during the presentation of his mid-term performance record on Wednesday at this year’s Democracy Day celebration. ACN, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Nigerians need no ‘marking scheme’ to assess the Jonathan administration or any administration at all, noting that the people know when a government has impacted positively on their lives. The party also reminded the President that it is not the business of the opposition to spoon-feed his administration on how to govern, even as it said it has, time and again, gone out of its way to proffer solutions to the myriad of problems

facing the nation, out of sheer patriotism. The party maintained that the average Nigerian is worse off today than he or she was before the President assumed office. It said: “Mr. President, Nigerians need no marking scheme to know that the rate of unemployment went up, under your watch, to an unprecedented 23.9 per cent by December 2011, according to figures given by the National Bureau of Statistics. Today, the figure must be hovering above the 50 per cent mark! “Mr. President, Nigerians need no marking scheme to know that under your watch, security of lives and property, as well as the welfare of the citizens - the raison d’etre of any government - are at the lowest ebb. “Mr. President, what marking scheme does one need to know that despite the seemingly impressive economic figures being reeled out by your administration, the average Nigerian is worse off today than he or she was before you assumed office? What we are seeing is growth without development. The so-called 6.5 per cent eco-

Lafiagi challenges Nigerians on new constitution As long as we do not change

SINA FADARE

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ormer governor of Kwara State, Senator Shaaba Lafiagi, has expressed fears that the ongoing constitution amendment may not achieve the desired success if Nigerians are not sincere with the process. Lafiagi, who is representing Kwara North in the Senate, in an interview with National Mirror, said: “Whether we write a new constitution or we amend the new one, the truth of the matter is that it is not the constitution that is faulty, it is the operator that is not sincere and did not keep faith with the reality.

our attitude to the situation on ground, even if you amend the constitution or you write a new one, it will not solve our problem.” The former governor argued that for the constitution to serve the purpose it was designed, all the stakeholders should be ready to play the ball according to the rule. “The fact is that the leaders should lead very well and the followership should be sincere to tell the leaders what is wrong, agree with them when it is necessary and avoid politicising everything. Only then can we really run this country very well, not about the constitution.”

nomic growth announced by your Finance Minister is meaningful only on paper. How does that help the thousands of university graduates who are scrambling to work as truck drivers? How does it make Lagos-Ibadan expressway or the East-West road safer for Nigerians? “Mr. President, what has been the impact for Nigerians of the high foreign reserves figure and the stable exchange rates for the naira reeled out

by your Finance Minister? Is it not a cruel irony that as Mr. President was luxuriating in phantom economic indices on the second anniversary of his administration, Nigerians across the land could not even watch him on television because the power situation has been exceptionally poor in recent times?” The party reminded the President it is not only the opposition and the media that are scoring his ad-

ministration low, as the Washington-based global advocacy and campaigning organisation, ONE, recently listed Nigeria and DR Congo among “laggard countries” pulling Africa back from reaching the MDG goals by 2015. It urged the President to shut his ears to praisesingers. “Mr. President, it is never too late for you to put your shoulder to the wheel, shun the political jobbers around you, reinvigorate your cabi-

net by chasing away the deadwood there - though some of them come highly recommended on paper and giving Nigerians a more purposeful governance. “When that happens, Mr. President, you will not need to waste valuable time on lecturing your much-sapped compatriots on how to assess your administration, and you would have succeeded in rending those seemingly implacable critics of yours in the media and the opposition jobless,” ACN said.

Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Al-Makura inaugurating Assakio-Adogi Rural Electrification Project as part of activities marking his two years in office on Wednesday. PHOTO: NAN

NGF crisis dangerous to democracy –Sagay, Ali WALE IGBINTADE AND KENNY ODUNUKAN

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eactions have continued to trail the crisis over last week’s election of the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) with eminent lawyers including Prof. Itse Sagay and Yusuf Ali warning that the development portends grave danger to the country’s polity. Sagay (SAN), former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, particularly described the governors who claimed that no election was held as anti-democratic and lacking credibility. Reacting to the rejection of the re-election of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as the chairman of the forum by a faction led by Governor Jonah Jang of

Plateau State, Sagay said: “We all saw the counting of votes. It was very clear that Amaechi won and Jang lost. Governors who are saying election was not held are fraudulent people. These people are trying to play on our intelligence as if we are goats and idiots. At least they should admit that Amaechi won but that they still refused to accept him as their chairman. It is ridiculous for Jang to ask Amaechi to support him.” He further said: “If people of the level of governors are so anti-democratic and totally lacked respect for the rule of law, that they will not accept a simple election involving just 35 people and in which somebody was declared a winner and the whole world knows, it shows you that

they themselves have been fraudulently elected into the office in the first place. “These are people who are totally ignorant, bereft of credibility of anything that is straight forward and honest. The implications is that they are not used to free and fair elections and it is a frightening development for this country because we are now faced with a group of people in power who are hostile to democracy and the rule of law. It is very dangerous to our polity.” Ali, on his part said: “It is so sad that 35 people considered to be our political leaders could not conduct a free and fair election among themselves. I can’t imagine that these governors could not administer a credible election within a small forum. As far as am concerned,

it is a sad commentary on our political leadership. We all know that popularity and campaigns do not translate into vote when it comes to electoral issues, so why the unnecessary noise. This is very shameful incident to our democratic culture.” Also reacting, the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu said: “What does anybody need to say about it? For me the situation speaks for itself, they have held an election and the result was announced. Anybody can declare himself as winner but the facts speak for themselves. Because, there was an election and a winner was declared. So, any other thing that happened after that was manufactured. I do not think it is important.”


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Politics

How would you assess Nigeria’s uninterrupted civilian administration in the last 14 years? We are trying our best, even though there are problems. But the greatest problem we face now is insecurity and I am very hopeful that President Goodluck Jonathan will continue with his determination to end the security challenge in the country. And once we put the insecurity behind us, I think our democracy is performing and he is doing well. I admitted that we have problems and these problems are going to be resolved because no nation has ever existed without problems and if nations like America, Britain, France, Germany and Spain have problems and they have solutions to the problem, then we should be hopeful too that no matter what problem we have we are going to surmount it. Nigerians seem to have different views about Jonathan’s administration in the last two years, how would you assess his administration? He has done very well. Nigeria is a politically volatile state and anybody who wants to rule Nigeria must rule with caution, care and maturity. And that I believe Jonathan has done and I have no doubt in my mind in praising him for that. Except that, those who are critics should also be careful of the fact that Nigerian people are not people that anybody can just come and lord it over without giving them concrete programmes of existence. I think Jonathan is doing very well and critics should kindly give him a chance. They must continue with their criticism no doubt, because that is what makes a healthy democracy but they must give the country and the President the chance to succeed.

Babatope

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigerians must not allow military to interfere in govt –Babatope Former Minister of Transport and member, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, in this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, speaks on the two years of Goodluck Jonathan administration and the state of the nation. Excerpts: How do you see democratic rule in Nigeria in the last two years? Well, democratic rule in Nigeria is going on like I said. We are moving ahead; we have problems and we must be more determined to solve them. For example, people are creating fears in the mind of people about 2015, but 2015 will come and go and Nigeria will remain, because it is in our best interest for Nigeria to remain as one cohesive nation, because if we don’t do so, then we are going to be causing disaster. It is going to be dangerous for our country to break up and I know by the grace of God we will not break up. So, those creating fear in the mind of people should remove them and should just face the fact that it is God that gives humanity the power to triumph over setbacks and only God knows the event of tomorrow. And if we are cautious of the fact that it is only God that knows the event of tomorrow, then we must know that the future of our country will be great if we surrender ourselves to the Supreme will of God Almighty. How do you see affairs of some state governors in the last two years? I wish the state governors best of luck. Their own fate is also tied to the President and I don’t see any state governor that will want to destroy his own state and I don’t see any state governor that has not been trying. If there are problems, we are going to solve them. We have in mind Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the Presidency problem. I believe that the problem would be solved.If you look at the speeches and statements of Amaechi and the Presidency, you will find out that they are not ruling out the possibility of reconciliation and that is what Chief Tony Anenih, the chairman of the PDP BoT has been going all over the country for. We are going to have reconciliation. The governors are not the ones that want to destroy the country and I want to appeal to Nigerians that no matter what happens, we must never permit anti-constitutional institutions to come to power. We must never allow a

coup because if we allow a coup, then our country would be permanently destroyed; the unity of the country will be permanently destroyed and the cohesion of the country would be permanently destroyed. That we must avoid. We must also have at the back of our mind that the military must give democracy a chance. I can assure you that the governors are doing their best and everybody is doing his best but we can still perform better knowing fully well that it is the people and people alone that are the prime and motive force behind history. How do you see the crises within the political parties? These are the essential natures of democracy. You cannot rule out crisis and problem from political organisations. I believe very much that the political parties from their crises and problems will be able to ensure the emergence of political organisations that will assist the country in cementing democracy in the country. You have actively participated in Nigerian politics since the Second Republic till date. Are there any similarities and differences between today’s politics and yesteryears politics? That is why I am appealing to present day politicians to ensure that Nigeria’s democracy succeeds. In the First and Second Republics, despite all the problems, we had the unique opportunities of having leaders who were experienced enough to channel progressive cause for their political parties. No matter what anybody may say, Papa Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Alhaji Aminu Kano, Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim were leaders with foresight and vision and they pursued their political goals with courage, vision and with the fact that Nigeria must remain one. So, all the political parties under these leaders copied from the brilliant stand point of the leaders and so they were able to handle all problems until we had the problems of election rigging in 1983, which allowed the military to come in to stage a coup. But now we have put election rigging behind us because, say what you like,

Jonathan and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are doing well. I am not saying that they have performed miracles but they are doing well because any regime that succeeds in ensuring that the votes of the people count, is a regime that has succeeded and going by all the by-elections that we have held in Nigeria, where INEC has performed very well and given the fact that President Jonathan says that he will forever support the freedom of Nigerians to elect who will be their ruler, I believe that we are doing well and I believe that the present day politicians should copy what happened in the past. I know that with time we are going to have leaders who will emerge from the system and who will give vintage advice to politicians like Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Waziri. So, we should have no fear, because I believe that in our strength lies the fact that we cannot disintegrate into political fiefdoms. If we do it, then we will destroy not only the country but we will destroy ourselves. How do you see the insecurity problems in the country? The situation is very frightening, I must confess. There was a great philosopher, Heraclitus, who said that society must be in permanent state of conflict and that is why no matter how advanced democracy is in America, Britain, France, Germany, Spain and all the rest of them, you still find crisis within their system. The security problem in Nigeria is frightening. The Boko Haram insurgency is frightening; people losing their lives daily definitely created a very dangerous and a tragic moment for Nigerians. But these are challenges for us to be able to sit down and say no more to these carnage and dastardly crimes. And we must focus our efforts in ensuring that we have the best for our country. Boko Haram represents a major menace for the country and I am appealing to Boko Haram; come forward, be identified, let us have dialogue to solve the problem on ground. What do you think is the way forward? The way forward is for us to remain as Nigerians; to remain focused for politicians to know that they are serving the people; for politicians to know that people and people alone are the motive and prime force behind history; to solve the problem of ecology in Nigeria; to solve the problem of poverty and hunger in Nigeria and to ensure that the military does not interfere in the affairs of Nigeria. Rumours are going all over the place, but I want to appeal to everybody to know that this country belongs to all of us and therefore, we must eschew all avenues of creating instability in the country, so that Nigeria can succeed.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, May 31, 2013

15

Stifling LG administration through JAC a lack of sufficient technical expertise and ignorance of the budgeting process. With a few notable exceptions, local governments have largely experienced and still experience a shortfall of skilled, technical and professional staff across various sectors. A good part of this problem can be attributable to the low profile they have in the radar of good professionals. Often they can only afford to attract mediocre staff. Too often public funds meant for developmental purposes are embezzled and cannot be accounted for.

Local government administration was created to bring governance nearer to the grassroots by providing those services that will impact positively on the local communities. Unfortunately, activities of this third tier of government have been stymied by the overbearing action of state governors, writes OKAY OSUJI.

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resently, Nigeria has 774 local government areas. Each local government area is administered by a Local Government Council consisting of a chairman who is the Chief Executive Officer, and other elected members referred to as councillors. Though local governments constitute the third tier of government as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, they have largely operated as appendages of the state governments; some of them are governed by the caretaker committees appointed by the state governors. According to stakeholders in grassroots politics, especially local government executives, apart from the fact that the governors interfere in the running of local councils, the State/Local Government Joint Accounts has resulted in local governments being starved of funds meant for developmental projects. Joint Account The State and Local Government Joint Account (JAC) has continued to be the albatross militating against the effective performance of local governments. The allegation of the abuse of this account has become a source of concern to Nigerians. Incidentally, Local governments provide opportunities for greater democratic participation both in government and the locality. But the presence of state governments has preposterously circumscribed the potentials of this third tier of government. But as ironical as it is, the very constitution that created the local governments and serves as their bulwark by virtue of section 7 sub sections 1, has unfortunately put them at the mercy and tyranny of the states. State governors willfully use that portion as an excuse to squander the local government’s meager finances and trample on any chairman that dares to this challenge this misnomer. There have been allegations that local government and state joint account has been abused by some state chief executives. Most people at the grassroots are not aware that their local councils have been denied the authority to manage revenues due to their local communities as the operation of the monthly allocations are done secretly and under excessive control of state governors. The JAC has been defined under Section 162 (6) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as that account “into which shall be paid allocation of the local government councils of the state from the Federation Account and from the government of the States.” The Federation Account

L-R: Obi and Ekwunife

has been the focal pool from which the three tiers of government derive their monthly allocation which is expected to be utilised in addressing socio-economic development of their localities. The overreliance and overdependence on the Federation Account exposes the financial weaknesses of many states. Yet most still corner rightful allocation to their local government councils. By this they frustrate the administration and mandates of LGs as enshrined in the Constitution. Over the years, the local government administration has been faced with series of developmental and economic challenges where different policies have rendered the councils incapacitated to discharge their constitutional mandates. This has been traced to the unjust treatment and annexation of their revenues by their governors. According to Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engineer Elias Mbam, “the local government joint accounts should be abolished because some state chief executives have decided to be smarter than the Constitution. The local governments are beneficiaries of the Federation Account, and they should be entitled to their allocation directly, as there is no need to pass their share through the state governments”. People no longer blame the council chairmen because they know they no longer control their allocations rather the state governors do. Because of the desire to control the funds, state governors prefer to run council’s with caretaker or transition committees who they appoint. Non conduct of elections Local government administrations have become the most constitutionally abused matter in Nigeria since the 1999 Constitution became operational. Only a handful of states hold local government elections. Others carry on as if it is legal to run local governments without the Constitution that created them. Factors against the effectiveness of local governments

OVER THE YEARS, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS LACKED THE CAPACITY TO PERFORM THEIR

STATUTORY DUTIES.

EFFORTS ARE ON TO REVERSE THIS TREND, ESPECIALLY IN THE AREAS OF FUNDING Despite the justification for the establishment of local government and its inevitable importance at the grassroots level, this tier of government seems not to have justified the reasons for which it was established. The questions that come to mind are: why has local government not lived up to its expectations? What are the causes of these seemingly conspicuous weaknesses? What are their challenges? And how can these weaknesses be corrected and the challenges met? The problems of local government include: Despite the increase in the total amount of funds available to local government, its economic and financial profile is still very poor, relative to the development programme it is expected to carry out. More importantly local governments depend too heavily on sources of income beyond its control and have low internal revenue generating capacity. The local governments also suffer from

A way out To address this, three bills seeking local governments autonomy, sponsored by two members of the House of Representatives and a senator have passed second reading, and have been referred to the National Assembly ad-hoc committees on constitutional review. One of the bills, entitled: an Act to amend Section 7,162, of the 1999 Constitution and provision of political and financial independence for local government administration in the country was sponsored by Uche Ekwunife. Another bill was sponsored by Mohammed Shamsidin Ango Abdulahi, and it seeks to amend Section 7, 313 and Sections 162 among others in the 1999 Constitution (amended) and gives political and economic independence to the 774 local councils across the country. It was entitled: ‘a bill for an Act to Alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to ensure effective and efficient operations of the local government councils in Nigeria for social, economic and political development and for other matters connected.” The third bill was sponsored by Senator Nurudeen Abatemi Usman. The bills basically aim at correcting the ambiguity in certain sections of the Constitution, and clearly establishing that local government chairmen are the chief executive officers of their councils. The bills also proposed four-year tenure for local government chairmen, stating, “The chairman shall vacate office at the expiration of a period of four years commencing from the date.” Though the argument for and against granting autonomy to local governments have continued, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have at different times pledged their support for the autonomy. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, had said that local councils deserved autonomy from other tiers of government to make them more effective. Tambuwal said, “Over the years, local governments lacked the capacity to perform their statutory duties. Efforts are on to reverse this trend, especially in the areas of funding.” However, the most contentious of all the objectives of the proposed amendment is the planned alteration of Section 162 (6) of the Constitution by deleting the existing provisions which state that “Each state shall maintain a special account to be called state and local government councils’ joint account.”


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Editorial

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR „ PUBLISHER

STEVE AYORINDE

„

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

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ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

„

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

„

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

„

SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

„

CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

„

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

„

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

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FG, UK, US on oil theft

overnments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America have expressed their readiness to help Nigeria curb the menace of oil theft, according to a report credited to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke while in England recently. Protracted oil theft has indeed become one of the major problems that appear to have overwhelmed the Federal Government. Recent official figures indicate that the country loses $6 billion (over a trillion naira) annually to oil thieves; and additional hundreds of billions of naira to the theft of refined petroleum products. Just last month, Nigeria’s oil behemoth, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the country lost roughly N191 billion ($1.23 billion) to oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the first quarter of this year. The NNPC said daily crude oil production during the period fluctuated between 2.1 million and 2.3 million barrels per day compared with the projected estimate of 2.48mbpd. One report revealed that an estimated 60,000 barrels per day of crude oil is stolen at the Nembe Creek in Rivers State

alone, for example. Consequently, we think the gesture of the UK and the US to assist the country in tackling the age-long menace is a welcome development. The collaboration might be rewarding in terms of the acquisition of technology that can make the tracking of oil thieves in Nigeria easier, since the country probably cannot seek out the required gadgets on its own. Ordinarily, it would have been more rewarding for the country to acquire such a technology without having to depend on the assistance of the UK and the US for obvious reasons. It may only be hoped that the assistance does not don the toga of a Greek gift, considering the strategic interests of the two countries in the crude oil reserves in the Gulf of Guinea. In fact, the Petroleum Minister’s remark in England seems a pointer to the fact that transnational oil cartels collude in hijacking Nigeria’s oil economy. Unfortunately, the FG has recorded abysmal failure in being in full control of the country’s oil-dependent economy; as well as in sufficiently addressing the cancerous oil theft sore. Beyond the UK-US intervention plan, for instance, we recall that the Managing Director of

THE ONGOING LARGE SCALE STEALING OF CRUDE OIL,

ESPECIALLY, POSES A HUGE THREAT TO

NIGERIA’S ‘RENTIER’ ECONOMY Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, most recently advised the President Goodluck Jonathan government to move against what he called the “principalities and powers in high places”, who are the sponsors of crude oil theft. He said though there would be no problem discussing with foreign countries suspected to be custodians of oil theft proceeds, the problem could easily be solved if the sponsors were caught and dealt with. “The truth is that the small criminals in the creeks of Niger Delta bursting pipelines and stealing crude oil are not working for themselves. Like the drug cartels around the world, they are being sponsored by big principalities and powers in high places, which the government should go against if the fight against crude oil theft

ON THIS DAY

is to be won”, Sunmonu stated at a public function not long ago. He likewise advised that efforts be made by all stakeholders to tackle the problem of poverty among the people, stressing that doing so would help in taking care of the problem, as the perpetrators would not have any reason to allow themselves to be used to steal the country’s major income earner. It would seem, therefore, that despite the tough talks by officials about containing oil thieves, the political leadership is feverishly compromised and may be complicit in the theft of the country’s crude. Yet, the ongoing large scale stealing of crude oil, especially, poses a huge threat to Nigeria’s ‘rentier’ economy and endangers national security, all of which are undermining the nation’s fledgling democracy. Therefore, the FG should muster the political will to frontally confront the chronic threat by fishing out and punishing the eminent Nigerians suspected to be behind the monstrous theft, on the one hand, as well as rehabilitating their foot soldiers – teeming, scarcely protected, unemployed and hungry youths - whose services keep the crime alive and thriving, on the other.

May 31, 2010

May 31, 1961

May 31, 1929

In international waters, armed ‘Shayetet’ 13 commandos intending to force the flotilla to anchor at the Ashdod port, boarded ships trying to break the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, resulting in the death of nine people. In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election, triggering the 2006-2007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority

TheUnionof SouthAfricabecametheRepublicof SouthAfrica. The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the presentdayRepublicof SouthAfrica.ItcameintobeingonMay31,1910with the unification of four previously separate British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony. Following World War I, the Union of South Africa was granted the administrationof theGermanSouth-WestAfricacolony.

The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, “The Karnival Kid”, was released. Mickey Mouse is a funny animal cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studios. Mickey is an anthropomorphic mouse who President Jonathan typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves. As the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company, Mickey is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world.

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North’s long wait for another Sardauna RIDHWANULLAH ABDULLAH

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he state of emergency recently declared in the three North Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, following the unrelenting insurgency of the dreaded Boko Haram, is a manifestation of the open confession by General TY Danjuma earlier this year that the North is in the middle of a civil war. When the former army chief raised the concern, it did not come to many of the watchers of Northern Nigeria politics as a surprise. This is because the preindependence and the immediate post independence Northern Nigeria, which witnessed the late Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as the region’s leading political light, was stifled by the events of January 15th, 1966. What remained since then had been the broken shells of a once monolithic, cohesive edifice whose inheritors are now unable to concretely patch together. So, since then the North has been awaiting a reincarnation of the Gamji, Sir Ahmadu Bello, one of the casualties of the 1966 putsch. The region has witnessed many sacrileges committed under the cover of primordial considerations alien to the North of the Gamjis and the Balewas. From the neglect of education to non-appreciation of positive development programmes, Arewaland has seen it all. Now, it is harvesting these sacrileges that are blood chilling, confounding and distracting.

There was Maitatsine; now, there is Boko Haram, the birth of which a worthy personality like the Sultan of Sokoto, His eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111, linked to negligence by the northern ruling political class. Between the Sultan’s confession and the horrendous attacks being witnessed in the region, and the eventual declaration of a state of emergence, is a thin veil of the tragedy of leadership value decline. This sad development needs the reincarnation of another Sir Ahmadu Bello to redeem. Nigerian political pundits flimsily categorize regional talent endowment (with its advantages) in the country into political, commercial and educational. In this schema, the Yoruba are said to be the custodian of education and public service, Igbo in charge of commerce, while the Hausa/ Fulani are in custody of political power. This has largely been substantiated by the political history of Nigeria since independence in 1960. Unfortunately the tradeoffs arising from this categorization have not been converted to national development gains. The North suffers the most. The other segments are also accomplices in the desolation of the nation. Now each of the tripodal legs on which Nigeria stands is weak and wobbling waiting for other solid trees to replace them. The Gamji was the tree on which the North stood in the 1st Republic; Awo the Iroko that revolutionized the West; while Zik of Africa and the Owelle of Onitsha the Araba that provided shade in the East. Since these three mighty trees fell in the large compound called Nigeria, their leaves have been withering, their fruits

THE SARDAUNA WAS NOT CELEBRATED

FOR HIS WEALTH, BUT FOR HIS WORTH AND HIS WORK AS THE ARCHITECT OF MODERN

NORTHERN NIGERIA

drying, and their taproots rotting. Now we wait for the rising of new Gamjis, Irokos and Arabas. Today, I will speak more on the Gamji and its dried fruits. With the elimination of Sarduana and Tafawa Balewa, the North lost its soul. Even though most Nigerian leaders have been produced by the North, none has a large enough shoulder to bear the burden of trust he bears. Now many of Ahmadu Bello’s heirs only romanticize about him, but lack his charisma. Many adore his frugality, but they jettison his simplicity and piety. Many love his politics, but they don’t anchor theirs on his political philosophy of accommodation. Ask how many houses did Sardauna of Sokoto build in Raba or Wurno or Sokoto or Kaduna, where he was shot in the presence of his family members. Ask how fat was his bank account or how rich was his wardrobe. The Sardauna was not celebrated for his wealth, but for his worth and his work as the architect of modern Northern Nigeria. He inspired the establishment of

GAMJI Bank, Northern Nigeria Development Corporation, New Nigerian Newspapers. He worked for the North as an unforgettable icon, because in the politics of the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, he tried to weld the region into one. Under him, the motto was ‘One North, One destiny’. But he also wanted a handshake across the Niger even though it was misconstrued as a subtle ploy of northernization. One of his chosen aides was an Okun man from Kabba, in the present day Kogi State, Chief Sunday Awoniyi. He was personally responsible for discovering some of the future leaders of the North, mentoring and fixing them where their potentials would be developed to the maximum. Many were northerners that the Sardauna personally drafted into the military, police and public service, from Barewa College. Although he had an aristocratic background, he did not despise the lower class, nor did he promote tribal chauvinism within the region. His influence was so strong that most major northern landmarks are dedicated to his memory, beginning with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. If this is the esteem with which the Sardauna is held, it is regrettable that not many candidates have emerged to continue in his name. In the South Western Nigeria too, there is insinuation that there cannot be another Awo just as the East are romanticizing on the life of Zik of Africa and the struggles of Ikemba Nnewi. Abdullah, rabdullah@gmail.com, wrote from Malumfashi, Katsina State

Ndoma-Egba’s kind gesture MICHAEL JEGEDE

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ude Okwe, a hard-working journalist covering Cross River State for ThisDay newspaper is reported to be suffering from a life threatening heart-related ailment. It has been widely reported that this Calabar-based reporter is in urgent need of over N8 million for an operation in India that will keep him alive. Reports have it that after a series of futile effort in hospitals in Calabar, Okwe with the backing of the Cross River State government, was flown to Abuja and admitted into the Primus Inter Specialty Hospital, Karu, Abuja, for almost a month before he was discharged. Series of tests at Echo-Scan Heart Centre and Heartland Cardiovascular Consultants in Abuja were said to have revealed that the journalist has enlarged heart. Medical reports from Heartland signed by the Medical Director, Dr. Onye Achilihu indicated that, “Mr. Okwe has severe heart failure due to cardiomyopathy. He will urgently need proper treatment, which will include optimal medical therapy, cardiac catheterization, and angiogram to exclude a reversible cause. In addition, he will need internal defibrillator to prevent sudden cardiac death.” Okwe, who is said to be currently lying helpless at his 8, Edem Oyom Street, off Mbukpa Road residence with a failing

THE DOCTOR SAID MY HEART HAS ENLARGED TWICE THE SIZE OF A NORMAL HEART AND FOR IT TO NORMALISE

AGAIN, I NEED HEART TRANSPLANT

heart and swollen legs, recently cried out: “The heart problem is still there, but it has been brought under control. But the doctor said I have an enlarged heart and I need N8 million for heart transplant in India. If the money can be raised quickly, it would be better because the doctor said too much delay might lead to sudden death. The doctor said my heart has enlarged twice the size of a normal heart and for it to normalise again, I need heart transplant. My heart has become flat and the blood circulation is very poor.” Continuing, he added: “Government should assist me because I don’t have N8 million. Where will I get such money? I am appealing to members of the public, churches, philanthropists to help me out of this condition because I still have enough to offer journalism and the society. This sickness is weighing me down and I am really missing journalism. Each time I miss news, I don’t feel happy. It’s affecting my

family already. I have four children in the university and for a man who is down, it is not easy. I am just appealing to the public and the government for help. I know Governor Liyel Imoke has tried, but I urge him to do more. My brother, who is a teacher, has done the little he could within the limit of his resources. My younger ones are not financially strong. Please, I need help.” Perhaps, it was this cry of the dying newsman that fell into the ears of the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), who recently made a donation of N1.5 million as his own contribution to saving the life of the man, who believes very strongly that he still has a lot to offer in the pen profession. Ndoma-Egba, a three-term senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District and lawyer turned politician is known as a man with high philanthropic spirit, who has made significant impact in the service to humanity and contributed greatly to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria. While making the donation in Calabar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator pointed out that he was moved by the worsening health condition of the writer. Represented by his Special Assistant on Media, Sam Arikpo, the Senate Leader appealed to other well-meaning citizens to come to the aid of the journalist so that his life can be saved. Ndoma-Egba’s kind gesture towards Okwe has been commended by many Nigerians, who noted that it was quite be-

nevolent of him to have deemed it fit to make the said donation. They therefore, called on other well-to-do Nigerians to follow suit. Among those that celebrated this gesture is Dr. Ijeoma Duru, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gender Care Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation. In a piece authored by Mr. Emeka Alex Duru, Group Features Editor of Daily Independent, titled, “Ndoma-Egba: A senator’s lifeline to ailing journalist”, she was quoted to have said: “Ndoma-Egba has taken the lead. That is a good one…other endowed Nigerians should follow suit. The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Cross River State Council, Ndoma Akpet, while applauding Senator Ndoma-Egba for his act of magnanimity, equally urged other philanthropists, organisations and Okwe professional colleagues to support this life saving mission. According to him, the Union cannot afford to allow Okwe go the way of all flesh as his service is still much needed. Jegede, a journalist and public affairs commentator, wrote from Abuja Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Afenifere’s strange bedfellows

I Re: Struggling fathers, absent mothers

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r. Abdul-Warees Solanke’s piece on page 15 of National Mirror of Monday May 13, 2013 titled, Struggling fathers, absent mothers, was a heartwarming lamentation. The question arising from the soul searching piece is: Of what use are our voices, cries and anguish when there is an exuberant and forceful promotion and defence of nudity, indecency and immorality by the music, fashion and movie industries, the media and a section of the church in the name of modernity? Where and how can we strike a balance and draw the battle line? Pastor Sam Garba

My advice for Fashola

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y advice for Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State is he should leave the ACN before 2015. Ask me why BRF? If you don’t, you will remain perpetually under the shadow of that boss of yours. After eight years in office, where you are supposed to be a power broker in the state, his shadow will loom so large over you that you will remain his political errand worker, and you will have a lot of shock waves and brushes with him. The situation will be so bad you will part ways in a very shameful manner. Currently as an incumbent governor, you will not have privileges to anoint, impose, push and install a candidate of your choice, whom you feel can carry on with your style of leadership, as your ‘Oga at the top’ will keenly contest that with you. Methinks your type should join PDP to reform the party and deliver Lagos to them, through which you can remain a power block of your own outside your ‘oga at the top’. I guarantee you this is the only way to break the hegemony of your ‘oga at the top’ and remain relevant. Give them back their BROOM as it will not shelter you in the turbulent time to come, I think an UMBERELLA will do you some good, not even the ASSOCIATION POLITICAL CROOKS (APC). The PDP might be a more benevolent devil we know. Take this advice on time and remain relevant politically.

Felix O. Joseph, Town, Lagos

Satellite

was alarmed but later bemused when I read about Afenifere’s recent press conference in the media. Seated with the apex pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group’s chieftains were Senator Iyiola Omisore and Mr Yinka Odumakin. Mr Odumakin is the vocal spokesperson of a splinter group from Afenifere, called Afenifere Renewal Group. What then has happened to honour? The Yoruba group has remained the rallying point for the progressives in the South West region of Nigeria. Since 1999 when the current democratic dispensation took its root, things took a new dimension with the real disciples of Chief Obafemi Awolowo realigning to pursue Awo’s vision in governance. It was during this process that Senator Omisore came to the fold, he later became the deputy governor of Osun State under the Alliance for Democracy. It did not take the chieftains of Afenifere too long to know that Omisore did not belong to the fold. Things began to fall apart in the party and this took its toll on the then Osun State Government. Omisore was impeached, left the AD to pitch his tent with the PDP. The rest is history. Afenifere itself has since gone unpatched with the various leaders

joining different political parties. It is curious therefore, to see Omisore nesting comfortably with Afenifere again. I wish to ask if the once vibrant Yoruba group has become Afenifere-PDP. Let them tell us so that we can know where they stand; what they are up to and what scheme they may be plotting. It is generally known that

Omisore has his eyes on Osun State governorship, come 2015. Omisore had surreptitiously crept into the rank of Afenifere again the way he did in 1999. One wonders why the group allowed its ranks to be broken and laid vulnerable to another likely era of political terrorism. We know that the group has suffered very serious infiltration

An overloaded train at Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday.

from the opposition, which has led to its being factionalised. It is nevertheless suicidal for these factions to allow further balkanization by allowing the likes of Senator Omisore into its fold. This romance obviously is like a political cancer that should not be allowed to fester. Kunle Omideyi, Surulere, Lagos

PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

On emergency rule in three states

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he declaration of a state of emergency in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe by President Goodluck Jonathan is consistent with Section 305 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The political act remains apt; it is monumentally correct and long overdue. We sue for the beefing up of security in all the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja, and our borders with neighbouring countries. To strengthen the

Letters to the Editor

current security template, sole administrators should be appointed for the three states, meaning that their executive and legisla-

tive structures should be suspended. Alexander Pope posited that “let the ends of things disjoin, it is the whole world that suffers”.

Enough is enough of Boko Haramism. Chief, Bobson Gbinije, Warri, Delta State

Imo youths and Pope Francis’ order

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he Pope as the father of all Roman Catholic Church across the globe has the final say over the choice of bishops. I wish to remind my co laity faithful in Mbaise, Imo State that the Catholic Church was not built around one person. Nobody under the Church therefore, has the right to

question the authority of the Holy Father as the representative of Jesus Christ on earth. What I expected the priests in Ahiara Diocese to do is to join hands with the Bishopelect in prayer for the upliftment of the diocese. A bishop is not a political appointee. All of us saw how Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI

resigned when his physical body could no longer carry the weight of his spiritual responsibilities. I am warning the priests in Ahiara Diocese that Christ will ask them question over a single soul lost to this raging imbroglio. Ifeanyi Paul, Akure, Ondo State

Opon Imo yet to be launched

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aving read through the article written by one Ayo Aluko-Olokun in The Punch of Thursday 16th of May, 2013 titled ‘Osun: Why Launch Opon Imo in Lagos?’, I came to the conclusion that the writer did not have the slightest clue of what `Opon Imo’ is all about. At the end of the write-up, I got more disappointed when I discovered that the writer is a journalist and a public affairs analyst. By his write-up, he has only succeeded in misinforming the public about the computer learning tablet called `Opon Imo’. Mr Aluko Olokun and others like him should know that `Opon Imo’ has never been launched anywhere under the sun, not in Lagos and not even in Osogbo. What has been held so far was the series of press briefings, including the one in Lagos, on the conception and progress on the project. There was a pilot study last year when the device was given to a few students in Osogbo for test running and collected back after a few weeks. `Opon Imo’ will be formally launched on June 3, 2013 at Ilesa. `Opon Imo’ is the best thing that could happen to any student anywhere in the world. The writer needs to be tutored on the advantages this learning tablet has over physical textbooks. Which textbook in the world can ever have up to 63 subjects in it? For you to gather the fact about this bundle of knowledge initiated by the government of Osun State, you need to get up from your armchair in Lagos and come down to Osun to see for yourself. Development is visible in Osun. Even the blind can feel and smell the aura of development going on in the state every day. You cannot sit in Lagos and be passing judgement on the government of Osun. You also need to know that this precious gem in the hands of these students is equipped with solar chargers and does not rely only on electricity to function. It contains a lot more than textbooks. It is compact; the students cannot visit any other site on it apart from the purpose for which it was made for. It is loaded with all the learning aid that will guide the students through the senior secondary school level. I also wish to correct your claim that there are demonstrations and strikes everywhere. The Osun State government is a responsive one that does not joke with the well being of the citizens and its workforce. The lecturers that are on strike have already called it off. Other workers in the state are at work and are doing well. The write up was characterized by biases and condemnation throughout. What it means is that Mr. Aluko-Olokun has made up his mind not to ever acknowledge the good work the present administration is doing in the state. He appears confused about what the present administration has achieved within the shortest period it took over from the tyrannical previous administration. Mrs Titi Ajayi, Ilesa, Osun State

Send your letters or or mails mailsto toPMB PMB10001, 10001,Ikoyi, Ikoyi,ororour ourEmail: Email:mirrorlagos@yahoo.com mirrorlagos@yahoo.com and info@nationalmirroronline.netor or 08056180209, 07033375481 and info@nationalmirroronline.net 08054103275, 07033375481 (SMS (SMS only).Editor The Editor reserves thetoright edit and letters reject letters or photographs. Psuedonyms may be but used, butbe must be clearly marked as such. only). The reserves the right edit to and reject or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, must clearly marked as such.


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FRIDAY

Flavour

May 31, 2013

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ednesday, May 29 marked the fifth anniversary of the passing of music impresario and art aficionado, Steve Bankole Omodele Rhodes and the Steve Rhodes Foundation has inaugurated a committee to set up a series of programme towards the sixth anniversary of the exit of the man widely regarded as a colossus of the performance art in Nigeria and Africa. However, daughter of the late music legend, Gloria Rhodes revealed that the family kept the 5th anniversary remembrance low key. “This year marks the fifth year of the passing of our father. The family spent Wednesday quietly remembering him and drawing strength from the legacy he has left behind. Next year, there will be events to mark his passing that will include a symposium, workshop and concert”. The committee is chaired by Mrs Francesca Emanuel and has as members Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, Ayo Bankole Jnr. Benneth Ogbeiwie, Funke Agbor, Jahman Anikulapo, Jeanette Rhodes and Ada Rhodes. The Executive Director of the Steve Rhodes Foundation, Gloria Rhodes-Nash is Secretary of the Committee. Scheduled for May 27to 29, 2014, the proposed three-day programme would feature a Colloquium, an Interactive Music presentation, an Exhibition of photos, records and memorabilia of the SR Voices, and a Variety Concert that would be headlined by the famous Steve Rhodes Voices and featuring past members of the Voices, many of whom are today leaders in corporate and

Steve Rhodes with the saxes in his orchestra

Rhodes

THE MEMORY OF STEVE RHODES, WHO DIED AGED 82, HAS REMAINED EVERGREEN IN THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO WERE PRIVILEGED TO HAVE ENCOUNTERS WITH HIM high net-worth social circuits of the country. In addition a select number of young musicians in pop genre would feature in the concert as a mark of tribute to Steve Rhodes who was an astute hunter for young talents, many of whom he helped to develop their skills. The Steve Rhodes Voices, one of Nigeria’s longest existing orchestra, came about in the early ‘70s when SR was requested to fill a vacuum at Christ Church Cathedra, Lagos. According to transcripts of an interview granted while the legendary musician was alive, the Provost of the cathedral

had told SR that: “There is a fall in attendance of services by young people, maybe this has something, to do with the church liturgy as it stands at the moment”. The provost had said that in his experience whilst in Britain, he had actually seen what they called at that time Pop Services; where the music was modern and so on. He then asked SR, “well, could you do something like that?”. SR put together a group which consisted of his sisters, his wife, his daughter and three members of the Lawrence family (father, mother and

daughter) which were essentially the founding members. In these past five years, the memory of Steve Rhodes, who died aged 82, has remained evergreen in the minds of family, associates and those who were privileged to have encounters with him in the course of his very creatively active and productive life, which he spent largely in Broadcasting, Music and Art Management. The Steve Rhodes Foundation, which was established at about the first anniversary of SR’s exit, had worked hard in the past years to keep up to its mandate of preserving and promoting the legacy of the founder of the legendary Steve Rhodes Voices. Members of the Foundation are Prof. Johnson Ekpere, Mr. Funmi Onabolu, Monsieur Pascal Ott, Mr. Femi Odugbemi, Mrs. Elsie Payne-Hamman, Ms. Jeannette Rhodes and Gloria Rhodes-Nash.

Critics

ARTS EDITOR

London ARTitude P. 24

ADENRELE NIYI

P. 36

Steve Rhodes: Foundation to commemorate 6th year remembrance

P. 22-23

12 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZ TO START YOUR WEEKEND

Escape

VOL. 2 No. 633

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WEEKEND STARTERS

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omorrow, Jungle Justice –a courtroom comedy show written and produced by Nigerian actor, Femi Branch, will take place at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island Lagos between 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. The show, directed by William Benson, will feature performances by Funke Akindele, Doris Simeon, Hafiz Oyetoro, Segun Arinze, Femi Brainard, Rykardo Agbor and Mercy Aigbe. Branch

Rockers party with Hennessy, Beat FM tonight

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his evening, party lovers residing in Lagos can look forward to an extremely exciting relay of club parties as Hennessy Beat Bar Crawl, HBBC, returns for another edition. The concept of the event organised by Hennessy and The Beat 99.9FM is very simple; partygoers converge at one club, have a great time with the performers and DJs before migrat-

Afropolitan Vibes at Freedom Park

Jimmy Jatt

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ing in-group to the next club and the next one after that, until arrival at the last club on the list. Tonight’s bar crawl will start from Bravo Lounge to Sailors Lounge and finally climax at The Place, all in Lekki, Phase 1. Starting by 10.00 p.m., special appearances include DJ Jimmy Jatt, DJ Neptune, DJ X-Mix, Sean Tizzle, Orezi, Falz and more.

Bantu Band

he high energy Afro dance artiste, Ade Bantu and his crew will, tonight, hold another edition of his ‘Afropolitan Vibes’ at the Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos. Guest artistes expected to perform include talking drum queen, Ara and reggae dancehall act, General Pype. Time is 7.00 p.m.

Art 21 hosts Nnenna Okore’s Akaraka

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rt 21 is hosting its 2nd exhibition tilted: ‘Akaraka’ by the artist, Nnenna Okore tomorrow with opening reception starting at 6.00 p.m. Okore is a Nigerian artist living and working in the United States of America. The B.A degree holder in Painting, and M.A and M.F.A. degrees in Sculpture, is presently a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Lagos, UNILAG. Her recent exhibitions include: ‘Textura’ at Bekris Gallery, San Francisco, U.S.A. and ‘Flow’ at Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Arty News P. 34-35

Jungle Justice on stage


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Artman In The House

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

I’m celebrating 50 years on stage Veteran actress Lanre Hassan-Adesina, popularly known as Mama Awero, has given 50 years of her life to theatre, film and television and will be celebrating the golden jubilee on Sunday, June 2 at LTV 8 in Lagos. Not only does she do films in Yoruba, she has also crossed over into core Nollywood films shot in the English language. She hosted Friday Flavour’s TERH AGBEDEH to this interview in her office in Mushin area of Lagos. It must be very exciting celebrating 50 years on stage. Please share some of your feelings. We thank God for it. When we are talking of 50 years, a golden jubilee, there are so many colleagues that I have worked with. Some are alive, some are not. So, we have to thank God for what He has done for me. That is why I am celebrating my 50 years on stage, just to thank God. What shape is the celebration going to take? We are going to be at LTV 8 in Lagos and many people are coming to grace the occasion at the Blue Roof. My first lady, the first lady of Lagos State, will be there, the first lady of Ogun State will also be there and so many chiefs and traditional rulers. When you started 50 years ago, it was not the norm for people to go into theatre. Parents, particularly didn’t want their children doing drama. How did you surmount that or was your case different? It was not an easy road, my parents did not allow me to go into theatre but with the help of almighty God and the type of theatre we were doing back then. It was Professor Wole Soyinka who wrote a letter to my guardian. When they saw the letter with his name, they let me continue. How did that come about? They asked for my address at the school of drama that I was attending in Lagos then. I didn’t even know the letter was to be sent there. When the letter came, my daddy called me to let me know it had come from the postmaster. When he read the letter, he told me that so this thing that you are doing is this important. It was Prof. Wole Soyinka who gathered all of us together, including our principal, and we had to tell him that our parents did not permit us to do this. He then said, ‘let me use this opportunity to write to your parents that what you people are doing is a very good job.’ He said this was an opportunity for us so that when we finish the study we could go straight into the university. You were part of the Yoruba travelling theatre, could you please share your experience on that? We call it Alarinjo because we were moving from one town to another; that was how we lived. In those days, we would sing and dance, if you wanted to do anything on stage, then you start with singing. It was more of dance drama and that was what we started with. We took theatre to all the western, northern and eastern parts of the country then. I can say we went all over Nigeria. We were also in places like Mubi, Yola. I turned back at Lake Chad; at a time, we even went as far as Burkina Faso. How was the reception for your productions in the north back then? They loved it. Whenever they saw us, they would welcome us with shouts and greet us in Hausa, saying, ‘sanu, sanu’. In the eastern part of Nigeria, we normally performed in Pidgin English. In the north we had an interpreter. The Alarinjo mode of theatre has since ended. Do you think that has affected theatre practice in the country especially negatively? No, things change and we need movement in everything. Alarinjo theatre that we were doing then was mostly stage performance. It is a pity that nowadays there are no more stage performances. The films we do now, the video has taken over everything. Personally, I love stage because it is stage that gave rise to film. I still love stage. Unfortunately, people prefer to relax at home and watch television.

Mama Awero

If the Lagos State government were to build cottage theatres across the state and encourage stage performances would you act on stage? Yes of course. Stage is being done little by little now, particularly at the MUSON Centre in Onikan where a play is being advertised to take place from time to time. And people are going there to watch these plays.


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Artman In The House

Friday, May 31, 2013

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to thank God –Mama Awero Does that mean that you are doing film right now because that is what is available; would you prefer to do stage? I prefer stage, but I also do television programmes like Dear Mother. In fact, any production that comes my way, I am ready to be a part of it. But which would you say is more challenging for you, stage, television or film? Nothing is difficult for me. When we are talking of celluloid, it is because it is very expensive and our economy nowadays does not support it. The videos we are doing now are being pirated, that is what hurts us the most. It is evident that you have worked with a good number of prominent people in the Nigerian theatre and film industry, but did you ever work with Hubert Ogunde? Of course I did, I appeared in most of his films, except Aiye and Mr. Johnson. Would you allow your children to follow in your footsteps? Why not? If they want to do it, but they have to go to school first and make sure they are skilled in the craft. One of my children, Wale Adeshina, works behind the camera. He is normally referred to as Walata. What film project are you working on right now? I just started work on a film but when I finish the celebration, I will be able to sit down properly and give it the attention it deserves. The one we have in the market at the moment is Eti Ikun. The story is about listening to what the elders tell you. When they tell you not to do something, you should listen to what they say because most of them know better.

FACT FILE •

Lanre Hassan-Adesina was born on October 3, 1950 to the family of Alhaji Adisa Rufai Hassan and Alhaja Rafat Asake Hassan of Imaro compound, Isale- Eko on the Lagos Island. She pursued a career in acting in 1963 as a pioneer member of Young Star Concert Party, which was later changed to Ojo Ladipo Group in 1969 under the leadership of Ojo Ladipo also known as Baba Mero.

She has many films to her credit including: Ayookan, Ebun- Igbeyawo, Omorewa and Eti Ikun.

Among the television productions she has appeared in are: Super Story, Dear Mother and Family Circle.

After the death of Ojo Ladipo in 1978, the group was renamed Awada Kerikeri Organisation, AKO. As a young person she later proceeded with her acting career by attending the Lagos School of Dramatic Art from 1969 to 1971 founded and run by the foremost drama scholar Chief Olude. Popular as Iya Awero after a role she played so well, she has been recognised in Nigeria and internationally.

Mama Awero is a member of the Board of Trustees, BoT of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners, ANTP, as well as the Environmental Ambassador of Lagos State and Chairman, Board of Directors, Albasit Communications.

In the Awada Kerikeri comedy series on stage she has been in Ayanmo (Hubert Ogunde), Ilu Le, Omi Danu (Awada Kerikeri), Ogun Awoyaya (Jide Kosoko). Her Celluloid credits include: Omo Orukan (Awada Kerikeri), Aropin Teniyan (Hubert Ogunde), Ija Orogun (Ade Love), Ogun Ajaye (Awada Kerikeri), Kadara (A

Is there anything you are doing about piracy in the Nigerian film industry as a company? One person cannot fight pirates as the problem is all over the world, so we are doing it with the Copyright Council. There was a town hall meeting recently over the N3 billion grant given to the industry by President Goodluck Jonathan to deal with piracy and distribution, among other things. What are your thoughts about that? Let us watch and see if it will work or not. You were in the industry when the National Film and Video Censor’s Board, NFVCB, came up with a distribution framework that didn’t quite work out... Let us hope that this one will work because our president and most of the stakeholders in the industry have come together for this. As someone who has been at all ends of the industry, do you have an idea that can be adopted to counter the piracy menace? The only thing I can say is that as long as the Copyright Council has been helping us with the battle, we, the artistes, must cooperate with them so that things can work well. Apart from Walata, are there any young people you are bringing up in the art of filmmaking and acting? Yes, I have some of our boys and girls, actors and actresses that are learning skills here. Most of them come to me wanting to learn and I welcome them. Do you hope to open a school for that purpose in the future? Yes, a training centre because I also handle costume which I learnt from Hubert Ogunde’s company. So, I hope to start a little place where young people can come and learn that skill from me. Since you have done this for 50 years, there must be

something you want to tell young people coming into the industry? What I want to tell them is to be patient because in this profession, one has to be contented and face the job properly. Money does not flow here like other businesses, it comes in gradually. When someone is patient and does the job well, he or she will have reason to smile later. In my case, I have made a name and anywhere I find myself, I am recognised. I may not have plenty of money but I am not hungry.

Productions), Taxi Driver 1&2, (Adeyemi Afolayan) and Kona Kona (Abayo Aderonmu). •

For Home videos: Asewo To Re Mecca, Rich Man Dey Mess (Awada Kerikeri), Ojo Atisun (Osunmare Productions) Eyi Ga (Taiken Venture) Aramide (Adebayo Salami) Okunfa (Mustoy Film) Bo Oritife (U Bee Network) Back To Africa (Royal/Ojojolu Film) and Majata (Albasit Communications), among others.

Her Awards:

Orlando Martins Awards Salute to Excellence – London;

Arts & Culture Ambassador of Nigeria, Nigeria;

Lifetime Achievement Award - London;

Ever Green Award - ANTP;

Cultural Ambassador -NANTAP (National Assoc Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners).


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Critics

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tribute

Like Achebe, all things will die The programme of burial events in honour of Prof Chinua Achebe commenced in Abuja on Sunday, May 19 and ended on Sunday, May 26. IZUCHUKWU OKEKE, an Abuja-based writer and freelance journalist, covered the entire proceedings and presents a review.

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hile the remains of Chinua Achebe was going down the grave, I particularly remembered late Peter Areh, the Nigerian banker turned gallery owner and art connoisseur who was brutally murdered in Lagos in 2009. Areh had an anthology of poetry dedicated to his memory titled; All Things Will Die. Indeed Chinua Achebe, at least in body, has also gone the same prophetic way. There was a sigh of relief while the coffin was lowered into the grave; Achebe’s wife, children and other family members inside that beautiful mausoleum. There were no tears anymore, rather acceptance. It had been done. The Iroko has gone with the loudest ovation and solidarity from family, friends and the nation. He could not have asked for more, being a humble man. The week-long burial was full of activities. The planning, the movement of convoys and guests from the US to Abuja, Enugu, Awka and finally Ogidi, had built considerable tension and fatigue. As that final burial hour ended, it left everyone sapped and limp. However, with the carnival like funeral it was, it might seem as if this death meant nothing. Achebe wrote a lot about death in many of his classics. But there at Ogidi, reality dawned; politicians and writers alike, everyone queued to be in the limelight this burial programme offered many. But one wonders how many reasoned through this reality about death; how many people considered committing themselves to living right, even when it was not convenient; because someday, they will be silent while the world around them mourns. Yes, indeed, like Achebe, all things will die.

Where was Ohaneze? Ohaneze-Ndi-Igbo is believed to be the umbrella elite cultural body representing the voice of Igbo people in Nigeria. Like the Arewa Consultative Council, ACF and the Afenifere, they are supposed to be the rallying point for all Igbos. But over the years, many people have had cause to traduce the Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, and for many reasons. There are charges of ineptitude, wantonness, lack of unity and one voice within the Ohaneze caucus. But these days, one wonders if the group really exists or it is a letter-headpaper organisation some people use to make their daily bread. Indeed, the later seems to be the truth. Most people who cling to Ohaneze are those seeking relevance in the scheme of things and see the body as some sort of ladder. Beyond

that, the body is moribund. Igbo-enwe-eze –the idea that the Igbo have no king– still rules. Nobody listens or adheres to the other among the Igbo political elites, hence, a body like Ohaneze cannot find relevance in such pompous, self-made personages and self-appointed voices. It is indeed tsad that of all the programmes lined up for the burial of Achebe, only the Ohaneze failed. The much anticipated ‘Ohaneze Night of Mourning and Ikoro Salute’ did not hold and no credible reason was adduced for this. During the reception at Alex Ekwueme Square, a few Ohaneze leaders were seen hiding behind the politicians. No one identified them. No one mentioned Ohaneze. No one spoke on behalf of Ohaneze when the Iroko of Igbo culture bowed out of the earth. From Awka to Ogidi, no one saw or heard of Ohaneze. No document related to Achebe’s burial mentioned Ohaneze apart from the belated and truncated programme of event that included ‘Ohaneze Night of Mourning’. So, literarily, Ohaneze was not part of Achebe’s burial. Indeed, as many believe, there is no group or body that represents the division in the Igbo political and cultural leadership as the Ohaneze. Achebe’s death was an ample opportunity to prove Igbo’s unity to the world, but once again the Igbo’s failed woefully. What is true is that all so-called Igbo leaders are each jostling to lift their head out and push others down. Governors and other successful politicians are lords, they listen to nobody. Past leaders like Ekwueme and Anyaoku, or even Achebe, were confined to irrelevance. In that kind of rat-race for relevance, where does it leave the common interest of the Igbo in Nigeria? So, while the world gathered to celebrate the icon who Igbo gave to the world, the reality hit so hard that ‘things have fallen apart’ in Igbo land and the centre —which Ohaneze represents— cannot hold.

Did Jonathan really say that? Many Nigerians would prefer that politicians don’t make speeches when they attend events. Often, one can deduce that the speech was written by someone else and the politician is just seeing it for the first time at the point of reading it. So, the Nigerian political speechmaking is often an unnecessary repetition of the same old clichés of that particular era…if it not Vision 20-20-20, it is Seven Point Agenda or Transformation Agenda, all which amount to nothing but vain blabbing; boring and redundant.

Masouleum where Achebe was buried

But inside the St. Philip Anglican Church, Ogidi, during Achebe’s funeral service, President Jonathan made a speech that may just be his best since he assumed Presidency. Yet, he did not read from a paper or teleprompter; he spoke extempore. Mr. President opened the 51st page of Achebe’s last book There was a Country, and read portions which spoke about the 60s; the beginning of Nigerian public servants looting of the treasury, corruption, elections rigging and the power struggle and appeal to ethnicsm and tribalism by politicians to cling to relevance. And then he asked, “We politicians of today, have we changed from that which

Achebe wrote about?” He spoke at length of the task before today’s leaders to cause a change so that Achebe’s grand children can write There is a Country. I cannot relay all Mr. President said, but this aspect of the speech rings in my heart even now. Did Jonathan really said that? I know every Nigerians is waiting to see the transformation of such of beautiful speech to true national transformation. That is only when anyone will give thought to writing There is a Country.

It is laid to rest: Chinua Achebe was a Christian Few days to the burial, news emerged that traditionalists in Ogidi were contending to have Achebe’s remains for in-

Music

Gospel according to hip-hop Mode 9 has released the video of Let it Go, one of the hits in his album, ‘Alphabetical Order’. It is unadulterated hip-hop. NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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t is good to stay on course. It is noble to hold on to what one believes in. That is something rapper, Mode 9 has maintained since he appeared on the scene a few years ago. He has done it again as exemplified by his album, Alphabetical Order, as one of the hit tracks, Let it Go comes on video. In all ramifications, this song has every trait of Mode 9 and what he has portrayed in his career. It opens with highlights of English alphabets, in consonance with the title of the album, before Mode 9 appears to make an official hip-hop announce-

ment: ‘Hip-hop, this is what I do, man’. An authoritative assertion, but it is every inch true about this rapper. From his humble years, delivering the album IX Files, which presented his first recognisable hit, It’s About to Get Ugly to subsequent ones like Malcolm IX and Pentium IX, he has never felt withdrawn about pursuing his hip-hop fantasy. Not even with the fad of making an album commercial with obscene slang or refrains, Mode has remained who he is supposed to be. Sounding every inch original, Let it Go represents also the Nigerian spirit in him (not with Pidgin English like some of our artistes) but with Nigerian flags and sports jerseys, an elevated style of proving


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics

Friday, May 31, 2013

EVEN IN THE HOME OF THE DEAD, THE POLITICIANS ARE STILL MINDFUL TO SELL THEIR AGENDA It is difficult to say why Achebe rejected the name Albert at University of Ibadan and failed to use it much of his life. Was it because the name was English or was it because it was Christian? The two do not mean the same. If he dropped it because it is English, it means that he understood that you do not need an English name to be a good Christian. But if he dropped it because it was a Christian name, it means he rejected Christianity. However, he wedded a Christian, an Anglican. He was not known to have had an affiliation of any sort with the traditionalists apart from his strong pro-African voice in his literature. Is that enough to believe he was a traditionalist? Well, it is difficult to answer. Meanwhile, the St. Philip Anglican Community in Ogidi claimed that when he was home, he worshipped with them. The traditionalists had no such claim or they chose not come forward with it. So, the church won. Achebe was buried a Christian.

And ANA dazzled them

terment in the traditional way. If one has any doubt as to the claim, the sermon by the Primate of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh at the commendation service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja proved to everybody that the news was indeed true. A day later, Prof. Chimalum Nwankwo of the Baze University also questioned the decision to bury Achebe in the Christian way. In his speech at the Symposium organised by the Chinua Achebe National Transition Committee in collaboration with Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, he had asked if Achebe gave express approval before he died to be buried a Christian. Indeed, if one reads Achebe’s classics, and if one follows Achebe’s discourse in the course of his life, it is easy to question the faith Achebe maintained while he was alive. More importantly, he dropped his English name, Albert much of his life; a name that was smuggled back during the funeral.

patriotism. For once, let us see someone deviate from the WaZoBia mode to something more broad-minded, something more representative. But that is not all that Let it Go has got. Its lyrics are some of the most meaningful that has come out of this genre of music in recent times in Nigeria. Listening to the lines, one would hear rhyme and see reasons as well, in a coordinated and seamless manner. By the way, the lyrics also come equipped with inspiring message that one should let go of things that are too burdensome in order to move forward. Mode 9, like a prophet that an artiste is supposed to be in this song takes his audience through certain circumstances that present very disgusting pictures, urging them to let such things go. It is quite different from the usual hip hop culture that has evolved

There are those who have cause to question the relevance of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, the literary body that Chinua Achebe helped found and nurtured in its fledgling days. ANA has had its ups and downs; at times, the association seemed half dead than alive. But in recent years ANA has been coming back strong and relevant. And as Achebe’s burial rounded to a close, even the late icon would have been proud of the association. From the very beginning the burial faced threat of hijack by politicians for their usual ends. It took ANA to drive the literary and cultural front and they executed this excellently. At almost all the events for the burial programme, politicians had lined up to speak and shine. But the symposium in Abuja by ANA with the theme The Life, Time and Works of Chinua Achebe: Lessons for Nigeria, stands out for the discourse it generated; otherwise, Achebe would have been buried like a politician not a literary icon he was. The peak of ANA participation was Literary Obsequies at the Achebe’s residence in Ogidi on the night of the wake-keep. The event featured poetry performances and dramatisation of Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart. With the drab of speeches all day in Awka, this play performed by the local chapter of ANA at Anambra State University set a different tone for the whole event. Guests abandoned everything to share the excitement of seeing, once again, the tragedy of Okonkwo. The play, suddenly, brought back the essence of the man, what he represented, what he lived for, which was al-

lately in Nigeria, where one hears about choice wines, fine women and exotic cars. It is not a message about making money by ‘hook or crook’ or glamorising violence which has often given hip-hop the sneer it sometimes gets in some elite quarters. Mode 9 is following an honourable pathway to deliver his art, and this is commendable. Another factor that makes Let it Go stand out is the beat. Fast-paced, there is a spectacular coordination in the arrangement that reminds one of a producer like Dr. Dre, save from the heavy metallic sound that has become Dre’s signature sound. The producer must be commended for this, as this sound is quintessentially hip-hop. This helped to complement Mode 9’s voice and delivery. This will also make his audience wonder who has better delivery

skills than Mode 9. The video of this song also tried to do a memorable thing: How many artistes in the recent past have bothered to remember the fallen diva, Goldie? Not many and Mode 9 is one of them. Let it Go, has a scenes of artistes clad in ‘Goldie T-shirts’. That was soul-lifting and nice to be seen from an artiste who had hitherto not been considered as one of Goldie’s close friends. But having a good song and a cool video will not be enough to do this album the required commercial justice it deserves. Mode 9 needs to engage his promotional person to re-engineer his efforts at making this work to be appreciated. The video may not strike like a big budget film shot in different continents (as the trend is now) but it has a message that cheap can also mean appeal, if there is creativity.

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most lost in the jostle by the political elite to score points. After that, the Ayaka dance group of Ohafia capped the ANA evening with exhilarating dance. Perhaps, these exciting performances were all what the international guests would remember when they were gone, after tantrums that have become traditional with celebrity events in Nigeria.

This Ghana Must Go cliché Perhaps, Nigeria should start thinking of finding another name to replace ‘Ghana-must-go’, because sometimes the usage leaves one blushing. This time around, it was the turn of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. (Mrs.) Viola Onwuliri to blush after using the word inside St. Philips Anglican Church Ogidi during the funeral service for Chinua Achebe. Carrying a big bag filled with condolence registers signed in different Nigerian missions abroad for late Prof. Achebe, Mrs. Onwuliri had referred to the bag as ‘Ghana-must-go’ right in the presence of the President of Ghana, John Mahama who was a guest at the funeral. However ones sees it, the word is derogatory and its usage may have to be checked before one uses it in Ghana’s presidential villa and earn him/herself some form of repatriation.

Everything becomes politics Anambra governorship election holds in 2014. The jostle for relevance among the political gladiators in the state is already on. So, it is not surprising that Achebe’s burial became a gallery for display of political heckles. The state governor, Mr. Peter Obi himself is not contesting, but the language over the microphone in Awka reception suggested that Obi is anointing somebody who will take over from him. But Senator Ngige, who did not have campaign posters, is understood to be the man to beat. In Ogidi, which is under Idemili Local Government, Ngige’s constituency, once the corpse arrived, Obi withdrew. The local ACN champions wielded brooms and flowed behind Ngige. At that point, Obi knew what to do and he did it. Senator Andy Uba of the PDP too was not visible at Ogidi until he appeared at the church service. Hon Uche Ekwunife, another contestant under APGA, rushed into the mausoleum at the last minute, trying all she could to be seen. Perhaps she had missed other events till that moment. Other contestants: Ifeanyi Ubah, Obi Ogbolu, Nicholas Ukachukwu and the rest were either not there or not visible. But their posters and branded vehicles dotted the precincts of Achebe’s country home, as they seized the opportunity of Achebe’s death to ingratiate themselves to the voting public. Yes, the dead die, but life goes on. Even in the home of the dead, the politicians are still mindful to sell their agenda.


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London ARTitude

Friday, May 31, 2013

Team Africa

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Team Carribean

African, Caribbean communities in fun charity match in London ....Celebrities at the novel event included football legends Segun Odegbami, Ian Wright, Jay Jay Okocha and Reggae superstar, Maxi Priest

STORIES: ADENRELE NIYI Okocha leads Team Africa into the field of play

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FCAR (African-Carribean): The Game”, was indeed was a wonderful event as African and Caribbean communities in the UK met up in a one-of-its-kind affair at Brentford FC, London on Sunday, May 26. The big celebrity charity football match and family fun day out organised by Sodje Sports Foundation and Jason Roberts Foundation lived up to the pre-event hype as it featured top celebrities like Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Ian Wright, Chucky Venn, Segun Odegbami, Maxi Priest, Sunday Oliseh and many more. The event started at about noon with artistes’ performances from acts like Rough Copy (X Factor 2012 contestants); May7evn, Omar and DLux. There was also Africa Vs Caribbean dance off with music by Dj’s Abass, Edu and Daddy Ernie. Other fun activities were performance from the Boadicea Dance Group, face painting, raffles draws, giveaway for kids, the best of African and Caribbean cuisine and eventually, the big football match. The game ended 1-1 at full time and Team Caribbean won the penalty shootout!

TEAM CARIBBEAN Manager Ian Wright

TEAM AFRICA Joint managers Fabrice Muamba and Segun Odegbami

Players Andy Cole Paul Merson Michael Thomas Paul Davis Jason Euell Paul Canoville Kevin Lisbie DJ Campbell Jamal Campbell Ryce Sean Davis Michael Johnson Ric Langley Jamie Lawrence DJ Spoony Dion Dublin Cyrille Regis Dave Regis Omar Andre Boucaud Ashley Walters Pascal Chimbonda Alex Scott Maxi Priest Oliver Bernard

Players Patrick Vieira Sodje Brothers Stein Brothers Julius Aghahowa Jay Jay Okocha Svetoslav Todorov Tressor Lua Lua MC Harvey Clive Betts mp vincent Pericard Ade Akinbiyi Ashley Banjo Chucky Venn (EastEnders actor) Junior Agogo EdKadi James Maza (Actor) Max Rushden (Soccer AM) Dennis Hobson (Boxing Promoter) DJ Abrantee (Choice FM) Chris Samba Ibrahima Sonko Iffy Onuara Rachel Yankey Eniola Aluka Gabriel Zukauni Tammer Hassan

Ex-England International, Ian Wright Team Africa coach Segun Odegbami (in blue) shares a joke with his team

England Internationals Eniola Aluko (l) and Rachel Yankey

Sunday Oliseh (l) and Eddie Kadi L-R: Dj’s Abass, an official, Edu and Daddy Ernie

May7ven (middle) flanked by fans

Spectators

Funmi returns for Jazz Cafe gig

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Funmi

igerian singer Funmi Olawumi, the founder of the Yoruba Women Choir, returns to London with her 12-piece big band featuring the four part harmonies of Naija Soul Sisters and a cracking 8-piece band. Together, they mix afrobeat, juju, highlife and fuji to create a big sound that is faaji music. Faaji is a Yoruba word for having a good time and with the rich eloquence of the talking drums driving the music, guests cab expect explosive rhythms from one the great names of Nigerian music. In her only London club date in 2013, Funmi will be at the Jazz Cafe, Parkway, Camden, North West London, on Friday, July 21 from

7.00 p.m. She plays from her new CD Funmi Ti De (JNR) described as; “an upbeat album that even sound better heard live” by Robin Denselow of The Guardian (London) and “a pretty good album” by Simon Broughton of The Evening Standard (London). With Funmi on lead vocals, her backing band consists of: Joy Aigbekan, Nike Fagbuaro, Esther Mabadeje and Kehinde Talabi (backing vocals); Lekan Shobiyi (guitar); Gbenga Kolade (keyboards); Femi Sofela (bass); Abiodun Ojikutu (drums); Wole Aina (conga/percussion); Israel Ifedayo (alto saxophone); Saeed Gbadamosi (talking drum) and Wale Ogungbe (talking drum).


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Rajab 21, 1434AH Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Call to Worship On the authority of Anas bin Malik, the servant of the Messenger of All, the prophet said: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” RELATED BY BUKHARI AND MUSLIM

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he Islamic Center of America is a Shia mosque located in Dearborn, Michigan. Opened in 2005, it is the largest mosque in North America and the oldest Shia mosque in the United States. With its large Shia Arab population (consisting mostly of Iraqi and Lebanese), Dearborn is often called the “heart of Shiism” in the United States. The Islamic Center of America is located at 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn. The institution was founded in 1963 by Muhammad Jawad Chirri, who remained its director until his death in 1994. The current Imam is Iraqi-born Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini The center has been dedicated to the education of the general public and the spiritual growth and betterment of its community. The Islamic Center has a rich history of education and community leadership under the guidance of the pioneering Imam, Mohamad Jawad Chirri, in the past, and Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini at present. The Islamic Center’s success is attributed to the dedication of the community to preserving Islam in North America and their commitment to the education of future generations of Muslims. With the grace and mercy of Allah (God), we share our faith and our house of worship with all those who are willing to learn about Islam and Muslims. The past 50 years are only the start of a new era of serving the community and educating the American public about Muslims and the Faith of Islam.

Islamic Center of America Qur’an 39: 9 “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?”’ [Qur’an: 39: 9]. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Allah makes the way to PARADISE easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge. [Muslim]

Islamic Center of America

WATCH OUT!

Be part of Mirror MusliMart

RAMADAN SPECIAL DAILY PACKAGE

National Mirror is i introducing a Muslim Shoppers’ Guide showcasing Islamic fashion, halal foods, finance, arts and music, inspirational and motivational CDs, books, events, conferences, Muslim social diaries, seminars, matrimonial, household items, medical/health materials etc. For further information, contact +2348055102994 or email: sakinah207@yahoo.com

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, Islam it’s about 41 days to Ramadan, how prepared are you to meet the holy Month? Are you preparing to spend your Godgiven wealth to retain all the blessings the Month will bring? Islamic organisations and well-meaning individuals can be part of this by sponsoring Ramadan messages for the holy month of Ramadan Also, Islamic organizations, corporate bodies and well-meaning individuals can be part of this through gifts and promotional items. For further information, please contact SEKINAH LAWAL ON: 08055102994 OR email: sakinah207@yahoo.com.

Extremism is contrary to Islamic teachings 28

Children and democracy: The ruse of the celebrations! 30

Peace depends on absolute justice and fairness

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s far as the Ahmadiyya Community is concerned, wherever and whenever the opportunity arises, we openly express and declare our view that there is only one way to save the world from the destruction and devastation that it is heading towards, and that is that we must all endeavour to spread love, affection and a sense of community. Most importantly, the world must come to recognise its Creator, Who is the One God. This is because it is the recognition of the Creator that leads us towards love and compassion for His Creation, and when this becomes part of our character, it is then that we become recipients of God’s Love. We constantly raise our voice calling for peace in the world, and it is the pain and anguish we feel in our hearts that inspires

Every Friday with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya us to try and alleviate the suffering of mankind and to make the world we live in a better place. Indeed, this very function is just one of our many efforts towards achieving this goal. All of us also hold these noble desires. Furthermore, I have repeatedly called on politicians and religious leaders to strive for peace. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

Religious leaders, insecurity and good governance 31


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Rajab 21, 1434AH Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Pneumonia kills, vaccinate your children

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08055102994

s the world celebrates 2013 Children’s Day, Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company has urged all stakeholders to defend and improve the health status of every Nigerian child and more importantly, to always remember that Pneumonia is the world’s leading killer of children under the age of five while it is the second leading in Nigeria. As a result, all hands must be on deck to stop this. The Company’s Medical Director, Dr. Kodjo

Soroh said there was urgent need for government, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals to explore partnership strategy for a better health care of the Nigerian child. Lamenting on the prevalent cases of pneumonia and diarrhoea among children in Nigeria, he stressed that everyone, especially media practitioners have a prominent role to play in fighting the diseases while promoting a healthy nation. “It is no longer what Pfizer is doing, but everybody, including the media involvement in working together to sensitise and vaccinate Nigerian children against these diseases, most of which are 100 per cent preventable. We are looking at prevention of preventable diseases,

L-R: Auntie Fatimah Abdul-Salam; Hajia Monsurah Oyedeji of General Hospital, Ikeja and the Director, Al-Bayan Schools, Hajia Fatimah Idris duding the school’s PTA meeting recently.

Ignorancepredisposesteenstoinfections–Jonathan

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rs. Dame Patience Jonathan has called on parents to avail their children of the necessary sex education, noting that when children do not have the prerequisite knowledge about sex, they are at the risk of diseases and infections such as HIV/AIDS. She made the observation as the keynote speaker at the recently launched National Strategy for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy in Sierra-Leone, which focused on the role of traditional and religious leaders in the prevention of teenage pregnancy. According to her, the burden of teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortion has become twin issues that can be tackled at both the cultural and the home levels if conversation on sex is not regarded as a taboo, especially between parents and children. “We live in a global age and it is easy to recognise that many of our young people are being exposed to negative influences, in the name of westernisation. While we must take advantage of western influences to advance our continent’s development, it is also imperative to build walls against those elements that threaten our well being and our time-honoured traditional values. “Also, traditional norms and practices that discriminate against or hinder the development of the girl- child must be reviewed. Our religious and traditional institutions will always have a critical role to play in our communities to impart and promote the correct moral values, especially through value re-orientation.” She urged parents to take a renewed interest in their children, especially the girls, as mothers have essential roles to play in this regard. “Sex education should begin from the homes. Conversation on sex should not be a taboo between mothers and their children,” she pointed out.

The first Lady was particularly worried about the rising profile of deaths of young women as a result of unsafe abortion and noted that it is pertinent to know that an estimated 70,000 teenage mothers die each year because they have children before they are physically ready for parenthood. “These unmarried pregnant teens often resort to desperate measures and seek to abort their unplanned pregnancies by patronising the services of quacks. As a result, they end up with unsafe abortion complication s, resulting in either their death or loss of future reproductive ability. “14 per cent of all unsafe abortions in lowand middle-income countries are among women aged 15–19 years. About 2.5 million adolescents have unsafe abortions every year, and adolescents are more seriously affected by complications than are older women. Furthermore, up to 65 per cent of women with obstetric fistula develop this as adolescents, with dire consequences for their lives, physically and socially. It is also a fact that some of these pregnant teenagers feel isolated, stigmatised and abandoned and so develop mental disorders, such as depression”. She pointed out that bearing children comes with numerous risks to mother and child and that teenage pregnancy usually means that the girl will drop out of school with many dire consequences. “We must note that even though our religious injunctions frown on pregnancy out of wedlock, we must not abandon our teen girls who find themselves in this situation. It is essential that educators work closely with health care workers to educate the youth on the importance of contraception while highlighting the advantages of abstinence and high moral values among our adolescents. While disciplining them, we must also show them the way to turn around their lives,” she advised.

AS MOTHERS, HEALTH WORKERS... LET US DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO REDUCE PNEUMONIA MORTALITY global vaccine action plan and universal accessibility to quality health care. The Medical Director charged Nigerians to deviate from mourning the country’s unpalatable health indices to taking drastic and collective steps in arresting the ugly trend. “There is need to continue to spread the message even to the rural areas. Ghana for example, had not recorded any case of measles for the past seven years, this is the disease that is still prevalent and remains the highest killer of children in Nigeria, “he said. As part of its contribution to child healthcare during this year’s celebration, Dr Kodjo stated that Pfizer was partnering with the Kwara State Government, using the Arts Competition as a channel of reorientation on diseases which Nigerians often misconstrue for spiritual cases. Also, Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Pfizer, Mrs Margaret Olele advised Nigerians to place their health as priority instead of other luxuries of life at the expense quality health status. She said it was high time Nigeria tapped into public-private partnership and other models of improving

health care delivery, most especially as it dawn on Nigeria, can no longer meet her 2015 new Millennium Development Goal on health. Mrs. Olele noted that there must be a comprehensive and long-lasting health packages through collaborations geared towards eradicating childhood diseases. She however described the children as voiceless, emphasising the situation as prerequisite for stakeholders to represent their interest at all cases. “If we must save our children from this unhealthy situation, Nigerians should shift from the tradition of only talking during world diseases celebration days to talking and acting every day, and the time is now,” she said. Since Pneumonia causes almost 1 in 5 under-five deaths worldwide: more than 2 million children each year and kills more children than any other disease - more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined, as mothers, health workers and other stakeholders, let us do everything possible to reduce pneumonia mortality, a key step towards the achievement of the millennium development goal on child mortality. Identifying those children at greatest risk, those hardest to reach and the most neglected, and targeting them with interventions of proven efficacy will help in closing the gap, eventually bringing an end to the heavy toll of preventable child deaths through exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life, regular hand-washing, reduction of indoor air-pollution, effective case management as well as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Countdown to Ramadan 1434 A.H.

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you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous (pious) - [Qur’an 2:183] Dear brothers and sisters, the blessed month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, is fast approaching. Ramadan is about 38 days away now. May almighty Allah spare our lives to witness the glorious month and more of it, Ameen. How are we preparing for it in order to maximize the numerous benefits of the special month? Let us remember that along with fasting, Ramadan is a time of increased worship and devotion to Allah, and is a good time for self-improvement and reflection. As mothers, wives, fathers and children, how are we preparing? You finished the recitation of the glorious Qur’an maybe once last year, how are you planning to surpass that this year? Remember, Qur’an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during this month. Moon sighting is always an issue and this must be well-taken care of. The first and last days of fasting are determined by the sighting of the crescent of the new moon and therefore, Muslim scholars need to exercise caution and follow the Prophetic

teachings regarding moon sighting and the beginning and ending of fasting. It will be a grievious sin if due to negligence or being adamant on personal ground, some Muslims will be made to be fasting when they are not supposed to or eating on a day of fasting, may Allah save us from His wrath. Fasting is one of the Pillars of Islam (Sawm) and is compulsory on every ablebodied Muslim who has reached puberty. Those travelling and the sick can defer their fast and make up for it later. Women are exempted from fasting during menstruation, pregnancy, and breast-feeding but are also required to make up for their missed fasts. Along with fasting, the Holy month of Ramadan is a time of increased worship and devotion to Allah, and is a good time for selfimprovement and reflection.Many Muslims choose the Holy month of Ramadan to fulfil the other Pillars of Islam such as payment of Zakat. Let us do so properly and with the fear of Allah. May Allah make it easy for us, Amin. For those who are yet to fast in this month of Rajab, we still have some days to go, it is a meritorious act to do so, let us avail ourselves of that opportunity.

Act Wisely Hadith Qudsi The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said : “Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said : Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love

him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.”


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Friday, May 31, 2013 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Rajab 21, 1434AH

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‘Children’s future depends on quality of upbringing’ STORIES BY SEKINAH LAWAL

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igerian children have been advised to dedicate more of their time to scholarship rather than excessive indulgence in games and other forms of entertainment, while noting that the quality of the children largely

depends on the quality of developmental efforts and strategies deployed to raise them,. The National Coordinator of The Young Muslim Association (TYMa), Alhaji Abdul Azeez Ajala gave the advice in Lagos in a speech to mark this year’s annual Children’s Day. He said Nigerian children must emulate the young

ones strengthening the foundations of developed nations through discoveries and ground-breaking ideas. Ajala said the survival of nations and their legacies rest on the children who are expected to delicately sustain and keep such legacies. The TYMa coordinator, who noted that children are God-given gifts and deserve all the love, affection

and assistance required to live a purposeful life, however, lamented the ‘shameful’ act of some individuals who conceive and give birth to babies just to sell them for money. These undesirable elements, he said, also kidnap innocent children just to sell them and make money. “We appeal to parents and guardians to take ade-

Cross section of pupils of Al-Bayan Schools and other Muslim schools having fun at this year’s Children’s Day event organized by League of Muslim Schools in Lagos.

quate care of their children. Parents are the only people they have and look up to at this tender stage of their lives. We must not fail our children. The incidences of corruption, political misconducts and embezzlement of public funds are sending bad and dangerous signals to the upcoming generation, he said.”

He also used the occasion to fault the Lagos State Government’s decision to restrict female Muslims students from using hijab in public schools. “It is democratic and wise to let students dress as their religion dictates as this does not affect their learning in any way. Rather, it boosts their dignity,” he said.

Promote Islamic tenets, Arisekola tells MCOS

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he Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola-Alao, has urged the newly inaugurated executives of Muslim Community of Oyo State (MCOS) to promote Islam according to its tenets. He made the call at the inauguration of the new executives held at his residence saying that the new executives should empower and promote unity among Muslims. Sheikh Busari Haruna III, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, also urged them to use their position wisely in the propagation of Islam and for

the promotion of societal development. Similarly, Chief Bayo Oyero, the President, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) urged the members to ensure the proper use of the available facilities such as schools and hospitals. Alhaji Kunle Sanni, the newly elected Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State advised that the association should intensify efforts at uplifting Islam and the society at large. Sanni, who pledged that they would be dedicated to the cause of the Muslim Ummah, sought the support of stakeholders.

Aerial view of the calisthenics display at the Oodua World Children’s Day organised by the government of Osun State and held at the Osogbo township stadium recently.

Don’t sign cremation Bill into law, Fashola urged MURITALA AYINLA

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s Lagos State residents awaits the signing of the Cremation Bill into Law, Islamic organisations in the state have kicked against the recently passed Bill by the state lawmakers, urging the state Governor Babatunde Fashola not to assent the bill. The group described the bill as alien to norms of African nations and anti-Islam, flayed the action of members of the state House of Assembly for passing the bill for governor’s assent in spite of public outcry against the bill. Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Is-haq Akintola described the action as a ‘hidden agenda’. During the public hearing of the bill, it was opposed not only by Muslims but by citizens of the state. We have not for a minute support the bill. Those who sponsored and fast tracked passing of that bill has a hidden agenda. We are waiting to see the law come into being but we appeal to our Governor not to impose this bill on Lagosians by signing it into law.” On his part, the chairman, Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Ishaq Adeshina

berated action of members of the House of Assembly, noting that under Shari’ah, life is sacred and that there must be a befitting burial for a dead Muslim. The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos Chapter said the bill is not only inhuman and barbaric but also antiIslam. They expressed their opposition to the passed cremation bill, saying the process of cremation of the corpse of a dead human being either by conventional means of naked fire or by means of a crematorium. Burial of humans in the earth is not a matter of economics of land availability but a mercy from the Creator and to show that dignity could be retained even in death. “From the information at our disposal, it is obvious that the state government has concluded plans to put the policy in place. We understand that the budget for the construction of a crematorium had been made in 2009 and that such is almost completed at the Mainland Hospital, Lagos. If this is true, then we view this as hypocrisy and insincerity of the highest order on the part of a government that claims to be operating democracy. The position that mass burial of corpses on land poses health hazards to the people of Lagos state does not hold any water”.


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Director, Institute of Continuing Education, Bayero University, Kano, Dr. Salisu Shehu, Ph.D., in this interview with SEKINAH LAWAL, speaks on causes of terrorism, way out of it and sundry issues. How will you describe the current security situation in the country? The problem at hand is such that requires and necessitates concerted efforts, partnerships and collaborations among various stakeholders and interest groups. Some recipes for success include closing the contact and communication gaps, demonstrating sincerity of purpose and genuine commitment. History, politics and the changing conceptions and attributions of terrorism include pre-cold war conception, peri-cold war conception, the post –cold war, the new world order and the new conception. There is also the Unipolar politics, September ‘11 and the preponderance of the American conception and attribution. We have double standards in the attributions of terrorism: comparing Palestine and East Timor, the might is right syndrome: considering the case of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The dependency theory and the pattern of reporting terrorism can broadly be divided into two; individual/group terrorism and state terrorism. Extra-judicial killings, excessive use of force against innocent civilians in whatever guise, mass massacre and displacement of communities, unjust foreign invasions, etc are in essence, forms of state terrorism. What are the costs of armed-conflicts and terrorism in Nigeria? The destructive effects of the conflicts are unimaginable, just as they are monumental; there are mass killings of helpless, innocent civilians; men, women, and children, the old and the sick, since they are not real wars, no designated and trained combatants, but trigger happy, ragtag militias and ethno-religious bigots. There are destruction, entrenchment and disorientation of the youth who are brought up on the notion of hate, hostility and killing with permanently divided communities. There are many no-go areas in Jos, Bauchi, Kaduna, Borno, etc. As a result, we have triple tragedy: monumental loss of lives and property, destruction of means of livelihood, more expenditure on security that has remained ever elusive. What are the likely factors behind terrorism in the Nigerian context? Considering the significance of context in intellectual discourse, there are factors related to the insurgents while some are related to the state and society. Factors relating to insurgents include extremism as the principal cause. Sheikh al-Qaradawi identified several manifestations of extremism saying that the first indications of extremism include bigotry and intolerance, which cause a person to be obstinately devoted to his own opinions and prejudices, as well as rigidity, which deprives him of clarity of vision regarding the interests of other human beings, the purposes of Islamic law or the circumstances of the age. Such a person does not allow any opportunity for dialogue with others so that he may compare his opinion with theirs and choose to follow what appears to him most sound.

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Rajab 21, 1434AH Friday, May 31, 2013

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Extremism is contrary to true nature of Religion. Undoubtedly, one of the main causes of extremism is a lack of understanding of the purposes, spirit, and essence of deen, that is, the normative religion which God ordained for humanity with its associated faith, devotional practices, ethics, law and institutions. Such a lack does not necessarily mean total ignorance, which in general does not lead to extremism or excess, but rather, to their opposites, i.e., degeneration and laxity. Rather, it is a kind of half-knowledge which deludes its possessor into believing that he knows all there is to know when, in fact, he has no more than a hodgepodge of undigested and un-integrated facts which neither enhance insight nor clarify vision. A person possessing this kind of “knowledge” concentrates on marginal and trivial issues only and fails to see the relationship between the parts and the whole, between particulars and universals, between unambiguous and allegorical texts, or between speculative texts and definitive ones.

Dr. Shehu

THERE IS DISORIENTATION OF THE YOUTH BROUGHT UP ON THE NOTION OF HATE, HOSTILITY AND KILLING The second characteristic of extremism manifests itself in a perpetual commitment to excessiveness and in attempts to force others into a similar commitment, despite the existence of good reasons for facilitation and the fact that God has not ordained such austerity. The third mark of extremism is uncalled for austerity and the overburdening of others. For instance, when applying Islamic principles to people who either live in nonMuslim countries or who have only recently converted to Islam, or those who have rediscovered their faith and become newly committed Muslims. The fourth characteristic of extremism manifests itself in harsh treatment of others, roughness in one’s approach, and crudeness in calling people to Islam, all of which are contrary to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Also, suspicion and distrust are manifestations of extremism. An extremist readily accuses people and quickly passes judgement contrary to the generally accepted norm: “innocent until proven guilty.” He considers a person guilty the moment he suspects him of something. He jumps to conclusions rather than looking for explanations. The slightest mistake is blown out of proportion; a mistake becomes a sin, and a sin, unbelief. Extremism reaches its utmost limit when it leads an individual or group to deny others the right to safety and protection, and in-

stead sanctions taking their lives, confiscating their property and refusing to abide by any covenant concluded with them. This, of course, occurs when an extremist views everyone but those in his own group as godless. This kind of extremism severs any bond between such extremes: the accusation & the reality; 31 person and the rest of the Ummah. This is the trap into which the Kharijites fell during the early days of Islam What are the causes of extremism? Al-Qaradawi asserts that: It is necessary to have an integrated view of the causes of extremism because, as it were, “We must realize at the outset that no single cause is wholly responsible for the spread of extremism. It is a complex phenomenon with numerous interrelated causes, some of which are direct, others of which are indirect, some of which are found in the distant past, and others of which exist in the present.” Furthermore, Al-Qaradawi said that the causes of extremism are varied and could be direct or indirect, manifest or latent. They may be religious, political, social, economic, psychological, intellectual, or a combination of all of these. The primary motive force may lie in the extremist’s own inner makeup. Or, upon further examination, it may become apparent that it derives from his relationship with the members of his family and their relationships with one another Another factor is lack of insight into the

WE HAVE MORE EXPENDITURE ON SECURITY THAT HAS REMAINED EVER ELUSIVE

What could be responsible for this? There are many today who cling to the literal meaning of texts without seeking to establish their essential meaning and purposes. In so doing, they are repeating the same errors committed by the original Literalist school. It follows then that it rejects analogical reasoning, since it holds that Islamic law differentiates between things which are similar and brings together those things which differ. This neo-Literalist school follows the original one by seeking to regulate both acts of worship and transactions without any attention to their bases or any attempt to understand their intents and the human interests they are meant to serve. Perhaps, the only difference between the two schools is that the adherents of the earlier school stated their methodology explicitly and offered powerful defenses thereof, then adhered to it without apology. As for their contemporary successors, they do not admit to their literalist persuasions; at the same time, they have adopted only the negative aspect of their predecessors’ approach, namely, total rejection of the importance of rulings’ intents and inner meanings. Intellectual shallowness and lack of religious insight also manifest themselves in an intense interest in marginal issues at the expense of central ones, those which could affect the existence, identity, and destiny of the whole Ummah. One of the indications of this shallowness, this lack of solid grounding in Islamic jurisprudence and Law, is the tendency to make things difficult through an overemphasis on prohibitions despite the clear warnings against this in the Qur’an and Sunnah. We read, for example, “But say not – for any false thing that your tongues may put forth, ‘This is lawful and this is forbidden,’ so as to ascribe false things to God. For those who ascribe false things to God will never prosper.” (16:116). The aforementioned examples of confused thinking and a blurred vision of the fundamentals of Islam, Islamic law and the aims of its message have led to many misconceptions in the minds of Muslim youth. Such misconceptions need to be fully explained and are fully defined, since they form the basis for relating to others, judging and reforming them. Some of the most important mis-


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Friday, May 31, 2013 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Rajab 21, 1434AH

Islamic teachings conceptions have to do with concepts such as Islam, iman, kufr, nifaq, jahiliyyah, etc Emphasis is at times placed on allegorical texts at the expense of definitive ones. It is important to point out here that a root cause of extremism and of misunderstanding of religious matters, in the past as well as in the present, is emphasis on allegorical texts and disregard for categorical ones: the allegorical ones are those with hidden, ambiguous meanings; the categorical are those whose meanings are clear, manifest and welldefined. Laying emphasis on allegorical texts is not characteristic of those with knowledge and insight, but of those who cherish perversity in their hearts. The Qur’an declares that lack of insight into history and God’s ways in the universe in addition to their lack of insight into the true teachings of Islam is a problem. Extremists lack insight into reality, life and history as well as into God’s ways, or sunan in His creation. In the absence of such insight, some people will continue to seek or demand the impossible. They will imagine what does not or cannot happen, misunderstand occurrences and events, and interpret them on the basis of cherished illusions which in no way reflect God’s sunan or the essence of Islamic law. They want to change the entire fabric of society; its thought, traditions, ethics and systems. They also want to change its social, political and economic systems by illusory, unrealistic means. At the same time, they are willing to sacrifice, brave death and disregard any consequences for or against them, so long as they know their actions are intended to glorify God and honour His word. Hence, it is not surprising that such people venture into actions which others refer to as either suicidal or mad, in total disregard of the numbers of people they will victimize. Has the problem defied solutions or the right solutions have not been applied? There can be many answers to these questions: But what may not be in doubt is that there is actual failure of leadership and absence of governance. The inner contradictions and chaos that mark present-day Muslim societies, as well as the estrangement of these societies from Islam, have contributed to the emergence and spread of extremism. There is no justice in handling the issue as there is absence of rule of law in the land. This manifested in the extra-judicial killings happening time after time, growing in proportion from units to tens and now in hundreds- mass massacre like the most recent one in Baga and Bama. How many faces of Bokoharam can you see? Boko Haram as a metaphor: there are many faces of Boko Haram; the original Boko Haram, the criminal Boko Haram, Christian Boko Haram, the Boko Haram of the security agents and the conspiracy theory.

FIRST INDICATIONS OF EXTREMISM INCLUDE BIGOTRY AND INTOLERANCE

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ment, sensitivity, responsiveness and responsibility to the welfare and needs of their subjects. They should demonstrate genuine and real concern for the plight and sufferings of the common man. There should be a designed put in place, programmes and machineries for the reorientation of the youth, particularly in the following areas; leadership and social responsibility training; civic and political reorientation programmes; multi-cultural and peace education and self-reliance, economic empowerment and entrepreneurial skills, de-radicalisation training, etc. What are the roles expected of Muslim Scholars? Imams and other Muslim scholars should teach not only their followers but the entire citizens of this country about Islamic leadership values and ideals which are essentially built on the principles of social justice and equity, equality of mankind before the law and the supremacy of the rule of law. They should teach them about how Islam emphasizes honesty, accountability, transparency and probity in leadership; Islam’s emphasis on responsiveness, sensitivity and responsibility, selflessness and service, as well as humanness, magnificence and benevolence in leadership; Islamic teachings against injustice, fraud and corruption in leadership and public responsibility. They should teach them about the need to pursue their rights through all legally approved means and avoid taking laws into their hands.

Dr. Shehu

What is the way out sir? Lectures, seminars and conferences, trainthe-trainer workshops and courses: These are too numerous to mention. However, one very remarkable effort in this regard was the train-the trainer workshop organized by the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in Kaduna in 2012. All the Amirs, Amirahs, Secretary-Generals and other officials of the MSSN in the 19 Northern States and other parts of the nation were invited and were subjected to the study of the book by Sheikh al-Qaradawi titled: “Islamic Reawakening between Extremism and Rejection.” Publications will also help. The first and earliest effort in this regard was the publication of a book in 2009 by 41 Muslim Youth organizations under the Da’awah Coordination Council (DCCN) titled: THE BOKO HARAM TRAGEDY. In this book almost all the misconceptions of the Boko Haram were answered or clarified as the case may be. There should be formation of organizations and collaborations on peace initiatives. A few examples include; Network of Islamic Organizations for Peace (NIOP). It is a coalition of major Islamic organizations namely, NACOMYO, MSSN, FOMWAN, MCAN, NASFAT. This coalition publishes a tract titled: MUSLIMS 4 PEACE. In Kano State: COALITION OF ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS AND CSOs ON PEACE AND SECURITY. It organized a 2-Day Retreat on peace and security in the north in January, 2013 in Bauchi. What other measures can be used to address extremism and insurgency? There is the need to relate with them in a spirit of fatherhood and brotherhood, speak to them from where they are, not from ivory towers, nor with an attitude of superiority or condescension, bridge the gap between the

THE QUR’AN DECLARES THAT LACK OF INSIGHT INTO THE TRUE TEACHINGS OF

ISLAM IS A PROBLEM older and younger generations through love and compassion rather than accusations and arrogance, we can break the barriers that separate us. We also need intellectual engagement, dialogue and debate. There are many antecedents of intellectual engagement in Islamic history. Abdullahi ibn Abbas and the Khawarij, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and the Mu-utazilites, etc. Remember Khalifah Ali’s reaction to the Kharijites. Al-Ghazali states in Tafriqah bayn al-Iman wa al-Zandaqah: One has to be extremely cautious about branding people unbelievers, for it is a great error to sanction the killing of Muslims who have drawn near (to Allah) through belief in the divine unity. To let a thousand unbelievers live is a less serious matter than to shed the blood of one Muslim.” What is the role of injustice in all these? Strangely enough, extremist Muslim youth are unfairly treated while other extremist groups-especially those who lead an immoral and totally irreligious life are not condemned. Nor are such people imprisoned or subjected to harsh punishment. Justice requires that both types of extremism be condemned. Leaders must demonstrate exemplary qualities, especially in terms of trustworthiness and truthfulness in dealing with their subjects and in the handling of state resources. They should show commit-

Your advice to politicians? Politicians should handle the issue of security with the sincerity and commitment it deserves. They should understand that when they continue to toy around with it by politicizing it they would be eroding people’s confidence and trust in all they are doing in the name of fostering peace and ensuring security in the land. As Nigeria celebrates centenary, what is your assessment and the way forward? One can only appreciate the magnitude of our failures as a nation and our level of underdevelopment if he compares our own situation in all sectors with our contemporaries. The only forward for us is for us to be patriotic and truthful. As Ramadan is around the corner, what is your message to Muslims? Our message to our brothers and sisters as the Ramadan approaches is that we should try and make the best use of the various inestimable virtuous and meritorious opportunities it presents. We should resolved to move closer to Allah by maximizing righteous deeds in terms of worship, helping/feeding the poor and the needy and all other forms of compassionate, kind, altruistic, humanitarian and welfare activities. We should abstain from all sorts of evil deeds in terms of utterances and actions because they are injurious to us and our fast. We should also use the opportunity to pray earnestly and fervently for peace and security in our country and the world at large. We should pray for our brothers and sisters that are being unjustly persecuted and massacred in many parts of the World including Nigeria. May Allah favor and grace us with all the blessings of Ramadan. May He register us among those He will emancipate from hell fire in this Ramadan and register is among those bounded for JANNATUL FIRDAUS.


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Children and democracy: The ruse of the celebrations!

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here is no man that is not good for something even if it is to do the worst of things. Nations of the world today are also good for declaring different days for different things; be it children or democracy. These declared days at least placate the values they symbolize or enrich some individuals. Now we complain and condemn the present set of callous leaders but little did we know that they emerge from amidst us. They were and still are our children. They learnt or imbibed the evils and grew with it. So, how are we sure that the current children we celebrated last Monday will not be worse than them. How are we sure they will not beat human heads as drum on their democracy day! Without mincing words, most celebrations are exhibition of shame and hypocrisy. We have come a long way to realize that leaders are what their people make them. They do not emerge from a different planet other than the earth. The root of all corruptions is electing or selecting the wrong leader. How do you make a blind man your driver and hope that he will paddle the ship safely? We should stop celebrating democracy day as if it were a wedding or naming! It is a day for these so-called leaders to cry and bury their faces in the sand. It is a day for them to reflect on how to better the lots of the led. They have abused the trust reposed in them. On the other hand, for which children are we celebrating the day? A child that is lonely. A child that does not have solace at home? A child whose parent has abandoned? A child

HOW ARE WE SURE THEY WILL NOT BEAT HUMAN

HEADS AS DRUM ON THEIR DEMOCRACY DAY!

that is bombarded from all angles with evils that mar his future? A child that is exposed to a morally unfriendly environment at home and in school? A girl child who is regularly being sexually harassed? The children we envision to become the future leaders are still hawking on the road sides and sleeping under the bridge. They are still being abused and sold. They are still being born outside wedlock. They are still outside school or learning under terrible conditions. They are still malnourished and exposed to sexual activities in many ways. These children hear, read and witness how their fathers (current leaders) siphon, embezzle, kill and behave hypocritically. Then what becomes of these souls when they take over from these kinds of parents? To be saved from impending trial, we must guide our children to know Allah (SWT). We must instruct them to pray at the right time. We must show them love and mercy. No normal human being likes to live with a dishonest, wicked fellow. No normal man will pray to give birth to a thief or armed robber. Children of these kinds of negative tendencies dwell with us today. So, who gave birth to them?

Fasting missed fasts before another Ramadan

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person who is sick, on a journey, or otherwise excuse from making a fast on time can break his or her fast and will have to make up the number of days that he or she has missed. Allah says: “And whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 185] The days can be made up together or at different times, before the following Ramadan or afterwards. If a person delays making it up the missed fasts for more than a year until after another Ramadan has passed, some of the Pious Predecessors were of the opinion that the person has to feed a poor person for each day as expiation for the delay, in addition to making up those fasts. Anyone who has days to make up from the (previous) Ramadan, has to make them up before (the arrival of) the next Ramadan. The amount of food required would be half a saa’a for every day from that which is the norm in the country and is to be given to a number of people or, even, just one person. As for he who had a valid excuse for delaying in making up the fasts, because of illness or travel then he has to make up the days missed only and he does not have to feed any poor people, for the general statement of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala): {and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not

fast must be made up) from other days} [Q2:185]. Regarding what is required from the one who delays making up the fasts of one Ramadan until the arrival of the following Ramadan, if this was done for a valid reason, for example, he was ill in bed for eleven months and was unable to fast that which was required of him, then all he has to do is (once again) make up the days missed. However, if he was negligent and was able to fast (but didn’t) then he has to feed a number of poor people for every day that he didn’t make up as expiation for his negligence. Regarding one who had not fasted for many years, knowing he had nothing hindering him from fasting; he doesn’t have to make up that which he has missed if he makes repentance. This is because all acts of worship are enjoined upon the believers at stated times. So, if someone intentionally delays any of them, such that the time passes without a (valid) reason, Allah will not accept this act from him. So based upon this, there is no point in making up that which he missed. However, he should make repentance to Allah and increase in doing good actions and one who seeks forgiveness, Allah will forgive him (in shaa’Allah). Sheikh Abdul Ganniyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jubatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society Of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

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Where are we? Where are we heading? Things are falling apart? The Blind are showing the way! The Deaf and Dumb are the leaders! There is a dire need for a redirection! Great Nigerians, let us rebuild the world with seeds of virtues. Let us nurture it with water of peace. We shall see the trees blossom with fruits of comforts. Peace shall reign in our hearts and on the earth. Let us join hands to build a solid future. Let us remember, this world is ephemeral. Let us all remember that nothing is as certain as death. We may dwell in this world for years, but death remains inevitable. The poor may not get rich, the oppressed may not get strength, the barren may not give birth, but all shall drink from the cup of death. Let parents prepare and protect their Hereafter by properly training their Children to understand that they are the solid foundations of the future. Give them

sound education to serve the world because education is their best legacy. Let our religious and political leaders, remember that we are trusts on them. Let them show mercy on the led. Let them remember the world of no return. They should know that there is consequence for every action of theirs before Allah on the Great Day of judgment. Wishing All A Happy Ramadan In Advance. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

ZAKAT IS 2.5% OF YOUR TOTAL WEALTH KNOWN AS NISAB AFTER HAVING FULFILLED ALL OBLIGATIONS. PAY YOUR ZAKAT

Excellence of learning God says: Oh the children of Adam! I have sent down to you raiment to cover your shame and adornment to you, but the raiment of piety is best; Q 7:25

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od says: God, angels and those learned men who stand on justice bear testimony that there is no deity but He; Q3:18. Now look, dear readers, how God began attestation first by Himself, then by His angels and then by the learned. It is understood from this verse that the rank of the learned and their honour are much higher. God says: Those who are believers among you and the learned, God will increase their rank; Q58: 12. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said about them: The rank of the learned is seven hundred times more than that of the believers, and the difference between the two ranks is the distance of the path of five hundred years. God says: Are those who are learned equal to the illiterate - 39: 9. God says: The learned among His servants fear God most; Q35: 28. God says: Say, God is sufficient as a witness between me and you and those who have got knowledge of the Quran; Q13:43. God says: But those who had been granted knowledge said: Alas for you, the reward of God is best for those who believe and do good; Q 28:80. God says: These parables We set forth for men and none understands them except the learned; Q 29:42. God says: If they had only referred it to the Apostle and to those charged with authority among them, those of them who would investigate it would have known it; Q4:93. God thus made knowledge dependent upon their efforts. In the practical religion, God’s commands have been placed upon the investigation of the learned and their rank with the Prophets for propagation of God’s commands. God says: Oh the children of Adam! I have sent down to you raiment to cover your shame and adornment to you, but the raiment of piety is best; Q 7:25. God says: I have sent to them a book and with knowledge I explained it in detail, a guide and a mercy to all who believe; Q7:52. God says: I shall recount their story with knowledge; Q 7:6. God says: It is a clear sign in the hearts of those to whom knowledge

Reflections until Al Fajr with

Ustadh Abdulwaarith

Some poetry line, something on grace and a glimpse of Imam Al-Ghazali culled from Ihya Ulumddin

has reached; Q 29:48. God says: He created man and taught him to speak; Q55:2. The Holy Prophet said: God gives knowledge of religion and guidance to truth to one whose good He intends. He said: The learned are the heirs of the prophets. From these, it is understood that there is no rank above the rank of prophet hood and there is no honour higher than its inheritance. He said: ‘Whatever is in heavens and the earth seeks forgiveness for the learned.’ So the angels of heaven and earth remain busy in seeking forgiveness for the learned and they remain busy with themselves. What can be greater than this rank? The Prophet said? ‘Wisdom increases the honour of the noble and exalts a servant as high as to raise him to the level of kings.’ From this tradition, it is understood that even in this world, the fruits of learning can be enjoyed. This is also true that the Hereafter is better and more lasting than this world. The Holy Prophet said: Two traits of character are not united in a hypocrite, good guidance and knowledge of theology. The meaning of theology or jurisprudence will be discussed soon. The lowest knowledge of a jurisprudent is that the Hereafter is better than this world. When this knowledge will prevail over him, he will be free from hypocrisy and show. The Prophet said: The best of the people is a believing learned man who does good when sought for, and when the people keep away from him, he also keeps away from them. He said:Belief is without dress and its dress is God-fear, its ornament is shame and its fruit is knowledge. He said: The learned and the warriors are nearest to the rank of prophethood.’ The learned have been sent for which the prophets were sent. They are guides to the peopleand the warriors wage war in the path of God with their arms like the apostles. TO BE CONTINUED


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Friday, May 31, 2013 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Rajab 21, 1434AH

Call to Worship

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Religious leaders, insecurity and good governance SEKINAH L AWAL

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s Nigeria marks another Democracy Day, it is pertinent to note that there is strong connection between religion and politics. Being part of the daily life of people, religion affects other aspects of people’s life including political, cultural, economic and social affairs. In Nigeria, religion has remained a strong influencing factor on the country’s political process. The manipulation of religion by some powerful individuals, who hide under the guise of religion to pursue selfish interests, remains one of the negative effects of religion on the polity. Of great concern is the fact that greed has crept into the religious terrain to the extent that some religious leaders now patronise corrupt rulers to meet their lust for money and other material gains. Considering the critical role of religion in Nigeria’s politics, a reform of the religion space is also crucial. We must all realise that religion cannot have a positive impact on politics as long as it is manipulated by the political class. The truth that is preached in religion is beneficial to the process of governance. Religion could also serve as an effective tool for propelling social mobilization and societal transformation. But this is only possible where religion has not deviated from its original role. The number of churches/mosques in the country continues to increase and the population of worshipers doubling with little or no impact on the moral fabrics of our nation such as social transformational role including helping to champion the cause of the people. Despite the visible religiousness being exhibited by many Nigerians, including the country’s political leaders, the failure of the people to live by the core tenets of their professed religions has made it impossible for religion to serve the functions it ought to serve in the process of social transformation and the building of democracy. Essentially, the core principles that formed the underlining foundation on which most religions are based include truth, moral uprightness, love and the unity of all humankind, among others. Upright religious leader are highly needed at this time to assist in reforming the attitude of the political class and the entire citizenry to appreciate the values of democracy. The imperative of harnessing the power of religion for the betterment of the people has become more urgent than ever, considering the new call for a change in the ways things are done in Nigeria. Corruption indeed is the bane of any nation. It is even more worrisome when our revered religious leaders are also involved. Its malady cut across every religious denomination and political system and it affects both young and old, man and woman alike. It is like cancer that contaminates all strata of the socio-political and economic structure of our society and its malignant nature is difficult to treat. Many of our religious leaders now shy away from telling corrupt leaders the truth because of what they stand to gain. All religious adherences are not left behind. Do religious leaders of today truly uphold the teachings of the founders of their faiths? All faiths have a core similarity of piety and moderation as the practice of the founders. None of them lived like kings as our modern reli-

Sultan of Sokoto

President Jonathan

UPRIGHT RELIGIOUS LEADER ARE HIGHLY NEEDED AT THIS TIME TO ASSIST IN REFORMING THE ATTITUDE OF THE POLITICAL CLASS AND THE ENTIRE CITIZENRY gious leaders do. Sermons have become selective. Religion is meant to be the ideal model for man. Materialism, which is the root of corruption, has tainted the idealism of religious leaders. As documented in the holy books, Prophets and those considered close to God were dreaded by kings and rulers. This is however not so in Nigeria, as many of those who should be seen as men of God have soiled their hands. Judges are not left out. As a result of corruption, justice is perverted and judgment is delivered in favour of the highest bidder. Nigeria is faced with a serious moral crisis, corruption, is dealing with every fibre of the society and to which an honest, relentless, redemptive war is demanded from every willing and committed front, especially religious leaders, if the country is to have a new lease of life, a moral re-birth to give her a fresh beginning that she desperately requires. Rather than making progress, the lofty dreams of independence have been taken over by successive years of retrogression. Though morality does not define corruption but corruption, particularly occurring at widespread level, scale and magnitude, indicates a moral collapse bound to throw up serious moral burden to the society. The same too has afflicted religion in Nigeria, whether Christianity or Islam. Piety, humility, honesty, proclamation of the undiluted word of God has been replaced with the rabid desire for ostentatious life fuelled by the greed for material possessions. Evil that ought to be condemned, whether in high or low places are condoned; at times, they are celebrated with fanfare. False piety is sold as purity through the worship of demons of money, power, position and influence.

Sadly, almost every value and virtue that ought to be revered in the house of God has become so corrupted that most religious leaders have lost not only their dignity but their essence as moral voice to steady the Nigerian society from going asunder. How can the same religious leader who has been out there to pray for political leaders, gain from them and then condemn them? Consequently, as we mark another Democracy Day, religious leaders as well as politicians, including government officials should not make provocative and irresponsible statements that may evoke religious, ethnic and regional prejudices against others. They should evolve as instrument of democratic governance rather than serving as an organised enterprise used for seeking, gaining and retaining power in order to loot public treasury. For our eminent religious leaders, preaching is not enough to change the society. The Nigerian society needs to be led by good people who have zero tolerance to corruption. Politics is part and parcel of the society just as religion is. More pious people should be encouraged to take part in partisan politics because it has been a convention to regard partisan politics as a dirty game and therefore unfit for committed and truly God-fearing people. Interestingly, politics draws from people in the state. It is the people that make up their leadership. The type of leaders the people have is determined by the type of people in that society. If the leaders are corrupt, it is all because the people are corrupt. In that case, it is the corrupt citizens that form the corrupt leadership. A society cannot be corrupt and expect a saintly leadership. If pious Nigerians are interested in good politics, they must go out there to sponsor good people. Only good people can produce good leadership. Leader-

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

ship at any level is a serious business, be it religious or political position, requiring input from all and sundry. Let us put our priorities right and be genuinely interested in our political process to build a better Nigeria. Experience in Nigeria has shown that politicians go to Mosque, Church and Traditionalists to campaign. Religious leaders are expected to have zero tolerance to corruption in order to perform their roles. Our religious leaders should be concerned about the ever-increasing unemployment, insecurity, armed-robberies and terrorism being perpetrated with the involvement of our youths, who should be productively engaged but are not; such unacceptable development in our beloved nation holds nothing, but a sinister future for us should the pattern be allowed to continue. Thus, if we continue to ignore the need to educate our children in the midst of our vast wealth, the 21st century would witness the irrevocable failure that will make our children and us the shame of the black race. Vampires sucking Nigeria abound in all spheres, from politics to business, civil service to trade and commerce, including educational institutions, Churches and Mosques, Nigeria is under severe strain of corruption. Indeed, it is time for total moral cleansing. There is, therefore, a serious challenge before the President. As the first Doctorate degreeholder to be the Nigerian head of state, first Nigerian leader to have occupied all the high political offices in the country; Deputy-Governor, Governor, Vice-President, Acting-President, and eventually, President, he should be willing and able to muster the political will to fight courageously the cankerworm of corruption. Will the President and his team, with a singular resolve, create the needed irreversible process aimed at correcting the rot afflicting our political and public life? It is desirable that the present generation of Nigerian religious leaders be patriotic and addresses the challenge of making a clean break from the ugly past and charts a new course for the Nigeria of our dream by being good role models to all, reducing the growing emphasis on wealth, strengthening the moral fibres of religious bodies and institutions as well as eliminating violence associated with faith, ethnicity, electioneering and other issues.


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Rajab 21, 1434AH Friday, May 31, 2013

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Peace depends on absolute justice and fairness

L-R: Chief Tirimisiyu Oki; Baba Adinni of Lagos, Sheikh Abdul Hafeez Abou and Senator Muniru Muse at a special Jumat Service and prayer to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwan Akiolu held at the Lagos Central Mosque.

L-R: Sadr. Majlis Ansarullah, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Alhaji Mikail Odukoya; General Secretary, Alhaji Dauda Raji; Missionary in Charge, Maulana AbdulHalique Nayyar and Amir, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola, at the Nikai ceremony of Bro. Saheed Bolarinwa, at Jamia, IIaro, Ogun State, recently.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 Yet, in spite of all of these efforts, we find that anxiety and turmoil continue to spread and increase throughout the world. In today’s world, we find so much strife, restlessness and disorder. In some countries, members of the public are fighting and waging wars amongst themselves. In some nations, the public is fighting against the government, or conversely the rulers are attacking their own people. Terrorist groups are fuelling anarchy and disorder to fulfill their vested interests and so they are arbitrarily killing innocent women, children and the elderly. In some countries, as a means to fulfill their own interests, political parties are warring with each other rather than coming together for the betterment of their nations. We also find some governments and countries are continuously casting their glances enviously in the direction of the resources of other nations. The major powers of the world are consumed by their efforts to maintain their supremacy, and leave no stone unturned in their efforts towards pursuing this goal. Bearing all of this in mind, we find that neither the Ahmadiyya Community nor the majority of you, who are members of the public, have the power or authority to develop policies to bring positive change. This is because we do not hold any governmental power or office. In fact, I would go as far as to say that even the politicians, with whom we have developed friendly relations and who always agree with us when they are in our company, are also unable to speak out. Instead, their voices too are being drowned out and they are prevented from forwarding their views. This is either because they are forced to follow party policies, or perhaps due to external pressures from other world powers or political allies, which are weighing them down.

However, what I wish to say is that merely delivering or listening to a speech or lecture is not enough and will not lead to peace being established. In fact, the key requirement to fulfilling this primary goal is absolute justice and fairness in all matters. The Holy Qur’an, in Chapter 4, Verse 136, has given us a golden principle and lesson, guiding us about this. It states that as a means to fulfill the requirements of justice, even if you have to bear witness and testify against yourself, your parents or your closest relatives and friends, then you must do so. This is true justice where personal interests are set aside for the common good. If we stop raising our voices against cruelty and injustice, then we will become amongst those who have no moral values or standards whatsoever. Whether or not our voices are likely to be heard or have influence is irrelevant. We must continue to counsel others towards peace. We must remember that when human efforts fail, then God Almighty issues His Decree to determine the fate of mankind. Before God’s Decree sets into motion and compels people towards Him and towards fulfilling the rights of mankind, it would be far better if the people of the world should themselves come to pay attention to these crucial matters, because when God Almighty is forced to take action, then His Wrath seizes mankind in a truly severe and terrifying manner.

WHEN GOD ALMIGHTY IS FORCED TO TAKE ACTION,

HIS WRATH SEIZES MAN IN A TRULY SEVERE AND TERRIFYING MANNER

TEST YOURSELF

Amir, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola; Owode Circuit President, Alhaji Isa Oyetola and Circuit President, Ijebu, Alhaji M.A. Aliyy, during the South West Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Regional Quranic Competition recently.

Cross section members, at the Quranic Competition

•Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) went on a miraculous night journey to Masjid alAqsa and to the Heavens. What is this journey called and in which month? •What is the name of the horse-like animal which he rode on this blessed journey? •When he reached Masjid-al-Aqsa who did he lead in prayers there? •What gift did he bring back from Allah from the miraculous night journey to the heavens? •How many are the fundamental principles of Islam? •What is Adhan ?

•Can you tell the name of First Muezzin of Islam? •Can somebody recite Adhan in any other langugage? •What is WUDU (ablution)? •Do you require WUDU before offering your prayer? •Do you need water for performing WUDU? •If the water is not available then how to cleanse the body to prepare for prayers? •What should we recite when to start a good deed?

L-R: The two couples, Saheed Bolarinwa and wife, Nabila; Nusirat Morenike and AbdulKareem Sulaimon Ozovehe during their Nikah recently.


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Mirror Mongers

Friday, May 31, 2013

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Love the Jim Iyke way

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hey not only call him ‘bad boy of the screen’ but also ‘lover boy of the screen’. It seems Jim Iyke is living the latter more than the former. His antecedents in the home video industry seem to be laying credence to this fact. After his dalliances with Steph-Nora Okere (who only a few months ago acknowledged that she was still in love with him), the actor has taken his love matters to unprecedented levels. First it was with Atiku Abubakar’s daughter whom he met while piloting the affairs of his foundation, which

Members of NGF

NGF election on home video I t is no longer news that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum is in disarray, with the two camps pitched against each other over the result of the election which held last week. There are however insinuations that the matter may end in court, where evidences like a video recording of the process leading to the ‘defeat and victory’ has surfaced online for private consumption much like Nollywood films. This, of course, has many implications. For some Nigerians who think that their governors are ‘impeccable gentlemen’ with the right candour and decorum, they would be surprised when they watch the film made by one of the governors with his mobile phone. What you will see? The film, (is it not?) opens with a cacophony of voices, more like you would hear at a typical bus stop, as the governors engage one an-

other with jokes and banters. But this was interrupted when Governor Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State confronts the governor doing the filming (director of photography in this case), who denies the fact that he was filming the process. The film stops abruptly and opens when the counting of votes was going on and like typical ‘party agents’, the governors could be heard shouting ‘Jang in early lead’ and ‘too close to call’ in spite of the efforts to get them to keep quiet. A comic relief comes when the returning officer at the election rose to address them and started by saying, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’….but the moment he was corrected, he changed to ‘His Excellencies’. One lesson this home video will pass across to the audience is the fact that the people in power may not be more refined than touts at motor parks.

has one of Atiku’s wives as a trustee. Then he shifted to a halfGhanaian-half Sierra Leonean, called Juliet Ibrahim, whom he confessed in many interviews to be his missing rib. But that affair crumbled before anyone knew what was going on after Jim Iyke found love in the arms of a Caribbean model, Kentura Hamilton. But lately, the buzz is that Jim may have moved on to a steamy romance with Ghanaian actress, Nadia Buari, who has packed up with professional footballer, Michael Essien again.

Nothing yet at Cross River Paradise Park

NCC: When predator turns to prey

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f course, the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, headed by Afam Ezekude, has been doing so much to make sure that intellectual works of Nigerians are protected from piracy. In the past couple of months, the commission has pioneered efforts to make sure that a collective management organisation is set up to help protect audio-visual works, especially with the boom in the Nigerian movie industry. But while this is going on, NCC seems to be playing double standard game considering a matter currently going on in an Abuja court involving a Nollywood producer, Charles Ayika. MM gathered that a pay TV com-

Jim Iyke and Nadia Buari

Ezekude

pany, MyTV showed one of the works of this producer, Arrows of Love without authorisation, prompting him to sue the station. But when the producer petitioned NCC for respite, the commission got infuriated with some documents he enclosed and took the producer to court for being in possession of sensitive documents. Of course, this has left a question: Who exactly should NCC be fighting for?

ONE-SECOND Q&A

ome months ago, the media was alive with stories about plans to bring life back to the Obudu Cattle Ranch. According to the buzz, a group which arrived from the United States had concluded plans to enter into partnership with the resort as a way of getting American holiday-makers keen on the facility, which has largely remained under-utilised. The rate of deterioration at the facility had often pitched loyalists of Donald Duke against those of Liyel Imoke, blaming Imoke for not continuing with the project of his predecessor in this regard. But halfway into 2013, MM gathered that work in this regard is yet to commence. May be, Liyel Imoke is more concerned with who becomes the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

CHRIS MAMMAN

Chris Mamman, National President, Eggon Cultural and Development Association (ECDA), the base of Ombaste devotees accused of killing security men in Nassarawa State reacts to the ugly incident: How did the killing of security operatives happen?

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was not there but I will tell you the truth. This is a community whose only road is about five metres wide, which cannot be passed at the same time by two vehicles. The community lacks government presence: no water; no electricity and many other things. There are about five villages before Alakyo and they are all Eggons. 70 per cent of the population has never seen mobile policemen before, so, to see vicious-looking people with guns entering the village, jumping down from vehicles and shooting tear-gas sporadically shocked them and that was what led to the crisis. If you go to an unknown territory, even if you have a gun, for how long are you going to keep killing? We don’t know how many rounds of ammunition they fired before these people rebuffed. I will advise the government of Nasarawa State and Nigeria to allow the truth to prevail, instead of looking for scapegoats.


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Arty News

Friday, May 31, 2013

Darey releases Special Fever

King’s College wins 1st monopoly tourney ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

ADENRELE NIYI

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till relishing the success of putting togetherLove Like A Movie, one of the best concerts so far this year, African R’n’B powerhouse Darey is back with another international single, Special Fever for fans in and out of Nigeria. The new single is coming shortly after the release of the music video to his hit track, Asiko featuring Jozi and Ice Prince. Special Fever was produced by internationally acclaimed producer, Harmony who is known to have produced award winning hit songs for Chris Brown, Kelly Rowland, Maroon5 and Mary J Blige among many others. The unique R&B/Highlife track, describes the art of love as Darey pours out his emotions to a woman who the artiste credits with giving him a special kind of fever. This impressive new single shows Darey’s professionalism and pedigree as a music composer, assuring his place him as one of contemporary Nigerian artistes with global appeal.

L-R: M.I and Kimani

Chocolate City Kenya launched today

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s part of recent pan-continental expansion, Nigeria’s leading recording and entertainment company, Chocolate City, today commenced operations in Kenya, one of the key markets for music and entertainment in Africa. Billed to perform at the opening event are M.I, Victoria Kimani who will be supported by some of the hottest talent in Kenya. Top Chocolate City executives will also be in attendance. Chocolate City Vice President, Jude ‘M.I’ Abaga, had made the announcement earlier in Lagos. “The official launch of Chocolate City Kenya Label -a part of the Chocolate City Group -will be coming up Friday, May 31 at the prestigious Museum Hill in Nairobi, Kenya”, said M.I an iconic Nigerian rapper and one of the continent’s most successful entertainers.

X Factor contestants eye N24m prize ADENRELE NIYI

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he rare platform offered by Glo X Factor, the world’s biggest reality TV show, for the realisation of music stardom dreams remains a huge motivation for participation by many contestants. However, for a few others, it is the N24 million cash prize offered by Globacom to the ultimate winner of the contest that is the star attraction to participate. This much was evident at the Lagos audition of the show held last weekend at Dream Studios in Omole, Lagos. Mrs. Pat Omohie, a 49-year-old mother of three daughters from Delta State who doubles as a musician and actress by profession, says she has her eyes firmly fixed on the prize money. Mrs. Omohie currently stars in popular Television soap opera Tinsel and has released a music album titled Keeper of my Head to her credit. According to her, winning the X

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Factor singing competition will boost her musical career which she said is presently at a ‘struggling level’. For 21-year-old year orphan, Victory Udoh from Akwa Ibom, Glo’s N24 million will transform her life. The student of French, in a school in Benin Republic said: “I will dedicate the win to the memory of my late mum who died of cancer just four years after our father died”. She stated that; “since our mother died, paying my school fees has been my greatest problem. I hope to win the prize money to lift my siblings from suffering and also establish my singing career”, she said after her auditions. Similarly, a physically challenged singer, Sly Kelly, aged 29, said he would use the money to uplift his status. “I am determined not to allow my disability to discourage me. I hope to make a difference... if I win, I will also use part of the money to assist other talented singers who have one disability or another”.

“Our aim is to create a platform for the growth and expansion of East African music and foster more mutually beneficial collaborations with other African sub-regions”, he added. The label has already signed its first Kenyan act, Victoria Kimani who features M.I on her sophomore single Oya. “Victoria Kimani is amazing, she’s got a great vibe and ready to work, very hardworking and she’s just good”, the label VP said. The label’s Kenya launch will also see the official unveiling of a partnership between Chocolate City and Adrenalive –organisers of The Mingle – which will feature the birth of new music festivals, concerts, and art culture in East Africa. The inaugural event from the series of concerts dubbed Boobaataa Festival will be in July.

n celebration of the Children’s Day, Bestman Games, sole owners of the African edition of international board game –Monopoly, organised an international standard tournament last Friday between two schools; King’s College and Queen’s College, Lagos. Students, parents and interested audience gathered at foremost cultural centre, Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, where contesting schools engaged in a play session for the first Annual City of Lagos Edition Monopoly Tournament. A special surprise guest at the event was Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Since its launch by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola in December 2012, the increasing success of the Fast Dealing Property Trading Game in Nigeria continues to receive resounding applause amongst enthusiasts. In light of its achievements Bestman Games, organised the one-day tournament in collaboration with First Bank of Nigeria Plc, GTBank Plc, the Lagos State Government and Stanbic IBTC Pensions Managers Ltd. Organisers used this event to present some basic lessons in resource management by educating participating students about the importance of financial literacy, while encouraging personal financial responsibility from an early age. King’s College emerged winner of the tournament and was presented with prize money of N1m by the Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC, Mrs. Sola David-Borha.

Godfather debuts Ajebori’s album TERH AGBEDEH

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Ajebori

ondon socialite and the Chairman of Naija FM Radio Station, UK and Godfather Music International, GMI, Kent Uche, a.k.a. Godfather, is set to release a new album by notable fuji artiste, Asimiu Ajebori. The album titled: Champion, was recorded recently at Studio Plus, Camberwell, London by Ajebori and it is expected to make an impact in the UK and Nigerian markets and music scene in view of Ajebori’s performances at UK concerts organised by GMI. A sneak preview shows that Ajebori worked hard to re-define himself in the 46-minute album, with his flawless rendition of captivating

tunes, in up-beat tempo, with him singing about his sojourn in the UK; giving an insight into the problems often faced by Nigerian immigrants and advising on the importance of education to the youths. The album, which was produced by Bolaji Bello and Sam Ajagbe, includes a hit track, Mr. Wendover, and has special tracks for society high fliers like Shina Peller, Gbenga Islander and Demola Oniru. “I am overwhelmed by the support from Godfather”, he said. “He has made my dream a reality in respect of this album and I believe that music fans will tremendously appreciate the work”. Meanwhile, Godfather has said that GMI would soon be launched in Nigeria as an entertainment company.


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Arty News

Friday, May 31, 2013

35

Youth put up spectacular concert in Lagos

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Tiwa Savage performing

Elegance, style, music at Bailey’s launch STORIES: ADENRELE NIYI

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ast Saturday, Baileys, the premium Irish cream drink from the stables of Diageo Brands Nigeria, stepped out in a new elegant bottle during a celebratory event held in Lagos. Celebrities and lovers of the smooth, creamy drink thronged the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, for a night of live music, networking, cocktails and socialising. The exotic drink erstwhile known for its short bottle now comes in a beautiful new bottle with ‘shoulders high’, giving it an enchanting look that leaves its admirers desirous of the drink. At an earlier meeting with members of the media to announce the reinvention, General Manager, Diageo Brands Nigeria, Mr. Felix Enwemadu said the introduction of the new Baileys bottle into the Nigerian market is in line with the global drive to further position the brand uniquely in the minds of its consumers. “We have created a beautiful new bottle which is both modern and stylish and has a greater sense of femininity. Baileys is a brand that appeals uniquely to women and the new bottle was created to embrace and celebrate the stylish and contemporary woman. The new Baileys bottle evokes the brand’s modern, feminine sense of style”, Enwemadu said. Enwemadu further explained that “the striking new design is the next step in the brand’s quest for renewed femininity as it restates the provenance and heritage of Baileys in a more elegant way. The new bottle has been heightened and the shoulders lifted, to give a more elegant profile

and pose a more alluring and impactful prospect on shelves and in shops worldwide”. And female power ruled at the unveiling event at Muri Okunola Park; ladies received free makeup sessions and complimentary make up bags. Then there was the superlative live performance from star singer and entertainer, Tiwa Savage. Ms. Savage, back by her band, held the audience spellbound with a medley of songs which covered hit R’n’B tracks of international artistes to local highlife classics by some of Nigeria’s veteran and rounding off with her hit singles, “Kele Kele” and “Love me, Love me”. Other performers at the event hosted by radio presenter, Folu Storms, included R’n’B powerhouse, Praiz and DJ Caise. The audience were on their feet all night dancing while sipping Bailey’s from never-empty glasses. Also commenting on the new bottle, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Seni Adetu said the introduction of the new bottle shows the desire of the company to continually satisfy its esteemed consumers. “Baileys is on the path of exciting our consumers with this new bottle. Despite the re-design, the iconic drink still maintains it distinct creamy taste that stood it out since 1974. While they enjoy the smooth, creamy taste of Baileys, we encourage our consumers to drink responsibly at all times”, Adetu said. The bottle, which has been launched globally since January 2013, awakens the powerful and dramatic brand icon - the ‘Double B’ – elevating its visual prominence. The new Original Irish Cream bottle also features a fresh interpretation of the iconic label, and new typography to compliment the stylish new look.

Executives of Diageo Brand Nigeria; L-R Richard Walker, Lola Ashafa, Sola Oke, Lisa Nichols and Felix Enwemadu

pening with “O, Clap Your Hand all Ye People!” the popular song by E. Greenwood taken from the Book of Psalms, Chapter 49, the 50-pieces strong Youth Choir and Orchestra of the Apostolic Faith Church, West and Central Africa, WECA Headquarters, lifted the roof of the Great Tabernacle at Anthony Village, Lagos, to open the twohour concert last Sunday. The 50-young voice and instrumentalists are part of the expanded choir of over a thousand that presents the celebrated Christmas and Camp meeting concerts. They treated the audience to soulful renditions of artistically arranged hymns and songs The concert, which attracted thousands of music lovers and members of the church from Lagos and beyond, was part of the three-day programme lined up by the Youth Development Department of the organisation. Themed “Divine Assurance”, the series of programmes was put together to commemorate the International Children’s Day. Beginning from Saturday, May 25 with an event tagged “Impact Day”, the programme gathered momentum taking in a Children’s Concert later in the same day. This concert was staged by some 130 children under the age of 15. Fielding children action songs, renditions and orchestrations, the concert brought together children from Anthony Village and its environs. It was quite interesting to observe how simple children songs like “Deep and Wide” and “Jesus Bids us Shine”, among others, were turned into beautiful pieces with variations, actions and movements caught attention, not only of the young audience, but also of parents. At the Sunday concert, the opening performance was fol-

lowed by a Brass Quartet presenting a suite from the G.F. Handel’s Water Music. Another vocal male quartet delivered “He Never Sleeps” written by Joe E. Park. Shortly after, the audience joined in the performance when Babatope Makun, the Director of the Youth Choir, conducted the audience in singing “You are my All in All”. The choir carried the audience along at the part of the programme where they performed were songs in Igbo, Hausa, Efik and Yoruba languages. The evening was finally brought to an end by that most reassuring song by John Moore, “Burdens are Lifted at Calvary”, to bring the audience to their knees with an altar call where people were invited to burden their heart to the Lord, the Giver of divine assurance, as the theme of the programme went. Busola Osidipe, the Superintendent of the Sunday School at WECA Headquarters, fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the proceedings, explained that the children are accepted into Sunday School from age two and they are accepted into singing and music classes from age four upwards. “We have teachers that take on these youngsters in the art of singing as well as instrumentation. The instruments are bought forth children by their parents and the lessons are given free by a team of dedicated teachers”, she said. Also speaking, Babatope Makun remarked that the basis of the programme is to demonstrate to all that the future of any organisation lies with the youths. He revealed that the concert was an annual programme. “Every weekend preceding or around the International Children’s Day, we design these series of programmes tailored to the youths”.

Members of the Apostolic Faith Youth Choir and Orchestra during their performance.


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People In The Mirror

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Pure magic at COSON Song Awards Last Saturday, the crème of the Nigerian society and the toast of Nigerian entertainment congregated at the New Ballroom of Lagos Oriental Hotel. They came for the climax of the COSON Week. Hosted by debonair Frank Edoho, the Copyrights Society of Nigeria, COSON, pulled out all the stops to give guests an unforgettable event; award presenters came on stage in classic cars. There were also performances by top artistes like Sunny Neji, 2Face Idibia, Solid Star, Seyi Shay, Iyanya and Majek Fashek. Guests included; Sir Victor Uwaifo, Mike Okri, Pa Chris Ajilo, Orlando Julius, Victor Uwaifo, Sir Shina Peters, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, Bright Chimezie, Dayo ‘D1’ Adeneye, Dizzy K. Falola, Flavour, Righteous Man, Bracket, Zakky Adze, Annie Macaulay Idibia and Fed Amata, among many others.

L-R ‘Rainmaker’ Majek Fashek and Prince Bisi Olatilo

COSON Song Awards host, Frank Edoho Annie and 2face Idibia

Sunny Neji (r) and Aisha Joy-Omosun

Iyanya performing

Flavour Nabania

Fred Amata and Dizzy K. Falola on the red carpet

Sir Victor Uwaifo on the red carpet

L-R: ‘Sir Shina Peters, Patrick Doyle and Iretiola Doyle

Sheyi Shay at the awards

Butterscotch Evenings lights up Lagos An entertaining evening of comedy, comedy music, music food and haute couture was held at the Eko Hotels and Suites last Friday. Friday The inaugural Butterscotch Evenings, organised by MichelAngelo Productions, held guests spellbound with the top notch production and musical performances. Italian celebrity chef, Aldo Zilli, crafted a five-course meal for the event hosted by Hollywood’s Bill Bellamy and Nigeria’s Yvonne Vixen Ekwere. Performances came from Nigerian stars, Praiz and Waje, U.S R’n’B star, Johnny Gill and Europe’s queen of burlesque, Immodesty Blaize.

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Johnny Gill serenading a female guest

Chef Aldo Zilli

L-R Waje, Johnny Gill and Praiz on stage

Immodesty during her performance PHOTO: KELECHI AMADI-OBI/ R&B-PR


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday May 31, 2013

37

Ford sells 18,000 vehicles in Africa in 4 months

STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ord automobile company has revealed that it has sold 18,000 vehicles in Africa between January and April this year, representing 38 per cent growth in comparison to the first four months of last year. The auto company also disclosed that out of these figures, it sold 1,264, which indicated eight per cent growth in the country when compared to 914 units sold during the same period of 2012. Disclosing these figures in Lagos last week in an interaction with auto journalists was the Ford’s Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, Sub-Sahara Africa, Mr. Ezio Tuniz. He described Nigeria as a significant market to the success of Ford Motors on the continent, saying that sales in Nigeria has grew more than 40 per cent from 2010 to 2011 and another eight per cent in 2012, despite the overall challenges in the Nigerian auto industry. Ford’s highest selling brand in the country according to him was the All-New Ford Ranger, which he said its sales were up 31 per cent through April 2013. He also revealed that the auto company has commenced the Extended Service Programme, ESP, which offers customers free aftersales service of vehicles up to four years or 120,000km, whichever comes first through Ford’s major dealers till the end of August, this

year. The programme, which he said is novel led to the increased demand of Ford vehicles among auto shoppers in the country. “The driving factor for the increase in our sales, so far, can be attributed to stock of more vehicle choices from the new product lineup at our dealerships, our extended warranty programme, as well as, our continued focus on strengthening dealers’ parts and service departments. The ongoing extended warranty pro-

gramme tagged the ‘Extended Service Programme, ESP’, is offering customers free after-sales service of vehicles up to 4-years or 120,000km, whichever comes first through Ford’s major dealers till the end of August, this year”, he said.. “The offer is available on new Ford Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Edge, Escape, Explorer or Expedition, F-Series trucks and E-Series vans. As you are aware, we recently improved on our parts availabil-

Mirror Drive

ity by expanding service of our Middle East Parts Distribution Center, PDC, to dealers in SSA, getting parts to customers in the region more quickly than ever before”. On the focus of the American auto company for Nigeria in 2013, Tuniz said the main focus is to continue to market the Ford brand as a full-line manufacturer with a full range of products, sales, and service, stressing that its current product lineup is strong as ever.

Hyundai to install photovoltaic power plant

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yundai Motor Company, South Korea’s largest automaker, earlier in the week announced its plans to install the nation’s largest rooftop photovoltaic power plant at its manufacturing factory in Asan, Korea. The auto company said that the purpose of the installation is to expand the use of renewable energy and take measures to help reduce global warming, which is confronting the world at the moment. An online statement by the auto company’s dealer in the country, Stallion Motors, stated that Hyundai’s Asan plant will host the power plant, while Korea Electric Power Corporation, KEPCO, will purchase the electricity produced by the solar modules and sell it to areas near the plant, including Asan city.

Working with Korea Midland Power Company Ltd., KOMIPO, a thermal power company, Hyundai plans to install about 40,000 solar photovoltaic modules on the rooftops of Asan’s press, welding, assembly and engine buildings by the end of this year. The statement added that the 213,000 square meter area to be equipped with the modules accounts for as much as 68 per cent of the total roof space, and the peak capacity of the combined modules reaches 10 MW. With such capacity, the completed plant will be capable of supplying up to 11.5 million KWh of electricity per year, or provide a stable supply of electricity for up to 3,200 households. As 100 per cent of the photovoltaic plant at Asan will be built on existing rooftops, the construction neither requires any addi-

tional land nor causes environmental issues. The choice of the Asan plant is appropriate, as Asan manufactures the eco-friendly Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, as well as Sonata and Grandeur (Azera in some markets). To produce the same amount of electricity –11.5 million KWh– a thermoelectric power plant releases 5,600 tons of carbon dioxide, emission that can be prevented by the use of the photovoltaic power plant. The reduction of 5,600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to the effect of planting 1.12 million pine trees on the environment. Moreover, sprinklers that work to cool down the solar modules will also help the plant save energy by lowering the indoor temperature during hot seasons.

MAINTENANCE TIPS

How to clean up when selling your car

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eeping your car clean enables you to stay on top of parking dings and other dents and scratches. And if you are thinking about selling, a clean car is automatically a more valuable car. Cleaning a car is only about a spot of water, a sponge and a bit of elbow grease. The wet season, gives a car’s bodywork a tough time. During the season, more salts are produced on the road, no thanks to the flooded water. To ensure good sales for a vehicle either in wet or dry seasons, these are some of the tips an auto user should follow. First, before you get the sponge out, use a hosepipe to wash off mud, grit and road grime from the car or you will just be wiping it into the car’s paintwork. Make sure wheels are cold to the touch before you begin or you could discolour or damage the finish. Start cleaning them from the bottom up. This way you will avoid patches and streaks before you hose off. Besides, avoid washing the car in the sun and start washing the bodywork from the top down using shampoo and a clean, thoroughly rinsed sponge. Start on the roof and wash one half of the car at a time. Rinse off before the paintwork dries, to avoid streaks, and then repeat on the other side. Even after hosing, dirt and grit can cling to your car and scratch the paintwork as you wash. Minimise this by using two buckets: one with the shampoo in and the other with clean, fresh water. Charge the sponge and begin washing then regularly rinse the sponge in the bucket of clean water. This traps the grit and dirt in the second bucket. Spending quality time on your car now will pay dividends later in the year as it will help ward off the bird droppings and dead insects, and make keeping it clean easier in the long-run.


Cocktail

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x

Friday, May 31, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (155) Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. –African Proverb ADAPT AND CONQUER! Those who expect things to be easy in this world may be disappointed several times over. Things in most cases are first of all difficult before they are easy. It is usually when things are difficult that we build the character that will help us to navigate the terrains of life. Masters of life don’t complain or murmur; they quickly adapt to the demands of the day and go on conquering. They know who they are. They believe in themselves and know that if one can persevere, most things can be learned over time thus paving way to more and more success. I vividly remember the story of the man who wanted to become a monk. In the monastery, he was told that you have to keep silent for seven years before you can speak just two words. At the end of the first seven years, he was called upon to speak his two words. He said, “Bed’s hard. “ At the end of another seven years, he said, “Food’s bad.” When he was called after the third seven years, he said, “I quit.” Everybody smiled. All he could say for twenty years in the monastery were complains. No wonder he had to quit! Let us learn to adapt, whatever the situation may be and keep our focus on the ultimate goal and we shall succeed. That is the secret of water. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Oldestt person iin U Old United it d St States t turns t 114

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he oldest living person in the United States celebrated her 114th birthday at her church in Michigan. Jeralean Talley, who turned 114 Thursday, was honoured Sunday at the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster when the congregation sang “Happy Birthday” and recognized her as the oldest living person in the United States,

the Detroit News reported Monday. “I’m just thankful,” Talley said during the service. “If I do anything, it comes from you [God].” Family members said Talley, the third-oldest person in the world, went fishing the day before her birthday and caught seven fish, the Detroit Free Press reported.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

India jail-born man bails mother after 19 years

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n a dusty tenement in a crowded neighbourhood in the Indian city of Kanpur, a young man takes out a bright yellow sari from a shopping bag and presents it to his mother. “Do you like it?” he asks her. “Yes,” is her reply. It is an innocuous scene, except that the young man, Kanhaiya, has waited a long time to give his mother a gift. Nineteen years ago, his mother Vijai Kumari was convicted of murder wrongfully, she claimed. She was granted bail on appeal but she did not have the 10,000 rupees ($180; £119) she needed to post bail. Her husband abandoned her and no-one else came forward to help her. “I thought I’d die in prison,” she says. “They told me in there that no-one ever gets out.” She was pregnant when she went to jail. Four months later, Kanhaiya was born.

“I sent him away when he got a bit older. It was hard but I was determined. Prison is no place for a young child,” she says. So she stayed in prison

Kumari and her son (inset)

all these years, lost in the system and forgotten. All she had to keep her going was a passport-size photograph of her son and his visits to her every three

months. Kanhaiya spent most of his childhood growing up at various juvenile homes. And he never forgot his mother.


Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business & Finance The N4.6 billion shopping mall is aimed at assisting the government in boosting economic activities in the state.

Any SIM that is not registered and has no identity will be denied porting, even if the owner indicates interest to port Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Tony Ojobo

NIGER STATE GOVERNOR, MUAZU BABANGIDA ALIYU

FG appoints consultants to plug leakages in Federation Account TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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March 19th, and approval it secured from the Committee to commence the exercise. Mbam, specifically disclosed that the exercise slated to commence on June 3 through August 5 this year would enable the consultants to verify and reconcile revenue collections and remittances by the 24 banks engaged by both the FIRS

and NCS in order to recover any excess deductions and stop further leakages. At the formal launch of the exercise in Abuja, the RMAFC chief said that the project would commence on June 3 and is expected to be completed on the August 5, 2013 when the lead consultant would submit its final report to the Commission.

The Lead consultant is expected to supervise and Coordinate the activities of other consultants; develop data capturing and reporting template as well as verify, reconcile and ensure that all flow of revenue from collecting agencies from January 2008 and June 2012 is in accordance with relevant agreements between the collecting

banks, FIRS and the NCS. The other 52 consultants are expected to reconcile all transfers from the lead banks to the federation account in the CBN; verify that the remuneration paid to each lead and collecting bank are in accordance with the agreements signed with the FIRS and NCS, among other responsibilities.

he Federal Government yesterday said 53 consulting firms had been engaged to conduct verification, reconciliation and remittance investigations on all banks engaged by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with a view to curbing leakages in the collection system and ensuring that illegal charges by banks are recouped into government coffers. The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Engr Elias Mbam, who gave the hint yesterday in Abuja, said the engagement of the consulting firms, with JK Consulting servingas Lead Consultant on the exercise which would cover January 2008 to June 2012, was sequel to the presentations made by the Commission to the Federa- L-R: Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, tion Accounts Allocation Mallam Sanusi Lamido; Managing Director, IC Events, Omar Ben Yedder and CBN Deputy Governor (Economic Policy), Dr. (Mrs.) Committee (FAAC) on Sarah Alade, at the African Banker Awards 2013, at Taj Palace Marrakech, Morocco, yesterday.

FG reaffirms commitment to transparency in oil, gas sector UDEME AKPAN

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he Federal Government of has reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in the oil, gas and mining sectors

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LAGOS: 01-8446073, 08037272933 08094331171, 08023133084, ABUJA: 08033020395, 08036321014 08029002500

of the economy. President GoodLuck Jonathan gave the assurances in Sydney, Australia while addressing the 6th global Conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI which confirmed the development in a statement stated in a statement that

the Conference which had Beyond Transparency as its theme is held every two years to review the impacts of extractive industries implementation in resource –rich member countries, a market for ideas from governments, companies and the civil society. It quoted the President who was represented by the Minister of Mines

Bristow Helicopters to spend N758.4m to train 16 pilots in 2013

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and Steel Development, Arch Musa Mohammed Sada as explaining that the interventions of the Nigeria Extractive Industries transparency Initiative on issues of accountability and good governance of the sector in Nigeria informed government’s decision to introduce the Petroleum Industry Bill to the National Assembly for pas-

sage into law. He said: “The draft legislation provides for sound policy, legal and regulatory frame works upon which the reform initiatives in Nigeria’s petroleum industry will be driven. For this to happen, the PIB has deliberately made sufficient provisions to strengthen the role of NEITI and deepen the extractive industries transparency initiative process”.

Matters arising from Eastern Ports’ cargo specialisation controversy

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Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15,17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun)Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri) 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun)

Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)

IRS Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00


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Business News

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Internet cost still high in Nigeria – NIG KUNLE A ZEEZ

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espite the increase in the number of Internet users in Nigeria, the Nigerian Internet Group, a non-governmental orgainsations promoting internet penetration since 1995, has decried the high cost of internet service in the country. Speaking at the body’s Annual Conference and Exhibition which held in Lagos yesterday, its Vice President, Mr. Destiny Amana, said, “In as much as we now talk about having increased access to the internet, people are still complaining about high cost of internet access in-country.” He stated that with estimated population of 174 million currently in Nigeria, having an internet user profile of 47 million at present was still unacceptable, saying efforts needed to be strengthened to drive ubiquitous broadband in the country. Amana said the need to focus on ubiquitous internet access has informed the theme of this year’s

L-R: Group Head, Public Sector (Akure/Ekiti), First Bank Nigeria Plc, Mr. Oladele Bakare, Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, Business Manager, Public Sector Team, Ekiti, First Bank, Mr. Dele Adefila, and Branch Manager, Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Kazeem Owoade, when the team paid a visit to the deputy governor in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.

NIG conference titled, “Broadband as Tool in Nation Building.” He, however, noted that factors responsible for the high cost of internet in the country such as exorbitant Right of Way charges by the government at all levels,

vandalism and theft of cable infrastructures. “We need to address these issues as it cost more money to deploy network from Lagos to Abuja than it cost to link Nigeria to London,” he said.

Jonathan assures on implementation of broadbrand plan ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said his administration would take immediate steps to fully implement the report of the Presidential Committee on a National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap. Jonathan who spoke after receiving the report which was jointly presented to him by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and the Co-Chairmen of the Committee, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and Mr. Jim Ovia, said that he was confident that the successful implementation of

the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap would help to positively revolutionise communications in Nigeria. The President maintained that he wholly subscribed to the committee’s view that broadband is to the 21st century information age what electricity was to the industrial age and would therefore give all possible support to ensure that Nigeria is wholly integrated into the global digital communication network. “Any country that lags behind in the current age of ICT will miss a lot. That is why we have created a separate Ministry of Communications Technology to facilitate the establishment of the best digital communications

infrastructure in Nigeria and optimize our adoption of global best practices in the use of information and communications technology. “I thak you for your work and I assure you that the report will be adopted by government and implementation will begin immediately because our people are hungry for information and we are in a hurry to fully integrate our country into the digital communications age,” the President told members of the committee. The committee, which was inaugurated in September last year was given the mandate to develop a broadband strategy and roadmap for the country.

Bristow Helicopters to spend N758.4m to train 16 pilots in 2013 OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ristow Helicopters has announced that it intends to spend $4.8m (about N758.4m) on training of its pilots in 2013. The helicopter company revealed that it will expend the sum of $300, 000 each on 16 pilots as training within the year. Disclosing this yesterday at a briefing with aviation correspondents in Lagos, was the Managing Director of the helicopter company, Capt. Akin Oni. According to Oni, the training of pilots, engineers and other technical personnel was a yearly exercise by the company, adding that the current pilots

would be trained at the Ilorin Aviation College in Kwara State. Oni explained that the selected candidates were picked from 2,000 applicants and the training is expected to last for between seven and eight weeks. He informed further that after the initial training at Ilorin, the trainees would commence on further training to Bristow Academy in Florida, United States of America, USA. Oni emphasised that the purpose of the training was to correct expatriates quota in the aviation sector, hoping that in the next couple of years, the helicopter company would fully be taken over by indigenous people. He stated that the Florida

training would be for 12 months where the trainees would be fully exposed to pilot training. He said, “The purpose of this training by our company is for us to contribute our quota to the Nigerian policy on reduction of expatriate pilots. We’ve been doing this for many years and we will continue to do this until the whole company is taken over by Nigerians. “In 2002, we trained 20 pilots and in the last five years, we’ve trained 70 pilots and we have been doing this training for the past 25 years.” He informed that over 65 to 70 per cent helicopter pilots working in the country today were products of the helicopter company.

Though the forum witnessed as poor turnout just as it did in 2012, few key stakeholders who attended the forum also made major contributions on issues surrounding internet access and governance. Meanwhile Chief Executive Of-

ficer, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Guy Clarke, has said the comatose state of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) is creating a lacuna in the nation’s Information and Communications technology industry, especially in the areas of help in to drive cost of services down for the growing telecoms consumers. Speaking during an interaction with media executives in Lagos, Clarke, said the current inactive state of NITEL has aggravated service delivery in Nigeria, stressing that if there had been a functional national operator such as NITEL on ground, “It would have been easier to connect the entire country and engender fair competition among operators.” He said in every country, there is a national operator that ensures to moderate service cost for telecoms consumers, though he said, some of this national operators like the Orange Telecoms in the United Kingdom and others, are managed by private individuals on behalf of such countries for efficiency.

SON raids building material market, seizes N50m iron rods OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

ABUJA

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he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday stormed Abuja Building Materials Market located at Dei-Dei, a sub urban area of Abuja and confiscated iron rods worth N50m. However, not all the steel materials alleged to have failed laboratory test were confiscated. While 90 length Y-MM 8 iron steel were seized and carried away by the enforcement officials, led by the Regional Coordinator, North Central, Mr Nelson Adebiyi, for a further laboratory, the remaining was put on hold with an embargo on its sales. Expectedly, the officials did not have an easy ride as the traders put up serious resistance, claiming that they were unduly being used as guinea pigs while the big factories manufacturing the steels were left untouched. For instance, a trader who preferred anonymity challenged the agency to go after Universal Steel Company Limited; a Lagos based steel manufacturing company, the maker of the Y-MM iron rods, instead of disturbing traders who were merely doing their businesses. He said,” The kind of harassment traders in this market suffer in the hands of the officials of SON is uncalled for. We are only traders trying to make ends meets. If any of our items is said to be substandard, why not go

after the manufacturers who are duly registered with the agency. “In the case of Y-MM 8, the product is manufactured by a Lagos based steel company, Universal Company Limited. Let the agency begin their enforcement exercise from there instead of disturbing us at every slightest opportunity. Backing out his men, the Chairman Building Materials Dealers Association, Dei-Dei, Comrade Anthony Chukwuneke, also challenged the Agency to go beyond the market if it was serious to rid the country of substandard goods. He said that if there was the prevalence of substandard products in the markets as the officials had alleged, then SON should be an accomplice as it is expected to have representatives in each of the factories to enforce standards. Addressing journalists after the enforcement exercise, the Regional Coordinator, North Central, SON Mr. Nelson Adebiyi justified the operation, stressing that the agency had conducted its surveillance checks on Kendo Builders Limited, the seller of the sub standards 12mm and 8mm rods before the raid. He said, “The enforcement was based on a market survey carried out earlier in the market by SON which revealed that there were some substandard iron steels being sold by traders which we need to evacuate from the market.”


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Business News

Friday, May 31, 2013

Failing cocoa price blamed on fraudulent farmers ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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cocoa merchant and Chief Executive Officer of Armajaro Nigeria Limited, Mr Oladimeji Filani, has blamed the decline in prices of cocoa in Nigeria on the fraudulent practices of some farmers. Filani, who said that cocoa prices in Nigeria is low compared to what obtains in neighbouring West African countries, lamented that some fraudulent Nigerians put pebbles and other dirty things inside cocoa bags to make them weigh unlike the faithful practices in neighbouring countries. The cocoa merchant, who spoke shortly after a trainingempowerment programme he organised for cocoa farmers at Ijan Ekiti yesterday, said: “It is a matter of regret that some of our farmers are engaging themselves in fraudu-

lent malpractices by putting pebbles and other dirty things inside cocoa bags with erroneous notion that it would weigh more. “Unfortunately, this is having a negative impact on the prices of our cocoa in international market where the price of Nigeria cocoa has become worthless unlike that of Ghana and Ivory Coast,” he said. He urged governments at all levels to revitalise cocoa production with a view to making it a large revenue earner, saying the crop could yield N100 billion yearly for country if well harnessed. He canvassed a return to the Western Nigeria period when cocoa was the mainstay of the country’s economy with the production of about 600,000 metric tonnes yearly. Filani, while saying that dependence on oil and government allocations had been hampering agricultural devel-

opment, urged states and federal governments to rely less on statutory monthly allocation and concentrate more on the production of cocoa and other cash and tree crops. As part of efforts to ensure revitalisation of cocoa production, he said that his company had decided to establish a demonstration farm in Ekiti State, which according to him, would equally accommodate a training school and hotel. According to him, Nigeria produced about 200,000 metric tons of cocoa last year in which the country realised about N70billion last year, while it is projecting about 300,000 metric tons this year with eyes on about N100 billion. Filani pointed out that cocoa and other cash and tree crops were the mainstay of the economy of the country during the First Republic, especially in the Western Region where the region was producing about 600,000 metric tonnes.

Special Assistant to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria on Financial and Economic Matters, Dr. Yakubu Umar (left) and Head, Group Internal Control, UBA Plc, Alhaji Usman Imam Isiaka, at the 1st National Risk Management Conference organised by the CBN, recently.

Oranmiyan Airline to take off soon KEMI OLAITAN

IBADAN

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rominent Yoruba indigenes in the diaspora under the aegis of Yoruba Global Coalition, has said it would float an airline to be known as Oranmiyan Airline. The Chairman of the Coalition, Dr Layo Adeniyi , who said this at the palace of the Allafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, monarch in Oyo, said the airline is expected to begin operation in July. He disclosed that the airline was established in conjunction with a group of foreign investors, World Wide Holdings headed by Mr. Lamar Jensen. According to him, Yorubas in diaspora have concluded necessary arrangement to-

wards the establishment of the airline with the foreign investors and will start with two airbuses. Adeniyi, who was flanked by Chief Titilayo Adesoye, the Iyalaje of Oyo town, a member of the coalition, said the airline is only waiting for a Certificate of Incorporation and Aviation Licence. While presenting the report of the Yoruba in Diaspora Conference held in Dubai in March to Oba Adeyemi, he said when the airline begins operation in July, it would provide employment opportunity for about 3,000 Yoruba youths. He added that the mission of the coalition was aimed at centering on the development of Yoruba nation, stating that it was designed to promote

industrialisation and socio-economy of the South-West.. He said, “Our mission is to tell Yorubas what Yorubas in diaspora are doing towards the development of Yoruba states. Many of our members are successful men and women. All we want is Yoruba nation competing with the rest of the world. “. According to him, other targets of the coalition in its eight point agenda include the establishment of rail transport system which would be operating in South-West states, mineral exploration and marketing and water. Others are infrastructural development, health, transportation and education among others. Oba Adeyemi while signing the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for the development of the Yoruba nation, stressed the need to collaborate with investors to develop the economy of the South-West.

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Sanusi bags Central Bank Governor of The Year Award UDO ONYEKA

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he Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi, CON, has been conferred with the 2013 Africa “Central Bank Governor of the Year” Award by the IC Publications Group, in collaboration with Business in Africa Events, at Marrakech, Morocco on May 29. The Central Bank Governor’s Award, which is the third for Sanusi in three years, was presented to the CBN Governor at the African Banker Awards gala dinner held at the impressive Taj Palace, Marrakech, Morocco. In a statement made available to National Mirror, the Publisher, African Banker and Managing Director, IC Events, Omar Ben Yedder, said the award is in recognition of Sanusi’s remarkable leadership role and consistent contribution to

banking reforms in Nigeria, which have inspired his peers to emulate him across the continent of Africa and beyond. “The African Banker Awards Committee has commended you (Sanusi) on your outstanding work in the past years in sustaining reforms; ensuring macroeconomic stability, protecting the independence of the Central Bank and enhancing many aspects of Nigerian Banking adoption of new technologies for financial inclusion; continuous modernization and more transparent disclosures including adopting higher reporting standards to banks”, he said. The organisers of the award, which has the African Developmet Bank Group as its official patron, noted that the latter reforms championed by Sanusi are having an impact not only on the banking industry but also on the country as a whole.

Group to commission world-class fire station in Lagos

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he Lagos Island Millennium Group on the Environment (LIMGE) has announced the completion and planned commissioning of its N1bn world class, purpose built, fully functional and wellequipped fire station in the heart of Lagos Island. In a statement made available to National Mirror the project, which is a key component of LIMGE’s ongoing rebirth agenda for the Lagos Island was built in partnership with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPco). According to its President, Chief (Mrs.) Taiwo Taiwo LIMGE target is to make sure “that no building on Lagos Island is ever gutted by fire again. This was one of our clear mandates from inception because we are aware of the fact that the Lagos island area is densely popu-

lated with close clusters and has always been prone to fire incidents even from colonial times. “What LIMGE is doing is showing an example of Private Public Partnership for others to see and get involved in their communities so we can build a better Lagos and Nigeria,” she said. The project which will be officially commissioned in June boasts of a gym, recreational room, communication equipment, training facilities, 4 state of the art fire fighting motorbikes, brand new fire fighting kits and top quality modern fire fighting and communication equipment. Also 100 specially selected firemen have attended a comprehensive and extensive two week training facilitated by a fire chief from the New Jersey Fire Department.

Diageo unveils new bottle for Baileys ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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iageo Brands Nigeria has unveiled a new bottle for its premium Irish cream drink, Baileys. The company said that Baileys erstwhile known for its short bottle now comes in a new bottle with ‘shoulders high’, giving it an enchanting look that leaves its admirers desirous of the creamy spirit drink. The General Manager Diageo Brands Nigeria, Mr. Felix Enwemadu said the introduction of the new Baileys bottle into the Nigerian market is in line with the global drive to further position the brand uniquely in the minds of its consumers. “We have created a beauti-

ful new bottle which is both modern and stylish and has a greater sense of femininity. Baileys is a brand that appeals uniquely to women and the new bottle was created to embrace and celebrate the stylish and contemporary woman. The new Baileys bottle evokes the brand’s modern, feminine sense of style” Enwemadu said. Enwemadu further explained that “the striking new design is the next step in the brand’s quest for renewed femininity as it restates the provenance and heritage of Baileys in a more elegant way. The new bottle has been heightened and the shoulders lifted, to give a more elegant profile and pose a more alluring and impactful prospect on shelves and in shops worldwide”.


42

Maritime

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Matters arising from Eastern Ports’ cargo specialisation controversy The Nigerian Ports Authority’s directive to issue a memo to port concessionaires in the eastern part of the country to limit operations to their concession terms has ignited a seeming cold war between Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited (INTELS) and Ports and Terminal Operators Nigeria Limited (PTOL), two major concessionaires in the area. FRANCIS EZEM examines some issues in the matter.

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t is a well known fact that the decision by the Federal Government to involve some private sector operators, especially in the handling of cargo at the nation’s numerous seaports over time has no doubt brought about a level of professionalism and efficiency at these ports. This has also brought about the injection of a quantum of private sector funds into the upgrading and modernisation of port infrastructure and super structures as well as acquisition of state-of -the –art equipment and other cargo handlers depending on the cargo involved. This has therefore enabled the government to conserve funds, which are now channelled into other developmental projects. It is also on record that in addition to bringing about a high level of efficiency, the coming on stream of these private operators has injected a new lease of life into these ports, especially those in the eastern part of the country. This is because prior to the exercise, most importers had abandoned the ports in preference to those in Lagos because the Nigerian Ports Authority, which then combined the functions of a regulator and operator could not provide the needed modern equipment that would engender a quick turn around time of vessels as well as reduce the dwell time of cargo, which was then in excess of 60 days. Little wonder the volume of cargo more than quadrupled less than five years after the coming on stream of these private sector operators. This has also reduced the problem of congestion at the ports in Lagos obviously due to over use. The Federal Government in consummating the port reform programme handled by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), in conjunction with NPA, which now became a land lord and technical regulator under the new dispensation. Mention must also be made that prior to the port reform, which was concluded in January 2006, there have been many green fields development in the port industry, which actually dates back to 1982. Under this scheme, a private firm takes up a green field (undeveloped) area and developed it into a modern, world-class port facility with a state of the art plants and equipment. The Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone developed and managed by Intels and dedicated only to oil and gas as well as deep offshore is a good example. The

Aeriel view of Onne Port complex, River State.

YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME THAT PROSPECTIVE CONCESSIONAIRES MADE PROJECTIONS AT THE INCEPTION OF THE AGREEMENT BASED ON THE TONNAGE OF THE TYPE OF GOODS TO BE HANDLED AND HAVE GONE AHEAD TO MAKE MASSIVE INVESTMENTS OVER THE YEARS company therefore undertook a green field development initiative dedicated only for the handling of oil and gas cargo as well as other deep offshore activities. Therefore in keeping with this model of seaport development, the government enacted the Oil and Gas Free Zone Act of 1996 where oil and gas though classified as general cargo are handled exclusively. It was also probably in line with this thinking that NPA issued a memo to Ports and Terminal Operators Nigeria Limited, the concessionaire in charge of Terminal A, Port Harcourt Ports Complex, Rivers State on the need for concessionaires to focus on the handling of specified kinds of cargo in line with the various concession agreements with each concessionaire. NPA had communicated this development to PTOL via a circular dated March 18, 2013 with reference number EP/ AGM/ OPTS/034/. This directive of the authority, it was further gathered, was also a follow up to an earlier by the Federal Ministry of Transport dated July 25, 2012 with reference number T. 160/8.103/C2/T4/431 on the same subject matter. Managing Director of PTOL, Mrs. Lizzy Ovude, who was obviously dissatisfied with the directive of NPA, the technical regulator, brought the matter before the House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport, which in turn organised a public hearing for stakeholders to address all the issues raised by parties. While addressing stakeholders at the public hearing attended by representatives of feuding parties, NPA and other stakeholders, Ovude, wife one time executive director of NPA, Mr. Felix Ovude, who later became managing director of the defunct Eastern Ports Authority, had faulted the new directive on streamlining

the nature of cargo to be handled at the terminal. While wondering why the directive was limited to the ports in the eastern states, she had argued that oil and gas or other bulk cargo such as iron rods, rice and wheat, among several others are classified as general cargo, which gives any concessionaire the leeway to handle any cargo of its choice provided it is within the ambit of ‘general cargo’. She had also insisted that directing her terminal alone to restrict its operations to general bulk cargo excluding oil and gas would have been limited in scope since other terminals, whether at the Eastern Ports or other seaports in the country are not subjected to such limitations. Mrs. Ovude also argued that such restriction in the type of cargo handled by the company would give undue advantage to its competitors, especially INTELS. Executive director of NPA in charge of marine and operations, Mr. David Omonibeke, who represented the managing director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, while throwing light on the cargo specialisation model, which also informed the authority’s directive had argued that oil and gas is a specialised cargo and should be so treated. Meanwhile a source, who craved anonymity, faulted the argument of Ovude, noting that specialisation in handling a type cargo has become the modern trend in port management. He noted that port berths and terminals are all created or decimated on the bases of the type of cargo, arguing that terminals specialise on the basis of the type of cargo such as container, general bulk such as wheat, rice, cement, iron rods and frozen sea food, among several others. “It is a well known fact that oil and gas are characterised as bulk cargo but you

know very well that there is a difference in the handling of general bulk cargo such as iron, wheat, rice, cement and frozen fish, among other, he argued. He also said: “You will agree with me that prospective concessionaires made projections at the inception of the agreement based on the tonnage of the type of goods to be handled and have gone ahead to make massive investments over the years based on these projections and so it will be tantamount to shifting the goal post at the middle of the game if one terminal is allowed to switch to any type of cargo, which does not make for fairness.” It was also gathered that it was in a bid to create an oil and gas hub that the Federal Government closed several private jetties belonging to international oil companies operating in the country which also led to the creation of the Free Zone. Another source, who spoke in a separate interview also said: “The Federal Government enacted the Oil and Gas Free Zone in 1996 long before the Port Harcourt Port Terminal A was concessioned to PTOL, which also create the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, which is capital intensive as a specialised port and massive investments have been made in terms of infrastructure and other facilities.” He had argued that such massive investments in infrastructure and equipment were made considering the throughput which was also considered at the time of bidding for the contract. Chairman of the committee, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had having heard the submissions of all the parties ruled that the status quo should be maintained pending the outcome of deliberations by the argument that the committee needed time to examine all the sides of the argument. The chairman also ruled that the committee needs at least 21 working days to digest the presentations of all parties and come up with appropriate resolutions to guide the leadership of the lower legislative chamber. In the interim, the feuding parties have adopted the ‘wait and see’ attitude. At the end, the party with a superior argument will prevail.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

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ess than one month to the expiration of the sixmonth extension granted service providers under the Destination Inspection Scheme, Global Scan Systems Limited, a fully indigenous firm has said that its scanning capacity at the Seme Borders and other locations are less than 10 percent utilised. The Federal Government had extended its seven-year Build, Own, Operate and Transfer DI contract with the four service providers comprising of Cotecna Destination Inspection Nigeria Limited, SGS, Global Scan and Webb Fontaine, which expired December 31, 2013 by another six months to pave way for the Nigeria Customs Service to adequately prepare for the takeover. Managing director of the company, Mr. Fred Udechukwu, who conducted newsmen round its mobile and fixed scanning sites at the Seme Borders, regretted that the two scanning sites are almost lying waste due to the decision of Customs to carryout 100 percent physical examination on over 90 percent of the cargo that enter through the border, rated as busiest in the country. According to him, the mobile scanner, which was installed first at the inception of the contract has the capacity to scan over 480 trucks per day, but regretted that most of the time less than 10 are sent to them for scanning. “By the nature of the port operations, Customs is the final releasing authority for all imported cargo and by the nature of the

Maritime

Friday, May 31, 2013

‘We have less than 10% scanner utilisation at Seme Border’

Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar and Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Habib Abdullahi at a stakeholders’ meeting for private jetty operators, stevedoring companies and oil companies held in Lagos recently.

contract with the Federal Government, whatever the service sends us is what we scan”, he disclosed. “Some time we receive only five trucks for scanning and we scan them and release back to Customs, sometime we are given 10 trucks in a day and I tell you the highest number of containers we scanned in one whole in the seven years of the contract is 60, which was about one week ago”, he further lamented He noted that by the nature of the scanning machines, they are meant to run 24-hours daily all through the year, which the company had done in the course of the

seven year contract, as it cannot afford the cost of repairing the machines if they are left idle. It was also gathered that the company runs a three-shift system under which members of staff of the company are meant to run the systems eight hours per shift through the 24 hours to make it operational, which is the international practice. He stated that the congestion at most of the ports in the country as well as the land borders with the attendant delay in the release of cargo will be a thing of the past if larger chunk of the cargoes are scanned.

FG to restructure private jetty operations

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orried by the huge loss of revenue to both the nation and other stakeholders, the Federal Government has said it will restructure and streamline activities of private jetty operators numbering over 75 spread across the country. Minister of Transport Senator Idris Umar, who spoke in Lagos at an interactive forum organised for jetty operators, on/offshore oil companies and Stevedore Companies, disclosed that the government is putting finishing touches to plans designed to restructure and streamline activities of the private jetty operator to boost revenue to government and other stakeholders. He also hinted that the ministry is currently liaising government agencies such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are charged with statutory responsibility of grant-

ing approval for the operations of jetties, nshore/offshore oil companies and Stevedore services. He however acknowledged the crucial role of jetty operators, onshore/offshore oil companies as well as stevedoring companies to the development of the maritime industry and indeed the nation. According to him, the large number of Nigerians is employed in that segment of the maritime industry, thus bringing about the much needed economic prosperity and stability in the nation. He also reiterated that the appointment of stevedore companies to manage dockworkers operations at the jetties and offshore/onshore companies is statutory and therefore cannot be subjected to the whims and caprices of operators. He therefore emphasised the supervisory role of government and its agencies in achieving the desired result in private jetties operations. Permanent Secretary Minis-

ter of Transport, Mr. Nebolisa Emordi, who also spoke at the event, emphasised the need for NIMASA to strengthen the criteria for the registration of stevedore companies and insisted that such criteria and standard are to be followed by all stakeholders since laws are meant to be obeyed, adding that government cannot operate in a vacuum. There have been recent of security breaches at private jetties, which many stakeholders condemned, given the current security situation in the country. “Let me state that jetties operators are expected to restrict their activities to the approving licences granted them”, the permanent secretary had said. He insisted that they are also required to work in concert with relevant security Agencies to ensure compliance with the laws guiding their operations. Anything outside these is bound to attract suspicion and appropriate sanctions.

Physical examination of cargo is outdated. No modern seaport does that because it wastes time, increases cost and makes the ports or border stations user-unfriendly, as it implies the physical offloading of the contents of the cargo and re-loading them after. Investigation showed that it takes less than three minutes to scan one truck no matter the size, while it takes more than five hours to carryout physical examination on the same truck with the attendant cost implication arising from delays and payment for labour. On alleged protest by some importers and freight forward-

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ers at the border, who allegedly said they would want their cargo physically examined, he noted that any importer or agent who opts for physical examination should be thoroughly investigated because such importer or agent has sinister motives. He had argued that scanning is a modern and computerised tool in the inspection of imports and exports in most efficient seaports and land borders, arguing that any one that opts physical examination tends towards the stone age, which does not facilitate trade. The government had in granting the extension for the contract argued that it has been inundated with complaints and reports over seeming inability of the service to takeover the scheme, adding that no responsible government would sweep such reports and complaints under the carpet because the consequences of ignoring such warning, which came early enough would be grave for the economy. “In granting the extension, government also liaised with critical stakeholders to ensure that such extension would serve the best interest of the Nigerian nation and no other and so the decision was to save the country from any crisis arising from her trade policies”, he further argued. Under the contract, the service providers are to provide Computerised Risk Management System, provide scanning services for all imports into the country at the air, seaports and land borders as well as train officer of the Customs to take over the scheme at the end of the contract.

Major car carriers face price-fixing suit

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usman Godfrey, an American antitrust litigation firm, has filed a class action against some of the world’s largest maritime vehicle shipping companies, alleging price fixing of carrier services, following raids against the carriers by competition authorities in Japan, the European Union and the U.S. Car buyers who shipped vehicles manufactured overseas to the U.S. alleged the defendants conspired to fix shipping prices, resulting in inflated charges, which automobile manufacturers and dealers passed on to buyers and lessees. The defendants include Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Wallenius Willhelmsen Logistics, NYK Line, “K” Line and Eukor Car Carriers, which collectively control about 70 percent of the global car shipping market, according to Susman Godfrey. Wilh. Wilhelmsen owns 50 percent of WWL and 40 percent of Eukor. “Over the past few years, cooperation among global anti-

trust enforcement agencies has dramatically increased, leading to coordinated investigations like we see in the vehicle carrier case and record fines,” Warren Burns, a Susman Godfrey partner and the lead attorney on the case, said in a written statement. “The conspiracy at the heart of the vehicle carrier case may be global in reach, but its effects have directly impacted American consumers.”

Sekimizu


44

Agri Business

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Smuggling threatens investment in rice farming STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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t is no more news that Nigeria borders are porous, which encourages smuggling activities in the country that takes a severe toll on local investors. But what may be news is that the smuggling of rice into Nigeria through the land borders appears to continue unabated in the country with the Nigerian Customs, unable to check the trend which is threatening governments recent initiatives to increase local production of the essential commodity and make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production. Billions of naira are currently going into investment in local production and processing of rice in the country and stakeholders are getting more worried that smuggling activities from the borders with Republic of Benin, Togo and Cameroun, could annihilate their legitimate investments. National Mirror gathered that three new integrated rice mills have been completed and they produce longgrain parboiled rice of very good quality that is competitive with imported rice from Thailand and India, United States and other parts of the world. Foreign investors have already become involved in Nigeria’s priority programme for curtailing rice imports, contributing to the capitalisation of at least one large-scale facility for producing and milling rice in Taraba state. The 30,000 hectare farm complex will produce 300,000 metric tonnes of rice, equivalent to 15 per cent of Nigeria’s current imports. Also an unidentified American investment group has pledged $6 billion to the farm sector and the Ministry of Agriculture is currently in talks with China on the financing that would allow the private sector to acquire 100 new industrial scale mills that can process 2.1 million metric tonnes, equivalent to all the rice consumed in Nigeria. Indeed, rice farmers would stand to make $2bn if these projects come to fruition but the looming threat has now forced them to cry out and challenge the Federal Government to intensify efforts to end the illegal cross border trade in rice. A group of local growers under the aegis of Patriotic Rice Association of Nigeria, (PRAN), said that the incessant smuggling of rice into Nigeria has thrown the rice industry into tur moil with severe consequences for gover nment revenues, the economy and future plans for self-sufficiency. The statement jointly signed by Al-

Bags of rice

T HE N IGERIAN

RICE CONSUMERS ARE IN THE

PROCESS SHORTCHANGED , WITH INFERIOR BRANDS BEING SMUGGLED AND THEN RE -

BAGGED INTO QUALITY BRANDS AND SOLD AT HIGHER PRICES haji Habibu Maishinkafa, Chairman and Mr. Martins Okereke, Secretary, said given the free reign enjoyed by rice smugglers the future lies bleak ahead of local rice growers and traders legitimately involved in rice trade. The association said: “The Nigerian rice industry seems to have been thrown into turmoil since the import tariffs were increased exponentially effective January 2013. Matters got complicated further with the reported inability of Nigerian Customs to control smuggling of rice across the country’s borders with Benin.” According to PRAN, the higher tariff and consequent high market prices have rather encouraged smugglers to push large volumes of rice into Nigeria with zero duty, thereby bungling FG’s efforts to make Nigeria self sufficient in rice production by 2015. The body decried the situation in which “large-scale investments made into the farming and milling industries by private businesses are also in jeopardy, following Customs’ inability to protect the industry from the vagaries of smugglers. PRAN quoted reports that suggest that more than 400,000 metric tonnes of rice from various origins are esti-

mated to enter the country illegally, dealing a major financial blow to legitimate importers and rice millers, these illegal imports result in substantial loss of revenue for the government, estimated to be in the range of N27 billion by industry observers,” they asserted. “The Nigerian rice consumers are in the process shortchanged, with inferior brands being smuggled and then re-bagged into quality brands and sold at higher prices” they stated. They further alleged that several vessels with cargoes totaling more than 220,000 metric tonnes from India and Thai origins have flooded the ports of Benin and Cameroun preparatory to entering the Nigerian market through the borders. They noted that vessels from India bringing 90,000 metric tonnes to Benin include MV Lord Curzon, MV Santa Barbara, MV Zeynupkiran, MV Emenates and MV Captain. Vessels from Thailand with cargoes of more than 130,000 metric tonnes are shipped to Benin on vessels MV White Fin, MV Makra, MV Blanco Zealand and others. Several container loads totaling over 150,000 tonnes have since the start

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwunmi Adesina

of 2013 found its way into the Nigerian markets through the borders through Benin, Niger Republic, borders with Northern Nigeria and in the east with Yaounde. “More than eight million bags of rice have flooded all markets including Alaba, Daleko, Idi-oro, Singer and other prominent nationwide markets”, they added. They lamented that smugglers have reportedly used sophisticated weapons in attacking and killing customs staff, instilling fears into the officers across the borders. PRAN said they are joining prominent rice associations in the country to urge the Nigerian Customs to help to contain any further damage.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dangote Flour posts N1.41bn loss, as index hits 38,000 points DAMILOLA AJAYI

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angote Flour Mills Plc has announced a loss after tax of N1.44bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, from a loss after tax of N116.5m recorded in the same period of 2012. The company’s revenue rose marginally by 1.8 per cent to N14.1bn in the first quarter, compared to N13.8bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, gross profit stood at N1.39bn in the review period, from N2.61bn in the same period of 2012, while cost of sales increased by 13.1 per cent to N12.7bn, from N11.2bn in

Capital Market

Friday, May 31, 2013

the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, the NSE All Share Index yesterday crossed the phycological barrier of 38,000 points just as market capitalisation hit above N12trn on improved bargain appetite. Specifically, the ASI rose by 1.76 per cent to close at 38,016.80 points, as against the decline of 0.07 per cent recorded on Wednesday to close at 37,358.74 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N21bn to close at N12.15trn, in contrast to the dip of N1bn recorded on Wednesday to close at N11.94trn. All the sectorial indices gained substantial points. The Lotus Islamic Index increased by 3.27 per cent to close at 2,744.34 points, while the Consumer Goods index added 2.99

per cent to close at 1,125.51 points. The NSE 30- index appreciated by 1.86 per cent to close at 1,823.41 points, while the Banking index rose by 1.86 per cent to close at 444.79 points. The Industry Goods index was up by 1.40 per cent to close at 2,248.57 points, while the Oil and Gas Index gained 1.28 per cent to close at 188.75 points. The Alternative Securities Market index added 0.88 per cent to close at 1,026.43 points, while the Insurance index rose by 0.69 per cent to close at 146.17 points. Transcorp Plc led the gainers’ table with 12 kobo or ten per cent to close at N1.32 per share, followed by Nestle Plc with N98.00 or 9.90 per cent to close at

N1, 088.00 per share. Ikeja Hotel Plc gained seven kobo or 9.72 per cent to close at 79 kobo per share, while MC Nicholas Plc appreciated by 18 kobo or 9.57 per cent to close at N2.06 per share. Neimeth Plc rose by eight kobo or 9.41 per cent to close at 93 kobo per share. On the flip side, Japaul Oil Plc lost three kobo or 5.17 per cent to close at 55 kobo per share, while ABC Transport Plc shed four kobo or 4.17 per cent to close at 92 kobo per share. Red Star Express Plc declined by 11 kobo or 2.44 per cent to close at N4.40 per share, while Fidson Healh Care Plc dipped by four kobo or 2.23 per cent to close at N1.75 per share. Skye Bank Plc fell ten kobo or two per cent to close at N4.90 per share. A total of 363.3 million shares valued at N3.24bn were traded in 5,950 deals.

May & Baker to raise new capital to support growth plan JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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ay and Baker Nigeria Plc would consider raising additional capital to support its business expansion and steady the healthcare company against competition, the board of the company has said. Speaking at the Annual General Meeting in Lagos yesterday, the company’s Chairman, Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), said the company has started considering various ways of raising new capital and would soon choose the most appropriate means to bolster the capital base of the company. According to him, it has

become expedient for the company to recapitalise to muster enough liquidity to face the challenges of the business environment. He noted that the huge investments in the worldclass pharmaceutical manufacturing centre in Ota, Ogun State, the company’s vaccine manufacturing joint venture with the Federal Government, new products and other initiatives will provide a stable base for the company’s growth in the years ahead. Danjuma pointed out that the company has rolled out a new five-year strategic plan that would seek to harness all opportunities to increase the group’s earnings and returns to shareholders.

He said the company has projected a turnover of N9.6bn for the current financial year based on the optimism of expected increased output from its new manufacturing plant and business restructuring efforts. “Our company is wellpositioned for the future with a lot of potentials from the strategic investment we have made in Ota and other attractive business prospects in our sight. “As we vigourously pursue our new five-year strategic plan with all the opportunities it presents, we can only hope for better performance and stronger earnings capacity going forward,” Danjuma said. He said the company has

reached advanced stage in perfecting the renewal of the joint venture agreement with the Federal Government on the local manufacturing of vaccines, noting that the company will shortly after the agreement commence local production of vaccines. Danjuma called for a deliberate policy by the various arms of government in the country to buy locally produced products and services, saying that an example of this practice has begun in the health sector where the Federal Ministry of Health deliberately encouraged local drug makers with exclusive purchase of Anti-Retroviral drugs valued at over N2bn in 2012.

Tiger Brands’ profit rises as bakeries, rice volume recover

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iger Brands Limited, South Africa’s biggest food maker by market value, said the company regained volume in bakeries, rice and snacks and treats and maintained profit margins across many of its domestic businesses. Net income for the six months through March increased 2.6 per cent to 1.32 billion rand ($135m), compared with 1.28 billion rand a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a state-

ment yesterday Sales advanced 21 percent to 14 billion rand. “The on-going economic pressures, resultant constraints on consumer spending and increased competitive intensity in the domestic market provide an appropriate context for these results,” the company said. Tiger Brands, South Africa’s biggest processor of grains and the maker of Albany bread, is expanding in Africa to reduce exposure to its domestic

market, which grew by 0.9 per cent in the first quarter, less than the most pessimistic forecast of 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The company bought Dangote Flour Mills in Nigeria for about $200m last year as acquisition opportunities dwindled at home. “In the short term, volatility in soft commodity prices and foreign currency movements is likely to persist, exacerbating a tough trading environ-

ment,” it said. Tiger Brands shares have declined 11 per cent this year, compared with a 25 per cent gain for Pioneer Foods Limited, the second-largest food company by market capitalisation. The stock fell 2.9 per cent to 289.25 rand by the close yesterday in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 55.4 billion rand. The company said interim dividends for the six months rose 5.1 percent to 3.10 rand.

45

Source: NSE

Source: Afrinvest S

Market indicators All-Share Index 36,472.43 points Market capitalisation 11.66 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

TRANSCORP

1.20

1.32

0.12

% CHANGE 10.00

NESTLE

990.00

1088.00

98.00

9.90

IKEJAHOTEL

0.72

0.79

0.07

9.72

MCNICHOLS

1.88

2.06

0.18

9.57

NEIMETH

0.85

0.93

0.08

9.41

RTBRISCOE

1.72

1.88

0.16

9.30

UTC

0.76

0.83

0.07

9.21

JOSBREW

1.13

1.23

0.10

8.85

NPFMCRFBK

1.03

1.12

0.09

8.74

UBN

9.50

10.30

0.80

8.42

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

JAPAULOIL

0.58

0.55

0.03

-5.17

ABCTRANS

0.96

0.92

0.04

-4.17

REDSTAREX

4.51

4.40

0.11

-2.44

FIDSON

1.79

1.75

0.04

-2.23

SKYEBANK

5.00

4.90

0.10

-2.00

CILEASING

0.51

0.50

0.01

-1.96

NAHCO

7.70

7.55

0.15

-1.95

PZ

52.00

51.00

1.00

-1.92

UNITYBNK

0.63

0.62

0.01

-1.59

DANGSUGAR

10.46

10.33

0.13

-1.24

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

25,647.81

9.20

23-Mar-13

182-Days

31,246.03

12.45

23-Mar-13

364-Days

50,683.60

14.30

23-Mar-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

100-Days

130,914.40

10.87

30-May-13

98-Days

37,018.60

10.05

30-May-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$400m

N/A

$371m

27-May-13

$300m

N/A

$245m

22-May-13


46

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

Community Mirror Govt officials are major beneficiaries of fuel subsidy

“Cultists and ethnic militias are playing the scripts of their tribal political lord.” FORMER GOVERNOR OF NASARAWA STATE, SENATOR ABDULLAHI ADAMU

48

Deaf and dumb arrested for driving MURITALA AYINLA

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fficials of the Lagos Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences Unit have arrested a deaf and dumb commercial motor driver, for endangering the lives of his passengers. The taskforce chairman, Mr Bayo Sulaiman who expressed worry at the rate persons with disabilities flout the laws, said not everyone should, let alone drive commercial vehicles.

Sulaiman, added that the deaf and dumb driver who was arrested driving a bus with registration number: XW 724 EKY at Apongbon on Lagos Island could not know when to stop or accelerate, especially when the passengers are calling on him to stop. This, he said, constituted grave danger to the lives of the passengers and other road users. He said: “There is no way he can know where and when to stop. How can he know when there is a problem with the vehicle? If we do not stop this, a day will come when a

blind person would want to drive a commercial vehicle in Lagos. “ When asked if the action is outlawed in the Lagos Traffic Law, Suleiman said the state traffic law addresses someone with driver’s licence, saying there is no way, dumb and deaf would have been certified to drive on the road. But speaking with Community Mirror through notes, the dumb driver Sunday Ogunola, 33, said he has been driving since 1997, but started operating commercial vehicles from 1999. “I had to leave my shoe making

Farmers carrying dry plantain leaves at Owena in Ondo State recently.

business when it was not thriving. I have a pregnant wife who is also dumb and deaf. We have two sons. My wife is jobless that is why I am driving to feed the family. I drive everyday unless the bus develops faults. “The commercial bus owner, a Navy officer takes N5, 000 while I make from N6, 000 to N7, 000 daily.” Ogunola said before his arrest, he plied Lekki-Ajah-CMS-Eko Hotel route, even as he appealed to the government to consider his plight, saying if he does not work, his family would not survive.

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Court quashes conviction on husband and wife CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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n Anambra State High Court sitting in Onitsha and presided over by Justice A. Okuma has quashed the conviction of Sir Eugene Obi-Okoye and his wife,Lady Mary-Obi- Okoye for alleged stealing, breaking and entry. Delivering the judgement in the appeal filed by Sir Obi- Okoye and his wife against their conviction, Justice Okuma acquitted the couple, even as he ordered that the appellants should be refunded the money paid as fine on conviction by the lower court. Justice Okuma stated that the conviction of Okoye and his wife was wrong and erroneous in law, as the trial court did not adequately consider and evaluate the defence and evidence proffered before it. Justice Okuma had, before acquitting Obi-Okoye and his wife, resolved all the issues arising from the grounds of appeal in their favour. Earlier, the appellants, whose conviction were quashed by the High Court, had in their grounds of appeal contended that the Chief Magistrate who convicted them erred in law when he ruled that the police investigated the alibi they made and found it to be false. The appellants also argued that the lower court erred when it discharged the accused persons under the defence of bona fide claim of right and went ahead to convict them of stealing, breaking and entry in respect of the same property for which they were discharged.

Lagos trains residents on vocational skills MURITALA AYINLA

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etermined to promote self reliance and alleviate poverty, the Lagos State Government has trained 1,000 residents in various skills. The training, which commenced at Ikorodu and Mosan Okunola Local Council Development areas is expected to last for four weeks. The beneficiaries were trained on bead making, soap making, hair dressing, catering, balloon and event decoration, tie and die, hat making and stove thread making, to meaningfully

engage them. More than 600 residents were trained at the Ikorodu centre, as another 400 also benefitted from the training at Alimosho. Representative of Ikorodu 1 Constituency at the House of Assembly, SOB Agunbiade, expressed satisfaction with the turnout, saying that 700 turned up for the training, even as residents came from Ketu and Sango. The lawmaker lauded the Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Adefulire and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA,for the gesture, saying the initiative would make residents self-reliant

He said: “The instructors have been wonderful. Our intention is to ensure that after training, we will bring a motivational speaker to give them tips of how to make ends meet from the skills they have acquired”. Agunbiade assured that the best 50 participants will be motivated with stipends to start their businesses, even as he disclosed that his office is currently working on a loan scheme for the trainees. On the rationale for the training, the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire described the gesture as one of the short term plans to empower

residents with useful skills. To achieve these objectives, she added that the state has 17 skill acquisition centres, urging residents willing to acquire vocational skills to approach them. Meanwhile, some beneficiaries at the Mosan-Okunola Local Council Development Area lauded the initiatives. According to Patience Fidelis :”The training has helped many unemployed youths. I have been a without job, but with the training, I can stand on my own, rather than depending on others. I had hitherto embarked on selling wine in my neighbourhood.” Another beneficiary, Olu-

wakemi Ogungbe lauded the initiatives, even as she appealed to the government to provide financial empowerment to enable them become fully self-reliant. Also speaking, Yakubu Okikiola, lauded the initiative which, he said, would go a long way to empower residents. “This is a wonderful initiative and we cannot thank the government enough, I am here with my wife, who is also with the catering department. With this skill, we intend to start our own business very soon. This is what the Federal Government can do to reduce youth restiveness”.


48

Transition

Laja Olugbami

Colette Ben-Obi

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he Olugbami family of EkinrinAdde has announced the of Prince Laja Olugbami, who died on May 4, 2013. He was aged 77 years. Prince Laja, a devout Christian, was born on October 7, 1936. He was born into the family of the late Pa Daniel and late Madam Comfort Ogunbanke Olugbami of Ekinrin-Adde, Ijumu LGA, Kogi State. He attended Government Secondary School, Okenne and King’s College, Lagos and later proceeded to the University of Ibadan where he bagged a degree in Economics. Prince Laja joined the Public Service in 1965, where he rose to the position of Permanent Secretary in 1981. He voluntary retired from Civil Service in January 1992, after serving for 11 years as Permanent Secretary/DirectorGeneral of several MDAs He was a distinguished Public Servant who once served as director in the board of Trade Bank and Bank of the North respectively. Funeral arrangement as announced by the family commences on Wednesday

Daniel Fapounda

P

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, May 31, 2013

apa Daniel IbitoyeFapohunda was born into the family of OlajuyigbeFapohunda and Madam Aderonke on the 5th of January, 1924. Papa Fapohunda joined in his father’s business of farming at a very young age before coming to Lagos in 1947, where he

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June 5, 2013 with a Christian Wake Service at his residence on No: 69, Sokoto Road, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin, by 5pm. Lying in state on Thursday June 6, 2013 also at his residence while his funeral service at Michael’s Anglican Church, Owobode, Ekinrin-Adde, Ijumu, Kogi State by 10am on Friday June 7, 2013.

started work in the Justice Department while schooling through correspondence. Thereafter he was transferred to Calabar. He worked there for a while before resigning and returning to Lagos where he joined PZ, working as a refrigerator and air-conditioning maintenance staff. He rose to the position of supervising officer before retiring after 16 years of service to set up his private business. Papa Daniel IbitoyeFapohunda got married to Madam Ganiat who was later baptised into Christianity and named Grace. They were blessed with six children. Papa D. I. Fapohunda was a Christian and worshipped at Holy Trinity (Anglican) Church, Ikate. He was a founding member of Young Christian Fellowship where he served diligently in various positions. Papa was social and touched many lives around him and mentored many young men in the Church and outside. Papa later retired to Akure where he stayed till the Lord called him.

eaconess Colette Obi was born in Onitsha on February 21, 1954, into the families of Chief Murphy Aberiare Ejumudo of Jakpa Quarters, Uvwie Local Government Area, Prince Aguara Eyimetse of Itsekiri Olu, Warri South Local Government Area and Pa Awani Edo of Obaghoro, Warri North Local Government Area, all in Delta State. She died on April 14, 2013 after a brief illness at the National Hospital, Abuja. She was aged 59 years. Her father, Chief Murphy Aberiare Ejumudo was a prominent chief (Ufuoma r’uvwie). He was also a legendary figure, a widely-acknowledged role model and a prosperous businessman in Warri. Her mother, Princess (Mrs) Grace Ajiyenmikpiaghan Murphy – Ejumudo was a royal personage and a unique personality. She was also an accomplished businesswoman within and outside Nigeria. She began her working life at Akwarajo Primary School, Koko in the 1970s, teaching and paying attention to those little things that are vital to the proper formation and development of the young. She was mother, teacher, friend, adviser and guide to many of the children in her care.

She also worked with an Italian company, Marini in Lagos, before joining the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Ahmadu Bello way, Victoria Island, Lagos in 1979 as a Confidential Secretary. She rose to become a senior staff with the Nigeria Television Authority Properties and Investment Company, Abuja, a subsidiary of Nigeria Television Authorities (NTA).

Emmanuel Omotayo

C

aptain Emmanuel Omotayo was the Vice Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators’ Association of Nigeria (STOAN) before his death on Saturday, May 11, 2013. A message from STOAN Chair-

man, Princess Vicky Haastrup, on behalf of the association described the death of the master mariner as shocking and unexpected. The statement read in part: “We are truly saddened by Captain Omotayo’s death. He was more than just a colleague; he was an amazing person. He was a professional to the core and was always so kind and considerate to everyone he came across. “His passing will not only leave a void in the maritime industry, but in the hearts of everyone who knew him. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with his family at this trying time.” Captain Emmanuel Omotayo was, until his death, the Managing Director of Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) - the port operating arm of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc and concessionaires of Terminals A and B of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.

Community Mirror

Govt officials are major beneficiaries of fuel subsidy FRANCIS SUBERU

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Non-Gover nmental Organization CLEEN Foundation has said some government officials are major beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy. It stated this while presenting the national survey report conducted in collaboration with Afrobarometer Network and Centre for Democratic Development, CDD, Ghana. Kemi Okenyodo, Executive Director, of the Foundation, said 52 per cent of respondents from 36 states, identified government officials as major ben-

eficiaries of the fuel subsidy fraud. Okenyodo also explained that 22 per cent accused wealthy Nigerians, while 20 per cent blamed fuel importing companies, as three per cent accused ordinary Nigerians. The survey reveals that the major challenge facing anti-corruption bodies in Nigeria was government interference. According to the report, those in government or with strong connection to the government make it very difficult to expose the corrupt acts being perpetuated. The survey also reported that 65 per cent of Nigerians, were

of the opinion that 2011 elections were better than 2007. “Residents of the country have a general perception that there was a significant improvement in the conduct of the 2011 general elections as compared to that of 2007. “Only 18 per cent had the perception that nothing changed with regards to the election, while 15 per cent said the elections were worse. Only two per cent said they did not know or understand the question,’’ it noted. The Executive Director said the survey was a comparative series that measured public attitude toward democracy, gov-

ernance, economy, leadership, identity and other related issues. “The goal is to give the public a voice in policy making processes by providing high-quality public opinion data to policymakers, policy advocates, civil society organisations and ordinary Africans. ``Afrobarometer is an independent, non-partisan, Africanbased network of research. The network has conducted Round 5 survey in 35 countries including Nigeria,’’ she said. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Mr. Ade Ipaye, commended the groups and urged

them to conduct survey in other areas that would assist the government in policy making. Ipaye, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant, Mr Gbolahan Adeniran, said that people should confide in those they elected into offices to implement policies that would better their lot. “We are not implementing policy for its sake, but for it to be of great benefit to the people. The state Ministry of Justice has prioritised kidnapping issue as a serious case. “Private sector and individuals should collaborate with the government in implementing policies,” he added.


Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

London terror suspect appears in court

50

PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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hana’s President John Dramani Mahama has warned that Islamist militancy poses a threat that could destabilise the whole of West Africa. Mahama told the BBC that although Ghana had not been directly affected, no country was safe if insurgency was allowed to take hold elsewhere. He said intervention led by France had helped guarantee stability in Mali, but the conflict there was not yet over. He also backed the African Union’s plan to create a rapid reaction force. Mahama said there had been a suggestion that it could be funded by a tax on air travel and hotels across the continent. In January, French forces spearheaded an operation to drive out al-Qaeda and other al-

64 killed in Darfur tribal clash over gum arabic production

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ore than 60 people have been killed in clashes between tribes in Sudan’s Darfur region over land producing the gum arabic stabilizer used in soft drinks, the latest incident in a surge in violence over resources this year. The fluid gum cut from the acacia trees that have grown on the land for years is one of Sudan’s most important agricultural export products but part of the output is being smuggled over the border into Chad, where it is sold for hard currency. Arab tribes, many of which were armed by Khartoum to end an insurgency by mainly nonArab rebels, have since turned their guns on themselves to seize resources such as the gum arabic, sought by companies such as Coca Cola, and gold. New clashes broke out between the Bani Halba and al-Gimir tribes in Katila in South Darfur, state police said late on Wednesday. They have fought several times in the area this year. “A total of 64 people were killed and tens wounded from both sides,” police said in a statement, without giving details. The Gimir accused the Bani Halba, the tribe of Second Vice President al-Haj Adam Youssef, of having attacked them on Tuesday with more than 30 four-wheel drive vehicles and horses to seize land where the acacia trees and other agricultural products grow.

“Bashar Assad will remain president at least until elections in 2014 and might seek another term” –Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem

Militants threaten all West Africa –Ghanaian president lied Islamist groups from northern Mali, where they had seized control in the chaos following a coup last year. Ghana’s leader said the incident showed how the whole Sahel region had “become an attractive foothold for insurgents”. “If we allow that foothold to consolidate, then it could affect the stability of our entire region,” Mr Mahama told the BBC’s Newsday programme. Despite regaining territory from Islamist groups in Mali, he said the crisis was not over. “There is the danger of asymmetric attacks like we saw in Niger the last few days, and so it is a matter that worries all of us in the sub-region,” Mahama said. “And we need to act collectively as a sub-region and a continent and indeed globally to be able to ensure peace and stability.”

Mahama

Tunisia puts feminist on trial for provocative dressing

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prominent Tunisian member of the feminist group, Femen, has gone on trial in the city of Kairouan. Amina Tyler is charged with carrying an “incendiary object”. She appeared in court smiling, dressed in a white robe. Conservative groups accuse her of insulting the city of Kairouan, a religious centre. Tyler scandalised some in her home country in March by posting photos of herself topless, with the slogan “my body

Tyler

is my own” written on her torso. Femen, a Ukrainian group, is famous for its topless protests. Tyler emerged from hiding earlier this month in Kairouan, where she wrote “Femen” on a wall near the city’s main mosque. That was on the same day as authorities banned a group of ultra-conservative Muslims from holding their annual conference in Kairouan. Tyler was detained by police amid clashes and tear gas as an

angry crowd gathered. Her lawyers argue that a 19th Century charge of carrying an incendiary object should not apply to a can of pepper spray she says she had been given by a foreign journalist for her own protection. A Femen protestor in Milan calls for Amina Tyler’s release Amina Tyler’s arrest has sparked protests worldwide by her fellow Femen activists Lawyers saying they represented the city called for her to face the more serious charge of threatening public security. They were turned down by the judge. The trial has drawn attention partly because it is set against the background of a battle over Tunisia’s identity, following the overthrow of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. There has since been an increase in the prominence of ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists, who campaign for greater public piety in Tunisia. The women’s group Tyler belongs to, Femen, describes itself as “fighting patriarchy in its three manifestations - sexual exploitation of women, dictatorship and religion”. Her fellow activists around the world have staged topless protests calling for her freedom.

WORLD BULLETIN

Ugandan police end newspaper siege

Journalists of a newspaper shut down by the Ugandan government for the last 10 days have been allowed to return to work. Staff for the Daily Monitor, a semiindependent paper, told Al Jazeera on Thursday that outgoing Interior Minister Hillary Onek had ordered security forces to withdraw from the newspaper premises, which they had occupied since May 16. “The office equipment was not tampered with and I am now in the newsroom waiting for our IT staff to switch our server back on,” Mukiibi Sserunjogi, the paper’s investigative reporter, said. Daily Monitor published the letter, leaked to it by General David Sejusa, on May 7 alleging that the government was planning to assassinate senior army officers and government officials opposed to President Yoweri Museveni’s son succeeding his father as head of state. Sejusa is currently out of the country and has been reportedly offered police protection in Britain. The authorities also took off air two FM radio stations owned by the company that publishes Daily Monitor. Red Pepper, another paper that was raided, still remains off the stands. A statement issued by Onek said police commenced investigations by asking the journalists and the editors of the Daily Monitor to explain how they got the letter. The statement added that the raid took place after two journalists who wrote the story as well as the paper’s managing editor refused to cooperate with police investigations. Museveni, who became president in 1986 after waging a fiveyear armed rebellion, has been criticised for overstaying in power, and has been accused of grooming his son, a brigadier named Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to succeed him as leader.

Malian youth hold first protest against French

Youth in the recently-liberated Malian city of Gao held a sit-in yesterday to protest against what they see as France’s tacit support of the Tuareg ethnic group, the first indication that the mood toward the French in Mali is changing. Gao was the first city where Islamic extremists were pushed out by French forces in January, and is now where the population is staging the first act of protest against the French. The youth staged the sit-in in an area in the center of the city that came to be known as “Shariah Square” during the city’s 10-month-long occupation last year by the radical Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO. Countless accused thieves were strapped to chairs and had their hands sawed off by the jihadists in the square.


50

World News

WORLD BULLETIN

Series of bombs kill 26 in Iraq

A series of bombs in Iraq, including one targeting a provincial governor, killed at least 26 people yesterday and wounded dozens as a tireless wave of violence further rattled the country. Iraq is experiencing its most relentless round of bloodshed since the 2011 U.S. military withdrawal, deepening fears that the country is heading back toward the widespread sectarian fighting that pushed it to the brink of civil war in the years after the invasion. More than 500 people have been killed in May, with attacks escalating in the last two weeks. The month before was Iraq’s deadliest since June 2008, according to a United Nations tally that put April’s death toll at more than 700. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office said he spent three hours inspecting checkpoints throughout the capital late the previous night, underscoring growing concerns about the security forces’ ability to stem the violence. Authorities in Baghdad also announced a ban in effect from early Friday on cars bearing temporary black license plates, which are common in post-war Iraq, where for years it was difficult to obtain new ones. The plates are typically on older model vehicles and are more difficult to trace, and authorities say they are frequently used in car bombings.

Three more die from new virus in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has reported that three more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths globally to 30. The Ministry of Health said Thursday the three deceased, ranging in age from 24 to 60, had chronic diseases, including kidney failure. It says they were hospitalized a month ago. The Ministry also announced a new case of the respiratory virus called MERS, bringing to 38 the number of those infected in the kingdom. It identified the afflicted person only as a 61-year-old from the Al-Ahsa region where the outbreak in a health care facility started in April. The World Health Organization said the new germ, a respiratory infection, was first seen in the Middle East and sickened more than 49 people worldwide.

Israel to free man who objected to military service The Israeli military has decided to release a young conscript who has spent the past six months in military prison for refusing to serve in the army due to his opposition to the occupation of the West Bank. In a statement, it says a committee decided Wednesday that Natan Blanc was unfit for service. It cited his “inability to adapt to military structure.” Military service is compulsory for Jewish Israeli males. Blanc, 20, has been sentenced to 10 consecutive jail terms since November. The military said yesterday that Blanc will be released next week, when his current sentence ends. Blanc’s family says they’re “happy this matter is resolved.” The Israeli advocacy group Yesh Gvul, which has assisted Blanc, says he will seek to do civilian national service after his release.

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

London terror suspect appears in court Britain assisted in his release from Kenya A prime suspect in the slaying last week of a British soldier sat handcuffed in court yesterday, given permission not to stand up before a judge because of wounds suffered when he was gunned down by police. Michael Adebowale, 22, confirmed his name, address and date of birth as the investigation into the shocking killing entered its courtroom phase. He is one of two men suspected of attacking Lee Rigby near military barracks in southeast London. The other, 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, remains hospitalized and has not been charged. He is likely to be charged once he has recovered sufficiently to be released from hospital. The daylight attack on Rigby by two men wielding knives and meat cleavers has aggravated tensions in Britain, especially since Adebolajo — carrying bloody weapons — invited onlookers to film him after the killing as he ranted about the British government’s presence in Muslim lands. There has been a surge in antiMuslim protests and attacks on mosques since the killing, and far-right groups have mobilized. Security was extremely tight for Adebowale’s first court appearance. He is scheduled to be back in court Monday for another hearing and remains in custody. Adebowale was charged late Wednesday night, two days after he was released from hospital. He was also charged with threatening people with a revolver, police

A police van transporting Michael Adebowale, arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

said. Meanwhile, a lawyer says British diplomats recommended that a British man detained in Kenya 2 ½ years ago on suspicion of attempting to join Islamic fighters in Somalia be freed. He was let go and last week allegedly helped butcher a British soldier on the streets of London. Wycliffe Makasembo who represented suspect Michael Adebolajo when he was arrested in Kenya on Nov. 21, 2010, said yesterdaya letter from the British High Commission in Nairobi recommended that he be released since there was no tangible evidence to link him to a crime. Makasembo said he saw the letter in court, al-

though a reporter could not find it in court records this week. Adebolajo is a key suspect in the killing of off-duty soldier Lee Rigby, 25. Autopsy results made public Wednesday indicated that Rigby, 25, was first struck by a car and then attacked. He died of multiple stab wounds, the report said. Both prime suspects were shot by police who arrived on the scene roughly 14 minutes after the soldier’s death. Video showed two suspects rushing a police car that arrived on the scene, then being shot by police and given first aid on the ground. Britain’s Home Office, charged with managing Britain’s borders

Syria has received Russian missiles –Lebanese TV

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yria has received the first shipment of Russian missiles that are part of a more sophisticated air defence system, President Bashar Assad told Lebanon’s Hezbollah-owned TV channel, according to remarks released by the station yesterday. Bashar Assad’s comment on the arrival of the long-range S-300 air defence missiles in Syria could further ratchet up tensions in the region and undermine efforts to hold U.N.-sponsored talks with Syria’s warring sides. Israel’s defence chief, Moshe Yaalon, said earlier this week that Russia’s plan to supply Syria with the weapons was a threat and that Israel was prepared to use force to stop the delivery.

Assad

The Al-Manar TV, owned by the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group, released Assad’s comments on the Russian missiles in print, through its breaking news service Thursday morning. “Syria has received the first shipment of Russian anti-aircraft S-300 rockets,” the TV quoted Assad as saying. The Syrian leader added: “All our agreements with Russia will be implemented and parts of them have already been implemented.” An official at the station confirmed to The Associated Press that the remarks were from the exclusive interview the TV was to air in full yesterday. The shipment of the missiles, if confirmed, comes just days after the European Union lifted an arms embargo on Syria, paving way for individual countries of the 27-member bloc to send weapons to rebels fighting to topple Assad’s regime. The developments raise fears of an arms race — not just between Assad’s forces and the opposition fighters battling to topple his regime, but also in the wider Middle East.

Israel has carried out several airstrikes in Syria in recent months that are believed to have destroyed weapon shipments bound for Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group that along with Iran and Russia is a staunch Assad ally. It is not clear whether Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace in these attacks. With the Russian missiles in Syria’s possession, the Israeli air force’s ability to strike inside the Arab country could be limited since the S-300s would expand Syria’s capabilities, allowing it to counter airstrikes launched from foreign airspace as well. The S-300s have a range of up to 200 kilometres (125 miles) and the capability to track and strike multiple targets simultaneously. Syria already possesses Russianmade air defences, and Israel is believed to have used long-distance bombs fired from Israeli or Lebanese airspace. When Israeli warplanes struck near the capital of Damascus, targeting purported Iranian missiles intended for Hezbollah earlier this month, Syria did not respond.

and internal security, confirmed Thursday that the Greenwich area, which includes the attack site in Woolwich, was deemed in a 2011 governmental review to be at a low risk of extremist activity and so did not receive anti-terror funding under a government program, called Prevent. This designation was reversed a year later, meaning anti-terror projects there could again be funded, but no proposals for that area were approved in that time frame. Before 2011, the funding was used to bring young people into contact with Muslim soldiers and other veterans. Other funded programs encouraged sports, art and discussion programs.

Osaka mayor survives censure on sex slaves comment

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he mayor of the Japanese city of Osaka has survived a censure motion over his comments that Japan’s sex slaves served a necessary role during World War II. Osaka council members rejected the non-binding motion against Toru Hashimoto after a major party reversed its earlier stance and helped vote it down. Earlier this month, Hashimoto outraged Japan’s neighbours by saying the “comfort women” had given Japanese soldiers a chance to “rest”. He has not withdrawn his remarks. In an apparent attempt to clarify his position, he later said he meant that the military authorities at the time must have deemed the practice necessary. Some 200,000 women on territories occupied by Japan during WWII are estimated to have been forced to become sex slaves for troops. Many of the women came from China and South Korea, but also from the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Friday, May 31, 2013

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Breach peace, face wrath of law, Al-Makura warns communities IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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asarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has threatened to deal with any community that engages in mindless breach of public peace. Al-Makura said such community would face the full wrath of the

law, just as he promised that henceforth locating government projects in communities would be closely tied to the level of prevailing peace in such areas. The governor gave the warning at the inauguration of Adogi-Asakio Rural Electrification Project in Lafia East Development Area to mark

the Democracy Day. He said: “You will recall that when we assumed office in May 2011, I had noted with serious concern the degree of infrastructural decay and near-absence of basic facilities in our urban centres and rural areas. “Accordingly, we resolved to address the obvious infrastructural

deficiencies, which have continued to retard the development prospects of our dear state.” Commenting on the rural electrification project, which was abandoned by the previous administrations, the governor said “the contract for the project was awarded in 2000 and the inauguration of the Ado-

gi-Assakio Rural Electrification Project was in fulfilment of the policy thrust of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, administration aimed at sustaining the efforts towards the opening of the rural areas through the provision of social amenities as catalysts for economic and industrial growth of the

state”. He called on the people of the community to avail themselves of this opportunity by engaging in gainful ventures that would improve their economic wellbeing. Al-Makura charged the youths to use the facility as an avenue for self-employment and economic empowerment.

‘Non-adherence to traffic rules responsible for road carnage’ WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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Some of Yobe State SURE-P buses for mass transit scheme launched in Damaturu, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

Court orders Bauchi Assembly to reinstate female lawmaker

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Bauchi High Court yesterday ordered the reinstatement of a female member of the state House of Assembly, Mrs. Rifkatu Danna (PDP-Bogoro), who was suspended on June 7, 2012. The state Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Zango, who gave the order in Bauchi while delivering judgement in the case, also directed the Assembly to pay the lawmaker all her salaries and entitlements which accumulated during her suspension.

Zango ruled that the indefinite suspension clamped by the Assembly on Danna was unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect. He described the action of the Assembly as mere arbitrary show of power, which had infringed on the fundamental human rights of the plaintiff. Danna was suspended by the Assembly and ordered to apologise for publicly criticising the decision of the House to relocate the headquarters of Bogoro Local Government from Tafawa Bale-

wa to Bununu. The judge, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said the comment was not derogatory as claimed by the House but mere criticism of her colleagues. He, however, refused to grant the N30 million damages demanded by Danna over her suspension, but ordered the House to return her official vehicle, security detail and all monies due to her. Danna observed that the constituency she represented was robbed of

Benue: FRSC vows to enforce use of helmet HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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enue State Sector Command of the Federal Roads Safety Commission, FRSC, said it would soon begin to arrest motorcyclists for not wearing helmets. The Deputy Corps Commander and Head of Sector Operations, Mr. Ben Ekenna, disclosed

this yesterday in an interview with our correspondent in Makurdi, the state capital. Ekenna said any motorcyclist popularly known as Okada rider who failed to use helmet would be arrested and prosecuted. He said the unit would soon embark on aggressive campaign with a view to enforcing strict compliance to the use of helmets.

Ekenna added that riders of motorcycles without horns would also be arrested. The deputy sector commander enjoined the motorcyclists to have additional helmets for passengers’ use to ensure their safety. He said: “Frankly, the command has received complaints of lack of helmets while in some in-

meaningful dividends of democracy during the period of her suspension. Danna filed the case on February 2, 2013, through her counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), in which the Speaker, Alhaji Yahya Miya, and the Assembly were charged as defendants. In the Originating Summon, she had argued that her suspension violated sections 30, 36, 105, 109 and 110 of the nation’s constitution and asked the court to order her reinstatement and payment of her entitlements.

stances many of the motorcycles plying the major roads in our towns do not even have horns to alert another road user. “We have earlier on embarked on arrests many of these people. Some were even detained and fined.” Ekenna urged the association of commercial motorcycle riders to compel its members to use helmets.

he Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has called on motorists plying the Okene - Lokoja Road to adhere to traffic rules to reduce accidents and traffic congestion on the road. The Okene Unit Commander of the FRSC, Solomon Odiaka-Chukwu Igbogbo, made the call yesterday in Okene at a symposium organised to mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the unit and to sensitise the people to the effect of traffic on economic activities in the area. Igbogbo, who blamed most of the accidents and traffic congestion in the area on drivers’ attitude and other human errors, called for total adherence to traffic rules. The commander pointed out the occasion was to review the FRSC performance in the area in the last one year and brainstorm on

ways to reduce traffic congestion in the area. He also commended the support of the traditional and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders in enhancing the work of the commission. One of the facilitators at the symposium, Mr. Ibrahim Mosimbale, attributed the traffic congestion in the area to poor driving habit, poor parking habit, poor road network, poor traffic control management and poor road management by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, among others. According to him, the traffic congestion on daily basis in Okene leads to lateness to work and loss in productivity. He, however, called for improvement in road network, encouragement of public mass transport, regular road maintenance as well as regular education of road users and proper issuance of driving licence to drivers to ensure good driving habit.

Katsina plans mass housing scheme for workers JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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atsina State said it was planning a mass housing scheme for workers and other interested individuals as way of addressing shortage of accommodation. Governor Ibrahim Shema, who disclosed this while hosting the Managing Director of Aso Savings and Loans, Hassan Usman, said plans were on for the construction of 2,000 low-cost housing units in the state capital and its environs. Shema said a policy trust of his administration was provision of accessible and affordable houses to its citizens. The governor said the

state government had so far constructed about 2,000 houses within the state capital and the headquarters of the 34 local government areas of the state. He said as an active contributor to the National Housing Fund, the state government would design a programme for building low-income houses for the citizens. Shema commended Aso Savings and Loans for commencing moves to establish an office in the state, saying such would help in actualising the housing scheme for the people. On his part, Usman promised that in the next two years, partnership between the firm and the state government would begin to yield positive results.


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News

Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

BAT warns against tobacco black market FELIX NWANERI

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s countries across the globe mark this year’s World No Tobacco Day today, leading international tobacco group, British American Tobacco, BAT, has warned that criminal gangs will hijack the sector if the legal industry is forced out of existence. The group’s Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, Kingsley Wheaton, who handed down the warning, said a world with no legitimate tobacco industry would see an end to significant investment in research and development of reduced-risk tobacco products. His words; “The reality is that people will continue to smoke. But instead of

buying legally-taxed cigarettes, made by legitimate tobacco companies and sold by reputable retailers, they’ll turn to black market sources to get what they want. “The tobacco industry is highly regulated, sells a legal product and we have a legitimate business. We conduct our business in a professional and responsible way, abiding by the laws in all the countries we operate in, often going above and beyond our legal obligations. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the sophisticated network of criminals ready and waiting to step-in and take over if the legitimate tobacco industry didn’t exist.” The global black market for tobacco accounted for 660 billion cigarette sales

in 2012, making it roughly equivalent in volume to the world’s third largest multinational tobacco company. It is not a victimless crime. Illegal tobacco is sold by well organised criminal gangs, some of whom have recognised links to terrorism. But Wheaton, who painted a gory picture of what the world, would be with no legal tobacco industry, said: “These people don’t abide by the law or follow government regulation, they don’t pay taxes, they don’t care what’s in their products and they happily sell to minors. If we don’t exist to supply tobacco products legally, traffickers would fill the vacuum and this cannot be the outcome society wants.” Noting that BAT has

provided employment and enhanced livelihoods to hundreds of thousands of employees and suppliers, he said a world with no legitimate tobacco industry would see an end to significant investment in research and development of reduced-risk tobacco products. He said: “If we don’t exist to supply tobacco products legally, traffickers would fill the vacuum and this cannot be the outcome society wants. British American Tobacco makes a long term commitment to sustainability; strives to bring reduced harm products to market; continues to fight the illegal tobacco trade; generates excise revenue; and provides employment and enhanced livelihoods to hundreds of

L-R: Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; State of Osun governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka; and King of African Renaissance Mission, Olofindji Akande; at the 450,000-year-old village of Igbale Aiye, in Commune de Ketou, Akpoutokou, Republic of Benin, yesterday.

thousands of employees and suppliers. “There would be no incentive for criminals to start doing this. In 2012 British American Tobacco alone invested £171 million in our research and development activities - part of our responsibility to working towards reducing the health risks associated with our products. “We are clear that children are not and will never be our audience. Our marketing is aimed at informed adult smokers who are aware of the health risks

associated with tobacco use. But the same can’t be said for the criminals who are already actively selling tobacco products outside schools, news agents and playgrounds. “Black market cigarettes are also cheaper, making them more accessible to children at pocket money prices.” Wheaton further pointed out that the world risks losing about $200 billion generated from tobacco taxes globally each year, if there is no legitimate tobacco industry.

Ondo protest: No life was lost, says police commissioner to prevent the protesting HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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ndo State Police Commissioner, Patrick Dokumor, yesterday said no life was lost in the crisis that rocked the ancient town of Ile-Oluji in Ile Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of the state during the week. Dokumor, who spoke yesterday while briefing journalists on the efforts of his men in restoring peace to the community, said about 15 people have been arrested over the crisis. He denied some newspaper reports that two police officers and four others lost their lives during the two-day protest by youths of the town. The commissioner said he led his men to the community to restore peace and

youths from burning down the palace of the traditional ruler. He, however, said some police officers sustained minor injuries while preventing the youths from gaining entry into the palace and the divisional police station in the town, but confirmed that one of the officers who was shot during the fracas has been transferred to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, OAUTH, Ile Ife, for treatment. The commissioner, however, said the town is now calm as normalcy has returned, adding that; “We are still on ground in the community to maintain peace, but everything is now under control, I can assure you that we are on top of the situation.

Police arrest eight armed robbery suspects Osun begins renovation of state hospitals FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State police command yesterday said it has arrested eight armed robbery suspects who specialise in car snatching, shop breaking as well as other criminal activities in Ilepa and Ifo communities of the Ifo Local Government Area of the state. A release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi, copy of which was obtained by National Mirror stated that the eight robbery suspects arrested were members of the gang that has been terrorising Ifo community and its neighbourhood recently. The release gave the names of the suspects as: Biodun Olugbodi, who was

said to be the leader of a cult group that had threatened to carry out reprisal attack on members of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, on May 9, 2013. Others are Seun Sunday, Dare Busari, Dayo Sotade, Alaba Busari, Sola Akinfenwa, Seun Ewejobi and one Tope Adebisi. Adejobi stated in the release that men of the Ifo Police Division arrested the duo of Seun Sunday and Dare Busari at Ilepa axis of Ifo town inside a Honda Accord car with registration number: LAGOS AY 26 EPE, which they had snatched at Quarry area of Abeokuta, the state capital. The PPRO also said that the confessional statement of Seun and Busari led to the arrest of the six others, who were eventually picked up at

different locations in Abeokuta and Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. He said several ammunition, which included two locally-made pistols, a Honda Accord car as well as a Toyota Camry car with registration number: LAGOS AU 255 KRD were recovered from the suspects who have confessed to snatching many cars, shop breakings and other criminal activities in the state. While assuring the people of the state of the safety of their lives and property, the state police command also appealed to victims of the operations of the suspects and members of the public, particularly in Ifo township, to cooperate with the police in their investigations towards ensuring that justice prevails.

ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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sun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday said his administration has commenced the renovation of nine state hospitals as well as the construction of nine trauma centers across the state to take care of the citizen’s health. The state governor, who made this known at a ceremony marking the commencement of the state government’s free surgical mission, held at the State Hospital, Iwo, added that some primary health care centres in the state are also being upgraded while new ones are being built. He assured people of the state that the present government would ensure

healthy living for the teeming masses of the state. Governor Aregbesola further stressed that; “We have therefore employed a multi-faceted approach towards achieving our goals. The measures we have taken cover such health-related areas as the provision of potable water to our people, especially in the rural areas, to promote personal hygiene. “Personal hygiene has been known to go a long way in keeping away many disease-causing micro-organisms. On the environment, we have also ensured that waste management gets the deserved priority through regular bi-monthly environmental sanitation exercise, including the cleaning of work and market places on a weekly basis.

“To further enhance these efforts, medical equipment, furniture and electrical appliances have been procured for some of our health facilities where these are needed. We intend this to serve as a way of making our people feel the positive impact of government on their lives. “This is one of the benefits of democracy they have been denied for years before we came on board. “We have been maintaining our free health care policy through constant procurement to ensure the availability of free antimalaria drugs at our hospitals while there are also free anti-malaria drugs for pregnant women as part of their ante-natal treatment in government-owned hospitals,” he submitted.


Friday, May 31, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

There is no alternative to a better organised professional league because all of us will benefit

I’m heading back to Lille –Enyeama

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-FORMER NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL, PASCAL PATRICK

Oboabona vows to cage Chicharito

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uper Eagles’ defender, Godfrey Oboabona, has vowed to stop Manchester United’s striker, Javier Hernandez “Chicharito” in tonight’s friendly match against Mexico. “If I could stop players in the calibre of Didier Drogba, Yaya Youre, Gervinho at the Nations Cup, I can’t be afraid to face any striker in the world. I will do my best to stop Chicharito and Giovanni dos Santos,” Oboabona told MTNFootball.com. “Both players are unarguably worldclass strikers and they are very deadly

but marking out Drogba has boosted my confidence not to fear any striker.” He added, “We are also looking forward to an interesting match that will boost our confidence ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Namibia because that is the main thing all Nigerians are eagerly waiting for, but we will also give our best to maintain our record against the Mexicans.” Also, midfielder Sunday Mba said they would go for broke against the CONCACAF champions. “We are here for business, though it is a friendly, winning this match will send the right signal to our World Cup qualifiers opponents that we are coming to get the ticket,” Mba said.

Inyama upbeat

L Mexico friendly: Ideye, Akpala Ideye (left) being tackled by Zambian players in an AFCON 2013 match.

to lead Eagles’ attack

…Medics sweat over Onazi, Nigeria wears white IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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kraine-based striker, Brown Ideye, will spearhead the Super Eagles’ attack and will be complemented by returnee Werder Bremen striker, Joseph Akpala, in tonight international match against Mexico at the Reliant Stadium, Houston, United States of America. National Mirror learnt that Coach Stephen Keshi would employ the 4-4-2 formation in the game as the twopronged attacking combination of Ideye and Akpala is expected to fire in the goals. Akpala, preferred ahead of Turkey-based striker, Michael Eneramo, as a replacement for injured Emmanuel Emenike, returned to Eagles after a four-year absence. Also, in the possible line up for the game, is Portugalbased midfielder, John Ogu, who will be making his first start for his country. Ogu, who made his bow for Eagles in the last World Cup qualifying game against Kenya in Calabar, is expected to stand in for Chelsea midfielder, Obi Mikel.. Also, Ukraine-based mid-

fielder, Babatunde Michael, could be making his first appearance for his country in the Mexico game. He may operate in the left-side of the midfield. Meanwhile, the medical crew of the Eagles is sweating over the fitness of Eddie Onazi Ogenyi ahead of the match. The AS Lazio of Italy star picked up a hamstring knock last weekend in the Coppa d’italia final victory over AS Roma and had to be substituted in the dying minutes of the game, raising fears over his availability for Nigeria, going into the busy month of June.

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The 2013 Nations Cup gold medallist breezed into the Eagles’ camp on Wednesday and was part of the evening training, albeit on a bit part level. Speaking after the training, Onazi declared himself fit and added, “We are aware of the task at hand and we are all rearing to go.” “The World Cup qualifiers are key, but as African Champions, Nigeria will not sit back and watch Mexico have a field day. We have our integrity to protect.” National Mirror also learnt yesterday that Eagles will be appearing in all-white jersey with green stripes lining the shirts and shorts.

eader of the Nigerian delegation to this night’s prestige friendly match against Mexico, Chief Emeka Inyama, has said that the Super Eagles’ squad he is with, in the United States is composed and ready for action against Mexico. Inyama, who is the Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, said he was delighted at what he was seeing in camp, adding that he believed the team would do well against Mexico. “But the ultimate target is to have a team that will qualify for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. We just had lunch and all the 22 players have been doing great and rearing to go. The coaches must be commended for the wonderful drilling they are giving our boys. I am very sure we will not disappoint the nation against Mexico,” Inyama said yesterday. The former Abia State Sports Commissioner praised NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, for the initiative of organising top grade friendlies for the national team. “We have reached a height in our football that was never attained in the last 19 years and we don’t want to even come down again”, he added.

Eritrean ref for Namibia, Nigeria clash

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orld football governing body, FIFA, has named Mensur Maeruf Kherseed from Eritrea as referee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Namibia, slated for Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Wednesday, June 12. Maeruf Kherseed, 40, became an international referee in 2008. He will be assisted by compatriot Berhe Tesfagiorghis O’Michael, 38, who is Assistant Referee 1, and who became an international assistant referee in 2004. Hassan Egueh Yacin from Djibouti will be the Assistant Referee 2, with another Eritrean, Luelseghed Ghebremichael as Fourth Official. Ghebremichael, 41, became an international referee in 2004. FIFA also appointed Mady Kanoso Bora from Madagascar as Referee Assessor and Abbasi Ssendyowa from Uganda as Match Commissioner. The match has been slated to kick off at the artifical turf of Sam Nujoma Stadium as from 8pm Namibia time.

...Prove you’re champions, Maigari charges team EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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resident of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has charged the Super Eagles to display champions’ stuff when they take on Mexico’s El-Tri later this night in Houston, Texas. It is the fifth clash at senior level between the two nations, with the two most recent memorable meetings being a friendly in

Juarez in October 2007 that ended 2-2 and a 1-1 draw at the Intercontinental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (today’s FIFA Confederations Cup) in Riyald, Saudi Arabia in January 1995 that the Mexicans eventually edged on penalties to take third place. The NFF has made it clear its priority is the two FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in Kenya and Namibia, followed by the FIFA Confederations Cup, but Maigari

insists the African champions cannot afford to have a bad day in America. Speaking yesterday at the 63rd FIFA Congress in Port-Louis, Mauritius, Maigari said, “It is a friendly match, but the Super Eagles have to go there and play like the African champions that they are. I am happy to hear the Head Coach (Stephen Keshi) say they take the match serious. “Both teams are high up there in world reckoning and it is impor-

tant that we live up to the billing as the champions of Africa. The fact that we are looking more to the World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup does not mean we would put up a poor show at any match. “I am charging the boys to go all out and do the country proud. A good result against the Mexicans will help the team psychologically when confronting the Kenyans and the Namibians and the big teams in Brazil.”


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Sport

Friday, May 31, 2013

CMCL Open: Mark, Oyinlola, others chase prizes

2013 FA CUP DRAW Men’s fixtures

AFOLABI GAMBARI

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he 15th CMCL Open Golf Championship will gather momentum tomorrow as the Senate President, David Mark lead other amateurs out on the IBB Golf and Country Club for their 36-holes competition. Mark will contend with former Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Chief of Staff to the Edo State government, Chief Sam Iredia; Uche Loius Okpunor, Barrister Tony Azogu, Okey Igwe, Emeka Okatta and Mohammed Sulaiman amongt others. Chief Executive Officer of CMCL Golf Tours Limited, Frank Igbene, told National Mirror yesterday that the amateur event would be keenly contested in view of the players’ caliber. “The course will bear testimony to the competition when the players battle for honours on Saturday and Sunday,” Igbene said. “I think the organisers will expect nothing less,” he added. Igbene also disclosed that this year’s event would be spiced with memorable highlight. “We have made all arrangement for the participants’ welfare and comfort and they will enjoy their time on the course,” he further said. Meanwhile, organisers have scheduled a welcome cocktail party for Sunday, even as the professional golfers are expected to round off their event today.

Golf: NB rewards Jos players A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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igerian Breweries Plc has rewarded golfers who participated in a coaching clinic in Jos, Plateau State last week. The golf clinic held at the Rhino Golf Club, Nigerian Army 3 Division, Jos, also witnessed large turnout of participants whom were also rewarded. Golfers and others participants were also rewarded with drinks, free airtime cards, electric fans, gas cookers, micro wave ovens, TV sets, smart phones and other items. Organisers partnered the Rhino Golf Club, Jos, as part of the latter’s week-long activities marking the 20th Anniversary of the Golf Club located at the Rukuba Barracks Jos. Public Affairs Manager (North) of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Danjuma John-Ekele, said the partnership owed to the company’s effort at creating and improving sporting awareness for a healthier citizenry. “We would not disappoint the teeming fans,” John-Ekele assured. Rhino Golf Club Captain, Col. A.A. Ariyibi, commended Nigerian Breweries for its continued support over the years and assured on the club’s continuous partnership with the company.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young athletes during a recent Golden League meet

Athletics: Golden League moves to Ilorin YEMI OLUS

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urdler Kemi Adekoya will be the centre of attraction as the fourth leg of the Solid Works/Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League holds tomorrow at the Sports Complex of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. According to a technical official of the federation and national record holder in the men’s long jump, Yusuf Alli, logistics to make the N2million prize event successful has been put in place. Heavy rain had disrupted activities last weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and previously in Benin City as some athletes complained of nature’s negative impact on their returned times. The highlight of the Benin event was Adekoya’s defeat of Olympian Bukola Abo-

gunloko in the 400m. Adekoya, who won gold for Delta State at last year’s National Sports Festival and runs for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. “Kemi is the main contender for the prize because so far she has won all the legs,” Alli said of the rising athlete. “For someone not based abroad to run such race is quite impressive,” the former athlete added. “We also had 10.0secs in the men’s 100m previously even though it was hand-timed but we expect a good performance in Ilorin, although we have made progress overall in the Golden League. We had a girl that ran 56.02 in the 400m hurdles and that is the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) B Qualifying Standard.” The final edition of the Golden League will take place in Warri, Delta State next month.

Ingas (Enugu)

v

Ranch Bees

J. Atete (Delta)

v

Insurance (Edo)

Sharks

v

Kogi United

Yarma (Gombe)

v

Akwa Utd

Makwada

v

Grays (Osun)

Rangers

v

Dan Lawan (Jigawa)

Rising Stars

v

Samba Kurna

Plateau Utd

v

Wikki Tourists

El-Kanemi Babes

v

Tornadoes

Warri Wolves

v

Dynamite (Edo)

Spotlight

v

Bago (Zamfara)

El-Kanemi Warriors

v

Apa United

Global Academy

v

Kano Pillars

Leopard FC (C/River)

v

FC Taraba

Gombe United

v

Bussdor FC

Adamawa Utd

v

Nasarawa Utd

COD (Lagos)

v

FC Lokoja

Nembe

v

Ambassadors (Ebonyi)

Fountain (Ekiti)

v

Sunshine Stars

Shatima Utd (Zamfara)

v

Remo FC

Enyimba FC

v

Police Machine

Gateway

v

Shooting Stars

Fadama FC (Kebbi)

v

JUTH

Dolphins

v

NAF (FCT)

Akwa Starlets

v

Kwara Utd

Jnr. Dandura

v

Abia Warriors

Kaduna Utd

v

Unicem Rovers

Arewa Pillars

v

ABS

Prime FC

v

Bayelsa United

MFM Lagos

v

Court of Appeal

Crown FC

v

Lobi Stars

Champions Heartland draw bye Women’s fixtures Dynamic

v

Ibom Angels

Confluence

v

Real Dynamos

Oginni Queens

v

Delta Queens

GOD City Queens

v

C. I. Angels

Pelican Stars

v

FCT Queens

Amazons

v

Sunshine Queens

Taraba Queens

v

Yaba Queens

Osun Babes

v

Adamawa Queens

Shettima Babes

v

Bayelsa Queens

Martins White

v

Florence Babes

Champions Rivers Angels and Inneh Queens draw bye

Heineken fans relive Wembley Final AFOLABI GAMBARI

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ive Nigerian consumers sponsored by Heineken to watch the UEFA Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have relived their experience at the Wembley Showdown. The quintet, Boyo Gbire, Mayowa Opeyemi George, Isaac Nonchie Ijeh, Franklin Chukwu Ijeh, and Diana Nwajiaku-Smart, were among the 90,000 spectators that saw Bayern shot aside adversity at three previous final to covet the dog-eared giant cup after edging Dortmund 2-1 on the night. “It was a wonderful memory that will linger with me for a very long time,” Gbire said in Lagos yesterday, adding, “I supported

Bayern and I was happy that they triumphed.” According to Ijeh, “Heineken has opened my world on how I can exploit my potential following my interaction with people from other parts of the world.”

Another traveler, George, described the experience as amazing. “It is a difficult task for me to pick a particular aspect of the whole experience. But Heineken has made learn that in life, any good thing can be achieved as

Five Nigerians at the UEFA Champions League final in Wembley last weekend

long as there is focus,” he said. The only lady among the pack, Nwajiaku-Smart, looked forward to being in future trips to see the cup final. “It is an open window to other inventive Nigerians to enjoy the experience in the years to come,” she remarked. Former Nigeria internationals, Austin Eguavoen, Ben Iroha, Waidi Akanni, and Jonathan Akpoborie had interacted with fans at the Heineken Champions Planet, Lagos where the Wembley final was beamed live to an unprecedented number of spectators. Heineken had sponsored five consumers to last year’s final at the Allianz Arena where Chelsea prevailed over home team Bayern to compound the misery of the Bavarians.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Friday, May 31, 2013

55

Win Window on Nigerian p players abroad

with IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Ramos regrets Odibe loss

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nipro Dnipropetrovsk of Ukraine Spanish coach Juande Ramos has confessed he made a huge blunder by letting Nigerian central defender leave his side. Ramos told reporters of a local TV in Ukraine that he regretted the loss of the talented youngster who left in January to return to his former club Arsenal Kiev. Ramos lamented the defeats suffered in the closed season which he attributed largely to the departure of Odibe. Dnipro lost a handful of games after the winter break and go punished for the losses by placing an unconvincing fourth place in the final log. “It was a huge mistake for me letting Odibe go and we got punished with our standing on the table,” Ramos cried. “His departure left a huge vacuum in our

defence and it was a pity we had to end the league this way. “He’s a great lad, has solid composure and great ability to move upfront to score as well recover on time to do his defensive duties.” Odibe was a Trojan in the heart of defence for the title-chasers who spent a long time on the second spot, keeping things tight at the rear and keeping pace with the league champions Shaktar Donesk. The Lagosborn star, nicknamed ‘Asaba’ was also ever present in their Europa League campaign which saw them get to the knockout stages. Ramos felt out with the talented defender as the winter break approached and Arsenal Kiev received their prized jewel with open arms. He ended the season making eight appearances for Arsenal Kiev.

Obaje eyes move out of Africa

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I’m heading back to Lille –Enyeama Enyeama

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uper Eagles’ safest hands Vincent Enyeama has declared in clear terms that he will be returning to his French club Lille in the summer. The Eagles’ goalkeeper spent the closed season on a seasonlong loan at Israeli top side Macacbi Tel Aviv. Enyeama ended the loan spell on a high helping his side to win the Israeli league title, fuelling speculations the club wanted him on permanent basis according reports from the Israeli media Close sources to Enyeama said the former Enyimba goalkeeper said he must return to

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Odibe (right)

French club following the expiration of his loan deal at the Israeli side. “I remain the property of Lille, I was only on loan and now that my loan is over, I must return to where I came from,” Enyeama declared. “I still have a two-year deal running with the former French champions and except they say they don’t want me again, that’s where I belong. “So, if all things being equal I will be returning to Lille in the summer to get ready for the 2013/14 season which kicks off in July. “It was a sweet return to Israeli football again and I’m

happy it ended with a title in my personal cabinet. “I had a great time playing in Israel again and playing against my former clubs – Hapoel Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda was very memorable. “The fans still love me because I had great times while I played there and I will never forget those moments.” Enyeama had to be shipped on loan to Maccabi after finding regular play hard to come by at Lille, playing only two games for their reserve team playing in the French third tier. He made a total of 27 league appearances for Maccabi Tel Aviv.

ejected Black Leopard’s striker, Joshua Obaje, says he’s looking forward to take his game to Europe very soon. The former Heartland’s star went down with the Limpopo-based club after they finished at the bottom of the PSL table last weekend. Obaje told National Mirror that he has had enough of African football and would love to move to Europe. “I still got a contract running with Leopards but I wouldn’t want to play in the first division in South Africa,” he declared. “It was unfortunate that Leopards had to go down at the end of the season. We eyed a win in the last league game of the season to land us in the promotion play-offs but sadly it didn’t go as we wished. “I’ve had a great time playing for Leopards for the past two years but I think I have to take my gaem higher by playing in Europe.” Obaje was on the verge of signing for top Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam after impressing the officials in a trial but was surprised he didn’t get a contract. He had earlier tested with Norwegian clubs Lyn Oslo and Lillestrom but ended up at Leopards.

Chukwu looks up with Molde

olde of Norway Nigerian striker Danny Chima Chukwu says their rare 4-0 victory over Honefoss last week will bring renewed confidence and vigour in his struggling team currently occupying the foot of the log. Chukwu fired in a brace in the victory to help plot them into winning ways again. Molde, back-to-back champions in the Norwegian top flight have been struggling since the season started and have been hit with terrible defeats this season. They have only made two wins and lost six games in the 12-week old league to languish at the foot of the log. Chukwu blames their woes on the loss of experienced defenders but believes their massive win last weekend will boost their confidence to plot their back into reckoning.

Chukwu told National Mirror they also got a further boost by playing a 2-2 draw in a Cup game on Tuesday. “We advanced to the next round in the FA Cup via penalties after the game ended in a 2-2 stalemate and that also brought fresh confidence,” Chukwu said. “Things have started changing and I hope we will continue to improve in the subsequent games. “Football can be funny sometimes considering what’s currently happening at Molde but sometimes you cannot explain things like this. “But things are improving fast. Personally, I’ve also begun to play 90 minutes and I must say that I will also step up my game to get more goals. “I’ve scored three goals this season and I hope to improve on it. Our coach

Ole Gunner Solskjær, a striker in his hey days, knows what he wants from me. “I hope to score my goals this season and I believe I will improve my sevengoal account last season.”

Chukwu


WORLD RECORD

Farthest distance to fire a pumpkin Vol. 03 No. 633

Friday, May 31, 2013

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The farthest distance to fire a pumpkin is 1,690.24 m ( 5,545.43 ft) and was achieved by Ralph J. Eschborn II, Alex C. Eschborn, Eric J. Eschborn, Pete Hill, Stefan Hill, John Piel, Verne Weidman, Don Brill, and Harry Harding (all USA) using their “Big 10 Inch” air cannon in Moab, Utah, USA, on 9 Sep 2010.

Single six-year term: Before the grave plunge

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he recent clarification by Senator Magnus Abe on why the Senate is rooting for single six-year tenure for elected presidents, vice presidents, governors and their deputies, seems an indication that barring any last minute hitches, the National Assembly has seen the proposed (though controversial as yet) idea as a beautiful bride deserving of a warm embrace. Abe is a member of the Senate Committee on Constitution Amendment. He also chairs the upper legislature’s Committee on Petroleum (Down Stream). He said the Senate saw the one-term choice as charming because such elected political officers dissipate a greater portion of their first term of four years (as is currently in practice), to settle down, and hardly record any achievement in terms of rendering services to the people, before they are distracted by the politics of re-election. “You spend the last two

FRIDAY WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) years of the first term preparing for the next election, after spending one year, if you are new, trying to learn the ropes”, Abe stated. He said a lot of the real time that should have been invested in recording achievements got lost; and that if such elected officers were to be given only one term, they would hit the ground running upon election, knowing that ‘posterity’ would judge them by what they were able to achieve while in office. The foregoing seems the most attractive and, perhaps, the major argument advanced so far by the agitators of a sixyear single tenure for future occupants of the aforementioned elective offices. The others are that the cost of conducting elections within short intervals is outrageously expensive; both for the country and political office seekers, and that President Goodluck Jonathan, the Vice President, Namadi Sambo; and all serving governors would not benefit from the provision if it eventually scales through the ongoing constitutional amendment process. But before the NASS draws the curtain on the single tenure controversy, or settles for this seeming grave option, it may be necessary for the lawmakers to firstly: trim the pay and perquisites of office attached to such positions and make them align with what obtains in other better organised and more decent democracies; and expunge the immunity clause from the 1999 Constitution (as amended). In addition, while the NASS may not be able to determine effectively the cost of conducting elections (since it can only give its nod

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SERVING GOVERNORS NOT BENEFITTING FROM THE PLAN to costs compiled by the electoral umpire) it can, at least, perform the patriotic duty of taking concrete steps, as against the lip service the subjects have been ridiculed with over the years, to scale down both the cost of running for such position, as well as the cost of governance. Now, trimming the pay, allowances and other perquisites attached to the political offices in question might help reduce the do-or-die rush for the offices. But where it doesn’t, removing the immunity clause covering the offices from the Constitution will make their occupants vulnerable to prosecution for criminal and other official misconducts, and therefore assist in controlling their recklessness and non-performance while in office. Besides, trimming the costs of standing for such elective posts will liberalize the nation’s cult-like political space, with ample prospects for the recruitment of better leaders, with proper recognition of merit, patriotism, commitment to service, et cetera; while reducing the cost of governance, in general terms, will translate to freeing more funds for the execution of capital budgets, in a country where

Sport Extra

w eports yesterday said Real Madrid’s Coach, Jose Mourinho, has signed a four-year-deal with former club, Chelsea. The Portuguese gaffer will lead Madrid one last time when the La Liga side faces Osasuna on Sunday night before parting ways with the Spanish club he tinkered for three seasons.

IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT JONATHAN AND

roughly 75 percent of annual budgets are drained by recurrent expenditure. It appears rather simplistic and convenient, the analysis or suggestion that only time constraint or re-election distraction, are mainly responsible for the recurring woeful performances of such elected officers in recent times. Recurrent expenditure on bloated political offices and a bureaucracy riddled with unspeakable levels of corruption appear the major bane. If the NASS fails to take these necessary measures and go for a blanket adoption of the single six-year tenure bait for the officers, however, then may it be recommended that the Senate and House of Representatives be held liable for granting future occupants of those seats the licence to steal with unrivalled impunity. It is sheer hypocrisy, with the level of corruption, fraud and theft dogging the nation’s public sector, to rate Nigeria as one of the countries where majority of those seeking elective political offices are motivated strictly by the patriotic desire to render service, or anything ennobling, for that matter. Such examples are scant, if ever existent. It is not just about Jonathan and serving governors not benefitting from the plan. It is also not about posterity judging reckless and reveling leaders. Indeed, it is doubtful that the current generation of Nigerian leaders knows the spelling and meaning of posterity, let alone caring about how it would judge them. Consequently, it may please the NASS, instead of settling for a single six-year term, to consider adopting a two-term of five or six years for the officers, since it will help to minimize the financial burden and distraction occasioned by frequent elections, as well as assist Nigerians in discerning which leaders are serious or on a frolic mission, based on performance. Pundits may argue that doing so would prolong the ‘turns’ of some geographical zones to produce the president or governor. But should that be the major headache? Isn’t it high time Nigerians got committed to electing leaders, not based on where they hail from or religious creed, but premised on merit, competence and integrity.

Mourinho joins Blues in ₤40m deal

According to the reports, Mourinho’s contract is worth 40million pounds. “Jose is a Chelsea man again! Everyone is delighted he’s coming back-the club, the players and the fans,” a senior Blues official was

quoted as saying by the reports. “We are already looking forward to next season and we are sure it’s going to be very exciting,” the official added. Mourinho won six trophies during his first stint with Chelsea be-

tween 2004 and 2007. He has endured the worst season of his career at Madrid this year, after failing to win any major trophy. In addition, he courted controversy after his frequent altercation with several key players in the Madrid squad.

Mourinho

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