z Money laundering Appeal Court upholds zz EFCC’s power to z prosecute Ladoja P. 6 z
Vol. 4 No. 9
What killed Baba Ara?
P. 18 Drugs? Malaria? Poverty? Spiritual arrow ? Covenant with the devil?
z z z
Borno death toll hits 62
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Alleged N874m fraud
Court frees Bankole
...Says ex-Speaker did no wrong •EFCC vows to reverse verdict IN THE SPIRIT OF VALENTINE
Lagosians queuing at a filling station in Igando at the launching of kerosene sale at N50 per litre, as against N150 per litre, by members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO:NAN
Okonjo-Iweala tackles Senate •Argues that Nigeria’s finance is not in a mess
Oduah still under probe –EFCC x
STealk 15 things women want to know about men but are afraid to ask
ya Sefi 4 P. 2
Top Stories Two Page
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
Pensioner postpones suicide in Edo
retired civil servant in Edo State, who had threatened penultimate week to either hang himself or eat rat poison, has chickened out of the plan at the eleventh hour. Mr. Dennis Amayo, a 64-year old husband and father, had two weeks ago written an open letter to Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, threatening to kill himself on February 14th, a day dedicated to the celebration of love as espoused by Saint Valentine, if the state government fails to pay him his eight months pension arrears. Asked why he refused to kill
himself on Friday as he had earlier threatened to do, Amayo, whose last duty post as a civil servant of Edo State Civil Service was as a Field Officer in the Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said he has postponed the evil day by another two weeks. Amayo, who admitted the fact that a suicide attempt in whatever form constituted an offence against the state, had embarked on a solo protest through major streets in Benin City, to the Government House, Edo State House of Assembly and the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists amongst other places. In an open letter to the state governor, Mr. Amayo stated, “Dear Comrade Governor, you
owe me eight months pension arrears. Please Sir, pay me before February 14, 2014. Otherwise, I will commit suicide.” He further threatened that before he kills himself, he will rub his body with the ashes of the card with which he voted Oshiomhole into power. “I voted Oshiomhole into power. I will burn my voter’s card and put the ashes on my chest,” he declared. The pensioner, who resides at Number 79, Sapele Road in Benin City and who hails from Igbanke in Orhiomnwon Local Government Area of Edo State, had further stated that he was offering himself as a sacrificial lamb so other pensioners in the state and other parts of the country could be paid with dispatch. “After I am gone, may be the government would take the welfare of pensioners, who have given their productive life to the service of the state, more seriously,” Amayo offered.
And as to the method of death he intended to adopt, the Amayo had gazed into the sky for some minutes before releasing the bombshell: “There are several ways to die. I may take rat poison or hang on an electric wire. But most importantly, help me to tell the governor to pay my money before then.” Asked why he was so desperate to end his life even when his case might not be the worst in the state, Amayo, who claimed to have four grown up children one of whom is presently pursuing greener pastures in Spain, replied, “All I want is for the state government to pay me my eight months pension before February 14, 2014. As I speak with you, my father’s remains, who died three months ago, is still lying in a mortuary in Agbor. I am not scared if police arrest me tomorrow because I am tired of life. I gave my life to the service of this state. Why should I be made to suffer untold hardship?”
While the suicide bidder confessed that he was yet to be paid his pension arrears since the ultimatum to the state government began, sources that are familiar with him told Saturday Mirror that he chickened out of the threat even as his children were ashamed to have read the report. Our correspondent further gathered that the state government was presently making renewed efforts to pay all the pension arrears of pensioners in Edo State even as the government has repeatedly admitted that the shortfalls in Federal Allocation to states for about eight months now was partially responsible for the accumulation of arrears in pension pay. According to the Bendel State of Nigeria Gazette, dated 18th January, 1979, Amayo was employed as a field overseer with an appointment letter dated July 7th 1978 in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
War Against Quackery: 30 illegal hospitals sealed in Ogun
hirty illegal health facilities, including laboratories, have been sealed by the Ogun State Ministry of Health. Speaking during an inspection of medical facilities across the state, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, said the facilities were sealed from August last year till date during a clamp down on illegal and substandard hospitals. The commissioner said the inspection was in accordance with the commitment of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun administration to ensure appropriate minimum standard medical requirements. He said the private facilities should be well equipped with professional health per-
EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
n eight year old primary two pupil, Miss Inato Sunday, yesterday lost her life following a reported power outage at Diette Koki Memorial Hospital, Opolo, Yenagoa, a Bayelsa State Government health facility. According to reports, Inato’s death was not unconnected with
sonnel who will provide qualitative health care delivery services to the people. The inspection, he added, was imperative to ensure that health practitioners ad-
here strictly to the ethics of the profession and eradicate quackery in health sectors in the state. The commissioner admonished unqualified medical
practitioners in the state operating illegal and unregistered private health facilities and laboratories or those who have not revalidated their licences to abide by the regulations or
risk having their facilities sealed, stating that “Quacks and those who persist in operating substandard facilities will be driven out of business”.
Edo government gives police widows N14m SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN
do State government has presented cheques totalling N14m to seven widows of police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in the state. The state government would also support the education of each child of the fallen seven policemen with N500, 000. Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, who announced the
presentation in Benin City, stated that the security of lives and property is the irreducible minimum responsibility of every government to the people. The governor applauded the gallantry of officers and men of the Edo State Police Command in their effort to rid the state of criminals. “It is the way we look after widows, those who were widowed in the course of their husband’s duty and those who are orphaned
or rendered fatherless in the course of their father’s work; how we treat them, more than what we say, that will send the correct signals to those in uniform that whatever happens in the line of their duty, society appreciates,” Oshiomhole said. “Crocodile tears will not suffice. We need concrete measures designed to alleviate their suffering, which cannot be equal to the loss of a loving husband or a caring father.”
Governor Oshiomhole also used the occasion to make another donation of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000.00) to the children of each of the seven wives of the fallen police officers as education support. The fallen police officers are: ASP Sunday Paul; Inspector Bakare Kong; Inspector Sunday Ewansiha; Inspector Akpada Michael; Sergeant Kennedy Ozegin; Corporal Timothy Edward and Inspector Paul Agbonavbare.
Power failure claims 8-year-old girl in Bayelsa negligence on the part of staff and management of the hospital, built by the immediate past administration in the State. An aggrieved family member of the deceased, who pleaded anonymity, blamed the death of the girl on the absence of the technical staff in charge of the power generating set in the hospital. The source, an indigene of
Ogbia town in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state, told Saturday Mirror that the girl was rushed to the said hospital due to a stomach complaint, adding that the situation got worse on admission. The father of late girl, Mr. Sunday Nyingasa, claimed his daughter started convulsing following the administration of
some drugs by the hospital staff. “Before we knew it, my daughter started convulsing. We prayed as the doctors tried all their best to stabilize her condition. Later she became calm and they said that they would have no choice but to put her on life support machine. To save the life of my daughter, I paid all they asked me to pay. But the doctors allowed
my daughter to die because of power failure. “I was thrown into confusion. It took the nurses over fifteen minutes to look for the man who was supposed to switch on their power generating set. So sad, my daughter couldn’t hold on any longer, as she started vomiting and gave up the ghost,” he lamented.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
“Boy, 14, rapes nine-year-old girl to death”
“MARRIED wo four men in man raped by police stat ion” “Soldier rapes girl in cemeter y”
“Man, 60, rapes nine-year-old girl” o w t w o H : ists p a r f o e 14” “Sieg , l r i g d e g rap n a g n e m
5 f o r e h t o “M h” t a e d o t d rape
y m r e t f a s y t” o c b e e p l t s t u i l S h – t i e w m t t p f e l e l s I ed d p “ n a r e i r” ly r e d f t l e h r g gi lle aug , a tepd 2 4 , s n d l a o “M yeare n i n
’ in h t a e to d d e p ‘ra , 8 e” 1 t , a l t r i S G “ lsa e y a B e, Otuok
A scourge on the rise?
Newspapers, radio, television and social media headlines scream rape and paedophilia every day. All the stories are weird, while some are downright gory and eerie. What is happening to Nigerian men? Has rape really become an epidemic in our nation? K AYODE FALADE
ust on February 7, 2014 the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, raised the alarm on the rising cases of rape in the land especially defilement of minors. The NHRC Executive Secretary, Prof Ben Angwe, who raised the alarm while playing host to his Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, counterpart, John Kennedy Opara in Abuja also called on the Police High Command to be more vigilant in their investigations to make suspects. “I wish to condemn in very strong terms the increasing cases of rape in the country especially the defilement of minors,” he was quoted saying. Many of these cases, sadly, emanate from unexpected sources which often make them more confounding if not appalling. Policemen, soldiers, other law enforcement agents, clerics both Christian and Muslim, teachers, parents and kin have been reported to have assaulted their wards and children. This often sounds ridiculous to laymen who are not
familiar with rape and sexual assaults. But to victims and care givers, rape comes more from within, that is, known people than from outside, that is, strangers. And that probably explains why Itoro Eze-Anaba, the Managing Partner of Mirabel Centre, a project for Partnership for Justice, said that rape is not something mythical. “Many think that rape comes when a girl wears a sexually provocative dress on the street and someone jumps out of the bush to rape her. But experience has shown that 90 per cent of victims are raped or assaulted by people they know in their homes or compounds. So we need to let the people know that rape is not far away and that it is right there in their homes,” she added. The question now is, why this rise and continue up in the incidents of rape in the country? Many experts and care givers in the rape and post rape trauma management who spoke with Saturday Starter, would not want to be categorical that really there is a rise in rape incidents in the land. To them poor demography and the absence of scientific data would make it rather absurd to submit that
there has actually been an upsurge in the cases of rape in Nigeria. “It is difficult to know whether there is actually a rise in the incidents of rape or not because are no figures to know what happened five years ago and what is happening now to do a comparison,” Eze-Anaba pointed out. They were, however, unequivocal about rise in the defilement of minors and paedophilia in the land. “From the statistics in the Mirabel Centre the majority of the over 170 clients that have come to the centre from July 2013 to the end of January 2014 to receive treatment are between the ages of 11 and 15. They are minors. And we have a lot of them that are gang raped. There is an increase in gang rape in Nigeria, at least in Lagos State”, she submitted. This was corroborated by the Lagos State Police Command which identified rape as one of the crimes that topped its chart in 2013 while others were murder, stealing and assault. The chart showing this was made available to jourCONTINUED FROM 3
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Rape is not a myth, it’s real Itoro Eze-Anaba, Managing Partner, Mirabel Centre, a project of Partnership for Justice
hat is your definition of rape? Rape, to me, is having sexual knowledge of a person without their consent. The basic principle there is lack of consent. It may not only be physical. It could be verbal; it could be by picture in terms of display of graphic image of yourself. For instance, if an adult should display a graphic sexual picture of themselves to a minor, then it is sexual assault. It could be by pornography and sexual exploitation of children. It’s a whole lot of any sexual behaviour that is inappropriate and lacks consent of the person at the receiving end. Rape is not just only the physical act of penetration of the woman. It goes more than that. Rape cases are being reported everyday in the dailies. What do you think are the factors responsible for its rise? It is difficult to know whether there is actually a rise in the incidents of rape or not because are no figures to know what happened five years ago and what is happening now. Secondly, there are different factors contributing to rape. One of these is that in our community, rape is condoned. We actually deny and pretend as if rape does not exist because it is not happening to us. But at times, it happens under our nose. Even when a child reports that he or she has been a victim of rape, in many instances the child is told to keep quiet. They are more concerned about the family name and stigmatisation than the impact on the child. We would rather keep quiet about it and in many instances we settle with the perpetrators. But if the perpetrator is a family member and he is usually a family member or somebody known to the victim, many believe
that cautioning him is the right thing. So there is a high level of impunity and the perpetrator goes free. If the perpetrator goes free today, he would go ahead and do the same thing tomorrow thinking it’s the normal way of life. Another factor is the way we view women in our society. We feel that women are inferior to men and that they are just there to do our bidding and that even if a woman says no, it is believed that she is just playing hard to get; ultimately she would succumb and that her no means yes particularly if she had gone out with you for a drink or you had done one or two things for her and then she comes to your house and then you want to have sex with her she says no. A man would think that with that no, she is just playing hard to get; that why did she come to my house? There is a whole lot of myth surrounding rape and what constitutes rape in the first instance. From that level a lot of them get away with raping women. And even the women themselves do not report the cases of rape because they would internalise it and just keep it to themselves. And even if they make attempt at reporting, nobody believes them. I had a discussion with a group of men who asked , “what if a 13-year-old girl is sexually provocative and she is seducing the man?” and I said, “how could a 13-year-old girl seduce a man?” and if she seduces a 40-year-old man, then there is a problem with the man. In the first instance, a 13-year-old girl is a minor and cannot give consent to sex. There is lack of awareness about rape. There is a lot of denial about it. And there is a lot of lack of action in terms of making sure that the perpetrator is held accountable for what happened. The community has failed to feel responsible for
the act of rapists in their midst. So until it happens to you, you don’t take action forgetting that if it happens to your neighbour, it is also happening to you. Somebody told me the other time, that because of the high cost of living a lot of men that used to visit brothels don’t go there anymore. And that what they do is just look within their environment and take what is available. I said, that is rubbish. It is not true and it can never be true. It is all about blaming the victim and most of the time that is what we just do whereas the perpetrator is actually the criminal. Another issue is the investigation of rape. To what extent are the police empowered to investigate cases of rape and prosecute such in the courts of law? There is a lot more that needs to be done. And unfortunately, in tackling the issue of rape, there must be agency issue. The best method is the combination of many agencies including the community. We cannot be left to one agency like the police. The media too has a role to play. The victims need protection. Anything that makes it possible for the victim to be identified in the community should not be done so as to avoid stigmatisation. The domestic violence law says the identity of the parties should be protected. How do you think rape can be prevented or stemmed? You and I have to take action. It is community approach that can reduce incidents of rape. We need to create awareness. We need to demystify rape. Many think that rape comes when a girl wears a sexually provocative dress on the street and someone jumps out of the bush to rape her. But experience has shown that at 90 per cent of the clients are raped or
assaulted by people they know in their homes or compounds. So we need to let the people know that rape is not far away and that it is right there in their homes. We need to create that awareness about rape and make sure that the community should stand up and say we do not want rapists in our midst. We should expose perpetrators and let them know that that behaviour is unacceptable. And thirdly, they should stop blaming the victims. At no point at all is a victim to be blamed no matter what she did or no matter what she wore and no matter where she was. The perpetrator is actually the criminal; it can never be the victim. And then the police also have to be trained to know how to deal with clients that go there, so that they too would not further traumatise the victim by blaming her for what happened. Also the prosecution has to be victim friendly. It does not help the situation when you go to the court and the trial lasts three to four years. All these should be taken care of because rape is a crime against the state. The government should also provide fund so that rape will be eliminated in our society.
‘Rape is a game of domination’ Lousia Ono Eikhomun, Executive Director, Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative, EWAI.
hat has your experience with the police been so far? In most cases the police refer victims to hospitals for medical attention. But sadly, mostly, that is where it ends. When it gets to taking the matter to court, they begin to stall. Why? It is because, mostly, they are already in connivance with the suspect to ensure that the matter does not get to court. That is when they begin to tell the victim, parents or guardian to settle out of court. They will be telling them that the court process is long and tedious and that since there would be no compensation, they should settle out of court. This and many other tales they tell the victim and parents to discourage them from going to court. And of course, in Nigeria, most parents yield because we like trying to
leave everything in the hands of God, so at the end of the day, they yield and nothing happens. But if the parents insist that they must get their right and that they must get judgement from a competent court of law, the police now begin to intimidate or frustrate the process. How do they frustrate the process? They harass them, ask them to bring money and keep asking them to come to the police station while they must have released the suspect on bail. With the way rape suspects are handled rape will continue. Father, cousins, friends, uncles and so on are into it and so it continues. A minor cannot give consent. Even if she is naked before a man, he must not sleep with her. If he does, it
is defilement. Children should also be given preventive tips. Parents and guardians should not allow rape to happen before they act. Parents have a lot of work to do in this area. They should also know that they should be able to shout out so that somebody nearby would hear and help. In most cases, victims do not shout, they only try to struggle. The only thing in their mind is escape. This is not good enough. There is the belief in some quarters that it is very difficult for one man to rape one woman and that eventually when the deed is done the woman must have consented one way or the other. What is your take? Rape is a game of power. It is a game of the stronger power overcoming the
weaker. The view that one man cannot rape a woman is wrong. A woman does not prepare for rape but a man does. It is usually premeditated. He must have planned that this and this were what he would do.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
There should be stricter penalties for rapists –Adekunle Ojo, former Second Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA)
he general belief is that it is difficult to secure conviction for an alleged rapist. Why is this so? I don’t really believe that it is that difficult to get a person convicted for rape because if the person is able to establish especially through medical report that there was a penetration by a man and that it was unlawful and done without the consent of the victim, it should not be that difficult. I think the problem we actually have is the society and the stigma attached to rape. Most people would because of this prefer not to even talk about it, or expose themselves as a victim of rape. The person is likely to suffer some deprivation in the society; nobody wants to marry a rape victim; people see such a person as somebody whom an unusual thing has happened to and rather than securing favourable disposition from people, she becomes an anathema. I think that is why most people would not come to say that they have been raped. Take for instance, a man that raped a woman but who had drugged her before the act or maybe hypnotised her one way or the other, the case would be very difficult to prove. But, where the evidence can be established; where the person was able to show that she was actually raped and the circumstances pointing to the fact that it is only the accused person that had the opportunity to do it and the medical report corroborating it, it becomes as easy
as any other case to secure conviction. Like you have said, some elements have to be there before rape could be established. Why is this so in view of the act that the victim did not plan for it? I am aware that for a person to be convicted of rape there must be penetration. I don’t think it is a position of the law that there must be a deposit of anything because rape is rape. What is needed to be established is penetration. If there is penetration, what other evidence do we need? Must we wait until the man deposited semen into the woman before we know that he has raped her? I don’t really think that this issue of deposit is an issue. Why do convicted rapists receive sentences considered light by many? Basically the sentence a convict receives is largely dependent on many factors. A judge that convicts must have looked at the law whether or not it permits him to reduce it to a particular minimum or he can go further. Basically a judge that will not convict on a term that is not agreeable to the law. I think a lot of discretion comes in when a judge convicts. A conviction is a conviction. But when he sentences he may choose that, this man is a first offender and so many other things too. However, I think I will be on the side of stricter penalties for rapists because it is the height of the denigration of womanhood. Because of this, I would rather subscribe to the view that rap-
ists should be severely punished. Even if they are not earning the maximum, they should earn something big enough that would keep them in the cooler for a very long time. But again, we should look at our prison system. If you look at our prison system you begin to wonder if someone could really be reformed. Someone who goes to jail for the offence of rape would come back from jail only to have become a homosexual or so many other things and so you begin to ask yourself: are we really reforming? I think these are questions we really need to ask but above all, I believe that people should pay for the crimes they are convicted for. But again, the system of Nigeria is not foolproof because very often people lie, people deceive, people do all sorts of things. Some people would claim someone raped them while actually it never happened. They just did it to get at their target. So, in actual fact, we really need to be aware of some of these things and the apparatus or the requisite systemic of determining whether or not it actually happened. In the western world it is easier even if there is a penetration without semen; the white people would determine whether or not it was that man that actually entered. If you remember the World Bank or IMF president’s case, it was almost closed, the man said no, I did not rape her but I did this. But in Nigeria, it is different. If Jesus had come to say stone adulterers, imagine Nigerians would carry big stones and stone the
adulterer. Somebody was alleged to have killed his wife; he was seen with the knife and so many other things on the basis on which he was brought to court. But in the court he still insisted that he did not do it. If he didn’t do it, then who did? I think we are really living in a society that we actually need the grace of God to get things done properly and we need to buckle up because of our forensic analysis. I am not even sure that in Nigeria anything is working. If there is need for forensic analysis we have to beckon to foreign experts to do them for us. So if we are thinking of severe punishment, we also should be thinking of a foolproof analysis of happenings before conviction.
concluded. The aftermath of rape can be devastating for most victims. Many of them hardly recover from the trauma, loss of self esteem, depression and psychological crisis the experience plunges them into. Dr Grace Ijarogbe, consultant psychiatrist with the Federal Neuro- Psychiatric Hospital, Oshodi Annex, Lagos while speaking on the aftermath of rape on the victim, said: “For rape victims, the more common consequences of sexual violence are those related to reproductive health, mental health, and social wellbeing. Pregnancy may result from rape. Experience of coerced sex at an early age reduces a woman’s ability to see her sexuality as something over which she has control. As a result, it is less likely that an adolescent girl who has been forced into sex will use condoms or other forms of contraception, decreasing the likelihood of her not becoming pregnant. “Violent or forced sex can increase the risk of transmitting HIV. In forced vaginal penetration, abrasions and cuts commonly occur, thus facilitating the entry of the virus through the vaginal mucosa. Adolescent girls are particularly susceptible to HIV infection through forced sex, and even through casual sex, because
their vaginal mucous membranes have not yet acquired cellular density sufficient to provide an effective barrier that develops in the later teenage years.’’ she said. Ijarogbe stated further that being a victim of sexual violence and being susceptible to HIV share a number of risk behaviours. Forced sex in childhood or adolescence, for instance, increases the likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex, having multiple partners, participating in sex work, and substance abuse. The consultant psychiatrist advised parents to supervise the kind of films and television programmes their children watch as most rapists learn from what they see from pornographic films. This was seen in the case of the 14-yearold boy who raped a nine-year-old girl. She called on parents and care givers to be more careful and security conscious of the kind of people they leave in care of their children. “These days, ‘trusted uncles’, teachers and even socalled pastors have been found to be major culprits. Parents also have to spend more time with their children, be closer to them and teach them about sex education early in life to reduce these cases from happening.”
A scourge on the rise? CONTINUED FROM 3 nalists by the now out gone Commissioner, Umar Manko, during a press briefing held at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, to highlight some of the achievements of the command in the past year. Bose Ironsi the Executive Director of Women’s Right and Health Project, would rather see the supposed rise as a result of more awareness which has made victims to be less bothered by effects like stigma and now come out to report rape or defilement. “First of all, I will give credit to the media and civil organisations that are making people to now talk on their rape experience. Before, we were not getting people to come out and talk about rape. People are now beginning to be aware and unlike before more people come out to report rape. Hence, I may say it is the report of rape incidents that increase and not necessarily the incidents,” Ironsi added. She however adduced rituals and economic impediment as being responsible for the rise in paedophilia and defilement of minors. “According to reports, they use rape
for rituals especially the infants and the minors that are raped. They bleed them and use the blood for rituals or whatever. Some men just believe that these minors are cheap and that unlike mature women, it doesn’t require much to have sex with them. They can even be lured with mere biscuits and candies,” Ironsi noted. The rape scourge is not prevalent in Nigeria alone. One report indicated, for instance, that a Ugandan court sentenced a teenage girl to a six-hour jail term for killing her rapist father. The 58-year-old man had been raping the daughter repeatedly from the time she was 13 years old. A report has it that a woman is raped in India every 20 minutes, while the number of rape cases still pending in the country’s courts is estimated at 23,000. Unfortunately, however, the conviction rate stands at less than 25 per cent. Between 2009/10 and 2011/12 there were an estimated 78,000 victims of rape per year in England and Wales - 69,000 females and 9,000 males. Over the same period there was an average of 1,070 convictions per year for the offence, though offenders and victims may not relate to the same cases, since a single case can take years to be
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Missing $10.8bn: Okonjo-Iweala tackles Senate …says FG transparent in budgetary system • Argues that Nigeria’s finance is not in a mess TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Ministry of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, rose stoutly on Thursday to defend the fiscal and monetary policies of the present administration, saying that Nigeria has never had a more transparently implemented budgetary system than now. Making the clarification during the Senate Committee on Finance’s public hearing on the alleged miss-
ing $10.8bn from the Federation Account, the minister said government had done so much in instilling transparency and accountability in the public finance that ordinary Nigerians could say how much is allocated to every expenditure item in yearly budgets. Okonjo-Iweala, who was responding to one of the committee members’ insinuations that the country’s budget was in a mess, said there was nothing to show that as the Appropriation Acts’ level of the yearly performance, especially
what amount goes to where and when, has always been made known to the public as and when due. She said: “I just want to say to you that the statement that the finance of the country is in a mess, I would want the Distinguished Senator to make a difference. The finances of the country that come into the budget have been managed very transparently to the point that the budget of this country is so detailed that people can tell how much is spent in the State House buying forks and
knives and be able to criticise that. “And even if they don’t like it, they have the information and we should be proud of that as a country. There is no country in my experience of over 60 countries that have the kind of details released by the Budget Office of this Federation”, the minister insisted. Earlier, a committee member, Senator Isa Galaudu, ostensibly irked by the preliminary findings on the ongoing probe of the missing funds, especially those relating to unappropriated subsidy payments by the NNPC and inability of the various ministries and agencies investigating the alleged missing funds to
L-R: Head, Africa Oil & Gas Sector, LPMG, Mr. Dimeji Salaudeen; Chairman, Energy & National Resources Sector, Mr. Michiel Soeting and Sales Marketing & Communications expert, Mrs. Marie-Therese Phido, at a news conference on Shale Gas and Its Implication for Nigeria in Lagos, yesterday.
Money laundering: Appeal Court upholds EFCC’s power to prosecute Ladoja • Ex-governor heads to Supreme Court WALE IGBINTADE
ttempt by the former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, to quash the N4.7bn money laundering charge instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) failed yesterday as the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, held that the Commission had power to prosecute him under Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004. Ladoja had filed the appeal against the decision of a Federal High Court, Lagos, which refused to quash the 10 counts of money laundering.
The appellate court, in its judgement, delivered by Justice Sidi Bage disallowed the appeal and ordered the former governor to continue his trial at the lower court. Justice Bage in his lead judgement unanimously adopted by other two justices held that the EFCC has power to prosecute under Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004. The appellate court held the Section 14 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004 gives power to EFCC to prosecute the former governor. Besides, the court held that Section 7(2) of the EFCC Act also empowered the commission to pros-
ecute money laundering offences. Meanwhile, the former governor, through his lawyer, has vowed to challenge the judgement at the Supreme Court. Challenging the competence of EFCC’s charges, Ladoja through his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), contended that the proof of evidence placed before the lower court by the anti-graft agency had no nexus with the charge against him, and did not disclose any prima facie case against him. He asked the court for a declaration that the EFCC had no power, jurisdiction or authority to prefer any criminal charge against
him, and raised an objection to the charge on the grounds that the charge levied against him were vague and did not link him with the commission of any crime to warrant his arraignment. EFCC had arraigned Ladoja before Justice Ramat Mohammed of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos in November 2008 alongside one of his former aides, Chief Waheed Akanbi, on an amended 10 count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.7 billion. The duo were said to have conspired to convert property and resources derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the property and resources.
come up with actual unremitted amount to the Federation Account, said there was need for the minister to plug all sources of leakages in revenue accruals to the said account. Galaudu, whose views instantaneously changed the mood of the minister, explained that what had transpired during the public hearing in terms of the seeming irreconcilability of the figures being presented by the MDAs on the alleged missing funds suggested clearly that the country’s financials were in a mess. He said: “Hon Minister, a casual look at the financials of this country is messy. Anybody who watches the proceedings of this public hearing will conclude that our financials are messy. Of course, we don’t expect this to happen under your watch. We know that things have been happening before you came; our plea is that you should put these things under your control. “Is there anybody who is above the law? Are there people that are beyond the law? We want to see these finances, leakages plugged. Even the last time we had a meeting here regarding revenue generation agen-
cies, we ask you questions that does the budget include subsidy on kerosene? You said we should ask the GMD. GMD looked, left, right and centre and didn’t say anything. But we know that there is no budget provision for kerosene subsidy.” It would be recalled that the raging controversies over the unremitted funds into the Federation Account were triggered off a few weeks ago by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in a letter to the Presidency in which he alleged that about $49.8bn from crude oil export earnings was not remitted to the Federation Account. Several weeks after the contents of the letter were made public and after series of the revenue reconciliation meetings involving the NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Finance as well as the CBN, the actual money that is missing remained unknown still.
Boko Haram: Borno death toll hits 62 INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
and buried them at the cemetery, according to Islamic rites in the evening. “After a two-hour search for more bodies in the bush yesterday, members of the volunteer group retrieved five bodies; and were buried at the cemetery. This brings the number of those killed to 62, including the four injured people that died at the UMTH yesterday in Maiduguri,” said the district head. On the fleeing residents, he said: “most of my people had already fled when the attackers came calling even though a few of us, the agile men hid in nearby farmlands. The attackers surrounded Malari Village and started shooting in the air but changed their mind when they realised that nobody was in the village. Luckily enough, they did not burn any property.” He also said that following intelligence report, the
he District Head of Konduga, Zannah Masu Yale and authorities of University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in Borno State yesterday said that the death toll in last Tuesday’s attacks by suspected Boko Haram gunmen had risen from 53 to 62. This followed the death of some injured persons and the retrieval of more bodies in the bush on Thursday morning. Over 2,500 fleeing Konduga residents have also yesterday been resettled by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at two resettlement centres, with the distribution of more relief materials and food items. Giving the update in Maiduguri, Masu told newsmen that the Konduga Volunteer Group members retrieved five more bodies in the bush Thursday; CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
Alleged N874m fraud: Court frees ex-Speaker, Bankole • Says he did no wrong and can’t face trial • EFCC vows to reverse verdict ISE-OLUWA IGE
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday terminated the trial of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, over alleged involvement in contract inflation and embezzlement of public funds totaling N874 million. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had slammed Bankole with a 16-count fraud charge. The trial High Court which quashed the charge yesterday held that Bankole did no wrong to warrant his trial. Specifically, the trial judge, Justice Evoh Stephen
Chukwu, held that based on the testimonies of the six witnesses called by the prosecution, no wrong doing could be imputed into the processes leading to the award of the said contracts to justify his being called to enter his defence in the trial. He said the EFCC which dragged the ex-Speaker to court to face trial over the allegation woefully failed to establish prima facie case against him. “In the end, the no-case submission of the accused person succeeds. The accused is hereby discharged and acquitted,” the judge held yesterday. Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, led the prosecution team in the matter. Chief Olawale Akoni
(SAN) however led the defence team which crumbled the case yesterday. Yesterday was the second time Bankole would be vindicated by the court over fraud allegation. It would be recalled that an Abuja High Court had recently discharged and acquitted him of charges bordering on breach of trust and illegally obtaining loan of about N9 billion for the House of Representatives while at the helm of affairs. Saturday Mirror however reports that Bankole had lost the same case he won yesterday before another judge. The first judge who heard the case, Justice Donatus Okorowo, had rejected
Bankole’s application to quash the charge. However, the case was reassigned to Justice Chukwu after Okorowo was transferred to Taraba State. But Justice Evoh Chukwu, in a ruling on Bankole’s no-case submission yesterday, held that the prosecution “failed woefully” to establish a prima facie case against the ex-Speaker to warrant the court calling him to enter defence in the N874million contract fraud charge against him. He further held that the prosecution failed to prove the essential ingredients of the crimes to justify the charge that the former Speaker colluded with others as covered by counts 3, 6, 9, 12, 13 and 14 of the charge.
Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr. George Ossi (R), handing over to his successor, Dr. Jamilla Shu’ara, in Abuja, yesterday.
Aero Air made air return on Lagos-Doula route OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ne of the leading airlines in Nigeria, Aero Airlines, yesterday had an air return on its way to Doula, Cameroon. The airline, which departed the Murtala Moham-
med International Airport, MMIA, Lagos returned to base barely an hour after departing MMIA. A source close to the airline told our correspondent that the flight AJ 2002, which departed the Lagos Airport, had a technical fault mid air. The incident led to panic
among the onboard passengers, Saturday Mirror learnt. But a statement by the airline’s media agent, stated that the flight had an air return due to a sensor alarm noticed by the flight crew in the flight deck. The statement stated that following strict safety
standard procedure, the flight crew decided to abort the flight. The statement added, “The problem had been fixed and we are awaiting the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, approval to commence use of the aircraft.”
The judge explained that collusion connoted an agreement to commit a crime. In the instant case, the judge found that the evidence led by the prosecution witnesses did not through their testimonies show that there was collusion. His words: ”From the totality of the testimonies of the six witnesses, nothing shows any act of collusion on the part of the accused person. “Nothing shows that he interfered with the process of the award of the contracts. No mention about anybody fronting for him was made by the prosecution witnesses and the process was also said to have complied with the requirements. “Based on the totality of these witnesses testimonies, I hold that there is nothing to justify his being called to enter his defence as none of the essential ingredients have been proved by the prosecution,” he added. The judge held that where the prosecution had not proved the essential ingredients of the offences charged, the court will be engaging in inquisitorial trial should it insist that the accused must prove his innocence. He held that under the nation’s adversarial criminal procedure, it was for the prosecution to prove its case against the accused and not the other way round. “In the end, the no-case submission of the accused person succeeds. The accused is hereby discharged and acquitted,” the judge held. The court thereafter discharged and acquitted the former Speaker of all the charges. Indications however emerged yesterday that the EFCC might appeal the verdict. Saturday Mirror learnt that the agency is buoyed by the verdict of Justice Okorowo who earlier sat on the case which held that Bankole had a case to answer. Justice Okorowo in the said ruling had agreed with Keyamo that there was a nexus linking the former Speaker with the offences
brought against him. He had said that by the express provisions of section 33  of the Federal High Court Rules, criminal proceedings were summary in nature and did not require a detailed proof of evidence. He said “Criminal proceedings shall be conducted substantially in line with the criminal Procedure Act, therefore criminal trial before this court is by summary trial. “Where a prosecutor filed a Proof of Evidence that is not in detail, the court cannot quash a charge against an accused person because he is not bound by it. So the insufficiency of a Proof of Evidence is immaterial at this stage. “Besides, the court must be cautious not to get into the merit of the case at this stage, but to look whether there is a nexus between the accused and the offence. “I’m convinced with the position of the prosecutor that there is a link between the accused and the offence in which case, the trial has to proceed to trial.” On whether Keyamo lacked the competence to exercise prosecutorial powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation because as at the time of filing the charges, there was no Attorney General of the Federation to give him the fiat to prosecute, the court held that the office of the AGF is a legal entity. On the issue of bias on the part of Keyamo, Justice Okorowo held that “the bias of the prosecution will not affect the decision of the court as the court will look into the evidence placed before arriving at its decision.” He said provisions of the Public Procurement Acts the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives is liable to any acts an omission done pursuant to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007. In addition, the court agreed with Keyamo that under the provisions of section 7 of the Criminal Procedure Act [CPC] any person suspected to aid and abate the commission of a crime is liable to the offence.
February 15, 2014
2015 election: No governor on our watch-list-EFCC • Says Oduah still under probe
OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
head of the 2015 general election, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that no former or serving governor is on its watch-list. This is even as the commission stressed that it was not the responsibility of the commission to determine who is eligible or not for election. It would be recalled that the former EFCC boss, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had at the wake of 2007 governorship election presented a list of governors, whom he claimed were under investigation and as such not eligible for re-election. Addressing journalists in Abuja while presenting the commission’s conviction scorecard, the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had the responsibil-
ity to determine suitability of candidates for elective positions. U w u j a r e n , however,explained that while the anti-graft agency would not dabble into political affairs, it would not hesitate to prosecute any governor serving or past, that ran foul of the law. He said, “We don’t have anything like watch-list. As a commission, we try as much as possible to stay away from politics. It is not part of the commission’s responsibility to determine which governor has the right to contest or which one does not have the right to contest election. “What we do here is to enforce the law. If any governor, serving or past has a case to answer, our duty is to investigate and if a prima facie case is established, we charge him to court. It is not our duty to tell INEC who is eligible or not. Responding to question on whether the commission had invited former Minis-
ter of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, for questioning over the alleged N255bn bullet proof car scandal, he said no responsible anti-graft agency would announce notice to a suspect in a matter. The EFCC spokesman however added that there was an ongoing investigation into the car scandal case, adding that the commission would announce the outcome of the investigation in due course. “The issue is not whether we are going to invite Oduah or not; what should interest Nigerians at this point in time, is whether the commission is on top of the matter or not. And I can tell you that the commission is on top of the case. We are investigating it and in due course we will tell you the outcome of our investigation,” he said. Giving the records of the commission’s conviction in 2013, Uwujaren stated that out of the 533 cases it charged to court, it record-
ed 117 convictions. According to him the figure represents an improvement over the 105 convictions secured in 2012. He said that of major significance was the fact that ninety nine per cent of the convictions were secured by lawyers from the legal and prosecution department of the commission. Asked to give the number of politically exposed persons on the list of the 117 convictions, he retorted, “I am sometimes shocked when people talk about high profile, low profile conviction. In law enforcement, there is nothing like high or low profile conviction. Every case is unique. “All the cases are very important. Some of the ones you may tag low profile could have more damaging effects on the Nigerian economy.”
from EU through Democratic and Governance Project of UNDP. Jega, however, said that more training was required in the area of logistics and operations. ``More target training is required in the area of logistics and operations which can help us to overcome some of our logistic and operations’ challenges. “This can be structured from the zonal or at the national level but at least much targeted training that can help improve operational efficiency in logistic deployment will be appreciated. ``I think these two areas can be addressed to enhance our operational capacity as we move toward 2015 general elections’’, he said. The chairman also stressed the need for training of journalists to ensure responsible reporting, strengthening professionalism and ethical conduct.
r Ziakede Akpobolokemi, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says alternate dispute resolution will enhance the growth of the maritime sector. A statement issued by NIMASA on Friday in Lagos said that Akpobolokemi
made the observation during a visit of a delegation of the Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN). Akpobolokemi lamented the pace at which maritime disputes were being adjudicated, adding that maritime cases lingered for decades in courts to the detriment of the operators.
Borno death toll hits 62 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
villagers deserted their homes. “When we heard of the attack, we informed relevant authorities and security measures were taken. Most of the people have returned to their homes in Malari Village, located 10 kilometres west of destroyed Konduga town,” he said. It was learnt that after the fleeing of over 2, 500 residents; the insurgents advanced towards the destroyed Konduga township and hung around the
Losing the nation’s wealth
Furore over APC registration
As the All Progressives Congress, APC, concluded its nationwide membership registration during the week, the party has been shouting on the rooftops that it had exceeded its membership target for the exercise thus telling the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that it has lost grip, ahead 2015. But the PDP is sneering, saying that the claim is sheer exaggeration. We bring you the cross-fire, tomorrow.
“Enlightened voters, who could come out and discharge their civil duties, participate in the electoral process and do the right thing that will ensure that their votes are not wasted, will be welcomed. “We need a more structured way in which EU, in particular, can fund some of the dissemination exercise on radio or on television``, Jega said. He said INEC would develop a packaged programme on voter education which EU could provide financial support to be aired on TV and Radio stations nationwide. ``It is very costly to do television and radio announcement and, frankly, our budget is insufficient to accommodate as much voter education as we want to do or to see done,’’ the chairman said. He added that the commission had benefited from many training programmes and workshops
NIMASA suggests alternate dispute resolution for maritime industry
open stadium for half an hour before they were pursued by military troops towards Sambisa Forest. Confirming the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, spokesman of Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Squadron Leader, Chris Erondu, said the ground and aerial operations, is still ongoing to ascertain if there is any casualties. On casualties sustained in Konduga and Malari attacks, Erondu in a text message said: “No details yet.”
In your refreshingly different
INEC solicits EU’s support on voter education, training he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Friday, solicited European Union’s (EU) technical support on voter education and training of personnel. The chairman of the commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, made the appeal when he received the Head of European Union delegation, Amb. Michel Arrion at INEC headquarters in Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Jega said such a support had become necessary to improve the commission’s operational efficiency in logistic deployment. “As we move towards 2015 general elections, there is need for additional collaboration and cooperation in a number of areas, most especially in voter education. “I believe we can do whatever we can to ensure a remarkably more enlightened voter education by 2015.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Pipeline vandalism and oil bunkering are becoming a very serious and lucrative business hence, there is large turnout of people engaging in it to eke out a living despite the risks involved. In the last couple of years, there were several reports of damage to pipelines at various places in the country. Also, activities of oil pipeline vandals in the creeks of the Niger Delta region could be described as patently worrisome. This illicit business is indeed disturbing to the Federal Government and multinational oil firms operating in the region. Investigations by Sunday Mirror, however, reveal the untold stories of how the nation has been losing billions of Naira to a cartel of oil bunkerers.
‘We want LG autonomy at all costs’
As the nation prepares for the National Conference with different interest groups tabling varied agenda, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) is also set for the confab. ALGON officials are not happy that the local government system remains an appendage of the states. Nwabueze Okafor, the national president of the body, has a lot of complaints regarding the prostrate state of the local councils in the country. It is a must read.
‘No new lover, no Valentine’ lentine e’ Cleo Mulenge is an Afro pop musician, model and beauty therapist. She hails from Lusaka, the Zambian capital, and she is currently based in that country. Cleo is blunt as she answers questions many celebrities would tag as personal. She says she has not been celebrating Valentine Day because she is yet to get a new entrant, after the exit of her last lover. She speaks on lots more. Meet her tomorrow.
These and many more available tomorrow in your
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
Crisis rocks Kwara APC as Belgore defects to PDP • Says his former party undemocratic ISE-OLUWA IGE
rstwhile gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kwara State and member of the All Progressive Congress, Mr. Muhammad Dele Belgore (SAN), yesterday defected to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) in the state. Belgore who announced his decision yesterday said that the national leadership of the opposition APC was not only undemocratic but also lacked the capacity to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians. He specifically accused the national leadership of APC of aiding new members of the party to hijack
the party structure from those who stabilised it. Belgore who alleged that the party structure in the state had already been captured by what he called forces of retrogression, said efforts were made to make the national leadership see reason but that all failed. “APC’s leadership had, in seeking to satisfy a few,
alienated the rank and file, and to many, the soul of the party. “The owners of a home should not be displaced to give a sense of friendship to a stranger. “All efforts to obtain redress within APC have failed. “We are therefore joining the PDP, a party, which as fate has it, has shed the very core of the liabilities that made our people run
L-R: Managing Director, DERMALOG Identification, Mr. Gunther Mull; CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; MD, Zenith Bank/ MD of Zenith Bank and Chairman, Bankers’ Committee Sub-Committee on Biometric Project Mr. Godwin Emefiele and MD/CEO, NIBSS Plc., Mr. Ade Shonubi, at the launch of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) for the financial industry in Lagos yesterday.
Confab: Northern governors meet Monday PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
he Northern State Governors’ Forum (NSGF) has fixed Monday, February, 17, 2014 to meet in Kaduna to discuss the security situation in the region as well as the forth coming national conference. Chairman of NSGF and Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, disclosed this in a
statement signed by Danladi Ndayebo, his Chief Press Secretary. The governors will also discuss the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC), the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation (SABMF) and donations made to the dependents of security personnel who lost their lives during the Ombatse killings in Nasarawa State last year.
It would be recalled that a delegation of four governors from the NSGF, led by its chairman, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu visited Lafia, Nasarawa State last year, where the forum made a pledge of N100,000,000.00 (One hundred million naira) to the families of those who were killed by members of the Ombatse cult group in Alakyo Village of the state.
The statement said the meeting of the governors will be preceded on Sunday by a meeting of the Forum of Secretaries to the Governments of the 19 Northern States. It added that secretaries meeting will be under the chairmanship of the coordinating chairman of the forum and Secretary to the Government of Niger State, Hon Saidu Ndako Idris Kpaki.
Plan for 2019 presidency, group urges Northern leaders OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
head of next year’s presidential election, an election support group, Nigeria Mandate 2015, has urged northern political interest groups to start shopping for a credible candidate for the 2019 polls rather than seeking for the ouster of President Goodluck Jonathan. Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, the leader of the group, Dr.
Ojona Okongor, said from all indications President Jonathan appeared ready to context for a second term and would most likely be returned by Nigerian electorate. He said though the group is drumming support for Jonathan’s candidacy in next year’s election, it had also began a search for a northern candidate who is qualified to take over office in 2019,
“For 2015, we will advise that the Presidential Viilla is not vacant and there is no need people worrying themselves over spilt milk, there is no vacancy for the position until President Jonathan completes his second term by 2019. It is matter of just four years and he will be through with his second term. After that, the next president of the country can come from the north or elsewhere.”
Okongor said judging by Jonathan’s achievements and the growing number of organisations and bodies clamouring for him to go for a second term, it would not be out of place to say that he is as good as having won the contest. He said many Nigerians had seen the reason to support Jonathan because there had been some element of economic stability under his administration.
away from it. “We are joining hands with other like minds in the PDP who were unjustly shut out because of their progressive bent to strengthen the party and to endear it to the people of Kwara State. “Together we will work to advocate and bring about economic liberation, equal opportunity for all and positive development to our dear state and its people,” he added. Belgore who is moving into the ruling PDP with all his supporters in the state also called on all progressive-minded people resident in Kwara to join him in his new party to move the state forward. Going memory lane to further justify his decision, Belgore said: “Today is very symbolic. It is symbolic because people have waited with bated breath for us to make pronouncement on our political future. “The expectations and the anxieties are understandable given the happenings in the APC which we laboured so hard to nur-
ture to a party of choice in Kwara from its ACN days. “Hope had risen that with the birth of APC, our struggle for socio-economic development of our dear state which we began in 2010 would be better served under a stronger and broader political platform. “But that hope evaporated very quickly. An alliance of those who yearn for change and development and those who desire to maintain the status-quo of oppression and denial of opportunity was suddenly foisted on us. “By that alliance, the politics of patronage, of denial of merit-based opportunity; of running the state like personal assets, of deploying public wealth for the benefit of a select few; of selling the state assets to shadowy private concerns, was given new life. “But it is not just about pitching of the voices for change against the forces of retrogression, it was also about the manner in which it was done,” he added.
Revenue sharing formula should favour states more, not FG –Presidential aspirant
Nigerian in Diaspora, Ibrahim Abubakar Ladaja, has indicated desire to join the presidential race come 2015, saying should he be elected into office, he will review the revenue sharing formular of the nation in favour of state governments. He faulted the current sharing arrangement, where more money is allocated to the center than states that are closer to the people. He said if reviewed in their favour, states would be empowered to better the lot of the common man. Ladaja, a United States of America based oil and gas businessman who wants to contest under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) made the disclosure in a telephone interview. He explained that the decision to join politics was due to the love he had for the country and need to sal-
vage it from the “misrule” of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The presidential aspirant noted, “The ruling PDP has been in power since 1999 and has failed to provide solution to the various socio-economic and political problems of the country. And any attempt to further allow the party in 2015 to remain in power may spell doom for the country. “Things have been getting worse by the day for the country and PDP has no solution. This is the right time and moment for change. We stand for this change because PDP has no action plan to solve the problems.” Asked if he has political structures upon which he intends to realise his ambition, he said that he had already consulted with many stakeholders from within and outside his political party.
February 15, 2014
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From the Civil Service 609 Ekiti workers write promotion exam ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
kiti State Government has begun the 2012/2013 promotion exercise for workers of the State Hospitals Management Board (HMB) with the conduct of an examination for 609 members of staff. The examination cuts across all cadres in all secondary hospitals in the state for doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians, medical laboratory attendants, dental technicians and administrative officers, among others. HMB Chairman, Dr Bayo Orire, ex-
pressed the Kayode Fayemi administration’s commitment to training and retraining of health workers within and outside the country to meet the day to day challenges in the hospitals. Orire stressed the need for the workers to be proactive and ensure that they performed optimally in their duty posts. He assured that the administration would continually prioritise provision of qualitative healthcare services to the people of the state. According to the board, the state government recently embarked on renovation of hospitals across the state in order to meet the health needs of its populace.
This is as the state government also reiterated its resolve to ensure that teachers in the state were promoted as at when due. The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Kehinde Ojo, who described the Fayemi administration as worker- friendly, reiterated its passion about the welfare of teachers. According to Ojo, Fayemi, out of compassion, re-introduced car and housing loans in order to enable people in the education sector benefit from the scheme like their counterparts in other public sectors.
Delta retirees carpet govt over unpaid pensions AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA
group of retirees in Delta State under the umbrella of Association of Contributory Retirees, have cried out over what they termed
“inhuman treatments” been meted out to them by the state government. The senior citizens are also pointing accusing fingers on the Emmanuel Uduaghan-led government in the state over the series of hardships they had been made to undergo. The group, who trooped out in large
Kogi screens civil servants over bloated wage bill WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
orried by the alarming increase in the wage bill of workers in the state, the Kogi State government has moved to correct the anomaly. To this end, the state government has commenced the capturing of Biometric Data of all civil servants in the state. It has been reported that the wage bill of civil servants in the state had suddenly risen from N1.4 billion to N3 billion, which has given the state government a lot of concern. The new move was aimed to ascertain the number of civil servants in the state.
The Biometric capturing exercise is expected to be conducted by the Skye Bank Plc in collaboration with state government. Kogi State governor, Captain Idris Wada, while commissioning the exercise at the State Secretariat Complex in Lokoja, said the data capturing exercise had become necessary in view of the alarming increase in salary wage bill of the civil service, which was inherited from the immediate past administration. Wada clarified that the exercise was not aimed at witch-hunting or sacking civil servants, but maintained that it was targeted at ensuring that salaries are centrally coordinated for efficiency in payment to workers. His words, “Government is committed to bringing on board a plat form of improved integrity in the payment of salaries. It is our duty and responsibility as government to know the actual number of staff working for the state.” Wada, however, directed all civil servants in the state to make themselves available for the exercise in their own interest, noting that the result of the exercise would be used to improve on their welfare. Meanwhile, the Kogi State Joint Public Service Negotiation Council and other stakeholders have also directed their workers to make themselves available for the exercise.
numbers, yesterday, in Asaba, the state capital, condemned the log delay in the payment of their pensions after serving the state for 35 years. Speaking on behalf of the retirees during an enlarged meeting, Vice Chairman of the group, Mr. Uwhen Ede-Edijala, called for the immediate payment of their pensions, saying that since they were retired for over five years now, suffering and hardship have not departed their lives. While calling for urgent harmonisation of the state civil servants’ retirees, accuracy calculations with the
2010/2011 salary structure as done by the local governments, the group also demanded, among other things, immediate payments of the differences to the affected state civil servant retirees from 2010/2011 till date. In several Save Our Souls letters addressed to the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, signed by the group’s chairman, Mr. A. Ovwiroro, Ede-Edijala, and Secretary, Mr. J. Okproma, the group informed the governor that retirees had not been paid their gratuity and pensions for the past three years.
HOS tasks perm secs on policy programmes for women ADEOLA TUKURU ABUJA
he Head of Service, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, has called on all permanent secretaries in the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to create programmes and policies to improve the lives of women in the country. Bukar gave this charge yesterday when he led a team of federal permanent secretaries on a Peer Review meeting to the Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja. According to him, it is important for all permanent secretaries to align themselves with activities of their ministries, department and agencies to make the civil service a world class institution. He also said that the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) has been restructured to focus on training and welfare to improve the lives of all civil servants. “It has been observed that the OHCSF was overloaded with too many departments, this has not really helped in
training and career management. We are now restructured to a more compact size to help the civil service with its succession plan,” he said. Responding, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, commended the Head of Service for the dynamic leadership, noting that people in the civil service are impressed with the style of the peer review which the OHCSF created. “This is highly commendable and by extension it will improve the civil service,” she said. Earlier, the permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr Habiba Lawal, welcomed the team, saying governments’ policy of establishing gender units in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) was laudable. She said it was the ministry’s vision to build a society which guarantees equal access to social and economic opportunities, irrespective of gender, class or social status. Lawal said the ministry was also working to improve the lives of women, children and vulnerable persons in the society.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
NESREA shuts 6 firms in C’River RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
ix quarry and construction firms have been closed down in Cross River State by officials of the National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA). The firms were shut for failing to tender a statement of environmental impact assessment to officials of the Agency. One person was also arrested
for allegedly breaking NESREA Seal. The state coordinator of NESREA, Mr.Raph Nnam, disclosed this to journalists when a Non Governmental Organisation, Friends of Environment and Technology Organisation, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, in Calabar, the state capital. Nnam described as “criminal” the act perpetrated by one of the defaulters who broke the agency’s seal, stressing
that such an offence was punishable in the court of law. According to Nnam, NESREA would ensure that erring quarry and construction firms who violate its rules would be made to face the wrath of the law, adding that the Agency was going to be hard on firms that failed to comply with laws set up by the agency. Said he, “We have no time to ask defaulters to go back and do the right thing. Instead of allowing them go like that, they must pay a fine called violation fee which is N1.1 million or face prosecu-
tion.” Nnam maintained that about five companies have paid the fine. Earlier, Executive Director, Friends of Environment and Technology Organisation, Engr. David Missang Alobi said that his organisation was poised to promote environmental friendliness, creative innovations in technological development, carry non- formal environmental education in schools and communities, as well as collaborate with other organisations in the promotion of accountability and good governance in any part of the country.
No automatic ticket for Sen. Uzamaere – Edo PDP Chair OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
hairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Dan Orbih, has said that the defection of serving All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator from the state, Ehigie Uzamaere to the PDP, does not guarantee him for automatic ticket for the senatorial contest in 2015. Uzamere who represents Edo south in the Senate earlier in the week defected to the PDP from the APC. Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Orbih claimed the senator’s defection to PDP was a reaction to failure of Adams Oshiomhole’s government to develop Edo State. According to Orbih,
“It is the worst government we have had in the history of the state, with his policy of demolition of houses, all in the name of expansion of existing roads and primitive tax policy. The PDP is now repositioned and will create level playing field for all members” Orbih, however, denied speculation that Senator Uzamere has been promised automatic ticket to return to Senate ahead of 2015 general elections. He continued, “We have offered him membership of our party, not automatic ticket. I think he decided to return to PDP based on principle and on his personal assessment of what PDP stands for. We have accepted him and will extend to him all the rights and privileges accorded our members,” he said.
At last, Bayelsa to tackle perennial water problem EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
R Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (m) flanked by Dr. Franklin Ani Rector, State’s College of Health Technology (l); Registrar, Mrs. Philomena Obaji and Commissioner for Health, Prof Angela Oyo-Ita, cutting tape to inaugurate an ultra modern 2 two-storey building laboratories and lecture auditoriums at the College, yesterday.
Amaechi signs Revenue Fund Amendment Bill into law
ivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has signed the Rivers State Reserve Fund Amendment Bill No. 1, 2014, into Law. The amendment of the law, according to him, is to enable the State Government access N30 billion out of the N53 billion saved so far to enable his administration complete ongoing projects. Governor Amaechi said this when members of the Rivers State House of Assembly presented the bill for his assent at
the Executive Council chambers of Government House in Port Harcourt. According to Governor Amaechi, “The basic reason for the amendment is that the federal government is claiming that oil theft has affected our revenue and the allocation is dwindling seriously. I want to add that corruption is also responsible. And because have numerous projects to fund, I have been consulting with other members of cabinet that there was the need to have access to that fund. We will continue
to save when the revenue improves, but for now, I think, it is necessary that we take about N30 billion to fund our projects and also run government.” Earlier, leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Chidi Lloyd said the need to access the funds became necessary due to the daunting challenges affecting the Amaechi-led administration. Hear him “We are aware that you (Amaechi) wanted to put a stop to empty state treasury whenever there is transition of government, and critics
of this administration has argued that we have not saved any money. Now, in the law, we are told that bottlenecks will make it impossible to access these funds. But, the law has specifically provided that the funds will only be accessed in situations of emergency. And here, members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, in one of the meetings with you did advise that we unlock this money, so that in the face of the daunting challenges that we have, we can access these funds, nobody saves money when he is hungry.
esidents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, and its suburbs, may soon heave a sigh of relief as Governor Seriake Dickson has assured that government was ready to tackle the perennial water problem plaguing the state. Governor Dickson spoke yesterday at the mid-term transparency initiative press briefing to commemorate his two years in office. The governor also told the press that he would continue to address issues of security to enhance a enabling business environment for budding investors in the state. Though appreciating the booming water vendor business in the state, Governor Dickson lamented that it was as a result of lack of pipe borne water in the state, saying he was ready to put things right in that sector.
Absence of potable water in Yenagoa, the state capital and others local governments had been plaguing the state since its creation 17 years ago. Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, John Jonah, revealed that the state government had paid N4.29 billion to civil servants and N447.72 million political appointees as December 2013, salaries . The deputy governor also said government received a gross total of N19.34 billion last December as federal allocations, stressing that a total of N7 billion was the balance of government bank account. According to Jonah, about N1.24 billion was generated as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the month of November last year. Governor Dickson also said the state government would soon commence to tax all items bought by lodgers in all the hotels in the state to beef up its revenue.
Leadership tussle rocks Gombe APC DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
fresh crisis is brewing in the Gombe State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), following a displeasure voice raised over the composition of the executive of the new party in the state. Members of defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigerian People Party (ANPP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had raised objections to the way the party structure in the state was composed which they claimed relegated them top the background. Addressing journalists in Gombe, Member representing Gombe/Kwami/Funakaye Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Khamisu Ahmed Mailantarki, complained that some former members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who
defected into the APC and led by Senator Danjuma Goje, have hijacked the affairs of APC, thus marginalising the real members of the party. Hon. Mailantarki therefore called on the National Headquarters of the party to urgently look into the matter and forestall anything that will jeopardise the wide acceptance of the party in the state. In a reaction, however, interim chairman of the APC in the state Magaji Doho described the allegation as “baseless.” Doho saidn that due consultations were made and all stakeholders carried along before the executive was composed. While expressing satisfaction with the way the party’s membership registration exercise was conducted across the state, Doho praised all members of the party and officials for orderliness and dedication to the common course.
February 15, 2014
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Kano dep gov defends law prohibiting street begging …Warns health workers over pregnant female pilgrims ALEX MOMOH KANO
ano State Deputy Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has said that the passage of the Street Begging Prohibition Bill, by the state House of Assembly, was to help restore the dignity and sanity of disabled persons in the state. Ganduje made this remarks, yesterday, during the Kano North Senatorial congress held at Makoda Local Government Islamic Centre in the state. The deputy governor was represented at the occasion by the Special Adviser to the Governor on the Disabled, Alhaji Usman Yusuf Usman. The deputy governor reiterated the state government’s commitment to the provision of adequate welfare package to the dis-
abled persons in the state through skills acquisition. He maintained that once achieved, the welfare package would make the physically-challenged citizens to be more selfreliant. According to the deputy governor, “Let it be known to all the good people of this state that this administration takes as a priority the welfare of the disabled in the state and it is also committed to giving these important people special attention.” Chairman of the Organising Committee of the congress, Alhaji Ali Yahya Gwarzo, in his remarks, said that the congress was put together to educate participants on the benefits of the Bill and also the state government’s determination to improve the living standard of the disabled in the
state. In the meantime, the Kano State government has warned that health workers in the state who cleared pregnant women for this year’s Hajj exercise would be dismiss from service. The state government’s position was made known yesterday by Deputy Governor Ganduje, during the opening of the review of the 2013 Hajj Exercise organised by the state’s Pilgrims Welfare Board. The deputy governor explained that the state government took the stand because such clearance of pregnant women could cause the state 25 seats from National Hajj Commission. The deputy governor also directed the board to ensure intending pilgrims were treated on first come, first serve basis in the al-
location of seats. Gwarzo, however, enjoined the physically-challenged to live in harmony with other members of the state, while also calling on them to offer maximum cooperation to the Kwankwaso-led administration in its commitment towards ensuring sanity among physicallychallenged persons in the state. Also speaking at the occasion, Interim Management Officer (IMO) of Makoda Local Government Area of the state, Comrade Musa Ali Kachako, also represented by the Head of Social Development Department, Alhaji Sa’idu Ma’azu Minjibir, advised the physically-challenged in the state to pray for the sustenance of development projects of the present administration so as to achieve greater results.
Niger to spend N2.4b on new stadium
he Niger State government is to spend N2.4 billion on the construction of a new stadium in Minna, the state Commissioner for Sports, Mr Daniel Shashere, said on Friday. Shashere told journalists in Minna after the weekly meeting of the State Executive Council that the stadium would restore the lost glory of the state in sports activities. He said that the stadium complex was scaled down from its original scope to a compact one that would include the construction of its main bowl. The commissioner explained that the main bowl was expected to have a 10,000 seat capacity, with the ability of expanding it to accommodate 15, 000. He said that construction of the stadium would begin in March with a 12 month-duration for its completion. “This will ensure the
completion of the project within the life span of this administration,” he said. Shashere said the sum of N1.2 billion had been set aside in a special account for the project while the balance would be got from the 2014 budget of the ministry and other sources. He said the design drawing and other requirements for the take off of the construction work had been completed. According to him, the government decided to limit its focus to the construction of the main bowl of the stadium due to lack of fund. “The plan to give Niger State a befitting stadium has been on the drawing board for over three years. ``But technical problems stalled the project which was expected to have cost over N12bn, including a 100 bed hotel rooms, practice pitches and facilities for indoor games,” he said.
L-R: Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, during the 28th National Qur’anic Recitation Competition, in Dutse, Jigawa State, yesterday.
Katsina spends N7b in seven years on water supply JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
bout N7 billion has been spent in the last seven years in the provision of water in Katsina State. Governor Ibrahim Shema said this yesterday at a ceremony to commission a semi-urban water supply in Batsari, in the state. Governor Shema said
the water projects included those in the rural, semi-urban and urban areas and that 3, 000 boreholes were constructed in the same period. He maintained that the state government had budgeted the sum of N9.6 billion this year to provide water to the people. The governor also said he had instructed all council chairmen in the state to construct
about 680 kilometre of feeder roads in the 34 Local Government Areas of the state. He said the feeder roads would ease problem of transportation especially for farmers residing in community areas. The governor also said the state government had provided earth-moving equipment among other items to the councils for con-
struction of the feeder roads. He assured that his administration would provide adequate funds for the construction of the road projects. Earlier, the state commissioner of water resources, Gide Sani Batagarawa, said the Batsari semi urban water project was aimed at ending water scarcity facing villages in the area.
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Defection to APC is transformation endorsed by God –Hon. Makinde
APC: The highs and lows of membership registration
FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
hairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, blew the final whistle for the politicians to commence what they know how to do best when, penultimate week, he released the time-table for the year 2015 general election. On January 25th this year, to be precise, INEC announced that the ban on electoral activities have been lifted and that gave all the political parties that will be participating in the poll the leverage needed to strategise for the election. As expected, the two leading political parties - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Party (APC) – which have in recent time, been in rivalry, have seized the opportunity to accuse one another of scheming to rig the election even when the umpire has not called for candidates’ lists. All the opposition political parties which converged to found a new party in APC, felt it was necessary to carry out registration of all its members in order to afford it the opportunity of fielding candidates for the 2015 general elections in a way that truly reflects all the component parts. The national leadership of APC fixed its membership registration exercise to commence on Wednesday February 5th and was expected to terminate on Sunday February 9th before the exercise was eventually extended till February 11th. The national leadership of the party explained that it was extending the date so as to give room for members of other political parties which included the Congress for
Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) as well as others which all fused together to form APC to be part of the registration exercise. But in what appeared to be a suspicion game and preempting the opponent , the PDP sparked off a controversy over the APC membership registration exercise as it accused the party of scheming to manipulate the year 2015 general election with an untenable figure. PDP also accused the governors of the APC controlled states of coercing civil servants to partake in the on-going party registration exercise as party members. The National Auditor of the PDP, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, was the first to raise the alarm before other members of the party joined. In a statement which he signed in Abuja, Adeyanju alleged that APC had already coerced civil servants, “especially in the South- West where I come from” t o get registered as card carrying member of APC. He explained that the rationale behind such was to enable APC arrogate pseudo glory to itself peradventure it loses the year 2015 presidential election. The PDP national auditor claimed that the intention of the APC was to fool the nation that they had registered over 100 million members at the end of the exercise. He further alleged that governors in all the APC controlled states of South West had also attached promotions and other benefits to be enjoyed by civil servants to the registration exercise. “This madness on the part of the APC governors of forcing the innocent civil servants to register for their party must stop; it is real especially in the South- West where I
come from. I have been receiving series of reports on this since the beginning of the exercise. “The innocent civil servants will have no option than to succumb to the directive for jobs security since they have no jobs elsewhere. APC is desperate, they have been telling the civil servant to go and register with APC, and that without the party’s membership card, there will not be promotion for them and later they will go a step further that without it you cannot enjoy certain services being provided by the APC controlled states.” Apart from Adeyanju, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in another statement also accused APC of constituting itself to a nuisance in the political landscape of Nigeria. Back in the South West however, chairman of the Ogun State chapter of PDP, Engineer Bayo Dayo, alleged that the APC had been forcing civil servants and the under-aged, especially students, to register as members of the ruling party in the state. Dayo made this allegation during an emergency meeting of the party held in Ijebu-Igbo, the country home of Chairman of the Organising and Mobilisation Committee of the party in the South West, Buruji Kashamu. Dayo stated that the alleged forcible registration of civil servants in the state by the Ibikunle Amosun-led APC administration in Ogun State contradicted the laws of the land, stressing that PDP would report the development in the state to the appropriate authorities at the national level in order to put a stop to it. In defence of the accusations however, APC described the PDP’s allegations as
sabotage of its ongoing membership registration exercise. The party said PDP’s rush to the media to condemn the process had shown that the ruling party was a clog in the wheel of progress of democracy in Nigeria. APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the only reason why the PDP is leveling the allegation against it is because the ruling party had seen the handwriting on the wall, since the registration started, and had consequently become overly jittery. “The PDP is wrong about its claim that the APC is engaging in phantom registration. The party should know that while anyone can manufacture numbers, no one can manufacture human beings. “Therefore, in the fullness of time, any party that gives a fake number of its membership will get its comeuppance”. Mohammed also explained that within the first three days of APC’s membership registration exercise, the party had met and exceeded the target set by the national leaders for the party. “PDP officials should not just sit in their Abuja offices and make phantom allegations about some party engaging in phantom registration. They should go out there and see for themselves what is going on and how Nigerians are streaming aboard the train of change that the APC has become”. Apart from APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mohammed, the Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuf Olaniyonu, also condemned the allegation leveled against the Ogun State government that it was forcing civil servants to register as card-carrying CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
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Defection to APC is transformation Hon. Rotimi Makinde, an actor-turned-politician and Member of the House of Representatives representing Ife Federal Constituency of Osun State believes that the recent defection of some People’s Democratic Party (PDP) federal legislators to All Progressives Congress (APC) is a transformation endorsed by God.
ow would you react to the defection of about 37 PDP members of the House of Representatives to APC and the speculation that the Speaker may be removed? The changes that we are witnessing in the National Assembly today for those who have been following me either on social media or in other means will tell you that I predicted it. And I have always been saying it that the transformation of this country is going to start from the National Assembly. You can check, almost four months ago, I put it on my wall; it is on my facebook that come September (2013) upward, the ruling party would become the minority and it came to past. What is happening presently in Nigeria today is that God Himself is taking control and it’s evident by the transformation you are talking about. I don’t foresee any problem in the House. We were all elected by Nigerians, and we are so concerned about the yearning desires of our people. I can honestly tell you that defection may not necessarily cause changes in the leadership of the House; that I can assure you. You just see about 37 that moved enmass, more are still coming. Apart from the crises rocking the party, PDP has nothing and everybody is cautious of the fact that if you want to return home, what are you going to tell the people and how your history would end? And if you call yourself a politician, you must be seen moving toward the progressives. What is being witnessed at the moment is a kind of transformation
endorsed by God. But where is the transformation when the same people criticized are moving from PDP to APC? Let me tell you, these are a set of people who had been in the wrong party probably with good ideology. Some of them were cajoled and blackmailed to be in that party for one reason or the other and they are now waking up from their dream. So many of them have been in that party because of one reasons or the other - blackmailing, cajoling,- but they are now conscious of what is happening worldwide. It is evident that all over the world people who are ruling are between 40 and 50 years and that is what we are about witnessing in Nigeria now. 2014 is going to be a decisive year in Ekiti and Osun states, and you are from Osun State. Recently Senator Iyiola Omisore came hard on the policies of APC led-Governor Rauf Aregbesola, describing them as anti-people. Do you think the PDP and Omisore, as it were, could create that opposition in 2014 as we wait for the election? As far as I am concerned, Osun State, to the best of my knowledge is like a walkover for the ruling party in Osun State. Not because of anything but because of a kind of transformation that is going on in Osun State that everybody can see. I want to tell you that if PDP fields Omisore for 2015, I am going to bankroll a very big party, invite Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey to come out from retirement because it would be easier
for anybody to predict the victory of APC. Omisore and whoever cannot march Aregbesola. Omisore is an illustrious son of Ife, I have respect for him as my elder coming from the same constituency no doubt, but he has nothing to offer the people and he knows himself. He knows that he has no quality to match Aregbesola. Apart from the performance of Aregbesola that would speak for itself, Aregbesola would not spend a dime to win Osun State. His work would sell him. There is no place in Osun State as I speak to you now that one form of work or the other is not going on. For one reasons or another, it is an unprecedented thing; 10 kilometres road per each local government. Which state is doing that? This is the man that promised that within 100 days he was going to do this and that and he fulfilled it and he hasn’t finished it; the job continues. Omisore cannot deliver his ward, unit, polling booth, local government, federal constituency and senatorial district. That would tell you that that man is not even qualified to be a councillor. He cannot even march Rotimi Makinde not to talk of Aregbesola in election. I have been challenging him to public debate. Of course, I cannot match him violence for violence but when you are talking about delivery and intellectual capacity and displaying your intellectual capacity, Omisore cannot even march Rotimi Makinde, not to talk of Aregbesola. It is glaring and my antecedents are there; the public has just tested me and they know my performance within a short period of time.
Omisore has been so opportuned for about 12 years. What has he done? He is a liability to the party, his family and to the community he represents. He has a golden opportunity in this country for the past 12 years. What has he done? He was once a deputy governor, all he needed to do is to be patient and romance Baba Akande and be submissive. He felt he would have been the governor but today he made my generation to miss that opportunity and I am not an apostle that somebody must come from my community or be my brother before he becomes governor. A governor can come from anywhere; all we want is somebody who has the desire of the people and that is what Aregbesola represents. For me, fielding Omisore against Aregbesola, would be a walk-over election. And all I have been speaking or I can predict would happen in Osun State; what I have been calling our people’s attention to is that we know that we cannot match this people violence for violence, the need for us to protect our votes in Osun State cannot be overemphasised. That is the only thing needed of us. For Aregbesola, we his lieutenants would be there to sell him and to represent and be good ambassadors to him. But there would be need for collective responsibility of every Osun indigene and every lover of peace in this country to ensure that the election is not marred by malpractices. What happened in Anambra State can happen in Osun State, so we must be vigilant. Talking about performance, what are the basic things you have done as a federal lawmaker so far? I don’t believe in showcasing what I have done; I will leave that to the public to decide. If they are going to write the history or the performance of Rotimi Makinde, I plead that it should not be based on my generosity to my people. It should be based on my performance in the legislature. What have I done? What have I changed as a legislator, especially comparing me with those who had been opportuned to represent that constituency before. I can make bold to say today that I have eight motions and four bills to my credit. I call for the waiver of tuition fees for prisons inmates across the country. I called for the translation of the National Anthem into indigenous language for this country in that House. I called for the protection of the pipeline as a bill in the House. I believe we can curtail oil theft in this country if only the government at the top remains responsible. It can be curtailed and I am proposing a bill as well to legalise and give the police the approval to do their work without going through third party on investigation case. Of what is it for a crime to be committed and police need to check the line of somebody and they need to be writing or go to public or court before they seek approval to do that. I am proposing a bill on that. I proposed a bill about police reformation in this country. I don’t see why responsible policemen who have put in nothing less than 10 years cannot be armed. It should be part of their uniform. Of what benefit is police running away from crime scene in this country? There is a bill for that and all are coming out from my creativity. And that is what I want people to remember me for, not by the numbers of sewing machines or triCONTINUED ON PAGE 15
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endorsed by God –Hon. Makinde CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 cycles I have bought, or how I have touched people’s life one way or the other. That has always been my policy even before stepping into public office. As a Theatre Arts practitioner and ambassador, what have you done for the Nollywood in the House? I have done my best. It is on record that when they will talk about the grant of N3billion they will mention Rotimi Makinde. The Speaker, the House, the institution specifically looked for Rotimi Makinde within the crowd for me to guide them. Some people had wanted to kill that grant of N3billion in the House and I spoke extensively to defend it. I never spoke as ANTP member, Yoruba or Rotimi Makinde, I spoke fervently that history would not forgive me if I failed to talk to support that N3billion meant for the Nollywood. It is an achievement for God’s sake. Some of my colleagues in the House know me as a film star and they specifically looked for me; the Speaker called me out. The rule was that you must raise up your hand but I wasn’t raising up my hand when he said Makinde is on the floor and they told me, please guide us and I rose to say Mr. Speaker this is the time we should be talking about unity. The N3billion we are talking about should not be targeted at the
Igbo, Yoruba or the Hausas. We must not be seen to promote disunity in Nollywood. I openly endorsed, called and lent my support for the N3billion grant and it came to pass that the House supported it. We have the constitutional power to stop it but we approved it and I lend my support for that. It is tremendous. What is your message and advice to people? They should continue to pray for me. I have a lot of things to offer this country and
with every support from my constituency, from every industry I represent, especially this Nollyhood we are talking about. I humbly submit myself to them that they should see me as their servant. Let them send me messages, let them come up with ideas. I can’t do it alone, let them come up with motions. Let them come up with bills. I will be there for them. And to my people in Ife, I will remain committed. Recently, the Nollywood at 20 debate came to the fore and you were one of those that insisted that the industry is more than 20 years. What are your reasons? I was only putting a statement of fact on ground and nobody has come out to dispute that. I have no objection about the name Nollywood. I am even an apostle that all Nigerian artistes should come under one umbrella and if it has to be Nollywood, I have no objection. I want to see the likes of Zebudaya and Jide Kosoko, being together and wining together. They are our leaders for God sake. I am not a tribal person, I am a federal legislator but what I am saying is that we must not murder history. If we are talking about Nollywood and referring it to theatre industry in Nigeria, it is far more than 20 years and that is a statement of fact. People should not be castigating me on this, somebody should come out and tell me if I am wrong. I am
also privileged to know that Living in Bondage was not the first movie produced, there are lots of other movies. Alade Aromire produced Ekun and I am sure that Ekun is older than Living in Bondage. We are one; the Igbo and the Yoruba are one and we still remain one but let us not murder history. Are you saying that some of them might be hijacked by the ruling class? This is not a matter of being tactical. I have reasons to believe that they must be working for the ruling class. If there is anything left for Jonathan now, it is for anybody he can rally round to identify with and he is seeing that potentiality in Nollywood. So, if some few people are being hijacked to identify with him and they wanted to use Nollywood, I said No to that. In other words you are being wary of 2015 and Nollywood’s popularity being used to launder Jonathan’s image? I cannot run away from the fact that Nollywood contributed to this position I am today. No doubt about that. I make bold to say that I have not seen any member in the House that is as popular as Rotimi Makinde, especially in Yorubaland. Not by my power but at least with my opportunity harnessed in Nollywood and that is what some people are seeing as potentiality in me and they want to bulldoze that industry to feather their nest. We should condemn that.
APC: The highs and lows of membership registration CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 members of APC. Olaniyonu, who described leadership of Ogun PDP as mischief makers, emphasised that the Ibikunle Amosun-led administration was not unmindful of the sacredness and neutrality of the position of every civil servant in the state whose loyalties only is to the smooth running of governance so that they can serve any government in power effectively. “Let’s first of all remind them that it is unethical and unprofessional for any civil servant to belong to any political party. “One of the attributes of the civil service is neutrality so that such a civil servant can serve any government in power effectively and the Ibikunle Amosun holds dear to that. You will also recall that one of the virtues which Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been trying to promote in the civil service is for them to be very ethical and professional. So, how will he now be the one debasing what he is promoting. “Let me be frank with you, ask any civil servant among the state’s workforce whether he has been through any circular or directives or by means of playing jocularly, meeting or verbal instruction that he or she should go and register. No! “In fact, I was asking from my over 100 Information Officers yesterday during our usual meetings when I read the news in national dailies whether anybody had instructed or compelled them to go and register, and they said no. “With all seriousness, I implored them not to lie because it would amount to unprofessionalism, be unethical should they register to make them play partisan politics.
“Let me emphasise here please; we do not need the civil servants to promote APC as a political party in Ogun State. What we will need the civil servants for is during the general elections when a civil servant under the law, will be expressing his choice by performing his or her civic constitutional responsibility as citizens of Ogun State, but party membership, we do not need them. “How many people are in Ogun State, we have about 5 million! When the governor was speaking with newsmen in the state before the commencement of the party registration exercise, he said we are expecting four to 500,000 party members. Now tell me, how is it difficult to get 500,000 party members throughout the state when of course, you have over 5 million people in the state.” Olaniyonu, who emphasised that the PDP did not worth being referred to as opposition because the party as presently constituted lacked focus. The commissioner added that leadership of PDP in Ogun State had demonstrated to the people that they were in no way an alternative to the Amosun -led administration and that by extension, the APC led government in the state should just continue by virtue of the votes of the majority of the people of the state. Olaniyonu stated further that Ogun PDP had resorted to raising that kind of allegation simply because they lacked creativity and were myopic. “Secondly, they can resort to that because their stock in trade is just mischief. That is what they are investing all their energies and resources into doing. “Thirdly, because they could not imagine the greater number of party members that are trooping to registration centers and so,
they are intimidated and were already conceding defeat to our party. “If what they are saying is that the civil servants are pleased with this government, then we are happy that the civil servants are pleased with us, but we are emphasising that we have not encouraged, mobilized, not to even talk of coercing any civil servant to go and hold party membership card. “The civil servants will be useful to the government and they are useful in helping to run the government. They will also be useful during any INEC organised general election so as to be able to vote for any government of their choice. “And again, members of the state workforce are ordinary people like me and you; they have seen the developments that are going on and they love it. They are also enjoying the fact that their salaries are being well paid and on time. All the deductions that are made from their salaries are adequately remitted to the right quarters which I believe that were not there prior to our coming on board”. “All these people who are calling themselves opposition now; were they not the same people that were in government when people could not sleep with the two eyes closed? When they were oppressing the people, causing violence and punishment on the people? They could not even tar roads successfully? To me, they do not worth being called opposition!” As the controversy over the registration rages on, analysts and observers of event have however warned that care must be taken in order not to derail the democracy train. It is believed that if the two parties engage in unnecessary litigation over the
exercise, a postponement of election may be caused in any affected state, a situation which will not help the cause of democracy in the country. Their warning came on the heels of the fact that the crisis which is still rocking the entire PDP as a political party in Nigeria actually originated from Ogun State. And with specific reference to the PDP National Auditor’s claim on the South West report, observers of political events in Ogun State expressed the worry that should APC fail to adequately address the issue, further elections in the state may not hold. They cited the instance of series of court injunction obtained by Buruji Kashamu (as attested to by the disgraced former national chairman of PDP) which made the internal crisis in the state chapter of PDP to remain unresolved. Apart from the suspicion between APC and PDP, observers of events in the Ogun State, for instance, have also fingered some PDP stalwarts in the internal crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of Labour Party (LP). They have alleged that the suspended member of the state executive committee of LP were being financed to institute legal action against the national and state leadership of the party in order to cause an unresolved crisis within the party till election is over in 2015. Despite all the allegations and counter allegations over the registration exercise carried out by the APC, one thing that in incontrovertible is that the major two parties in the countries are keeping themselves on their toes in order to ensure that no undue advantage is taken, especially, in view of the battle coming up in 2015.
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
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February 15, 2014
What killed Baba Ara?
Drugs? Malaria? Spiritual arrow? Covenant with the devil?
‘How I lost my wares to rapist’
IN NOVEMBER 2013, ALI THREATENED TO AFFLICT THE YOUNG MAN WITH MADNESS IF HE DID NOT STOP DATING HIS STEPDAUGHTER. IN THE FIRST
THE MAN CALLED ME TO BRING THE BANANAS I WAS SELLING. IT WAS AROUND 7P.M. WHEN I WENT TO MEET HIM IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE WHERE HE WAS STANDING, HE TOLD ME TO COME TO THE BACK OF THE HOUSE WHERE HE KEPT HIS MONEY.WHEN WE GOT THERE, HE GRABBED ME AND TRIED TO PULL DOWN MY PANT. BUT I DROPPED ALL MY BANANAS AND RAN
‘My stepfather afflicted Divorce court my fiance with insanity’ ‘My wife confessed WEEK OF
JANUARY 2014, THE
POOR BOY WENT BONKERS AND HAD TO BE ADMITTED TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL.
WAS THE LAST STRAW!
that her boss is the father of our fourth child’ P.38
•I did it because my husband was befriending another woman. I have met Christ and my desire to make heaven made me confess, based on advice from my pastor –Wife
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
How Baba Ara died –Producer In a few months, it will be a decade that Roland Olubukola Olomola, the ace gospel musician popularly called Baba Ara died on August 31, 2004. His death had all the hallmarks of mystery. He died at the height of his popularity and was just 42 years old. TAYO ADELAJA met Adedapo James Fasanya, known as Bengho 2, Baba Ara’s childhood friend, producer and manager.
en years ago when ace gospel musician, Roland Olubukola Olomola, popularly called Baba Ara, died, the rumour mill was agog with the probable cause of his death. Among the rumours then were that he took ill from a burst of the cocaine sachet that he had ingested and with which he was planning to travel out of the country.Others said that he must have sold his soul to some occult groups to gain fame and wealth, and to die the way he did. Yet, to another group his death was as a result of the strong feud between him and his bosom friend who is a shepherd in the Celestial Church of Christ. A decade after his death, a lot of people still hold on strongly to these even as his albums still hold sway in the market. Adedapo James Fasanya known as Bengho 2, is Baba Ara’s childhood friend. He is also the producer and manager of Baba Ara from his first foray into music to his demise. Fasanya recalled that he met Baba Ara in 1990 when he joined the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Okiki Imole Parish, Sagamu, Ogun State. Before then, he said that Baba Ara was living in Kano and usually came to Sagamu whenever there was a special programme. Looking back at how they first met, he said simply that, “it was the choir master that introduced me to him. I was an instrumentalist at the church”. He recalled how young and vibrant the choir of CCC, Okiki Imole Parish was then. He said that the opinion of the choir then of Baba Ara at the time was that he did not know much about music, although they also identified that he had talent and could sing very well. “At first, maybe because of their impression about him, they had problems with him. As an instrumentalist, we used to correct his style of music as he leaned more on percussion than the instrument. It is not a traditional way of playing,” Fasanya added. Baba Ara other than heeding to their advice insisted on having his way. Adedapo spoke further, “his concept and style of music were totally different and that created rift between us initially. We were forced at that time to go along with him because he was an active member of the church’s choir. At a point in time, we just tolerated each other for the progress of the choir”. The formation of the Baba Ara Band started from the choir and it consisted of four core members of the choir. At the formative stage, the band comprised of Baba Ara, Dimeji Shodunke, Hassan Bankole and Fasanya. Speaking on the formative stage,
he continued, “we had to sit down and agree on a lot of issues about the church because we were the nucleus of the church choir. Fortunately, the four of us always met on Fridays and Saturdays every week for rehearsals. During rehearsals, we had several disagreements due to the fact that we were from different backgrounds and had different ideas about how the music should flow. “His concept then was totally new and we tried to modify it in vain. Somehow then, I knew he had a vision” He recalled again that, “the peculiar thing about the man, Baba Ara, was that he received messages from the church to go into full time music. He declined the various messages then. He used to ask aloud, “how can I abandon Food Technology and become a musician?”. He actually did not want to take to full time music due to the stigma attached to the profession. “During that period, Baba Ara was living with the Shepherd of the Church (CCC, Okiki Imole Parish) as he had left his job in Kano. He served and worked briefly in Kano. “At a point, Dimeji and I moved in with Baba Ara and we lived together for some time. Our staying together actually built our relationship and understanding of one another. “The first record that is credited to him titled ‘Covenant’ was actually done by the choir of CCC, Okiki Imole Parish. It was recorded in 1993. After the record of Covenant for the church, Baba Ara sat down with me and Janet Abel who is now in the United Kingdom, he told us about his vision and
dreams. We prayed about the forming of a band. That took place in 1994. By then, we had gone with him to record his first personal record, entitled, “The Call and the Anointing”. Speaking on the core issues discussed at the meeting, he said that the plan was to launch the record, and as at that time he needed a band to support his musical career which led to the meeting that was held by the three foundation members and Baba Ara. The name Baba Ara according to Adedapo was given to him in Kano because whenever he sang, he would start with the lyrics, “Baba Ara, Baba Mimo”. However, he had a band in Kano before resettling in Sagamu, and the band was known as “Baba Ara and
Happy Souls”. When the band was formed in Sagamu was discussing on the issue of name, he wanted them to continue with the same name but they eventually agreed on ‘Baba Ara and Divine Voices International’ in 1994. After his first record, it was common to see Baba Ara in a tailor’s shop at Eleja Area of Sagamu. He was always at the shop of Baba Hassan, the tailor because he was jobless and that man was his close friend as at that time. The band faced the challenges of acceptance, because people find the style of their beat strange and different from what they were familiar with. The psychology in that is what people know, they destroy; and what they don’t know, they fight. Even in Celestial circle, the acceptance problem was there as their brand of music was quite different from that of the popular Boroboro, Imole Ayo and others. It was tough for the group due to the low level of acceptance. Adedapo recounted that, “Indeed, it was a great challenge. The level of acceptance was low and that affected us financially. We had to tax ourselves to fund the band and save money for shows. It was very tough financially.” Gradually acceptance came. People who listened to the first record, “Covenant” loved it. When asked how the record was promoted, he smiled and said, “we did not have money to market it, neither did we have the financial capacity to push it into the market.” Their second album brought them more fans and the third album- ‘let the world know-Je kaye le mo’ was well received, but they were still grappling with the fan base. The album that actually launched him was ‘Master Key’. Adedapo spoke on that album, “A lot of people thought that ‘Master Key’ was Baba Ara’s first album, which was very wrong. It was just that, that album was a smash in terms of public acceptance. Our style of music in terms of acceptance was gradual. “Due to paucity of fund, only audio CDs were initially produced without any picture of Baba Ara on them. When we started, we recorded only audio. There was no picture of Baba Ara on the album and a lot of people did not really know him”, Adedapo spoke about their humble beginning. “When we shot the first standard video in 2001, that was when people began to know who Baba Ara really was. We started with Z-plus as our marketer and that was in 1996. He was a member of the Celestial Church of Christ. We recorded seven albums with Z-Plus before moving to Galaxy Music”, Adedapo CONTINUED ON PAGE 19
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February 15, 2014
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18 added. He noted that they had to change marketer because they were not satisfied with the distribution of their former marketer. The late Gbenga Adeboye played a major role in their cross over from Z-Plus to Galaxy Music when they recorded “Master Key”. Galaxy Music did a good video for the “Master Key” tape and also gave it good publicity with Gbenga Adeboye opening his popular weekly shows with the music of Baba Ara. “Probably, that may account for the reason for saying Master Key is Baba Ara’s first CD”, Adedapo said. His latter days and the rumours surrounding his death even made him more popular after his death than when he was alive. It is apt to say that there is a lot of wrong information being dished out to people in this part of the world. “It is a certainty that everybody will die one way or the other. Jesus Christ lived for 33years. His ministry on earth spanned just only three years and all his disciples died in different ways. It is sad that when any celebrity dies in our country, stories of all sorts will spring up about the person”. Fasanya looked the reporter straight in the eye and said, “I’m aware that there is a version of the story that he is a cocaine pusher. You know that cocaine pushers are always rich. As at the time of his death, he had only N300,000.00 in his bank account. At least that can be verified. N200,000.00 of that sum was the money paid into his account a few days before his death for a show we were to perform. People alleged that he was a cocaine pusher, yet that man struggled for three years to build the only house he had.” In a sad and low tone, Fasanya said, “can you believe that before his death, his band did not have musical instruments neither did we have a bus like other musicians? Musicians that came after him had instruments and band buses; we had to rent instruments and bus whenever we had any show. That was a man who had been in music for over a decade! Do you mean that a cocaine pusher will work and struggle for three years to build a common four flat house in Sagamu and not in Lekki or Ajah? The reason for going to Galaxy Music was because of the house project he started in 2001. “In 2003 he travelled out of the country for the first time since the band started in 1994. He travelled with his band to Germany on a musical tour. We travelled in April and August, 2003 to Germany. We were together during the trip and we slept in the same room. He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem in December same year and returned in January, 2004.” In a changed tone, he said, “I want any doctor to prove to me that anyone with burst cocaine in his stomach as alleged by rumour mongers could work weekly and as hard as Baba Ara and lived for the period he did.” Speaking further, he said, “The Sports Utility Vehicle, SUV, he had was as a result of the sales from his al-
‘Baba Ara, a drug pusher? Arrant nonsense’
bum. I went with the marketer to Cotonou to buy the jeep for him. Imagine a drug peddler using tokunbo car?” Another set of people believed that his death was due to pledge to occultism. Fasanya’s response to that was sharp, “That’s rubbish. Arrant nonsense! How can you say that somebody who had been in the music industry since infancy only became popular at late 30’s because some occult forces helped him gain fame and then took his life? “I met him in 1990 and from his life history that I am aware of, he had been singing from age six at the Methodist Church, Ago-Oko, Abeokuta. My be-
lief is that if you have a vision and you are talented, if you stand firmly by it, you will surely get to your peak. Indeed, Baba Ara paid his dues as a musician!” he said. When confronted with another rumour linking the cause of his death to the feud between him and the Shepherd of a Celestial Church of Christ Parish. Fasanya sighed and said, “I heard about that story too that the Shepherd who was his bosom friend confessed in London that he killed Baba Ara. I met the Shepherd when he came back from London after the so-called confession. It is unfortunate that the man too also died about six years ago, but the whole story is total-
BABA ARA WAS ALWAYS HAVING MALARIA. HE COULD HARDLY GO FOR TWO MONTHS WITHOUT A BOUT OF MALARIA. IN ONE OF HIS MINISTRATIONS, HE SAID THAT DEATH COULD COME THROUGH ANY MEANS. HE SAID IT COULD COME THROUGH SLEEP, ACCIDENT OR WHATEVER MEANS. WHENEVER THE OWNER OF THE SOUL NEEDS IT, HE GETS IT
ly false. I have challenged anybody to prove it by providing evidence of the alleged confession. At this age, somebody somewhere would have recorded that confession if it was actually true” He declared that, “for those that peddle the rumours, it is always somebody told me or I heard from someone. Nobody was a living witness of that rumoured confession. The little I know about that shepherd is that he was a good shepherd and a good fan as well as Baba Ara’s bosom friend till his death.” Some fans of this great gospel musician believed that he had premonition of his death. The belief was hinged on his music messages and lyrics during his lifetime. The producer of Baba Ara did not agree with this school of thought. To him, Baba Ara used his song to remind us of our end as mortals. He said, “The problem people have is due to the message coming from Baba Ara. If you read the Bible, you will discover that each prophet has his own message. Baba Ara believed that one day, you would die and you should be prepared for it. He was fearless and did not fear death. He used his song as a reminder of the end of us as human beings. His songs were not about death alone but about praises and wisdom. People often refer to the album ‘The Word’ as their reason for saying so, but he got the message and inspiration from the Bible passages that he read” What can be the cause of Baba Ara death? Why did he die so young? Why did he die when he was just gaining prominence as a gospel musician? Fasanya disclosed that, “the years we were together, he was always having malaria. He could hardly go for two months without a bout of malaria. In one of his ministrations, he said that death could come through any means. He said it could come through sleep, accident or whatever means. The owner of our soul whenever He needs it, He gets it, no matter where you are. “The Late Gbenga Adeboye used to say that one who died peacefully while asleep, you cannot really say he died peacefully neither can you say someone who died in an auto accident died terribly because he might have been dead before the crash. It was time for Baba Ara to die when he did about 10 years ago. He was a man who worked tirelessly and very hard too despite his frail health. Most times, when he was down with malaria, we would still go ahead to perform either at party or other functions. I am sure that you are aware that stress too can kill easily?” He concluded that, “his death did not have anything to do with all the rumours. Rather, it was destined that he would die when he did”.
February 15, 2014
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While their mates are in classrooms studying, thousands of minors hawk and wade through traffic endangering their lives in the process and portraying our decadent social order, DARE AKOGUN met some of these disadvantaged children.
hey look fragile, rough and weather beaten as they struggle with the burden of their wares even as they wade through the heavy Lagos traffic. Their ages range between nine and early teens with the eldest among them in their mid teens. They are kid hawkers. And they dot the nooks and crannies of the country especially the cities. They are out on the streets daily, while their mates are in school getting to terms with words and figures. This is the world of kid hawkers in Lagos, looking rough, uncertain and driven by the desire to survive. The woes of these children go beyond the hardship of meeting their daily sales target. The female ones most especially encounter men who try to take advantage of them by having canal knowledge of them or resort to raping those who reject their advances. They are also faced with threats from ritual killers, kidnappers and men of the underworld. Saturday Mirror encountered some of these kids recently in Lagos. They were four girls hawking banana, smoked fish and plantain chips at Agege area of Lagos State. They were shy and reluctant to speak when asked if any man had made sexual advances to them in the course of their business. But after assuring them that their photographs would not be taken, one of them named Sade, nudged another known as Joy to narrate her experience about a month ago. Joy, a 16-year-old pupil of a secondary school in Ojodu –Berger area of Lagos, said she lost all her wares to a man who wanted to rape her beside a motor park at Berger. “The man called me to bring the bananas I was selling. It was around 7pm. Some other people were there with him. When I went to meet him in the front of the house where he
‘How I lost my wares to rapist’ THE MAN CALLED ME TO BRING THE BANANAS I WAS SELLING. IT WAS AROUND 7PM. WHEN I WENT TO MEET HIM IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE WHERE HE WAS STANDING, HE TOLD ME TO COME TO THE BACK OF THE HOUSE WHERE HE KEPT HIS MONEY.
WE GOT THERE, HE GRABBED ME AND TRIED
TO PULL DOWN MY PANT.
BUT I DROPPED ALL
MY BANANAS AND RAN AWAY was standing, he told me come to the back of the house where he kept the money. When we got there, he grabbed me and tried to pull down my pant. But I dropped all my bananas and ran away,” she narrated. Joy added that she later went to the place with her mother that evening but never saw the man again, and all her wares were gone. Another child street trader, Blessing, had a similar experience when
a young man, one of her regular customers, inflicted an injury on her wrist while trying to have his way with her. The girl, who said she was 15, had aged beyond her years as a result of being exposed to life on the streets. She said, “The name of the boy was Chima, he was touching me and telling me I was not a small girl. He wanted to close the door of the shop where he was working when
I went to sell yoghurt that day. He twisted my arm and hit my wrist against the door. “He always asked me to come and sell to him every day. I did not sell to him again since that day. I reported him to his boss the following day at the store.” The experiences of Joy and Blessing are just two of many faced on the streets of Lagos by kid hawkers on a daily basis. Rapists are not the only threat these kids face on the streets. They are easy prey for ritual killers as well. Numerous stories abound of ritual killers and kidnappers taking underage children from the clutches of their loved ones to carry out their nefarious activities. Fourteen-year-old Lola Adebisi, who sells tomatoes and pepper after school hours, said she once witnessed the arrest of a man who, moments before then, had offered her and her friends chocolates at Ogba Bus Stop also in Lagos. CONTINUED ON PAGE 37
Entervaganza The Saturday Mirror Magazine
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Kween ... Jebele crooner
February 15, 2014
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egarding all the years you have put into music, do you consider yourself a success, because your profile doesn’t seem to be as visible as that of some artists we hear of ? It depends on how one defines success. When I reflect on where I’m coming from, what I have been through over 40 years, and what I have achieved with this music without being the son of any famous artist, and without apprenticing under any musician, I feel quite happy that I have come a long way. I have come a long way from my days of living in one room with my grandmother at Oke-Bola, Ibadan, dreaming of making great music that will change people’s lives. Today, our music is listened to by people from all over the world, a trickle here, a trickle there, somebody buys a CD from Japan, another from England. I celebrate every CD that we sell as if I just won a lottery. I have not and will never get over the feeling of spontaneous joy that erupts from within me each time someone buys my music. Little things make me happy. I celebrate every little progress we make, and I live my life in line with what my grandmother used to tell me: life is short, run your race as well as you can, but do not compare yourself to others. Most importantly, make sure you enjoy the race with peace of mind because it is over all too soon. I believe fulfilment come from knowing that you have used judiciously all that you have been provided by life and made the best of your opportunities. Every day, I go to bed knowing that I have done all that I could that day to make somebody else happy, make the life of another person easier, and put a smile on others’ faces. People write me emails on a daily basis, thanking me for inspiring them with my music, and making their lives richer with my words. I cannot but be fulfilled. The fact that you sought me out for an interview, for me, it’s success. The fact that my name is constantly mentioned by the media and so my name has an influence on some of the popular young singers is success for me. We should not always measure success in terms of money or awards. For me, success is leaving a mark on my generation, creating a totally new sound, and influencing younger artists. Success is knowing that every day, millions of people will not leave their homes without listening to my song, Owuro Lojo. Also, you have to remember that I am what is described as an underground musician, not an overtly commercial one, yet you will be surprised how popular my music is amongst the music-buying public. If you do a survey, you will know how much I’m respected by fellow musicians and music aficionados. You mentioned awards. You are one of the first Nigerian artists to be nominated for the Kora award with your early music. But you seem to have lost out on awards subsequently. What happened? My position about awards is that you use them when you need them, and move on. At the time I got that Kora nomination in 1999, I had just released my second album but it was difficult to find people who believed in me and my music. No matter what I did, I wasn’t being taken seriously, so when we got that nomination, some people started paying me some attention like “maybe this guy has some talent.” But I moved on from it. There is no need
y t i r b e Cel
Grammy award is not a big deal –Beautiful Nubia
Respected musician, Beautiful Nubia, spoke with OSEYIZA OOGBODO on his standing in the music industry, why he is into music and his view of the renowned Grammy award. to compete for awards every time you release an album. I do not play music to compete. I play music to entertain, educate and inspire. So, awards attract attention to an artist and may help to sell more music but I am already doing well enough without them. I rarely put my music in for awards. The only time was that Kora award, and the Canadian Independent Music Awards where I got a nomination in 2006. That also got me some attention in some quarters in Canada. For me, it doesn’t go beyond there. I don’t play music for awards. If you give me, I will accept, but I don’t go looking for it. Some journalists were telling
me sometime ago about the Grammy and I just laughed and laughed and said “Wetin concern us with Grammy? It’s for the Americans. So, are we supposed to wait for some American judges to crown us the best in Africa before we know we are successful?” You said success is not about money. All the same, are you a millionaire? In terms of money, I am not a rich person. I am always managing to stay one step ahead of bankruptcy. That’s the life of an independent artist who produces, packages, promotes and markets his own music all over the world. I am constantly
investing and reinvesting in my music. A case in point is the fact that, apart from the millions sold by pirates, we sell millions of copies of my albums ourselves, but where is all the money? It’s gone back into the business and to people within and outside the music industry one way or another. I do have my master tapes for all the music I’ve recorded, maybe one day they’ll be worth something. But like I said earlier, I am not driven by money. I am driven by higher things, and I know many people will disagree with me and that’s okay as we don’t always have to agree.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
OJB, P-Square, Olu Maintain return with overdue songs
efore his well-publicised kidney failure problem last year, OJB Jezreel was struggling to make himself relevant as a music artist. As a matter of fact, his rating as a music producer had even dropped as well. This week, the producer-artist who has returned to the social scene after undergoing a kidney transplant last year, released two new songs, Zion and Not Afraid, which are both said to be about his kidney issue which almost cost him his life. Zion is said to be a song praising God for keeping him alive while Not Afraid speaks about him not being afraid
anymore of the challenges of life. Will these two songs, backed by the public sympathy his kidney case has brought him, finally propel him to the performance stardom he has always dreamed of ? Let’s wait and see. In the same vein, highly successful music twins, PSquare, have also released a new song, Taste The Money (Testimoney). The song was released on Monday just at the point when people were beginning to say that they’ve been musically silent for some time now as their last major song, Personally, was released almost a year ago.
The most-talked-about returnee this week is Yahoozee singer, Olu Maintain. Since Yahoozee was a mega success back in 2006, his every music move has been intensely monitored and the statistic is that his last major release, NAWTI, was back in 2011, meaning a new release has been really expected from him. Well, he’s back with Ennuff Effizzi and it has already gone viral. If it will live up to Yahoozee’s success is however another matter.
Flavour in hot romance with BBA winner, Dillish
Mo’ Cheddah persists with the naked strategy
hat is expected from Mo’ Cheddah is music, which is what made her popular. What she’s giving out however are her salacious semi-nude pictures. The If You Want Me and Ko Ma Roll singer released very racy pictures of herself this week and the pictures immediately went viral and are still making the rounds. The singer, who is sexy, beautiful and works out consistently in the gym to maintain her slim figure, released her first-ever bikini picture last year and it went viral too. Now that she’s back with another bikini picture, people are beginning to wonder if she’s finding it difficult to keep up with the competition presented by her musician colleagues and has therefore decided to use the bikini strategy to rebuild her fan base before releasing new music.
he surprise winner of last year’s Big Brother Africa, Dillish Matthews, has broken up with her long-time boyfriend, Stephen. Dillish, who became really famous in Nigeria after winning BBA 2013 against stiff competition from Nigerian representatives Beverly Osu and Melvin Oduah, is said to be presently sad at the breakup which she hoped
would lead to marriage. The romance however hit the rocks because Stephen is said to be expecting a child by another woman in addition to the five-year-old son he has already. Meanwhile, sensational singer, Flavour, who featured Dillish in his Ikworikwo music video, is believed to be dating her as they have been spotted out together.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
Malaika scared by KWAM 1, Olamide collabo W
hat happens when it becomes known that the hottest fuji musician in the country has featured the hottest indigenous rapper on a song? The answer is a very obvious one. Music lovers immediately begin to wait for the song’s release and the song becomes highly anticipated. And that is exactly what is happening right now with the disclosure that King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall has recorded a song with Olamide. Olamide made their collaboration known to the world when he posted pictures of them recording in the studio KWAM 1 and Olamide on Instagram and accompa- Olamide has come in the last nied it with a statement that three years. It is proof that he it was KWAM 1 who featured is viewed as a genuine music him and not the other way artist who will last the test of round. time, not a flash in the pan, as Ayinde Marshall’s featuring Marshall, who is a music legof Olamide indicates how far end, doesn’t collaborate with
Artist: MI featuring Djinee
CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK Verse 2 (MI) Don’t try me oh (me oh) C City wan eye me oh (me oh) And I’m rated highly oh (ly oh) Hey! They call me MI Listen y’all, yo! Mo gbono feli feli , I’m spitting like Makavelli
just any artist. Another fallout of the Ayinde Marshall, Olamide collabo is that Sule Alao Adekunle Malaika, another notable fuji musician who had already featured Olamide on his own
song, Boshenjo, before KWAM 1 too decided to do so, is now said to be scared that Wasiu Ayinde’s Olamide collabo will overshadow his own as it is believed that more people will prefer Marshall’s own.
Dozage Records unveils Lace
Rappers are really silly, you rappers Milli Vanilli But nuffin’ do me because I dey rhyme yo Nothing’s gonna rule me because I dey shine yo (shine yo) I know I’m so fine yo, I’ll blind y’all with each I move like a rhino, until we sitting on top, sitting spitting on top Rappers spitting, they should stop It’s real when I drop, your shit is gonna flop You kicking so sloppy, Getting spanked by your papi And you should know my P They call me MI, MI, see
Having already enjoyed a fair amount of success, he is about to enjoy even more as the record label he is signed on to now, Dozage Records, has just released his album, Benin 2 Nigeria, and further promised to leave no stone unturned to ensure that he becomes one of the biggest artists in the country. Popular producer, K-Solo, who is one of Dozage’s directors, made this known at Dozage’s official unveiling of Lace last week. “Lace is one of the most promising artists in Nigeria now and we at Dozage Records know this and have decided to do all Sefiya we can and to ensure that he attains the very top in music. With his talent backed by our own resources, he’ll definitely become a household name in the shortest so I say it confidently that Nigeria should watch out for Lace,” K-Solo said. ne girl who is gradually carving And speaking about his association a niche for herself in the music with Dozage, Lace said, “I’m very thankindustry is model-singer Sefiya. ful to God that I have Dozage behind me. Though she is beautiful and sexy as they They believe in me or else they wouldn’t come, and those two assets are of extreme be investing so much in me. Now, I am importance to female singers, her talent more confident that I am going to blow for and passion for music are what are acmassively as an artist can only blow tually making a way for her in the music when he has the kind of support Dozage game. is giving me.” Presently, her latter single and video, Explaining why he titled his album, Love Me Jeje, are getting hotter by the day, Benin 2 Nigeria, Lace said, “I’m actually thereby making her brand more visible and from Benin Republic, but I’ve been living making pundits rate her as one of the next in Nigeria since I was a little boy and I big things. love both countries and I wanted that to So don’t be surprised if she truly becomes reflect in my album title so I titled it Bethe next big thing. nin 2 Nigeria.”
ace is not a new artist. He became popular back in 2010 when his debut single, Se Bi Wo, became a notable hit. Since then, he has followed up with other songs like Kuru Maaga, Fere, Ashawo, Gbe Be featuring Olamide and the latest is Change My Story which already has a video that was directed by one of the hottest directors around now, Unlimited LA.
I’m chilling in pelly pelly, I’m chilli inside your belly
Sefiya keeps rising with Love Me Jeje
I’m always inside your telly, your lyrics are smelly smelly
I’m rocking MI – MIC and my flow is so deadly Whiskolo whiska, the incredible mister The top on the list-ah, he’s voted like next-ah Loved by your sister, he may be even kissed her The brand new experience like vista Ebariba sanbori bobo The ladies going loco when they hear his vocal Rap’s in a choke-hold Other rappers local, they rap with a vocoder, I’m the koko Other rappers so called, I’m medicine for the game like I’m procold You can’t deny, I give them what they want And if you’re still sitting down, you’re on a long thing And if there’s ever been a rap this fly Yo, it had to be done by another MI Hook 2 (Djinee) Hey! Hey! Why you dey run where you dey run, you think say you get liver You come dey form like say you be that Arnold Schwarzenegger Hey! You go talk the one you dey today Today, today we go run you down, you no know where you dey Hey! We dey kill them, MI you dey treat them Show them say this hip-hop music dey your system Teach them, school them, if them fuck up, cane them Oh! Them no know say, them no know say you be Pyeri boy, I be B-side boy We do run things eh! We dey run things oh! Hey oh! Hey! Hey! Ihe ne me! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Pack your load go, pack your load go MI don come here hey We go run you down in your area, think am oh Hey yo! We go run you down Your mama, your papa Na we dey right here oh
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February 15, 2014
Artists yet to live up to expectations
he music industry is full of established, promising, upcoming and underground artists. The established ones are always the most popular and most successful, the promising are those believed will eventually become established, the upcoming are the newcomers and the underground are successful and respected artists who prefer to stay out of the limelight. Talking about the promising artists, they are very peculiar because they mostly remain promising and never become established. Artists are seen as promising when they’ve released one or two hit songs, performed at prestigious industry events and concerts and their name is buzzing on people’s lips and trending on social media. Once they’ve gotten to the promised stage, they are expected to go on to become established and those that don’t become known as artists yet to live up to expectations. Among them are Kween, YQ, Soul E, Sheyman, Alabai, Sean Tero and many others. Of them all, Kween is probably the one that the most has been expected of. Kween’s case is indeed very peculiar. She is one lady who has all it takes to become a megastar. She is tall, beautiful, sexy, connected and talented. Many good things were therefore said of her, especially as she rolled with the JJC, D’Banj and Don Jazzy clique while she was in London and on her return to Nigeria. And when three of her songs, Oluronbi, Come Wiv Me and Jebele, became hits, it was taken for granted that she would become very big. She hasn’t however but the industry hasn’t given up on her and she is expected to still prove her real worth. “I am YQ.” People familiar with YQ’s hits would definitely be acquainted with the three-word lyrics preceding this sentence as YQ uses them frequently in his songs to endear himself to his fans and the music-loving public. YQ became really known and respected when he released the hit, Efimile, featuring Dagrin. Efimile was the song that actually made him and Dagrin into stars.
He followed it up with I Like Girls, another big hit, Dress Code, a notable hit, and his debut album, I Am YQ. So promising was he rated that Obi Asika’s Storm Records went into a partnership with his initial label, 2Koncepts Entertainment, over him. Suddenly, it all fizzled out for him. From being talked about, no one talked about him again. Even though he keeps releasing songs, none of them has become as successful as Efimile and I Like Girls. The name Soul E is one that broke through the unknown barrier and became known when his song, Soul E Baba Dey Here, became a monster hit. Its follow-up, Naija Is Blessed, wasn’t really accepted and when he became embroiled in a legal battle over his contract with his label, Colossal Entertainment, his career just kept descending instead of ascending as expected. Though he keeps trying his best to get to the next level, it’s just not working out for him. He even switched from secular to gospel at a point in time, still no tangible result. One thing is certain, though, he has all it takes to become a very successful established artist, and it still might happen for him. Yet another artist yet to live up to expectation is Sheyman. An artist and a producer, his success as the producer of many hit songs that include Bigiano’s Shayo and KSB’s Turn Me Around, has led to the expectation that he
will also be very successful as an artist. He is however yet to prove that he does have the X-factor required to be a successful music artist as he has released a few hit songs but is not in demand all the same. There are many talented rappers in the country, and there is no doubt that Alabai is one of them. In fact, he stands out amongst them, so much so that big-time artists including Paul Play Dairo and Sunny Neji featured him on their songs. But when he released his own song, Voice Of God, it was critically but not commercially successful. And after he released his album and it didn’t make much waves, he sort of disappeared off the scene. Then he returned again last year, as a singer this time, and his song, Ogbanje, became a notable hit. And he continues to make moves so it’s possible that he will finally attain the superstar status that is expected of him. Choko master, Sean Tero, is another artist whose failure to have become a big star by now is still astounding to pundits. His song, Choko De Choko, was the biggest hit in town a few years ago and many big things were thereby expected of him as he had even recorded some consistency before Choko’s success. But like Kween, YQ, Soul E, Sheyman and Alabai, it hasn’t happened for him as well but all of them still have a chance at the big time that will see them getting major league endorsements and headlining tours and concerts.
February 15, 2014
Uche Iwuji says crashed marriage has freed her A
fter months of intense speculation that her marriage had crashed, and she kept denying it, it is finally confirmed that Uche Iwuji’s marriage to oil and gas businessman, Juwon Lawal, has indeed broken down in less than two years. The A-list actress doesn’t seem to be bothered by the short life span of her marriage, though. She posted pictures online to show that she is not worrying and tweeted that she is now free like a bird. But while she might not be worried that she’s now back to being single, speculations continue to mount over what made her marriage collapse, a piece of information she’s not forthcoming with. While some are saying that her marriage ended because of her nude pictures that suddenly surfaced online, others are saying that Lawal should have been more understanding with her.
Moses Inwang curses power providers
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Financial hardship tales trail Femi Branch
he tales trailing actor-model Femi Branch right now are not palatable. Not too long ago, the news about him was that his advert for MTN was very good and he had a bright future in the entertainment industry. Indeed, he starred in several movies and the highly rated soap opera, Domino. But right now, he is alleged to be facing financial hardship and that he has been given an ultimatum to quit his residence and that his wife has taken over the upkeep of their family while he gets his act together. He has however denied that he has been given an eviction notice, saying that some pople just want to rubbish his name and that he is not struggling to retain his relevance in Nollywood, as also alleged, and that normally he wouldn’t react to allegations about him but he had to do so because his friends, family, fans and well-wishers told him to do so as the allegations have really gone viral so he has to refute them in his own best interests.
Omotola tries to protect daughter from sexual violence
t seems that it’s one week, one issue for Omotola JaladeEkeinde presently. Last week, it was movie producer Obi Emelonye gossiping about why she’s no longer getting movie roles. This week, however, she’s furious that her 14-year-old daughter, Meraiah, is being portrayed online to the world as sexy and hot because she’s afraid that Meriah might be targeted by sexual molesters. She has consequently announced that she’s ready to do anything to prevent Meraiah from sexual violence.
Inwang and Juliet Ibrahim
f there is one Nollywood personality who doesn’t speak out often as he prefers to keep a low profile, it is acclaimed director Moses Inwang. Unlike most of his colleagues who run around seeking publicity and make outrageous online comments in order to make the news, Inwang doesn’t really succumb to the publicity craving urge. He however lost his cool during the week and cursed the Power Holding Company of Nigeria
(PHCN), the organisation charged with providing the country with electric power. Even though he referred to PHCN as NEPA, its old name of National Electric Power Authority, it only goes to show that people have consistently refused to acknowledge the new name NEPA, maybe because PHCN’s power provision is just as unreliable as NEPA’s. Through a tweet, he said, “I want to officially make this announcement: NEPA, God go punish una!!! 12 mins of power in 24 hours??? Sad!”
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February 15, 2014
le StyGlam and
Permanent touch with Yemisi Adeniran
from Tolu Makeovers H
aving to care for the family, keep up with a career responsibilities and all, ladies and mums especially, find little or no time to care adequately for themselves, let alone spare time for make-up. Makeup artist, Tolulope Apara of Tolu Makeovers, is bent on making make-up the least of a woman‛s worries. She recommends permanent makeup, particularly of the eyebrow for all busy women who still want to look beautiful and outstandingly at that. “The most obvious advantage is that you are saved from the stress of having to have it shaped even as you are hurrying to catch up with so many other things, only to have it wiped off the minute you attempt wiping off sweat off your face,” she pointed. The models here are obviously free of such worry.
STYLE & GLAM
February 15, 2014
Day after the I
t‛s a day after Valentine day, and of course, it is the best day to celebrate being a Saturday. A work-free day it is, so, you can be free to relax very well with your friends and loved ones. One best way to go about this is to dress casual. This is where the jacket piece comes real handy. It‛s cute, easy and very convenient for every of the activities you may want to engage in. Just pick a colour of your choice, a style you love and a preferred pant or skirt to make your day really edgy and very adventurous. Remember also to accessorise well to give you that admirable look you desire. Going the jacket way, especially the made to measure types, designed by a fashion artist like Yomi Adu is simply the best way to combine a hippy and happy look today. What does Adu have to say? “We infuse play, adventure and a large dose of personality into our designs to make your day ready for a fanfare.” Check these models out!
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February 15, 2014
STYLE & GLAM
STYLE & GLAM
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Fashion Guest February 15, 2014
‘Like Mariam Makemba, I believe in African culture’ As far as Blossom Chioma Gabriel, a gospel artiste and an awardwinning fashion designer is concerned, ladies need not break the bank before looking elegant . She tells YEMISI ADENIRAN all about effortless elegance.
lot of p e o p l e thought you were goy ing to abandon i Kraftitude when K you veered into y music. How do m you find time to yo juggle it with your jugg career? music ca I am passionate about do at Kraftitude. It what I d earned me m an award some back, I have some years ba people learning and other pe benefitting from its output benefitti several ways, so, I can’t in sever Just like I have said let go. Ju through that music, and thr should not let go of one sho what is right and beneficial to others no matter My life is about givwhat. M love giving because ing, I lo the Bible says it is even th to give more rewarding r
than to receive. My life is about serving others, I am serving some people through Kraftitude, I cannot stop. It is just like the parable of the talents in the Bible, if one is faithful in doing one thing, God will increase his or her talents. It is in influencing others that one can be relevant to God and even to people. It is God that committed the two into my hands and He is the one that is helping me to manage all. Your attires in the Never Let Go video reminds one of the late Mariam Makemba. Do you have any attachment to her? I have always loved the way she dressed and even her kind of songs. What now makes us to look alike in our craft is our belief in the African culture. I am passionate about my culture and this is what informed the making of the video and my general appearance. The African culture is naturally rich and very beautiful. It is re-
spected in other worlds, it is just unfortunate that we the owner are not appreciating it enough. What is style to you? I love to be simple and elegant at the same time. I wear outfits that are not too expensive but well crafted. I don’t just wear anything just because it is in vogue but because it suits me and it is comfortable. I love to stand out in the crowd beautifully. Which of the two careers gives you fulfilment? I simply enjoy both. Music and design are all about creativity and it comes from the heart that is always merry. If you are not happy genuinely, you cannot create anything, meaning you can neither compose a good song nor create a good design. Life, to me, is about impacting positively on others. The two careers have impacts on people and because of that I am fulfilled. They are also both ways of expressing oneself and reaching out to people, so, I am fulfilled.
Fashion Trivia Behold the designer dress made from rubber bands
Bulgarian architect from New York, Margarita Mileva, has followed her passion for dress designing by giving her architectural profession a backseat. She had always been interested in fashion designing and recycling and she has merged these two distinctive fields and created an impressive designer dress by using the 18 thousand coloured rubber bands. More often than not, rubber bands, a very underrated office stationary ends up in waste bins and the designer has decided to give it a twist and turn it into something fashionable and chic. The dresses made by Mileva
look more like works of art than dresses and she has successfully brought forth her passion for go-
ing green and designing through the creation of this innovative ‘Rubber Band Dress’.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
o man likes the idea of losing his hair. Least of all, the truly terrifying part: the acceptance that you’re going to have to finally admit defeat and shave it all off. Well, try not to fret too much. I’m here to let you know that this seismic occasion shouldn’t mark the end of ‘stylish you.’ It’s actually rather exciting. Honestly! Hear me out, chaps. First off, you don’t have to shave it all off (well, unless you’re feeling particularly bold). If you’re at the early stages of balding acceptance, I doubt you’ve quite reached ‘one all over’ territory just yet. The first trick: taking the sides nice and short can make a huge difference. The shorter the sides the thicker the top will appear. Ask your barber to take the sides to a ‘two’ and the top to a little longer than finger length. This will give you something on top to play with and create the illusion of fullness. When the time to reach for the clippers does arrive, you can still employ the same tactics. Hair the same length all over the head isn’t the most flattering look, regardless of how hirsute you’re lucky enough to be. Even with the shortest of hair you can still create a ‘style’. The general rule I would use
February 15, 2014
with Oseyiza Oogbodo firstname.lastname@example.org w
Why going bald is not the end of the world
is this: Whatever grade the back and sides are, always use a grade that is at least twice as long on top. Remember, no hair is too short to use product. A small amount of a matte finish product will give you that finishing touch. And eliminate any “fuzzy duck” danger thinning, un-treated hair can generate. Davines Invisible Paste is perfect for styling short hair. Its light texture creates a natural look but still gives the hair hold and structure. You can give you hair a vital helping hand by making sure your scalp is always clean and free from product build up. Use products that are oil free: these won’t block and damage the follicles. Your skin and scalp produce produc oil to nourish and protect but sometimes the sebaceous glands som can ca get carried away and produce too much. much h . This results in a build up of oil on the scalp, which obstructs the t follicle. There are numerous products on the market that help keep the scalp clean and remove excess sca sebum. I prefer to use natural based products product rather than relying solely on chemicals, Aesop are the perfect chem blend. Their Equalising Shampoo uses botanical bo otanical ingredients to gently treat the scalp and rid it of ext cess oil. There is no magical cure for hair loss (yet), but a good grooming routine will help keep you scalp healthy and hair thicker for longer.
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Can you marry R
eligion is one of the most salient factors that can either make or mar a relationship, especially marriage. Whether we like it or not, it will continue to be a very important issue in the growth of the relationship. It is always difficult to marry someone of a different religion to yours. The reasons are varied and so diverse that when you hear them, you will begin to wonder if people ever consider love, trust, communication, honesty or even commitment above other things when choosing a life partner. People have taken the matter of religion to a different perspective. Most often, the issue of religion and whether to marry a partner from another faith comes from the prejudices of our parents and other family members which they show as an act out of concern. Marriage is an institution which is full of obstacles at the best of times. And being married to a partner of a different religion is an obstacle most people would rather do without if they can. This is because the religious dogmas will be different.Trying to adjust or understand a different dogma as the new accepted truth especially if it is at variance with what you may have been taught or believed in will be difficult if not downright impossible. In my many years of practice as a relationship expert, I’ve come to realise that in most cases if not all, what drives people apart are basically the basic differences pertaining to issues of how partners relate to sex related matters, financial issues and how partners deal with them and the third parties that are forever trying to come between the partners. The third parties may be as far from them as friends and relatives and as close as the children in the union. Of course, disputes of religious leanings are important too. I believe that handling issues of religious differences may not be easy when looked at from a distance, but there are a number of interesting and productive ways of managing reli-
gious differences. In any intimate relationship, a couple can certainly stay together as a couple by being open minded about issues relating to religion and by resisting the urge to push their individual beliefs onto their spouses. One of the major ways of handling the issue of having different religious view points and living harmoniously is to respect each other’s points of view, especially since the issue of religion is a personal choice between you and your Maker. Whether I want to make heaven is a personal thing; you cannot and should not live my life for me. If you can relate with respecting your partner’s point of view, you will avoid the potentially damaging consequences of insulting each other’s beliefs. Respecting your spouse’s faith will also ultimately help to build a strong foundation for your relationship. Compromising is also very important. If the relationship has been built on compromise, tolerance and mutual respect, it’ll be very easy to communicate your religious points of view to your spouse and children. This can be parleyed into educating your spouse and the children on the tenets and selling points of your beliefs. Ultimately, no matter how strict you are as a parent, your children will still follow a faith they are comfortable with. So, insisting they follow your faith now, even if you and your spouse are of the same faith, does not guarantee that they will practise it. The easiest way to create bad blood is to try and force anyone to follow your faith against their wishes, even if they are your children. I believe that the success of most marital relationships is based on having similar value systems and not religious beliefs. If both of you are tolerant, supportive and understanding of each other’s beliefs it will be easy to practise a different faith to your spouse’s and still live harmoniously. People who share the same religious beliefs or are practising the same religion still get divorced. Therefore, check your values and your attitude about life.
This column is x-rated
15 things women want to know about men but are afraid to ask Men are enigmatic creatures. What with those early morning erections? But what does your man like best in bed? And does he really think about sex all the time? Here are the answers to the questions you’ve been too polite to ask him. How confident is he about his size? When it comes to how big men are, a great majority of men think they’re smaller than they really are. Except of course for sexual megalomaniacs! Men are naturally insecure about it. So if you are with a man and feel compelled, for whatever reason, to comment on his size, the only acceptable adjectives are “big” and “biggest.” In reality, the average size of a penis is 5.5 to 6.2 inches erect, and 4.7 to 5.2 inches when nothing is up. Most men fall within that range. Six inches is a good size. Does he masturbate? And why? All men masturbate. The ones who say they don’t are lying. And there are no known health hazards for masturbating too much. However, too much self-love might make it harder for a guy to reach orgasm with a sexual partner if he becomes too accustomed to doing it all by himself. Do men really think about sex all the time? Women love thinking men think about sex every seven seconds. But is that actually true? Not exactly. A study says 54 percent of men think about sex every day or several times a day (compared to 19 percent of women). However, in a recent study of 1,009 middle-aged and older couples in long-term (average 25 years) relationships, women are the ones who value sex the most in a relationship, while men want more cuddling. Not surprising if the law of diminishing returns is anything to go by! Are there other reasons apart from lust why men have erections? Not really, sexperts say. Except of course they are sleeping when the erection occurs. Most men wake up every day with a fully erect penis. It’s a healthy thing for a man to wake up hard. It shows that men are producing healthy amounts of testosterone. Men
produce more testosterone in the morning, while girls produce more testosterone at night. This may explain why they have that bad habit of rolling over and going to sleep right after sex, while the woman is hoping for more loving. What do men prefer: Handjobs, blowjobs, or the real deal? There’s not a girl in the world that can manually satisfy a guy better than he can satisfy himself. Not one. And sure, there are cases where a great blowjob might be more pleasurable to a guy than a so-so romp between the sheets. But until further notice, heed these words: ‘Intercourse is better than everything.’ What happens to a man after a few drinks? Your man goes out with his pals for drinks and comes back. You do everything to get some action out of him, and…nothing. It’s called Temporary Alcohol Impotence, and it affects men and women alike. It deadens nerve endings and slows down responses. It makes it difficult for men and women to come. There’s a “sweet spot” where guys can maintain an erection, but can’t ejaculate, which can lead to hours of drunken (read: SLOPPY) sex. What can you do with his nipples? It turns out men’s nipples aren’t too much different from women’s. Like women, men have erectile tissue and nerve endings on their nipples, and well-placed lips or a tongue on a man’s nipples can be very pleasurable. But guy’s nipples are also more sensitive to pain. Women might like their nipples being pinched or even nibbled, but when fooling around with the male variety of nipples, be gentle. What’s his favourite position? Doggy style is a man’s best friend. Stud-
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February 15, 2014
outside your faith? CHINWE ANNIE AMAECHI
Foundation for complication
This column is x-rated ies and polls verify what animals have known for millions of years. Are testicles really elastic? Testicles are a teeny tiny sperm nursery, hanging there between men’s legs. They help keep the sperm at the perfect temperature even though their body temperature (as well as the surrounding temperature) fluctuates. That’s why the testicles hang low when the weather’s warm – and get shriveled and snug against their bodies when it’s cold. Do men sweat more than women? Ever wonder why after sex, your guy looks like he just ran a marathon, when you barely broke a sweat? Women actu-
This column is x-rated in Nigeria, but between 70 to 80 percent of men worldwide never go under the knife. When fully erect, the foreskin retracts along the shaft, and the two kinds of penises are indistinguishable. What are his sexual fantasies like? Ever wonder if your man would like to have sex with your best friend? The sad answer is “Yes.” It’s called the Conquistador Syndrome. Traditionally, men’s fantasies tend to revolve around one man with multiple women, which may include your aunt, roommate, sister, niece, housegirl… or even your mum! Is there a difference between orgasm and ejaculation?
If you are with a man and feel compelled, for whatever reason, to comment on his size, the only acceptable adjectives are “big” and “biggest ally have more sweat glands than men, but they produce less sweat. What causes aching balls? Have you ever teased a guy, only to stop and leave him on the floor, clutching his balls, tears in his eyes? He’s just been afflicted with aching balls, and it’s probably the worst feeling in the world. When a man is really aroused, blood rushes to the penis and testicles. Valves in blood vessels close and lock, maintaining the erection and engorging the testicles with blood (it’s called vasocongestion). When this pressure builds, the only way to relieve it is through climax. Though aspirin is known to do the trick, men insist the only way out of aching balls known to man is getting the real thing. If you are not in the mood or the right shape, let him know you know aspirin, panadol or paracetamol will make him better Circumcised or uncircumcised? What’s your preference? You can have great sex with both circumcised and uncircumcised men. What may, be a surprise, though, is that you’ve probably experienced both kinds and not even known it. Circumcision is popular
Is it possible for guys to have sex all night without needing the half hour of downtime after every orgasm? Put simply: yes. Some men train themselves to orgasm without ejaculating. It’s very difficult, and some men won’t ever be able to do it. An orgasm is an involuntary muscle contraction, a reflex reaction, while ejaculation is the release of sperm. So, how can a guy stay strong for hours and hours of sex? Masturbation, of course. It’s possible for men to masturbate until they build to climax, and then hold it until the sensation subsides. After doing this for awhile, men can experience orgasm without coming. How long can a guy stay hard before it becomes uncomfortable? Blood gathers in the testicles during sex, so if ejaculation doesn’t occur, it hurts. In the rarest of cases (or when medication is involved) erections can last up to four (most likely very painful) hours. There are a number of folk remedies for this pain, like taking a cold shower. But whenever this happens, the ‘poor’ victim often insists on the sweetest remedy – sex!
arriage is one of the exceptions to the rules of Mathematics in the sense that in marriage (ideally), 1 + 1 = 1. In this regard, even though marriage is the union of two different individuals with separate bodies, souls, temperaments, ideologies and beliefs, it is expected that there should be oneness in certain aspects of the couple’s lives. In fact, the higher the areas of oneness, the better the marriage. Our focus this week is on one key area - religion/faith/spiritual compatibility. Must marriage partners share the same religion? When it comes to choosing a spouse, the criteria employed differ from person to person. On Mr. A’s scale of preference, spiritual compatibility may be the foremost or amongst the top three, while on Mr. B’s it may be way below or excluded. People say that marriage should be premised on love and not religion, but the question is this: how deep can love be when the religious beliefs of the ‘lovers’ are divergent? Faith goes deep into the spirit, the core of one’s being; therefore if love must be deep, the partners must have a solid spiritual connection. An interfaith marriage is not one of the cases in which diversity makes life more interesting. In fact, this is one of the cases where diversity makes life more complicated than it is by default. Despite the challenges, intertribal marriages can create beautiful pictures of unity in diversity. But can we say the same about interfaith marriages? I strongly doubt. I really wonder why people say that religious differences are not fundamental when we all know that every interfaith marriage must necessarily experience challenges, even from the onset. I am yet to hear a success story of an interfaith marriage, success in this sense being assessed with regard to zero conflict in issues surrounding the differences in spiritual beliefs and doctrines. Let us face facts; the problems of interfaith marriage begin long before the marriage. The couple must consider several issues: How do we convince our families to accept the union? Under what faith should we conduct the marriage ceremony? Should we agree on one faith or do we continue in our separate faiths? What faith should we introduce to our children? The questions are endless. My question is this: can’t all this confusion be avoided? It is very easy to expect the woman to flow with her husband’s faith, but we fail to realise that faith (as it should be) is deep-rooted and one cannot just
transit from one to another the way a woman changes her name upon marriage. Even if a woman agrees to change to her husband’s faith, implementation is usually challenging. This is because one’s choice of faith/ religion must be premised on personal conviction, as against ‘migration necessitated by marriage’. The key issue which people seem to ignore is the fact that it is the woman who does most of the home training and grooming of children. She teaches them how to pray, and instils values in them. Tell me how well a woman will play this role if she gets married to a man of a faith different from hers? I believe that before two people decide to get married, they must think about the future, particularly the children that will eventually come. Undoubtedly, the primary victims of wrong choices in marriage are the children. If two people decide that they are so “in love” such that they sweep the issue of religious differences under the carpet, they are, in my opinion, definitely selfish and myopic. People should know that marriage is not just about the husband and his wife. It is a marriage of two families and the foundation of several generations to come. The ‘love birds’ will eventually become parents and their home will become the first learning institution and agent of socialisation for each child. What kind of orientation do children in interfaith marriages have? Whose faith should they be introduced to; mum or dad’s? Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate of religious intolerance. Not at all! In fact, I believe that faith/ religion is by choice and that no one should discriminate on the basis of divergence in religious/faith issues. However, I opine that a decision not to marry a person of another faith is not a sign of religious intolerance. Rather, it is a mode of avoiding the introduction of confusion into children’s first stage of learning. A child needs not be born into an interfaith marriage to learn religious tolerance. Marriage on its own is bound to be challenging because two people cannot be the same. It is only wise to narrow down the points of conflict by insisting on having certain similarities with a person before you tie the knot. The members of a healthy family pray together, attend the same place of worship and share the same values. Most interfaith marriages lack these bonding elements. So, how successful can a marriage of people from different religions be? I wonder!
February 15, 2014
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Woman ‘Money is not enough to sustain marriage’ If you think single parenthood is a Nigerian thing, you may need to hear this from Mrs. Omowunmi Kate Olamide, a Nigerian based in South Africa. “The rate of divorce is on the high side in South Africa. We have many single parents here than in Nigeria,” she tells YEMISI ADENIRAN
ow would you compare the lifestyle of women in South Africa with those in Nigeria? Women here are sophisticated because of the affordability. I’m sure 70% of working class ladies are earning more than men. It is a sort of taboo for a Nigerian woman to smoke but here, it is a part of life. Here women are considered first for a job before men in an interview, so they have upper hand. You have been married for twelve years and blessed with two beautiful girls. How would you describe your marriage and what has kept it going on? To be candid, I am enjoying my marriage! My husband is very understanding! He allows me to take some decisions at times that I don`t believe he could. He calls me Minister of Home Affairs. Honestly, I must say the grace of God has kept the marriage on. God is the foundation of the marriage. How would you react to the common saying that there is no love without money? I don`t agree with that! Money buys temporary love and not everlasting love! That is why you see divorce cases here and there. On sustenance of marriage, first, forget about equality in the presence of your in-laws and your husband`s friends. Men have ego, they want people to see that they are in control. Secondly, the two of you must know how to solve your problems without a third party. Respect each other and the highest secret is know your husband very, very well. Lastly, pray together for your family. Is the rate of divorce in Nigeria higher than that of South Africa? No! It is not. The rate of divorce is on the high side in South Africa. We have many single parents here than Nigeria. What do you think is responsible? A lot of factors that one could attribute the same case in Nigeria to are also responsible. The addition here may be the much freedom that is accorded women here. Like I said, women are given more priorities than men, they are considered for jobs before men, they are more comfortable and you know where things like these are eminent, it is a given that they will demand for more independence than where such things are not practised. Pride, lack of tolerance will definitely set in and this most times, ruins any good home. Who would you blame for broken homes? One thing I want people to understand is that whatever happens in your marriage, you are the architect of it. You are the determinant of how palatable and sweet you want your marriage to be. Remember that before you met your husband, he too had a design of marriage that he wanted in his life. Do your own plans coincide with his? You need to know the kind of marriage the two of you want so that you lay a good foundation for your marriage. So, when challenges come, you know how to solve them together.
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February 15, 2014
We are human beings, challenges will surely come. You are a teacher. Is that what you had wanted to be as a child? To be sincere, no! You know man proposes and God disposes, but I am not regretting being a teacher now! As a teacher you read every day; thank God that through my work I am a nation builder. How do you come to be a teacher and what is the attraction? Our mentality in Nigeria about teaching is bad! In Nigeria we look down on a teacher as nobody in the society. Even we consider teachers to be non-professionals! When we relocated to South Africa we found out that teachers are treated as professionals; there is a professional body, South African Council of Educators, that regulates teaching profession. You will be evaluated by this body
Many men prefer to marry teachers so that their children could be brought up well and they would have time for the home in general. Is this the attraction to your husband? It is very funny. You see, we got married in Nigeria and moreover l was not a teacher then. So, I would not say that was the attraction. I remember, there was a time he told me that my profession had no meaning in marriage as far as he was concerned. What he was concerned about was how I would manage him. But you would recall that I said earlier that a teacher is a motivator, pastor, counselor, leader assessor and a parent. A lot depends on how you use these qualities to the advantage of your marriage. The experiences from all these make a teacher a good housewife. You can`t be teaching other people’s children the good way of life and your own family is not enjoying the good way of life. I think with this at the back of your mind,
You are the architect of whatever happens in your marriage.You are the determiner of how palatable and sweet your marriage will be. Remember that before you met your husband, he too had a design of the marriage he wanted and thereafter licensed to teach. With all these in place, I became interested in teaching and as a wife and mother in a foreign land, l believe that this is a good profession for me. So l applied and the rest is history. What have you been able to achieve as a teacher, particularly, in terms of making students the true future leaders? As a teacher, you are a counsellor, pastor, manager, motivator, administrator, leader, assessor and a parent. You talk to these learners everyday, even speak to their parents. When you start seeing positive changes in these learners and they come back to you to thank you for what you have done, then you realise that you have done something great. Don`t forget that these learners are looking up to you to lead and direct them in the good ways of life. I feel completely fulfilled and thank God for His guidance all along. I also thank my husband for his support and understanding.
you would want your family to be seen as a good family. More so, don`t forget that you are a leader. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion is you, yourself ! Fashion makes you and interprets you! It tells people whom you are! Don`t forget you are a brand and your fashion sense makes you a big or small brand. What advice would you give to women, particularly about how to keep their marriages and improve the society in general? Trust in God. Marriage is like putting water and oil together and you want it to be gelled and become an entity. So, marriage is not a child`s play. Don`t just rush into marriage. Then, the sky is the beginning because your friends are getting married. Be totally sure that you are going in. It is like a cult between you and your husband. And to women generally, I would say, respect yourself, respect your husband, be disciplined, be supportive be fashionable and be a ready-made.
Here come the brides... all 2,500 of them! • 2,500 couples, who met just days before, tie the knot in mass stadium ceremony in South Korea
magine sharing your biggest day with 2,499 other brides. But that did not deter these couples - some of whom met just days ago - when they got married on Thursday in the romantic surroundings of a 25,000seat sports stadium. Dressed in gleaming white with the men in sharp black suits, they were part of a mass wedding ceremony held by South Korea’s famous Unitarian Church. After confirming under oath that they are virgins, the couples sprinkle holy water, recite vows pledging themselves to be faithful to each other and exchange rings and prayers. But the tradition then steers wildly away from Christian marriage - as the newlyweds must then go for at least 40 days without having sex. The period of abstinence is supposed to be an echo of Jesus’ 40 days and nights wandering the desert, where the Bible says he remained in the wilderness as the devil appeared to him and offered him a string of temptations, all of which he ignored. A highly controversial figure accused of leading a cult, Reverend Moon founded his church in 1954 and began holding the mass ‘blessings’ soon afterwards, which grew to global prominence as he gained followers around the world.
The first ceremony in 1961 attracted just 33 couples, but they soon expanded. In one such mass blessing in 1997, 30,000 couples tied the knot in Washington D.C. Just two years later 21,000 filled the Olympic Stadium in Seoul. Rev Moon died in September 2012 at the age of 92 of complications from pneumonia, and Thursday’s ceremony - as with another with 3,500 couples this time last year - was overseen by his 71-year-old widow Hak Ja Hang. Confetti was hurled into the air as the identically-dressed couples exchanged their vows, with women dressed in traditional white dresses and veils while the men wore sharp black suits with white shawls. The church’s American website said: “After the matches were confirmed, it was a joy to watch the new couples converse happily with one another, many of them with the help of a translator.” Rev Moon was famous for personally pairing up couples who could not even speak the same language because he preferred marriages to be across cultures and nations. His teachings included that more earthy romantic love ruined society by leading to sexual promiscuity and badly-matched couples. Culled from www.dailyMail.com
February 15, 2014
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Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression
aising stepchildren is a multifaceted endeavour. It’s a challenge in that you must learn to navigate new and uncertain territory. And it can be difficult, especially if the relationship doesn’t go quite as well as you want it to. The best thing you can do is to learn as much as you can about being a step-parent, and then just let the relationship take its natural course. Give yourself time to develop a workable relationship. Realize that love and caring takes time to develop, especially with pre-adolescent and adolescent children. Some research suggests that children under the age of five will bond with a stepparent within one to two years. However, older children, teenagers in particular-may take as many years as they are old when the remarriage takes place. In other words, a ten-year-old may need ten years before they feel truly connected with you. Do not expect that you or your stepchildren will magically cherish all your time together. Stepchildren often feel confused about new family relationships, feeling resentful of the changes new people bring to their life. Give children space and time to work through their emotions. Give yourself permission to not be completely accepted by them. Their acceptance of you is often more about wanting to remain in contact with their biological parents than it is an acceptance or rejection of you. This
How to raise stepchildren realisation will help you to depersonalise their apparent rejections. Give your stepchildren time away from you, preferably with their biological parent. The exclusive time stepchildren had with their biological parent before he or she married you come to a screeching halt after remarriage. Honoring your stepchildren by giving back this exclusive time will help them to respect you sooner. Children’s loyalty to their biological parents may interfere with their acceptance of you. Children are often emotionally torn when they enjoy a stepparent. The fear that liking you somehow hurts their biological parent is common. The ensuing guilt they experience may lead to disobedient behavior and a closed heart. In order to help stepchildren deal with this struggle: Allow children to keep their loyalties and encourage contact with biological parents. Never criticise their biological parent, as it will sabotage the children’s opinion of you. Don’t try to replace an uninvolved or deceased biological parent. Consider yourself an added parent figure in the child’s life-be yourself. Let the children set their pace for their relationship with you. If your step-
Ready for marriage?: Ifthikar, aged eight, had no idea it was her wedding
rmed police swooped in on a wedding in Yemen after it emerged the ‘happy couple’ was an eight-year-old girl and her own cousin. The drama took place in the northern province of Ibb after an uncle of child bride Ifthikar contacted local activists who called authorities. Police arrested the father of the eight-year-old, but released him after six days in jail when he promised to wait until she is of legal age. Yemeni human rights activists called police after Ifthikar’s uncle contacted a journalist at the local news-
children are open to you and seem to want physical affection from you, don’t leave them disappointed. If, however, they remain aloof and cautious, don’t force yourself on them. Respect their boundaries, for it often represents their confusion over the new relationship and their loss from the past. Relax. It’s an interesting word to hear when you feel like you’re not making any progress as a stepparent, yet that’s exactly the word. You can’t force their affection. So relax, accept the current level of relationship, and increase your connection over time. In the mean time, use the following suggestions to help you to be intentional about slowly building your relationship. Monitor your stepchildren’s activities. Know what they are doing at school, church, and in extracurricular activities, and make it your aim to be a part. Take them to soccer practice, ask about the math test they studied for, and help them to learn their lines in the school play. Monitoring seeks to balance interest in the child without coming on too strong. Throughout the first year of remarriage, stepparents should be involved with stepchildren when another family member can be present. This “group” family activity reduces the anxiety children
feel with one-on-one time with a stepparent. Adults frequently assume that the way to get to know their stepchildren is to spend personal, exclusive time with them. This may be true with some stepchildren. However, most stepchildren prefer to not be thrown into that kind of situation until they have had time to grow comfortable with the stepparent. Honor that feeling until the child makes it obvious that he or she is okay with one-on-one time. Another suggestion for
building relationship is to share your talents, skills, and interests with the child and to become curious about theirs. If you know how to play the guitar and a stepchild is interested, take time to show him how. If the child is interested in a particular series of books or a video game, become interested and ask her to tell you about it. These shared interests become points of connection that strengthen trust between stepparent and stepchild.
NAME: Nancy Ibidapo
BORN TO: Mr. and Mrs Ibidapo AGE: 3 months BIRTH WEIGHT: 3.65 kg Have you just had a baby? Send a picture of your bundle of joy to email@example.com
Yemeni father marries EIGHT-YEAR-OLD daughter off! paper which reported of the wedding between the eightyear-old and her relative. Police arrived just in time to stop the wedding, and found Ifthikar and her mother locked in a nearby house as the father had fled the scene. The mother initially opposed the wedding, but gave in when her husband threatened to divorce her. “The girl’s uncle was angry when he heard about the marriage, but was unable to stop it. So he contacted activists a day before the wedding,” Abdul Yousifi, a local activist said. “The girl is a primary school student and was unaware that she was getting
married.” The father told police he had given a ‘tribal pledge’ to marry his daughter to his nephew after another man rejected his offer of marriage. He was jailed for less than a week. As he is the sole breadwinner, police let him go in order to prevent his family from suffering. The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and has attracted the attention of international rights groups seeking to pressure the government to outlaw child marriages. Yemen’s gripping poverty plays a role in hindering efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families find
themselves unable to say no to ‘bride-prices’ that can be hundreds of dollars for their daughters. Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation. In September 2010, a 12-year-old Yemeni childbride died after struggling for three days in labour to give birth, a local human rights organisation said. Yemen once set 15 as the minimum age for marriage, but parliament annulled that law in the 1990s, saying parents should decide when a daughter marries.
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February 15, 2014
‘I hawk when there is no money in the house’
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20
“The man told us he wanted to buy tomatoes and brought out the chocolate, he gave it to me and said he did not want it to waste because he had many. I refused it and told two of my friends who were with me at the time not to accept it as well. “A woman suddenly grabbed the man and shouted that he was a kidnapper. She said he was trying to kidnap some boys in another street, so they trailed him to Ogba. When they searched his pocket they found chocolates and some hairs that he wrapped in different nylons. They beat him and took him to the police station,” Adebisi said. On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in February, a group of boys and girls were seen hawking groundnuts, sachet water and fruits at Ikeja Bus Stop, in Lagos. The oldest of them, Kemi Adewale, says she is 13. Asked what she was doing away from school on a week day, the girl, who spoke in Yoruba, said that her mother directed her to sell that day and return to school the next day. “I am in Basic 7. We move in groups so that we don’t get tired easily or get exploited. But we don’t go too far away from this place (Ikeja). “We all have targets of how much we are supposed to sell before going home. “My mother tells me to sell at least N500 worth of agbalumo (chrysophyllumalbidum), also known as udala in Igbo and ciwoh in Hausa). If I don’t sell that much, or they go bad, my mother would be
very angry,” she added. Dressed in a ragged faded red top and a black skirt with rubber flip-flop, the malnourished looking girl explained that sometimes she makes mistakes when calculating proceeds of her sales. Whenever such happens, she is sure of getting a good beating when she returns home. Sometimes, she is cheated by customers and this also attracts punishment from her guardian. As she spoke, her fellow ‘traders’ interjected to corroborate her story with their own experiences at home. “Do you like hawking on the street?” A boy in the group was asked. He replied that his mother told him that the proceeds of his trade would be used to buy his school uniforms and books. The boy, who called himself Ayomide, explained in incoherent English that, “My mother would say I’m a good boy when I sell most of my wares for the day. If I lose part of the proceeds, my mother would not give me the N30 I usually get for snacks. “I am in Basic 5. I do go to school on some days but anytime my mother says there is no money in the house, I have to go hawking. I like going to school because I get tired when I hawk under the sun.” These children have apparently become street-wise, as they already know how to look out for officials of the state task force, when they go around arresting street traders, they betrayed ignorance of the fact that it is illegal for minors to engage in trading in the state. At the gate of a night club, in
I HAVE TO SELL ABOUT 20 PACKETS OF POPCORN EVERY
I DON’T SELL AS MUCH, MY STEP-
MOTHER WOULD SAY
I DID NOT MEET MY TARGET BECAUSE I WAS PLAYING. SHE
IS THE ONE MAKING THE POP CORN.
MOTHER IS DEAD Ogba area of Lagos stood a minor, Benjamin Akaso, at around 8.30pm on a Thursday, He had a tray of popcorn on his head. Passing by, the boy said plaintively, “Oga, buy popcorn.” The desperation was obvious in his voice. His full tray showed he could only have sold a few wraps of the popcorn. The popcorn was packaged in small nylon packs of N20 each. “What are you doing selling pop corn at this time of the day?” I probed him, his answer was a testimony to the plight of child street traders. “I have only sold five. Please, help me to buy. I will go to bed hungry if I don’t sell more,” he lamented. Many people passed by without paying him any attention. He still had 35 packs left, which meant he still had N700 to make before retiring for the night. “I have to sell about 20 packets of the popcorn every day. If I don’t sell as much, my step-mother would say I had been playing and that was why
I could not meet my target. She is the one making the pop corn. My mother is dead. “But I go to school. I go out to hawk after I get back from school in the afternoon. Sometimes, if she is angry that I have not sold as much as I should have, she would not give me food” adding that he was not expected to return home without meeting his daily sales target. According to the Child Rights Law, children are forbidden from engaging in any form of street trading in Lagos State, parents of child hawkers risk prosecution but this has not deterred them from pushing their wards onto the streets to earn a living. A good question that comes to mind is whether the Lagos State government is still on track in its bid to protect children and accord them their fundamental human rights in the state. It has been estimated that there are about 300 million children less than 15 years of age in Africa, representing almost half of Africa’s population. There are no known statistics for kid hawkers in Nigeria, but it is known that children of under 18 years of age made up nearly 48 per cent of the estimated country’s population of 120 million in 1996 (World Bank). This estimate remains undiminished with the passage of years and associated increase in Nigeria’s population. The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported in May 2005 that over 7.3 million Nigerian children of school age were not in schools.
February 15, 2014 3
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‘My wife confessed that her boss is the father of our fourth child’ •I did it because my husband was befriending another woman. I have met Christ and my desire to make heaven made me confess, based on advice from my pastor –Wife •The matter is adjourned to April 7, 2014 in the interest of reconciliation -Judge
he confession of a mother of five that her boss is the biological father of her fourth child is now threatening her 25-year marriage. This is because her husband, Isaac Jemibola, a 57 year-old civil servant, has approached an Ikole Customary Court seeking the dissolution of his marriage to the woman, Olayemi, 48. Jemibola based his divorce plea on the ground that the respondent confessed committing adultery in 2002. The petitioner told the court that he married the woman in 1989 according to native law and custom. He urged the court in the petition filed on January 21, 2014 to grant him custody of all the five children of the marriage. Said Jemibola, “After retiring to bed on January 19, 2014, my wife came to me and knelt down. She confessed to having extra
marital affairs with her former boss and that it was the ensuing pregnancy that produced her fourth child. “My wife said she had met Christ and her desire to make heaven made her to confess based on advice from her pastor. ‘She added that the paternity of the fourth child was in doubt since both the boss and me slept with her the same week,’’ he said. Jemibola further told the court that he reported the matter to his parents who pleaded with the woman to reverse her confession. “However, she insisted that she was following the dictates of the Bible. I purposely do not want to do DNA test because I don’t want to hate the child.’’ he said. Olayemi admitted committing the offence, but kicked against dissolution of the marriage.
“I did it because Jemibola was befriending another woman during the period, which made him to abandon me for almost six months. “Also, it was the period that my boss who normally took me to work in his car made advances to
me; both men made love with me at almost the same period. “After some years, I discovered that the said child looks different from his siblings and out of guilty conscience, I decided to tell him the truth. “I pleaded for forgiveness but
he refused,’’ Olayemi said. In her ruling, the President of the court, Mrs. Yemisi Ojo, said: ``In the interest of justice and in the spirit of promoting reconciliation between parties, matter will be adjourned to April 7, 2014 for report of settlement.’’ (NAN)
‘My wife bore me an illegitimate child’ •The marriage stands dissolved. The respondent should return the bride price of N3,000 to the petitioner –Judge
n Aba-na-Ohazu Customary Court in Abia State has granted the prayer of one Chief Ementa Onwuba and dissolved his 25-year marriage on grounds of abandonment. Ementa had prayed the court to dissolve the marriage between him and his wife, Angela because she has denied him of his conjugal rights by abandoning their matrimonial home in the last 25 years. Ruling on the matter, the Presiding Judge, Mr. Diamond Olewengwa, said: “The marriage contracted in 1978 under the native laws and customs of Ifite Village, in Enugu Agidi in Njikoka local government area of Anambra, stands dissolved’’ Olewenwga held that the respondent (Angela) is free to revert to her maiden name. “The court is convinced that
the relationship between husband and wife is experiencing hiccups,’’ he said. He ordered her to return to the petitioner the bride price of N3, 000 through the court bailiff or the Registrar. The judge also ordered Onwuba to pay N4, 000 to the court as cost of dissolving the marriage The judge enjoined both parties to maintain peace and be of good conduct. Onwuba had told the court that he married Angela in 1978 under the native laws and customs of Ifite Village, in Enugu Agidi in Njikoka local government area of Anambra. He said that she made life unbearable for him. “My wife was a diabolic and adulterous woman. She stamped her act of infidelity with the birth of an illegitimate child in the course of our marriage,” he said. (NAN)
‘He pretended to be an engineer so I could marry him’ •I discovered he was jobless after we got married. He faked me –Wife •The case is adjourned to March 10, 2014 to hear the husband’s claims -Judge
42-year-old trader, Oluyemi Ogunjobi, has urged an Abeokuta Customary Court to dissolve her 21-year marriage to her husband, Sina Ogunjobi, over deceit, maltreatment and desertion. Oluyemi, who resides at Apakila Camp, Abeokuta, told the court that her husband claimed that he was working with a state ministry as an engineer. She accused her husband, who had failed to appear in court after being summoned
several times, that he was living a false life and also used to beat her regularly. “He pretended to be an engineer so that I could marry him. It was after I got married to him that I discovered that he was jobless. He faked me. “He drove me out of our matrimonial home due to severe beating. He has no regard for me. He sleeps with different women around our community and I know some of them. “There is no point still re-
maining his wife. I am praying for divorce now to enable me move on in life,’’ Oluyemi said. The petitioner also prayed the court to allow her the custody of Bolutife, 20, the only issue of the marriage. She also urged the court to compel respondent to allow her access to pack her belongings. The Court President, Mr. Israel Fajebe, adjourned the case to March 10, to hear the husband’s claims. (NAN)
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February 15, 2014
‘My husband married my brother’s ex-wife’ •I cannot put up with such sacrilege –Wife •I didn’t know she was her brother’s ex-wife –Husband •There’s no law in Islam that forbids the plaintiff’s husband from marrying her brother’s ex-wife -Judge
‘My husband dodges his responsibilities’ •My wife has been looking for excuses to quit this marriage –Husband •The marriage stands dissolved –Judge
n Ilorin Area Court has dissolved a six-year marriage between Shade Jimoh and Jimoh Kudus over lack of maintenance from the husband. Shade, 37, a resident of Amilegbe area, Ilorin, prayed the court to dissolve her marriage to Kudus because of his failure to take care of the family. The petitioner told the court that her husband had been dodging his responsibilities as the head of the house since they got married in 2007. ‘’Since my husband does not care for our welfare, I have been the only one sourcing for the family’s needs,’’ she said. She told the court that her husband preferred spending for persons outside his family to members of his nuclear family. According to her, the marriage was contracted in 2007 and has produced three children, Isiaka, Fausat, and Yinuza. ‘’My Lord, I want an end to this marriage because I am fed up with my husband’s ‘I-don’t-care’ attitude,’’ she said. The respondent, who did not object to the prayer of his wife, urged the court to grant the prayer of his wife without delay. ‘’My wife has been looking for excuses to quit this marriage for long, which she has finally achieved today,’’ he said. The Presiding Judge, Mr. Ibrahim Abdulquadri, dissolved the marriage and issued a certificate of divorce to the petitioner. (NAN)
25-year-old woman, Aisha, of Zamani village, Abuja, on Wednesday, lost her bid to divorce her husband, Nasiru Yakubu, following his decision to marry her brother’s ex-wife. Haruna Masanawa, the Presiding Judge of the Lugbe Area Court, said that Aisha failed to provide the court with substantial reasons to warrant the dissolution of her marriage. Masanawa said that in Islam, “there is no law that forbids the plaintiff ’s husband from taking a new wife, even her brother’s ex-wife’’. “The plaintiff did not establish any prohibiting grounds that can make the court to
grant her application to dissolve the marriage. “The marriage of the defendant to the plaintiff ’s brother’s ex-wife is legal. “Therefore, the case is hereby dismissed for lack of grounds to dissolve the marriage,’’ Masanawa said. Aisha had urged the court to dissolve her marriage following her husband’s decision to marry her brother’s ex-wife. She said she had advised her husband against his bid to marry her brother’s former wife. “I told him I cannot put up with such a sacrilege. I would rather opt out of the marriage and go back to my parents if he goes ahead to marry her.
“Besides, my lord, I am fed up with the marriage due to so many irreconcilable differences with my husband. I want to leave his house and have my peace,’’ she said. On his part, Yakubu said he still loved Aisha and wanted reconciliation. `”I am not aware that my new
Court orders man to accept responsibility for ex-wife’s pregnancy •I divorced her in February 2012 and haven’t had any matrimonial relationship with her to date –Husband •He’s responsible for the pregnancy –Ex-wife •Go back to his house and remain there until you are delivered of your pregnancy –Judge
Housewife in court for pouring hot water on husband •The accused assaulted her husband when she caught him cheating on her with another woman –Prosecutor •Not guilty -Wife •The case is adjourned to February 17, 2014 for trial -Judge
28-year old housewife, Chidinma Kalu, has appeared in an Apapa Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, charged with pouring hot water on her husband. Kalu, who resides at Ijora Badia area of Apapa, Lagos, is facing a one-count charge of assault. The prosecutor, Inspector Friday Inedu, told the court that the accused committed the offence on February 8, 2014 at their residence. Inedu alleged that the accused assaulted Mr. Wisdom Akpan by pouring hot water all over his body, which caused him bodily harm.
“The accused assaulted the husband when she caught him cheating on her with another woman,” he said. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 171 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. After the charges were read to her, the accused pleaded not guilty. If convicted, the accused faces three years in prison. The Senior Magistrate, Mr. Adeyemi Amos, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50, 000 with one surety in like sum. He adjourned the case to February 17, 2014 for trial. (NAN)
wife is an ex-wife to my wife’s elder brother. But I am aware that she hails from the same village with the plaintiff. `”All I can say is that I know my new wife to be is from the same village as Aisha, but I did not know her relationship with the plaintiff ’s elder brother,’’ Yakubu said (NAN)
n Abuja Area Court sitting at Lugbe on Monday ordered a 40-year-old man, Aliyu Leleyi, to take responsibility for his ex-wife ninemonth-old pregnancy and a threeyear-old son. The Presiding Officer, Mr. Haruna Masanawa, held that Leleyi should pay a monthly alimony of N8, 000 for her upkeep and N5, 000 for the upkeep of their three-yearold son. Masanawa said these financial commitments to his ex-wife, Hadiza Aliyu, 23, and child excluded antenatal and general medical care for both of them. He also ordered Hadiza to go back to Leleyi’s house and remain there until she is delivered of her pregnancy. “Therefore, the defendant is, hereby, ordered to give the plaintiff the sum of N8, 000 every 30 days from today (Thursday February 13th 2014). “With regards to the threeyear-old child, the plaintiff is, hereby, awarded custody and the defendant must pay the sum of N5, 000 monthly for his upkeep. Hadiza Aliyu had asked the court to compel Leleyi to accept responsibility for her pregnancy one year after he divorced her. Aliyu, who resides at Ido-Sarki Village, Lugbe, a suburb of the FCT-Abuja, also accused Leleyi of neglect and lack of care for their three-year-old son since their divorce. She told the court that she had been married to her husband for five years until February 2012 when he just woke up one day and asked her to leave his house. The plaintiff told the court that she was shocked and decided to re-
port the issue to the Village Head, who invited Leleyi for a meeting to resolve the issue to no avail. Aliyu said she had no option than to return to her parents, adding that her parents invited him for a meeting with a view to resolving the matter. The plaintiff said following her parent’s intervention, Leleyi reluctantly took her back, only to send her packing again 15 days later. She said she returned to her parents again with her only son, saying that Leleyi had again failed to take responsibility for her son’s upkeep. Aliyu said she went to Leleyi’s house three months after to console him when he lost a relation as tradition demands. The plaintiff said that she stayed there for three weeks only to discover that she had taken in for him. In his defence, Leleyi said that he divorced his former wife since February 2012, and never had any matrimonial relationship with her to date. “In February, 2012, we had a problem and she left my house for her parent’s house; the problem was resolved later and she came back to my house only to depart again 15 days later. “A few months after, she sent me a message that my three-yearold son who lives with her took ill and I sent her some money to take him to the hospital. `”While in the hospital, she said she did a pregnancy test on a doctor’s advice and it turned out positive and she told me that I was responsible, but I disclaimed the pregnancy,’’ Leleyi told the court. (NAN)
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Almost everybody regarded Lateef Alli as Omolara’s father. A few weeks ago, the undergraduate proved them wrong. She bit off his left ear in a brawl that still puts a sour taste in the mouths of their neighbours. Why did Omolara do this?
n undergraduate in one of the tertiary institutions in Ogun State may by now be concluding plans to drag her parents to the public complaints bureau accusing her stepfather of making her fiancé run mad. Before her decision to take her stepfather to public court, Omolara, for that is her name, had reportedly almost bitten off his ear during a scuffle between him and the said fiancé. It was gathered that but for the timely intervention of neighbours, Omolara would have sent her stepfather to an early grave over allegations that he refused to give her hands in marriage to the man she loves. Residents of Alamutu community via Owode town along Lagos-Abeokuta in Ogun State would not forget in a jiffy the pandemonium that pervaded their community on that day, Thursday, January 14, 2013, when the stepfather, an auto mechanic in the community, almost lost his life in the hands of the lady he nursed from infancy as his stepdaughter. Mr. Lateef Ali lives with his wife, Omolara’s mother, in a bungalow in the area, having her after she was widowed. Omolara was two and a half years old then. It was learnt that Omolara had been having a running battle with her stepfather since she introduced her fiancé to the family early 2013. Her mother, Nimota, had already given her blessing to the courtship but her husband did not support the idea and that he never for one day hid his disdain for the young man his stepdaughter was going out with. Every time the young man came looking for Omolara, it was further gathered, Ali, would not allow him into the family house. It was said that Ali had, on several occasions, told the young man to stop his relationship with his stepdaughter. Sometime in November 2013, Ali reportedly threatened to deal with the young man should he continue to come to his house in search of Omolara. It was said that on one occasion, the young man chose to confront Ali to challenge him over his (Mr. Ali)’s disdain for him. On that occasion, it was alleged, that Ali, had threatened to curse the young man to be mad should he re-
‘My stepfather afflicted my fiance with insanity’ fuse to stop looking for Omolara. At that point the young man reportedly confronted Ali and challenged him that he (Ali) could not do him any harm. Saturday Mirror learnt that in the first week of January, 2014, the young man became sick and he was admitted at a psychiatric hospital. That was the final straw. On hearing what had befallen her fiancé, Omolara ran back to her stepfather and engaged him in a heated argument to the consternation of her mother. In the ensuing brawl between the man and his stepdaughter, Omolara allegedly the man’s left ear was nearly severed through biting from her. Ali reportedly collapsed onto the pavement in front of the family apartment. Kehinde is Ali’s neighbour and wit-
nessed the brawl between stepfather and stepdaughter. “It all started like a joke, but no one realised the depth of the problem until the lady almost bit off her father’s ear. Although before now, there had been controversy over the boy Lara was seeing. I learnt that the father was opposed to the boy, but how it got to this stage is still a surprise. “On that day, all we saw was that Lara dropped from an Okada and started shouting at her father. Some people around tried their best to ask her what the matter was but she would not answer anyone,” he said. It was further learnt that Omolara engaged her father in heated argument and accused him of being the cause of her fiancé’s mental issue. Though Ali washed his hands of the young man’s health challenges, Omolara would not be convinced.
Speaking on the incident, Omolara’s mother, though regretted her daughter’s fiancée’s current health situation, however denied that her husband was responsible. “I think Lara went too far in accusing her father as being responsible for her friend’s situation. If her father had been opposed to her relationship with the young man, it was because he wanted her to concentrate on her education and nothing more. “I have always assured the young man that once Lara completed her school, then they could get married. My husband is a father and the claim by the family of the boy is totally false,” she said. Upon realising her action, Omolara reportedly fled home to an unknown destination and could not be contacted as at press time.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
hat is chickenpox? What causes chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a common childhood skin disease caused by a viral infection. The virus involved is called the varicella-zoster virus. Today, chickenpox is less common in some countries due to universal vaccination with the varicella virus vaccine, though it still occurs in populations that are not routinely vaccinated. In unimmunized populations, most people contract chickenpox by age 15, the majority between ages five and nine, but all ages can contract it. Chickenpox is usually more severe in adults and very young infants.
How does chickenpox spread? Chickenpox is very highly contagious. It is easily passed between members of families and school classmates through airborne particles, droplets in exhaled air, and fluid from the blisters or sores. It also can be transmitted indirectly by contact with articles of clothing and other items exposed to fresh drainage from open sores. Patients are contagious up to five days (more commonly, one to two days) before and five days after the date that their rash appears. When all of the sores have crusted over, the person is usually no longer contagious.
What are chickenpox symptoms and signs? Symptoms tend to appear 14 to 16 days after the initial exposure but can occur anytime from 10 days up to 21 days after contact with the virus. Chickenpox is characterised by one to two days of mild fever, general weakness, and a rash, often the first sign of the disease. Rarely, a person may have the disease without the rash The rash of chickenpox develops in crops with raised red spots arriving first, progressing to blisters that burst, forming open sores, before crusting over. This process usually starts on the scalp, then the trunk (its area of greatest concentration), and
Chickenpox finally the arms and legs. The rash is typically very itchy (pruritic).
What are treatment options for chickenpox? Most of the treatments for chickenpox are aimed at decreasing the symptoms, such as severe itching. Paracetamol or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used to decrease the fevers and aches often associated with the initial presentation of the viral infection. Children should never be given acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) or aspirin-containing cold medications because of the risks for developing Reyeâ€™s syndrome (a severe acquired metabolic disease associated with liver and brain dysfunction and death). Soothing lotions and moisturisers such as calamine lotion or any other similar over-thecounter preparation can be applied to the rash. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or other antihistamines can be helpful in controlling the itching. Always discuss these treatment options with your health-care practitioner. In addition to medications, there are also preventive measures that are needed. For young children, it is important to keep nails trimmed in order to minimise injury due to scratching and to control the risks for secondary bacterial infections. Lastly, in some cases of chickenpox, acyclovir (Zovirax) can be prescribed. Acyclovir is an antiviral medication
the skin, sometimes causing scarring, especially if the patient scratches the inflamed area. Bacterial skin infection is, in fact, the most common complication of chickenpox in children. The next most common complications in children affect the central nervous system and include a disorder of the cerebellar portion of the brain (cerebellar ataxia with wobbliness, dizziness, tremor, and altered speech), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain with headaches, seizures, and decreased consciousness), damaged nerves (nerve palsies), and Reyeâ€™s syndrome, a potentially fatal combination of liver and brain disease that can be associated with aspirin. (Children with fever should not take aspirin.) Especially serious complications can occur in patients with AIDS, lupus, leukemia, and cancer. Complications also occur in people taking immune-suppressing drugs, such as cortisone-related medications. Newborn infants whose mothers have chickenpox in the last trimester of pregnancy are at increased risk from the disease. If the mother develops the disease from five days before to two days after delivery, the fatality rate for the baby is up to 30%.
Can chickenpox be prevented with a vaccine?
which has been used to shorten the duration of the infection. This medication has only been shown to be affective if started within one to two days of onset of the rash associated with chickenpox. Most commonly, this treatment is reserved for patients with other diagnoses which put them at risk for severe disease (severe skin diseases, immunodeficiency).
What are the possible complications of chickenpox? Complications can and do occur from chickenpox. Infection of the open pox sore by bacteria can injure
Most people develop lifetime immunity to chickenpox after the first occurrence and never experience it again. But the virus can sometimes resurface later in life as shingles (zoster).The vaccination requires only two shots. The first vaccination is given at about 1 year of age, and the second (booster) is given at 4 years of age. If an older person has not had chickenpox, the shot may be given at any time. There have been few significant adverse reactions to the chickenpox vaccine. All children, except those with a compromised immune system, should have the vaccination. Vaccination has been associated with a 90 percent decrease in the incidence of chickenpox and significantly lower complication rates in those who do develop the symptoms.
I have unidentified STD Dear Doctor, I have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). I have done HIV, Hepatitis and urine tests and all were negative. I have used Zinnat tablet but still have internal heat. Please which test can I do to know my problem? Thanks. Peter
Mirror Doctor replies Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases that are mainly passed from one person to another during sex. There are at least 25 different sexually transmitted diseases with a range of different symptoms. These diseases may be spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Most sexually transmitted diseases will only affect you if you have sexual contact with someone who has an STD. However there are some infections, for example scabies,
which are referred to as STDs because they are most commonly transmitted sexually, but which can also be passed on in other ways. Sexually transmitted infection (STI) is another name for sexually transmitted disease (STD). The name STI is often preferred because there are a few STDs, such as chlamydia, that can infect a person without causing any actual disease (i.e. unpleasant symptoms). Someone without symptoms may not think of themselves as
having a disease, but they may still have an infection that needs treating. STD symptoms vary, but the most common are soreness, unusual lumps or sores, itching, pain when urinating, and/or an unusual discharge from the genitals. Kindly let me know the investigation you did and the results so as to enable me advise you properly as the information given by you is not adequate. What STI do you have?
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
At the glamorous premiere of Brotherâ€™s Keeper Much hyped movie, Brotherâ€™s Keeper, premiered recently at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos. The premiere lived up to all the hype already generated by the movie, which stars Beverly Naya, Majid Michel, Moyo Lawal, Omoni Oboli and Nollywood veteran, Barbara Soky. And as expected, celebrity friends of the cast turned up to support them. Emem Isong, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, Bryan Okwara and Jennifer Eliogu were some of those famous friends.
Omoni Oboli and Majid Michel
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
Agbokim Waterfalls: Another wonder of nature W
hen most Nigerians who are tourism conscious hear about Cross River State, what immediately jumps to their minds is the Calabar Festival which holds every December. Calabar is the state capital. Some other add the Obudu Cattle ranch to the bank of tourists’ sites and resorts in the state while it is only a handful know about the Agbokim Waterfalls. But the Agbokim Waterfalls is also in Cross River State and is situated some 17 kilometres from Ikom which is not far from the Nigeria-Cameroon border. Agbokim waterfalls consist of seven streams, each cascading over steep cliff which provides seven-faced falls. It is about 315 kilometres from Calabar. The waterfalls are surrounded by lush greenery, valleys and steep hills which are
enveloped in a rainbow-like aura. Its freshness is captivating and has an alluring serenity. In oral traditions the discovery of the Agbokim Waterfalls was traced back to the early 19th Century when a hunter named NTankum discovered it. He was said to have brought his families and other families of Inaku who were formerly living in a mountainous area to inhabit the area. Ntakum and his son then inhabited the geographical area named Agbokim waterfalls. They were all Ijagam people who are said to have migrated from Inagu . They founded the complex river between Cameroun and Agbokim waterfalls which is now in Cross River State. In their hunting research, they found water which could be boiled to form salt,
forest for hunting and food crops were also found by them as they gathered and shared in common with each other. The Agbokim community then worked collectively to make the waterfalls a developed area by discouraging deforestation and encouraging forestation. It is the ideal location for a vacation to getting back into nature and regaining one’s creative productivity and general wellbeing. Agbokim Waterfalls is most spectacular during the rainy season when on a lucky day one could have a chance to see the rainbow across the face of the waterfall. Its proximity to neighbouring Cameroon offers a unique opportunity for cross-border experience. The community waterfalls area encourages foreign attraction as it serves as rec-
reational centre where entertainment and fun take place. The foreigners brought a little development to the community by constructing road, buildings, and wall steps down the sides of the waterfalls. This brought development to the community at the interest of the foreigners’ engagement. Agbokim water waterfalls area is an equatorial rain forest area due to environmental phenomenon present in the area, their weather when hot generates relief rainfall at any point in time. They experience two seasons which are dry and wet seasons, it is always dry in dry seasons and their waterfalls also dry and form a single channel in the dry season while in rainy season it is cold with heavy rainfall and temperature of about 3o C. The relief is due to the water vapour generated from the water falls. The weather condition of Agbokim water falls community is favourable to their health and it determines the kind of clothes they use at a particular point in time. The Agbokim Waterfalls offers some of the most majestic views of nature in the country. At a visit to this fall one would experience the richness in natural wonders and they also have an exceptional beauty. The falls are close to the Cameroon-Nigeria border. People living in Ikom are only 30 kilometres away, so it is easy to reach by road although the road linking the Waterfalls from Calabar is not too friendly. Agbokim is a spectacular falling sheet of water where it descends in terraces, through the tropical rainforest. It is the only falls that has seven channels of streams each cascading over steep cliffs which provide seven faced falls. When at the falls, lush greenery vegetation all over the valleys and steep hills which are enveloped in a rainbow like aura are very visible. There is no way one would be travelling to Obudu Cattle Resort without passing through Agbokim Waterfalls. It is very attractive and a good tourist spots which is highly recommended for picnics.
NTDC, immigration service partner over domestic tourism
he Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Mr. David Parradang, has applauded the domestic tourism drive of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, describing it as a sustainable vision needed to kick-start the blossoming of the tourism sector in the country. Parradang said this while receiving the Director-General of the NTDC, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo and her delegation in his office on in Abuja. Developing the nation’s domestic tourism is Mbanefo’s vision. The NIS boss said he was particularly happy that the DG tourism has been living up to expectation and spreading the gospel
of domestic tourism in Nigeria which he described as “the magic and a potent instrument capable to jump-start and kindle the zeal of tourism consciousness in the nation”. He said, “I am happy that you have discovered what is necessary and needed to unlock the hidden potentialities of this sector. You will discover that most of the countries reaping bountifully from tourism today first of all looked inside, took the tourism inventory in their countries, drove the consciousness in their own people, develop the sites, enhanced them and invite foreigners to come and see. This is exactly what Nigeria need to do and it gladdens my heart that you are not only talking it but doing everything practically possi-
ble to bring it to be. This is good.” Parradang said that statistics within the agency revealed that foreigners love to visit Nigeria tourism sites but some of them are sceptical about the status and facilities available in these sites adding “these are the areas which your organisation needs to work on.” The CGI used the opportunity to highlight what the agency has put on ground to further the cause of tourism and tourists said that “the vocal points of his administration which is hinged on capacity building, robust border patrol, deployment of appropriate technology for monitoring and statically analysis of foreigners and tourists in Nigeria” He continued: “The Federal
Government of Nigeria has made Nigerian visa procurement easy and smooth. The operation getting visa at point of entry has kicked off. There are facilities on ground now, where you can renew your visa in a day there is no room for delaying in obtaining Nigeria visa any longer” He revealed that the desire of the agency not only to partner with NTDC but to collaborate in any way that could add value to the domestic tourism vision of Mbanefo “Whatever the case is and may be, just be assured that the Nigeria Immigration Service is not only in alliance with your vision of domestic tourism but ready to support and collaborate with your corporation for the
lifting of Nigeria’s tourism status in the comity of tourism states.” In her response Mbanefo commended the Immigration boss for having a good grasp of the tourism sector. This is a good sign for us at NTDC. NIS is a very important stakeholder to NTDC and it will be unwise if I did not pay respect to you and seek collaboration and advice. As partner in progress, we want a strong partnership with Nigeria Immigration Service, in the area of easy Visa regime for the entire tourist that will attract the foreign investors,” Mbanefo added. She said that no tourism agency could make any meaningful impact without a strategic partnership with the immigration service thus paying him the visit.
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Sport Fabregas flattered by Red Devils interest
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
Gl Premier League to Glo co commence March 7 P. 47
Enyimba players celebrate after scoring a goal against Anges de Notse during the first leg of the CAF Champions League preliminaries in Aba last Sunday
Enyimba, Pillars go for broke against opponents IFEANYI EDUZOR
wo Nigerian clubsides, Kano Pillars of Kano and two-time CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba of Aba will tomorrow play the return leg of their 2014 CAF Champions League preliminaries to determine whether they will progress to the next round of the competition. While Enyimba will be guest of Togolese champions, Anges de Notse, Kano Pillars will host 1973 winners, AS Vita Club of DR Congo at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano. In the first leg played last Sunday at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, the 2003 and 2004 champions had no difficulties in defeating their opponent by 3-1, while Kano Pillars lost by the same goal margin to the Congolese in far away Kinshasa. It is expected that Enyimba who are no strangers to the money-spinning championship will have little difficulties overcoming their opponent in Lome considering their experience and the
quality of players in the squad, but the fact that the Togolese where able to score one goal in the first leg is an indication that the team is capable of springing some surprises to announce their presence in the continent. Ahead of tomorrow’s clash, Enyimba handled by Zakary Baraje will be banking on experience and good football artistry to tame the Togolese who will not only be aiming for an upset in the match by cancelling the two goals deficit but will also put in everything in their arsenal to ensure they dent the record of the Aba millionaires. Already, Enyimba’s gaffer has ruled out an easy game in their encounter by insisting that the match will be keenly contested, just as he stated that his players will take the game with all seriousness it deserves. According to the former El-Kanemi handler, his players are quite aware that the Togolese will employ a lot of antics to ensure they frustrate the twotime CAF Champions League winners, but they are not going to allow them have their way.
“I quite agree that the second leg is not going to be an easy game because there are no more easy games these days. We are going to approach the match with all seriousness it deserves because underrating the Togolese could be suicidal especially when one considers that they are coming to the championship to make history for themselves. “It is also true that we are going into the second leg with two goals advantage but we are not going to allow that affect our game because if the Togolese can score one goal in Aba, they are also capable of causing heartache to any team especially when playing before their home crowd,” Baraje said. However Enyimba striker Sibi Gwar will not be available for the side’s decisive fixture at the Togolese side Anges de Notse in Lome. The two-goal hero suffered a minor knock on the right leg in his side’s 3-1 win against the CAF Champions League newcomers in Aba last Sunday. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s other representative in the competition Kano Pil-
lars will have their hands full when they host AS Vita of DR Congo in the ancient city of Kano tomorrow. The Coach Okey Emordi-led side needs at least two un-replied goals to enable them progress to the next stage of the championship and they are already plotting strategies on how to cancel the three goals deficit. “I am fully aware that cancelling the three goals will be a bit difficult but I believe that if the Congolese can score three goals against us in Kinshasa, we are also capable of scoring the same number of goals in Kano. “My players are quite aware of the enormity of the task ahead and they have all resolved to put in their best and ensure we did not crash out so early in the most lucrative competition in the continent,” Emordi said. According to the former Rangers International of Enugu gaffer, his players are physically, morally and psychologically prepared for the game just as he assured their numerous fans that they will not be disappointed in tomorrow’s cracker.
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
GWR title fight and need to make Africa proud W HARD TACKLE hen the Williams’ sisters (Serena and Venus) visited Nigeria from Tuesday, October 30 to Friday, November 2, 2012, the media was awash with scintillating stories regarding the exploits of these tennis queens. Their visit was at the behest of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club’s ‘Breaking the Mould Initiative’ and with the fact that the tennis stars had their roots in Africa gave credence to the continent as a home that breeds great sportsmen and women. While in Lagos, they held a meeting with Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Governor of Lagos State. They also had a tennis clinic at the Ikoyi Club, made a visit to a puberty education class for girls and finally held an exhibition match. Nigerian tennis fans used the opportunity to garner tangible lessons from the Williams’ sisters whose gender-driven intervention was aimed at inspiring Nigerian women to reach greater heights since success does not depend so much on gender but on industry. However, with the upcoming Bash Ali’s Guinness Book of World Records (GWR) title fight, Nigeria and mother Africa are set to be on the international limelight again. It is worthy to note that the Bash Ali’s GWR world title fight is even more significant at this time as this is the first time after 40 years that an event of this magnitude will be taking place
Andrew Ekejiuba firstname.lastname@example.org
THEREFORE, THE TIME FOR NIGERIA TO RECLAIM ITS PRIDE OF PLACE IN
AFRICA’S BOXING HISTORY IS NOW. THE GWR WORLD TITLE FIGHT WILL SURELY SET AFRICA AGLOW AND POSTERITY WILL REMEMBER EVERY NIGERIAN WHEN VICTORY IS ACHIEVED AT THE END OF THE DAY in Africa. And from available projections by the organisers of the event, the fight will surpass the 1974 Mohammed Ali versus George Foreman’s ‘‘Rumble in the jungle’’ fight in Zaire now DR Congo. Aside the aforementioned, the fight will also go down in history as one of the most watched sporting event on pay per-view TV in Europe and America. Therefore, Nigerians at home and those in Diaspora must not forget that a win for Bash Ali in this quest will also compliment the centenary celebrations of the country short-
ly after the Africa Cup of Nations triumph last year and the victorious outing of the Golden Eaglets at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE, also last year. HT gathered that the GWR title fight will attract so many boxing legends like Mohammed Ali, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and world renowned boxing promoter Don King to Nigeria which is a great thing to happen to Africa. Also, the organisers of the event has assured that no fewer than six (6) African Presidents, alongside President Goodluck
Ebele Jonathan are going to be present at the ring side to grace the occasion and from a reliable source it is going to be a massive fight night to the glory of Africa. It could be recalled that Nigeria did it at Atlanta’96 Olympics where the name of the country entered into the record books as the first African country to win the Olympic soccer gold in men’s football and with Bash Ali’s project at hand, Nigerians can jointly do it again! The gains of this event is enormous because apart from projecting the image of the country in positive light, proceeds from this fight will be used to provide more sporting facilities in the country which had been lacking, since government alone cannot be left to bankroll sports. Beginning from January 7, 2014 when the Local Organising
Committee (LOC) of the project was inaugurated by the Minister of Sports/Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, it has been work in progress. HT gathered that the LOC have been working round the clock in seeing that this event is a success. From the foregoing, the onus now lies with corporate bodies and multinational companies that are doing business in the country to support this Nigerian project which is going to be the biggest, largest and most intriguing sports entertainment programme of the century in Africa. Also, since this is a media event, the ball is now on the court of sports writers to propel this new vision aimed at making Africans proud by reporting the event objectively so that the name of Bash Ali and that of the country enters into the Guinness Book of World Records. Come May this year, a victory for Bash as the oldest boxer to win a world title will make the souls of legendary Dick Tiger Ihetu and even Hogan Kid Bassey to leap with joy; that the light they lit up in the late 1960s in boxing is still burning brightly with intense heat. Therefore, the time for Nigeria to reclaim its pride of place in Africa’s boxing history is now. The GWR world title fight will surely set Africa aglow and posterity will remember every Nigerian when victory is achieved at the end of the day!
Premier Lotto Lagos Athletics Championship holds Feb 24 ANDREW EKEJIUBA
bout 8000 students from public and private secondary schools in Lagos will compete for honours as the second edition of the Premier Lotto Lagos Athletics Championship between February 24 to March 8 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. According to Barrister Enitan Oshodi, Lagos State Sports Commissioner, the success recorded at the inaugural edition in 2013, necessitated the expansion of the championship with the inclusion of private school students across the six educational districts in the state. He
however commended the sponsor of the competition, Chief Kessignton Adebutu. “We had a great championship in 2013 with a lot of top athletes discovered and we want to commend Chief Kessignton Adebutu for his unwavering support through his company, Premier Lotto which gave out great prizes including laptops and ipads to all the winners last year. “We also expanded the championship to include all the private schools in the state because lots of talented athletes abound there too. The training camp will be expanded from 80 to 120, as the best
athletes from the districts finals to the grand final on March 8 will be camped for 6 weeks at the Teslim Balogun Stadium under the tutelage of Coach Lee Evans from USA and Coach Tony Osheku,” Oshodi revealed. Reacting, the sponsor of the championship, Chief Kessignton Adebutu said: “I want to thank Lagos State Government for creating a good atmosphere to give a veritable platform for kids to develop their skills in the state as we hope to expand our horizon to give hope to the youths.” He however promised his continual sponsorship of the competition
Pro-league: Katsina Spotlights ready for season ANDREW EKEJIUBA
through his Kessignton Adebukola Adebutu Foundation while commending the Lagos State Athletics Association and the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development for nurturing the athletes discovered from the championship.
atsina State owned Pro-league clubside, SpotLights Football Club has said that the club is 90 per cent ready for the forthcoming ProLeague season scheduled to commence today across the country. According to the club’s coordinator, Alhaji Ayuba Umar, the club which have been in open and closed camp for weeks after participating in series of friendlies as well as preseason tournaments within and outside the country, the team is in good shape for the coming season. Umar further explained that 34 players have been certified okay for the team,
adding that all hands are on deck to ensure that the team achieves success this season. “The players gave a good account of themselves during the pre-season. We played a couple of friendly matches which I believe gave us a positive impression of the team. We are ready for the league. What we need now is a little training to fine tune our players. I can say that 90 percent of the players are okay now,” he said. While expressing appreciation to the Katsina State Government for its unflinching support, Umar urged the government to make funds available for the team with a view to ensuring the success of the club.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
Glo Premier League to commence March 7 ANDREW EKEJIUBA
he League Management Company (LMC) has announced a new commencement date of March 7 for the 2013/14 Glo Premier League. The LMC revealed this after their meeting in Abuja to appraise reports from Stadium Inspection teams. Saturday Mirror gathered that some of the clubs involved in the league are grappling with peculiar constraints including access to funding and validation of registration documentation, but the LMC Chairman, Hon. Nduka Irabor said that “we have agreed to accommodate this popular request to extend the registration process period to enable the clubs tidy up their documents for certification.” Irabor said the LMC has thus resolved on a two-week delay for the kick-off following representations from clubs which cited their peculiar nature of fund release by government, their principal sponsors and
the observations made by LMC Stadium Inspection teams. “We have considered reports of the stadium facilities inspection teams and the need to allow the clubs two weeks period to correct observed deficiencies in their facilities, hence the League earlier scheduled to start on February 21-23 will now start on the weekend of March 7 through to March 10. There will be no further extension after this period and the League will start with only clubs that meet the minimum requirements,” declared the LMC Chairman. He said the LMC will however not certify any club that fails to comply with the recommended upgrades of the LMC Inspection team within the extension period granted. The LMC is also insisting on some minimum facility requirements at grounds proposed by clubs to host league matches, and some of these include properly furnished changing rooms, good entrance and exit, safety equipment such as fire
ewly promoted Crown FC of Ogbomoso has concluded remuneration negotiations with its players as demanded by the statutes of the League Man-
FG’s sports initiative yielding positive results —Aransiola
emi Aransiola, the Director, Oyeyemi Sports Academy, OmuAran, Kwara, yesterday said the Federal Government’s “Rhythm N’ Play” initiative to develop sports at the grassroots was yielding positive results. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that the policy, which was launched in June 2013, was already helping to improve youth participation in sports. Aransiola was in Omu-Aran for the annual Ogbo Grammar School’s InterHouse Sports competition held on Thursday. President Goodluck Jonathan had said at the launch of the event that his administration believed that young people needed to be encouraged to have an early start in sporting activities. He said the “Rhythm N’ Play” was aimed at providing those within the under-17 age bracket with a programme that would seek to combine sports and play as a critical learning and development tool. According to Aransiola, the introduction of cultural entertainment in sporting activities as part of the policy thrust of government has been attracting youths to sports.
agement Company (LMC) which mandates all clubs to let players know what their take home would be before signing the contract. The exercise which was supervised by the management of the club headed by Coach Niyi Akande and Alhaji Fatai Olayinka was total success, and an indication that Crown is ready for the commencement of the League. In the same vein medical fitness tests were also conducted on the players at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso as the prerequisite for the registration of players at the LMC
extinguishers, availability of water and electricity, properly constructed technical bench and good playing surface among others.
secretariat Abuja. Meanwhile, the team’s striker, Lekan Agunloye, who just returned to the club from Lobi Stars, expressed satisfaction that he’s back and ready to do more for the club. Agunloye played for Crown FC last season and left for Lobi Stars after his superlative performance against the Dominic Iorfa-led side at Bako Kotangora Stadium, Minna in a Federation Cup fixture. He later joined Bayelsa United before his decision to return home to feature in the topflight with his former club.
Abubakar delighted with Nigeria Shooting Federation ANDREW EKEJIUBA
he Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has expressed confidence in the ability of the Nigeria Shooting Federation’s (NSF) newly elected president Wole-Madariola Olumide in steering the aﬀairs of the federation to greatness and winning medals for the country in future competitions. Abubakar stated this while playing host to the president of the federation at his office at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, recently and promised to support NSF. The Inspector General of Police commended and appreciated the past efforts of the president in the shooting sport in Nigeria and his present efforts in preparing the athletes for the forthcoming international championships. In his reaction, the NSF president reiterated his commitment to restoring the lost glory of the sport in the country.
Dstv Premier Basketball League dunks off Feb 28 I FEANYI E DUZOR
…As Crown conclude remuneration negotiations JOEL AJAYI
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar
Meanwhile, plans are already in motion for the staging of the Inspector General of Police National Shooting Championship which to be held at all the 36 states of the federation and Zonal Commands of the Nigerian Police Force.
he 2013/2014 Dstv Premier Basketball League will dunk off on February 28, with a pre-season match at the National Stadium in Lagos between two premiership teams, while the regular season would commence on March 7, 2014 at the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences. Also the Zenith Bank League for women is to commence on March 19, with all teams playing in the first two phases and eight teams qualifying to play in the Final-8 play-offs. According to a statement from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) after its stakeholder’s forum and pre- season seminar for technical officials held at the Abuja National Stadium, teams are to be responsible for mobilising their fans and creating a fan base to ensure sustainable followership of the league games. Our correspondent gathered that Dstv has introduced a cash reward of N500, 000 and other incentives for the team with strongest fan base as well as introduced Supersports Man of the Match award for the best individual player in every match.
Taiwo optimistic of victory at Africa squash tourney
ne of Nigeria’s leading squash players, Sodiq Taiwo, yesterday said that he would ensure a good outing at the forthcoming Africa Squash Championships. Taiwo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that he had been training hard to beat his opponents and 15 countries will participate in the tournament scheduled to hold from May 4 to May 9 in Abuja. “I am currently training for the tournament; we are expecting the best around Africa; so, preparation is in top gear. “I just pray that in the course of training, one does not sustain an injury because that can disrupt one’s plans in the championships. “I am trying to be careful not to get injured,” he said. Taiwo, who is also a member of the Professional Squash Players’ Association of Nigeria, revealed that the body would not relent in its development programmes for budding talent (U-16). “It is a good thing for the federation; it will encourage continuity, because after we retire, we need these young ones to take over. “U-16 players need regular competitions to develop,” the player said.
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Fabregas flattered by Mourinho refutes Red Devils interest ‘mind games’ suggestion
arcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas says he was “flattered” by Manchester United’s interest last summer. The 26-year-old was the subject of two close-season bids from Old Trafford but chose to stay at the Nou Camp. “I do follow the Premier League a lot and it’s always flattering when a club
like Manchester United talks very well about you and you can see they want you,” the Spaniard said. “But I’m going through an amazing moment at Barcelona now.” The former Arsenal playmaker, who has won two European Championships and one World Cup with Spain, has been a regular this season for Barcelona, who currently leads La Liga on goal difference. “I’m playing every week and I feel very important to the team,” he said. “I’m very happy right now. “This season I have felt more like myself, with more freedom and more secure with the way I like to play. It’s not easy when you know you have to convince many fans how good you are and how good you can be for the team. “The manager (Gerardo Martino) has trusted me and given me what I needed. I’m probably going through my best spell here.”
helsea manager Jose Mourinho insists no mind games are at play after claiming Liverpool have a ‘big advantage’ in the title race. Brendan Rodgers’ men are within four points of English Premier League leaders Chelsea after their 3-2 win over Fulham on Wednesday. Mourinho has continually played down his team’s chances of winning the title in what is set to be a thrilling end to the season. The top three of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City resume their UEFA Champions League campaigns later in February and Mourinho feels Liverpool’s non-involvement in Europe puts them ahead of the clubs above them. “When I say we’re not the top candidate everyone thinks ‘here he is again, with what you like to call the mind games’,” the Portu-
Prandelli: Seedorf will be good for Balotelli
taly coach Cesare Prandelli believes new Milan boss Clarence Seedorf will be good for the development of Mario Balotelli. The 23-year-old striker has been a rare shining light in an otherwise poor season for Milan, with 13 goals in all competitions so far this season, including four in his last five matches. Collectively Milan has struggled however, languishing down in 11th in the Serie A table, a massive 18 points adrift of the Seedorf third and final UEFA Champions can only benefit Balotelli and Italy in League qualifying berth. their bid to claim a fifth FIFA World National coach Prandelli, howCup triumph in Brazil later this year. ever, believes that Seedorf, ap“I really believe in Seedorf,” he said. pointed last month after the dis“I’ve always considered him a very missal of Massimiliano Allegri, mature player. He’s a leader, has great ability and I think it may be the luck PREMIERSHIP TABLE of Balotelli. Team P GD PTS “Mario must follow Seedorf, must 1 Chelsea 26 27 57 become a constant point of reference. 2 Arsenal 26 22 56 “I am convinced that thanks to the advice of Seedorf, Mario can get to the 3 Man City 25 41 54 World Cup much more prepared.” 4 Liverpool 26 34 53 5 Tottenham
7 Man Utd
11 West Ham
12 Aston Villa
15 Crystal Palace
17 West Brom
rsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed defender Bacary Sagna is not close to agreeing a new deal with the
club. The France international is out of contract at the end of the current campaign with reports this week suggesting he is set to put pen to paper. However, Wenger denied such speculation yesterday, stating: “No, he is not close to signing a new deal.” Wenger’s side host Liverpool in the FA Cup
tomorrow as they look to pick up their first win in three matches. However, they will be without the ill Santi Cazorla, who joins Aaron Ramsey on the sidelines, although Mathieu Flamini returns from suspension for Wenger’s side. The Frenchman remains keen to pick up a result, not only to progress in the Cup, but also to boost his players as they challenge for the Premier League title.
Mejias downplays Casillas, Lopez feud
eal Madrid reserve goalkeeper Tomas Mejias insists there is no tension at the Bernabeu between rival pair Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez. The 25-year-old moved to Middleborough on loan in January, but had previously kept goal for and captained Castilla, Real’s second-string side. Since his arrival from Sevilla over a year ago, Lopez has played every La Liga game for the capital, while Casillas has been used for Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League ties. The rotation by Carlo Ancelotti has led to reports of tension between Lopez and Casillas, who has been a mainstay of the club for the last 15 years.
rsenal’s Per Mertesacker feels manager Arsene Wenger has made the squad more confident since their 8-2 defeat to Manchester United in 2011. The German defender was signed soon after the comprehensive defeat at Old Trafford and was impressed by Wenger’s reaction to the defeat by claiming that his handling of the situation increased confidence among his players.
Ramos questions Spurs ambition
ormer Tottenham boss Juande Ramos has questioned the club’s ambition and believes financial constraints shackle their ability to compete. The Spaniard spent just a year in charge at White Hart Lane, winning the League Cup in 2008 before being replaced by Harry Redknapp as Spurs sat bottom of the Premier League. Ramos
Matri discovers ‘peace of mind’ at Fiorentina
Benitez rules out Napoli’s title chase
apoli coach Rafael Benitez has ruled his side out of the Serie A title race and says there is room for improvement at the club. The scintillating form of leaders Juventus has left third-placed Napoli trailing the defending champions by 13 points in the Italian top flight.
guese said. “The league is amazing; it is difficult for every one of us. There are teams with more potential than others, obviously. “There is another, like Liverpool, with a big advantage with the fact that they don’t play in the Champions League. “Playing in this is going to take concentration and energy from the teams that are involved in it. I think it will be good fun.”
Sagna agreement not close, says Wenger
EURO BRIEFS Mertesacker hails Wenger’s approach
iorentina’s on-loan forward Alessandro Matri says he is “at peace” following his move from Serie A rivals Milan. The 29-year-old scored just once in 15 league appearances for Milan before making the switch to Florence for the rest of the season during the January transfer window.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
I will rewrite Nigeria’s boxing history —Adewale Adewale Adeniyi popularly known as ‘Watta’ among boxing fans is one of the best amateur flyweight boxers in the country. In this interview with IFEANYI EDUZOR, the pugilist who is planning to join the paid ranks speaks on his plans to bring back the lost glory of Nigerian boxing through his exploits in the ring. Excerpts:
ow will you describe your experiences since becoming a boxer? The experience has been tremendous. Prior to my becoming a boxer, I have always dreamt of becoming a household name in Nigerian sports and when the opportunity to join the pugilist game came up, I grabbed it with both hands. And since then I have not looked back in ensuring that I reign supreme in my chosen career. Having said this, I want to tell you that initially when I started training with the likes of Femi Ogungbemisola ‘Gozo’, Funso Adekanmi and others, it was not easy but with perseverance and assurances from my coach popularly known as Lati ‘Bomber to Bomber’ I have come to enjoy every aspect of the sport and I have no regret whatsoever joining the pugilist game. Why do you choose boxing as a career instead of football like some of your peers? My decision to go into boxing was borne out of the fact that I discovered my talent so early in life. As a young man born in Lagos in 1980, I was opportuned to visit the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos, most weekends and there I saw a lot of young boys training to become boxers. Apart from this, I was a strong boy who always beat up all my age mates and I decided that the best way to utilise my strength and talent is by bringing back glory to the country through boxing. I was also encouraged by the exploits of 1999 All Africa Games light welterweight gold medalist and currently Commonwealth Super welterweight champion, Olusegun Ajose, and undefeated American boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr. who I want to imitate in boxing. As a boxer who have won many fights as an amateur; do you think you have what it takes to succeed in the paid ranks? I have no doubt in my mind that having succeeded as an amateur boxer, I will also rule the flyweight division once I turn professional. I’m making this assertion because boxing is not all about being big or muscular but it also involves being strong, talented and possessing killer punches. A good boxer must also have the ability to re-
Adewale (left) with his Coach Lati ‘Bomber to Bomber’
ceive punches, as well as being able to last the distance which has helped me in the game. Right now, with the help of my coach, I am perfecting strategies on how to improve more on my form which I hope will enable me become not only African and Commonwealth champion in future, but a world champion whose boxing prowess will be recognised all over the world. Looking at Nigerian boxing generally, what do you think contributes to our boxers not making it at the international level? When you cast your mind back to the 60’s and early 90’s, Nigeria was among the countries in Africa who ruled both professional and amateur boxing at the world level. In those days, boxers like Hogan ‘Kid’ Bassey and Dick ‘Tiger’ Ihetu took the world by storm by winning world titles in their different weight categories, with Samuel Peter later becoming WBC heavyweight champion. Apart from these boxers, legendry Bash Ali also won the World Boxing Federation Cruiserweight title while boxers like Obisia Nwankpa, Eddy Ndukwu, Joe Lasisi and Jeremiah Okorodudu also did the country proud in professional boxing. At the amateur cadre, pugilists like Davidson Andeh, Peter Konyegwachie, Duncan Dokiwari and so many others brought glory to the country, but suddenly the country started witnessing a slide in the game. The simple reason for this unfortunate development was due to neglect by previous sports administrators in the country. The situation now is so bad that many boxers train with empty stomach and even when they win medals for states at the National Sports Festivals, the states do not keep to their promises. Apart from this, regular boxing championships are not organised, while coaches
are not sent on refresher courses. Even now, no adequate preparations are made for boxers who are going to represent the country at international championships such as the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games, World championships and Olympic Games which has contributed in Nigeria losing its ranking as one of the best boxing nations in the world. What target have you set for yourself in the sport this year? My target this year is to win an international title which I hope to present to Hon. Daddah.O. Rask, the Chairman of Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State where I hail from. I really appreciate the chairman a lot for what he is doing to encourage sportsmen and women in the council area and the only way I can show appreciation to him is to win a title. I also hope that when I win the title, I will also present it to the paramount ruler of my town, His Royal Highness, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu Land for them to know that they have a worthy son. Aside the aforementioned, I have also set the year 2014 as the year Nigerians will know that a new boxer who will re-write the history of boxing in the country has arrived.
How would you like Nigerian boxing to be repositioned? There is the need for sports administrators to go back to the drawing board and ensure grassroots development of the game is given attention. There is also the need to re- introduce boxing championships where boxers could be discovered and groomed to become future champions. In order to ensure our boxers perform at their best in international competitions, early camping of athletes, as well as foreign trips should be organised for them. Apart from this, the issue of welfare must also be critically looked into, while government and corporate organisations must also invest in professional boxing as is done in other countries of the world. Who would you describe as your role model in boxing? My role models are the World Boxing Federation Cruiserweight champion, Bash Ali who is preparing for his Guinness Book of World Records title fight, as well as Commonwealth Super welterweight champion, Segun Ajose and Floyd Mayweather Jnr. I want to emulate them and become as popular in boxing like them.
MY ROLE MODELS ARE THE WORLD BOXING FEDERATION CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION, BASH ALI WHO IS PREPARING FOR HIS GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS TITLE FIGHT, AS WELL AS COMMONWEALTH SUPER WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION, SEGUN AJOSE AND FLOYD MAYWEATHER JNR. I WANT TO EMULATE THEM AND BECOME AS POPULAR IN BOXING LIKE THEM
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
BRIEFS Court arraigns five for swindling job seekers N.95m SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN
n Oredo Magistrates’ Court in Benin City on Thursday remanded Rotimi Akabiemu and Geogrey Okwudede in SSS custody on a two-count charge of impersonation and extortion. The magistrate, Mr. Peter Asemota, granted bail however to three other accused persons in the case. They are: Juliet George, Abiodun George and Lawson Edekhomo, who were also arraigned alongside others for extortion. The five were alleged to have extorted money from job seekers with the pretence of offering them employment in the Nigeria Maritime Security Agency. They were further alleged to have defrauded nine unsuspecting job seekers to the tune of N954, 000 before the long arm of the law caught up with them. But Saturday Mirror learnt that the first two accused persons, Akabiemu and Okwudede, were charged for a second offence of wearing Army Uniform to deceive the unsuspected public and were said to have committed the offence between October 12, 2013 and January 2014. All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the offences before their counsel, Mr Peter Uwadia, who argued for bail for them but whose arguments were countered by the state counsel, Mr. Clifford Abulimen. While granting bail to the 3rd, 4th and 5th accused, the magistrate refused to grant bail to the 1st and 2nd accused on the offence of impersonation. Asemota said he would only grant them bail after hearing from the IPO on the gravity of their offence. The three others were, however, granted bail with a surety of N200, 000 with two sureties each in like sum, who must show evidence of residency in the jurisdiction.
Man declared wanted for duping Enugu govt N53m SEGUN ADIO
contractor with the Enugu State government, identified as Chidi, has been declared wanted by the state police command over allegedly defrauding the government to the tune of N53 million. Chidi, 44, it was gathered owns a construction firm, Steinberg Limited said to be located inside his residence Off Ekweremadu Road, Independence Layout, in Enugu metropolis. He had applied to the state government, for
the supply of some street-cleaning implements and his request was eventually accepted. So, after all necessary papers for the supply of the implements were tendered by the contractor and checked, Chidi was reportedly asked to supply to the state’s Ministry of the Environment three mechanized road sweepers,1049 100 litres size of waste bins and Ros Roca refuse compactor trucks. To effectively carry out this assignment, he was allegedly paid N53. Ebere Amaraizu, Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, in a statement
said it was later discovered that the said Chidi, a native of Enugu Ukwu in Anambra State, tendered some forged documents in the award of the contract to him. That was not all: the suspect was also reported to have inflated Customs Duties on the contract thereby defrauding the government of the state. While the government official to whom Chidi was supposed to supply the materials waited on end for the implements and they were not forthcoming, several checks on his office and residential addresses (which were the same anyway), he could not be located. It was also alleged that at a time, Chidi appeared to the officials to whom he claimed he was indisposed and was rushed to a hospital for medical attention. But it was later discovered that the suspect was no where ill at all but did that to deceive officials. Since he was reportedly admitted into the hospital, he had vanished into thin air. When reporters visited Chidi’s apartment, no one could trace his whereabouts. It was also reported that efforts to trace his whereabouts through the hospital he was reportedly taken to when he claimed he was indisposed, were unsuccessful. An official of the ministry, who pleaded anonymity, told reporters that the suspect was discovered to have swindled the state government after thorough investigations into his business activities. According to the official, “It was a long, running battle before we discovered that the transaction with the man was full of errors which he orchestrated anyway. By the time the truth of the matter was unveiled, the man suddenly came up with the story that he was indisposed. We were later informed that he had been hospitalised. “By the time our people would go check on him, we discovered that he had bolted from the hospital. Hence the report of the matter to law enforcement agents.” According to the state’s police spokesman, men of the criminal and investigation Department have commenced a full scale investigations and search into the matter
NAFDAC parades Cameroonian counterfeit drug peddler IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
he Lafia, Nasarawa State office of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, yesterday, paraded a 45-year-old Cameroonian, Sitamze Justin, who allegedly specialises in counterfeit drugs peddling in the shores of Nigeria. The agency said, Sitamze’s Nigerian girl friend, and student of the state’s College of Education, Akwanga, who was alleged to be harbouring him was equally arrested alongside him. Another accomplice of the prime suspect, who had at-
tempted to jump the fence to evade arrest was also arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the state police command. Coordinator of Lafia NAFDAC office, Iluyomade Martins, said that the Cameroonian was arrested at Agyaragu, about 20 km south of Lafia, the state capital, following a signal received from the Lagos office of the agency. It was learnt that Sitamze had jumped bail in Lagos in 2011 for offences connected with dealing in fake Chinese medicines. Parading the suspect at the agency’s office in Lafia, the NAFDAC helmsman maintained that that Sitamze had ar-
rived Lafia under a different name, as Nwafor Augustine, and parading himself as a medical doctor going from church to church conducting a crusade of treating people. “On receiving the signal, we swung into action and got to Agyaragu and caught him in the act. One of his accomplices jumped the fence but we picked him and his girlfriend. The twist of the matter was that when we picked him, he pretended his name was Nwafor Augustine. But when searched his house, we saw mutilated national drivers’ license bearing the name we were looking for. “We also saw the transactions he has
been remitting money to Cameroun with the name in the drivers’ license. When we got to the police station we got another shocker as in the process of searching his girlfriend, we found on her the international passport which we were looking for bearing the name Sitamze Justin; the name that falls exactly on the information Lagos gave us to look for him,” Iluyomade said. But when speaking to journalists, Sitamze denied being a medical doctor as reported and instead he claimed to be a laboratory technician which he studied in a Cameroonian health institute and has been in practice for a while in Nigeria.
Do you have a story for us? Contact 08138773277 or email@example.com
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
40 robbers meet dead end after resistance from vigilance group The gang of night marauders was large and well armed but the residents of Somolu area of Lagos were resolute in their determination to stave them off. And they succeeded. They repelled the robbers. How? SEGUN ADIO
band of armed robbers of no fewer than 40 members have been brought to their knees after being engaged by a volunteer vigilance group in Lagos State. This was however, after they had allegedly held a car dealer hostage and robbed him of a large amount of money. Three of these robbers are now in police net helping with the ongoing investigation to unmask their gang and bring the other members to book. The three cooling their feet in police custody include: Jelili Rasak aka Dudu, Sunday Amaka aka Cyan and Lukmon Odeyinka aka Omo Bankanje, are currently cooling their heels in police custody. The three suspects, Saturday Mirror gathered, were members of a robbery gang who ply their trade around Somolu area of the state. Around 1:30 a.m on Friday, February 7, 2014, the gang stormed about three streets in Somolu robbing people from house to house and inflicting untold hardship on the residents. Before now, landlords and other residents of Adeola, Olorunsogo and Awofeso streets also in the area had to take their destinies into their own hands after the communities had been terrorised by dare devil robbers who seemed to have defied all solutions to curb their activities. Reportedly numbering about 40, the robbers stormed
the three streets but were met with a stiff resistance by members of the vigilance group. But before the apprehension of the three suspects, one car dealer cum clearing agent, identified as Adetokunbo became their victim. Adetokunbo, otherwise called Abuga by his friends, was waylaid at gunpoint by some of the robbers. It was reported that Adetokunbo pleaded with them to spare his life and after a thorough search was conducted on him, the robbers seized a sum of N200, 000 found on him. They did not stop at that. The search of Adetokunbo also revealed that he had on him a couple of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, which were also seized from him. It was further gathered that upon seizing the ATM cards, the suspected robbers demanded that he reveal the pin code of the cards to them, threatening even to kill him if he refused. Adetokunbo succumbed to the robbers’ threats and shouted the numbers at them. But rather than allow him to go, the suspected robbers demanded that he (Adetokunbo) should lead them to a ATM machine apparently to confirm the code he gave them and also possibly make some withdrawals with them. While the atrocities were going on, law enforcement agents from Pedro Police Division Bariga, were already on hand to engage the criminals, and this they eventually did successfully, working in collaboration with the vigilance team on
Man, 21, jailed 6 months for stealing
ground. While Adetokunbo was being led to the next available ATM point, the law enforcement agents pounced on the robbers. In an exchange of gunfire, one of the robbers identified as Jelili was apprehended while his partners-in-crime took to their heels, and two others also sustained serious injuries. A shot gun and two live cartridges were found on the suspects. Two other members of the gang, Amaka and Lukmon were arrested under the gutter at Adedoyin Street after a search was conducted on the whereabouts of the robbers. In his confession after his arrest, Jelili confessed to the crime but maintained that that was the first time he had gone out on such a crime. Injured Sunday and Lukmon both denied being robbers, saying they only went out to fight the vigilance group who had
arrested one of them called Ireti. When asked what they and Ireti were doing outside by that time, neither of them could proffer any convincing defence. But the trio agreed to be members of the Eiye Confraternity. After a search nine GSM phones were found in Jelili’s possession. Speaking with reporters, one of the vigilance members who does not want his name mentioned claimed that the arrest of the three suspects would help reduce the incessant cases of robbery in the area. His words, “On that day, just from nowhere we saw the boys numbering over 40 coming towards us and shooting indiscriminately. The police from Pedro, which we had already alerted, also shot at them but we were surprised that they went away with the injured ones, while we arrested three of them”.
n Ogudu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos yesterday sentenced a 21-year-old man, Ifeanyi Onyeachi, to six months imprisonment for stealing a motorcycle valued at N111,000. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Omolade Awope, sentenced Onyeachi after he pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of stealing. Delivering judgment, Awope said that early measures were necessary to prevent the convict from becoming a hardened criminal in future. “Onyeachi was supposed to be hard working at his age but he preferred stealing. “I hereby sentence you to six months imprisonment,” she said. The magistrate, however, gave the convict an option of paying a fine of N90,000. Earlier, the Prosecutor, Adekemi Adeniran, had told the court that Onyeachi committed the offence on Jan. 29, at Ogudu-Orioke, Ogudu, Lagos. She said that some boys living in the environment called the attention of the police to the crime scene. According to her, the police went to the scene and met Onyeachi, who came with a motorcycle marked QF 214 to steal the brain box of a bus. “On investigation, it was realised that the motorcycle was also stolen,” she said. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. (NAN)
Lawyer, 3 others arraigned over N45m fraud ALEX MOMOH KANO
Magistrates’ Court sitting at Noman’s Land, Kano State, yesterday, arraigned a legal practitioner and three other persons over an alleged N45 million fraud. Barrister Hassan Tanko Kyaure, 45, Sulaiman Musa,
35, Hajiya Maryam Sagir, 55, and Sabo Idris, 48, were arraigned before Chief Magistrates’ Court 22 sitting at Noman’s Land, over allegation of criminal conspiracy, forgery, impersonation and cheating. Police prosecutor, Haziel Lidapuwa, said the offences committed contravened Section 96, 322 and 364 of the Penal Code Law.
According to the police’s First Information Report (FIR), the case was reported by one Alhaji Shuaibu Kazaure of Tarauni Quarters, Kano, accusing Kyaure of conniving with the three other persons to forge his Right of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) with Certificate No. LKN/RES./2002/4/84. The court was further told that the first accused per-
son, Kyaure, had on January 8, 2013, conspired with the three accused persons to sell his house valued at N45 million to one Alhaji Baba Kassim after the complainant had already sold the same house through one Hajiya Hadiza Shehu Isiyaku to Alhaji Shehu Isiyaku. However, when the court asked them if the information as contained in the FIR
was true, all the four accused persons denied the content of the FIR. The Chief Magistrate, Hassan Ahmad, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N500, 000.00 each and two reliable sureties, while one of the sureties must be a blood relation to each of the accused persons. He then adjourned the case to February, 27, 2014 for further mention.
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Letter to President Jonathan on cabinet shake-up
ven though we are not exactly where we should have being as a nation in terms of meaningful development, it is an undeniable fact that we have made tremendous efforts and taken landmark decisions aimed at putting the country on the path of progress on all fronts. Analysts and development experts have at various times blamed an appreciable percentage of our problems on awkward and faulty leadership recruitment system which has led to the emergence of incompetent leaders across different levels of governance. It is however gratifying to note that efforts are presently being made to correct that anomaly, especially by this current administration of President Jonathan. To a very large extent, the latest rounds of shake-up in the President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet is a direct pointer to the fact that the old way of doing things are gradually giving way to new ideas and innovations. The old order of not daring to tamper with certain public officials with questionable records or fingered in corrupt practices is far gone. What we are currently witnessing is all about doing the right thing for the good of all and the country as a whole. The Peoples Democratic Party led Federal government appears to be taking landmark steps in its bid to redeem its name and image. The party, owing to the lackluster performance of its representatives across different levels of governance appears more determined and prepared to fix things right in other for it to maintain its pride of place among top rated political parties across the globe. Meaningfully leading this well thought-out campaign of ensuring the emergence of a performance-driven, people-oriented and issued-based PDP is
President Goodluck Jonathan. He has demonstrated these new thinking hrough latest appointments into boards, ministries, departments and agencies. This time around, merit, competence, capability, interest and track records are largely the criteria adopted in selecting people for various positions. Aside ensuring that all political appointees under the party’s platform are people of exceptional quality and sound character, they are also expected to display rare commitment and readiness to serve the people unreservedly. Recent changes in the federal cabinet are part of well articulated efforts to inject life, seriousness and professionalism into the way and manner government businesses are handled by its functionaries. It is no longer going to be business as usual. With this development, it has proved that no serving government official who is found to have soiled his or her hand in corruption that won’t be shown the exit door. These recent changes are indeed good and healthy for the system and the country as a whole. Those who think they can get into public office and indulge in primitive accumulation of our collective patrimony are no doubt still living in the past. The message is simple and direct. This government unlike ever before is ready to name, shame and prosecute any public official caught abusing his or her office. The President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has since realized that time is of the essence and that the era of allowing unwilling hands and minds to be part of his government is far over. Nigerians are no doubt desirous of witnessing landmark changes in all spheres of our national life. For the doubting the Thomases and cynics in our midst, these
changes will no doubt change their impression about this government. The government can indeed be taken for its promises. We will have no reason whatsoever to doubt it on whatever it plans it intends to carryout or execute. Many, including this writer doubted the sincerity of President Gooluck Jonathan in the handling of the controversial bulletproof armoured car scandal that rocked former Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah. I had personally written off the possibility of the President having the guts to show Princess Stella Oduah the way out. This is no doubt a legendary and commendable step by Mr President. He indeed earns my respect and those of other Nigerians on this particular issue and others. This is the time to rally round Mr President and give necessary support and encouragement in his avowed determination to roll out realizable programmes and policies capable of putting Nigeria on the path of economic prosperity, political stability and above all as one of the peaceful and united nations across the globe. The challenges confronting us today are all surmountable. This particular horrific phase shall pass and Nigerians shall all smile at the end of the day. I see bright light at the end of the tunnel. Where others see disaster, I see peace and tranquility. Where others see failure, I see success and where others conspire with enemies of Nigeria to make the country ungovernable for the President and his team, I promise to work against such elements. The President, like never before now has a good understanding of what Nigerians seriously expect of his government. He has since realized that good and enviable legacies are far
much better than promoting narrow interests. This, he has demonstrated in his recent intervention across different sectors of the economy. His administration’s resolve to improve our current power generation capacity is highly commendable. The agricultural sector is also doing commendably well, especially as it pertains to ensuring that we produce enough food to meet local consumption demands before thinking of exportation. To other cabinet members this is the time to redouble your efforts to make President’s Transformation Agenda a reality. This is not the time to allow yourselves to be distracted by bystanders and onlookers. This is the time to walk the talk. Those whose pastime is to make more enemies for the system through careless and unrefined comments should have a rethink. The challenges before the system are so enormous that it shouldn’t be dragged into unnecessary face or altercation with anyone or group of persons. You guys should focus more on your jobs. Finally, I wish to call on Mr President to sustain this laudable tempo. He should be more interested in the legacies he plans to bequeath to generations yet unborn and give deaf ears to those beating the drums of war and disunity. Sir, you were duly elected as Nigeria’s President and not a sectional President. Destiny has placed in your hands the unique opportunity of etching your name on the sands of time. Sir, you have the yam and knife, kindly slice a piece for yourself.
Labaran Saleh Salelabaran@yahoo.com
Applauding Jonathan’s new industrial and power initiatives
resident Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, launched the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP). The two programmes, according to the president, were aimed at ushering in a new era of industrial, micro, small and medium enterprises development in Nigeria. Like the President observed, a great economy must be based on a solid industrial sector with well diversified minds and sources of revenue, as well as a vibrant micro and small medium enterprise sector to create jobs and provide leverages. Jonathan had the previous day announced, through his Vice, Namadi Sambo the establishment of a Power Sector Investment Fund to enable players in the industry have access to cheap - long term funds to develop the power sector. The Fund will be contributed by Federal Government, Development Financial Institutions (FDIs) as well as local, global and financial partners. Presently much less than half of the population have access to electricity thus making Nigeria’s per capita electricity generation one of the lowest in global terms. The President promised that the
Federal Government will make initial deposit of N300 billion to the Power Sector Intervention Fund. There is no way a country would continue to export cheap basic raw materials such as agricultural products, raw minerals or crude oil only to later import the same materials in the form of refined and manufactured products very expensively and expect to develop materially. It will continue to be technologically and materially inferior and dependent on the producers of those finished products while its citizens wallop in abject poverty. It is in these regards that we at I-Nigerian, the perception transformation initiative group commend President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration for working at literally re-inventing the wheel by taking this courageous move to stimulate the real sector of the economy, which is the surest way of creating jobs and making economic growth meaningful. For some years now, the United Nations and other development agencies have worried about continued economic growth in Nigeria without an impact on the lives of majority of citizens. Says the President at the launch: “The Nigeria Industrial revolution Plan
(NIRP) will fast-track industrialisation, accelerate inclusive economic growth, job creation, transform Nigeria’s business environment and stop the drain on our foreign reserves caused by importing what we can produce locally.” Some of the commendable features of the new initiatives include the objective of ushering in a new era for industrial, micro, small and medium enterprises development in Nigeria; the road map it charts to transform Nigeria’s industrial landscape, boost skills development, enhance job creation and conserve foreign exchange; and its realistic estimates of concentrating on those areas where Nigeria obviously has comparative advantage. Launching the Industrial Revolution Plan, Jonathan promised that the federal government will continue to support local manufacturers by buying vehicles that are made in Nigeria in addition to encourage state governments to support the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products in their states. And even though the power sector has been largely privatised, government cannot but intervene to strengthen the young and emerging all important nucleus of development to grow into maturity
The bold and commendable efforts notwithstanding, it is important to caution that in the drawers and archives of the Presidency, ministries and agencies of both the federal and state governments lay millions of pages of previous plans and reports of committees and groups on way forward for the economy but which have all gathered dust. Personal will, patriotic zeal and the national interest required to see these plans to conclusive and productive ends are what have always been lacking. It is also very important for Nigerians both in leadership and outside of it to learn to be proud of made in Nigeria products. Entrepreneurs will only be encouraged to produce more if their products are consumed and this is the way that the much needed jobs will be created in the country. It is time to stop our propensity to export jobs because of our compulsive appetite for foreign goods. We really commend you Mr President on these efforts. Ada Stella Apiafi National Cordinator Initiative Garki Abuja
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
February 15, 2014
lauds army, other agencies Group asks Enugu PDP chair to quit, Orji over security in Abia warns of possible mass defection A DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
political pressure group, Enugu West People’s Forum, yesterday, asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in the state, Engr. Vita Abba to resign and face his gubernatorial aspiration. The group also decried alleged attempts by some
state government officials and Engr. Abba to compel and railroad various government functionaries and party executives in the state into hasty endorsement of Governor Sullivan Chime and his preferred candidates for elective political positions in the forthcoming 2015 general elections. Addressing a press conference in Enugu,
the chairman of the group, Hon. Paul Anikwe, condemned what he called the “descent of Enugu State into a political garrison,” with stringent measures allegedly applied to muffle voices of oppositions and to also abridge their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and association.
In the words of Anikwe, “We warn that these undemocratic and uncivilised actions and utterances are capable of causing serious disaffection, mass defection, disunity, instability, and uncontrollable dissension thereby undermining the cohesiveness and success of the Enugu PDP in the forthcoming general elections.
bia State governor, Theodore Orji, has commended the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for ridding the state of kidnappers and maintaining security. Governor Orji said this at a reception in honour of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika in Abuja. According to the governor, “There was a time when kidnappers wanted to drive us from our state but by the grace of God, the president, the army and other secu-
rity agencies, we have been able to drive them away,’’ he said. Orji also commended Ihejirika for establishing an army formation in the state. ``The man we are honouring was instrumental to the formation of President Goodluck Jonathan Barracks, 14 Brigade, Ohafia.’’ Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila, also noted that Gen. Ihejirika served the nation with great distinction, and should be prepared to serve in other capacities.
Nwaneri’s final burial rites hold tomorrow
Governor Peter Obi (2nd right), with visiting members of House of Representatives Committee on Erosion, Hon. Uche Ekwunife (2nd left), Lanre Odubote (1st left) and Khalid Ibrahim(1st right) during the inspection of the ongoing work at Sacamori Erosion Site, Onitsha, yesterday.
Anambra guber: Parties oppose Obidigbo’s motion for joinder CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
resh dusts have been raised over the outcome of the Anambra State Gubernatorial election held on the 16th and 30th of November, 2013. The All Progressive Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Chief Victor Umeh-led faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance, (APGA), yesterday, opposed the bid
CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
s part of efforts to provide improved health care delivery system, the Imo State Government has entered into partnership with an American based group, the American-African Outreach Mission, to provide an ultra modern hospital in the state.
by Dr. Chike Obidigbo to be joined as respondent in the petitions filed by the aggrieved parties challenging the result of the polls. At the resumed hearing of the interlocutory applications arising from the petitions filed against Chief Willie Obiano, declared winner of the election under reference, the key petitioners, whose petitions were pending before the Justice Ishaq Muhammed Bello-led Election Petition Tribunal, namely, the APC and Dr Chris Ngige,
PDP and Comrade Tony Nwoye, the INEC and the Umeh-led APGA vehemently rejected the motion for joinder as a respondent brought by Dr Obidigbo. Obigbo had claimed he was the duly nominated candidate of APGA in the governorship election. Both the APC, PDP and their candidates, as well as the INEC and Umeh’s APGA had respectively argued that Dr. Obidigbo was not a candidate in the governorship election and could not therefore be joined in
the pending petitions as a respondent. Lead counsel for Dr. Obidigbo, Oba Maduabuchi, had, while moving the application for joinder, stated that Obidigbo, the applicant, has shown sufficient interest to be joined as one of the respondents in the pending petitions. At the end of the arguments, the Tribunal adjourned for Monday, February 17, 2014, to enable the applicant’s counsel to make his reply on point of law and thereafter a ruling will be delivered.
housands of Owerri indigenes and other sympathisers from various parts of the country will be joining family members to bury their late patriarch, Chief Patrick Akughara Nwaneri, in their family compound in Umuodu, Owerri after a final service at the Christ Anglican Church, Owerri. Patrick Nwaneri, was a onetime Deputy National Secretary of the Nigeri-
an Workers Council, the forerunner organisation that metamorphosed into Nigerian Labour Congress. He was at various times a member of the Boards of Nigerian Provident Fund and Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Late Chief Nwaneri will be buried in his family compound in Umuodu Owerri after a final service at the Christ Anglican Church, Owerri.
APGA crisis: Council chapter expels 4 members
he Awka North chapter of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) loyal to Chief Victor Umeh’s faction has expelled four members of the party in the area. The expulsion followed the adoption of the party’s disciplinary committee report at the stakeholders’ meeting in Achalla, the council headquarters.
Those expelled were Chief Shadrack Anakwe, the factional state chairman, Mr Emma Ajeke, Dr Godson Amebo and Mr John Nwokoye. The meeting also ratified the suspension for six months of Mr Ralph Enweluzo and Mr Nicholas Ibe while the chairman of the party in the local government, Mr Casmir Ilonwa, was relieved of his position.
Imo govt partners American NGO on health care delivery Governor Rochas Okorocha disclosed this when he received officials from the American African Outreach Mission in his office. Governor Okorocha, who pointed out that health had remained a major challenge in the country, said with the es-
tablishment of an excellent hospital in the state, such challenges would be frontally addressed. The governor encouraged the group to utilise the existing General Hospitals in Ikeduru and Owerri North as a test run, while they await the construction of the ultra
modern hospital. He thanked members of the team for their interest in Imo State and also assured them that the state government would provide the enabling environment for the realisation of the project. Earlier, leader of the team, Dr. Uche Onokalam,
said they were in Imo State to seek partnership with the state government. He said that as an Imo indigene, he saw the need to bring the outreach mission to the state to complement the efforts of the governor in the areas of health and education. Dr. Onokalam noted
that their goal was to make Imo State a health tourism destination of Nigeria through the provision of world class hospital and personnel. He regretted that the nation has continued to suffer huge capital flight as a result of overseas medical treatment of her citizens.
February 15, 2014
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Do not allow infiltration into APC –Chieftain HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Bola Ilori, has called the party leadership not to allow infiltration of some bad elements
that could not guarantee the party victory during the next poll. Ilori said this during the visit to him of the Chairman of the Registration Committee in the state, and also a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Femi Pedro. Ilori who commended
the effort of the people of the state during the last registration exercise, also urged the leadership of the party to remain vigilant by not allowing sycophants to meddle into the affairs of the party. In the words of Ilori, “If we get it right, APC will take over Ondo State
but not with the import of not too popular or unknown candidate. The leadership of APC should not allow disconnect between the people and the state again.” In his response, Pedro said contrary to expectation and the noise being made about the crisis in
the party, the registration exercise had proved otherwise. The former Lagos deputy governor commended the people of the state for their turnout during the exercise, noting that all materials for the registration exercise were exhausted
in less than 48 hours in all the 18 Local Government Area of the state. He maintained that the APC is fast gaining ground in the state and urged party faithful in the state to remain steadfast and committed to the party’s goals and ideals.
Ajimobi tasks Nigerian youths on mental development
L-R: Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Group Managing Director Oodu’a investment, Dr Adebayo Jimoh during the visit of Alaafin in Ibadan, recently.
I’ll leave politics to politicians – Ekiti CP
ew Ekiti State police commissioner, Felix Uyanna, has promised not to meddle in political activities in the state as political parties prepare for the June 21, 2014, gubernatorial election in the state. In a release by Yinka Oyebode, Special Adviser to Ekiti State governor on Media, Uyanna spoke against the backdrop of rumours making the rounds that he was posted to the state y the PDP-led Federal Government to win Ekiti and Osun states for it in the coming gubernatorial polls. But the police boss, during a courtesy call on Governor Kayode Fayemi,
yesterday, assured that he would be fair to all the political gladiators in the state to in order to ensure the expansion of the “democratic space.” The new police boss stressed further that he was posted to the state to fight crime and criminality and not to play politics. He also stated that he would not tolerate those who mix politics with crime. Uyanna added that it was the duty of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections, but maintained that the police have a duty to provide security. In the words of Uyanna,
“I am here to seek a hand of fellowship and request that yourself and other members of the society, the good people of Ekiti State should assist me in accomplishing my objective which is essentially to curb crime and criminality in the state and reduce it to the barest minimum, and do all that will enable us preserve public peace. In doing this, I shall go about it in accordance with the law, the constitution, the police act and other enabling laws.” Responding, Governor Fayemi urged the police boss to stick to his promise not to unduly interfere in the forthcoming elections as that is what Ekiti people want.
The Governor reminded Uyanna, who started his career in the old Ondo State during the Omoboriowo era, that Ekiti people are very sensitive and would not allow anything that is aimed at subverting their wills. The governor urged him to ensure that police in the state conduct themselves in a manner devoid of partisanship so that the processes leading to the election would make the will of the people prevail. On the upsurge of kidnapping, the governor urged the Uyanna to work with other security agencies in the state to nip the crime in the bud.
Lagos Assembly to strengthen laws against foreign employers’ excesses
he Lagos State House of Assembly hs assured of strengthening laws in the state to check the excesses of foreign employers against their Nigerian employees in the state. Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said this yesterday, when a
lone protester, Rev. Adebisi Abraham, came the premises of the Assembly to complain of excesses of some foreign employers. Rev. Abraham displayed a placard with inscriptions denouncing the discrimination that some Nigerian employees suffered from their Asian employers in the state and
the country in general. Ikuforiji, represented by Chairman, House Committee on Information, Publicity, Security and Strategy, Mr. Segun Olulade, commended the courage of the protester. The Speaker assured Abraham that the House would investigate the allegation he leveled against
the foreign employers. He said that the Assembly had resolved to create a society where everybody would enjoy equal treatment. Ikuforiji, who said injustice done to one was injustice done to all, promised that the house would strengthen the law on such discrimination in the state.
overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has charged Nigerian youths to develop themselves mentally for national development. Ajimobi gave the task, yesterday, during the presentation of award of Pillar of Youth to him by members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Ibadan. In the words of Governor Ajimobi, ``I count it as a great pleasure to be honoured by a body that is national in outlook and truly youthful in membership, Oyo state people and myself are happy about it. ``But I want to advise that the youths of Nigeria need a lot of improvement to be great and this requires mental development. ``I want you to be resolute because lead-
ership requires mental development and you must also endeavour and strife to be men of honour,” he said. The governor also reminded the body that honour would only come to those who deserved it. NAN reports that the NYCN, a Lagos chapter of the body was led to Ibadan on the presentation ceremony by its Chairman, Mr Babatunde Adeleke. Adeleke had earlier said that Ajimobi was considered for the award because of his administration’s urban renewal, beautification and road construction programmes. ``NYCN deems it fit to honour leaders like Ajimobi who considered it necessary to change their society and his government is excellent in restoration of peace to Oyo state,” he said.
Gbadegesin appointed LAUTECH VC
he Governing Council of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, has appointed Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin as the substantive ViceChancellor of the institution. This is contained in a letter dated February 13, 2014, and signed by Prof. Wale Omole, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the university. According to the letter, made available to NAN in Ogbomoso on Friday, `` the appointment is for a duration of five years and nonrenewable.’’
Gbadegesin, a professor of Geography, was educated at the University of Ibadan, where he bagged a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in 1979 and Masters in Geography in 1981. NAN reports that Gbadegesin also bagged his Doctorate Degree (Ph.D) three years after, in 1984. He was appointed acting Vice-Chancellor of LAUTECH, Ogbomoso in 2011. Gbadegesin, who became professor of Geography in October 1999, had worked as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Geography and was upgraded to Lecturer II Grade in 1984.
Saturday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Italy to announce new prime minister
lorence mayor Matteo Renzi is expected to be offered the chance to become Italian prime minister, as talks begin on forming a new government. President Georgio Napolitano is starting consultations following the resignation of Enrico Letta. He was ousted in a vote called by Mr Renzi at a meeting of their centreleft Democratic Party. The 39-year-old Renzi would be Italy’s youngest prime minister. Mr Letta was under increasing pressure over Italy’s poor economic performance. After accepting the prime minister’s resignation, Mr Napolitano’s office said talks would begin with political leaders on finding a replacement. The consultations would be conducted swiftly to find an “efficient solution” and they would conclude on Saturday, the statement added.
Mr Letta’s position became untenable once the Democratic Party backed a call for a new administration. Mr Renzi had argued that a change of government was needed to end “uncertainty”. A new government should take over until the end of the current parliamentary term in 2018, he said. He had accused Mr Letta of a lack of action on improving the economic situation, with unemployment at its highest level in 40 years and the economy shrinking by 9% in seven years. The Italian prime minister was also accused of failing to implement promised reforms of what is seen as an often corrupt and wasteful bureaucracy. Youth unemployment has risen and Italians have grown increasingly impatient of the slow pace of reform and the continuing decline of families’ income and living standards.
Afghanistan releases 65 prisoners despite strong U.S. objections
iting a lack of evidence, Afghan authorities released from prison 65 men Thursday over strong objections from U.S. officials, who said they pose a threat to security forces and civilians. “We took this decision according to our law,” said Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, the Afghan attorney general. In a statement posted on its website, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul called the move “deeply regrettable,” saying the Afghan government “bears responsibility for the results of its decision.” Abdul Shukor Dadras, head of the Afghan Review Board, said the attorney general ordered the releases from the Parwan Detention Center -- formerly known as Bagram prison -- after a careful review of 88 cases. The U.S. military in Afghanistan said some of the men are linked to attacks that killed or
February 15, 2014
wounded 32 American or coalition service members and 23 Afghan security personnel or civilians. But a 23-page document obtained by CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr from a U.S. military official who asked not to be identified said about 19 of the released men were associated with direct attacks that killed or wounded 60 U.S. or coalition force members. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy. According to the document, 25 of the men were linked to the production or placement of IEDs; 33 tested positive for explosive residue when processed after capture; and 26 were associated with attacks that killed or wounded 57 Afghan citizens and Afghan National Security Forces. Prior to the prisoners’ release, U.S. authorities had repeatedly aired their displeasure over the plans.
Russia enacts anti-gay adoption ban
ussian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree banning foreign same-sex couples -- as well as single people from countries where samesex marriages are legal -- from adopting Russian children. Though there was no official ban until now, foreigners’ attempts to adopt Russian children before the decree generally would be unsuccessful if a prospective adoptive parent was thought to be gay, international adoption agencies based in Russia have said. Samesex marriage is illegal in Russia. The decree was signed Monday and published on a government website Thursday. It went into effect Wednesday, statefunded television network Russia Today reported, but CNN couldn’t immediately confirm that. The portion affecting singles appears to stem from concerns Russian lawmakers have publicly expressed that single prospective adoptive parents could turn out to be gay and enter a same-sex marriage in their home countries. The ban would appear to affect citizens in the more than a dozen countries that allow same-sex marriage. The move comes about a year after Russian lawmakers passed a bill ban-
ning adoptions to the United States. The move was widely seen as retaliation for a law the United States passed in 2012 on human rights abusers in Russia. It also comes amid criticism of the country’s anti-gay policies leading up to the Winter Olympic Games, which Russia is now hosting in Sochi. Russia’s parliament passed what’s known as the gay propaganda law in June. The legislation makes it illegal to tell children about gay equality. The law was widely
criticized by Western leaders who called it archaic and discriminatory. Human rights activists said Russia was unworthy of hosting the Olympics because of it. U.S. President Barack Obama stepped into the fray, saying at a White House news conference in August that “nobody’s more offended than me” by anti-gay legislation “you’ve been seeing in Russia.” And Web search giant Google weighed in on the controversy with a rainbow Olympic-themed logo on its home page the day
the Games started. Before the Games, Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to downplay fears that gay visitors would be discriminated against during the Olympics. Putin said Russia, unlike some other countries, does not criminalize homosexual relationships. “We don’t outlaw anything and don’t nab anyone,” he said on a visit to Sochi weeks before the Games. “That’s why you can feel safe and free here,” he added, “but please leave our children in peace.”
Princes William (L) and Harry of England help to protect Britain from flooding by laying sandbags.
Mass evacuation in Indonesia as Java volcano erupts T ens of thousands of Indonesians have fled their homes after a volcano erupted in east Java. Mount Kelud spewed ash and debris over a large area, including the city of Surabaya, about 130km (80 miles) away. Officials said two people died after their houses collapsed under the weight of ash. Airports in Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Solo shut down because of low visibility. There are also fears that debris could damage aircraft engines. Yogyakarta airport manager Andi Wirson said
the runway was covered in a 5cm-thick layer of ash. Officials raised an alert on Thursday about an hour before the volcano erupted. They urged people living in 36 villages within 10km of the volcano to evacuate. Tens of thousands fled to temporary shelters. Officials said two people died when their homes caved in under the weight of gravel and ash. Some of the evacuees tried to visit their houses on Friday morning to gather their possessions, but were forced to turn back by the stream of volcanic ash and rocks from the volcano. “The whole place was
shaking - it was like we were on a ship in high seas,” one resident told AFP news agency. “We fled and could see lava in the distance flowing into a river.” The volcano spewed ash and gravel that flew as far as 200km away, officials said. The BBC’s Alice Budisatrijo in Jakarta says thick dust in villages close the volcano makes it dangerous for pedestrians and vehicles to be on the road. Mount Kelud, which had been rumbling for several weeks, erupted on Thursday evening. Officials said on Friday
that the eruption was gradually subsiding. Experts say the volcano tends to quieten down after a large eruption, and more big eruptions are unlikely. The volcano last erupted in 1990, killing dozens of people. A powerful eruption in 1919 killed around 5,000 people. Indonesia lies across a series of geological faultlines and is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. There are about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. Earlier this month, Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra erupted, killing at least 14 people.
I was wrongly accused of having a hand in the death of my political mentor, Uncle Bola Ige. My accusation is political blackmail. Before man and God, I know nothing about Chief Ige’s assassination. Osun State ministerial nominee, Abduljelili Adesiyan, while answering questions by senators when they were screening him.
Saturday, February 15, 2014. www.nationalmirroronline.net
Peace and human security in Africa (II)
s Chairperson-in-Office of the Commonwealth of Nations; Chairperson, African Union; and joint promoter of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), I encouraged my colleague Presidents and heads of government to keep seeking the magic formula for peace in Africa and peace in the world. It is worth noting that just before the end of my tenure as Chairperson of the African Union, an African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) was developed in 2002, including a Peace and Security Council, an African Standby Force and a Continental Early Warning System and a Panel of the Wise. Like the alchemists of old seeking the elixir of life and what can turn all metals to gold, we failed to discover the magic bullet for peace. What I have found as I traversed Africa on UN and personal missions to contribute to resolutions of conflicts in our region is that good governance, justice, dialogue and tolerance are key ingredients in fostering a culture of peace. If we add the carrot-and-stick approach to these four, the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria and terror-related insurgencies will be severely diminished if not outrightly eliminated. I have often entreated that we in Africa, even in a globalised world, should strive to find our own solutions as African people to African problems. We need to engage in dealing with these problems from our own perspective. We cannot al-
with President Olusegun Obasanjo firstname.lastname@example.org
WE IN AFRICA SHOULD STRIVE TO FIND OUR OWN SOLUTIONS AS AFRICAN PEOPLE TO AFRICAN PROBLEMS. WE NEED TO ENGAGE IN DEALING WITH THESE PROBLEMS FROM OUR OWN PERSPECTIVE.
WE CANNOT ALWAYS RELY ON OUTSIDE HELP
ways rely on outside help, but we need to seek within ourselves the solutions to these critical challenges. I must reiterate that leadership and good governance are key. Let me now touch education. To a number of people who can only toler-
ate bleak data on education where Africa is concerned, I bring you the good news first and trust you will share these with persons who never see anything good about Africa. At the 37th UNESCO General Conference which ended in Paris about three weeks ago, African countries were ap-
Mexico friendly: Keshi explains Agbim’s omission
uper Eagles coach Stephen Keshi says there is no malice in his decision to exclude Chigozie Agbim from the 23-man squad he listed for Nigeria’s friendly with Mexico next month. Agbim’s performance at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) was mostly woeful, and his exclusion for the friendly was interpreted by some as an indication that Keshi had lost faith in the former Enugu Rangers goalkeeper.
“Agbim had a good test at the CHAN recently, so I don’t think we have to take three goalkeepers to just one match,” explained Keshi. The Big Boss further advised that the non-invitation of other regular players like Sunday Mba, Brown Ideye and Nnamdi Oduamadi should not be misinterpreted as the game against Mexico offers the technical crew a chance to test new players, and it would be unreasonable to invite a Agbim packed squad.
plauded for the noteworthy gains on a number of educational indicators. Enrolment in tertiary education was confirmed to grow faster in sub-Saharan Africa than any other region over the last four decades. While there were fewer than 200,000 tertiary students enrolled in the region in 1970, this number rose to over 5.1 million in 2011 – a more than 25-fold increase. In effect, and as reported by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the gross enrolment ratio (GER) for tertiary education grew at an average rate of 8.6% for each year between 1970 and 2008 – compared to a global average of 4.6% over the same period. This rate exceeded the population growth of the relevant age group across the region. Also, over the past ten years, real expenditure on education has risen by 6% annually across sub-Saharan Africa. Out of 26 countries reported on by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in 2010, only one country – the Central African Republic – reduced spending on education. As a result of these investments, remarkable progress has been made in educational development in sub-Saharan Africa. The number of children in primary schooling increased by 48% – from 87 million to 129 million – between 2000 and 2008. Enrolment in pre-primary, secondary and tertiary education also grew by more than 60% during the same period.
TO BE CONTINUED
English FA Cup Fixtures Today’s Matches Sunderland v Southampton 13:45 Cardiff City v Wigan 16:00 Sheffield Wed. v Charlton Ath. 16:00 Manchester City v Chelsea 18:15
Sunday, February 16, 2014 Everton v Swansea City 14:30 Sheffield Utd v N’gham Forest 16:00 Arsenal v Liverpool 17:00
Monday, February 17, 2014 Brighton & Hove Albion v Hull City 20:45
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