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DSS warns Presidency against merging aviation agencies

Fresh crisis looms in health sector

Workers protest at Lagos airport

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

Ortom

Vol. 4 N0. 843 OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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nother bomb explosion yesterday hit Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, killing nine, while 11 others sustained serious injuries. The explosion occurred barely two weeks after a similar attack on a bus station in the same vicinity left 75 people dead. Yesterday’s attack, which occurred around 8:30 p.m CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

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here are strong indications that the planned merger of three aviation agencies by the Federal Government

may not see the light of day after all as the Department of State Services, DSS, has highlighted the danger inCONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

…as workers accuse FG of marginalisation

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Chukwu

Friday, May 2, 2014

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Another bomb blast rocks Abuja ...9 killed, 11 injured

Emergency teams in Nyanya, urge caution

L-R: Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha; President, Nigeria Labour Congress , Comrade Abdulwahed Omar; President Goodluck Jonathan; President, Trade Union Congress, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama; Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour, Sen. Wilson Ake and Minister of FCT, Sen. Bala Mohammed, at the 2014 May Day celebration in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

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May Day: Mothers of abducted school girls storm govt house

Politics undermining anti-terror war –Labour Cult clash claims four lives in Ogun

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Ex-Kwara gov, Attah dies at 88 Former deputy Senate President, Wash Pam, 73, succumbs to cancer P.50


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Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PROF. OLU

AGBI My Dear Prof.

As you add another year today May the good Lord give you peace and keep you in good health. Thank you for your leadership reconciliation effort for our great party.

Enjoy your day!

Barr. Jimoh Ibrahim (OFR)


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Friday, May 2 , 2014

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Photo News

Friday May 2, 2014

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MAY DAY CELEBRATION

L-R: Lagos State Commisioner for Establishment, Training and Pension, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase; Governor Babatunde Fashola; his Deputy,Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulure and Senator Ganiu Olanrewaju Solomon, at the May Day celebration in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right) and his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye Tomori (2nd right) acknowledging cheers from workers during the May Day celebrations in Osogbo, yesterday.

L-R: Chairman, Edo State Trade Union Congress, Comrade Charles Oronsaye; Chairman Nigeria Labour Congress, Edo State, Comrade Emmanuel Ademokun, and Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the 2014 May Day rally to celebrate Workers’ Day in Benin City, yesterday.

L-R: Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Gombe State, Comrade Ahmed Maisakala; Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo and his Deputy, Mr. Tha’anda Rubainu, during the 2014 May Day celebration in Gombe, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Imo indigenes disengaged from Abia public service in 2011 appealing to Governor. Rochas Okorocha to come to their aid, at the 2014 May Day celebration in owerri, yesterday.

L-R: Chairman, NLC, Delta State Council, Comrade Akporeha Williams; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan; TUC State Chairman, Comrade Mike Arinze and others, at the 2014 May–Day celebration in Asaba, yesterday.

L-R: Comrade Clarkson Out; Cross River State Chairman of NLC, Comrade John Ushie; Governor liyel Imoke and Speaker, Cross River House of Assembly, Mr Larry Odey during 2014 May Day Celebration in Calabar yesterday.

Members of Change Movement Nigeria and other Civil Right Activists in a May Day Protest Tagged, Stolen Dream Walk in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: SAMUEL ADETIMEHIN

L-R: Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Oyo State, Comrade Basir Olarenwaju; Deputy Governor, Otunba Moses Alake-Adeyemo; Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Speaker, State House of Assembly, Hon. Monsurat Sunmonu; State Chief Judge, Mrs. Badejoko Adeniji and State Vice Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Comrade Innocent Onoja, at the 2014 May Day celebration in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Ogun State Deputy Governor Segun Adesegun; Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Head of Service, Mrs. Modupe Adekunle, and TUC Chairman, Comrade Seyi Adebanjo during the May Day celebration in Abeokuta, yesterday.


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Friday, May 2, 2014

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Fresh crisis looms in health sector MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, comprising five registered health workers unions, yesterday issued a fresh twoweek ultimatum to the Federal Government and threatened to proceed on strike if their demands were not met. JOHESU gave the warning consequent upon alleged

government’s refusal to sign an agreement, which would have addressed issues of perceived marginalisation that had pitched the unions and government against each other for years. The leadership of the unions, speaking at a briefing in Abuja through the National President of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, NUAHP, Mr. Felix Faniran, said

government refused to sign the agreement for the fear the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, would oppose the treaty. Other unions constituting JOHESU are the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MHWUN; National Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutions and Associated Institutions, SSAUTHRIAI; Non-Academic

Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions and Assembly of Health Professionals. Some of the demands according to the group are: reconstitution of boards of management of tertiary health institutions; promotion of members from CONHESS 14 to 15 as directors; increase in retirement age from 60 to 65 years; implementation of 2008 Job

Evaluation Report and implementation of Abdullahi Bello Presidential Committee report on harmony in the health sector. JOHESU accused the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, of discriminating against its members and giving preference to the NMA, which it emphasised was an illegal body and had no legal right to proceed on strike like a trade union. “JOHESU, after repeated appeals commenced negotiations with government since September, 2013 but to our greatest shock and amazement, government in a volte face yesterday said it was unable to sign and honour the collective bargained issues because of the threat by the NMA to proceed on strike if government accedes to our legitimate demands and painstakingly negotiated entitlements.

“We had negotiated desirable adjustment to the 2009 CONHESS Salary Table and allowances as was done for the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA in January 2014. “Our members are being subjected to discrimination and industrial marginalisation in the health sector in favour of members of the Nigerian Medical Association, which is operating illegally as if it were a registered trade union. “Without fear or favour, it must be said that the Honourable Minister of Health must be blamed for the pending industrial action by the JOHESU/AHP. Efforts by National Mirror to speak with Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, Mr. Dan Nwomeh, on the allegation were unsuccessful as he did not respond to telephone call made to him.

Another bomb blast rocks Abuja CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

L-R: Vice-President Namadi Sambo ; Etsu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar and Emir of Suleja, Alhaji Awal Ibrahim during a condolence visit on the Vice President on the death of his brother, Capt.Yusuf Sabo in Abuja, yesterday.

May Day: Mothers of abducted school girls storm govt house OLUFEMI ADEOSUN, INUSA NDAHI AND AZA MSUE

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others, members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and other civil organisations yesterday converged on the Government House in Maiduguri, Borno State to register their protest over the perceived nonchallant attitude of government towards rescuing the 234 abducted girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. Borno State Police Command and the Department of State Security Service, DSS, yesterday said 276 students, not 234 were initially taken away when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, over two weeks ago. This contradicted earlier claims by parents of the affected girls, who said 234 of their daughters were kid-

napped when the insurgents struck. The state Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko and the Director of SSS, Ahmed Abdullahi released the new figure at a joint press briefing held in Maiduguri. Tanko, who led the briefing explained that the new figures was still not authentic as the actual number of the missing girls could only be verified when more parents who were yet to know the whereabouts of the daughters lodge a complaint. The commissioner added that a total of 530 students from Chibok and other neighbouring towns sat for the final examinations, and that 276 were abducted, while 53 escaped. Based on this, he revealed that so far, a total of 223 others were presumed to be in captivity. “Till this moment, the actual numbers of the kidnapped girls were yet to be known but we are just

making assumptions based on the complaints so far received from parents. “The affected girls were not only from Chibok, but cut across other neighbouring towns, because Chibok served as the examination centre in the area. That is why we kept getting flying figures of the affected girls. “Until parents summoned courage to come forward and present their cases to the security forces, we can’t have an accurate number of the students held hostage,” the commissioner said. This is just as organised labour under the auspices of the NLC, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, at the May Day rally in Abuja, yesterday blamed the various conflicting political interests for the failure to win the war against terror despite enormous resources voted into maintaining security. Presenting a protest let-

ter to Governor Kashim Shettima for onward transmission to President Jonathan and the Senate President, Senator David Mark, the Borno State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Titus Ali Abana, called on the Federal Government and the military authorities to intensify efforts in rescuing the school girls. Abana, who, along with other NLC members, mothers and other civil society groups were dressed in black said, the Federal Government was not doing enough in its efforts to rescue the abducted school girls. According to him, the innocent school girls have spent almost three weeks in the hands of their abductors, without knowing the condition they are subjected to by the insurgents. Responding, Governor Shettima assured the parents and the NLC members that government is working CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

was targeted at a new temporary bus station. Since the previous attack, many taxi drivers had resorted to picking passengers by the road side. “I was on my way to buy some stuff in the area when suddenly we had a deafening explosion. I had to immediately run home to safety,” said Aliyu Musa, a teacher who also narrowly escaped the April 14 blast. He said with the way the area was crowded, there was no way many would not be affected. Musa added that from the shop where he stood, he saw at least 10 bodies across the road lying on the ground but could not confirm whether they were dead or alive. Another eyewitness said he counted 20 bodies. Sources at the scene said it a appeared to be a car bomb. At the Emergency Ward of the Asokoro Hospital, 16 bodies had already been deposited by 9.30p.m with ambulances and emergency workers still making frantic efforts to retrieve the dead and rescue the injured. The gridlock caused by security men who mobilised to the scene and cordoned off the area hampered res-

cue operations, according to our correspondent. The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, last night confirmed that nine people died in the blast. “While security agencies have condoned the area of an explosion this evening in Nyanya Abuja, response agencies have moved injured victims to hospitals and at least nine lifeless bodies have been deposited in the mortuary, while 11 unconscious victims are receiving medical attention in different hospitals in Abuja. Other injured victims too are being attended to. “The public are urged to cooperate with security agencies and avoid rushing to the scene to guard against hampering the efforts of the various agencies working together to ensure public safety,” a statement signed by Emmanuel Okeh, Head, Public Relations, NSCDC and Manzo Ezekiel, Press Officer NEMA, said. When contacted, spokeswoman of the Federal Capital Territory FCT Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Altine Daniel said the force was still trying to ascertain how it happened.


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Friday, May 2, 2014

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DSS warns Presidency against merging aviation agencies CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

herent in the proposed move in reports just submitted to the Presidency. Also, the President, International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, Dr. Olumuyiwa Aliu, visited President Goodluck Jonathan in Aso Rock, Abuja last week and bared his mind on the merger plan. A Presidency source told our correspondent yesterday that the DSS offices Lagos and Abuja on Monday submitted their reports on the issue and explained to the government the implication of merging a regulator with service providers. The source told our correspondent that the DSS in its report itemised the danger inherent in the merger of the agencies. The Federal Government, had in April, accepted the report of the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals Committee, headed by Mr. Steve Oronsaye, to merge some aviation agencies. The agencies to be merged according to the recommendations are: the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and

the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET. The planned merger of the agencies was however strongly opposed by stakeholders and professionals in the aviation industry on the grounds it would amount to working against the best industry standards. The source said: “I can tell you that the Presidency received three reports from DSS on Monday; two from Lagos and one from Abuja on the planned merger of the agencies. The three reports emphasised specifically on safety implications of merging the agencies and advised the government against the plan. In fact, they nullified the planned merger. “The report predicted that if government goes ahead with its implementation, it would boomerang on the industry and I can also tell you that the report was independent of any biases and they did a thorough job.” Also, last week, ICAO President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Aliu, visited President Jonathan on the planned merger. A source close to the government confided in our correspondent that Aliu had a lengthy discussion with the president and cautioned

against implementing the report. Aliu, we gathered described the plan as a contradiction to the ICAO standards and recommended practices, to which Nigeria is a signatory, adding that this may rubbish the confidence the international body and other aviation communities have in Nigeria’s aviation industry. Meanwhile, unions in the sector yesterday staged a protest at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos against the planned

merger. Workers of NCAA, NAMA and NIMET took part in the protest. The workers marched through the General Aviation Terminal, GAT, the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two, MMA2 and the international wing of the airport, chanting solidarity songs against the planned merger. Some of the placards and posters displayed by the workers include; “Merger is against ICAO regulations,” “Proposed merger of

NAMA, NIMET and NCAA is inimical to the development of the aviation industry in Nigeria,” and “no to merger” among others. An activist, Mr. John Chukwu, who spoke on the issue described government action as against international civil conventions, adding that “the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited was similarly dealt a blow its victims are yet to recover from.” Chukwu urged stakeholders not to allow the plan to see the light of the day. The Chairman, Air

Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, FAAN branch, Comrade Ekanem Ekanem, described the Federal Government’s decision as a clog in the wheel of progress. “We give kudos to government for the equipment provided for NAMA and NIMET especially, those two agencies has register their marks across the globe in the last two years positively, then why disrupt this progress in the name of merger?” he queried.

Itsekiri youths paying traditional homage greetings to Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II (left) during the Praise and Worship programme, in Warri yesterday.

May Day: Mothers of abducted school girls storm govt house CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

hard to secure the release of the abducted girls. “We are passing through the most trying moments in the annals of Borno history, as the abduction of our daughters by these lunatics is the most unfortunate thing, as women form the basis of our existence, even in wars women are scared and deserve to be protected at all times, but these lunatics have no regard for the sanctity of life”, the governor stated. Speaking at the May Day rally in Abuja, leaders of the labour unions said greed and irresponsible behaviour on the part of the nation’s leaders were also reasons for the present state of war in the country. But President Goodluck Jonathan insisted although the issue of insurgency was a complex one, government was reviewing the nation’s security apparatus with a view to finding lasting solution to it. In particular, the President vowed that his government would not only deploy the country security might into rescuing the

school girls abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State, it would also ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act would be made to face the full weight of the law. Jonathan spoke during this year’s May Day celebration in Abuja. The event, which took place amidst tight security featured parades by over 50 affiliates of both the NLC and TUC. The occasion was devoid of its usual fanfare, as stern looking mobile policemen mounted various security checks, subjecting people entering into the Eagle Square, venue of the May Day events, to rigorous scrutiny. NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar observed that the initial gain on the war against terror had receded, adding that the country was at the moment being held by the throat as a result of the nefarious activities of Boko Haram sect. He said rather than weakening, the group had metamorphosed into a fullblown terror group striking at high-profile targets with devastating effect while the

nation looked on, hapless and helpless. According to Omar, while a lot of money may have been spent to curtail the insurgency, and the various security forces doing all they could within the limits of their powers, the fight had not been won due to various political interests. He said: “In spite of government’s efforts, the situation in the North East is deteriorating. The initial gains of emergency rule clearly have been lost and the momentum squandered. The Boko Haram elements have matured into a full-blown group striking at high-profile targets with devastating effect. “Indeed, the choice of target, regularity of strikes, weapons used, coordination and sophistication of their operations make them not only the leading group to dread. “We feel seriously concerned about the state of the nation’s security infrastructure. In spite of the relative huge security votes in the past few years, it is weak and inadequate. We also believe conflicting political

interests, ambiguous operational orders and primordial sentiments are some of the factors undermining the counter terror war. “It is immoral to play politics with the lives of the people. Accordingly, we demand an end to this unholy pastime, this dirty politics. We must all rise in unison, shoulder to shoulder and confront this common enemy and for all. We are almost certain that if anyone was left in doubt about the universality of this war, the Nyanya bomb blast erased all of that.” In the same vein, TUC President Comrade Bobboi Kaigama stated that recent orgy of violence and its attendant loss of innocent lives, was a painful reminder for every discerning mind that the nation was at war. According to him, the nation is at this sorry state as a result of failure of government and the avarice of a few to evolve enduring democratic norms in the interest of the generality of the Nigerian people. The TUC also told the

President to be wary of his cabinet members and aides, stressing that they were not being sincere in the economic reports they gave to him. This is even as the President admitted that there was a serious problem of wealth inequality in the country. It would be recalled that, Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban KiMoon had recently named Nigeria among the five poorest countries in the world. Apparently responding to the categorisation, Jonathan said that it was not correct to say Nigeria was poor; admitting that the only thing government was working on was even distribution of wealth. He said: “In was surprised when the World Bank listed us among the poorest nations in the world, Nigeria is not poor, it only has the problem of unequal distribution of wealth.” But Kaigama disagreed with the President, insisting that this was not the best of time for the country because a lot of people were wallowing in penury.

He said: “Thank God for May Day as it affords us perhaps the best opportunity to let the President know that indeed this is not the best of times in our dear country. We can prove it to you Mr. President, that some of your cabinet members and aides have not always told you the truth. In Kaduna State, students, religious bodies, women lawyers among others also staged a peaceful protest demanding the release of the abducted girls. The women in their large numbers displayed placards with inscriptions such as “Bring back our daughters”, “Mama Patience help our daughters” and “Respect the future of Nigerian women.” They urged the government and security agencies to ensure the safety of the children. Addressing the protesters, Coordinator, Coalition of Concerned Women Kaduna State branch, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, called on the Federal Government and security agencies to bring back the girls, including other women in captivity.


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Friday May 2, 2014

Workers’ Day: Ajimobi calls for immediate release of abducted girls

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pparently worried by the continued incarceration of the 234 students of Government Girls’ College, Chibok, Borno State, by members of the Boko Haram sect, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Thursday, used the occasion of the Workers’ Day celebrations to charge security agencies to do everything within

their powers to secure the release of the girls. The 2014 edition of the Workers’ Day celebration was held at the main bowl of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan where the workers from both the public and private sectors converged to savour the joy of the occasion through match past and other activities.

Ajimobi, while delivering his address said that all parents across the country must be worried by the state of the girls, adding that we must all join hands in prayers to get them off the hook. The governor also promised that the enhanced salary package currently being demanded by the civil servants in the state would be ad-

dressed before the end of May. He said that already, a committee comprising both government representatives and labour had been constituted to work on the enhanced pay, adding that as soon as the committee submitted its report, the recommendations would be implemented with immediate effect.

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Katsina NLC laments delay in gratuity payment James Danjuma KATSINA

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he Katsina State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday expressed concern over delay in payment of gratuity to retired civil servants in the state. The state chairman of NLC, Comrade Aliyu Matazu in his address during the May Day celebration, said the delay was inflicting hardship on retirees who had put in their best in the development of the state. Matazu said the state chapter of the NLC feels that issue of gratuity pay-

ment among other benefits to retirees must be considered as an obligation of government and not as liability, with call on state government to promptly address the issue. He also frowned at the state government’s inability to employ fresh graduates into the state’s civil service to replace those that had retired, adding that such action could have consequences in the future. He said because of the problem, the state civil service was emaciating such that it is becoming predictable that in the next few years, the service would face problem of “delivery incapacitation.”

Uduaghan assures workers of improved welfare package

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Physically-challenged persons marching during the 2014 May Day celebration in Abuja, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

Labour warns Abia govt over unpaid salaries, pension George Opara ABIA

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he Chairman, Abia State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade S.O. Eyeh has said that organised labour would rise against anybody who tries to send workers back to the dark ages of arrears of salary, allowances, pension and gratuity in the state. This statement was

made yesterday at Ibeku High school, Umuahia, venue of the 2014 workers’ May Day celebration. Eyeh in his address chronicled the problems of labour to include; irregular payment primary and post primary school teachers’ salaries, leave and minimum wages arrears. Apart from teachers, he said some workers in the Teaching Hospital, health

workers in the local governments and pensioners were being owed. He also added that some workers in the state are not being paid the approved minimum wages, he therefore urged the state governor to ensure fairness and accommodate all workers in the payment of overtime to deserving workers. In his reaction, the state governor, Theodore

Orji said he was aware that some teachers’ salaries are paid in arrears, including that of health workers and the Project Implementation Units, PIU, but assured the affected workers that government was working hard to clear all the backlog of arrears and promised to pay the legal minimum wage to all parastatals not captured during implementation.

elta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has assured workers in the state of improved welfare, better working conditions and extra pay at the end of the year to enable them meet the financial strains during the yuletide season. Giving the assurance on Thursday at the 2014 Workers’ Day celebration in Asaba, Uduaghan said that workers deserved to be motivated and appreciated for the roles they are playing in ensuring increased productivity, stable government and

Enugu workers demand wage increase Dennis Agbo ENUGU

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orkers in Enugu State yesterday demanded an increase in their salaries, saying it would cushion the effects of present economic realities. This is as the state government assured of con-

Sacked Abia workers disrupt celebration in Owerri Chris Njoku OWERRI

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he 2014 worker’s Day celebration yesterday turned sour in Imo State when indigenes of the state who were disengaged from the Abia State public and civil service stormed the venue of the ceremony in red attires disrupting the event.

While passionately pleading with Governor Rochas Okorocha to come over to help them, the retrenched workers numbering I, 624 chanting solidarity songs with placards depicting their predicament regretted that while repeated representations and entreaties to the state government to engage them in service had proved abortive, a number of their

colleagues had died of starvation and hardship as result of no means of livelihood. Mrs. Angela Madu Okoli coordinator for Aba zone who spoke jointly with her Umuahia zone counterpart Mr. Peter Oluigbo told reporters in tears that “when a child is beaten by another person for no cogent reasons, the child usually runs to his father for quick interven-

tion”, but regretted that none of those callously sacked by the Abia State Government had been paid a kobo till date. They dismissed claim by the Abia State Government of having directed those still interested in their job to reapply for possible reinstatement, insisting that none of those who had since complied with that directive had regained their job. “We are to tell our

virile economy. He added that the extra pay package, which will be the first of its kind in the state, was to encourage them to always put in their best, emphasising, “Let me assure the workers that at the end of the year, we will work out something extra, definitely, there will be extra payment for the workers.” He acknowledged that unemployment has become a global phenomenon, explaining that leaders of countries have been forced to resign because of their inability to tackle unemployment.

own governor that we are still suffering without job and for now we neither belong to Imo nor to Abia State”. Governor Rochas Okorocha who later addressed the workers sympathised with those wrongly sacked by his Abia State counterpart and pleaded with him to reconsider his decision in the interest of Igbo unity, solidarity and ones.

tinous partnership with workers to achieve the objectives of government and move the state forward. They also said that the increase has become necessary following the recent hike in the cost of petrol. In a speech presented during the 2014 Workers Day Celebration, state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC, Chief Chumaife Nze, urged the state government to provide the workers with necessary incentives to promote productivity including car loans, computers and insurance schemes. The labour requested the payment of arrears of April and May 2011 salaries to health workers as well as September salaries to civil servants in the state.


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Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

MAY DAY CELEBRATION

Bauchi NLC decries insecurity, unemployment EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

A Senior Special Adviser to the President on Youth and Students Affairs, Comrade Jude Imagwe; celebrant, National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC,Otunba Gani Adams; his wife, Erelu Mokisola and a renowned economist, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, during the 44th birthday celebration of Adams in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

NLC slams SUBEB over Kogi primary schools’ crisis WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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ogi State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has said that bureaucratic bottlenecks created by the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, are frustrating the genuine efforts of the state government to change the fortunes of basic education in the state. The NLC also appealed to the state governor to rescue

primary school teachers from the ‘maladministration’ of the SUBEB management, which is owing primary school teachers over three months salaries. State Chairman of NLC in Kogi State, Comrade James Odaudu, who made the condemnation while addressing workers on May Day celebration at the Lokoja Township Stadium, stated that the primary school teachers are at the receiving end of the bottlenecks. The Congress also called

on Governor Idris Wada to put all the machineries in place for the implementation of the 100 per cent minimum wage for the primary school teachers, in keeping the agreement entered into with the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in 2013, without further delay. The teachers, decked in black attires and carrying placards, called on the state government to honour its promises. Some the placards read: ‘No Teachers, No Na-

tion’, ‘Pay Us Our Salary’, ‘Enough is Enough of SUBEB’. Governor Wada, who represented by the state Head of Service, Dr. Moses Atakpa, felicitated with workers on the May Day celebration. He commended the workers for their unflinching support to his administration in the past. The governor pledged to look into the various issues raised by the workers.

Workers walk out on Suswam HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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overnor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State yesterday at the McCarthy Stadium in Makurdi at workers’ day rally got the unexpected as members of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC in the state walked out of the stadium while he was delivering his speech. Suswam, who had made

passionate plea to the civil servants to slash down between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of their pay, depending on their grade levels, was surprised at the turn of events. He had urged those on Grade Level 07 and above to give up 10 per cent, while political office holders were mandated to part with 25 per cent of their emoluments. The governor said the deductions became necessary to enable the state

government clear the backlog of arrears of primary school teachers on the new minimum wage in the state which had foot dragged and led to a six-month strike. Suswam emphasised the need for every stakeholder to assist the administration towards finding an amicable resolution to the plight of primary school teachers, with view to calling off the strike. The state NLC Chair-

man, Comrade Simon Anchaver, who spoke on behalf of civil servants, had turned down the request, saying that the decision was unacceptable. He said that as much as they were considerate on the plight of their colleagues in the NUT, there was nothing they could do to mitigate their condition. Anchaver expressed dismay that the issue was yet to be resolved.

KADUNA

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he Kaduna State chapters of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, yesterday celebrated this year’s Workers’ Day on a low-key note due to the insecurity in the countery. Addressing the workers at NLC Secretariat along

Yakubu Gowon Way, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero prayed that God should expose the abductors of Chibok school girls, stressing that the present security challenges would soon be thing of the past. Yero, who spoke through the Head of Service, HoS, Mr. Akila Dutse Bungon, called on workers to remain committed in service delivery for the government

to provide dividends of democracy. Earlier, state NLC Chairman, Comrade Adamu Ango, urged Nigerians to pray for sustainable peace in the state and country in general, noting that insurgency had claimed the life of many workers. His words: “We decide to celebrate this year’s May Day low-keyed due to the prevailing circumstances we find ourselves security-wise.

Obiano calls for hard work CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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overnor Willie Obiano has charged workers in Anambra State to champion the gospel of hard work at their various places of assignment. He stated that the dream of achieving a better Anambra can only be realised faster if everybody works hard and together as a team. Speaking during the May Day rally held at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka yesterday, the governor told the workers that the lot falls on them to rekindle the civil service. He warned that the government would not tolerate any practice that could slow

“As such, we invited clergymen from the two faiths, Islam and Christianity, to pray for sustainable peace and unity of Nigeria and Kaduna State in particular. “Our country is bedeviled by insecurity, to the extent that our schools are not left out. So, we need to put all hands on deck and work and pray fervently to bring back the peace we know years back.”

down the renewed move to create a better Anambra State. The governor had on the occasion announced that he was committed to the welfare of workers. Unfolding the welfare packages he was planning for the workers, Obiano said: “We have commenced a review of the civil service, with a view to ensuring that some of the things you have long been hoping for will soon come to pass. “We shall look into promotion, confirmation and other incentives that will enhance your productivity. We shall also look into the need for training and other capacity-building programmes that will position the civil service to drive the change we envisage.”

Kwara youths protest WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

Low-key celebration in Kaduna AZA MSUE

s Nigerians celebrate the 33rd edition of Workers’ Day’, the Bauchi State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has decried the growing spate of bombing and kidnapping in the country. It called on security agents to double their efforts and fish the perpetrators of the dastardly acts. The NLC also urged the Federal Government to wake-up to its responsibilities and address the challenges of insecurity bedeviling the North-East region before it goes out of hand.

State NLC Chairman, Comrade Hasimu Gital, who threw the challenge during the Workers’ Day celebration entitled “Building Enduring Peace and Unity for National Development”, at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi, lamented that the issue of insurgency, kidnapping and killing of innocent citizens has continued to dominate the lives of the people living in the North and nothing is being done to avert the ugly situation. Labour also expressed concern over the high rate of unemployment in the country, saying that over 25 per cent of the population are unemployed.

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group, Coaltion of Civil Societies Organisation, CCS0, at the May Day rally in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday protested against what it called Federal Government’s innability to rescue the abducted Chibok school girls. Led by Shuaib Fari and Basanbe Abubakar, they carried placards with inscriptions like: ‘Mr. President, Where are Chibok Girls?’; ‘Rescue

Our Sisters Please’; ‘Nigerian Youths Are Jobless’; ‘Where is the Missing NNPC Money?’, among others. Speaking with National Mirror, Fari said they needed to put the coalition together as a way of joining their voices with others on the state of the nation. Speaking at the event, the Trade Union Congress, TUC Chairman, Comrade Kolawole Olumo, said all is well between the union and the state government, praising Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed for the feat.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, May 2, 2014

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South West

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Man kills lover in Ondo over infidelity HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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middle age man, Ayorinde Igbasan was alleged to have stabbed his girlfriend, Tope Ajibade to death in Okitipupa, in

Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State. According to an eye witness, the two lovers were engaged in hot argument on Monday afternoon over what Igbasan termed as infidelity on the part of the lady, saying that the 17

Cult clash claims four in Ogun •as five gang-rape 21-year-old girl FEMI OYEWESO BEOKUTA

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renew cult clash between members of rival cult groups yesterday claimed the lives of four suspected cultists in Ijebu Ode in Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. This is coming just as another set of five men gang -rapped a 21 –year- old girl Wednesday evening while celebrating the birthday of her boyfriend in an hotel in Sagamu township of the state. National Mirror reliably gathered that the clash occurred between members of the Aiye cult group and their rival group Eiye where the cultists took advantage of the crisis to loot shops and kiosks within the town. Two people were allegedly shot dead at Olisa street. It was further gathered that yesterday’s attack was a reprisal attack from the Eiye cult group who were revenging the killings of two of their members last

weekend. Hell was however, let loose as the two groups engaged themselves in a shootout at Joke street, beside Ijebu Ode Grammar School, off Abeokuta road. It was further gathered that residents and shop owners ran helter-skelter for safety thereby giving the boys opportunity to loot shops around the area. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi told National Mirror that the cultist only killed one man late Wednesday evening at Mobalufon area kf Ijebu -Ode. Adejobi said the cultists entered into the house where the yet to be identified man was residing, headed straight for his bedroom and shot him severally to ensure that he died before leaving the room. PPRO added that the police had a strong belief that the deceased was a member of a rival cult group going by the way and manner the assailants operated.

year old Tope was double dating despite all his financial investment on the young lady. The witness said that Igbasan, a motorcycle rider popular called ‘okada’ accused his girlfriend of double dating which led to a heated argument between them consequent which Tope was stabbed

ADO EKITI

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olytechnic workers across the country have called for the removal of the supervising Minister for Education, Nyesom Wike, over the protracted strike which has paralysed academic and other activities in the country’s polytechnics. The workers, under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, said the minister’s inaction had

contributed to the lingering strike, they therefore called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to dialogue with unions in the polytechnic sector. SSANIP National Secretary, Monday Jegede, in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday, condemned the disruption by the police in Abuja on Tuesday of the peaceful protest embarked upon by lecturers of polytechnics and colleges of education. Jegede, who berated the Federal Government over

firmed the development. Ogodo said the incident occurred around Ayeka quarters in Okitipupa and that the young man attempted to kill himself after killing the lady. He said that after the incident, the two lovers were taken to a specialist hospital in Okitipupa where the young lady was

confirmed dead. He however added the young man was still unconscious but responding to treatment The PPRO however said the suspect has been transferred to Ondo State Trauma Center in Ondo town for further treatment while preliminary investigation is in progress.

Insecurity: Religious group asks govt to act fast SAIDAT ALAUSA

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igerian Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, NCAL, has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency act fast to permanently find solutions to the security problem confronting the country. The President of the association, Pastor Wale Adefarasin made the call in Lagos at a press conference to address the state of the nation organised by the group. The association which comprises of Apostolic leaders also expressed sadness at the abduction of over 200 girls from their dormitories at the Federal Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State. “We cannot even imagine what the parents of these young girls are going through, they have sacrifice to send their children to school only for terrorists to abduct them in the middle of the night and takes them to an unknown place,” he said. He also appealed to the government to make it top

Polytechnic workers demand removal of education minister ABIODUN NEJO

in the process. He added that igbasan also attempted to kill himself after noticing that the girl has gave up the ghost, but was rushed to the hospital where he is currently receiving treatment. Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of the Ondo State Command, Wole Ogodo con-

refusal to dialogue with the polytechnic lecturers under the aegis of Academic Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, said the peaceful protest was to bring the issue to the attention of the citizenry. According to him, we in SSANIP only suspended our strike to give room for the Federal Government to look into the lingering crisis in this sector. However, up till date, government through the Ministry of Education has failed to resolve the crisis”.

priority to find those girls and return them safely, “We want to ask the government to ensure that this type of incidence does not reoccur.” He added, “This is the third time students are being attacked at their schools, the boys has been killed and on previous occasions number of girls are abducted and we taught that after that second time, things will change, but here we have a larger scale.” Adefarasin also said the nation should set pride aside and appeal to any

nation that can help the country with intelligence as to where these girls has been taken. Commiserating with the parents of the abducted children, the pastor said they will continue to pray for them that their children will come home safely and the trauma of what they have been through God will soothe. “But we must put our foot down and say that this sought of incidence must not reoccur.” On the ongoing national conference, he said it is critical to the future destiny of our nation and he

believed that a lot of the issues that have plagued our nation such as corruption can be resolved, however, according to him; the progress of the confab has not been favourable. He therefore appealed to all delegates to recognise that the weight on their shoulders will determine the next generations’ future, thereby they must act with maturity and set aside tribal and personal interest and to put the interest of Nigerians before every other interest in order to achieve what the conference is meant for.

TThe he tr true rue sstory sto to off Ngozi Nwosu’s sickness ... Started as pi pile ... Nigerian doctors made condition worse

During sickness

Before sickness

Amaka Igwe is not dead

–Charles Novia

Desperation?

Niyola

goes nude You don’t need juju to make itt in in m mus mu music usic ic

Breakup gimmick? FFans ans an angry angrr y wi with ith

P-Square –Djinee ... they ey sshould hould aapologise polog to us x e hilariious sex se quotes S alk More hilarious T

This column is x-rated


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South East

Friday, May 2 , 2014

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News Amaechi flays Labour’s silence over missing $20bn • May Day: Protesters bar Fashola from taking salute TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE AND DENNIS NAKU

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overnor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State yesterday criticised labour unions for refusing to take any action over the rising corruption in the country, especially the missing $20bn oil money. He delivered the admonition while addressing workers at the May Day celebration in Port Harcourt, saying rather than take to streets over the missing funds, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, were “fraternising and enjoying with politicians”. It would be recalled that former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had alleged that $20bn was missing from the nation’s coffers. Amaechi pointed out that labour cannot feign ignorance of the numerous problems facing the nation, saying that the bodies had decided not to act even when it was in a position to proffer solution to the country’ s challenges. The governor stated that the missing $20bn (N8 trn) could have been used to build quality infrastructure like hospitals and schools, as well as engage unemployed Nigerians. Amaechi said that criminal activities like kidnapping could be traceable to poverty in the land, even as he frowned that labour unions and students had maintained a studied silence over such burning issue, even when few people have continued to steal monies belonging to Nigerians. He recalled the role the NLC and TUC played during the military regime of the late General Sani Abacha, lamenting why such a spirit was lacking in present day labour movement. Amaechi stated that hunger and poverty were responsible for the existence of Boko Haram and other forms of violence in Nigeria, adding that not much has been done to ensure

that school girls abducted by Boko Haram were rescued. Speaking earlier, the State TUC Chairman, Mr. Chika Onuegbu, called on the National Assembly to make laws that would allow states to own their own police to make for effective policing of communities. In Lagos, workers yesterday protested on May Day, barring Governor Babatunde Fashola from taking the salute for the usual workers’ parade. The protesters, in their hundreds, including members of the Joint Action Front (JAF); the Lagos State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and its Senior Staff Association (SSANU) counterpart, as well as Seun AnikulapoKuti’s-led Movement for Change, a non-government body, among others, barred the governor as a way of showing their dissatisfaction over the hike in fees by the state-owned Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo. They insisted that the governor should announce at the forum a total reversal of the new fees, which they said was beyond the reach of the average families. The Deputy Chairman of JAF, Mr. Achike Chude, said the prevailing social problems in the country for instance, had left over 20m able-bodied young Nigerians idle and almost erased the middle class hierarchy from the country’s population. The Secretary General of the group, Abiodun Aremu, who forcefully mounted the podium to address the crowd, challenged any worker in attendance who could afford the increased fees without stealing government money to come out. He said it was the right of workers to gain promotion when due for promotion and that the policy of “no vacancy, no promotion” in LASU is anti-workers, among other issues. But Fashola in his response earlier to the workers’ agitations, had described the protesters as being sponsored, saying, it was irresponsible.

Head of Service, Anambra State, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke; Governor Willie Obiano, and his Chief of Staff, Prof. Joe Asike, at the May Day celebration in Awka, yesterday.

Onitsha market raided over fake products CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he gubernatorial candidate of Peoples Progressive Alliance, PPA, during the November 2013 Anambra governorship election, Chief Godwin Ezeemo and two American industrialists assisted by security operatives, yesterday took the battle against products’ faking to the tools section of the Head Bridge Market, Onitsha. There they moved from one shop to another inspecting Blount International products and searching for marketers of fake Carlton chainsaw. The development comes at a time the Managing Director, European Opera-

tions, Blount International, an American company, Marnix Kuypers and Simon Pears, the European Sales Manager of the company that manufactures Carlton chainsaw have passed confidence in the Nigeria economy, which they rated high. Ezeemo, an industrialist and Managing Director of Sokka International, the sole distributor of Carlton Chainsaw in Nigeria and his team, accompanied by security operatives, inspected lines of Sokka products like Carlton chainsaw and accessories in about fifty shops belonging to accredited dealers who were asked questions about the

genuineness of the product they were selling and its performance in the market. Although the team made a lot of findings about how traders were procuring and selling fake products to their unsuspecting customers, they warned the traders to desist from their illegal action as those caught next time would be punished severely, including having their goods confiscated. Addressing the traders on the import their visit to the market, Pears, flanked by Kuypers and Ezeemo, said, “We came here to understand the dynamics of the market and how our product is doing here and

see what we need to improve it.” He stated that the Nigerian economy is very good, with lots of potentials for investors and urged the traders to always insist on buying genuine Carlton products. Pears added that efforts had been made to produce high quality products. On his part, Ezeemo assured the traders that the Carlton chainsaw being distributed by his company had been appropriately branded to distinguish the genuine one from the fake. He warned the traders that another serious raid would be made to clear the market of all fakes.

Imo police deny explosion by Boko Haram CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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mo State Commissioner of Police, Abdulmajid Ali, yesterday denied a report that linked a tanker explosion in the state to the activities of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram. A tanker explosion occurred state around Control Post, along Owerri–Onitsha Road recently, which sent jitters into the spines of residents and motorists. It was gathered that unknown persons believed to be members of Boko Haram who were rumoured to have

infiltrated the state were behind the explosion. But addressing journalists yesterday, at a quarterly briefing at the state police command headquarters in

Owerri, the commissioner said it was not true that the Boko Haram was responsible for the blast. He also said that a cripple arrested near the scene had

PUBLIC NOTICE FIRST STAR YOUTH CLUB OF NIGERIA

Notice is hereby given to the general public that the above named Club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under Part ‘ C ‘ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Ogbu Chukwuma Onwe Francis Nwankwo Emmanuel Asogwa Emeka Ugboaja Ifeanyi Achioko Victor

-

National Chairman Secretary Branch Chairman Member Member Member

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To build up youths in different professions. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: TRUSTEES

nothing to do with the incident. “A cripple was arrested, but there was no connection between the cripple and tanker that exploded.”

PUBLIC NOTICE MISSING DOCUMENT

The general public is hereby noti¿ed of the loss of the Original Deed of Assignment dated the 13th day of February, 2013 and registered as 15/15/2417 at the Lands Registry, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos belonging to CHIEF LUCK TORITSE EREKU. The public is hereby warned against dealing with anybody who is in possession of the said missing document. SIGNED: EMMANUEL O. ANOKA & CO. SOLICITORS & ADVOCATES 65, ERIC MANUEL CRESCENT, SURULERE, LAGOS.


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South South

Friday May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Fresh crisis looms over $16bn Warri EPZ project THEOPHILUS ONOJEGHEN WARRI

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head of President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Delta State for the foundation lay-

ing ceremony of the $16bn Export Processing Zone, EPZ, next week, Ijaw group, the Gbaramatu Peace Guardian, GPG, has accused Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of priming the Itsekiri as the only hosts,

instead of the Niger Delta people the project was designed for. Addressing newsmen yesterday in Warri, the group’s Financial Secretary, Newton Mala, said if caution is thrown to the

wind, the handling of the project could ignite another avoidable communal crisis among the ethnic groups. Mala added that it was also capable of visiting the Ijaw nation with avoidable internal gun-battles and

bloodletting recently experienced in the Ugborodo axis of the Itsekiri nation due to alleged leadership imposition from government quarters. According to him, the manner the state government was handling the interface committee on the Escravos Gas Export Processing Zone, EPZ project, was capable of undermining accruable gains and the interest of the Ijaw people in the state. President Goodluck Jonathan will visit Delta State on May 10 to, among other things, lay the foundation stone for the Marine School of Technology and Escravos Gas Export Processing Zone in Warri South West Local Govern-

ment Area. Mala said: “A naming that gives the site that bestrides more than one ethnic territory and local government area in Delta State to one ethnic place may cause crises now or later. “Proper consultation is necessary so that we don’t sow seeds of discord for our generations unborn.” He alleged that while Governor Uduaghan would soon inaugurate the Ugborodo/Itsekiri Interface Committee to liaise with investors in the EPZ project, no similar inauguration plans was being planned for the Mr. William Tortor/Chief Godspower Gbenekama-led Gbaramatu/Ijaw Interface Committee and others.

Akwa Ibom to enact new pension law

L – R: Paramount ruler of Ada-ama community, Twon-Brass, His Highness, Serena Dokubo-Spiff; grandson of the late African icon, Nelson Mandela and UN AIDS Ambassador, Ndaba Mandela; Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, and the Deputy Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Chief Victor Sam Ateki, during a cocktail party in honour of delegates of the International Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises in Yenagoa, yesterday,

Bayelsa police nab 2 over fake police recruitment forms DENNIS NAKU

PORT HARCOURT

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he Police in Bayelsa State yesterday arrested two persons over alleged sales of fake cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP and Inspectors’ forms. The suspects were arrested during a raid by special detectives attached to the Conflict Resolution Section of the state police command. Parading the suspects before newsmen in Yena-

goa, the capital, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, said the police, acting on a tip-off, swooped on the suspects at a cybercafé. He gave the names of the suspects as Urhiewu James, a graduate of the Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University, NDU, Wilberforce Island in Amassoma, and the manager of the internet centre, Adonai Cafe and his partner, Mathew Oluwafemi Saliu. Akhigbe disclosed that the suspects were in pos-

session of completed forms and the sum of N2,000 allegedly collected from an unsuspecting candidate and a Police Service Commission notice of application when they were arrested. According to him, “On the 24th of April, at about 4.35pm,detectives from the Conflict Resolution Section, following a tip-off, swooped on Adonai Cyber Cafe located at No.820,Melford Okilo Road, Etegwe in Yenagoa and arrested one Mathew OluwaFemi Sa-

liu, Urhiewu James and the operator of the cafe.” The PPRO said the security outfit acted on information it received two months ago that some unscrupulous elements in the state were selling fake cadet ASP and Inspector forms to unsuspecting members of the public. He said the suspects would be charged to court and warned criminals in the state to desist from such acts or be ready to face the wrath of the law.

Sylva slams ex-deputy, 68 others over utterances at PDP rally DENNIS NAKU

PORT HARCOURT

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mmediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday berated his erstwhile deputy, Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu and 68 former aides, over claims that he was on his own for dumping the People’s Democratic Party, PDP for the All Progressives Congress, APC. He said the public declaration by his ex-aides does not have any bearing on the APC’s determination to take over the gov-

ernorship position of the state in 2016. It would be recalled that Sylva’s former deputy, Seibarugu, had led no fewer than 68 erstwhile aides of his former boss to declare at a rally in Yenagoa on Wednesday that they were still members of the PDP, saying, “We did not move to the APC with anyone. We remain bona fide members of the PDP and are committed to ensuring that the PDP wins election at all levels of the state.” This is as the state APC Chairman, Chief Tiwei

Orunimigha, said the decision of Sylva’s former deputy and 68 ex-aides to remain in the PDP was a deliberate use of the name of the former governor to negotiate for space and position at the state and national levels. Sylva, in a statement issued and signed by his Media Adviser, Doifie Buokoribo, described the claim by his former deputy and other aides as spurious, saying those who decamped were never members of the APC. The statement read: “Sylva wishes to make it

clear that the said members of EBGOF were never members of APC in Bayelsa State – as they even confirmed in their own letter. “In the APC equation, in particular, and in the politics of Bayelsa State and Nigeria in general, the group is of no consequence – collectively and severally. “The reference to Sylva in the said letter by the group was in very poor taste, as they have been on their own since he left office on 27 January, 2012.

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he Akwa Ibom State Government is to enact a law to cater for Contributory Pension Scheme for civil servants. Governor Godswill Akpabio, who announced yesterday during the celebration of 2014 Workers’ Day at Uyo Sports Stadium, said he would inform the AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice to draft and send the law to the State House of Assembly for deliberation and approval. Akpabio said: “I am proud of the cordial relationship existing between our administration and the workers. Your narrative has been that I am the most worker-friendly governor in our country. But what did you expect when you elected a worker a governor? “This has been a government of workers, for workers and by workers. The age-long tradition of the celebration of the Workers’ Day is an acknowledgement of the achievements and accomplishments of workers. “These achievements and accomplishments would not have been possible without a strong sense of solidarity. As a worker, I believe that solidarity is thicker than politics. “I am, therefore, not surprised that as the governor of our dear state, I have enjoyed your solidarity and have succeeded because of your solidarity.” Akpabio added: “It is with that sense of solidarity that I consider the choice

of the theme, ‘Building Enduring Peace and Unity: Panacea for Sustainable National Development’ apt and timely. “Peace and unity are the substructure which support any developmental efforts depend on. Those who sow the seeds of discord and insecurity stifle development and progress in our society. “It is our civic duty, therefore, to support the determined efforts of our president to stamp out these twin evils from our society,” the governor stated. His words: “Comrades, I regret to inform you that as we stand poised to choose our leaders in upcoming elections, the forces of evil have lately mounted an assault on our peace and unity as a state. “Let us hope that this theme would, hopefully, help to steer them in the right path by letting them know that the only panacea to our sustainable development is peace and unity. “Let us note that after this Workers’ Day, the next Workers’ Day would be on the first day of the month that our tenure will end, and we will come to the end of this thrilling and successful experiment in transformational governance. “On that next Workers’ Day, we would have completed the elections and would be preparing for the swearing-in of your next governor,” Akpabio stated.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Confab: Delegates have a duty not to fail Nigerians -Col. Dungs

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

Proponents of Muslim/ Muslim ticket falsehood’re afraid of APC –Boroffice

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Omisore warns APC against violence BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in the August 9 governorship poll in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, yesterday assured that his party would achieve total reconciliation, just as he warned the All Progressives Congress, APC,

•Says PDP will achieve total reconciliation against acts that can jeopardise peace in the state. Omisore, while addressing supporters that stormed the state secretariat of the PDP in Osogbo yesterday during his presentation as the party’s candidate to members of the party, said the PDP will not relent until the leadership of Independent National Electoral

Commission, INEC, transfer the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Amb. Rufus Akeju, insisting that he was incapable of conducting a free and fair election. He said the antecedent of the ruling party in the state has made PDP realised the need for it to be vigilant, saying his party

has uncovered the plan by APC to rig the forthcoming poll and cause mayhem in some parts of the state. Contending that his party will not allow the APC to exploit the perceived misgiving with some leaders of the PDP after the primaries to weaken it, Omisore declared that all aggrieved members will be brought back into the

Osun State PDP gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Iyiola Omisore (left) with the chairman, Osun State Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Elijah Ogundiya in Osogbo, yesterday.

2015: Akwara joins Delta guber race THEOPHILUS ONOJEGHEN WARRI

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former Medical Director of Sapele Central Hospital and a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Dr John Ewere Akwara, has declared his intention to run for the governorship election in the state come 2015. Dr Akwara disclosed this, before top political leaders during a visit to his maternal home, Agbor-Obi in Ika ethnic nationality. While soliciting the support of the people of the Ika nation, he noted that his desire to run was borne out of the will to offer effective representation to the generality of Delta people, saying that h e was very confident to take over from Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2015. He claimed that no one can be more Deltan than him,

adding that he hails from the three senatorial districts of the state which qualifies him as the best man for the job. He said he is maternally from Agbor in Ika South Local Government Area Delta Central while his father is from Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area in Delta North while he is married to an Isoko woman in Delta South of the state. While promising to consolidate on the achievements of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, he appeals to the people of the state to invest their votes and belief in him as the next governor come 2015. He appealed to other aspirants from the area to join forces with him to present a common front, as he is the best man for the job. While welcoming him to the family compound in Agbor –Obi, a political leader in the area, Barr

Igbazu described Akwara as a political institution in Nigeria and an ardent believer in the policies and programme of the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Igbazu called on the people of Delta North to unite and speak with one voice and resist any political arrangement that will deter the area from getting the governorship ticket in 2015.

Atiku hails historic emergence of woman APC chair OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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ormer Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar has commended the peaceful conduct of the just-concluded congress of the APC in his native Adamawa State, describing the emergence of Hon. Binta Masi Garba as the first-ever female elected state patrty chairperson as “historic and exemplary.” Expressing confidence in Hon. Garba’s ability to

lead the party to total victory in all future elections in Adamawa State, he also congratulated all those who emerged in the process, adding: “The party is assured of my total support until we win all our elections.” The former Vice President commended the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako and other leaders of the party for the high level of accommodation and the spirit of giveand-take that characterised the horse-trading leading to the emergence of the new state executive, saying: “All is well, that ends well.”

fold, charging PDP members to make friends with supporters of the ruling party and make them realise the need for change of government on August 9. Commenting on the “rig and roast” comment credited to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Omisore, warned the APC national leader about acts capable of creating chaos, saying anyone caught perpetrating violence will be dealt with by the law enforcement agents irrespective of his or her class or status. While urging PDP members to take the next gubernatorial election with all seriousness, Omisore said the poll would be a serious battle between the APC and PDP. Reacting, the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, APC, in Osun State, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi in a statement issued in Osogbo yesterday said: “At last, Omi-

sore let the cat out of the bag. It is no secret anymore that the PDP at the very highest level has, in Omisore’s own words, ‘concluded arrangement to remove Ogbeni Aregbesola from office’, making the PDP participation in election itself only a sadistic formality. He said Omisore’s declaration that the next election was a war confirmed what the Vice President has said earlier, adding: “Is this a man who want to rule Osun or who wants to destroy it? As far as we in the APC are concerned, these statements credited to Omisore are rantings of a drunken man.”

Give Lagos special status recognition, LG boss tells FG EMMANUEL EGHAGHE

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hairman of Yaba Local Council Development, Hon Jide Jimoh has reiterated the need for Lagos State to be accorded special status by the Federal Government. He disclosed this recently when the representatives of United States Consulate in Nigeria and members of United States Army paid a courtesy visit to the LCDA headquarters in Yaba. Describing Lagos state as the commercial heart of the nation which qualifies it to enjoy a special status fund to enable it effectively deliver its potentials, Jimoh said: “Lagos has been denied of everything by the Federal Government. As the commercial nerve centre of the country, the Federal Government has not been giving recognition to Lagos as a mega city. What

will make Lagos State better is a special status because it is the nation’s commercial heart.” US Consulate in Nigeria, represented by Sean Hays, said the visit was part of on-going efforts to study the mega city status of Lagos State. He added: “Yaba LCDA is chosen in the quest of United States Army to build engagements with various governments and institutions.” Meanwhile, Hon Jimoh has also appealed to the Federal Government not to play politics with the security of the nation, but to consider the need for state police, saying: “This will assist us to tackle the myriads of security challenges confronting the nation. The United State whose presidential system of government we copy has state police, as well as community police while Nigeria does not.”


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Politics

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Confab: Delegates have a duty not to fail Nigerians -Col. Dungs Nigerians have high expectations from the ongoing national conference to fix the myriad of problems bedevilling the country. From the way things are going at the confab, would you say it has been so far so good? Let me begin by saying that the ongoing national conference was long overdue. Whatever name it is called, whether national or sovereign, it is important to recognise that Nigerians actually needed a platform with which to ventilate their grievances and anger which have for long been bottled up. There is no denying the fact that so many problems have bedevilled the Nigerian nation, with virtually everyone in the union complaining of injustice and all that. No one seems to be comfortable with the system as presently constituted. So it is a good thing that a platform in the name of national dialogue has been provided, which I believe will afford Nigerians the opportunity to discuss their problems so that we can move forward as a nation. I wouldn’t say the delegates have performed to the expectations of Nigerians 100 per cent, but I think I would rate them above. Initially, they were faced with logistics problems which seem to have been sorted out. They also have resolved the issue of modalities of agreement and now they are settling down in groups and committees so as to look at specific national issues that have been identified. Some Nigerians have also identified some of the critical issues and sent to the secretariat and group them for deliberation. I think it has been so far so good.

Do you have any fears about the conference? There is nothing to fear because there is no basis for that. The delegates are on a noble assignment to find a common platform to move the country forward. They owe Nigerians a duty not to fail. When I was going through the papers, I read that out of the 492 delegates, over 300 were interested in the restructuring of the political system in the country. And I quite agree with them that this country needs to be restructured politically. At the beginning, Mr President said that the indivisibility of the country is a no go area. While it is true that the indivisibility of the country should not be tampered with, there is the need for us to look at this union and enter into an agreement on how we should continue to live together in a manner that is mutually beneficial to all stakeholders. That is my point of departure from Mr President’s position If you were a delegate to the National Confab what would have been your proposal or contribution on national issues? As a delegate, one thing I will not fail to push for is political restructuring of this country, as I said earlier. For me, it is very important because politics has proved a major and enduring source of tension in the polity. Again what happened under the military regime where, local government and state creation was by fiat and not by asking the views of Nigerians and that created a lot of imbalances in the process. But now, we are in a democracy, let the people decide what they want and I wish the outcome will be subjected to a referendum before drawing conclusion on the whole matter. The Boko Haram insurgents have continued to terrorise Nigerians despite the efforts of government and other stakeholders to stem the tide. In your opinion, what do you think has not been done rightly? If you ask me, I will say that the present administration under President Goodluck Jonathan has been doing everything possible to stem the tide of terrorism in the country. When you look at the beginning of the problem, which started from the activities of political thuggery and eventually grew into Boko Haram, you will discover that it has a political undertone.

Col. John David Dungs, rtd, was military administrator of Delta State between 1996 and 1998. In this interview with JAMES ABRAHAM, he speaks on the ongoing national confab, the Boko Haram insurgency as well as who succeeds Governor Jonah Jang come 2015 and other issues. Excerpts:

What is your reaction to the concern that the continued onslaught against innocent citizens by Boko Haram, even with the deployment of soldiers to the troubled zones has exposed the weakness of the Nigerian military? It is actually a disturbing trend. Security agents seem to have been caught by the bug such that they are finding it difficult to be useful under the present situation like they used to be and this is quite unfortunate. Some of these religious fanatics have infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Sometimes, they want to carry out an operation only to find out that the information had been leaked to their targets. How did they get the information? You find out that things are becoming difficult for them. I reside in Plateau State. In one of the raids by gunmen, the ID card of serving military personnel was found at the scene of attack which suggests connivance between the attackers and security agents who are supposed to protect the people. I think the National Conference should look into the matter and proffer solution

Col. Dungs

WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT THE INDIVISIBILITY OF THE COUNTRY SHOULD NOT BE

TAMPERED WITH, THERE IS THE NEED FOR US TO LOOK AT THIS UNION AND ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT ON HOW WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO LIVE TOGETHER And if you have been following comments made by some leaders on this issue especially since President Jonathan was made candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2011, that they were going to make the country ungovernable for him, it is obvious that what is happening today in the country is a commitment to the condemnable declaration. Even of recent, some comments by some notable politicians including some governors have also continued to lend credence to the whole scenario. The herdsmen were never known to be carrying arms and killing people indiscriminately. We know them to be carrying sticks with one or two people with eighty to hundred herds of cattle to graze. But today, you see about 50 cattle being led by over a hundred heavily armed herdsmen. So, for me, they have formed themselves into a political wing of some sort, who wants to take over power in the country by all means and hold this country hostage in order to get power at the centre. You can see that their target now is in the Middle Belt. Why are they expanding their terror to this region? There are also signals that they will infiltrate South-West, South-East and South-South. What do we make out of this? If the financiers of Boko Haram are tracked, we can reduce or stop completely that insurgence in no distant future

There are speculations that you are oiling your political machinery towards the realisation of your ambition to rule the Plateau in 2015 All I am praying is that God should touch the heart of those who are aspiring to leadership position in 2015 to focus especially on the area of human capital development. To be honest with you, we have seen infrastructural development under Governor Jonah Jang’s administration, particularly in the area of road construction but the other aspect (human capital) also needs to be addressed. I am praying that God should direct Plateau people to make the right choice come 2015. Have abandoned your governorship ambition? I believe that governorship should be for the youth. Those of us that have passed the age of 60 should step aside and allow the younger generation who still have the energy and power to run around from village to village, local council to local council talking to the people, get to know about their problems in order to solve them, run for governor. That is governance. An older person won’t have the power to do such things because the stress will be so much on him. The three senatorial zones in Plateau are agitating to produce the next governor in 2015. In the spirit of fairness and equity, which zone should be allowed? For me, where you come from should not be a basis for deciding who becomes the next governor of the state. We are all Plateau people. We should rather be concerned more about somebody who has the ability to deliver the best goods; who is that person that will embrace everybody, irrespective of tribe or religion and other petty considerations so that we can develop the state together? I think that is what we should be looking at and not which zone should be allowed to produce the next governor. But unfortunately, we have found ourselves in this situation, where some people feel left out and are rooting for their turn. By the time we reduce the governorship to a particular zone, there is the danger for such zone to monopolise governance at the detriment of other stakeholders and this will not augur well for the development of the state. I think zoning should be de-emphasised.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, May 2, 2014

Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice representing Ondo North senatorial district in the Senate. Speaks to OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU on the rumoured Muslim/Muslim ticket of his party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, the 2015 election and the ongoing National Conference among other national issues. Excerpts: There seem to be crisis in the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC. What are you and other stakeholders doing to stem the crisis? There is no crisis in Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC. We are about concluding the congresses. The one remaining is the state congress. It is true that some people are not happy with the outcome of the congress in their respective wards and local government areas. This is not peculiar to Ondo State. In any election those that are not favoured by the results are likely to be aggrieved. However the party has put in place a committee that will look into the grievances arising from the congresses. It is to our credit that over 95 per cent of the ward and local government congresses were by affirmation, thus showing that the party is united. How prepared is the APC for the 2015 general election, particularly in Ondo State, considering that it did not do well in the last bye election in Ilaje/ Ese-Odo federal constituency? I have said it several times that the APC will take over the Federal Government come 2015 and will control 26 states. Our showing in the Ilaje/Ese Odo federal constituency bye-election is nothing to worry about. You know that until now, the APC has no structure on ground both at the ward, local government and state levels, to mobilise for the election; therefore we are not perturbed by our showing in the election. In the last registration exercise of our party, the polling unit was the registration unit and there was no unit where less than 150 members were registered. In my own unit, we registered over 240. This is a unique innovation in grassroots mobilisation, knowing full well that the highest voters’ registration in any polling unit is 500. With the addition of independent voters and the large number of voters that will defect from Labour Party, LP and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, we are sure of landslide victory nationally in the 2015 general elections As an insider, there has been so much noise about the APC presenting a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket in Muhammadu Buhari/Bola Tinubu in 2015, how far is this true? About the Muslim/Muslim ticket, I think some people are bent on creating religious tension and exploit

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Proponents of Muslim/Muslim ticket falsehood’re afraid of APC –Boroffice We have seen the likes of Olisa Metuh in the past flogging a dead horse that would not run. Metuh knows that the horse he is backing is dying and will die eventually and that no amount of flogging will make it run. People like Metuh do not know the difference between politicking and libel. Going by his insinuation, the APC must be responsible for everything that is traumatising Nigerians like corruption in the oil sector, blackout in the major cities in Nigeria, youth unemployment, collapse of infrastructures and educational system, Boko Haram. etc. Metuh should plead with his master to give the required attention to the issue of security in Nigeria instead of polluting the air with his political noise all the time.

Boroffice

HOW CAN ANYBODY SAY THAT THE PARTY HAS DECIDED ON MUSLIM/MUSLIM TICKET? THE ORIGINATORS OF THIS FALSEHOOD ARE AFRAID OF APC AND ARE FLOATING THIS FALSEHOOD TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION

it for electoral victory. Nigerians are not fools. The Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act are clear on the selection of the presidential candidate and the running mate. The starting point is the invitation by the party to interested members to express interest. This very first step has not been announced by the APC. How can anybody say that the party has decided on Muslim/Muslim ticket? The originators of this falsehood are afraid of APC and are floating this falsehood to divert attention from the poor performance of this administration and the growing disillusionment of Nigerians with the ruling party. The APC will go through due process in selecting its presidential candidate and the running mate in accordance with the electoral law. I bet you it will come like a tsunamis that will devastate the ruling party. Is there any truth in the rumour making the rounds that the Speaker of the

House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal is being wooed to fly the APC presidential flag? I know that our party has thrown its door open to like minds to join in rescuing Nigeria from disaster. Every Tambuwal will be an asset and they are welcome to the party. If it requires additional efforts to bring them in to our fold it will be our pleasure to do so. That is predicated on the indication that their body language shows that their hearts are with us. There is an uneasy calm in the Senate over defection of some PDP senators to the APC, what exactly is the situation now? This matter is in court it is therefore not expedient to discuss it. How would you react to claims by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh that the opposition was responsible for Abuja bombing?

Two major challenges facing the nation today are corruption and insecurity. In your opinion, how do you think we can confront these challenges and overcome them? Corruption and insecurity are products of bad governance. The APC government will fight corruption, which is the bane of this administration. Corruption is like cancer if untreated at the early stage it will metastice to every organ and the prognosis is death. Corruption under this administration has eaten deep in to every sector and one of the manifestations is systemic failure as it is now in the intelligence and security sector. The APC administration will go into the roots of corruption in Nigeria and tackle it without fear. I am sure that APC will institute good governance when it comes into power in 2015. What are your thoughts on the ongoing National Conference, so far so good? The ongoing National Conference is diversionary and will not produce any meaningful result. Each participant at the end of the exercise will pocket N12 million. It looks like a political agency fees for participants who are expected to go back to their constituencies and campaign for President Goodluck Jonathan. It is expensive waste Do you think the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will deliver a credible free and fair election in 2015? Going by the antecedent of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, under Prof Attahiru Jega, the institution needs to go through spiritual and moral rebirth to conduct a free and fair election in 2015. INEC will come under severe pressure from the paymaster and will be compromised by saboteurs in the rank and file of the institution. If Jega is vigilant and transparent, we should have an election better than what we have ever had before.


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Editorial

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

CENTRE

KAFILAT OGBARA

„

MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO

BANKOLE MAKINDE

„

DEPUTY MD/CEO

SEYI FASUGBA

„

DAILY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

„

SATURDAY EDITOR

KAYODE FASUA

„

ACTING EDITOR, SUNDAY

AYO OLESIN

„

GENERAL EDITOR

BEN MEMULETIWON

„

GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

„

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

CALLISTUS OKE

„

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

„

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

„

REGIONAL DIRECTOR, S/SOUTH

KING ODODORU

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Nyako’s outburst on genocide condemnable T he recent outburst by the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, on the prevailing security situation in the country, has attracted widespread condemnation, even surprisingly from the northern part of the country. His unguarded remarks that President Goodluck Jonathan is perpetrating genocide against the North, among others, are not only uncouth and self-serving, they smack of irredentism and parochialism. Nyako was recently credited with accusing Jonathan of systematic pogrom against the North, a claim he likened to the genocide perpetrated against the Jews by the late German dictator, Adolf Hitler during World War II. Nyako said the purported annihilation of the North East geopolitical zone, especially, was being executed by the country’s armed forces; but willfully denied the existence of the Boko Haram Islamist sect, a deadly ‘jihadist’ group which has been waging an internecine war against the Nigerian state. The governor’s postulation is that Boko Haram’s existence is a ploy by the Federal Government to justify the continued mayhem and destruction of lives and property in the North. In a feisty letter to his northern colleagues,

he said the FG should be held responsible for the activities of the insurgents, including the reckless killings and kidnapping of school children in the zone. As sickening and unfortunate as the content of the letter may be, it is difficult to regard Nyako’s glib vituperations as mere political showmanship or the treatise of a frustrated and disconcerted mind. It is not unlikely that he was hired by faceless cowards to do the hatchet job. His inciting statement that the defunct Eastern Region has been actively supportive of the Jonathan administration, for example, demonstrated the extent of mischief this governor harbours against fellow Nigerians. If the comment is not an invitation to anarchy, what then would be? Indeed, the allegation of genocide and other comments credited to Nyako are grave and should not be swept under the rug. The fact that the expanded National Security Council (NSC), at its recent meeting in Abuja, chided Nyako over the comments is not enough. He should be compelled to provide proofs of his claims or apologise to Nigerians if he has none. It may rightly be stated that such unguarded utterances are contributing to the exacerbation of insurgency in the North East.

IT COULD NOT BE

TOTALLY RULED OUT

THAT NYAKO MIGHT

HAVE SPOKEN ON BEHALF OF SOME POWERFUL

FELLOWS UP NORTH Nyako claimed, for instance, that northerners now view the lingering insurgency as a plot to disenfranchise the zone in 2015 for the benefit of President Jonathan. We believe, on the contrary, that Nyako’s observations were largely speculative. The governor failed woefully to first distinguish between deliberate machinations against the people of North-East on the one hand, and failure of security, strategy and intelligence operations, on the other. And by dragging the January 1966 putsch into his argument and alleging that northern leaders are again being targeted, Nyako stretched political rhetoric too far and delved into a hate campaign that has the capacity to ignite grave sentiments and emotions capable of eroding even the scant national reconciliation the country has recorded after that coup and the countercoup of January 29, 1966, and the civil war (1967 – 1970) that trailed the military incursion

ON THIS DAY May 2, 1918 General Motors acquired the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware. General Motors Company is an American multinational automotive corporation with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, and the world’s largest automaker by vehicle unit sales in 2011. Chevrolet is also an American brand of vehicle produced by General Motors, but founded by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant on November 3, 1911.

Letters tothe theEditor Editor Letters to

May 2, 1998 The European Central Bank was founded in Brussels to define and execute the European Union’s monetary policy. It administers the monetary policy of the 17 EU Eurozone member states and is thus one of the world’s most important central banks. Its primary objective is to maintain price stability within the Eurozone, which is the same as keeping inflation low. The bank was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam of 1998.

into political power. In wanting to justify his claim, Nyako made a rather vague reference to some people outside the North East that are remote- controlling the Boko Haram. We demand that he makes their names public. If the North or any part of it is being unjustly targeted by ‘enemies’, Nyako as a member of the northern ruling class, should be able to publicly identify and confront the foes, not trading in frivolous statements. The country is no doubt passing through difficult times. The situation demands the intervention of stakeholders, who appreciate the need for peace, unity and progress, and sincerely seek same, not leaders who thrive on ethno-religious sentiments and emotions. In any case, it could not be totally ruled out that Nyako might have spoken on behalf of some powerful fellows up North. But his position as governor demands that he thinks before he speaks and not the other way round, even if he chooses to be an errand boy to his bosses. Any further unguarded utterances capable of eroding the confidence of the populace in the ability of the FG to fight insurgency and maintain peace in the country is unacceptable. The Nyakos in Nigeria should learn from history.

x May 2, 2012 A pastel version of The Scream, by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, sold for $120 million in a New York City, United States auction, setting a new world record for a work of art at auction. The Scream is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition created as both paintings and pastels by the Expressionist artist, Edvard Munch, between 1893 and 1910. ‘Der Schrei der Natur’ (The Scream of Nature) is the title Munch gave to the works.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Views

Friday, May 2, 2014

2015: Should Jonathan run? WALE AJAO

T

he recent diatribe between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is an evidence of the polarised views on the former’s second term bid. Those who argue that Jonathan should not run in 2015 because of an existing arrangement that has zoned the presidency to the North are merely reflecting the ethnic dimension of Nigerian politics. Over the years, political development in this country has been hindered by ethnicity and regionalism. Each region, particularly the North, always claims it is its turn to produce the president. This unwholesome tendency has made it difficult for the nation’s political class to see itself as a class with broad national interests. The menace of ethnic politics is such that all contests for power, particularly at the centre, often lead to rigging and disrespect for the laws of the land. Ethnic struggle for power at the centre ends up leaving the polity and political class more disunited. A very weak political class, which uses ethnicity as a weapon in the struggle for power, ends up becoming incapable of fighting corruption and mismanagement. Indeed, the tendency is for corruption to be subsumed under the despicable virus of ethnic politics. In very many instances, corrupt officials often invoke ethnic affiliations to escape punishment for clear viola-

tions of the law of the land. How does this analysis relate to the recent spat between Obasanjo and Jonathan? To the extent that the struggle for power at the center in 2015 is the bone of contention between the two leaders, the relevance of the above analysis becomes clearer. Obasanjo does not want Jonathan to contest in 2015, arguing that the president promised to do only one term and return power to the North. But as Obasanjo suspected, Jonathan is fine tuning strategies for a second term. As far as the former preisdent is concerned, this is a breach of an agreement allegedly reached with him. Yet such as an agreement, if indeed it exists, is illegal. Our constitution does not zone political power to regions. Northern or southern region are mere geographical descriptions that are not recognised in our constitution. Our constitution recognises 36 states and 774 local government areas. Presidential candidate can come from any of these states and local government areas, and not from northern, southern, eastern or middle belt region. Therefore, the idea that the presidency should be zoned to a region is unconstitutional. Significantly, all our past major political leaders including the nationalists like Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, Aminu Kano etc, did not espouse zoning system. Awolowo, for example, vehemently opposed zoning. The idea that political power should be zoned to a region ought to have been expunged from our political lexicon. North or south ought to be

THE NATION NEEDS A MORE DYNAMIC APPROACH TO THE

MANAGEMENT OF ITS AFFAIRS.

UNNECESSARY

CLEAVAGES ON ZONING AND REGIONALISM WILL NOT TAKE US FAR mere geographical descriptions of where people come from and not a sole determinant of what they can aspire to be. One hundred years, after amalgamation, Nigerians ought to have outgrown ethnic and regional politics. Let us stop whipping up regional sentiments to get power. No individual or group should still be invoking regional sentiments as stratagem for political power aspiration and acquisition. History has brought Jonathan to power. The law of the land does not prevent him from seeking a second term. Therefore, let nobody threaten the peace of our country just because Jonathan may seek a second term. All those politicians still invoking zoning of political power to the North by one spurious agreement are holding back the political progress of our country. Let them accept the tenets of democracy. Every Nigerian should be eligible to seek office at the highest level irrespective of where he/

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she comes from. Those who do not want Jonathan in power after 2015 should jump into the ring. Let Jonathan also follow the law. If we have a level playing field and we have a free and fair election, the people will decide who will lead Nigeria in 2015. People should emerge as leaders on the basis of integrity, dignity, intelligence and public service track record. No one should ride smoothly to the presidency on the basis of regionalism. Nigerians need to learn from American history. At a point American politics was dominated by racism and North-South dichotomy. Today any American, black or white with requisite qualifications can lead the country. Obama is an example. In the 1960s it was unthinkable for a black man to imagine he could be in the White House. Today, we were all witnesses to the emergence of Obama presidency. It is a shame that the only credential some northerners are flaunting for national leadership is their region of origin. This must stop. Ethnic jingoism from anywhere in Nigeria should no longer be celebrated. In conclusion, Jonathan has a right to contest in 2015. Similarly, the APC has a right to choose a credible candidate to contest against him. The nation needs a more dynamic approach to the management of its affairs. Unnecessary cleavages on zoning and regionalism will not take us far. The political class should try and go beyond tribal politics. Ajao is an editorial staff of the this newspaper.

May Day: Reflection on Nigeria’s trade unionism BOBSON GBINIJE

Y

esterday May 1 was Workers’ Day, a day observed globally to take stock of the lot of workers, the productive segment of the population of any country. I am using the opportunity of this occasion to reflect over the state of affairs of Nigeria’s labour movement. The fundamental accoutrements and appurtenances of the Lord of the Manor are the sordidly sadistic pauperization of the down trodden in any collectivity. Hence, a principled ‘Social Contract’, ergonomics and economic engineering process is established and injected into the structural praxis to ensure the welfare of the labouring masses and checkmate bourgeoisie plutocracy and employer’s tyranny through organized trade unionism. In the pre-independence era, trade unionists constituted the integral arrow head of the struggles to free Nigeria from colonialism. The Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) organized by Herbert Macaulay, the then Nigerian Students Union (NSU), and Nigerian Railway Workers’ Union (NRWU) spearheaded by inimitable Pa Michael Imoudu, etc, were part of the struggles. Later the likes of Hassan Sumonu, Frank Kokori, Pascal Bafyau, Adams Oshiomhole et al, came to the lime light. The Nigerian politico-socio-economic history is laudably replete with the positive escapades of our unionists to sensitize the nation’s leaders to the welfare of the workers.

LET OUR NIGERIAN UNIONIST PAINT AND ENTER A NEW PHASE OF UNIONISM THAT SHUNS CORRUPTION AND PREBENDALISTIC GRAFT But, unionism in the later part of postindependent Nigeria has been fraught with maniacal corruption, pusillanimous tergiversation and double speak. Trade unionists have become government area boys, apologies to Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The top echelons of most unions are government sponsored candidates. The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria PENGASSAN took millions of Nigerians out on a massive strike action against removal of oil subsidy in January 2012. They unilaterally called off the strike action without consulting Nigerians or asking for compensation for Nigerians who lost loved ones during the strike action. It later turned out to be a splendiferous histrionics as the subsidy dividends were hijacked by faceless politicians and their surrogates. And because of their failure the Federal Government is now working out plans to privatize Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Warri, and Eleme refineries. In the face of all these assaults, our la-

bour leaders have resorted to verbal ventriloquisms, double speak and prestidigitations. Not even the antics of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, to justify the proposed sale of the refineries could elicit enough venom from our so-called PENGASSAN and NUPENG, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Congress (TUC), etc. There is no justice in Nigeria; corruption has become a pop culture; deficit infrastructure provisioning has become the order of the day; yet, our unionists claim to be fighting for the masses of Nigeria. What an unprecedented lie! Unionists’ major weapons are dialogue and strike. Apart from ASUU, virtually all the other trade unions are in the payroll of the federal and state governments. Their secretariats are in most cases built by government agents and with government funds. How can unionists be hobnobbing with our corrupt leaders and still be expected to defend the rights of the workers and citizenry? In his historical speech, essayist Samuel Compere posited that, “show me the country that has no strikes and I’ll show you the country in which there is no liberty”. Our unionists and their unions are now latching on the dubious stratagem of threatening to call a strike to seek government’s face. But, as soon as they are ‘settled’ they call-off the proposed strike. What a shame! Unionism is not about gallivanting. It is a patriotic sacrifice for the uplifting of the welfare, liberty and freedom of the workers and people. Corrupt unionists have relegat-

ed unionism in Nigeria to an object of mere antiquarian curiosity, de-radicalized and appropriated as an instrument of brummagem placebo. The sweeping changes in European and global politics and the gigantic development of the system of modern industrial capitalism have made Nigerian unionism a Mephistophelean espousal and pedagogical trivialization of fundamental and ethical unionism. Finally, let our unionists enter a new phase of unionism that shuns corruption and prebendalistic graft. They must heed the admonition of Henrik Ibsen that “you should never put on your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom of truth”, and substantiated by Thomas Jefferson that, “the trees of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots. It is its’ natural manure”. Enough of hogwash unionism. Let us now agree with Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, who in the Communist Manifesto wrote that “the workers have nothing to lose, but their chains. They have the world to gain. Workers of the world, unite.” Chief Gbinije, founder of Mandate Against Poverty (MAP), wrote from Warri, Delta State. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Mail Mirror

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

National confab and youths’ neglect

S FCTA ‘Park and Pay’ order

ir, permit me to use your widely read medium to present the position of the Youth of All Nations a.k.a. YOANEA, an umbrella body that promotes and protects youth interests across the globe on the exclusion of youths in the national confab top four committees. If the senior citi-

zens at the ongoing confab are honest and sincere without any hidden/selfish agenda, youths delegates should be carried along because they are the future leaders of this nation. They should be involved in all the discussions in the interest of the nation. One of the greatest chal-

lenges of our time is the short supply of courageous and honest leaders. Some of the leaders that are invited to the confab have retired but not tired in ruining this nation. Many of these leaders are present in the ongoing national conference and our courageous youths must not allow them to have

T

he response of the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, to the judgment of an Abuja High Court in a case brought by Suntrust Savings and Loans Ltd, against him and two others, challenging the Park and Pay scheme of the administration, has been commended by many as principled and democratic. The court, presided over by Justice Peter Afeni, had on Thursday 17th April 2014, ruled that the scheme was illegal. However, the court also made it clear in the judgment that the scheme was an excellent government policy, but that it only lacked legal status. But many people have become apprehensive about the wider implication of this judgment, and prominent among all the questions asked is whether the FCT administration would obey the court order or not. The concern also was that if the administration had opted to flout it, then confusion and anarchy would have been the ultimate consequence on FCT roads where the Park and Pay scheme was operated. But the Minister has taken the path of honour by opting to abide by the court judgment. He subsequently directed the Transportation Secretariat of FCT Administration to effect a suspension of the implementation of the scheme forthwith. That, indeed, remains a bold, selfless and patriotic example of leadership. It is equally heartwarming that the Bala Mohammed administration has put in place a mechanism for a review of the scheme with a view to addressing all the areas of serious public complaints. Such areas include the fines usually slammed on offenders. Many people are also happy with the clarification of the FCT Administration that the scheme has not been scrapped, but that it is only suspended and will bounce back as soon as the necessary legal framework for its operation has been put in place. I am of the opinion that this is cheery news because the scheme really came with lots of advantages. For the first time, people were parking their vehicle orderly on designated places. Danladi Akilu Durumi II District, Abuja.

Letters to the Editor

UNDER CARTER BRIDGE: A relaxation center for fishermen.

PHOTO:ADEMOLA

A reporter’s tale of lies

W

hen a man tells lies often-times, and they are not refuted, they will assume a toga of truth. And, not a few people will believe them to be the truth. That is the compelling reason I deem it worth-while to respond to a story which appeared on page 12 of the Sunday Sun of April 13, 2014 and titled: “Anambra Extortion Racket.” But, the story is a hogwash of lies that is not worth the ink with which it is written. But, what was the writer’s motivation for embarking on the enterprise of distorting the truth as to what obtains in markets, bus terminals, and on the roads in Anambra State? Did he write the story out of malice? Or, is this a case of a rookie journalist who is out to sensationalize stories and embellish them with lies in order to attract people’s attention and gain cheap popularity? Not everybody living in Anambra State is taken in by the writer’s poppy-cock of mendacity. It is portraiture of false-hoods. Who does not know that the regime of lawlessness that used to reign in the major towns in the state has been dethroned? Motor parks and markets in the state

are now pictures of orderliness and sanity. At the popular Nkpor Junction roundabout and new-motor spare parts market, people were seen engaging in their various businesses. They are not being harassed and molested by unscrupulous people who pose as collectors of vehicle levies, land dues and others. In fact, the traders and newspaper vendors doing businesses in the area have heaved a sigh of relief. More so, the deaf young men who would extort money from commercial bus-drivers at Nkpor Junction and new motor spare parts market fled the area following the deployment of policemen and soldiers with gravitas of manner in the area. The vehicular gridlock that used to characterize the roads owing to the activities of the touts had disappeared, too. Again, pick-pockets and armed robbers, who would carry out their criminal deeds in broad-day light at the UpperIweka stretch of the new Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, have gone underground. It is no longer the haunt of hoodlums and armed robbers. What obtains in Nkpor and Onitsha towns is replicated in

other major towns in the state. The new governor has warned the people that he will not put up with acts of lawlessness and rascality. He convened a security meeting at which he ordered leaders of the vigilance groups to guarantee the safety of people’s lives and property. The first conference that took place in the state under the new administration was centered on security. He visited the 3-3 Trans-Nkisi area where buildings and fences were demolished. They were pulled down for they’re either erected on government owned land or built too near the roads. This is an ample proof that Governor Obiano has distaste for acts of lawlessness and brigandage. Again, the governor promised to overhaul the system of collecting internally generated revenue when members of diverse labour organizations visited him at the Government House, Awka. Now, efforts are being made to rid all the markets, bus terminals and roads in the state of the remnants of touts and hooligans, who operate there. Chiedu Uche Okoye, Government House, Awka, Anambra State .

their way unless we want the objectives of this confab not to be realized. We are surprised that many of these so-called leaders have resorted to their old tricks. What are they trying to hide from the youth? The future of the country will definitely be the responsibility of the coming generations. As much as we do not want to cast aspersion on our senior citizens at the confab, their conducts so far leave much to be desired. No one is in doubt about the ignoble role this fading generation played in destroying Nigeria, a country that was once a toast of the entire world. Without being told, this is not the kind of nation the founding fathers had in mind. If the youth could tolerate them, it is not because we are timid or stupid; rather, we want to use the opportunity this confab offers to undo the damage that has been done the country and forge a new beginning that will give us the country of our aspiration. However, if this set of greedy senior citizens makes peaceful renegotiation impossible, then they will make violent confrontation from the youth inevitable. Enough of politicking with the lives and destinies of our people. This should not be misconstrued as drumbeat of war, rather it is a statement of obvious fact. This golden opportunity that the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has provided Nigerians to make direct input in recreating our country should not be allowed to be an exercise in futility. This initiative deserves commendation. However, ‘all hands, not only old hands, must be on deck’. Those who are not fit enough should excuse themselves from this confab and give chance to others. There are still several individuals who are worthy of this national call. The national conference is a serious business. It should be spared all further unnecessary distractions by delegates who are not strong enough for this tough assignment. Let the youths in the national confab be bold enough to challenge any attempt to undermine the objectives of the confab. We are solidly behind you. The future we have been hearing about is near. Comrade Jeff Echezona Joshua (National Youth Leader) and Mr. Babatunde Ifenuga (President)

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FRIDAY

WEEKEND STARTERS

AF Entrepreneurs’ networking evening in Lagos It is a free networking event for entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, directors, venture capitalist and corporate workers in Africa coming to The Place on Isaac John, GRA Ikeja. The forum will avail participants the opportunity to relax, network, learn and have a fulfilled time with likeminded individuals. It comes up Friday, May 2 from 6pm.

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

Fresh controversies trail film on Adichie’s book

P. 32, 33

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flavour

Arty News

VOL. 4 No. 832

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Toyin Saraki, Mo Abudu for WIE symposium This is the second ond time that the WIE IE symposium willl be venturing into Africa following its successful launch in Cape Town last year. Abudu The symposium will break new grounds in Nigeria by bringing together the continent’s stars and emerging young female leaders to empower and inspire the next generation. Toyin Saraki, Folake Folarin-Coker, Mo Abudu, Bola Adesola and Julie Gichuru will co-host; while Tiwa Savage and Folorunso Alakija will also headline.

22-23

Majmua Theatre brings us Band Aid, a theatrical presentation about a group of tightly-knit band mates who have distinct hidden psychological issues; they fall in love with the same girl who is also fighting her own demons. The play written and directed by Abiodun Kassim, will come up from 3pm to 6pm at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island Lagos on Sunday May 4.

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n spite of the fanfare heralded by the news of Half of a Yellow Sun’s premiere in Nigeria, this is not the best of times for the crew of the film, reputed to be the costliest ever made in the country. Friday Flavour learnt that this is coming on the heels of several controversies being generated by the work, a cinematic adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book with the same title. After all the publicity, it is dawning on everyone that the film could evoke ethnic tension in a country that is still grappling with inter-ethnic harmony. The consequence of this, Friday Flavour learnt is the contemplation by some of the major partners of the project to withdraw from being associated with the work. According to a source, “A big player in the telecommunications industry which is a major partner wants to pull out in spite of the money they have committed so far. I do not really blame them because their business is also hinged on the image this film leaves on some people who may feel offended by the film. The management of the company is already worried and wondering what would happen if things go awry about the film by the time it is shown in the cinemas. It is not good for a brand to be associated with ethnic disharmony, especially in a country like Nigeria.” Friday Flavour also learnt that this development may be the major reason why, the National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, the government agency responsible for the censorship of films is delaying the approval of the film for mass screening. The agency, however, according to News Agency of Nigeria reports cited the issue of unresolved matters as their reason. According to

A scene in the film

the report, “The management of the NFVCB said it was ensuring that some unresolved issues in the movie were sorted out. The National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, said on Monday that it has not banned the new movie: Half of a Yellow Sun.This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Caesar Kagho, the Acting Head, Corporate Affairs of NFVCB. Mr. Kagho also gave reasons why the movie has not been cleared for the Nigerian cinemas. It said that the management of the NFVCB was ensuring that some unresolved issues in the movie were sorted out in accordance with the laid down regulations of the board.” By the earlier arrangement, Half of a Yellow Sun was supposed to have come to cinemas across the country in April. Meanwhile as the controversy rages, the director of the film, Biyi Bandele has dissociated himself from a report which claims that he believes the delay is due to the political slant of the film. In his Facebook post, the director said he never spoke in this direction about the director general of the NFVCB, whom the report ascribed political reasons for the delay in censoring the film. Half of a Yellow Sun a 2013 Nigerian drama film is a love story that follows two sisters who are caught up in the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War.

It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji and OC Ukeje. The film premiered in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. In the plot, during the mid-to-late sixties, twin sisters Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) return to Nigeria after their education in England, they make decisions that shock their family. Olanna moves in with her lover, the ‘revolutionary professor’ Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his houseboy Ugwu (John Boyega) while Kainene takes over the family interests and pursues a career as a businesswoman, falling in love with Richard (Joseph Mawle), an English writer. As the Igbo people struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic, the sisters become caught up in the shocking violence of the Nigerian Civil War and a betrayal that threatens their family forever. Events in the past however lay credence to the fears being expressed about the screening of the film. This is because of the emotional nature of the war, which reportedly killed over three million people (mainly children and mothers due to starvation) on the Biafra side of the controversy.

CriticsP.

Performance at Terra

Ngozi Emedolibe

P. 20,21

Band Aid continues at Terra, Lagos

Crew members at premiere in Lagos

Artman

Okpekpe is more than just a collection of fertile farmlands or a window into the past; it is a living modern village of approximately 50,000 people. The town is set to host about 3000 athletes this weekend for a 10km long race over the sandy and hilly landscape. The Okpekpe Road race starts in Apama Road and ends in Okpekpe (Auchi), Edo State. International participation from around the world is solicited in the race organized by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.

Inside FCT P. 24-25

Okpeke race in Auchi Edo State


20

Artman In The House

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

We must preserve our culture from being influenced

- Kunle Filani

A pioneer of the Best of Ife exhibitions, Onaism art for Yoruba unique identity and the initiator of the Arts Department at the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos, Dr Kunle Filani, rose to become the Deputy Provost of the school. He was later appointed Provost of the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State a post he held for eight years. He talks about arts and his life in this interview with OLUWADAHUNSI OLAWALE. EXCERPTS: How was your childhood like? Well…it was quite interesting and dynamic. My dad came from Ikole-Ekiti and was a civil servant who was working with the Local Government council, I mean we use to call it Local Government Municipal then and because of the government of the Western Region which was very encompassing, we were constantly on the move because of transfer. My primary education was variegated gated because of different schools. Luckily ily my mother was a teacher, so I was able ble to cover the gaps created by these transfers. nsfers. I am from a polygamous family and nd I had many elder brothers and sisters because my mother was the last wife. So I was able to imbibe different cultures. My mother is from AraIkole-Ekiti, which is a town very close to my dad’s. She is a princess; she is the daughter of the then n king, the Alara of Ara. But in terms off artistic influences, I think there is no historical istorical evidence to show that my lineage e was artistically inclined. But I knew that at my mother being a teacher was artistic. ic. She was always attending meetings and making illustrations for schools and she could sew very well. I believe that the he then teacher education was encompassing ssing both cognitive and psychomotor. You u must be able to use your hands with your brain. But one thing is surprising; my other her siblings who are not my mother’s children dren were also very artistic. I had many senior brothers who did creditably well in the school certificate level in art and I don’tt know whether you also know Tolu Filani, ni, who is a sculptor. He was the one who did the sculpture of Tai Solarin at the entrance rance of the airport. He lives in the US now. w. He is a very popular and successful artist. ist. I think it runs in the family. However, it’s t’s the two of us that specialised at the end d of the day in art. I eventually went to Doherty Memorial Grammar School, Ijero ro Ekiti. It was one of the best schools we e have in Ekiti then. There was no art actually ually in the secondary school…I mean there was no art course they were running, nning, but because of the activity of my brother and I, we

were always drawing on the board and cartooning , the principal noted us and in the second term of our second year, he decided to employ an art teacher. That’s how we started arts and funny enough; there were so many talented students that were able to show their skill. We had college fame and ultimately, one started thinking of art as a career with the motivation of the teachers we had then,, who saw talent and said though its difficult to be popular, but we could with art. We could become something that kings are looking for. So I decided before I wrote my school certificate that art was what I will study. Ultimately, I did well and worked for one year at Ewekoro Cement factory because my Uncle was then the Managing Director. He was a senior brother to my mum, Late Chief Ogunleye. I gained admission into the then University of Ife in 1976 to read art and graduated in 1980 with a second

When you look at the budget, the Ministry of Arts and Culture is the lowest and they are handicapped to create projects and support the artists

class upper in Fine Art. Art was generic in approach then unlike these days of specific specialisation. We are awarded bachelor of Fine Arts, unlike now which is specific like Bachelor of Art in painting, graphics and so on. I specialised in my final year in graphics because of the print making and photography aspect I want to know and I eventually served in Kano until 1981 after which I taught for one year at St. Louis Owo, as an art teacher. I went for my masters degree in Fine Art at the University of Benin with bias for printmaking. Printmaking was new then, even though there were landmark works done by people like Bruce Onabrakpeya. I left Benin in 1984 and started working in Adeyemi College of Education in 1985. I left there in 1992 as Head of Department and came to start a department at the Federal College of Education, Akoka. I started that department as the first Head of Department and later b e came

the

Filani

Dean, and Deputy Provost before I was appointed the Provost at the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta where I served for 8 years. I finished in January 2011. I did sabbatical at the University of Ibadan, I still do adjunct lecturing for them where I supervise some postgraduate students. But I am back in my college at Federal College of Education, Akoka. of ‘Onaism’ come How did the idea o about? The contemporary contempora Nigerian art, that is art influenced by tthe West, has lasted for over 100 years now, at least from the period showing talent, travelled Onabolu started sh 1921, a lot of stylistic tenand returned in 19 over the years and dencies had appeared appea were done in search sear of identity. That is, Identity to classify our art in its own pecuthan imitating the West. liar form rather th Because we were trained as academics, it does not ignore the other segment of trained informally but the those who have tra artistic tempo was ruled by predominant artist . Since academthose who trained formally f knowledge, people started ics come with kno the way the Euroquerying why we paint p painting. Ona in Yoruba patpeans were paintin example, gbena-gbena is someterns, for example patterns, donadona is a one who creates p carpenter, oju-ona is someone with a eye to take critical look at appreciating somenot just about creating thing. Onaism is n patterns, it’s a generic term for art. We gen then decided to make ma it a unique Nigerian artistic pattern in ttheory and practice that applicable for development. We could be applicabl were five OAU ( Obafemi Awolowo UniO versity) academics academic that actually started propagating the idea; Moyo Okediji, Tola id Wewe, Bolaji Campbell, Tunde Nasiru Ca and I. it became a popular movement and people bought boug into it and now you have many people peop using the Ona concept to express artistic designs, even outside the country coun . We came as Ona to use patterns, Yoruba motifs just like Y other tribes to add value to our paintings and sculptures. In art, there are universal motifs, so a lot of research were done to create Onaism as an unique western motif to create our own identity and since we are academics, academics we were able to propagate and sink the idea into people in all forms of art including textiles, crafts like includ pottery since they all a involve motifs to give uniqueness and identity to our works. ide And you were one of the prominent participating artists for fo DAKART in Senegal from Nigeria biennially? bienn Yes. It’s the most famous African art exhibition now to introduce what is going on intr and fresh in African Africa art. I have spent over 34 years practicing as an art critic, historian and administrator. It’s a lot of work administr and I guess that is why w I am being selected from Nigeria to pa participate. I am a fellow


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Artman In The House

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hiis compo und

Section of his compound Sectio

Living room

Using machines to create pots of different designs and durability and that are less expensive has made the craft of pottery quite invisible of Pan-African Circle of Artists, Culture and Creative Arts (CCAF), where we try to look at the problems facing art in the country, and policies and address them so we can move on as a nation with an identity. Culture is dynamic, it grows. That’s why the culture of 100 years ago is totally different from what we have now. For example, in Yoruba land, we call it, asa, which is a concept of selection and choice; we pick what is good in moving along and drop what is bad, which we call asakasa. Even in music, most of what we listen to due to the prevailing situations is asakasa, which will fade off in the next 20 to 30 years but the good ones will remain and continue. So, we need to preserve our culture from being influenced by the west so that when we look at the globe, we see a rainbow of different colours manifesting. What are the problems facing arts, because some crafts like pottery are fading? Industrial revolution has made some crafts fade. Using machines to create pots of different designs and durability and that are less expensive has made the craft of pottery quite invisible. However, the textile industry is very dynamic which is why I love it so much. The art and craft however has been sustained because of the value we attach to it. For example, Aso-ebi in Ibo and Yoruba land. Even in sewing of clothes in different designs especially by women. Also, people who take art as a profession, which is to make money, will naturally go and practice the lucrative aspects. Awareness also should be given to art connoisseurs who prefer to buy an art painting instead of pottery because of fragility that each art medium has its own aesthetic value and keep them jealously. A very conducive market should be created for them to explore their passion How can market be created for them? The government has that responsibility. They should create a healthy environment

for them to work. We have been talking about Art Registration Council for about 20 to 25 years now and nothing is being done about it. It’s a Council where funds are generated to support artists. When you look at the budget, the Ministry of Arts and Culture is the lowest and they are handicapped to create projects and support the artists. Those in government also need education. There are countries that art is the main stay of their economy. If you go to Italy for example that has long artistic heritage, there are centres that people pay money to view art. I have visited the Vatican twice and I remember that each time, there was always more than one kilometre queue of people standing to see the beauty of art. How many people go to the National Museum here? It’s because the place is not developed for tourist attraction. Look at Dakar, Senegal, there is a monumental structure mounted about 5 years ago, they call it Renaissance Africa and beneath it, there are lots of activities going on with thousands of people trooping in and out. Which monumental structure do we have in Nigeria and we are the giant of Africa? Our culture is the most dynamic in Africa whether in traditional times or in contemporary era because of the population and artistic inclinations inherent in the people and the variety is the most dynamic and popular in Africa. Through art, we can generate money. There is no state in Nigeria that doesn’t have its own historical site that we can develop for people all over the world to come and see. It’s a problem. So what’s the job of Arts Registration Council? It is a body to regulate the arts. It will be like a government parastatal that can raise funds for the arts. In most developed

Art works at home

21

countries, government supports but those who supports mostly are the individuals because they give money for the visual arts, then the private companies and individuals can donate money into that purse. So the arts need to be given a collective support by government, companies and patrons because for any profession to do well, we need to monetise it. Unlike your other compatriots that pioneered ‘Onaism’, you and Tola Wewe decided not to travel and reside outside the country? Honestly, in the late 80’s, the country wasn’t very conducive for most Nigerians who are civil servants. For those who are in the academics, they could not even sustain themselves, let alone their research efforts and this allowed for brain drain into universities abroad where the basic social amenities are in abundance. Some of these things we ignore, but it is what determines our lives. So, people tended to move to green pastures. But the truth is that not everyone can move. If everyone leaves, who will sustain the universities here? That’s why it is important to credit those who stayed. It’s a lot of struggle to survive as a Nigerian. We spend so much money to achieve so little and if you stayed and you can carve a niche f o r yourself, then, you have done well. Well, it is now getting better.

Filani

Which countries have you been to for exhibition? I have gone almost everywhere. I have exhibited at Virginia State University, USA, twice in London, the Netherlands both as solo and group exhibition, and several African countries. My works have even been celebrated in Asia, Dubai. I think most Nigerian artists are now exposed to international exhibitions because the world is now a global village. Which one of your works spring up special memories? Art works are like children. You can’t prioritise. I have a lot of paintings and I don’t replicate my work to make it look like someone else’s. I don’t have much time because I knew I had to grow in my scholarly work, historian, and also as an administrator. It’s a lot of work but if you do what you enjoy, you will not see it as stress. I also thank God for good health. How many books have you written? I have written more than 120 journals, books and scholarly articles which are focused mainly on aesthetics and contemporary Nigerian art. We need to give ourselves credit for the dynamism we have achieved within a short span. You also pioneered ‘Best of Ife’ art exhibitions since 1993? Yes I felt there were younger Ife artists that needed to express themselves. So I decided that we should come exhibit our works as a group as an identity. It was at a time the most regular exhibition in Nigeria. If you are made the Minister for Arts and Culture, what will you do? It’s a question of vision. I will first of all generate how to raise funds from any of the multinational companies, from all over the world. Since I have a good blueprint, and corruption is out of it, good results will be achieved in no time that will transform the artistic landscape of the country.


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Critics

Friday, May 2, 2014

Theatre

Resolving conflict of identity This year’s Easter season was enjoyed by lovers of theatre as Live Theatre on Sunday (LTS) thrilled the audience with Belong.

Olayiwola Awakan

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very season in Lagos is now characterised by various theatrical performances for lovers of stage business to enjoy the period with lots of fun embedded in the creative industry. It is glaring that the level of patronage that live theatre receives, is increasing geometrically on daily basis and the standard infused into stage performances, also taking a better leap. This year’s Easter season is never an exception as both the Lagos Mainland and Island got busy with various outstanding theatre productions, one of which is the ‘Belong’ performance that opened up the Federal Palace Hotel as a rendezvous for theatre shows. Conflict of identity is a crucial phenomenon that has been battling some individuals; identity of place, person and time. Some people have over the years rebuffed their origin, probably because development created an option for them in a preferred geographical setting. These issues are being treated in the story ‘Belong’ written by Bola Agbaje, UK based Nigerian playwright, directed by Tosan Ugbeye and Produced by Shola Adenugba, it is a story that deals with situations of identity. Unlike some stage plays with upcoming faces dominating the stage, the producer of ‘Belong’ assembled veterans in the Nigerian theatre to do justice to the play. Toyin Oshinaike who plays the character of Kayode and Dolapo Oni as Rita are both resident couple in London. Rita has got so glued to the British culture that she detests her native coun-

A scene in Belong

try. In solidifying their stay in London, Kayode decides to take a giant stride to Parliament through election, but he fails, having sacrificed his career to misguided allegations about the racism of his equally black political opponent. To save the situation, Fola (Bimbo Akintola) appears in the picture. She is deeply into the Nigerian dream and would do anything to

persuade émigrés to return home- Nigeria. Her convincing mannerism and ‘proposal’ gets into Kayode and he decides to take a thoughtful break to visit his mother (Taiwo Ajai-Lycett) in Nigeria. Mama had earlier adopted Kunle (OC Ukeje), a former “area boy”, with the intention of turning him into a Local Politician to juice out the best in him.

One issue the play addresses is the fact that it is not the responsibility of those who have got soaked in the culture of another land to come and effect a change in Nigeria

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

On the other hand, another desperate politician, Chief Olowolaye (Tunji Shotimirin) with the attitude of ‘Godfatherism’ is typical of a shady, wolfish and frantic leader. He grooms Kunle as his loyalist. Kayode’s visit to the country sprouts a conflicting interest between him and Chief Olowolaye. Kayode who never believes in the ideology of Chief Olowolaye tries to turn Kunle against him, after a clash. To frustrate the Chief and bring forth his political ideology of creating a positive change, he then picks up interest in contesting. As that ensues in Nigeria, Rita and Fola are busy tackling it out in London; Fola striving to change Rita’s mentality into conforming to her identity- Nigeria, while Rita has fully erased the Nigerian personality. In a nutshell, Kayode who initially wants to rule in a British way eventually changes his mind as he converses with the people in a language that they understand thereby winning their hearts. Rita got convinced by Fola to come into Nigeria and see things for herself. On her arrival, she discovers Kayode’s political ambition in the country which shocks her. Kunle is made to turn against Chief Olowolaye. Kayode is at the end left with the choice of either staying to fight the injustice in the country or retire to London with his wife. And the play ends leaving the audience to fix the end from their own perspective. The full length piece tells of the challenges of being a ‘diasporian’, deals with love, and explores the theme of gained and missed opportunities. Furthermore, it questions the notions of identity as many people go through life questioning where they truly belong. One issue the play also addresses is the fact that it is not the responsibility of those who have got soaked in the culture of another land to come and effect a change in Nigeria, rather, those at home should do that with all sincerity of purpose.

Music

Hail my King: Placing gospel on our streets The video saw the light of day last week, featuring three Nigerian gospel acts: Frank Edwards, Eben, and Kenny K’ore Olawale Oluwadahunsi

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t is produced by Phat E, a second official single from Obiwon’s Goldwater album; it is an energetic, soul-lifting hip-hop rendition blessed with instrumentals that can inspire a ‘rap attack’ or don’t-break-da-beat revolution. It’s quite a deviation from the normal Obiwon ‘thing’ for those who can recognise the Oyinye crooner as a super talented ‘Rhythm and Blues’ singer. However, it wouldn’t be a shock for his followers from his thoroughbred group days where he dazzled both as a rapper and a singer concomitantly. The video begins with a march on the streets from a parked bus. One significant thing here was Obiwon’s top which read ‘Gospel Urban Nation’ (GUN). Is he redefining what the GUN is obviously meant for which is to kill? Of course, it is a welcome development because it sends a pointer of information to everyone watching that

the ‘evil’ instrument (GUN) actually has a holy acronym. He also had an unassuming composure of a leader going to proclaim what he actually believes in, which is also another plus for the video. Then comes in Franklin Edward on a power bike who was viewed intermittently with a cinematography that will pass for an action film. He finally stops to sing his verse after Obiwon and gave a very lovely rendition with a brilliant composure. His costume especially his use of glasses and slim suit just makes his part quite interesting as it quietly fits into the song’s theme. The use of artistic wall paint was not left out as it graphically adds colour to the scene, which makes the video a real hip-hop video. This is directed angularly with precision and vibrancy, and thus introducing Eben coming to render the song’s bridge. This gave the video a calm from the ‘pressure’ of hip live and light accompanying it all along as the colour changes into black and white successively. The introduction of Kenny K’ore in the spotlight who had two costumes. First: a Yoruba cap and trouser with a tee shirt, and second: an orange mechanic costume. He wears the first costume with Obiwon rendering the chorus gesticulating with him and wears the second to sing his own part of the song. His part was a Yoruba flavor sang like rendering a poetry or chant. He did well but could have done better because his part was supposed to be the climax of the song. He gesticulated well and

gave a good account of himself, but we expected a part that will flow well with the rhythm of the song as he is known to be. However, it was not well done. His part would have been better if he came in place of Frank Edwards or even as an intermittent cosinger with Eben to render the song’s bridge. Also, his face was not clear enough for the viewers to see especially because of the cap he wore and even at the scene where he wore the mechanic’s costume. If any part of the video is to be corrected and re-directed, it is that of Kenny K’ore. It doesn’t project in continuity the hip nature that the video commenced with. The director might just want to add colour to the video and synergise the variety of hiphip and traditional genre in an artistic fusion, but it should have been done in a way that everything will represent fully, the high-spirited and energetic nature of the song. In all, the video’s lightening is just okay to represent a hip-hop video. However, the transitions from one scene to another as well as motion directing were very good.

Also, t h e director did well to project each artiste in a still cinematography enough to make them express themselves individually. Credit should be given for that! The video ended with a rout of Obiwon’s co-marchers blowing several instruments especially the trumpet to fully represent the song’s ingenuity. It is also a wonderful concept and a good way to climax the song. However, the co-marchers had little or no expression on their faces like they didn’t mean what they were out to preach, leaving Obiwon doing all alone. Also, a little street dance or choreography could have made the video more alive and interesting. Conclusively, the video passes for an above average rating and it’s not a bad come-back for the Obi mu o singer.


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Critics

Friday, May 2, 2014

23

Film

Origin of Nollywood (2)

Mike Ezuruonye and Oge Okoye

With the home videos, Africans became more confident than ever before, and it began to grow rapidly

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t the time ‘Living in Bondage’ came on the scene, the cinema culture in Nigeria was in deep crisis, mainly due to the then prevailing economic hardship and climate of insecurity that had enveloped the country. People had resorted to acquiring video cassette players with which they watched foreign movies since they could no longer go to the cinema or theatre. But when it came, Nollywood took the theatre and the cinema hall to the homes of Nigerians. Little wonder the home videos released on the heels of ‘Living in Bondage’ also became box office hits. They include Circle of Doom, Taboo, ‘Nneka: The Pretty Serpent’, ‘When The Sun Sets’, ‘Rattle Snake’, ‘Deadly Affair’, ‘Day Break’, ‘Domitilla’, ‘Full Moon’, ‘Glamour Girls’, ‘Scores To Settle’ and ‘The Prostitute’. Still, not many experts gave the industry a chance to survive and blossom. This, according to Oguejiofor, is reflected in the name Nollywood. According to him: “The name Nollywood actually came into existence in 1995 when some Americans

Scene from a film

looked at what we were producing and concluded that it was trash. You see, with what we did, they became afraid and threatened that their own movie industry was going to collapse. It was clear to the world that anybody could actually tell all these big-budget stories by using mere hand-held cameras. Therefore, those leading names in the big theatre and film equipment, production and marketing businesses became jittery that, if this local home video industry in Nigeria should continue, it would kill the big-budget film industry that was sustaining them. So, just like they have been doing to anything that comes out of Africa, they concluded that the emerging home video industry in Nigeria was nothing, not like Hollywood.” Oguejiofor continued: “So Nollywood stands for ‘Nothing’. It is an acronym for ‘Nothing Wood’. It was actually meant to be derogatory and uncomplimentary. But we decided to claim that nothingness and push it, and today they are wondering how nothing has suddenly turned out to become something that is colonising the entire world.” Nollywood’s phenomenal rise from the humblest of beginnings to overtake America’s Hollywood and become the second biggest movie industry in the world after India’s Bollywood, according to a global cinema survey conducted by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics published in 2009, is the stuff of legend considering the very

low budgets with which the producers work. Whereas it takes millions of dollars to produce a good movie in the United States of America, the average Nigerian producer would be happy to have about $100,000 to work with. Of course, this paucity of funds impacts negatively on the quality of most of the films. The situation has, however, started to change, as the corporate sector and the Nigerian government have begun to assist with funds for production, training and infrastructural development. Analysts say this intervention was inevitable in view of the huge potential of Nollywood as a blessing to the Nigerian economy and a global brand with immense public relations benefits for the country. Apart from two major banks and a leading telecommunications firm, among the major financiers of big-budget Nollywood movies are the government-owned Bank of Industry, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan has also created a $200 million fund to support Nollywood and the Nigerian music industry, both of which he said currently make an annual turnover of more than $600 million. However, few Nigerian movie makers are able to access these funds because of the stringent conditions attached to them. Funding headache aside, other major problems affecting Nollywood include piracy and lack of organised marketing structures. Things are, however, beginning to look up. Lately, producers have also learnt to broaden their revenue base and beat the pirates – even if temporarily – by showing their films in cinemas and largely recouping their investments before releasing the movies on the market on Video CDs and DVDs.

Yet another problem is that of weak storylines and the splitting of stories into several parts. This is being tackled by the industry itself and the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board following unrelenting condemnation by the critical Nigerian media. Frontline producer Madu Chikwendu argued that the complaints people make about Nollywood are merely a reflection of the state of things in Nigerian society. According to Chikwendu, “We talk about piracy. Is it not the same police that we say are corrupt that we will use to arrest the pirates? We talk about bad audio in movies, but remember that there is no electricity and we have to shoot with noisy generators. So, most of the problems of the film industry are actually problems of society at large.” Indeed, so influential has Nollywood become that it has inspired thriving home video industries across Africa such as Gollywood (Ghana), Camwood (Cameroon), Riverwood (Kenya), Ugowood (Uganda) and the brand new Jollywood, South Sudan’s film industry that is slowly taking shape with the appearance of Jamila early this year, the first locally-produced movie in the newest country of the world that celebrated its first year of independence in July. One distinct thing about Nollywood is that, unlike Hollywood and Bollywood, it does not physically exist in any city but is spread across Nigeria, even giving birth to thriving subsectors known as Kanywood (the Hausa Language movie industry in the north) and Yoruwood, the Yoruba language variant in Lagos. (Concluded) Sunny Okim, a publisher and editor is a pioneer film reporter in Nigeria

Like they have been doing to anything that comes out of Africa, they concluded that the emerging home video industry in Nigeria was nothing, not like Hollywood. So Nollywood stands for ‘Nothing’. It is an acronym for ‘Nothing Wood’. It was actually meant to be derogatory. Set of Mother’s Secret


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Inside FCT

Friday, May 2, 2014

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Messenger of Peace preaches harmony Joel Ajayi

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oing by the history of this our beloved country Nigeria, peaceful coexistence is the strength, potency, power, cord that bind the country together; but today, there is no doubt peace co-existence has eluded us and anybody who says there is peace in this country will be considered the worst enemy of this great country. The unity in diversity that Nigeria is known for has been replaced by the killing of innocent souls, drums of war are all over the country, ethnicity, corruption, tribalism, favourtism amongst other vices have exposed the country to untold hardship recently. Indeed, the position on which the strength of this country stands has given way and become like the sinking sand, the country has lost the navigation and the storm is raging violently. This reminds one of the book by Professor Chinua Achebe: ‘Things Fall Apart’ which means the co-existence among the people have been toiled with. It was on this account, that the group, Messenger of Peace Foundation staged a mass rally to sensitise and create awareness on the need for Nigerians to ensure there is peace in the land especially as the country is approaching the 2015 general election. In their thousands from different part of the city, comprising youths,

comedians, musicians and actors, everyone wore green and white cloth with different inscription containing messages of peace such as: Be Patriotic, Stop Killing, Let’s Embrace Peace, to drive home the point that harmony is needed in Nigeria. Speaking to ‘Inside FCT’ during the peace rally in Abuja, the President of the group, Adejoh Sulieman, said that the Messenger of Peace connotes peace and love. “We are all out today with no other motive than to preach the peace; As we perceived that the atmosphere is tense and everything in the county is not friendly anymore. We are using this platform to sensitise the Nigerian that, there is no reason for anybody to go to war, there is no reason for anybody to take anybody’s life and there is reason for anybody to take the laws into his or her hand. Every Nigerian is entitled to peace that is why we are using this platform, using the children, musicians the stars, actors to express our feelingS that all we need is dialogue. And we are not limiting it to FCT alone; we have our co-coordinators in all the 36 states of the federation, and we intend to use youth and tell the whole world that, from the North to South peace is paramount. In every aspect of life dialogue is only solution to every situation, without dialogue, there won’t be peace. As you can see we have some children here and if the life and future of these children are not secured today what would be their hope in future?

Messenger of Peace rally

As for actress, Rita Edoche who came all the way from Lagos to be part of the campaign she explained: “I chose to be part of this crusade because I am a messenger of peace and the basis for every progress, development in any country in the world is peace. And to be sincere with you in this country we all know that we are not safe any longer and something must be done before it gets late. It is time to speak with one voice because of the Boko Haram menace that is ravaging parts of the North. We need peace, let Nigerians embrace peace, we are advocate of peace what is happening in Maiduguri, Yobe and other parts of the country in Nigeria is pathetic; the question is ‘are we going to wait till eterni-

ty? I am appealing to the mothers, fathers and youths; let us stand and fight this war that is against us; let there be peace in this country please”. According to a renowned Nigerian rapper Eedris Abdulkareem, “ I am a concerned citizen of this country; I believe in Nigeria. There is no country like Nigeria and I must preach peace even though we know that there is so much propaganda going on in politics. Everybody is playing politics with different lies and we are all here today to put an end to this barbaric killing. All we need is peace, as I am talking to you now people are dying in the North East part of the country”.

Residents laud judgment on parking policy Seyi Anjorin

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t was wild jubilation at the premises of the FCT High Court last week when a landmark judgment was delivered by Justice Peter Affen, declaring the FCT Administration’s Park and Pay policy illegal . Reacting to the judgment, Mr Adekunle of the Raw Material and Research Development Council who was full of joy over the declaration stated that it was a “good riddance to bad rubbish”. “That system is just another level of corruption and ingenuity entirely, how can I be paying tax and then the government through some private people would compel me to pay for parking, the worst part is the treatment you get from these park and pay people, they treat you as if they are the ones paying you”, he said. The Park and Pay policy created by the FCT Administration had been trailed by lingering controversies ranging from the zoning of the parking areas, fraudulent antics of roadside operatives and charges usually imposed on motorists whose vehicles are towed to the operators’ offices, amongst others. Investigations revealed that in a bid by the concessionaires to outbid each other, their employees engage in unprofessional practices to generate revenue for the company, in most cases aiding and abetting various forms of corrupt practices. A source who disclosed to ‘Inside FCT’

Typical car park in Abuja

stated that “these companies do not even make their money from the levies collected at the parking spaces but the levies/sanctions/fees imposed on erring commuters who flout the parking orders, which eventually result into clamping and towing of such vehicles”. One of the contending issues residents have with the policy is the safety of their vehicles even after paying for parking tickets, as the sign post always says “vehicles are parked at owner’s risk”. Justice Affen in his ruling had noted that

the FCT can make laws to collect taxes, fees and rates in the metropolis, but the 2005 bye law of the FCT did not contemplate the park and pay scheme, rather made provision for park and ride “which is not being implemented”. Upon the suspension of the policy, ‘Inside FCT’ gathered that while the suspension of the policy was on, several vehicles were not as lucky as they were clamped for various traffic offences by the designated enforcement officers. While most resi-

How can I be paying tax and then the government through some private people would compel me to pay for parking?

dents expressed the satisfaction over the suspension of the on street park and pay system, the FCT administration recently insisted on reintroducing the scheme, as it had obtained a ruling which confirmed that the Road Traffic Act had provisions that empowered the FCT minister to introduce such scheme for better administration of the city. The Secretary, FCT Transport Secretariat, Jonathan Achara Ivoke, at a media briefing in Abuja, said the current ruling touched on the need to update the Road Traffic Act which the administration was going to do through a proposed bye-law to include the park and pay system. A resident told ‘Inside FCT’ that the reintroduction of the system would cause more hardship to residents as the operating companies would want to make up for the revenues losses caused by the High Court judgment. For instance, Hauwa Mailafia, a civil servant, said that a reintroduction of the parking scheme would not just lead to indiscriminate actions by the Park and Pay operatives but might also lead to breakdown of law and order. “If this system is reintroduced, it is going to be worse off than before because these operators of the policy think they are gods. Think about what would happen when the FCDA now gets a law backing it, I am sure we won’t pay N50 for 30 minutes again”, Mailafia predicted.


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Inside FCT

Friday, May 2, 2014

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Nyanya bombing: Life after a disaster Marcus Fatunmole ABUJA

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he hope of residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to savour perhaps the most thrilling Easter celebrations in three years was shattered by the recent explosion that rocked Nyanya, a suburb of the nation’s capital, near Nasarawa state. No worse incident could have resulted in such a devastating week for residents who had barely grown out of apprehensions of initial attacks by the Boko Haram belligerents, who also claimed responsibility for the Nyanya attack. Abuja has been repeatedly hit by the insurgents in three years. The incident summarily revivified already waned fright over insecurity among residents of Abuja. 75 people were confirmed dead in the early morning blast, with hundreds others who sustained various degrees of injuries hospitalised in various hospitals in the city and its adjoining Nasarawa state. All through the week, most residents pondered over the gruesome killing and pervasive adverse socio-economic condition that has characterized living condition in the capital. Easter was generally celebrated low key. Activities marking the festivity began with the Good Friday, which signaled the end of the Holy Week. Prayers were said for the repose of lives that were lost in the attack and for consolation of their families in virtually all churches where services took place in the city that Friday. Whereas, prior to the declaration of that Friday and following Monday as public holidays, most activities in public offices had been grounded consequent

Fun spots are recording low patronage

Parks manned by military

upon the attack, including a rumoured bomb blast at another motor park, Jabi; which was said to have occurred shortly after the Nyanya Park’s attack. Many workers in the city hurriedly left for their homes that day. Another rumoured impending blast at the National Assembly and the Federal Secretariat about noon did not help matter two days after; workers in these establishments soon shut down their offices and left for their homes. The week-long bewilderment in Abuja also forced many residents to heed the calls of their relatives from their villages to leave the city for their home states to celebrate Easter.

Many residents left behind in the city chose to celebrate in their homes, apparently in apprehension of further terror attacks Yet, residents left behind gained confidence from increased security measures put in place by government, as the army and other security agencies massively deployed their personnel on the city’s streets to fortify security. Many residents left behind in the city chose to celebrate in their homes, apparently in apprehension of further terror attack. Unlike the previous festivities when fun parks are thronged by people, some of the amusement parks visited by our reporter during the celebration had only a few funseekers. “It is better to stay in my house and see the season pass over me peacefully than I go to where I do not know what will happen to me,” said Emmanuel Ad-

ama, a resident who spoke with ‘Inside FCT’ at Lugbe, a suburb of the FCT. Another resident, Iyanu Ademola said: “When God keeps you, He expects you be alert yourself. I love to go to town to catch fun, but I cannot willingly put my life in danger when God gives me the opportunity to save it.” Asked how he celebrated the festivity, Ademola said: “I have been more concerned with the lives of those that died in the unfortunate incident of Monday’s bombing. They all have relatives like me; they had dreams they were pursuing while alive. So, for them to just die like that in that heinous attack, this is not the time to pop the wine. It is just for me to remember the day and I pray that God make me see other years that I will be able celebrate the way I want.” Kelechi Happiness is a resident of Kubwa, another suburb of the FCT. She was caught on the street of the city by our reporter. Happiness said: “I am not happy at all. I cannot say I am really celebrating. Each passing second, I think about the people that died in the Nyanya blast. When my mum cooked this morning, many of us found it very difficult to eat when my daddy reminded us of the attack on those innocent lives. I pray that God consoles their families. I also pray that God changes the mind of the terrorists that are killing innocent Nigerians.”

Children with president of the group at te rally


Mirror Mongers

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Friday, May 2, 2014

From Jesse to Agbedo town

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Oshiomole

or people who have witnessed the calamity called petrol explosion, the ugly incident at Jesse town in Delta State will take so long to vanish from their subconscious. According to the story then the indigenes of that town, meaning to scoop as much ‘free petrol’ as possible had besieged a burst pipe where they scooped ad stored petrol in such mundane places as their soup pots! But it was just a spark from a motorcycle’s exhaust pipe that reminded the entire community of the danger in living precariously, when the Great Jesse fire incident consumed the entire community leaving hundreds dead or wounded. That was many years ago, and it seems the same experience is about

to repeat itself again, in a community called Agbedo, in Edo State. MM gathered that in the past couple of days, what the indigenes of this community have been doing is stealing fuel and storing in their houses following a wide scale oil bunkering activities going on there with the collusion of some security officials. So organised is the activity that even when inspectors are coming from the regulatory bodies, the indigenes smell them from a million miles away, only to gather after they have left. The buzz is that the oil bunkering is so widespread that parents are now inviting their jobless wards waiting for white collar jobs in Abuja and Lagos to come home and take part in the booty.

Towards Delta Government House

Dr. Ngozi Olejeme

Before JAMB becomes FIRS

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risis is currently looming as prominent politicians, professionals and community leaders in Delta State on Sunday advised the powers –that-be against plot to foist someone on the people in 2015. “The politics of 2015 is that of issues that have direct bearing on the wellbeing of the people. Therefore, anyone who wants to become Governor of the state must demonstrate the capacity. His vision and determination to govern the state must be clear to the people,” they said. Rising from a meeting in Asaba, the leaders decried the current plot to remove the Chairman, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, Ngozi Olejeme from the race. Will Olejeme cave in due to the pressures?

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hat is the latest about the job saga which rocked the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro a few weeks ago? Someone can bet that the Minister would be smiling (from cheek to cheek?) about the way events take over issues in Nigeria, after all they have spared him all the noise about stepping down to atone for the deaths of countless graduates who wrote ‘his’ job test. But someone seems to be dancing in line with the rhythm that almost pushed down Comrade Abba Moro. He is none other than the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Dibu Ojerinde. Of course the reason is not far from the lamentations of the candidates who are wondering when JAMB became as competitive as the Federal Inland Revenue Service in terms of looking for money. MM gathered that aside the cost of buying forms, candidates are mandatorily expected to pay N1,700 to check their results.

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Jamb examination candidates

This is as a result of a contract entered into between JAMB authorities and a soft ware company; much like what happened during the Immigration test debacle. The people calculating the cost of doing this business are marveled at the figures when 1.7 million candidates have to pay N1, 700 to check their results alone. But why are the helpless vulnerable to these schemes.

State of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital

Ojerinde

ONE-SECOND Q & A

JUBRIL AMINU

In recent times, the country has been inundated with cases of crises involving Fulani herdsmen, Jubril Aminu a professor of cardiology, an ambassador and former senator representing Adamawa Central reacts to the issue: Can you tell the story of Fulani herdsmen?

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Aminu

he Fulani story is a tragic paradox because when we talk about the Fulani as a group, people tell you about the Fulani rule in Sokoto Empire and sub empires like the one we have in Adamawa, and they talk about all the rulers in northern Nigeria where Fulani, consequent upon the establishment of the Caliphate and other empires headed by Fulani and all the historical problems associated with that including emirate rule, including what some people call Fulani dictators, slavery and how Fulani rule dovetailed into modern politics with old parties like the NPC, NPN. People who might not be Fulani often like to identify themselves as Fulani because of the pedigree. And so, the ordinary Fulani man bears all the brunt of this historical animosity when truly he was not responsible.

Abuja Teaching Hospital

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t is likely that the plans to end medical tourism to places like India will remain a mirage if the stories emanating from the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, one of the best in country are anything to go by. For those who are still seeing the place as solution to their medical issues, MM gathered that they need to think twice and should only resort to the place when it is a ‘case that does not have to do with emergency’. A source confided in MM how a relative on an emergency admission was kept in an open ward for almost two weeks before being attended to. Worse still was the situation where the consultants only show up when it is convenient for them, irrespective of the state of health of their patients. MM gathered that the cliché that government hospitals are mere consulting clinics is so apt at the Teaching Hospital.


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Friday, May 2, 2014 Rajab 3 1435 A.H.

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

USTAZ A. ZAFARAN “O YOU WHO BELIEVE! Fasting is prescribed for you just as it was prescribed for those before you. So that you will learn self-restraint from evil” [Q2:183]

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asting as a way of worship and self-denial is not a new idea. Due to its great and far-reaching values and significance, it has also been prescribed for the Islamic Ummah in a manner and form that befits their appellation as “Ummatan Wasatan” (a justly balanced nation) as well as to train and prepare them for the task of vicegerency. Most essentially, the fast will assist them to attain perfect discipline, abstinence, patience and resoluteness. Hence, the fast is a provision for Jihad against all forces that can derail man from the path of Allah (SWT). A person who cannot bring his self-desire under control cannot wage Jihad. For, he can be easily swept off his feet by the powerful currents of sensuality, luxuriousness and indiscipline, this, at a point, can cause the formidable army of Islam an irreparable damage. Taking the backgrounds of the previous religions into consideration, Islam appears in an entirely new garb to satisfy all the essential aspects of fasting, to inculcate in man the desired moral, social, and spiritual lessons. It is a plus for Islam, and a confirmation of its universality that ever since it has

Ramadan is coming been made obligatory, second year after the Hijrah, Muslims have continued to fast it in the same months for the same number of days (29 or 30), the same time of sahur and Iftar, engaging in the same spiritual activities like Tilawah, Sadaqah, Taraweeh, Tafseer, ’I‘tikaf, giving of Zakatul-Fitr and celebrating the Eidul-Fitr at the same time (1st of Shawwal). What a blessing and guidance! Through it, man can attain the peak of closeness to Allah (SWT). It was in this month that the revelation of the Qur’an began. May Allah (SWT) shower His choicest benediction on Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He set out in search of the truth. Leaving behind him everything - the Arabs, their idols, their ways, their ills and even his family and his beloved wife Khadijah, he set out for the cave of Hirah in this month. He would bury himself in reflection about the great power behind the veils of material existence. While buried in his reflections, everywhere was quiet and calm as if something great would happen. There and then, angel Jibril (AS) appeared to him and said, ‘iqra’. ‘I cannot read,’ Muhammad (SAW) replied. The angel squeezed him in a hard manner of embrace and let him go. ‘iqra’, the angel said again. ‘I cannot

Narrated Sahl: “The Prophet said, ‘There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.’’’

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Allah (SWT) made it possible for him to be able to recite them after him like a student learning from his teacher. They became imprinted upon his heart and the angel went away. He became terrified that he dashed out of the cave. Behold, he heard a voice calling him from the horizon. Looking towards it, he saw the same angel who has asked him to read. He really saw the angel in his angelic form. He looked away, but every direction he looked, he kept on CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

L-R: Saliu Babalola and Tawakkalit Abeeb during their walimatul Nikaah at Ijebu Ode, recently

Hadith of the Day

Polygamy: The good, the bad, the ugly

read’, repeated the Prophet. For the third time, having squeezed him again, the angel asked him to read. But how could Muhammad (SAW) have read, the Umiyy (the unlettered), who could neither read nor write! Then, he asked ‘what do I read?” thence began the revelation of the Qur’an. “Read in the name of your Lord who has created; He created man from a clot; Read and your Lord is the most Gracious; Who has taught with the Pen; Has taught man what he did not know.”[Q96-1-5]

The importance of Ayatul Kursiyyi (2)

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L-R: Abdul-Afeez Ajibola Popoola and Moriam Motunrayo Dawodu during their walimatul Nikaah at Memorable Event centre, Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos.

Couples advised on tolerance

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Call to Worship

Rajab 3 1435 A.H. Friday, May 2, 2014

IN HIS LIGHT

Ramadan is coming CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

seeing him. He hurriedly descended from the mountain and dashed home. On getting home he said to his wife, ‘cover me up!’ This Prophet’s experience marked the beginning of the Quranic revelation. About fifteen

AL-FATIH-ULQUAREEB

MESSAGE with

SHEIKH

ADANGBA

e-mail: ustazadangbe@yahoo.com

“... You may marry two, three or four wives but not more; but if you fear that you cannot deal justly and equitable with them all, you shall marry only one...” (Q4 v 3).

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here are three forms of marriages recognised and practised by different societies at the different times of the development of mankind. Polyandry is the marriage of one wife to many men at the same time. This was practised in the ancient times as a result of serious. Monogamy is the marriage of one man to one wife: and the third form of marriage is polygamy (the correct word is polygyny) which is the marriage of one man to many wives. Polygamy was practised before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (saw). In all parts of the world, in Asia, Europe and Africa, it was practised as an institution even amongst the Israelis before the time of Moses who continued it; even the Athens who were considered the most cultured of all nations of antiquity practised it. We read of it in many places in the Bible where many people practised polygamy. As the nations became more and more civilised people did away with polyandry because of the shame it brought and of the problems of paternity of the child that arose from it. Then people hold to polygamy and later slipped unconsciously into monogamy. Before Islam, polygamy was practised along with concubinage as an institution. The difference between concubinage and marriage is that the concubine has no right which marriage confers on a wife, that is, the

years later, Allah (SWT) commanded the fast of Ramadan in the same month in which the Qur’an was first revealed. Drawing from this historical antecedent, therefore, one can say that fasting in this blessed month means abandonment of

unrestrained material attachment to the world via food, drink and sex for a whole month, in full harmony with our spiritual being to discover and return it to its purified nature. It is a period to leave behind and get rid of all the Jahiliyyah practices

Polygamy: The good, the bad, the ugly rights of maintenance and inheritance. In Arabia, the Prophet found polygamy practised to an undesirable extent. The capacity of the Arab man’s purse was the only limit to the number of wives he could have. There were neither conventions nor laws to dictate to him how many he should have and how he should take care of them. In Africa, the number of wives a man had determined how wealthy he was. Kings and rich men took as many as twenty or more wives. These wives were used as labourers on the farm and at home in the service of their husband and were not paid anything for doing such work except that they were maintained by the husband. There were also no conventions nor laws to dictate to the man the number of wives he could have. These women were possessed in the same way house utensils and other articles of property were possessed and were shared in inheritance along with properties when the husband died. The prophet felt very concerned for these women and therefore took steps to eradicate the evils limiting the number of wives a man could have contemporaneously by making absolute equality towards all obligatory on man. This means that both men and women shall be on equal status at the time they negotiate for the marriage contract, and that neither shall feel inferior to the other. The man has to fulfill certain conditions which the woman stipulates and as soon as the marriage contract has been approved by both of them, each of them shall have certain rights and obligations. The Qur’an limits the number of wives a man may have, no matter how wealthy

he may be to a maximum of four but with a very strong condition that the man shall be able to provide feeding, clothing and good accommodation for each of them, you shall also be able to treat all of them equally without being partial to one or some against the others. “You may marry two, three or four wives but not more; but if you fear that you cannot deal justly and equitable with them all, you shall marry only one” (Q4 v 3). If men are serious and sincere, how many of them can fulfill the above conditions? The Prophet (SAW) lived a monogamous life for about twenty-five years until his first wife Khadijah died. The permission to marry more than one wife came in the interest of women themselves. Let us recall the conditions which were prevalent at the time of the permission to marry up to four wives came. It came immediately after the battle of Uhud in the year 625 A.D. When many men of the small community of the Muslims had died as a result of the wars, and many women had become widows and many children had become orphans all of them needing care and caress. In an age where women were not in a position to earn their livelihood themselves as they are able to do now, the only solution to their distress was to get them remarried and place them under the protection and care of men. Europe practices monogamy as a result of economic pressure and certainly not because any religion commands it. There are many women who become professionals and do not get married at all. There are also surplus women not only in Europe but also in other societies.

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with and tendencies. No more lying and backbiting. No more stinginess and selfindulgence. No more gazing at the opposite sex. No more negligence of Salat and wasting of time. It is a moment to engage ourselves in complete contemplation about the signs of Allah (SWT) as manifested around us and as contained in the Qur’an. It is a time to remember the Prophet (SAW) and his Sahabah for their great services to Islam. It is a time to bridle our tongues from lying, abusive talk, shouting, slander, useless talk; to restrain our eyes from looking and appreciating what is forbidden; to withhold our hands from fighting and touching or writing what is forbidden; to halt our legs from treading the path of Shaytan; to prevent our ears from listening to obscene talks, music, eavesdropping and

USTAZ

A. ZAFARAN e-mail: zafabumuneeb@yahoo.com backbiting, to guard our nose from inhaling what is haram and to free our minds from thinking evil. In Ramadan, a true Muslim will not only abstain and restrain himself from evils; he will live all through engaging in doing one virtue after the other. He will rise to observe Tahajjud. He will recite the Qur’an – night, morning, noon, afternoon, evening and start over again. He will take the Sahur at the uncomfortable early hours of the dawn. He will observe his Salawat in Jama‘ah. He will memorize the Qur’an. He will go out to attend the circles of Quranic exegesis. He will observe many Nawafil. He will recite Ma’thurat

(prayers of the Prophet). He will assist the needy and help the poor. He will study the stories of the Prophet (SAW) and his Sahabah so as to learn from them. In fact, he will want to do all good deeds as many times as possible. Ramadan is now less than sixty days away. We have to start preparing to welcome it and praying fervently to Allah (SWT) to make us witness it. We need the period of Ramadan to supplicate for the state of Islam and Muslims across the world.

Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

The importance of Ayatul Kursiyyi (2)

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adhrat Ibn Abbass narrated that the Bani Israel asked Prophet Musa, “Does your Rabb sleep?” of which Prophet Musa said, “Fear Allah”. Allah ordered,” Oh Musa, your nation has asked you whether your Rabb sleeps? Take two glasses in your hand and stand with it for the whole night.” Hadhrat Musa did as he was ordered. When on third of the night passed, he fell on his knees but stood up immediately. During the latter part of the night, sleep overcame him and the glasses fell and broke. Allah said, “Oh Musa, if I sleep then the sky will fall on the earth and destroy it just as the two glasses fell from your hands and broke. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah said that Rasulullah (SAW) stated that whosoever reads “Haa meem al Mu’minoon” upto “al maseer” and Ayatul Kursi in the morning, will be protected until the evening and whoever reads both of these in the night will be protected until the morning. It is good to recite it each night before one goes to bed especially when one feels sad, lonely or generally afraid. This verse is amazingly powerful and no one should joke with it.

When you lie down in your bed, recite Ayatul Kursiyyi, Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. [al-Baqarah 2:255] until the end of the ayat, then you will have a protector from Allah and no devil will come near you until morning comes. Great ayat in the Qur’an is kurissiy; recite it at night with your palms open, blow the air into your palm and rub it round your body and go to sleep. That is the recommendation of the Prophet Mohammed (SAW). If you can recite it after every salat, you shall experience good protection. It was narrated that Abu Umamah who said that Prophet Mohammed (SAW) said: “Whoever recites Ayat Al-Kursiyy immediately after each prescribed prayer, there will be nothing standing between him and his entering Paradise except

death.” Equally, it was reported that “the one who recites Ayat Kursiyy after the conclusion of an obligatory prayer, he is under the care of Allah until the next prayer commences. Ubayy bin Ka’b reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Abu Mundhir! Do you know which Ayat in Allah’s Book is the greatest? I said: ‘Allah and His messenger know best.” He again said: ‘Do you know which Ayat in Allah’s book, according to you, is the greatest?’ I (Abu Mundhir) replied: ‘It is ‘Allah la ilaha illa Huwal-HayyulQayyum’. Thereupon he patted me in the chest and said, ‘ Rejoice by your knowledge. The importance of this verse of throne is uncountable. However, before one can experience its full benefit, such a Muslim must be a practicing one who believes the holy Qur’an & hadith and follows the sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (SAW). Concluded Sheikh Abdul Ganiyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jubulatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT)


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Call to Worship

Friday, May 2, 2014 Rajab 3 1435 A.H.

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Politicians urged to unite against terrorism

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L-R: Luqman Olundegun and Maryam Jimoh during their walimatul Nikaah at La Belle Place, Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos recently.

he Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters’ Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Khalid, has appealed to politicians to eschew political differences in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. Khalid noted that there was an urgent need for politicians to come together as one family to fight ‘the common enemy of Nigeria. According to him, the Holy Qur’an forbids disagreement among mankind in a time of need, hence the need for unity of purpose among all stakeholders in the Nigerian project. The cleric stressed the need for the political class to uphold national unity rather than encouraging rancour which often heated up the polity. “Allah in the Holy Qur’an chapter 103, verse one to three, has mentioned that man is lost, except those who come together as a family to correct the mistakes of one another. “We have to go back to Him, because He is the only one that can solve our problem.” He said that there

was no need for blame game among politicians, considering the socioeconomic and political implications of the current security situation to the survival of the country. Khalid said some politicians and political parties often blame one another over the activities of insurgents in the country. Khalid urged Nigerians to revive their faiths, righteousness and piety so that the Almighty Allah would be with them and come to their aid whenever they were in difficulty. He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for convening an expanded security meeting with all the governors, heads of security agencies and some religious leaders in the country. “The President needed those men he invited, because he alone cannot address the security challenge facing the country. “If they are all sincere to Nigerians, we are going to be at the right track but if there is no sincerity, we may not get it right.”

Imam to politicians: Stop blame game on insecurity

L-R: Bride’s mother, Mrs Mudrakat Jimoh; Bride’s father, Alhaji Jimoh and groom’s parents, Mr and Mrs Razaq Olundegun at the walimatul Nikaah of their children at La Belle Pace, Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos recently.

Couples advised on tolerance AISHA TITILAYO

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ewlyweds, Luqman Olundegun and Maryam Jimoh-Olundegun, have been advised to always tolerate each other as they begin another phase of their lives. Sheikh Imran Eleha gave this admonition at the duo’s Aqdun and walimatul Nikaah at La Belle Place, Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos. Speaking particularly to the groom, Eleha emphasized that Luqman had to double his patience level because women will always be women. “They

…patience is never too much will always test you and want to provoke you. This is when you know and show that you are now a man. You have to be very tolerant.” Sheikh Imran gave the example of the wives of the Prophet, stating that as pious and devoted as they were, they still proved to be women. He added that with Allah’s guidance, the Prophet was able to deal justly with them to the best of his ability. Sheikh Imran also advised the bride to always respect and honour her husband, making sure

he is pleased with her at all times. “Make sure you take proper care of your husband, cook his food on time and always be cheerful towards him.” He said. The bride’s mum, Mrs Mudrakat Jimoh, urged her daughter to emulate her as she never disrespects or abuse the dad. Mrs Jimoh said, “Honour your husband, pray for him, take care of him, clean the house, cook his food on time, and you will find happiness.” She added that the bride should be humble in her

husband’s house. Citing the example of Khadijah, the first wife of the Prophet (SAW), despite the fact that Khadijah was very rich and Muhammad was working for her before they got married, she never disobeyed her husband. Khadijah was humble and gave all of her properties to the husband. “Never let your wealth or position gets into your head and make you disrespectful to your husband.” She however prayed for the couple and wished them a prosperous married life.

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alam Muhammad Nafi’u, the Chief Imam of Nupe Road Juma’at Mosque, Kaduna, has urged politicians to stop blaming each other over the security challenge threatening the country. Nafi’u made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after Friday prayers in Kaduna. He advised the politicians to join hands with government in addressing the problems facing the country for peace to reign. According to him, security is the responsibility of all citizens. He said it was the civic responsibility of everyone to report any threats to relevant authorities for action that would nip such threats in the bud. The chief imam also

urged government to secure the release of abducted GGSS Chibok students in Borno in fulfilment of its responsibility. The cleric condemned those behind the Nyanya bomb blast in Abuja, describing it as a `` devilish act’’. He said the Boko Haram terrorists were not Muslims and don’t represent Muslims in any way. ``Islam does not preach violence, but a religion of peace. ``However, Boko Haram is waging war with the entire country, and no good citizen will accept that. The insurgency must be crushed.’’ He further called on government to be proactive and give schools maximum security to avoid what happened at Chibok.


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Call to Worship

Rajab 3 1435 A.H. Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

At the Ahmadiyya youth conference held recently at Akure

Every Friday with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya

Muhammad’s marriage with Khadijah

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hen the Prophet (SAW) was about 25 years old, his reputation for integrity and fellowfeeling had spread over the town. People would point admiring fingers at him and say; here is a man who can be trusted. This reputation reached the ears of a rich widow who approached the Prophet’s (SAW) uncle, Abu Talib, to let his nephew lead a trading caravan of hers to Syria. Abu Talib mentioned this to the Prophet (SAW) and the Prophet (SAW) agreed. The expedition met with great success and brought unexpected profits. The rich widow, Khadijah (RA) was convinced that the success of the caravan was due not only to the conditions of the market in Syria, but also to the integrity and efficiency of its leader. She interrogated her slave, Maisa (RA), on this subject, and Maisa (RA) supported her view and told her that the honesty and sympathy with which this young leader of the caravan had managed her affairs would not be shown by many persons. Khadijah (RA) was much impressed by this account. She was 40 years of age and had already been widowed twice. She sent a woman friend of hers to the Prophet (SAW) to find out whether he would be persuaded to marry her. This woman went to the Prophet (SAW) and asked why he had not married. The Prophet (SAW) replied he was not rich enough to do so. The visitor suggested whether he would agree, if a rich and respectable woman were found whom he could marry. The Prophet (SAW) asked who this woman could be, and the visitor said she was Khadijah (RA). The Prophet (SAW) apologized, saying that Khadijah (RA) was too highly placed for him. The visitor undertook to deal with all difficulties. In that case, said the Prophet (SAW), there was nothing for him to say but to agree. Khadijah (RA) then sent a message to the Prophet’s (SAW) uncle. Marriage between the Prophet (SAW) and Khadijah (RA) was settled and solemnized. A poor man, orphaned in childhood had his first peep into prosperity. He became rich. But the use he made of his riches is an objectlesson to all mankind. After the marriage, Khadijah (RA) felt that she was rich and he was poor and that this inequality between them would not make for happiness. So she proposed to make over her property and her slaves to the Prophet (SAW) The Prophet (SAW), making sure that Khadijah (RA) was in earnest, declared that as soon as he had any of Khadijah’s (RA) slaves, he would set them free. And he did so. Moreover, the greater part of the property which he received from Khadijah (RA) he distributed among the poor. Among the slaves whom he thus set free

THE PROPHET (SAW), MAKING SURE THAT KHADIJAH (RA) WAS IN EARNEST,

President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, Abdul-Qadir Abdul-Rafi; the Amir of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola; and Regent of Akure

DECLARED THAT AS SOON AS HE HAD ANY

KHADIJAH’S (RA) SLAVES, HE WOULD SET THEM FREE. AND HE OF

DID SO was one Zaid (RA). He appeared to be more intelligent and more alert than others. He belonged to a respectable family, had been kidnapped as a child and sold from place to place until he reached Makkah. Young Zaid (RA), newly freed, saw at once that it was better to sacrifice freedom for the sake of slavery to the Prophet (SAW). When the Prophet (SAW) set the slaves free, Zaid (RA) refused to be freed and asked leave to continue to live with the Prophet (SAW). He did so, and as time went on, his attachment to the Prophet (SAW) grew. But in the meantime, Zaid’s (RA) father and his uncle were on his track and they ultimately heard that he was in Makkah. In Makkah they traced him in the house of the Prophet (SAW). Coming to the Prophet (SAW), they asked for the liberty of Zaid (RA) and offered to pay as much ransom as the Prophet (SAW) should demand. The Prophet (SAW) said that Zaid (RA) was free and could go with them as he liked. He sent for Zaid (RA) and showed him his father and uncle. After the parties had met and dried their tears, Zaid’s (RA) father told him that he had been freed by his kind Master and, as his mother was much afflicted by the separation, he had better return home. Zaid (RA) replied, “Father! Who does not love his parents? My heart is full of love for you and mother. But I love this man Muhammad (SAW) so much that I cannot think of living elsewhere than with him. I have met you and I am glad. But separation from Muhammad (SAW) I cannot endure.” Zaid’s (RA) father and his uncle did their utmost to persuade Zaid (RA) to return home with them but Zaid (RA) did not agree. Upon this the Holy Prophet (SAW) said, “Zaid (RA) was a freedman already, but from today he will be my son.” Seeing this affection between Zaid (RA) and the Prophet (SAW), Zaid’s (RA) father and uncle went back and Zaid (RA) remained with the Prophet (SAW)

A cross of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youths

Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth leaders from Benin Republic, Bukinafaso, Ivory Coast and Equitorial Guniea with the Missionary -in- Charge Ahmadiya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria Maulv I Khalique Nayyar.

A cross of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youths


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People In The Mirror

Friday, May 2, 2014

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Scenes at 2014 AY Live show in Lagos The 2014 edition of AY Live which held in at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos recently was a collage of fun and surprises. Here are some special moments at the event.

AY

Dilly Umenyiora

Genevieve Nnaji

AY teasing Jennifer Oguzie

Venita Akpofure and Alex Ekubor

Funke Akindele

Fifi Umenyiora

Michelle Bello

Denrele Edun and guest

I Go Dye

Sir Shina Peters

Guests at the show

Tee Mac Nedu, Yaw and Kaylah Oniwo

Onyinye Onwugbenu

Osama

PHOTOS: BELLA NAIJA


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Arty News

Friday, April 25, 2014

National Nation nal al Mir M Mirror ror www.nationalmirroronline.net www.nationalmirror orro o on onl nlliin n ine n .net

TV show unveils ambassadors, coordinators

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new reality TV show called The Heroes: Back to the Roots has berthed in Nigeria with so much fanfare. Obviously Nigeria’s first cultural reality TV show, The Heroes: Back to the Roots, is also set to commence auditions at the 12 designated centres nationwide. This was made known in Lagos by the producer of the realty TV show, Chinyere Ogbukagu of De Havillah Timeless Productions, Jos. According to her, prospective participants at the reality TV show are to obtain the form at all branches of the First City Monument Bank nationwide by paying into the Havillah Timeless account, with which they can attend auditions at the centres listed against the dates on the show’s website. The host of the show, Segun Arinze, a Nollywood star, said he was ready to take the final 37 contestants who would emerge from the various states of the federation and the FCT into the house for the specific tasks which would stem from their deep knowledge of the Nigerian culture. “The moment I heard about this show, I knew it was one I should be part of. Personally I am worried about the fortunes of our culture in Nigeria. So I am ready for the final contestants who would emerge from the various us states in Nigeria.”

Technical director of the production, Ifeanyi Onyeabor had this to say about the show which would avail winners with SUV, cash prizes and movie roles at the end. “Young Nigerians who feel they have a passion for the various cultures in Nigeria now have an opportunity to become stars. We are doing this to rekindle interest in Nigeria’s culture”. In the past two months the production crew of the show has been training the twelve ambassadors and many other regional coordinators of the show, who would be in charge of logistics at the e respective zones during auditions. The ambassadors mbassadors are: Chioma Maduka Esther, Abia bia and Imo zone; Rosy Uzezi Uyeri, Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa zone; Mary Ann Sequence nce Ozioko; Enugu zone; Princess Esther Paul Nwani, Ebonyi zone; Queen Kwashi, Plateau lateau zone; Queen Esther Moses, Akwa Ibom m and Cross River zone; Hadiza Umar, Niger, Kwara and Abuja zone; Amarachi Amaka Neze, Anambra zone; Lilian Ochanya David, vid, Benue e zone, Fache Oziohu Blessing, Kogi zone; zone e; Eniola Olufuntuyi, Lagos and South west wesst zone and Jumai Abuyida Kuta, Sokoto, okoto, ZamZam mfara and Kebbi zone. The coordinators are: Maureen M Ekpenyong River, (Cross R Rive ve er, r,

Akwa Ibom), Mallama Inna Zainab nab Abubakar (Sokoto region), Chioma Esther ther Maduka (Abia and Imo region), Jeffery fery Pius, (Lagos and south west region),, Lilian David, (Benue and Kogi region),, Adaeze Chiegbu, (Enugu region), Joe e Onyeabor (Plateau region), M. D Yaahaya Baba and Angela Amadi (Niger region), George Bassey (Abuja region), ), Umar Gotip (Kano region) egion) and George Edigbe be (Baye l s a region).

Queen Esther Moses

Maduka Chioma

Amarachi Amaka Neze

Music stars sizzle at Club Ultimate Enugu Dennis Agbo ENUGU

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apper Naeto C, comedian turned lawwmaker Tony One Week, Burna Boy y, Yemi Alade and fast-rising rapper er Sym 19 were some of the guests spotted at Enugu last weekend for the south eastern deebut of Gulder Club Ultimate. The Coal City ty came alive as thousands from neigbouring ng towns trooped to the Polo Park Mall to wit-ness dazzling performances from four of Nigeria’s hottest DJ’s as well as local and international acts. Darey Art Alade and Freeze of Cool FM M compeered the spectacular club event while e the city’s finest radio presenters Tobe Dadiva in a chic all black ensemble and Lorenzo Menakaya in a one-of-a-kind suit glammed d up the red carpet. Emmanuel Agu an official of the sponsoring company says ‘initiatives like Club Ultimate further Gulder’s commitment to providing superior, unprecedented experiences for consumers across the country while ensuring Nigerian’s enjoy ultimate entertainment.’ The two-day event started on a high note with Flavour’s Jazz band thrilling guests to live performances of popular local and foreign tracks. Their performance was followed by the indigenous Ikorodo dancers dressed in colourful traditional attires dancing to popular contemporary tracks from the DJ’s turntable. World-class shows from amazing international acts including Cyrl Wheel, Flame Oz and Gandini Jugglers turned the fictional to reality at the event. lub Ultimate, the famous urbane clubbing event, which hops from city to city, transformed the venue into a giant multimillion naira ultimate cruise liner. The exterior was customized with detailed elements of seashore, a walkway tunnel and stylish ushers in sailor uniforms.

Lilian David Queen Kwashi

Olofuntuyi Eniola

Uzezi Uyeri

Princess Esther Wani

Hadiza Umar Fache Blessing Jumai Kuta


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Arty News

Friday, May 2, 2014

Amaka Igwe: Legacy, tributes and unfulfilled dreams or someone who has contributed immensely to the growth of the motion picture industry in Nigeria, it is understandable why the entire industry almost came to a standstill when the news of the death of Amaka Igwe, filtered in from Enugu on Tuesday. She had died the previous night, while on location shooting a soap opera in her native Igbo language, apparently in response to the desperate calls for the rebirth of interest in Igbo language productions. As one of the pioneer producers in Nollywood, Amaka Igwe’s role was notable being the brain behind so many successful productions in the industry. Of course, her death, which resulted from asthmatic attach, may have come at a time when her presence was looming large in the industry. Although she was on location, when the ugly incident happened, the director’s immediate last hours were filled with apprehension following the attack, which refused to subside even after the usual medications. This prompted her being taken to the hospital in Enugu where the doctors pronounced her dead that Monday night. A consummate filmmaker per excellence, Amaka Igwe came to national prominence in the late 80s following her brilliance in television productions showing in Nigeria then. Prominent amongst these was Checkmate, a soap opera that launched the acting careers of so many of today’s Nollyw stars like Richard Mofe Damijo, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Bimbo Manuel, Ego Boyo, Norbert Young and Mildred Iweka.

ant has fallen but your legacy lives on. Rest in peace my sister. And may God grant your family, particularly my brother Charles, the fortitude to bear this tragic loss. Ifeanyi Onyeabor said: “She was a sister, a friend and a professional colleague. It is tragic and the void is irreplaceable. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the chief executive officer of Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA wrote: “I was in total shock and lost my mental balance. It took me time to recover from the sad reality that our own Auntie Amaka is gone while in Enugu in preparation for a movie project. The motion picture industry in Nigeria and Africa will sorely miss this revolutionary who raised the bar of professionalism and artistic excellence early in Nollywood when it was not fashionable. Amaka Igwe gave herself and applied herself to producing films and soaps that are pacesetters. She was a creative entrepreneur of outstanding qualities who came, saw and conquered in her 51 years of existence on earth”. Harris Chuma, the president of the Igbo Film Forum, a group championing the promotion of Igbo language films said: “Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo in Nollywood has declared one week mourning for our great icon. From today April 29th till May 6th 2014, please if you are truly Igbo ‘No Film Production should be carried out anywhere in Nigeria. If you are on location right now please strike set by 6pm today. Let us respect the dead! Amaka Igwe was instrumental to the success of the Nollywood brand that we are feeding on”.

Her final moments:

Her life

Ngozi Emedolibe

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While Amaka Igwe had an attack on the set of her new soap opera, it is pertinent to note that several activities of hers in the past one week, never suggested that she was about to succumb to the cold hands of death. On Saturday April 26, she had gone on her Facebook page to sample the opinion of her followers on a particular plot in a story. According to her post, “Is he Cheating? When Anya suspected her husband, Ron was having an affair, her antennae went up. She began watching for evidence—receipts, long-distance phone calls, email—to confirm her suspicion. Over time, the evidence was clear: Ron was cheating on her. When Anya confronted her husband, however, he told her she was crazy for thinking that way. Ron’s words cut her to the core. Not only did his vehement denial magnify his guilt, but his demeaning words reinforced what she was already feeling—that she was losing her mind. Jealousy and suspicion were taking over her life. Anya decided to meet with her pastor. She shared her suspicion and the evidence that pointed to her husband’s guilt.” The post which many suspected was a plot in a production obviously got many responses like the one she posted the previous day about Arik Air: “ARIK Air lacks integrity. Sacrifices service for profit all the time. What do you think?” On Monday, she had also spoken with director Afam Okereke whom she asked over to her set to celebrate the birth of Channel Q, the new television station she had dutifully nursed which recently got licensed by the government.

Tributes from colleagues

As her death came to the fore, the industry responded with tributes: Filmmaker Obi Emelonye wrote: “A gi-

Some of her early efforts like Checkmate and Violated have largely remained a watershed in the history of soaps and movie production in Nigeria. Born to Isaac Ene, a retired civil engineer from Obinagu-Udi in Enugu State, she was born and bred in Enugu. An old girl of All Saints School, now Trans Ekulu Primary School, Girls High School Awkunanaw, Enugu and Idia College Benin City where she had her A levels, Amaka recalled organising variety shows for her house which attracted a fee paying audience. She acted and directed the plays that were staged and she also taught the group the famous ‘atilogwu dance’ which became the school’s official dance. One of the foremost movie directors and by far one of the few contemporary filmmakers in the professional class, it was as a class one pupil of All Saint School Enugu that the once skinny Amaka who gained some weight after her first delivery experienced a play production. It took that production written by Amaka’s sister who was in secondary school then for a creative zeal to be fired up. She had wanted to study law but she ended up studying Education and Religious Studies at the University of Ife. She would eventually obtain a masters degree at the University of Ibadan in Library Studies while working in the industry.

Her works:

Amaka Igwe’s name in Nollywod was synonymouss with quality productions and while she lived she tried to o portray this in all her productions. From the early dayss of Nollywood when she unleashed such blockbusterss as Rattle Snake, Violated or Checkmate and Fuji House e of Commotion, her trademark seemed to be authoring g

Amaka

scripts that the common people can relate to. Her short film, Barber’s Wisdom also commanded a lot of influence.

Legacy, private life and unfulfilled dreams

Amaka Igwe even in death would remain a quintessential filmmaker. One of her high points which are notable amongst her colleagues in the industry was her knack for hard work as well as her reliance on knowledge. Perhaps that was why she was part of every summit or conference which was positioned to share knowledge in the industry. She was married to Charles Igwe with whom she had three kids, Amaka may have died without realising some of her dreams. Aside her television station which was in the pipeline, the Igbo soap opera which she was shooting when she succumbed to death, may remain a fleeting illusion. Meanwhile, in 2013 she also admitted to have shot six films which she was afraid of releasing into the market because of the lack of structures to guarantee returns on her investments. According to her, “In fairness, we have about six films that we have not released. It’s not that I’m not making films; the point is that we are not releasing it because of those super structures that we talked about. We have built a film set in Enugu, we are about to shoot one soap and two films. But this time we are beginning to finally get to what we need – to get films released and to make money without having to go through all the rigours. We are almost there. I mean, the people who made the early films, we all slowed down because of these super-structures and okay, because it was too crowded. Oya, let them do. But I don’t think it was a good idea. The Opa Williams of the world, NEK, Gabosky, even Zeb (Ejiro). Most of the people pulled back.” No doubt, the present and future generations of Nollywood stakeholders will not only miss Amaka Igwe but also miss her touch in productions.

Wedding day

With kids

With Hubby

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Escape

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Badagry: A walk through Ahaoma Kanu

“I

know you may have come here with a mindset; a somewhat hatred for the Whiteman who dealt on slave trade. But they were not the ones that went to the hinterlands to capture the slaves, our people did.” These were the startling words from Anago, one of the curators at the Seriki Faremi William Abass Slave Museum in Badagry, Lagos State in Nigeria at the commencement of the tour of the popular Badagry Slave Route that existed some hundreds of years ago. I had left that morning to the tourist site to have an experience, an imaginary journey that happened on the same soil I was standing with the other tourists. Having read a lot about the slave trade and watched movies like Alex Haley’s Roots and Stephen Spielberg’s Amistad starring Morgan Freeman and Djimon Honsou, I did not know what to expect. Anago was our guide and his introductory remarks about Seriki Wlliam Abbass, the renowned slave merchant whose Brazilian Baracoon slave port was among the only ones still standing, tilted towards making the man appear somehow vanquished. “This tour may change your perception about the infamous era in the history of slave trade,” he continued, I was eager to get into the ancient facility which was a great tourist attraction in Nigeria. The Brazilian Baracoon was derived from a Portuguese word which meant a slave prison and we were about to get into it. The wall cast of a female and male slave hung at different torture positions was the first image that captures one’s attention; the chains around the legs and arms of the twisted artwork looked eerie and pathetic. At the entrance of the prison was an inscription, Seriki Faremi William Abass Baracoon of 40 Slave Cells. Some young people were making foot wears; flip flops that looked attractive. They greeted us cheerfully while continuing with their craft. An elderly man dressed on white Danshiki was introduced as a descendant of Seriki Abbass whose business flourished in selling slaves in those days. I wondered if they would be concerned about how the thousands of tourists that flocked there each year saw them, but they were welcoming. Inside the building, Anago took us to where he called the waiting and inspection room. “This room serves as the checking room for the white men when they came to buy slaves,” he explained, “ they checked them out to know if they were healthy or not just like you inspect any commodity you want to buy.” The room measured nine feet by nine with an adjoining room of the same dimension but with a small window that could slightly have the dimension of a computer monitor and served as the only source of ventilation. The ceiling was made of long raffia palms. “The Baracoon consists of 40 rooms and each room was used as a cell to hold 40 slaves,” Anago went on, “at times when there were plenty slaves, some are kept in this room,” he added. “Forty people?” One of the foreign tourists, a lady, exclaimed; she was visibly shaken and trying to imagine how the small cubicle could hold 40 men or women with their children at times. I tried to imagine it but gave up on the ordeal. There were close to 10 pictures hanging on the glass shelf showcasing different moments in that era; there was one of of Seriki Abass turbaned as a chief hanging on the glass display stand; another illustrated portrait showed him with some Brazilian slave buyers. Another, hanging below the illustrated version, was a still picture which was weather beaten but visible enough to show the Seriki with his council of chiefs obviously posing for a group photograph. The Seriki was distinct as he had an umbrella above him making him appear outstanding among the lot. “This picture shows when Chief Abbass was made the paramount ruler or Seriki of Badagry in 1895 and he was handed a staff of office by Lord Lugard in 1902,” the curator continued, “this umbrella he is being sheltered with was exchanged for 40 slaves,” he announced as he got the umbrella from a corner. “Unbelievable!” Another Caucasian tourist ex-

Cannon gun

claimed. I reached for the umbrella and touched it; the item was heavy and must have been made from brocade material of top quality. The thought of 40 human beings being exchanged for the commodity was heavier a burden on my mind. Anago went to the other items on display, wrought iron chains of various sizes and shapes, hardened by time no doubt but used to shackle the slaves in those days. He got out one of the samples and told us it was used to chain the children of the slaves to prevent them from disturbing their parents when they worked on the plantation. “These chains has the sweat and blood of slaves on it and are over a century old,” he explained. At this point, I thought I saw a tear drop from the eyes of one of us; I swallowed hard to hold mine. Among the rusted iron artifacts an iron drilling bit used to brand the slaves for recognition and ownership. “How is this used?” I managed to ask. Anago smiled as if expecting the question. “It is put into the fire and allowed to get red hot and then used on the bodies of the slaves belonging to whoever owned them,” he responded. There were more cries in the room and I did not want to continue. Other items on the display were Chinese wares, cups and gramophone records, each of the items cost 10 slaves. The next room beside the waiting room was another cell used for female slaves and also held 40 slaves and at times with their children. They were chained inside here

to prevent them from escaping we were informed. I wondered how they fit into the small room; did they sit, squat or lie on themselves? It was unfathomable. After being shown the robes worn by the Seriki, his documents of transactions and the staff of office presented to him by the colonial masters, we were ushered outside the rooms and shown the grave and mausoleum of Seriki Abass constructed for him by his Brazilian business partners. Our next port of call was Chief Mobee’s Royal Family Slave Relics Museum a yelling distance from the Brazilian Baracoon. There we were shown more chains used on the slaves; bits used to lock their mouths to prevent them from eating the sugar canes on the plantation on which they were made to work on as well as a big oval iron water pot from which the slaves drank water. They drank from the pot by kneeling down and lapping the water while still on chains our guide informed us. I asked the curator to put one of the chains on my neck and he obliged; it felt heavy and made it more difficult to imagine. On the walls hung artistic expressions of slaves been tortured for attempting to escape and the painting that attracted more emotion was that of two slaves, a man and a woman being attacked by wild dogs. “The slaves fell in love and the consequence attracted having wild dogs unleashed on the errant couple,” Anago explained. The romantic depiction drew tears to my eyes. A miniature cannon gun was on display but outside the Relic lay two real ones; we were told they were worth 100 slaves exchanged by barter. It was painfully interesting to know that the horrible slave trade lasted a while in Badagry even when it was abolished in all the countries that were involved in it; the British West Indies stopped slave trading in 1863; Brazil followed suit in 1888 while in Africa, the trend got to an end in 1870. But slave trading activities continued in Badagry till 1886. As we were taken out to see the jetty where the slaves began their journey to unknown lands; the only sound audible was the breeze and the sounds footsteps on the sand that was once walked upon by slaves. Our guide explained that the Lagos State government was upgrading the site as there were visible construction work but he explained that due to the coming elections,


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Escape

Friday, May 2, 2014

35

the slave route

Brazilain Baracoon

work had been suspended. We stood on the very jetty the slaves were taken away every day by 4 a.m to cross the river to the island to either work on the plantation or be shipped on their final journeys abroad. I looked further and saw rows of coconut trees adoring the shore which were planted by the slaves and are still standing to show the pain and anguish some of the ancestors went through. To cross over to the Point Of No Return, we hired a boat. Anago negotiated for us but not many of the tourists were so adventurous. “It’s alright,” our guide said, “it’s difficult for some people.” Our boat had the inscription God’s Light Marine and our captain was a young boy in his late teens. We strapped on our life jackets and the engine roared to power as we began sail. I looked at the departing horizon and wondered what it was like for the slaves; did they cry, whimper or just stare at their disappearing origin? Again, I could not go on with the thought. The boat ride lasted a few minutes and we got out beginning the journey. At the sides of the road were white stones which our guide explained marked the exact route the slaves walked on. “The road is wider now but it was a foot path then and the slaves, chained by the shackles together, walked on a

single file.” Not all the slaves made it alive we were told; some died and were buried by the way side. “We may be walking on the graves of hundreds of our ancestors that died and might have turned to humus now,” Anago said. The information had a chilling effect. Along the way were signposts that read, “Badagry Slave Route. This is the route of the journey to unknown destination.” Even our guide was silent as we walked on; only the wind and the whispering palms of the many coconut trees around were audible. I noticed a thatched hut a distance away, the sign post beside it read, “Original Spot, Slaves Spiritual Attenuation Well.” We all looked at our guide, asking the obvious question with our eyes. “This is the well where slaves were made to drink water and forget themselves,” he explained. I was not the only person scared. “Come in,” he invited when we got close and he noticed our reluctance to enter the hut that looked more like a shrine. The well was about three feet high and was covered with a crafted raffia cover with two broken pieces of calabashes on top; it looked weird. Hanging on the wall of the raffia constructed shrine was a poem or so I thought at first but when I quickly read the verses, I struggled to hold back the tears; the lines were inscribed on wood and had English and Yoruba versions. It read thus; “Recitation By The Sold Slaves. I am leaving this land, My Spirit leave with me. I shall not come back now, My shackles do not break. It is the shackles that hold the ship down. My ancestors bear me witness, I shall not return. This land shall depart, My soul do not revolt, My spirit go along with me. I depart to that land unknown I shall not return.” Finally, the tears rolled down my eyes; I was not alone in the emotional feeling; I saw a man consoling his sobbing partner. How could the slaves forget themselves? “All the chiefs in Badagry dealing on slave business came together and cast a spell in this well, a kind of black magic which brings forgetfulness,” Anago explained, “the slaves were forced to drink the water and recite that incantation.” We took turns looking at the charmed water inside the well; the water was covered with a visible rainbow-like film and I wondered if was still potent. “Nobody has drank from this well in over 600 years,” Anago informed us, “maybe one of you can help us find out,” he joked with a mischievous smile. Nobody dared. We walked on, looking at the hundreds of coconut trees all over the island, planted by our ancestors through forced labour on shackles and chains. I wondered if it could be possible to find out how many souls perished on this land. Another twenty minutes walk brought us to the Point Of No Return; the signpost explained it better and read,

Aerial view of Point of no return

Badary beach

“Point of No Return, Journey to the unknown destination.” Two slanting pillars with iron casts on top were visible from afar; they represented the final path through which thousands of slaves were taken against their will to unknown destinations. As I mounted the concrete monument, the ocean became visible; the route that annihilated slaves from their origins. Anago left us to our different moods. I walked towards the beach shore and looked ahead; the tide was high and I could taste the salty wind. The sight of the coconuts that whispered as their branches touched was not appealing to me. I tried to imagine the slaves entering the small boats that took them to the merchant ships which took them to destinations of bondage but could only see the high sea. I grabbed some sand and clasped it tightly, imagination had eluded me. Some of us picked sea shells as memorabilia. KANU is an award-winning journalist and wrote this piece for National Daily.


Friday, May 2, 2014

36

2014 Hyundai Elantra Compact Sedan gets upgrade

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

H

yundai Auto Company has undoubtedly brought changes and innovation to the new 2014 Hyundai Elantra Sedan, but for these changes to be noticed, the rider has to look more critically for the new updates. In the past years, some auto stakeholders argued that Elantra sedan was not as sporty to drive as some of its competitors, but for the 2014 model year, there is a new Sport trim to correct that impression. And fortunately for Hyundai lovers, this trim doesn't amount to just a few extra body trim pieces and red interior stitching. The current Elantra Sport receives a more powerful engine and a sport-tuned suspension that may give it a level of driver engagement comparable to its rivals. The auto company has also succeeded in minimizing road and engine noise that made its way into the cabin with the aid of apposite sound insulation to deliver a quieter ride on the road. Auto players say this important feature could cause competitors to lose sleep. Also, clients of the latest model year can have quality infotainment features inside the cabin, which include new touchscreen

displays. In addition, the Elantra still has all of its usual positive attributes, including a generous equipment list, a comfortable ride, an accommodating trunk, a long warranty and sharp styling; all at a reasonable price. With the aforementioned improvements, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra sedan inches ever closer to the top spot among compact sedans. The sole distributor of Hyundai products in the country, Hyundai Nigeria told auto journalists in Lagos that the current model year is available in the Nigerian market with a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that provides

adequate power.

Body Styles Generally, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra sedan is available in three trims: SE, Limited and Sport. Standard SE features include 15-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/ iPod interface. For the SE, Hyundai offers the optional Preferred package, which includes 16-inch wheels, automatic headlights, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls, a 4.3-inch touch-screen audio in-

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Mirror Drive

terface, a rearview camera, heated front seats and minor interior trim and detail upgrades. The Limited comes with those options as standard and adds 17-inch wheels, foglights, LED accent and taillights, integrated turn signal repeaters on the mirrors, an automatic transmission, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), heated rear seats and Blue Link telematics. Except for the automatic transmission, heated rear seats and Blue Link, the Sport includes all of the above along with a new 2.0-litre engine, a sunroof, a sport-tuned suspension and keyless ignition/ entry. Available on the Limited trim only is the Technology package, which includes keyless entry/ignition, a larger 7-inch touchscreen display, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system and an upgraded audio system with a Pandora Internet radio interface.

Performance Powering the 2014 Hyundai Elantra SE and Limited models is a 1.8-litre four cylinder engine that produces 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed

manu a l transmission is standard on the SE, while a six-speed automatic is optional. The automatic is the only transmission offered on the Limited. Drivers can expect Hyundai Elantras with the base engine to accelerate to 60 mph in the mid9-second range. The EPA estimates fuel economy for the manualtransmission version at 31 mpg combined (27 city/37 highway) and 32 mpg combined (28/38) for the automatic. These are solid numbers, though a handful of rival compact sedans offer special, fuel-economythemed models with even better fuel economy. The Elantra Sport has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that is good for 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. The manual transmission is standard, and the automatic is optional. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 28 mpg combined (24/34) for the manual version. The automatic is also rated 28 combined but achieves 1 mpg less on the highway.

Safety Standard safety features for all 2014 Hyundai Elantra sedans include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the SE and standard for the


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Mirror Drive

Friday, May 2, 2014

Porsche Centre Lagos delivers new Cayenne Platinum Edition

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Mirror Drive

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he Cayenne V6 model range has been further refined and is now available as a Platinum Edition at Porsche Centre Lagos, Stallion Motors. The exclusive series sees the Cayenne Platinum Edition boast unique exterior design features in Platinum Silver and a wider range of standard equipment. Comprising many of the most requested customisation options as standard, the new Cayenne Platinum Edition model accentuates the attractiveness of Porsche’s luxury Sports Utility Vehicle, SUV, even further, whereas the enriched equipment range is espe-

cially designed to increase comfort and safety. Standard features of the new Cayenne Platinum Edition include Tiptronic S transmission, Bi-Xenon headlights, Power Steering Plus, ParkAssist (front and rear), as well as privacy glazing in the rear. The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) also comes as standard and includes a navigation module. The Managing Director, Porsche Centre Lagos, Parvir Singh, commented; “The SUV market continues to grow in Nigeria and the Porsche Cayenne has experienced positive demand year on year. With many of the most requested options

now available as standard, I have no doubt that our customers will enjoy the enhanced driving experience and further accentuated look of the new Cayenne Platinum Edition.” Accents painted in Platinum Silver Metallic include the centre and side air intake grills, the side window trim, the rear spoiler lip and the lower tailgate trim. Monotone paint finishes in Black and White come as standard, while Meteor Grey Metallic, Jet Black Metallic and Mahogany Metallic are available as additional colour options. Offered exclusively for this edition is the Carrera White Metallic

paint finish. The exterior is completed with 19-inch Cayenne Design II wheels with coloured crest. The Black Luxor Beige two-tone partial leather interior combination is also reserved for this special edition. The Sport Design steering wheel with paddle shifters, embossed headrests and floor mats with Luxor Beige edging plus front door entry guards with the "Platinum Edition" script put the finishing touches on the interior. Offering an output of 300 hp from its 3.6-litre V6 engine, the new Cayenne Platinum Edition is available at Porsche Centres Lagos as of today, with a basic retail price of NGN 15,774,400.

Weststar unveils service camp for Mercedes-Benz trucks OLUSEGUN KOIKI

T Limited and Sport trims. The Blue Link emergency telematics system is only available on the Limited trim and provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geofencing.

Interior design The 2014 Hyundai Elantra's interior features a modern organic approach to design, with a swooping center stack that integrates well with the numerous other curves throughout the cabin. While there are some hard plastic elements here and there, those elements are convincingly grained to look a bit more upscale. The Limited trim is understandably more luxury-leaning than the others, and adding the optional Technology package enhances that feel. In general, the Elantra offers a lot more space than you would have expected from a compact car. Headroom up front is plentiful for 6-footers and the steering wheel is a bit smaller in diameter

than usual, which enhances the sense of space in the first row. The backseat is fine for kids and even most adults, though taller passengers will find its abundant legroom and shortage of headroom a mixed blessing. The Elantra sedan features a large trunk with 14.8 cubic feet of cargo room, a generous number for this segment. The 60/40-split pass-through is also quite large.

he authorised General Distributors of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria, Weststar Associates Limited says it has opened an organized service camp for users of Mercedes-Benz trucks in the country. An online media statement by the company stated that the service camp is first of its kind in Nigeria. The company stated that the camp, which started earlier in the week will run through May 16, 2014 between the hours of 10am and 4pm daily at the Weststar premises in Abuja.

The After-Sales Manager, Weststar, Mr. Borislav Sotirov in the statement stated that the aim of the camp is to further enlightened Mercedes-Benz truck owners on the importance of proper maintenance of their fleet, adding that it is also geared at promoting safety and building a strong and reliable relationship with Mercedes-Benz and its customers. He added, “Worthy of note was the Mercedes-Benz spare parts event organised by Weststar in November last year, which was equally aimed at educating MercedesBenz customers on the relevance of obtaining original spare parts with the purpose of promoting

MAINTENANCE TIPS

How to replace water pump Continues from last week

Accessing the Water Pump Many of today’s vehicles require the removal of the alternator and in some cases various other parts, in order for you to access the water pump. Before you begin, make a list of any parts that will require removal, and then check the service manual for instructions on how to remove them. Again, be sure you have all the required tools and that you under-

stand the process for the removal of these before you begin. In addition, be sure to disconnect the negative battery cable before you start as a precaution. This is a good safety measure for any automotive repair, whether you are working with the electrical system or not. Install a memory saver if you have one, and disconnect the underlamp so as not to drain the memory saver battery.

Replacing the Water Pump While many motor vehicle engine repairs can be spelled out in a simple step-by-step format, a water pump replacement is not one of them. This is because there is so much variety in the placement of and access to water pumps between vehicles, no one simple set of directions may be applied to all vehicles. So you will have to follow your particular manual here.

safety and longevity of MercedesBenz vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Service Camp also embodies this core values and goals. “At the Service Camp, MercedesBenz customers and truck owners should expect to receive free general inspections and check-up of their Mercedes-Benz trucks. This will be conducted in an interactive process to enable the customers see, firsthand, how Mercedes-Benz vehicle diagnostics are properly run. Subsequently, reports on the status of their vehicles will be generated and advice will be given on the necessary repairs to be carried out.” Sotirov also stated that vehicle owners and drivers would be treated, free of charge, to basic maintenance and drivers’ training, noting that original and fake parts would be presented in order to show case their disparities, and ring home how imperative it is to acquire original parts. He emphasised that the efficiency of Mercedes-Benz’ Aftersales services will be displayed in the technical expertise of the Mercedes-Benz professionals and the high quality of service offered, which he said would eventually contribute to the building and sustenance of a stronger workhorse fleet for Mercedes-Benz truck owners in the Nigerian commercial sector.


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Cocktail

Friday, May 2, 2014

Study finds children who eat chicken on the bone are more aggressive

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esearchers at Cornell University conducted a study about biting versus chewing habits in children and found that kids who eat chicken on the bone are more likely to disobey adults and be aggressive. The study, which was published in Eating Behaviors, found that children were “twice as likely to disobey adults and twice as aggressive toward other kids” when eating food they had to hold and bite. Researchers found that children were more docile when eating cut-up pieces

of food, results which would seem to indicate that there is a connection between having to use teeth to eat and aggressive behaviour. Not everyone agrees with the study’s findings. “I think people have been eating chicken wings, chicken drumsticks for a millennia and I don’t think it’s made them any more aggressive than they otherwise would have been,” clinical psychologist Dr. Brian Russell told Fox News. The children that the researchers studied were between the ages of 6 and 10.

Grandfather calls 911 about lazy grandson

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n Ohio grandfather became so frustrated when he couldn’t get his “lazy” grandson to do his chores that he called 911 to report him to authorities. Edward Friel called emergency dispatchers in South Amherst after his 17-year-old grandson Justin allegedly punched a hole in the wall because the Internet got shut off. Friel, 72, apparently cut the house’s Internet cord because he couldn’t get the teen to stop playing games on his computer and help out around the

house. When police arrived, Friel told them that his grandson called him names and stormed out after he disabled the Internet. According to Friel, his grandson is “lazy and does nothing around the house.” “Mr. Friel stated he had asked Justin to do some work around the house but [he] continued to play on the computer,” according to a police report. Friel “cut the Internet cable cord since he was not listening to him.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Med student auctioning virginity online finally reveals face A medical school student who put her virginity up for auction on her website in March has revealed her face. The 28-year-old previously just had body shots with her face obscured by the fake name she is using, “Elizabeth Raine.” The bidding for Raine’s virginity is up to $550,000 with the auction set to end on May 7. The person who places the winning bid will get the following: “The winning bidder will receive a 12-hour date with me, during the course of which he will be offered my virginity. I am sorry if I disappoint you, but all other pertinent (or salacious) details will remain private.” Raine, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, is auctioning her virginity for money, but also cites adventure, eroticism and scandal as reasons. “I

find chastity itself erotically charged by mystery, desire and anticipation, and I anxiously await the discovery of new sensual

Elizabeth Raine

experiences,” she wrote on her website. “Perhaps this will lead me into the arms of a gentleman with a similar appreciation

for these unique circumstances, and make my first time worthy of both the wait and lasting memory.”


Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business Maritime The Federal Government’s proposed privatisation of port harbours, roads, air ports and the rails lines has elicited stakeholders’ diverse reactions. Experts have insisted that the inadequacies in the earlier port concession programme, especially in terms of not putting the legal and regulatory frameworks in place first before the exercise must be avoided completely. FRANCIS EZEM reports.

Experts call for caution on seaport harbours, roads privatisation The harbour is a specialised area and Nigeria has

experts to run them, government can

privatise the roads, but it should leave

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he Federal Government recently hinted of plans to privaatise the marine services in the nation’s port industry. Such marine services exclusively handled by the Nigerian Ports Authority include towage, berthing and un-berthing, pilotage, dredging and channel management, among others. This is coming after about eight years the government completed the concession of the port terminals to both foreign and indigenous private terminal operators. The port concession conducted between 2003 and 2006 under the watchful eyes of the Bureau for Public Enterprises BPE, stripped NPA, which was before then, a monopolistic terminal operator and also a self-regulated agency of its cargo handling operations and handed same to the private terminal operators. This exercise, which most stakeholders believe was shabbily and hurriedly done, as BPE, which supervised the exercise failed to put in place legal and regulatory frameworks first before commencing the main exercise. For instance, the Ports and Hourbours Bill, which was supposed to give a legal backing to the programme and also create a commercial regulator for the post- concession, port industry, which was fashioned after Belgium’s Land Lord Port model. These obvious inadequacies in the earlier reform programme have brought about much upheavals in the industry occasioned by imposition of all manner of charges by these terminal operators and shipping companies, which are not regulated. It was probably worried by these inadequacies that Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria STOAN, umbrella body for all the concessionaires in the country expressed serious concern over the nonpassage of the Ports and Harbours Bill. Chairman of the association, Mrs. Vicky Hastruup, who spoke in an interview, disclosed that the non passage of the bill constitute a major source of concern to the concessionaires, especially given the huge investments they have already in Nigeria’s port industry. According to her, being an executive bill, the process of passage of the Ports and Harbours Bill should ordinarily not take longer that one year, but has regrettably lasted for more than eight years. “The non passage of the Bill will continue to give the concessionaires serious course for concern. I particularly used to bother so much because a bill such as this

the harbours alone for professionals, who are not in short supply in

Nigeria to run it should not take longer than one year to be passed into law she said. For instance, it took the direct intervention of the Minister of Transport, Malam Idris Umar to prevent a major face-off between clearing agents and these terminal operators over the imposition of 20 per cent hike in fees and other terminal handling charges, which the agents believed was illegal and therefore threatened to shut the seaports if that hike was not reversed. Only recent, the Federal Executive Council approved the appointment of the Nigerian Shippers Council as an interim commercial regulator for the port industry for a period of one year, which is renewable pending the passage of the Ports and Harbours Bill. Government had argued that based on the strength of the NSC Act, which gives council the statutory function of protecting shippers (importers and exports), the council is the most suited for the regulatory job. The essence is to minimise friction and disagreements between these two critical stakeholders in the supply chain, who must work in harmony for government’s desire of achieving efficient port system in the country. It was based on these challenges inherent in the earlier port concession that stakeholders have insisted that proper care must be taken to forestall these challenges in the proposed privatisation of the marine and harbour services. Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku who spoke recently in Abuja, disclosed that the government was embarking on a comprehensive privatisation of the transport sector comprising the roads, airports, the rail and the marine services of the seaport industry. It was gathered that as part of measures to achieve this goal, the government has initiated four bills. They include the National Transport Commission Bill 2014, The Nigeria Railway Bill 2014, Nigerian Ports and Harbour Authority Bill 2014; to replace the Ports and Harbours Bill 2006 already at the National Assembly and National Inland Wa-

Dredging at Lagos harbour

terways Authority Bill 2014. The minister also hinted that this move had become necessary to open up the transport sector to the public for private participation “Government is interested in removing the legal bottlenecks that hamper private sector participation in transport and provision of infrastructure”, he said. According to him, government cannot continue to fund all the sectors of the economy and so the proper thing to do is to lead the way by deepening reforms in the transport sector and other sectors of the economy. Maku disclosed that FEC has already set up a committee headed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke SAN, with members drawn from the Ministries of Works, Aviation, Transport and relevant stakeholders in the transport sector. It was also expected that the committee will get the four draft bills ready for FEC’s approval after which they would be forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration and passage to law. “The passage of these bills would open up lots of opportunities for Nigerians to enjoy more and better road, rail, seaport and airport infrastructure”, the minister also said. He also explained that the idea is to get the private sector into construction, maintenance and ownership of seaports and harbours, among others. But major stakeholders have expressed reservation over the real intention of the government in its bid to privatize marine services, especially given the handling of the port concession programme. For instance, immediate past president of Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, umbrella body for retired indigenous ship captains, chief engineers and engineers, Captain Adejimi Adu, who reacted to the new development, said that the port privatisation carried out by the Federal Government has failed to achieve the desired goals

of reducing cost of operation, making the seaports efficient and competitive. “By the population of Nigeria, her seaports are supposed to be the hub port of destination for the West and Central African sub-region, but regrettably, Nigeria- bound imports are still diverted to neighbouring seaports because of inefficiency”, the former president said. He blamed this situation on the failure of the government to put the necessary structures that would enhance competition in place. “In the current port concession arrangement, the NPA is the judge and the jury, no competition, no regulatory organ, except with the recent appointment of Shippers Council on an interim basis. If the government must privatise the harbours, these issues must be addressed”, he insisted. He said that before ever the privatisation will commence, the government should create an independent regulatory body with full statutory powers that will enhance competition by providing a level playing field in addition to insisting that all players must adhere strictly to the rule of the game. Meanwhile, Chairman of Cargo Defence Fund, Captain Cosmas Niagwan, who questioned the rationale behind the proposed privatisation of the nation’s harbours, said the government should tell Nigerians what it has done with the power sector reforms. He advised that the government should learn from history so that the same mistakes are not repeated over the years to the detriment of the Nigerian nation. “But on a serious note, the harbour is a specialised area and Nigeria has experts to run them, government can privatise the roads, but it should leave the harbours alone for professionals, who are not in short supply in Nigeria to run it”, he further argued. It is therefore instructive, especially given these genuine fears raised by critical stakeholders for the government to rake a second look at the proposed exercise.


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Business Maritime

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bonds default: FG’s axe dangles over import duty-collection banks Stories: Francis Ezem

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arring any last minute change of mind, the Federal Government might soon come down heavily on some import duty collection banks over the failure of their bonds guaranteeing conditional release of some consignments to importers at the wake of the takeover of the Destination Inspection scheme. The Nigeria Customs Service had following the takeover of the DI regime after the seven-year Build, Own, Operate and Transfer BOOT contract, announced that no fewer than 99,000 Risk Assessment Reports RAR, were issued by the service providers, which could not be found on the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report platform. This development, which caused serious uproar within the first month of the takeover of the scheme had compelled the management of the service to grant conditional release on some of the consignments based on bank bond issued in favour of the importers as guarantees for the release, which many of them have defaulted. . Comptroller-General of the service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, who spoke against the background of the review of the activities of the revenue recovery team put in place to address dwindling revenue of the service observed that both the importers and their banks have not kept fate with the bonds. These defaulters consist mainly of importers who were granted various forms of deferred payment concessions on their imported consignments to avoid accumulation of demurrage and congestion and by so doing facilitate trade. Others in this category have un-utilised RARs still hanging in the system long after the departure of the service providers who issued them during the old dispensation.

According to him, the service will henceforth publish the list of beneficiaries of duty payment concessions who default in honouring their obligation. “We can no longer tolerate the abuse of privilege. We are also reminding the banks that their bonds were provided to guarantee payment of customs duty. We have given defaulters only one week to pay all outstanding duty, failure of which their names will be published in the national dailies” he warned. It was also gathered that the management of the service has directed that the bank bonds secured to cover the defaulting transactions be converted to duty payments at the expiration of the grace period. Records show that within the first month of the recovery team’s activities, a total of N 2.5bn was recovered from unpaid assessments and un-utilised Risk Assessment Reports. On temporary importation, a total of N 1.6bn outstanding has been established against three beneficiaries who contravened the regulations. Investigations also showed that the defaulting beneficiaries had applied for and were granted temporary importation concession while they had active Forms M and Risk Assessment Reports against their names. The team has over 2000 importing companies currently under investigation over transactions associated with the RAR regime while unpaid assessment of these companies are undergoing a comprehensive audit to confirm evidence of RAR utilisation and duty payments. The service had as part of measures to clear the abandoned consignments to forestall the imminent congestion, directed the importers of the affected goods to make application to the Customs Area Controller where the consignments landed for a provisional release of the cargoes pending when the documentations will be perfected.

Under this concession, the various commands were director to open help desks to harmonise all the issues so as to enable the importer take delivery of their on the condition that duty will be paid on the RAR value of the imports, pending when the documentations will be verified and aligned with the PAAR platform after which the importer will pay up the balance if any. It was gathered that many of the affected importers are yet to clear the abandoned consignments due to some technical hitches, especially in terms of realigning the processes with the import duty collecting banks.

Akpobolokemi

Umar

Jonathan flags off Nigeria’s Maritime University next week

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he Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, says President Goodluck Jonathan has accepted to perform the flagoff ceremony for the Nigeria Maritime University, the nation’s first specialised university for the training of manpower for the maritime industry next week. The ceremony slated for May 10, is part of the president’s tour of the facilities of the NIMASA, the nation’s apex maritime regulatory organ. The Director – General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpoboloke-

mi, who made the disclosure in Lagos, also said that the President will be conducted round the state-of-the-art facilities at the temporary site of the Maritime University at Kurutie, while also performing the ground-breaking of the permanent site, located at Okerenkoko, both in Warri Southwest Local Government Area of Delta State. The Director-General also said that President Jonathan will perform the ground-breaking of NIMASA Dockyard and Shipyard situated at Okerenkoko, which is expected to build and maintain

various sizes of vessels. According to him, the president will be hosted to a grand reception by the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the people of Niger Delta in Oporoza, Warri South West Local Government Area as part of the activities marking the event. Meanwhile, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, who was earlier conducted round the facilities last weekend, had said that the Nigeria Maritime University, which is expected to commence academic activities at the temporary site in Kurutie in September, this year, would provide the

human capacity required for the maritime industry in addition to serving as a research and knowledge centre. “The shipyard facility will similarly compliment this objective,” the minister also said. The minister, who however commended NIMASA for the pace of work at the temporary site of the university and the take-off of construction activities at Okerenkoko, site of the NIMASA Dockyard and Shipyard as well as the permanent site of the university is located.. The Director – General had

while speaking earlier, noted that the dearth of human capacity in the maritime industry occasioned by inadequate maritime training institutions in Nigeria was a major reason that influenced the decision of the National Assembly to endorse the recommendation of NIMASA to establish a maritime university, According to him, capacity development initiatives would quicken the pace of the development of human capacity that would conveniently take over the Cabotage trade in the very near future.


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GDP rebasing boosts Nigeria’s Vision 2020 target –Expert UDO ONYEKA

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he Gross Domestic Product, GDP, rebasing exercise suggests that by mere statistical adjustments and better measurement of Nigeria’s economic activity, the country is on its way to achieving the Vision 2020 target, Opeyemi Agbaje, CEO, RTC Advisory Services Limited has said. The Vision is to place Nigerian among the best 20 economies in the world by year 2020. Agbaje who spoke at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, FICAN, Bi-Monthly Discourse held on Wednesday in Lagos said rebasing makes Nigeria the 26th largest economy in the world and biggest African economy by 2013. He said the feat also enhances the country’s Vision 2020 target considering its GDP growth rate post-rebasing averaging 6.4 per cent. Speaking on the theme: ‘Nigeria’s Economy in First Quarter

2014: Issues and Outlook’, he said GDP rebasing does not imply an increase in national income and productivity. He also said GDP is not a measurement of income, but of economic output and production within an economy. “GDP rebasing doesn’t alter our poor performance in terms of poverty, unemployment and inequality-GDP rebasing doesn’t change the material conditions of individuals, homes and firms within the economy,” he said. Agabje said the exercise gives Nigeria a more accurate picture of the current state of our economy and presents a more credible and contemporary report of the state of sectors and overall activity within the economy. Continuing, he said: “Nigeria’s GDP rebasing clarifies some previously unresolved incongruities in our economy, like why the large global telecommunications companies and sector analysts under-estimated the potential depth and size of the sector predigital mobile license auction in 2001”.

Don tasks FG on food preservation, security ABOLAJI ADEBAYO

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he provost of College of Agriculture, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ayetoro, Ogun State, Professor Oluwatobi Adeokun has tasked the Federal Government to improve on its raw food preservation techniques so as to avoid food scarcity in the country. He also urged the federal government to pay attention to the needs of the farmers as they are strategic stakeholders in the agricultural development in Nigeria. The agricultural expert who spoke in a chat with journalist as part of preparation for his inaugural lecture said government should ensure that the farmers are fully included in its projects and policies. He maintained that Nigeria is blessed with natural and human resources which are needed for the ancipated development in the agricultural sector. The agriculture don stated that the government needs to go beyond food production adding that consideration of food processing and preservation will go a long way in combating food scarcity. According to him, “Nigeria is blessed with natural and human resources, which the leaders need to utilise and tap from the wealth of experience of the experts.” He continued, “ There are three major things the government needs to pay attention to

which include increase in productivity, food processing and food preservation. But unfortunately government looks at the only productivity and neglects other aspects. Government at all level need to recognise these.” Speaking on the creation of enabling environment for the farmers, the doyen of agriculture said government needs to identify with them and share among some of the challenges facing them and thereby profer a way out. “We also need to identify some challenges facing the farmers so as for them to benefit from the government’s policies and receive their dues.” Adedokun advised the government to fix guaranteed prices for agricultural commodities saying price regulation on agricultural commodities would ensure food security in Nigeria. He also urged the federal government to assist farmers with credit facilities to enable them grow crops and produce it in abundant. While speaking on his forthcoming inaugural lecture, he explained that the lecture will sever as reminder for government in terms of agricultural policy making, planing and implementation. “My paper has been arranged in such a way that will serve as a reminder for government in terms of agricultural policy making, policy planing and policy implementation’’, he said.

The exercise, he said, also clarifies issues relating to why per capita GDP appeared somewhat larger than previously thought. He added that i is a commonsense measure consistent with global best practice that simply updates a country’s assumptions and templates for measuring our level of economic output. “Continuing to use a base year of 1990 to quantify output in Nigeria contrary to global convention of rebasing at least

every five years would have been irresponsible and incompetent. On the other hand, no one earns any plaudits for merely re-basing GDP just like no one receives commendations for using a time piece that correctly tells the time. We simply now know the reality about the size of our economy, which is a good thing,” he said. On the benefits of the exercise, Agbaje said Nigeria would now have better economic data for policy analysis and planning.

Also, the size and global ranking of Nigeria’s GDP means it has acquired increased strategic stakes within the context of the global economy. “The case for Nigeria being a BRINCS, Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria, China, South Africa, economy is probably compelling in the light of us becoming a $510 billion economy. Nigeria’s imminent top 20 economy status makes G20 membership or at least regular invitations likely or inevitable,” he added.

L-R: Deputy Chairman, National Conference Committee on Civil Society, Labour, Youth and Sports, Comrade Issa Aremu; Committee Chairman, Mrs. Bola Ogunrinade and Acting Director General, National Pension Commission Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu during a meeting on pension matters between National Pension Commission and National Conference Committee in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Expert proffers solution to buildings in water-logged environment

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sites to enhance the durability of such buildings. Also, President, Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB, Mr Tunde Lasabi, said the none passage of the National Building Code into law was the cause of the problems affecting buildings in the country. Lasabi, who was the chairman at the occasion, said raft foundations used in water prone areas should be coated with bitumen to prevent water permeating the floor and wall. He also called for constant training and retraining of artisans to update their skills so as to know what to do when they were faced with such challenges at sites.

n engineer, Mr. AbdulAzeez Yusuff, yesterday said that solutions had been found to problems affecting buildings constructed in waterlogged areas. Yusuff, the Managing Director of Imperial Works, made the disclosure at the ongoing 14th Lagos Housing Fair while speaking on “Technologies for Managing Rising Damp in Building and Water Tanks.” According to him, it is common to see paints peeling-off walls of most buildings and water coming out from the floor leading to cracks on the walls. He said that these were due to the failure of the environment, cement and water contents used in

constructing such buildings. “The problem about water in building can be solved except if the building is completely submerged. This should be a consolation for house owners,’’ he said. Yusuff said that there were new chemicals that builders could use to treat these problems without demolishing any part of the affected buildings after construction. He said the chemical could also be applied to the foundation levels of the supposed buildings after the soil test had been done to determine the soil type in water prone areas. Yusuff called for collaboration among all building professionals at the construction

DAVID AUDU

Paga explains business strategy

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he founders of mobile payments service provider Paga, Mr. Tayo Oviosu and Head of Agent Network Sales, Jay Alabraba have attributed the success of Paga brand in the mobile payment market to value creation and convenience as unique selling point. The founders said this during the celebration of the five years anniversary of delivering innovative products that offer convenience to depositors, shoppers and every person searching for

easy payment solutions. Developed on the premise that simple and easily accessible payment solutions would endear shoppers, businesses to reduce customers frustration of dealing with cash and other inadequate payment channels, Oviosu said Paga has continued to offer convenience as Unique Selling Point in other to overcome competition and remain the market leader. The company, which carried out its first transaction in February 2011, after receiving it’s full

CBN license, went on to outperform M-Pesa, the African leader in mobile payments by achieving 847 per cent growth in their first full year operations; and processing over 918,000 transactions worth over N9.8bn. In what is relatively a short space of time, through innovative product offerings, a strategic agent network and sheer determination, Paga has successfully become the market leader within the mobile payments industry in Nigeria.


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Shell’s asset sale in Nigeria may take one year to conclude –CFO UDEME AKPAN

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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il major Shell may take up to a year to complete a planned sale of assets in Nigeria, and the process may be complicated by an election, the oil major’s chief financial officer said. Reuters said Shell is looking to make $15 billion in disposals worldwide this year and next,

including the sale of its stake in four oil blocks in the Niger Delta, an area that holds a large share of Nigeria’s 37 billion barrels of oil reserves. “We can come to a good commercial agreement,” CFO Simon Henry said in a conference call with investors. He said, “What is slightly more challenging and difficult to predict is how we can get the overall approvals across the whole of the

stakeholder environment including the government, because in previous transactions that has taken ... up to a year. Henry said an election planned for February could have an impact on the sale process, he said, without specifying in what way. He said the Nigerian assets have attracted strong interest from potential buyers. Shell is divesting 30 percent of the four blocks, along with the

sale of 10 percent from Total and 5 percent from Eni. Analysts have estimated the value of the combined 45 percent at around $3 billion. “We’ve had over 20 serious bidders mostly in consortium, with a Nigerian operator often with overseas operational financial or operational backing,” Henry said. In the over 70 years that Shell has operated in Africa’s largest oil-producing country, it has faced serious problems on the Delta with oil theft, environmental damage, political protests and attacks on its facilities. As part of any deal, the oil ma-

jor wants minimize its exposure to further risks there. He said, “Clearly the terms of the sale aim to establish baselines against which we carry no liability if there are environmental or other issues after the point of sale. Whether that can hold up in the future remains to be seen. Even after selling off the assets, Shell may still be affected by its history in the Delta. “It will always be difficult to detach the Shell name from some of the activities in the Delta. We have eyes open on this, but the legal protection will be solid,” Henry said.

NDIC reviews strategic plan to enhance performance UDO ONYEKA

T L-R: Chams Plc Director, Alhaji Idi Farouk; Group Managing Director, Demola Aladekomo, and Chairman of Board of Directors, Very Reverend Ayo Richards, at the 30th Annual General Meeting in Lagos.

AfDB, BNP Paribas sign €40m deal to boost trade in Africa UDO ONYEKA

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frican Development Bank, AfDB, has approved an unfunded €40m, Risk Participation Agreement, RPA, with BNP Paribas to support the trade finance activities of African issuing banks. The bank in a statement said the facility will help address critical market demand for trade finance in Africa by supporting trade in vital economic sectors such as agribusiness and manufacturing, adding that it would also foster financial sector development, regional integration, and

contribute to government revenue generation. “The majority of African banks have weak capital bases which constrain their ability to obtain adequate trade limits from international confirming banks and to undertake sizeable transactions that could have substantial development impact. AfDB’s additionality lies in the use of its “AAA” rating to share trade risk with BNP Paribas and enhance the trade finance capacity of African banks and financial institutions, thereby expanding trade and strengthening regional integration. “ BNPP has more than 100 years of experience in trade, over 200 correspondent banking relation-

ships, 9 subsidiaries, 3 branches and deal footprint in more than 20 non-presence countries in Africa”, the statement said. It said through a 50-50 risksharing structure, the RPA will broaden the availability of trade finance across Africa over a three-year period by targeting SMEs and indigenous firms. “BNP Paribas will match AfDB’s undertaking in every transaction, thereby creating a portfolio of up to €80m. Including rollovers, this facility is expected to facilitate approximately €500m of trade in intermediate and finished goods, raw materials and equipment to support the continent’s economic growth”, the bank said.

he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, has expressed its determination to continuously review its five-year strategic plan with a view to not only remain relevant in its operating environment but also to effectively discharge its mandate. NDIC’s Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Alh. Umaru Ibrahim dropped this hint in his opening remarks at the NDIC two-day Strategy Review Retreat with the theme: “Repositioning NDIC for Operational Excellence” held at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja. In a statement signed by Head, Communication & Public Affairs, H. S. Birchi, Ibrahim said that the 2011-2015 strategic plan marked a departure from the traditional approach the Corporation adapted in its first strategy in 2007 with the introduction of balanced score card, performance management system, performance-based budgeting and development of early warning system. “The NDIC boss stated that the dynamics of the financial sector had continued to throw up emerging and mundane issues which de-

FMN reaffirms its commitment to UI food research centre

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he take-off of the Flour Mills Food Research Centre at the University of Ibadan, UI received a major boost with the presentation of an additional N30m by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc ,FMN, to UI recently by FMN’s Group Managing Director Mr. Paul Gbededo. The donation was made during the visit of a delegation of UI officials to FMN’s new corporate head office at 1 Golden Penny

Place, Wharf Road, Apapa, Lagos. With the new donation, FMN has now committed a total sum of N60m to the establishment of the Flour Mills Food Research Centre, having made an initial grant of N30m to UI last year. The UI delegation was led by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics; Prof. Idowu Olayinka included Professor Charles Aworh, a Professor of Food Technology and Dr. Rahman Akinoso, the Act-

ing Head of the Department of Food Technology. The UI-FMN partnership is part of on-going efforts at transforming the Department of Food Technology, UI, into a world-class centre of excellence in food research. Under the partnership, the FMN grant will be used for the procurement of equipment and running of the Food Research Centre during the first three years; UI will provide a

building which will house the laboratories for pilot plant studies and research in food product development, lecture theatres, classrooms, seminar rooms and other facilities for teaching and research. During the visit, Professor Olayinka said that Flour Mills Food Research Centre would engage in the training of students in food science and technology, food research and consultancy.

manded a new focus and made a review very imperative. “He maintained that emerging issues like sustainable banking, mobile and e-banking, consumer protection and consumer education not only attracted the attention of regulators worldwide but also required appropriate strategic responses if the Corporation was to remain relevant in its operating environment”, the statement said. According to Ibrahim, the quest to have an organisation that is driven by excellence and performance and in which employees aligned themselves with its vision, mission and strategy put in place to actualize its mandate had informed the Corporation’s choice of four pillars in its current Strategic Plan. He enumerated the pillars as operational readiness, public awareness of the deposit insurance scheme, partnering and collaboration with strategic stakeholders and performance driven culture. Umaru expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded by the Corporation under the 2011 - 2015 strategic plan. He said that the Corporation had effectively commenced implementation of the risk- based supervision and differential premium assessment of deposit money banks, adding that the Corporation had a robust ICT infrastructure which had placed it on a comfortable position for prompt depositor reimbursement. He said that the Corporation decided to partner with Messrs Phillip Consulting to review its 2011-2015 strategic plans in order to establish how well the agreed corporate goals had been achieved and to assist in developing a system that would continuously monitor performance and achievement of the revised targets.


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NAICOM to scrutinise micro insurance providers MESHACK IDEHEN

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he National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has said it is set to scrutinise companies that have applied to operate as micro insurance providers in Nigeria to ascertain the genuineness of their funds. The commission said also that the scrutiny is also to ensure the process of registering them does not contravene relevant laws in the country. Deputy Director of Authorisation and Policy of NAICOM, Mr. Leo Akah, told journalist that unlike in the past when approvals were granted on a one-off basis, that the current process would be thorough to ensure that only fit and proper persons get the micro insurance license.

Akah noted that the commission had also concluded plans to commence what he described as staged approval for those that have applied for the micro insurance licence, explaining also that the inability of some of the companies that applied for the micro insurance license to develop products that would meet the requirements of the policy was the major reason delaying their approval. He said for any company to get approval that its products must be simple, affordable and valuable, adding it was ironic that most people who applied for licence still see micro insurance from the point of view of conventional insurance, adding that the commission would ensure that all the strict guidelines in the policy would be complied with

before approvals. Akah said the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of NAICOM, Mr. Fola Daniel, has promised to screen local and foreign funds to be invested in the nation’s insurance industry in order to ensure they do not contravene the Money Laundering Act, saying the commission would also forestall developments where individuals with questionable funds hijack the industry. “All investors will be screened no matter where they are coming from. Anyone bringing in capital would be screened to ensure the money is not derived from criminal activity, but brought to do business. The country has put in place a mechanism for sifting potential investors”, he said.

‘West Africa can save funds through effective project management’

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est African Project Programme and Portfolio Management Association, WAPMASS yesterday advised governments in the sub-region to adopt project management to save funds. The President of the association, Mr Samuel Ofunwa, gave the advice in Abuja at a news conference. He said countries in the region spent huge funds on projects that could have turned out better if properly managed. He added that research had shown that while African countries spent similar amounts with developed nations on similar projects, the developed nations end up with far better results. “We have a vision to see West Africa become equivalent if not better than the rest of the world;

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KUNLE AZEEZ

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he administrator of the Nigeria’s .ng country code Top Level Domain, ccTLD, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association said it registered additional 16, 981 domain names in 2013 while another 7, 571 were renewed during the year. This was disclosed by the President, NIRA, Mrs. Mary Uduma, during the 6th Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the association in Lagos this week. NIRA is the manager and the non-governmental self-regulatory body for the .ng ccTLD and its associated sub level domain names by maintain and promoting the operational stability and utility of the .ng ccTLD. It does this by ensuring costeffective administration, development and establishment of policy framework for the development and administration of the .ng

there seem to be this thing about West African projects that is different from projects all over the World. “The way we administer projects in the sub-region is costing us as much if not more than other people in other part of the globe, yet we are not delivering quality, we are not delivering standards. “What we are lacking here is project management and best practices.’’ Ofuwa said that when projects were not executed using standards, such projects begin to fall apart soon after completion, thereby requiring major maintenance which might cost a lot of money. He said the association wanted to discover, develop, defend, deliver and encourage project management and best practice among ECOWAS nations.

MTN gets FG’s commendation on economic empowerment KUNLE AZEEZ

L-R: President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Muritala Olushekun; Managing Director, BGL Group, Mr. Albert Okumagba; and Chairman, Honeywell Group, Dr. Oba Otudeko during the 3rd Annual National Workshop of the Institute Abuja, recently. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

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he Federal Government has commended MTN Foundation, the corporate social responsibility vehicle of Nigeria’s leading Information and Communication Technology Company, MTN, for its continuous support of people with special needs in the society, including widows. The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, expressed this commendation at the presentation of tools of trade to beneficiary widows, under the Foundation’s new initiative for empowering widows tagged, MTNF Widows Empowerment Scheme, in Abuja. The Widows Empowerment Scheme is an initiative under the

Economic Empowerment portfolio of the MTN Foundation. The project, which is being managed by Growing Businesses Foundation, is aimed at empowering widows who have existing businesses, across the six geo-political zones of the country. Maina lauded the Foundation for the initiative and urged that such positive intervention be emulated by other organisations. According to her, widows comprise a significant proportion of women, ranging from 7 to 16 percent of all adult women. She, however, noted that this significant section of the population is neglected in the society, especially due to their state of widowhood and the various traditional laws and customs which work against them, thus preventing them from gaining access to resources that will better their lot.

NIRA registers 16, 981 new domain names, renews 7, 571 Vodacom Business pledges

ccTLD. Giving details of the new registered .ng domain names, Uduma, who stated that the adoption of the country’s identifier on the World Wide Web has continued to gain steady traction, said last year, 913 were registered in January, 801 in February, 980 in March, 3, 609 in April, 1, 788 in May and 1,406 in June. In July, August, September and October, 1,242; 1,188; 1,263 and 1,299 .ng domain names were registered while 1239 and 1253 were registered in November and December respectively. The statistics reeled out on renewed domain names showed that 472 were renewed in Januray; 587 in February; 555 in March; 573 in April; 442 in May and 706 in June. Also, 646 were renewed in July;

750 in August; 537 in September; 777 in October; 614 in November and 912 in December, last year. As at May, 2013, the total number of registered .ng ccTLD has hit over 30, 000 as registered .ng domain names, which stood at around 9, 000 as at 2011, had increased by additional 21, 000 to reach the 30,000 mark. At the last year AGM, the board of NiRA had considered it expedient to examine and possibly review policies that might be tying down the popularisation of .ng. Recalling the decision for popularise .ng reached at the 2013 AGM, Uduma said: “The Doman name industry is constantly evolving, and change must come from within us if our ccTLD must remain relevant, the introduction of new gTLDs call for a review of our position in the industry’’.

cutting-edge technology KUNLE AZEEZ

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n Information and Communication Technology firm, Vodacom Business Nigeria, said it was committed to proving small and medium enterprises and big businesses and corporations in Nigeria with cutting-edge technological solutions, tailor-made to meet their demand. Managing Director of Vodacom Business Nigeria, Mr. Guy Clarke, made this pledge even as the company’s outstanding contribution to connecting and enabling enterprise businesses in Nigeria was recognised at the Beacon of ICT ,BoICT, awards

held in Lagos recently. At the event, Vodacom emerged winners in Enterprise Solutions Provider of the Year and the Cloud Service Provider of the Year categories. The BoICT Awards is an annual ceremony which recognizes stakeholders, contributions and commitments to the growth of the Nigerian ICT industry. This year, over 250, 307 Nigerians voted in different categories with Vodacom Business Nigeria emerging as the clear winner of the Enterprise Solutions Provider of the Year category for the second year running. In addition Vodacom emerged as the winner of the Cloud Service Provider of the year.


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Monsanto to introduce 40 hybrid seed varities Tola Akinmutimi ABUJA

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onsanto, the world’s leading biotechnology company, has unveiled plans to introduce at least 40 varieties of hybrid seeds into the country as part of its commitment to the successful implementation of the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda ,ATA of the Federal Government. The company, which is reputed for its hybrid seeds investment drive in the global agricultural development market, said the introduction of the crops would help in identifying the best of varieties that would grow in the nation’s environment with a view to enabling it take the right investment decisions in its effort to partner with the Federal and state government’s initiatives to improve crop yields of farmers nationwide. Briefing the media on the company’s investment and other inter-

vention plans in Nigeria in Abuja, Monsanto’s Vice President, International Row Crops and Global Vegetable Business, Mr. Michael Frank, said the focus of the company would be to develop the right seeds and biotechnology that would enhance the productive capacities of local small holder farmers and by implications improve their profitability and socioeconomic well being on a sustainable basis. Frank, who disclosed that the decision to invest in Nigeria was based on the findings of about two years of assessment visits by representatives of the company, said the company would give focus to hybrid maize, cotton and soya beans seeds supply in the country after more tests would have been conducted. He said: “We will focus on maize. We want to support farmers to grow maize, cotton and soya beans. We have found with corn, maize hybrids around the world

that there are certain climates you can take maize from one country to another country and you can grow them very successfully. “So, what we are talking here is that we are bringing a number of varieties, over 40, to Nigeria to test in the environment here and we have tested them in various environments throughout Nigeria and found that a number of them will be hybrids that will be successful to be grown here. “But we are going to do more tests to make sure we introduce new hybrid maize that will be adaptable to the local conditions. So, in this database cotton will also be one of the crops that will be top on our list. We believe with our cotton technology we can really help cotton farmers in Nigeria to increase their yield”, Frank added . While disclosing that Monsanto has been in Africa for over 40 years without establishing a presence in Nigeria, he pointed out

Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Asabe Ahmed (right) and Vice President, Global International Row Crops and Vegetables, Monsanto Group, Mr. Mike Frank during the company’s visit to the ministry on Monday in Abuja.

that the efforts of Natalia Voruz, the company’s Commercial Lead West Africa, led to the company’s coming into the country to “make investments, develop partnerships, help farmers in Nigeria to increase their yields, especially maize and cotton farmers”. Monsanto, which is a large seed

company worth $15bn is 100 per cent focused on agriculture. Most people around the world know Monsanto as a seed company or a biotech company and its core business is in seed biotech. It focuses on four core crops - maize, soya beans, and cotton and oil seed called canola.

IFDC registers 106,000 FCT farmers for GES –TAP Tola Akinmutimi ABUJA

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n furtherance of its commitment to the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government, the International Fertiliser Development Centre, IFDC, has registered 106,000 farmers for the Growth Enhancement Support scheme Touch and Pay, GES-TAP, system in the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The exercise, which is part of the centre’s pilot scheme slated for implementation in the FCT and Sokoto State, facilitates timely identification and registration of farmers for the GES inputs, especially as the TAP system addresses the usual problem of delayed coverage of farmers occasioned by poor telecommunication networks in rural communities. Speaking on the innovative system during on-the-spot assessment of farmers’ registration exercise by journalists at Mpape community in Bwari Area Council, the FCT Coordinator of GESTAP, Mr. Bisi Ilebani, explained that the technology-driven system was designed to secure a database of farmers in the FCT and Sokoto State, after which it would be extended to some other states.

According to him, the IFDC devised the GES-TAP technology which makes it possible for easy identification of individual farmers with their unique identification numbers and the TAP card issued upon completion of registration process. Ilebani explained: “In the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme, we noticed series of challenges. The major one was the issue of mobile networks in some villages. We were on the field and we saw all these challenges, where some agro-dealers could not get their money on time after the supply to farmers. As we looked at it we decided to introduce the GESTAP. “We have registered 106, 000 farmers in FCT, and since the government launched the GES such number of farmers had not been registered. We have 250 enumerators on the field across the FCT, and 25 supervisors.” Meanwhile, the District Head of Mpape Community, Alhaji Abubakar Gimba, who commended the Federal Government and the IFDC on the GES scheme and the efforts being committed to getting inputs directly supplied to small holder farmers nationwide, pleaded that the registration exercise be extended to capture yet-to-be-captured farmers in his domain.

Expert sensitises youths on farm business

*highlights mistakes people make in starting the business Abolaji Adebayo

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n agribusiness consultant based in Ibadan, Oyo state and a former staff of Vegefresh Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Taofeek Mustapha has condemned the cold attitude of Nigerian youths especially the graduates who are jobless towards embracing agribusiness as means of their livelihood.

Nigeria is a country endowed with numerous natural resources, good and fair climate and large expanse of fertile land, most of which are still unused. Many stakeholders have canvassed for the job opportunities abound in agricultural businesses that have not been tapped which include e-agriculture, snail rearing, fish farming, agroallied business, and the like. These businesses do not require

huge fund to start but training and information. Since starting an agricultural business involves proper knowledge and planning, Mustapha has therefore highlighted the resources needed for starting a farm business while examining the common mistakes people make while starting agricultural businesses and how to avoid such mistakes. The single and biggest mis-

take that people make according to him is not choosing the right farm business or product. “If you don’t have a slight interest in raising animals or growing things, please don’t go into it. Your interest might just be in distribution of agricultural products or processing,” he said. One of the factors militating against agricultural business venture identified by him is nondiscovery of the area of the busi-

ness to venture into. He explained that one needs to explore the area of agric one wishes to be involved in and start from there. “For example, if you want to sell smoked fish, you really don’t need to have a fish farm to do that, you can buy fish from fish farmers and smoke them to sell. Last week, I met a lady whose monthly turnover on selling snails is about N400,000, but she does not have a snail farm.”


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Friday, May 2, 2014

Q1: FCMB posts N5.6bn pre-tax profit, extends working hours JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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CMB Group has declared a profit before tax of N5.6bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, up 15 per cent from N4.8bn recorded in the same period of 2013. A statement from the bank said the group reported earnings growth in the first quarter in spite of the challenging regulatory environment. According to the statement, net revenue rose 16 per cent to N22.3bn, due to growth in earning assets, improved funding cost and the growing contribution of retail banking activities, which compensated for the decline in unit commissions on turnover. The company deposits increased nine per cent yearon-year to N687.3bn, aided by JOHNSON OKANLAWON

F

SDH Merchant Bank has assured of a significant improvement in its financial performance at the end of the current financial year. Chairman of the company, Mr. Osaro Isokpan, who disclosed this at the Annual General Meeting of the company in Lagos, also stated that the company was able to overcome the challenges posed by the downturn in the global economy which also affected the Nigerian economy in 2013. According to him, given the global economic trend, when most country’s economy nose-dived, Nigeria was not expected

22 per cent growth in current and savings accounts, while fixed deposits declined. Loans and advances also grew 50 per cent year-on-year to N493.7bn on retail business that witnessed a 90 per cent loan growth, from the same period in 2013, to N105.4bn in the review period. The retail and business banking segments combined, now accounts for 33 per cent of total risk assets. Specifically, FCMB Limited achieved a higher net interest margin of 8.8 per cent with a healthy loan to deposit ratio of 71.8 per cent as well as a more efficient cost-to-income ratio of 68.9 per cent, indicating steady improvement in profitability. Commenting on these results, the Managing Director of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Peter Obaseki,said the group re-

ported positive developments in most of its key operating areas, saying that the bank’s operating income rose 16 per cent, from N19.3bn in 2013 to N22.3bn in 1Q14. He said the bank’s operating expenses was up 11 per cent, from N14.0bn in 2013 to N15.5bn in the review period, while pre-tax profits rose 15 per cent to N5.6bn. Obaseki added that FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers reported pre-tax profits of N198m, 128 per cent higher than the figure recorded the same period of 2013. The Group Managing Director of FCMB Limited, Mr. Ladi Balogun explained that the commercial and retail banking arm of the group posted a profit before tax of N5.5bn, up 13 per cent from N4.8bn recorded in the first

quarter of 2013. He said, “On our statement of financial position, total deposits increased nine per cent, growing from N628.4bn in 2013 to N687.3bn, but fell four per cent from the December 2013, to N717.4bn due to expected reductions in wholesale deposits. “Net interest margin continued to climb to 8.8 per cent on the back of the robust retail loan growth, whilst return on average equity for the commercial and retail banking activities rose to 14.9 per cent. We expect margins, profitability and efficiency ratios to continue to improve in spite of the challenging regulatory environment.” Meanwhile, the bank’s opening times has been extended by an hour from today and selected branches will be open Saturdays.

FSDH Merchant Bank assures investors of better performance to be different. “As it affects us, it affects institutions’ performance all over the country. However, FSDH, given that it was our first year, our consolidation year, we have met expectations,” he noted. He maintained that the company, leveraging on its culture of excellence and conservatism, will strive to meet the expectation of shareholders in the area of incremental growth in capital, dividend returns, returns on capital and excellent corporate image. “So far, we have had a culture of excellence and I believe this will take the

company far. Coming year, we expect our performance to be much better; we expect to focus on the products that will drive our profitability,” he added. Also speaking, Mr. Femi Agbaje, a Non-Executive Director of the company, noted that despite the fact that the company recently got its merchant banking license, it was able to post an impressive financial performance. He said, “The company’s performance is good. We should not forget that they only recently just got the merchant banking license and this is their first au-

dited financials as a merchant bank. If you look at it and compare it with their peers in the industry, my view is that they have done well. “The foundation is very strong, and also the brand. Even as a discount house which has been in operation, one must credit them. When most of the other discount houses have collapsed, FSDH have grown from strength to strength and my belief is what you see in terms of performance is only the beginning of much better things to come.”

Pfizer planning to raise AstraZeneca bid above $106bn

P

fizer Incorporation is preparing to sweeten its bid for AstraZeneca Plc to more than 63 billion pounds ($106bn) in an attempt to lure the United Kingdom’s second-biggest drug maker to the negotiating table, people with knowledge of the matter said. The offer may value AstraZeneca at more than 50 pounds a share and include a larger cash component, and could come as early as next week, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. The London-

based company rejected a cash-and-stock proposal of 46.61 pounds a share. Pfizer will report its earnings on May 5. The new bid and its timing aren’t final and may change, two of the people said. After speaking with some AstraZeneca shareholders, Pfizer sees an offer in the low 50 pound-pershare range gaining their support for the companies to hold talks, two people said. Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer Ian Read is on a charm offensive in the UK this week and would prefer

to negotiate a friendly deal. Buying AstraZeneca would give Pfizer a lower tax rate and a portfolio of experimental cancer drugs. AstraZeneca’s US traded shares rose 2.6 per cent to $81.11. The company ended London trading at 4,815 pence a share, or the equivalent of about $81, giving it a market value of 60.8 billion pounds. Pfizer rose 0.7 per cent to $31.50. The companies have several large investors in common, including BlackRock Inc., Wellington Management Company and Vanguard Group Incorporation

Pfizer’s top-20 shareholders collectively own 27.6 per cent of AstraZeneca, Bloomberg data showed. “Until we see something officially, there is no comment we can provide,” said Esra Erkal-Paler, an AstraZeneca spokeswoman. Pfizer spokeswoman Joan Campion declined to comment. Pfizer’s earlier offer, made in January, valued AstraZeneca at 58.8 billion pounds. The proposed deal would be the largest ever in the drug industry and the biggest of a UK company, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

45

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 39,011.90 points Market capitalisation 13.02 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

COSTAIN

1.20

1.26

0.06

5.00

REDSTAREX

4.26

4.47

0.21

4.93

FBNH

12.59

13.21

0.62

4.92

NEIMETH

1.09

1.14

0.05

4.59

WAPIC

0.70

0.72

0.02

2.86

SKYEBANK

3.51

3.60

0.09

2.56

FIDELITYBK

1.95

2.00

0.05

2.56

PRESCO

42.00

43.00

1.00

2.38

ETI

13.30

13.60

0.30

2.26

CORNERST

0.50

0.51

0.01

2.00

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

MANSARD

2.43

2.31

-0.12

-4.94

IPWA

0.61

0.58

-0.03

-4.92

SEPLAT

627.00

597.01

-29.99

-4.78

TOTAL

167.90

161.20

-6.70

-3.99

FIRSTALUM

0.52

0.50

-0.02

-3.85

OASISINS

0.53

0.51

-0.02

-3.77

INTENEGINS

0.57

0.55

-0.02

-3.51

IKEJAHOTEL

0.58

0.56

-0.02

-3.45

UBCAP

2.37

2.29

-0.08

-3.38

ABCTRANS

0.90

0.87

-0.03

-3.33

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

22,057.31

11.50

07-Nov-13

182-Day

30,000.00

11.59

07-Nov-13

182-Day

47,786.39

13.05

07-Nov-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

178-Day

86,709.13

12.35

07-Nov-13

175-Day

95,368.69

12.35

07-Nov-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$350m

N/A

$343m

04-Nov-13

$400m

N/A

$399m

30-Oct-13


46

Capital Market

Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at April 30, 2014 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


47

Transition

L

ate Amaka Igwe was born on January 2nd, 1954 to a retired civil engineer from Obinagu-Udi in Enugu State. An old girl of All Saints School, now Trans Ekulu Primary School, Girls High School Awkunanaw, Enugu and Idia College Benin City, where she had her ‘A’ levels.It was at Idia College that Amaka’s arts inclination fully germinated. While there, she recalled organising variety shows for her house which attracted a fee paying audience. She acted and directed the plays that were staged and also taught the group the famous Atilogwu dance. Popular in her early school days as Ogwu Azu, (Igbo word for fish bone) because of her slim built frame, Amaka wanted to study law but in the wisdom of officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) she was offered a chance to study Education and Religious Study at the Univer-

Friday May 2, 2014

Deaconess Nwannediya Ndubusi

Amaka Igwe

sity of Ife. She was the founder of BoBTV Expo, founder and CEO of Top Radio 90.9FM, Amaka Igwe Studios, and the newly-launched Q Entertainment Networks. A visionary and pioneer of modern Nigerian TV drama and film, she hit national limelight as the writer and producer of award-winning TV soap ‘Checkmate’ and its off shoot ‘Fuji House of Commotion’. Her Nollywood projects include RattleSnake and Violated, two criticallyacclaimed movies that set apart Amaka Igwe Studios in the much criticised Nollywood industry. She had a Master’s Degree from the University of Ibadan and was a lecturer at the Anambra State University of Technology before settling for the motion picture industry. A foremost producer, writer, director and a lead-

T

he families of late Elder Ndubusi Anasonye have announced the obsequies for Ezinne Deaconess Nwannediya Ndubusi who passed on recently. According to a release from the family, the funeral rites will begin with a wake keep on the 1st of May 2014, at Umneze Square, Amamba Uzuakoli, after which the body will lie in state on Friday, May 2nd at Ndubusi Anaso-

ing player in the motion picture industry, Amaka Igwe may not have started shooting movies in 1992 but it is not in doubt that her effort has drawn international recognition for

the burgeoning Nigerian motion picture industry. She died while shooting an Igbo soap opera in Enugu. She is survived by husband, elderly mother and three children.

Capt. Yusuf Sambo

L

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ate Capt. Sambo Capt Yusuf Sabo Sambo, who was the junior brother to Vice President Namadi Sambo, died on Sunday April 27, 2014 on his way to the Abuja Airport. He was born in 1956

and was a pilot. He worked with the former Nigerian Airways and the Presidential Air Fleet. He later became the CEO of Manyata Engineering Services Ltd, an aviation consultancy busi-

ness he started seven years ago. Late Captain Sambo is survived by a wife, three daughters, and 10 brothers and sisters. He has since been buried according to Islamic rites

nye’s compound in UmuezeAmamba Uzuakoli. Thereafter service of song will be held at the Amamba village square after which the body will be interred at the family compound.

Chief Sunday Okeke

T

he family of Okeke of Umunnam Umuoke Obowo has announced the final burial ceremony of Chief Paul Johnson Sunday Okeke who slept in the Lord recently. In an announcement by the family, the funeral rite will be held on the 1st and 2nd of May at the Okeke’s fam-

ily compound, Umunnam Umuoke Obowo in Imo State. He was aged 84 years old. He is survived by children,inlaws, brothers and other relations.

Community Mirror

Court warns NTDA over illegal demolition Wale Igbintade

A

Lagos High Court judge, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo has berated management of the New Towns Development Authority, NTDA, for the demolition of structures on a disputed land pending before the court. Justice Adebajo who described the illegal demolition as unwholesome, warned that without the rule of law there would be anarchy. The claimants, Chief Lamoriu Isiaka, Mr. Maliki Balogun had in suit No-LD/135/2013 filed on behalf of the Okun-Mapo community asked the court to restrain the At-

torney-General of Lagos State, NTDA and Ajayi Apata Property and Investment Limited, from disturbing the peaceful and lawful possession of their property at EganMapo, Onibeju, in Ibeju Lekki Local government Area. The claimants by a motion of February 2014 had applied to the court for an order of interlocutory injunction against the defendants from disturbing the peaceful possession of the claimant over the land. But, before the court could deliver its ruling on the application, the 2nd defendant (NTDA) resorted to self help and illegally demolished the fences erected by the

claimant. At the resumed hearing of the suit, Justice Adebajo noted that there were photographic exhibits of the demolition before the court, adding that such action by a government agency violates the rule of law. Consequently, the court ordered that the claimant be in possession of the disputed land but without making any innovation upon it. ‘’It’s hereby ordered that status quo be maintained. Should this not be clear to the parties and to avoid doubt, it is that status quo as at the date of filling the writ of summons being March 15, 2014 be maintained, thus allowing the claim-

ant to continue in possession but without any innovation upon the land’’, the court held. The claimant had through their lawyer, Bolanle Olugbani informed the court of illegal demolition of property worth N20 million by officials of NTDA under the instruction of its general manager. According to Olugbani, the demolition was carried out despite the pendency of the suit before the court, adding that ‘’this act of brazen and wanton lawlessness by the 2nd defendant could have led to catastrophe if they were resisted. In 33-pragraph affidavit, the claimants stated

that the 55.410 hectares of land which is the subject of the suit belonged to the Ismaila Isiaka family by way of tradition title and act of first settlement. He stated that Mapo Ijebu town in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government of Lagos State was founded by the claimants’ progenitor, Odu-Ekun 350 years ago. According to him, Odu-Ekun migrated from Ijebu Agbe town more than 300 years ago where he was born to the late Oba Oyemade Ogidan. The family stated that the claimants have been in peaceful and unchallenged possession of the disputed land until

sometimes in October 2012, when agents of the 2nd and 3rd defendants allegedly invaded the land with over 50 mobile police personnel. The claimants further stated that when the illegal demolition exercise was reported to the police, the 2nd and 3rd defendants were made to sign an undertaking to stop further demolition pending the determination of the suit. The further disclosed that the demolished fences and properties equally affected those whom the claimants had sold the land to as far as 2002. The matter has been adjourned till May 15 for ruling on pending applications.


48

Documentary

Friday May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oil Doom: Communities paying the price of centenary Nigeria This report is a follow up project to the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism oil probe to help the media and civil society demand accountability in the oil and gas sector as one way of ensuring good governance in Nigeria

YINKA ADEPARUSI

H

e was expecting a report on the last oil spillage at Egbebiri and not happy that a contact has not called back to brief him on progress made on the cleanup. All that irritation would be shelved after he was informed of a fresh spillage in another area not far from the site of the penultimate. “There is always a spill happening every now and then, it is just about getting information in time about where exactly the place is,” Morris Alagoa said, as he dropped the call. He should know better, as the Project Officer Environmental Rights Action (ERA) in Bayelsa State. It is a man-made fate, an environmental disaster that has befallen the NigerDelta since the discovery of oil in 1956 at Oloibiri in Bayelsa, paradoxical of what has been an economic boom and mainstay of Nigeria since independence in 1960. When people in urban cities are crying over scarcity of fuel, the region in a twist of fate has always had it around in unwanted places, albeit in its crude or loose forms. From areas like Rumuekpe to Eleme in Rivers, Brass to Ikarama in Bayelsa, Warri to Sapele in Delta, Qua Iboe in Akwa Ibom and other coastal towns where mine fields are situated in the region have all had their incessant tales of oil and gas spillage, either by corrosion or sabotage, many of which draw extreme sacrifices paid by residents. The victims, though suppressed by the insensitivity

of the Nigeria government to their plight still carry with them that endless narration of griefs and the painful marks serrated in their lives from the ordeals they faced as their country breathe out crude oil. For instance, the family of Freeborn Roland at Ikarama in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa happily welcomed their male twins, Godday and Godpower March 2, 2013. That is just as jollier as it gets. The boys who have now become a sort of popular twins-at-ill, no thanks to the stench from the waterways opposite their home that infiltrated their respiratory systems after a major spill a month and two weeks after their birth. Freeborn was joyous at being a father of twins but pained by the company from whose pipe the spill came from. “I was so happy and very glad when I had my twins because it is the work of God but the bad side is about the Shell people, they have disciplined me in a fine way.” The frail-looking boys have never been well for one day and Freeborn finds it hard to cope with the financial implication. “I am confused. I have been buying drugs for the twins from chemist shops and I do take them to the hospital sometimes. The ambassador of Netherland came to Ikarama and he visited us. He made a promise that they would not abandon the children with the situation of the environment then. They promised to help my family, but since then I haven’t seen anything.

Spillage at Idu oil field in Egbebiri, Bayelsa State.

Freeborn and his wife left their house (pictured)

Patience said she was happy when she gave birth to the twin and now she is cared of losing them.

Father of twins, Freeborn Roland, said flame from fire set up to burnout the crude oil that spilled into his environment consumed part of the polythene material covering the roof of his house.

Mother, Patience, taking care of the children at a nearby hospital.

The home of the Rolands is always crowded by concerned visitors, such as the officials of Environmental Rights Action who vis-

Twins-at-ill: Freeborn and Roland pay more attention to Godday and Godpower, although they had four other children before the twins.

A weak Godpower.

Oil slick at Geiwuh in Ikarama.

Layer of oil at Ikarama.

Not humans alone suffer the consequences.

Many farmlands have been destroyed by consistent spillage either by sabotage or corrosion.

TO BE CONTINUED

Oil streams are commonplace in Niger Delta of Nigeria.


Friday, May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

We need funding today to ensure that a child in a remote village can be treated against severe malnutrition in July. –UN Assistant Secretary General, Robert Piper

U.S. warns of South Sudan genocide U S Secretary of State John Kerry has warned of a possible genocide in South Sudan if more peacekeepers are not rapidly deployed to end the conflict. South Sudan had been hit by “ethnic, tribal, targeted nationalistic killings”, he said. Rebel forces deny UN charges that they killed hundreds of people along ethnic lines after seizing the oil hub of Bentiu last month. More than a million people have fled their homes since December. Kerry was speaking in Ethiopia after holding talks with African Union officials about the conflict. He is on a four-nation tour of Africa, which ends on 5 May. After talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Mr Kerry also called for greater freedom in Ethiopia. “I am raising a very legitimate concern - we are concerned about any imprisoned journalist here or anywhere else,” Kerry said. Nine bloggers and journalists were arrested in Ethiopia last week, rights groups say. The US was pivotal in South Sudan gaining independence, so its opinion holds sway. Sanctions on individuals have become a popular international tool of pressure at the moment, but it is not certain if John Kerry will go that far. Presidents Barack Obama and Kiir got off to an uneasy start, and the latter has recently spoken against Western interference and the need for African solutions to African problems. It is a view supported by regional heads of state who will hold a mini-summit in Juba on Saturday, but they are expected to further pressure President Kiir. Critics say the Ethiopian government does not tolerate any dissent. It is a close US ally in East Africa, playing a key role in fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. The UN has about 8,500 peacekeepers in South Sudan, which became the world’s newest state in 2011 after seceding from Sudan. Last month’s slaughter in Bentiu is said to have been one of the worst atrocities since fighting broke out in December between forces loyal to President Salva

Foreigners being evacuated by plane from South Sudan, recently.

Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar. The violence began as a power struggle between the two, but it later assumed ethnic dimensions. Kiir is a member of the country’s largest group, the Dinka, while Machar is from the secondbiggest, the Nuer. In Bentiu, non-Nuer South Sudanese, citizens of Sudan and even Nuers who were not celebrating the rebel arrival were sin-

gled out and killed, the UN says. The BBC’s Alistair Leithead in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, says 2,500 soldiers from Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda are expected to be deployed. They would have broader rules of engagement and would be allowed to use greater force to keep the two sides apart and protect civilians, he said. Foreign diplomats warn that the period before the troops ar-

rive would be dangerous, our correspondent adds. Kerry said he hoped that “in these next days literally we can move more rapidly to put people on the ground who can begin to make a difference”. If the violence continued along ethnic lines, it “could really present a very serious challenge to the international community with respect to the question of genocide”, he said.

140 migrants storm Spain-Morocco border fence

M

ore than a hundred people stormed the fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Thursday, officials said, in the latest attempt by migrants to breach the border. The early-morning surge of 500 people “ended with 140 immigrants of sub-Saharan origin entering national territory,” according to a statement from Spanish officials in the city. Some who did not make it to Spanish soil were caught in the

border zone, where they stayed for a number of hours shouting “freedom!”, before later being arrested by Moroccan police, according to local media. Six migrants and three police officers were injured, according to the statement, with some of those trying to jump the fence setting fire to their clothing “to throw at the agents”. Another group of around 200 people made a further attempt to cross the border a few hours later but were stopped by border

African migrants are surrounded by Spanish Civil Guard officers after descending from the top of a border post between Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave, recently. Photo: AP

guards. Melilla, on Morocco’s northern coast, provides one of only two land borders between the European Union and Africa, along with another Spanish territory, Ceuta, to the west. Both have seen a flood of illegal border crossings by African migrants seeking a better life in Europe. In March, 1,000 people tried to jump the triple-layer fence separating the city from Morocco, with half of them getting through - the biggest such crossing in nearly a decade. In February, 15 migrants are believed to have drowned in Moroccan waters while trying to swim to Ceuta from a nearby beach. Rights groups and witnesses accused Spanish security forces of firing rubber bullets at the migrants in the water, although the government denied its forces had targeted the migrants directly.

WORLD BULLETIN

Explosion kills two, injures 150 in U.S. jail An apparent gas explosion rocked a jail in the Florida Panhandle, killing two inmates, injuring as many as 150 people, and creating a chaotic scene yesterday after inmates were rushed to hospitals and nearby jails when the crippled building had to be evacuated. Three inmates were unaccounted for and the jail was almost completely destroyed, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said at a news conference Thursday. Pieces of glass and brick were strewn about on the ground and the front of the building appeared bowed, with cracks throughout. “The explosion shook us so hard it was like we were in an earthquake,” Monique Barnes, an inmate who said she was knocked off her fourth-floor bunk, told The Associated Press by phone. “It was like a movie, a horrible, horrible movie.”

Moroccan gov’t to raise minimum wage, unions to keep pushing Morocco has agreed to increase the minimum wage by 10 percent in 2014 and 2015, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, as authorities seek to counter labour union protests against austerity measures such as subsidy cuts and pension system reforms. Mustapha Khalfi, who is both communication minister and government spokesman, said the decision had been taken but he did not provide details. Moroccan Minister of Employment and Social Affairs Abdeslam Seddiki later said on State television channel RTM that details of a deal agreed with labour unions for the private sector included a 5 percent rise at the start of July 2014, followed by another 5 percent in July 2015 and an expansion of healthcare benefits. Minimum wages in the public sector would reach 3000 dirhams (US$370) in next July.

Ukrainian leader admits lost of East to Russia One day after Ukraine’s acting President Oleksander Turchynov conceded defeat in the East, the city of Donetsk appears to have totally succumbed to armed separatists. Turchynov admitted as much on Wednesday saying that “it is hard to accept but it’s the truth. The majority of law enforcers in the east are incapable of performing their duties.” The BBC is reporting that hundreds of men have swarmed the Donetsk prosecutor’s office and are fending off riot police, in rather demeaning ways:


50

North

Frinday, May 2, 2014

2015: APC will win Niger -Chieftain PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

T

he All Progressive Party (APC) in Niger State said it has 98.8% chances to dislodge, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP due to the high level of disenchantment of the people towards the party in the state. APC secretary, Niger State Congress Committee, Comrade Sabo Mohammed, in a chat with Journalists in Minna, said people are no longer happy with the mismanagement of scarce resources and the way and manner, the state governor; Babangida Aliyu handles the affairs of the state. Sabo said, “If you can go to the ordinary man in the streets, they are yearning for change and APC is set to change the misadministration of PDP misled government in Niger State. So if members of APC can bring themselves together and work as members of

genuine APC, the issue of PDP will be history in the state in 2015.” He cited the large turnout of members witnessed during the APC registration and the passion and zeal exhibited by people as an indication that APC would triumph over the PDP in Niger in the 2015 election. Mohammed, who is an APC chieftain from Bauchi State and former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, also descended on the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, describing him as a spent force that is no longer relevant in the political permutation of Bauchi State. According to him, “Muazu was thrown out of office as governor of Bauchi State by ANPP and his impact as the National Chairman of PDP is of no consequence in Bauchi State and the APC is waiting on its wings to take over Bauchi State in 2015.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

EFCC sets up 150 Integrity Clubs in schools PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

T

he Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, said it has set up 150 Integrity Clubs in secondary schools across the country, as part of effort to sustain the fight against economic and finance crime, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde has revealed. Making the disclosure at the launching of the Integrity Club at the Police Secondary School Minna in Niger State, Lamorde, stated that the clubs represent the commission’s move

from usual traditional law enforcement to crime prevention through education and citizens engagement. He added that corruption can be best prevented if an individual imbibes early in life, “strong, moral values of integrity, honesty accountability, transparency, fairness, equity and trust. And there is no better level to form, than the level of the Nigerian child; it is for these reasons that the commission set up the EFCC Secondary School Integrity Club.” Lamorde represented by Deputy Director Public Affairs, Mr Osita Nwaje, said,

``It is also unacceptable that while we are one of the most religious countries in the world, the greater majority of our leaders in all spheres of life, are only concerned about how much they can steal for themselves and their families.`` The Niger State Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Umar Abdulhameed in his address, called on traditional rulers and authorities of universities to stop issuing out traditional titles to persons with questionable means of income or dubious persons, saying that would go a long way in

curbing corruption in the society. The commissioner also pointed out the need for university authorities to stop awarding their honorary doctorate degrees on illiterates and dubious persons in the society, but to those that are educated and have contributed to the society. He then directed the state Secondary School Management Board to commence the process of setting up Integrity Clubs in the 472 secondary schools across the state to support EFFC’s battle against corruption and indiscipline.

NEMA donates relief materials to victims of Taraba violence

T

he National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA on Thursday donated relief materials to the Taraba State Government for distribution to victims of the crisis in the state. Mr Apollos Jediel, the Head of Gombe Operations Office of the agency, presented the materials to the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Garvey Yawe, in Jalingo. Jediel said the Federal Government was con-

cerned with the plight of the internally displaced persons in the state and assured them of continuous support. He added that the relief materials, which were in 16 trucks, include 1,200 bags of rice, 1,600 bundles of roofing sheets and 250 cartons of Omo detergent. In his response, the Secretary to the State Government thanked the Federal Government for always coming to the aid of the state in times of trouble.

Ex Deputy Senate President Wash Pam dies at 73 JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

F

ormer Deputy Senate President, John Wash Pam is dead. He died yesterday of complications secondary to prostrate cancer at the National Hospital, Abuja at about 1.30 pm at the age of 73 The Second Republic senator is survived by two wives and 18 children. Wash Pam, a prominent Berom elder, hailed from Foron district of Barkin Ladi local Government Area of Plateau State. His death was con-

firmed by his second son, Mr. Ganan Wash Pam and his Special Assistant, Mr. Williams Chieshe (Jnr). “Baba died about one and half hours ago”, Chieshe disclosed on phone, adding “he has been battling with prostrate cancer for a while now. Wash Pam was deputy senate president to senator Joseph Wayas from 1979 to 1983. Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state expressed who expressed shock over the death of the former lawmaker described his death as great loss not only to the state but the country.

Women protesting at the 2014 May Day celebration in Kaduna, over the abducted female students from Chibok in Borno, yesterday. b PHOTO: NAN

Ex -gov Adamu Attah dies at 88, Wada eulogises virtues WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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he first civilian governor old Kwara State Alhaji Adamu Attah is dead The late Attah died at his residence in the early hours of Thursday in Abuja after a protracted illness which kept him out of circulation for some times now. He died at age of 88. Family sources disclosed that late Alhaji Adamu Attah would buried at his home town in Okene, Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State. At the family house in Okene, family members, friends and sympathisers from near and far were seen waiting for the remains of the late ex-governor of old Kwara State for final burial. Late Adamu Attah was

the first executive governor of old Kwara State between 1979 and 1983. The deceased was said to have been indisposed for quite some times and have been staying in Abuja where he is being attended to by his children. Late Attah was son of Warrant Chief Ibrahima Attah, whom the British granted wide powers under the Native Authority system. He became the first civilian governor of the old Kwara State, under the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, although he came from a minority ethnic group. During his administration as the then Kwara State governor, Secondary schools in Ebira land rose from six (6) to thirty eight (38). His regime brought

about the School of Nursing (now College of Nursing, Obangede), the Specialist hospital, Obangede; The Osara Campus of the present Kogi Polytechnic; the construction of the Okene-Kuroko-Itakpe road, electrification of several communities ,numerous empowerment programmes benefited by many Ebira people among others. Meanwhile, Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris has commiserated with the family of the late elder statesman. He described death as necessary end for every mortal, adding that everyone would die at appropriate time. Wada stated this when he alongside His Royal Majesty, Alh Ado Ibrahim, the Ohinoyi of Ebira land re-

ceived the body of the late former governor. The governor, who was among the early callers to pay a condolence visit on the family of Alhaji Atta, said the late elder statesman epitomises sincerity and said his wise counsel will be greatly missed. Wada said the deceased had contributed his quota to development of his father land. Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Momoh Lawal also described the deceased as a great politician that has contributed to the development of Nigeria and old Kwara State where he was a governor. Lawal stated that Adamu Attah would be missed by the people of Ebiraland and pray to God to grant him eternal rest.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

STORIES: ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation, AFCO, has called on security agencies in Ekiti State to investigate claim by the All Progressives Congress, APC, that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Mr Ayo Fayose, is planning to torch his own campaign office. Director General of AFCO, Chief Dipo Anisulowo, expressed fears that the APC was only expressing its intent, saying: “APC members are noted for accusing other people of

Politics

Friday, May 2, 2014

51

Fayose to police: Probe alleged plans to burn my office planning to do what they are plotting to do.” Anisulowo said in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday that it was obvious that the APC thugs were planning to further carry out an attack on AFCO campaign office as they did on April 7. He said: “For Governor Kayode Fayemi and his APC to have made such an allegation, it means that they have facts and they must be made to come and

substantiate it. “The police and other security agencies in the state must therefore investigate the allegation because it is obvious that the allegation is just a diversionary tactic. Anisulowo said that for the APC, as a party, whose major leaders are being tried for offences as grievous as murder, gun-running and attempted murder, security agencies must investigate allegations of

plans to commit crime coming from such a party. Meanwhile, the chances of PDP candidate in the June 21 election was boosted with the declaration of support by all council chairmen during the ousted Chief Segun Oni administration for him. The former council bosses, who were led by Chief Obafemi Falayi, said their motive for the support was to ensure PDP’s victory in

the poll, stressing that their prayer was to ensure the best candidate pushed out the ruling APC from office. In a statement by Fayose’s media aide, Mr Idowu Adelusi, in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the council chairmen said that the best thing that has happened to the Ekiti State PDP of recent was the emergence of Fayose as its candidate. Other local government officials that declared support for Fayose were 177 ward councillors, 58 supervisors, special advisers and 58 advisers. Responding, Fayose, who promised to conduct local government election as soon as he became the governor, told them that he was not out to discriminate against anybody, saying PDP in Ekiti

50 DAYS TO GO State was one and the leaders were more united. He appealed to his followers to be mindful of their actions and inactions that could divide the party, saying: “Adeyeye, Olubolade, Omoyeni and other leaders are with me to win this state for the PDP. “When I was governor then, I tried to be impartial in handling party matters. I will not pay evil with evil but pay evil with good. I want the PDP to be strong like the way I left it.”

APC holds campaign amidst tight security in Iyin-Ekiti Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial candidate, Ayo Fayose during one of his campaign recently.

APC, LP in blame game over attack

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ll Progressives Congress, APC and Labour Party, LP, yesterday engaged each other in blame game over attacks on supporters at Iyin Ekiti in the Irepodun/Ifelodun council area of the state. The police said it had arrested no fewer than eight suspected political hoodlums in the town for allegedly preventing free flow of traffic along the Ado – Iyin Ekiti road. Although the police did not disclose the political leaning of the arrested suspects, they said weapons in-

cluding two cutlasses, axe, and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the hoodlums who were out to disrupt political activities in the town. The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation alleged that those that were arrested were members of the LP who invaded the palace of the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Ademola Ajakaye, to prevent the APC governorship candidate, Governor Kayode Fayemi from visiting the palace. A statement from the or-

ganisation’s spokesperson, Mr Dimeji Daniels said that the suspects “besieged the palace of Oba Ademola Ajakaiye, with the intent of preventing the monarch from receiving Fayemi, who visited six towns, including Iyin-Ekiti, hometown of the LP governorship candidate in the June 21 poll, Opeyemi Bamidele, in the local government”. But the LP blamed the APC for the violence in the town, saying some suspected cult members, attacked peace-loving people of the community, who were at the

palace to protest the banning of Bamidele from campaigning in Fayemi’s hometown. A statement by Bamidele’s media aide, Mr Ahmed Salami, said the cult members numbering about 20 had at about 9.15pm on Wednesday stormed the private residence of Pa Ogunjuyigbe Bamidele, the 85-year old father of Bamidele. He said that those arrested by the police were peace-loving people protesting injustice done to the LP candidate.

Fayemi to workers: Step up peace mediation among political parties

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kiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, has urged workers in the state to continue to mediate among the different political parties and politicians in their domains to ensure the June 21 governorship was peaceful and devoid of bloodshed. Fayemi, who said such role would ensure stability in the polity, also urged the workers to help in tackling those spreading falsehood against the state government. The governor spoke dur-

ing the Workers’ Day celebration in Ado Ekiti, adding that his government had surpassed the achievements recorded by the preceding administrations in the state in terms of welfare packages to workers and the populace. He assured the workers that his government would continue to hold them in high esteem and make their welfare his priority. Fayemi appealed to Nigerians to be vigilant in the face of anarchy confronting the

country, saying that “communal vigilance and human surveillance is the first thing to do when a nation is to fight against anarchy.” The workers, under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC cautioned politicians against turning the state to a battlefield and shedding the blood of innocent persons in the name of politics. TUC state chairman, Comrade Kolawole Olaiya, appealed to the Independent

National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure free and peaceful conduct of Ekiti and the general elections scheduled for 2015. Olaiya, who said Ekiti people should not allow politics to divide them, said: “We should remember that from our historical antecedents, we have been brothers and sisters. Our state being homogenous, we should therefore not allow politics to divide us. Let us embrace peace and shun violence.”

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here was heavy security presence at the campaign of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Governor Kayode Fayemi, at Iyin Ekiti, the hometown of Labour Party, LP, candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele yesterday. This followed the tension generated in the community by the attack early in the day by supporters of the two parties. Apart from armoured personnel carriers located in strategic locations, a large number of heavily armed security personnel were deployed to the town to prevent outbreak of violence. Commercial activities were paralysed in the town, as combined forces of soldiers, police, men of the State Security Service, SSS and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC were on ground to checkmate any unrest. In his address, Fayemi told the gathering that his government would continue to accord the council area respect and expedite action to increase the spate of development in the area during his second term.

The governor, who said his administration had impacted positively on the council area in the last three and half years, said no part of the state would be discriminated against in the execution of its programmes and policies to better the lots of the people. Fayemi said he had no grudge against his friend and governorship candidate of LP, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, over his resolve to contest the June 21 election, saying Bamidele had not in any way contravened the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Earlier, former governor, Adeniyi Adebayo, who said he had earlier warned Bamidele against contesting the governorship position on the strength of his belief in equity, justice and fairness, said: “When my brother, Opeyemi Bamidele came to me, I advised that Iyin is not the only town in Ekiti. “I told him it is not the turn of this town to produce the governor because when did I leave as the governor of the state that another man from this town will be contesting again?”, as he urged the people of the town to vote for Fayemi in the election.”


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Friday, May 2, 2014

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LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION FOR AFRICAN GIRL CHILD AND WOMEN

This is to inform the general public that the above foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for the incorporation of her trustees

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Okoro Viola Ekwutosi 2. Okoro Sampson 3. Stella Ngozi Okeke 4. Okpalaeke Declan Chukwudubem 5. Barrister Ikechukwu Awa 6. Patricia Chinyere Adebambo THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. Enlightenment of African girl child and women. 2. Protection of the rights of women and African girl child. 3. Development of leadership skills of African girl child and women. 4. Assisting women and African girl child in maximising their potentials. Any member of the public who has any objection to the incorporation of the trustees above should forward same to Corporate Affairs Commission within 21 days of this publication.

SIGNED: BARRISTER IKECHUKWU AWA SECRETARY

PUBLIC NOTICE

BRIGHTER FUTURE UNITED CLUB OF NIGERIA The general public is hereby notified that the above named club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and allied matters Act No 1 of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Mark Udeokolo Usman Kabiru Oguche Anieze Amos Okorie Ameh James Chukwuemeka

- Chairman - Secretary - Treasurer - Financial Secretary

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To prove the spirit of love, unity and cooperation of its members. 2. To assist members in the time of pressing needs. 3. To promote mutual understanding, good relationship and corporation among Members. 4. To engage in developmental projects or in any economic, social or cultural activities that may enhance the objective of the club. 5. To create a forum for social, cultural, intellectual, ethical and moral development of members.

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2. 4. 6.

Rev. Sr. Ann Ezenwa Mr. Ifeanyi Oliver Ezenwa Mr. Joseph Mary Eze

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To promote, advance and render material help and support to the poor, needy, and downtrodden in Nigeria or elsewhere in West Africa as the need arises. To provide as far as possible transitional homes for the homeless in order to rehabilitate and help them become self-reliant. To offer regular mass and prayers for all humanity for the repose of the souls of all deceased especially members of Ezenwa Family. To raise fund and to receive donations and contributions from members, philanthropic organizations, individuals and governments for the promotion and advancement of the above stated objectives. Any objections to this registration should be forwarded to Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: CHIEF PHILIP NDUBUISI UMEH PHILIP NDUBUISI UMEH & CO, SUITE C2, 3 MILITARY STREET, ONIKAN, LAGOS ISLAND, LAGOS STATE. PNUMEHANDCO@GMAIL.COM

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PUBLIC NOTICE ELOHIM REVELATIONS MINISTRY WORLDWIDE

1. Rev. David Aondona Iorchia 2. Rev. Fidelis Aondowase Wuaor 3. Augustine Adu Mando 4. Elder Biam Azege Biam 5. Barr. Derry Job Uga 6. Rev. Linus Anyor Yakii 7. Paul Akpa Tarkumbur

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JABEZ OCHEI FOUNDATION

This is to inform the general public that the above mentioned foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission (C.A.C) for incorporation under part ‘C’ of the Company and Allied Matter Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

1. Okonkwo joy Ijeoma-Chairman 2. Pst Nathaniel Solomon 3. Elder Edwin Ozoma 4. Hon. Funkekeme Solomon 5. Engr Abel Adeleke 6. Elder Okechukwu Okonkwo. THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To bring peace and unity among members.

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PUBLIC NOTICE FOCUS HOPE FOUNDATION OF ENUGU The general public is hereby notified that the above named foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and allied matters Act No 1 of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Hon. Johnbull Nwagu 2. Mr. Oliver Chime 3. Ozo Paul Chibuzor 4. Barr. Ezenwukwa Ikechukwu Winston 5. Mrs. L. Ngozi Ndu

- Chairman

- Secretary

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To empower, build and enhance youth and women to become self reliance so as to reduce poverty. 2. To establish technical vocational training and skill acquisition centres to tackle women and youth unemployment 3. To engage in research and exchange programme with similar organizations, agencies and groups with similar objectives. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: HON. JOHNBULL NWAGU (CHAIRMAN)

PUBLIC NOTICE AL-IMAM AL-QASSIM QURAN MOSQUE The general public is hereby notified that the above named Organisation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission (C.A.C.), Abuja for registration under Part “C” of the Company and Allied Matter Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Nofiu Olayiwola Saula 2. Akorede Oduntan 3. Nofisa Oloruntoyin Ajisafe 4. Muhyideen Arowolo Kazeem 5. Jamiu Adesina Kazeem

- President - Gen. Secretary

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To espouse, teach, preach and expand the friahiers of Islam among mankind 2. To establish mosques, praying ground, halls and other places of Islamic worship 3. To establish and run creche, nursery, primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions in different parts of Nigeria

Any objection to the registration of the above should be favoured to the registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission plot 420 Tigris crescent off Aguiyi Ironsi street Maitama Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar -General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: TRUSTEES

SIGNED: AKOREDE ODUNTAN GEN. SECRETARY


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Sports

Friday May 2, 2014

53

Sport Mourinho absolves Chelsea players

I am working hard at making a great impact at the Glasgow Games. We’ll still wait and see –South African athlete, Caster Semenya

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I’m a misunderstood person, says Osaze

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Expect no magic in Brazil –James Peters JOEL AJAYI, ABUJA

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rstwhile Super Eagles Assistant Coach, James Peters, has stated that Nigeria’s hope of going beyond the group stage of this year’s World Cup in Brazil can only become a reality if the team is given

adequate preparation and needed support from all stakeholders. Speaking in an exclusive interview with National Mirror in Abuja, Peters who is optimistic that the Eagles are condemned to go beyond their previous performances, however, noted that both Coach Stephen Keshi and Nigeria Football Federa-

tion (NFF) are on track in the buildup to the soccer fiesta. He said, “I don’t see anything wrong with the NFF insisting that it wants to look inwards to know which player is fit or not. I believe that all they want is the best for the country just like any other person. Don’t forget, once this list, either provisional

igeria international striker, Osaze Odemwingie, says he’s not a troublesome character as suggested in some quarters. Odemwingie says he’s hugely misunderstood because he has chosen not to act like certain footballers who are simply “boring athletes that never say anything”. In an interview published by FourFourTwo magazine, Osaze took time to highlight his professionalism and “discipline” and added that he was never too worried about the impression other people have of him as a person. “When people talk about discipline, in reality in football, discipline is what you do on the pitch. Everything else - what you do in the media - is all about people’s opinions,” he told FourFourTwo. The former Bendel Insurance forward added that it was wrong for people to single him out as there “are no angels in the game”. “We are all different; there are no angels in the game. As stubborn as many people say players like Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) or Mario (Balotelli) are, they are big players. There are things about Messi that people don’t know. “The discipline in sport is what you do on the pitch. An undisciplined player is one who comes to training late all the time, gets red cards all the time. All the things off the pitch are about your personality, and you can’t please everyone.” Odemwingie is widely expected to earn a recall to the Super Eagles and he revealed that his relation with Coach Stephen Keshi is “fine”.

or last 23-man team is submitted; there will be no chance for replacement. “World Cup is not a place where any team can go and expect to perform magic and progress. You must be prepared; all hands must be on deck. All the 32 countries will be vying for one cup,” Peters said.


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Sports

UCL ouster:

Friday May 2, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mourinho absolves Chelsea players C

helsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, has defended his players in the team’s Champions League 3-1 semi final loss to Atletico Madrid in London on Wednesday, saying they played their best football. The Blues went down incredibly as Atletico set up a title decider with Mourinho’s former side Real Madrid in Lisbon this month. “I said before that my players were ready and they wanted to be ready because they wanted to play, they wanted to help, because they know the situation

Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho was shortchanged by his defensive tactics

where we were so close to the final but at the same time with so many problems,” the Portuguese gaffer said yesterday. “So every one of my players tried the maximum and Samuel Eto’o was here almost without a training session. Oscar was on the bench and he was injured. “We had so many problems but the players gave everything and I am happy with them. They can go home sad but with a clean face. “They did their work, they lost the game but they lost against a very good team.”

KHF launches reality football show AFFOLABI OLA GAMBARI O

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AWC: Nkwocha gets Falcons’ recall

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he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has approved the invitation of eight foreign-based professional players including veteran striker, Perpetua Nkwocha, ahead of the African Women Championship (AWC) qualifier against Rwanda on May 24. Team administrator, Ruth David, disclosed that letters had been dispatched to the clubs with a view to getting the players released early. “All the invited players will report at the he Abuja camp of the Falcons on May 13 to enable them hem have minimum of five days training with the other her players before the game with the Rwandese,” David avid said. The players invited include Sarah Micheal heal (KIF Orebro, Sweden), Francisca Ordega (Pitea a IF, Sweden), Onome Ebi (Minsk FC, Belarus), Osinachi Ohale (Houston Dash, United States), Faith th Ikidi (Pitea IF, Sweden), Desire Oparanozie (Atasehir Belediyespor, Turkey) and Helen Ukaonu (Sunnana SK, Sweden). “The foreign-based players are to join Nkwocha the 24 home-based players at the camp,” the team administrator added.

Founder, Kanu

n its rresolve to exploit the football followership in fo ootba Nigeria, the Kanu Heart N Niger Foundation Foundatiion (KHF) yesterday inFo augurated auguratted a reality television show aimed aiimed at harmonising the fans to pursue a common dream. pursu p Tagged Ultimate Naija Tagg ged “The “ Soccer Socce Fan Fa TV Reality Show”, the programme, which is prog planned to t appear on several television stations, is tartelevi geted get at exploiting the status of football to sta spread the message of sp unity un . “It is our own way of rewarding the fans and an supporting Nigerian ria clubs because this will wi be entirely our own thing,” Coordinator of thi the Kanu Heart Foun-

dation, Deacon Onyebuchi Abia, said yesterday in Lagos. “We are also looking at the foreign clubs, especially as we know that many Nigerians fans support lots of clubs abroad,” he added. According to Abia, participants in the show which has the duo of Nollywood stars Chioma Akpota and Benita Nzeribe as ambassadors will be recruited from the six geo-political zones in the country after a thorough screening to be undertaken by professionals. “We will conclude the screening between now and September after which the show will start,” the KHF official, who said several banks had indicated interest in partnering with the programme, further said, stressing, “The first prize winner will go home with a jeep and N3million, second a car and N2million and third a tricycle and N1million.” National Mirror learnt, however, that entry fee per participant will be N500.

Remo wins Adebutu Cup

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emo Football Academy has won the 2nd Ladi Adebutu Under-20 Football Competition. The academy defeated Zuma Football Club of Iperu Remo in the final match played at the Old Police College ground, Iperu Remo, Ogun State on Sunday. According to the tournament’s Media Officer, Mr. Tope Oyekan, is sponsored by Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu in his effort at developing grassroots football within the Ogun East district featuring teams from the Remo and Ijebu divisions. Aleke Babes FC of Ijebu Igbo had won the third place match that preceded the final. Adebutu listed gains of the competition to include the invitation of its players to the national U-17 and U-15 teams respectively. Dignitaries that attended the final include the Ebi of Idena, Iperu, Oba Omosanya Akinyemi; Chairman, Ogun State Football Association, Alhaji Ganiu Majekodunmi; Comrade Niyi Osoba; Alhaja Mujidat Ogunnaike and Prof. Seun Omotayo.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sports

Friday May 2, 2014

55

EUROPA CUP RESULTS Juventus 0-0 Benfica (Benfica Q) Valencia 3-1 Sevilla (Sevilla Q)

Enyeama in line for France award

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igeria’s first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, continues to receive plaudits as he has been nominated for the best goalkeeper award in the French Ligue 1 after the UNFP announced the nominees. Enyeama has been massive for his club, OSC Lille, leading the team to their current third place position on the log, as well as keeping 21 clean sheets this season. The awards, run by the Professional Union of French Players (UNFP), will be held on May 11, just a week before the French

Championship winds up. The 31-year-old former Enyimba goalkeeper was nominated alongside Steve Mandanda of Olympique Marseille, Salvatore Sirigu of leaders Paris Saint Germain and Stephane Ruffier of Saint-Ettiene. He has also played 3 150 minutes of first-team football this season, conceding only 21 goals in 35 games -- the second best in Ligue 1 behind Salvatore Sirigu of Paris Saint Germain. Enyeama was also ever present in goal as Nigeria qualified for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Enyeama on duty for Nigeria

Tennis: Ebinum clinches LCM trophy

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meka Ebinum has won the LCM/Heineken Tennis Tournament organised by the tennis section of Apapa Club after defeating Tony Ugochukwu 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. Ebinum needed over two hours to overcome Ugochukwu in the final. Paul Abutu clinched the men’s singles Group B catego-

C/River FA floats council committees AFOLABI GAMBARI

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he Cross River Football Association has inaugurated committees in all the18 Local Government Areas of the state in a bid to enhance its grassroots football development. The event was conducted by the state’s FA Chairman, Mr. Oswald Atuake, who said the association was committed to taking the sport to the next level. “Football is an obligation for the youths and it is better to identify them from the grassroots and nurture them to stars that can the state can be proud of,” Atuake said, adding that the state was delighted to host the 2013 Golden Eaglets that won the

FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the UAE. “We want to remain in the forefront of Nigerian football and that is why we inaugurated the football committee es across our state and I have no doubt this is a step in the right direction. “Having assessed our contribution towards the success of the Eaglets last year, we desire to do more and we believe there are still many great players from the grassroots in the state. “Setting up of these football committees at our local government areas would naturally aid development of our football and ultimately that of the country.” The Cross River State FA under Atuake’s leadership was had arranged the camp-

ing of Eaglets in Calabar in the run-up to the team’s successful outing at the cadet World Cup. It also hosted the Super Eagles during the team’s qualifiers for both the AFCON 2013 finals in South Africa and the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Governor Imoke

ries after his opponent, Tunde Ayorinde, was forced to retire due to fatigue as Abutu led 5-1 in the first set. The Group C title was won by Tunde Yusuf who defeated Chuks Igbinedion while the ladies’ single was won by Ekwi Okam. In the invitational category, Debo Adeshiyan of Nigeria

Port Authority played four matches to top the table with 13 points. All the finalists went home with a prizes ranging from television, refrigerator, generator and home theater. The club also honoured some of its members for their contribution to the development of the tennis section.

NBBF calls 24 for All Stars PAUL EREWUBA

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he Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has invited 24 players and six officials from the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences of the DStv Premier League for the All Stars game scheduled for the University of Lagos Indoor Hall in Akoka, Lagos tomorrow. According to the NBBF/DStv League Director, Agboola Pinheiro, 12 players and three officials each were selected from the two conferences with Kano Pillars and Mark Mentors dominating the Savannah Conference list. “The Savannah Conference will be handled by coaches Pe-

ter Ahmedu (Mark Mentors) and Abdulrahaman Mohammed (Gombe Bulls) with former international, Lawal Garba as Team Manager, while Coaches Adeboye Aderiboye (Oluyole Warriors) and Chris Nomingo (Dodan Warriors) will handle the Atlantic Conference team with former international, Deji Jaiyeola as Team Manager,” Pinheiro said. Savannah Conference players are Abubakar Usman, Dele Ademola, Mathew Monya, Onyeka Okeke and Adeolu Ojoh from Kano Pillars, Stanley Gumut, Abdul Yahaya, Akpara Akiti and Timothy Kwor from Mark Mentors, Chibuzor John, Plateau Peaks, John Mathais and Joseli Ibrahim from Gombe Bulls.


WORLD RECORD

Waterski flips - most in 30 seconds (female)

Vol. 04 No. 843

Friday, May 2, 2014

N150

The most water ski flips in 30 seconds (female) is eight and was achieved by Duan Zhenkun and Han Qiu(both China)in Xichang City, Sichuan Province, China, on 17 November 2011.

The Federal Road Safety Casino

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he Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), whether it understands it or not, has been called to order. In spite of its ranting, the Corps ought to realise by now that its excesses were reined in by the verdict of the Lagos Federal High Court which, last month, passed the verdict that the new number plates it introduced were unconstitutional. The Corp’s grandstanding in contest against the judgement can only stand if Nigerians choose to play the fool. The Osita Chidoka-led FRSC has postured itself more as a money-making casino for the Federal Government than a public service outfit meant to save lives on the nation’s highways. A Federal High Court in Lagos said literally Wednesday, March 26, 2014 that the FRSC does not quite understand its brief. Delivering judgement in a suit filed by a concerned lawyer, Emmanuel Ofoegbu, against the FRSC, the presiding judge, James Tsoho, said: “The

FRIDAY WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) issue of redesigning new number plates by the respondent (FRSC) is not covered under the provisions of any law in Nigeria. The respondent cannot force Nigerians to acquire new plate numbers by impounding cars without the backing of any legislation to that effect…” Reports said Ofoegbu filed the suit on September 30, 2013 to challenge the power of the FRSC to impound the vehicles of motorists who failed to acquire the new number plates. He sought a declaration that the threat by the FRSC to impound such vehicles was invalid and unconstitutional; and also averred that the old numbers plates were issued under the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR) 2004. Ofoegbu insisted that the NRTR 2004 is a subsidiary legislation made under the FRSC Act; and that the NRTR 2012, in Regulations 230 (2), provides that “the revocation of the 2004 Regulations shall not affect anything done or purported to be done pursuant to that Regulation. The lawyer canvassed, in addition, that no law made in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended) prohibited the use of the old number plates, or declared their use as an offence. But the respondent (FRSC) has refused to bury its face in shame. A statement issued by the Commission’s Public Education Officer, Mr. Jonas Agwu in Abuja a day after the epic judgement claimed the Com-

STATES IN PARTICULAR SHOULD BRACE UP AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE

JUSTICE TSOHO JUDGEMENT

mission did not set the deadline for the use of new number plates, but that state governments, through their Joint Tax Board, did. Agwu, thereafter, lectured the country that the court only ruled that the FRSC lacked statutory authority to fix a deadline for the enforcement of the use of the new number plates. “Justice Tsoho ruled that the FRSC has power to design and produce number plates as a national policy. The judge cautioned that the statutory power of the FRSC does not cover setting deadlines for conversion to the newly designed plates”, Agwu said. Unfortunately however, Agwu and his bosses did not remember that the FRSC fixed September 30, 2013 as the deadline for vehicle owners to acquire new number plates or have their vehicles impounded; and that public outrage forced the Commission to again shift the doomsday to June 30, 2014, after which vehicles without the new number plates would be ‘confiscated’ by the Commission. Let’s, however, get the facts straight.

Justice Tsoho says the new number plates introduced by the FRSC were unconstitutional and could not be imposed on vehicle owners. He says the redesigning of new number plates by the FRSC is not covered under the provision of any law in Nigeria; and that the FRSC cannot force Nigerians to acquire new number plates by impounding cars without the backing of any legislation to that effect. This remains the position of the law until otherwise overturned. The FRSC is not supposed to be a federal agency in the first place. But in February 1988, the military administration of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) created it through Decree No. 45 of 1988, as amended by Decree 35 of 1992. It was passed by the National Assembly as Federal Road Safety Commission Establishment Act 2007. The main functions of the Commission, as clearly stated on the FRSC portal on the internet, include: making the highway safe for motorists and other road users. But for reasons best known to it, the Chidoka-led FRSC has devoted more attention to designing and producing driver’s license and vehicle number plates at very prohibitive costs to ordinary Nigerians, and smiling to the banks, at the expense of the Commission’s core job of maintaining road safety. Worse still, state governments, whose concurrent responsibility it is to license and register vehicles in their domains to buoy internally generated revenue wait for FRSC’s licenses and number plates; and in the process, give the greedy Commission the latitude to produce the items at God knows what cost. The materials are then sent to states to sell at FRSC controlled prices to the detriment of states. Yet most state governors pose as champions of true federalism and defendants of same. It’s indeed unfortunate. The Emma Ofoegbu vrs FRSC case has broken the jinx. States in particular should brace up and take advantage of the Justice Tsoho judgement or shut up permanently for not knowing how best to make money except waiting for monthly federal allocations.

Sport Extra

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xperts have propounded that the nagging injury to world number one, Tiger Woods, will impose incalculable damage on golf, as the emergent players have demonstrated a lack of staying power.

‘Golf’s future without Tiger Woods bleak’ USA’s Bubba Watson won the Augusta Masters Green Jacket a fortnight ago, but was hardly impressive to raise hope for a long time of bliss without Woods on the courses. The Augusta event was the

first that Woods has missed in 20 years, as the golfers jostled to grab the honour in his absence. “Woods has single-handedly delivered a golfing boom since his first Masters win in

1997 and there is no debating who is the most influential golfer of all time,” golf author, Jake Simpson, said. “The prize money at the Masters from $2.5million in 1996 to $9million (£5.3mil-

lion) this year stems entirely from Woods’s personality,” he added. “When you didn’t have Tiger figuring in the the Masters, there was definitely a lack of star power.”

Woods

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Friday May 2nd 2014