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COUNTDOWN TO

EDO GUBER POLL JULY 14, 2012

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DAYS

INEC ad hoc staff take oath

I’ve no hand in October 1 bombing –Sylva Controversy trails

IG bans neigbourhood watch groups Govt declares half working day Don’t use soldiers to thwart poll, FG told

President’s wife appointment

P.13-16;45-46 P.6 NICON Insurance denies owing FG N12.3bn

VOTE

TO GO

Vol. 2 N0. 403

P.7,11

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tanker explosion T kills 100 in PH

N150

ISE-OLUWA IGE, OBIORA IFOH AND CHINEDUM EMEANA ragedy struck in the early hours of yesterday in Okogbe community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State when a fuel tanker, which was involved in an accident with three other vehicles, exploded, burning over 100 people to death. Some of the bodies were burnt to ashes. The casualty figure may still mount as about 60

89 victims get mass burial, 60 injured Jonathan orders relief for survivors

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Some of the victims at the scene

The burnt tanker at Okogba, Rivers State, yesterday. More pictures on page 2

Sympathisers looking at charred bodies.

Nigeria not ripe for state police, says IG

Senate lifts suspension on new driver’s licence, number plates

...as FG confirms his appointment

P.4

Dana crash: Preliminary report out, airline absent in court Abubakar

P.5

Oduah

P.6

Mark


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News

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tanker explosion kills 100 in PH CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

persons seriously injured at the scene were rushed to several hospitals where they are undergoing treatment. National Mirror learnt that the tanker did not burst into flames immediately after the accident, a situation that emboldened many people to start scooping fuel which had already spilled all over. Witnesses said some security operatives at the scene could not prevent the villagers from scooping. When the tanker finally exploded, it caught many of them unawares and they were burnt to death. Many of those killed, according to National Mirror finding were commercial motorcycle (a.k.a Okada) riders, who

had rushed to the scene on learning of the accident to fill their tanks. Women and children were also killed. The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Sector Commander for Rivers State, Kayode Olagunju confirmed that apart from the four vehicles involved in the accident, 34 motorcycles also got burnt. Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr. Mohammed Ndabawa, who also confirmed the incident, said most of those who died were scooping fuel from the tanker. Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker, who spoke to newsmen at the Ahoada General Hospital in company of his Special Duties counterpart, Mr. Emeka Nwogu, said he

What was left after the fire.

Remains of ill-fated fuel tanker and motorcycles at the scene.

counted about 100 corpses. “I will describe this as the worse single incident that has happened to Rivers State since the civil war. It is even worse than the Sosoliso crash we experienced before now. It’s quite a pity. “The situation would have been saved if they didn’t go there to scoop fuel because when the accident happened there was no fire. “The fire, as I heard, started when they started scooping fuel. So, the situation would have been saved if people didn’t go there to scoop fuel. “As far as I’m concerned, this is a national disaster. I don’t think anything like this has happened even in the areas where we are hearing of bomb blasts, Boko Haram or plane crashes.

“I think this is the worse single disaster that has happened to Nigeria. I don’t know of which other one because the corpses I counted alone, those ones that are there alone are over 100 littered about and they have not finished counting. “Cremation is what we see at the site, some people were burnt to ashes, so how many can you count? Look at the number that have been taken to several hospitals,” Parker said. President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday directed all federal relief and health agencies to ensure that survivors of the explosion receive prompt and effective medical attention. The President, who said he was sad, however, described the incident as avoidable. In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan said the incident was unfortunate because it was avoidable. The statement said: “President Jonathan is particularly distraught by the fact that once again, so many Nigerian lives have been lost in an avoidable fuel fire disaster. “The President has directed federal relief and health agencies to do everything possible to ensure that all those who survived the explosion with burns and injuries receive prompt and effective medical attention.

“He conveys his sincerest condolences to the families of the victims and the government and people of Rivers State.” Rivers State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Dr. Kayode Olagunju, however, said 93 people died in the inferno. He said: “There was a major fatal crash at Okogbe, about 11 kilometres from AhoadaMbiama on the East-West Road in Rivers State. The accident occurred about 6.30 a.m. “A tanker laden with petrol crashed with three other vehicles: a Toyota Corolla, Hummer bus and a Mitsibushi bus. Thirty five motorcycles also got burnt. People were scooping fuel from the felled tanker, when the tanker exploded. FRSC, police, fire service, JTF personnel came to the the scene. “Final casualty figures on the Okogbe tanker crash incident: 93 died on the spot, 2 died in hospital. 18 persons were injured.” Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has confirmed that 95 bodies have been recovered and 18 victims are on admission in hospitals. Rescue workers from the police, FRSC, fire service, civil defence and NEMA were at the scene to evacuate victims and control traffic. Two small vehicles were also affected.

The raging fire at the scene of the accident.

89 victims get mass burial

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he FRSC said that 89 victims of the explosion were given mass burial at Okogbe village yesterday. FRSC Sector Commander, Olagunju, in a text message to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said that the 89 bodies were burnt beyond recognition and were all given mass burial at the scene. He added that six of the victims who died were identified and released to their respective families. The FRSC said that 89 victims of the explosion were given mass burial at Okogbe village yesterday. FRSC Sector Commander, Olagunju, in a text message to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said that the 89 bodies were burnt beyond recognition and were all given mass burial at the scene. He added that six of the victims who died were identified and released to their respective families. Reacting to the accident, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi said it was another case of loss of lives in a magnitude and circumstance that was heart- rendering and pathetic. He condoled with his Rivers State counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi and the people of the state over the tragedy. He said: “In this your troubling time, I assure you that we share in your grief and pray to God Almighty to grant you, especially President Goodluck Jonathan as the father of the nation, and all those directly affected by the accident, the fortitude to bear it, always trusting that the will of God is supreme at all times.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, July 13, 2012

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Photo News

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (m) and his Deputy, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (r) during the State’s 2012 Quarterly Budget Review meeting for the second quarter in Lagos, on Wednesday.

L-R: Guest Speaker and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi; President, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Dr. Micheal Olawale; Mr. Jide Benson and former President, NIM, Dr. Micheal Omolayole during an award presentation to the guest speaker at NIM’s lecture PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA in Lagos, yesterday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Chief Olu Falae in a warm handshake with Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, during a banquet in honor of the conferees in Akwa Ibom, yesterday.

L-R: Regional Manager, Commercial Banking, South East Region, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Dennis Amadi; Divisional Head, Public Sector Group South East, Raymond Nnah; Divisional Head, Commercial Banking, South South/South East Region, Mr. Darlington Lawson, and Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Mrs. Sally Uwechue-Mbanefo, at the bank’s South-South Customers’ Forum in Asaba, Delta State recently.

National News

Nigeria not ripe for state police-IG …becomes substantive IGP

ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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nspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar yesterday reiterated his position that Nigeria was not ripe for state police. This is even as the Nige-

rian Police Council, NPC, has confirmed his appointment as the substantive Inspector-General of Police. Abubakar, addressing State House correspondents after his confirmation, said the police administration gives room for state governors to issue

lawful instructions that have to do with maintenance of law and order in their domain to police commissioners. According to him, Commissioners of Police in the states were duty bound to obey such instructions from the governors, except they are in doubt and would need clarifications

from the office of the IG. Commenting on the change in the uniform of the police, the IG said the move was to improve on the image of the service. “We are not just changing uniform because the issue of image is key and critical particularly in an organisation like the Nigerian Police.

Emergency rule in Plateau, Borno, others has expired, says Reps OMEIZA AJAYI

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he House of Representatives yesterday declared that the emergency rule, proclaimed in some local governments in four troubled states in the north has expired. President Goodluck Jonathan had in his January 1 address to the nation declared a state of emergency in areas plagued by violent insurgency. The President had listed the affected local governments to include Suleja, in Niger State, which is at the horn of the nation’s capital

….. reject debate on Jos massacre Abuja; the northern half of the conflict-prone city of Jos, and parts of Yobe and Borno states. But, relying on Section 305(6) (C) of the 1999 Constitution, the House said a proclamation of a state of emergency in any state or area becomes invalid after six months. The particular sub-section states: “A Proclamation issued by the President under this section shall cease to have effect after a period of six months has elapsed since it has been in force: “Provided that the National Assembly may, before the expiration of the

period of six months aforesaid, extend the period for the Proclamation of the state of emergency to remain in force from time to time for a further period of six months by resolution passed in like manner.” However, the President has not written the National Assembly to request for an extension. Although, Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the session did not allow the issue to be deliberated upon as he immediately directed the Clerk, Mr. Ataba SaniOmonori to communicate the President, Minority

Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila had stated that since “we are in July now, the state of emergency ceases to exist.” “Thank you Mr. Gbajabiamila. The Clerk will administratively communicate to the president,” Mr. Ihedioha immediately ruled. Meanwhile, the lawmakers yesterday avoided a debate on Sunday’s killing of about 120 residents of Matse village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, fearing that its position on the issue might inflame passion among lawmakers and aggravate the already tensed situation in the region.

“Every country you go, the police is the symbol of government and the people of a country and that is what we want to replicate in this country,” he said. He expressed gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Council for the confidence reposed in him and assured improvement in security management. He said his administration would continue to put priority attention to the issues of remuneration, barracks accommodation, office accommodation and transportation of the rank and files. On the spate of insecurity in the country, Abubakar said the police would put in more action, vigour, efficiency and effectiveness in their service and performance. He said the high profile cases of corruption being investigated would be pursued to a logical conclusion. He added that the police under his leadership would live up to their constitutional responsibility of fighting crimes and corruption and would not condone the menace in the service and the country in general. Abubakar said the police

would provide adequate security to ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in Edo State on Saturday. “We must provide safety and security for voters to be assured that they can come out to cast their votes and discharge their civic responsibilities “We have moved massively man and materials to Edo State to be able to dominate the state and give them the required safety and security that they suppose to have,” he said The Council at its meeting presided over by President Jonathan which held at the Presidential Villa had earlier conformed Abubakar’s appointment. The Council meeting was also attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Pius Osayande, the 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT. Abubakar was appointed in acting capacity by the President on January 25, this year. The appointment followed the compulsory retirement of his predecessor, Hafiz Ringim and six Deputy Inspectors General of Police.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Friday, July 13, 2012

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Senate seeks revenue sharing formula review GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he Senate yesterday recommended the review of the current revenue sharing formula that guides the disbursement of the resources accruable to the Federation Account. Even though the lawmakers fell short of recommending what it considered would be the appropriate sharing formula between the three tiers of governments, they advised that the review should be done in such a manner that the states and the local government councils should enjoy the lion’s share. The lawmakers adopted the recommendation as part of the proposals contained in the report of the Senate Ad hoc committees on national planning, economic affairs and poverty alleviation; appropriation; finance and states and local governments titled: “The looming danger of bankruptcy in states: the need for fiscal examination.” The Federal Government currently receives the highest share of the federation account followed by the states and local governments. While the Federal

Government receives 52.68 per cent, states and local governments get 26.72 per cent and 20.60 per cent respectively. The lawmakers said the proposed review of the sharing formula must also attract commensurate increased responsibilities arising from further devolution of powers. They said the revenue sharing formula review should take into cognisance Section 16(1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution. The senators also expressed concern over the high cost of governance in the country. They recommended that this could be curbed through cutting down on recurrent expenditure, particularly the pegging of political aides; harmonisation of the functions/activities of ministries, departments and agencies and elimination of ghost workers at all levels of government. Also, the lawmakers said governments at all levels should imbibe budget discipline in producing balanced budgets and ensure strict budget implementation. The senators added that the legislature should consider appropriate legislations limiting the total ex-

…says states, LGs deserve lion’s share posure of states to external and domestic borrowing to not more than 20 per cent of their allocations from the Federation Account. Such borrowing, they said, should be for economic projects only. Also as part of measures to ensure prudent application of public funds, the lawmakers want all relevant government institutions to be strengthened to effectively monitor and ensure full compliance with the extant laws in the use

of public funds. They added that grants, Stabilisation Fund and Allocations from the Excess Crude Account should be targeted at economic projects that had direct impact on the people. Also yesterday, the Senate reiterated its earlier position that most states of the country were distressed and needed urgent measures to bail them out of that situation. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who pre-

sided at yesterday’s plenary, while decrying the bankruptcy in most states, said there were no reasons why such situations should persist. “We have noted that most states are bankrupt and I use the word advisedly. They are not supposed to be bankrupt due to the available resources at their disposal. “States and local governments must henceforth apply the limited resources available and explore viable alternative sources of revenue,” Ekweremadu

said. The ad hoc committee report, which was adopted by the Senate, revealed that the cause of the bankruptcy of the states stemmed from their over-dependency on the statutory allocations from the Federation Account and Excess Crude Account, which are dependent on the vagaries of the oil market. The senators advised the states to also diversify their economies to enhance internally generated revenue in such areas as agriculture, tourism and solid minerals.

L-R: Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; former President Shehu Shagari; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan and President Goodluck Jonathan after the National Council of State meeting in Abuja yesterday.

Dana Air: Cause of crash remains unknown FRANCIS FAMOROTI AND OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, yesterday said that the Flight Data Recorder of the Dana Air plane that crashed in Lagos on June 3 melted during the accident, thereby making it difficult for the agency to know the exact cause of the accident AIB, in its preliminary report, said that the solid state based memory Cockpit Voice Recorder of the crashed aircraft was in good condition and retained 31 minutes of audio information prior to the accident. It, however, dispelled speculations that the accident was caused by contaminated fuel. The bureau said that the fueling records indicated the plane was uplifted with 8,000 pounds of fuel before departure from Abuja while

the flight crew reported to air traffic controllers that they had 26,000 pounds of total fuel. The bureau added that the preliminary analysis of fuel samples from the refueling truck and the supply tank at Abuja were negative for contamination. AIB Commissioner, Capt. Muktar Usman, in the report made available to journalists yesterday, stated that the two flight recorders, Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder were analysed at the facilities of the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, Washington, D.C., USA. Usman stated that the solid state based memory in the CVR was in good condition while the FDR succumbed to the post-crash fire and melted, consequently no data could be recovered. The AIB helmsman emphasised that future investigative activities would, how-

…Coroner threatens to arrest airline’s top officials ever, include the detailed examination of the engines, further testing of fuel samples, continued factual gathering of relevant historical, operational, maintenance and performance information of the ill-fated airplane in addition to other similar airplane models. Further investigation, AIB said, would include development of the background of the flight crew, further analysis of the CVR audio recording and review of pertinent issues associated with regulatory oversight. The agency added that the aircraft was mostly consumed by post-crash fire, while the tail section, both engines and portions of both wings, representing only about 15 per cent of the airplane, were recovered from the accident site for further examination.

Meanwhile, a Lagos State coroner’s court yesterday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the management of the Dana Airlines for failing to appear before the court conducting inquest proceedings into the June 3 air crash at Iju Ishaga in Lagos. The coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, who made the threat at the resumed inquest proceedings, was particularly irked that the airline’s management was not represented at the hearing. He said: “I do not think Dana Air is represented. “If you are summoned and you are not here you can be arrested. A publication has been made in a dailies. You should be aware.” The coroner noted that from the records before him, the court Sherriff had duly served Dana Air with the

summons asking its officials to appear in court. Komolafe also urged members of the public who have useful information that could assist the court to come forward rather than shying away from appearing before the court. His words: “Don’t sit down and criticise. Come forward if you have anything that will help.” Earlier, lawyers who appeared before the court had disagreed on the procedure to be adopted while conducting the inquest. However, the coroner ruled that the lawyers to the various parties could file written depositions which would be served on everybody by the sheriff of the court. Komolafe further stated that oral testimonies and evidence on oath would

also be accepted by the court adding that the strict rules of Law of Evidence would not apply during the proceedings. “We are here for factfinding. There was a crash, some people were responsible. It was alleged that the aircraft was not airworthy....We are not going on a voyage of discovery that has no end. Let us avoid arguments on the Rule of Evidence,” he said. No fewer than 24 interested parties were present at Thursday’s proceedings. Some were represented by lawyers while others appeared in person. A former pilot with 35 years’ experience, Captain Tito Omaghoni and an exworker with the defunct Nigerian Airways, Dafe Sama were at the proceedings.


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Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NICON Insurance denies owing FG N12.3bn SAM OLUWALANA

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he management of the National Insurance Company of Nigeria has debunked the claims by some national dailies that the company owes the Federal Government about N12.3bn in unpaid insurance claims for a period of four years. The Technical Director of the company, Mr. Bay-

ode Samuel, in a statement issued yesterday, expressed surprise at the insinuations contained in certain national newspapers which reports contained embarrassing distortions and false information about the proceedings at the on-going investigative public hearing on government assets and property, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on

Finance. NICON averred that rather than it owing any Federal Government agency as reported, some Federal Government agencies are owing it about N12.3bn, especially Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) which alone is owing NICON N2.6bn. Samuel also revealed that the company’s liability stands at a healthy

N5bn, which has been reduced to N1.3bn. The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to news reports carried by some national dailies of July 11th, 2012 that ‘Reps query NICON’s Insurance over failure to pay backlog of insurance claims worth N12.3bn to Federal Government agencies over the past four years’. “The true position

is that Federal Government’s parastatals and agencies owe NICON Insurance Limited over N12.3bn with the Power Holding Company on Nigeria (PHCN) alone owing us N2.6bn out of the N12.3bn. NICON’s liability in terms of general business stood at N5bn which it has been reduced to N1.3bn”, the statement said. Samuel, who presented

SAN: LPPC okays Falana, Rotimi Jacobs, 23 others ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar (left), after the Nigeria Police Council ratified his appointment in Abuja, yesterday

Senate lifts suspension on new driver’s licence, number plates GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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eprieve may have come the way of vehicle owners in the country, as the Senate yesterday lifted, with immediate effect, the suspension hitherto placed on the issuance of new driver’s licence and vehicle number plates, by the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC. The upper chamber also ordered the police to suspend forthwith the introduction of the Biometric Central Motor Registry, BCMR, as well as the N3,500 charged for it. The amount is said to be “an additional burden and unnecessary duplication of the ongoing scheme by the FRSC on the vehicle owners which is capable of translating into hike in transport fare for commuters”. These resolutions were reached at plenary yesterday, upon consideration of the long-awaited report by the Senate Committee on

NICON Insurance’s position at the public hearing on Wednesday, said at no time during the session did anybody state that NICON Insurance owed the Federal Government N12.3bn. “We therefore urged the House of Representatives Committee on Finance and the general public to be guided accordingly” the statement added.

•Orders police to stop N3,500 BCMR charge Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs. The committee headed by Senator Dahiru Kuta had submitted its report on May 23, but was directed to do a further summary of it as there was the need for a more in-depth consultation with the Joint Tax Board, the FRSC and the Consumer

Protection Agency, since the development directly or indirectly affects price review of the items. Interestingly, all the nine recommendations made were approved in committee of the whole, presided over by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who took charge upon the departure

of the Senate President, David Mark. Other recommendations approved by the lawmakers include: “That the FRSC must embark on massive orientation, education and enlightenment campaigns to explain to the people the advantages and other security details of the new scheme.

Governors’ Forum may sue FG over fuel subsidy deductions OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, said that it would take legal action against the Federal Government for deductions from the Federation Account to offset fuel subsidy payment. This was part of resolutions reached at its meeting, which ended early yesterday in Abuja. In a communiqué read by its Chairman, Governor Chibuike Amechi, the group said it took the de-

cision after long deliberations. The communiqué reads in part: “The forum deliberated extensively on the continuing illegal deductions from the Federation Account towards offsetting oil subsidy, excess crude by the Federal Government and unanimously resolved to go to court to seek legal redress.” The Forum sympathised, particularly with the government of Plateau State on the recent loss of lives and property in the state and

condemned the recurring insecurity in the country.

Amechi

he Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, LPPC, yesterday endorsed the radical lawyer, Mr. Femi Faana, Rotimi Jacobs, and 23 other legal practitioners for admission into the prestigious club of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN). The endorsement followed stages of thorough screening of the candidates for the award. Announcing the list to newsmen, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Sunday Olorundahunsi, who doubles as the secretary of the LPPC, said the committee selected the 25 from the 71 applicants invited for interview from the 125 lawyers that applied. Top on the list of the successful lawyers are Falana, Jacobs, Professor Yemi

Akinseye George and Professor James Clement Dakas. Others include Mrs. Joy Okungbowa Adesina, Mrs. Connie- Jean Aremu, Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, Ogwu James Onoja, Garuba Usman Tetengi, Henry Oghogho Ogbodu, Selekeowei Larry, Abenny O. Mohammed, Charles Nwanne Obishai, Luke Chukwudi Illogu, Francais Chuka Abgu, Paul Ananaba, Akinlaja Dayo Moses. Others are Ahmed Raji, Adekunle Theophilus Oyensanya, Rotimi Oluseyi Oguneso, Oluseye Samuel Opansanya and Aduroja Claudius Olumuyiwa. Answering questions from journalists, Olorundahunsi said the number of applicants reduced this year because “the selection criteria are becoming too stringent. So we have less number of people that applied this year”.

Council of State holds closed-door meeting on insecurity ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he Council of State yesterday met at the Presidential Villa in Abuja over sundry issues including the growing insecurity in the country. Though other issues like the recommendations in Justice Alfa Belgore Committee on the review of the 1999 constitution were also discussed, the security matter was said to top the agenda of the meeting. The National Council of State is the highest national advisory body to the government. Its composition includes all former Presidents and Heads of State, all incumbent state governors, the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Other members of the Council are incumbent and retired Chief Justices of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the National Security Adviser, NSA. Former President Shehu Shagari, former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan and former Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar attended the yesterday meeting. The meeting, which lasted for over three hours, was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa. The outgoing CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, and two of his predecessors, Justices Mohammed Uwais and Alfa Belgore, also attended the meeting.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

National News

Friday, July 13, 2012

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Charge Boko Haram members with treason, Southern elders tell Jonathan TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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he Conference of Southern Nigeria Elders and Leaders convened in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, by the trio of Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, Dr. Alex

Ekweme and Chief Edwin Clark ended its deliberation yesterday with a call on President Goodluck Jonathan to treat the activities of the Boko Haram sect as treason and punish the group’s sponsors. The conference, held with the theme: “Building

a united and cohesive Nigeria” equally urged Mr. President to rid his administration and the nation’s security agencies of dubious characters. Speaking on the persistent corruption within the polity, the elders said: “President Goodluck Jonathan

and all organs of government, especially the judiciary, should demonstrably and firmly prosecute the war against corruption without fear or favour, with no sacred cow(s) spared to serve as deterrent to others. “In particular, the government should fast-track

the prosecution of all those identified culprits in the probe reports according to the law.” The leaders said that no member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from the South should be deployed to volatile and life threatening areas of the country until security situation in those areas improved. They suggested that the six geo-graphical zones structure of the country be formalised and reflected in the constitution. The meeting, which will

reconvene in the SouthEast at a later date, promised to give effect to the continued expression of bond of relationship among the southern states. The conference reaffirmed its commitment to co-operate with President Jonathan in building a new Nigeria, while thanking Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio for his hospitality and support. Earlier, the conference decried the impunity with which corrupt practices are being perpetrated in the country.

34 LGs yet to tackle polio –Minister ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

T L-R: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu; Guest Speaker, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Chairman of the occasion and former Health Minister, Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi, during the 2012 Isaac Moghalu Foundation’s PHOTO: MOJEED ALABI annual lecture held in Lagos, yesterday.

I’ve no hand in Independence Day bombing, says Sylva AYODELE OJO

DEPUTY EDITOR (POLITICS)

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ormer Bayelsa State Governor Chief Timipre Sylva has denied any involvement in the October 1, 2010 bombings in Abuja. A state witness in the Independence Day bombing in Abuja, simply identified as ‘Mr. X’ had on Wednesday claimed in his testimony that Sylva had foreknowledge of the blast. But the former governor’s media aide, Doifie Ola, denied the claim, say-

ing the attempt is to rope in Sylva with treason. “For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that the so-called testimony is completely false, mischievous and misleading. Sylva knows nothing about the Independence Day bombing. He has nothing to do with it. “It is public knowledge that the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010 Abuja bombing, Mr. Henry Okah, who is currently standing trial in a South African court, has deposed to an affidavit in which he did

Why FG won’t allocate more fund to education –Iweala MOJEED ALABI

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ontrary to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s recommendation for the allocation of 26 per cent of a nation’s budget to education, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said the country would not be allocating more than eight per cent it dedicates to education in her budget. Iweala, who was the speaker at a public lecture in Lagos yesterday, made the disclosure against the background of the rot and corruption she alleged pervade

the nation’s economic sectors, including education. She spoke on the theme: “Education and Development: Paradigm Shift,” which was the 2012 edition of the annual leadership lecture and symposium of Isaac Moghalu Foundation. The event, chaired by the former Health Minister and Chairman, Juli Plc, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, drew many dignitaries and eminent personalities, including the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; the former ProChancellor of the University of Lagos, Chief Arthur Mbanefo; the former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Robin Sanders, among several others.

not mention Sylva as having any links to the blast,” Sylva said in a statement made available to National Mirror. Sylva, therefore, wondered what the State Security Services (SSS) wanted to achieve with the falsehood by the so-called independent witness. His words: “Besides, the testimony by the unnamed witness smells of obvious desperation to drag Sylva into what he knows nothing about, perhaps, in continuation of the deliberate political victimisation that has been meted out to him in recent times. It is sad that after all they have done against Sylva, the forces of reaction appear not yet satisfied. Now, they want to rope him into

a treasonable offence he did not commit. That way, it would be easy to silence him forever since under our laws the punishment for treason is death. “Nigerians have in recent history been witnesses to the fates of innocent citizens who were sent to their early graves or incarcerated unjustly on phantom charges of concealment. Having emerged from that ugly past, the security agencies and the political class must be careful to avoid things that may re-enact the bad political times. “Sylva dissociates himself completely from the Independence Day bombing issue and advises the security agencies to strive to do their job professionally and not taint it with politics.”

he Federal Government yesterday declared that 34 of the 774 local government areas of the country are holding it back in its bid to completely eradicate polio. Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammed Pate, said that the affected local governments represent five per cent of the nation’s population. Pate is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the Eradication of Polio established by President Jonathan in March. Members of the task force yesterday met with the President in Abuja. Addressing journalists after the meeting, he said 49 cases of the disease were recorded in the country this year. The minister added that 10 states were affected in the latest cases. He said: “It is on record that 24 states have not had cases of the disease in the last two years. “Even only five per cent of local governments are holding Nigeria back in our desire to completely

eradicate the disease. “Nigeria will eradicate polio. I am sure that no local government chairman will want to be the last one standing. “We can achieve our target by collaboration. Forty-nine cases of the disease were recorded this year. Ten states have cases. Of the states, 34 local governments are affected. “The point is that as a nation, we have controlled the disease, but we have not eradicated it.” Pate said Katsina, Kaduna and Kano States were responsible for over 50 per cent of the latest cases. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said Jonathan convened the meeting so that members could give him progress report.

Chukwu

Reps flay CJN-designate comment on anti-terrorism law •Summon Aviation Minister over contract OMEIZA AJAYI

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he House of Representatives has flayed incoming Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Muktar, over her comments on Wednesday that Nigeria has no anti-terrorism law. The House recalled that last year it sent the Terrorism Act 2011 to President Goodluck Jonathan and wondered why the CJN-

designate would attempt to rubbish an Act of Parliament. She was said to have told the Senate that: “We can only do that if there is a law but right now there is no law on terrorism. Hence, I would say the ball is in your court and the court of the executive. Once a law is passed, the judiciary will make sure that it complies with it and make sure that it deals with anybody found guilty of the offence.”

But yesterday, a member of the House, Hon. Ibrahim Tukur el-Sudi, told his colleagues that Justice Muktar must be reminded that the House signed the Terrorism Act 2011, while President Goodluck Jonathan also appended his signature on June 3, 2011. He said: “On Wednesday, the Senate screened Hon. Justice Aloma Muktar and in the course of her answering some questions, she said we do not have a Terrorism Act in Nigeria. But we know that we have the Terrorism Act 2011.

This Act was signed by the President on June 3, 2011 and the Clerk also signed it on June 2, 2011.” Meanwhile, incensed by what it described as a “flagrant disregard for constitutional provisions and non-compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007”, the House summoned the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, and other officials to appear before its Committee on Public Procurement and explain their continued negation of the Procurement Act.


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South West

Lagos hands over new Ladipo police post MURITALA AYINLA

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arely a year after the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, ordered demolition of a police station built on drainage channel to expedite ongoing road construction, the government has handed over a newly constructed police post to the police authorities. The governor had on August 2, 2011 gave an order for the demolition of the police station during his tour of ongoing road construction in Mushin area, saying the move became necessary to ensure that the 16 roads awarded for construction in the area were delivered on time. He added that the location of the bridge at Kalesanwo Street, Ladipo axis, was slowing down the pace of construction work in the area.

Speaking while handing over the facility to the police authorities, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Hamzat, attributed the smooth completion of the station to effective partnership between citizens and government. He reaffirmed government’s commitment to providing effective road network across the state to enhance the operating environment for both businesses and citizens. The commissioner urged the citizens to perform their civic responsibility by paying their taxes regularly to enable the government spread infrastructure development to all parts of the state. Hamzat added that apart from the 16 strategic roads being constructed, six roads had been awarded in Mushin Local Government Area including the Post Office Road.

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Court dismisses suit against Bishop Oyedepo

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n Ota, Ogun State High Court, yesterday dismissed a suit filed by a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Robert Igbinedion, against the Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, over allegations that the latter slapped ‘a poor Nigerian girl’ during a service conducted at the Faith Terbanacle, Ota. Igbinedion filed the suit to enforce the fundamental human rights of a girl named “Miss Justice” before the court. He alleged that the “poor Nigerian girl” suf-

fered physical, mental, and psychological torture as a result of the slap from Oyedepo. The lawyer also claimed that the action was broadcast on the web for the entire world to see. The applicant added that he coined the name “Miss Justice” because the young girl “cannot afford to have her name on the court processes due to her age, sex, and safety in a public trial. During trial, Oyedepo’s lawyer, Dele Adesina (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety as the court lacked

jurisdiction to entertain it. In a preliminary objection he filed, Adesina argued that the application, as constituted, was incompetent, and therefore liable to be struck out. He maintained that Igbenedion’s application did not fall within the categories listed in the preamble of the enforcement procedure of the Fundamental Rules 2009; neither did it come within the ambit of Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution; the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights; and the United Nations Universal

Declaration on Human Rights. Delivering his ruling yesterday, the trial judge, Justice Mobolaji Ojo, upheld Adesina’s argument that the identity of the maltreated girl should have been contained in the application filed by the plaintiff. He ruled that although a right of action existed, the identity of the victim was a matter of speculation. “This court has no business with speculation,” Ojo said, while awarding a N20,000 cost against the applicant.

Ajimobi purchases 66 patrol vans for ‘Operation Burst’

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yo State Government has purchased 66 new patrol vans for the state security outfit codenamed “Operation Burst” to strengthen it for optimum performance. Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed this on Wednesday while fielding questions from the people of the four local government areas that make up Oyo town during a Town Hall Meeting at Durbar Stadium in Oyo. Ajimobi also said that arrangements had been concluded for the launch of the state Security Trust Fund, saying it was aimed at creating a pool of funds that would be channelled towards enhancing the security of lives and property of the people of the state.

The governor said that the patrol vans, which had been equipped with modern communication gadgets, would be handed over to the security outfit during the launch of the Fund. He also disclosed that some of the 20,000 youths engaged under the Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES-O) had been offered permanent employment, assuring that other cadets would also be employed permanently to fill available vacancies. Although he admitted that the scheme was marred by some initial challenges, Ajimobi said the difficulties had been surmounted and that all the cadets had been posted to various sectors.

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (middle), presenting the symbol of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to the only female chairmanship candidate of the party in Sagamu Local Government, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Akinyebo Efuwape, during a campaign rally in the council... yesterday

Ex-LP chair, four ACN governorship aspirants join PDP HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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ormer Ondo State Chairman of Labour Party and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Chief Olaiya Oni, yesterday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with four other gubernatorial aspirants of

the ACN. The gubernatorial aspirants include Saka Lawal, Jamiu Ekungba and the supporters of Tunji Abayomi and Ajayi Boroffice in the ACN. Speaking on the development at a press conference in Akure, the state Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Ebenezer Alabi, said the

PDP: Court orders OGSIEC to accept Kashamu’s candidates FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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n Ogun State High Court sitting in Ilaro has directed the State Electoral Commission, OGSIEC, to accept the list of candidates submitted to it by the Adebayo Dayo-led State Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the party’s candidates. It was learnt that the or-

der was issued on Wednesday by Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu while ruling on an exparte motion filed by one Dr. Kola Adedoyin and 274 others who are the chairmanship and councillorship candidates of the PDP against OGSIEC. The plaintiffs, who were said to be members of the state PDP faction led by Buruji Kashamu, had prayed the court for “an order directing the defendant, its organs, of-

ficers and agents to accept and process only the list of candidates consisting of the plaintiffs, submitted to it by the State Executive Committee of PDP under Dayo as the party’s candidates for the elections pending hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice. There has been controversy over who has the statutory right to nominate candidates for the July 21 council polls in

Ogun State between the Kashamu’s faction and the Caretaker Committee put in place by the national headquarters of PDP. The development also led to a situation whereby a Federal High Court had to pronounce a six-month jail term on the three members of the Caretaker Committee in person of Chief Ireti Oniyide, Ambassador Tunde Oladunjoye and Honourable Fasiu Bakene.

defectors joined the party to wrest the state from the clutches of the present administration. Alabi disclosed that all the former chieftains of the ACN came to partner with the PDP to win the forthcoming election on October 20. He said: “I am sure you know that these men represent the essential pillars and crucibles that the ACN rests upon in this state and even before then, the essential fabrics of the Labour Party. “Their presence here today forcefully signifies their desire and absolute readi-

Boroffice

ness to join hands with the PDP to wrest this state from the clutches of the Mimiko administration.” According to him, there are other concerned members of the Labour Party in the state who had signified their intention to partner with the PDP. The chairman said the party would soon set up a committee to pick a candidate from the new defectors from ACN, who would be fielded as Chief Olusola Oke’s running mate in the election. Welcoming the defectors into the PDP fold, Oke said priority would be given to the power sector to revive the economy of the state. He said: “Our belief is to open up our resources to generate employment for our youths, and also to empower our people. My government will be a real democratic government and not a one-man show government.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, July 13 2012

Residents torture woman, 70, to death

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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n aggrieved family in Omuo-Ekiti in the Ekiti East Local Government area of Ekiti State has petitioned the Commissioner of Police for alleged maltreatment, torture and beating to death of a 70-year-old woman, Mrs. Rebecca Adewumi. The petition, written by their lawyers, Messrs Dele Omotoso and Company, dated July 5, 2012, alleged that the deceased was subjected to trial by ordeal in the community, after she was accused of causing the sickness of one Ola, her step son. It stated that some people in the community subjected the woman to “serious beatings and inhuman treatment, stripped her naked in the open, forced her to drink a poisonous drug with

which she used to treat a wound in her leg.” The petition reads: “After subjecting her to these aforesaid inhuman treatments, they locked her up inside a room and she eventually gave up the ghost on Saturday June 30. They did not stop at that, they carried her body and took it to an unknown place.” The petitioner called on the police to arrest the suspects, saying: “We passionately plead for your quick intervention. These criminals are boasting about that no policeman can arrest them”. The deceased’s daughter, Mrs. Grace Smith, said yesterday that her late mother’s ordeals started on May 9 when the woman was taken to the palace of the Olomuo of Omuo-Ekiti, Oba Noah Omonigbehin, charged with being a member of a witchcraft coven.

Tracing the scenario to the illness of Ola Adewumi, Grace said while a younger sister of the sick Ola accused her late mother of being a member of their coven where she had planned to kill him, the sick Ola reportedly told the monarch and his chiefs that he always saw Rebecca in his dream wanting to kill him. According to her, when they went to the palace the following day on the invitation of the monarch, “after a series of questions and being asked to undress completely even to the pants, my mother was given a concoction (Obo leave) said to make witches confess and die and was told that she would die within seven days if she was involved in Ola’s matter. After nine days, nothing happened and I left for my base in Lagos. Grace said: “Three weeks after, precisely June 26, some

Court orders EFCC to release Daniel’s international passport FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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n Ogun State High Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, yesterday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release the international passport of former Governor Gbenga Daniel to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment. The order was sequel to the adoption of a motion filed by Daniel’s defence team on June 29, 2012 which sought the release of the

Daniel

passport to enable him travel abroad for medical attention. The former governor is standing trial before Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje of an Ogun State High Court IV on a 38-count charge leveled against him by the EFCC. National Mirror recalled that Daniel’s international passport had been in the custody of EFCC pursuant to the order of the court made on April 16, 2012. At the resumed hearing yesterday, Daniel’s lead counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, reminded the court of the pending motion after the EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, had sought for an adjournment of the case. Osipitan noted that the prosecution was yet to file a counter affidavit since the defence had filed the motion.

Osipitan, who argued that right to good health was a fundamental human right, also attached an X-ray report with a medical report from Daniel’s doctor, who referred him for treatment abroad. He said that granting the prayer would be in the interest of the defence counsel to have a healthy defendant to respond to any questions posed to him. But EFCC’s counsel, Jacobs said that it would be unwise to object to the motion since the court would be on vacation between August and September. He said: “It is unwise to object to such prayer now so that adjournment will not be sought by the prosecution on the same ground when the court resumes in October”.

Bi-Courtney appeals to motorists over traffic at MMA2

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perator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), has appealed to motorists visiting or making use of the terminal to always obey traffic rules. The appeal, it said in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Steve Omolale-Ajulo, became necessary in view of

the security challenges facing the country and the rampant flagrant disobedience of traffic signs at the airport in recent times by many motorists. The statement noted that “some motorists are in the habit of just driving into the airport, parking indiscriminately at ‘dropoff zone’ or picking passengers at unauthorised places, thereby causing ob-

struction to the free flow of traffic at the terminal and inconveniencing other motorists”. BASL said the security challenges made it imperative for motorists and other terminal users to be thoroughly screened by the Security Department of MMA2 and urged the motorists to co-operate with the security agents in the performance of their duties.

youths in the town went to our house and brought out my mother and forced her to drink a poisonous item and took her outside into the rain where she was beaten and subjected to serious torture and when she was almost dying they took her back into her room and laid her on the bed. “She died on June 30, while she was being beaten; some youths went to the house of her younger sister, Mrs. Anike Orojo, who was also beaten for daring to cater for her. Right now, no member of the family knows where the body has been taken to and we want the police to investigate her death as well as the assault on her sister.” The Police Commissioner, Mr. Sotonye Wakama, said the police got report on the incident and the petition by the family, but added that the police could not rely on the names listed by the lawyers in their petition because they were not at the scene of the alleged crime.

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Transporter asks court to quash fraud charges WALE IGBINTADE

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hairman of Cross Country Transport Limited, Mr. Bube Okorodudu, has prayed a Lagos High Court to quash a suit initiated against him by the Lagos State Government for alleged sales of property worth N595m. In a motion on notice brought pursuant to Section 6(6) (B) and Section 36 of the Constitution, filed by his lawyer, Chief Ladi Williams (SAN), he challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear and determine information contained in the charge. Williams argued that the suit was unconstitutional and violated Section 36 (12) of the Constitution. He said that the purported charge had not been served on his client, adding that information contained therein “constitute abuse of court process as they are oppressive and prejudicial” to his client. Williams argued that the offence contained in the charge was not a product of proper investigation by the

police, saying it was meant to tarnish his client’s reputation and coerce him to agree to terms which the contract between him and the complaints did not support. He added that the proof of evidence did not disclose any offence known to Criminal Law and it did not disclose a prima facie case against him. Williams said: “The information is an improper and oppressive use of Constitutional powers of the Attorney General (AG) of Lagos State to indict the defendant to face a scandalous trial, which from the outset he (AG) knows or ought to know that the defendant should not face’’. He submitted that the laws, under which the defendant is being charged, are no longer in existence and hence have no binding force. The Lagos State Government had, in a criminal suit, filed before Justice CandideJohnson alleged that the defendant defrauded the Chief Executive Officer of Tetrazini Food Limited, Donatus Okonkwo.

Saturday Starter with President Olusegun Obasanjo hexcellency2011@yahoo.com

The battle for Edo State •Edo people are eager to join the SouthSouth support for Jonathan –Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary, PDP •Any attempt to frustrate Edo people’s mandate ‘ll be resisted –Lai Mohammed, National Publicity Secretary, ACN

Living

Garden city’s day of rage –Traders protest colleague’s killing days after engagement •When somebody dies untimely, we normally perform a sacriÀce for that person. That is why you see us throwing fresh tomatoes on the particular place she was killed. It is to make her soul rest. If not, you will still see her in the market during her normal business – Woman leader

Agba: 40-yr-old trapped in a toddler’s body ‘I will like to act in Yoruba movies. I have seen different kinds of people that they use in their Àlms. My spirit tells me that if I am given an opportunity to play such roles, I will perform!’

Woman

I don’t allow stardom get into my head

Nike Peller

Celebrity My voice, my best asset Harrysong

x SeTalk 11 hot tips for being a super stud This column is x-rated


10

South East

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Seven shot, buildings destroyed in Anambra communal clash NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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even people were shot, while about 17 buildings were demolished yesterday in a renewed communal conflict between Nkpor and Ogidi vilages in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State. The incident, according to sources, occurred when some youths suspected to be Ogidi indigenes allegedly invaded a disputed land between the communities. The open confrontation and exchange of gunshots between members of the two communities led to the shooting of the seven people and the destruction of the buildings. Though no life was lost, the youth, who invaded the community armed

with dangerous weapons such as pump action rifles, axes, machetes, allegedly launched the attack on the indigenes of Abor AkuzorUmusiome village in Nkpor community. However, four persons have been arrested and quizzed by the Ogidi Divisional Police Station in connection with the attack, while the police said they were on the trail of the remaining suspects. It was learnt that the expanse of land located at Abor-Akuzor in Umusiome village, Nkpor has been in dispute between the Oramadike Ogidiani-Etiti in Ogidi community and Ire village in Umuoji who were said to be the caretakers of the land. Confirming the incident, the Chairman of the Abor Akuzor-Umusiome village,

Nkpor, Chief Okechukwu Nwaforagu, said that the youth of Oramadike Ogidiani in Ogidi community invaded their land and shot seven persons and at the same time demolished the buildings belonging to the community and their tenants. According him, the crisis over the land between the Ogidiani village and Ire village of Umuoji had reached the Supreme Court. He disclosed that despite the Supreme Court judgement over the disputed land, the youth of Ogidiani refused to obey the ruling. Nwaforagu added that the youth had, on several occasions, invaded the community with different dangerous weapons, shooting sporadically, maiming and harassing people. He, therefore, called on

the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, to order full investigation into the illegal activities of the suspects to forestall further attacks on the community. Also in his petition to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, Mr. Ballah Nasarawa, the counsel to Abor Akuzor Umusiome village, Mr. Simon Chukwukelu, said the land in dispute never belonged to the Ogidi community as being claimed. He urged the commissioner to investigate the matter properly with a view to ascertaining the perpetrators of the crisis and bringing them to book, noting that the continued attacks on his clients portend danger to peace and security. When contacted, the

President General of Ogidi Town Union, Dr. Ifeanyi Obiakor, said the complaints had not been brought to the general body of the town union, adding that the matter was still being handled by the chairman of the affected village. The Divisional Police

Officer, DPO at Ogidi, CSP Kanayo Uzuegbu, told newsmen in a telephone interveiw yesterday that he was only aware of such a violent clash last week, adding that ever since then, his men had been permanently stationed in the area to check violence.

MASSOB appoints new commander for Biafran war veterans NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has appointed Col. Paul Udeh Okonkwo (rtd) as the new Commander of the Biafran War Veterans. His appointment, which came shortly after the demise of his predecessor, Col. Awa Madu, took immediate effect, having been approved by the MASSOB leader and Ijele Ndigbo, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. A statement issued by

MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Comrade Uchenna Madu, explained that Uwazuruike found Okonkwo worthy to replace Madu because of his brilliant performances under the Biafran Army during the Civil War. Uwazuruike, who also explained that Okonkwo’s active participation in the present non-violence struggle for the actualisation of Biafra being championed by MASSOB was quite endearing, charged him to discharge his official duties with utmost regard and respect.

Plateau crisis can derail peace efforts – Imo Speaker CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

I Bishop Hilary Okeke of Catholic Diocese of Nnewi (right), with Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, at the burial service of the late Emeritus Bishop of Okigwe, Anthony Ilonu, at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Okigwe, on Wednesday.

Owerri nine: Family rules out generator fume, poison CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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s police and medical personnel continue investigation into possible cause of death of Mr. Pascal Njoku and eight members of his family, his younger sister, Mrs. Ngozi Iberi, said the notion that the nine died of generator fume or food poisoning was not true. Pascal Njoku, wife, Juliana, and five children, Ebere (20) Ifunanya (18), Ifeanyi (15), and Jaclyn and Uchechi (9), as well as two close relations, Mrs. Christiana Uba and Mrs. Catherine Ahanonu, from Umuohee kindred in Umuakuru,

Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community, Emekuku in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State died on Sunday, July 8, in mysterious circumstances after the burial of their grandmother, Mrs. Felicia Onyetumaku Njoku (98) the previous day. Narrating the possible cause of the death, Mrs. Iberi said it was a plot to eliminate Pascal and his family. She added that the event started on August 4, 2011 when Pascal came home after a burial at a neighbouring community. Mrs. Iberi said that when Pascal and his wife returned from the burial,

as they were undressing, Juliana shouted she was in pains. “Pascal and some of his relations immediately helped Juliana. As Pascal held his wife, he also shouted and complained of pains at the hip. Before help could come for both of them, Pascal’s legs were swollen,” she said.

Gov. Okorocha

mo State House of Assembly Speaker, Benjamin Uwajumogu, said the killing of the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. James Gyang Fulani, and several others in the state, was capable of derailing the efforts of the Federal Government in finding lasting

solution to the protracted problems of indigenes and non-indigenes in the state. Uwajumogu, who spoke in Owerri, the state capital, while condoling with the Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly described Fulani as a hardworking young man who had contributed to the development of Plateau State House of Assembly and the state in general.

‘Igbo leadership won’t bow to politicians’ NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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gbo leadership will not narrow its agenda down to active politics but instead focus on a broadbased agenda to restore the dignity of Ndigbo. The Ogirishi Igbo and Deputy Igbo leader, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, who said this, urged all the Igbo politicians mounting pressure on the traditional ruler of Nri Ancient Kingdom, Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh to withdraw the ‘Ofo’ symbol given to the leader of the Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, to retrace their steps. Ezeonwuka spoke yesterday while conduct-

ing journalists round the Ogirishi Igbo Conflict Resolution Centre at Oba, Anambra State. He said no matter the pressure, once the spirit guiding the ‘Ofo’ symbol was given to Uwazuruike by the Nri monarch and backed by the ancestors, there would be no more going back by the present Igbo leadership to lead Ndigbo on the right path. Ezeonwuka noted that the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who was the first person to be given the ‘Ofo’ symbol in 1997, as Igbo leader, by the same Nri Ancient Kingdom, was not conferred with the title of Ezeigbo Gburugburu, but Ndigbo, in acknowledgement of Ojukwu as their

leader, decided on their own to address him as Ezeigbo Gburugburu. He added that the same thing applied to Uwazuruike, who was given the same ‘Ofo’ symbol to replace Ojukwu as Igbo leader during his conferment as the Ijele Ndigbo (highest masquerade in Igboland). Ezeonwuka said the activities of such selfish politicians had contributed to the destruction of the place of Ndigbo in the Nigerian project, to the extent that Ndigbo had been stripped off the Senate president and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chairmanship which had hitherto been allocated to them since the beginning of the Fourth Republic.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Friday, July 13, 2012

Controversy trails appointment of Jonathan’s wife as perm sec EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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ontroversy is trailing the appointment of the President’s wife, Patience Jonathan, as permanent secretary by the Bayelsa State Government. The Civil Liberties OrganiSation(CLO) and Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) have described the appointment as counter- productive and disservice to the state. Investigation by National Mirror revealed that Patience did not obtain a leave of absence shortly after her husband was made Deputy Governor of the state in May, 1999. ACN Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr. Christopher Abarowei, wondered how Jonathan’s wife, who he claimed had not been a civil servant since her husband joined politics, could be appointed permanent secretary. Abarowei said: “It is retrogressive and an aber-

ration that will portray the state in a bad light. ACN calls for a review of the appointment.” He flayed the appointment at a critical moment the state government was confronted with the bloated wage bills and verification exercise to ascertain the actual number of work force. The state Secretary of CLO, Alagoa Morris, said the news of the appointment was received with disbelief and rude shock, describing as unacceptable. He said: “Ordinarily, there wouldn’t have been anything wrong with Mr. President’s wife being appointed permanent secretary in any state of her origin or by marriage, as is the Bayelsa scenario. While those claiming that Mrs. Patience Jonathan has been a civil servant may be right, most Bayelsa residents are just hearing that she is a civil servant for the very first time because of the appointment. “The questions begging for answers from con-

cerned Bayelsa residents are: Was she on a leave of absence all these years? Has her name been featuring in the pay roll of the Bayelsa State Government? Has she been part of the several staff audits that have taken place, including the biometrics conducted by the office of Due Process and eGovernance Bureau during administration of former Governor Timipre Sylva? “Bayelsa residents will want to know because Mrs. Patience Jonathan must not be allowed to eat her cake and have it. Again, has she been going to work as a civil servant? These questions are very important because we know that when Gen. Abdulsalami was the Head of State, his wife was working before then. When Dr. Peter Odili was Governor of Rivers State, his wife, Justice Mary Odili, was working. So, where was Patience Jonathan working when her husband was deputy governor?” Morris said that the appointment was “one of the

very first wrong steps of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration,” adding that it may not be difficult for the government to cook up documents to accommodate all the questions about her being a civil servant. “How did she rise through the ranks in the ministry? Permanent Secretary positions are not like Hononary degrees issued by universities. “For the fact that Mr. Patience Jonathan has been blessed by God to be the wife of one who has been a deputy governor, governor, vice-president and President, it is nothing but greed that will allow her accept that appointment, especially when juxtaposed with the fact that hundreds of Bayelsa State graduates are walking the streets without job. “In the light of the above, no matter whatever angle this is viewed; morally, legally, politically and otherwise I consider it unacceptable.”

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Akpabio threatens to sack LG chairmen, if…

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he Akwa Ibom State Government says it will not hesitate to dissolve any local government area characterised by crisis and in-fightings between chairmen and their councillors. Governor Godswill Akpabio, who gave the warning on Wednesday during the swearing in of the local government chairmen at the Government House Banquet Hall in Uyo, the state capital, hinted that where there were reported crisis, he believed the House of Assembly would enact laws to dissolve the council. Believing that crisis could retard the progress of the local governments, Akpabio urged the council chairmen and the councillors to eschew rancour and bitterness, but work towards harmonious relationship and brotherliness. He said: ‘’Akwa Ibom people deserve the best service delivery and will not settle for anything less. As a people, our tradition of handwork, in-

tegrity and honesty will remain our strength. These virtues should be reflected in your service, for we, as an administration, expect these from you and our people will not accept any shortchange in these areas. ‘’Right now, Akwa Ibom State is seen as the main artery of Nigeria. We have become the cynosure of all eyes and a specimen of good governance. This heritage should be built upon at the local government level and what we are doing at the state level should be replicated in the local governments’’. Akpabio, however, announced plans by the government to reward local government areas that distinguish themselves in sanitation, maintenance of roads and investment in agriculture, among others. He stressed the need for the local governments to protect federal and state government projects in their areas as well as set up teams to monitor the implementation of free and compulsory education in their areas.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Doctors, workers injured in Nasarawa hospital attack IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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ome suspected hoodlums on Wednesday night attacked the Dalhatu Specialist Hospital in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, inflicting various degrees of injuries on workers. Eye witnesses said the

arrival of the hoodlums at about 8pm threw the hospital into pandemonium as they went straight to the maternity and casualty units and demanded to see some patients who were on admission. The witnesses said the hoodlums, who claimed to be relations of some patients on admission, alleg-

Tukur urges Nigerians to unite against insecurity OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday urged Nigerians to unite against those perpetrating senseless killings in the country. Speaking during an interactive session with journalists at Legacy House annex of the PDP national secretariat, Tukur said Nigerians should not allow a few individuals to hold everyone to ransom and even frighten them from stepping out of their houses. He said: “Security is our biggest challenge now in

the country and this can be surmounted with superior ideas by patriotic Nigerians. “PDP is already taking relevant steps to address this challenge and it will soon be a thing of the past. “Security is our challenge now. Let us use ideas to stop senseless killings of our innocent people, our people are being frightened, they can’t go out and have to lock themselves in their houses”. Assuring that his office is open to the media, Tukur urged journalists to adequately inform Nigerians and members of the PDP about the activities of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

Gombe awards N6.296bn road project DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he Gombe State Government has awarded contract for the construction of the long abandoned 54 kilometres Kanawa-Jauro Gotel Road at the cost of N6.296bn. Other contracts awarded include Gombe South Regional Water Scheme feasibility study at the cost of N102.689m as well as matching loan from Zenith Bank Plc to finance its Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) counterpart fund for its State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) projects. Addressing journalists after the state’s executive council meeting in Gombe, Commissioner for Information, Rev. Habu Dawaki, said that the 54 kilometres road would be constructed to specification. He said the road would have a spur to Kuri and Jagali and was expected to be completed in 24 months. The road was designed

to open up Kuri International Grain Market. The commissioner explained that before now, the status of the road had been under the controversy and that at a time, the state government presumed that it was a federal road. He said it was after consultation with Federal Ministry of Work that it was established as not a federal highway. The commissioner, however, said that the Gombe South Regional Water Supply Scheme feasibility included survey and all other areas considered important in the execution of the project. He said that with the Kwami, Bojude and Gadam Regional Water Supply extension project on-going, the completion of the Gombe South Regional Water Supply Scheme expected to serve Balanga, Billiri, Kaltungo, Shongom and Akko local government areas would make the whole state self-sufficient in potable water.

edly pulled down the iron bars on the entrance of the casualty and maternity units and forced their way in, threatening to kill any worker that protested. A victim, Doctor Mike Anazodo, told National Mirror that he was hit with a plastic cooler on the head, adding that a nurse, Zainab Sadiq, and an attendant,

Halima Hassan, equally received the beating of their lives from the hoodlums. Consequently, doctors in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the hospital suspended medical services on earlier planned surgical cases. The doctors flayed the hospital management for its failure to put in place ad-

equate security measures to protect lives. In a letter of complaint addressed to the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Dr. Yakubu Ashiku, the doctors viewed the attack as a signal that their lives are no longer safe in the hospital. They, therefore, suspended their services till the security issue is addressed.

When National Mirror visited the hospital, the patients on admission in the maternity unit were seen vacating the hospital as they were left unattended to by the aggrieved doctors. The Chief Medical Director, Dr. Ashiku, confirmed the incident, but added that the management planned to prevent its recurrence.

L-R: Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang; his counterparts from Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko; Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke; Senate President, David Mark and Nassarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, discussing during a meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO:STATE HOUSE

Kaduna moves to achieve robust peaceful co-existence A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he Kaduna State Government has begun inter-religious school exchange programme as part of efforts to ensure peaceful co-existence among residents. According to the government, the programme was to inculcate in pupils the need to tolerate one another’s

religion and learn it at early age. The Education Secretary of Kaduna South Local Government Area, Mallam Sanusi Sirajo, disclosed this at the flag-off of a peace programme tagged: “Trust building and tolerance” held yesterday in Kaduna. He said similar exchange programme would soon be organised for teachers and parents. Sirajo said: “Very soon,

we will start doing school exchange programme, the Christians pupils will go to the Muslim schools and stay for a day and the Muslim will do same, they will learn about one another’s religion and culture. We have started the pilot programme and is yielding positive results. If the children are allowed to speak on their experiences, you will be surprised; our target is that after the children, we will involve

teachers and parents.” The peace programme was organised by the Kaduna South Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) in conjunction with the Network for the Actualisation of Practical Peace (NAPP), a Non-Governmental Organisation and National Orientation Agency (NOA). The organisers also aimed at mobilising communities for peace-building and restore family values.

Ahmed lauds CJN, IGP’s confirmation WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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overnor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has described the ratification of the appointment of Justice Aloma Muktar as Chief Justice of Nigeria by the Senate as a positive development that would deepen the dignity of womanhood. Ahmed also praised the Senate for confirming the appointment of Alhaji Muhanned Dairu Abubakar as the substantive Inspector-General of

Ahmed

Police (IGP). A statement signed by the Chief Press secretary to the Governor, Abdulwahab Oba, said

the emergence of Justice Aloma Muktar as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) has the unlimited potential to imbue the “can do” spirit in the Nigerian women with innate capability for meaningful contribution to national development as well as spur others to strive for excellence. The governor also described the IGP, who had served in Kwara State as a Commissioner of Police, as a fine gentleman and a disciplined officer. Ahmed, however, advised Justice Aloma and

IGP Abubakar to be rallying points for the promotion of the rule of law in the match towards national rebirth. He said: “It is important that our judiciary and the police remain the hope of not only the rich or the highly connected, but everyone, irrespective of religious or social backgrounds.” The governor also commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the Senate for using integrity and honour as major yardsticks for appointments into public offices.


Friday, July 13, 2012

ACN procures fake voters’ cards, imports thugs, PDP alleges

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wenty-four hours to the governorship election in Edo State, feelers from the Heartbeat of the Nation are that the battle for the Osadebe Avenue Government House is a critical two-horse race between the incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Major General Charles Airhiavbere (retd) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Voting will take place in 2,627 polling units in the 192 wards across the state. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is deploying 8,842 personnel to conduct the election. These personnel include: supervisors, collation officers, supervising presiding officers and presiding officers. In the all-important governorship poll, 1,555,776 registered voters are expected to exercise their electoral franchise. Seven candidates are participating in the election. They are Oshiomhole of the ACN, Airhiarvbere of the PDP, Solomon Edebiri, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP); Izevbuwa Roland, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); Andrew Igwemoh, Labour Party (LP); Mr. Paul Orumwense, National Conscience Party (NCP); Prince Frank Ukonga, Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP). But the real contest is between Oshiomhole and Airhiavbere. The duo have campaigned across the length and breadth of the state, while the other five candidates are just adding up to the number of governorship participants without embarking on political campaigns. Had the election held this time last year, close watchers of the political development in Edo contend that Oshiomhole would have contested against himself; and the services of a stargazer or crystal ball watcher would not have been required to know the outcome of the no-contest election simply because the opposition PDP had, as of then, not resolved its internal crises. Again, had his plan in concert with the Chief of Staff to the President and former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mike Oghiadohme, to move to the PDP

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Two-horse race for Osadebe Govt House After months of intensive campaigns, the electorate in Edo State go to poll tomorrow in the all-important governorship election. The race to the Osadebe Government House has turned out to be a two-horse race, reports AYODELE OJO.

Fact File Polling units 2,627

Wards 192

Personnel 8,842

Registered voters 1,555,776

PARTICIPATING PARTIES ACN PDP ANPP CPC LP NCP SDMP

LG/SENATORIAL DISTRICTS Edo Central Esan Central Esan Northeast Esan Southeast Esan West Igueben.

Edo South

Oshiomhole

not been stalled by former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Tony Anenih, Oshiomhole would have secured the party ticket and would have effortlessly coasted home to victory. But the above scenarios did not crystallise and Oshiomhole is in the field mobilising for votes despite his achievements in the areas of rehabilitation of road infrastructure, renovation of schools and building of health centres. But prior to this election, the achievements had counted for much when compared with the administration of former Governor Lucky Igbinedion who ruled from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of the PDP and thereafter sponsored Oshiomhole’s election in 2007. The perceived nonperformance of Igbinedion has purportedly made Oshiomhole’s perceived little achievements to appear extra-ordinary. The rehabilitation of roads in the state, a number of schools across the state, some four roads in Benin as well as the sinking of boreholes in some communities have created something of a novelty in the political economy of the state. Against the backdrop of this com-

Airhiavbere

his current political unease. He probably knew from the outset that he was pulling the tiger by the tail when he dared Anenih, the acclaimed National Leader of the PDP. He challenged him to an open fight. He said he was going to bury the godfather (Anenih) politically speaking. He had made the same mistake Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor made when he moved to wrest the party structure from the hands of Anenih instead of concentrating on governance. Perhaps what differentiates Oshiomhole from Osunbor was that Oshiomhole was streetwise. Those who encouraged Osunbor to move against Anenih parative advantage over the Igbinedion administration, Oshiomhole thought the old man would not be had boasted that his achievements able to go the whole hog; that he would secure re-election for him. would not be able to survive the He had even said that caterpillars at onslaught of Osunbor. They were construction sites would campaign wrong. He outlasted him. Oshiomfor him. But since the start of the hole too had trodden that path when grudge fight with the PDP in the he thought he could undo the politigarb of electioneering, Oshiomhole cal legerdemain of Anenih. He nevhas not allowed the caterpillar to er imagined that Anenih could last campaign. He has embarked on ag- the distance. After the Court of Appeal degressive mobilisation in the nooks clared him winner of the 2007 govand crannies of the state. ernorship election, he had gone into a working understanding with The turning point Oshiomhole was the cause of CONTINUED ON PAGE 45

Oredo Ovia Northeast Ovia Southwest Uhunmwonde Ikpoba-Okha Egor Orhiomwon

Edo North Etsako Central Etsako West Etsako East

VOTING STRENGTH Edo South: 58% Edo North: 24% Edo Central: 18%

PAST GOVERNORS Brig. Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia Colonel John Ewerekumoh Yeri John E.K. Odigie Oyegun Colonel Mohammed Abul-Salam Onuka Colonel Bassey Asuquo Group Captain Baba Adamu Iyam Navy Captain Anthony Onyearugbulem Chief Lucky Igbinedion Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole


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Adams Oshiomhole (ACN) Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole was born on April 4, 1953 in Iyamoh, near Auchi to the family of Alhaji Aliyu Oshiomhole of blessed memory and Alhaja Aishetu Oshiomhole. After his secondary education, he proceeded to the Ruskin College, Oxford where he majored in economics and industrial relations. He is also an alumnus of the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru. In 1969 before his tertiary education, he had taken up appointment with the Arewa Textiles Company. He was inspired to play an active role in the union because he was not satisfied with the quality of the union’s leadership. Oshiomhole’s other colleagues in the textile factory elected him as the union secretary after a shopfloor revolution, which he helped to organise. He became a full time trade organiser in 1975. In 1982, he was elected the General Secretary of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria and thus became a major actor and catalyst in the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC). With the restoration of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, Oshiomhole became the 4th president of the NLC. Oshiomhole hinges his campaign for a second term on his scorecard, which he has never hesitated to brandish, contains a long list of feats in the areas of roads construction, provision of water, health and education. He believes that another

Friday, July 13, 2012

The three gladiators four years in office will enable him to completely restore the lost glory of Edo State.

Charles Airhiavbere (PDP) General Charles E. Airhiavbere (rtd.) was born on 11 October, 1954, at Ekiadolor, near Benin, in Egor Local Government Area of the state, to the late Chief Peter E. Airhiavbere and Mrs. Mary Orhue Airhiavbere. Educated at the Ore-Oghene Baptist School in Benin City, he attended Eghosa Grammar School, Benin for one year before he went to the Nigeria Military School to complete his secondary education. He attended to the Auchi Polytechnic where he bagged the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy, before enlisting in the Nigerian Defence Academy for the Short Service Course and in June 1981, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army Finance Corps. He later attended the premier University of Ibadan for his Masters’ degree in Business Administration, in 1987, specialising in finance. Rising through the ranks he became a Major-General and Commander, Corps of Army Finance and Accounts at the Army Headquarters. An alumnus of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, he became a faculty member of the Institute before his retirement in 2011 and joined politics almost immediately. A member of the National Institute (mni), he also belongs to the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (CIPN). He based the thrust of his programmes for the state on change, promising to declare emergency in security, education and health sectors if he is given the mandate by

the people of the state. He also promised to bring to end what he called the draconian tax regime in the state and improve on the revenue profile of the state. He also promised even development in Edo State.

Solomon Edebiri (ANPP) Born on April 22, 1962, Solomon Edebiri hails from Iguobe in Isi community, Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the Edo State. He was educated at St. Andrew’s Primary School Iguobe and later proceeded to Ovoramwen Primary School, Iguobe, Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State and European American University, UK where he bagged a Masters in Business Administration.

OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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Ihejirika

rian Bar Association, Rasaq Isenalumhe, was still grappling with the two incidents, Governor Oshiomhole’s convoy was attacked by another set of unknown gunmen on his way from Auchi, while his campaign train stopped to pay the customary homage to the Onogie of Usen town in Ovia South Local Government Area of the state. The governor narrowly escaped death in that attack. Expectedly, the ruling ACN pointed accusing fingers at the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the mastermind of

Edebiri

Edebiri is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). His programmes include industrialisation of the state, job creation, healthcare and rural development.

Candidates without campaign even political parties along with their candidates were approved to contest tomorrow Edo governorship election. However, only three candidates appear to be very serious with the election, going by the evidence on ground. Exactly a day before the governorship election, only the candidates and the campaign structures of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole; All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Chief Solomon Edebiri; and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) seem to have visible structures, billboards and posters

across the state. Others such as those of: The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), represented by Elder Roland Izegbuwa and Mr. Paul Oyarekhua; Labour Party (LP), represented by Mr. Andrew Igwemoh and Mr. Austin Odigie; National Conscience Party (NCP), represented by Mr. Paul Orunmwense and Comrade Anthony Ebhosele; as well as the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), represented by Prince Frank Ukonga and Elder Isaac Ogona could not be said to possess the strength to win the election. While SDMP and Ukonga have distinguished themselves with the intelligent and knowledgeable pursuit of issues, admitting wherever the incumbent administration has done well and knocking it wherever they feel they can do better,

the three incidents. And with the intensity with which the major contenders in the race have been going about their campaigns, the Federal Government in its wisdom deployed, apart from regular and mobile policemen, 3,500 soldiers to maintain peace and order before, during and after the election. Despite these series of coordinated attacks and incidents of violence in the state, Oshiomhole disclosed that insecurity is not peculiar to Edo State. He said: “Edo is still safer than our neighbouring PDP states.” Is the deployment of soldiers to the streets of Edo for the governorship election necessary? To political analysts, it is a welcome development. They hinged their belief on the brickbats between the ACN and the opposition PDP over which of the two parties would carry the day at the end of polling tomorrow. But the deployment has continued to heat up the polity with the House of Representatives divided over the propriety or otherwise of the president’s action. The House on Wednesday had a rowdy session as members were divided over whether to allow for debate on a motion brought before the House on the deployment of troops. And with each of the two major warring parties promising brimstone and fire if its candidate fails to clinch the plum seat, political watchers of events in the state are

of the opinion that it is a welcome development, believing that the presence of the soldiers would reduce the spate of violence that would probably erupt during and after Saturday’s election. With the presence of Niger Delta militants in the state, it is generally believed that the deployment of soldiers is a right step in the right direction. It an open secret that the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Muhajeed Asari Dokubo is in Edo with a detachment of his force to give support to the re-election bid of Oshiomhole and he has been accused by the PDP of coming to undermine the election. It is also seen as a fulfilment of President Goodluck Jonathan’s promise to the people of Edo State to deliver a free, fair, credible and violent-free election. The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has also reaffirmed the readiness of the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force to ensure safety and security of lives and properties during and after the election. Meanwhile, the Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa has warned all stakeholders in the election not to turn his domain to a warfront, advising politicians to eschew violence during the poll. All eyes are on the security agencies deployed to Edo State as such past deployments have always been to aid rigging and the general expectation this time around is that these would be a level playing for all contestants in the election.

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Exigency of troops’ deployment part from the fear of rigging which has gripped stakeholders in tomorrow’s governorship election in Edo State, another palpable fear gripping the state is the fear of outbreak of violence during the election. For those nursing this fear, they may be justified, going by events in the Heartbeat of the Nation in the last few months when the race for the Edo Government House reached the wire. Apart from pockets of clashes between rival political parties and their supporters, the first sign of what would probably come to play during the election was when the convoy of the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was involved in an accident which the government claimed was an assassination attempt on the life of the governor. Three journalists lost their lives in the incident. Closely following this ‘accident’, was the gruesome murder of Oshiomhole’s principal private secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde at his residence located at Ugbor GRA, Benin City in the early hours of Friday, May 4 by four gunmen. While the state, which crime rate has greatly reduced in the last six months, according to the state chairman of the Nige-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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FELIX NWANERI

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omorrow’s governorship election in Edo State is a test case for the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, who has repeatedly assured that the electoral body will provide a level playing ground for all the candidates. Jega is expected to build on the fallout of the 2011 general elections, adjudged by both

structures the campaign of the candidate, who hails from the same Edo North district as Oshiomhole is severely hampered by lack of the necessary funds to successfully prosecute it. As a result, Ukonga has merely taken the opportunities of the different debates to present the programmes and policies his government will pursue if elected to power even as it remains clear that his posters are missing even on Benin streets. While the campaign organisation of Oshiomhole is led by the former Secretary to the Government of Edo State and National Vice Chairman of ACN (SouthSouth), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; that of Airihiavbere by Senator Odion Ugbesia; and that of Edebiri by a citizen of substance, the remaining candidates have no campaign organisational structures.

FELIX NWANERI

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Politics

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y providing information about voting intentions, opinion polls can sometimes influence the behaviour of the electorate as such surveys are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence intervals. This influence cannot be ruled out in tomorrow governorship election in Edo State. Already, the two contending parties; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have cashed in on the strategy to sway voters to their respective sides in what many see as mind-game. With few days to the election, results of two polls conducted by privately-run agencies have each tipped the candidates of the both parties; Oshiomhole of the ACN and Airhiavbere of the PDP to emerge tops. According to the result of a first poll conducted by a Lagos-based public opinion and media research organization, FASTTRACK, released on Monday, Airhiavbere emerged the most preferred candidate while a second, by RMS, a leading research group, released on Tuesday, gave victory to Oshiomhole. The poll by FASTTRACK indicated that Airhiavbere emerged the most preferred choice among 6,600 people who responded

Will INEC walk its talk? local and international observers as the most credible in the nation’s electoral history. However, he is likely to face an uphill task given the tension which has characterised the poll’s build-up. Beside the usual brickbats expected of a contest of such magnitude, some acts of violence have so far been witnessed, leading to loss of lives including that of Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Private Secretary of the incumbent governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Although Police authorities revealed a few days ago that they have apprehended Oyerinde’s killers, fear still envelopes the state as the contending parties have been mobilising everything in their respective arsenals for the big showdown. This is even as they continue to point accusing fingers at each other of plans to rig the election. The allegations started with the aborted voters’ registration update which the ACN alleged was part of the plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the poll. The party did not only raise the alarm, it mobilised its members and stormed INEC’s office in Benin, on May 14, to protest the plot. This followed the arrest of an INEC official with the commission’s Direct Data Capture Machine (DDC). The officer, who later confessed to illegal possession of the machine, said it was used for registration of voters on Sunday (May 13), ahead of the official commencement date for the voters’ registration update (May 15). Edo State chairman of the ACN, Thomas Okosun, alleged that the PDP in collusion with the ICT unit of INEC both in Abuja and Benin collaborated in the plan. He further alleged that the PDP at a meeting in Abuja resolved to bring in thugs from neighbouring states to register them in tar-

Jega

geted polling units and to use them to cause trouble during election. Oshiomhole also made similar allegation when he accused some PDP leaders in the state of assuring their supporters that they will determine the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to be posted to the state, who will in-turn help them to rig the election. But the PDP through its state chairman, Dan Orbih, described the allegation as “unfounded, baseless and laughable.” He also denied any meeting between the former Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) and leader of the party in the state, Chief Tony Anenih and Jega to discuss issues relating to the election. Throwing back the rigging allegation plot to Oshiomhole and his party, Orbih said the governor is just flying a kite as he is the one actually planning to do all that he

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is accusing the PDP of. But Jega in the midst of these has assured of his commission’s resolve to conduct a free, fair and credible election. Speaking to journalists at the Benin Airport on arrival in the state on Wednesday, he said: “We are in Edo State in fulfilment of the promise to the people of Nigeria and the state in particular that we will ensure free, fair and credible election.” Jega is not alone in the conviction that the poll would be free and fair. President Goodluck Jonathan, who addressed the grand finale rally of the PDP in Benin, penultimate weekend, also assured of a peaceful poll conduct. His words: “It was here in this state that I said that we must change the way we do elections in this country; this time around, there will be no thuggery, it is going to be one man one vote. I came here to promise the people of Edo State that they should keep faith with that promise. “Before I came, I asked the InspectorGeneral of Police, ‘Are you ready for Edo State?’ He said yes. I asked the Chief of Defence Staff, ‘Are you ready for Edo State?’ He said yes. I guarantee 100 per cent security for your election and there will be no manipulation, election results will be entered at the various units and nobody will change figures.” And to demonstrate the commitment, the Federal Government has deployed 3,500 armed soldiers to the state on the orders of the president. This as the Nigeria Police Force also recalled Olayinka Balogun, the state Commissioner of Police to its headquarters. In his place, two high-ranking police officers, including Marvel Akpovibo, a Deputy Inspector General of Police, are to oversee the election. With the stage set for the mother of all battles, all eyes are now on INEC to walk its talk as only that will ensure a hitch-free exercise as well as guarantee the acceptability of the election’s outcome.

Opinion polls: Parties in mind game

to questionnaires randomly administered to respondents who have attained the voting age in the three senatorial districts of the state. A breakdown of the result showed that 1,673 respondents representing 69.7 per cent of the 2,400 population sampled in Edo South preferred Airhiavbere, 700 respondents representing 29.2 per cent wanted Oshiomhole with 27 respondents representing 1.1 per cent indicating preference for the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate, Solomon Edebiri. In Edo North, out of the 2,000 respondents (comprising 1,200 in Etsako area, 400 in Owan area and 400 in Akoko-Edo area), 1,208 respondents representing 60.4 per cent preferred Oshiomhole while 778 respondents representing 38.9 per cent would go for the PDP candidate. 14 respondents representing 0.7 per cent indicated preference for the ANPP candidate.

In Edo Central where 1,600 respondents were sampled, 1,262 representing 78.9 per cent preferred for Airhiavbere while 318 respondents representing 19.9 per cent indicated preference for the ACN candidate. Twenty respondents representing 1.2 per cent indicated preference for the ANPP candidate. The RMS poll which essentially focused on Oshiomhole, gave him 93 per cent chances of retaining his job, a development that has further widened the gap between him and his closest rival (Airhiavbere) by 89 per cent. It also showed that Oshiomhole’s chances are both high in total and across all the local government areas of the state and even in Esan West and Esan Central where he had the least chance. According to the report, Oshiomhole is likely to clinch 74 per cent of the votes cast in the two councils with the possibility of almost eight in 10 votes cast there in his favour. It stated: “The relationship between the Edo State people and their government is very positive and this has remained so over the last three months. The indicator of the healthiness of this relationship is the result of the application of our TNS branded tool TRI*M. Some improvement in engagement level has been recorded in a number of LGAs with low index in February.

To determine the government’s popularity with the people of the state, RMS said it used the TRI*M Index which is a tried and tested index that considers different dimensions of engagement, based on the answers to the four parameters of: overall performance, trust, value of public service delivery and competitive advantage. As expected, both camps have either commended or dismissed the polls’ results depending how favourable or otherwise they were to their respective interests. The state Director of Publicity of the PDP, Mr. Okharedia Ihimekpen, who commended the enterprise said: “Both agencies have demonstrated courage by staking their reputations on the altar of tomorrow’s governorship election and there is no doubt that the polls’ results would be subjected to veracity test by the Edo electorate in whose hands lie the fates of the governorship candidates. The ACN camp in its own reaction, however described as “nauseating, irresponsible, misleading and totally out of sync with the realities on ground in Edo State” the report that the PDP is ahead of it candidate and the ANPP. The party, through the Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation called on the people of the state to ignore the “dubious opinion poll result,” saying it is confident of winning the poll.


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OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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here have been allegations and counter-allegations between the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over who introduced the ethnicity card into the political landscape of the state in the build-up to the governorship race. The PDP candidate, Charles Airhiavbere, was alleged to have started the game by his claim that as a ‘son of the soil’ of the Edo South Senatorial District and that they should vote for him en masse. But Airhiavbere, in an interview with National Mirror accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of introducing the ethnic angle to the contest. His words: “I don’t believe that ethnicity was introduced into Edo politics because of me. The Otaru of Auchi said that Etsako people will not accept to play a second fiddle or accept second position. I think the issue of ethnicity was introduced by the incumbent governor.” Oshiomhole on his part accused Airhiavbere of masterminding the ethnic angle to the governorship tussle. He said this also in a chat with National Mirror, saying that the ethnic issue is not limited to Edo, even as according to him, President Goodluck Jonathan, has also been battling with the same issue on the zoning of political offices at the national level.

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Playing ethnic card with poll His words: “It is always the case with people who have nothing in the head, who have nothing with the people, who have nothing to fire the imagination of the electorate, they resort to ethnic sentiment. “But they also arrogantly draw attention or compare Samuel Ogbemudia’s regime with Ambrose Alli; how Alli, even though he performed, but the Bini man defeated him. But who defines Benin interests? I think those opinion moulders, those who can be said to be the real Binis, who are committed to the Bini agenda have all spoken, dismissing Airhiavbere as a stranger even to the Benin idea.” It is against the backdrop of this that the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Uyi Igbe, in May condemned the introduction of ethnicity to the governorship race. He warned that playing the ethnic card could backfire and called on office seekers to put the people’s interest first. He said: “On the streets I do not see Binis or Ishans, neither do I see Afemais; not the politicians, not even Christians or Muslims. I see Nigerians, Edo people, good people; going about their daily lives with energy and excitement beyond anyone’s imagination.” Traditional rulers from the Edo North Senatorial District have also condemned in strong terms the introduction of ethnicity to the Edo governorship race. Speaking on behalf of the monarchs, the Otaru of Auchi, Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, said: “We must demystify ethnicity and look at Individuals who can perform in the forthcoming election.” But many observers of the Edo political game has likened the present epic battle

Airhiavbere

between Oshiomhole and Airhiavbere to the battle for the soul of the old Bendel State between the late former governor of the defunct state under the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Prof Ambrose Alli and Samuel Ogbemudia of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), where Ogbemudia was declared winner, because of his being a Bini man like Airhiavbere, despite the sterling performance of Alli then. It is with this at the back of their mind that the leadership of the PDP picked Airhiavbere as its candidate, believing that the 1983 experience has shown that Edo South holds the ace in elections in the state. Edo South where the Binis belong is alleged to account for about 58 per cent of Edo population with seven local govern-

ments. However, many analysts believe that 2012 is different from 1983 and argued that ethnicity is not likely to be a deciding factor in tomorrow’s election; rather the determinant, according to observers is performance. One analyst, who craved anonymity said: “Sincerely speaking, if there is one man one vote, Oshiomhole will win–with a slim margin. What will help him is the visibility of some of his projects. The past governors did little. So, no matter what little work he has done, it is appreciated by the Edo people who saw nothing done in the past.” It is pertinent to state that there is no logical or empirical evidence on ground to support the repeat of the 1983 scenario. The 1983 election in the old Bendel State was alleged to be one rigged by the NPN. Events of 1983 are also different from those of 2012 and the election would however prove or disprove the notion that the Binis support one of their own in election on the basis of the candidate’s ethnic affinity. Though the Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa has refused to be drawn into adopting any candidate, many palace chiefs, including Chief Nosa Isekhure, the Chief Priest, Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase (traditional Prime Minister) and Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban, have continued to speak glowingly of Oshiomhole and campaigning for him as well, promising not to repay his good work with ingratitude. Some other palace chiefs are also routing for Airhiavbere. Whether or not ethnicity would play a role or not in the governorship election, time will definitely tell.

Candidates battle for anointing of traditional rulers SINA FADARE

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erhaps, Chairman Mao of China was right when he defined politics as extension of war where all manner of weapons are used to achieve the desired goal. This has been brought to the fore in Edo State, where the incumbent governor, Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are employing all manners of strategies to outwit each other. One of the prominent antics employed by the duo was the endorsement of their candidature by traditional rulers of various chiefdoms in the state, despite that the 1999 Constitution forbids traditional rulers from partisan politics, as they are fathers to all. But the candidates have used the opportunities at their disposal to make sure that they receive the anointing of sundry monarchs, believing that it is an added advantage. One of the endorsements by the traditional rulers was witnessed recently at the palace of the Enogie of Uromi, Anselm Aidenojie II, where Airhiavbere was presented to the traditional rulers of Esanland by Chief Tony Anenih, the Iyasele of Esanland and member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT).

Omonoba

During the ceremony, all the traditional rulers present laid hands on the candidate and prayed for his success at the poll. Aidenojie said that over 30 traditional rulers from the five local government councils that make up Edo Central Senatorial District unanimously agreed to change the leadership baton of the state owing to the problem of insecurity in the state, saying: “Airhiavbere is not only a project for the PDP but also all of us.” The traditional ruler pointed out that

“we in Edo Central are becoming afraid because of the level of desperations of some politicians in the state. I’ve spent over 20 years on the throne, yet, I have never witnessed this level of desperation.” The import of this purported endorsement is very clear to the community, it was a signal from the traditional ruler that “this is our candidate in whom we are well pleased, therefore go out to go and vote for him.” Ironically, Airhiavbere did not receive such a go ahead nod when he visited the palace of the Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa, the chairman of the Edo State Traditional Rulers, who was very cautious and philosophical in his approach when he prayed that God should give the state a successor that will continue the good work done by the incumbent governor. Whereas when Oshiomohole got to his palace, the traditional monarch publicly acknowledged the good work Oshiomhole was doing in a state that had suffered so much pilferage of its lean resources for years under the rule of the PDP, to the extent that many citizens had come to believe it was beyond redemption. Oshiomohole, who had paid a courtesy call to the palace last year before the commencement of his campaign tour, was given a warm embrace by the monarch, who openly campaigned for his second coming. The Oba had said: “When I was told you were coming to pay me a visit after a retreat, I asked what retreat they are coming

to do in Edo State. So, thank you very much for this visit. We are all praying for Oshiomhole to come back in 2012. We are also hoping that he comes back. And I and my chiefs say you will come back and complete your unfinished projects.” As this was not enough, a group of monarchs from Edo Central senatorial district journeyed all the way from their domains to the Government House recently, to reassure the governor that nobody in government at whatever level has touched their lives the way he has done in his first term in office, and therefore urged him to go for second term. The same approach was also employed by the monarchs from Edo North who equally gave their blessing. Speaking on their behalf, the Otaru of Auchi kingdom, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, gave Oshiomohole a blanket cheque of continuing his good work, saying that there was no moral or political justification for the PDP to offer the district its deputy governorship slot when the district already has a better chance of supporting a performing candidate. The Oba of Benin has, however, stated emphatically that he is not supporting any candidate for the election. As the traditional rulers have pitched their tents with their acclaimed sons for victory, it is obvious that the end will eventually justify the means.

MORE STORIES ON PAGES 45&46


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Edo 2012: Why our people must vote wisely? MUSTAPHA OSIKHEKHA

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t is no longer news that the people of Edo State would be voting in another governorship election tomorrow. Intense electioneering by contending candidates and political parties has been going on for quite some time now. Political pundits believe that it would be a straight contest between the incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the candidate of the PDP, General Charles Airhiavbere (retd). I have been following the campaigns of these two leading contenders with keen interest for obvious reasons. Curiously, the PDP has not said Oshiomhole didn’t perform in his first term. What the party’s leaders have always said instead was that the current governor concentrated his developmental projects in the state capital, Benin City and Etsako area, where he hails from. However, I have a question for the PDP. Where did its own governors develop in the almost 10 years they were in charge of Edo state? Let the truth be told, the PDP systematically transformed Benin City into a huge jungle village to the extent that some people from that state were ashamed to refer to that historic city as the capital of their state. Prior to 2008, Benin was devoid of the allure of a capital city despite serving that purpose since the creation of the Midwest region in 1963. Today, Benin City

is wearing a new look. Standard roads have been constructed and the streets are lit up at night. When I visited Benin City last month, I sought the opinions of the ordinary people, commercial motorcyclists and market men and women on the performance of the Comrade Governor. The verdict was unanimous: The governor has been delivering the dividends of democracy! They vowed to give him their votes to enable him continue the transformation of the state he initiated. According to them, what Oshiomhole has accomplished in three and a half years, the PDP could not do one quarter of it in the 10 years it was in the saddle. The opinion of the ordinary people often times reflects the true level of performance of a governor. When they say he has done well, it means he is working for them. However, when the godfathers say a governor is performing, it means that governor is awarding them inflated contracts or sharing the state’s monthly allocation with them. In Edo Central, the people were made to believe that they were not destined to enjoy pipe borne water because of their terrain even when a well-known godfather in that area was able to sink bore holes in his private home and hotel. The governor in his belief that God couldn’t have been so wicked to deny Esan people clean water, imported special drilling machines. Today, clean water is flowing

IN ALL HONESTY, OSHIOMHOLE HAS ACQUITTED HIMSELF

CREDITABLY.

EVEN HIS OPPONENTS CAN’T DENY THIS FACT in that area. Edo North, where I hail from, had been systematically neglected by successive governments except Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia. Today, the story is different. Several projects have been executed in that area. That was why I expressed shock when some PDP leaders at their campaign in Saboginda-Ora, headwuarter of Owan West LGA, claimed that Oshiomhle hates Owan people. I am from Owan East LGA and do know that the governor does not hate us. Those who hate us are the looters of the state’s resources. I know for certain that development would spread to more areas when Oshiomhole gets a second term. The Comrade Governor has also touched education and health sectors. New schools and hospitals have been built while old ones have been renovated. Students now learn under conducive environment. The governor has placed high premium on security. He has equipped

the security agencies even though they are controlled by the federal government. When Oshiomhole came to power, the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR), was a little above N300 million monthly. That figure has jumped to more than N2 billion monthly even without introducing new taxes. All he did was plug the leakages of the past. In all honesty, Oshiomhole has acquitted himself creditably. Even his opponents can’t deny this fact. In a democracy, periodic elections provide opportunity for the electorate to reward elected office holders who have done well and punish those that betray the trust of the people. So, tomorrow’s election provides Edo people an opportunity to endorse Oshiomhole for a second term to continue his development-oriented agenda. It would a great disservice to good governance if the enemies of democracy are allowed to rig Oshiomhole out. It would send a dangerous signal to other serving governors that it is better to use state resources to marshal the ego of the godfathers instead of executing people-oriented programs. On this note, I ask my fellow Edo people to put the interest of the state above other considerations when casting their votes tomorrow. Osikhekha is the Head of News, STV/Rhythm FM, Lagos

Still on Jonathan’s strides in education REMI L ADIGBOLU

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former senior colleague in The Punch, who is now a member of President Goodluck Jonathan’s media team, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi, wrote about his boss’s successes in the education sector in the last one year, in an article entitled, Jonathan’s strides in education, published in the June 21 edition of The Nation. There is no doubt that any unbiased reader would indeed acknowledge the present administration’s achievements in the education sector and also commend the president’s vision and commitment in this regard. In fact, I could also mention a few more accomplishments of President Jonathan in the education sector, which were inadvertently omitted by the writer, but those were not the only omissions in the said article as the writer also completely failed to acknowledge the efforts of few Nigerians that have committed themselves to helping the president achieve his education vision. These eminent Nigerians have demonstrated unequalled passion for the revival of education at all levels in the country and have committed time and resources to the realization of this objective. Among such are legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and financial guru, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode. The former is a past Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), while the latter is the current occupant of that office. Both men have successfully revolutionized the roles of Pro Chancellors in the nation’s university system by their exceptional contributions to the development of UNILAG.

THESE EMINENT NIGERIANS HAVE DEMONSTRATED UNEQUALLED PASSION FOR THE REVIVAL OF EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS IN THE COUNTRY From its erstwhile general perception of a purely political appointment merely to massage the ego of or reward prominent Nigerians who have supported the government, the two have redefined Pro Chancellor as someone with vision and genuine commitment to the development of education through unsolicited investment of his/ her personal resources into achieving desired goals without expecting any kind of reward in return. The two men have also remained at the vanguard of the campaign to revamp the falling standard of education in the country. Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), founded by Chief Babalola, has been described as the “fastest growing Nigerian university,” by no other person than the respected Justice Kayode Eso (retd). In this same class of Nigerians we have the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN). He is generally regarded as an emerging pillar of education in the country. It is especially instructive to note that the most important achievement the writer

credited to President Jonathan was the unprecedented stability being witnessed in the nation’s tertiary institutions. In the second and third paragraphs of his article, Adebiyi correctly asserted and I quote: “In the tertiary sector for instance, the Jonathan administration has been able to resolve the nearly two decades old rancour between the government and ASUU, over unfulfilled past agreements signed with the teachers’ body. Those who have been students at our various universities in the past two decades would remember the frequent agonies they had had to go through because of intermittent nationwide strikes by their lecturers, demanding among others, increase in the funding of their institutions as well as increase in retiring age of university professors from 65 to 70 years. “Though, the previous administrations had always rushed to put pen to paper with ASUU leaders to signify their intention to meet their demands, such agreements have always been observed more in the breach. This has been at the heart of the recurring strikes by the university teachers. But it is to the credit of the Jonathan administration that implementation of its agreement with ASUU started immediately both parties left the negotiating table.” Nothing could be nearer the truth than Adebiyi’s submission. Indeed, the president deserves accolades for what he has achieved in the education sector. However, the story of that singular achievement is incomplete without any mention of the above quoted personalities, especially Babalakin, whose dual role as chairman of the Committee of Pro Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and also chairman of the Implementation

Monitoring Committee of the 2009 Agreements between the federal government and university-based unions, has been most instrumental in achieving the much cherished stability in the university system. The president himself affirmed this much in his recent media chat when he described Babalakin as the person that has been helping the federal government to “stabilize the universities.” Also, the leaderships of the two central unions in the tertiary institutions, ASUU and NASU, have on various occasions, acknowledged Babalakin’s role in bringing them to terms with the government. At the recent launch of ASUU’s national headquarters in Abuja, its national president, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, praised Babalakin for the “unprecedented understanding and passion he has shown for the university cause, particularly in his role as the chairman of the Federal Government/ ASUU Implementation Monitoring Committee.” Many university administrators have equally testified to the immeasurable contributions of Dr. Babalakin to stability in the nation’s university system. What can be more befitting an acknowledgement? Ladigbolu wrote from Lagos. 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.


Editorial

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Friday, July 13, 2012

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

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Governors’ request for security intervention funds

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tate governors’ request for a special Federal Government intervention fund to assist them tackle rising wave of insecurity has drawn attention to the huge funds they (governors) appropriate to themselves as “security vote”. The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), an informal association of serving governors in the country, rose from its recent meeting in Abuja with complaints that state governments were overstretched in funding security challenges in their various domains; and therefore needed ‘special’ FG intervention. The NGF Chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, in a communiqué, also spoke of the governors’ demand for “state police” as the panacea for growing insecurity in the land; against the spate of violence and the nation’s steady drift to anarchy. At a time when the 36 state governors face accountability questions on the lawfulness or otherwise of their self-awarded security votes, the demand for additional funds for security appears to us a ploy to widen the frontiers of profligacy and impunity for some unscrupulous governors. Critics, for instance, estimate that on the average, each Nigerian governor pockets a minimum of N300 million per month as security vote; and that the sum is enough to pay the minimum wage of N18,000 to more than 16,000 Nigerians! Indeed, some state governors are accused of setting aside up to N700 million as security vote

per month. But the funds which ought to be used to train and equip the police, the military and other security services mostly disappear into private bank accounts. Only the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha; and his Kano State counterpart, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, either significantly scaled down or abolished security votes, to public knowledge. While Okorocha slashed the N6 billion annual security vote he met on assumption of office to N2 billion; and directed the deployment of the excess fund to education, agriculture, and rural infrastructure development, Kwankwaso abolished security votes completely, and last April, directed compliance with provisions of the Constitution that all government expenditure be made open, budgeted for and approved by the state House of Assembly in an Appropriation Act, outside of which secret expenditures would be deemed illegal and criminal. Security funding in Kano, the state government said, would henceforth follow the normal budgetary process. “If the Police need funding, they should come and tell us what they need the money for”; Kwankwaso said, after lamenting the huge waste of funds in the guise of security votes while the most basic needs of the people are neglected. Had state governors injected their so-called security votes on properly securing their domains, most states would not still be under

IT MAY BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO FOR THE

NGF TO MUSTER

PUBLIC SYMPATHY FOR ITS CAMPAIGN FOR SECURITY

INTERVENTION FUNDS, WHEN ITS MEMBERS USE BLOATED SECURITY VOTES TO DRAIN PUBLIC COFFERS the siege of kidnapping, terrorism, ethno-religious strifes and violent robberies. In effect, our thinking is that security votes, like the controversial and illegal National Assembly constituency funds, have become slush funds or ‘pocket money’ for dishonest politicians to squander at will. The trend, according to critics, has become so attractive to Local Government Council chairmen, most of whom are hand-picked by state governors in caretaker capacity; that they also want to join the scramble for security votes. It may be extremely difficult to for the NGF to muster public sympathy for its security intervention funds campaign, when its members use bloated security votes to drain public coffers for self aggrandizement. If, for instance, a

governor mismanages N10 billion per annum as security vote, and still cries to the FG for so-called ‘security intervention fund’, from where would such a governor raise funds to sustain a state police? It is immoral and sheer hypocrisy to be profligate with funds meant for security; and turn around to beg for more, or agitate for state police not financially planned for. State governors must realize that national security is the responsibility of every Nigerian and all tiers of government. Individuals and communities who heavily tax themselves to secure their abodes do not rely on intervention funds from any quarters. The NGF, out of reckless indulgence, must not trivialize the security challenges confronting the nation. The Lagos and some other state governments have demonstrated good leadership on how states could generously assist the Police with their equipment and logistics needs. Other willing governors should borrow a leaf from them. It is, indeed, surprising that the NASS has not deemed it necessary to outlaw security votes. Nonetheless, there exists the need for a constitutional amendment to enable governors become more effective “chief security officers” of their states and; perhaps, administrative and command restructuring of the police to engender a regime of local policing by predominantly indigenes, to enhance intelligence gathering.

ON THIS DAY July 13, 1977

July 13, 1962

July 13, 1863

New York City in the United States, amidst a period of financial and social turmoil, experienced an electrical blackout lasting nearly 24 hours, which led to widespread fires and looting. The electricity blackout affected most of New York City from July 13 to July 14, 1977. The only neighborhoods in New York City that were not affected were in southern Queens, and neighbourhoods of the Rockaways, which were part of the Long Island Lighting Company system.

In an unprecedented action, British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, dismissed seven members of his cabinet, marking the effective end of the National Liberals as a distinct force in British politics. This unprecedented action was mockingly named by the newspapers after the 1934 Nazi Night of the Long Knives. The remnants of the National Liberals formally merged into Conservative and Unionist party in 1968.

New York Draft Riots: In New York City, United States, opponents of conscription began three days of rioting which will be later regarded as the worst in US history. The New York City draft riots (July 13 to July 16, 1863; known at the time as Draft Week) were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of working-class discontent with new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the then ongoing American Civil War.


Your

FRIDAY

Flavour

16 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZZ TTO O STAR SSTART ST TA AR RT YO Y YOUR OUR UR W WEEKEND EEKE EE EK KEEN

Celebrating Nollywood veteran, OLU JACOBS IS ONE OF THE VERY FEW

O

PROFESSIONAL PERFORMERS WE HAVE

Denrele’s Day

one of the roles in The Gods are not to Blame which he was directing in England. Then, Olu was also the model in the Ribena commercials. Since then, we have met on several sets as actors and he is one of the very few professional performers we have in the industry. I must tell you that anytime I am on set with him; there is a synergy, borne out of mutual respect. As he turns 70, I can only wish him many more years, because Nigerians need him to be around”. Driven by the passion to raise future artistes like him, Olu and his wife are collaborating in a manpower development project for people in the creative industry, called Lufodo Academy for Performing Arts, which has, so far, trained many Nigerian youths to enhance their act. Olu Jacobs has also displayed sterling qualities as regards his private

P. 24-25

Jacobs

Olu and Joke share a kiss for his Lifetime Achievement Award received at the Ghana Movie Awards 2011.

life, remaining one of the classic love stories in the entertainment industry (which is riddled with ephemeral marriages). In 2007, he clinched the African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, for the Best Actor in a Leading Role, aside numerous other awards from local and international bodies.

WEEKEND STARTERS Bastille Day celebration

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omorrow, July 14, Alliance Francaise (AF), Lagos, presents Bastille Day, a French national holiday which celebrates the beginning of the revolution. It would feature live broadcasting of the military parade in France, wines and cheeses and a contest of French dishes by AF students. Songstress Yinka Davies will be at the venue to perform. The event kicks off from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. at AF, 239 Herbert Macaulay Road, Yaba.

As the Colossus turns 78

T

o celebrate the 78th birthday of Prof. Wole Soyinka this month, Renegade Theatre and MUSON Centre present the 6th Annual Season of Wole Soyinka, featuring his Sketches and The Jero Plays: The Tri-

als of Brother Jero and Jero’s Metamorphosis. The stage plays, produced and directed by Wole Oguntokun, will come up tomorrow and on Sunday, July the 14 and 15 at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos. Times are 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. (both days)

Meet the Adebanjos ‘live’ in theatre

T

he hugely anticipated stage play of hit comedy TV sitcom Meet the Adebanjos comes to The Broadway Theatre, Catford, London with a bang today! The full cast of the award-

winning TV series will take to the stage in a performance organised by MTA Productions from and take audiences on a journey of non-stop laughter, fun and a rollercoaster of great family entertainment. Bring your family and friends and be prepared to laugh out loud!

Inside FCT

er generation of actors. Describing Olu Jacobs as one of Nigeria’s mostrespected talents, award-winning director, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, told Friday Flavour that directing a great mind like Olu Jacobs always comes with so much fun. “He is a man we respect a lot. I have worked with him severally and it has always been work and fun. He is someone you would want to work with over and over again, which boils down to the fact that he is a core professional”. Actor Chinedu Ikedieze, said what stands Olu Jacobs out of all the actors in his class is the absolute lack of an air of importance around him. “When you work with him, you will not see any air of importance for a man that is so widely-travelled and one who has appeared in so many world-class productions. We call him Uncle Olu and I must tell you that he has inspired a whole lot of us with his way of life on set and outside”. For Bob Manuel Udokwu, celebrating Olu Jacobs at 70 should be a source of pride for every professional artiste, which Olu is an embodiment of. Reliving the first time he met Olu Jacobs, he told our correspondent that his lecturer, late Prof. Ola Rotimi, who wrote The Gods are not to Blame, brokered the historic moment. “I met him in 1986 while I was still an undergraduate of the University of Port Harcourt. Our lecturer, Ola Rotimi, brought us to Lagos for a play, The Gods are not to Blame at the National Theatre. Olu Jacobs visited us and Ola Rotimi took time to explain to us how he met him in England when he was looking for an actor to play, Ojewale,

P. 34

IN THE FILM INDUSTRY

P. 26

lu Jacobs, one of Nigeria’s most dependable actors, turned 70 two days ago, but rather than indulge himself in a lavish soiree in Lagos with fellow celebrities, he was in far away United Kingdom for a hushhush stage production. Olu Jacobs travelled with his wife, Joke Silva, who is co-starring in the play and would be there for a few weeks. According to close family sources, the legendary acting couple had made it known that they would be commemorating the landmark birthday in London whilst working. But while the celebrations last, Olu Jacobs has, in many ways than one, proven that he is passionate about his acting career which has blossomed over the years. His rich career started in England after being trained at the Royal Arts Academy, UK, with several television programmes like, Barlow at Large (where he played Motamba), The Venturers (as Mbela), Angels (as Musa Ladipo) and 1990 (where he played Alan Msari), amongst numerous others. Nigerians will, however, celebrate him more for his role as ‘Sylvester’ in CI5: The Professionals, one of the foreign thrillers that reigned on local TV in the late 70s and early 80s. Olu would return to Nigeria in the early 80s to also star in one of the most successful detective series to have graced Nigerian Television, Sparks, where he acted as Inspector Idafa, before joining the local movie industry, Nollywood, where he is one of the most professional talents that have remained relevant over time. Till date, Olu has appeared in over 120 home videos. But his influence and respect in the film sector seem to draw from how he has comported himself in the industry, which has made him and his wife, Joke, role models for virtually all the young-

Escape

NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

P. 32-33

Olu Jacobs at 70

Mirror Mongers

VOL. 2 No. 403

Friday, July 13, 2012

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Artman In The House

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

There is opportunity to build on Dr. Akin Adesokan, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, teaches at Indiana University, Bloomington, United States of America; but before he left the country in 2000, Adesokan left an imprint on the local terrain working as a journalist during the unnerving military era in Nigeria. He has also done a considerable amount of creative writing. On a recent research trip to Nigeria, he spoke with TERH AGBEDEH and took Friday Flavour into his world of letters. Your online write-up titled, Boko Ba Haram Ba is insightful, but do you think Hawa College, the North itself, will survive the onslaught? Yes, because some of these things are actually not as embellished as they are made to be. In Nigeria, there has always been this periodic breakout of religious fervour and all that. Way back in 1984, people can remember Metasine; so, there is always that undercurrent. It is a form of extremism, but I think it is also a conjunction of political economic and developmental problems. My view basically is that it is because these people don’t have jobs. Like I said, it is a more complex situation but if they wake up in the morning, look after their children and have places to go, an overwhelming number of them would rather follow that lifestyle than follow in this anti-social kind of behaviour. Why I made reference to Hawa College is because it is also part of the north and right from time, there has always been this radical progressive humanist tradition in the North –it is part of the society itself. What well-meaning people, who are actually interested in the humanisation of the individual, ought to do is to support that. If you see something that is progressive and do not support it, you create room for the flowering of evil. A philosopher said that there is no evil; it is only good that is not attended to that becomes evil. There are those who would say the kind of journalism you practised back then at Tempo and Tell has died down. Though it is a democracy, that kind of aggressiveness is expected to continue. Do you agree? Yes, I agree. It is never over. Infact, when you think things are settled is when people who are imaginative, who understand history, should redouble their efforts. I have not said this much, but one of the reasons I decided to leave Nigeria in 2000 was that I just looked around and I realised that there was no way I could work in an imaginative sense within Nigerian media at that time. At that time, some of my friends were becoming private secretaries, press secretaries and state commissioners; I could also have followed suit. I think that people were becoming complacent; they felt that the battle had been won, but the war that has been won can be fought again. I think that is the problem with Nigerian journalism now; it is not only that people have sort of become complacent; the quality of the work is very atrocious. That is number two. Number three is that there is no imagination. A lot of times, Toyin Akinosho (Secretary General, Committee for Relevant Arts) and I spoke about this. Infact, what connects people at all levels in Nigeria is journalism because it is thinking in the public arena. That is the tragedy today; the kind of critical and serious faculty that journalism is supposed to bring to the table is missing. There are so many newspapers, but I think the level of journalism that we have now is both morally and intellectually bankrupt. There is a great deal of mental surrender, intellectual surrender and it is epitomised by journalism and the university system. It is actually getting worse and the kind of stories that people write, I think it is also

Adesokan

AMONG CONTEMPORARY WRITERS, THERE IS A LOT OF MATERIAL THAT IMAGINATIVE

FILMMAKERS, DIRECTORS AND SCRIPTWRITERS CAN USE a reflection of Nigeria. It is like a Catch-22 situation, journalism is the way it is because Nigeria is the way it is and Nigeria is the way it is because journalism has dropped the ball, so to speak. You left in 2000 and by 2004 you had published your first book. Is that a reflection of your being stifled in terms of literary imagination? No, I wrote the novel between 1992 and 1995 when I was still in Nigeria. The book won an award in manuscript form in 1996. That was at least four clear years before I decided to leave Nigeria. Around the time, I was going to the United States and coming back. Around 1997 and 2000, I was in the United States at two different times. In fact, at that time, between 1996 and 2000, I submitted the manuscript to a number of publishers within and outside the country –Ibadan, Ghana, Zimbabwe, New Jersey, all over the place. I just wanted to have it published. So, I didn’t write it between 2000 and 2004. With all the problems we were going through –no light, no water, lack of transportation, one could still write if one meant to. Nigerian movies and music are blossoming but that

does not seem to be the case with the written word. What do you think is responsible for this? Basically, there is an audience for music and cinema because these are audio-visual media and you don’t require intellectual exertion as you do when you read a book; that is one factor. Before you read a book you have to sit down. You have to make an effort, you have to be literate, you have to have the kind of cultural sophistication, education and socialisation to actually sit down and think that this is worth your time. Literature, writing, book, literary fiction or drama or poetry has always been the minor preoccupation of a particular group of people and it is always the very important group in the society. With the exception of the so-called pop fiction like airport literature, it has always been that way. Nigerian music and cinema, especially in Nollywood, survives because that is what people want and there is a market for it. I always give the example of a particular track that was produced in 1972 by Haruna Ishola (a famed Yoruba traditional music artiste) called Oroki Social Club. It was popular like whatever D’Banj or Daddy Showkey would be doing in his own time. When Haruna Ishola died in November 1983, it was reported in the dailies then that in 11 years, that album sold three million copies. That, amazingly, is a bestseller in literary term; it means there is actually a market here. If we are able to create the kind of education which would make people consume the kind of material we produce, then we don’t have an excuse in saying that literature is a minority. Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart sold perhaps over 30 million copies and a


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Artman In The House

Friday, July 13, 2012

21

our literary tradition –Adesokan good number of that in West Africa (and on the continent); because at a time, the book was being used in the school system. The literary tradition in West Africa or the African continent is still young in terms of the middle ages with writers like Giovanni Boccaccio and Dante Alighieri who wrote Divine Comedy. So, when you think of it, Italian literary tradition is far much older than modern African literature beginning with writers in the 20s and 30s. While we feel a sense of crisis that our literary tradition is slow and backward, we have an opportunity to begin to build. We also have to see the worldview that in fact it is still morning yet, like Chinua Achebe would say. Can this be fast-tracked in the sense that Nollywood begins to have adaptations particularly of popular Nigerian books; as it is been done with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book, Half of a Yellow Sun? That will be from the point of view of the filmmaker. When you talk to someone like Tunde Kelani, what he says is that he doesn’t have to commission a script; he can go into Yoruba literature in the novels of Fagunwa, Adebayo Faleti and several other Yoruba writers who produced works between the 1930s and 1940s and even continuing. I can assure you that even among contemporary writers –say Festus Iyayi or Omowunmi Segun, there is a lot of material that imaginative filmmakers, directors and scriptwriters can use. It is not so much of authors writing the kind of texts that Nollywood can adapt, but of scriptwriters actually looking for material they can use here. The politicians insist that a lot has changed (like in Lagos for instance); in your years of absence and revisits, do you observe visible changes? Yes, typically, you can see that Lagos is expanding; roads are better, you can see that there is a conscious effort to make the place breathe. I have passed through Oshodi a number of times. When I was a journalist, Oshodi was my axis; because at some point I was working at The Guardian, at another point at The News in Ajao Estate or living around Ikeja or Ogba or Ojodu area. You always necessarily had to pass through Oshodi and it was always an ordeal. So, coming through Oshodi this time around and finding it the way it is, is a new thing. But on the other hand, I have found the attitude of road users everywhere (I noticed it also in Ibadan and Abuja, but especially in Lagos), to be neurotic. That one is a climb-down. You have this wonderful development of the city but the attitude of the human beings living in and using those spaces is retrogressive. There is progress, things have changed in one way but they have also changed for the worse. When driving, you have two lanes and soon there will be no lane. When Nigerian drivers run into a bottleneck, what they want to do is not to get rid of the bottleneck but to find their way out and they all end up in one corner.

FACT FILE •

Akin Adesokan attended the University of Ibadan where he graduated with honours in 1990, winning the National Council for Arts and Culture Prize for the Best Graduating Student in the Arts.

He obtained a PhD in 2005 from the Graduate School at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

His first novel, Roots in the Sky, was published in 2004 but won the Association of Nigerian Authors’ (ANA) prize for Fiction in Manuscript Form in 1996.

His latest book is titled Postcolonial Artists and Global Aesthetics (2011).

Adesokan is also passionate about and specialises in African film.

He worked for 10 years as a journalist in Lagos and was in the founding team of The News/Tempo reporters who pioneered “guerrilla journalism” (or defiant publishing) during the military era.

You are working on a book about African writers from the 1960s. How far have you gone with that? Let me clarify, it’s actually a story, but the main character is an African writer. It’s not an autobiography; it’s not my story. I just think that in order to be able to really have a sense of the suppleness of the literary history I’m talking about, one imaginative way to do that is to put a writer at the centre. It’s a story of love affairs with individual human beings, women and also with the place where he grew up of which he was never a citizen. That’s the thematic focus of the story; it’s a work in progress. The genesis is a short story that I published in Farafina in 2006 in Lagos. It’s about a writer living in Mubi, Adamawa State and he decides, “I have always read this writer in the African Writers’ Series, so where is he today?” He goes to look for him in Equatorial Guinea. The meeting between them was in 1994 and I decided to go back 40 years when the writer was beginning his craft. You must be a very busy man –writing, teaching and being an external examiner for several schools, among other things. So, how do you relax? In terms of relaxation, I have a family which I spend a lot of time with. I have missed the French Open because I watch tennis the way some people watch football. I watch football once in a while; I used to be a fan of Arsenal Football Club. Now, I’m between Manchester United and Chelsea (when they are not playing against each other), I support either of them. I follow them, but I don’t read up on them. However, I read up on tennis all the time. I watch nature documentaries and I listen to a lot of music.

Co-panelists at a Nollywood conference in Boston in March 2012: L-R: Jonathan Haynes, Moradewun Adejunmobi, Akin Adesokan and Carmela Garritano.

Adesokan at a Nollywood conference held in Ilorin, Kwara State in 2010


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Critics

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Autobiography

From 1939 to the vanguard of modern Considering the central, even towering, role that journalists play in shaping the thoughts and perception of a nation, it often makes sense to acknowledge their contribution to national discourse whenever it comes in form of a book. For journalists who are blessed with long lives and remarkable careers in particular, the tendency to make their narratives the barometer for measuring the nation’s pulse is very high.

STEVE AYORINDE

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lhaji Kola Animasaun’s autobiography falls within the category of memoirs that fulfil the requirement of literarily killing two birds with one stone –that is, telling the story of his own life and that of the larger professional and political environment around him in a complimentary, easy-to-read manner. And for a man who clocks 73 today, more than 40 years of which he spent in active journalism, there is indeed a lot to say about life, the media profession and, interestingly, about how the practice of it connects with the political trajectory of the nation. Whether it is called 1939 or aesthetically referred to as 1 thousand 9 hundred and thirty 9, the title of Alhaji Animasaun’s book is very functional in using the date of his birth as the pathway into a telling testimony of a life worth recollecting. And there is no pun intended in his choice of word as the book’s functionality is not limited to the aesthetic lustre of its title or in the silhouetted, artistic impression of the author on the cover of the book alone. The form and content of the 205-page book attest to the author’s firm control of the art of storytelling; lucid, even-paced and witty, all signposting an abundant capacity for effective narration. Divided into nine broad chapters, with additional shorter writings from previous articles penned under different pseudonyms, in the annexes, 1939 appeals to a reader that is interested in the Kola Animasaun persona –as a journalist and writer of note; as a contented family man unabashedly devoted to Almighty Allah and as a man whose ideological convictions might be modest, but are nevertheless duly advertised as a Progressive. But it is the professional persona of the author that resonates throughout the book, leaving no surprises as to why the opening chapter, aptly titled Back to Front and the closing chapter, Drawing the Curtain: Front Cover, perform two main functions – to celebrate him as an accomplished media professional and perhaps, more importantly, to acknowledge a number of people and institutions to whom he owes a debt of gratitude. The Vanguard newspaper where Alhaji Animasaun worked for 19 solid years, as the culmination of a career that took him to different parts of the world –as a student, professional and a devoted Muslim– expectedly gets a fair share of mention in the book. More importantly is the honour accorded an icon of the profession and the publisher of Vanguard, Mr. Samson Oruru Amuka Pemu, as

the man whom the author celebrates more than others being the person used by the Almighty Allah to give his career the needed fillip. And there is a unique style, with a tinge of humour and camaraderie, to how Alhaji Animasaun writes about people he holds in high esteem, whether they are friends and benefactors like Uncle Sam Amuka, Akirogun Segun Osoba and the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III; or even the woman he describes as his own ‘jewel of inestimable value’, his wife and mother of his seven children, Modupe. On the man whose name is now synonymous with Vanguard newspaper, the author has this to say: “Uncle Sam has been most generous to me...in 19 years of work, he was angry with me, not directly, only once... even when I got him angry with my columns, he would call me as he did on an occasion: ‘you are costing me some of my friends’, he would quietly lament”. But in eulogising the publisher of Vanguard newspaper, the author has also thrown a subtle challenge at Uncle Sam himself and the entire Vanguard family, just the same way that Chief Osoba did a few months ago at the launch of his biography – The Newspaper Years, that at 77, not only is Uncle Sam the oldest practising media professional in Nigeria today, but is also undoubtedly the most celebrated. This fact, therefore, calls forth the need for the Sam Amuka book, either in form of a memoir or a biographical account from a gifted insider. But I do not wish to digress. In dissecting the Kola Animasaun years in active journalism, from his youthful days as a sub-editor in Daily Express to his cub reportorial days in Tribune and ultimately to the unforgettable years in Vanguard, where the author worked in various capacities as the Chief Sub-Editor and Chairman, Editorial Board, the reader comes in contact so intimately with the renaissance years of contemporary journalism in Nigeria.

The reader will see through the eyes of the author the hurdles and challenges associated with the profession, the fame and the opportunities as well as the politics of it. An example of the latter was how the author initially lost a plum job at the Sketch to his friend and junior colleague, Peter Ajayi. The good old days come with clear recollection by the author and the reason for devoting a great deal to people that added value to his life becomes apparent. The author reveals himself as a product of referrals –combining his qualifications and skills with pedigree and social contacts in climbing the ladder of success. From the early days with Chief Bisi Onabanjo to Chief Olu Adebanjo, Chief Dapo Fatogun, Dapo Fafiade (Don Nugotaf), Alhaji Ganiyu Akintola-Bello, Alhaji Lateef Teniola (Dan Newsman), S. B Osunlolu (ESSBEE) and Chief Eddie Aderinokun, who wrote the book’s foreword, the author nurses fond memories of his formative years on the job. Those were the days when all he wanted to be was a sub-editor: “It is still a job I love to do”, he writes on page 32. “To give character to a story; it is like dressing up a mannequin. You highlight the selling points. Nothing can be more pleasing to an artiste more than that”. But he is not the type that is all wrapped up in selfadulation. He uses kind words in appreciating other writers dear to him like Chris Okojie, Doyin Omololu, the late Hakeem Ikandu, Bisi Lawrence, Pini Jason, Dele Sobowale and Gbenga Adefaye to mention but a few. Notably, for a journalist who reported the political upheavals of the post-independence era and was involved in the media machinery deployed during the Nigerian civil war, it would be near impossible to remain ideologically and politically neutral, even while maintaining a semblance of balance and fairness. Right from the beginning, the author pitched his tent with Awoism and has consistently aligned with those he considered to be progressives –from Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group and Unity Party of Nigeria,

Movie

Unexplained obsession Director Tchidi Chikere unleashes one of his uncommon stories about an unusual man. However, he fails to explain the mystery behind the oddity. NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

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very good story starts with a conflict, which is gradually resolved with suspense-filled plots. This is what has made Tchidi Chikere (one of the writer-directors in Nollywood) a dependable name, considering his works like Blood Sisters, Onye Eze, John Bull and Rosekate, My Idol and Street President amongst many others. This movie, Bachelor’s Heart, which stars Kenneth Okonkwo as Frank, started almost in the same light as he presents him as a man obsessed with ‘local girls’ in spite of the entrapments of splendour suffusing around him. Frank is so cautious of any girl that has a bit of elegance around her that his best friend, Mark (played by Abra-

ham Nwado) and his father are worried sick about him. The movie opens with Frank running into a hawker, Kadeisha (Ejine Okorafor) and gets carried away by her ‘local looks’. He is determined to make her happy and even goes the extra mile by lavishing gifts on her. Naturally, Kadeisha’s family could not let go of this new meal ticket and they begin to scheme to make it permanent, detailing the girl to lie about certain aspects of her life, including claiming that she is a virgin when she is not. But her light finger is a burden. It sets in and ruins a relationship that seemed headed to the altar. While Frank’s friend and family think it is a relief –good riddance to bad rubbish, he would jump over to yet another ‘local girl’, making everyone sad. Bachelor’s Heart, to a great extent, relied on the screen friendliness of Kenneth Okonkwo who is one of the tested and trusted thespians in the Nigerian movie industry. Of course, he delivered his lines as his numerous fans would expect, but commendation needs to go to the many upcoming acts that paired with him in bringing this movie to reality. In this regards, the likes of Ejine Okoroafor (Kadeisha) and Chinelo Oloh (Mmesoma) de-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics

Friday, July 13, 2012

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journalism: The story of a Musulumi to the short-lived Social Democratic Party of the third republic and subsequently metamorphosing ideologically with the Alliance for Democracy and Action Congress to the present Action Congress of Nigeria, Alhaji Animasaun has not seen the need to change his position. But he has a word of caution for those directly in the fold, according to him: “True you cannot make out the progressive policies anymore today but hope they will show the promise to the old slogan: Vita Plenor et Liberta Omnibus – Freedom for all; Life more abundant!” Today’s eagle-eyed professionals who sometime reckon that journalism is but a springboard to the political arena will find the author’s foray outside of journalism profession instructive. Whether in the corporate world, diplomatic service or politics, Alhaji Animasaun often learned the hard way; that considerations other than merit tend to determine how you measure on the ladder of success. He first learnt that as an Officer at the Ministry of Information where boredom nearly killed him. “You had to be inventive not to lose your mind”, he declared. “So you find the creative ones writing plays, or acting them or writing novels”. It was hardly better when he got posted to the National Provident Fund (NPF) as its Public Relations Officer. His experience there on account of workers protesting over benefits was a stuff made for live theatre. He writes: “The NPF office on Broad Street then was like a war front. There were shouting bouts and actual fisticuffs. It was not unusual to find people come to the office with juju or deadly reputation – Epe, Afose and gbetugbetu”. Where people did not resort to black magic to register their grievance, they simply resorted to character assassination in form of letters and petition as Alhaji Animasaun would later experience

serve a thumbs up. The idea of pairing these new faces with Kenneth Okonkwo is healthy in the sense that it has the potentials of breeding the stars of the future. Anyone who has followed Tchidi’s scriptwriting history will realise what Bachelor’s Heart is all about. With over 40 Nollywood scripts to his credit, marketers now ‘dream up stories’ and ask him to develop the plot and dialogue. In an industry driven by commerce rather than art, Tchidi would often do that to his disadvantage. This movie is one of such examples. Perhaps, that is why some gaps are noticeable in the entire story. Beginning with the name of the supporting lead, Kadeisha; one would hardly find a ‘real local Igbo girl’ going by that kind of name. Since the story was about a ‘local girl’, the writer should have given her a ‘truly local name’. But this may have been overlooked considering that nobody had an oversight on the work –the director is also the writer and happens to be a trusted figure whose name means ‘perfect’ to the executive producers at Upper Iweka end of Nollywood. Such could be avoided indeed.

ALL THROUGH ALHAJI ANIMASAUN’S ODYSSEY, A NOTICEABLE TREAD OF MODESTY AND

DECORUM RUNS THROUGH...VALUES BORNE OUT OF GOOD UPBRINGING when he served as a caretaker chairman of Abeokuta North Local Government. It was a perplexed Animasaun that declared in the book: “I have never been in a more thankless job...they would come for all sorts of assistance that are not provided for in the budget. Those who would want the antenatal bills of their wives settled would come; those who would want to bury their newly dead parents or relations or re-bury their long dead relations made routine calls”. In frustration, he tried to resign the post by sending his resignation through the deputy governor, Alhaji Gbenga Kaka. But his friend, the governor, Chief Osoba, from whom he had accepted the invitation to serve, would have nothing of such. “He told me I should take the challenges and not run away”, the author recalls. Although he lived the life of a nomad while growing up and had fond memories of Ibadan where he got his wife, a job and a rich immersion into the world of arts and literati that was the hallmark of the city in the 1960s, the author is unequivocal in highlighting his Islamic and Abeokuta heritage, as succinctly captured in Chapter five. He was named after a fearless Islamic scholar, Alfa Musulumi Dindi, the revered Mallam of Abeokuta. And he carried the Islamic toga with him for some time, particularly when he first arrived in London as a student, when it was said of him in the Nigerian communities that omo Alhaja mura bi Alfa – meaning Alhaja’s son is dressed like an Islamic scholar.

If he had acted fearless as a commentator on the ills of certain Nigerians going on hajj for unholy purposes like drugs, theft and prostitution; or acting in a principled way as to initially reject the title of Alhaji, because he argued that you could not be an Alhaji again once you have returned to your country from the pilgrimage, it is because Kola Animasaun is just being true to his name – Musulumi - and the fearless but godly man he was named after. But this author is also a pragmatist. No undue pretences. When Nigerians, almost always given to titles and fanciful accolades, insisted in referring to him as an Alhaji, he simply allowed them. Also, he realised in no time during the 1960 Independence euphoria among the newly educated who subscribed to Marxism and Socialism that “ideologies soon wear thin where the stomach is empty...” But religion and social ideologies aside, he is also alive to his roots and would spare no detail in narrating how he traced a part of his roots to Omu Aran in present day Kwara State. All through his odyssey, a noticeable tread of modesty and decorum runs through; but those are values borne out of good upbringing than social denials. His background was middle class and unlike those who ride on their days of little beginnings and lack of shoes to gain popularity and power, Kola Animasaun had enough shoes while growing up; he was indeed trendy and fashion conscious. He recalls with nostalgia how he got the nickname of Anny Wool because woollen material was

WITH OVER 40

NOLLYWOOD SCRIPTS TO TCHIDI’S CREDIT, MARKETERS NOW

‘DREAM UP STORIES’ AND ASK HIM TO DEVELOP THE PLOT AND DIALOGUE However, the aforementioned lapse is not as disheartening as the lack of interest in explaining why Frank is obsessed with local women. Having a character hate something that is good is not an easy trait and the idea of building a character in this vein could have explored the hindsight of unravelling the mystery behind this. Like every movie that has the Tchidi touch, Bachelor’s Heart is entertaining, with so many rib-cracking dialogues; but the morals of the entire project seems hidden in the bank balance of the executive producer.

in vogue and he had them in all textures and description. Except in few areas, one is not likely to call to question the editing in this book, the only glaring exception being on page 32 when July 30, 1988 was recorded as the date when the author approached Uncle Sam Amuka for job- hunting, when in fact it happened three years earlier in 1985 as recorded in previous and subsequent pages. The printer’s devil also reared its head more than once in the captioning of the photographs. But by far the most exasperating as a drawback, aside the absence of an index, is the persistent non-separation of words on several pages. This, one guesses, must have happened at the printing level. But all these hardly detract from the import of this well-written and absorbing memoir. In concluding, therefore, the book succeeds in establishing that in a materialistic era where everything has become fast, fierce and dangerously competitive, not many people would declare, as the author has done, that he has never been ambitious but has been happy to take whatever comes to him with gratitude. 1939 essentially reveals a contented and fulfilled man. Yet, by far the most remarkable summation for the book appears in the last paragraph of the first chapter where the author declares with a heart full of thanks: “19 years in Vanguard had been the crowning glory of my career. A substantial population of educated Nigerians know me or have heard about me. All thanks to Allah, Uncle Sam and Vanguard”. This is Alhaji Kola Muslim Animasaun at his most heartfelt; and this, indeed, is the thrust of 1939 –the book. Mr. Ayorinde, the M.D/Editor-in-Chief of National Mirror Newspaper, presented this review at the official launch of Alhaji Animasaun’s book on Thursday, July 5.


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Inside FCT

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Women protesting the proposed demolition

Residents of ‘marked for demolition villages’ dare authorities TOLA AKINMUTIMI

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he socio-economic deprivations in the land may not have assumed the dimension of the pre-revolution era of France which ultimately caused the fall of the Bastilles prisons and dethronement of King Louis VI in the 15th century, but today, millions of economically deprived Nigerians in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are not better than French people of those days. Just like the French revolutionaries, as the policies of the administration pushes them further to the brink of annihilation, they are gradually getting ready to fight for survival and dare the consequences, even if it means losing their lives in the process. To many of them, dying for such cause would be more honourable than being killed silently by inhuman state policies. Such are the ways the seeds of revolution are sown in climes where arbitrariness and authoritarian regimes hold sway. In what could be likened to a re-play of last January’s fuel subsidy protests in Abuja, thousands of residents in the FCT, whose villages had been marked for demolition, stormed the streets to protest the proposed exercise which many believe would further push them down the valley of sub-human existence. According to authorities in the FCT, at least 19 such communities are again set for demolition in order to protect the integrity of the FCT Master Plan and flush out hoodlums and other criminals hiding in those ‘slums’. The communities include, Idu, Karmo-dape, Gwagwa, Chika Aleita, Lugbe, Pyakasa, Tudu-wada,

DESTROYING ANY COMMUNITY WHERE FAMILIES HAVE LIVED FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS WILL BE VERY WICKED Dei-die, Gishiri, Saburi, Kuchigoro, Mpape, Guzape and Jahi, amongst others The demolition exercise, which is coming on the heels of a similar one carried out about two months ago leaving thousands of residents in Idu, Airport and other satellite towns homeless and businesses destroyed, is seen by residents as most obnoxious. This is because, by their reckoning, government had failed to fulfil its own part of the social contract between it and the governed. Indeed, Mrs. Grace Agboli, one of the residents in Lugbe who was not affected by the exercise, faulted the FCDA authorities for what she termed “authoritarian style of governance which has been the approach of the authorities over the years”. Agboli added; “that is why you see them making life more unbearable for the ordinary people by demolishing their shops and carting away their wares”. Therefore, last week, even at the risk of being killed in the fight for justice and fairness, thousands of Mpape residents and others from affected communities took to the streets and marched straight to the National Assembly, in a desperate effort to protect their lives and secure the future of their children in a land that is gradually giving true meaning to George Or-

well’s Animal Farm. Also speaking on the proposed exercise, a leader in one of the communities and Coordinator of Gbagyi Development Initiative, Alhaji Gbaiza Gimba, condemned the move by the FCDA and urged the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, to have a rethink on the demolition plan in view of the negative socio-economic implications in the territory. He drew the attention of the authorities to the pending cases involving Kado and Goza villages in which the court had ruled in favour of the natives on land matters, pointing out that even when the exercise is to be targeted at houses and other assets of non-natives, experiences had shown that most of the demolition carried out over the years had not spared the natives but turned them into slaves and squatters in their ancestral homes. Another lady, Clara Nelson whose fiancé lives in one of the affected communities, told Inside FCT that destroying any community where families have lived for hundreds of years, “will be very wicked and cause me serious problem because if the place is destroyed and my fiancé leaves since he is not an indigene, then FCDA people would have destroyed the foundation of marital life and cause our family terrible loss and hardship”. If experiences in recent past are measure of what Senator Mohammed and his men would opt for despite cries against the proposed exercise, it can be safely said that the clamour by residents of the affected communities may be nothing but mere lamentations over an imminent exercise whose architects have never been persuaded by moral sermons but brute force.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Inside FCT

Friday, July 13, 2012

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Abuja’s commercial sex vendors adopt new survival strategies OMEIZA AJAYI

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o doubt, it is often said that the first law of existence is self-preservation and hence Nigerians, like every other known humans, have devised ways of ensuring their survival even in the most difficult of situations. The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), may have continued its clamp down on commercial sex workers in the territory, but these ‘night walkers’ have always adopted new strategies to remain in business. Indeed, Inside FCT has learnt that there is now a new collaboration between sex workers and security guards of residential buildings in a social partnership where there are no losers. Rather than accompany a man to his house or hotel for the whole night, the sex workers have now resorted to the ‘short time’ option, which has been in vogue over the years, but now is taking new dimensions of manifestation. The first dimension is that all a man needs is a car. About two weeks ago, officials of the FCTA-backed Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria (SAPCLAN) and men of the Nigeria Police raided a garden at Utako area of the city. The particular garden –an ‘A’ Class one– is notorious for harbouring these ladies. So, it has become rather risky for them to stand outside the garden soliciting for patronage. While they might sit at a table ‘waiting’ for a friend, they are likely to approach one for a drink and kick start a discussion that might culminate in a ‘quickie’ or ‘short time’. Motel? there is none in the garden. The man’s car usually becomes the hotel and the fee, Inside FCT learnt is often between N500 and N1,000. Our correspondent was shocked when, on a visit to the garden one night and as he walked to the car park, his friend had called his attention to the “dancing Honda”. That is often the sight during any of those ‘quickie’ sessions. It is as unobtrusive as a man going to the garden with his wife, only to make an excuse of picking something in the car and then engage in such acts. This is the first method. The second is this; most of the sex workers seemto have signed an unwritten Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some hotels in their areas of operation. This is often common in the Kubwa, Mpape, and Garki areas of the city. For anyone who is stranded in any of these places and wants to lodge in a hotel, it is often better to be as clear as possible with the receptionists especially in less prestigious hotels. Rather than say, “I need a room”, it is most appropriate to say, “I want to lodge for the night”. If you make the mistake of saying the former, the receptionist is most likely to move close and whisper to you “it is N1,000”. Mr. Frank Isibor, a lawyer, recounted his experience; “I was coming from Kaduna the day the UEFA Champions League

THE SEX WORKERS SEEM TO HAVE SIGNED AN UNWRITTEN

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WITH SOME HOTELS IN THEIR AREAS OF OPERATION Finals was being played and when I got to Kubwa, the match had started. So, I decided to watch it in one of the smaller hotels there. After the match, I went to the receptionist to book for a room because I could not risk going back to the city centre by that time. I was amazed when I told him I needed a room and he said it was N1,000. About an hour and a half later, the receptionist was knocking on my door saying my time was up!. “Of course, it was later on that he explained things to me, saying he thought I just wanted to ‘have fun’ with a lady and go home”, said Isibor in disbelieve. The third method employed by these ladies, which is fast gaining ground, is the utilisation of the “Guard’s Room” for the session. More rampant in the Garki area of Abuja, hotel guards and those of residential buildings have begun converting their rooms for such businesses. The sex workers obviously know those to do business with. So, it is not unusual for them to lead a client to one of such buildings, knock on the gate or the maiguard’s window and be let in to conduct the service. Inside FCT investigations revealed that the “lodging fee” is often N200 and the guard can even decide to sleep outside when he is given N500 and asked to ‘keep the change’. Often poorly-lit, the room has a small window and a mattress which at times is like a carpet rug and could be bug infested too. While the session goes on, the guard would normally sit or lay at a corner puffing away at cigarettes. Checks also revealed that some of them have a rapport with policemen and they would normally inform the policemen of the presence of a “market” in their room. Consequently, when the man finishes and steps outside the gate, he is accosted by two or three armed policemen who throw questions at him randomly. “Is this your house? What brought you here with this lady? Is she your wife? Don’t you know there is a law against prostitution? Besides, are you supposed to be outside by now?” Those questions are usually ‘answered’ with a N500 note. Where the man maintains his confidence and walks away, the gateman immediately locks his gate as the police officers are likely to invite him for ‘questioning’. Such questioning would mean the maiguard has to part with some of the money he has just been paid. Welcome to Abuja, a city with a booming sex market that very few can boast of being a player.

Clothes on line

Some laundry business sign posts around Abuja cities.

Laundry business now for all comers in FCT MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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esperation to succeed in life leads many people in different climes to doing what they never imagined they could do. They often nurse fears over the likelihood of succeeding especially when they do not have the requisite know-how But eventually, through commitment and zest, they are taken into stardom and achieving unimaginable wealth. There are others, too, who engage in businesses simply for scamming or swindling others. They are smart enough to delude unsuspecting members of their communities and usually end up in the web of the law when nabbed. This aptly illustrates what some residents of the nation’s capital now daily engage in, perhaps to beat odds and earn a living in the face of economic challenges that threaten their continued stay in the city. The good thought of earning a living might be the thrust for starting a business of this kind, but ultimately, some may be tempted misbehave. The current rush in the FCT is all about a new booming trade – “liberalised laundry services’’. While laundry services might predate the era of colonialism in Nigeria and transcends all parts of the country, techniques of the business are changing with civilisation. So also Abuja “smart guys” are “making it” in the trade. However, one wonders about the current trend in the trade, where anybody can surface from nowhere and erect a shanty, shop or any form of tent to start the business. There are very few satellite towns in FCT where this business does not exist. It is common to come across an inscription written with charcoal, chalk or paint reading: “Laundry service here at cheap price”; “Come for the best laundry service in town” and “You can’t get better laundry service elsewhere than here”, to list a few. The fear is that many of those who engage in it do not have the skills, required tools such as washing machines, dryers, among others, which typically make such an enterprise worthwhile to

THIS BUSINESS DOESN’T REQUIRE

FORMAL TRAINING;

...BE CONVINCED

WITHIN YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE TRUSTWORTHY be regarded as laundry business. Buoyed by intermittent power supply in the rapidly-growing city, work schedules and, possibly, apparent opulence which prevents many from personally doing their laundry, many of Abuja’s jobless youth now deploy their wisdom and strength into this trade. It is assumed that none of the mainly white-collar workers residents of Abuja will like to appear dirty or rough at work or at other engagements. “All it takes to start is just about N60,000”, said Mr. Suleiman Adio, who plies his trade at Karimu, a satellite community in the capital. “This business doesn’t require formal training; all you need to do is to be convinced within yourself that you are trustworthy. Living with the people around the area where you operate would be an advantage. You have to get a small shop or erect a wooden shop around your compound. It doesn’t cost much to get washing basins and soap. Buy an electric or a charcoal iron plus one or two tables and a little starch. With these you’ve become a manager of a good business”, Adio claimed. According to him, he makes over N10,000 weekly. “You must be able to prove to your costumers that you are up to the task by not disappointing them. Your reputation matters too”. he added. While professional launderers charge as high as N2,000 for a set of clothing, this group charges as low as N200 for same. According to Adio, about a N100 could be charged for a shirt while the same goes for a pair of trousers. While ironing of each costs between N60 – N100, the washing, which is costlier, is billed for about N100 to N150 each.


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Friday, July 13, 2012

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Carol Danjuma’s benevolence

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f philanthropy was an academic discipline, one can bet it would attract a lot of scholars; but that also questions the reasons for giving these days. Is it in the spirit of ‘blessed is the hand that giveth’; or ‘Yes, I am a cheerful giver’? This brings to the fore the kind gesture displayed by Caroline Danjuma nee Ekanem (a former actress) who is married to one of the Danjumas, named Barrister Musa. Caroline marked her birthday penultimate week and took cameras and an impressive entourage to spend time at a motherless babies’ home. During the media-hyped visit, Carol was spotted with items like Ribena, rolls of toilet papers, cartons of biscuits, noodles and bags of

rice (as shown in the picture). A few hours after she donated the items, she hosted a party for her friends at her home in Park View, Ikoyi-Lagos, where choice champagne, costing thousands of naira per bottle were in constant flow. To cap it, her friends said she appeared in a dress which cost her $6000, which is a far cry from what she donated with so much fanfare earlier in the day. For those who do not know the clan Carol got married to, their investments in oil, real estate and shipping make the Danjumas one of the richest families in Nigeria. Now, you know how benevolent Caroline is when you look at the price of the items in the photo.

Carol by the car laden with goodies for the home.

Prophetic weathermen

T Okotie

Stephanie

Rev. Okotie’s sisters back estranged wife

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he last may not have been heard about Reverend Chris Okotie who shocked everyone with the announcement of separation from his wife whom, in May 2010 during her 40th birthday, he had described in glowing terms. Apparently drunk with love, the pastor had said: ‘Mine is the most beautiful flower you can ever think of. Stephanie, I just want to tell you I love you. No matter what people say, I am committed to this relationship. You are all I have that makes me happy. You are so beautiful; as you grow older, you would be more beautiful than Sarah and kings will be looking for you, but my security guards won’t allow them. As you step into 40, which

is significant in many ways, your blessings will exceed that of your progenitors. I am rich; I will provide all your needs according to my riches. You don’t need to do anything for me, I have it all. And when I become Nigeria’s President, you will be the most beautiful First Lady in the world”. The latest buzz according to Mirror Mongers sources is that Okotie’s sisters, are working tirelessly to ensure that Stephanie does not miss the Most Beautiful First Lady title. They are solidly behind her and have been mounting pressures on their brother to rescind his decision while also visiting Stephanie at MKO Garden Estate in Ikeja, where she has since relocated.

he Nigerian Meteorological Agency, which is the government arm responsible for weather forecasts, has been coming on strong lately with predictions that leave sour tastes in the mouths of Lagos residents. With the floods that have been ravaging the metropolis lately, they have continued to paint gloomy pictures of the weather in the days to come. But the agency took their forecast out of proportion lately when they warned airlines about an impending thunderstorm that would happen between October and November! For the records, there are over 60 days muddled up in the months of October and November and to warn airlines to be wary of thunderstorms in 60 days smacks of soothsaying more than weather forecast. In all, they may be doing the job of the prophets, who would announce to a congregation of 5,000 worshippers that someone in their midst is planning to buy a car in 2012.

Inuwa Abdulkadir’s message of unity

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he rising insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria has been described under variegated names like Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and now, the Minister of Youths, Inuwa Abdulkadir has called it an ‘internal crisis’, while trying to justify his objection that members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC,

should seek redeployment from the northern part of the country. According to Inuwa, Youth corps members, by virtue of their calling, can even be drafted to go to war if need be for the sake of Nigeria. “The unity of Nigeria is paramount and every Nigerian should be ready to sacrifice to keep and sustain the unity

ONE-SECOND Q&A

including the NYSC. There is no war in Nigeria now; it is only internal crisis we are facing and even if there is war, some of these corps members would be recruited and deployed to fight for the security of the country”, he said making people wonder why he has not taken his ministry to Maiduguri to get to the root of youth restiveness there? Abdulkadir

FRANK MBA

Last week, the Nigeria Police said it was still searching for evidence to prosecute those implicated in the fuel subsidy bribery scandal –Honourable Lawan Farouk and Femi Otedola– in spite of the tapes, which have been released to the public. Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, reacts to the issue. Nigerians believe that this fuel subsidy bribery scandal will soon be swept under the carpet?

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have said it before and I will repeat it again. The Police will not sweep the matter under the carpet. The Police is only taking time to be perfect in their job. While interrogations are still ongoing, the Nigeria Police Force will not be stampeded into doing a hurried job that will lack merit eventually. Mba


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shaban 23, 1433AH Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Call to Worship

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

Hadith The Prophet (PBUH) said to a man while he was advising him: “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.”

Mosque of Paris

Behold Great Mosque of Paris T he Great Mosque of Paris (Grande Mosquee de Paris) is located in the famous Latin Quarter near the Garden of Plants. This is not the central part of Paris and the distance from the mosque to the Louvre is just two and a half kilometers. It is the largest in France and covers an area of one hectare. The unveiling of the mosque took place in 1926, despite the fact that its first draft (considered unsuccessful) had dated to 1895. The final deci-

Take care of 5 matters before 5 others 28

sion on the construction was taken by the authorities of Paris after the First World War in memory of 100 thousands of Muslims who fought for France and died on the battle fields. The project was fully financed by the state, and the territory that once belonged to Mercy Hospital had been chosen as the place for the construction. Within the medieval mosque are the Spanish-Moorish architectural traditions and apparently it

has a great resemblance to one of the oldest mosques in the world, Al-Karauin in the Moroccan town of Fez. The height of the mosque’s minaret is thirty-three meters. Nowadays, the Great Mosque of Paris remains very active. It is open to tourists, except some sacred rooms of the temple. If you have a desire to visit this place, you can easily get to the mosque by metro. Nearest stations are Place Monge and CensierDaubenton.

Be more tolerant as Ramadan approaches –Shafi’i 29

Mr. and Mrs. Kunle Yunus Abdul-Azeez during the Aqeeqah of their daughter, Rodiyah Adedoyin Abdul-Azeez on Wednesday.

‘Start fasting whenever Sultan announces’

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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shaban 23, 1433AH Friday, July 13, 2012

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Take care of 5 matters before 5 others 08055102994 (SMS ONLY)

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ll praise and adorations are due to Almighty Creator of all creations, may His peace and blessings continue to be on our noble Prophet Muhammed, his household, his Companions and all those who follow his true footsteps till the Day of Reckoning, Amin. It is our fervent prayer that as the glorious month of Ramadan is approaching, peace will reign supreme in every part of our country and the world at large, Amin. I was discussing with some young Muslims recently and the countenance of some of them indicates that a lot of Muslims still keep Allah (SWT) in Mosques and do not have time or room for Him during work and other field of human endeavours. What a great error! We erroneously feel that there are parts of our lives we should handle on our own. May Allah forgive us for thinking that there is a time or place where He is not to be the first in our life. We should always remember that He is our source of existence who keeps us functioning every time. Without Him, we are nothing. It has often being asked why it is so hard to tell the truth, but yet, so easy to tell lies and why we are so sleepy in the Mosque, but right when the sermon is over, we suddenly wake up. Isn’t it funny why some people do not believe the Quran but believe what the newspapers say? I could remember the question my mother asked me years back, regarding the use of Hijab that won’t I be worried about what people will think of me when I should be bothered about what Allah thinks of me. Many of us are still bothered about what people will think about us if we follow Allah’s injunctions. There is need for a rethink! As Ramadan approaches, we need to really watch what we spend our time on, especially with the use of mobile phones and watching TV. The enthusiasm and energy that we have been blessed with will not be with us forever. Therefore, let us remember that the Prophet (PBUH) said that we should take advantage of our youth. We should seek for knowledge of the deen, obtain Halal sustenance and worship Allah through all our actions on daily basis. He said: “Seven are the people that will be sheltered on the Day of Judgment, the day in which there is no shade except the shade of Allah (SWT).” One of them is a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah. We should not have any evil inclinations and be sincere in worship of Allah. The second of the five matters is our health, before we fall sick. The Prophet reminded us that we do not know when we will have full possession of our faculties, strength, mental powers or fall sick.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “There are two blessings majority of mankind have been deceived about.” We do not appreciate these two blessings; good health, and free time.” Is it about our sight, ability to talk, walk, eat and use our hands and other parts of our body? Why do we not use them in the worship of Allah? It can be very disheartening when you see some “Muslims” who still take with levity, the obligatory acts of worships, such as Salat. Take advantage of our richness before poverty, the wise person uses his richness before he becomes poor. He invests for his future. As we are striving to acquire worldly things, let us not forget that we also need to invest for the hereafter. We need to invest for the real future, which is life after death. Let us remember that feeding our family is an ibaadah if we are doing it for the sake of Allah. He said; “A morsel of food, if you put it in your wife’s mouth, this will be a reward for you on the Day of Judgment.” Unfortunately, some men take pride in not giving their wives feeding money thinking they are smart. Let us take advantage of our free time before we become busy. How much free time do we have and what do we waste it on? Think about it. Think about how much free time all of us have been blessed with. Many spend precious time pinging, texting, watching television, gossiping and socializing, of which there may be no benefit whatsoever, in this world nor the hereafter. After work, spend your time wisely for the sake of Allah. Learn something that can benefit you in this world and that can benefit other people as well. Islam is a complete way of life. Read good books, listen to educative CDs, do things to increase your ‘ilm, iman and taqwa, attend classes or even visit one another for the sake of Allah. And lastly, take advantage of your life before death. It is a must, we will all die. How are we going to use this life before death comes? These are the five things that the Prophet advised: “Take advantage of five matters before five others: your youth, before your old age; and your health before you fall sick; and your wealth before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life before your death.” There is no one amongst us who has not been blessed with these five things. May Allah make it easy for us to take advantage of the first five before the last five, Amin. RAMADAN KAREEM IN ADVANCE!!

L-R: Alhaji Akinfenwa Isiaq; Fadilatul Sheikh Nurudeen AbdulAkeem Awayewaserere and Alhaji Muhammadul Jamiu Sorinde Adigun at the welcome back get-together of the Sheikh’s 5month Halua.

Members of Awayewaserere Islamic Centre welcoming Fadilatul Sheikh AlhajiNurudeen Abdul AkeemAwayewaserere back from 5-month Halua.

L-R: Khaleifa Baba, Alhaji Lukman Badmus and Fadilatul Sheikh Nurudeen AbdulAkeem Awayewaserere.

Alfa Haruna greeting Fadilatul Sheikh Nurudeen AbdulAkeem Awayewaserere during Tawaf of the mosque.

Members of Awayewaserere Islamic Centre welcoming Fadilatul Sheikh Nurudeen AbdulAkeem Awayewaserere.

IT CAN BE VERY DISHEARTENING WHEN YOU SEE SOME

“MUSLIM” WHO STILL TAKE WITH LEVITY, THE OBLIGATORY ACTS OF WORSHIPS SUCH AS

SALAT

Alhaji Lukman Durosinmi Etti, Dr. Yunus Ishola Salami and wSenator Hassan Fasinro at the occasion.


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Friday, July 13, 2012

Be more tolerant as Ramadan approaches –Shafi’i STORIES: L ATEEFAH IBRAHIM-ANIMASHAUN

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ollowing the incessant killings and attack on innocent Nigerians, the Conference of Islamic Organisation (CIO) has enjoined Muslim scholars to use the opportunity of Ramadan to spread the message of peace as expected by Islam and to also tell the people to be more tolerant even after the fast. This was disclosed by Ustaz Dhikrullahi Shafii during the annual pre-Ramadan lecture organised by the CIO at Beleke Smith memorial Mosque, Surulere, Lagos while speaking on the topic: Ramadan: Month of peace and tolerance. “You should do everything relating to peace in Ramadan because during

this period, you have attached yourself to the lord of peace”, He said Ramadan should be seen as an institution that is meant to reform mankind and to also bring people closer to their Lord and make them better in the society. Shafii said the month of Ramadan is a month where Shaytan is chained and he doesn’t have much power on the people, but however, called on Muslims to avoid anything that will lead them to evil as he said Shaytan has already promised to deter man from worshipping Allah. He said Muslims should realise that the month should not be used for anything evil and that the preparation towards peace must start before the commencement of the fast. The Scholar explained

the stand of Islam on the proposed cremation law proposed by the Lagos State government which he said is against the dignity which Allah has placed on humanity. He urged government to hand over Muslim corpses from the Dana Air crash to their families so that they can be given a befitting burial. The National Missioner, Rahmat Society of Nigeria, Ustaz Ishaq Adebayo Tajudeen, while speaking on: Maximizing the benefits of Ramadan, said it is important that Muslims realise the importance of the month of Ramadan and seek for forgiveness from Allah before and after this fast. He urged Muslims to desist from watching films during the fasting period but to replace this with recitation of the holy Quran in a calm man-

ner. Also, the Chairman of CIO, Alhaji Abdullahi Afolabi while analyzing the reason behind the gathering, said it was done to sensitize Muslims to realise the abundant blessings in the coming month of Ramadan and to help them utilize it very well. He urged Muslims to be more tolerant and to also be of good character, increase in the worship of Allah in order to get the bounties in the month. The Chief Missioner of Al-Fatiu Quareeb Islamic Society of Nigeria, told Muslims to be cautious during and after Ramadan. He urged followers of to always correct their leaders whenever it is necessary so that pure messages of peace will be spread throughout the fasting period and beyond.

Ahmadiyyah to present 40 children Quran memorizers

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hmadiyyah Muslim Jama’at Nigeria will hold a graduation ceremony for forty children who have committed the whole Quran into memory and twenty-two Islamic Theologians from Ahmaddiyya Muslim Theological College at Ilaro Ogun State tomorrow. The main features of the day will include display of variety of holy Quran recitation skills by the graduating students, motivational talk, Taekwondo demonstrations as well as awards of certificates and distribution of special prizes. The Quran memorizers will be the fifth set to be graduating from the institution since it was inaugurated in1997. Dignitaries expected at the occasion includes the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Governor of Osun state, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, first Military Governor of Ogun state, Major Gen. Seidu Ayodele Balogun among other eminent personalities.

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shaban 23, 1433AH

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Ramadan Special There will be a Special Daily Ramadan reports, Place your adverts here for optimal reach. For further information, call: 08055102994 ‘Vote God-fearing politicians in 2015’ JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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atsina State Chapter of the Jama’atul Izalatul Bidiah Wa Iqamatul Sunnah (JIBWIS) has called on Muslims across the country to work towards ensuring that only God-fearing and honest politicians get elected into public offices in 2015. Chairman of the group in the state, Sheik Yakubu Musa stated this recently at the closing ceremony of a five-day workshop that was organized for Islamic preachers on the use of computers. Musa called on Islamic preachers to use the “Ramadan fasting to preach to entire people of Nigeria on the need to ensure that only God fearing politicians are elected during 2015 general elections.” He however said that though the group was not a political party, it would nonetheless go ahead to fully involve itself in the

2015 general elections to “ensure delivery of quality leadership.” He said in view of current situation in the country, especially in the area of corruption among political leaders, it is a duty for JIBWIS to intervene and assist in addressing problem facing the country. He lamented that substantial crop of elected politicians have betrayed the electorates, adding that such politicians should not be allowed to retain their seats but should be voted out of office during next general elections. On the workshop, he said it was organized to enlighten preachers on the use of computers so as to teach them on ways of making online research in other to widen their knowledge. He noted that the use of computers will assist preachers to broaden their knowledge on particular issues from respected Islamic preachers from all parts of the world.

‘Killers are not true Muslims’

Chief Missioner Nawarudeen Society of Lagos chapter, Alhaji Abdul Mojeed Ayinla, Cheif Missioner Ramat Society of Nigeria, Ustaz Ishaq Adebayo Tajudeen and Chairman Hajj Mabrur.

‘Start fasting whenever Sultan announces’

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arely a week to the commencement of Ramadan fast, the Anwarul Islam society has called upon all Nigerian Muslims, irrespective of tribe and background, to look out for the announcement of the Sultan of Sokoto on the sighting of moon as a mark for the commencement of the fast. These were the words of Alhaji Mas’ud Ajala while delivering a lecture during the first Mistura Mowa Fasinro’s Pre -Ramadan Lecture organised by the society at FSP open space, Adeniji Adele, Lagos. He urged Muslims not to let tribalism and other sentiments deprive them

of starting the fast when the moon has been sighted and that the holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) usually depended on other trustworthy Muslims on moon sighting. He stressed that Ramadan fast is meant for Muslims to shun all forms of associating partner with Allah and that the fasting is to make Muslims to be more committed to the worship of Allah. He encouraged Muslims to submit whole-heartedly to the will of Allah as a basis for earning the pleasure of Allah and entering paradise. He advised Muslim women to dress decently and not to make the use of hijab an occasional affair

so as for them to be recognised as a Muslim and to also earn the pleasure of Allah. “Boko Haram people are not Muslims and those behind the incessant killings in the country should desist from the dastardly act or be assured of Allah’s punishment.” He told Muslims not to combine evil with Islam and stressed that the next person that is most disliked by Allah, apart from idolaters are fornicators and those who spread mischief on earth. “Being a Muslim and serving Allah does not mean that one will not face trials as all the Prophets of Allah have faced different trials in the past.”

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n Islamic cleric, Imam Abass Abdulrahman of AbdulQuadri Olohuntoki mosque recently explained that none of the Boko haram sect has any reasonable connection with Islamic religion and its teachings. He thus advised nonMuslims and Nigerians in general not to see the ongoing onslaught of the sect on Nigerians as religious while pleading for restrain of counter attack. According to him, there is no portion of the Quran that indulge killings and maimings of any soul. “Whosoever claims to be doing it for Allah is certainly incurring His wrath and shall get it as deserved.” Speaking with newsmen at the (CMD,) Magodo GRA in Sangisha area of Ikosi-Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA)

of Lagos state, Abdulrahman explained that, “Boko haram members are not Muslims; their practice and belief are in sharp contrary to the tenets of Islam. He, however, urged government to create conducive habitations for Nigerians by impacting more positively on their basic needs, “Government should create more jobs for graduates and the youths because it is only by doing this that they won’t go astray because idle hand is the devil’s workshop.” Meanwhile, 15-year old AbdulSamad Obaditan of Alhikmah Islamic learning centre, Agege Lagos beat 40 other contestants to win the 2012 annual Quranic competition organized by the AbdulQuadri Olohuntoki Mosque. He scored 98 points ahead of 11-year old Abdul Roqeeb Adelumola and 10-year old Abdul Salam Amuda.


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Shaban 23, 1433AH Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Preparing for Ramadan (2)

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Allah, we dearly long to witness this year’s Ramadan. Preserve our lives to enjoy its spiritual flavours. No fasting is as globally recognized as Ramadan. It is indeed a great purifier and a great favour of Allah (SWT) fasting therein. We talked about ordinary and special fasting last week. The next is the extra-special fasting. The third grade of fasting signifies that the fasting person will not conceive sin at all in his mind and will not even bother about food. At this level, the concern is Allah (SWT) every moment. Those who belong here are always very few. Majority of Muslims observe ordinary fasting and that cannot bring about Ramadan revolution. That explains why after Ramadan, most return to their old lives. That explains why the preparation some make to get food ready for sahuur and iftaar is 90 percent of the scarce time. Today is likely to be the last Friday before Ramadan. We must be prepared to make it special and unique in our lives. Let us see it as another opportunity to return our souls to Allah (SWT). It is a period every home must live by the ideals of Islam. The father or the husband must rise up to his responsibilities. The mother or the wife too must see Ramadan as a reminder for her noble role of child rearing. The state of our society today is a reflection of our homes. Glorification of thieves and rogues as leaders at whatever capacity shows the decline in the family unit. This is because most parents have roasted their children alive, battered their next world with the glittering world, taught them hy-

TODAY IS LIKELY TO BE THE LAST FRIDAY BEFORE RAMADAN. WE MUST BE PREPARED TO MAKE IT SPECIAL AND UNIQUE IN OUR LIVES pocrisy in character and denuded them of noble dress! Parents who rare children like a lost or missing child! A glimpse into our homes reveal cans of the unexpected outcome. Our values have indeed changed. And that is what went wrong. We brought these children into the world but do not know or fail to do what we should do with them! Saying one will reap what one sows is begging the question as some are already biting their fingers. If you cheat the innocent child by not giving him/her the required upbringing, you will definitely pay the price in both worlds. You should bear in mind that the state of our children is a mirror of our future. Attention without any doubt has shifted from rearing the child into rearing business and fashion. Monies are saved to buy cars, to build houses or even dresses. Times are spent for social functions and outside the homes with little given to the child. The challenges of modern time impose teething challenges on parents. Desperate search for sustenance in the face of biting economic meltdown by parents in addition to ubiquity of Information Technology are enough to derail a child. It is actually hap-

Welcome the blessed month! UMAR ARIKUNKEWU

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he blessed month is around the corner and this is the best time to prepare for it. Majority of us deceive ourselves into believing that when Ramadan comes, we will adjust or change for better suddenly, worship Allah as enshrined in the holy Q’uran but we are only deceiving ourselves in thinking this way. In the next few days, moon that will signal the commencement of Ramadan fasting would be sighted. This is the ninth month of Islamic calendar and it is compulsory, save few exceptions, for all Muslims to observe fasting for a period of either twenty nine or thirty days. This started during the life time of the holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW) and it continues till date. This is contained in the Glorious Qu’ran chapter 2, verse 183. This may be our last Ramadan because life is so uncertain. In view of this, we have to make the best use of the period because Allah multiplies every good deed in the month of Ramadan in many folds. The following are therefore ways of preparing for this glorious month. First and foremost, we are expected to embark on voluntary fasts. We can copy the holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW) by fasting on Mondays and Thursdays because the deeds of people are presented to Allah on these days. Another style is to fast on 13th, 14th and 15th of each Islamic month. So, we should fast these days in order to prepare for the fast-

THIS MAY BE OUR LAST RAMADAN BECAUSE LIFE IS SO UNCERTAIN ing of Ramadan and even after Ramadan we should imbibe the culture of continuity because fasting will intercede for us on the day of judgement. Recitation of holy Qu’ran is another way of preparing for this holy month. We should set a target for ourselves on how many chapters of the book that would be read in a day so that the entire Qu’ran would be finished before the end of Ramadan. We should remember that Ramadan was the month in which the Qu’ran was first revealed as a clear guidance to mankind. During Ramadan, every voluntary prayer carries the reward of obligatory prayer in normal times. In order to take advantage of unquantifiable blessings from Almighty Allah, we should start now by observing all the daily sunnah and nafil prayers so that we would have formed the habit of praying sunnah and nafil prayers in normal times by the

pening. For those whose children are in higher institutions, their laptops are stealing their time. Their mobile phones are engaging their prime time. Every child today appears to be homeless as they even sleep in their fathers’ house- no solace at home, no succour in school and no support from the society, no genuine concern by the government! The child is further bombarded from all angles with evils that mar its future. Hence, take the advantage of Ramadan to rejuvenate your family. Unite and consult with your wife. Gather and create time for your children. Let Ramadan spirits radiate in your home. Read the Glorious Qur’an together. Let every member of the family read some verses in turn and supplicate together thereafter. Eat sahuur from the same plate and do same for iftaar. You also need to connect all your extended family members. You should visit them because the family cord is very strong in Islam. Where that is seemingly not feasible, then you should not fail to reach out to them through mobile phones, e-mails, etc. The modern society has succeeded in dismantling the family edifice by making individuals egocentric. And this is evident in all our dealings. Here is Ramadan teaching the human lesson of brotherhood of humanity. From sighting the moon through unified procedure of fasting with guidance on expected activities, it shows clearly that humanity could be one despite the variance in their colour, language and environment. This is one of the major spirits of Ramadan. That humanity must come together under

time Ramadan comes. One of the purposes of Ramadan is to moderate our eating habit so that we can always remember those who cannot afford timely feeding in a day. By controlling our pre-Ramadan intake, we will not only improve our well-being, but this act will make us less-tired and enable us to worship Almighty Allah accordingly. As human beings, we cannot make a big change in our behavioural pattern, attitude, character and manner overnight. In view of the fast approaching Ramadan coupled with the associated blessings for a well-behaved Muslims, we ought to start behaving well now in order for us to make the necessary adjustments before Ramadan. However, we should not drop this new adapted good behaviour after Ramadan. Ramadan is a month that is associated with generosity. Sequel to this, we should start learning how to give to those whom we are better than because reward for generosity, especially during Ramadan is in multiples. My advice to all Muslims is to seek knowledge from local mosques, trusted and learned Islamic scholars, authentic Islamic books, etc in order to understand and follow the rules that guide fasting. Ramadan is one of the instances in which the gates of paradise are opened and gates of hell fire are closed. Sheik Abdul Gannyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jubulatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT).

the same umbrella of discipline, worship, brotherhood, accountability, fellow feeling, etc. But if today Muslims or humanity are disintegrating, or that they cannot reconcile when they should start the fast; then no one can blame Ramadan. It shows their human nature, leadership vacuum and paucity of real scholars. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

Mosque etiquettes during Ramadan HARUNA RAZAQ

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s we approaches the blessed month of Ramadan, one vital issue that immediately comes to mind is mosque etiquettes during the blessed month. Muslims who are wellinformed about their faith will surely know the relevance of the topic especially in the month. During Ramadan, Muslims both the regular ones and the freshers, storm the mosques in large numbers and most Mosques that used to have few worshippers are being filled to capacity. Large numbers of Muslims frequent various Mosques for ibadah (worship) which are hitherto not the norm in other month. In the process, many Muslims inadvertently abuse the Mosque. Thus, for the benefit of such people below is information and rules that guide the use of Mosque (though not limited to the month of Ramadan). Mosque is a place reserved and dedicated for the worship of Allah and thing most pleasing to Him like (performance of Salah, seeking knowledge, recitation of the glorious Qur’an, reading of the Hadith, reflection or meditation, lectures, counselling and other acts of worship sanctioned as praise worthy by the Scholars. Therefore, a person visiting the mosque: must be a Muslim; must cover his/her nakedness; must be in a state of cleanliness; men may put on light perfumes; must go to the Mosque in tranquil and dignified manner; must enter with right leg saying: “auzu billahil azeem, wabiwajhil kareem, wasultaninihil qadeem, minash shaitanir rrajeem bismillahi wassalatu wassallamu ala rasuli llahi, Allahumma ftahlee abwaaba rahmatika” and then exit with the left foot first saying:” bismillahi wassalatu wassallamu ala rasuli llahi, Allahumma inni as’aluka min fadlika, Allahumma ‘isimni minash shaitaani rajeem”; should observed two Rak’ats as a form of salutation to the mosque before he/she sits down; must adopt a barrier in front when praying; must straightening the rows and close the gaps; should involve in act of worship such as Nawafil, remembrance of Allah, tilawah (recitation of Qur’an), dua’ (Supplication) etc. before the commencement of obligatory Salat. But if it has commenced, he should rather join the obligatory prayer. By Haruna Razaq, Chief Imam, Vanguard newspapers, Lagos. harun1430@ yahoo.com, 08028745366


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Arty News

Friday, July 13, 2012

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Unveiling Destiny Child, 1st gospel music show ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

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estiny Child, a gospel music talent hunt, is about to break records and also set standards as a show that will give singers who are less-privileged the opportunity to be accepted by the world. The uniqueness of this talent hunt is the platform on which it is being presented, i.e. strictly gospel music, thereby making Destiny Child’s the pioneering gospel reality TV show in Nigeria. According to organisers of this innovation, Eventz.com Ltd, the reality show was conceived as a way for gospel music acts to showcase their talents and provide them with opportunity to compete satisfactorily among contemporaries in the secular act. Explaining further, the show producer,

Mrs. Uche Esharetury disclosed she was inspired to do this project because of her passion for gospel music. “Looking at the Nigerian music industry, we realise most of these artistes discovered their talent from the church, participating in choirs and others right from their youth. They were certified as gifted musicians, but the absence of potential sponsorship deprived them opportunities in gospel music. Hence, the subscription to secular music which attracts sponsorship based on its societal acceptance”, Esharetury said. The talent hunt show is open to male and female individuals above 18 years who are not recording artistes. Registration can be done at www.destinychild.com. ng. Auditions will be conducted in six zones for three days and will commence by Monday, August 6 in Abuja, Markurdi, Port-Harcourt, Benin and end in Lagos.

Ghana hosts workshop for creative sector

R. Kelly

Chris Brown

R. Kelly, Chris Brown dazzle Nigerians with new albums

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igerian music fans can now enjoy music from multi-award winning stars, R Kelly and Chris Brown, both of whom have charttopping new albums in the market and which are currently available in Nigeria, courtesy of Sony Music and MComm Africa. R. Kelly’s Write Me Back and Chris Brown’s Fortune have become the second and third international albums respectively to be released in Nigeria under the landmark partnership between Sony Music and MComm. Write Me Back and Fortune are on sale nationwide and are available at selected album stores and retail outlets. For the past 25 years, American singer and songwriter, R. Kelly, won the hearts of millions of music fans all over

the world with numerous hit tracks that have remained popular fan favourites. This latest work is his 11th studio album. Brown’s Fortune is an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from R&B to hard hitting pop, as well as soulful ballads. His fifth studio effort is coming on the heels of his Grammy Award-winning album, F.A.M.E which was released in 2011. Confirming MComm’s exclusive promotion of R. Kelly’s and Chris Brown’s new albums in Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer of MComm, Chidi Okeke stated, “We’ve still got a whole lot of surprises for our fans; this is just a little foretaste of what is to come”. It will be recalled that less than two weeks ago, MComm also announced its Nigeria distributorship rights of Usher’s latest album, Looking 4 Myself.

Chikwendu documents Nollywood NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

D Tony Forson, Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, Cynthia Jumu Resource Persons at WLDDS Accra 2011

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n July 17 and 19, Dtalkshop will host another edition of Wetin Lawyers Dey Do… Sef? (WLDDS) for entertainment and creative industries, at the British Council offices in Kumasi and Accra, two Ghanaian cities. The aim of this workshop is to foster the establishment of structures and address the issues impeding the growth of the entertainment and creative industries from the legal perspective. Holding under the theme; “Where is the money? –Funding and selling the creative product”, it will cover discussions on identifying and protecting intellectual property (IP) rights; using IP as collateral; and exploiting the creative product. With the re-awakening of interest from financial institutions, Dtalkshop hopes that this edition of the workshop will also

provide a platform where interested financial institutions and practitioners can engage each other towards a better informed financing structure for creative products. Amongst confirmed financial institutions participating in the workshop is Merchant Bank, Ghana whose representatives will speak about the Bank’s products and what it is doing in and for the entertainment and creative industries. Resource persons include; Mr. Anthony Forson, PRO, Ghana Bar Association and Mr. Efere Ozako, a Nigerian legal practitioner. Regulatory bodies overseeing activities in the entertainment industries, such as the Copyright Office, will also be present. This year’s edition is supported by the British Council, Ghana, Multichoice, Ghana, GTBank and Graphic Showbiz. Participation at the workshop is free.

irector and producer, Madu C. Chikwendu is finally ready with his own account of life and practices in Nigeria’s film industry, otherwise called Nollywood. After five years of research work, the much-anticipated book by Madu Chikwendu is now ready for release. Titled Filmmaking in Nigeria: The History, Ideology, Technique and Aesthetics of Nollywood, it is a 300-page book that combines the history of Nollywood with the methodology of practical filmmaking in Nigeria. It integrates key ingredients of how-to-do-it with a detailed analysis of the thematic preoccupations with a comprehensive examination of the historical background of the industry. According to the publishers, Messrs Robert Williams & Company; “This would be the first academic study by a practitioner. Most of the books on Nollywood have been written by two categories of people, journalists and foreign scholars. The author has been part of Nollywood since the heady days of Living in Bondage and Circle of Doom and

has been a living witness to the most significant events that have occurred in this phenomenal industry”. Chikwendu summarised his efforts thus; “I deliberately chose to be analytical and historical in my approach. It is an attempt to codify the practice and methodology of what may be arguably the single most important African cultural phenomenon of the 20th century. To grow to this level, the industry must be getting something right. This is what I have tried to capture”.

Chikwendu


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Escape

Friday, July 13, 2012

A view of Lakeside Hotel, Tinapa

Admin, game zone and film studio area

Tinapa: Tourism haven in a Free Trade Zone D

Craft huts at the craft village

MANAGEMENT OF TINAPA

CHIDINMA CHUKWU espite the huge challenges that have faced Tinapa Free Trade Zone in Cross River State since its commissioning in 2007, the site is still one worth visiting, if you truly love tourism. Apart from being located in Calabar, one of the finest cities in Nigeria, Tinapa is a solid investment worth every dime that has been spent in its development. This multi-billion naira business and leisure resort is as inviting as it is alluring. Spread before the visitor are well-trimmed lawns, which remind one of a civilised environment, good network of roads and, by the left side, on approaching the hotel, is a majestic-looking architectural piece. Tinapa was conceived and developed by the former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, in an effort to present to West Africa an experience akin to what one gets at the Dubai Free Trade Zone. Divided into different sections, Tinapa consists of a business resort, a leisure complex with hotel, as well as a movie production centre called ‘Studio Tinapa’ or ‘Nollywood’. For consumers, the resort has about 80,000 square metres of let-able space for retail and wholesale, made up of four emporiums of 10,000 square metres each and smaller shops, warehouses and so on. An entertainment strip contains a casino, digital cinema, children’s arcade, restaurants, a mini amphitheatre, a night club and pubs. To perfect the beauty for relaxation, an artificial tidal lake, that feeds from the Calabar River, a water park and parking space for about 4,000 cars has been put in place. Business facilities include an open exhibition area for trade exhibitions and other events and Studio Tinapa. This has not become fully functional, though it was originally designed to have facilities capable of making it the most modern film production studio in Nigeria, and converting Calabar into a Hollywood of sorts. Also there is the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, a 243-room 3-star hospitality outfit. The resort also has a truck terminal, and gets power from an independent power plant. The facility also does not lack Internet connections, as there is a Wi-Fi point that stays connected 24, 7. Presently, Tinapa is grappling with some legal issues as, though it is owned by the Cross River Government, only the Federal Government can operate a Free Trade

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HAS CONTINUED ITS EFFORT TO UPSCALE THE LEISURE ASPECT IN LINE WITH ITS ORIGINAL VISION

FACT FILE •

Tinapa was established by Governor Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State in 2007.

The complex is located at Adiabo area, just outside the main city of Calabar.

The original idea of Tinapa was conceived as Nigeria’s version of the business emporia of Dubai, Mumbai and Hong Kong; the entertainment ambiance of South Africa’s Sun City and the fun-packed Disneyland, Florida in the USA.

Over $350 million was spent in its development

Tinapa consists of a business department- the Free Trade Zone and a leisure department. The leisure department consists of the following: Games Arcade, Water Park, Studio Tinapa, Fisherman’s Wharf, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Tinapa Shopping Centre

Zone. One of the solutions conceived by the present state governor, Liyel Imoke, was an appeal to the Federal Government to take a stake in the project and remove uncertainty about its status which is hindering investment. He suggested that one approach could be to decouple the leisure facilities from the trading zone. According to Bassey Eyo Ndem, the Managing Director of Tinapa, the management of Tinapa has continued its effort to upscale the leisure aspect in line with its original vision. Accordingly, it has worked out packages under concessionaire (holder) rates with a Lagosbased firm to attract tourists/visitors to the resort with the overall intention to boost the leisure side of the resort. On the other hand, in order to keep business at optimal level, they have started working on a trade activation fund with FG that will allow entrepreneurs within the state to access funds at cheaper rate with which they

Entrance into Tinapa Business Resort- Export Free Zone

can carry out importation. When the goods arrive, they will enter into bonding warehouses in Tinapa. So, entrepreneurs can then go out and canvass for buyers who will pay to the banks before they collect their goods. In that way, they recover the money and the entrepreneurs can make profit. His words: “Tinapa, as a free trade zone, welcomes all manner of goods except illegal ones such as bombs, drugs and guns, without paying duty. But when you want to enter into Nigerian territory, Nigerian Customs must receive a levy duty on the goods; this is to avoid distortion in fiscal calculations that were done. For instance, an importer can bring a container load of furniture into Tinapa without paying any duty. In the same vein, a container-load of furniture can be exported from Tinapa to neighbouring Cameroun through Nigeria under Custom Guard. But, if the export product is being terminated in Nigeria, then Customs must levy duty against it”. Bassey explained that anyone doing genuine business in Tinapa will not be harrassed, but guidelines must be followed strictly, while adding that Tinapa also offers excellent and brilliant advantage to importers who bring in goods for personal consumption. “Even importers, who pay customs duty, still find it far cheaper and more cost effective to move their goods through Tinapa. This was responsible for the massive inflow of containers last year”, he stated. A newly-married tourist who lodged at the Lakeside Hotel described it thus: “We (himself and wife) love this hotel! Morning walks are glorious, scenery is fantastic,


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Escape

Friday, July 13, 2012

33

Travel News

London Olympics: Wazobia Lounge at African Village A DEBIMPE OLATUJA

Direction sign to assist visitors

Calabar city centre

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or the 2012 London Olympics starting on Friday, July 27, a hospitality house named African Village has been set up to welcome and embrace Africans into London during the global meet which closes on Sunday, August 12. Located at Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall, London, this initiative, which is a first of its kind by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), will take visitors on a journey to discover the cultural, artistic and sporting riches of Africa. According to Lassana Palenfo, ANOCA President, “We created Africa Village to offer the public, the National Olympic Committees and African athletes a unique opportunity to fully participate in the Olympic festivities. This area will act as an exceptional showcase for our continent in the eyes of the general public, the eight million visitors expected during the Games and also decision makers from around the world. “We are extremely proud that for this world first; Africa Village will benefit from such a prestigious and valued environment as Kens-

Interior of Tmart Free Tarrif Market

service is excellent, staff are very helpful and friendly! The place is really clean and well kept with lots of optional extras. If you are ever thinking of going to Nigeria or Calabar to be specific, please stay in Tinapa Lakeside hotel. It’s really

the best place to be for a quiet honeymoon, anniversary celebration and for a good rest!”, he said. Chukwu is studying Mass Communications at the Bida Polytechnic, Niger State. She wrote this travelogue after a recent visit to Tinapa.

Africa Village

ington Gardens, at the very heart of London”. Wazobia Lounge will be the official Nigerian stand in the Village and it will open everyday throughout the Olympics to all visitors from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Guests will enjoy 17 days of exhibitions, entertainment, trade opportunities and showcasing of Nigeria’s potential. Other African countries expected to take stands at the village include Algeria, Angola, Cameroun, Central Africa, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda, among others. Each stand will present the very best of the country with modern and traditional music concerts, fashion, dancing, photo exhibitions and a restaurant. Those in love with Africa and the most curious of visitors can immerge themselves in African culture and discover its diversity, talent and dynamism. Palenfo said: “Access to Africa Village is free of charge for visitors and opens to all from 9.00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. ANOCA came up with this initiative after being impressed by performances of African countries at the last Olympic Games in Beijing, China, in 2008.


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Denrele’s Day Adenrele Niyi Denrele’s Day is a collection of witty & sincere articles inspired by a zany imagination

denrele@nationalmirroronline.net

08059100422 (SMS only)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five days and four nights... My abduction tale

Gone with the wind C

JERRY ADESEWO

Gone with the Wind has a theme. It is that of survival. What makes some people come through catastrophes and others, apparently just as able, strong and brave, go under? It happens in every upheaval. Some people survive; others don’t. What qualities are in those who fight their way through triumphantly that are lacking in those that go under? I only know that survivors used to call that quality ‘gumption.’ So I wrote about people who had gumption and people who didn’t. — Author Margaret Mitchell, 1936

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y last Saturday afternoon, my weekend was taking on a pretty predictable pattern -I resigned myself to spending quality time buried in studying alongside warding off my rambunctious 20-month-old nephew who, typical of his mental maturity, has absolutely no respect for books or digital devices. A few minutes after 3.00 p.m. though, that day began to wear a slightly zingier look. First, I received a telephone call of scary proportions; I learnt that a close acquaintance had escaped the slab of ritual killers after surviving a five-day kidnap ordeal. This practically changed the tone of my Saturday evening, but Sunday came along with much more excitement in store. From attending a soiree for renowned Nigerian artist, David Dale, to cocktails and spirited discussions at Terra Kulture with new acquaintances as we debated the way forward for Nollywood. However, when I began to brood over my write-up for today, I realised simmering under layers of my vivaciousness remained the haunting truth that someone I knew almost became a victim of ritualists! (Quite sadly, scores of others I probably do not know have suffered such grisly and dehumanising fates). Therefore, nothing seems more urgent to me as a topic than to remind us that sinister deeds are multiplying in our midst; whilst the ultimate power to preserve our lives from evil doers rests with the Almighty God, exercising a lot more intuitiveness and extra-sensory observance of oddities in your immediate environment can make the vital difference between being alive and dead. I like to call such oddities ‘Red Flags’; when a picture doesn’t fit in the frame, take a moment to step back and re-assess it –a contemplative decision which could put the situation in sharper relief and help you make a better-informed choice. By the way, if you know of bizarre goingson occurring anywhere, which may indicate activities of ritual killers or abductors, please be your brother or sister’s keeper and alert relevant authorities. These people are not ghosts; they live and operate in our midst. Please see below excerpts of Jerry Adesewo’s chilling account as I received via email on Sunday night. Our regular servings for Denrele’s Day return next edition. Love and peace for the weekend!.. and stay safe!

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ertain things happen to us in life, just so that we can have a story to tell and in my own case, this tale has confirmed me a living testimony of God’s marvellous doings. He is worthy to be praised. On Thursday, June 21, I left my house, not particularly excited. The reason for my mixed feeling was not far-fetched. The day before, Wednesday, was my wife’s birthday and I had wished that before that day or by the weekend, I would have moved my family from our one-bedroom apartment located in the Byazhin area of Kubwa (in Abuja) to a two-bedroom flat, as my current tenancy was due to expire by the end of July. I had a difficult time deciding whether to pay for a new apartment an agent had suggested to me, or to commence preparation for a proposed trip to South Africa to attend the 2012 African Theatre Association Conference scheduled to hold from July 10 to 15. I had missed the 2011 edition in Swansea when the British High Commission refused me a travelling visa. The third option, which I eventually settled for, was one I saw as ‘taking the path of honour’. My theatre group – Arojah Royal Theatre just concluded a week-long theatre festival tagged, “The Festival of Barclays Ayakoroma’s Plays” (FESTIBAP) during which we presented three of Ayakoroma’s plays. While that project would be deemed successful, it left a huge burden on me as we had suffered setbacks with some of our prospective sponsors letting us down, with another hope of funding going down with the Dana crash of Sunday, June 3. So, buoyed by the pledges of support by Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma and Senator Suleiman Adokwe at the opening ceremony of the festival on Tuesday, June 12, I summoned my artistes and other stakeholders that had been instrumental to the success of the festival to a post festival party at the Oasis Garden, Wuse Zone 3. That was when the kidnappers struck.

In the lion’s den I walked out of the Federal Secretariat building later that evening. There at the sidewalk were parked a number of taxis; both official Abuja (green painted) taxis and the unpainted ones. I settled for a light green Passat, which looked to me befitting of my status. “Area 11 behind NIPOST headquarters”, I announced my destination. “N500”, the thickset man behind the steering retorted. He was a fairer version of my secondary school mate, Yongo Emmanuel. “N500 for what? Na dead bodi you wan carry? N300 or you go your way”, I barked in reply. He contemplated for few seconds before stretching his hand

to open the back door for me to come in. I slammed the door back, opting instead to sit with him in the front of the car. The fate of the former national president of ANA, Professor Sunnie Ododo, fresh on my mind. “Make I put you AC, make you enjoy yur monie”, he announced and immediately rolled up the glass, just as we approached the Federal Ministry of Health building. That was the last I remembered. Hours later, as I came to, I found myself in the midst of five other captives, in blindfolds and bounds. Moments later, a familiar ring tone rent the air. It was my wife calling. It was then I realised it must have been past nine in the night. Whenever I am returning home late, I put my wife in the picture, otherwise she gets panicky whenever I am not back home by 9.00 p.m. “Get that phone”, I heard a voice order, followed by heavy footsteps in my direction. “That’s my wife calling. Please allow me speak with her”, I pleaded desperately, but no one heeded. “Shut your mouth, Mr. Man”. The same voice, one I later got used to as the leader of the gang. He cautioned me to keep quiet or be dealt with. I obeyed. Even though I never mentioned it to anyone, on me was money meant to pay off the artistes waiting for me at the Oasis Garden. I began to think that I was followed and abducted because of the money. “Please take the money and set me free. Let me go back to my family, I beg you”, I pleaded. “Which money?” A female voice asked, relaxing the clothing that was used to gag my mouth. “My money. The money I had with me when I boarded the cab”. “I don’t know about any money”, she said and walked away, not forgetting to replace the gag. I broke down in tears. I was to discover a moment later that my captors were neither armed robbers nor kidnappers. They were a gang of ritual killers; the end had finally come, I concluded. The thought of making it out of this situation never occurring to me. Moments later, obviously close to midnight, I heard footsteps and felt hands shoving people out of the room. I was dragged out along with three others, with little or no challenge at all. From what I picked up from the gang —which I later understood comprised three guys and two ladies— we were set for the slaughter slab. I was saying my last prayer when I heard that familiar voice again. “No no no, guy. Don’t include that man we collected money from o. Leave him first”. The gang leader ordered and I was led back into our cage while another of the captives was taken in my place. That action emboldened me. I had earned a chance to live, at least another 24 hours as it appeared the butchering job was done only at midnight. I refused to sleep that night as I sang praises and

Adesewo

victory song throughout, pausing in between to pray. I prayed not just for my safety, but for God to touch the heart of the gang and make them repent from this evil deed. Though I had no access to a timepiece, I did not lose my sense of time. When I heard footsteps coming my way the next day, I asked, to no-one in particular, if it was 9.00 a.m. yet and the lady, who I later heard other members of the gang address as Lucy or Lucid said, “Just a minute past”, with a ting of surprise in her voice, as she asked why I wanted to know the time. “To pray”, I informed her and immediately continued with my prayers, though silently. Lucy/Lucid returned a while later to remove the gag from my mouth and get me and another lady in the room to eat, without taking off the blindfold though. I ate silently, in a position I could never have imagined to find myself, crouching with ropes on my hands and feet. Breakfast done with, Lady Lucy/Lucid, who had now been joined by another member of the gang debriefed me. I guess they must have done same with the others before leading them to the slaughter slab. “Who are you?” Lucy asked. “I am the son of the Most High God”, I replied full of hope. A renewed hope I picked up since my exemption from execution last night. He he he! Ma gbe yen wa o. meaning “Don’t come up with that” The other gang member barked. “Your name, what is your name?” They went on to ask me several other questions, including which bank I used and how much I had in my account. Later that day, two more captives, a lady and a guy, were brought in to swell our number to five, out of which they took three out later that night after dinner. I was spared once again and by Saturday, I was the only one left in the room. I seized the opportunity of surviving another night to intensify my prayers. I was sure too that a lot of people must have been praying for my safe return. When Lucid brought my breakfast that morning, I refused to eat. I had decided to add fasting to my prayer. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

People In The Mirror

Friday, July 13, 2012

Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi addressing the Nigerian contigent to the London 2012 Olympics.

L-R: Athletic Coach and Men’s Team Manger, Mr. Sunday Uti; former quarter miler, Mrs. Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo and Coach, Throws, Mr. Ken Onuajuluchi.

35

Heptathlete, Uhunoma Osazuwa (left) and 400 metres runner, Bukola Abogunloko.

London Olympics: VIP send forth for Team Nigeria

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya; member and 1st Vice Chairman, AFN, Hon. Ibrahim Gusau and Acting British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Mike Purves.

L-R: Manager, Sponsorship and Events, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami; President, Nigeria Hockey Federation, Mr. Patrick Ukah and President, Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Sani Ndanusa.

‘Game On’ it was on Thursday, July 5 when Team Nigeria, the country’s representatives for the London 2012 Olympics, were presented to the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi during the Handover Ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. The rearing-to-go athletes received words of encouragement from eminent Nigerians who were in attendance.

L-R: 400 metres runner, James Godday, Shot putter, Omotayo Talabi and long jumper, Stanley Gbagbeke.

Acting Registrar, National Institutes for Sports and President, Nigeria Association of Women in Sports, Mrs. Gloria Obajimi (left) and Patron, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Mrs. Kofo Nwokedi.

The Bigsmile presenting the theme song, ‘Naija Don Win.’

Director General, National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji (left) and Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Mrs. Florence Tokoya gets befitting burial

On Wednesday, May 30, the family of late Mrs. Florence Tokoya held a befitting burial ceremony to celebrate the warm life she lived and sweet memories left behind. Friends and well-wishers joined the Tokoya family at the Ikoyi Vaults, Lagos for the interment and a reception followed shortly after, where guests were entertained.

Undertakers carrying the remains of late Mrs. Florence Tokoya.

Mr. Chinze Odenigwe; Barrister Emeka Nwankwo and Chukwudi Kanu.

L-R: Mr. Bolarinwa Tunji; Editor, National Mirror Newspaper, Mr. Seyi Fasugba and Pastor Amos Fasugba.

Chief Tope Tokoya and wife, Abosede

L-R: Mrs. Yemi Tokoya; Ms. Doyinsola Tokoya, Mrs Funmi Onoshile.

L-R: Mrs. Toyin Fasugba; Ms. Adeola Fasugba; Dr. Oluwagbemiga Bolarinwa and Mrs. Dolamu CharlesIbe.

Ms. Adetutu Olusesi (grand-daughter of the deceased); Chief Magistrate Abiola Soladoye and Ms. Fehintola Tokoya (daughter of the deceased). PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA


Friday, July 13, 2012

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe: Made for classy families STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

E

quipped with families in mind, the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe is not especially exciting to drive or to look at, but it is a very well-executed crossover vehicles with excellent safety scores and credibility. Competing with smaller vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, and bigger seven-seaters like the Ford Edge and Toyota Highlander crossovers, it is a vehicle that takes great advantage of its size and space and makes passengers and drivers comfortable whenever they are seated. In recent years, Hyundai has made its vehicles competitive with the best of their classes by adding lots of standard features and an element of fun to their performance –Santa Fe is no difference. The Santa Fe comes with most of the things that help other Hyundais rank well: an exceptional warranty, good fuel economy and great value for money. The brand is known for its long powertrain warranty coverage, which matches Kia’s and Mitsubishi’s and outlasts the rest of its competition. Both of the Santa Fe’s engine options get above-average gas mileage, even when equipped with an all-wheel drive. The Santa Fe also includes more standard features than most of its competitors. The new powertrains that made their way into the Santa Fe in 2010 roll on unchanged this year. The 2.4-litre, directinjection four-cylinder makes 175 horsepower and has enough guts to move the tall wagon briskly, while turning in 20/28 mpg fuel economy. By the numbers, the Santa Fe is a few inches longer than the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V, and a few inches shorter than bigger crossovers like the Toyota Highlander. With its third-row seat discontinued a couple of years ago, it is not the all-around flexibility champ that its cousin, the Kia Sorento, might be, but it still offers seating for up to five passengers. The seats have short bottom cushions and some odd contouring, but

Interior

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe

THE SANTA FE COMES VERY WELL-EQUIPPED...WHICH KEEPS DOWN BUILD COMPLEXITY AND KEEPS OWNERS SATISFIED are still supportive enough for longer drives. The American safety regulatory body calls the Santa Fe a Top Safety Pick. Stability control and curtain airbags are standard and so is Bluetooth, which is considered a safety device. Downhill braking control is added to the stability control programming for the 2012 model. The Santa Fe comes very wellequipped even in base editions, which

keeps down build complexity and keeps owners satisfied. Even the GLS edition gets standard cruise control, USB port, keyless entry and power windows, locks and mirrors. Top Limited models get full leather upholstery, a sunroof and dual-zone climate control, plus 605-watt Infinity surround-sound audio. An optional touch screen navigation system brings with it a rear-view camera and real-time traffic.

Seating The Hyundai Santa Fe can seat five and has two sets of Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) child seat connectors in the outboard rear seats. Auto stakeholders are generally happy with the Santa Fe’s seats. Leathertrimmed seats are standard on SE and Limited models, while heated front seats are optional on the SE and standard on the Limited. Test drivers note that even though the second row does not slide forward or backward like it does in other SUVs, there is generally plenty of legroom for adult-sized passengers.

Buyers looking for a third row should note that the Santa Fe stopped offering one in 2010. Look instead at the Kia Sorento, which offers an optional third row for shoppers who occasionally need seating for seven.

Interior features Though the Hyundai Santa Fe is by no means the most upscale in its class, auto players say its interior is functional, easy-to-use and fairly attractive. However, like many affordable SUVs, beware of some hard plastics and lowquality materials. The base trim comes well-equipped with a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio, an auxiliary input jack and a USB port, steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth phone linking. Trade up to the SE and you will get a leather steering wheel and shift knob, as well as the option to add a touch-screen navigation system.

Cargo Many drivers are impressed with the Santa Fe’s cargo space, which is fairly


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large for a five-seat SUV. It provides 34.2 cubic feet of space with all seats in use and 78.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. A three-row SUV like the Toyota Highlander provides more total space –95.4 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded down, but provides less when you bring passengers into the mix. It pro-

Mirror Drive

Friday, July 13, 2012 vides only 10.3 cubic feet behind its third row and 42.3 cubic feet with that row folded down.

Safety The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe a Top Safety Pick for its top scores of “Good” in frontal offset, side impact, roof strength

and rear crash tests. The American government gave it a rating of four out of five in rollover and frontal crash tests, but the Santa Fe only earned a score of two stars out of five in side crash tests, which contributed to its overall rating of three out of five stars. That is lower than many other crossover SUVs. The Santa Fe comes standard with elec-

37

tronic traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors. A rear-view camera is a package option on SE and Limited models, which is fortunate, because a stakeholder mentions that the Hyundai Santa Fe has limited rearward visibility.

American regulator fines Volvo $1.5m for recall delay

V

olvo’s voice as an automotive safety advocates has been tarnished a bit by American federal regulators who allege the Swedish car maker illegally delayed action on seven separate recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is fining Volvo $1.5m for the delays, which involved a total of 32,000 vehicles in 2010 and 2012. Some of the recalls were relatively minor, such as one involving incorrect tyre pressure labels, but others were more significant, including problems with vehicle stalling and defective airbags. Though it officially denies any wrongdoing, Volvo has agreed to pay the fines and stated that it has “taken steps to improve the review process and analysis of potential quality and safety issues with our vehicles”. The law requires a manufacturer to act in a “timely” manner, described as no more than five business days, once it discovers a safety problem that would trigger a recall. NHTSA can levy fines of up to $17.35m in the event of an improper delay and it struck Toyota with a series of fines for the questionable handling of several safety-related issues in 2009 and 2010; including the monthslong delay in ordering a recall for potentially sticker accelerator pedals. That problem eventually led the

Volvo C70

Japanese giant to call back millions of vehicles and to temporarily close a number of its assembly lines while it came up with a fix for the problem. BMW, meanwhile, was slapped with a $3m fine, earlier this year, due to delays in 16 separate recalls –the most serious involving BMW 5 and 6-Series cars from 2004-2010 and 7-Series models from 20022008. NHTSA has been cracking down

MAINTENANCE TIPS

I

f your vehicle has squishy-feeling brakes, the way to get the air out of the lines is to bleed the brakes. To do the job, you need either a brake bleeder wrench or a combination wrench that fits the bleeder nozzle on your vehicle, a can of the proper brake fluid, a clean glass jar, and a friend. The first step to follow is to find the little nozzle called a brake bleeder screw that is located behind each of your brakes. Reaching this bleeder screw may be easier if you jack up the vehicle. And if you are going to crawl underneath, lay down an old blanket or a thick layer of newspapers first. After this, you are to find the proper wrench or socket that fits the screw and loosen the screw. Special wrenches called bleeder wrenches fit the bleeder screw and can prevent rounding the screw’s hex-head. Be careful not to break the screw off or you will need professional repairs. Also, place a small piece of flexible hose over the end of the bleeder screw and place the other end of the hose in the jar. Then fill the jar with brake fluid to cover the end of the hose. Besides, have your friend slowly pump your brake pedal a few times. Have your friend say “Down” when pressing the brake pedal down and “Up” when releasing it. If the vehicle is jacked up, before you let your friend get into it with you underneath it, make sure that the wheels are blocked in the direction in which the car would roll

How to bleed your vehicle brakes

Bleeding a car brake

and that it is not parked on a hill. Leave your tyres in place so that the vehicle will bounce and leave you some clearance if it falls. After your friend has pumped the pedal a few times and is holding the pedal down, open the bleeder screw. Brake fluid will squirt out. If there is air in your brake lines, air bubbles will be in the fluid. Seeing these bubbles is easi-

est if you are using the hose-in-the-jar method, but you can also see them without it. Before your friend releases the brake pedal, tighten the bleeder screw. If you don’t, air is sucked back into the brake lines when the pedal is released. Tell your friend to release the pedal and listen for him or her to say “Up.”Repeat this procedure, loosening the screw and

on manufacturers in the wake of the Toyota safety scandal. The federal safety agency was itself embarrassed when a Toyota document leaked out suggesting the maker had talked compliant NHTSA regulators out of ordering a recall that would have cost the company several $100m. A new U.S. transportation bill will double the potential fines manufacturers face for delaying recall actions.

tightening it again and again until no more air bubbles come out with the fluid. At this stage, you are to open your master cylinder and add more brake fluid until the level reaches the “Full” line. If you neglect to do so, you run the risk of draining all the fluid out of the master cylinder and drawing air into the lines from the top. If that happens, you have to go back and bleed your master cylinder until you suck the air out of that end of the system. If you get it wrong and have to bleed the master cylinder, it is the same deal as bleeding your brakes. Just bleed it at the point where the brake lines attach to the cylinder or at the master cylinder’s bleeder nozzle if it has one. Repeat this process with each brake until the air is out of each brake line. Don’t forget to add brake fluid to the master cylinder after you bleed each brake. After you bring the brake fluid level in the master cylinder back to the “Full” level for the last time, drive the vehicle around your area. The brake pedal should no longer feel soft when you press it. If it does, check the master cylinder again to be sure that it’s full, and try bleeding the brakes one more time. If the job seems like too much of a stress, have a professional do the work for you.


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Cocktail

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oddities

Ancient gold coins found at Israel Crusades site

A

1,000-year-old hoard of gold coins has been unearthed at a famous Crusader battleground where Christian and Muslim forces once fought for control of the Holy Land, Israeli archaeologists said on Wednesday. The treasure was dug up from the ruins of a castle in Arsuf, a strategic stronghold during the religious conflict waged in the 12th and 13th centuries. The 108 coins - one of the biggest collections of

ancient coins discovered in Israel - were found hidden in a ceramic jug beneath a tile floor at the cliff-top coastal ruins, 15 km (9 miles) from Tel Aviv. “It is a rare find. We don’t have a lot of gold that had been circulated by the Crusaders,” said Oren Tal, a professor at Tel Aviv University who leads the dig. Arsuf, which overlooks the Mediterranean sea, was the site of a famous 12th century victory for England’s King Richard I known as Lionheart - over Muslim leader Saladin.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Man sets house on fire trying to burn spider’s webs

I

f Eiliya Maida thought he hated spiders before, imagine how he must feel now. The California man accidentally set his house on fire while using a blowtorch to clear spiders’ webs out of his backyard. The Chico Enterprise Record reports that dry plants in Maida’s backyard ignited as he was attempting to burn the webs. The plant fire then spread to the house,

starting an attic fire. Maida was apparently unaware of starting the house fire until his brother-in-law George Basbous noticed the blaze. “And that’s when I went crazy,” Basbous said. Maida’s wife and two children safely exited the house, and no one was injured in the fire. Still, firefighters were forced to cut a hole in the house’s roof to put out the flames. Chico Fire Chief Keith Carter said the fire

would have mushroomed if they hadn’t created the hole. Fire Inspector Marie Fickert told the paper that the family has been displaced as a result of the fire, which did approximately $25,000 in damages. Ironically, this article from Science Blogs states that the best way to reduce the local spider population is to cut down bushes and plants outside the home. In other words, if Maida had focused

his efforts on gardening rather than firepower, he might have gotten rid of the spiders without damaging his home. Still, it could have been even worse. Fickert said a recently reopened fire station near the Maida home minimized the damage. “We are so pleased that Chico Fire Station 5 has reopened because that gave us a faster response,” she said.

Teen jumps from skyride to dodge storm

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New Jersey teenager who jumped 35 feet from a boardwalk ride that lost power said she was afraid of an oncoming thunderstorm. Melanie Rossomando, 17, said she was on the Sky Ride at Seaside Heights’ Casino Pier amusement park to celebrate her birthday when the ride lost power and she soon saw that the metal ride was in the path of an

oncoming thunderstorm, WNYW-TV, New York, reported Tuesday. “We were three seats away from getting off and then it stopped,” Rossomando said. The teenager said she decided she did not want to be on the ride if it got struck by lightning, so she threw her belongings out of the ride, kicked off her shoes and jumped down to the beach about 35 feet below.

Firefighters working to put out a blaze accidentally started by a man trying to kill spiders.

PHOTO: AP


Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business & Finance The new Petroleum Industry Bill would look at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation the unbundling of NNPC, the creation of an inspectorate unit, independent regulatory agencies, and the architecture of the fiscal regime in the oil and gas sector MINISTER OF PETROLEUM RESOURCES, MRS. DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE.

In order to strengthen the technological and manpower capacities for the development of the entire cassava value chain, a new Cassava Flour Development Fund will also be created immediately MINISTER OF FINANCE AND COORDINATING MINISTER FOR THE ECONOMY, DR. NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA

Russia warns Nigeria on ALSCON S’Court decision

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ussia’s Foreign Ministry warned Nigeria on Thursday of potential damage to bilateral relations and urged action against a court decision that stripped the world’s largest aluminium producer, Russia’s Rusal, of its core African asset. The Supreme Court ordered last week that Rusal, which owns 85 per cent of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), should cede its ownership, because

the assets should have gone to another bidder, U.S. based BFI Group, when ALSCON was privatised five years ago. According to Reuters, Rusal said the ruling was against Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which handled the privatisation and gave Rusal the green light to acquire the stake for $205m in 2007. The decision would thus not affect its ownership of ALSCON, the company said.

“The ruling could ... to a significant extent undermine Russian-Nigerian investment and economic cooperation and incur negative consequences for the whole scope of bilateral ties,” the ministry said in a statement on its website www. mid.ru. “We urge the Nigerian government to take the necessary actions in order to prevent potential damage to the existing fruitful and mutually benefi-

L-R: Head, Consumer Banking Products, First Bank, Mrs. Funke Smith; Assistant Director, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mrs. Oghenero Ugoji; Business Development Manager, First Bank, Mr. Chuka Eze and Head, Media and External Relations, Mr. Babatunde Lasai, during the First Bank Save and Excel Promo draw in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

cial relations,” the statement said. BFI, headed by AmericanNigerian Reuben Jaja, took BPE to court, saying the agency breached its contract. The Supreme Court ruling last week ordered that BPE revert to the original preferred bidder and BFI Group paid the agreed price of $410m for ALSCON. Oleg Deripaska, the controlling shareholder of Rusal, is a billionaire who has long enjoyed close ties with the Kremlin. The aluminium giant received billions of dollars in state bailout funds after the 2008 global financial crash. ALSCON is one of Rusal’s key African assets with annual project capacity of 120,000 tonnes, however its operations have been hampered by regular electricity cuts allowing ALSCON to produce only 15,000 tonnes of aluminium last year, a company spokeswoman said. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, is like Russia plagued by rampant corruption. Both share 143rd position in the 2011 corruption perception index of 182 countries compiled by Transparency International.

Federal High Court stops First Guarantee Pension’s AGM OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

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Federal High Court in Lagos has halted the 5th Annual General Meeting of First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) billed to hold today, fol-

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lowing incessant shareholders squabbles between the management and several issues of corporate governance in the PFA. The National Pension Commission (PenCom), had taken over the management of First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL), with effect from August 15, 2011. A statement from the

commission said the decision was because of “incessant shareholders squabbles and several issues of adverse corporate governance in the PFA.” However, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos restrained Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Imam and all the shareholders of the company from holding AGM which is to hold today in Abuja.

ART backs NCAA over grounding of Dana Air operations

The Court Order read, “Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Imam and all the shareholders of First Guarantee Pensions Limited he purports to represent including and particularly Hon. Terngu Tsegba; First Guarantee Pensions Limited and the Corporate Affairs Commission(the party sought to be joined) by themselves, officers

agents, servants, privies or whosoever are restrained from convening and/ or holding any Annual General Meeting whatsoever of the 1st respondent First Guarantee Pensions Limited acting upon the purported directive of the Corporate Affairs Commission pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 5th July, 2012.”

Duplication of port charges encouraging cargo diversion

LOCAL FLIGHT SCHEDULE Air Nigeria Los-Abj: 06:05 (Mon-Fri) 07:45 (Sat) 07:00 (Sun) 08:15 (Mon-Sun) 10;30 (Sun) 13:30 (Fri/Sat) 14:35 (Mon-Tue) 16:30 (Mon-Sun) 15:45 (Fri-Sun) 15:30 (Sat) 18:00 (MonSun) 19:15 (Fri) Abj-Los: 08:00 (Mon-Sat) 09:00 (Sun) 09:40 (Sat) 10:05 (Mon-Sat) 15:05 (Mon-Wed) 15:15 (Thu) 15:25 (Fri) 16:00 (Mon-Fri) 17:40 (Fri) 18:25 (Sat)13:50 (MonSun) 16:30 (Mon-Thur) 19:55 (Mon-Sat) Abj-Kano: 1825 (Mon-Sun) Abj-Sok: 1010 (Mon-Sun) Sok-Abj: 12:00 (Mon-Sun) Los-Owr: 08:40 (Mon-Fri) Los-Owr: 11:35 (Sat/Sun) Owr-Los: 10:30 (Mon-Fri) 13:25 (Sat/Sun)

Arik Air Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)

Aero Contractors Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun)

EXCHANGE RATES WAUA

233.8769

USD

155.87

CHF

159.0997

CFA

0.291

SDR

234.6155

SAR

41.5609

GBP

242.6428

EURO

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT NYMEX

40

42

191.1122

$108.01

-1.52

$98.63

-1.86

OPEC BASKET

$109.62

-0.73

NATURAL GAS

3.94

+0.04


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Business News

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ART backs NCAA over grounding of Dana Air operations OLUSEGUN KOIKI

T

he Aviation Round Table yesterday threw its weight behind the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority over the grounding of the operations of Dana Air following the June 3, air crash involving one of the aircraft in the airline’s fleet. Speaking with journalists yesterday, the President, ART, Capt. Dele Ore said that the grounding of the airline was in line with the global best safety practices. Ore explained that in case of an accident, the right thing to do by any civil aviation authority was to ground the same aircraft type in the fleet of the airline to determine if the accident was as a result of manufacturer’s defect or not. He said that until the conclusion of preliminary investigations into the accident, such aircraft type remained grounded, but lamented that the entire operations of Dana Air remains grounded due to the fact that it only operates one aircraft type in its fleet. He said, “Aviation business is an expensive one and

in case of an accident, the aircraft type is grounded until the outcome of investigations. This is so in order to determine the cause of the accident. The preliminary investigation will unravel the probable cause of the accident and after then, the aircraft type can be allowed to continue its operations. However, the airline should not be left grounded perpetually.” ART also challenged the Federal Government to release Air Traffic Controllers audio tape transcription of the ill-fated aircraft. He said this was necessary in a bid to ensure transparency in the ongoing investigation of the crashed plane. The body wondered why government has refused to release the transcription of the audio tape, arguing that in other climes, it would have been made public by now. ART said there had been several speculations as to the cause of the accident, but said that it won’t comment on the probable cause of the accident now until the outcome of investigations being carried out by the Accident Investigation Bureau. Also, ART described the presidential technical audit

L-R: Technical Director, Energofinstroy, Mr. Alekseev Nickolay; Assistant Technical Director, Energy of instroy, Matiushenko Polina; Director, Evictech Ag, Alina Kopelchuk; team leader and member of Energy Expert Committee, (Russia), Stanislav Kopelchuk and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, during a working visit by Russia to the governor in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday.

panel inaugurated by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah and headed by Group Capt. John Obakpolor after the crash as illegal and an aberration of standard procedure. The Secretary General, ART, Mr. Sam Akerele specifically stated that the setting up of another administrative panel to probe another aspect of the Dana aircraft accident was an aberration and illegality.

Akerele insisted that the responsibility to investigate aircraft accident did not rest with the panel nor the National Assembly joint committee on aviation, but empowered by AIB. He explained further that the power of the House and the Senate to conduct investigations was elaborated under Section 88 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999. He said the powers con-

Senate pledges commitment LCCI supports CBN autonomy to PHCN privatisation S I

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he Senate has said it will work with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to ensure the successful conclusion of the privatisation of the successor companies created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria by the last quarter of 2012. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation Senator Olugbenga Obadara said this when the committee paid an oversight visit to Egbin Power Plc in Lagos recently. Acording to a BPE statement issued yesterday, the senator allayed the fears of the workers that they would be short changed in the privatisation exercise. “Your entitlements will be paid. Privatisation is not to witch-hunt or shortchanges the workers. When the investors buy the companies, we will make sure you smile to your homes. We are also looking at privatisation holistically. It will bring prosperity”, the statement quoted him as having told the workers. On the workers’ agitation that the calculation of their severance benefits should not be guided by the Pension Act of 2004, a member of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator

TANLEY HEDIGBO

Adamu Gumba, urged them to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the law. “The fear of leaving should not be there. You are the custodians of experience. Those that will leave will have a smooth exit. On the other hand, there is a legal provision governing pension in the country. Take another look at it. I advise you to negotiate with your pension administrator to pay you a certain percentage as lump sum,” said Gumba, who is also a member of the Senate Committee on Labour. “Unless you change the law, what you are asking for is not possible. When negotiating, make sure you go with existing laws in the country. BPE must work in accordance with the law”, he added. In his remarks, the Chief Executive of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, lamented the paucity of funds to address the challenges of the plant. He informed that five of the six turbines of the plant are operating. “We are not liquid. That is the bedrock of our problem. To overhaul a turbine, one will need about N5bn, yet our annual budget is about N1bn”, he observed.

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he Lagos Chamber Commerce and Industry has expressed its support for calls that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should remain autonomous, financially and operationally, in order to be able to discharge its functions effectively and promptly. LCCI President, Mr. Goodie Ibru, said at the second quarter press conference on the economy that its group has watched with keen interest the debate on

the autonomy of the CBN, and aligsn with the school of thought that is in favour of the preservation on the autonomy of the CBN. He added that it is autonomous status that enabled the CBN to responds quickly to the challenges of the recent crisis in the Nigeria banking system. He said, “It is on record that no bank failed in the process because of the speed and effectiveness of its intervention. However, we concede that the autonomy cannot be absolute. In any events, no institution should have absolute powers. Therefore,

ferred on the National Assembly in the constitution are exercisable only for the purpose of making laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defect in existing laws and expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it. what is necessary is to strengthen the existing structures of controls within the framework of the CBN Act 2007.” LCCI President commended government on the recent efforts to improve performance in the cargo clearing process at the ports, saying that they appreciate the clearing of the access roads to the ports by team of the Federal and Lagos State official. In area of corruption in the country, he urged the political leadership at all level to redouble their efforts in curbing corruption, as it is difficult for an economy bleeding from corruption to recover quickly and deliver value to the citizens.

FG, states tasked on the implementation of National Building Code DAYO AYEYEMI

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he Federal and state governments have been urged to promulgate into law without further delay the National Building Code and make it enforceable in every state in order to bridge gaps in the regulatory process of policing the development of buildings in the country. Making this call on Thursday in Enugu at the opening ceremo-

ny of the National Conference/ Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Professor Akin Akindoyeni, further urged that the National Urban Planning Law be reviewed so as to take into consideration all policies and other laws relating to urban development, industrial practices, regulations and codes relating to relevant aspects of human built environment , especially buildings. The theme of the 42 annual conference of NIOB is, “Trans-

formation Agenda and Building Production in Nigeria.” Besides, Akindoyeni, who is the Chairman of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), enjoined state governments to enact urban planning laws which takes into consideration the building code and provides for a process of green building practice. He told the gathering that CORBON has forwarded a sample of the bill to every state governor in Nigeria for consideration.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Friday, July 13, 2012

PENGASSAN charges oil workers to brace for reforms MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has charged workers in the oil and gas sector to brace up in the performance of their duties, in order for them to be able to confront the challenges that will inevitably accompany the ongoing reforms in the oil and gas industry. President of the association, Mr. Babatunde Ogun, in a statement made available to National Mirror on Thursday after the conclusion of a workshop on Impacting the Right Culture in Trade Union Services, said after the reforms that oil and

gas workers appraisal system will be reviewed and based on individual performance level. The PENGASSAN president said that while the terrain for doing their jobs as oil and gas workers was not be an easy one, it will become more challenging because of the ongoing reforms in the oil and gas industry. According to him, “reforms such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Nigerian Content Development Act among others, will impact on the industrial relations in the industry”. Speaking further, Ogun said oil and gas workers at their various branches and units should be able to checkmate

the excesses of the branches and other officers with the training and expertise they have received, in order to develop the industry. He added that workers in the sector are individually responsible for their actions and inactions within the union. Also speaking, the Media and Information Officer of union, Mr. Babatunde Oke, described the workshop as an eye opener to all staff on opportunities and advantages that abound in the union to develop themselves. He said there is need for all members of the union to imbibe the right attitude and culture to work as a way of developing themselves and growing the union.

RMRDC D-G flays indiscriminate use of professional titles

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irector-General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Peter Onwualu, on Thursday in Abuja decried the indiscriminate use of professional titles by Nigerians. Onwualu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigerians now add titles like Engr., Dr or Arch. to their names even without the requisite qualifications, training or professional affiliations. He specifically decried the use of titles such as Engineer by some unqualified persons, adding that such a title should be a mark of professionalism

Agric Ministry to partner global tractor manufacturer

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he Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is set to partner AGCO, a leading U.S.-based global tractor manufacturing company to set up the first `Tractor Future Farm’ in West Africa. The Minister, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when Mr Nuradin Osman, the Managing Director of AGCO for Africa and Middle East, led a delegation to his office. Adewumi advised them to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) initiative, to enable farmers’ to access loans to purchase tractors. NIRSAL is an initiative of the CBN to help farmers transit from subsistence farming to commercial farming through a Credit

Guarantee Scheme that would address the risk of payment default. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CBN had approved N75 billion for the takeoff of NIRSAL. The minister advised the group to incorporate tractor leasing into their operation to accommodate farmers who could not afford to purchase tractors. He gave assurance that the Federal Government would work out modalities to ensure that farmers could access the tractors through hire service. He also suggested that the group should incorporate repairs, workshop and spare parts for the tractors in their modules. “You will be surprised that we have some of these tractors in this country but they are all obsolete or need refurbishment.

“So if you have arrangement to also provide the spare parts and workshop where the tractors can be repaired when it gets spoilt, then we are making sense.’’ According to him, the partnership is an indication that the Federal Government is making progress in its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). Earlier, Osman observed that Africa had the worst level of farm mechanisation with one tractor to about 5,000 farmers. He explained that the concept of the ``tractor farm’’ consisted of the three core pillars of the farm, training centre and a school. “We want to use the model of the Chalimbana Farms in Lusaka, Zambia, in Nigeria. We are bringing in the latest technology product wise and equipment.’’

and standards rather than an all comers-affair. “I look at these things more globally, it’s a reflection of part of the problem we have in the Nigerian society; the craze for titles. “If you notice almost everybody answers Chief even when they are not chief, the same thing happens even in the medical profession. “A lot of people that answer Dr are not really medical doctors in that sense, you go to the universities you find somebody who has been promoted to Associate professor, he begins to answer professor.

Airtel excites subscribers with ring tunes campaign KUNLE A ZEEZ

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L-R: Director, River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, Prince Nelson Nwosu; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Amb. Godknows Igali and Minister, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe at the opening ceremony of meeting on collaboration between Federal and state governments on strategies for completion of on-going and abandoned water projects across the country, in Abuja, yesterday.

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irtel Nigeria, the country’s third largest telecoms company in subscriber base, has continued to excite its over 20 million susbribers with through its Hello Tunes Campaign. The campaign is an exciting offer that enables customers download popular ring tunes for their personal use and as exclusive gifts to friends and loved ones. The campaign, tagged, Download and Win,will offer telecoms consumers an opportunity to win varieties of Samsung gadgets including Samsung Galaxy Y phones and Galaxy Tabs on a daily and monthly basis, while the customer with the highest download at the end of the 90 day campaign, will smile home with the latest Samsung 3D LED SMART TV set. Speaking on the offer, Airtel’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Olu

Akanmu said the campaign demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to creating fun and excitement for its customers, saying the offer is designed to reward telecommunications consumers. He said, “We have once again shown our capacity to innovate and define new standards in this fast-paced industry through the Hello Tunes Download and Win campaign, clearly another first by Airtel. “We expect the results of this campaign to generate new levels of user satisfaction and experiences in line with our commitment to enable the Nigerian youth have all the fun they desire and connect with their friends through the most innovative music content that is only available on the Airtel network.” Explaining further, Akanmu said under the offer, customers can download their favorite Hello Tunes and also buy and send to friends, family and loved ones as gifts.

NIMET introduces improved, faster Internet services

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he Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in Abuja on Thursday announced an improved and faster daily weather and climate reports through the introduction of Internet services. Director, Weather Forecast Services, NIMET, Mr Ifeanyi Nnodu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that people could now view weather forecasts easily through its electronic services. He added that the importance of the new development was to allow all stakeholders ranging from those engaged in hydrology, aviation, agriculture, marine and other stakeholders to have direct access to its information. NAN recalls that Dr Anthony Anuforom, the Director-General of NIMET, had on May 10,

2011 commissioned the National Weather Forecasting and Climate Research Centre, Abuja, which, he described, as a world class infrastructure at the airport In September 2011, the agency also installed Low Level Windshear Alert System in both Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, in a bid to improve weather forecast and safety in the Nigerian airspace. “Apart from the Abuja and Lagos airports, which are already equipped with the devices, other airports like Port Harcourt, Kano as well as other airports in the country will join in the installation of the safety gadgets soon,’’ Anuforom said during the launch of the equipment.


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Maritime

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Duplication of port charges encouraging cargo diversion

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he port reform programme which ushered in private terminal operators comprising both indigenous and foreign ones into the Nigerian port system, has no doubt brought about a measure of efficiency into the system, though there is still a large room for improvement. Thus, under the current dispensation fashioned after the Landlord Model of Port of Antwerp, the Nigerian Ports Authority, which was primarily in charge of cargo handling in the old dispensation now undertakes under functions like maintenance of the channels, harbour and pilotage services as well as other related functions. For instance, ship turnaround time has improved from about two weeks to less than five days while cargo dwell time now fluctuates between 10-14days. Also on account of the new roles assigned to NPA under the new dispensation, the authority has in the last few years embarked on an aggressive wreck removal as well as capital and maintenance dredging of the various channels, some of which are now in excess of 13.5 meter draught. To this effect, the Nigerian seaports are now able to take large vessels that carry higher volume of consignments with the attendant economy of large scale. Only recently, with the aid of the Presidential Committee on Port Reforms, the various government agencies operating at the ports were reduced from 14 to about six. Before now, there were agencies of the government such as National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Standards Organisation of Nigeria. Also sacked were Directorate of Naval Intelligence, Nigerian Plant Quarantine Services, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, among others. Under the new dispensation, apart from the statutory agencies like NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, agencies allowed to operate in the ports are Nigeria Customs Service, State Security Service, Police and Port Health, bringing to a total of six. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo –Iweala, who led other members of the committee to an unscheduled visit to the seaports in Lagos, last year had said: “I am with a simple message from Mr. President and that message is that it is time for our seaports to start working. “We must make our ports work for Nigerians who want to create jobs, that is really what Mr. President wants us to do and we need to act and that there is no longer time for talking”, she went on. Though there are insinuations that some of these agencies are still around, there has been an improvement in terms of efficiency. Despite all these moderate achievements, these importers still groan under the burden of several and often

Okonjo-Iweala

Dikko

Okereke

About six years after the completion of port reforms in Nigeria, a level of efficiency has been enthroned in the port system, which has given rise to increased cargo and vessel throughput. But importers still groan under duplication of charges, which also gives rise to diversion of cargo to neighbouring African seaports, FRANCIS EZEM reports. duplicated port charges imposed by the government itself, most of which have helped to make the ports user-unfriendly. For instance, apart from the statutory charges like the Import Duty, Fees, Common External Tariff Levy and the Value Added Tax, which are paid into the Federation Account of the government, importers are still made to pay a myriads of charges under different subheads, characterised as non-federation account charges. They include the seven percent port levy, 0.5 percent Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalisation Scheme, one percent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, which is the Free On Board Value of imports given to the service providers under the Destination Inspection Scheme and the Rice levy. Others include, the Cigarette Levy, National Automotive Council Levy, Port Development Levy, Sugar Levy, Port Surcharge and other sundry charges. In addition to these, importers also pay the conventional shipping company charges, terminal charges paid to the terminal operators, which is currently higher than what it was under NPA and charges associated with cargo transfer, rent demurrage and others. The cumulative effect of this multiplicity of charges is that most of them are aggregated and added to the final consumer in terms of higher price as

part of the cost of importing the consignment. One of the direct consequences is the galloping inflationary trends in the country. Statistics released recently by the Monetary Policy Committee, which comprises of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others shows that the inflation rate stood at 12.9 percent, a figure some market watchers believe is far higher than that. It also on record that over the years the government had made frantic but fruitless efforts at reducing the inflation rate in the country to one digit. Apart from the worsening inflationary trends, a large chunk of goods meant for the Nigerian market are diverted to neighbouring African seaports, which are believed to be cheaper. Available records show that the government generate a whopping N172.1bn at the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa alone from VAT, levies and charges imposed on all imported consignments over a three-year period comprising 2009, 2010 and 2011. Details show that a total of N125.6bn was collected on VAT, N45.4bn on levies while N1.1bn was collected on fees on all containerised and bulk cargo handled at the LPC for the fiscal years under review. But some stakeholders, who commented on the VAT collections, have argued that the Federal Government is losing more on the long run through diversion of Nigeria-bound cargoes to

THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF THIS MULTIPLICITY OF CHARGES IS THAT MOST OF THEM ARE AGGREGATED AND ADDED TO THE FINAL CONSUMER IN TERMS OF HIGHER PRICE AS PART OF THE COST OF IMPORTING THE CONSIGNMENT

neighbouring seaports to avoid these multiple charges. Records show that though more than 70 percent of containersised and other general imports into the West African sub-region end up in the Nigerian market, less than 20 percent of such goods come through her eight major seaports due to the multiple charges and the attendant high costs and other challenges posed by long bureaucracies which portend huge revenue loss. It was probably worried by this trend that Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Omar Suleiman told stakeholders that the cost of shipping in Nigeria is 10 times higher than what is obtained in many other African countries like Republic of Benin. Experts believe that with the modest progress recorded with the reform programme, which has seen the cargo throughput double, the reduction or elimination of some of these often duplicated charges would go a long way in further boosting cargo traffic into the country by checking diversion of Nigeria-bound consignments. Also, they believe that the Nigeria Customs Service should work towards a unified valuation system to check the current trend whereby a car of same model and age attracts different duty at Apapa Port, Tin Can Island or Port Terminal Multi-services Limited, all in Lagos and Onne Port in River State. This development probably accounts for why many clearing agents currently canvass the introduction of benchmark duty on vehicles. It might also be the major reason most of the vehicles meant for Nigeria come through Cotonou Port in Republic of Benin with the attendant huge revenue loss to the government. The earlier this is done, the better for the country.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Maritime

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why we back Maritime Academy’s transformation into degree awarding institution –NIMASA STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

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he Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency said it is solidly behind moves by the Federal Government to transform the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron in Akwa Ibom State into a degree awarding institution to give Nigerian seafarers a marketing edge in the international labour market. MAN, Oron a former Nautical College in Nigeria came by way of a Federal Executive Council Resolution in 1977, before which Nigerian merchant navy officers were trained mostly in Ghana, the United Kingdom and India. The academy was however formally and statutorily established and broadened to its current scope by Decree 16 of 1988 with a mandate to embrace the training of all levels and categories of

personnel required for the effective and efficient operation of all facets of the Nigerian maritime industry. Meanwhile, there are plans by the government to elevate it to a full fledged degree-awarding institution, which many stakeholders have criticised, citing lack of basic training equipment like training vessels for cadet graduates. Deputy Director of NIMASA in charge of capacity building, Mallam Ibrahim Jubril, who spoke in a recent interview, noted that the elevation of the academy will give Nigerian graduates from the institution an edge over other trainees from other countries. According to him, globally, most employers of labour prefer university degrees to Diploma qualification in relevant fields of training, arguing that allowing Nigerian seafarers to parade Higher National Diploma when

their competitors have degrees would be like de-marketing them. It was also gathered that the agency believes that just like any other degree holder in the world, who is versatile in many fields of life, a retired seafarer should be able to go into other areas or discipline if he chooses to without any restriction on account of the vastness of the training he has received. He also disclosed that it was because of this preference for Degree-holding seafarers over their Diploma counterpart that the agency insisted that all the participants in the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme must attend degree-awarding institutions. “A seafarer, who trained as a Marine Engineer should be able to be recognised by professional body like COREN provided he is able to prove himself in other fields of engineering to qualify him to be reg-

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istered by COREN. On the recent clamour for acquisition of training vessel for the Academy, the maritime capacity building expert noted that not all maritime training institutions even in developed world have training vessels. Citing Greece as an example of one of the best maritime training institutions in the world, he noted that the country does not have a specific vessel dedicated to the training of cadets, arguing that the country has done very well in terms of building maritime capacity. It was gathered that what government does is to work out a scheme with private shipping companies to take the cadets on board their vessels for the mandatory one-year sea training experience as provided by the International Maritime Organisation under its International Convention on Standards of Training, Certificate and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978. Immediate past rector of the academy, Mr. Nseyen Ebong had

said recently that only the adoption of an integrated policy framework towards manpower development and the building of the right infrastructure would facilitate the building of seafarers’ hub in Nigeria like what is obtained in the Republic of Philippines. He noted that Nigeria needs the right combination of integrated policy, infrastructure and manpower development to address the various aspects of shipping in the industry. According to him, if training is not intensified, there might be crisis that could jeopardise the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) regime , a development that calls for massive investment in training by the government. These conditions include port operation and services, coastal and international shipping, auxiliary shipping activities and inland waterways transport as well as manpower development, since the maritime industry can operate effectively and efficiently if the personnel are properly trained.

customers and on-site to provide the best quality of services. He adds: “Going forward, the challenges and opportunities are significant. We see that the model we have been advocating for some time whereby collateral managers constantly monitor pledged cargo for location, quantity, condition and quality, covered by solid legal docu-

mentation, logistical arrangements, and property as well as liability cover arrangements, is gaining ground”. The company however pledged to continue to contribute for all stakeholders to the strength of these structures to the full extent of its expertise and innovative capabilities.

Cotecna retains best collateral management firm

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or two years running, Cotecna has emerged the best collateral management company for annual Trade Finance Excellence Awards, having won the award in 2011 and also for this year, 2012 in recognition of its quality services in the field of trade. Cotecna, parent company of Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, one of the service providers under Nigeria’s Destination Inspection scheme is one of the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification firms. Chief Operating officer of the group, Mr. Matthieu Delorme, at the Cotecna Trade Services said recently, “Cotecna provides lenders with tools to ensure that disbursements are applied in conformity to the purpose of the credit and verifies that the transactions are performed in accordance with term sheets”. “In today’s credit market en-

vironment, control and risk management are more than ever essential elements of success in structuring deals”. According to him, with a dedicated office-to-field network of specialists situated in key locations around the world”, he went on. “Thus, by strengthening lenders’ control over their transactions, the service provides a more favourable loan classification, allowing solid, cost-effective, Basel II and III- compliant financing structures”, he argued. Mr. Delorme also noted that in so doing, all commodities, as well as general cargo and consumer goods are covered. Reporting can be performed through Vestalis; Cotecna’s webbased application developed to provide trading clients and financiers with a single source of data about posted collateral on a realtime basis”, the chief operating officer noted.

Container ship arriving Lagos port.

The visibly elated Delome also said the company was immensely proud to have been awarded recognition as the best collateral manager in 2012 by the readers of Trade Finance Magazine, and grateful to all our clients and other stakeholders for this vote of confidence and the dedication and competence of our teams, who work daily next to our

Transpacific liners’ freight hikes take effect August

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ranspacific container shipping lines have announced August freight rate increases on dry cargo and are considering rate rises also on refrigerated cargo as the market recovers, a group representing the industry has said. Carriers serving the Asia-United States trade have announced during the past week dry cargo rate increases averaging $500 per 40-foot container (FEU) to the U.S. West Coast and $700 per FEU for all other shipments, the Transpacific Stabi-

lisation Agreement (TSA) said. “The effective dates vary by carrier, but for the most part will be during the first week of August,” Oakland, California-based TSA said. The global shipping industry has been recovering this year from a more than three-year slump, which took many shipping companies into the red and some into bankruptcy. Established in 1989, the TSA calls itself a research and discussion fo-

rum of major container shipping lines serving the trade from Asia to ports and inland points in the United States. Its members include Denmark’s Maersk Line, privately owned Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), France’s privately held CMA CGM, China’s COSCO , Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine and several others. TSA member lines are recommending increases to refrigerated

cargo rates of $1,000 per FEU to the U.S. West Coast and $1,250 per FEU for all other destinations with effect from Aug. 15, the TSA said. “While refrigerated cargoes such as seafood represent a relatively small share of total cargo eastbound, they make an important contribution to the round-trip cost of managing expensive equipment that is in high demand on the U.S.-Asia return,” the TSA said. Carriers are determined to maximize yield from ships they

expect to approach full utilisation throughout the summer months, Brian Conrad, TSA executive administrator, said in the statement. “Too much is at stake in 2012 for the lines, their investors, their creditors and their suppliers and vendors to leave money on the table after sustaining heavy losses in two of the last three years, and amid strengthening demand,” he said. The TSA in May recommended a peak-season surcharge and said Asia-U.S. container shipping lines expected a strong summer in terms of cargo traffic. (Reporting by John Acher, editing by Jane Baird


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Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, July 13, 2012

SEC may issue net capital rules for broking firms JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he Securities and Exchange Commission may ask the dealing members of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to have net capital as a safety net to reduce the likelyhood of insolvency. The net capital rule requires brokerage firms to maintain certain levels of their own liquid assets. The minimum net capital a firm must have on hand depends on its size and business. Sources at the Capital Market Committee meeting held in Lagos yesterday told National Mirror that stakeholders submitted that given recent turbulence in the financial services industry, there is need to separate net capital from the working capital which is currently N70m. According to the sources, the registered brokerage firms must keep their

customers’ securities and cash segregated from their own so that, even if a firm fails, its customers’ assets will be safe. Also, a statement from the SEC said members of National Assembly have promised to assist the capital market in restoring investor confidence in the market and sustain improvement being witnessed in the market in recent times. Specifically, the Chairman of House Comitte on Capital Market, Hon. Herman Hembe, who was at the quarterly meeting for the first time, said he was impressed with the meeting and promised that the house will help the capital market in ensuring sustained growth in the market. “We are very happy with what we are seeing here today and we, on our part, will do whatever is necessary to support the capital market,” he said. The Chairman Senate Committee on Capital mar-

ket, Senator Ayo Adeseun was represented by the Clerk of the Committee, Mr. Sammy Efetia,noted that the various confidence building strategies recently embarked upon by the new management at the Securities and Exchange Commission has started to yield positive results as the market performance on the Nigerian Stock Exchange has been on the increase. The President, Association of Stockbroking Houses Owners of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Madubike, said if the increase sustained, the confidence build posture of the new team in the commission will surely put the market on the part of growth. “You can see the atmosphere of the meeting. It is very friendly, open, people are freer to express themselves and this will result in positive ways to move the market forward. The Acting Director General is also very positive because he knows where

shoes pinches, “The issue of Registration in Lagos is also a big plus for the Acting DG, Ibrahim Bolaji Bello. This is what we have been advocating for because it is means of reducing cost of getting more operators into the market and also mark us meet some regulatory requirements,” he said. The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said the Exchange has met with the new leadership at the commission and has started to enjoy some of the posture of the leadership and asked that the trend be continued. The Managing Director, Central Securities Clearing System, Mr. Kyari Abba Bukar, said the type of interaction with the SEC was what he has been looking for in the past. “The importance of this interaction cannot be over emphasized and we are very happy over it,” he added.

T-Bills yields hit 6-week low as bids triple offer

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reasury bill yields declined to the lowest in more than six weeks at an auction yesterday with bids being made for more than threefold the N95.6bn ($590m) put on sale. The Central Bank of Nigeria sold N30.15bn of 91-day bills at a yield of 13.75 per cent, the lowest since the May 25 sale. The bank sold N65.40nbn of 182-day

securities at 14.88 per cent, also the lowest since May 25, bids totalled N290bn. “We interpret the excess of bids over actual paper sold as reluctance on the part of government to pay such high rates for borrowing,” Alan Cameron, analyst at Londonbased CSL Stockbroker Limited said. “To the extent that demand was not met at primary auction,

we expect it to appear in the secondary market today, driving down yields.” The CBN held the benchmark interest rate at 12 per cent this year to curb the naira’s decline and combat inflation, after raising it 5.75 percentage points in 2011. While inflation slowed to 12.7 per cent in May from 12.9 per cent in April, the rate is set to peak at 14.5 per cent in the

Index rises 1.08% on blue chips gains JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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rading in equities continued on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took position on some companies with good corporate actions. The All Share Index rose by 1.08 per cent to close at 22,492.96 points, compared to the increase by 0.60 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 22,253.71 points. Market capitalisation gained N76bn to close at N7.18trn, higher

than the appreciation by N42.5bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.10trn. Dangote Sugar Plc led the gainers table with 20 kobo or five per cent to close at N4.20 per share, followed by Transcorp Plc with five kobo or five per cent to close at N1.05 per share. UAC-Properties Plc appreciated by 46 kobo or 4.97 per cent to close at N9.72 per share, while GT Assur Plc gained seven kobo or 4.96 per cent to close at N1.48 pern share. University Press Limited rose by 21 kobo or 4.91 per cent to close at N4.49 per share.

On the flip side, Honeywell Flower Mills Plc dropped by 10 kobo or five per cent to close at N1.90 per share, while Japaul Oil Plc dipped by three kobo or 4.62 per cent to close at 62 kobo per share. BAGCO Plc lost nine kobo or 4.55 per cent to close at N1.89 per share, while Custodian Insurance Plc declined by seven kobo or 4.52 per cent to close at N1.48 per share. Ikeja Hotel Plc depreciated by five kobo or 4.42 per cent to close at N1.08 per share. The financial services sector led equities transaction volume

third quarter, the highest since April 2010, according to the CBN. The CBN said that an additional N21.8bn of 91day bills and N20bn of 182-day debt were sold to non-competitive bidders. “I think it is fair to assume a certain level of foreign interest at yesterday’s auction, although they typically prefer the long end of the treasury bills curve,” Alan said with 194.60 million units valued at N994.46 million exchanged in 2,286 deals, as against 304.13 million shares worth N1.67bn traded in 2,139 deals the preceding day. The volume recorded in the sector was driven by transaction in the shares of United Bank for Africa Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, First Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc. Transaction volume in equities dipped by 35.7 per cent, as a total of 252.29 million shares worth N1.61bn were exchanged in 4,068 deals, compared to 392.80 million shares valued at N3.04bn traded in 3,906 deals the preceding day.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 11 JULY & 12 JULY 2012 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

11-Jul-12

12-Jul-12

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 22,492.96 points Market capitalisation 7,180 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

DANGSUGAR

4.00

4.20

0.20

% CHANGE 5.00

TRANSCORP

1.00

1.05

0.05

5.00

UAC-PROP

9.26

9.72

0.46

4.97

GTASSURE

1.41

1.48

0.07

4.96

UPL

4.28

4.49

0.21

4.91

UBA

4.29

4.50

0.21

4.90

UBN

4.29

4.50

0.21

4.90

AIRSERVICE

1.33

1.39

0.06

4.51

EVANSMED

0.90

0.94

0.04

4.44

CUTIX

1.59

1.66

0.07

4.40

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

HONYFLOUR

2.00

CLOSING 1.90

0.10

-5.00

JAPAULOIL

0.65

0.62

0.03

-4.62

BAGCO

1.98

1.89

0.09

-4.55

CUSTODYINS

1.55

1.48

0.07

-4.52

IKEJAHOTEL

1.13

1.08

0.05

-4.42

CONTINSURE

0.68

0.65

0.03

-4.41

FIDSON

0.99

0.95

0.04

-4.04

ROADS

7.50

7.21

0.29

-3.87

ETERNA

2.61

2.51

0.10

-3.83

CAP

24.00

23.14

0.86

-3.58

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

30,159.21

14.00

12-Jul-12

182-Day

14,412.00

16.99

12-Jul-12

364 -Day

-

-

12-Jul-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

42-Days

1,831.55

13.25

2-Jul-12

41-Day

14.29

13.24

2-Jul-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$180m

N/A

$180m

11-Jul-12

$250m

N/A

$163m

9-Jul-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

COUNTDOWN TO

EDO GUBER POLL JULY 14, 2012

01

DAYS DAY

Politics

Friday, July 13, 2012

VOTE

TO GO

CONTINUED FROM 13 Anenih in order to ensure that the PDP dominated House of Assembly did not move to impeach him. He conceded two commissioners and a special adviser slots to the PDP leader. But the rapprochement was not to last long as Oshiomhole, propelled by the desire to be the godfather, moved to decimate Anenih. He effected a change in the leadership guard from the PDP to ACN in the House of Assembly. He then began to bash and abuse the old man. When it got to a head, his nominees in Oshiomhole’s government had to resign in protest. Today, by his deliberate design, Oshiomhole is the undisputed godfather in the ACN. It is from within the ACN and with the instrumentality of the state government that he has engaged Anenih in a vicious supremacy battle.

The preliminary battles Encouraged by the outcomes of a series of rerun elections into some House of Assembly seats which were won by the ACN through some means that were considered less than fair by the opposition PDP, Oshiomhole had boasted that the godfather had been defeated. That refrain changed to “the godfather has been restricted to Uromi” after the National Assembly election during which Anenih ensured that the PDP won the Edo Central Senatorial seat, the two Houses of Representatives seats and five of the six State House of Assembly seats. It is from Edo Central that Anenih has now plotted the strategy to dislodge Oshiomhole from power. Realising that the 18 per cent voting strength in the central district cannot upstage Oshiomhole’s applecart, he had ensured that the governorship ticket of the PDP was ceded to Edo South with 58 per cent voting population. He had further taken the political gambit to the farthest limit of senatorial denial by guiding the party leadership to cede the deputy governorship to Edo North, where Oshiomhole comes from. Edo North has 24 per cent voting population. The calculation is that he will firmly hold the central zone and deliver it to the PDP

The final battle The governorship election is the epic battle because it directly involves Oshiomhole. The governor’s political life is hanging in the balance on account of the dangerous political calculations and permutations that Anenih has woven around the governorship election. Having successfully guided the party along the path of political wisdom to ensure the emergence of the party’s governorship candidate from Edo South, Oshiomhole’s initial calculations were seriously threatened. The governor had tried to influence the emergence of some candidates other than the 58-yearold Airhiavbere from either Edo Central or Edo North Senatorial Districts and not from Edo South. Had the PDP picked its candidate from the North or the Central, Oshiomhole would not have embarked on

45

Two-horse race for Osadebe Govt House the kind of frenzied campaign he is running to win re-election.

Will Oshiomhole get re-elected? This is the multi-million naira question begging for an answer. But the answer is blowing in the air. If Oshiomhole will be re-elected, some critical factors will have to play up to his advantage. Election victory is more about controlling the grassroots, the wards and empowering political leadership at that level which would be able to mobilise people in the ward to support bigger interest in the state capital. In essence, the battle for Edo Government House would be fought in the 192 wards of the State. How well has Oshiomhole penetrated these wards with development projects, road infrastructure and provision of social amenities? The fear in the circle of pro-Oshiomhole elements is that he might not have been able to penetrate a vast majority of the wards with one form of democracy dividend or the other. The opposition PDP has continued to claim that Oshiomhole has neglected the hinterland and has concentrated attention on renovation of schools along the roads and in Benin City where people can see. The opposition has been pressing the charge of deception and propaganda against the governor and the ACN. On the other hand, the governor has consistently lay claim to having performed creditably. The verdict in the wards as to whether or not to vote for Oshiomhole would be informed to some extent by whether or not he has performed creditably. But, to a large extent, the voting pattern in the ward will be largely influenced by the capacity, effective coordination and direction provided by political leaders at that level. How many of such political leaders does Oshiomhole have in the 192 wards? How many does the PDP candidate, General Airhiavbere, who has boasted of having visited all the wards, have?

The gathering of the tribes of godfathers and leaders The influence of political godfathers even at the ward level is very critical to mobilisation of the electorate and the critical votes needed for victory. Political leaders are also positioned to be able to dispense patronage and/or take care of the followership. For instance, how well have both Oshiomhole and Airhiavbere been able to leverage on them in the 192 wards spread across the 18 local government areas? Analysts contend that Airhiavbere is more surefooted on this score unlike Oshiomhole who treats godfathers and political leaders with disdain. The fear is that many political leaders in the ACN who are suffering in silence may use the opportunity of the election to prove a point by voting against the governor. The tribes of godfathers and political leaders who have pedigrees and who have made their marks in the politics of Edo State are rallying round Airhiavbere, who though is a neophyte in politics having just joined it, is now enjoying their guidance, support and protection. The trio of Anenih, the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion and former Governor of Old Bendel State, Brig.Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia have rallied solid

Jonathan

The PDP candidate, Airhiavbere, is from Benin in the area, where some people are clamouring for a Bini son as governor. Governor Oshiomhole is also reputed to have impacted on the area with infrastructural development, which will work in his favour. Two issues will play out in the poll: ethnicity and performance. Feelers are that there are solid political leaders in the seven local governments leading the battle charge for Airhiavbere. The local government areas are: Oredo where multi-billionaire businessman politician, Captain Hosa Okunbo has deployed his political network in support of Airhiavbere; and Ovia North East and Ovia South West where Gabriel Igbinedion is said to have effectively taken charge for Airhiavbere. In Uhunmwonde, Senator Rowland Owie and Ogbemudia are expected to sway votes for Airhiavbere; while in IkpobaOkha, many young Turks, including former Special Adviser to Oshiomhole in the Government Office, Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonnayinma, are positioned to mobilise massive votes for Airhiavbere. There are 240,000 registered voters in Ikpoba-Okha while there are 260,000 in Oredo. Egor and Orhiomwon local governments areas may tilt significantly to Oshiomhole. More importantly, his deputy, Pius Odubu who is from Orhiomwon is expected to deploy his influence to garner votes for the joint ticket.

Edo North

Anenih

support for Airhiavbere.

Edo Central Anenih controls Edo Central with five local government areas: Esan Central, Esan North East, Esan South East, Esan West and Igueben. Anenih, the Iyasele of Esanland, is expected to deploy his massive influence in these areas to deliver the vast majority of the votes there to PDP’s Airhiavbere. He will be supported by his foot soldiers in this area: Senator Odion Ugbesia, Hon. Friday Itulah, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale, former member of the House, Hon. Tony Aziegbemi, Hon. Akhere Ugbesia, Hon. Felix Akabue, Mrs Herberta Okonofua and the five serving members of the state House of Assembly from the zone. In the ACN, Oshiomhole will rely on former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi whose candidate was defeated by the PDP in the election in Igueben to the state House of Assembly and a handful of others who operate under the shadow of Anenih in the zone.

Edo South The battle ground in Saturday’s election will ultimately be Edo South with seven local government areas, with 58 per cent of the total voting strength in the state.

The battle in Edo North will be arrayed against the PDP. This is because Oshiomhole comes from there. The permutations are that the three local government areas in Etsako, namely Etsako Central, Etsako West and Etsako East will vote massively for their son despite that the state chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih and Chief of Staff to the President, Ogiadohme come from there. But the game changer in the zone may come from Owan and Akoko Edo for sundry reasons. One, Oshiomhole is alleged to have marginalised them in terms of infrastructure development. They are said to be poised to punish the governor by denying him their votes. Besides, the PDP deputy governorship candidate, Hon. Johnson Abolagba is from Owan. The Owan ethnic nationality is said to be very excited to support him so that he can influence development projects to the area and the Akoko-Edo axis where Dr. Tunde Lakoju (former member of the House of Representatives and former Commissioner of Agriculture in Oshiomhole’s administration) comes from. It was learnt that PDP leaders in Owan and Akoko-Edo axis have been forging a synergy to ensure maximum votes for Airhiavbere in the area. From the indices on ground, the battle for the governorship is going to be fierce. Both the ACN and the PDP have campaigned and mobilised for votes. Whoever wins the election must have been ordained and selected by the unseen hand in the affairs of men. The person who scores the highest votes will be governor-elect of Edo State. Will it be Oshiomhole or Airhiavbere or even Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri of the ANPP? Tomorrow will tell.


Politics

46

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ACN procures fake voters’ cards, imports thugs, PDP alleges COUNTDOWN TO

EDO GUBER POLL JULY 14, 2012

01

DAYS DAY

VOTE

TO GO

OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

T

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged of the influx of printed fake voters’ cards procured by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) aimed at rigging tomorrow’s governorship election in Edo State. The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh also said that ACN has also imported thugs from neighbouring states to terrorise voters and precipitate violence on the election day. The statement also stated that: “It has come to our knowledge that there are devious plans by the ACN to massively influence the outcome of the election, using unwholesome methods. We have received reports that the ACN has printed fake voters’ cards and imported thugs from neighbouring states to terrorise voters and precipitate violence on the election day. “We urge our supporters to

remain vigilant and bring to the notice of law enforcement agencies any suspicious activity. Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s desperation must be informed by the signs of his total rejection by the people of Edo State.” The party also said that the people of Edo have noted with great disappointment that it has been a tenure of more talk, less action. “It is time to end this tenure of deceit and dashed hopes

that has been the hallmark of the outgoing ACN administration in the state. We appeal to all voters to be peaceful, orderly, vigilant and law-abiding,” Metuh said. The party also appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to showcase its neutrality and ensure that the will of the people prevails in this election. “We call on all observers and the press to perform their roles

in an unbiased manner in order to engender the confidence of the electorate in the process. “We are convinced beyond any doubt that the PDP will emerge victorious in a free and fair election, come Saturday.” PDP’s candidate, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) is the leading challenger to Governor Oshiomhole of the ACN with five other parties sponsored candidates.

A

IG bans neighbourhood watch groups The Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, has banned the operation of Edo Neighbourhood Watch committee during tomorrow’s governorship election. The IG’s directive followed the warning issued by the Chairman of the committee, Maj-Gen. Charles Omoregie’s (rtd), that it would deal with electoral offenders. Abubakar told stakeholders in Benin that the committee is “not permitted to function during the governorship election on Saturday.”. He said that the police and other security agencies have been mobilised to ensure a hitch free election. The IG appreciated the complimentary role of the group in securing the state but said it would not be allowed to operate during the election. Omoregie had issued a statement “warning against electoral fraud and violence in the July 14 election.”

Govt declares half working day

Mobile Police officers deployed to Edo State ahead of tomorrow’s governorship election in Benin, yesterday.

Don’t use soldiers to thwart poll, ACN tells FG

head of tomorrow’s governorship election, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on all concerned to ensure that the election is peaceful, free, fair and transparent in the interest of the nation’s democracy. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party particularly urged the PDP- controlled Federal Government not to use the security forces, which it controls, to thwart the will of the people just to satisfy the yearnings of some anti-democratic forces. “The good people of Edo should be allowed to exercise their franchise in a conducive environment devoid of harassment and violence, just as they should be allowed to protect their votes from ballot thieves. Once this is done, the results will be agreeable to all and the country’s democracy would be the best for it. “The PDP, which has already started pre-election manipulation in the name of a bogus opinion poll that gave the party an overwhelming victory in the

Briefs

election, should stop all its evil machinations and play by the rules, if only for once. Rather than relying on the concocted opinion of paid hackers, the PDP should strut its stuff at the polling booths on Saturday and let the people’s opinion count!” it said. The ACN also appealed to the soldiers who have been deployed for the poll not to mortgage their

professional ethics to satisfy the whims of a dinosaurian self-acclaimed fixer, who has nothing but contempt for sanctity of the ballot box. “We are confident that the soldiers and other security agents will not forget that their allegiance is to the nation, rather than to individuals, no matter how powerful such individuals may be. We urge them not to pre-

vent people from exercising their rights, which include staying behind to ensure that their votes are not only counted, but are made to count,” the party said. ACN called on its members and supporters in the state to eschew violence, as they have always done, but to be very vigilant, reminding them of the saying that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

INEC ad hoc staff take oath of neutrality

T

he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday in Benin administered the oath of neutrality on its ad-hoc staff for tomorrow’s election. The oath was administered by the Deputy Chief Registrar, Federal High Court, Benin, Mrs Christiana Clement-Ende. The oath taking was in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and was designed to ensure that the staff carry out their duties without bias. Majority of the ad-hoc staff are members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Mr. Kassim Gaidam, the INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) urged the election officials to be dedicated, effective and thorough in their duties. He explained that the election is a national assignment which must be carried out with diligence and patriotism. He said the assignment would prepare the corps members participating in the exercise for their future career challenges, adding: “There will be punishment for those found wanting and reward for those that excel.” The REC said adequate security would be provided for the electoral officers during the exercise

while their allowances would be paid without delay. In the meantime, the INEC yesterday in Benin took delivery of sensitive election materials preparatory to the election. Gaidam received the materials which were delivered to the commission’s office in Benin from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He later told newsmen that the arrival of materials signifies that the election process has commenced. “The sensitive materials contain all the related materials needed for the exercise and they are all intact.’’

The Edo State government has declared a half working day for all workers in state civil service today, Friday, July 13. All workers in the state civil service are expected to resume work at 8:00a.m. and close at 12:00p.m. This is to enable the workers take the advantage to prepare for the governorship election on Saturday, July 14. The government urged the people to come out en masse on the election day and be orderly as they exercise their franchise.

Royal fathers give Oshiomhole Best Governor Award Traditional rulers (Enigie) in Edo South have given Comrade Adams Oshiomhole an award as the “Best Governor since the creation of Edo State.” The royal fathers who gave the dovernor and his deputy, Dr Pius Odubu the award during a courtesy visit to him yesterday said the state has not witnessed such tremendous infrastructural development since the days of the two-time governor of the defunct Bendel State, Chief Samuel Ogbemudia. Led by the Vice Chairman of the Association, HRH Edowonyi Ogiegbai, the Enogie of Siluko, the royal fathers said the governor’s performance in three years has surpassed the expectation of people of the state. The Enogie of Ehor congratulated the Comrade Governor for the success of his administration in less than four years, and wished him well in the next term. The Enogie said he sees the governor as the light of the state who has provided the people what they need in their different localities, saying he believes the governor will leave a long lasting legacy for which the people will remember him.


Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

Community Mirror “Nobody will make one penny from the subsidy unless PPPRA allows it.” CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL PETROLEUM REVENUE TASK FORCE; NUHU RUBADU

Wife in dilemma over missing NTA’s Gawat FRANCIS SUBERU AND ADEYEMI TESLIM

W

ife of the missing ExNTA staff, Alhaja Fatimoh Gawat yesterday told Community Mirror that all she cares was seeing her husband, Alhaji Rasak Aremu Gawat return home hale and hearty. Alhaja Fatimoh who is still in shock and dilemma over the missing of her husband told our correspondent who called at her residence that she could not say for sure whether her husband was kidnapped or missing, but confirmed that the ace presenter’s Cherokee Jeep has been recovered by officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA. According to her; “I am short of words, I don’t know what to say. All I care is to see my husband return home hale and hearty. My husband is not a politician, neither is he a drug baron, how and why would he be kidnapped? All I care for and pray to Allah is that he comes back home safely.” As at the time of filling this report, the whereabouts of the ace presenter cannot be ascertained, just as it is not known whether he is alive or not. The matter however has been reported at Adeniji

Adele Police Division. The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Ngozi Braide who confirmed Alhaji Gawat missing told also said police is still investigating the matter. She debunked the romour making the round that ace presenter’s body was found somewhere under Apongbon bridge. Community Mirror gathered that the presenter left his family early of Tuesday to his personal

KANO

A

uthorities of 3 Brigade, Nigerian Army has constructed seven hand pumps and handed them over to some communities in Kano as part of activities marking its 149 years of existence in Nigeria. The newly constructed hand pumps were presented to the communities by Brigade Commander, Brigadier Genaral Ilyasu Abbah on Wednesday. While commissioning one of the projects at Dala community in Dala Local Government Area of Kano, Brigadier Genaral Ilyasu said the gesture was a demonstration of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to support the communities within its environment and areas of operation.

Mustapha Sanusi were seen yesterday holding prayer sessions at the compound of the missing person as about 14 chapters of Holy Quran was recited as parts of efforts at bringing him back home safe. Among the dignitaries who came to sympathise with Alhaji Gawat’s family were: Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque, Alhaji Garba Akinola, Senator Hab Fasinro, Ustaz

Ajala of the Tabliq Group Society of Nigeria, popular musician Alhaji Taiwo and Kehinde Alaka, Others were Chief Imam of Nawairudeen Society of Nigeria Division 111, Imam Abubakar Al-Adaby, Lagos Island business tycoon, Alhaji and Alhaja Tajudeen Olugbode and the National Missioner of Rahmot Islamiyat Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Adebayo Tejidini.

Sympathisers putting out fire from a burning vehicle at Katampe area in Abuja, recently.

Nigerian Army donates boreholes to Kano districts AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST

office at block A2\9 suite 111 Sura Shopping Complex. He later told his confidential secretary, Ibrahim Mustapha that he was going out on business appointment with a friend in Ikeja. It was on his way back from the business appointment, at about 6pm on Tuesday that he became missing. However, a group of Imams, led by Chief Imam of Darudawa Wali Irishad, Isolo, Alhaji Sheik

To him, the gesture would go a long way in giving the communities a sense of belonging as it will also make the people embrace military activities and develop positive attitudes towards military men. The Commander added that “3 Brigade Army is also doing this as part of the campaign to strengthen civilian-military relationship and to encourage the communities to be part of the efforts to rid the state of the current security challenges confronting it”. “We are here because of you, and your cooperation is what we need. Security issues are not issues for the security agencies alone to handle; we need your cooperation in achieving a peaceful atmosphere in Kano state. We will continue to see the communities as part of us and support them where necessary”.

Ibadan serial fraudster arrested FRANCIS SUBERU

A

suspected serial fraudster, Bunmi Akintoye has been arrested by police officers attached to the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Lagos. Police sources at SFU told Community Mirror that the Ibadanbased 33-year old suspect is facing multiple allegations, bordering on obtaining several millions of naira from people by false pretence. In one of the petitions against her, Bunmi had obtained 96 pieces of Hewlett Packard Laptops in June, 2011 from one of the complainants at the cost of N105,000 each which amounted to a total sum of N10.8million. It was gathered that Bunmi deposited a sum of N1.5million and issued post-dated Skye Bank cheques in the value of N8.5million to demonstrate to

the victim that she was a genuine business woman. In the end, all the cheques issued bounced on presentation at the bank. She, afterwards, became inaccessible to the victim. In another case, the suspect approached a wealthy man in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, claiming that she won a contract from Lead City University, Ibadan and would want to execute the project together with the man as partner. She eventually obtained a total sum of N6million from the unsuspecting honourable and just like the first case, she summarily disappeared. In yet another case, the suspect obtained $80,000.00 from a US-based Nigerian lady under the pretence that she wanted to have a legitimate business transaction with her. She became unreachable immediately after obtaining

the sum from the woman. The Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, Tunde Ogunsakin described the suspect as a pathological fraudster who has engaged in serial fraudulent practises, saying it took strategic policing to track her down. He warned members of the public to be at alert as some other persons of the type of Bunmi Akintoye are out there prowling in search of innocent and unsuspecting members of the public to dupe. He said investigations are ongoing and the suspect will be charged to court as soon as processes involved, advance to a reasonable end. The Commissioner called on members of the public who have any complaints against Bunmi Akinoye to come forth with such to SFU at Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.


48

Community Mirror

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Police arraign 3 for attacking worship centre T hree persons, including a U.S.-based woman, were on Wednesday arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Umuahia for al-

legedly attacking a worship centre. Emily Nwabuko, 45, Emelike Nwabuko, 49, and the U.S. based Victoria Udenze, 56, were alleged to

have attacked worshippers of Christ Power Foundation Ministries, Amuzukwu in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia with thugs.

The accused persons, with others at large, were arraigned on a four-count charge of misdemeanour. The prosecution said the offence was punishable un-

der the Criminal Code Laws of the Federation as applicable in Abia. He said the offence was committed on July 4, 2012. The prosecution said that

the accused armed their surrogates with dangerous weapons, went to the church premises and chased members of the choir away and locked the door. When the charges were read, the accused persons pleaded not guilty. Mr Augustine Ndife, counsel to the accused applied for bail on the ground that the alleged offences were bailable which the prosecutor did not object to.


Friday, July 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

“In the (Mali’s) north, at one moment or another there will probably be the use of force” – French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius

Nine Climbers killed in France avalanche

N

ine climbers have been killed in an avalanche near the French Alpine ski resort of Chamonix and four others are missing, officials say. Those killed were reported to be from Spain, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Nine other climbers were injured. Local authorities deployed rescue teams in helicopters and said it was the deadliest avalanche in recent memory. The alarm was sounded at 05:25 local time (03:25 GMT) by one of the injured on the slopes of Mont Maudit. The route is popular with summer tourists heading for the summit of Mont Blanc. In all, 28 climbers were roped together in several groups on Thursday morning. They are believed to have reached 4,000m (13,120 ft) when the avalanche struck. A spokeswoman at the HauteSavoie prefecture told the BBC that six bodies had been found. Hours later, rescuers found the bodies of three more victims, believed to be Britons. Four more climbers - said to be two UK nationals and two Spaniards - are still missing. Chamonix mayor Jean-Louis Verdier told Reuters news agency the avalanche was completely unexpected. “We had no more reason than usual to be alarmed,” he said. “It’s a steep mountain face. There are big plates of snow where an avalanche can easily occur. But this morning we had no reason to expect an avalanche of this size and such a tragedy.” Rescue teams have been using helicopters and heat-seeking devices to try to locate the missing. Early yesterday evening, the search was called off until the next day. The French authorities described the avalanche as “the most deadly” in recent years. The weather in the region has been warm and windy over the last few days, which could have led to an increased risk of avalanche at high altitudes, the BBC’s reporter in Berne reports. Chamonix-based mountain guide Richard Mansfield described the area as “very beautiful”, but said that it was avalanche-prone.

Togo PM, government resign in surprise move PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

T

ogo’s prime minister and his government have resigned in a surprise move that puzzled observers in the tiny West African nation yesterday. A presidential statement gave no reasons for the departure of Prime Minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo and his Cabinet ministers. It only stated that President Faure Gnassingbe accepted the resignation late Wednesday. The resignation comes on the backdrop of increasing antigovernment protests over the past weeks and ahead of municipal and legislative elections due in October. Houngbo, a former top United Nations development official, started his tenure in 2008 with the main pledge to boost the poor nation’s economy. But critics say he made too little progress in reducing poverty.

Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo

Togo has been ruled by the same family for almost half a century, with Gnassingbe as-

suming power in 2005 after the death of his father, the long-time dictator.

Seven die in Mauritania’s military plane crash

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even people were killed in Mauritania yesterday in the crash of a military plane chartered by a Canadian mining company to transport gold, an aviation official said. The plane caught fire shortly after taking off from an airstrip in Nouakchott, the West African nation’s capital. The pilot attempted to return to the runway but failed to reach it, said the official affiliated with Mauritania’s flight control agency.

A vintage Douglas DC-3 plane

The military crew members, custom officials and contractors working for a Canadian mining company aboard died on the spot. All of them were citizens of Mauritania, the official added. He declined to be named in line with department policy. He said the plane was bound for the Tasiast gold mine some 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital. It is owned by Canada’s Kinross Gold Corporation. The company said the YAK-

12 plane was chartered to bring gold back from the mine to the capital and had no gold aboard at the time of the accident. In a statement, the company said those killed were the two pilots, two custom officials and three of the firm’s security personnel contractors. The Mauritanian official, however, said earlier that three military crew members, two custom officials and two of the mining company’s employees were killed.

WORLD BULLETIN

US, China vow to cooperate on Asia US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi have said their countries will co-operate on Asia issues. They are meeting on the sidelines of the Asean forum in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, amid regional tension. China and Japan disagree over who owns islands in the East China Sea. Meanwhile, Asean is seeking China’s agreement on a code of conduct on disputes in the potentially oil-rich South China Sea. Mrs Clinton stressed the importance of China and the US working together on sensitive issues. “I am delighted that we are going to be issuing a joint media note,’’ she told the meeting in Phnom Penh. ‘’It is an important signal that the United States and China not only can but will work together in Asia.” Yang told reporters China was ready to ‘’enhance’’ dialogue with the US and ‘’expand... common ground’’. “China and US relations have continued to make progress this year,” he said. Foreign ministers of the 10-nation bloc are meeting in the Cambodian capital with counterparts from the region including China, and Mrs Clinton and European Union representative Catherine Ashton. Mrs Clinton urged countries involved in disputes in the South China Sea to “work collaboratively and diplomatically to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and without use of force’’. The US has no territorial claims in the region and will not ‘’take sides’’ in disputes, she stressed. “But we do have an interest in freedom of navigation, the maintenance of peace and stability”

Mali arrests colonel behind attempted counter coup Mali’s government says the military has arrested an army colonel who directed a parachutist regime that attempted to stage a countercoup in April. In a statement released late Wednesday, the government said Col. Abidine Guindo led the group of soldiers, also known as the Red Berets. All of the strategic locations they managed to gain control of in April were quickly recaptured by forces loyal to the junta leader, Capt. Amadou Sanogo. Sanogo and a group of soldiers in Mali toppled the country’s democratically elected president in March. The junta leaders then handed power over to an interim government in April, but still wielded power.


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Friday, July 13, 2012

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We’ll free LGs from governors’ clutches - NULGE DANJUMA WILLIAMS, GOMBE

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L-R: Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari and Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, during a meeting of Nigeria Governors’ Forum in Abuja, yesterday.

Katsina emir instigating violence in Kaduna - Gbagyi chiefs A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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bout 11 traditional rulers in Gbagyi Chiefdom of Kaduna State yesterday cautioned the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, over his comment that Gonin Gora suburb should be demolished for peace to reign in the state. It was reported that Usman suggested to Federal

Government to demolish the settlement over alleged killings of innocent people on transit whenever there are crises in the state. He was said to have made the call during a courtesy visit to his palace by the Assistant Inspector-General of police in charge of Zone One. A statement signed by over 11 chiefs led by Yusuf Doma denied the kill-

ing allegations, stressing that rather the village had given succour to travellers during crisis in the state. The statement accused the emir of spearheading another round of crisis in Kaduna. The chiefs, therefore, called on security agencies to monitor the emir’s utterances. The statement reads in part: “The ultimate objective of those behind this

campaign is to set Gonin Gora up as a target for official and unofficial annihilation. In these days of Boko Haram menace, should anything untoward happen to our Gonin Gora community, the authorities should know that those responsible are folks like Emir Abdulmumini Kabir Usman who have made it their duty to label and stigmatise the residents of Gonin Gora.”

Polio: Parents chase immunisation officials JAMES DANJUMA, KATSINA

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arents in some communities in Katsina State have resisted attempts to vaccinate their children against the polio virus, despite efforts to check recurrence of the disease in the state. The state recently recorded about nine cases of polio, which is one of the highest figures in the country. Governor Ibrahim Shema and the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Farouk Umar Farouk, had threatened council area chairmen and traditional rulers with possible removal from office if the virus is recorded in their domains. It was learnt that immunisation officials in several communities were chased away during a fourday immunisation exercise when parents resisted attempts to immunise their

children. The parents insisted that the immunisation could have adverse effects on their children, with others resisting the polio immunisation for moral reasons. One area where immunisation officials faced much resistance was in Dussi village in Matazu Local Government where immunisation officials took to their heels after being chased by angry community members. It was also gathered that immunisation officials faced similar problems in Funtua and Daura local government areas of the state. Speaking during a visit to Dussi village yesterday, the Chairman of Matazu Local Government Area, Sani Haliru Matazu, warned that parents sabotaging the immunisation exercise would be decisively dealt with. Haliru, who led a team

of council officials to the village, said his visit followed a report of rejection of polio vaccines by the parents. The chairman said parents’ refusal to allow their children get immunisation against polio was unfortunate, adding that it was hindering government’s effort to wipe out the disease.

Haliru explained that government was spending huge sums of money on immunisation against the disease, urging parents to cooperate to ensure success of the exercise. The chairman appealed to the parents to always allow immunisation of their children against any disease to ensure a healthier society.

ational President of the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, said that councils had begun a desperate move to set themselves free from the grip of state governors. Khaleel, who was in Gombe to witness the inauguration of the New State Secretariat of the union, said that NULGE was pursuing the council autonomy with all the seriousness required as it had submitted a memorandum to the National Assembly for the amendment of the constitution. According to him, lack of autonomy of the councils has been behind all the problems being faced in the country, especially security challenges and high rate of poverty among the citizens. He also said that the councils’ lack of autonomy had been the strong reason why there was absence of physical development in the country, adding that

councils were the key agents to meaningful development because of their closeness to the grassroots. Khaleel said that councils were stagnated and under unhealthy control of the state governors whose actions were deliberately designed to undermine the councils and make them ineffective in discharging their constitutional duties. On the refusal by some councils to pay the N18,000 minimum wage, especially in Plateau State, the NULGE president condemned the action, saying the local governments lacked genuine reasons. Khaleel said no local government in the country lacked the financial capability to pay the minimum wage. He disclosed that Plateau NULGE had been on strike for over three months with the state government not taking the necessary steps to end it. “The issue has a political undertone and it is unfair to NULGE members in the state,” he said.

New Govt House: Land owners protest ‘meagre’ compensation JAMES DANJUMA, KATSINA

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wners of the land acquired by the Katsina State Government for the construction of the new multi-billion naira Government House have protested what they termed a meagre compensation they were given. The land owners, who have protested to the state House of Assembly, said the government did not pay them the real value for their land. One of the land owners, Babangida Nasamu, yesterday called on the

lawmakers to immediately intervene in the issue by ensuring that they were paid the real value for the land as compensation. In his contribution, Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim representing Malumfashi constituency, said full payment of compensation would help the people buy another land, considering economic situation in the country. Shortly after debating the issue, the Speaker, Hon. Ya’u Gwajo-Gwajo, directed the House Committee on Land and Survey to investigate the issue and present its report to the House within two weeks.

Kwankwaso signs Ramadan bonus bill into law AUGUSTINE MADUWEST KANO

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overnor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State has signed the Ramadan and Ram Bonuses Bill into law. The new law makes it optional for the government to give bonuses to the workers during festive periods and not mandatory as it was before now. Speaking shortly after

signing the bill as amended by the House of Assembly, Kwankwaso explained that the law had to be amended to allow government the leeway to grant bonuses to its employees within the limit of the available resources. He said that the previous law on bonuses, which was drafted by the past administration, was built on a shaky foundation, saying that the then government could not pay

salaries regularly not to talk of additional benefits to workers. Kwankwaso said that his government was determined to use its resources to improve the general well being of the citizens through the provision of durable infrastructure and services, and not just the welfare of a few individuals. The governor said his administration would explore ways of improving

the lot of civil servants, adding that currently, the workers were paid regularly while training and the provision of working materials for them, among other things, were prioritised.

Kwakwanso


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Abigael Ajakaiye

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ate Abigael Ajakaiye’s death was a total shock to friends and relatives. She died on Friday, May 18, 2012 at the age of 64 after a brief illness. She would be remembered for her commitment to her children’s education and her love for the less privileged. Her funeral service is slated for Friday, today at The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Power Assembly, Lagos after which her remains will be interred at her husband’s house in Ita-Oluwo, Ogijo, Lagos.

Funeral rites for Major General Peter

Major General Peter Sha

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ajor General Peter Sha died on May 28, 2012 at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, at the age of 67. He was the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3, Armoured Division, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, Jos, Plateau State. The late Sha was said to be the highest-ranking army officer from the Berom nation. He took ill immediately he returned to Nigeria from India and eventually died. Army officers who had served with late Sha described him as an illustrious army officer who never compromised quality for quantity. It was said that the Nigerian Army will remember him for his ability to examine issues passion-

ately. He had served as GOC, 3rd Armoured Division and 2nd Mechanised Division, Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Chief of Training and Operation, Defence Headquarters and Commander, 7 Brigade (ECOMOG) Liberia, among others. The deceased, who got married in 1975 to former Miss Asabe Pam Pwajok, was blessed with seven children, four girls and three boys, but two of them, a boy and a girl, later died leaving five of them behind. Major-General Peter Gyang Sha was buried at his residence near the Rayfield Golf Club, Jos, amid encomiums on Friday, June 15, 2012 with him wearing full military regalia.

Senator Gyang Dantong

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enator Gyang Dalyop Dantong died last Sunday while attending a mass funeral for victims killed in Saturday’s attack on villages in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau State. He was killed alongside the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. Gyang Fulani. The Senator was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and represented Plateau North. He was the Chairman Senate Committee on Health, and a member of the Aviation Committee. The late senator was also an Honourable Member of the Federal House of Representatives in the 5th Assembly (2003 -2007), after which he joined the 7th assembly as a Senator in 2007. Dantong was a distinguished medical practitioner and Medical Director, Vom Christian Hospital, Jos. He was so passionate about improving the health policy of the country, especially on polio that he once challenged the Federal Government’s poor funding on polio eradication campaign. Born on March 3, 1957, Dontang at-

Samuel Ojebode

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amuel Ojebode was a renowned footballer. He passed on at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 after a brief illness at age of 68.

He was one of Nigeria’s finest footballers in the 70s and 80s. In his active days, he played for the Shooting Stars Football Club, Ibadan where he eventually became a captain of the team. As a player, coach and soccer administrator, Ojebode left a mark on Nigeria’s football history that has remained indelible over the years. Ojebode was part of the Shooting Stars team that won, for the first time for Nigeria, the prestigious African Cup Winners Cup in 1976. It was Nigeria’s first continental trophy. He was the captain of the team between 1974 and 1980. He played alongside Okala brothers, Rashidi Yekini and many other indigenous football stars. He was also a member of the then Green Eagles (later renamed Super Eagles), playing in the left full back position. On retirement from active football, Ojebode coached the Shooting Stars FC, now Shooting Stars Sports Club, and also served as chairman of the team’s board. He is survived by wife and children.

Madam Rebecca Ayomike

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tended the University of Jos and the University of Ghana, Legon, for his post graduate, where he obtained his MBBS and MPH respectively.

adam Rebecca Ayomike died at age of 81 after a brief illness. She was mother-in-law to Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. Madam Ayonmike, mother of the Delta State First Lady, Deaconess Roli Nere Uduaghan, was born on the 10th of November 1931 to the family of late Chief Oritsemogho Ayomike of Ugborodo in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. Until her death which occurred on Monday, July 9, 2012, Madam Rebecca Ayomike was a devout Christian, a hard working woman and a caring mother. She is survived by six children, grand children and a great grand child. Burial arrangements will be announced later by the family.


Friday, July 13, 2012

My target is 400m hurdles final –Odumosu

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Sport

Now I go to the Olympics filled with pride to represent my country to the best of my ability –SOUTH AFRICAN AMPUTEE ATHLETE, OSCAR PISTORIUS

Fed Cup: No going back on Bauchi venue –NFF

… Final now to hold Aug 26

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auchi remains a centre for the group prelimnary stage matches of the 2012 Federation Cup competition that holds from July 16 to 20th, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) ruled yesterday in Abuja. Chief Sports Officer of the NFF, Alhaji Umar Kontagora, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there was no going back on the choice of Bauchi as one of the centres. Bauchi was named on July 6 as one of the four centres alongside Lagos, Port Harcourt and Lokoja. During the draw for the Round of 16 games of the Federation Cup, the city’s Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium was picked as Group A where Enyimba International of Aba, Warri Wolves, Lobi Stars of Makurdi and Samba FC of Enugu will slug it out to determine two quarter-finalists. However, Lokoja has since then been replaced with Ibadan by the NFF over the non-readiness of the city’s Confluence Stadium, while some clubs have raised concerns over the security situation in Bauchi State. But Kontagora said there was no issue to be addressed regarding the choice of Bauchi and the

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concerns raised by some of the participating clubs. “We have no fears about Bauchi at all, and we are not aware of any threats that can affect the smooth organisation of matches and the comfort of clubs to be based there,” he said. He added that the NFF had also received assurances on the security situation in the state capital and the safety of all participants in the matches. “We have been assured, not only by the state Commissioner of Police, but also by the state government that Bauchi is safe and ready for the matches. We at the NFA are assuring all concerned that they have nothing to fear about being in Bauchi for the group prelim matches,” he said. Meanwhile, the final match of this year’s Federation Cup will now hold on August 26 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Chief Media Officer of the NFF, Ademola Olajire, said this in a statement yesterday, in Abuja. Earlier the final and thirdplace matches were earlier fixed to hold on July 29 at the same venue. No reason was given for the change in date.

F/Eagles hit Lagos for Benin

T Uche Ndukwe of Enyimba FC of Aba is one of the players that will play at the Bauchi centre of the Federation Cup

ECOWAS wrestling tourney ends in Dakar

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he 5th ECOWAS Wrestling Tournament which began yesterday in Senegal, will end tomorrow in Dakar. It is featuring wrestlers from 13 of the 15 ECOWAS member states in five weight categories - 66kg, 76kg, 86kg, 100kg and 100kg as well as country teams. The competition is one of the two regional wrestling tournaments organised annually by the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre (EYSDC), based

in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It is being organised in collaboration with Senegal’s National Committee for the Management of Wrestling, an agency of the Sports Ministry, while the 8th Edition of the second regional event, the ECOWAS Traditional Wrestling Tournament (TOLAC), organised in collaboration with Niger Republic, took place in the nation’s capital, Niamey, last April. Director of the ECOWAS

Youth and Sports Development Centre, Mr. Francis Njoaguani, said the competitions were held within the context of executing the decision of regional leaders adopting African wrestling as an official sport of the Community, and popularising it to achieve Olympic Games status. The sport has been recognised by the African Union and is one of the events featuring in the next Francophonie Games.

he Flying Eagles will arrive in Lagos today for a friendly match with their Benin Republic counterparts slated to hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, on Sunday. This is contained in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by the spokesman of the NFF, Ademola Olajire. The statement said the NFF officials had confirmed the use of the stadium for the encounter meant to prepare both teams for the upcoming 2013 African Youth Championship qualifiers. It said that the match would attract gate fees of N200 for popular side and N300 for covered stands, adding that the Flying Eagles Coach, John Obuh, was expected to lead his boys into the Nigeria’s commercial and industrial capital today ahead of the game. The Beninoise team was expected to also arrive in Lagos today.

It noted that the match would be the team’s first big game since its poor outing at the Cape Town International Challenge in South Africa in May. It said that Obuh’s wards would take on the Junior Taifa Stars of Tanzania in Dares Salaam on July 28 in the first leg of the AYC fixture. The return leg in Nigeria will be on August 11.

Coach Obuh


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Boxing: Haye promises Chisora hell

Utaka savours Keita partnership

ormer WBA champion, David Haye, has taken it on himself to punish Dereck Chisora for his misdemeanours outside the ring. The pair clash over 10 rounds at Upton Park tomorrow and underdog Chisora has convictions for public order offences, assaulting a police officer and possession of an offensive weapon. The 28-year-old was also found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend two years ago but was spared jail, instead landing a 12-week prison sentence suspended for two years. Haye believes Chisora has been given a lenient time by the British justice system, something he aims to put right in their eagerly-awaited clash. “Chisora’s not a nice man, not a nice human being,” Haye said yesterday. “I don’t like anything he represents-the fact he’s been convicted of beating up his ex-girlfriend, the fact he feels the need to carry around an offensive weapon-he’s been convicted of that as well. “He’s been convicted of attacking police officers and has got a real long criminal record. From the stuff I’ve seen him doing personally and from what I’ve heard from people who know him, he’s a horrible, spiteful man, and a bully. “He needs to be punished because the law hasn’t punished him. He’s never done any hard time.” Haye said he was pleased the time had finally come for the talking to stop, stressing, “For the past two months I’ve had to listen to Chisora chat all kinds of rubbish ahead of this fight, easily done when the contest was so far away.”

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IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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Haye

alian Aerbin of China striker Peter Utaka says he will be expecting a good harvest of goals following the arrival of Mali international and former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita. The former RC Lens star is expected to officially join his new club on Monday after he was released at Barcelona on the expiration of his contract. Utaka, who is the club’s top scorer with seven goals, believes he will benefit from Keita’s experience to increase his goal account. “We are all waiting for the arrival of Keita in Dalian next week and the players, man- Peter Utaka

agement and fans will open their arms for him,” Utaka told National Mirror yesterday. “Keita’s wealth of experience will no doubt be valuable for the club and the lot of young players too. He will surely inspire the lot. We’re currently placed 12th on the table but I believe we will improve with his arrival. “I used to enjoy his combination with my brother back then in France when I played in Belgium and I am looking forward to continuing it here at Dalian.”

Okoli identifies missing link Racist slur: Terry nears court judgement John Terry

AFOLABI GAMBARI

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helsea captain, John Terry, was using “straightforward racial abuse” against Anton Ferdinand rather than sarcastically repeating a racist slur, a court heard yesterday. Terry, 31, is accused of using racist language to QPR centrehalf Ferdinand during a Premier League match on October 23 last year and a verdict is expected today. Prosecutor Duncan Penny, who made his closing speech at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, said on Terry’s account, Ferdinand had used the word “black” as well as highly offensive swearwords. Terry claims that he simply repeated back the slur that Ferdinand wrongly thought he had used, and denies a racially aggravated public order offence. “This meant that Terry added another swearword, and had also used the word ‘and’ before the racial obscenity,” Penny said. “If it’s rhetorical repetition, why does the word ‘and’ feature at all? Why are any other words spoken by Mr. Terry at all,” the prosecutor asked. According to Penny, it is unlikely that Ferdinand would have

had the “motivation or frankly the sophistication” in the heat of the moment to make up an allegation that Terry had used racial abuse. “A false allegation of racism would be an accusation which involved more sophisticated thought processes than had hitherto been going on, on that football pitch,” he said, adding that Ferdinand would not be the first “victim” who was reluctant to give evidence in court.

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ormer President of the Special Sports Federation of Nigeria (SSFN), Cosmas Okoli, has identified lack of developmental programmes as the bane of sports in the country. Okoli, who was in charge of Nigeria’s paralympic sports between 1995 to 2001, accused sports administrators in the country for failure to establish a sports development programme to nurture athletes to stardom “We have abundant talent both in the able and disable sports but there is no motivation is not existent,” Okoli said. Okoli, who won two gold medals in table tennis at the Cairo ‘91 All African Games, wants the Federal Government to give tax concession to corporate organisations

Ebonyi floats football clubs

MADU EZENOHA ABAKALIKI

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ive years after the disbandment of Ebonyi Angels and Ebonyi Queens, the state government says it is ready to re-launch new clubs. Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Samuel Mgbada, told National Mirror in Abakaliki that the former clubs were disbanded to enable the state recruit new talents from the grassroots. “We concluded the OchoUdo Unity Cup which in-

volved teams from the 13 local government areas and our scouts from the sports council have discovered some players which we are now training. “Ebonyi will have male and female teams in no distant time in an effort to re-launch the state on the national scene,” the commissioner said, adding that the state had commenced preparation for the National Sports Festival scheduled for Lagos in November, even as he announced that the renovation and expansion of the Abakaliki stadium would commence soon.

that sponsor sports events to encourage more support for sports. “There is no way government can fund sports alone and this is why private organisations should be involved,” he further said. He, however, debunked claims that he dumped sports for business, saying the attitude of sports administrators in the country had forced his retreat. “Politics has taken over the whole place and I don’t think it’s best for me,” he explained, stressing, “I can’t quit sports.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

14 TODAYS GO

Sport

Friday, July 13, 2012

My target is 400m hurdles final –Odumosu

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ommonwealth Games gold medallist, Ajoke Odumosu, has said that her goal is to reach the final in the women’s 400metres hurdles event at the upcoming London Olympics. Odumosu, who picked the gold at the Delhi 2010 Games told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that she felt great for being selected for the London Games and hoped to come out tops in her event. Odumosu and her colleague, Amaechi Morton, are Nigeria’s only entries in the 400m hurdles for men and women in the Olympics. “I feel great about it. Just want to go there, represent and do what I’m supposed to do. Go out there compete hard and come out tops. “And the goal is to just get to the final of the 400 hurdles and then once in the final I know anything can happen,” she added. The hurdler said the aim of members of the Team Nigeria was to be an example to emulate by younger athletes just like they were inspired by their predecessors. “I know it is possible for us to do well at the Games and what is being done in the last few years has been geared towards getting athletics better. And we want to put down an inspiring foundation so that those behind us can be motivated to do better than us. The likes of late Sunday Bada, Henry Amike and Falilat Ogunkoya had inspired us,” she added.

JULY 27 - AUGUST 12, 2012

Nigeria enters eight sports EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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ollowing last Sunday’s qualification of the D’Tigers in Venezuela for the men’s basketball event, Nigeria will now participate in eight sports in the London 2012. The sports are track and field, table tennis, taekwondo, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, canoeing (kayak) and basketball. At the send-forth ceremony for Team Nigeria held in Lagos on July 5, only athletes for seven sports were handed over to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) by the National Sports Commission (NSC), with basketball placed on standby. Already, the athletics team and the canoeing player are in Surrey, England for closed camping, while the taekwondo players have been in South Korea with their Asian coach. Boxers, ping pongers, and weightlifters are rounding off their trainings in Germany from where they will arrive in the Games Village in London a week to the opening day. National Mirror reports that Nigeria’s medals at the London Games would come from long jump (women), canoeing, taekwondo, weightlifting and basketball events.

Ajoke Odumosu scaling the hurdles at an international event for Nigeria

AFN drops American coach

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he Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) yesterday announced the dropping of one of the track and field coaches, American Garfield Ellenwood, from Nigeria’s delegation to the London 2012 Olympics. Technical Officer of the AFN, Yusuf Alli, said in Lagos that the American who is a personal coach of African Cham-

pionships 200m winner, Gloria Asumnu, was dropped following confirmation that he previously served a ban for dope related offence. “The American coach, (Ellenwood), has been confirmed by the federation to have recently been cleared after serving a ban for complicity in a dope related offence. For this, we cannot allow him to be part

of our team to the Olympics,” Alli stated yesterday in Lagos. Alli insisted that Ellenwood was not contracted by the AFN to be part of Team Nigeria “The American is a personal coach of Gloria Asumnu, just the same way we allowed some of our top athletes to also come to camp with their coaches as it is universal practice. That was why they were listed as part of

LOC alert to outbreak of diseases

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he Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the London 2012 Olympic Games has entered into a first-of-its-kind international collaboration concerned about the spread of infectious diseases at the Olympics. Britain’s Health Protection Agency (HPA), the Swedenbased European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and researchers in Toronto are tracking in real-time communicable diseases that have the potential to mar the Games. “The most important thing is knowing what is happening on the ground as soon as possible, so if anything unusual

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does happen, we can respond quickly,” Brian McCloskey, the Olympic lead for the HPA, told dpa yesterday in Berlin. As with other mass gatherings, the fear is that a visitor could bring a disease from their home country and spread it in the crowds. Infected fans would then take the disease home with them, where it could continue to infect. An infectious disease physician and scientist at the University of Toronto, Kamran Khan, said that mass gatherings such as the Olympics are unique from a public health standpoint because they play host to “a lit-

tle global community in a very defined space.” For the Olympics, the HPA is monitoring the public health

situation in Britain while the European CDC is looking outward at diseases emerging worldwide.

L-R: Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji; Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi; Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo and Nigeria Olympic Committee President, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, at the send-forth ceremony of Team Nigeria in Lagos, last week

the country’s team to the Olympics.” While correcting the misconception in a section of the sporting press that the AFN was condoning people with questionable backgrounds in the track and field squad to the Olympics, Alli said, “How can anybody say that? The current board of the AFN has zero tolerance for dope in track and field. This is the reason why since our preparations began for the Olympics, we have carried out over 50 dope tests on our athletes. The records are there for all to see.” Coach Ellenwood was sacked by the Bethune-Cookman University with one of his two assistants, Kia Davis, because of violations of university policy and NCAA rules. As a result, the United States Anti-Doping Agency banned him for two years on January 28, 2010. He was cleared early this year by the USA Track and Field Ellenwood was the coach of the Liberian team at the 2008 Beijing Games and was an elite runner who testified in May 2008 at his former coach, Trevor Graham’s, perjury trial relating to the federal BALCO investigation, where he said that Graham introduced him to a steroids


WORLD RECORD

Trans-USA by wheelchair Vol. 02 No. 403

Matthew Eddy (USA) travelled across mainland USA in his power wheelchair in 126 days 4 hr 2 min, starting on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at Red Rock Park on Lynn Beach, Lynn, Massachusetts, on 5 June 2010 and finishing at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, USA on 9 October 2010. He crossed 12 states and covered a total of 5,289.92 km (3,287 miles).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Plateau State: Another Nigerian tragedy

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ublic sullen resentment over the Federal Government’s impotence and helplessness in its handling of persistent insecurity in the northern parts of the country was again activated with the massive killings and burning of houses in Plateau State last Saturday and Sunday. Gunmen said to be Fulani herdsmen on Saturday, reportedly invaded parts of Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas, killed over 100 people and burned several houses. The following Sunday, mourners gathered in Matse village for the mass burial of about 63 of those killed the previous day. But while the burial service was in progress, about 50 gunmen again descended from a nearby bushy hill and sprayed the mourners with bullets, killing about 20 people and leaving dozens of others injured. Among those killed were a serving senator from the area, Gyang

HMMN, FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE? w

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resh from her feat at the Wimbledon 2012, Serena Williams overpowered scrappy Nicole Gibbs 6-2, 6-1 in the second round on Gibbs’ home court at Stanford Bank of the West Classic yesterday. Williams, who is the

FRIDAYS WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) Dantong; and a member of the state House of Assembly, James Gyang Fulani. Unconfirmed reports, Wednesday, said the gunmen were again on the rampage, Tuesday, when they sacked two more villages in the Barkin-Ladi LG and set more houses ablaze. President Goodluck Jonathan, according to reports, summoned security chiefs to an emergency meeting on Monday to assess the situation. Sadly, however, efforts by newsmen to know what transpired at the meeting proved abortive when the Chief of Defence Staff and the National Security Adviser indulged in buck-passing on who should address the media. Yet the outcome of the meeting could be predicted - the nation was again at the crossroads in determining how to restore peace; not only to Plateau State, but to an entire nation shaken to its foundations by terrorists’ insurgence and sundry violence. Besides, it does seem the replacement of former NSA, Gen. Owoye Azazi (rtd) with Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has proven no magic solution to the wanton campaign of violence in the North. Had President Jonathan and his security chiefs made any spectacular headway in their Monday emergency meeting, the gunmen wouldn’t have returned to sack more villages in Barkin-Ladi LG the following day (last Tuesday), for example. Not surprisingly, the Boko Haram Islamic sect, according to reports on Wednesday, claimed responsibility for the weekend

THE NATION WAS AGAIN AT THE CROSSROADS IN DETERMINING HOW TO RESTORE PEACE cruel onslaught. But beyond the Boko Haram claim, the thesis of former National Security Adviser, Azazi, which sought to link politics of exclusion with the festering insecurity up North, seems to apply to Plateau State as well. Azazi’s position tallies with the outcomes of various research works, surveys and panel reports on the recurrent Plateau crisis. One analyst, Adam Higazi, for instance, says there has been a steady shift in political power from northern Hausa Muslims to local minority Christians in the North Central geopolitical zone, Plateau State inclusive; whereas, the colonial system of indirect rule favoured the Muslim Hausa/ Fulani ‘sarauta’ (title- holding) class over Muslim talakawa (commoners) and minority non-Muslim groups, most of whom are now Christians. Politics under post-1998 civilian administrations have provided opportunities for “indigenous” elites in Plateau to gain power, but not for “settlers”. He says policies of exclusion and discrimination by the state government, combined

Sport Extra Tennis: Serena strolls over Gibbs at Stanford number one seed and defending champion, will face sixth-seeded Chanelle Scheepers of Russia in the quarterfinals today. Scheepers beat Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de

Brito 6-3, 6-4 in the second round. Williams, who received a bye in the first round, just spent two weeks winning the Wimbledon singles and doubles titles in London and

is set to return to Great Britain for the Olympics. She admitted struggling to acclimatize to the bright California sunshine. “I couldn’t quite believe I was playing today, but I’m

with restive and politically assertive Muslim groups, are what have generated violence since 2001. Indeed, cases of violence in the state in 1994, 2001, 2002 and 2004 were all centred on political rivalry between Christians (mostly indigenes) and Muslims (mostly settlers). The administrations of both former governor Joshua Dariye and the incumbent, Jonah Jang, were inundated with accusations of ethnic bias and being much anti-Muslim to the detriment of the Hausa/Fulani. The schism of course existed even under the military, but the latter’s repressive approach to politics and governance compelled politically shortchanged communities to resort to religious activism, in fact extremism. All this the FG ought to be aware of, except it made no use of the reports of the countless panels that have investigated the Plateau crises. With the delicate political equation between “indigenes” and “settlers” in the state yet unresolved, aggrieved parties become more amenable to hiring mercenaries, including the Boko Haram, to inflict maximum damage on the system. Worse still, none of the culprits of the recurring violence, from the foot soldiers to their leaders, is known to have been brought to justice. How then would they be deterred? Resolving the latest callous killings in Plateau State, therefore, requires fishing out the perpetrators of the cruel attackers and bringing them to justice, no matter whose ox is gored; and the coercive capacities of the nation’s security agencies tasked in the protection of all citizens. It seems, however, that a lasting solution to the recurring violence can only be achieved by brokering a neutral ground between the settlers’ primitive thinking that what they failed to achieve since 1804 with the force of arms, they could achieve in Nigeria of 2012 and beyond; and the indigenes’ crude impression that by monopolizing political power and shutting out the settlers, all would be well. The Plateau crisis seems all about political exclusion, high wired suspicion, fear of domination and unmitigated anger among indigenous Christians and settler Muslims.

healthy. I have a heartbeat, so there was no reason for me not to play,” Williams, who is currently ranked world number four, said. “I felt good and could feel better after having a day off and then more time to get adjusted,” she added.

Serena Williams

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Friday, July 13, 2012  

*Tanker explosion kills 100 in PH *89 victims get mass burial, 60 injured *Jonathan orders relief for survivors

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