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NANS threatens to shut private varsities over ASUU strike

Telecoms firms spend N16.5bn on diesel monthly –Investigation NNPC cautions on Chevron oil blocks sale

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y the end of this year, telecoms operators in Nigeria may have spent an estimated N198bn worth of diesel to

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run their telecoms installations, especially the base stations, National Mirror investigation has revealed. The cost will be incurred as a result of the increasing cost of purchasing diesel to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

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igerian students have threatened to shut down academic activities in private universities across the country if the Federal Government

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fails to urgently accede to the demands of striking Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU, members. The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, said the action CONTINUED ON PAGE 4>>

Friday, September 6, 2013

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n spite of the emergency rule declared in three states in the northern part of the country, tragedy resurfaced again in Borno State yesterday. About 20 people were feared killed while several others sustained injuries when some suspected Boko Haram members launched separate attacks in Gajiram and Bulabulin Ngawra villages in the state. Bulabulin Ngawra is in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

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Again, Boko Haram on the rampage …20 killed, schools, LG secretariat, hospital, houses razed 14 suspected terrorists arrested at teaching hospital

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Govt bans ‘molue’ on Lagos Island P.8,9

22 APGA state chairmen defect to APC

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L-R: First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and President Goodluck Jonathan on their arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for a state visit in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday. PHOTO:STATE HOUSE

Don’t aggravate PDP crisis, Anenih warns Tukur, Baraje Rebel govs, Atiku are prodigal sons –Party chair Clark, Haruna, others take on Anenih

2015: We’ll secede over Jonathan –Ijaw

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Saro: A musical set to storm the world!

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Cholera kills 8 in Oyo

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Again, Boko Haram on the rampage, 20 killed CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Konduga Local Government Area while Gajiram is in Nganzai Local Government Area. The secretariat complex of Nganzai Local Government, two primary schools, a clinic and some residen-

tial houses were also set ablaze by the attackers. Nganzai is about 73 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital, and Bullabulin Ngawra 45 kilometres away. Both councils are linked and have borders with the terrorists’ camps in Marte

and Sambiza forests, which the Joint Task Force, JTF, said it had destroyed during the peak of the military onslaught against terrorists in the state. A state of emergency has been emplaced in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states

since June this year. Although, the actual number of casualties could not be officially ascertained as at the time of going to press, our correspondent gathered that some terror suspects numbering over 40-fully armed with AK47

L-R: Former Anambra State Governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife; Convener, Nigeria Consensus Group, Prof. Ben Nwabueze; Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio and his deputy, Valerie Ebeh, at a state banquet for participants of the National Political Summit in Uyo, yesterday.

rifles invaded Gajiram on Thursday where they killed 15 residents. They also set some public and residential buildings ablaze before they were repelled by the combined efforts of the vigilance youths and JTF operatives. The State Attorney-General, Kaka Lawan, was said to have visited Gajiram to commiserate with the residents. He was accompanied by the chairman of the local government council and some senior police officers. Governor Kashim Shettima and his deputy, Alhaji Zanna Mustapha, were reportedly out of Maiduguri on an official assignment in Abuja. Also, the MaiduguriDambao-Biu road, reopened recently after its closure by the JTF, was under siege by the deadly group which mounted a roadblock a few metres away from Bullabulin Ngawra village. No fewer than five people

were killed in the attack. A witness, Aisami Babagana, from Bulabilin Ngawra said: “I believe that they attacked us because of how our volunteers have succeeded in curtailing their atrocities in our area.” Residents of Maiduguri, who did not want their names mentioned, told our correspondent yesterday that “we saw two Hilux patrol vehicles of the JTF conveying dead bodies and the injured to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, but could not ascertain whether they were victims of the latest attacks in Nganzai and Bullabulin Ngawra.” Meanwhile, members of the vigilance youths known as “Civilian JTF” and JTF on Wednesday arrested 14 terror suspects with arms and ammunition in Bulunkutu ward, the UMTH premises and Sulimanti ward of Maiduguri metropolis. Sources said that the arCONTINUED ON PAGE 5

Telecoms firms spend N16.5bn on diesel monthly –Investigation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

run their installations in the country, now estimated at N16.5bn monthly in the absence of stable public electricity supply. It was gathered that in spite of about 4,500 megawatts of electricity capacity generated in the country, telecoms operators, whose operations depend wholly on stable power source, continue to stagger under heavy cost of diesel used to run generating sets at their cell sites. According to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, there are about 27, 000 base stations in the country. However, National Mirror investigation revealed that telecoms operators, comprising the Global System for Mobile Communication, GSM, operators; the Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, operators as well as the fixed line operators, deploy generating sets to power the over 27, 000 base stations for a minimum of 17 hours daily. Experts say the huge sums being spent on diesel could have been saved by the operators, if the country had stable electricity to run their base stations.

According to findings, telecoms firms deploy at least one heavy-duty generating set to run for close to 20 hours on a daily basis, interspersed by few hours of public electricity usage. “Operators still rely on generating sets to run their site operations as a result of parlous state of our electricity supply in Nigeria,” says President, Association of Licensed Telephone Operators in Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo. “At least, each base station is run on generator for a minimum of 17 hours daily.” Meanwhile, the cost of purchasing diesel by the operators to power their 27, 000 BTS sites is conservatively estimated at N16.5bn, according to fresh investigation by National Mirror. Already, investigation revealed that there were no fewer than 27, 000 highcapacity generating sets already deployed at cell sites across the country. In some cases, two generating sets, whose capacity ranges between 20KV and 25KV, are deployed to alternative duty for uninterrupted power supply to sites telecoms installations. Investigations show that, with an average of eight litres of diesel consumed by

a generating set per hour, at an average retail pump price of N150 per litre, telecoms firms spend about N20, 400 in running a site generator daily. On a monthly basis, this costs operators about N612, 000. When applied to 27, 000 BTS, operators’ aggregate spending monthly is conservatively estimated at N16.5bn. When multiplied by 12 months, the cost of purchasing diesel by the telecoms firms skyrocket to N198bn annually. Confirming the huge cost of running base stations operations by the operators, Adebayo maintained that power issues had, indeed, necessitated operators’ decision to install two generators at each of their sites. According to him, the power problem is further compounded by frequent theft of generators and diesel from the sites, vandalism such as damage to fibre optic cables and exorbitant Right of Way charges by government and its agencies. “The huge amount spent on diesel, generating sets and other associated expenses could otherwise be spent on network expan-

sion towards providing better services to the growing telecoms consumers,” he said. Active telecoms subscribers increased from 113.1 million at the end of 2012 to reach 120.3 million at the end of June 2013, resulting in increasing demand for telecoms services and the need for operators to expand network to meet subscribers’ demand. During the same period, teledensity - the total number of telephone users per hundred people - increased from 80.85 per cent to 85.25 per cent. In spite of the competition in the sector, Average Revenue Per User, ARPU, still stands at around N900, according to experts, even as operators pass extra cost incurred to subscribers in form of slow-to-go-down tariffs. The President, National Association of Telecoms Consumers, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, decried the poor electricity supply in the country. He said: “While it is common knowledge that the cost of telecoms services has been going down in recent years, it is not at the rate we, subscribers, would have expected.

“Subscribers still believe they were paying more than they should be paying for telecoms services compared to what obtains in other countries, where electricity is relatively stable for the operators to run their installations without recourse to separate investment in alternative power sources.” Ogunbanjo opined that subscribers would have been enjoying much reduced tariffs, provided the operators were not incurring extra costs from the purchase of diesel to run base stations. “Today, a large chunk of operators’ overheads in base stations maintenance is consumed increase cost of purchasing diesel to power their base stations, even as they roll out more sites,” he added. Meanwhile, to reduce increasing cost of diesel, operators are embarking on “green” approach to maintaining their sites, using solar –powered equipment. GSM operators are at the forefront of the green revolution aimed at cutting operating cost as well as deploying eco-friendly power sources. Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mrs.

Lynda Saint-Nwafor, has recently said MTN was incurring huge expenditure monthly on diesel alone. Sources at Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel also confirmed that the three operators had been deploying hybrid technology to power their base stations installations. Explaining the importance of green technology, a telecoms engineer, Mr. Akin Akinbo, says it includes hybrid power, solar energy, gas turbine and wind energy. “The green power source is a combination of generators and sets of batteries, such that the generator charges the batteries and when they are fully charged, the generator automatically switches off and the batteries automatically power the cell site. “The generator comes up again, when the battery discharges to a certain level. The generator then powers the cell site and at the same time, powers the batteries. With the hybrid energy solution, less diesel is consumed,” he said. Adebayo has called on government to ensure the success of the ongoing privatisation exercise of the power sector.


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L-R: Vice-Chairperson, VIP Committee, Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN), Mrs. Mosunmola Shitta-Bey; Chairperson, Mrs. Tokunbo Obafemi Adegbola; Special Guest and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industries, Ms. Evelyn Oputu and Vice-Chairperson, SWAN, Mrs. Onome Olaolu, during an interactive session with Oputu in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Company Secretary, FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. Tijjani Borodo (left) receiving a plaque from board member, Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria, Mr. Dayo Lawuyi, in recognition of his support for the development of corporate governance in Nigeria at the organisation’s 2013 Annual Conference in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mrs. Laide Osijo; Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel and President, Chartered Institute of Insurance of Nigeria, Mr. Fatai Lawal, at the 2013 Professional Forum of the institute in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Chairman of Neimeth, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa; Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Foluso Phillips; Director-General, NESG, Mr. Frank Nweke; Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr Phillips Oduoza, at the just concluded19th Nigerian Economic Summit Group, in Abuja.

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2015: Ijaw threatens secession over Jonathan SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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jaw kinsmen of President Goodluck Jonathan have threatened to pull out of the Nigerian federation if the President’s re-election bid was frustrated in 2015. The Ijaw, in a communiqué made available to National Mirror yesterday after their meeting at the hometown of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Okirika, Rivers State, said Jonathan would return to the Niger Delta to lead his people in the case that he was rejected by Nigerians in 2015. “If other ethnic nationalities feel that they don’t Jonathan as from 2015, we want him to return home in the Niger Delta and lead the Ijaw nation as President and Commander-in-Chief,” the communiqué made available by the National Chairman of Izon Ikemi,

Chief Kalaiti Jephthah, read. The meeting was held under the aegis of Izon Ikemi, a grassroots organisation of the Ijaw ethnic nationality on Tuesday night to review the state of the nation, especially the ongoing crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the chances of Jonathan for re-election in 2015. The meeting was hosted by a prominent former leader, Chief Tom Ateke. Ateke and the National Secretary of the Ijaw group, Mr. Akpos Mezeh, signed the communiqué. The forum said Jonathan was qualified to seek re-election and added that his minority status should not be deployed as the yardstick to disqualify him from the 2015 contest. The Izon Ikemi frowned at the manner in which Jonathan was being “belittled, ridiculed and reduced

to punching bag” by his political enemies. The Ijaw leaders renewed their commitment to the principles of rule of law, democracy, equity and justice as a precondition for the enthronement and sustainability of good governance, peace, stability and progress, but vowed to resist any attempt to ridicule and intimidate Jonathan in the countdown to the 2015 elections. The group said the crisis in the ruling party was aimed at intimidating and frustrating Jonathan from seeking re-election, adding that it would resist opposition to President from within and outside the country. The communiqué read: “That while Izon Ikemi welcomes constructive criticism as normal in constitutional and participatory democracy, it frowns at unwarranted attacks at President Jonathan and promise to resist any nega-

tive opposition from other tribes including opposition within the Niger Delta. “That Izon Ikemi has discovered a plot by desperate politicians to destabilise the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; the Ijaw ethnic nationality view the ongoing crisis in the ruling party (PDP) as being targeted at intimidating and frustrating the President out of running in the next presidential election. Izon Ikemi cannot watch helplessly while he is being hunted by those who never wished the country well but are only pursuing their selfish interests. “That Izon Ikemi believes that the task of nation building is a collective responsibility and pledge to achieve its legitimate aspirations through extensive use of partnerships and synergy with all stakeholders including other ethnic nationalities.

NANS threatens to shut private varsities over ASUU strike CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 became imperative to compel government officials and prominent Nigerians whose children were in private universities to intervene in the matter. The students spoke yesterday during a protest in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. The protest was meant seek end to the over twomonth-old ASUU strike. NANS Director of Action and Mobilisation in the South-West, Mr. Sunday Asefon, said the placards-carrying protesting students were annoyed by the Federal Government’s insensitivity to the plight of the students and the falling education standard in the country. Asefon wondered why the government could not meet the demands of the university teachers despite the huge resources accruing to it, saying such amounted to negligence on its part. He said: “With the

tremendous upswing in the revenue at the disposal of the Nigerian government, one would have expected such to translate to commensurate improvement in the quality of Nigeria’s public education as well as other social services”. The students’ leader also urged state universities, including Ekiti State University (EKSU), Lagos State University (LASU), Osun State University and Olabisi Onabanjo University to reduce their school fees with immediate effect in the interest of education development. Another student leader, the Co-ordinator, Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Mr. Bewaji Oluwadamilare, berated the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over her recent comment on the ongoing strike embarked upon by university teachers, describing the comment as unfortunate.


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Friday, September 6, 2013

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Don’t aggravate PDP crisis, Anenih warns Tukur, Baraje AYODELE OJO AND OBIORA IFOH

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ational Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has been told to stop making inflammatory statements capable of escalating the crises in the party. Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, yesterday said the utterances of Tukur and those of the factional chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, could jeopardise the reconciliatory efforts in the party. Undaunted however, Tukur yesterday described former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Abdufatah Ahmed (Kwara), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and National Assembly members who have aligned with the new PDP as prodi-

gal sons and daughters. He warned members of the factional party to retrace their steps now or else the PDP train would leave them behind. Tukur also threatened that even if they returned to the fold they would face the consequences of their actions. The BoT chairman in a statement entitled, “A call for caution” and made available to National Mirror said: “It is unfortunate that while the reconciliatory efforts are being made, some of our members are making inflammatory statements, intimidating one another and issuing threats of court actions. Such actions do nothing but harm the efforts at reconciliation.” Anenih, however, added that several mechanisms had been put in place to address the grievances of members. He said: “Following the walk-out staged by some aggrieved members of our great party, the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, at the special convention of August 31, 2013, there have been genuine efforts by the leadership of the party, including the President himself, to reach out and reconcile with the aggrieved members, using the numerous mechanisms for conflict resolution that exist in the party. A series of meetings have been held and more are scheduled to hold in the next few days. “Like a good family, we must avoid open confrontation and allow the leadership of the party to effect genuine reconciliation. Conflict is not new to the PDP and as in the past, I am confident that, in spite of the differences, the current one will be resolved with the party coming out even stronger and more united than ever.” Anenih decried the exchange of words between Tukur and Baraje, which he described as disrespectful and undermines President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP leadership.

“To make preemptive statements while the process of reconciliation is still on is disrespectful not only to the President but to the party leadership. Such statements undermine the party and the enormous efforts being made under the transformation agenda of the Mr. President. “I therefore call on all members of our great party to exercise restraint throughout this trying period.” Tukur nonetheless warned Atiku and the seven governors of the dire consequences of their actions. He spoke at a seminar for all women and youth leaders in the party drawn from the 36 states of the federation. Tukur said: “What is going on in the party is something of concern but it is also something that can happen in a family. You can quarrel but all should really be resolved within the house not outside. “Anyone who has a son or

L-R: Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Constituency Projects, Pally Iriase; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Government Affairs, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita and the minister, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, at the Stakeholders’ Forum on the Implementation of Zonal Intervention/Constituency Projects in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Again, Boko Haram on the rampage, 20 killed CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

rested terror suspects at UMTH sneaked into the hospital through the fence before the youths sighted them. The suspects arrested in Bulunkutu area of the metropolis were said to be “Boko Haram informants” from Northern Borno and Yobe states, who came to Maiduguri on Tuesday to collect more information on the activities of JTF and vigilance youths patrolling Bulunkutu and Gomari Airport wards of Maidu-

guri. Speaking on how the terror suspects beat UMTH security on Tuesday, a source at the hospital said: “The suspects perforated the barbed wire and disguised as sick persons with rifles hidden under their flowing gowns. The vigilance youths were able to sight the suspects and arrest them on the spot before handing them to us here.” In a related development, six suspected members of the sect, including their commander (name with-

held), were arrested on the same day by the combined efforts of the military operatives and the vigilante youths in Maiduguri, the state capital. Our correspondent gathered from reliable sources that the arrested commander of the sect was in charge of Sulimanti ward where he also led his members to carry out a deadly attack early this year on a bakery in Sulimanti and slaughtered six workers. The source explained that the sect’s commander

was arrested in Konguga Council area on Tuesday, and after interrogation, he pleaded with the JTF to allow him come to Maiduguri and expose some of his collaborators, pointing out that when the suspect was taken to Sulimanti wards, he was able to fish out five of his collaborators before handing them over to security forces. JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, told journalists in Maiduguri that he was unaware of the incidents, but promised to issue a press release later.

a daughter who abandons the house, we call them prodigal son or daughter. If they go we can say ‘welcome back prodigal son’, we will tell you, you are still accepted because at PDP, you are always regarded as a son or daughter. “But of course, if you are coming back you will also have (to face) the consequences for taking a wrong step. You have to reconnect and correct your wrong step. If you don’t, the PDP train will move without you.” The National Woman Leader, Kema Chikwe, said the party was facing challenging times because of the “morbid quest for power by unreasonable members of the party.” She added: “You have to ask yourself on whose side are you on,” stressing that the PDP had done so much for Nigeria and had provided a ladder for many Nigerians to attain high positions. “PDP deserves appreciation from Nigerians to be protected with passion,” Chikwe said. The former Minister of Aviation also charged the women and youths to stand by the PDP, adding that it is only party that had consolidated political structures right from the ward to national level. Meanwhile, a group known as Congress for Equality, met at the residence of Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja yesterday and asked Anenih to distance himself from the aggrieved governors. Clark, former Oyo State Governor, Maj.-Gen. David Jemibewon, Senator Ameh Ebute and former chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Gen. I.B.M. Haruna, who attended the meeting, said it was wrong for Anenih to have said the aggrieved governors had genuine complaints. In a communiqué signed by Ebute, the group advised Anenih to join hands with Tukur to support the party and President Jonathan. The statement reads in part: “Chief Tony Anenih should distance himself from the demands of these so-called ‘aggrieved governors’ and join Tukur to work for the party in truth and spirit. “Every past head of state or President had weaknesses, but such weaknesses

were not sufficient to deny them their constitutional right to vie for a second term.” The group alleged that part of the demand of the aggrieved governors were that President Jonathan should denounce his 2015 ambition and restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from harassing them. In another development, the PDP under the leadership of Baraje said it had asked its lawyers to file a contempt charge against Tukur for flouting the orders of a Lagos High Court, which asked both sides to maintain the status quo pending the resolution of the case before it on who should lead the party. A statement issued yesterday by the National Secretary of the Barajeled PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, condemned the press conference addressed by Tukur in Abuja on Wednesday where he threatened to sack members of the National Assembly who declared support for the Baraje faction and arrest its officers. Oyinlola said: “We have asked our lawyers to press contempt charges against Tukur because his statement was made in clear contempt of the orders of Lagos High Court, which three days ago asked both sides to maintain the status quo. We will ask the court to commit him to jail for his disdain for the law and the judicial system. “We have always been saying it that Tukur represents everything that must not be seen in a democratic organisation. His statement demonstrates not just impunity but also lawlessness and crass ignorance of the tenets of the law and democratic ethos. “Tukur displayed his disdain for law and order with his threat to order the arrest of law abiding persons in a democracy. We ask what powers he has under our laws to make that statement and what gave him the impression that Nigeria has become a police state where impunity reigns and citizens can be arrested at the whim of any power drunk czar. “Fortunately, our country is a democracy under the rule of law and not under the rule of man. The poCONTINUED ON PAGE 50>>


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Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jonathan: Ex-militants threaten showdown with Amaechi, others

22 APGA state chairmen, national officers defect to APC

SAM OLUWALANA

ABUJA

PORT HARCOURT

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ormer Niger Delta warlords, who recently regrouped under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, LPCDI, have reprimanded the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. They accused Amaechi and other members of the new Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and its Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, of trying to prevent President Goodluck Jonathan from being re-elected in 2015. The former militants also accused Northern politicians of being greedy. The former freedom fighters said in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that they would adopt every available lawful means to stop those trying to frustrate Jonathan’s second term bid. In the statement signed by its National President, Gen. Reuben Wilson, Henry Binidodogha (Edo), Granville Ideye (Rivers) and Ezekiel Akpasibewei (Delta), the group praised Jonathan for his role in the Amnesty Programme, which resulted in an appre-

ciable level of increased oil output when its members laid down their weapons and embraced peace. The statement reads in part: “As former freedom fighters in the Niger Delta, we are aware that oil production figures have risen appreciably because we accepted the amnesty agenda of the administration in which Mr. President was a key player in his capacity as vice-president at that time, and now as President. “Because oil revenues have appreciated, all sections of the country have

got some good revenue for their states. Unfortunately, these funds are being used for deadly and selfish political fights that are not in the best interest of the country.” The former militants accused members of the new PDP of working against the interest of the Nigerian masses. They also threatened not to be passive in the ongoing political impasse, in which they said some forces were working against the re-election of the President. “The gladiators are all

out to smear the character and person of Mr. President and ensure that he does not enjoy a re-election in 2015 so that they can take charge and continue to enslave us as was the case for decades. “We will not fold our arms and watch a section of the country which believes that it is its birthright to rule Nigeria to chase Mr. President out of office. “If their argument is that he is not performing, it would have been understood,” the group added.

National Amirah, Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Hajiya Amina Omoti, presenting the Holy Qu’ran to Vice President Namadi Sambo during FOMWAN executives’ courtesy visit to the vice president in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

OBIORA IFOH

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wenty-two state chairmen and five national officers of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, yesterday defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC. Rising from a meeting of the 11 APC governors and the interim National Executive at the party secretariat late yesterday evening in Abuja, the party also said it would leave its doors open for a working relationship with the aggrieved seven governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Speaking while presenting the 22 APGA state chairmen and five national officers, who defected to APC, the National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, said the party had every reason to celebrate the addition to its fold. Akande charged the former APGA members to ensure that they work to deliver their various states to APC. Those who defected to APC are Prince Adeshina Olayokun (Lagos), Assistant National Legal Adviser, Mrs. Olufumilayo Onwubiko, Chief Oby Ezenna (Assistant National Woman Leader,

Power generation’ll rise to 20,000mw in 2016 –Sambo I didn’t dismiss Rivers gov’s ADC –CP R OTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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ice-President Namadi Sambo yesterday said the country would be able to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity by 2016. Speaking during an audience with the new executive members of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Sambo said the transformation agenda had recorded success in key sectors of the economy. He called on members of the association to support President Goodluck Jonathan and the transformation agenda of his administration. The vice-president highlighted the progress made by the administration in the power sector.

He noted that when work was completed on all the power plants, including Mambilla, Gurara, and the 250mw Kaduna power plants as well as the 10 thermal power plants about to be commissioned by the President, electricity supply would be adequate to drive industrialisation in the country. Sambo said the textile workers had commended the Federal Government for reviving the textile industry, adding that 35 companies which were moribund had been resuscitated and would function effectively with adequate power supply being put in place. He said: “It is the vision of President Jonathan to transform the agric sector and turn it into a business venture. “It is also the vision of Mr. President to make sure every Nigeri-

an child goes to school, that is why Almajiri school is being built, apart from infrastructure, school uniforms and books are being given to pupils.” The vice-president added that the administration was also addressing the issue of environment as it had approved the release of N10 billion for the Great Green Wall project. Earlier, members of the association led by its President, Major General Lawrence Onoja (rtd), said “under Jonathan administration, there have been massive investments in agriculture, housing, and construction, manufacturing, aviation, power, roads, rail, solid minerals and the Information and Communication Technology, ICT, sectors by both the government and the private sector”.

•Says police recover 20 cars, rescue nine kidnap victims SAM OLUWALANA PORT HARCOURT

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ivers State Police C o m m i s s i o n e r, Mbu Joseph Mbu, has denied reports that he had dismissed the former Aide-De-Camp, ADC, to Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Mbu explained that he had no power to sack the former ADC, ASP Seimeikumo Debewari. The commissioner, however, said he declared Debewari wanted after he refused to honour invitations from the Police Headquarters. He said: “There is no way I will dismiss the former ADC to Governor Amaechi as I don’t have the power to do so. I only ordered that he be declared wanted following his refusal to honour several invitations from the state Police Headquar-

ters.’’ Mbu made the disclosure yesterday at the state Police Headquarters, while addressing journalists shortly after the police paraded some suspected criminals involved in kidnapping, cultism and other criminal activities in the state. He also disclosed that men of his command had recovered 20 stolen vehicles from suspected armed robbers in the past few weeks. The commissioner added that seven AK47 rifles, three AK49 rifles, 10 locally-made pistols, one pump action, 170 7.2mm ammunition, 21 9mm ammunition, 59 cartridges, five magazines, two machetes, 17 mobile phones, three laptops, one 75HP outboard engine and N736,660 were

South-West), Prince Atep Fredrick (Cross River), Hon. Nuhu Muhammed Umar (Kogi), Simon Onyema Charma (Kaduna), Victoria Y. Buba (Woman Leader, Kaduna) and Musa Balarabe (Yobe). Others are Mrs. Kelechi Ononiwu (Assistant Woman Leader, SouthSouth), Dr. Tracy Ighor (Taraba), Nwogu Kingsley (Nasarawa), Rabiu Umar (Sokoto), Wilson Myenguron (Adamawa), Adamu Dahiru (Katsina), Bashiru Muhammed (Kebbi), Shauibu Kawu (Niger), Muhammed Abubakar (Gombe), Muhammed Lawal (Borno) and A. A. Idris (Kano). Also speaking, the interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, denied insinuations that APC might be behind the PDP crisis. He said: “We should not be blamed for the PDP implosion. Whatever is happening in the PDP is self-inflicted and is long awaited because the party does not know how to run its affairs properly.” Muhammed said the problem with the PDP was that it did not know how to manage its success, adding that APC was poised to lead by example and to show how a national party should be organised. recovered by the police. Mbu also said that some of the cars recovered included six Honda cars, four Volkswagen cars, four Toyota Land Cruiser cars, one Hyundai Jeep, one Murano Jeep and one Mazda car. He also said out of 16 kidnap cases reported to the command, nine persons had been rescued, including four Ireland nationals who were abducted at a fish farm in Buguma community. Mbu added that out of 60 suspects arrested, 29 had been charged to court, pointing out that two of the kidnap victims died in the hands of their abductors. The commissioner, who disclosed that the command was embarking on community policing in collaboration with house owners, called on the public to always give police useful information that could lead to the arrest of suspects.


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Friday, September 6, 2013

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Boko Haram: Police compensate families of 91 officers AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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he families of 91 police officers killed in Boko Haram attacks in Kano State were yesterday presented with N35.7 million by the authorities of the Nigerian Police. The families of the de-

ceased were handed over their cheques by the Assistant Inspector -General of Police, AIG, in-charge of Zone One, David Omojola. He said the exercise covered the third batch of victims’ families being assisted by the police. He said the money, which is an insurance

coverage for the officers and men is meant to alleviate the sufferings of the deceased families and those who sustained injuries at various times in the course of their duties. According to him, the money should not be seen as compensation to the families of the deceased, because no amount of

money can bring back those who lost their lives or sustained injuries in the course of service. Omojola explained that one of the deceased families received a cheque to the tune of N1 million, while the least was N100, 000. The AIG said the gesture is an innovation by

the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, to enhance the welfare of the police who fell victim of attacks or accidents in the course of their official duties. Omojola further explained that the gesture is in continuation of the welfare programme for officers in Kano, Katsina

and Jigawa States, who received N18.7 million in the first batch and N17.6 million in the second batch. Earlier in the year, 79 families who were victims of the same attacks were given some amount of money running into millions of naira to alleviate their hardship.

Why Edo govt took custody of stowaway boy –Commissioner SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he Edo State government yesterday gave reasons why it took custody of stowaway teenager, Daniel Oikhena, days after the boy was released by the State Security Service, SSS. Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion, said the state government decided to take Daniel into custody after a meeting that was held on Tuesday at the Government House. The meeting was between Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the Director of State Security Service, SSS, in the state, Mr. Bello Bakori, the boy’s mother, Mrs. Evelyn Oikhena and officials of the Edo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. According to the state government, the interaction with Daniel, a Junior Secondary School, JSS, student of Ogbe Secondary School, Benin City, showed that he was an intelligent child that needed care. It will be recalled that Daniel braved the odds to become a celebrity after beating Federal Government’s security protocols

at the Benin Airport to fly to Lagos on the wheel well of an airline plane last month. Odion, who complained bitterly about the report of the boy’s custody in the newspapers, said the state government was already taking steps to ensure Daniel gets every support to enable him achieve his potentials. He said; “Edo State government is already taking steps to ensure that Daniel gets not just material, but also psychological support to enable him achieve his God-given potentials. “As a dotting parent himself, Governor Oshiomhole has followed the development closely. As a matter of fact, he personally engaged Daniel. “From his interaction with him and his parents who, unfortunately, are separated, it is obvious that there is a deficiency in terms of parental care even though Daniel sounds quite intelligent.” The government spokesman added; “We will ensure that Daniel benefits first of all from the intervention of clinical psychologists. His psychic needs to be weaned off destructive anger.”

L-R: Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, at the inauguration of boards of parastatals and agencies in the state, yesterday.

Six arrested for impersonation at post-UTME exam FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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uthorities at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB, has arrested six people for impersonation at the ongoing post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, being conducted by the institution. Those arrested were discovered by security men and senior officers of the university who were deployed to monitor and supervise the examination as members of the

‘Bad tyres cause of 2, 500 auto crashes in Nigeria’ OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ut of the 3, 680 auto crashes recorded in Nigeria between 2010 and 2012, no fewer than 2, 500 of such crashes were caused as a result of bad tyres. Reports said in a bid to reduce high auto crashes in the country, motorists; commercial and private operators have also been urged to desist from using fairly-used or fake tyres and engines. Making this known yesterday in Lagos, was the

President the Automobiles and Road Safety Initiative, ARSI, Mr. Samuel Oriowo, in his welcome address at a seminar organised for auto professionals in the state. Oriowo said such deaths would have been avoided if the auto drivers had used genuine and new tyres. He noted, however, that such establishments like the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, the Lagos State Transport Maintenance agency, LASTMA, and the Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIO, have reduced

crashes on the country’s roads. The ARSI boss also commended the leadership of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, for the wonderful job it is doing by ridding the nation of used and fake tyres. He said; “It is imperative for us to arrest the menace of sub-standard, used tyres in Nigeria. We want people to play their parts dutifully to see to the end of the production and, or importation and usage of used, sub-standard tyres in the country.”

Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU, were still on strike. Chief Security Officer of the institution, Peter Sunday Bolarinwa, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspects were caught during the process of accreditation for the examination. He, however, added that they had been handed over to the State Security Service, SSS, for further actions and possible prosecution. “I can confirm to you that so far, since we started yesterday, we have arrested six candidates who

have also been handed over to the SSS operatives for necessary action.” He added: “Our university exam is not the one that someone can write for another. We maintain strict security checks which often time reveal impersonators among those willing to join us as students. That’s why we shall continue to be the best among the rest.” In a related development, some of the candidates, who dressed provocatively, had a hectic time before they could be allowed to write the examination while several

others were sent home for other examination malpractices. FUNAAB’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, while speaking with journalists said the university’s security network would always give out criminally-minded candidates. “For us as a university, there is no short cut to admission; you either read well and meet the cut-off point or attempt to indulge in examination practices and be arrested by our dutiful and reliable security network,” he stated.

Suswam decries cultism among Benue youths HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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enue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has decried the increase in cult activities and other social vices among youths of the state. He said many young people lose their lives due to the indiscriminate activities of the cultists. The governor said this yesterday in Makurdi while speaking with officials of the National

Union of Benue State Students, NUBESS, led by its President, Comrade Matthew Mamwoo, who paid him a solidarity visit. He lamented that increased cult activities among youths has defied solution, noting that cult activities are now prominent in secondary and tertiary institutions in the state, a situation he said calls for concern by all stakeholders. “Let me reiterate here that our case is most unfortunate, young men are

being killed without due regard to human life; one imagines if tomorrow leadership is bestowed on these youths, only God knows what will happen, whether anyone will remain, considering their senseless killings and attitude to life.” He cautioned that they should have a rethink and refrain from these dastardly acts, emphasising the need for them to inculcate the value of hard work, discipline and tolerance into their lives..


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Cholera kills eight in Oyo KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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o fewer than eight people have been reportedly killed by a fresh cholera outbreak in Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo State. It was learnt that 10 others were receiving treatment at the Egbeda Primary Health Centre.

The incident has begun causing tension among residents. According to sources, the government has initiated moves to curtail the spread of the disease to other parts of the state, especially the neigbouring local government areas. Governor Abiola Ajimobi was said to have ordered the state Commissioners

for Health, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, and that of the Environment and Habitat, Mr. Lowo Obisesan, to move into the affected area and ascertain the cause of the incident. Gbadegesin, however, addressed journalists yesterday. The commissioner, who spoke after inspecting the affected area, blamed the

fresh cholera outbreak on the dirty habits of the residents. He said the state government would build a modern hospital in the affected area to prevent recurrence. Also speaking, Obisesan said the government would put necessary measures in place to prevent recurrence.

L-R: Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Atinuke Oshunkoya; Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Special Adviser to the Governor on Development Matters and Special Duties, Mrs. Sarah Pane and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Adeolu Akande, after a meeting in Ibadan, yesterday.

Police intercept cross-border bandits •Recover two exotic cars

FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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en of the Ogun State Police Command yesterday clashed with a gang of suspected cross-border armed robbers and recovered two exotic vehicles from them. A statement issued yesterday afternoon by the Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, said

the police engaged the suspected armed robbers in a gun battle at Maria village, near Ayetoro, at about 3:00am and recovered the cars. Adejobi said a police team, led by Inspector Joseph Uzuegbu attached to Ayetoro Division, intercepted the bandits. The vehicles recovered include a Toyota Highlander Jeep marked Lagos EKY 441 AX snatched in

Lagos State and a Toyota Camry marked APP 574 BT reportedly snatched in Abeokuta last Wednesday. Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), explained that the suspects escaped from the scene with bullets wounds. He appealed to members of the public to assist the command in apprehending the fleeing suspects. The police, however, promised to make the

state safe and crime-free for residents and the business community. Adejobi said the command recently trained its officers and men on professional and operational strategies to curtail crimes during the “ember” months. He urged the general public to be more security conscious and assist the police in giving useful information to unmask criminals.

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Hajj: Ogun disqualifies under 30 pilgrims •Lagos to airlift 3,120 he Ogun State Pilgrims Welfare Board has disqualified intending pilgrims that are under 30 years from partaking in this year’s Hajj. The board’s chairman, Dr Isiak Adebayo Yusuf, announced the disqualification yesterday at a seminar in Abeokuta, the state capital. Yusuf said the decision was taken in order to overcome the challenges faced by board. He said that the board could only take 1, 212 intending pilgrims as against the initial 1, 550 that were qualified for the exercise, stressing that the board has fixed September 14 as first take-off date. Stressing that it was a tough decision pruning the number of the pilgrims from initial 1, 550 to 1, 212, Yusuf asked those successful to count themselves lucky to be part of the exercise. He said airlifting of pilgrims from the state would begin before September 30 after the flag-off by the National Hajj Commission, adding that all flights would now be directed to the city of Medina instead of city of Jeddah. Yusuf, however, advised the participants to shun immoralities while in Saudi Arabia. The chairman also advised the pilgrims to be tolerance as well as endure for the period they stay at the holy land. Speaking at the seminar, a National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) official, Abdullah Sardauna, warned the intending pilgrims not to partake in any form of drug trafficking offences that

could tarnish their image as well as that of the country. Sardauna also asked them not to take any form of medicine such as analgesic or kolanut with them to avoid embarrassment by any agency both home and abroad. Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government yesterday said about 3, 120 intending pilgrims from the state would be airlifted to Mecca for the Hajj, adding that arrangements had been concluded to ensure hitch-free exercise. Although the state had earlier alerted intending pilgrims on the danger of corona virus which was said to be prevalent in Saudi Arabia, but allayed the fear on the diseases, saying it had properly sensitised all pilgrims. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba and the Secretary of the Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Sanusi Kamal, said the first flight from the state to Mecca is scheduled for Saturday, September 14 and it would be concluded on September 19. “The pilgrims had been properly enlightened on how to conduct themselves during the pilgrimage,” they said. Allaying the fear on the possibility of contracting the virus by pilgrims, Ibirogba said: “We have done the right enlightenment on how the pilgrims can properly conduct themselves in Mecca and how they could be safe especially with the outbreak of corona virus in Saudi Arabia. “The enlightenment was done in all the 20 local governments in the state to sensitize the intending pilgrims on hygiene. We expect that the pilgrims will keep to all they have been told and be good ambassadors of the state.”

the offence committed.” It will be recalled that NSCDC recently sealed up two houses and arrested eight suspects including two landlords on Animatu Ilo Street at Ejigbo in Lagos State on allegation that wells of oil were dug in their compounds. NSCDC alleged that the suspects dug their boreholes to the level of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines which runs

through a section of Ejigbo community, consequent upon which fuel running through the pipelines is diverted into the boreholes. The Lagos State government, however, rose in the suspects’ defence, saying residents had, over the years, been complaining of oil pollution in the area. It was said many boreholes in the area were affected and that the matter had initially been reported to the NNPC.

FEMI OYEWESO AND MURITALA AYINLA

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NSCDC set to prosecute ‘oil well’ custodians FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) is set to prosecute the eight suspects, including two landlords recently paraded on the allegation of being in possession of wells in which petrol ooze out. Sources said NSCDC was not intimidated by the planned lawsuit against it by

the Lagos State Government. According to the sources, NSCDC is ready to stand by the allegations of oil theft leveled against the suspects, even as it is doing everything within its power to establish the truth for everyone to see. One of the sources, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “NSCDC’s legal department is working assiduously to prosecute the suspects because it believes that they are actu-

ally culpable of the crime. “We have our evidences and we acted legally and responsibly. The truth is that the suspects are culpable. They claimed they have reported to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), but they continued to stay in the environment as dangerous as it is. “They equally harbor loads of jerry cans at the back of the buildings. Who are those using the jerry

cans and what are they used for.? Since they know what vandals used jerry cans for, why have they not reported to the NSCDC? We discovered that some of the recovered jerry cans from the vicinity have petrol inside, how did that happen? So, there are many questions begging for answers. “Our legal department is only putting finishing touches to the investigations and I can assure that the suspects will be prosecuted for


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Govt bans Molue on Lagos Island MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State Government has banned the operations of 911 buses popularly known as Molue on the Lagos Island. The government said it had ordered law enforcement agents to enforce the directive. With the directive, it is now illegal for the operator to drive on the bridges linking Lagos Mainland to Island, while operation of the Molue buses in places like Ebute-Ero, Iddo, Ebute Ero, Apongbon, Obalende, Idumota, CMS, Obalende and other places on Island has been outlawed. The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Mr. Babatunde Edu, made the disclosure yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting with the branch chairmen of the Lagos Urban Bus Owners Association of Nigeria, LUBON,

operators of Molue buses. Edu said the move was to ensure adequate monitoring of the operations of commercial vehicles and compliance with traffic rules and regulations. The LASTMA GM said the new directive had become effective since August 19, adding that the buses could no longer operate in the Central Business District, CBD. He said: “Though the Lagos State Government was supposed to have commenced enforcement last month, being a responsive and responsible government which believes in enlightenment before enforcement, we therefore, decided to shift the enforcement to fourth of this month.” The GM, however, said Molue buses could still operate in areas like Orile, Iyana Ipaja, Mile 2, and Mile 12, among others. Meanwhile, Governor Babatunde Fashola has urged

commercial bus drivers to desist from taking alcohol, drugs or other related substance before going behind the wheel. The call, he said, became necessary because, according to him, evidence shows that road traffic accidents are influenced and precipitated by substance abuse which impairs driver’s ability to manage and manipulate a vehicle well. Fashola said this yesterday at the New Garage Motor Park, Bariga, during a Motor Park Health and Safety awareness campaign organised by the ministries of Health and Transportation in partnership with Guinness Nigeria Plc. The governor noted that the Motor Park Health and Safety Awareness Campaign was an initiative of his administration to raise awareness about responsible consumption of alcohol and initiate change in drivers’ attitude.

...Phases out Rickety food distribution vans MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State Government yesterday introduced brand new vans and trucks to stop distribution of perishable food items in unhygienic and rickety vans in the state. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, made the disclosure at a stakeholders’ meeting with the perishable food vendors, automobile manufacturers and financial homes.

Lawal said the move was to enhance sanity in the chain of distribution of farm produce in a way that would guarantee public health. The commissioner said the move would, among other things, reduce the risk of microbial hazards. According to him, proper mode of transportation of food also determines the quality of food that gets to the consumer. He said: “The essence of food hygiene in Lagos State is to enforce standard and grade quality of post-harvest agricultural produce (both raw and processed) in

the state. It is also that postharvest agricultural produce compete favourably in the international market. “The kind of vehicles they use for distribution of perishable foods are not road worthy, especially with carbon emission that is prevalent in our society. That is why we create this room for them to have the opportunity of having new vehicles. “We now invited vehicle manufacturers, the banks’ representatives to ensure that new distribution vans replace the rickety ones for distribution of the food items.”

I’ll empower Ekiti citizens –Guber aspirant

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gover norship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Dare Bejide, has promised to empower indigenes of Ekiti State if elected. The former ambassador to Canada gave the pledge at a dinner organised in his honour by friends and associates in Abuja, recently. Bejide disclosed that he had instituted various programmes to economically empower the indigenes of the state. One of such programmes, according to him, is the local content policy. He said: “As part of gov-

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Friday, September 6, 2013

ernment efforts to boost job opportunities and reduce poverty, all government contractors in the state shall be mandated to employ all junior staff (100 per cent) and at least 50 per cent of the other staff from the state. “No contractor shall bring into the state any material for any construction or any project from other states unless such materials are not available in the state. “These requirements shall be mandatory and verified at the point of tender for such contracts and also at the point of payment by the Ministry of Finance. “We shall introduce Lo-

cal Content Compliance Unit at the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Finance.” The governorship aspirant, who is one of the founding members of the PDP in the state, also promised to maximise the benefits of the rich agricultural potential of the state. He said: “Agriculture is the mainstay of Ekiti State economy contributing about 90 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP. The agricultural sector employs about 80 per cent of the state labour force and provides a livelihood for about 90 per cent of the rural population.

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‘Only national dialogue can stop Nigeria’s collapse’ FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Anglican Christian Fellowship of Nigeria, ACFN, yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately convene a national dialogue to save the country from imminent collapse. ACFN, which is an arm of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), warned that unless Jonathan engaged major stakeholders in a very crucial national discourse, his administration’s desire to ensure peaceful co-existence among the people might fail. The body premised its call on the many security, social, and religious challenges confronting the country, saying that Nigeria had been existing in a forced union. Addressing a press conference in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State to herald the maiden national convention of the body expected to end on Sunday, the National President of ACFN, Mr. Henshaw Adetoye, disclosed

that echoes emanating across the country pointed to the fact that Nigeria was already in crisis. Flanked by other members of the national executive, Adetoye, while commenting on the state of the nation, explained that the church could not but continue to pray for good of the country in the forthcoming convention. The convention with the theme: “Manifestation of a new Dawn,” to be hosted by the Ijebu North Anglican Diocese with an expected number of 2,500 delegates from across Nigeria, would feature special prayer for Nigeria. Adetoye said that President Jonathan “must stand on the side of restructuring this skewed federation that has only delivered crushing poverty to many families and torrent of bloodbath across the land”. The ACFN president said the need for a national dialogue was already evident in the Boko Haram insurgency which compelled Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in Adama-

Politics Can PDP remain one in 2015?

wa, Borno and Yobe. He said: “Apart from the sectarian violence, Nigeria is also facing multisectoral dysfunction, emblematised in the abysmal failure of electricity generation; the closure of industries, decadence in the university system resulting in many parents sending their children to Ghana or Benin Republic; unemployment which is a time bomb waiting to explode and hospitals that no longer serve as life saving centres. “These are a gruesome indicator that something has gone wrong with the Nigerian union. “Whatever name we want to call it, let us leave the name sovereign. What we are saying is that let us sit down and talk. “We are in a forced union. Yoruba are being forced to stay with the Hausa. The Ndigbo are being forced to stay with the Yoruba. Things cannot continue this way. We will continue to pray that the theme of this convention will manifest in this country.”

Celebrity

A house divided against itself will, obviously, not stand. And it is not in our interest both as founders and joiners to bring down the house we laboured very hard to build. –Former Governor of Abia State and one of the founding fathers of PDP, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu I think what is happening in PDP is healthy for our democracy. The PDP is too big and dominant for any party to defeat. There is no effective challenger or combination of political parties that can make the PDP blink so far. –Factional chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Maxi Okwu.

My father wants my windfall –Dillish Matthews, s, BBA winner

x SeTalk

Orgasm 101

e i d o J’ I’m waiting for the scandals Sweet mother

How Dammy Krane met his mother after ten years

...details of the car gift she gave him

This column is x-rated


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Police arrest fake vice-chancellor in Imo

•No criteria required to open a varsity –Suspect CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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fake Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Fidelis Chukwujindu, who runs an illegal university known as University College Hospital, Ogboko in Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State, has been arrested by the state police command. Also arrested was a middle-aged woman, Ngozi Ayeoha, accused of being the ‘Dean of Faculty of Medicine’ in the illegal college, and who was said to be a drop out from a

school of nursing. The fake vice-chancellor, who hails from Umudumabiakam village, Ogboko, was arrested while conducting an entrance examination in an uncompleted building used as the university’s temporary site for about 576 students, who he allegedly swindled of N4.6million. The victims reportedly purchased the admission forms at N8, 000 each. Most of the students were said to have been convinced of the genuineness of the illegal college that was strategically located opposite the proposed site

of the Imo State University and adjacent to the Rochas Foundation College, Ogboko, which the ‘students’ claimed the fraudster used to deceive them. Chukwujindu, who claimed to be an Americantrained medical doctor, was later found to be a native doctor, who claimed to have the permission of the state government to run his nonexistent college hospital, which has the sign post; “University College Hospital, Ogboko, Ideato, P. O. Box 1960 Orlu, Imo State. He told journalists that to open an institution does

not require the approval of the National Universities Commission, NUC. “This is a college and not a university and, as such, I did not obtain approval from the NUC and I went to the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, severally where I obtained approval and it is affiliated to the University of London,” he maintained. Parading the suspects yesterday, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, said one striking thing about the strategy of the gang was that they carefully selected the site

opposite the Imo State University, Ogboko, quite adjacent to the Rochas Foundation College, Ogboko. This, Katsina said, was to convince their victims of the genuineness of their business. “This is a primitive catalogue of illegality by a self-acclaimed medical doctor, who dubiously parades himself as a product of the prestigious Harvard University in America, but who is nothing but a native doctor. “More than 5, 000 peo-

LG polls: PDP threatens sanction on revolting members DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji (3rd left), sympathising with one of the victims of the accident that claimed the lives of eight members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State at the 82 Division Military Hospital in Enugu, yesterday.

Erosion submerges 10 buildings in Abia GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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t least 10 buildings have been submerged by erosion while others are at the verge of collapse in three communities of Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State following heavy flooding. The communities are Umuobasi Mbala, Umuaku Isuochi and Umudim Ngodo Isuochi. Some of the affected buildings included a one-storey building each at Umuaku Isuochi and Umuobasi Mbala while most farm lands in the communities were also swept off. A member representing Umunneochi state constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikedi Ezekwesili, attributed the collapse of the structures to the heavy flooding that occurred in the area in 2012.

Ezekwesili told journalists after he conducted officials of the state Ministry of Environment round the sites that the development had endangered the lives of the people. “We have never witnessed such dangerous devastation before and this is more worrisome in the sense that these gullies developed in less than one year,” he said. He appealed to the Federal Government to come to the rescue of his people to save them from further hardship. “This is certainly beyond the state government and I appeal to the state Ministry of Environment to prepare a report that will enable the Federal Government intervene through the ecological fund. “In the meantime, I will urge residents of the area to do the little they can to

ensure that the situation did not deteriorate while we wait for the Federal Government to assist us,” Ezekwesili said. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Bernard Ogbonna, said the devastation was beyond the capacity of the state government considering the paucity of

funds in the state. “We are sending a distress call to the Federal Government to rescue our people from this predicament, so that the affected communities will not be wiped out. “This is a national disaster that requires the intervention of the Federal Government, because it is beyond our capacity,” he said.

ple from various parts of the country in search of education have been swindled by this man.” The police boss, who said that the suspect and his cohorts were arrested following intelligence report available to his command, however, assured that the police are determined to rid the state of all undesirable elements. He said the command would not allow such unholy trend to negatively affect the zeal and ambitions of the victims.

he Enugu State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has threatened to sanction any of its members found accusing the party leadership of imposing certain chairmanship aspirants on the council. State Publicity Secretary of the party, Dr Okey Eze, who gave the warning, said it was very unfair to accuse the party of imposing a chairmanship candidate on the people in the November 2 election, when the primary election has not been conducted. Eze, who was reacting to an allegation by a group of faceless individuals on the purported imposition of a chairmanship candidate by the party, dismissed their protests, saying it is uncalled for. The publicity secretary said there was nothing like imposition of candidates on any council as both the ward and local government congresses from where the candidates for the November 2 council poll would be

elected by delegates were yet to be held. “The PDP frowns at the nefarious activities of some people in the state who are out to overheat the system and destroy the peace existing in the state chapter of our party by engaging in falsehood and blackmail. “This spurious allegation coming from a group of faceless and desperate individuals who are sponsored by some interested members of the party to smear the image of our party in the state for their selfish reason should be ignored because there is no basis for it. “The PDP has not held its primaries at ward and local government levels; why should anybody accuse the party leader of imposing a particular candidate on the party, whereas the process of electing a candidate has not commenced.” He added that those sponsoring protests against the party leadership for no just cause are plotting to destabilise the party, warning that they should be ready to face the necessary sanctions.

Monarch calls for credible polls in Ebonyi ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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he traditional ruler of Ishiagu Kingdom in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Moses Okafor Ngele, yesterday called on the state independent electoral commission, EBSIEC, to ensure a free, fair and credible council poll in the state. The monarch urged the

body to ensure transparency and provide a level playing ground for all participating political parties in the scheduled September 28, local government election in the state. Ngele, who hails from the hometown of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, told journalists in Abakaliki, warning politicians against fomenting trouble

during the election. He said the new yam festival in the area has been scheduled to hold today, stressing the need for all the political parties participating in the election to shun violence and acts capable of destabilising the unity and progress of the state. He said EBSIEC should ensure it provided equal opportunities to all candidates participating in the election

even as he identified greed, corruption and lack of equity as some of the factors responsible for violence during electioneering campaigns. On the celebration of the new yam festival, Ngele noted that the community was expecting its indigenes at home and abroad, including Senator Pius Anyim to attend the festival, adding that the forum would engender peace and unity in the area.


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South South

Friday, September 6, 2013

Six family members killed in landslide

RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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t least six people from a family were on Wednesday night killed in Calabar, Cross River State as a landslide pull down trees which crashed on top of a residential building. The devastating incident was said to have occurred as a result of heavy rainfall that lasted for several hours.

•As flood sweeps away five-year-old

It was learnt that flood water from the rain uprooted trees on top of a hill and sent them crashing on a house located at the valley nearby, burying six family members alive in the rubble of the building which collapsed from the impact of the crash. The owner of the house, one Amos Akaniyene, es-

caped but his pregnant wife, Ekaete, 30, his two children, David and Deborah, mother-in-law, Iquo Effiong and two other relatives, Samuel and Anthony, were killed in the incident. A neighbour, Akpan Ubong, who resides close to Amos’s house, said flood water descended from the hill, uprooting trees on its

path and sending them crashing on the house of Amos that is directly on the path of the flood. It was a tragic scene as a large crowd gathered to behold the sight of shattered lifeless bodies being removed from the rubble. Some cried uncontrollably while others had tears rushing down their cheeks.

As at 8.00pm on Wednesday, when our correspondent visited the area, men of the Cross River State fire service were seen evacuating the corpses. Six bodies were removed from the rubble. In a related development, a five-year-old girl was yesterday swept away by flood water along the AtimboAkpabuyo road into a gorge and was buried underneath concrete slaps which soon

Nigeria’s future: NCG insists on national conference TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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he Nigeria Consensus Groups, NCG, yesterday ended its national political summit insisting that the country must hold a national conference if it must address the several crises plaguing the country. The group called on President Goodluck Jonathan to, as a matter of urgency, convoke a national conference of all the ethnic nationalities and people of Nigeria to discuss and find a lasting solution to the myriad of problems facing the country.

In a communiqué made available to journalists at the end of the two-day conference, the convener, Prof. Ben Nwabueze and the Chairman of the summit, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, among others, urged President Jonathan to use the power reposed in his office to convoke the conference. The summit said such conference is necessary to preserve the continued existence of Nigeria, maintaining that the President should seek the cooperation of the National Assembly for more powers if necessary. “Perhaps the greatest

service President Goodluck Jonathan will render to the people of Nigeria is to be the first President to give them the people’s constitution, deriving its source of authority as the supreme law of the land directly from the people.” To check the continuous drift towards anarchy and insecurity, the national political summit urged the President to initiate a broad-based national dialogue involving all political ethnic and social formations in the country to obtain the input of Nigerians of all classes and persuasions. The national political

summit reaffirms its faith and commitment to the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state. It also appealed to government at all levels and the people to ensure the continued existence of peace and stability in the country. A former governor of Anambra State Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, said only the people of Nigeria can give the country a new constitution as the National Assembly lacks such powers. “The National Assembly is like a tenant in somebody’s house, the much a tenant can do is to repair cracks here

and there and replace one or two things in the house, a tenant cannot bring down the house and put up a new one,” Ezeife concluded. The former governor said it is long overdue for Nigeria to have a national conference to discuss the future of the country, noting that issues such as state police, unicameral legislature, zonal government, among others, needed to be discussed by Nigerians. Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom State governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, called on the country’s leaders to encourage inclusiveness to allow

11

fell from a collapsed culvert. As at the time of filing this report the body has not been recovered. When contacted, the Cross River State Director of Information in the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. David Akate, confirmed that six dead bodies have been deposited at the General Hospital mortuary in the capital and that rescue efforts are still ongoing.

every section of the country have a sense of belonging. He made the call during a gala-night in honour of the NCG at Government House Banquet, Uyo, at the end of the three-day summit. He said: “We must allow inclusiveness; we must allow every section of the country to have a sense of belonging. We as leaders must live by example for the country to move forward. “I believe every Nigerian child is free to live anywhere in the country without fear, for with love, we can change the country, if we love our nation we must love ourselves.”


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North

Friday, September 6, 2013

Immunisation: Parents, clerics risk 10-year jail in Niger PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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iger State Government said it had amended the state Healthcare Development Agency law to prevent parents from stopping polio immunisation for their children. Under the amended law, religious leaders caught teaching against immunisation in the state would

be liable to 10 years imprisonment or N100,000 fine. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Bawa Wuse, who disclosed this at a post-executive council briefing in Minna, said failure by parents to present their children or wards to be vaccinated against the child-killer disease would attract six months jail term or

N50,000 fine. According to him, to prevent the spread of the wild polio virus from other states, check points will be set up in certain areas in the 25 council areas to vaccinate children at the point of entering the state whether they were vaccinated from where they were coming from or not. The commissioner added that to ensure total compliance with the deci-

sion of the state government, designated Chief Magistrates’ courts in each of the 25 local governments would be established to serve as mobile courts, where offenders would be tried. He said: “The state government took the measure to ensure compliance with its polio eradication policy. It is targeted at achieving 100 per cent coverage of immunisation.”

L-R: Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu; Senate President, David Mark; Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Musa Ibeto and Senator Tunde Ogbeha during a visit of Nigerian Defence Academy Course 3 Alumni Association to the governor in Minna, yesterday.

New PDP emerges in Borno INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Borno State yesterday backed the Alhaji Kawu Barajeled executive council. The state chapter of the new PDP also passed a vote of no confidence in the current Baba Basharu-led PDP state executive council, saying it shared the same high-handedness associated with the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Speaking with journalists shortly after a meeting of the breakaway PDP in Maiduguri, Comrade Sayinna Buba, who has been nominated as the interim chairman of the new PDP, said the new factional leadership would soon be inaugurated in the state. According to Buba, the formation of the new PDP came at a time when members of the party in the state were yearning

for an end to the “selfserving leadership imposed” upon them via a “kangaroo congress”. He said: “Following our meeting here in Maiduguri, yesterday, I was mandated by our esteemed members to announce our support to the new PDP faction under Alhaji Kawu Baraje. “This is necessitated by the fact that PDP members in Borno State have suffered untold hardship and this is the apt time we have been waiting for to reorganise our party base on the spirit shared long ago by our founding fathers who formed this party. “It should be noted that I and many of us in this new movement were founding members of PDP since when it was formed under Professor Jerry Gana and we knew everything and how things went wrong. So we are 100 per cent behind Kawu Baraje’s faction.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FAAN applauds development of Jos Airport JAMES A BRAHAM JOS

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he Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has commended the management of Yakubu Gowon Airport in Jos, Plateau State over the various developmental projects being executed there. The FAAN Regional Manager, who doubles as the Manager of the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja, Pastor Chris Bature, who gave the commendation in Jos while rounding off a tour of the airports in the region, charged other airports managers to borrow a leaf from the Manager of Yakubu Gowon Airport, Mr. Jim Opotu, who he described as “clever and intelligent”. Apart from the pace of the remodelling work ongoing at the airport, Bature noted that “general renovation and furnishing of the Airport Police post to provide a conducive working environment for police officers and the building of 5.4m high canopies at the airport access and apron gates by the Opo-

tu management team were commendable”. Bature also noted that the renovation of offices, conference room and conveniences of Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Services, ARFFS, and the erection of signposts at strategic locations in the airport for proper identification and direction of airport users, and many other projects “must have been a result of Opotu’s prudent management of funds released to the airport”. Other projects executed by the management include construction and erection of 5.1m high Security Watch Tower for the Police Counter Terrorism Unit, CTU, in accordance with the recommendation of the National Security Adviser’s office and the ongoing construction work on the permanent site of the Airport Staff School. Elated by the good works at the airport, Bature said FAAN was doing everything to ensure staff welfare, in terms of allowances, accommodation, healthcare services, and education.

Customs officer shoots self, in critical condition JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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n officer with the Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, simply identified as Mr. Apollo, accidentally shot himself on Wednesday night after a rifle he was carrying mistakenly went off. Apollo was said to have been on patrol with his colleagues when the trigger of the rifle he was trifling

with allegedly went off and wounded him in the process. A source said the officer was wounded “at a very sensitive area of his body” and was in a critical condition. Another source said the officer was badly injured as the gun he was carrying went off and hit him on the knees. “In fact his knee was ripped open,” the source said.

He added that the injured officer was immediately rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Katsina from where he was referred to the Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano State for further treatment. When contacted, the spokesperson of the Customs Command, Muhammad Giade, confirmed the incident but dismissed the allegation that the officer had attempted to commit suicide.

Last month, another Customs officer shot a suspected smuggler which nearly led to breakdown of law and order in the state until the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, intervened. A few days ago, a shooting incident while some Customs officers were attempting to arrest suspected smugglers had rattled the residents of Babbar Ruga along Katsina - Batsari Road.

Katsina to get solar powered stations in 2014 JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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atsina State Government has disclosed plans to build two solar powered stations to buoy power supply in the state. The Commissioner for Resource Development, Mr. Musa Nashuni (an engineer), who disclosed this in an interview yesterday, said one of the stations was

expected to begin generating electricity by March 2014. The second one, according to Nashuni, is also expected to be completed later next year and is expected to begin generating power before the end of the year. The commissioner said the second station, being built by German Pan African Solar, would generate 20 megawatts of electricity.

He said the station was a joint venture effort with the state government while the first station was Federal Government and another German company’s effort, expected to generate 30mw of electricity. Nashuni said the second station, which commenced early this year, had reached 80 per cent completion, adding that the project would assist the state meet its electricity needs.

He said that the German company handling the project would oversee and manage the station for 12 years and then hand it over to the state government. The commissioner also disclosed that the state had engaged the services of an Australian company that would help identify quality and quantity of mineral deposits in some parts of the state.


Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

2015: Much ado about a presidential ambition

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2015: Jonathan should honour one-term pact with govs –ACF A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he apex Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to honour his agreement with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors on single term pact by not contesting the 2015 presidential election. In an interview with National Mirror in Kaduna, ACF National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, said the crises rocking the ruling party should not be seen as Northerners against the Presidency, saying giving it such connotation will not augur well for the politics and a united Nigeria. ACF maintained that even if President Jonathan

...says North not after presidency

declines to contest it may not mean the president would come to the North, stressing that people should not view the contest as between North and South. His words: “The agreement is with PDP governors not northern governors that he should contest only in 2011. That is what I heard about the agreement; I do not hear that he should allow a northerner to contest. I believe the real issue that the governors are talking about is that Nigeria deserves a president they can trust when he make promises he will deliver. Agreement do not win elections; it is Nigerians that will vote for the president. “I want people to understand that the issue here is the matter of respecting agreement not a matter

of saying the North wants President because when people associate it like that it gives it connotation. Sometimes I hear people asking me that the crisis in PDP is engineered by the North; is Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State a northerner? Is former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagun-

soye Oyinlola a Northerner? Is Dr. Sam Sam Jaja a Northerner? So, people should not associate the PDP crisis to Northerners. “Naturally, people should trust and respect their leaders. But a situation where leaders do not honour agreement it becomes a problem, your followers will never trust you again in whatever you

say and do. So, the issue is to respect agreement, that does not means if President Jonathan decides not to contest today, the North will produce the president. I asked you a simple question; is it not good to have President that can be trusted, that when he makes a public broadcast he should be trusted? “The president is an

embodiment of national values. The President is a national icon, he is an embodiment of trust, he is being elected to bring the people of this country together. So, his first mandate is to preside over a united people. He is also to bring the party under which platform he is ruling to order, which is what is expected of the president.”

Atiku’s ambition, cause of PDP crisis –Ogunlewe TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

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ormer Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, has said that the 2015 presidency is the real reason former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, seven Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors, and others formed a parallel PDP. Ogunlewe, who is the Prochancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), in a statement issued yesterday in Lagos, said the reasons for the walk out of Atiku and the seven governors were not genuine. His words: “If Atiku is bent on becoming the President of Nigeria in 2015, then there is no basis pretending. The only available option to him and his team is to go to PDM. “Their ambition is the presidency and since they know that President Goodluck Jonathan is entitled to a second term in office, they don’t want to wait until 2019, that is the problem.

“So, they should call a spade a spade. And there is nothing like a new PDP. I am sure the leadership of the PDP and the leadership of this country will bring the aggrieved party members together and they will trace their way back. “I describe them as aggrieved party members for reasons that are obvious, and their reasons are to become president and vice president of this country. That is all.”

L-R: Former Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir and Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko, at the state’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Stakeholders’ meeting, yesterday.

PDM, Nigeria’s most successful political force –Ajewole FELIX NWANERI

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he leadership of the newly registered Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, has debunked claims that the group was never supposed

to be transformed to a political party, as efforts in the past to get it registered were thwarted by the then military regimes of Generals Ibrahim Babangida and late Sani Abacha. The Deputy National Chairman of the party,

Youths hold solidarity rally in support of new PDP AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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eoples Democratic Party, PDP youths in Kano State have thrown their weight behind the new PDP and insisted that the action taken by some party leaders and the seven governors was a welcome development. They said the action will rescue the party from the clutches of dictatorship and manipulation which have been prevalent in the party since the coming of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as

the National chairman. The youths believed to be members of Kwankwasiyya, the political platform of the state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, also held a rally in solidarity with the new PDP, pointing out that they played prominent role in the election of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2011 presidential election but regretted that President Jonathan did not fulfill all the promises he made to carry everybody along. Briefing newsmen in Kano, yesterday, after the

rally, the leader of the youths, Sheriff Garba Umar Gwammaja, also a Special Assistant on Information to Kwankwaso, said the President, after been voted into office has been circumventing all known principles of democracy. Gwammaja pointed out that the entire youths in the ancient city of Kano are in total support of Governor Kwankwaso, alongside the six PDP governors behind the formation of the new PDP, which he emphasised is for peace, fairness and equality.

Hon. Bode Ajewole, who disclosed this through a statement made available to National Mirror, described the PDM as “the greatest and most successful political family force in Nigeria; dating back to 1987 and giving birth to many parties and successful politicians.” Ajewole, a former House of Representatives’ member, said: “Some people are just being economical with the truth. Twice in the past, under the military regimes of Babangida and Abacha, we struggled to register the PDM as a political party, but we were denied the chance. This time around, in a civilian setting, we got it right and all welcome its birth.” The Ekiti State-born politician lamented the roles of those who do not want the young party to survive, saying: “History can bear us witness that the PDM had

in it great politicians like the late Senate President Chuba Okadigbo, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lai Mohammed, Atiku Abubakar and a host of others who are now members of different political parties. “The PDM, as a political party is therefore not an abomination. But we are always ready to reconcile with all our brothers and sisters in the Movement. Already, plans are in the offing to travel far and wide for further consultations and reconciliation.” Ajewole added that the party towers above others in terms of democratic equity, unity, development and the pursuance of good governance and therefore will do well in the 2015 elections, revealing that the party will soon commence the registration of prospective members both online and manually, home and abroad.


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Politics

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Offa LG poll: Kwara PDP disowns councillor who rejects victory WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday denied their candidate who claimed he did not win the election victory given to him, saying he had ceased to be a member before last Saturday’s rerun poll. The Secretary of the party in the state, Prince Yemi Afolayan, who addressed a press conference in Ilorin, said the PDP in Offa had earlier complained that the councillorship candidate had jumped boat to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, which is now All Progressives Congress, APC. However, in a sharp reaction to the claim, the APC chairmanship candidate, Prince Saheed Popoola, faulted the PDP claim, say-

ing that the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission, KWASIEC, list for the election conspicuously showed Mr. Afolabi Adewole Jimoh as the PDP candidate. “Anybody who had seen the list of PDP councillorship candidate will see that Mr. Afolabi Adewole Jimoh was conspicuously listed as the councillorship candidate for Shawo South West ward. He is number six on the list,” he insisted. But Afolayan, in his submission at the press briefing had agreed that though he received Offa PDP list for the election on August 19, few days to the election and that of August 26, notifying the state office of a “recleared councillors in Offa LGA,” it was the duty of KWASIEC to substitute the list for the election exercise. The PDP said it did not

Ahmed, Kwara State governor

recognise Afolabi as its candidate in the election, describing him as an agent of the APC in the ward on the day of the election. Afolayan paraded one Kamarudeen Olagunju as the PDP candidate that won the election, threatening that the party would soon press criminal charges of impersonation against Afolabi. Meanwhile, Popoola who made copies of KWASIEC’s list available to newsmen yesterday said that the PDP knew that it could not substitute list on its own except the electoral commission, because the whole exercise was at the instance of the court, pointing out a similar request the APC made was flatly rejected by the commission. He said: “We enjoin any interested member of the public and the media to call for the court paper the PDP filed, dated February 22,

2011, challenging the result of Shawo South West ward and see if Mr. Jimoh was not the applicant who sued our candidate; Adefioye

Kayode.” When National Mirror called at the headquarters of the KWASIEC yesterday for clarification, the office

remained under lock and key manned by stern-looking and armed security men who had occupied the complex for five days running.

FELIX NWANERI

med, that everyone who witnessed or monitored the election has confirmed that it was won convincingly by the APC, The party said the impunity perpetrated by the PDP has started hunting it, after its candidate in the Shawo South-West ward, Mr. Afolabi Jimoh Olawole, repudiated his socalled victory, just like one of the presiding officers, Mr. Oyetunji Akeem, said the APC won the councillorship and chairmanship in Shawo central ward. The party said: “This is a damning evidence that should make it clear to the PDP that its impunity cannot stand, that there are still Nigerians who have conscience and would sacrifice even their political and other careers for their integrity. “In view of this, the APC calls on the PDP, which has been working in cahoots with the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission, to regurgitate the victory it willfully swallowed, and from which it has now become so constipated and uncomfortable.” APC hailed Messrs Olawole and Akeem for their decency and honesty and expressed the hope that all the other partakers in the electoral heist will emulate them.

The party said the New PDP had a chance to use the Offa election to show that it is different from the old PDP, which it accused of lacking in internal democracy and not having regard for the rule of law. “It is now clear that the saying, that ‘fruit does not fall far from the tree’, is true for the so-called New PDP. Presented with a chance to show that it is different from its vote-stealing, violence-peddling and impunity-prone ‘father’, the New PDP failed the test by engaging in bare-faced conversion of defeat to victory in Offa and then daring the party that has been robbed to go to court. “What message is the New PDP sending to the world when it could engage in such impunity in Offa? What other argument does it have now that one of its candidates, on whose behalf votes were stolen, has said his conscience and religion would not let him take what is not his? “The only way this New PDP can redeem itself is to immediately own up to the fact that it has denied the people of Offa their rights to choose their councillors and chairman, and to accept its defeat in Saturday’s rerun,’’ APC said.

...APC condemns PDP’s vote robbery in Offa

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he All Progressives Congress, APC, has condemned what it described as daylight vote robbery by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in last Saturday’s rerun in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, saying it shows that the PDP, whether old or new, is irredeemable. Rising from its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting in Abuja, the APC said in a statement issued by its interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Moham-

Akande, APC National Chairman

Civil society groups flay malpractices in parties’ primaries CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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oalition of Civil Society Organisations on Election Observation and Monitoring in Nigeria yesterday condemned the malpractices which it alleged tainted the primary elections conducted in Anambra by key political parties, where candidates for the November 16 governorship election were selected. Addressing journalists in Awka yesterday, on its observation during the primaries conducted on September 2 by some political parties, the coalition said the primaries

were characterised by unavailability of security officials and snatching of ballot papers and ballot boxes by thugs in some polling units in Ayamelum, Aguata, Awka North,Orumba

South, Njikoka, Ihiala and Anambra East local government areas. The coalition, in a press statement signed by its National Coordinator and Executive Secretary, Engr. Dominic Alfred and Comrade Friday Maduka, also alleged that late or non arrival of voting materials at some of the polling units frustrated people’s franchise to vote freely. According to the coalition, “We also observed these were done to pave the way for the anointed candidates of the parties and without the fear of external or independent party to monitor or observe during the process.

“This is also the first time party primaries have been held without delegates or security officials in a young and growing democracy in Nigeria in the face of current insecurity trend in the country, thereby endangering the life of Nigerian electorate.” The coalition therefore recommended that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, fully participate and deploy monitoring team and accredited observers for future governorship primaries and that if open primaries should be held as witnessed on September 2, the electoral body should ensure the deploy-

ment of security officials in all the polling units to protect and secure the life of the electorate and also checkmate the snatching of ballot sheets.

It also recommended that the return to the delegate system becomes necessary to ensure transparency in the process.

Ndubuisi picks DPP ticket SINA FADARE

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he Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, has picked Barrister Chijioke Ndubuisi as its gubernatorial candidate for the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State. A press statement signed by the state chairman and secretary of the party, Messrs Charles Igboeli and Ezeokeke Godwin, respectively, said that

the party arrived at the choice of Ndubuisi after the meeting of the party which took place in the state with the presence of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials. Ndubuisi, a Lagosbased legal practitioner, who hails from Obosi area of Anambra State in his acceptance speech, assured the delegates that he would justify the confidence reposed in him.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, September 6, 2013

FELIX NWANERI writes on the call for President Goodluck Jonathan to abandon his second term ambition in the forthcoming 2015 elections for national interest, even when he has the constitutional liberty to re-contest if he so wishes.

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he rumoured second term ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan has continued to dominate issues ahead of the 2015 elections thereby heating the polity even when the polls are still more than a year from now. While the issue has been on since 2011, when Jonathan assumed office, the recent advice by elder statesman and foremost constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, to the President to shun the urge to seek re-election in 2015 and concentrate on his Transformation Agenda, has revved up the debate. The former Secretary General of the apex Igbo socio-political group, Ohanaeze as well as onetime Minister of Education and Youth Development gave the advice when the Patriots, a group of eminent Nigerians, which he chairs, met with Jonathan last week on the state of the nation. Nwabueze, who took over the leadership of the group from the late Chief Rotimi Williams, SAN, told journalists after the meeting, which held behind closed doors that though President Jonathan was eligible to contest the poll in 2015, he could become an instant national hero if he summoned enough courage not to do so. His words: “I still believe that the problem of this country is national transformation; that you cannot combine national transformation with contesting election. The two are so different because once you get involved in electioneering; you undermine your authority to lead the nation for national transformation and I said if I were the President, I would restrict myself to serving the nation, transforming this country and creating a new Nigeria. These would be my concern and I would go down in history as a hero. “So, if Mr. President does that, he would become an instant hero in this country; but it is for him to choose. If I were him, I would choose to become a hero to lead the country into transformation and abandon the ambition of a second term. That is what I said and I still stand by it and that is what I would do if I were the President of this country, but unfortunately, I’m not.” The Patriots delegation to the parley included Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Solomon Asemota, Chief Chris Okoye, Chief Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd), Prof. Kimse Okoko and Mr. Michael Orobator. Expectedly, the advice, which some political analysts have dubbed “wise counsel,” has pitched Nwabueze against some loyalists of the President, including the South-South Peoples Assembly, SSPA, which described the recommendation as “uncharitable, unpatriotic, dishonest and demeaning of a respected statesman.” Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the acting national chairman of the group, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), said: “Prof. Nwabueze’s call that President Jonathan should not contest in 2015 is not only a disservice to equity and natural justice but smacks of indignity of an elder

Jonathan

Nwabueze

statesman whose sense of patriotic judgment is blurred. “As critical observers of goings-on in the polity, we are a bit surprised that Prof. Nwabueze and his fellow Patriots would follow this unpatriotic path. This is not the first time he has exposed his hatred for the administration of President Jonathan.” Similar view was expressed by Ijaw leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark as well as Governors Gabriel Suswam (Benue) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), who said it was premature for the erudite scholar to have made the declaration. Clark said: “The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for two tenures of four years each after two democratically conducted elections. Apart from the illegality of the purported agreement with the Northern state governors, such a mindset violates the letter and spirit of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. “The practice in democratic presidential system of government is that an incumbent president remains the sole candidate of a political party at the party’s convention, if he or she is willing to contest for a second term in office. This is the practice in the United States of America from where Nigeria copied her own model of the presidential system of government.” Suswam said: “Constitutionally, the President has the right to re-contest. I

don’t know what laws anybody can use to stop him from contesting if he so wishes. I don’t know of any reason Nwabueze gave; whether it is based on the constitution or it is based on any other law. You know that the constitution is the grand norm of the country, so it overrides any other law. I don’t think there is an issue with that. If the President decides to re-contest, he has the constitutional right to do so and legitimately he will do so.” Dickson on his part averred that the “unsolicited comment by Prof. Ben Nwabueze, which he is entitled to, is his personal view and opinion. But let me quickly say that the view, however, well intended, is premature, because the President for now has not expressed an intention to re-contest.” He added: “I am very happy that the erudite Professor acknowledged the President’s legal right and constitutional liberty to re-contest if he so wishes. But having said that, ultimately in the end, the decision whether or not to re-contest is that of the President. If you ask me whether he should or shouldn’t re-contest, even though it is premature for now, I believe that the President is concentrating sufficiently on the Transformation Agenda upon which he was elected.” Nwabueze may not be the only one who believes that the President should jettison his ambition for national interest. A former Minister of Science and Technology, Major General Sam Momah (rtd), who shared the same view, advised the President to sacrifice his ambition for the common good of the nation. His words: “I had always said that President Goodluck Jonathan has the right to seek re-election, he should exercise his constitutional right to seek re-election, but I am of the view that he should now get above that political level. In essence, I am saying he should move a bit higher above being a politician and become a statesman. By that, I mean being a statesman; you can at times sacrifice your own right for the common good.” But sound as the argument of both sides of the divide on the issue may sound, a Niger Delta activist and former Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Udengs Eradiri told National Mirror that

2015: Much ado about a presidential ambition

IN ESSENCE, I AM SAYING HE SHOULD MOVE A BIT HIGHER ABOVE BEING A POLITICIAN AND BECOME A

STATESMAN.

BY THAT,

I MEAN BEING A STATESMAN; YOU CAN AT TIMES SACRIFICE YOUR OWN RIGHT FOR THE COMMON GOOD

15

there would be consequences if Jonathan is intimidated from contesting the 2015 elections. He said: “Is it because Jonathan is a Southerner that nobody wants to see the good things he is doing? The Boko Haram insurgency, which some people are relying on to rate him low, is a well orchestrated plan to distract him, but he has refused to be distracted. For me, Jonathan has been able to steer the ship of the Nigerian state efficiently, so we believe that there would be crisis if he is intimidated and pushed away, because gone are the days when we allow people to take our resources and still spit on our faces.” Meanwhile, a political school of thought, which believes that the President, face an eligibility challenge should he opt to contest the next presidential election given the provisions of the constitution, has emerged. To members of this school, there would be a clear constitutional impediment against the President in contesting for another four-year term without a constitutional amendment or an affirmative judgement by the Supreme Court on the issue. Their argument is against the backdrop that Jonathan, as a vice president was sworn-in as substantive president on May 6, 2010, as a result of the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua; appointed his vice, thereby forming a distinct regime of his own; recontested in 2011, won and was sworn-in for another four-year term and therefore would be exceeding the maximum eight-year tenure provided for by the constitution by the time he leaves in 2019, if he takes another shot and wins in 2015. This thinking may have informed the suit seeking to stop the President and instituted by a member of his party - Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Cyriacus Njoku, which has shifted to the Court of Appeal. It would be recalled that Njoku had challenged the eligibility of Jonathan to contest for the presidency in 2015 before an Abuja High Court, which however held that going by the express provision of section 137 (b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), Jonathan is eligible to run for the highest political office in the country. The presiding judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, in his judgment held that the President is currently on his first term of four years, and that “if he so wishes, he can seek from his political party or any other party, the sponsorship to contest in the 2015 presidential election.” The court further held that in the eyes of the law, Jonathan’s tenure commenced on May 29, 2011, saying he only assumed the presidential seat in 2010 following the demise of his boss, the late Yar’Adua, who it said duly contested and won the 2007 presidential election. In its interpretation of section 137 of the constitution, the court insisted that there was no election or bye-election upon which Jonathan became president in 2010, as he was merely asked to assume the position of the president in line with the provision of the constitution. While the matter is expected to get the Supreme Court, though the President has continued to keep his intention to seek a second term to his chest, the days ahead will determine whether he would heed the counsel to ditch his ambition as there is a vast disparity between a statesman and a politician. The former puts his country first, whereas the latter’s objectives are personal and partisan gains.


16

Editorial

Friday, September 6, 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

„

MANAGING DIRECTOR / CEO

BOLAJI TUNJI

„

DAILY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

„

SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

„

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

CALLISTUS OKE

„

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

„

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

„

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

D

isconcerting news of asset stripping at the multi-billion dollar Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State-based Aluminum Smelter Company (ALSCON), where the Federal Government is supposed to be a major stakeholder, is heartrending. The sordid development justifies public pessimism about government’s privatization policy. Consequently, the FG might need to act fast to save the nation’s privatization programme, considering the grave extent ALSCON has been fraudulently made to bleed. Ikot Abasi youth groups and ALSCON workers themselves under the aegis of the Metal Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (MPSSAN), as well as lawyers of the BFI Group (BFIG), the American firm that got a Supreme Court victory as the legal concessionaire, have accused UC RUSAL, a Russian rival firm, of massive asset looting in the company. The company which came on stream in 1997 is one of the many government investments intended to engineer local aluminum manufacturing in Nigeria, stimulate employment and contribute to the nation’s industrialization and infrastructural provisioning. The company is supposed to enhance national productivity,

The pillaging of ALSCON development and self-reliance. But today, ALSCON, which has been enmeshed in ownership tussle, court litigations and industrial dispute, even when it is producing virtually nothing, has turned a huge national misfortune and embarrassment. The employees of the troubled aluminum plant and youths from the host community recently staged protests against the decision of UC RUSAL (the Russian firm claiming ownership of the company) to sack 475 of the company’s 700-strong workforce after shutting down production and closing the plant indefinitely, a decision the company hinged on “constraints of inadequate gas supply and epileptic power supply to sustain normal operations”. Perhaps more importantly, the protesters alleged massive stripping of ALSCON’s assets against the acclaimed impostor management. There is equally the claim that UC RUSAL concealed serial frauds in its books for more than six years after purportedly buying the plant from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in controversial circumstances in 2006. The BPE handed over ALSCON to UC RUSAL and sold 77.5 percent of FG’s shareholding in the com-

THE STRIPPING OF A PUBLIC COMPANY’S ASSETS IN WHATEVER GUISE AND UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD BE SEEN AND TREATED AS ECONOMIC SABOTAGE pany to the Russians after it cancelled, in very controversial circumstances, the contract with BFIG, the Nigerian-American consortium that emerged the preferred bidder in 2004. Indeed, the BFIG is spoiling to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate about N16.4bn loss in the company’s assets. Chairman of BFIG, Dr. Rueben Jaja, who confirmed the development in a press interview recently, hinted that in addition to a $2.8bn suit his company instituted against UC RUSAL, it would invite the EFCC to look into the books of ALSCON. It would be recalled that the Supreme Court had in a judgment on July 6, 2012, ruled that the BPE should return ALSCON to BFIG. The Russian company had been earlier disqualified by the BPE from

the financial bid process after it submitted a conditional bid in contravention of the bidding guidelines. There is no doubt that ALSCON is now in a deep mess, given the unimpressive financial statements of the company between 2007 and 2011, as audited by KPMG Professional Services. The revealing audit report highlighted a sharp decline in the company’s total asset value put (as at December 31, 2011) at N14.574bn, which reflected a huge decline of N16.40bn or 53 percent of the firm’s total asset value of N30.97bn in 2007. Apart from the loss, KPMG identified some discrepancies in the way some items were handled in the account. The unfolding events in ALSCON do not detract substantially from the manner the Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) conglomerate was sold to Folio Communications under FG’s so-called privatization programme, only for the assets of the company to be heartlessly devoured. The stripping of a public company’s assets in whatever guise and under any circumstance should be seen and treated as economic sabotage. The security agents should mount surveillance on ALSCON to save the company from further pillage and harm.

ON THIS DAY September 6, 1966 In Cape Town, South Africa, the architect of Apartheid, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, was stabbed to death during a parliamentary meeting. Verwoerd (1901 – 1966), commonly identified as H.F. Verwoerd, was the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination in 1966. He is remembered as the man behind the conception and implementation of apartheid in South Africa.

Letters tothe theEditor Editor Letters to

September 6, 1997 The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales took place in London. Over a million people lined the streets and 2.5 billion people around the world watched the event on television. The public funeral started on September 6, 1997 at 9:08 am in London, when the tenor bell sounded to signal the departure of the cortege from Kensington Palace. The coffin was carried from the palace on a gun carriage. The Union Flag on top of the palace was lowered to half mast.

September 6, 2009 The ro-ro ferry SuperFerry 9 sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines with 971 persons aboard, all of whom perished except ten that were rescued. SuperFerry 9 was a ferry owned by the Philippines-based carrier, Aboitiz Transport System Corp (ATSC) and operated by their SuperFerry division. About 9am on Sunday September 6, 2009, the ferry travelling from General Santos City sank off the south-west coast of Zamboanga Peninsula.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Views

Friday, September 6, 2013

17

Chemical warfare and world peace THINKING WITH PRINCEWILL

ALOZIE

T

he use of chemical weapons has been banned since 1925. Today, however, numerous weapons of mass destruction have been and are being developed. These weapons have been used to slaughter human beings world-wide. It must be admitted that the psychological propaganda effect of watching the television footage and scenes of the effect of chemical weapons on Syrian population, can be very disturbing. The United Nations’ weapons inspectors can and will necessarily confirm that some deadly gas/or chemicals have been used. The inspectors will be unable to identify the criminals. Even satellite images will not, with great accuracy determine, in a combat situation, who committed such a crime. The western powers had earlier stated that if the Syrian government used chemical weapons, there would be repercussions. From the position of a world citizen, it is important to restate that the existence and use of such a forbidden weapon of mass death does not necessarily mean that the Syrian government is the culprit. The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the accusing world powers, and the labeling of some countries to be destroyed as “axis of evil”, make it dif-

ficult to accept the stance of incriminating the Syrian government. The fact that the western governments prepared what they called “opposition” or “rebel” groups that have been armed to the teeth by them, with a clear mandate to unseat the existing Syrian government, points to another fact of the military fire-power of the rebels. Anybody who has read Jeremy Scahill’s Dirty Wars or Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars will have an idea of how the rebel forces in Syria and their western allies could have committed the crime of using these chemical weapons that produced the offensive pictures being televised in order to lay the psychological foundation for the invasion of Syria. The use of those weapons is hereby condemned. The use of any other weapon for aggression is equally condemned. The use of different types of bombs, biological weapons; cruise missiles; unmanned drones that kill innocent people, are all reprehensible. We should start asking the vital questions why it is necessary for civilized, humane, people-oriented and democratic governments to devote enormous financial resources to the development of weapons of mass destruction instead of reducing poverty and bringing about social justice in the world. The display of brute force and military might make us feel that humankind is still at the primitive level, despite advances in science and technology. It is paradoxical that countries that have consistently decimated populations elsewhere in the past and in the present are those who appear to be offended by the use of chemical weapons. We may wish to forget the genocide committed in North and South America during the colonial period.

IT IS PARADOXICAL THAT COUNTRIES THAT HAVE CONSISTENTLY DECIMATED POPULATIONS ELSEWHERE IN THE PAST AND IN THE PRESENT ARE THOSE WHO APPEAR TO BE OFFENDED BY THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS We may also wish to forget the genocide committed in Africa and Australia in the past. But the atrocities committed against peoples of southern Africa; peoples of western and eastern Africa; as well as North Africa in contemporary times stare us in the face. The military weapons used do not give those who now talk of love of humanity any moral ground to condemn anybody doing exactly what they practice, and have been practicing world-wide. The position being posited here is that conflicts between people should be resolved peacefully. On this note, we should praise the British Parliament and the good people of Britain for opposing military intervention in Syria. We must also praise the people of the United States of America

who are campaigning against the use of force in the settlement of the conflict in Syria. The Canadian and German governments have also done well in this regard. The rented, misguided elements in Syria and elsewhere, who clamour for military strike, should examine afresh the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The guilty and the innocent suffer equally. This point must have made the Pope also calls for a pacifist solution to the problem. That dimension that is hardly mentioned in the conversation concerning a proposed attack on Syria is the possibility of starting a world war immediately, or in the nearest future. Contributors talk of worsening the situation in the sub-region. I think that there is a global dimension to this conversation. If there is an attack on Syria without the United Nation’s authorization, there is likely to be an unintended collective reactions against those attacking Syria, despite the existence of numerous military bases. The opposition by Russia and China should not be taken lightly. Over-riding or ignoring the authority of the United Nations means that any country can settle disputes militarily at will. The conclusion is that those who feel resentment at the use of chemical weapons in Syria, should also campaign against wars of aggression world-wide. It is time to seriously work for a just, peaceful world-order that will favour the majority of world’s population. The demonstrations in the UK, the U.S.A, Turkey, Lebanon, and elsewhere clearly illustrate that majority of world population are against any kind of war. The time to launch a unified humanitarian campaign for world peace and social justice is NOW!

That APGA primary STAN OKEKE

C

ontrary to widespread expectations from the opposition and detractors of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the Chief Victor Umeh-led party, on August 26, 2013, held the most credible and peaceful party primary in the country that threw up Chief Willy Obiano as the APGA flag bearer for the November 16, 2013 gubernatorial election in Anambra State. Speculations were rife that it was going to be the most bitterly contested primary and a direct confrontation between Chief Victor Umeh and the Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, as both of them were alleged to have their favoured candidates. For such detractors, the party primary would bring to the fore the cosmetic nature of the reconciliation between the two leaders. However, these doomsday analysts were proved wrong; and as these speculations were going on, all the major stakeholders in the party were busy all through the preceding week of the primary putting heads together to ensure a peaceful primary that would produce an acceptable candidate for APGA in the November election. What actually led to these unfortunate speculations was the assumption that a particular candidate who was disqualified by the party’s Screening Committee, was the anointed candidate to win the governorship election for APGA. Having been disqualified alongside other candidates, all hell was let loss and thus the simulated propaganda to discredit the

AT THE APGA PRIMARY THAT LATER PRODUCED

WILLY

OBIANO, IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT CHIEF VICTOR UMEH, PLAYED A VERY SIGNIFICANT AND NOBLE ROLE IN THE CONDUCT OF THAT SUCCESSFUL PRIMARY party leadership. Granted a few of the disqualified candidates were eminently qualified to be the standard bearers of the party, but only if they played by the rules. Judging by the rules guiding APGA and going by its constitution, were these candidates qualified to contest the primary? Should party rules and constitution be flouted for a particular candidate simply because he is perceived to possess the credentials to run? Has the same scenario played out before in the case of the same candidate? Why the hue and cry about this candidate? For the records, one of these disqualified candidates submitted to the Screening Committee a membership card signed by Chief Maxi Okwu. On two very criti-

cal grounds – non-possession of a voter’s card and bearing an invalid APGA membership card- he was disqualified. The same candidate appealed his disqualification despite these handicaps. Also expected is that a party member must have been a member of that political party for an agreed number of years before qualifying to contest any elective post in the said party. Nobody should be above the rules that guide an association or political party. In concluding its assignment, the Screening Appeal Panel, headed by Chief Tony Ojielo with Barr. Bala Bako as secretary submitted that having considered the appeal of the aspirants who failed the screening test and relying on the party’s electoral guidelines, affirmed the submissions of all the aspirants that met the requirements of those guidelines, but dismissed the appeals of the contending contestants. In passing this judgment, there was no minority report in favour of the disqualified candidates. At the primary that later produced Willy Obiano, it was obvious that Chief Victor Umeh played a very significant and noble role in the conduct of that successful primary. True to character, he ensured that whosoever emerged as the party’s guber candidate would be acceptable to all stakeholders, even as it was perceived that Obiano was the anointed candidate of Gov. Peter Obi. Even the shinning Amazon of APGA, Iyom Uche Ekwunife, who came second at the primary, exhibited the spirit of a team player when the result was announced. Umeh, in his reaction after the successful

primary, urged all the contestants to close ranks and embrace Obiano and work as one family to ensure victory for APGA in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State. A leader with exceptional qualities, Chief Umeh confirmed that his reconciliation with Gov. Obi, contrary to speculations, was real and for the wellbeing and continued electoral successes for APGA. He stated that both of them had been, and will continue to work closely together to ensure that the party wins the governorship election. His absence at the party primary also generated a lot of anxiety, but he doused the tension and speculations by explaining that he supervised the entire process and therefore, it wouldn’t have been proper for him to be the overall referee and also a player, hence his decision to give it the credibility it deserved. As the APGA primary has come and gone, it is the hope and general consensus of all well meaning party faithful that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the party comes out victorious in the November 16, 2013 governorship election of the state. Okeke is the Special Assistant (Media) to the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh 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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Mail Mirror

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Watch out for developments in the PDP

I Obama, act now on Syria

t is my thinking (ominous) that in the few days to come, the only option open to the Bamanga Tukur led-national PDP is to suspend those it considers as rebels or rather anti-party members who are now romancing with the new factional PDP chaired by Alhaji Abubakar Baraje. Though this may not come

as a surprise to many political observers, but what we should watch out for is the witching hunting of the breakaway PDP members controlled by Alhaji Atiku in the coming days. Politically motivated assassinations may envelop Nigeria. Pray you own person may not be killed as we watch out for the Surugede

Dance according to the Igbos as it plays out. The above view is a ‘premonition’ which has continued to prick my inner mind. But will it come to pass? Your guess may be correct. Harry Amusa sent in this short piece via harryamusa@ gmail.com

F

or over a year now, I have been following the uproar in Asia and Middle East with keen interest and I have also been monitoring the crisis in Syria, especially as my predictions about the region are unfolding with deadly accuracy. Several UN resolutions were passed to make the world intervene in the crisis in Syria before it got out of hand, but basically Russia and China had stood behind President Bashar Al Assad, and have vehemently opposed each UN resolution. Strategically, China and Russia have their own interest and huge investment in Syria, and this fact made them blind to the grave implications of President Assad regime continuity. Interestingly, the United Kingdom, France, USA and Canada have maintained their principled position of opposing Assad, but have even at some point begged him to leave. Like I had predicted, the Syrian leader will not go without the use of force. Now China and Russia have seen the consequences of their position: many innocent Syrian have been killed, several of its institutions have collapsed because of the intransigence of one man. Few weeks back, the evil regime violated the global ban on the use of chemical weapons when it used it on its own people, killing women and children. It is time for action and international response. The British Prime Minister is battle ready; so is France. I urge the President Barack Obama to show some stuff of what it takes to be the leader of the world’s sole super power by giving approval for the invasion of Syria. The US military have shown their readiness, the US Defence Secretary has equally shown his guts. They only wait for the nod of their Commander-in-Chief. Assad must go. The US allies in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar and a host of other loving nations will give support to the global coalition to ensure that peace and tranquility is restored to Syria. The opposition should come together to form a united front to rebuild the nation when the dust must have settled. Goodness Oyeniyi, Ketu, Lagos

LIFE ABOVE WATER: Mothers with their children relaxing on houses built on stilt on the lagoon at Makoko Lagos. PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

S

Changing face of Abeokuta

ir, permit me to use your popular medium to acknowledge the lofty contribution of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State to Abeokuta urban renewal process in particular and the entire state in general. I am not surprised because he told the people of the state about two years ago that his mission was to rebuild the state. He quickly swung into action by rolling out a five point programmes in which urban renewal and infrastructural development featured prominently. A closer look around today shows that the entire state is turning into a major construction site of some sort. From Abeokuta, the capital city to Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu to Ifo, Ilaro to Ota, the story is the same. Talking about Abeokuta in particular, any person who has not visited the rock city in a long while, is bound to meet a pleasant surprise and if care is not taken, may probably miss his or her way. The reason is that

I

able shops to traders whose business premises were demolished to pave way for road construction. It will also end the era of sellers and buyers carry out their business transactions on the road sides. Perhaps one project that will stand Abeokuta out of other state capitals is the proposed City Centre where a 60 Storey and other high rise buildings will be built at OPIC Roundabout Ibara by a consortium from Malaysia. A drive around the city especially towards Ibara roundabout to Ita-Eko-Sokori area in the night will give one a feeling that he/she is in one of the high brawl areas in the city of London or New York. The area is well lighted and the new Oba Odeleye Recreational Park provides fun seekers comfortable place to relax. It is now common to see Nollywood actors and actresses coming to the rock city to shoot films. Indeed, Abeokuta is changing. Elijah Udofia, Isale-Oja, Kuto, Abeokuta

Ndigbo and 2015

wish to commend Mr. Callistus Oke for his thought provoking articles in his Monday column in this great paper. Interestingly, his last Monday piece, Is 2015 about Nigerians? touched me deeply as an Igbo man. I love the remark he made about the Igbo when it comes to power game in Nigeria. As an enlightened Igbo

Letters to the Editor

the town is gradually changing from a village-town status which it was known to a city in the real sense of the word. For the residents of the capital city, 24th of January, 2013 is a date they will never forget in a hurry. This was the day the first ever flyover in the rock city was commissioned by Governor Amosun. The commissioning came barely eight months after the ultra-modern six lanes ‘Ogun Standard’ Ita-Eko- Totoro road equipped with modern pedestrian bridge and bus stop was opened for public use. A trip round the town shows that work is going on in major roads like the Oba-Onikolobo-panseke-Omida-sapon all through to Ake. One other thing that is adding to the new face of Abeokuta include the modern shopping complexes being constructed by the state government at Sapon, IsaleIgbein and Omida among others. The complexes when completed will provide decent and comfort-

person I wish to say that the problem we have in the South East zone is the Anambra people. They are very selfish, easily manipulated and greedy, domineering and always wanting to get money by all means and at all cost. That is one place where everybody wants to be a ruler and nobody wants to be ruled. You

saw what happened to APGA; see what is happening in the state now because of the next November 16 governorship election. As long as Anambra remains part of the South East, the presidency will continue to elude us. I regret that I am from the same geopolitical zone with them. Ojoh Okafor

Louis Obodo, a worthy leader

S

ir, permit me to use this medium to acknowledge an illustrious son in Agwa community in the oil region of Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State Nigeria. Dr. Louis Nonye Obodo has demonstrated iron willed commitment to the empowerment of youths and women in the area. This young medical doctor has demystified all handicaps to human success. He struggled his way to success after he lost his father and qualified as a medical doctor. By dint of the same hard work and astuteness, he had an early breakthrough in life. Today he is a darling to every Tom, Dick and Harry. His foray into politics in 2010 when he declared interest in the race for the Ohaji-Egbema/ Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives was frustrated by man. Though Dr. Obodo won a landslide victory in his primary election, the grandfather of politics in Oguta robbed him of his deserved victory. In spite of this, he had maintained an uncommon decorum, refusing to join issues with opponents. His exposure and integrity has brought lots of development to the people of Agwa and Oguta respectively. Another of his legacies is the founding of Oguta Local Government Integrity Group, a sociopolitical organization. This group carefully draws members from all the wards of Oguta Local Government Area; in fact it is a pressure group and its impact is always felt in times of emergency. To this illustrious son of ours, I say well done. Chikezie Peter Ohanuba, Owerri Imo State

Positive side of PDP crisis

I

have known all along that the contradictions within the nation’s and much touted Africa’s largest political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will be the cause of its destruction. What happened last Saturday in Abuja was the fulfillment of the long awaited implosion. I pity President Goodluck Jonathan when he had to run to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for help. The President defied OBJ and went ahead to impose Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the party. And now Tukur has run the party aground. He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind. The good thing about the crisis is that Jonathan will now appreciate the fact that for his second term ambition to sustain its momentum he needs to be a bridge builder. Arrogance and intolerance will be counterproductive. Andrew James, Abuja

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.


Your

FRIDAY

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

Escape P. 34

Members of cast at rehearsal.

Denrele’s Day

E

veryone is talking about Saro The Musical, a stage play conceived, written and produced by Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters; it is designed to serve as a response to the recent trend of Nigerian corporate organisations and the affluent importing theatrical packages from abroad without giving necessary encouragement or assistance to local talents to flower. So come October 25, 26 and 27 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, the talented and skilful cast and crew will walk that talk. There has only been four weeks of rehearsals, but the select few who are privy to the sessions can attest to the incredible energy that takes over whenever the cast and crew gather. Some have likened it to a luminous rainbow after many days of rain and flood. But it is no surprise that this production will rival most in its category on the Nigerian drama scene. For one, musical stage productions have been few and far between, and then there is the fact that everyone involved in the project has got an intimidating CV. But most importantly is the passion which flows from the very top of the production’s organogram. Bolanle Austen-Peters has always loved the arts even though she studied Law and Politics and worked at the United Nations in Geneva, among other places. However, the love for arts brought her back to Nigeria where she started Terra Kulture. For her, Saro is happening because of a dream “to produce the best and biggest stage produc-

tion Nigeria has ever seen”. Considering the calibre of people she has put together, that dream is well on the way to being realised. Makinde Adeniran, foremost Nigerian director, is the executive artistic director on the project. Adeniran studied directing at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and has since then directed notable plays like: Death and the King’s Horseman, Who’s Afraid Of Solarin and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat, among many others as well as written many a drama scripts for stage, television and radio. The two directors: Gbenga Yusuf and Kenneth Uphopho are heavyweights in their own rights, so are the Technical Director (Lights & Sound), Teju Kareem (Zmirage) and Music Director, Ayo Ajayi (MUSON Centre). The cast parades other reputable names including: Kemi Lala Akindoju, Paul Alumona, Linda Anumba Nwanneka, Eferoghene Awusa, William Benson, Okafor Francis Chibuzor, Awele Dekpe, Patrick Diabuah, Adesuwa Etomi and Anthony Offiong Edet, among several others. In fact, there is a 75-man cast composed of a 25-man orchestra and other actors. These members of the cast and crew have come together to light up stages not just in Nigeria, but, like the story of the performers in the play, most of the places they will be going to around the world. They will sing, dance and act to the delight of various audiences. Conceived as a patriotic cultural project, Saro’s plot revolves round a group of young performers who go in

Adeniran (1st from left) with some members of cast.

search of their destiny. That search takes them to Lagos, a land that promises limitless opportunities. Their journey is loaded with emotions like: love, fear, jealousy, which mix takes them to the success they want. They also seek freedom and Lagos has the potential to offer these emerging artists an escape from poverty. But a devastating experience lands them in the lap of destiny, success ignites them and love fuels them. Terra Kulture is an educational and

recreational organisation set up in 2003 to promote the richness and diversity of Nigerian languages, arts and culture. In eight years, Terra Kulture has organised over 100 art exhibitions, 80 plays, 60 book readings and over 2000 adults and children have attended our language classes and excursions. The private sector initiative is today a resounding success recognised as a major cultural hub in Nigeria for expatriates, students, movie stars, artists and members of the diplomatic corps.

WEEKEND STARTERS Odegbami’s London book launch today

F

ormer Nigeria Super Eagles player and team captain, Segun Odegbami (MON), will today present his book titled: Me, Football and More at the Nigerian House, 9, Northumberland Ave, WC2N 5BX, London. The 320-page work details his peregrination through sports and the arts for the past 33 years The Nigerian Embassy plays host to a wealth of celebrities, dignitaries, press, government officials and guests including Dr. Dalhatu

Sarki Tarfida, English football star, Ian Wright, Adebayo and Odegbami’s daughter and artiste, May7ven, among others. Guests will be treated to a meet & greet with the icon, Q&A session, photographs and signing of the hard cover edition of the book; which is also available as both an e-book and an audio book.

Open roof party with Martini

A

s part of the Martini 150 anniversary celebrations, a party themed “Martini Royale Terrazza” comes up tomorrow at Rhapsody’s, Ikeja City Mall, Lagos, by 9.00 p.m. This concept by Martini is part of a series of events to hold in rooftop bars in the heart of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. The

Nwachukwu

Lagos event will act as a back drop for Martini’s 150 year anniversary celebrations. Other anniversary activities will feature a spectacular gala at the beautiful Villa Erba in Italy with Martini ambassador Uti Nwachukwu.

Walking for Cancer in Lagos

T Igho

omorrow, another edition of The Exquisite Magazine against Cancer Walk (formally known as the Exquisite Fashion Party) takes place

in Lagos. The 10-kilometre walk takes off in the morning from Eko Atlantic on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island down to Ligali Ayorinde also in V.I. Held quarterly since 2006, EMAC is held to in-

More Pepper Soup this Sunday

A

ward winning radio presenters Yaw, Katherine Obiang and Lolo are back on stage for an adaptation of Elechi Amadi’s Pepper Soup on Sunday. Scheduled to hold at Terra Kulture and featuring others like Tuebi Abiode and Lawal Sherif, the stage adaptation of Pepper Soup will be presented every Sunday in September. It is produced by Play factory, 2PM Media and Tuale Naija media. crease awareness for cervical, breast and prostate cancer and also screen people free. The brand faces of the EMAC 2013 are Tewa Onasanya, Kaylah Oniwo, Uti Nwachukwu, Karen Igho, Lynxxx and Titi Oyinsan.

Gospel and Nollywood meet in concert

I

’m Going to Nollywood with Muyiwa, a gospel concert infused with Nollywood themes organised by singer Muyiwa Olarenwaju will happen tomorrow at The Forum, Highgate Road, Kentish Town, NW5 1JY, London, UK. Special guests include Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Joselyn Dumas. There will also be exclusive comedy skits with Eddie Kadi, Fatima Jabbe and A Dot Comedian. Time for kick off is 6.30 p.m.

Muyiwa

Inside FCT P. 24-25

TERH AGBEDEH

P. 32-33

Saro: A musical set to storm the world!

P. 26

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flavour

Mirror Mongers

VOL. 3 No. 703

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Artman In The House

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

It’s a great honour to share the podium Gilbert ’Ebinyo Ogbowei is a poet and lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Studies, Niger Delta University, NDU, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State. The joint winner of the ANA Bayelsa Isaac Adaka Boro Prize for Niger Delta Literature 2008, he has been longlisted three times in the Nigeria Prize for Literature endowed by the Nigeria LNG Limited. In this interview with TERH AGBEDEH in Lagos, he talks about his work and the Niger Delta. Why did you write the collection, Marsh Boy and other Poems for which you have been longlisted in the Nigeria Prize for Literature? That is a difficult question, why write? I know it is one of the things you teach in creative writing, why write? We have a message to deliver, a story to tell. The first section of the work, we need to make the problems of our area known, we need to paint the true story of what is happening in the Niger Delta, particularly my own part of the delta that I know and not what the world is told by the media, which misinforms the world about happenings in the region. What you are saying invariably is that there may be exmilitants but there is still militancy? Let me not sound unpatriotic. The people who give you information tell you that there is no militancy. We also want to believe that there is no militancy in the area but is the place peaceful? There might be an uneasy calm for now because if you read the collection we are not only addressing those people who are perceived as our ‘enemies’. What I tell everybody who is interested in the struggle in the region is that the first book to read is Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy and Prisoners of Jebs. So, there you will know the three levels of ‘Mr. Enemy’, who is the enemy of the people of the region. A good book to start with will be Suzaboy, where you have the likes of Chief Birabe and Pastor Barika. And you know, the chief is supposed to be an honourable leader of his people. A chief is an honourable but he is also the father and protector of the community. But if you cannot do any of these things then you have no business being a leader. A leader is a very bold person and we come to realise in Suzaboy that the chief is not bold. He does not have the courage to lead. What are the three Cs of leadership? Courage, compassion and charisma. Are you implying that this is the problem of the country where leaders lack these three Cs? I am not talking about the country, I am talking about my region. I am talking about Ken Saro-Wiwa and it is left for the rest of you to talk about the problems…I know I talk about Nigeria but now, this particular problem we are talking about is the region. So, invariably, the traditional class, rulers, our chiefs, are they bold enough? Do they have the courage, compassion? Are they fatherly? Do they have the love of the people they lead? Do they exude loyalty? Because you must earn loyalty, if you don’t earn it, you don’t get it. If you read Sozaboy you will see the chiefs. What of the elders of the community, those people we look up to, are they themselves really elders? People who are aged like in that novel, Ke Kole. Ke is Ogoni for uncle, so, someone who is your uncle in traditional Africa, is your father. In the absence of your father, your uncle steps in. And even if your father were alive and you were found to be misbehaving, your uncle would correct you. If your father is unable to perform his duty, your uncle takes his place and provides for you. That is the traditional Africa we used to know. In that novel, you see that Ke Kole is an honourable man. He might

Ogbowei

WHAT I TELL EVERYBODY WHO IS INTERESTED IN THE STRUGGLE IN THE REGION IS THAT THE FIRST BOOK TO READ

IS KEN SARO-WIWA’S SOZABOY AND

PRISONERS OF JEBS

not be a rich man, but he is honourable. And even though he doesn’t tell all the truth he decides to be very diplomatic and so on. But there is a point beyond which you stop being diplomatic and tell the truth as it is. Then, there are others in the novel, I am sorry we are going outside Marsh boy, who are neither here nor there. You find out that most of the other people are what you might call scallywags. That is what we have in our region today. That is one of the problems of this country, we have a lot of scallywags who are in places they shouldn’t be. Isn’t that because the people who should be in those places are shy? It is left for you to decide. I don’t know. Mine is to tell a story. For instance, if someone like you were to become a senator or a politician whether at local government or state level, things would change. Don’t you think so? I wouldn’t know. The people should tell whether if

they put me there things will change. But you have not sought political office. I have not sought political office yet doesn’t mean I am not politically conscious. I am politically conscious. But I think, where I come from, the traditional society I know and the way we grew up and what we saw, leadership is not taken, it is given, it is entrusted unto you. For example, where I come from, you don’t go and struggle to be a chief, it is your community that decides that this is the person we want to be a chief. Of course, what is happening today, brigands who have come by some money decide that they must be chiefs. So, the standards have changed. In those days, you must be wise, somebody who has intellect or intelligence. You must also be solvent, not somebody going about borrowing, who can’t feed himself, his family. You must have men under you, be a man of substance to be a chief in my community. But I know that all of that is changing. Talking about standards, most of the people who came to the CORA Book Party in honour of you and the other 10 poets longlisted in the Nigeria Prize for Literature agree that the standard of the works this year is high. What do you think is responsible for that? I am not a member of the panel that selected the works so I don’t know what to say because I don’t know the yardstick and they may tell you one thing…I am skeptical as a Nigerian. This is a country where white is not white and black is not black, so since I don’t know the yardstick, I don’t want to come out to tell you why it is the way it is. I have been there three times, this is my third time and the last two times, I don’t know… I don’t


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, September 6, 2013

with my student –Ogbowei

Artman In The House

FACT FILE •

Born on July 19, 1955, Gilbert ‘Ebinyo Ogbowei hails from Amatolo Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

He attended Township School, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Federal Government College, Sokoto, Sokoto State (1969 to 1973); Federal Government College, Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Lagos, UNILAG (1977 to 1980) and Master of Philosophy in African Literature at the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT (1983 to 1987).

He worked as a claims clerk before he went back to the university then worked in the sports council as organising secretary then public relations officer.

He taught at the School of Basic Studies the Newspaper Corporation and the Nigerian Times all in Port Harcourt. He also taught at a College of Education and then moved to the Niger Delta University, NDU where he first taught Niger Delta literature, African poetry and creative writing.

His first collection, Let the Honey Run and other Poems, made the longlist of the Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2005. His third collection, The Heedless Ballot Box, was joint winner of the ANA Bayelsa Isaac Boro Prize for Niger Delta Literature in 2008. The fourth Song of a Dying River was longlisted for the same prize in 2009.

He has five published collections: Let the Honey Run and other Poems, (2001), The Towncrier’s Song (2003), The Heedless Ballot Box, (2006), Song of a Dying River (2009), which was shortlisted for The 2009) and Marsh Boy and other Poems (2012).

Ogbowei with some of the longlisted poets from left: Obari Gomba, Iquo Eke and Amu Nnadi

want to speak because I might say something I don’t want to say. (I was longlisted) in 2005 and 2009. Is your skepticism based on the fact that history might repeat itself? I don’t want history to repeat itself, I don’t and I am not pessimistic because I know that something right will be done. But I won’t say more than this. Your student, Professor Remi Raji is also on the longlist. Does that make you feel that you have done well as a teacher? Every father wants his child to do better. That is what it is in the world naturally. It is only in these parts where I see that certain persons in fatherly positions try to kill their children. Remi Raji was one of the best students that I taught. He was the best literature student I taught. It is a great honour to have him on the podium there with me. In fact, I am pleasantly surprised that both of us were longlisted for the award. If he wins I will congratulate him because he has been a good person, he was a good student. And I am sure Femi Osofisan will say the same thing of him. I know that all my colleagues from NDU who have been taught by him praise him a lot. They say that he is a good teacher and mentor, and that he inspires them to work hard. So, I am not surprised that he is here. Who are the writers that have influenced your work? A lot of writers have influenced me. TS Elliot, WB Yeats, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Christopher Okigbo, Gabriel Okara (especially when you see me using Izon expressions in my works it is because I have seen Okara do it.) He has influenced me especially in The Fisherman’s Invocation. At the book party event you read the poem, A Raised Gun, what inspired that poem? It is just the struggle in the delta, you know, the struggle gone awry. The story of Rumuekpe and brigands who cash in on legitimate struggle and bring ruin to their own community, who have gone into all sort of things. Fine, you go and kidnap people, do all these things, probably burst pipelines. I don’t know if they do but what I am talking about is that those things those boys did in the Rumuekpe case – I don’t want to go into details because they are unsavory things that led to the sacking of the community – that is not the struggle. And then of course, what I have done, Shell has a part to play, a lot of blame. And who is Shell? They have become complicit in the criminality in the Niger Delta. Including the oil theft? We are not talking about oil theft. I am not an intel-

ligence officer but is it not true that staff of the oil companies themselves are involved in oil theft? Is it not also true that our own security agencies are involved in oil theft? Is it not also true that these boys who go to steal the oil and load, because oil bunkering has been with us for a very long time, it didn’t start in 1998 with the Niger Delta struggle. It is something that has been going on that I was aware of even as a young boy that had just finished secondary school. There is somebody I know who was involved in what they call ‘topping’. He is in the United States today and has not come back. They made their money from illegitimate oil business in the Niger Delta. What is topping? Topping is where a vessel comes to load, it is calibrated so, let’s assume you are to load 50 tonnes. When you get to the calibrated oil you are supposed to take then there is a gap, which is filled and that money goes into their pockets. Perhaps that explains why there is a lot of literature on the struggle starting from Isaac Boro to Ken Saro-Wiwa

21

and others. Do you see the struggle continue to birth works of literature? In a revolution, you produce good works because revolution gives room for heroism. Great works of art are written out of strive like this where the struggle is genuine, honest. Ahmed Yerima has written Hard Ground and won (the Nigeria Prize for Literature). There are certain class of people who don’t like us and all of them are now coming to write on the Niger Delta struggle. Why are they coming? Because they see that there is something genuine, something humane, something artistic, in fact, there is something worthwhile to do. It is like the independence struggle and that is where we are heading. If you look at what is happening there is need for us to be careful because the political class is not getting it right and is not likely to get it right especially when they begin to arrogate to themselves the concept of sovereignty. Sovereignty belongs to the people not to the senate, not to the Presidency. You have been teaching literature for some time now considering that Remi Raji is your student. Are there more of such students coming out to rule the literature world? There is a boy I taught that is also a poet in Port Harcourt and he writes good poetry. There is also another one who has not come out with his collection. I have been begging him to bring it so that I can look at it, so that it can be published. So, yes, there are a lot of people. Not necessarily poets, there are also short story writers, novelists, who are plying the trade and I think it is the exposure, which we didn’t get. We are just raw talent and because I read English and luckily for me, I spent more than half of my time, while an undergraduate, reading outside the prescribed text, which is what I still do. I read history and study revolution. I study everything and I spend hours before the television watching Animal Planet, Geo Wild and Discovery Channel. I learn because I want to know more.


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Critics

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Profound sounds at organ recital

Music

The classical sounds of music emerged out of MUSON Centre, Onikan-Lagos in August played by Ibiyefiebo Harry and Babajide Odedeji and delighting the ecstatic audience who applauded their instrument mastery. VANESSA OBIOHA

F

Ike Kan: How good is it for women? 9ice’s new music sounds nice, but the video will leave sour taste on the buds of many who feel the African woman deserves more respect NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

O

f course, 9ice has gone through a steady process of maturity since he held everyone spellbound with his debut album, which came with the monster hit Gongo Aso. But his latest single ‘Ike Kan’, has something special about the input of the professionals assembled for the song and video. This is a clear indication that 9ice may have lost some grounds since then and now wants to regain them For starters, he has assembled the best (at least from their pedigrees) in the several genres of music making to work on this latest effort. With Don Jazzy producing the song, Clarence Peters directing the video and Venita ‘Veezee’ Akpofure as the video vixen, and of course 9ice on vocals, music lovers should be really expectant on what Ike Kan is all about. Unarguably, the song has all the trappings of the typical 9ice, as its rendition flows from Yoruba language to English. But whoever adjusts to listen to this will find Don Jazzy’s skills in beat making so fascinating. In a bid to help 9ice re-launch, Jazzy, from the sound that forms the rhythm, took time to offer a classy beat that obviously accentuates 9ice’s somewhat fascinatingly raspy voice for the music. Although the lyrics come across as ordinary wordings, 9ice’s unique way of blending Yoruba and English, which often maintains a rhyme, must be praised in this single. Much like what he did with Gongo Aso, he seized this opportunity to reinforce that this was his kingdom and that he is the duke here. However, the creativity in maintaining rhyme alternating between

two languages failed to elevate the lyrics in terms of morality. At 9ice’s stage in music, one would expect something soul lifting; words that sets one on a soul searching expedition because that is what music should be about. But this was completely lacking, which is not ‘nice’ for 9ice. Of course, this brings one to the video accompanying the song. The dexterity of Clarence Peters as usual came to the fore in this work. One does not need a soothsayer to know it was a cheap video, made entirely from one location. But the director tried to use studio effects to convince his audience that it was happening at several places at the same time. That the video came out from a lean budget is also a pointer to 9ice’s state of wellbeing, career wise. He is known to have come out with very colourful films in the past and assembling the team of professional for this would naturally make the audience anticipate more. That more failed to come in Ike Kan video. But the vixen, Venita should get a lot of commendation for the way she handled the choreography of this musical video. One could spot her wriggling her waist in manner that proved that she is hyperactive about her job. However, there is a snag about the whole process in spite of how well Venita may have handled this. It will leave a lot of questions about the kind of respect 9ice has for the female folks. The video is all about a woman wriggling her waist to appease her man, and that is hardly all a woman is good at. The way the public perceives this will, however, prove whether his career would be taken to the next level as he may have been anticipating before going to the studio to do this.

or two hours, it was an evening of sheer eclectic classical tunes as Ibiyefiebo Harry and Babajide Odedeji delighted music enthusiasts who had converged at the Agip Recital Hall of the Lagos-based MUSON Centre on August 17 for their organ recital. Playing pieces of Derek Bourgeois, Johann Sebastian Bach, Christopher Pardini and others, the profound organists set the dialogue for vast classical rhythms and tunes. Ibiyefiebo with the finger locking and pedalling of the organ gave a breathtaking rendition of the Berceuse by Louis Vierne which tested his strength on this complicated musical instrument. This piece was accompanied with edgy tones and embellishment that culminated to a grand and major ending. Odedeji also showed mastery with his performance. His body language was all he needed to captivate the audience with his racy and slow tempos. It was amazing to watch his hands and feet work miraculously across four keyboards and the pedal board, showing his dexterous execution of the mechanics of such music. His performance on the Tocatto and Fugue in D major earned him the greatest applause of the night before he wrapped up with Champion tune. Ibiyefiebo is currently the principal organist at Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and has been privileged to participate in international organ competitions such as the Marcello Galanti International Organ Competition in Modaino Italy in 2008. His penchant for music was honed at an early age of nine

Performance under the tutelage of his late father Mr. M.S.D. Harry who was also an organist. Babajide’s journey into the musical world started from the church where he developed a passion for the organ. Popularly known as Aluduru -a Yoruba name for Organist, the businessman has spent 15 years on stage and is widely known for his various reflections and tonal mood he displays with the music instrument. His ability to blend different genres of music into a masterpiece has earned him fame so far. Ms. Obioha is a Lagos-based writer.

Odedeji performing at the MUSON organ recital

Exhibition

Araism ‘wonder!’ returns ADENRELE NIYI

A

raism Movement was born in 2006 with an official grouping of interested students (members) who are today known as disciples – all of them sharing a common fraternity with their teacher- the inventor. However, as a painting technique, it was launched in 1998 with a solo exhibition by its inventor, Mufu Onifade. Araism entails a process of cumbersome technicalities deserving of intense experimentation. To flag off the formal launch of Araism Movement on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the Harmattan Workshop Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos, there was an exhibition of paintings by Mufu Onifade and five of his disciples: Olaniyi Omojuwa, Tope Oguntuase, Dotun Popoola, Abiola

Mautin-Akande and Jonathan Ikpoza. The show was employed to re-launch the phenomenon of ARA (Aesthetically Rich Art) and ara (wonder) to the sensibilities of artists, arts writers, gallery owners, the arts community and the general public. It was a run-away success! In recent times, every watcher of unfolding events in contemporary Nigeria cannot overlook or undervalue the emergence and prominence of Araism technique – nay the movement. Araism is a creative force of reckoning while the Movement serves as a platform of projection to the technique and its many exponents. Between July 2006 and October 2012, Araism Movement has presented 10 exhibition series to its numerous publics – seven in Lagos and three in Abuja. Araism restates its relevant position in con-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics

Friday, September 6, 2013

23

Book

GEFTY: A how-to manual for the environment The simple purpose of the book Green Education for the Youth or GEFTY for short, is ‘Uplifting the Environment’ as it is stated on the cover. What better way than to do it by making the youth better informed. This 54-page book by Olufunso Amosun sure packs a punch. TERH AGBEDEH

G

reen Education for the Youth, GEFTY is a publication by Olufunso Amosun, wife of the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosu. Launched on May 27, 2013, Children’s Day, it is aimed at driving the fight against the serious abuse and desecration of the environment in Ogun State and beyond. It is evident that the planet has become worse off from activities of human, with many adding up not just to deplete the ozone layer but to violate the entire environment in a way that leaves humanity prone to dangerous trends in years to come. With the environment in dire need of advocates and volunteers, GEFTY is a step in the right direction. GEFTY, an acronym for the book, is also the fond name for the project that campaigns against environmental abuse. It is a radical way of putting the issue on the front burner to make many young people aware and imbibe what is to be done in order to help everyone contribute their quota to protecting the environment. As the GEFTY approach indicates, the fate of the environment would be substantially better off if we all see it as something we are entrusted with by the creator or nature, depending on which side of the fence you sit. And for this, Amosun is not only aware enough to reach out to the public, beginning from her Ogun State location but she is equally interested and involved in the

process. With the green environment euphemism for a healthy environment as its mantra, the publication takes off by telling the youth to join in the fight against activities that endanger the environment in a lot of ways. Urging them to keep the 3Rs at heart, the clear message from GEFTY is that reducing waste production, salvaging what can be reused and recycling when possible are three important ways of keeping the planet safe for all of us. Even through its dedication, which many people in Amosun’s shoes would dedicate to a loved one, the need for a green environment burns really bright. “The book is dedicated to the glory of God, for the purpose of saving our planet, through pursuance of a greener environment, by empowering our youth to imbibe and cultivate the green culture”, the dedication page states. Although nothing could be clearer on where the author’s passion lies with such a dedication, a foreword written by Dr. Victor Fodeke, the Hubert H. Humphrey/ Ashoka Fellow who is also technical adviser on Climate Change for the African Union Commission lends ample credence to how important the issue is for Amosun. “It is universally accepted that the global environment has its most profound effect on children and young people; consequently, environmentally aware, empowered children and adolescents are potentially the greatest change agents for the long-term protection and stewardship of the earth”, Fodeke writes on Page VI.

THE PASSIONDRIVEN ZEAL THAT

OLUFUNSO AMOSUN BRINGS INTO THE

FIGHT AGAINST ANTIGREEN ACTIVITIES IS WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK DESIRABLE And in truth, young people, on account of the vibrancy and the confidence they exude, can do an awful lot to bring to an end the acts that destroy our planet on daily basis. According to ‘United Nations Environment Programme (2013) Global Outlook: Environment for the Future We Want’; “Our planet now hosts more than seven billion people and that number is expected to rise to some nine billion by 2050. The decisions young people make today and in the near future will be central in determining the long-term viability of sustainable development”. That outlook of how much the youth can do if they take the matter on once

getting adequate understanding of the issues being discussed says a lot about how much they can do individually which eventually adds up to the collective. This is further corroborated by a UNEP report of 2007 cited by the book that “more than 46 percent of the world’s population is now younger than 25 years old; this means over a billion individuals in all”. With important areas like Swap to Green Habits, Conserve Resources, Conserve Energy, Reduce Waste Production, Reduce Pollution, Reuse Whatever You Can, Recycle When Possible, Learn About Recycling, Plant A Tree, AntiGreen Actions, Deforestation, Carbon Footprints, Global Warming & Climate Change, Greenhouse Gases, Fossil Fuels, Green Empathy for the Less Privileged and others touched, GEFTY is an important handbook to have at hand. Looking at it as a small publication, the sincerity and passion-driven zeal that Olufunso Amosun brings into the fight against anti-green activities is what makes this publication desirable. With ample pictorial representation, perhaps its greatest advantage lies in its easy-to read and small size that makes the book attractive to every young person.

THIS NEW SCULPTURAL APPROACH TO THE TECHNIQUE OF ARAISM IS POPOOLA’S DIMENSIONAL TOUCH TO CREATE A NEW IDENTITY FOR HIMSELF temporary Nigerian Art with its exhibitions series meant to discover and project to the world, new creativity and disciplined artists. The latest eagerly-anticipated exhibition opens on Saturday, September 14 at Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi-Lagos. Tagged, Araism Movement 11, it is led by the inventor of the Araism painting technique and founder of the Araism Movement, Mufu Onifade, the show also features 12 other members including Dotun Popoola, Abiola Mautin-Akande, Abolore Awojobi and Olu-

wanbe Amodu. Other artists are Esther Emmanuel (the first and only exhibiting female member of the Movement), Geroge Egunjobi, Bolarinwa Olowo, Jonathan Imafidor and Odumbo Adeniran. They are joined by three new members namely Tope Adebayo, Aliu Azeez and Oluwasegun Phillips. This edition of the movement’s outing will showcase 40 paintings and three metal sculptures. This new sculptural approach to the technique of Araism is Popoola’s dimensional touch to create a new identity

Bata Asiko by Oludotun Popoola

Ore Oninawo by Jonathan Imafidor

for himself while deriving from the limitless possibilities that Araism offers. Movement 11 is the group’s return to Lagos, but it serves as part of its usual creative restlessness that makes it a most consistent art movement in Nigeria.

Gwari by George Egunjobi


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Inside FCT

Friday, September 6, 2013

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Abuja’s photographers count blessings JOEL AJAYI

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s the problem of unemployment and high cost of living takes a toll on young people living in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the few with entrepreneurial skills have opted for the cutting-edge business of photography to get their daily bread. These days, no major event in the FCT is complete without the presence of many photographers trying to do their own business. In fact, a lot of guests headed out to events dressed in their best wears in order to take pictures, which are treated as special keepsakes for remembering such outings. Meanwhile, these set of photographers capitalise on series of event within the nooks and crannies of Abuja metropolis to earn an income which invariably contributes to the growth of the country’s economy. No wonder, the business oriented photographers are found at the doorsteps of events’ venues even when they are not formally invited to the event. They are neatly dressed with comfortable shoes that allow room to dash from one end of the venue to another and, yes, they are armed with flashing cameras. The photographers love to carry out their business where high-class people are celebrating but they are a rarity in the suburbs. The have made first-class event centres their abode and workshop; a trend quite noticeable in a places like the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel; the ballroom of NICON Luxury Hotel; Sheraton Hotel’s Ladi Kwali Hall; the International Conference Centre, ICC; church weddings; recreational centres, such as the Millennium Park and Jabi Lake Park among the others. As an astute journalist is reputed to have a nose for the news, so do these men of the camera have noses to smell any gorgeous event where tidy sums of money is waiting to be made. It is an amazement how they get to know about events in the town, even when they are not the official photographers for such occasions. Meanwhile, it is believed that Abuja’s paparazzi have cliques, unions and rules to ward off gate crashers and keep the business worthwhile and respectable. Some of the photographers who spoke with Inside FCT confirmed that the business is very profitable and added that they were not thinking of seeking for paid employment or white collar jobs, especially in Abuja where there is virtually no industrial sector. Speaking about challenges in the photography business, many of them acknowledged the problem of rivalry among photographers which crop ups on daily basis. Joseph Adewale a graduate of Federal Polytechnic Ede, Osun State, told our reporter that: “The hardship I encountered while searching for employment in the FCT forced me into photography. In Nigeria today, if you don’t know a politician or anyone at the helms of affairs, you cannot get work in this country; the only work you can get in Abuja is to be a driver, cleaner,

THEY ARE NEATLY DRESSED WITH COMFORTABLE SHOES THAT ALLOW ROOM TO DASH FROM ONE END OF THE VENUE TO ANOTHER AND, YES,

THEY ARE ARMED WITH FLASHING CAMERAS gardener or private security guard, among others. I don’t think I can do any of these jobs, that was why I decided to use money I saved to buy a camera. Later, I bought my own portable printing machine and every month, I get substantial amount of money as income”. Adewale said he has been involved in the photography business for about two years. “It is lucrative and profitable. From the simple 5 by 7 sized pictures that we charge N200 for, to framed photos that fetch up to N5,000; as well as portraits that cost as much as N50,000. Sometimes, I go home with N5,000 to N10,000 as profit. Doing this work, I was able to get married and raise kids; I have never beg anybody money to take care of my immediate family”, he stated. Sharing his experience in photography, Emeka Francis, a resident of Kubwa a suburb of FCT said: “I have no plans to go back to office jobs. I was paid N25,000 monthly in the first job I got as a fresh graduate in Abuja. Each month, I would spend N20,000 on transportation so, I resigned and got a job with a large departmental store. They paid me N50,000 monthly, yet I couldn’t live comfortably on that salary. I then remembered how photography helped me during my school days –I decided to return to the business. I have never regretted my decision to quit my second job, even when my boss begged me not to resign”. According to Francis, “with this business I can take care of my family. I was one of the best students in my set, but if I let that achievement guide my thinking, I would not survive in Nigeria. Young people should not wait around for ‘unavailable’ white collar jobs or government jobs. Instead, they should be thinking of doing legal business that might improve their financial status. Samuel Udoh, a graduate of University of Calabar with a B.Sc. degree in Sociology, said that too many graduates face trials and ordeals in Abuja while searching employment. “When I finished school, I relocated to Abuja. After searching for a job for some time without success, I thought of what I could do. So, I picked up photography when I realised that I could earn an income doing it. But before I started, I went for a threemonth formal training and today, I can feed myself and even take care of my siblings at home”. Although, sometimes people refuse to pay for pictures, but I must tell you the profit you make always covers any loss. He also admitted the challenge of rivals cropping up daily is affecting the business.

One of the officials attending to a patient.

Free medi-care goes to FCT community SEYI ANJORIN

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shafa village and its residents were agog on Monday when the Shekwoyeyedu Foundation, in collaboration with the Bridge of Life Mission, provided free medical services to residents of Ushafa Village, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. The wife of the Councillor of Bwari, Mrs. Tamar Yohanna Peter Ushafa, who is also the Coordinator of the Foundation, was full of appreciation to the Bridge of Life Mission. Speaking to the beneficiaries, she urged them to take opportunity of the free medical service to maintain a good and healthy livelihood. “I want to thank the Bridge of Life Foundation and I pray that God would bless them for what they have done in Shekwoyeyedu Foundation. It is because of the mercy of God that is why they are here and I also thank God for giving me the privilege to be here; it’s not by my power that I have been able to set up this foundation or even purpose of doing it. “What really motivated me to do a thing like this for my community is that I found out that many people are dealing with different diseases and there’s no means of them going to the hospital; so, I took it upon myself that since the Lord has given me power, let me do something for my people so that they will feel my impact. When I see those in need I will help them”, she added. During an interview with Inside FCT, International Director of the Mission, Prof. Doreen Babo, disclosed that the Mission had been to 23 countries around the world as well as 19 states in Nigeria with the objective of teaching and helping people towards living a healthy life. “One of our objectives at our hospitals is to provide acute care but we also want to promote people maintaining good health and encourage people on how to maintain their blood pressure and their sugar level. We have found out that diabetes

I FOUND OUT THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE DEALING WITH DIFFERENT DISEASES AND

THERE’S NO MEANS OF THEM GOING TO THE HOSPITAL and hypertension are very common problems in Nigeria, so we want to promote people maintaining good health. We use programmes like this to educate people on how to take care of themselves; everything we are doing is to promote good health and then we do that in the name of Jesus Christ because we want to be able to share God’s love to everybody”, she said. The Coordinator, Women for Change and Development Initiative, FCT, Mrs. Victoria Madaki, lauded the efforts of the Foundation towards enriching and empowering the lives of the less privileged, the vulnerable and many people that cannot afford medical bills in the society. “I’m so excited and I want to say that Mrs. Tamar Ushafa has keyed into the programme of the first lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because her programme is to enrich and empower the less privileged and the vulnerable in the society. My advice to the beneficiaries is that they should not take this for granted, they should use their medications properly and not divert or go against the medical advice”, she said. Our reporter witnessed the occasion where both old and young people were seen trooping out en masse as early as 7.00 a.m. to access the free medical care available to them, just as over 1000 people were being expected to be attended to, while various drugs were being provided to cater to the health needs of the people.


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25

Friday, September 6, 2013

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26

Mirror Mongers

Friday, September 6, 2013

Much ado about Nollywood votes

Kema Chikwe’s short-lived azonto

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...and Akpabio’s N50m largesse to film industry

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ncreasingly, Nollywood stars are making themselves political assets and liabilities depending on the side of the divide one belongs. Although the last in this regard is yet to be heard, the general impression is that soon, some of them will begin to carry the cross of the past activities of others. This is coming on the front burner as the gubernatorial election in Anambra State draws closer. MM gathered that the candidate of the Labour Party in the forthcoming election, Ifeanyi Ubah is seething with angst over activities of some of them, who vowed to mobilise support for him at a reception he hosted at Golden Tulip in FESTAC Town, Lagos, recently, without any tangible result in sight. Following this, the oil mogul (hope he still is) has outlawed any of those Nollywood support groups who always come visiting. Well, this is not different from what happened to Professor Chukwuma Soludo in 2010 during the last gubernatorial election in the state when some artistes under the aegis, Association of Anambra Artistes for Good Governance (don’t ask if it was registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC) quickly rallied support for him in Lagos, collecting money. Their efforts failed to realise the desired results. But this really brings to the fore the potency of Nollywood

in winning such elections. Like some of Ifeanyi Ubah’s aides are now asking: how many star actors will come to Anambra polling booths to vote on ‘election day’? Meanwhile, the ripples being generated by the N50 million largesse donated by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio has taken a new dimension, following the petition written by one of the guilds in the industry, Association of Nollywood Core Producers, ANCOP. While the petition was written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Special Fraud Unit, SFU of the Nigeria Police, only the SFU has taken action by inviting the quartet of Zik Zulu Okafor, Andy Amenechi, Yakubu Abubakar and Stephanie Okereke-Idahosa to its Lagos office. MM gathered that the policemen were angered by the fact that the quartet sent their lawyers to the SFU following their initial invitation which made the policemen to send another strongly-worded invitation that brought the big masquerades to their office on Tuesday. Of course, it was not a tea party as they were grilled for hours over their role in the allegations being raised by ANCOP. A new twist in the matter arose when Stephanie Okereke failed to turn up, after telling the policemen that she was ‘roaming her phone line’ from Europe.

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Ubah

s Nigerians (save from the members of the opposition of course) await the speedy resolution of the crisis in the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, where a rival group is claiming authenticity, the events of the past days obviously left a bad taste in the mouth of the Women Leader of the party, Kema Chikwe, perhaps more than any other elected official. For those who are not aware of how much the art of dancing resides in the family of the Chikwes, that has already given Nigeria a star rapper, Naeto C, they needed to see the breakaway ‘azonto dance’ the woman performed after her name was announced as the winner at the election. The dance of joy, which the former Aviation Minister shared with

the national publicity secretary, Olisah Metuh, soon metamorphosed into bitterness a few hours later when she was joined in a suit brought to a Lagos high court by the splinter group. The likes of Clarence Peters should be archiving Kema Chikwe’s dance steps for Naeto C’s next music video, some will agree.

Chikwe

New inseparable pair..?

Akpabio

Okereke

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t is easy to point fingers at unlikely (or likely?) directions when things begin to happen in quick successions. Some insiders are beginning to grumble about the new alliance between Mohammed Dikko, the Comptroller General of the Customs and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. Of course, this closeness is becoming an issue following the grip the former VP is attempting to have on the PDP structure which led to the announcement of a faction last week. While this may threaten Dikko’s stance in the ‘scheme of things’, some of his aides are tracing the relationship to the fact the Atiku was not

ONE-SECOND Q&A

only his boss at the Customs, but also a dependable ally of the Yar’Aduas who happen to have a ‘brother in law’ in Dikko. MM gathered that the PDM may be working in this direction.

Atiku

OYEBANKE OYELAMI

23-year-old Miss Oyebanke Oyelami, a former beauty queen (Miss Osun State), was recently married to 48-year-old politician, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, amid controversies over his previous marital status and their vast age difference. The bride, an undergraduate at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, reacts to the much-talked about liaison: How does it feel being married to Hon. Makinde?

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arrying him is a dream-come-true; my joy is unlimited and I am more than fulfilled. I have known him as a good lover. At first when I met him, I found it difficult to believe he was single as he claimed. I did all I could to verify his claims and as I moved closer to him, I discovered him to be a responsible, caring and romantic person. I have always prayed to God to marry a man like him. I have always looked forward to meeting a very nice and responsible man who will not only see himself as my husband, but a friend and a father, which Rotimi stands for. I give God all the glory. Oyebanke


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Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shawwal 30, 1434AH Friday, September 6, 2013

27

Call to Worship “O ye who believe! When the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is best for you, if you only knew.” HE WHO) OFFERS THE PRAYERS AND LISTENS QUIETLY WHEN THE IMAM STANDS UP FOR SERMON, WILL HAVE HIS SINS FORGIVEN BETWEEN THAT FRIDAY AND THE NEXT.”(BUKHARI)

Go early for Jumu’ah, it’s highly rewarding Hadith Narrated Abu Huraira (RA): Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said, “Any person who takes a bath on Friday like the bath of Janaba and then goes for the prayer (in the first hour i.e. early), it is as if he had sacrificed a camel (in Allah’s cause); and whoever goes in the second hour it is as if he had sacrificed a cow; and

Godliness in parenting 28

Hajj: Be good ambassadors –Rimi 29

whoever goes in the third hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a horned ram; and if one goes in the fourth hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a hen; and whoever goes in the fifth hour then it is as if he had offered an egg. When the Imam comes out (i.e. starts delivering the Khutba), the angels present themselves to listen to the Khutba.”

‘The West is establishing a culture of violence’ 30


28

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shawwal 30, 1434AH Friday, September 6, 2013

Godliness in parenting A llah (SWT) has a purpose for granting you your children. The same He has for making others barren. Do you now appreciate this favour by failing to fulfill His obligation on your children? The circumstance of conceiving these children was when you were satisfying your urge in the legitimate bed of love. When you reached orgasm, you know how you felt. It is expected that your attention, concentration and intimacy you had for your love will also be given to these children so that the Ummah can positively feel their impact. Alas! You enjoyed yourself and failed to train the product of your love. May Allah (SWT) not turn your joy into sorrow as regards these children. He can, if He wills, as a kind of punishment, turn your children against you that they will not obey and be a sort of affliction for you that you will even regret bearing them in the first place. You must see child-bearing children as a means of reinforcing the cause of Allah (SWT). Your niyyah and method of nikah determine the kind of child you will have except Allah (SWT) wants to try you. Your role towards your child starts before he or she is born. You seek Allah’s

guidance in selecting your spouse and supplicate for a righteous child. Raising a child is not as easy as we think it is, especially in the modern times where distractions abound. The first injustice to the child is that he is born outside wedlock. What then are these noises about child right acts all year round? What right is greater than giving a child a noble birth? As if adding insult to injury, a child is a product of Zina, he is further nourished with unlawful means. The child has no blame for either but the parents do. Pursuits of haram to feed and train a child spell a spiritual disaster for the child. It attempts to stigmatise it spiritually. Many have become negligent of the source of their income. They feed on either haram or doubtful income and thereafter nourish their children with such. When the child starts to behave abnormally or fails to hearken to correction, they will never recall that they have nourished it with haram. However, trials could come from Allah (SWT) whereby a child will fail to hearken even where he had been nourished with lawful earnings. Allah (SWT) knows best. But we should return to decent living and pray

EVERY CHILD IS FIRST NOURISHED FROM THE

MILK OF THE MOTHER.

SO, IF SHE FEEDS ON HARAM, SHE WILL PRODUCE AND FEED THE CHILD WITH UNLAWFUL MILK AND THIS MAY AFFECT THE CHILD LATER IN LIFE to Allah (SWT) for lawful sustenance. Every child is first nourished from the milk of the mother. So, if she feeds on haram, she will produce and feed the child with unlawful milk and this may affect the child later in life. The child may refuse to yield to simple guidance

Death: To Allah we belong and to Allah we shall return (2) the body of the deceased should not be kept long but rather taken quickly for salatul janazah and burial. Salatul janazah is required to be performed in congregation in order to request pardon for the deceased. All Muslims must not hesitate to participate in it, whether or not the deceased or his relatives are known to him. The body should rest on his right side, be close to the wall and supported so that the body will not fall back. The deceased’s face should be

CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK

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uslims are forbidden from washing certain dead bodies. Those that fall into this category are those of non-Muslims, children that are still sucking breasts, mutilated bodies in which more than one third of the body is mutilated and those of martyrs. Meanwhile, there are various steps needed to be taken when washing a dead person. The deceased’s body should be placed on a table, the deceased’s clothes should be removed and the body covered with a cloth. The private parts of the deceased should be covered with a piece of cloth. The head and the upper body should be raised slightly to ensure that the water from the body flows down and does not go back to the body. The washer should start washing by saying “Bismillahi” meaning In the name of Allah. The washer should wind a piece of cloth around his hand or better still wear gloves. He is thereafter expected to clean any impurities from his/her body using water. Then he/she should dispose this piece of cloth or gloves as the case may be. The washer should take another pair of gloves, press lightly the stomach of the deceased so as to expel, if possible any remnants from it. He will then wash the body of any form of impunities using water and dispose the gloves thereafter. The washer should take another pair of gloves and wash the covered private parts and then dispose the gloves. The washer should go ahead to perform ablution on the deceased without inserting water in the nose and in the mouth. The washer should clean the body with water and soap (if available), starting from the head (hair, face and beard) to the upper right side of the body, then to the left side and after that the lower side. In case of a female, her hair

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and develop bad habits that may be disastrous. So, the mother must be careful of whatever she consumes. And the father must be wary of his source of income with which he sustains his family. That the economy is hard does not presuppose otherwise. As the environment in which these children grow or are trained is increasingly becoming spiritually and morally unfriendly, each and every parent needs to turn to Allah (SWT) for assistance. All homes are not safe – as no one can tell what becomes of his child as he watches the television and its other accessories, interacts with peer groups or goes to school. As a parent, improve your relationship with Allah (SWT). Do always discharge your duties to Him. Be God-minded all the time. Devote yourself to your Lord. Fulfill the obligations of Allah (SWT) at its due time. Parents cannot afford to be oblivious of observing Tahajjud. Stand before your Lord and lay bare your problems or challenges. The greatest of this is your child. Ask Allah (SWT) to help you in the upbringing. Implore Him to guide your child rightly. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy towards Qiblah while the ropes around head, body and feet should be loosened. In conclusion, Muslims must remember this day and act based on the dictates of Allah as enshrined in the holy Qur’an and teachings of Prophet Mohammed as stated in the hadith. Sheikh Abdul Ganniyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jublatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

Arikunkewu

should be loosened, washed, combed and can be braided in three portions and thereafter placed behind her back. The washing should be done three, five or seven times provided it is done in odd number. Meanwhile, during the last wash, the washer may use camphor or perfume with the water. After that, the body should be dried with a clean towel. Then, the body should be totally covered with a piece of white cloth and get ready to start shrouding. It is recommended to use white cloth from an inexpensive material. The deceased might have provided this prior to his death, deceased’s money can be used to procure this, relations may come to the rescue or the Muslim community may make provision for it. Male deceased’s body should be wrapped in at least three pieces of white cloth and female’s body in five pieces of white cloth; measuring seven by seven feet i.e. large enough to conceal the whole body after having been perfumed with incense especially the forehead, nose, hands, knees and feet. These pieces of cloth should be fastened with ropes made of white cloth; one above the head, another under the feet and two around the body. This is to avoid the body from being revealed when taken for burial. It is highly recommended that after washing and shrouding,

Chairman, Mosan-Okunola Local Council Development Area, Abiodun Mafe; Commissioner for Information and Strategy , Mr Lateef Ibirogba; Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello andCouncil Vice-Chairman, Princess Opeyemi Akindele during the monthly Environmental Sanitation held at the council recently.

Place your adverts on these pages for optimal reach ZAKAT IS 2.5% OF YOUR TOTAL WEALTH KNOWN AS NISAB AFTER HAVING FULFILLED ALL OBLIGATIONS, PAY YOUR ZAKAT


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Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shawwal 30, 1434AH Friday, September 6, 2013

Call to Worship

29

Continue with good deeds MPAC Convention begins tomorrow after Ramadan –Miqdad T AISHA TITILAYO

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uslims have been told to continue with all the good deeds they were doing during the month of Ramadan. Speaking on the topic; “Ramadan is over, what next?” at the monthly joint Usrah of The Companion at the Lagos State House of Assembly Mosque, IkejaLagos, Imam Tawfiq Miqdad of Navy Town Mosque urged Muslims to live the lessons of Ramadan by observing Tahajjud, giving Sadaqat, feeding the poor, abstaining from evil deeds, not telling lies, avoiding vulgar words, reading, meditating and living the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet saying that Allah’s reward continues after Ramadan. “Ramadan is to prepare us for life in the remaining eleven months.” According to him, one can also do Iti-

kaf after Ramadan even for an hour or less by secluding oneself in a corner to reflect on our relationship with Allah and our fate when we will meet Him. Also speaking, the National President of The Companion, Barrister Musbau Oyefeso and the National Legal Adviser of APC, Dr. Muiz Banire, as well as the Lagos Amir of The Companion, Alhaji Wale Sonaiki called on the Federal Government to ensure that all demands of the striking lecturers of Nigerian universities are met in order to put our educational sector where it belongs. Oyefeso described the ongoing ASUU strike as a destruction of our national heritage. “Our rich should not destroy those old legacies just because their children are not in those institutions and the fact that they are all school owners. They

should grant all the lecturers’ demands and then set target for them.” They also called on FG to be sincere, respect all agreements and call ASUU back for discussion. “They should give education the desired priority and remember that oil will finish but sound education of our future leaders will remain forever.” Alhaji Sonaike advised. Dr. Banire, who is also a former lecturer at the University of Lagos, revealed that with the current situation of things in government-owned Nigerian Universities in terms of remuneration and infrastructure, one should not expect much from the products of such institutions. He therefore called on the FG to address their concern as we need to invest heavily in education which is the core foundation of any serious nation.

he 2013 edition of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC)’s Convention will start tomorrow at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, under the distinguished chairmanship of the Amirul Mumineen, Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III. The Keynote speech will be delivered by Prince Abdjabar Bola Ajibola. In a press release signed by MPAC’s Executive Chairman, Alhaji Disu Kamor, this year’s special

attraction includes a dedicated corner for the teenswhere they will learn basic leadership skills, ethical leadership attributes, spiritual diet, volunteering, thinking from the box, etc.” We have partnered with two great organizations that focus their services on teaching leadership skills and Islamic ethics to the teen in a fun way to enrich the MPAC Convention Experience of our teenage guests.” The 2-day international event will bring together

bright minds from within and outside Nigeria, from within and outside the Islamic community. Other activities at the event include exhibition, matrimonial services, family entertainment, networking and nasheed performances. More importantly, as an event for the whole family, it creates an ambiance where every member (kids and parents) have an opportunity to unwind and interact easily, in a safe environment.

CEO, BOMARAH Foundation, Hajia Idayat Bola Muse (second right) with some of the top Prison Officials during BOMARAH Foundation’s donation to the Kirikiri Prison in Lagos on Wednesday.

Hajj: Be good ambassadors –Rimi JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ntending pilgrims from Katsina State have been charged to be good ambassadors of their state and country. The state’s Amirul Hajj and leader of 2013 Hajj, Abba Musa Rimi, gave the charge when he vis-

ited Safana council area to monitor sensitisation workshop organized for intending pilgrims. Rimi, who was past governor of defunct Kaduna State, also called on them to respect law and order of Nigeria and that of Saudi Arabia authorities during the exercise. He advised them to

seek knowledge and ask relevant questions on how to conduct the exercise according to Islamic rites. The Transition Committee Chairman of the council area, Yawalle Zaka said the workshop was a welcomed development as it is a necessary prerequisite to the success of the Hajj exercise.

L-R: The National Legal Adviser of APC, Dr. Muiz Banire; the National President of The Companion, Barrister Musbau Oyefeso and the Deputy-Amir, Lagos District, Alhaji Nojeemdeen Jimoh aduring the monthly joint Usrah of The Companion at the Lagos State House of Assembly Mosque, Ikeja-Lagos recently,

DISU KAMOR

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ations rise and fall with their leadership. Social justice lies at the heart of good governance; it is the crux of our social life as humans. Leading and governing justly is the elixir for sustainable peace. Wherever there is a deficit of peace, look in the direction of social justice. We have all heard the high sounding slogans and selling points for political systems, parties and candidates but one may ask: is our world today just? Look at the situation

Building a just society up and down the country, can we say we have a just society or not? And whatever our answers and positions are, what roles are the rulers and the ruled playing to create the situation, or to be part of the change. What direction and guidance does Islam offer towards establishing a just society? The entire universe is under the care of Almighty Allah, and our ways (individual and collective) are under His surveillance, yet a few make it their life goal to exploit the rest, for

the benefit of the few. God Almighty has endowed mankind with the ability to know what is right and wrong, and to demand justice is a natural thing. And We inspired the soul with knowledge of evil and piety. Those who purify their souls will certainly have everlasting happiness and those who corrupt their soul will certainly be deprived of happiness. (Surah ash-Shams, 91:8-10) Take an example of a child who kept his apple with you.

XXXX Some participants at a workshop organised for women leaders in Agege LG by Bellcom Consulting in collaboration with Agege LG on “Women and Politics in Nigeria: Rights, Roles, Prospects and Challenges” in Lagos recently.


30

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shawwal 30, 1434AH Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘The West is establishing a culture of violence’ T W , I , n the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful More than a month has passed since the coup. The perpetrators of the coup have committed acts of violence and aggression witnessed by the world resulting in hundreds dead and thousands wounded. (The world has also witnessed) an evil arraying of ranks from the army and the police and a minority of the people who were driven to support the coup either under the influence of devious media campaigns or for sectarian or ideological interests with the goal of imposing a new order by force. In the face of these perilous developments—for now and in the future—it is the responsibility of the people of knowledge— with the obligation that Allah has placed upon them of speaking the truth and by virtue of the position of leadership that He has granted them over the matters of the Ummah—that they clarify the position of the Shariah with regards to what is happening in Egypt, the truth about the conditions that preceded the coup and its expected outcome, as follows. Deposing of the elected president by the minister of defence is an all-out coup. This is an action that is outlawed and criminal. We reject it, as it is a rebellion against a legitimate elected ruler and a clear transgression against the will of the people. We emphatically declare that all subsequent proceedings are null and void. We register our protest and astonishment at the behavior of some governments that were quick to recognize the coup despite its being contrary to the will of the people and a rebellion against an elected legitimate ruler. This is an act of aiding sin and transgression, which is forbidden in the Shariah. It will have serious negative consequences on everyone if Egypt—God forbid—were to descend into an-

archy and civil war. It is proven by looking at all the happenings, statements, and attitudes of regional and international players that this coup occurred with connivance between regional and international parties. And preparations for the coup had been in place from the moment Dr. Muhammad Morsi was elected the president of Egypt. It is no longer a secret for anyone that the failure of the government of Morsi was deliberately and systematically engineered by way of stirring unrest, suspension of the wheels of production, and highhanded control of the elites of the deep state over basic services such as electricity, fuel, and flour with the goal of turning public opinion against him and against his government. The reality of the matter is this coup was not a coup for reform but a coup meant to oust the Islamic and national movements and to prevent true independence and sovereignty for Egypt. We deplore and condemn the acts of horrific violence and murder carried out deliberately by the army and security forces against hundreds of Muslim demonstrators during Salah and in the public squares merely because they demonstrated against the coup–despite the fact that the job of the army and security forces was to defend them and to ensure their safety. Have they never come across this verse? “Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his recompense is Jahannam in which he will dwell forever and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and prepared for him a great punishment.” And the statement of the Messenger of Allah, “The loss of the entire world is lighter in the sight of Allah than the unjust shedding of the blood of one Muslim.” We reiterate for everybody that deposing of

L-R: Guest Lecturer, Imam Tawfiq Miqdad of Navy Town Mosque; the Lagos Amir of The Companion, Alhaji Wale Sonaiki and others during the monthly joint Usrah of The Companion at the Lagos State House of Assembly Mosque, Ikeja-Lagos recently.

L-R: Hajia Ummu Abdul Kareem; with Director of Al-Bayan Schools, Hajia Fatimah Idris and other parents at the 2013 end of session/ graduation ceremony held at the school premises in Lagos recently.

HE

EST WITH ITS

DOUBLE STANDARDS IS DRIVING THE REGION INTO ANARCHY AND ESTABLISHING A CULTURE OF VIOLENCE

President Morsi and the bringing down of his government under the pretext of stopping the betrayal of the nation amounts to clutching at straws. The fact is that his government was overthrown because it was oriented islamically and nationally. In our stance of rejection of the coup and its aftermath, we are not defending the Muslim Brotherhood but rather seek to defend the truth and stand with the oppressed and with the rights of the Egyptian masses that have been transgressed against. We will never stand for one day with a party or individuals for their own sake, but if they are in the trenches on the side of the truth, we will stand with them and we will never forsake defending the truth just because they happen to be on its side. Thus we deplore the stance of some parties and movements and individuals that are supporting this coup. We say: Our Shariah rejects rebellion against a legitimate ruler and rather calls for advising him and holding him responsible through legal means. Our faith requires us to fulfill our contracts and pledges even if they be against us. We thus call upon them (the parties supporting the coup) to revoke their stance and to disassociate themselves from the coup makers, to remove the cloak of legitimacy from them, to condemn all actions of violence and aggression, to attribute them (these actions) to their true perpetrators, and to reconcile with their Islamic milieu, which is their mainstay. Similarly, we applaud the stance of the scholars that have sided with the truth and stood by it. As is its habit, the West has proven again that it will side with tyranny and violence against the Muslim masses whether it be in the form of a war of annihilation as in Syria or a coup and confiscation of rights as in Egypt. We declare to the West that the people have understood its games and soon it will have to pay the price of violating values and principles. The West, with its double standards, is driving the region We commend the stance of the Ulama of al-Azhar and other ulama from Egypt who

have openly spoken the truth and rejected the coup. And we remind all the scholars, activists, and intellectuals of the necessity of taking a firm stand against the coup. We call upon the entire world and media that they fear Allah with regards to Egypt and its people and to side with the truth and to recant their positions, especially after the coupmongers have shed sacred blood, divided the people, and sought to spread mischief by inciting the people to fight each other. To remain silent in the face of the crimes of the military is (in reality) betraying them and to support them is betrayal of the Ummah and the aspirations of the people to freedom and dignity. There is only one way to help them— that is to prevent them from oppression. We emphasize our support for everyone who calls for the restoration of the elected President Dr. Muhammad Morsi. We call upon them to stand firm and hope for reward from Allah, for they are on the truth and their demand is legitimate. We also implore them to restrain themselves and to block off the paths of those who seek mischief and will create means for further killings. We supplicate to Allah to accept those that passed away from amongst them, to heal their wounded, to bestow upon their families patience and consolation, and grant them hope of reward (from Him). We remind ourselves and our brethren in Egypt and elsewhere that whatever is happening is occurring with the decree of Allah; it is but a chapter from the annals of conflict between truth and falsehood, between secularism and Islam, between leadership and subjugation. Gird yourselves and stand firm in opposing the coup that began with the suspension of your constitutional institutions and followed with the massacres of people in prayer. Finally, we must be brave enough to see our own shortcomings that undoubtedly have been the weak points that the enemy took advantage of, foremost amongst them being our own inner division and party politics. We advise our brethren in Egypt to be conscious of Allah and to hold fast to His strong rope and to stand firm on the straight path…. Allah says: “And verily this my straight paths, so follow it, and do not follow the (other) ways, lest they separate you from His way. That is what He has enjoined upon you so that you may be God-fearing.” O Allah protect Egypt, its peace, security and faith; unite its people on the truth; and protect them from their enemies—whether they be internal or external. Ameen.

L-R: Al-Bayan Schools PTA Chairman, Alhaji Nurudeen Ajala; Head of Fadlullahi School, Alhaji AbdurRasaq; Proprietor, AlBayan School, Alhaji AbdulWaheed Akintayo and Abu Aisha Animasaun at the School’s graduation ceremony held in Lagos recently.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arty News

Friday, September 6, 2013

31

All set for Alake’s GHR at The Coliseum STORIES: ADENRELE NIYI

P

reparations have entered the final phase for the Grand House Reception in honour of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, CFR, holding at Niteshift Coliseum, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos, on tomorrow, September 7. Glamour and glitz will be on offer as the Guv’nor of Niteshift, Ken-Calebs Olumese replicates his magic; beginning with red carpet interview sessions and a welcome reception. Olumese has assured that the GHR for the Alake will parade glamour and glitz in huge doses as it is customary of Coliseum. The evening of encomiums and music will mix with comedy and dovetail into an interactive session with the 70-year-old paramount ruler of Egbaland. The 7-Star event parades an exciting line-up of GHR’s com-

peres –all masters of the game– ready to excite. Messrs Taiwo Obileye (Citation); Bisi Olatilo (Interactive Session); Ohi Alegbe (Interactive Session Recap); Emeka Ossai (Opening Credits); Cynthia Yinkere (Closing Credits); Gbenga Adeyinka 1st (Stand-up Comic Act) and Chief Dele Momodu (Grand Toast). The high profile celebration which is Niteshift’s flagship event has honoured notable Nigerians and foreigners during past editions. They include: President Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Ghanaian President J.J Rawlings; former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala and Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola. Oba Gbadebo, the Okukenu IV, will be the first monarch to be honoured on the club’s prestigious GHR.

Abuja hosts fashion conference

Udy

Udy launches foundation, DVDs of talk show

A

fter six years of regaling audiences with profound stories of persons who triumphed over some of life’s daunting challenges, Uduakabasi Umondak (shortened to Udy), former First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, is set to deliver a multi-activity event to present a collection of 106 DVDs of her programme, His Word Made Flesh. The event, organised by the actress and lead designer at Colours, is to mark the TV show’s sixth anniversary and also to launch a charity foundation. Branded an ‘Evening of Hope’, the event is billed for Saturday, October 26 at the African Hall of the new Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Already, the Senate President, David Mark has accepted to attend as the Guest of Honour. He will formally unveil and present the DVD to the public. “His Word Made Flesh” is a talk show that presents the legend of individuals with heart-rending, albeit inspiring turn-around stories. In the course of her hosting the show, Udy has been swarmed with requests for monetary intervention from people who are in need; the launch of His Word Made Flesh Foundation will take care of such demands. Excited about the prospects of the event, Udy said, “We intend to put up a world class event, painstaking preparation is already on to enable us put up a show worthy of your presence”.

F

ollowing the success of the Lagos edition, the Business of Fashion Conference hosted by award winning London brand, AsakeOge and supported by the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria is set to hold in the city of Abuja for two days; September 14 and 15. The Business of Fashion Conference is aimed at emerging fashion entrepreneurs: students, graduates, those already established in the industry and those who have a keen interest in fashion and want to set up their own fashion business. It focuses on business opportunities and examines how to identify, manage and develop new products, new ideas and new services. Endorsed by the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke

Akinjide, other special guests expected at the conference include: Managing Director, Bank of Industry, BoI, Evelyn Oputu; Managing Director, NigeriaChina Business Council, Dr. C. Chime; Hajia Aisha Abubakar (of Abuja Enterprise Agency); Managing Director, Small Medium Enterprise Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Masari and other government stakeholders. Lined up to address the gathering at Arts and Culture Pavilion, International Conference Centre, Garki, Abuja, are multiaward winning fashion designers such as Lanre da Silva, Mai Stafo, and Modela. The Fashion Banquet to be held on day two of the conference will have 10 fashion designers showcasing in front of guest with music performance and a three course dinner.

Silva

Atafo

Maho

Otis Maho releases new video, Dobaale OLUFEMI AJASA

O

tis Maho, a Germany-based Nigerian artiste, has released the video for his latest hit single, Dobaale, a hip-hop tune that features renowned artiste, Reminisce. The video gives an exciting experience of hierarchy in the hip hop world and Maho is seen in the video flaunting his class in the entertainment hood. It is a song that exudes fun from start to finish. Dobaale was shot on an extensive graphics background with presence of beautiful models and famous faces of entertainers like Ruggedman, Krazy E, DJ Sd Classic and Indomix, among others. Maho believes this new video, shot by LA Unlimited, will soon go viral because of the creativity and delivery of its content. “The video perfectly explains the lyrics and I think this synergy will make my fans stay glued to it. Already, positive feedback is coming from so many social media platforms, friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry and I believe that a good start”, he explained.

Social Media Week Lagos heads to London

S

ocial Media Week Lagos, SMW Lagos, co-produced by Dragon Africa and AFRIKA21 heads to London, England on September 27. Following the overwhelming success of the inaugural SMW Lagos in February 2013, the SMW Lagos team has been invited to participate in Social Media Week London, SMWLDN. SMWLDN, part of the larger Social Media Week global conference, is now in its fifth year and it is attended by close to 10,000 people. Taking place in 18 cities around the world, Social Media Week explores the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. In partnership with world-class higher education institution Ravensbourne, SMW Lagos will host a day of programming entitled, Africa: Open & Connected. It will explore how Africans are incorporating social media in their unique social, political, economic and creative landscapes. The three featured panels are 1 Billion Strong ... A Continent on The Rise, Open Access: Governance & Social Media in Africa and E!Africa... How Social Media Is Driving Entertainment in Africa. The day will culminate in a special concert (SMW Lagos LIVE!) presented by Nigerian radio station Beat 99.9FM and streamed live.


32

Escape

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Demystifying Ifa worship, worshippers OLUFEMI AJASA

W

itnessing the 2013 edition of Ifa Festival put together by Olokun Festival Foundation, the cultural promotion arm of Oodua People’s Congress led by Otunba Gani Adams, changed virtually all the wrong perception I had about Ifa as a deity and its worshippers as people. The annual festival was celebrated in June this year at Abule-Ado, Mile 2/Badagry Expressway, Lagos; it was a period of reconnection to traditional root and the occasion re-ignited me as a true born of the Yoruba descent. In Yoruba land, there are many systems of divination used by its people but the most important is Ifa and it remains a central part of the people’s existence. However, the arrival of missionaries, colonial masters and Western type of lifestyle, marked the beginning of depletion in the level of interest placed in Ifa as a religion. These eventually declined Ifa followership both in the local and global cultural market particularly when measured in terms of level of acceptance. Notwithstanding, Ifa culture still resides in the hearts and souls of the Yoruba people. Despite the so many rejections, Ifa adherents continue to accord the religion all reverence and respect it deserves. Surprisingly, Ifa as a religion is equally flourishing in other countries like Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and others due to its practicability. In the understanding of many Nigerians, the name Ifa connotes occultism but ideally in Yoruba land, Ifa divinity is supposedly sacred. The adherents of the religion believe that Ifa has the power to unravel any mystery under the earth when consulted on virtually all matters and its accuracy in interpreting issues and

Ifa worshippers at the festival

ANOTHER THRILLING

ASPECT WAS THE CHANTS,

INCANTATIONS AND SONGS....A PARTICULAR SONG...KEPT

RESONATING IN MY MIND DAYS AFTER THE FESTIVAL proffering solutions where necessary are its unique attributes that attract more devotees. Throughout the festival, there was never a moment that can be described as less captivating. Initially, seeing the white garments, the amulets worn confidently by some men, the traditional dance steps (uniquely different from the contemporary Azonto dance steps I am familiar with), calabashes and white plates filled with unknown elements, the locally made beads worn on their wrist –all these appeared to me as if I were in a Yoruba movie location of some sort or maybe seated in a cinema watching a stage play of the standard written by the late legendary film maker, Hubert Ogunde. But it was too real to be termed ‘make believe’. One of the major eye-catching features at the scene of the festival was the predominance of white which re-

flects in everything worn and carried by Ifa worshipers –their ladies tied white wrappers round their chest, some of the men wrapped themselves in white and knotted the ends on their shoulders. Several others had their white fabrics tailored into Agbadas and Dansikis which basically constitute the traditional dressing for Yoruba men. As explained by some of the priests, the white appearance is one of the cardinals guiding them –it symbolises peace. White is equally believed to be the colour preference that delights Olodumare (God). Besides, the worshippers were adorned with different kinds of local hairstyles, which majorly depict their positions in Ifa religion hierarchy. I found particularly amusing the hair-do of male Ifa adherent –a major part of his hair was scrapped off but for a small circular patch of hair at the centre of his head. Another thrilling aspect was the chants, incantations and songs; I can’t forget how a particular song, spiritedly recited by the worshipers, kept resonating in my mind days after the festival. In my own little way of understanding, the song in view is themed around thanksgiving for an accepted sacrifice and I can still recall the line of the chorus which goes: A rubo, ebo gba tan o Ajantere dugbe Arubo ebo gba tan o, Ajantere Dugbe... (2ce) At the festival ground, artefacts, trado-medical prod-

Rivers flaunts

L-R: Mr. Tamuno Williams, Mr. Gogo Levi Charles, Mr. Iboroma Harry, Deacon Vincent Erinwa and Chief John Yowika at the Notting Hill Carnival in London

ADENRELE NIYI

A

rguably the most colourful and largest street festival in Europe, the annual Notting Hill Carnival which originated in 1964 as a platform for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their

culture and tradition, again lit up the streets of London on August 26. It was a headline event that made the city of London agog to the admiration of residents and tourists from across the world. The carnival which is an amazing array of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity fea-

tured exceptional displays from people of diverse cultures and nationalities including numerous tourists from Nigeria. In furtherance of the strategic positioning of the state as a preferred destination for business and leisure, Rivers State was again on parade at this year’s Notting Hill Carni-

val with eminent personalities including top government officials and indigenes of the state adorning the rich costumes of Rivers people. The state cultural ambassadors were at the event under the auspices of the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, RSTDA, the agency responsible for marketing the internationally acclaimed Port Harcourt Carnival, CARNIRIV, brand. On duty to showcase the beauty and vibrancy of Rivers people were the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Nnabuihe Imegwu; Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Gogo Levi Charles; Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mr. Iboroma Harry; Chairman, Okrika Local Government, Barrister Tamuno Williams; Chairman, RSTDA, Deacon Vincent Erinwa; Director – General, Dr. Sam Dede and board members

including Chief John Yowika; Mr. Charles Awortu and Mr. Joseph Ewuse among others. There were also prominent Nollywood stars of the state origin. The Rivers contingent was a cynosure of all eyes as they paraded the streets of London in exquisite costumes and colours that served the world a foretaste of what to experience at tbe Port Harcourt Carnival holding in December. Their costumes attracted the attention and following of a mammoth crowd of Nigerians in the Diaspora, Jamaicans, Brazilians and people of other nationalities. While in London, the contingent was first hosted to a cultural reception at the prestigious African Centre in London. During the reception, they put the best of Rivers culture on display with a spectacular float and rich cultural display. In a welcome address, Executive Director, Zmirage UK, Shabaka Thomp-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Escape

Friday, September 6, 2013

33

Dancing to Ifa chants

The display of enamel bowls

ucts, spiritual aiding items, books on Ifa and others written by the pioneer of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Chief Gani Adams were also displayed by exhibitors. The books, especially, reflect that if proper considerations are given to Ifa, it stands a chance to occupy a saleable culture in the global markets A quest for quick knowledge of how things work in these sphere of life brought me into contact with Iyanifa Olatinwo Omolabake the Guest Speaker at the festival. The young lady from the Department of Linguistics, African and Asian studies, University of Lagos gave me nifty explanations on Ifa divination. According to her, Ifa is under the custody of a Babalawo (diviner) who has undergone a long training, lasting several years. He divines either with 16 palm nuts (ikin) or with a divining chain (opele). The opele is much quicker to use, but considered to be less reliable. “The babalawo makes a single or double mark in a tray of powder. He repeats the process eight times, leaving eight sets of marks in the tray in two columns of four.

FACT FILE •

The progenitor of Ifa legacy is Orunmila, reputed to be one of the wisest legends in human race

Orunmila, is a versatile subject of study because he has affected the spiritual aspect and logic of the Yoruba people

Ifa researchers say the religion, which has sixteen keys, is a scientific medium. It is claimed that the binary system which is the basic computer programming language takes after Ifa.

Among Yoruba deities, Ifa is the only one which shows the way of life and tells of things beyond human knowledge

Each of the marks may be single or double, and there are 256 possible permutations (Odu). The opele is made out of eight seeds or cowries joined together on a chain so that, when the chain is cast on the ground, each can fall face up or face down, corresponding to the single or double marks. Each of the odu, she says, has its own

L-R: Alado of Ado, Oba Lateef Olayinka; Chief Promoter, Olokun Festival Foundation, Chief Gani Adams; and Onimiha of Imia, Oba Adeniyi Egbeyemi, during the 2013 Ifa Festival in Lagos.

interpretation, name, rank and ese (verses) associated with it. At every given occasion, the odu will explain why Ifa was consulted, the advice Ifa gives, the sacrifice prescribed and a general moral. The verses are transmitted orally and the diviner is constantly learning new ones throughout his career”. Cultural values cannot be preserved if we continue to have contempt and

disrespect for them. It is easier to understand the standpoint of the chief host of the festival, Otunba Adams that cultural values cannot be preserved if we continue to have contempt and disrespect for them. He stated that apart from Ifa being one of Yoruba’s foremost traditional religions, it can be of immense importance to the historical rebirth of Nigeria as a country when celebrated by its people.

culture at Notting Hill Carnival

son said, “it is a privileged position for Rivers State to be part of the Notting Hill Carnival again this year, thereby becoming a prominent Nigerian state to make a distinctive cultural intrusion onto the world stage with the Notting Hill Carnival to showcase an authentic African cultural brand called CARNIRIV”. Speaking further on the initiative, the former CEO of Notting Hill Carnival said the move by Rivers State was both timely and strategic ‘‘because CARNIRIV is bringing something unique to the world and also something authentically African and creative’.’ He described himself as “an adopted Port Harcourt boy’’, noting that following his invitation to CARNIRIV in 2010, he was able to reconnect with his roots. He said CARNIRIV is “one place you should be”. Shabaka informed that

CARNIRIV publicity campaign materials for this year were already on buses plying the streets of London saying, “last year, we had a large contingent of tourists who visited Rivers State to attend CARNIRIV and this year, we hope to increase the number considering the wider impact of the publicity campaign being driven in both the traditional media and the social media from here and Nigeria respectively. He further disclosed that, Rivers State was the first Nigerian state to introduce the Afrobeat genre of music to the Notting Hill Carnival musical tradition as opposed to the calypso type of music the carnival had always run on. “This is a significant achievement considering the warm embrace Afrobeat has received as result of this effort therefore drawing more attention to the music’s country of origin and the personality of the late Afro-

beat legend, Fela Anikulapo’’, he stressed. Imeagwu while corroborating Shabaka applauded the decision by his ministry and RSTDA to leverage Notting Hill Carnival for the global marketing of the rich culture of Rivers people as well as reinforcing the strength of the black race. “The essence of being here is to hedge deeper into the platform that has already been established by the Caribbeans and to exemplify what other African States ought to be doing to improve the perception of Africa and African culture. It is also aimed at emphasising the conviviality of our people and our values”, he stated. Imeagwu added that this year’s edition of CARNIRIV would be used to wrap-up the celebration of the centenary anniversary of the city of Port Harcourt. In her goodwill message at

L-R: Nollywood Actor, Bobby Ogoloma; Head of Marketing, RSTDA, Uloma Saya-Braide and Nigerian entertainer, Basorge Tariah at the River State stand.

the event, Sally Sturgeon, Director of the People’s World Carnival, CARNIRIV’s partner troupe at the Notting Hill Carnival said, “We are happy to be partnering with CARNIRIV bringing a carnival of the peo-

ple of Rivers State on the world stage. This for us is a fulfilment of our vision. We are indeed a people’s world carnival group and we are delighted at every opportunity to showcase cultural diversity to the world”.


Denrele’s Day

34

Adenrele Niyi Denrele’s Day is a collection of witty & sincere articles inspired sin by b a zany imagination denrele@nationalmirroronline.net Follow on Twitter@MizNiyi

Friday, September 6, 2013

Music’s new kids on the block

CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK

A

ctually, saying Femi Kuti is the only young Nigerian on the American Academy of Arts previous nominee list is a distortion of fact. The first of our ‘new kids’, Tiwatope Savage, 33, sassily rocketed into the local music industry on the acclaim of her 2011 Afro-pop single Kele Kele; Tiwa, signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, USA and Mavin Records, Nigeria, earned a 2010 Grammy mention for her songwriting work on Fantasia’s Barrino’s Grammy-nominated album Back to Me. The soon-to-be-married singer-songwriter, an alumnus of Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, is putting her international exposure to fantastic use as a Nigeria-based singer collaborating with her colleagues to produce hit tracks. Before returning home in 2010, Tiwa’s overseas work experience included touring with international singers such as Mary J. Blige, Sting, Kelly Clarkson, George Michael and working with music producers likes Babyface. For her most remarkable works so far, Kele Kele and Love Me (x3), she has received several awards and nominations. To put cherry on the sundae, the sultry singer signed a multi million naira deal with Pepsi Co. to become the first female African artiste to do so. Tiwa, who has had a roller-coaster performance year, released her debut album, Ti Wa O Ni Baje to critical acclaim. Fellow Pepsi Co. signee, Ayodeji ‘Wizkid’ Balogun, is undoubtedly a music prodigy. Born July 16, 1989, he kicked off his singing career in Church at the age of 11 under the moniker Lil Prinz− his seven-track introductory album was recorded about this time. Although that work never quite produced commercial hits, it brought Wizkid into contact with mainstream music makers such as OJB Jezreel, himself a reputed producer. It wasn’t until 2010 that the 2011 MOBO Award winner and 2012 BET Best International Act (joint winner with Ghana’s Sakordie) established his name as a top dog in contemporary music with three successive chart topping singles namely: Holla at Your Boy, Tease Me and Don’t Dull. In 2011, the golden boy of contemporary music unveiled his critically hailed sophomore album, Super Star during a much talked about release party held in Lagos. Currently, Wizkid, whose music style is heavily influence by Jamaican Ragga/Dancehall, is signed to Empire Mates Entertainment, E.M.E, headed by music star, Bankole ‘Banky W’ Wellington. Apparently striving for some level of independence, Wizkid launched an artiste management/record label named Starboy Entertainment– amid raging controversies he had walked out on E.M.E. Whatever the outcome of this entrepreneurial gamble, a certainty is that Wizkid and hit tracks are synonymous; his newest single, Jaiye Jaiye, featuring Femi Kuti, has taken over the airwaves. 2012 BET Awards Best International

Tiwa Savage

Act nominee, Panshak ‘Ice Prince’ Zamani is sprinting ahead with the baton passed on to him by two of Afro hiphop’s ‘illest’ lyricists, Jude M.I. Abaga and Jesse Jags Abaga. In 2008, the Minna-born breakthrough artiste had relocated to Lagos, the entertainment capital of Africa, to build on his fledging music career. By 2009, his Chocolate City label mate, M.I. dropped the brilliant single Safe (and shortly afterwards the album Talk About It) like a bomb, setting a music standard for other hip hop heads and just about any other artiste to surpass. If Ice Prince felt like a goldfish in a glass bowl from the intense scrutiny he was subjected to after winning the 2009 Hennessey Artistry competition, he did not give it away. The ‘master of cool’ teamed up with another label mate, Brymo, to record the 2010 monster hit track Oleku which came off his debut album, Everybody Loves Ice Prince. Not only did that single blow up the charts from Lagos to Jos to Calabar to Owerri, Ice Prince came out of the huge shadows of M.I. and Jags into his own as a respected lyricist. Fire of Zamani, his follow-up album is currently under production but two singles taken from it VIP and Gimme Dat featuring Burna Boy, Yung L and Olamide, showcase Ice Prince’s maturing delivery style and fluidity in the RaggaHip Hop genre. Lord of Ajasa may have pioneered indigenous hip hop and late Dagrin popularised it, but Olamide Adedeji came in and rubber stamped indigenous hip hop with his name. Unlike the two forerunners, Olamide is dexterous at switching between fluent English and his mother tongue, Yoruba, while delivering lines. The 24-year-old had his big break performing on the Hip Hop World Awards

Olamide

FOR THOSE WHO HARBOUR SCEPTICISM ABOUT

OLAMIDE’S

PROWESS AS A

LYRICIST,

“ARE YOU A LEARNER?”

(Headies) stage in 2010. By then, his single Eni Duro was little known but the game changed after the talented rapper released, RapSoDi, his debut album, under ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunez label in 2011. Some of the hit tracks include: EniDuro, Omo toh San (featuring Wizkid) and Apa Jabo. First of All, the lead single off his sophomore album, Yahoo Boy No Laptop (YBNL), released last November, is arguably one of the best songs of 2012/2013; on that track, the rapper adeptly samples the Azonto sound which is all the rage now. Olamide reaffirms that he isn’t a one-hit-wonder with his most current hit, Durosoke burning up music charts as fast as a pyrotechnist’s fire on a dynamite string. And for those who harbour scepticism about Olamide’s prowess as a lyricist, my response lies in a slang phrase from his lyrics which has entered our local patios: “Are You a Learner”? I would be labelled a learner if ‘new kid’, Iyanya Mbuk, winner of 2008 MTN Project Fame were omitted from this analysis. Blessed with superb vocal ability and a rubbery waist, the Cross River State native’s multiple hit songs are filling up dance floors in clubs around Africa and that fan frenzy is also matched by his reputation as a ladies’ man. At 26, Iyanya exudes a commanding presence on live stage –a feat peculiarly associat-

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ed with veteran artistes of long performing years or the gifted youth. Clearly, the training on Project Fame stage is paying off, but one can’t discount the fact that Iyanya is a natural entertainer blessed with the versatility to sing across various music genres. In March, the fast rising music star launched his debut album, aptly named Iyanya vs Desire, to wide commercial success. This meteorite’s trajectory from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital to Lagos flamed up music charts on his route and redefined the Lagos entertainment scene in 2012. Indicative of his combustive properties, he goes by the stage name Burna Boy but was born Damini Ogulu on July 2, 1991. Saluted as one of the most creative artistes to emerge in present times, Burna Boy’s family background has been instrumental to him developing an acute ear for making eclectic sounds. He is the grandson of Benson Idonije, foremost Nigerian Arts Editor, former manager to Fela Kuti and may I add, one of my far-off mentors. The Aristokrat Records signee is known for his smooth Patois-influenced Dancehall crooning and most especially for hit singles Like to Party, Wickedest Luv, Firewood, Touch Your Toes and the Davido-assisted Trumpet. The critically acclaimed mixtape: Burn Identity precedes Burna’s debut album L.I.F.E. (Leaving an Impact For Eternity), released in August 2013. Aituaje Iruobe is known in the music industry as Waje (an acronym for Words aren’t just enough) but more so as the faceless vocal powerhouse whose singing on hooks helped P-Square’s Omoge Mi and the 2008 track Do Me become the smash hits they are till date. Active in the industry for the past six years without due recompense, Waje made a decision to pursue an independent music career and with a voice range hitting three octaves, she stood a great chance of unseating leading female singers. In the past two years, her artiste profile and biodata has grown considerably; awards, singles et al. The new Globacom Ambassador released her debut album .W.A.J.E on May 1, 2013. Other names making an impact as ‘new kids’ but no less worthy than their contemporaries include: beat makers ‘Sarz’ (Osaretin Osabuohien) the brain behind 2013 monster hit Samba: Beat of Life (featuring Wizkid); Star Boy signee, the UK-based Maleek Berry produced his commercially successful debut track The Matter (also featuring Wizkid) and Samuel Oguachuba aka Samklef of Noni Records who has created hit tracks for Wizkid, Sunny Neji, Ruggedman, Durella, Skales, D’Prince (Mo’ Hits), Simisola, Emmsong and Vector. CONCLUDED. (This list in itself is not exhaustive. No artiste has been deliberately overlooked by the writer to suggest their work is of no consequence or impact in the categorisation. This is not a conclusive write-up, but an abridged version to be expanded in subsequent publications). This write-up has also been published in the 2013 edition of The Nigerian Music Machine Magazine, a publication of Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

People In The Mirror

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chidinma, K Switch rock Hennessy Artistry club tour Lagos witnessed one of the biggest parties last Saturday as talented singers, Chidinma and K Switch shut down Club DV8, Victoria Island, for another edition of the Hennessy Artistry club tour. The event saw guests taking exciting photos on the band-set designed black carpet before mingling and partying up a storm. Hosted by Jimmy of The Beat 99.9 FM, guests were treated to pulsating performances by Chidinma and K Switch. DJ Neptune was also on ground to thrill guests with an amazing blend of Nigerian music.

Chidinma (on the microphone) joined by other guests on the black carpet.

Some guest ‘performers’ on the black carpet

K Switch performing

Chidinma on stage

Chidinma and JImmy

Osi Suave (l) and DJ Neptune

2013 Channel O Africa Music Awards unveils nominees

...Nigeria receives 20 nominations Nominations for the 10th annual Channel O Africa Music Awards were announced on Tuesday, September 3, during a lunch event held at Villa Medici, Victoria Island, Lagos. Nominated artistes were drawn from East, West and Southern Africa with Nigeria pooling a total of 21 nominations across relevant categories. Attendees at the announcement anchored by Channel O presenter, Denrele Edun, included continental music stars, media executives/personalities, as well as film actors.

L-R Singer, Mo’Cheddah and DJ Exclusive unveil more nominees

Big Brother Africa The Chase finalists, Melvin Oduah and Beverly Osu revealing nominees

Nollywood stars Chika Ike (L) and Rukky Sanda Singer Orezi performing at the lunch event

Cross section of guests at the event

Kenyan singer, Victoria Kimani (l) and DJ Cassie announcing a set of nominees

Head, Channel O Africa, Leslie Kasumba addressing guests

Denrele Edun

35


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

People In The Mirror

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chidinma, K Switch rock Hennessy Artistry club tour Lagos witnessed one of the biggest parties last Saturday as talented singers, Chidinma and K Switch shut down Club DV8, Victoria Island, for another edition of the Hennessy Artistry club tour. The event saw guests taking exciting photos on the band-set designed black carpet before mingling and partying up a storm. Hosted by Jimmy of The Beat 99.9 FM, guests were treated to pulsating performances by Chidinma and K Switch. DJ Neptune was also on ground to thrill guests with an amazing blend of Nigerian music.

Chidinma (on the microphone) joined by other guests on the black carpet.

Some guest ‘performers’ on the black carpet

K Switch performing

Chidinma on stage

Chidinma and JImmy

Osi Suave (l) and DJ Neptune

2013 Channel O Africa Music Awards unveils nominees

...Nigeria receives 20 nominations Nominations for the 10th annual Channel O Africa Music Awards were announced on Tuesday, September 3, during a lunch event held at Villa Medici, Victoria Island, Lagos. Nominated artistes were drawn from East, West and Southern Africa with Nigeria pooling a total of 21 nominations across relevant categories. Attendees at the announcement anchored by Channel O presenter, Denrele Edun, included continental music stars, media executives/personalities, as well as film actors.

L-R Singer, Mo’Cheddah and DJ Exclusive unveil more nominees

Big Brother Africa The Chase finalists, Melvin Oduah and Beverly Osu revealing nominees

Nollywood stars Chika Ike (L) and Rukky Sanda Singer Orezi performing at the lunch event

Cross section of guests at the event

Kenyan singer, Victoria Kimani (l) and DJ Caise announcing a set of nominees

Head, Channel O Africa, Leslie Kasumba addressing guests

Denrele Edun

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Friday September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

Volkswagen entices Nigerian car lovers with three new variants OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he introduction of Volkswagen’s New Polo, Jetta and CC models will further raise the appetite of Nigerian car lovers as the latest models are arguably the best in their class. The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta is the sixth generation of the brand since the introduction of the brand name by the auto company; it is a combination of hi-technology and rigidity. The design was created in Mexico while the Germany supervised the full production including the parts. The latest brand of Jetta has daytime running lights, offer optimum illumination giving the driver better visibility in poor weather and ensuring your vehicle can be seen more clearly during the day and adding a stylish detail to the exterior. The electric slide glass sunroof provides an extra dimension of light and space, filling the interior with natural light. Easily operated at the touch of a button and

the tilted position enables you to enjoy light and fresh air whatever the weather conditions, while the tinted glass offers protection against strong sunlight, ensuring a pleasant interior temperature Unveiling the car at a media conference last week, the Head, Sales and Marketing, The Volkswagen Centre, Lagos, Mr. Manish Daryanani, said Jetta is the saloon version of the Golf or a manageable alternative to the larger dimensions of the Passat, but built using the same platform as the previous generation Golf and same high standards as the rest of the VW range. Daryanani said that customers will delight in VW Jetta’s generous 3-year/36,000-mile no-charge scheduled maintenance programme. From whichever angle one looks at it, the Jetta, without doubt, looks more like a Passat but underneath, it is pure Golf which means tried and tested components and parts. He said, “As with the rest of the VW range, the Jetta is well constructed from high-quality materials, but we will offer only one engine variant –the 85kw, w, 105bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine ngine with automatic transmission. ransmission.

This variant has excellent grip, feels secure and has responsive handling with nice and sharp steering”. He said the heat insulating tinted glass from the B pillar backwards reduces sunlight by up to 65 per cent, helping to ensure a pleasant temperature in the passenger compartment and also providing additional privacy. While the front centre armrest with spacious storage compartment allows you to keep your essentials close to hand and within easy reach and the cover keeps items out of sight of prying eyes. Undoubtedly, the Jetta has one of the most spacious cabins and largest trunks in the class. With four engine and four transmission choices, the 2013 Jetta has one of the most diverse powertrain lineups in the class. It ranges from the base S trim, which has a 115-horsepower, fourcylinder engine and a standard five-speed manual transmission, to the GLI model, which has a 200-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a standard sixspeed manual transmission or optional dual-clutch automatic transmission. With the base engine, the Jetta has an EPA-estimated 24/32 mpg, which is low for the class. However, thereis also a turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that yields an impressive 30/42 mpg city/


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

Friday September 6, 2013

JETTA, WITHOUT DOUBT, LOOKS MORE LIKE A PASSAT BUT UNDERNEATH, IT IS PURE GOLF THE

highway. One of the best things about the Jetta’s cabin is its size. Both the front and rear seats have plenty of headand legroom for adults, making the Jetta one of the most spacious models in the class. The Volkswagen Polo is manufactured in India and is currently in its 5th generation with bigger dimensions than the previous MK2 or MK3 cars. Daryanani informed that while it is no longer a mini hatchback as it used to, but a sedan version, the Polo now has a much more versatile interior with excellent fuel economy. Polo is a unique blend of style, economy and practicality that lifts above many other super minis on the market, thanks to its classy interior and excellent build quality, which makes it feels more like a bigger car with a very comfortable to drive. He said, “The Polo is offered in 1.6litre automatic transmission (A/T) with 77kw and 105bhp with all safety and security options including dual airbags, Bluetooth, USB, Aux-in with CD layer, multifunctional steering and other features”. The first generation of Volkswagen Compact Cool (CC) vehicle was introduced in January 2008. The current one is a development over Passat. With updated styling and seating for five, auto critics like the changes Volkswagen

made to the CC for 2013. Auto stakeholders are happy with the base turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the 2013 CC, saying it is strong enough to possibly dissuade some buyers from the pricey V6 option. They really rave about VW’s DSG automated manual transmission, noting quick, smooth shifts. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are also available. All-wheel drive is only found on the top VR6 4Motion Executive trim, and all other trims are front-wheel drive. The base CC with the automated manual earns an EPA-estimated 22/31 mpg city/ highway, which is average for the class. A lot of auto critics like the sporty, comfortable handling of the CC, but one thinks its ride is too firm. Many automotive reviewers note that the steering is quick to respond and the brakes are strong. The CC is a good place to spend time because of its high-end materials, solid build quality, intuitive control layout and leatherette seat material, which is better than some of the ones found in its competitors. Like the Mercedes-Benz CLS that sparked this emerging segment, the CC now seats five, providing easier access to the rear seats than a normal coupe. Volkswagen has in addition updated the CC with more standard equipment with revised exterior styling, the VW helmsman noted. Daryanani said the CC though shares basic features with outgoing version of the Passat sedan, the latest version is enlarged, de-contented with dreadful luxury to appeal to young and upwardly mobile executives.

MAINTENANCE TIPS

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Ford records 8% boost in Nigeria OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ne of the fastest growing automobiles in Nigeria, Ford is recording massive sales boost in the country with an increase of eight per cent in the second quarter of the year while its global sales increases by 44 per cent. The Senior Manager, Sub-Saharan African, Ford, Mr. Eugene Prinsloo, disclosed this recently in an interaction with auto journalists in Lagos. Mr. Prinsloo added that sales in Nigeria grew more than 40 per cent from 2010 to 2011 and eight per cent from 2011 to 2012 despite overall challenges in the Nigerian auto industry. According to him, Ford has recorded continued growth in its sales performance with a 33 per cent increase in sales, informing that sales are up by 44 per cent through July compared to the same month in the previous year. Prinsloo explained that total sales through July were 2,156 units compared to 1,617 units sold during the same time period of 2012 globally and stressed that growth in sales was led by the high demand for the Ford Ranger, Explorer, Focus, Fusion and Edge.

He noted that these vehicle sales account for 78 per cent of overall sales and said the auto company’s growth and stability in sales could be attributed to its strong dealers’ network. He added, “In 2012, Ford launched its extended warranty programme tagged the ‘Extended Service Programme, ESP. The first programme of its kind, the ESP is offering customers free aftersales service of up to four-years or 120,000km, whichever comes first through both of Ford’s dealers. Currently, Ford operates 30 outlets, including showrooms and service centres throughout Nigeria through its dealers, Briscoe-Ford Motors and Coscharis Motors. “Also in 2012, the Ford Motor Company’s Conservation and Environmental Grants Programme was introduced in Nigeria. The programme was created to empower individuals and non-profit groups donating their time and effort to preserve the environmental well-being of their communities. By providing necessary funding and visibility, we hope to encourage the multiplication of similar grassroots efforts that will serve as catalyst for change across the globe and here in Nigeria.

How to keep your car running longer

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ost Nigerians today are complaining of bad economy and are looking for a way to cut spending while also improving on their way of life. At this stage, car users are devicing means of maintaining their cars with fewer resources. This edition will give tip how to keep a car running longer despite the bad economy. In a bid to keep a car running longer, a user should keep all the fluids and oils clean and topped up. All the fluids are vital for your car and over time they evaporate, leak and lose their qualities, so change as needed and top up when the level is low. Also, pay attention to your car’s instrument panel. Any warning light like “Check Engine”, “Low oil pressure” or “Brake warning light” comes on while driving? Have it looked at as soon as you can. Notice the engine temperature rises higher than normal? Have the problem diagnosed before the engine overheats. Watch for early signs of potential problems. Leaks, irregular noises, difference in the engine performance, occasional sputtering, grease splattered on the wheels, different feel of the brake pedal –these are the types of early signs that indicate a problem that needs to be taken

Sunny Motors opens new showroom

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care of. Deal with the problems as they appear, before they get worse. Find a good trusted and knowledgeable mechanic to take care of your car. At least once in six months, the car should be looked over by your mechanic. There are plenty of things underneath the car that only can be checked when the car is lifted up on the hoist. Use only known good quality or original parts for your car. These parts might be expensive, but they usually last longer on the long run; usage of poor parts lead to more problems and more repairs. Drivers should endeavour to

drive smoothly always. The fullthrottle acceleration will cause many parts of your car to wear faster, the same with the hard braking. If your daily commute involves only short trips, take your car on a highway once in a while. Driving only short trips without letting the car to warm up fully is hard on your engine. If it is a new car have it broken in properly so it will last longer. Regularly lubricate door hinges and locks, as well as the hood, trunk lid or tailgate hinges and locks. Without lubrication the hinges will corrode and wear out fast. If you have a minivan, clean and lubricate the sliding door rails as well.

he authorised general distributor of MercedesBenz products in Nigeria, Weststar Associates Ltd., has expressed joy over the Lagos showroom newly opened by one of its popular dealers, Sunny Motors. Lovers of the Mercedes-Benz brand who reside in Lekki and Ajah now have the convenience of another showroom run by Sunny Motors in the axis. Since the opening of the Lekki Showroom, customers, potential customers, and curious visitors have trooped in to check out the beautiful array of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. In a media statement, spokesperson for the company, Mrs. Funmi Lawuyi, stated that the new E-Class, which is still thrilling the world with its arrival, is certainly a star attraction and sales and business are already in full swing at the new outlet. Lawuyi in the statement said that the Managing Director, Sunny

Motors Ltd, Mr. Sunny Asemota, described this as another achievement for the dealership which has its head office located in Surulere. He recalled that the auto company had first begun with Daimler in Stuttgart, Germany before finally aligning with Weststar in Nigeria, adding “Mercedes-Benz is undeniably a good choice of investment as it is one of the best brands of cars worldwide. You only need to take a look at the new E-Class. It has won the hearts of customers all over the world. The Mercedes-Benz prices are reasonable and even with the after-sales, you get premium service. I have no regrets for choosing the Mercedes-Benz path”. Explaining his decision to open another showroom, he said, “There was need to further expand the business and get the MercedesBenz cars closer to the customers and potential customers all around Lagos. There is a market for it in the Lekki-Ajah area”.


Cocktail

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x

Friday, September 6, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (202) “Owning to the vibratory power of words, whatever man voices, he begins to attract.” –Florence Scovel Shinn SPEAK YOUR FUTURE INTO REALITY! Words are powerful both for good and evil. Words are magnetic having the power to draw things and experiences to you. The wise speaks only what he wants to experience while the foolish speaks anyhow. Sounds always precede miracles. Someone I respect so much says faith is speaking it until you get it. Our confession and possession are linked. What do you want to see in your life? Keep speaking it no matter what you see and how you feel. Many times what we feel like doing is to murmur and complain, but we have to do all we can to transcend this low attitude and move up to the lane of positive vibrations. Condition may be discouraging and circumstances may be harsh and negative, if we bluntly refuse to cooperate with them with our mouth, we will create change and progress. Life may be unfair to us, but we can be fair to ourselves by continually declaring what we want our destinies to look like. We can shout failure down. We can affirm possibilities. We can bring our future into realities with our relentless commitment to positive confession. You may say you have nothing. You may say you are down and out. But as long as you possess a speaking voice, there is a ton of hope! DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Man builds Iron Man costume from balloons

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alloonist Jeff Wright created an Iron Man suit using 500 balloons to commemorate the early digital release of “Iron Man 3” on Blinkbox. Wright, who works as a volunteer in an orphanage in Bolivia, became a viral sensation after creating life-size Buzz Lightyear and a Ninja Turtle costumes from balloons. “I was trying to decide what costume to do next when I got an email from Blinkbox,” he said. “I’m a huge fan of the Iron Man films and couldn’t resist the challenge. After some careful planning, I was ready and asked a friend to film the whole process right here in Bolivia.”

40,000 bees removed from Texas church

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Texas bee removal business said it relocated about 40,000 of the insects that had taken up residence in a Catholic church. Gillian Hodler of Central Texas Bee Rescue in Austin said team members

removed the hive and its residents from the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in San Antonio after church workers spotted the hive about 30 to 40 feet up at the facility, WOAI-TV, San Antonio, reported Wednesday. Hodler said the bees were

taken to a remote location. “Take it out into the country in a place called an aviary where we can set them up in a hive box, just a regular white, you know, bee box and they can live out there in peace,” Hodler said.

Balloon Iron Man suit.

PHOTO: BLINKBOXLIVE


Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance Every operator must get approval from NCC and other relevant government agencies, to dig up roads in order to lay fibre cables for its broadband connectivity.

We are working with all the governors on the fertiliser sector reforms. We said the old fertiliser business was just a racket.

Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, CEO, Eugene Juwah

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, DR. AKINWUMI ADESINA

UDEME AKPAN

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has warned investors interested in three shallow water oil blocks offered for sale by Chevron that buyers may lose the right to operate them. Chevron is selling minority stakes in joint ventures that operate five oil blocks. The majority owner is the NNPC. Nigeria wants more direct ownership of its oil and gas through NNPC or local firms, leading several oil majors including Chevron to dispose of assets in Africa’s top oil and gas producer. Bloomberg that confirmed the development quoted NNPC as stating in a publication that there had been a “recent high level of interest shown by various investors in the ongoing divestment programme for OMLs 52, 53 and 55 by Chevron Nigeria”. It reminded those considering investing that, although Chevron currently operates the blocks, the state oil firm has the right to take over

NNPC cautions investors on Chevron oil blocks sale the operatorship as majority shareholder. Chevron owns 40 per cent of the blocks and NNPC 60 per cent. “Chevron shall cease to be the operator upon assignment of their participating interest,” it said. “Therefore prospective buyers should note that automatic operatorship does not come with the acquisition of any of these blocks.” Not having operatorship poses significant

risks for would be investors in the fields, not least that the NNPC’s development subsidiary, NPDC, lacks the finance and expertise. It has usually had to call in a thirdparty operator anyway. The notice seemed calculated to avoid messy tussles that ensued when Shell sold some oil blocks two years ago. In that case, the buyers, including Poland’s Kulczk Oil Ventures, UK-based Heritage Oil

and independent energy firm Eland Oil, thought they had also purchased Shell’s operatorship. But NNPC, as majority owner, handed management of the fields to its subsidiary, saying it wanted to increase the amount of oil it produces and not give away rights to other companies. Chevron’s share of a total of five blocks it is selling amounts to reserves of 200 million to 250 million barrels of

crude and condensate, two oil industry sources have said. At least some of the blocks are already producing. Analysts say that when NNPC contracts out the operating of blocks, such a move is a potential avenue for corruption. In May, for example, lawmakers probed contracts in which the NPDC gave two local firms with no previous operating experience lucrative

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he closure of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, SAHCOL, and the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company, NAHCo, Plc by the Nigeria Customs Service,

ADVERT HOTLINES: For advert bookings and information, please contact the following:

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

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

L-R: Mr. Jess Castellote of Pan Atlantic University; Managing Director, Heritage Banking Company Limited, Mr. Ifie Sekibo; Vice Chancellor, Pan- Atlantic University, Prof. Juan Elegido and Executive Director, Enterprise/Institutional Banking, Heritage Bank, Robert Mbonu, during a courtesy visit by officials of the University to Heritage Banking Company Limited Head Office, in Lagos, recently.

NAHCo, SAHCOL closure: Companies, agents, Customs lose millions of naira OLUSEGUN KOIKI

deals to operate blocks that it lacked the capacity to run, with no competitive bidding. Uncertainty surrounding the investment climate and rampant oil theft have shrunk Nigeria’s production to below 2 million barrels per day.

NCS, entered day two yesterday with millions of naira lost by both parties. National Mirror however observed that the export cargo warehouses of the two ground handling companies were opened while the import warehouses remain shut by the service. However, clearing agents and freight forwarders at the Murtala Mohammed International

Airport, MMIA, Lagos decried loss of revenue running into several millions of naira and called for accelerated resolutions of the dispute between the two parties for them to return to business. The customs agents lamented that the continued closure of the warehouses may have ripple effects on the facilitation of goods flown into the country, as dozens of

Gas flaring reduced to 20%, says AlisonMadueke

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importers besieged the cargo wing to ascertain when the warehouses would be open. Commercial activities around the cargo terminal remain at its low ebb as on account of the warehouses closure. Speaking to journalists at the Lagos Airport, Chairman Airport Chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA,

Mr. Aloy Igwe, said the closure of the two warehouses by Customs ought not to affect agents, if the companies did what they were supposed to do. He said Customs queried the ground handling and cargo companies to account for some goods in their warehouses, but the companies failed to respond in good time, a development that occasioned the closure.

Onitsha River Port still under lock and key one year after

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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, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gas flaring reduced to 20%, says Alison-Madueke CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke said gas flare has been reduced to 20 per cent over the past two years. Alison-Madueke who spoke at a plenary session of the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit titled, “Building a World Class Petrochemical and Fertilizer Industry in Nigeria”, also noted that the series of gas projects including the oncoming petrochemical and fertilizer plants would take up a bulk of the gas currently flared thereby reducing gas flare and the harm it does to the environment. According a statement, by Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Tumini Green, the Minister as-

L-R: Product Manager, Savings Account, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. David Otukpe; Chairman Zone A, Aluminum Village, Dopemu, Mr. Yinusa Muritala; Head Regulation and Monitoring (NLRC), National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos Zonal Office, Mr. Jude Ogaga Ughwujabo, and an official of KPMG, Mr. Bright Anaekwe, at the Diamond Bank SavingsXtra Draw in Aluminum Village, Dopemu, Lagos recently.

sured that the Gas Revolution Agenda aimed at using the nation’s abundant gas resources to galvanize all-round economic

Low cost carrier to commence operations in Nigeria by July 2014 OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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lans are underway by consortium of foreign investors in collaboration with Nigerian business persons to start low cost carrier in Nigeria by July, 2014. Making this revelation yesterday in Lagos, was the pioneer Managing Director, Arik Air, Mr. Alex Van Elk during an interaction with aviation journalists. Van Elk said that he was already mobilising French investors for that purpose and assured that on commencement, the low cost carrier would be profitable. Van Elk noted that the new carrier would be a success in the country as it would be devoid of the mistakes associated with most Nigerian airlines, which usually lead to their early exit. The Dutch born aviation pro-

fessional however declined to disclose the name of the impending carrier, but insisted that the new carrier would become operational in the next 10 months in the country. He explained that the management of the new airline had already made contacts with the Nigerian authorities, adding that the team had received encouraging responses from the Nigerian Government so far. He said, “We have made contacts with Nigerian authorities and they are quite pleased with our plans and assured us of government support”. He itemised mistakes of past low cost carriers in the country to include poor revenue accounting, acquisition of aging aircraft, lack of good reservation systems and heavy cost of overheads as well as ambitious route networks without enough researches.

growth is making steady progress towards achieving its objective. She disclosed that the need to get the gas sector to drive growth Van Elk emphasised that the emerging low cost carrier would not venture into unprofitable routes and would be run professionally with the right calibre of personnel. He also disclosed that the airline was already making wide consultations with mega carriers in Europe, Asia and Africa for interlining arrangements, stressing that the responses had been very encouraging. He further added that the promoters, which were comprised of both Nigerian and French investors, had already made contacts with Airbus aircraft manufacturer, a French company for lease of brand new A319 jets for the take off of the new airline. He assured that the fare would be very affordable, but noted that there would be no in-flight refreshment. He said, “We will only serve water on board for an hour flight, but for those who will want to have something extra they will have to buy.”

FG to partner OPS on commodity exchange operations –Aganga OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

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he Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has expressed the readiness of the Federal Government to engage the private sector in the operations of the Commodity and Exchange to achieve expected result Aganga announced this at the ongoing 19th Nigeria Economic summit. The theme of the year’s summit is entitled, “Growing agriculture as a business to Diversify Nigeria’s Economy’’. He said, ‘Our vision and that where we want to go, we want nothing but the best in this country, the idea is to have a Nigerian

commodity exchange that is private sector owned and run. `` Not government owned and run, other countries have done it. But ours if we need to achieve what we want to do, it needs to private sector owned and run. New systems and procedures, storage infrastructure and new legal frame work. Our vision is to have a world class commodities exchange.” According to him the commodity exchange which is presently self-regulatory need to be properly regulated. The minister further noted the need urgent need to amend the law establishing the exchange to achieve certain objectives. He added that there was also

the need to have Ware house Recess Regulatory Agency. ``In terms of the bill, it has been done already and it is in the presidency and should be going to the national assembly very soon. ``In terms of ware house infrastructure, the idea is to have about 18 delivery warehouses, a national standards grading system for commodities and market days assistance to provide intenders. ``In terms of electronic trading system, the idea is to have tradable commodities in terms of cotton, cocoa, sorgon, sesame and cashew,’’ he said. He expressed hope that when the exchange would be running effectively, higher farmers would have higher share of the final produce price.

in all sectors of the economy especially the agricultural sector, necessitated the excision of some key areas of the Gas Master Plan from the PIB for accelerated implementation under the Gas Revolution Agenda. She added that the programme has begun to yield dividends with plans for the establishment of a number of new fertilizer plants at advanced stage. The Minister listed some of the proposed fertilizer plants to include the Dangote Petrochemical and Fertilizer Plant to be built at Olokola, Indorama Fertilizer Plant at Eleme, Brass Fertilizer Company at Brass, Nagarjuna Fertilizer Plant at Ogidigben, and another plant by the Internation-

al Fertilizer Association. She explained that with most of the fertilizer plants billed to come on stream by 2017, Nigeria is being positioned to control 10% of global fertilizer market by 2017. Speaking further on the gas policy framework, Alison-Madueke explained that the thrust of the two-pronged policy of gas-topower and gas-to-industries is to drive linkages between the power and industrial sectors with the agricultural sector serving as a linchpin in the industrial sector on account of its enormous job creation potential and multiplier effect in the economy. She assured that gas supply challenges are being tackled through the introduction of fair pricing that is comparable with what obtains in major gas producing countries like Egypt and Trinidad & Tobago as well as massive construction of gas infrastructure such as gas pipelines and gas processing plants. Confirming the development of new fertilizer plants, the Managing Director of Gas Aggregator Company of Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Allen, stated that apart from Notore which is already into fertilizer production, six new companies have approached the Gas Aggregator Company to firm up gas supply arrangements for their fertilizer plants and that talks are at an advanced stage with the companies.

Ogun assures of financial transparency

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gun State Government has reiterated its commitment towards operating financial transparency and accountability while discharging its financial obligations. Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun stated this yesterday while speaking at the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) workshop held in Abeokuta. Adeosun said since the inception of the Ibikunle Amosun administration, efforts have been geared towards enhancing financial transparency which have led to impressive infrastructural development going on across the st ate. She said the roll-out of IPSAS was a step towards enhancing financial transparency and accountability, adding that If the IPSAS system had been in place, much of the controversy about the inherited debts would have been eliminated while many of the unrecorded obligations inherited in 2011 would have come to light. She debunked rumours of obtaining hidden loans, attrib-

uting the unprecedented infrastructural stride to improved accounting systems and prudent financial management. Adeosun said those peddling the rumours were confused by the impressive infrastructural development going on across the state, saying that the feat is as a result of prudent financial management for obtaining value for money in expenditure. The commissioner explained that with the introduction of IPSAS, the present administration can provide accounts at the touch of a button on a monthly basis, compared to the era when for five years, no accounts could be provided. Earlier, the Accountant General of the State, Mr. Seye Senfuye in his welcome address, said there has been a need for increased uniformity in the standards guiding financial statements in such that the statements remain comprehensive and convene the same information to users across the world. He advised the participants to be IPSAS cash compliant in order to ensure uniformity in public sector accounting reporting in Nigeria.


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Business News

Friday, September 6, 2013

FG approves privatisation of BOA, releases N15bn for credit to farmers TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday confirmed that approval had been given to the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to privatise the BOA to allow in private sector investors to participate in order to make cheaper access to credit more readily available to farmers. This is even as it also released a N15 billion grant to the Bank for on-lending at singledigit rate to farmers for the 2013 farming season. Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, who revealed at the closing ceremony of the 3-Day 19th National Economic Summit, said these policy measures was informed by need to make the bank more responsive to the challenges of lack of access to cheap funds by farmers and also remove other bottlenecks in the

agriculture sector in order to allow for growth and development of the economy. Sambo noted that though this was a short term measure, the government was also making plans come to put in place mechanisms that would facilitate long term access to credit for the farmers. “Government is also mindful of the problem of access to financing and the current high interest rate faced by our farmers. In this regard, Mr President approved a grant of N15 billion to the BOA to be provided to farmers for the 2013 farming season at single-digit low interest rate for this year. This is a short term intervention though. I know the chairman has clearly indicated and recommended that we must have a long term, continuous process. “In this regard, the National Council on Privatisation has been granted approval by Mr

President to privatise the BOA. This is in order to unbundle it and make it possible to provide cheaper funds for agriculture and allow other investors to participate in our agricultural bank,” Sambo said. According to him, government was strongly committed to unlocking the economic potentials of agriculture sector to assure food security, generate wealth and create jobs, adding that “we must diversify from oil and the agricultural sector is where Nigeria has strong comparative advantage. The face of agriculture has changed in this country and it is refreshing to note that agriculture is no longer development programme but a business, ” As a means of encouraging investors to take up agriculture, the Vice President said government will ensure that land security was assured for investors in the agricultural sector.

L-R: Ag. Vice Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Professor Adeniyi Gbadegesin; Acting Registrar, Revd. Jacob Agboola and Regional Bank Head, UBA Plc, Mrs. Abimbola Adenike during a courtesy call by representatives of UBA to the Vice Chancellor’s office in Ogbomoso, yesterday.

NES: AfDB boss tells Africa to capture internal market UDO ONYEKA

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frican Development Bank,AfDB, President Donald Kaberuka has urged the Federal Government to help boost regional trade through its Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Kaberuka who said this in Abuja yesterday at the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit said, “Sometimes, we think that the global market is somewhere else; but it is next door – in Benin, Togo, Cameroon, and across all African countries. “Within Africa, we have the solution to our problems. Nigeria

alone has 20 per cent of the population in Africa. By the year 2050, Africa will represent 20 per cent of the population of the world. The markets are here. By 2050, there will be two billion persons on the continent, more than China, more than India. And we would want them to be consumers of our products”, he said. Kaberuka noted that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with the help of the African Development Bank, is working to address the non-tariff restriction in order to facilitate regional trade., adding that in terms of infrastructure, the Bank is working to ensure the completion of the Nigeria-

Cameroon Highway, which would boost trade between the two countries. He said, “With the rate at which most African economies are growing, at six per cent GDP, my conviction is that we shall not be able to sustain this growth until we solve the issue of infrastructure. And so the bank is channeling 60 per cent of its funds to financing infrastructure projects, including cross-border infrastructure.” The AfDB President also mentioned that the bank is currently supporting the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build agricultural infrastructure that would cut across all regions of the country. He urged all stakeholders to work together, to ensure that Africa captures its own market.

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PFAs to PFAs transfer window to open soon, says PenCom MESHACK IDEHEN

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he National Pension Commission, PenCom, said it has mandated all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to ensure that all retirement saving accounts, RSA, clients’ profiles are compliant with Automated Finger Identification System, AFIS, Standards. The commission said the development is in readiness for the commencement of the transfer window, which enables RSA holders to move their accounts from one PFA to another as they desire. A statement by the commission yesterday said the biometrics capturing project is also aimed at ensuring the integrity of data by eliminating multiple registrations, which has been a serious challenge to the pension industry, and which needed to be addressed forthwith. It would be recalled that Pen-

Com had recently carried out a verification exercise on the RSA clients’ national databank which revealed that over 80 per cent of the biometric data captured in the past were not AFIS-compliant. PenCom explained that in order to achieve the expected 100 per cent AFIS-compliant level, it became obvious that the biometrics and bio-data of all existing RSA clients have to be re-captured, based on PenCom-approved standards and specifications, adding all new RSA client registration must now include mandatory AFIS-compliant biometrics and bio-data capturing. The commissioned said it was also observed that many of the RSA clients’ profiles on PFA databases were out-dated, thereby making it extremely difficult for the PFAs to seamlessly treat transactions on such RSAs or communicate with such RSA clients.

FIRS urges tribunal to join NCS in N3.5m tax dispute

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he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Thursday urged the Tax Appeal Tribunal to join the Nigerian Customs Service (NSC) as defendants in the N3.5 million tax dispute with Orchid Nigeria Ltd. Orchid, an Abuja-based company, had sued the NCS and the FIRS at the tribunal sitting in Abuja over non-refund of N3.5 million Value Added Tax (VAT). It alleged that the NCS and FIRS erroneously charged VAT on the Advance Simulator Systems imported for the training of students at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom. Counsel to Orchid, Mr Obi Nwakor, said that under the first schedule of the VAT Law of 2007 (as amended), books

and educational materials were exempted from VAT. The FIRS, in a motion filed by its counsel, Mr Bright Igbinosa, sought the court’s order for the NCS board to be joined as a party in the suit. Igbinosa said that ``the interest of the case would not be reached, if NCS Board is not joined as a party in this appeal”. The counsel further stated that ``the interest of the respondent will be hugely prejudiced if NCS board, being the body that issued the disputed assessment, is not made a party in this case”. He noted that ``the NCS was initially in the matter before its name was struck out on procedural ground; and that NSC board had also filed its defence in the matter”.

Unity Bank to reward customers in savings promo TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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nity Bank has concluded plans to hold draws to select the first group of winners in the second edition of its 3-in-1 Savings Advantage Savings Promo. The first of the five draws will hold in Bauchi this weekend. All the draws will be held in a period of about two weeks, starting from tomorrow, September 7 to September 21, this year. A total of 61,383 savers under the Promo have qualified for the five draws across the country. The draws are scheduled to hold in five cities across the country, namely Port Harcourt, Minna, Katsina, Akure and Bauchi covering the five zones adopted by the bank to bring the

Promo and reward to its customers in their primary localities or places of business activities. According to the Bank’s Divisional Head for Retail Banking, Usman Abaji, prizes to be won are Sound Proof Generating Set, 32 inches LED Samsung Television, Thermocool Deep Freezer, Gas Cooker, and Refrigerator. Other prizes are Blackberry phones, and Thermocool bed-side fridge and Power Generating Set. The bank said the draws cover only savers in the category of N10,000 and N100,000 minimum threshold and for 45 days only while subsequent draws will cater for other category of savers which will be rewarded with scholarship, business empowerment tools and the grand star prize of Kia Rio saloon cars.


42

Maritime

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

One year after N5bn upgrade: Onitsha River Port still closed More than one year after the Federal Government rehabilitated and commissioned the Onitsha River Port at the cost of N4.7 billion, the port is still under lock and key, an indication that government did not do its homework on the viability of the project before plunging public funds into such seeming white elephant project. FRANCIS EZEM reports.

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hen the Federal Government embarked on the rehabilitation of the Onitsha River Port, which was abandoned since 1983, most stakeholders could not hide their excitement. This is in view of the expected economic benefits to be derived from the project. For instance, the port is expected to serve traders from the South East, Middle Belt and the Niger Delta and by so doing reduce the pressure on the seaports in Lagos, which are usually congested. Additionally, importers from the Eastern zone would no longer need to go to Lagos, Port Harcourt or Calabar to clear their goods as such goods can be moved by barges and cleared at the River port. This will also reduce the pressure on the roads, with the attendant reduction in cost of maintenance and most importantly the carnage on the roads caused by these heavy duty trucks used in conveying containers and other imported goods from the seaport locations to their final destinations. Similarly, the strategic location of Onitsha as a major centre of commerce within the West-African sub-region makes the river port a multi-model network of complementary accesses for cheap, efficient and seamless movement of people, goods and services around the country. Regrettably, nearly one year after it was commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan with fun fair, the port complex has remained securely under lock and key with the infrastructure wasting. The direct implication of this is that Nigerians are being denied the opportunity of deriving the benefits of this project on which staggering sum of N4.7 billion was spent. This is also an indication that the objectives of the project has been defeated because it does not serve the purpose for which it was built. Meanwhile, stakeholders have not hidden their reservations over the failure of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) the agency in charge of the port and the Federal Ministry of Transport the supervising ministry to put some measures in place that would guarantee the workability of the port even before it was commissioned. President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Chief Eugene Nweke, who spoke in an interview, said shippers (importers and exporters, who are potential users of the facility have demonstrated the zeal to begin to take advantages offered by the port complex. According to him, the shippers have been curious as to the modus operandi of the port, especially in terms of provision of barge services for the movement of the consignments, issues of security as well the terms and conditions for the movement of cargo from Apapa Port for instance to the river port. This concern might not be unconnected with the fact that the movement of some goods abandoned at Apapa Port to Ikorodu Lighter Terminal by the Presidential Committee on Port Reforms on the orders of the president was seriously hampered by the dearth of barges in the port system. “But it is even more stunning that more than one year after the commissioning of the port, which is a form of invitation to port shippers to commence the use of the facility, government probably through NIWA, which is located in Lokoja, Benue State has not deemed it fit to open up a channel of communication in the form of liaison office for stakeholders’ enquiries”, Nweke said.

Onitsha River Port Complex

Ciroma

Umar

YOU CANNOT AWARD THE CONTRACT FOR A PROJECT, EXECUTE IT AND ASK MR. PRESIDENT TO COMMISSION IT AND AFTERWARDS, YOU PUT IT UNDER LOCK AND KEY AND TELL THE WORLD THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR PRIVATE PEOPLE TO OPERATE IT UNDER A

PPP

It was probably in reaction to these seeming agitations by potential users of the port that the newly appointed managing director of NIWA, Hajia Innah Ciroma in an interview in Lagos, said that the authority was on a new scheme that would bring in private port operators to run the port professionally and efficiently. According to her, following the commissioning of the project, it was realised that the best way to optimise the use of the port was to invite private persons or firms to takeover the day-day running of the port for efficiency and cost effectiveness. However chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Hajia Zainab Kure, who also faulted the claim of the new managing director, noted that the committee was worried that the port had remained under lock and key nearly one year after its commissioning ceremony. “Apart from media reports, the committee has been inundated with complaints by stakeholders over the state of the port after several billions of public funds were spent on it”, she said.

She, however, disclosed that it was based on these reports and complaints that the committee decided to write NIWA, insisting that the committee would visit the port preparatory to commencing a probe of the project. Kure had also disclosed that that part of reasons for the non-utilisation of the port was due to the inability of NIWA to secure willing private investors to run the port on a Public –Private Sector Partnership (PPP) arrangement. Kure, who also observed that the upper legislative chamber was not opposed to the PPP arrangement, however faulted the process, arguing that that is tantamount to placing the cart before the house. “But we have told NIWA that certain things should have been put in place before now like determining whether the port would operate on the basis of a PPP arrangement even before the award of the contract for the rehabilitation”, she insisted. “You cannot award the contract for a project, execute it and ask Mr. President to commission it and afterwards, you put it under lock and key and tell the world that you are looking for private people to operate it under a PPP,” she had further. But importers and exporters, who share Kure’s argument, noted that part of the commissioning programme should have been the handling of live cargo, which implies that the port should have been fully operational even before the public ceremony. Experts had also faulted the decision of the Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar to travel for the commissioning programme by air instead of boat to demonstrate to the world that the dredged rivers are now safe for navigation and that the port is actually ready for use. These experts are of the view that the Ministry of Transport’s interest in awarding the contract was not the workability of the port rather the other personal interest. The earlier the ministry proves these stakeholders wrong by ensuring that the port works, the better for all of us.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Maritime

Friday, September 6, 2013

43

‘CRFFN needs govt’s backing on practicing fee collection’ STORIES: FRANCIS E ZEM

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ouncil of the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), has called for the backing of the Federal Government in order to collect the practising fee approved for bits funding. The call came as a result of dwindling fortunes of the Council, according to the Pioneer chairman of the council, Mr. Tony Iju-Nwabunike. The Minister of Transport, Idris Umar had July last year following the suspension of payment of subvention to the CRFFN, announced the approval of charges on imported goods as well as the collection of annual registration and subscription fees on all freight forwarding practitioners for its funding. Under the new levy regime, importers will now pay N1.50 per kilo of every air cargo, N1, 000 per 20-foot container, N2, 000 per each 40-foot container, N500 per car or Jeep imported into the country and N1, 000 per every truck of 20foot equivalent. Others include, N2, 000 per truck or 40-foot equivalent, N3.50 per every ton of general

L-R: Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Captain Bala Agaba, Mr. David Gates of the US Coast Guard, Executive Director Marine and Operations of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. David Omonibeke, executive director of NIMASA in charge of Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Obi Callistus and leader of the US Coast Guard team, Mr. Tivo Romero shortly after a port assessment meeting in Lagos recently.

cargo imported into the country and N1.00 per ton of every dry bulk cargo handled in any of the nation’s seaports, which the importers and clearing agents have refused to comply with thus rendering the council financially incapacitated. Nwabunike, who spoke in an interview in Lagos, noted that government should not stop at giving the council ap-

proval for the collection of practicing fees; it should also give the council the necessary wherewithal to be able to collect such fees. “It is not just sufficient for the government to give the approval for the collection of such levies and fees, it should provided the equally needed enforcement backing to enable the council collect the monies”, he said.

Maritime industry will be Nigeria’s economic mainstay soon –NIMASA

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he Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has said that it is committed to implementing policies and programmes designed to transform the maritime industry to become the mainstay of the Nigerian economy and check the current monolithic nature, which depends only on the petroleum sector for its revenue and foreign exchange earnings. Nigeria currently earns more than 90 percent of her revenue from crude oil exports, which experts have expressed fears might grave danger to the Nigerian economy, especially given the volatility in the global crude oil market, partly caused by the discovery of other sources of energy. Director General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, whole speaking at the recently concluded all Nigerian editors’ conference held in Asaba, the Delta State capital, noted that the building of strong regulatory institutions in the industry has become a basic requirement for the sustained development of the maritime industry in Nigeria. According to the NIMASA-boss who presented a paper entitled: ‘Nigeria beyond oil’, NIMASA is

implementing programmes that would transform the maritime industry to become the mainstay of the Nigeria’s economy in the nearest future. Akpobolokemi, who was represented by the deputy director of the agency in charge of public relations, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi said: “The maritime industry would soon serve as the required catalyst to diversify Nigeria’s income stream”. He had also argued that for Nigeria as a country, it has become imperative for her to immediately grow and exploit her non-oil sectors in order to diversify and grow the economy. “We must all work together to ensure that all sectors of the economy are given the impetus required to fulfill their potential and mandate. We urge you to continue to be partners in nation building by supporting the campaign for strong regulatory institutions in all sectors of our economy.”, he further argued. According to him, the Asian tigers are good examples of the ability of the maritime industry to be a major contributor to a nation’s economy. He said: “Like the Asians, we have not only tapped into the op-

portunities in the entire maritime industry, we have also developed some strategic programmes to sustain the development of Nigeria’s maritime industry”. He listed the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University; Maritime Institutes in four Nigerian universities and a College of Maritime Studies as some of the measures adopted by the agency to ensure that Nigeria’s maritime potential are fully tapped. The agency is currently working on a projection that would enable Nigeria earn a minimum of $6billion from seafarers’ export in the next 10 years under the National Seafarers’ Development Programme The NSDP is a strategic intervention designed to address the short and medium term manpower requirements of the Nigeria’s maritime industry by creating a large pool of e indigenous seafarers by 2014. This apart from creating a niche for Nigeria as a leading supplier of seafarers in Africa, it will also enable her meet the shortage in the local market and also contribute to global manpower needs of the international shipping industry.

According to him, from its inception, funding has been the greatest challenge faced by the council in its bid to carryout its statutory responsibility of regulating the freight forwarding in Nigeria. He argued that it has become obvious that the council cannot be funded through subventions and grants from the government, which also gave rise to the need to evolve a sustainable source of funding for the council if the objectives for setting it up are to be achieved.

“The idea of coming up with independent source of funding for the CRFFN is the best in order to remove the financial burden on the government and also give the council a measure of independence and stability but government needs to provide a serious enforcement backing for this to come true”, he argued. He argued that all over the world, people do not just willingly decide to pay taxes until you are able to device a means to make it difficult if not impossible to evade. On the progress made so far in reforming the freight forwarding segment of the maritime industry, he noted that clearing agents are general difficult people to deal with, an assertion, which he argued could be attested to by government agencies that participate in cargo examination and even importers, who are their principals. He also argued that before now, no form of regulation was in place, a development that makes enforcing the new practicing codes difficult as many of them have resisted such new ways of doing things, which are alien to them until recently when the council came into being with the enactment of the CRFFN Act, 2007.

Maritime piracy, smuggling greatest organised crimes in East Africa, says group

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NODC’s latest report provides insight into some of Eastern Africa’s principal transnational organised crime threats. According to the report, more than 100,000 people were smuggled out of the region last year alone, generating over of $15 million for organized criminal networks operating on the maritime crossing from the Horn of Africa. Somali piracy was worth an estimated $150 million in 2011, equivalent to almost 15 per cent of the country’s GDP. Throughout 2013, however, no successful hijackings for ransom have been made in the Somali area of operation, and this remarkable progress shows that even the largest crime problems can be countered through international cooperation. The report - Transnational Organised Crime in Eastern Africa: A Threat Assessment - is aimed at highlighting the most pressing transnational organized crime threats facing the region. Looking at some of

the key areas, this latest report focuses on four such concerns: migrant smuggling from Ethiopia and Somalia to Yemen and Saudi Arabia; heroin trafficking from South-West Asia to Eastern Africa; ivory trafficking through Eastern Africa to Asia; and Somali maritime piracy. The role of transnational organized crime is evident in migrant smuggling. This is driven in part by high levels of conflict and poverty which have resulted in a large and vulnerable stream of migrants. Many of those trying to escape the situations they face are subjected to a range of abuses, including confinement, beatings, extortion and rape at multiple stages of their journey. In 2012 alone, more than 100,000 people paid smugglers to transport them across the Gulf of Aden or Red Sea to Yemen where their journey takes them onwards to Saudi Arabia, with the sea passage alone generating over $15 million for organised criminal networks.


44

Agri Business

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Osun farmers yet to enjoy FG’s fertiliser supply -Aregbesola TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has said that farmers in his state were not benefiting from the fertiliser supply programme of the Federal Government under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES). The governor claimed that contrary to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development’, Dr Akinwumi Adesina’s disclosure that at least 3.5 million farmers had so far benefitted from the scheme, no farmer in Osun State had benefitted from the initiative. Aregbesola, who disclosed this while participating in a dialogue which centred on “Growing agriculture at the state level” and also featured the Governors of Cross River State, Mr. Liyel Imoke, Kogi State Capt Idris Wada; Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi, and Kebbi State, Saidu Dakingari at the ongoing 19th Nigerian Economic Summit, therefore advocated a review of the distribution strategies. He said: “I see the spirit, the zeal and the passion of the minister of agriculture. The fertiliser distribution thing did not get to my state. Honestly, am serious about this. Whatever the governor of Anambra experienced I did not experience. I have to commit closed to N1billion procuring

...FG says GES programme is huge success fertiliser when the one arranged through the agents you put together failed woefully and that is the truth. “My whole approach to all of this is to let Nigerians know the danger that is staring all of us. If we keep on pretending and sitting down that all is right, there is a major problem”, he added. The governor said despite Osun State farmers’ lack of access to fertilisers, his administration had done everything possi-

ble to promote agriculture in the state, adding that, “we have done everything practically possible to promote agriculture in Osun and the result we are getting is not encouraging and that is the truth. “The real issue is this, are our youths interested in farming? The answer is no. We have spent billions of naira clearing land and giving these land to farmers but the few of them that went there have they done anything?

A farm land

CTG fund boosts textile activities

Ekiti moves to boost fish farming ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Ekiti State Government has focused on developing aquaculture production platforms that will transform subsistence low productivity fish farming into modernised and technologically driven operations to provide massive job and wealth creation in the state. To redress the situation of consumption of imported fish in the state, the state government has initiated massive capacity building exercise to improve the knowledge base of fish farmers and by extension boost fish production. Governor Kayode Fayemi, who made the disclosure at the flag off of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) for Aquaculture farmers in Ado-Ekiti, assured that the target was ensuring that “Ekiti becomes a leading produc-

The answer is no. Why? The answer is simple. They know that roaming about the streets begging for money pays better than to stay on the farm. “So what we must do is to first of all create incentives for farming. There must be a guaranteed minimum price for agricultural produce that will make the farmer live comfortable life as farmer. If that is not there, we are joking. Most of the farmers will still not prefer to farm because farming

er of fish products, considering the support being accorded the sector by the state government. Fayemi, represented on the occasion by Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Ganiyu Owolabi, also presented 500 fingerlings, five bags of fish feeds among others incentives to the fish farmers. The governor, who noted that fish constituted about 41 per cent of total animal protein intake by average Nigerian and an important component of human food consumption, bemoaned a situation where most of fish products were imported from other countries. He called on donors and the private sector to partner with the state government to transform the fishery sector of Agriculture in order to ensure efficiency and increase in the production of fish products. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, described fish

today is still not a business in Nigeria.” However, Adesina, who was also part of the debate, refuted the governor’s claims that the youths were not ready to go into farming, adding that the fertiliser policy has been a huge success as it had helped to stop the corruption in the distribution of agriculture inputs. The minister said: “We have to do a number of policy reforms. Land is at the state level. We are working with all the governors in the fertiliser sector reforms. We said the old fertiliser business was just a racket. In the old times people will just fill papers at the federal level and fertiliser doesn’t get distributed but people get paid and so with Mr. President’s support, we clean up that sector and the state government participated. “The Federal Government’s participation is 25 per cent and the state government paid 25 per cent of the subsidy. When we started last year, we reached 1.5 million farmers, this year, we have reached about 3.5 million farmers and we expect to reach five million more before the end of the dry season. “So it is that synergy between the federal and state governments all working together taking agriculture as a business rather than a development programme that makes things work.”

farming as a business venture with lots of potential investment opportunities and a veritable tool for increased fish production, poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods. The minister, represented by the Director, Fishery Department, Mrs. Foluke Areola, emphasised that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture was promoting increased fish production through the aquaculture value chain, the artisanal value chain and the shrimp value chain. According to him, the value chains are to create an enabling environment for increase and sustainable production of over one million metric tons of aquaculture fish in four years. Speaking on the occasion, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Babajide Arowosafe, expressed optimism that the development was to transform the state to a leading producer of fish products within six months.

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ice President Namadi Sambo has commended the operators of the textile industries in Nigeria for the effective application of the Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) fund and its prudent utilisation for the revival of the ailing textile industries He spoke when he received some textile chief executives led by Senator Walid Jibril, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the State House Abuja. The Vice President, who stated that government has keen interest in the growth of the textile industries due to its capacity to employ large number of people, create wealth and improve the economy, expressed delight with the way employment has not only stabilised but improved over the years after a sharp decline. Sambo noted the challenges facing the industry and enumerated the efforts of government in tackling them.

He intimated them on the efforts to generate enough power to meet the yearnings of the manufacturing sector, the efforts to revitalize the transportation sector in terms of rail lines rehabilitation and construction, roads rehabilitation and construction, dredging of waterways and the development of deep seaports to facilitate port activities The vice president noted their request for government assistance in securing textile loans with long tenor and assured that government would look into their request with a view to linking them with the relevant financial institutions that would assist in that direction. The vice president tasked the textile executives in developing ways to produce cheaper and competitive goods, without compromising quality “as such ingenuity has the effect of curbing smuggling”, he added.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Friday, September 6, 2013

45

Index rises 0.72% as Ecobank lists 3.13billion shares OLAONIPEKUN AWEDA

T

rading in equities closed on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investors’ interest on stocks with good earnings rose. Specifically, the All Shares index rose by 0.72 per cent to close at 36,476.30 points, in contrast to the decline of 0.04 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 36,215.57 points. The market capitalization appreciated by 1.11 per cent to close at N11.61trn, as against the drop of 0.04 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at N11.49trn. The reason for the differ-

ence in the rate of change beteween the index and the market cap was due to the additional listing of 3,125,000,000 billion ordinary shares to the shares of Ecobank Transanational Incorporated. On the sectorial indices, the Insurance index shed 0.66 per cent to close at 139.30 points, followed by the Banking index with 0.34 per cent drop to close at 391.41 points. The Oil and Gas index dipped by 0.12 per cent to close at 189.84 points, while the Alternative Securities Market remained unchanged. On the other hand, the Lotus Islamic index in-

creased by 0.41 per cent to close at 2,549.39 points, while the Consumer Goods index gained 0.43 per cent to close at 1,019.41 points. The NSE 30- index appreciated by 0.44 per cent to close at 1,700.63 points, while the Industrial Goods index rose by 1.36 per cent to close at 2,187.62 points. Learn Africa Plc led the gainers’ table with 15 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N1.65 per share, followed by Evans Medical Plc with 31 kobo or 9.90 per cent to close at N3.44 per share. IHS Plc rose by 23 kobo or 9.87 per cent to close at N2.56 per share, while Jos Breweries Plc increased by 38 kobo or 9.77 per cent to

close at N4.27 per share. Airline Services and Logistics Plc gained 30 kobo or 9.68 per cent to close at N3.40 per share. Conversely, Portland Paints and Products Plc declined by 50 kobo or 9.98 per cent to close at N4.51 per share, while Beta Glass Plc fell by N1.31 or 9.94 per cent to close at N11.87 per share. Courtville Investments Plc decreased by four kobo or 5.88 per cent to close at 64 kobo per share, while Julius Berger Plc lost N3.21 or 4.30 per cent to close at N71.50 per share. Prestige Assurance Plc dipped by two kobo or 3.70 per cent to close at 52 kobo per share.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Stanbic IBTC Bank drives support for agric business operators JOHNSON OKANLAWON

S

tanbic IBTC Bank yesterday said it has improved access to financing for agriculture sector operators in the country. A statement from the bank said it offers a wide range of agriculture business solutions, which comprise a more responsive processing system for agriculture proposals and improved technical support through precision farming technologies. The statement quoted the bank’s Chief Execu-

tive Officer, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, as saying that proper agric finance would be achieved through a number of robust schemes and initiatives currently being implemented by the bank. According to her, the bank has a well-structured business unit that focuses on agriculture and it has also established a number of schemes and products that will significantly impact on the entire agricultural value chain. David-Borha, who spoke on the sidelines of the 19th edition of the annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group

in Abuja assured operators that the bank will consider the merits of all applications. She said, “The bank is accessible to all operators in this sector. We are also working with a number of government agencies and multilateral organisations to drive the transformation of the agricultural sector in Nigeria, leveraging on Standard Bank Group’s experience and expertise in agricultural financing.” On the history of funding agriculture business, she said the bank has been playing strategic roles in agriculture across different

markets in Africa. She noted that agriculture holds great promise for stakeholders and Nigeria in general as the group continues to seek opportunities in strategic sectors of the economy to grow its business in line with its future growth strategy. The bank boss added that the bank’s goal is to play a transformative role in Nigeria’s agricultural sector in partnership with other organisations, saying, “Transforming small scale farmers into medium-size enterprises is essential to address food security and to stimulate economic growth.”

Stocks rise on signs of economic improvement

U

nited States stocks opened higher and were on track for a third day of gains yesterday, as United States services sector accelerated in August to its fastest pace in almost eight years. The data, which follows an upbeat US manufacturing report from Tuesday, could bolster expectations that Fed will begin winding down a bond-buying stimulus programme this month. An economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, Paul Ashworth was quoted as saying that it’s enough to reinforce expectations that the Fed will begin to taper its asset purchases. The dollar rose to a sixweek peak against the euro as ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank’s Governing Council expects key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period.

In India, where the impact of higher US Treasury yields has a dramatic effect on capital flows, the new central bank chief unveiled a package to support the currency and the banking sector that sent the main NSEI share index up 2.7 per cent and boosted the rupee. Central banks have attempted to talk down expectations of any rate rises, and left loose policies unchanged, as data from China, Britain and the euro zone point to a global economic recovery gathering steam. As widely expected, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of Japan, Sweden’s Riksbank, and the Bank of England all left policy unchanged on Thursday. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last traded down 12/32 in price, yielding 2.941 per cent, up 4.3 basis points from late on Wednesday. The

10-year yield rose to a session high of 2.958 per cent, a level not seen since July 2011. The rise dragged the German government 10 year bond to a new one and half year high above two per cent. British gilts also rose. The 30-year bond added to losses after the services sector data, while last traded 28/32 lower in price, yielding 3.848 per cent, up 5.3 basis points from late on Wednesday. Friday’s US employment report could confirm a recovery in the job market. The prospect of higher rates spilling over to affect the rest of the world prompted Russia and China to warn at the G20 leaders’ meeting in Russia that the end of the Fed’s bond-buying programme could have a profound impact on the global economy. MSCI’s world equity

index was up 0.2 per cent, while European shares were up 0.5 per cent. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 3.28 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 14,934.15 points, while the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index was up 2.41 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 1,655.49 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.64 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 3,655.69 points. Brent oil prices briefly rose above $115 a barrel after US President Barack Obama won some support from lawmakers for a military strike on Syria. The possible military strike against Syria in reaction to its alleged use of chemical weapons, and the Fed’s potential to reduce its stimulus, were also dominating discussions at the meeting of leaders from the Group of 20 economies in St. Petersburg.

Market indicators All-Share Index 36,476.30 points Market capitalisation 11.61 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

LEARNAFRCA

1.50

1.65

0.15

% CHANGE 10.00

EVANSMED

3.13

3.44

0.31

9.90

IHS

2.33

2.56

0.23

9.87

JOSBREW

3.89

4.27

0.38

9.77

AIRSERVICE

3.10

3.40

0.30

9.68

VONO

1.16

1.27

0.11

9.48

TRANSCORP

1.28

1.40

0.12

9.37

ETERNA

2.75

3.00

0.25

9.09

IPWA

0.69

0.75

0.06

8.70

UPL

3.71

3.95

0.24

6.47

CHANGE

% CHANGE -9.98

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

PORTPAINT

5.01

4.51

0.50

BETAGLAS

13.18

11.87

1.31

-9.94

COURTVILLE

0.68

0.64

0.04

-5.88

JBERGER

74.71

71.50

3.21

-4.30

PRESTIGE

0.54

0.52

0.02

-3.70

MANSARD

2.20

2.14

0.06

-2.73

NPFMCRFBK

0.74

0.72

0.02

-2.70

ROYALEX

0.56

0.55

0.01

-1.79

UNILEVER

61.05

60.00

1.05

-1.72

ZENITHBANK

19.85

19.61

0.24

-1.21

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

22,970.71

11.65

5-Sep-13

182-Days

40,000.00

9.45

5-Sep-13

364-Day

90,000.00

13.87

5-Sep-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

190-Days

97,099.17

10.20

5-Sep-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$266m

4-Sep-13

$300m

N/A

$258m

2-Sep-13


46

Capital Market

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at September 5, 2013 1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

Community Mirror “Education is fundamental to future development.”

ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNOR; PETER OBI

Man arrested for raping girl to death EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

T

he police have arrested a 36-year-old man for allegedly raping an 18-year-old girl to death in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Alex Akhigbe, said the suspect is in custody as autopsy report on the victim is being awaited. Akhigbe said investigations

were ongoing, as the deceased’s corpse has been deposited at the Kolo General Hospital morgue. It was learnt that the suspect, a native of Isoko in Delta State attempted to escape by disposing of the corpse before he was caught by a security agent. But, his friends claimed he was assisting the girl who was writhing in pains before she died in his apartment. The suspect is said to be living in an uncompleted building owned

by a former Chairman of Otuoke Community Development Committee, a few metres from President Goodluck Jonathan’s country home. Investigations revealed that the suspect was arrested on the road with the deceased’s corpse. An eye witness, who identified himself as John, said the suspect was arrested by a staff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC. “I saw the civil defence officer

holding the suspect and shouting that he raped a girl to death”, John said. But, the suspect said he saw the deceased writhing in pains and wanted to help her. “I met the girl while she was writhing in pains, even as she told me she drank poison as a result of frustrations she had been experiencing ”, he said. It was learnt that the victim’s body was found on the suspect’s bed and covered with a wrapper.

Scene of accident involving a LAGBUS that crashed into parked vehicles at Ebute-Ero, Lagos, on Wednesday.

PHOTO: FEMI AJASA

Association chairman decries poor roads in Anambra NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

T

he newly elected chairman of Ugwuagba Obosi Landlords Association in Anambra State, Chief Osita Orji, has decried the dilapidated state of roads in the area. Orji, who stated this after he was given a staff of office by the

traditional ruler of Obosi, Igwe Chidubem Iweka at his palace in Obosi, said since existence, Ugwuagba has never witnessed any government presence. He, therefore, called on Governor Peter Obi to construct access roads to boost commercial activities in the area, stressing that the executive of the association is ready to partner with government in its de-

velopmental strides. The chairman also showered praises on the transition committee chairman of Idemili North Local Government, Chief Ralph Asha Nnabuife for constructing a classroom block at Unity Primary School, Ugwuagba and pledged to give him all the necessary support. Orji said his tenure would witness a turning point in the commu-

Woman arranged for misappropriation JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

A

35-year-old woman, Mrs. Mary Musa has been arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court I in Katsina State for alleged misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.

The court prosecutor, Inspector Babangida Shehu, told the court that a business man, Usman Rafin Dadi had complained to the police alleging that Mrs. Mary duped him of N4.2 million. Shehu said some time ago, RafinDadi had gone to Mrs. Mary’s shop opposite the new motor park, and

entrusted her with 240 bags of rice, 550 cartons of spaghetti and 250 yellow jerry cans Olga groundnut oil. He added that the value of goods was N4.2 million with agreement that the proceeds be deposited into a bank account belonging to Rafin-Dadi. According to the prosecutor,

nity and reiterated the readiness of his administration to restructure the community’s vigilance service with the cooperation of the police for maximum result. Advising residents to cooperate with the new executive for the development of the area, he challenged elders and former chairmen to participate actively by giving useful advice to move the community forward. Mrs. Musa had after selling the goods, converted the money to personal use, an offence he said was contrary to section 312 and 309 of penal code law of Nigeria. The presiding Judge, Kabir Shu’aibu, adjourned the case to September 30, 2013 for mention and granted bail to the accused with two sureties in the sum of N 50,000 each.

Stakeholders urged to campaign against flooding HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

C

ommunity leaders in Ondo State have been called upon to join the campaign at enforcing environmental laws, while residents are advised to abide by the planning law to avoid flooding. The Commissioner for Environment, Chief Sola Ebiseni, made the appeal during inspection of the on-going channelisation of river courses in Akure. Ebiseni noted that it has been discovered that many people do not observe the planning law of the state as they build indiscriminately on waterways. He said government would not hesitate to pull down any structure discovered to be obstructing free flow of water, as he warned people to desist from building on water channels. He said “It is unfortunate that people have refused to abide by the physical planning law and we have instructed our operators carrying out the dredging of rivers to pull down any illegal structure without sentiment. “But in traditional areas, we will ensure that we allow the river to have free flow without much collateral damage to structures where we can afford it, but where there is need to pull down structures, we will not hesitate to do so”. Ebiseni said the state has spent more than N1billion on controlling erosion as part of efforts to control flooding which has affected different parts of the state but said chunk of the fund was committed to channelization. According to him, N1billion had been used for the channelisation of Ala River’s course and tributaries, River Dada and Oluwa River across the three senatorial districts. The Commissioner said more than 30 kilometres of waterways have been cleared in Akure through mechanical channelization, while there are on-going manual channelisations, saying arrangement has been concluded to demolish structures on waterways and canals in different parts of the state. He said this was to guide against flooding, which has ravaged some other parts of the country.


48

Transition

Friday, September 6, 2013

Anofi Guobadia

T

he Founding President of the Institute of Directors (IOD) Nigeria Chapter, Chief Anofi Salawu Guobadia, has passed away. Aged 90, he died on Saturday, 31 August, 2013 in Florida, USA. In a statement, Ogbe Guobadia, his eldest son, said his father died “after some medical challenges including those related to age.” Guobadia, the Aisagbonrioba of Benin, was the first President and District Governor of Rotary International in Ni-

geria. He founded the Rotary Club in Ibadan in 1961 after returning to Nigeria from his electrical engineering studies at the Regent Polytechnic, London, UK, where he was the development engineer for Redifussion (Nigeria) Limited, in charge of the then Western Region. In 1963, Chief Guobadia founded Maiden Electronics Works Limited, the first indigenous Nigerian electronics company, which would have been named “National Electronics Company” but for the registrar

of companies who declined, noting that it would be seen as a government enterprise. After four years of satisfactory business, this captain of industry built a modern factory assembling radio and television sets. On the boards of numerous companies in various sectors including banking, insurance, agriculture, retail, trading, healthcare and manufacturing, Guobadia was from 1971-1975, the deputy president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries. Conservation and philanthropy were very important to Guobadia. He set up the Anofi & Grace Guobadia Foundation, which to date, has awarded no fewer than 150 scholarships to indigent girls in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions as well as the Pacelli School of the Blind which was one of the charities supported by Dr Grace Guobadia, his late wife in her lifetime. He was a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF International) and a member of the founding trustees of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF). His survivors include Ogbe & Felitia, Orhue & Bayo Imosemi, Osato Guobadia, his grandson Adonye Guobadia and a host of other relations.

Adenike Kikelomo Ogunade

M

rs Adenike Kikelomo Ogunade(nee Osunnuyi), wife of the Chancellor, Diocese of Lagos West, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion),retired Justice Babasola Opeoluwa Ogunade is dead. Late Adenike Ogunade died in the early hours of July 30, 2013 at the age of 65. Born on the August 20, 1947 in Lagos, she attended the Holy Trinity Primary School, Kano; Methodist School, Ibadan; U.M.C Demonstration School, Ibadan; Girls Grammar School, Ijebu-Igbo; Yaba College of Technology, Yaba and Ahmadu Bello University (Institute of Admin.), Zaria. She obtained several professional qualifications from the courses she attended. A notably dedicated and honest public servant, she worked in the defunct Nigeria Airways at the Flight Crew Training Unit, Airline Operations where she displayed courage and faith even in the face of persecution for holding on fast to her principles. She retired as a senior officer. After her retirement, she embarked on a medium scale business in Aso Oke as she set up Kikis Aso Oke which earned her great reputation by the quality of her products within and outside Nigeria. During her life time, she was President YWCA, Christ Church (Anglican Communion), Elere, Agege, Lagos for several years, among other associations

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

David Ajagungbade

P

rince David Oriyomi Olaide Ajagungbade, Basorun of Ibesheland in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State died on July 14, 2013 in Scotland, United Kingdom after a brief illness. Prince was the son of late Oba Ayokulehin Oladele Olaide, JP, the first monarch in Ibesheland, who joined his ancestors in 1997. Born on April 7, 1975, Basorun Olaide attended Methodist Primary School and Keme Balogun Grammar School both in Ibeshe before he proceeded to Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo campus where he obtained an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Insurance. Following his father’s demise in 1997 he was hitherto a contestant to the vacant stool of Ibesheland before the lot fell on Prince Richard Abayomi Ogunsanya, now the monarch. Prince Olaide was a successful business mogul who dealt in property. A parishioner at Christ Apostolic

Church (CAC), Asegun1, Ibeshe, Olaide was committed to mother earth on Friday, August 23, 2013. He is survived by a wife and three children.

Michael Maduka Ogbonna

E

lder Ogbonna Michael Maduka died on July 29, 2013 after a brief illness. He was aged 82. Born to the family of late Abraham Ogbonna Onuoha and Madam Rossana Ogbonna of blessed memory on September 15, 1931; Elder Ogbonna Michael attended St. Thomas Anglican Primary School, Umuosu from 1945 to 1949 where he obtained First School Leaving Certificate (Standard Six). In the year 1949, he

left for Kaduna in search of greener pasture from where he joined the Northern Nigerian Ministry of Works, the job he held until 1959 when retrenchment exercise swept many workers away from the ministry. He afterward joined his friends in the business of pomade manufacturing and was in the business until 1960 when he left Kaduna for Enugu on information of an existing vacancy in an Israeli Furniture Company; serving the company

she belonged to. Funeral service holds today at Christ Church (Anglican Communion), Elere, Agege. She will be interred at Ikoyi cemetery while entertainment of guests follows shortly at Archbishop Vinning Hall, GRA Ikeja. She is survived by husband, children and grandchildren.

between 1960 and 1964. Elder Ogbonna’s quest for higher education made him sat for City and Guilds London Intermediate Certificate Examination and finally came out in flying colours. While still in the service of Eastern Nigeria Construction and Furniture Company (ENCF); he received a call from God into the Ministry. After prayers for confirmation, he proceeded and joined the then St. Joseph Chosen Church of God, which after some spiritual adjustments begot Christ Chosen Church of God. He enrolled into their seminary and did a three-year pastoral course from 1966 1968. He was ordained into the priesthood as a pastor of the church in 1976. His ministerial work took him to various locations in Nigeria and before his retirement, he served as rector in the Missionary Seminary of Christ Chosen Church of God in Benin City. He is survived by wife and children.

Francis Akinmutade

F

rancis Akinmutade was until his death on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, a member of staff with the Federal Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Investment. He died after a brief illness at the age of 57. Late Francis was born on March 13, 1956 to late Mr. and Mrs. Akinmutade Odunwo of Idanre town, Ondo State. After his secondary school education, Francis came to Lagos in search of greener pastures and succeeded in securing a job with the ministry. After Abuja became the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); he was transferred to the FCT; even as he relocated to Abuja with his family. He will be buried in his hometown, Idanre on Friday, August 2, 2013.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Ruth Dupe Akinmutade (nee Ijabiken); children: Babatunde Akinmutade, Bukola Akinmutade, Tayo Akinmutade, Leke Akinmutade , Busayo Akinmutade and a grandchild, Destiny Akinmutade.


Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

Pressure mounts on Obama over Syria at G20 summit

“I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions (in Syria) and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution”

50

PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

T

he Egyptian interior minister survived an assassination attempt unscathed yesterday when a car bomb blew up his convoy and he said afterwards that a wave of terrorism by opponents of the militaryinstalled government was just beginning. The minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, had been involved in overseeing a violent crackdown on supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the elected Islamist president who was overthrown two months ago by the army following mass protests against his rule. No organization immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the biggest yet on the new government. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood accused by the government of terrorism and inciting violence - condemned it. But it showed the risk that Egypt’s political crisis could spawn a wave of Islamist attacks like those in the 1980s and 1990s. “What happened today is not the end but the beginning,” Ibrahim said. The head of Cairo security, Osama Al-Saghir, said the ambush began seconds after Ibrahim left his house in the capital’s Nasr City on his way to work. A car driving ahead of the convoy exploded and the minister’s armoured car also came under heavy gunfire, Saghir told the newspaper Al-Ahram. “The driver of the car bomb met his end, and the investigators found the remains of another body that are being examined,” he said. Senior Brotherhood leader Amr Darrag issued a statement

Egyptian minister escapes assassination ...Warns of terrorism attacks

Egyptian security officers guarding the scene of a bomb attack targeting the convoy of Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

on behalf of the Brotherhoodled Anti-Coup Alliance saying it strongly condemned the attack. Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was overthrown on July 3. The new authorities have imposed a state of emergency and nightly curfews, and Morsi and most of the Brotherhood’s leaders have been arrested. More than 900 of its supporters have been killed, many of them when security forces attacked pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo on August 14, and at least 2,000 rounded up. About 100 members of the security forces have also been killed in the political violence.

The Muslim Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful resistance and has twice in the last week brought thousands onto the streets to denounce what it calls a coup against democracy. Ibrahim said earlier this week he had been informed of plans to kill him and that “foreign elements” were involved. Armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had supplied him with an armoured car, he said. There were conflicting reports about the nature of Thursday’s attack. Security sources contacted by Reuters that three bombs planted inside a motorcycle had detonated as Ibrahim’s convoy passed

by. State TV reported a bomb had been thrown from a roof. Ibrahim said the “despicable attempt” on his life had destroyed four of his bodyguards’ vehicles. He said one police officer was in critical condition and that another officer and a small child had lost legs. “Many of my guards were injured,” he said, adding that investigations had shown the blast had been detonated remotely. State media said 22 people had been wounded in all. Security forces quickly sealed off the area, where blood and pieces of flesh were scattered on the ground amid the charred wreckage of several cars.

Kenya’s lawmakers vote to withdraw from ICC

K

enyan MPs have approved a motion to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) following an emergency debate, yesterday. A bill to this effect is expected

Kenyatta

to be introduced in the next 30 days, after opposition MPs boycotted the vote. The ICC has charged President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto with crimes against humanity, which they both deny. Ruto’s trial is due to start in The Hague next week. The ICC said the cases would continue even if Kenya pulled out. The charges against both Kenyatta and Ruto stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections in 2007, in which more than 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 forced from their homes. They were on opposite sides

during the 2007 election but formed an alliance for elections in March this year, and analysts say the ICC prosecutions bolstered their campaign as they portrayed it as foreign interference in Kenya’s domestic affairs. BBC reported that even though the vote does not halt the cases, it sends a powerful signal of defiance to The Hague - a sentiment that is becoming increasingly popular, in Kenya and across much of Africa. No other country has withdrawn from the ICC. Kenya’s parliament is dominated by the Jubilee coalition formed by Kenyatta and Ruto.

The motion, tabled by majority leader Adan Duale, said the pair had been “lawfully elected” and the government should take steps to “immediately” withdraw from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. It also says Kenya will “suspend any links, cooperation and assistance” to the ICC. Duale noted that the US had refused to sign the Rome Statute to protect its citizens and soldiers from potential politically motivated prosecutions. “Let us protect our citizens. Let us defend the sovereignty of the nation of Kenya,” Duale is quoted as saying.

–Pope Francis

WORLD BULLETIN Ghana denies oil linkage to dead whales

Ghana has dismissed accusations that oil operations could have caused the deaths of several whales washed up on beaches over the past week. A local environmental group said that the whales had only started to appear since oil production began in 2009. The Friends of the Nation group called for a full enquiry into the deaths. Oil firms refused to comment but the Environment Protection Agency said there were no links between the oil industry and the beached whales. It noted that such incidents occur around the world, not just in Ghana. The EPA also said it was groundless to say that most dead whales and other marine species were found near oil rigs. It said it was not clear what had caused the deaths which were a matter “of much concern” to the agency. A Friends of the Nation statement entitled “Save Our Whales” is being carried prominently on Ghanaian websites.

Election row: Blast hits Madagascar, no injuries A makeshift bomb exploded at the entrance of a hotel in Madagascar’s capital yesterday causing no casualties, police said, and a previously unknown group claimed responsibility telling foreigners to keep out of the nation’s elections. The blast, though small, will raise tensions on the Indian Ocean island before a fraught presidential vote that has been pushed back for a third time till October 25 over a row about who can run, extending the country’s political crisis. The former French colony has been in turmoil since President Andry Rajoelina seized power with military support in 2009, ousting former President Marc Ravalomanana and scaring off investors and tourists.

Gabon probe unmasks 3,000 fake government employees

A corruption investigation in Gabon has revealed the existence of about 3,000 fake civil servants who receive monthly government salaries despite holding no official positions, officials said. The tiny, oil-rich Central African nation’s bloated civil service employs about 70,000 workers and serves a population of 1.5 million. “The beneficiaries regularly received monthly salaries despite not belonging to any ministry,” State Prosecutor Sidonie Flore Ouwe said on Wednesday. “We have already seized some of them with counterfeit diplomas and fake assignments,” she said, adding that those involved in the scam would be prosecuted. Some suspects have been arrested, Ouwe added.


50

World News

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Pressure mounts on Obama over Syria at G20 summit U .S. President Barack Obama faced growing pressure from world leaders not to launch military strikes in Syria yesterday at a summit on the global economy that was eclipsed by the conflict. The Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies met in St. Petersburg to try forge a united front on economic growth, trade, banking transparency and fighting tax evasion. But the club that accounts for two thirds of the world’s population and 90 percent of its output is divided over issues ranging from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to end its program of stimulus for the economy to the civil war in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to use the meeting in a seafront tsarist palace to talk Obama out of military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over a chemical weapons attack which Washington blames on government forces. Obama wore a stiff smile as he approached Putin on arrival at the summit and grasped his hand. Putin also maintained a businesslike expression. It was only when they turned to pose for the cameras that Obama broke into a broader grin. The first round at the summit went to Putin as China, the European Union and Pope Francis - in a letter for G20 leaders - aligned themselves more closely with him than with Obama over the

EU, Pope reject military action in Syria

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urope’s top officials warned against a military response in Syria yesterday, aligning themselves more closely with Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Barack Obama in how best to respond to the chemical attack in the Syrian civil war. While describing the August 21 attack near Damascus, in which an estimated 1,400 people died, as “abhorrent” and a crime against humanity, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said a military strike would not help resolve the crisis. “There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict,” Van Rompuy told reporters ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 countries this week in St Petersburg, when the 2-1/2-yearold conflict in Syria is expected to dominate debate along with discussion on the global economy. “Only a political solution can end the terrible bloodshed, grave violations of human rights and the far-reaching destruction of Syria,” Van Rompuy said.

possibility and legitimacy of armed intervention. “Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price - it will cause a hike in the oil price,” Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told a briefing. The Pope urged the leaders to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution”. He has also invited the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics and people of other faiths to join him in a day of prayer and fasting on Saturday to end the civil war. European Union leaders, usually strong allies of the United States, described the August 21 attack near Damascus, which killed an estimated 1,400 people, as “abhorrent” but added: “There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict.” Putin, Assad’s most important ally, was isolated on Syria at a Group of Eight meeting in June, the last big meeting of world powers. He could now turn

L-R: Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin meet at the G20 summit, yesterday, in St. Petersburg, Russia. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

the tables on Obama, who recently likened him to a “bored kid in the back of the classroom.” Only France, which is preparing to join U.S. military action, rallied behind Obama. “We are convinced that if there is no punishment for Mr. Assad, there will be no negotiation,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said before leaving

for St. Petersburg. With backing by Beijing and Moscow unlikely at the U.N. Security Council, where both have veto powers, Obama is seeking the approval of the U.S. Congress. Putin says rebel forces may have carried out the poison gas attack and that any military strike without Security Council approval would violate international law, a view which is now

increasingly openly being supported by others. He has no one-on-one talks scheduled with Obama but hopes to discuss Syria at a dinner with all the leaders. United Nations Secretary General Ban Kimoon and U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi were also in St. Petersburg, hoping to secure agreement on holding an international peace conference on Syria.

Don’t aggravate PDP crisis, Anenih warns Tukur, Baraje Van Rompuy

“While respecting the recent calls for action, we underscore at the same time the need to move forward with addressing the Syrian crisis through the U.N. process.” Also, Pope Francis urged the Group of 20 leaders yesterday to abandon the “futile pursuit” of a military solution in Syria as the Vatican laid out its case for a negotiated settlement that guarantees rights for all minorities, including Christians. In a letter yesterday to the G-20 host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Francis lamented that “one-sided interests” had prevailed in Syria, preventing a diplomatic end to the conflict and allowing the continued “senseless massacre” of innocents.

Space For Sale

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lice and our other security agencies cannot be used to further such agenda as being nurtured in the dictatorial mind of Tukur. “Again, we believe only an ignorant person would threaten to sack elected senators and representatives for staying on the side of truth, justice and fairness. Tukur needs be reminded that members of the National Assembly were elected by the people of Nigeria and are not his appointees who he could dismiss like the minions in his private residence. “He called the Alhaji Baraje-led leadership of our party impostors and we ask him if he does not know that the endorsement of our cause by elected representatives of our people across all tiers of government has vindicated our

position that what we represent in the party today is what the people want. “We challenge him to call out those who are with him in his clear journey to perdition even as we add that Tukur should come to terms with the reality of the end of his reign of terror, impunity, dictatorship and lawlessness in our party. “On our part, we assert our commitment to the consolidation of democracy, peace, love, unity, people-centred development and above all, the rule of law in our march towards progress and development. More importantly, we assure our teeming associates and well wishers that we shall conduct our party’s business with patriotism, resourcefulness, truth, justice and fair play as demanded of a political

organisation with a vision and mission.” Tukur had on Wednesday declared war against the breakaway faction of the party, threatening to declare the seats of seven governors, 26 senators and 57 members of the House of Representatives who have identified with Baraje vacant. Tukur had said: “I wish to state with all emphasis that any group of persons parading themselves as leaders of NEC or any other organ of our party are impostors and I urge all Nigerians, especially the security agencies and other institutions of democracy to regard them as such. “Similarly, all persons elected on the platform of our great party at all levels who identify with these enemies of the oneness and greatness of our party shall

have their seats declared vacant as required by law.” He also asked the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute members of the faction and the court to commit them to jail. But Baraje fired back, saying Tukur is ignorant and unfit to be the party chairman. He had said: “They are all jokers. They don’t know what party politics is. We are not surprised because he (Tukur) is ignorance of party politics. “In any case, the process of declaring seat vacant or recalling members of the National Assembly back is well known in the constitution. To wake up and say he is going to recall people back or declare their seats vacant is ignorance. He is not fit to be called the national chairman of the PDP.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Friday, September 6, 2013

Eight inmates escape from Daura prison JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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o fewer than eight condemned criminals have escaped from Daura Prison in Katsina State following a jailbreak. National Mirror learnt that the inmates capitalised on a downpour on Tuesday night to escape from the cell. Sources said that the

criminals meticulously planned their escape, unknown to officials. A source, who did not want his name mentioned, said the prisoners escaped through a ditch they dug within the prison premises. He said they must have secretly spent weeks to dig the ditch to facilitate their escape. The source said: “Although we were not allowed

move close to the prison, but officials told us that the prisoners dug a ditch in their cells through which they escaped.” National Mirror also gathered that all efforts to re-arrest the runaway criminals have failed as a search party dispatched by the prison authority to re-capture them came back empty handed. When National Mirror

visited the Katsina Prison Command, a Deputy Comptroller said that the Public Relations Officer was involved in an accident while the Comptroller was away on official assignment. Asked about the incident, the Deputy Comptroller simply said: “I am not authorised to speak. You know everybody has his own limitations and therefore it is not my mandate to speak.”

Secretary to Gombe State Government, Alhaji Abubakar Bage (right), presenting certificate of honour and award to a messenger with the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Jalo Ibrahim, during the National Productivity Merit Award in Gombe, yesterday.

Academic activities paralysed in Kogi nomadic schools to early marriage. The coordinator noted that the female pupils, who are more than their male counterparts, usually drop out in Primary 3 or Primary 4. Adoga urged the stakeholders to prevail on parents to allow the female pupils complete their education before marriage. The Director of Social Mobilisation and Outreach of the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE), Alhaji Mohammed El-Nafati, noted that stakeholders were already rising to the challenges of sustaining and providing education to the target beneficiaries, which include pastoralists, nomadic fishermen and nomadic farmers. Nafati stressed that providing education to the nomads was a joint responsibility between the federal, state

and local governments. The Head Teacher of the Nomadic Primary School at Kara in Kogi State, Mr. Audu Garba, pleaded with government to provide more teachers, teaching aids and classrooms for the school. Garba, who claimed that he had been teaching in the school for the past 17 years, said he and one other teacher attached were finding it difficult to cope with a population of 126 pupils in Primary 1 to 6. A parent, Alhaji Musa Shaibu, described the situation as frustrating and worrisome, saying that he and other parents had lost confidence in nomadic education. He said the parents had resolved to enroll their children in conventional public primary and secondary schools in Lokoja, Gegu-Beki and other towns.

Group urges govt to probe renewed Plateau violence JAMES A BRAHAM JOS

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group known as Berom Youth Movement (BYM) has urged the Federal Government to probe the renewed violence in some communities in Plateau State. No fewer than 14 people were recently killed in Jos South and Barki Ladi local government areas of the state by some gunmen In a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Jos, BYM National Chairman, Mr. Rwang Dantong, said the group “was convinced that the killings were being carried out by those who do not mean well for the state.” Dantong alleged that Fulani herdsmen, in collaboration with some “money-hungry and blood-thirsty security personnel” were behind

EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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auchi State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Yahaya Miya, has directed the police and other security agencies to bar the suspended lawmaker, Hon. Rifkatu Samson Danna, from accessing the Assembly complex. The order was contained in a letter addressed to the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police. The letter was signed by the Assembly’s Clerk, Mr. Bala Abdullahi. The decision was taken following the appeal filed before the Jos Division of the Court of Appeal in by the Assembly against the judgement delivered by the state High Court against the House. The letter, therefore, directed security agencies to restrict Hon. Danna from entering the Assembly

cademic activities have been paralysed in 25 nomadic schools in Kogi State owing to lack of teachers and inadequate classrooms. The state coordinator of nomadic education, Mr. Abdulkadir Adoga, told journalists yesterday in Lokoja, the state capital, that the situation portends danger for the future of 4, 116 nomadic pupils. Adoga said that nomadic education took off in Kogi at its creation in 1991 with 35 inherited teachers from Benue and Kwara states, claiming that all efforts to make the state government recruit more teachers for the schools did not yield result. He said the problem was

JAMES DANJUMA

Katsina: Customs generates N3.1bn in eight months

LOKOJA

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KATSINA

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he Katsina/Kaduna Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has raked in N3.1 billion as revenue from January to August this year.

The command also made 511 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N523.3 million within the same period. Speaking yesterday, the Customs Area Controller, Yerima Abubakar Gadam, said the command made

several seizures that include 379 bottles of Hasoxine injections (100mg). Others, Gadam said, are 63 cartons of Hasoxine capsules (500mg) and 98 bales of lace materials with DPV of N52.6 million.

He said as a major player in the World Customs Organisation, the command had been provided with an Information Communication Centre (ICT) and a mobile scanner site at the Jibia border for effective

the attacks and urged the Federal government to investigate the matter. He said: “We have observed with dismay that each time that there is a change in the leadership of the Special Task Force (STF), the faceless and blood-thirsty Fulani warlords use the opportunity to attack innocent and harmless Berom men, women and children. We wonder why they take pleasure in this devilish act even when the people have put the past behind them. “The sustained attacks on Berom villages go to show that the siege by the Fulani is meant to destroy lives and property with impunity and they should be stopped by every means possible. “This is why the Federal Government should institute a probe action with a view to unravelling the perpetrators.”

Bauchi Assembly bars lawmaker

further compounded as three of the teachers died within a spate of six months thereby leaving the schools with 2, 353 female pupils and 1, 763 male pupils with only 32 teachers. According to the coordinator, this year’s advocacy and mobilisation exercise organised by the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) noted that many of the classrooms in all the schools were dilapidated and not conducive for learning. Adoga, therefore, appealed to the federal and state governments, as well as stakeholders to quickly address the challenges confronting nomadic education in the state. He urged the stakeholders to address the problem of increasing rate of female dropout in all the schools due

WALE IBRAHIM

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service delivery. Gadam said the command had embarked on aggressive patrols as way of stemming smuggling along the porous borders of the North, and that such was being done to block identi-

complex until the determination of the suit by the Court of Appeal. It will be recalled that Hon. Danna was suspended from the House for allegedly kicking against the relocation of Tafawa-Balewa Local Government Area Headquarters to Bununu. The suspended lawmaker was said to have told the Assembly that it lacked the power to relocate the local government headquarters. National Mirror learnt that the Speaker’s action may not be unconnected with the suspended lawmaker’s victory at the state High Court. Since the directive to bar the suspended lawmaker from entering the Assembly complex, the House’s sitting has been allegedly conducted in hurry to avoided breakdown of law and orders in case the embattle lawmaker gate crashed.

fied revenue leakages as well as improve on revenue collection for government. He added that the command had been working with sister security agencies as well as traditional and religious leaders to ensure a friendly business environment.


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Friday, September 6, 2013

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Nigeria

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W

D

L

GF

GA

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2

3

0

5

3

9

Malawi

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1

4

0

4

3

7

Namibia

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2

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Kenya

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Nig. vs Malawi: Eagles battle for shirts …Malawi train today EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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Uche Nwofor in aerial battle with a South African player in the Mandela Challenge match, last month. He is ready for the Flames

DStv B’ball Final 4: Pillars unstoppable

oach of the Kano Pillars Basketball Club, Sani Ahmed, yesterday, in Lagos described as phenomenal his team’s unbeaten run in the season 2012/2013 DStv/ Basketball Premier League competition. Ahmed however told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the feat has not been an easy achievement. He spoke after his team defeated Dodan Warriors of Lagos 77-63 in their first match at the on-going DStv League National Conference Final Four in Lagos. Pillars had gone 32 matches unbeaten in the league with their win over the Dodan Warriors on Wednesday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos. They topped the Savannah

Sport

- SUPER EAGLES’ WINGER, VICTOR MOSES

GROUP F

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ach player of the Flames of Malawi will receive $500 as bonus if they upset Super Eagles of Nigeria tomorrow in Calabar to qualify for the final round of the World Cup qualifiers, representing over 500 per cent increase from the usual $85 win bonus the Malawians usually receive. Coach Tom Saintfiet, who made the disclosure after the team arrived in Calabar yesterday, said his wards had been boosted by the gesture. “I don’t think the motivation for the players is even the money, but national pride,” the Belgian gaffer said. “I am surprised when I hear that players of your Super Eagles are discussing money and winning bonus instead of the match” Malawi could not stage a proper training camp before this match because of the financial problems facing Football Association of Malawi (FAM). But Saintfiet said he remained bullish about his team’s chances against the star-sprankled Eagles, despite the 1-0 loss the Flames suffered in their final warm-up game with Botswana on Monday. “We are not worried about that result,” he defended. “Rather we are focused on winning this match even though there was no cash for a training camp. We work with what we have going by our financial limits, but I believe we will be ready for the match with Nigeria.”

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All I can say at the moment is that we are focused for the game against Malawi and we won’t falter

Muntari charges Stars to victory

Flames to get $500 win bonus

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Conference by winning all their 28 matches in the regular season, and went on to win all their three matches at the conference’s Final Four. “We are indeed a championshipwinning team, and we are proud of our achievement. We believe in ourselves and we worked very hard to be at the top of our game,” he said. Ahmed, however, said his team cannot afford to relax now because the National Final Four is just the ultimate step that will help to crown all their efforts. In the second match of the day yesterday, the Atlantic Conference champions, Union Bank of Lagos, had defeated the Mark Mentors of Abuja 75-69 to also book their first win. The Final Four competition will end today. DStv League action

ll the 23 invited Super Eagles’ players were in full flight in training at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar yesterday evening, again, under torrential rainfall, with none sure of starting shirt in the World Cup qualifier against the Flames of Malawi on Saturday According to information provided by Eagles’ Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, Nnamdi Oduamadi and John Ogu were the last two players to arrive in camp and they showed no sign of let up at the wet pitch of the Calabar stadium. Mandela Challenge game hero, Uche Nwofor, was splendid, so was Emmanuel Emenike, Brown Ideye, Victor Moses, Obinna Nsofor, Ahmed Musa and Shola Ameobi. When asked about his selection concerns, Coach, Stephen Keshi simply said he will pick only the best players that will win the match on Saturday. Fans at the stadium took nearly half of the arena watching their national team heroes in practice and even after training, they invaded the pitch in their frenzy

to catch a glimpse of their stars, which did not quite go down well with the security men on ground. “We will get over this situation before Saturday, because I am working in tandem with the Eagles Chief Security Officer, CSP Baba Nara,” declared FIFA Security Coordinator in Nigeria, ACP Gideon Akinsola, who kept watch over proceedings with NFF Head of Security Committee, Effiong Johnson. The Flames of Malawi who arrived in Calabar yesterday, will train at the U.J. Esuene Stadium this afternoon, starting from 4pm. When both sides met in Blantyre on June 9 last year, the Eagles were running away with a lone goal scored by Reuben Gabriel nine minutes to full time before a defensive blunder allowed the Flames to equalise and earn a point on the evening. On Saturday, Nigeria needs only a draw to finish top of Group F of the African campaign and reach the 10-team final elimination round, where a home-andaway fixture will determine Africa’s five representatives at the global showpiece in Brazil next year summer.

NFF partners Google+

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he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is partnering Google for up-class on-line activities for the Super Eagles, and the project is already making some good impact. Chairman of the NFF Marketing Committee, Mr. Deji Tinubu, said yesterday, “The Super Eagles are now active on social media and have official presence on Google+/YouTube. Fans can follow them on www.google. com/+SuperEagles and www. youtube.com/NigeriaSuperEagles for exclusive updates.” On Wednesday, several thousands of fans across the globe joined the players and their coaches online in a special Google+ video chat ahead

of the clash with the Flames of Malawi. Tinubu added, “The launching of a landing page on Google+, which is also connected to a YouTube Channel, will in the medium and long term serve as a principal publicity platform for our international players in the Super Eagles and other National Teams, and will also help with the media campaign at major championships.” At the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil in the summer, the Google+ team executed two Hangout sessions with the Super Eagles, and posted exclusive pictures of the event on Super Eagles Google+ page.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

W/Cup qualifiers…

Parker feels Zebra pressure

Play2Learn: Scheme’s scholarship winners emerge

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A FOLABI GAMBARI

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fter two days of intensive training and evaluation, five girls have been selected for football scholarships in the USA under Play2Learn initiative launched by former Super Falcons striker, Mercy Akide-Udoh. The lucky girls are Rita Orjiako (19), Ogundeko Deborah Oluwatosin (17), Asunmonu Ajoke (17), Kehinde Busari (19) and Uzor Tochi Success (22). They will be joined by the teenage duo of Katherine Kenneth and Edore Egbude, who were both spotted at the Airtel Rising Stars National Finals in Lagos. “The girls showed not only great talent but also a passion for the game, while some of the stories they told of their background broke my heart,” Akide-Udoh said. “These are the kind of girls we are looking for; those who do not come from rich backgrounds, but who have talent to play football as well as the right secondary school results to take them to college so they can help their families in the future.” According to Akide-Udoh, preparations to get the girls out will start immediately, beginning with having them registered for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exams. “The real work starts here,” the former African Women footballer of the Year further said, stressing, “At this juncture, we need sponsorship to get them off to the schools and we hope we can get that support.” One of the lucky winners, Orjiako, described her success as the best achievement she had garnered. “I still feel like I am dreaming,” Orjiako told National Mirror, adding, “This is a great opportunity for me and I will do my best to make the programme initiator proud.” Play2Learn seeks to identify, train and recommend talented girls between the ages of 16 and 22 for football scholarships to colleges in the USA.

Muntari charges Stars to victory Sulley Muntari (inset) wants a celebration like this for Ghana in Kumasii today t d

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lack Stars midfielder, Sulley Muntari, has drummed support for Ghana to beat Zambia in their World Cup qualifier in Kumasi today. The AC Milan player was dropped for the crucial tie after failing to apologise to Coach Kwesi Appiah in time, following his tirade against the trainer during the qualifier in Lesotho in June when the former refused to sit on the bench after being substituted. He then poured invectives on the coach in the locker room after the encounter.

But the 29-year-old has sent a goodwill message to his teammates to beat the Zambians in front of a partisan Kumasi crowd. “Good luck Black Stars. Let’s get the three points,” Muntari Tweeted yesterday. Muntari will be available for selection if the Black Stars advance to the final stage of the qualifying round. In the last two encounters that Ghana and Zambia have had since 2012, the latter prevailed in each by a lone goal, prompting the Chipolopolo to aim another upset in the looming tie.

NTTF launches 2014 Classics strategy YEMI OLUS

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ead Coach of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Nosiru Bello, says that the federation will ensure a clean medals sweep next year. Bello led his wards to win nine out of ten medals at stake at the Lagos International Table Tennis Classics which ended last weekend. Nigeria lost the men’s singles title to Egyptian and Africa’s number two player, Assar Omar, who defeated six-time Olympian, Segun Toriola 3-2 on the final day. “Our performance at the tournament indicated that our return to the African summit is a matter of time,” Bello told National Mirror

yesterday. “It has never happened for an African country can organise a competition of this kind and win virtually all the medals,” the coach added. “Of course, losing the men’s singles title also indicated that other countries were not prepared to be mere spectators again and this has made us to think of upgrading our preparation against the next edition.” Meanwhile Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has affirmed that the Classics is one of the many lined up for the coming years, saying the annual event will be a permanent fixture. “We should take table tennis back to where it belongs, back to the street corners and homes where it was the number one sport in Nigeria,” Fashola said.

afana Bafana striker, Bernard Parker, has admitted that he is under pressure to score against Zebras of Botswana in their World Cup qualifier at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban tomorrow. The South Africans need to claim maximum points and hope that the Central African Republic will do them a favour by denying Ethiopia maximum points. “The coach has been talking about our decision-making in the final third and telling us to be more focused on getting the ball in the back of the net instead of rushing our actions,” Parker said after training yesterday. “I must say it has put pressure on me as striker but I am definitely working on improving. “So I will work on the last pass and get more focused in the final third, being calm and more clinical, as well as in the set pieces.” Although Bafana’s fate is out of their hands, Parker believes the team has to concentrate on the game at hand. “The odds are not so much in our favour but more in Ethiopia’s favour and we are a little bit worried about that,” he said, adding, “But we are all positiveminded and we are more focused on doing well and hoping we’ll go through.” Meanwhile, Botswana Coach, Stanley Tshosane, has said that his side is well-prepared for the World Cup qualifier against South Africa, even as the Zebras go as underdogs. “I want to believe that we brought a physically and mentally strong team for our encounter against the Bafana,” Tshosane said yesterday as the Botswana team continued training. “We have encouraged the boys to be aware that the nation is behind us,” the coach said.

Wheelchair Tennis: NTF, Invacare sign pact YEMI OLUS

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Akide-Udoh

resident of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Sani Ndanusa, says the body has entered an agreement with world leading manufacturers of wheelchairs, Invacare, in a bid to raise wheelchair tennis standard in Nigeria. “The difficulty faced by our athletes has to do with access to the right wheelchairs,” Ndanusa, who is also President of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), told National Mirror in Lagos yesterday. “Invacare are partnering with us to see how they can come into the game which will also provide access for most of our sponsors,” he added. According to an official of Defash Lim-

ited, sole representative of Invacare in Nigeria, Deji Adeyitan, his organisation will seek ways to assist the NTF in the provision of the right wheelchairs for the athletes. “Our partnership with NTF is aimed at taking wheelchair tennis to the next level,” Adeyitan said. “There are prospects for the sport and the athletes are willing and this will encourage the partnership. “We support wheelchair tennis all over the world, including sponsorship of an international tournament called the Invacare Double Masters which holds in Europe annually and is certified by the International Tennis Federation. We also have athletes sponsored by Invacare and we look forward to having a Team Invacare from Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”

Parker


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Friday, September 6, 2013

55

Win Window on Nigerian p players abroad

with IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Apam ready to fight on

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ennes of France central defender Onyekachi Apam says he’s battle ready to fight his way back to club and country prominence. The former Enugu Rangers’ defender has found playing times hard to come by since he returned from injury, limiting him to just bit part roles. Apam’s case is indeed not helped since the departure of former Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti late last season and the current coach has sparingly looked his way. Antonetti, who brought the talented Aba-born defender from OGC Nice recently, took a break from coaching to relax with his family, leaving his young protégé at the mercy of the current coach Philippe Montanier. Apam spent more time in the treatment than on the pitch last season, limiting him to just 11 appearances after coming back from thigh muscle strain complaint. This season Apam is yet to kick a ball as the new coach who arrived from Real Sociedad in the summer transfer, continues to overlook the player who cost Rennes 4 million Euros in 2010. Things are not also rosy for the former youth international at home front. Apam last appeared for his country when his former Olympic team coach Samson Siasia was in charge but the 26-year-old ace believes he will be back when the time comes. “I didn’t make myself a footballer, it was God that gave me the talent and I believe He will help open my Eagles’ doors again,” Apam says philosophi- Ekigho cally. “The current defenders in the squad, I must say, are very good and I commend them for playing so well. “Keshi is one coach I respect and admire so much and I believe I will be back some day. I’m prepared to fight my igeria international Dele way back. Adeleye is one of the 23 “Injuries and the departure of Anplayers selected by Anzhi tonetti have conspired to limit my ap- Makhachkala manager, Gadzhi pearances at Rennes but I will fight on. Gadzhiyev for the group stage of “I will continue to fight to get my the Europa League. place back under the new coach. I’m Last month, Adeleye signed a not a kind of player who talks much two-year contract with the Republic but does so much on the pitch. My time of Dagestan based team. will come.” The 24 year-old centre back who has yet to debut for Anzhi in the Russian Premier League is one of the nine defenders that was selected in the roster published by UEFA’s official website. Anzhi are in Group K of the Europa League alongside Norwegians Tromso, Tottenham Hotspur (England) and Sheriff of Moldova. Dele Adeleye will play with the number 24 jersey in the competition. Adeleye arrived Anzhi on a free transfer last week and had since been presented to the press. The former Sparta Rotterdam defender had been a free player following the cancelling of his contract at anothApam

Adeleye makes Anzhi’s Europa League roster

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Ekigho eyes Eagles’ comeback

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amsumspor of Turkey returnee striker Ekigho Ehiosun has vowed to play his way back to the Super Eagles. The former Warri Wolves striker plans to ride on the back of his impressive goal form in the Turkish second division to plot his way back to the national team. Ehiosun was a constant figure in the sacked coach Samson Siasia’s Eagles two years ago but has been overlooked by the current coach since he took over in November 2011. Ehiosun had caught the eye of many when he scored on his debut as a home-based Eagle in the international friendly against Sierra Leone in February 2011. The Warri –born striker has been in the Eagles’ wilderness ever since but with his present rich vein of form, the former Genclerbirgi argues, should catch the attention of Keshi. Ekigho returned to his first Turkish side this season side after a rather poor stint at Genclerbirligi to start firing in the goals. He netted his second goal last weekend as Samsunspor beat Fethiyespor 2-0 to

er Russian club Kuban Krasnodar on mutual consent. Adeleye, who has been in the club that also pays the salary of Chelsea-bound Cameroun striker Samuel Eto’O, has also been officially presented to the press and his new team mates. He’s expected to begin training with his new club. He earned a bench selection in their away game at Terek Grozny last weekend and could be lining up for his debut in the next game after the FIFA free weekend by Coach Gadzhiev, who is fighting desperately to change the club’s fortunes which have taken a downward plunge this season. Anzhi are currently languishing on 15th place with just two points from six games. The former Super Eagles star has managed to knock his career back into shape since he left Tavriya in the Ukrainian league two years ago. He signed for Kuban last season but didn’t kick a ball following his disagreement over contract issues with the club’s hierarchy. He previously represented Sparta Rotterdam (Holland), Metalurh Donetsk (Ukraine), Tavriya Simferopol(Ukraine) and Kuban.

catapult themselves to second spot on the log. “It’s been quite a while since I played last for my country but I believe I will fight my way to the squad again,” he told National Mirror. “My form has been great and if I keep scoring, I think I have every chance to be recalled to the team again. “I scored my second goal last weekend to start a new lease of life on a sound footing. God has been good to me and I can always count on Him to continue showering me with his grace. “It was really good when I played for Super Eagles, and I can’t forget the goal I scored against Sierra Leone. “That has always spurred me to continue to do my best and I believe my current form at Samsunspor to get me the Eagles’ green light again.” Ehiosun plays alongside another Nigerian Aminu Umar in the attack for the Samsun side. Umar shone at U-20 levels at the AYC in Algeria and the World Cup in Turkey to earn a contract at Samsunspor.

Omoduemuke wins FA Cup in Vietnam

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igerian midfielder, Peter Omoduemuke, has won the FA Cup title in Vietnam after helping his side Ninh Binh beat top side Da Nang 6-5 on penalties in the explosive final yesterday. The former Politecna Timisoara of Romania star joined his Nigerian mates, Timothy Anjembe and Dio Preye, in lifting the FA Cup. The match went into the lottery of penalties after the pulsating game ended 1-1 after extra time. Ninh Binh drew the first blood earlier in the first before the home side levelled scores with just few minutes left on the clock to drag the game into penalties. The Ughelli-born midfielder was the only Nigerian on the pitch as the duo of Anjembe and Preye watched from the stands as a result of card suspensions. “It was a great way to end my very first season in Vietnam, I’m so glad to end it on a high,” he said. “I will cherish the medal for the rest of my life because my adventure in Vietnam has really been nice contrary to what people say or think. Omoduemuke has played in Romania, Italy, Serbia and Libya and only arrived in Vietnam early this year.


WORLD RECORD

Fastest time to toss rings around six pegs

Vol. 03 No. 703

A

Friday, September 6, 2013

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The fastest time to toss rings around six pegs is 13.90 seconds and was achieved by Ippei Tanaka (Japan) during the Park Challenge / GWR Live! at Tokyo Midtown, in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, on 3 May 2012Smallest Stop-Motion Film

Schooling abroad and public officials’ children

bout October last year came the inkling that the Senate was about taking a bold step to save the nation’s public school system. A bill reportedly proposed by Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed (Kano Central), had it succeeded, would have made it unlawful for children of public office holders to school abroad, except when specialized disciplines not offered in the nation’s educational institutions are at stake. But that was the end of the story. The bill did not fly. Such bills do not excite the National Assembly. What prodded Senator Mohammed to introduce the bill – the utter neglect of public schools by the government, rabid desire of many public officials to educate their children overseas, et cetera, still flourish unabated. In the words of the senator himself, “today, in this digital age, pupils sit on bare floor. You then ask: what manner of leaders of tomorrow are we producing? You may also ask: where are the chil-

FRIDAY WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) dren of senators, honourable members, ministers and governors? If our children attend such schools, can we afford to leave them in such a sorry state?” The bill even proposed the palliative option of a special tax for defaulters, which proceeds would be channelled towards revamping Nigeria’s ailing educational system in the public sector from primary through secondary and tertiary levels. But as stated earlier, the bill met a brick wall. It is quite obvious that the nation’s lawmakers are among the prime beneficiaries of foreign education for their kids. Perhaps too, nothing might come out of the bill by way of bribe. Just last month, roughly one year after Senator Mohammed drew the attention of his colleagues to the said bill, the House of Representatives said it would revisit the proposal. Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Mr. Abdulmumini Jibrin dropped the hint at a public lecture organised by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy to mark the 2013 International Youth Day. Jibrin said the country’s education system needed what he called ‘drastic solutions’ to rescue it from its comatose condition. A law compelling public officials to send their children to schools in Nigeria as against the current trend, where many of them study overseas would be one of such drastic measures, according to the Rep. But if one places a bet, it is not unlikely Jibrin merely mouthed the kind of hollow rhetoric public officials dish out at public functions. The story must have ended there and Jibrin himself might have forgotten what he said. From the executive arm of government,

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OF ESSENTIAL PUBLIC SERVICES

– ESPECIALLY

EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE

– WILL

NEVER EVER BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY THE PRESENT

NIGERIAN

RULING ELITE early last year, was also the report credited to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, that the manner in which Nigerians travel abroad for medical treatment was unacceptable; and that there were plans to stop public servants from wasting public funds on such foreign medical trips. Chukwu said any public officer who must embark on medical treatment abroad would have to bear the cost personally, except where medical personnel and equipment for the local treatment of the officer’s ailment are not available in the country. It was also the same pattern of grandstanding. That was where it ended. Many public officers still travel overseas on daily basis to treat headache and tuck in their bloated tummies at public expense. As has been

Sport Extra

w anchester United striker, Robin van Persie, has dismissed claims he is yet to be convinced by new Manager, David Moyes. “It’s great working with Moyes as he has his own style and methods and I like these,” Van Persie, who also dispelled rumours that he enjoyed working with former

THE PROVISION

widely acclaimed, Nigeria is one of the few countries worldwide where past and present heads of state, governors, law makers, ministers, commissioners, local government chairmen and top civil servants – together with their families – routinely troop abroad for medical care, sometimes to indulge, at tax payers’ expense, in reckless vanities in the name of medical treatment. Those entrusted with power and public treasury can only fool themselves. But it bears reiterating the obvious, which is that the provision of essential public services – especially education and health care – will never ever be taken seriously by the present Nigerian ruling elite unless its members are statutorily barred from resorting to foreign alternatives; the reason being the pervasive lack of patriotism and statesmanship among the current ‘cash-and-carry’ political class. For as long as the children of directors, permanent secretaries, ministers and legislators, among others, keep studying abroad, there would be no commitment to addressing the falling educational or health system in the country. Between late 2011 and early last year, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was on strike for two months trying to press home its demand for the Federal Government to implement the 2009 agreement it entered into with its members. This is 2013 and ASUU is currently on strike for the same reason. Before the ASUU strike was that of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP). It dragged for months. It has been rightly observed that Nigerian top officials feel no qualms in allowing the nation’s public universities or health institutions to decay because most public functionaries have no stake in them. With their jumbo pay, out-of-this-world allowances and other perquisites, they can afford to send their children to expensive schools abroad or to fix them in private universities. This is crude selfishness that only a law that should be strictly enforced; barring top public officials from educating their children and awards or seeking medical help abroad can stop. Otherwise, a change of attitude by the government functionaries cannot be guaranteed; and public education and health systems will decay the more.

Training style: Van Persie denies Moyes’ claim United manager, Alex Ferguson, said. “We are working very hard from the day we started our tour to Asia and Australia. This will result in good matches for sure. There is a very good atmosphere

at the club. “Moyes does his own training sessions, he’s close with the players and prepares us with his staff very well for the next opponent. That keeps us in shape. Luckily, the title of last year gave us hun-

ger for more.” Interestingly, Moyes had announced his preference for Van Persie as United’s arrowhead in attack and insisted that Wayne Rooney would play behind the Dutchman.

Musa Van Persie

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