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Lawmakers insist on Oteh’s removal over capital market collapse

Banks to install ATMs for the physically challenged

DG yet to resume, awaits Okonjo-Iweala’s directive TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND TORDUE SALEM

Vol. 2 N0. 408 GEORGE OJI, TORDUE SALEM AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he House of Representatives yesterday threatened to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan for non-implementation of the 2012 budget. Also, the House has rejected the plea from the President, urging the lawmakers to accelerate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB. The legislators adopted a prayer by the Minority Leader, Hon. Femi CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

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rouble seems not over for the embattled Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh,

as the House of Representatives yesterday insisted on her removal. The call by the lawmakers contradict the position CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

30.3m phone lines inactive in Nigeria –Investigation

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Sanusi

Friday, July 20, 2012

N150

Non-implementation of budget:

Reps threaten to impeach Jonathan ...reject President’s plea on PIB Mark berates executive over late presentation

Dantong, Fulani died of heart attack, says minister

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Why Osibodu overstays –Union Bank A fuel tanker that caused the gridlock yesterday being surrounded by fire fighters and security agencies to prevent fire outbreak on Ojuelegba bridge, Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

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N32.8bn police pension scam:

EFCC arrests director Senate probes sale of $1.09bn oil well bloc to Malabu

Fire guts boarding gate at Lagos Airport

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Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ovie-Whiskey lived a fulfilled life –President ISE-OLUWA IGE, GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday described the former Chairman of the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), Justice Victor Ovie-Whiskey, as a judge who lived a very fulfilled life and left a worthy legacy of commendable service to the nation. Justice Ovie Whiskey, 88, breathed his last on Wednesday. In a condolence message to the family of late Justice Victor Ovie-Whiskey, President Jonathan said his upright and conscientious management of Nigeria’s electoral process in

SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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gbarho community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State has been thrown into mourning following Wednesday’s death of the former chairman of the defunct FEDECO in the Second Republic, Justice Ovie-Whiskey. Ovie-Whiskey, also a former Chief Judge of the defunct Bendel State, died in Agbarho on Wednesday at 89 years. Family sources said the death of the illustrious son of Agbarho community, climaxed years of protracted illness. Ovie-Whiskey hit the national psyche when he was appointed FEDECO boss in 1983. He was presiding

•Mark, Tambuwal, Uduaghan mourn

very challenging times will stand to his eternal credit in the nation’s history. According to the statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr Reuben Abati, the President said he “joins the late jurist’s family, friends and associates in praying for the peaceful repose of his soul.” Senate President David Mark also described the death of Justice Ovie-Whiskey as “a monumental loss to the nation”. In a condolence message sent to the government and people of Delta State and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark noted that the late jurist demonstrated self-

Ovie-Whiskey

lessness in the execution of his duties as chairman of FEDECO

He will be buried within three weeks –Dominic Oneya over the judiciary in the defunct Bendel State before he was appointed by then President Shehu Shagari to head the electoral body. The 1983 elections which he superintended were marred by massive irregularities and he was accused of manipulating the outcome of the elections in favour of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN. He battled spiritedly to deny the allegation. A former military governor of Benue and Kano States, Gen. Dominic Oneya (rtd.), described

Ovie-Whiskey’s death as a big loss and regrettable. Oneya, who is the President-General of Agbarho Community, told National Mirror on phone that “Agbarho community has lost a respected community leader. He has been living with us in Agbarho since he left government. He returned home and contributed a lot to the development of the community. “The community will miss his leadership and wisdom, kindness and advice on how to move our small village forward. For me it is a personal loss because he was the head of

Atiku, Oshiomhole pay tribute

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ormer Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described the death of Justice OvieWhiskey as another major loss to Nigeria’s legal profession. Atiku, in a condolence message by his Media Office in Abuja, said that one of the greatest qualities of the late Ovie-Whiskey was his insistence on accuracy on the part of those who made allegations. He particularly recalled Ovie-Whiskey’s famous denial of allegedly collecting one million naira during the Second Republic to influence the outcome of the election, to which the late FEDECO chairman said

Mark said: “As the then Chief Judge of the old Bendel State, Justice Ovie-

he would faint at the sight of such huge amount. According to him, “Ovie-Whiskey’s insistence that accusers should be sure of their facts first was a challenge to our society where people easily go public with wild allegations without substantiation.” Also, Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has mourned the death of Justice Ovie-Whiskey. In a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said: “Our thoughts are with the OvieWhiskey family at this difficult moment. However, much as we mourn, his de-

parture deserves to be celebrated in full compliment to his worthy life. “As Chief Judge of the defunct Bendel State, OvieWhiskey provided exceptional leadership qualities which endeared him to the Federal Government, leading to his appointment as Chairman of the defunct FEDECO. “Justice Ovie-Whiskey will be sorely missed, not only by members of his family, but also by the Bar and Bench in Edo and Delta States. “His footprints will remain indelible in the sands of Nigeria’s history as he contributed his quota to the nation’s democracy.

the advisory body, which advises me on how to run our community. He was the Chairman of the Community Bank, Agbarho.” Prayers for the repose of his soul by the Catholic Church commenced at his Agbarho residence yester-

Whiskey displayed uncommon quality and integrity which necessitated his appointment to midwife the electoral system of Nigeria as the then Chairman of FEDECO.” House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal described the death of Justice Ovie-Whiskey as a great loss to the nation. In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said the deceased served the country diligently as the Chief Justice of the former Bendel State and later as its electoral umpire. The Speaker said of particular interest to him is the

unassuming manner with which the deceased lived his retirement life where he neither courted undue publicity nor unwarranted controversy. In his own tribute, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State expressed sadness at the demise of Justice OvieWhiskey. In a statement issued yesterday in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere, the governor said though it was sad that Pa OvieWhiskey passed on, there was every reason to give thanks to God because the jurist lived a fulfilled life. “Pa Ovie-Whiskey was an upright and non-partisan man whose diligence and dedication to duty as a judicial officer saw him emerge as the Chief Judge of the defunct Bendel State,” he said.

day. Oneya said his remains would be buried within the next three weeks in line with the position of the Catholic Church, adding that the Church and the community were awaiting inputs from the family. Ovie-Whiskey, a staunch Catholic was Knight of St. Lumumba, St. Gregory and a Papal Knight. He served in various com-

mittees in the Catholic Church and contributed immensely to the development of Warri Diocese of the Catholic Church. He was born on April 6, 1924 and he attended Kings College, Lagos from where he proceeded to the University College, now University of Ibadan. He also attended the prestigious University of London, where he studied law.

PASSAGE OF A LEGAL ICON FELIX NWANERI

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ike everything under the sun, which the Bible says, has a season, eminent jurist and one time chairman of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) in the Second Republic, Justice Victor Ovie-Whiskey, passed on last Wednesday at his Agbarho residence in Delta State at the age of 88. Born on April 6, 1924, Ovie-Whiskey attended King’s College Lagos; Yaba Higher College and University College, Ibadan (now University of Ibadan). He worked as a clerk, and for a short period as a teacher at Western Boys High School, Benin City and Hussy College, Warri before being admitted to study Law at the prestigious University of London. He was called to the bar in 1952 and practiced as a lawyer until 1960 when he became a magistrate in

HE DENIED WRONGDOING AND WHEN QUESTIONED ON ALLEGATIONS OF MONEY

INDUCEMENT, HE SAID THAT HE WOULD FAINT IF HE SAW

N1 MILLION CASH

the then Western Region. In 1963 he was appointed chief magistrate of the then newly created MidWestern Region, renamed Bendel State in 1976. At the time of his appointment as head of FEDECO in 1980, by then President Shehu Shagari, the late jurist was the Chief Judge of Bendel State and was seen as upright and non-partisan. However, the general elections of 1983, were marred by widespread irregularities and electoral officials accused of rigging the results in favour of the then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN). In defence, Ovie-Whisky declared that he was

largely satisfied with the electoral process, but said: “We did not expect to be perfect.” He denied wrongdoing and when questioned on allegations of money inducement, he said that he would faint if he saw N1 million cash. Years later, he retreated, saying he wouldn’t move an inch, let alone faint if he saw the amount. Already, torrents of tributes have started flowing in his honour from the president and Commanderin-Chief, Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President, David Mark, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and Edo tate governor, Adams Oshiomhole.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, July 20, 2012

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Photo News

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Mr. Segun Aina; Executive Director, Globacom, Mr. Adewale Sangowawa and Chairperson, Committee of 2012 Bankers’ Nite, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare-Asieru, during the CIBN Lagos chapter dinner in Lagos on Wednesday.

L – R: Group Vice-Chairman, MIDCOM, Mr. Anand Kapoo; Deputy Managing Director, First City Monument Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Odusanya; Chairman, Midland Group Limited, Mr. Bhasker Kotecha and Vice President, Nokia West and Central Africa, Mr. James Rutherford, at a dinner in honour of the appointment of MIDCOM Group as exclusive distributors of Nokia in Nigeria, yesterday.

L-R: President Trade Union Congress, Comrade Peter Esele; Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Rev. David Ugolor and Managing Director, Agama Environment and Energy Services Limited, Mr. Peter Ritchie, during a roundtable meeting on the Petroleum Industry Bill in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Chief Sam Ortom; Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Sen. Sahabi Ya’u and a member of the committee, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, during an oversight function of the committee at the Ministry of Trade and Investment in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

National News

Oct 1, 2010 bombings to cause confusion in govt –Witness ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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Principal Technical Officer with the C o m m u n i c at i o n Intelligence Department of the State Security Services, SSS, and prosecution witness in the October 1, 2010 twin bombings in Abuja, Mr. Wasiu Agbaje, yesterday told a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja that the main goal of the masterminds of the explosion was to ‘shake the nation’ and create confusion in government. Wasiu, who gave evidence in the ongoing trial of Mr. Edmund Ebiware, charged alongside three others for the bombings, also released the transcripts of text messages extracted from two phones seized from Ebiware, which linked notable individuals in the country, including the Chairman of a private broadcast outfit. Wasiu was led in evidence by Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN. He said the bombing of Abuja on the Indepen-

dence Day was planned for months before the bomber struck. He said the text messages extracted from Ebiware’s phones and the time the messages were sent informed his conclusions. Last week, a star prosecution witness in the trial of Ebiware, whose name was concealed for security reasons, had fingered the immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timpre Sylva as having foreknowledge of the bombing. The ex-governor has however debunked the allegation. Apart from Ebiware, others arrested for the bombings are Charles Okah, Obi Nwabueze and Tiemkemfa Osuvwo. Osuvwo however died in detention. They were accused of terrorism and conspiracy to commit treason, contrary to Section 40 (2) of the Criminal Code CAP 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990. Ebiware was specifically accused of withholding information on the planned attack by not using reasonable means to leak the in-

formation to the President and security agents to foil the plan. Although, Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze are still challenging the charge against them, Ebiware applied for separate trial, saying he wanted his case heard and determined. At the resumed hearing of the case, Wasiu Agbaje said: “I am the principal technical officer with the Communication Intelligence Department of the State Security Services.

“I’m 12 years old in service. The Communication Intelligence is into investigations of crime aided by telecommunication devices and radio frequency monitoring. “Some of the devices covered include GSM mobile devices, public switch telephone network, etc. “I know the accused person. After the Oct 1, 2010 that rocked this nation on the road towards Eagles Square in Abuja, several Nigerians were injured including security men. Some

even died as a result of the explosion. “The DSS set up a special investigation panel which led to the arrest of the accused person. “I was on the panel and member of the technical support team. After he was arrested, two mobile handsets were found on him. One of them is a Nokia 1202 while the other is Nokia 5310 Xpress Music. “The phones were handed over to me by the SIP for analysis. “The analyses we do on

mobile phones are practically extraction of content of the phone. In this case, I extracted incriminating text messages as related to the bomb explosion of October 1, 2010 and other text messages. “I got such incriminating messages from the Xpress Music. These were from his outbox messages, the inbox and sent messages. “I used NOKIA PC suite software to extract. The software is produced by NOKIA to extract information from mobile handsets.

Fire guts Lagos Airport terminal OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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part of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos was yesterday gutted by a mysterious fire outbreak, which severely affected the Boarding Gate E52 of the facility. A source close to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, confided in National Mirror yesterday night that the entire build-

ing would have been consumed by the inferno, if not for the quick intervention of the agency’s fire fighters. But a major electrical control centre located at the boarding gate was totally destroyed by the fire, despite the intervention of the fire fighters. As at the time of filing in this report, the cause of the fire outbreak could not be ascertained, but sources said that the outbreak may have been caused by electri-

cal spark in the terminal. The FAAN source said that an electrical panel at the E-finger of the terminal had a partial contact, which bridged some of the cables that sparked off the fire. The fire, which started around 5:45pm could not be put off until 6:15pm by the fire fighters. However, the fire led to the delay of some flights, which had hitherto planned to take off at the terminal. One of the flights af-

fected, according to sources was the ASKY Airlines’ Lagos-Lome operation. It will be recalled that there had been at least two cases of strange fire caused by electrical spark at the Lagos airport in the last three months. The Head, Public Affairs, MMIA, Mr. Victor Arisa confirmed the incident, but said his men swung into action immediately to prevent the outbreak from spreading.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

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Senate probes sale of $1.09bn oil well bloc to Malabu GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he Senate yesterday resolved to probe the controversy surrounding the payment of $1.09bn for the settlement of an oil bloc, OPL 245. The OPL 245 oil bloc, which was originally allocated to Malubu Oil and Gas Limited was one of the controversial oil blocs allocated to some private individuals and compa-

nies by the late Gen. Sani Abacha, but was revoked by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and reallocated to Shell/Agip when he became president. The motion was sponsored by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi. The senator sought the probe of the oil bloc by an ad-hoc committee of the Senate. However, there was disagreement among the senators over the rationale

for the investigation in the first place. When the senators finally agreed to probe the matter, the issue shifted to whether the investigation should be conducted by an ad hoc committee or by a standing committee. President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, warned that calls for an ad hoc committee probe indicated distrust for the Senate’s standing committees, which he said was not good for the Senate. Ningi argued that the

Ongoing repair on Third Mainland Bridge, yesterday.

Senate was concerned by recent media attention on the circumstances surrounding a tripartite transaction involving the Federal Government, Shell/Agip and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited. He said that the transactions concerned oil bloc OPL 245 that the Federal Government sold to Shell/ Agip consortium in the sum of $1.092bn. “The media reports have raised legal and ethical issues surrounding the transaction and pattern of dis-

PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Reps threaten to impeach Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Gbajabiamila (ACN/ Lagos) that sought that the President be impeached, if the Appropriation Act was not implemented upon resumption of the House from break in September. The Minority Leader, whose position received an overwhelming endorsement and ovation by majority of legislators, said that the President was negligent of his obligation of implementing the bill, which he said, would have addressed the parlous state of infrastructure and the economy of the country. He said: “The President, by failing to implement the budget as passed by this honourable House, violates the 1999 Constitution and is, therefore, liable to be impeached under Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution. “With great trepidation, I must confess that I like the President, he is a fine gentleman, but I like my people more, and because of this, it’s about time that

we do what is right and best for our country. “So, I want to hereby submit that, come September, we will begin to invoke and draw up articles of impeachment of Mr. President.” He was, however, interrupted by Hon. Karibo Nadu Soalaboye (PDP/Bayelsa) on three occasions in the course of Gbajabiamila’s speech. Earlier in his position,. Gbajabiamila said: “We were introduced to what the President called the 2012 Budget, a budget of transformation, but what we have in our hands, is a budget of abracadabra, a budget of voodoo economics. “The President is not doing any member of this August body a favour, if he implements the budget. “Rather than implement the budget, as passed, the President has set up a funny committee headed by a managing director of a bank that gives loans to oil

marketers. “I am at a loose end as to why a government of transformation, would deny the people the good life, by refusing to implement the budget.” The impeachment threat, came on the heels of a motion titled: ‘Nonimplementation of the 2012 Budget’, sponsored by Hon. Albert Sam-Tsokwa(PDP/ Taraba) and 20 others. He recalled that the “2012 budget was passed with an aggregate expenditure figure of N4.887trn, including the N180bn for Subsidy Re - I nve s t m e n t ( S U R E ) Programme”, but regretted that despite the huge earnings from agencies of government in the first and second quarters, ministries, under the supervision of Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, were yet to implement the budget up to 35 per cent. The Chairman of Appropriation Committee, Hon. John Enoh (PDP/

Cross River), said that based on the $72 per barrel benchmarking of the budget and the surpassing crude pricing internationally, the government had more than enough money, including surpluses to implement the money legislation. “The 2012 Budget ought to have been implemented without any issues,” Enoh said. “Less than 35 per cent of the budget has been implemented, since its passage into law last year. “The excuses for lack of the implementation of budgets since 1999 were not good enough.” The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Hon. Abdulmumuni Jibril (PDP/Kano), said from the committee’s finding, the Federal Government had enough money to implement the budget He, however, warned against, what he described as misleading reports that the government was broke. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

tribution of proceeds to the beneficiaries. “If all these weighty allegations are ignored, Nigeria may be sanctioned by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, EITI, for violating a global initiative to which it is a signatory and our image will further be eroded locally and internationally,” Ningi said. While calling on the Senate to leave the investigation to an ad hoc committee and to report back in four weeks, Ningi noted that Nigeria signed up to the EITI in 2003 and followed it up with the policy on Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI. “We want to find out whether it is true that monies from the sale was paid to the Federation Account; whether the Federal Government agent by his position disbursed the monies; whether the government agent moved money from the Federation Account or the same agent has moved money from Keystone Bank. “This has to do with finance, banking and currency; it has to do with anti corruption,” he said. Ningi recommended that the assignment be given to an ad hoc committee instead of a standing committee, even as he said he would not mind if it was a joint committee made up of the relevant standing committees. Mark warned that it was wrong to insinuate that only an ad hoc committee could investigate an assignment of the Senate. Senator Heineken Lokpobiri subsequently rose and opposed the bill. According to him, the Senate, being the highest law-making body of the nation, should not engage in what he described as a voyage of discovery, just to find out something about a transaction involving two private concerns. He said: “I rise to oppose this motion in its roots, stem and branches. It is my contention that Senate, as the highest law-making body in the country cannot be made to go on the voyage of discovery. “A motion of this magnitude must contain sufficient facts to determine whether there should be an investigation in the first place. “The body of the motion does not support the title of the motion. Both are at variance. The facts about this matter are correctly put be-

fore the public. Does this oil bloc belong to Federal Government? The answer is no.” The lawmaker explained that oil blocs were allocated to private individuals and companies by Gen. Abacha and Malabu was one of those who benefited from the allocations, but former President Obasanjo, during his tenure, revoked the oil bloc 245 and reallocated it to Shell. He said the case had gone to the Supreme Court and judgement was delivered in favour of Malabu Oil, which led to the return of the oil bloc to Malabu Oil and Gas. “The Senate would be seen to be a meddlesome interloper in a problem between the private individuals in carrying out this investigation. If we must investigate this matter, then we should investigate the allocation of all oil blocs in this country since 1999,” he said. Intervening, Mark said the Senate would not do an investigation into the allocation of oil blocs in the country, as it was not before the Senate. He said there was nothing wrong if the Senate would conduct an investigation to ascertain the facts presented by Lokpobiri and could even report back that the venture was not necessary. “Let us not give an impression that there is something that we don’t want to touch. It will not be good,” Mark warned, noting that it would be wrong to cast aspersion on any committee of the Senate in discharging its responsibility. Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said the matter should be investigated and recommended that it should be referred to the Senate’s selection committee to determine which of the committees to handle the probe. Senator Ayogu Eze agreed with Ekweremadu and noted that standing committees could do the work as much as an ad hoc committee. Ahmed Lawan also supported the call for an investigation, but insisted that it should go to an ad hoc committee, arguing that it had to do with finance, petroleum and anti-corruption. In his concluding remarks, Mark said, “Because of the heat that this issue has unnecessarily generated I think that the selection committee should look at it.”


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lawmakers insist on Oteh’s removal over capital market collapse CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

of the Federal Government on the Oteh saga as the Presidency, only on Wednesday exonerated her over allegations of impropriety and corruption and reinstated her as the SEC DG after a month’s suspension. The government’s position, conveyed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, insisted that the DG did nothing wrong. The government also sacked the board that sent Oteh on compulsory leave. The House, however, adopted its adhoc Committee report on Capital Market urging Oteh’s removal on account of incompetence, and the investigation on allegations of fraudulent conduct. At the plenary yesterday, the House insisted that the appointment of Oteh at the initial instance, contravened sections 3, 38 and 31 of the Investment and Security Act, 2007 which requires that the head of the commission put in a prior 15 years experience in the Nigerian capital market. Oteh’s experience in capital market dates to 1992 with the African Development Bank, where she rose to become the Vice President for Corporate Management in 2006. According to the lawmakers, She had almost nil experience in the Nigerian market prior to her SEC appointment. The deficit in experience had reflected in Oteh’s controversial management of the regulatory body in the past two years, estranging staff members, and enlisting the services of market actors and indulging in alleged sharp practices. “She has shown incompetence in the management of human and material resources at her disposal in Security and Exchange Commission; lack of transparency in managing project 50, regulatory failure in some of the recent mergers, acquisitions and approvals of transactions by the Security and Exchange Commission and general inability to carry along her staff, board, and management in decision making and questionable staff recruitment policies,” the recommendation approved by the House, reads in part. Oteh was also lampooned with the Managing Director of the Asset Management

Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustafa ChikeObi over the loss of N8bn arising from the Union Bank plc public offer. Both officials should be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the House said. Ahead of the consideration on Thursday, the preliminary report had drawn mixed reactions from industry players with some applauding the lawmakers’ position while others dismiss the recommendations as a deviation from its set purpose of finding the reasons for the near-collapse of the capital market. Critics have also argued that the bulk of the events leading to the market troubles arose ahead of Oteh’s assumption of office in 2010. Example is the Union Bank loss which occurred in 2005. Her immediate predecessor, Musa Al Faki, who was in charge then before resigning in April 2009 amid criticism of the commission’s role in share manipulation scandal involving African Petroleum stock, has not been mentioned anywhere in the recommendations. The House, however, withheld approval for the recommendation seeking for the investigation of Oteh and other officials including the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, over the nationalization of Afribank Plc, Bank PHB and Spring Bank.Other officials accused of irregularities included Umaru Ibrahim, Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Mr. ChikeObi of AMCON, and Bello Mahmud, the Registrar General of Corporate Affairs Commission. The committee had said it found evidences of potential forgery, unethical practices, fraud and abuse of office in the nationalization of the banks which changed their names. But the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, ruled that the proposal be delayed for further documentation. Also, a proposal calling for full investigation of the controversial acquisition of former Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank was withheld for further documentation. The House, however, resolved that the allegation of financial recklessness

against former Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Ndidi Okereke, was still pending in court and therefore, subjudice. Meanwhile, Ms Oteh failed to resume duty yesterday, barely 24 hours after her formal reinstatement by the Federal Government. The SEC’s DG was allegedly prevented from resuming on Wednesday by angry staff on grounds of her alleged high-handedness in running the affairs of the capital market regulatory agency. A source close to Oteh confirmed yesterday that

she would likely stay away from the volatile office environment until the Coordinating Minister for Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, returns from her trip to facilitate a truce between the irate workers and their returning boss. The official, who pleaded that his name should not be in print, said Wednesday’s protest was orchestrated by a few aggrieved persons in the commission who were opposed to Oteh’s reforms in SEC. He said that once Oteh

resumed her duties fully, she would continue with the reform agenda she has started. He restated that despite the employees’ misgivings, the reform programme was designed to put square pegs in square holes and see that the SEC operates according to international best practices. It was learnt that those who were at the vanguard of the anti-Oteh protests are already becoming jittery as it is gradually dawning on them that the SEC boss’ return is imminent.

National Mirror reliably gathered that the organised labour leaders in the Commission held a meeting late Wednesday at a location near the office to map out strategies that may save them from any likely sanctions that Oteh might impose on them for instigating the workers against her leadership. “They met yesterday to see how they can respond to any issue of incitement Oteh may level against them. I think they know that their behaviour was most discourteous and unbecoming of public officers.”

L-R: Angolan Minister of Transport, Mr. Augusio da Silva Tomas; Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and President, International Civil Aviation Organisation Council, Mr. Roberto Gonzalez, during the Ministerial Conference on Aviation Safety in Africa, in Abuja yesterday.

Reps threaten to impeach Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

He told the House that the Finance Committee uncovered for May alone, the executive claimed to have granted a waiver of N139bn, even when it claimed earlier that the waivers would be suspended. The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Customs and Excise Duty, Hon. Kingsley Chinda also corroborated the position of Hon. Enoh that Customs alone had generated in the last two quarters enough money to cure the N1.3trn deficit in the 2012 Budget, as his colleague, Hon. Bassey Ewa(PDP/Cross River), maintained that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, was keeping secret accounts abroad. He lamented that secret accounts were a sinister way by agencies to frustrate yearly budgets. The Chairman, House Committee on Loans and

Debts, Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi(ACN/Osun), disclosed that despite huge earnings, the local debt profile of the country stood at over N360bn and still counting. Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi(PDP/ Enugu) regretted that a presidential clique was attempting to “decide what to release and what not to release,” hiding under the alibi that they do not have the capacity to implement the budget.” He said the position of government that it was facing capacity challenges on budget implementation, “is questionable”. Several other members also took turns to lambast the Presidency, regretting his stance on the Budget. In his ruling on the Motion, the Speaker said that the President should direct the Minister of Finance to implement the

budget as passed. But the House however rejected a letter from President Jonathan that urged it to fast-track the consideration of the PIB. The House position followed an objection by Hon. Gbajabiamila to the “tone” of the President’s letter, that sought a quick consideration of the bill. The lawmaker, who came on an order of privilege, said the letter should not have come at the time when the House was about to adjourn for a two-month recess. “I don’t know why the President chose to bring the letter at this time that we are supposed to be going on break until September, so I will ask that the President brings the Bill to us when we resume from recess,” he said. Before he ruled in support of Gbajabiamila, the Speaker, Hon. Aminu

Tambuwal, said that, “The Executive is well aware of our calendar and is aware that we are supposed to break for recess today.” He said that the delay in presenting the PIB, “was not caused by the National Assembly. There were claims and counter-claims that there were fake copies of the PIB making the rounds, so it is not our fault.” Tambuwal added: “The Presidency was to give the Senate 200 copies of the Bill and the House was to get 500 copies, but as at this morning, my office has received only three copies of the PIB, and we are still. expecting 497 copies of the Bill.” In another development, the President of the Senate, David Mark yesterday berated the executive over late submission of annual budget estimates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

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N32.8bn police pension scam: EFCC arrests director AYODELE OJO,

DEPUTY EDITOR (POLITICS)

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested a director in the Federal Ministry of Communications, Mrs C.U. Attang, in connection with the N32.8bn police pension fraud. An impeccable source in the commission told National Mirror last night that Attang, a former deputy director with the Police Pensions Office, was arrested on Wednesday, July 19 and has since been in EFCC custody. “A former deputy director with the Police Pensions Office, who is now a director in the Federal Ministry of Communications, Mrs C.U. Attang has been

arrested by the EFCC as part of the ongoing investigations into the billion naira scam in the Police Pensions Office,” an insider in the EFCC told National Mirror. It was learnt that the top federal civil servant was arrested after investigation revealed that “she had been involved in the illegal withdrawal of monies amounting to several billions of naira.” The source said she issued and authorized the withdrawal of huge sums through thousands of cheques running into several billions of naira between 2007 and 2008. “Most of the monies withdrew through the cheques issued and authorised by her were fraudulent. We have been able to establish that the illegal withdrawals

Senate receives PIB from Jonathan

•Confirms appointments of two S’Court justices

GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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enate President David Mark yesterday acknowledged the receipt of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) from President Goodluck Jonathan. In a communication from the President to Mark and entitled; “Re: Petroleum Industry Bill,” which was read on the floor of the Senate, the President wrote: “I hereby present, for kind consideration and enactment into law by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Petroleum Industry Bill.” The President urged the Senate to give the report a kind and accelerated consideration. While underscoring the importance attached to the PIB and the need for lawmakers to get the correct version from the executive, Mark said the Senate had gone ahead to make 200 copies of the bill from the President and called on the senators to avail themselves of the 200 copies and confirm the receipt of their copies. Mark urged the senators to, as a matter of priority, use the period of the long annual vacation, to study the bill, with a view to making informed and valuable contributions in

the overall interest of the nation. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, had issued a statement alerting the public of the circulation of fake copies of the bill and called for the need to disregard same. Addressing journalists yesterday, the Senate Committee Chairman on Rules and Business, Ita Enang, said: “I want to urge Nigerians; I know it is in the character of Nigerians to mount pressure on us. We will be very reasonable in our consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill, considering the effect it has on the petroleum sector.” Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday confirmed the appointments of two more Justices of the Supreme Court, bringing the total number of Justices of the apex court to 19. They are Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs (North West) and Hon. Justice Stanley Shenko Alagoa (South-South). In his remark, Mark said: “I would like to congratulate the two justices over the confirmation of their appointments. The Senate, however, began a two-month annual summer vacation yesterday. The lawmakers are expected to resume on September 17.

were shared among syndicates in the police pension office. Billions were shared among the civil servants at pension office,” the source said. An operative of the commission told National Mirror that fresh information on bank transactions of the Police Pension Office triggered the latest arrest. Attang was still being interrogated by operatives of the commission as at press time. It was gathered

yesterday that she may be granted administrative bail pending her arraignment in court after filing criminal charges against her. EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajare, declined comment on the matter. But a source confirmed the arrest of the former deputy director but could not give further details. “The latest discovery involving the former deputy director not only underscores the herculean task facing the EFCC and its operatives, but also the enormous

state resources being stolen by a few corrupt Nigerians,” the source said. The EFCC had in March arrested a federal Permanent Secretary in the Federal Pension Office, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, a director, Esia Dangabar, alongside four others: Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Sani Habila Zira and Mrs Veronica Uloma Onyegbula over their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of N32.8bn police fund. The offence is

punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Act, CAP. 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, 2007. Attang was said to have worked with the top civil servants who are still facing trial. They were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. The EFCC had on Monday took possession of assets of principal suspects in the N32.8bn police pension fraud.

his honour by members of the Akesan (Iperu) Club 1954 as well as the funeral service at Wesley Methodist Cathedral today, are in top gear. At the palace of the Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke Adelekan, guests, who clad in white and purple attire, were trooping-in for the Christian Wake keep as at the time of filling this report. Clerics from the Wesley Methodist Cathedral in Iperu under the leadership

of Very Rev. Samuel Folorunsho Odumade and Revd Mayowa Ogunlade led the programme. Among the dignitaries that graced the wake keep was the Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, who described the death of Olusola as a rude shock to him. Dokpesi said that the late Nigeria Ambassador to Ethiopia was a human of great ideas for the period he had

known him, wishing that he had lived forever. He attested that for the period of 13 years when the late Olusola worked with others at the Board of DAAR Communications, he was never absent and contributed meaningfully to the development of the organisation. Dokpesi said the late Olusola would be greatly remembered as he contributed to the development of DAAR Communications.

All set for Amb Segun Olusola’s burial FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ll is set for the final burial of the late Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Segun Olusola, who will be interred in his residence at Television House in Iperu-Remo in Ikenne Local Government area of Ogun State. Preparations for the final burial, which will be preceded by a Special Farewell in

L-R: Eldest Son of Amb. Olusegun Olusola, Mr. Jimi Olusola; Dr. Joe Okei – Odumakin; Mr. Tunji Okusanya and adopted daughter of Amb Olusola, Ms. Million Terefe Gobena during the lying in state of late Ambassador Olusegun Olusola, yesterday, in Lagos.

L-R: Director, Empower Africa for Change, Mr. Gbemi Efunnuga; Eldest daughter of Amb Olusola, Ms. Ronke Ajibulu Moniya; Mr. Jimi Olusola and Dr. Joe Okei – Odumakin.

Ajimobi assures of commitment to crime-free state KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Oyo State Government yesterday inaugurated the state Security Trust Fund with 66 patrol vans, two armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and other equipment, as Governor Abiola Ajimobi assured of his administration’s commitment to ensuring security of lives and property. He said the Trust Fund, which would be privatesector driven, would have a Board of Trustees comprising people of impeccable character. The launch held at the Civil Centre, Ibadan, the

•Launches Security Trust Fund

state capital, was attended by the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Mr. Oba Otudeko; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola Alao; Chairman of Coscharis, Chief Cosmas Maduka; royal fathers, captains of industry, representatives of banks, security agencies and senior government officials. Ajimobi lauded the commitment of government’s partners and other stakeholders in ensuring protection of live and property. He recalled that before now, the state had become a state of bedlam, with stories

of bloodshed always in the news. The governor said: “Blood was spilled at very sparse irritations by miscreants who hid under membership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). “The situation had become so deplorable that legitimate businesses were threatened and those desirous of contributing their quota to the development of our state fled for their lives “. Stressing that security is sine qua non to good governance, Ajimobi said there could be no government except a secure environment was put in place, saying: “Security is a key compo-

nent of government and the moment a government is unable to provide security for its people, then that government ceases to be so-called ’’. He said since he assumed office, the security of lives and property had been the major priority of his administration. The government said with the help of providence, his administration had reduced, almost to the barest minimum, incidences of miscreants’ clashes and spillage of blood at will. Tinubu noted that the endless news of armed banditry, killings, assassinations and general absence of security was replete not only in Oyo State, but all over the country.


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News

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Police arrest five for alleged theft of N34m drugs HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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L-R: Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during the burial of the mother of Ajimobi in Ibadan, yesterday.

Hoodlums disrupt Ondo ACN elders’ meeting OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

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oodlums yesterday disrupted the Ondo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Elders’ Forum meeting holding at the residence of a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and chieftain of the party, Chief Wumi Adegbonmire, in Akure. The hoodlums were said to have chased away the ACN leaders with machetes, stones and sachets of water, injuring one of the elders, Prof. Olu Aderohunmu. Narrating his ordeal to journalists, Adegbonmire accused the ruling Labour

Party (LP) of masterminding the attack, saying he had been receiving threats from members of the party who claimed that the state government had ordered them to stop ACN from holding meetings in Akure. He said: “Normally, every Thursday, we do hold our meeting here. But this morning (yesterday), our leaders arrived for the meeting. But few minutes to the commencement of the programme, two young boys entered, while others were outside, warning us to stop the meeting. “They said some elders and I have offended them because we failed to pay their dues. They also re-

vealed to us that the state government had ordered them to stop any opposition party chieftain, particularly ACN leaders from holding any meeting in Akure. “They asked us to leave the venue, but we resisted. It was then the hoodlums stormed the venue and attacked us.” Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, the Special Adviser on Media to the ACN governorship candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said the alleged attack by the LP supporters was an indication that the party did not believe in free and fair elections. Ajanaku said: “You can just imagine within the last 24 hours when the LP raised the alarm that ACN

Badagry LG: Again, tribunal fails to deliver judgment WALE IGBINTADE

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he Lagos State Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square yesterday failed to deliver judgment in a petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Mustapha Adisa Dada, challenging the election of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, HusiTode Moses Dosu, as chairman of Badagry Local Government Area. This is the third consecutive time the tribunal would fix date to deliver judgment,

but failed to do so. Hundreds of PDP supporters, who stormed the venue of the tribunal’s sitting yesterday, were disappointed and left complaining about the incessant delay in delivery of the verdict. Addressing journalists, Lagos State PDP Chairman, Chief Tunji Shelle, described the delay as time wasting, adding that it was clear the tribunal was under pressure. He said: ‘’It is very unfortunate, a sheer waste of time, energy and resources. We don’t even have to be here in court because it was a clear-cut win. The results

of the election were declared at the polling booths, but, unfortunately, the Lagos Electoral Commission went on air to announce a different result entirely. ‘’It is clear that the tribunal is under pressure and it should let us know. We are becoming impatient and the whole Badagry is waiting for the result, we are waiting for our mandate. The longer it takes, the worse for the people of Badagry. The decision of the tribunal should be announced as soon as possible. The judge should see it as a point of duty and responsibility on his part and declare his judgment.’’

was planning to attack leaders of other parties, the ruling party has sent its thugs to attack our party elders. “This action is barbaric, crude and condemnable. It is a panicky measure. Our party is peaceful, we will not retaliate.” But the LP Secretary in Ondo State, Mr. Tayo Olujuyigbe, described the allegation as an attempt by the ACN to portray the ruling party as violent. Olujuyigbe said members of the ACN should look inward for the attackers, since not all its members were happy with the manner through which its flag bearer for the October 20 governorship election emerged.

etectives have arrested five suspected armed robbers who broke into the Ondo State Central Medical Stores in May this year. The suspects and about 15 others at large broke into the store located at Ondo Road in Akure, the state capital and carted away about N34m drugs. The Ondo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Aremu Adeniran, said yesterday that the suspects were arrested by policemen after detecting some of the drugs in Onitsha market. Aremu said: “Attention was paid to two drugs that were specially ordered

from overseas by the Ondo State Government and the strategy worked. “The drugs were invariably sighted at the Onitsha Head Bridge drug market, popularly called Ogbogwu market. This led to the arrest of five of the armed robbers and the stolen drugs. “Large quantities of the stolen drugs worth N2m had been recovered.” Items recovered by the police from the robbers include a long chisel, a torch, a pair of scissors and two padlocks. It will be recalled that the robbers, numbering 20, nvaded the drug stores in May, overpowered and disarmed the seven security men on duty, tied their hands and legs and locked them up inside a toilet.

Aregbesola releases N420m for pension, gratuities WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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overnor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has approved the release of N120m for the payment of gratuities, even as he paid another N300m on arrears of pension claims. The state Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budget, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, disclosed this yesterday during the quarterly ministerial press briefing in Osogbo, the state capital. He said that the release of money for the payment of outstanding gratuities brought about a remarkable improvement in the welfare of retirees.

According to him, as part of its welfare programmes, the state government resolved to pay N33.8m monthly as its 7.5 per cent contribution to the pension fund, while another N25.9m had been released as pension redemption fund. The commissioner said the state recorded 100 per cent increase in its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N300m to N600m monthly, adding that the feat was achieved through financial discipline and blocking of leakages. Bolorunduro said the problem initially encountered in the registration of vehicles number plates had now become a thing of the past.

Eulogies as Ajimobi buries mum

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sun State Governor auf Aregbesola has described the death of Alhaja Sikirat Abeje Ajimobi, the mother of Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, as an irreparable loss and that of a life well spent. Aregbesola, in a statement by the Director of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the demise of Ajimobi’s mother shows that it pays to serve humanity as the deceased lived a life that affected the people around her positively. Aregbesola said: “It’s a rare privilege for Mama to have lived up to the age of 85. We would have wished Mama is still alive, but God

knows better. The most important thing was that she lived a fulfilled life and I pray that God will give the Ajimobis the strength to bear the irreparable loss. “If Alhaja Ajimobi lived a life devoid of acrimony that made her a renowned and diligent trader, a devoted Muslim and community leader survived by nine children, what else we can wish for as mortals than give thanks to God on her behalf for the meaningful life that she lived,” he said. Meanwhile, the body of Alhaja Ajimobi was buried yesterday in her husband’s residence in Apata Area of Ibadan, as the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lead-

er, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu praised Governor Ajimobi for his courage to perform official duties earlier in the morning, in spite of his mother’s death. Governor Ajimobi had earlier presided over the launch of the State Security Trust Fund held at the Ibadan Civic Centre. The burial was held amidst eulogies for the deceased by clerics and other dignitaries. The dignitaries included Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Governor Babatunde Fasola of Lagos State, former Oyo State Governors Lam Adesina and Omololu Olunloyo among others.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, July 20, 2012

Monarch quizzed over murder of 70-year-old woman ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Olomuo of OmuoEkiti, Oba Noah Omonigbehin, has been quizzed by the Ekiti State Police Command over the circumstances surrounding the death of a septuagenarian, Mrs. Rebecca Adewumi. Mrs. Adewumi, 70, was allegedly tortured to death by some youths in the town about three weeks ago. The police spokesman, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, said the Oba

Omonigbehin, on invitation, came to the command headquarters in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, alongside some people. The police spokesman said: “He was invited on Wednesday. He came with some people. But mind you, we did not arrest him. We had discussions and we are working on the discussions”. It will be recalled that Mrs. Adewumi died on June 30 after she was allegedly tortured for days by youths in the community in attempt

to forcibly compel her to confess to possessing witchcraft power and responsible for the illness of a boy. Daughter of the late Adewumi, Mrs. Grace Smith, had alleged that her mother was taken to Oba Omonigbehin’s palace where she was given an unknown portion to drink in addition to other physical and mental torture before the youths tortured her to death. In a petition to the police, Mrs. Smith sought

justice in the matter, claiming that the perpetrators were boasting that nobody could arrest them since they had the backing of some prominent individuals. The police spokesperson, however, said the command was awaiting the autopsy carried out on the body of the woman. The state government had condemned the killing of the woman, with a call on the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.

Ekiti moves to return lunatics to states of origin ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Ekiti State Government has begun removal of beggars and lunatics from the streets of Ado Ekiti, the state capital. The move, which will see some of them returned to their states of origin, is part of efforts by the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi to ensure protection

of lives and property. Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Foloruso Olabode, who said the beggars and lunatics were capable of being manipulated by evil mined people to perpetrate nefarious activities, said that the step was a way of securing the state and to prevent breach of security. At present, the affected lunatics and beggars have been taken to the

rehabilitation centre at Odundun Street in AdoEkiti for further action by relevant authorities. Olabode said that after they must have been properly identified, those who were not from the state would be returned to their families for care and integration. According to him, their removal was in line with the state government’s desire to make the streets of Ado-Ekiti

beautiful. The removal, which was supervised by the commissioner, began from Fajuyi Square through Okesa, Ojumose, Post Office and Ijigbo areas of the state capital. According to sources, the beggars and others affected said they were not aware of radio and television announcements asking them to vacate the streets.

Police arrest 10 over attack on EKSTMA officials ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he police in Ekiti State have arrested no fewer than 10 persons over the attack on the operatives of the state Traffic Management Agency (EKSTMA) by some phone dealers at Ayodele Fayose Market, Ado Ekiti. The suspects are being detained at the Okesa Police Division in Ado Ekiti, the state capital. The traders, who were resisting attempt by the government to sanitise the market through dismantling illegal structures erected by some traders on places designed for car park, on Tuesday attacked EKSTMA members led by their General Manager, Mr. Soji Fasubaa. In the ensuing controversy between the EKSTMA officials and the phone dealers, two EKSTMA personnel were injured as they were hit with stones and other hard objects. The EKSTMA boss, Fasubaa, was also assaulted. A Toyota Camry belonging to the Special Ad-

viser on Land Matters to the Governor, Mr. Remi Olorunleke, and two Hilux Vans belonging to EKSTMA were vandalised. Olorunleke told journalists yesterday in AdoEkiti that one Onwa, who is still evading arrest, ignited the crisis, after he resisted the EKSTMA officials from carrying out their duties. The Special Adviser said the dismantling of the illegal stalls from the places initially designed for parking space, was justifiable. He said a portion had been temporarily allotted to the traders ordered to move from the illegal space pending when an ultra-modern Computer Village, which is in the offing, would be constructed in the state. He said: “They were asked to pay N5, 000 each to get a space within the premises of the market; some of them paid and started operation. But those who did not pay were still operating at the parking space and we had to take EKSTMA there to enforce the law. That was the genesis of the crisis.”

Ogun LG poll: PDP warns ACN against rigging FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the Ogun State Government against attempts to rig tomorrow’s local government election. A statement issued by the South West Zonal Publicity Secretary of PDP, Hon. Kayode Babade, copies of which were made available to journalists yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, alleged that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led government planned to rig the poll. PDP said that the last minute disqualification of its candidates by the state Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) and the rumour of not announcing the election’s re-

Amosun

•Court stops OGSIEC from excluding PPN sults at the polling units as stipulated by law pointed to the alleged plan by the ACN to rig the poll. It will be recalled that the PDP last week accused the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, of victimizing its supporters. Babade, however, said that PDP and its supporters would resist “by all means, a repeat of the electoral fraud the ACN perpetrated during the Lagos State local government election.” He said: “Nigerians should also recall that up till today, results of the Lagos State local government election held on October 22, 2011 are yet to be made public, as only names of purported winners of the election were released by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).” PDP further alleged that Ogun ACN had concluded “plans to use sthe ame crude tactic it employed in Lagos State to subvert people’s will.” In a related development, an Ogun State High Court

sitting in Aiyetoro Division in Yewa North Local Government yesterday restrained OGSIEC from excluding the names of candidates of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) in Imeko Afon Local Government Area from participating in the tomorrow’s election. The court also gave an order of interim injunction from issuing certificate of return or otherwise recognising any other person as elected chairman of Imeko Afon Local Government in place of the 2nd claimant who would have won the council poll. National Mirror recalled that OGSIEC disqualified some candidates from participating in the election following petitions against them of which the PPN candidate was inclusive. Consequently, PPN approached the court to compel OGSIEC to respect the democratic norms and be consistent in its acts. Ruling on the application filed by the party’s counsel, Dr Yemi Oke, Justice O.A Asenuga, restrained OGSIEC from excluding PPN

Politics INEC: Inching towards credible elections •INEC has continued to improve since 2011 ... We expect that INEC will not backslide – Comrade Moshood Erubami, outgoing chairman of Transition Monitoring Group •INEC needs to study the cause of lateness in the delivery of electoral materials, and nip it in the bud –Ogbeni Lanre Banjo, chieftain of the National Conscience Party (NCP) •The logistic deployment strategy of INEC can still be improved.... Use of military personnel during elections should be minimised – Mr. Chinedu Nwagu, manager of Accountability and Justice, CLEEN Foundation

with President Olusegun Obasanjo hexcellency2011@yahoo.com

Woman

Christianity is not against glamour

Living

Elishama Ideh

Pains, despair as Maroko residents lose homes • ‘I am over 100 years old. I was born here. I gave birth to my children here. My grand-children were born here. We all lived here before the demolition. Where do I go from here?’

DemystiÀcation of Oloolu, dreaded Ibadan masquerade

‘It started on Tuesday when the Oloolu came and was not allowed passage. The Oloolu returned the following day, a Wednesday, leading to another bloody Àght with not less than 21 vehicles, mine inclusive, destroyed – Witness’ It was an attack on tradition not me – Oloolu

Crime

9

Assassins miss husband, cut wife to pieces

Celebrity ‘Entertainment can give Nigeria more money than oil’

Sammie Okposo

x SeTalk 11 potency protection tips

This column is x-rated


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South East

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sacked Imo LG chairmen resume duty under canopies CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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t was drama in the 27 local government secretariats in Imo State as the reinstated chairmen and their councillors set up their offices under canopies as the state gov-

ernment ordered workers to proceed on a three-day public holiday. Following the declaration of the holiday, the local secretariats were locked. In some local government areas where the reinstated chairmen were eager to resume duties,

some offices were allegedly forced opened. Others who could not forcibly gain entrance into offices sat under canopies to carry on with their duties. In Owerri Municipal Council, it was gathered that the reinstated chair-

man, Hon Emma Odor and his 11 councillors forcefully opened doors to gain access to offices, but they were said to have been escorted into the premises by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO). From Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area

came a report that the police assisted the chairman and the councillors into the council premises, though they did not meet workers on duty. In Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was said to have

led the chairman and the councillors into the council premises where they were said to have erected canopy to carry out their duties. It was, however, learnt that the three days public holiday would end on Monday.

Ebonyi monarchs want attack on LG boss investigated MADU EZENOHA ABAKALIKI

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L-R: Anambra State Governor Peter Obi; Emma Bishop Okonkwo and Chairman, Emma Bishop Okonkwo Foundation, Prof. Okechukwu Mbonu, during the presentation of hospital equipments to Anambra State by the Foundation in Awka, yesterday.

Abia council chairman held over traditional ruler’s murder

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twist has emerged in the alleged murder of Eze Iroha Nwankwo, the traditional ruler of Ugwuleru autonomous community in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State as the police arrested the council chairman, Prince Dan Okoli, for his alleged role in the killing. Sources said Okoli was arrested at a shop owned by the Abia State Head of Service, Mrs. Joy Dimanochie, on Azikiwe Road in Umuahia. The sources said Okoli

had come to Umuahia to meet the Head of Service to sign the May salary cheque of his local government, but Mrs. Dimanochie told him to meet her at her shop unaware that some policemen were around to arrest him from there. Shortly after the council chairman was arrested, he was whisked to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), at Umuagu, suburb of Umuahia. The Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of the SCID, Joseph Mi-

cloth, confirmed the arrest and added that the case file had been transferred to Abuja. The traditional ruler, Eze Iroha Nwankwo, 65, was allegedly murdered in his palace by some youths who were reportedly protesting the arrest of two people by the police for misconduct and loitering around at night. It was learnt that the youths were angry with the monarch on the allegation that he was giving information to the police on their activities.

Proposed ban: Motorcyclists plead with govt to rescind decision CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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undreds of motorcyclists popularly called Okada yesterday stormed the Anambra State Assembly, pleading with the government to rescind its alleged plan to ban commercial motorcycles business. The Okada riders, under the aegis of the Motorcycles Transport Union of Nigeria (MTUN), led by the union’s chairman, Barth Igwedigwe, urged

the Assembly to prevail on the state government to rescind the proposed ban. Speaking to National Mirror on their mission, Igwedigwe said they came to beg the House to rescind the move to ban Okada because “it is the life wire of the common man.” He said: “We are here to beg the House and the government to listen to us and leave Okada riders alone, we are begging House not to ban the Okada business because we don’t have any other business.

“That a few commercial motorcyclists are involving in criminal activities does not mean that every Okada rider is a suspect.” Igwedigwe said that they got the information that there is a bill to ban the activities of commercial motorcyclists, hence they decided to come to the House to plead with the government to rescind the decision, adding: “We are hoping the government will listen to us and forgive us of everything it alleged we have done.”

Prince Samuel Iroha, son of the late traditional ruler, has consistently been accusing the council chairman of responsible for the killing, adding that the chairman incited the youths against his father.

Abia State Gov T. Orji

raditional rulers from Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State yesterday pushed for the setting up of a judicial panel of inquiry by Governor Martin Elechi to unravel those behind the attempted assassination of the council chairman, Chief Ikeuwa Omebeh. The monarchs alleged that the attack might have been masterminded by devious politicians for selfish gains. Omebeh is receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital, following the gun attack. The traditional rulers insisted that such incident involving attack on someone’s life should not be allowed by the state government to be swept under the carpet, adding that it was time the government stood its ground against crimes confronting the state. In a two-page communiqué issued by the Chairman and Secretary of Ezza North Council of Traditional Rulers, F.E Chukwu and Eze Law

O. Ewa, appealed to the people of the local government to remain calm and law-abiding even as they expressed confidence that the law enforcement agencies would uncover the perpetrators of the act. The communiqué read in part: “We call on the state government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate those behind the heinous attack; a stitch in time saves nine. “We express displeasure over the attack on the Chairman of Ezza North Local Government Area, Chief Ikeuwa Omeheh by hoodlums which we suspected to be hired assassins and we unanimously frowned at it and condemned it in strong terms. “We state in unequivocal terms that the attack or action to kill our executive chairman, Chief Ikeuwa Omebeh, is barbaric and pure wickedness of some desperate and disgruntled politicians who simply want to achieve their selfish goals. “We, therefore, by this communiqué, call on the law enforcement agencies to uncover those behind the dastardly act.”

Foundation donates ambulances, hospital equipment to Anambra CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he Anambra State Government has taken delivery of three ambulances and hospital equipment donated by the Emma-Bishop Okonkwo Foundation. The ambulances and the equipments were donated to St. Charles Borromeo Specialist Hospital, Onitsha; Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi and Iyi-Enu Hospital Ogidi. Governor Peter Obi received the vehicles and the

equipment at the Governor’s Lodge in Akwa, the state capital. Chief Okonkwo, who promised that the Foundation would equally donate an ambulance and medical equipment to the State Teaching Hospital, Amaku, added that the gesture was to complement the achievements of Governor Obi in transforming the state. He described the gesture as a call on other wealthy Anambra indigenes to support Obi’s administration.

The governor thanked the donor for his philanthropic disposition, urging other privileged individuals to emulate Chief Okonkwo and contribute some of their resources to the development of the masses. Stressing that quality health and education are critical in the drive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he assured that the ambulances and medical equipment would soon be delivered to the beneficiaries.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria’s future depends on Industry Bill passage - Uduaghan AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA

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elta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has appealed to members of the National Assembly to accelerate the hearing and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, because the future of the industry and the country depended on it. He made the appeal yesterday when the National President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba. Uduaghan said the passage of the bill would help sanitise the petroleum industry and enhance the development of the oil producing areas. The governor said his administration believed in the bill and would support its passage to help solve the de-

South South

Friday, July 20, 2012

velopmental issues region and ensure lasting peace in the Niger Delta. He said: “For us in Delta State, we believe that there must be sanity in the petroleum industry. We have resolved that once the details of the bill are made public, we will look at it and ensure that it is implemented.” Uduaghan reiterated his administration’s determination in ensuring the protection of workers in the state to maintain labourfriendly relationship and have a conducive working environment. He, however, frowned at the failure of some organisations to remit the tax deducted from their workers as Pay As You Earn, PAYE, to the government. Earlier, Ogun had promised that PENGASSAN would continue to partner with Delta State government because of the labourfriendly environment created in the state.

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Outrage as Delta shuts schools for Constitution Review SOLA ADEBAYO, WARRI

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elta State Government has shut down public and private schools in Asaba, ahead of the public sitting of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review in the state capital today. Already, pupils and students of the various schools in Asaba have been directed to stay at home today. But the directive did not go down well with parents, who expressed disappointment over incessant holidays being imposed by the state government to herald public functions, especially

•Emergency infrastructure repair, police patrol in Asaba in Warri and the state capital. Private and public institutions, including educational institutions, in the state were shut down between May 25 and 28, during the South-South Summit hosted by the state. A parent who preferred anonymity said: “How can the state government shut down schools because of the meeting of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review in Asaba? What is the bearing? This is uncalled for? Are the senators holding the meeting in the schools? This was how the same state government

shut down the schools for three days during the socalled South-South Summit. “This is mortgaging the future of these children and it is insensitive. Somebody somewhere needs to advise the state government so that this trend should be stopped forthwith. Are the children going to participate in the summit?” But the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, refused to comment on the development. Muoboghare neither

picked calls nor replied text messages to his phone on the issue. Meanwhile, Asaba now wears a new look as the state government embarked on emergency repair of infrastructure ahead of the summit by the National Assembly committee. Major roads and streets were being rehabilitated. Some structures were also being painted to give the state capital a befitting look. Similarly, security has been beefed up apparently to reinforce the confidence of the visitors.

Edo Obas regroup for Oshiomhole’s successor

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raditional rulers in Edo North Senatorial District have begun a long, tedious, painstaking but strategic process to promote Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for national leadership politics and identify a capable and acceptable successor after his second term. As part of the strategy, sources told our correspondent that the traditional rulers from the district yesterday visited the monarch of Benin Kingdom and Chairman of the Edo State Traditional Council, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa. They were led by the Otaru of Auchi and leader of traditional rulers in Edo North, Alhaji Haliru Momoh. Some of the traditional rulers included the monarch of Igarra Kingdom, Oba Abeche Saiki; the Ukor (Otare) of Ihievbe Kingdom, Alhaji Jimoh Awudu; the Okuokpellagbe of Okpella Kingdom, Alhaji A. Y. E. Dirisu; and the Ogieneni of

Uzairue Kingdom, Alhaji Kadiri Imonikhe Omogbai. According to the head of delegation, the traditional rulers were in the Benin palace to felicitate with him and thank him for the overwhelming victory of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, candidate, Oshiomhole. The governor had, last Saturday thrashed his closest challenger, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Major-General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (rtd) in the state governorship election. However, our correspondent reliably gathered that the closed door meeting also marked the beginning of the search for Oshiomhole’s successor. It was also learnt that just like the ordinary citizens of Edo State are increasingly concerned about the issue of a successor, especially after last Saturday’s victory, the traditional rulers are also concerned about who would succeed the governor.

EMMA GBEMUDU

who is a lecturer in the Niger Delta University, NDU, Amassoma, Mr. Ebipaudo Sapere-Obi, said this yesterday in Yenagoa at the 2012 Feast of Barracuda. The feast was organised by the National Association of Seadogs, also known as Pyrates Confraternity. Knocking the Federal

L-R: Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Haliru Momoh, and Okuokpellagbe of Okpella, Alhaji Aye Dirisu, OON, during Edo North traditional rulers’ visit to the governor in Benin, yesterday.

FG begins books’ distribution in South-South SAM OLUWALANA

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he Federal Government yesterday started the distribution of textbooks and instructional materials to basic education institutions in the South-South region. It released 3,429,388 copies of primary one and two

Govt’s weakness responsible for bloodletting - Don YENAGOA

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he inability of the Federal Government to take decisive steps to tackle insecurity in the country has been blamed for the unending sectarian violence in Plateau State. Former gubernatorial aspirant in Bayelsa State

Government for its failure to check the sectarian crisis, Sapere-Obi said the 1999 Constitution was a fraud, because it was the brainchild of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and his cronies. According to him, the 1999 Constitution does not represent the people’s wish.

textbooks and 672,000 copies of assorted library resource materials to pupils in public schools in the zone. The Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, said at the event that the Federal Government’s commitment was to ensure that no child was denied access to books that would assist him develop his talents. The minister said that the Federal Government recognised that inability to procure textbooks and resource materials by parents formed the basis for the free distribution of books to indigent children. He said: “As symbolic as it might be, the event

is nevertheless relevant not only to the direct beneficiaries, but also for the purpose of drawing attention of stakeholders to join hands with the Federal and state governments to find ways to tackle the acute shortage and inability of learners to access basic textbooks and instructional materials for their studies.” The minister noted that security features had been inscribed on the books, while security agencies and ministry officials were working together to ensure that the books were not sold in the market. Flagging off the distribution, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill

Akpabio, said that his administration premised its uncommon transformation on provision of free and qualitative free education. The governor, who spoke through his deputy, Nsima Ekere, said that his administration invested heavily in basic education because it remained the only way to empower less privileged indigenes of the state. The Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed, said Akwa Ibom State was chosen for the South-South flag-off due to the investments of the state in the education sector.


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North

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Six die in gunmen’s attacks in Maiduguri •Fulani herdsmen kill father, son in Kogi INUSA NDAHI AND ADEMU IDAKWO

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t least six people were killed yesterday in Maiduguru, the Borno State capital, in different attacks by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram. Also yesterday, a man and his son were killed in an attack at Iyale in Dekina Local Government Srea of Kogi State.

Two people died in Gambouru ward of the metropolis when men of the military Joint Task Force, JTF, clashed with gunmen about 11a.m. Also about noon, four traders, believed to be of Igbo extraction, were shot dead while two others were seriously injured when gunmen attacked the city’s largest market, the Monday Market, Maiduguri. The incidents came barely 24 hours after the lifting of the

Shettima’s handling of Borno crisis impressive –Ribadu INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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ormer Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, said he was satisfied with the management of the security situation in Borno State by Governor Kashim Shettima. The presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2011 general elections,

Ribadu

gave the commendation when he paid a courtesy call on the governor in his office at the Government House in Maiduguri, yesterday. Ribbadu said he was impressed with Shettima’s style of leadership which gave Nigerians the hope that the crisis would end one day. He also said he was amazed that despite challenges the state government still executed meaningful projects. Ribadu said he was in Maiduguri to commiserate with the governor, government and people of the state over the security challenges. He added that he had visited the Shehu of Borno to commiserate with him and prayed God to continue to give Shettima the courage and wisdom to lead the good people of the state.

Research council seeks better funding for College of Horticulture DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, ARCN, Prof. Baba Yusuf Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government and the Gombe State Government to give adequate attention to the Federal College of Horticulture, situated in Dadin-Kowa, Gombe State. Abubakar, who was on an official visit, said government needed to partner with the college for the development of the agricultural sector of the country’s economy and give adequate funding to it.

He noted that there had been an existing gap between the Gombe State Government and the college, saying it would have been beneficial to both parties if the college and the government had worked together. Abubakar said apart from technical partnership in the agricultural sector, most of the welfare problems confronting the college would have been solved by the state government if there had been a close synergy with the Cinstitution. He thereafter donated a brand new 200KV generator to solve one of the college’s daunting problems.

state of emergency earlier imposed on parts of the state and the subsequent relaxation of the 6a.m. to 7p.m. curfew which is now 6a.m. to 9p.m. The attack on the market forced many traders, who were at the peak of their preRamadan shopping, to flee the market. The General Manager of Monday Market, Maiduguri, Alhaji Ajiya Terrab, confirmed the incident to newsmen on phone. He said: “Some gunmen actually attacked the market and killed four traders and injured two others.” Witnesses said though the incident occurred in the out-

side shops of the market, the management had to lock up the six main entrances to the market, forcing traders to remain indoors for hours. But the earlier attack, a resident said the clash occurred when gunmen attacked one of the military patrol vehicles near Kofa Biyu on the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Way. He said: “We had to run for our lives, as the shootings between soldiers and gunmen were coming from the front, right and back. I cannot tell you whether some people were killed in the shootout, but some of us raninto our houses for fear of being killed by stray bullets here in Gambouru this morning.”

The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, attendant at the Accident and Emergency, A&E, also said that two bodies of civilianswere brought into the hospital by the JTF van. The attendant in a text message to newsmen said: “Two men in personal dress were brought in dead now at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Teaching Hospital by a JTF van about noon Thursday.” Speaking on the clash, the spokesman of JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said: “I am not aware of the shootouts between us and suspected gunmen. But I will investigate to confirm today’s shootouts in the metropolis, before reach-

ing you if there were casualties.” Confirming the incident, however, the Borno State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Gideon Jibrin, said that there was a clash between men of the JTF and suspected gunmen in Gombouru ward of Maiduguri yesterday, where some civilians were injured by stray bullets. In the Kogi attack, trouble started when cows invaded the farm of the man and ate the growing crops. This, according to sources led to a fight between the Fulani herdsmen and the man, leading to the death of the farmer and his 35-year-old son.

L-R: Assistant General Manager, Planning, Research And Monitoring, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr. Abubakar Sule; Assistant General Manager, Human Resources and Administration, Mr. Uwais Fatika and his Technical Operations counterpart, Mrs. Blessing Nienge, at the NHIS Enrolee Workshop in Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Kano will embrace Islamic banking –Kwankwaso AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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overnor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State said yesterday that his administration would partner with Jaiz Bank, pioneering Islamic banking in the country, to

explore the benefits of NonInterest Banking, NIB. The governor said this while receiving the Board of Directors of the bank, led by its Chairman, Dr. Umaru Abdul Mutallab, at Government House. Kwankwaso described the project as a wonderful

Cleric warns against provocative preaching during Ramadan EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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staz Muhammad Albashir Tahir Jahun Bauchi yesterday in Bauchi called on Muslims in the country to start fasting immediately they learnt about the sighting of the new lunar month of Ramadan. He equally called on Ulama to adhere strictly

to the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah while conducting Ramadan Tafsir and avoid provocative and misleading talks. Jahun stressed that only physical sighting of the moon should be used for establishing the commencement of the lunar month of Ramadan as it was closer to adherence to the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah. Speaking in an inter-

idea, which should be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians. He said: “We are on the same page and willing to partner with you. Your success is our success. We are looking forward to a better and mutual relationship with the bank.”

view with our correspondent, he advised Muslims to start looking for the new moon of Ramadan at end of Sha’aban, adding that whoever sighted the new moon of Ramadan should inform any authority nearest to him. The Islamic scholar stressed the need for all Muslims to begin fasting at the same time and end at the same time, describing the attitudes of some Muslims who refuse to start fasting unless they see the moon themselves as unfortunate.

In his remark, Mutallab disclosed that Kano, being a strategic and commercial nerve centre of the North, was important to the bank, hence its plan to open about five branches in the state, to harness the business and economic fortunes of the state. “Kano State,” he said, “is among the first states we are visiting, due to its economic and strategic importance to establish regional branches, so as to disabuse the minds of those with negative thoughts about Islamic banking by sensitising them to what it is all about. Islamic banking is not a religious bank but a bank that lends money without interest. “Our vision is to be a dominant non-interest financial service provider in Sub-Saharan Africa, where we will create value for our shareholders and make a lasting positive contribution to the society.”


Friday, July 20, 2012

2015: Parties scramble for S’East

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

Al-Makura, lawmakers on fresh collision course

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Edo guber: PDP vows to fight on, dismisses Osunbor FELIX NWANERI

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L-R: Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin; Governor Kayode Fayemi and Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Dayo Fadipe, during the quarterly briefing with Local Government Chairmen, in Oye LGA, yesterday.

he Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday declared that the battle for the state’s governorship position decided last weekend is not yet over until it decides on the next line of action. The party stated this while reacting to a statement credited to one-time governor of the state, Senator Oserheimen Osunbor, that the result of the last Saturday’s poll did not surprise him as a result of the party’s manipulation of its February 25 governorship primary. In a statement by its Director of Publicity, Okharedia Ihimekpen, the party said it is “surprised that Senator Osunbor

could degenerate to this primordial level of begging excuses for his political failures and disappointments in a party that made him a two-time senator and a governor.” To put the records straight, the Edo PDP said: “The party’s primary of February 25, 2012 which produced Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) as its governorship candidate was transparent, free and fair and Senator Osunbor only emerged a distant 4th position. “It is irreconcilable that Osunbor who accepted the results of the primary and followed the party’s leadership to attend crucial meetings including those with President Goodluck Jonathan could now turn around to castigate the same primary.”

Ex-Katsina PDP chair shed tears at Yar’Adua’s book launch LG poll: Badagry residents JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ormer chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State, Kabiru Maiwada Daudawa yesterday burst into tears before an audience that had gathered to witness a book launch on the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. The book titled ‘Yar’Adua; A True Statesman’ was launched at the state secretariat complex and Daudawa was called upon to speak briefly on the late President who was the state governor from 1999 to 2007. He had hardly collected the microphone to begin speaking when he suddenly burst into uncontrolled tears before camera men and seated guests. He however, could not keep his emotions in check before he was escorted to a corner and consoled by sympathisers. When he was accosted by reporters, Daudawa said he would not be able to speak on why he had cried in public glare but that he

was surprised why there was low turnout during the launch programme. National Mirror reports that most of the top government officials supposed to grace the occasion did not attend as an event was being held in another part of the state where the governor and other public officers were

in attendance. It was learnt that the late President’s wife, Hajiya Turai and the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who were also expected to be at the occasion did not attend or send representatives. The book, written by Naziru Ibrahim and Hadiza Rufa’i however saw a government representa-

tive pledging a N500,000 donation, while business mogul, Dahiru Mangal donated N1 million. Highest donation of N1.5 million came from Abdullahi Usman Tsauri, also known as Tata, whom it was learnt, is nursing political ambition to contest for the state’s highest seat in 2015.

protest delay in judgement

OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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esidents of Badagry Local Government has protested against what they called delay in delivering the judgement in the elec-

PDP, problem of Nigeria’s democracy, says ACN SINA FADARE

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday decried the comment of President Goodluck Jonathan that Nigeria’s democracy has not collapsed because of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying he was economical with the truth. In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP is the main problem hindering the growth of democracy in Nigeria, adding that its anti-democratic antics, election manipulation tendencies, lack of respect for the rule of law and total dis-

regard for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are its hallmark. The party noted that the reason Nigeria’s democracy has survived thus far is not the robustness of the PDP, as claimed by the President, “but the determination and courage of the good people of Nigeria, who have resolved to say ‘never again’ to anti-democratic forces, as well as the robust opposition mounted by a few progressive forces”. ‘’Were it left for the PDP, this democracy as we know it would have become history. This is the party that has weakened all the institutions that are indispensable to building a virile democracy, from the judiciary

to the legislature. This is the party that has sought to emasculate the opposition by infiltrating their ranks and coercing them into a fake unity government,” ACN said ACN pointed out that Nigerians, including the opposition are criticising the PDP because it has failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people in terms of good governance, provision of visionary leadership as well as the basic social amenities that make life more abundant and meaningful to the people. It added: “The people are fed up with the PDP governments at all levels, and what happened in Edo last weekend is the clearest indica-

tion yet that the PDP, with all its so-called spread, access to limitless funds and control of the state instrument of coercion, is fast receding into irrelevance,’’ the party said. ACN noted that “PDP has done nothing to justify its strangle-hold on power at the centre since 1999, adding that the problem is not with the message, but with the messenger. “If a government that has a full-fledged ministry of information, and television and radio stations in every state, says its message is not reaching the people, then something is wrong! “...It should quit the stage before crashing the house on all of us.”

tion petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the council election. Judgement in the petition was expected to be delivered yesterday, but the tribunal adjourned to July 27 to deliver its judgement. This would be the fifth adjournment suffered by the judgement in the petition challenging the election of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ANC) candidate in the October 22, 2011 local government election, Moses Dosu Hunsitode. One of the protesters, who preferred anonymity said: “Why has the tribunal adjourned again? This is the fifth time; sometimes they would give a date and fail to turn up. ” Also reacting to the adjournment, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Lagos State, Taofik Gani, expressed surprise that the tribunal adjourned yet again, but believed that the tribunal would do justice in the matter.


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Politics

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Al-Makura, lawmakers on fresh collision course Governor Tanko Al-Makura and the Nasarawa State House of Assembly have been on each other’s throat in recent time due to irreconcilable political differences. SINA FADARE examines the contending issues.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE STATE IS NOT

UNUSUAL, SINCE THE

PDP CONTROLS

THE MAJORITY IN THE

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he relationship between the governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and members of the state House of Assembly could be likened to that of mouse and cat, as the gulf between them is getting wider each day. Initially, the House and Al-Makura seemed to have hit the right cord in their relationship, despite that the executive and legislative arms of government in the state were populated by different political parties. While the governor is of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the House was majorly populated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has 20 members in the 24-member parliament. The bone of contention in the current face-off was the recent visit of the governor to the United States of America (USA), which the House said the governor did not follow the constitutional guidelines before embarking on the journey. Against this backdrop, the lawmakers invited the governor to appear before them to explain why he travelled to the United States without informing the legislature in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. Ever since, the Assembly never see anything good in the administration of Al-Makura, as it has been on his neck to take its pound of flesh and let him realise that though he is the governor of the state, the machinery controlling political affairs in the state still belong to the PDP. In the beginning, the Assembly was alleged to have given the governor some conditions before he could enjoy its cooperation in the day to day running of the state. National Mirror reliably gathered that the governor had to mellow down on some contentious issues that set the Assembly against his interests and reverted to the status quo, at a meeting brokered by a former Majority Leader in the state House of Assembly and now a special adviser on Public Affairs to Al-Makura, Abdulhamid Kwarra. Other demands by the lawmakers, made through Kwarra, for peace to reign have either been met by the governor or are under consideration, all in his attempt to create an enabling environment for him to deliver to the people of the state the dividends of democracy. A competent source in Nassarawa told National Mirror that the crisis in the state chapter of the PDP has now been extended to the Government House because, Al-Makura still has his own faction in the PDP despite his allegiance to the CPC. Aside this, the failure of the executive arm of government to honour the agreement brokered by Kwarra between the

HOUSE, BUT

CAUTIONED THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DEGENERATE TO THE LEVEL THAT WOULD AFFECT GOVERNANCE

Al-Makura

two parties was said to have informed the Assembly’s convening a special session, where some resolutions that would make the governor uncomfortable, hiding under the disguise of their oversight functions, were passed. The source further said that anytime the Assembly members are cash-strapped and need cash from the governor, they look for an opportune time that they believe they were at a vantage position, before hitting the governor below the belt, adding that the issue of his travelling to US was a case study. At the special plenary of the Assembly held on June 25, the lawmakers deliberated on a range of issues which they considered of urgent public interest and these includes, the report on College of Education, Akwanga, with regards to a N25 million bank loan; the consideration of a preliminary report of Ad hoc Committee on Nasarawa State Joint Local Government Account and the governor’s trip to the USA without transmitting a written declaration to the Speaker as provided for in Section 190 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The Assembly against the backdrop of the report of the House Committee on Education on College of Education passed a resolution urging the state government to reinstate the suspended management of the College of Education, Akwanga, led by the Provost, Mrs. Esther Amu-Nnadi. The Provost and her management staff were suspended following the alleged mismanagement of N25 million loan received from UBA Plc for the completion of the ICT Centre and the library of the institution. The House further stated that the loan was earlier applied for by the former Provost, Mrs. Victoria Titi Monde, and was subsequently cancelled after her appointment as a member of the state Executive and Security Council.

On the Joint Local Government Account, the House, based on the report of the Adhoc Committee, accused the Ministry for Local Government of failure to account for over N2 billion out of the over N27 billion received from June 2011 to April 2012. As regard the governor’s trip to the US, the House issued a two-week ultimatum to him to explain why he travelled without compliance with the relevant section of the constitution. Defending the governor on the issues raised by the House, Kwarra, at a press briefing on the prevailing situation in the state said that the suspension of Mrs. Amu-Nnadi and her management team remains sacrosanct, noting that the government is studying the House resolution and will exercise its discretion at the appropriate time. On the alleged misappropriation of fund through the State/Local Government Joint Account, Kwarra regretted that: “It is worrisome that the House of Assembly Ad hoc Committee did not discuss their findings or any financial irregularity with the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for the purposes of clarification before making their report a public matter.” According to him, “as far as government is concerned, with regard to the allegation of N2 billion unaccounted for Local Government Joint Account funds, no such money is missing and there is nothing to be accounted for.” On the governor’s trip to US, he pointed out that the provision of the constitution is very clear, noting that: ”Section 190 sub sections 1 and 2 is intended to provide a synergy between the House of Assembly on the one hand, which is for the governor to inform the House of Assembly of his temporary absence or inability to perform his duties owing to ill health, and on the other hand that the deputy governor would be acting for the period of his absence.” He stressed that since the governor is neither sick nor proceeding on vacation, the provision does not contemplate that he should write and obtain permission from the Assembly before he travels within or outside the country for official engagements. Kwarra noted that the lawmakers are

ignorant of the constitutional provision and their actions are disrespectful to the office of the governor. He added: “Government views the position of the Assembly with regards to the above as ignorance of the underlining principles of the provision of Section 190 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Equally, the action of the Assembly amounts to disrespect to the person and esteemed office of the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State.” He explained that in as much as the government recognises the oversight functions of the legislature, the House should not carry its luck too far, “as issues arising between the executive and the legislative arms of government need to be resolved through dialogue and mutual understanding.” The governor’s aide added that this would further promote the spirit of partnership and cordial relationship between the two arms of government, saying: “We urge the Assembly to avoid any action that is capable of projecting government before the public in bad light.” Warning that the government of Nasarawa State would not condone “mischief and political blackmail” from any quarters, Kwarra said that the government would however be ready to accommodate constructive criticism. Political observers in the state are of the view that the governor and the lawmakers, who are always at each other’s throats are embarking on a collision course, the end, which no one can predict. Perhaps Al-Makura is paying for his audacity to have defected from the PDP, which was the ruling party in the state before the April 2011 election, to the CPC and eventually won the election. This must have accounted for the no love lost between Al-Makura and the lawmakers since his inauguration on May 29, last year. Since his inauguration, it has been a running battle of supremacy between the governor and the House. Speaking to National Mirror on condition of anonymity, a chieftain of the PDP in the state said that what is happening in the state is not unusual, since the PDP controls the majority in the House, but cautioned that it should not be allowed to degenerate to the level that would affect governance. He explained that the governor, though in CPC, was forced out of the PDP due to internal wrangling which was not well managed, adding that what should be paramount to any of the combatants is the general welfare of the people of the state and not the unnecessary heating up the polity in any guise. Efforts by National Mirror to get the House side was abortive as all call made to Ilyasu Yakubu, the Speaker’s mobile phone were not answered, however, the Speaker’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Tanko Ibrahim told the newspaper that there was no quarrel between the House and the executive, adding: “Everything is going on smoothly between them.” But the days ahead would prove the veracity of this statement, as events continue to unfold in the Home of Solid Minerals.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, July 20, 2012

15

An early race for the soul of the South East has commenced ahead of the 2015 general elections with the leading political parties strategising either on how to consolidate already gained grounds or to expand frontiers in the five states that make up the area, writes FELIX NWANERI.

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he people of the South-East, known for their republican politics, are in for interesting times as manoeuvrings by the country’s leading political parties for elective positions in the area ahead of the 2015 general elections promises to make the zone, one to be watched with keen interest. Ordinarily, the scheming, especially by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) would not have been possible if not for the leadership crises rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which controls the zone with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the centre. While both have remained the dominant parties in the South-East over the years with two states (Anambra and Imo) for APGA and three states (Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi) for the PDP, the national leadership of the ACN has vowed that it would not rest on its oars until it wrests power from the ruling parties in all the five states of the region in 2015. National Vice Chairman of the party in the South-East, Dr. Chudi Nwike, who declared this while inaugurating a three-man caretaker committee to pilot the affairs of the Enugu State chapter of the ACN, recently, said the party remained one to beat in the next general elections especially in Igboland and the country at large. Nwike, a former deputy governor of Anambra State, maintained that the party has all it takes to dislodge the PDP from the zone, because it has remained strong and focussed since it came on board due to the calibre of politicians who make up its leadership. The ACN, it would be recalled made some in-roads into the South-East in the 2011 elections, especially in Anambra State where it won a senatorial seat through a former governor of the state, Dr. Chris Ngige. Apart from the Anambra Central Senatorial seat, which Ngige beat former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili of APGA to, the party also won a few House of Representatives and state Assembly seats. However, the ACN, which has the SouthWest as its stronghold will be facing an uphill task as it tries to make more incursions into Igboland. Whether the ACN “broom revolution” which has swept up to Edo State, will extend across the Niger Bridge would be determined by the 2014 governorship election in Anambra State. Already, there are indications that the poll will, like those of the past, prove a tough battle as a galaxy of political bigwigs in the state, including Ngige and Senator Andy Uba, are poised to take over from the incumbent, Mr. Peter Obi. Ngige is likely to fly the flag of the ACN despite his recent denial of not having interest in the governorship position, while Uba, a former presidential aide and senator representing Anambra South in the Na-

Obi

Chime

Ngige

2015: Parties scramble for S’East tional Assembly, may pick the PDP’s ticket. Who runs under APGA’s platform is still unclear as the leadership crises rocking the party have continued to becloud Obi’s likely successor. Many have blamed several factors, particularly the non-conduct of local government election in Anambra State by the Obiled administration for the APGA crises, but it is believed in some circles that the real reason behind the fight between Obi and the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh (once political allies), stems from who picks the party’s governorship ticket in 2014. The crises took a new twist recently when Obi formally pitched his tent with Alhaji Sadiq Massalla, whose appointment as the acting National Chairman of APGA has been ratified by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC). It was, perhaps, the crises that prompted Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State to declare recently that APGA is dead in the South-East. Chime, who spoke at a PDP’s stakeholders forum in Enugu, said he was “very sure” the PDP would capture the seat of power in Anambra and Imo states come 2014 and 2015 when governorship elections would hold in the two states, respectively. Although Chime was full of praises for Obi over the new face of governance in Anambra, he however argued that APGA’s hold on the two states shouldn’t have been in the first instance if the PDP had presented acceptable candidates in previous elections. He premised his belief on APGA’s lack of structure and succession plan and therefore urged the chairman of the South-East PDP Zonal Working Committee, Col. Augustine Akobundu (rtd), to exploit these defects to ensure victory for the party, first in Anambra and later in Imo, by presenting generally acceptable candidates. His words: “I don’t see why APGA should be a problem for us in Anambra because as far as I’m concerned, I don’t think it still exists there. In fact, APGA is a dead party. We urge you (Akobundu) to bring your experience in the army to bear in the final capture of Anambra and Imo states. We would continue to give you the support you need to achieve this and succeed. Just make sure that by 2014 in Anambra, and 2015, we record a clean sweep.”

Akobundu in his response pledged to serve the party by synergising with the state chapters to remain intact and sacrosanct in the South-East. “We will check our zone of the very negative leadership crisis that we are known for. We will assiduously, and in harmony, work with our brothers to ensure that we do not only win the forthcoming elections, but to reclaim all states the PDP carelessly gave out in the SouthEast zone,” he said. Chime’s pronouncement however drew the wrath of Umeh, who described the comments as ill-motivated. His words: “How can somebody I call my friend arrive at such a conclusion? People who insinuate that APGA is dead will be swallowed by their words, because APGA will be the party to beat in the next general elections.” The embattled APGA boss further said that the party will not only consolidate on its victory in Anambra and Imo states, but would make a foray into Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states. Umeh also assured on the party’s resolve to retain the Anambra State governorship position, disclosing that APGA has started looking for a credible and formidable candidate to be its standard bearer. “We will go for somebody who has the capacity, by every ramification, to win that election for our party. He can come from any zone of the state; the important thing is victory for APGA,” he said. Beside Anambra, another state that is of interest to the “invading parties” is

WHETHER THE ACN “BROOM REVOLUTION” WHICH HAS SWEPT UP TO EDO STATE, WILL EXTEND ACROSS THE NIGER BRIDGE WOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE

2014 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN

ANAMBRA STATE

Imo. The state had been under PDP’s control since 1999, but was overrun by APGA in last year’s election, no thanks to Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who dumped the PDP in the build-up to the poll and rejuvenated an almost dormant APGA in the state to win the governorship position. Since the shocking defeat, members of the PDP in the state have never hidden their intention to retake the Imo Government House. They have against this backdrop commenced a rebuilding process to launch a comeback. In the forefront of this campaign are former Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho and the senator representing Imo North Senatorial district in the National Assembly, Hope Uzodinma. But the Imo PDP faces a Herculean task in its come-back bid as the “APGA whirlwind” which saw the defeat of former Governor Ikedi Ohakim in an election that nearly caused a constitutional crisis before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) came up with a supplementary arrangement has not ceased. But these developments are not deterring the PDP in the state which has alongside the leadership of the party in the zone, reiterated its resolve to reclaim the Eastern Heartland in the next general elections. The leaders, who restated this during a recent solidarity visit to the Imo PDP chapter, said the ruling by the Court of Appeal on the case of elected council chairmen (all members of the PDP) in the state has clearly shown that the party is still dominant in Imo State. It will be recalled that the appellate court, sitting in Owerri, had on July 5, reinstated the local government chairmen and councillors sacked by Okorocha. The governor had in June 2011, dissolved the councils and appointed caretaker committees to steer the affairs of the council areas. The question as the clock ticks close to 2015 is: Will the South-East head back to the PDP or look towards the ACN as an alternative? Only a conscious effort by APGA through early preparation for the 2014 governorship poll in Anambra State and subsequent ones in 2015 will provide the answer on the emerging trends in the zone which are expected to make the next elections even more interesting than that of 2011.


16

Editorial

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

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STEVE AYORINDE

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

SATURDAY EDITOR

LANRE OYETADE

GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

HEAD, GRAPHICS

INEC and voter apathy in future elections

he recent disclosure by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of strategy to put an end to voter apathy and political thuggery comes at a time when the country needs a general reorientation for the populace, particularly youths of voting age. The Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Timothy Ibitoye, at a voter education programme in Ilorin, organized lately for secondary schools in the state, said the Kwara INEC was set to improve the electoral system through intense and well coordinated voter education of youths, to tackle the problem of voter apathy and thuggery in the future. Mr. Ibitoye said the voter education drive would inculcate requisite social and electoral values in youths with the longterm objective of raising their consciousness towards civic obligations. He said the exercise would equip youths with adequate knowledge of what their electoral roles are and prepare them against being engaged by desperate politicians as thugs in future elections. Should the Kwara INEC partner with secondary school authorities in the execution of the project, as is implied, beneficiary youths would be caught young to identify with the democratic process and recognize that they are as important as the older gen-

eration in the electoral system. They would, in addition, better appreciate their crucial roles as agents of change. We believe that the idea emanating from the Kwara INEC would not only improve the nation’s electoral performance in the future, but would ultimately position youths for the greater task of nation-building. The initiative appears too attractive and necessary to be given a tokenism treatment. A brilliant idea in a nation where voter apathy seems the rule rather the exception in the electoral process, the enlightenment project promises a veritable weapon in tackling growing voter apathy, the inertia or ‘siddon look’ attitude that has taken over the political lives of many, as well as pervasive pre and post election brigandage. Therefore, it may be necessary for the INEC, as a national body, to adopt the Kwara model and implement same as a nationwide project. In addition to preparing the youths to take responsibility in efforts to stabilize the country’s democratic process, they should be taught and enlightened on the inestimable price of their votes; and how incumbent it is on them to remain behind after each election to ensure that their votes count in deciding election winners and losers. This appears most critical to the emergence

WE, INDEED, CONSIDER THE KWARA INEC IDEA A CHALLENGE TO

ATTAHIRU JEGALED INEC TO BECOME THE

MORE INTELLECTUALLY PROACTIVE AS WELL AS PRACTICAL IN CONFRONTING THE PROBLEMS OF VOTER APATHY AND POLITICAL THUGGERY IN THE COUNTRY of credible, widely accepted and accountable public functionaries from the electoral process, as vote manipulation has become an odious trademark of the nation’s corrupt political class. We, indeed, consider the Kwara INEC idea a challenge to the Attahiru Jega-led INEC to become more intellectually proactive as well as practical in confronting the problems of voter apathy and political thuggery in the country, mediate and resolve the setbacks for a richer political process. It accords with good reasoning, appreciating the fact that a theoretical

and practical approach may be a sin qua non in addressing the twin vices. For, what constitutes voter apathy in community A, for instance, might not be the same in community B. A comparative approach may therefore be necessary for a comprehensive and holistic understanding of voter apathy and the varying root causes of political brigandage, especially among youths. Another more general, yet problematic area in the nation’s electoral system include the seeming non-independence of the electoral body. Our considered opinion is that INEC’s helmsmen at all levels cannot effectively and dispassionately perform as publicly expected when their services are tied to the whims and caprices of the government in power. Among other sundry shortcomings, for instance, the INEC chairman should be appointed based on the recommendation of an independent body whose representation is drawn from major political parties and credible civil society groups; while the Commission’s funding should be routed directly through the Federation Account. We consider it an aberration for a President that doubles as the most prominent leader of one of the rival political parties to be the appointing and funding authority of a purported “electoral umpire”.

ON THIS DAY July 20, 1999

July 20, 1992

July 20, 1980

Falun Gong was banned in the People’s Republic of China, and a large scale crackdown of the practice was launched. Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline first introduced in China in 1992 through public lectures by its founder, Li Hongzhi. It combines the practice of meditation and slow-moving qigong exercises with a moral philosophy. Falun Gong emphasises morality and the cultivation of virtues in its central tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

Václav Havel resigned as the president of Czechoslovakia. Havel (October 5, 1936 – December 18, 2011) was a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. Havel was the ninth and last president of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992) and the first president of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). Havel retained his presidency despite increasing political tension between the Czechs and the Slovaks in 1992. After the Slovaks issued their Declaration of Independence, he resigned as President.

The United Nations Security Council voted 14-0 that member states should not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, though not internationally recognized as such. The status of a “united Jerusalem” as Israel’s “eternal capital” has been a matter of immense controversy within the international community. Although some countries maintain consulates in Jerusalem, all embassies are located outside the city proper, mostly in Tel Aviv.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Friday, July 20, 2012

17

Recall of Oteh: Why Jonathan is right K AYODE OTITOJU

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or a deep appreciation of the crisis in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a development that had its Director General, Ms Arunma Oteh, placed on forced suspension, we need to go back to June 25, 2007, the date the Investment and Securities Act 2007 was passed. The Act, which repealed the ISA Act 1999, fundamentally reordered procedures and processes in the commission. While ISA Act 1999 recommended a Board made up of a part-time chairman, a DG, two executive commissioners, six non- executive commissioners (one from each of the six geo-political zones), and two ex-officio members from the CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance, ISA Act 2007 altered this structure. Under section 3 (1) of the new Act, the Board is composed of a part-time chairman; a DG who is to the CEO; three full time commissioners; one representative each of the Federal Ministry of Finance and CBN, and two part-time commissioners, one of whom shall be a legal practitioner with 10 years post-call experience. Section 3 (2) spells out the board membership eligibility criteria. Sub section (2a) makes a university degree or its equivalent with not less than 15 years cognate experience in the capital market operations the minimum qualification for Chairman or DG of the Commission, while any other members other than ex-officio members

must also hold a university degree or its equivalent, but with a minimum of 12 years cognate experience in the capital market operations or legal practice as the case may be. And for an ex-officio member of the Board, he/she should not be below the rank of a director in the Ministry or CBN. However, the lacuna is on disqualification of board membership or cessation of appointment. Section 8 (2) is unambiguous about who can remove the DG of SEC when it states inter alia: “The president may at any time and upon the recommendation of the Minister, remove a person to whom subsection (1) of this section applies” that is, “provided no fulltime member of the board shall be removed without approval of the senate.” Oteh, a first class degree holder of computer science, University of Nigeria Nsukka and with an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, was employed straight from African Development Bank (ADB) in 2009 after 16 years of stellar service in the pan African institution where she rose to the position of Vice President. She became the DG of SEC in January 2010, after the Senate confirmed her nomination, for a first-term tenure of five years. She came in with a reformation agenda that could not be immediately implemented because the Board and Management she inherited denied her the necessary stimuli. The then chairman denied her his cooperation because his transmuting into an Executive Chairman plot was frustrat-

THAT IT WAS THE SAME CLIQUE OF CONSPIRATORIAL

SEC’S COMMISSIONERS AND CHAIRMAN THAT PLACED

OTEH

ON COMPULSORY SUSPENSION LEFT ME WITH SOME GRAVE FOREBODINGS ed by the new Act. And for the three full time commissioners, who were upgraded to executive commissioner position, they saw themselves as heir apparent to the replaced DG Musa Al-Faki. Oteh therefore, resumed with the disadvantages of an ‘outsider’. Instructively, with the exception of the two ex-officio members of the Board from CBN & FMF, other members of the Board were put together by the former recommending Finance Minister, Shamsudeen, to work harmoniously with Musa Al-Faki and not an outsider. The resistance to Oteh is simply board room politics. Having studied the situation, Oteh started building her own team that could assist her in executing her transformation agenda. All the accusations on secondment of

officers from Access Bank to SEC, deploying donation for ‘Project 50’ to pay clients directly instead of first paying to the SEC’s account, and the non involvement of executive commissioners in ‘Project 50’ decision-making process were all products of the hostile environment created by the executive commissioners and the chairman to frustrate ‘outsider’ Arunma Oteh. That it was the same clique of conspiratorial SEC’s commissioners and chairman that placed Oteh on compulsory suspension left me with some grave forebodings. The only provision in the ISA Act where a board member could be asked to excuse the house is contained in Section 11 under “Disclosure of Interest”. It is used when a member, after disclosing his interest in a contract/matter, is not allowed to sit and participate in the deliberation of such matter. Now that the terms of office of the Board which suspended Oteh has expired, the environment is now conducive for Mr. President to revoke Oteh’s suspension order and return her to her job. She still has two and a half years to complete her first term of five years. Since Mr. President has demonstrated his confidence in her through the recall, he should not submit to the current cheap blackmail of protest engineered by the aggrieved old members of the Board. Sir Otitoju, a former board member of SEC and onetime Commissioner for Information, Ekiti State, wrote from Abuja

For Wike, it’s performance beyond politics SIMEON NWACHUKWU

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ndeniably, the Minister of State for Education, Barr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has brought a rare sense of dedication and commitment to the management of the nation’s basic education sub-sector since July 14, 2011 when he assumed office. The sub sector has witnessed unprecedented progress. Hardly any week passes without one form of intervention or the other targeted at re-positioning the critical sub sector. There was a week when we had direct field activity and this writer received several calls from journalists and other stakeholders who wanted to know if the Minister of State for Education was beginning to slow down like is usually the case. My common answer to this query across the board was the man is still as fired up as he was the very first day he assumed duty as Minister. He still gives lazy staff sleepless nights and remains as enthusiastic as ever. This query has never been put forward again as the products of his planning and executions are constantly in the public domain. In the last few months, Barr Wige has provided the critically needed dedicated leadership to drive basic education towards the path of growth. Unlike in the past, the argument is no longer if the Federal Government is delivering on basic education, but at what percentage. At the very beginning, Barr Wike saw his assignment of reviving the basic education sub-sector as

UNLIKE IN THE PAST, THE ARGUMENT IS NO LONGER IF THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT IS DELIVERING ON BASIC EDUCATION, BUT AT WHAT PERCENTAGE a collaborative effort between FG and the states. Using the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) platform, he inter-faced with the governors on the need to pay up their counterpart funds to access the matching grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). At this time, more than 18 states were defaulting in the payment of counterpart funds. A functional relationship has since evolved between FG and the states in the quest to put basic educate back on a sound footing. Under his charge, the complete turnaround of the budgeting system of Federal unity schools, which has culminated in the phased rehabilitation of these schools, was achieved. Thirty of these schools will be rehabilitated annually over the next footrest years. Wige has also been able to secure confirmation of the appointments of 1305 temporary teachers of these schools. Some of these teachers have taught on stipends of less than N12, 000 over this period. Their appointments are being verified by the Fed-

eral Civil Service Commission. He has also secured approval for the employment of 2, 000 teachers in key subjects of Mathematics, English Language and core subject areas to address the academic staff deficit in these schools. To improve the teaching capacity of teachers in the basic education level, Wike and officials of National Teachers’ Institute, UBEC and Nigerian Educational Research Development Council, have ensured that over 600, 000 teachers participated in premium training programmes. For the children in primary and junior secondary schools, about 20 million instructional materials are currently being distributed across the country. Critical steps have been taken to address the issue of non-formal education and mass literacy for the less privileged groups. There have been key interventions in the education of Almajiris in parts of the country, the girl-child and the trader boy-child. For what is considered a stellar performance, appreciative governors, groups and individuals have applauded Barr Wige. Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State sees him as an outstanding Nigerian of rare commitment and dedication, the same reason he earned encomium from Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State. When Anambra State handed some of her schools to their missionary owners, Wike was the special guest of honour, and Governor Peter Obi did not fail to note his critical contributions to the nation’s basic education. The President of Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), Kabiru Nuhu-

Koko, in appreciation of the minister’s efforts at reviving Federal Unity Colleges, led a delegation of the entire executive members of the association and other stakeholders to his office to say well done and conferred on him an award of performance. During a public hearing on the existence of part-time teachers in federal government colleges, Senate Committee of Education Chairman, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, commended the Minister’s efforts in regularising the appointments of these long suffering Nigerians. The All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, during a visit of Barr Wike to his state, commended the minister for the dedication he has brought to basic education service delivery to Nigerians. Similarly, the governors of Niger and Adamawa states have recognized the minister for his outstanding contributions to basic education. He has received several awards for this. Three of the most prominent being, the Nigerian Pilot 2011 Minister of the Year Award; NUJ (Abuja Council) Excellent Performance Award, and Labour Awards of Nigeria conferred by NLC. Nwakaudu is the Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister 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.


18

Mail Mirror

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Rev. Chris Okotie’s annulled second marriage

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he sooner Christians begin seeing these ‘revered men of God’ as mere mortals, the better. Though this is very, very disheartening, the Bible has already forewarned us about issues like this. “Many prophets will claim to come from me, but they are not really from me”, we have been warned. Why would anyone be surprised that a man of God has had two failed marriages!

Laudable strides of Rukayat Rufai

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any of us don’t seem to concur with the landmark achievement in the educational sector of this country by this present administration. Don’t get me wrong; as a progressive minded citizen, I am particular about positive change in any part of the country. I think Professor Rukayat Rufai, the Honourable Minister for Education with the unflinching support from the Presidency has made the nation proud and given hope to the hopeless, home to homeless and food for the famished by integrating the Almaijris into the nation’s education system using the Almajiri Special School Programme and thus giving them an assured future. This, to me is a laudable page of achievement in the history book of Nigeria. Going back memory lane, Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the Premier of the old Western Region, instituted the free primary education programme and thus revolutionized education in that part of the country. In no time the Eastern Region and Northern Region governments were forced to take a cue from him. It is most unfortunate that the gains of the programme were eroded by visionless leaders that were on the saddle after the exit of the sage. . It is therefore, glorious that we now have a visionary education minister that wants to take education to all northerners irrespective of their social status and circumstances of birth. I see this as a giant effort in the human capital development in this part of the country. The mustard seed planted will surely produce the sweetest juice not only locally but internationally because I am convinced some of these boys (Almajiris) are endowed with a great IQs that could be harnessed to the benefit of the nation. Moriyole ‘Kunle, Lagos.

Emmanuel Fache, Lagos

Recovering the subsidy overpayment

T Processing of palm oil in a village near Lagos.

PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

Redeeming part-time programme

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he suspension of parttime programme in Nigerian universities by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has certainly evoked mixed feelings among Nigerians. Despair, despondency and utter bewilderment will be the lot of the teeming students who have invested their hard earned resources with the ultimate aim of obtaining university degrees/certificates for value enhancement in the labour market and current engagements. The students’ quandary is compounded by the indefinite nature of NUC’s pronouncement. While some Nigerians who have witnessed firsthand the charade and impunity some of these part-time programmes represent will certainly see NUC’s decision as a welcome development, another group will also be asking for the universities’ regulatory body head for waiting until things have degenerated to its present chaotic situation in the various parttime study centres across the

country before acting. It’s quite unfortunate that the vulgarization of our educational system cannot be attributed to the government alone as our lecturers, management and regulatory agencies are just as culpable. The NUC’s failure to streamline and regulate parttime programmes, ab initio, contributed to the present abysmal level of decadence. A situation where our universities see part-time programmes as their cash cow cannot be healthy for our higher education system. The prevalence of unemployed 16-22 year olds in various part-time programmes in our universities smacks of irresponsibility, and one wonders what manner of future leaders we are grooming, considering the social marginal implication of this anomaly on the larger society. How did we allow Jambites usurp a programme that is otherwise designed for matured working men and women? Why must we always bastardize everything in this country?

Jonathan and the Plateau State conundrum

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he members of Plateau State House of Assembly want the world to believe that President Goodluck Jonathan should be blamed for the unwholesome development in their state. Why should we blame him? He has done everything within his power to stop the carnage in

the North. But because of the hidden agenda of some people to make him look incompetent, they resort to insurgency. What is playing out in Plateau State and all other volatile states in the North is like reaping the whirlwind after sowing

the wind. Let me assure the sponsors of the growing insurgency and all those that allow themselves to be used that the wrath of God awaits them. No sinner ever goes unpunished.

Letters to the Editor

James Bwakan, Jos

Now that the regulatory body has risen from its slumber, let’s hope they draw up appropriate parameters for admission into part-time programmes. Those seeking admission must be tested via a written test, and on no account must they be less than 25 years old. A situation where one just strolls into a banking hall to buy a part-time programme admission form and gets admitted based on the tendering of a school certificate result which was probably obtained from one of the mushroom special centres in town is uncalled for and must be discouraged in totality. It’s in the overall interest of the universities and students to co-operate with the NUC to check this anomaly so that degree/certificates can best serve their value and not the present worthless sheet of paper some of them are. Recently there was an employment advert in the media where it was indicated that those who obtained their degrees on part-time basis need not apply. Isn’t this a dangerous trend? The NUC must sit up because there are still more areas that are begging for its attention. Quite a number of our Universities are still offering courses which they don’t have accreditation for. Alex Okorie, Akure, Ondo State

he issue, Dr. Nogozi Okonjo-Iweala, should not be only the recovery of the excess payments made to the rogue companies, but to charge them to court and pursue their conviction for putting the masses into unnecessary suffering. They must be punished to serve as deterrence to others who might have similar plans to take the country through harrowing experiences. Anon

Cross River disaster and FG’s response

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y heart gladdens at the quick response of the Goodluck Jonathanled federal administration to the recent disaster in Cross River State. It is really quite encouraging to have a caring administration ready to fight the course of peace of the nation. This gesture by the FG is a plus to His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. I am so excited. Okoutu Henry Peter Ebuoh

Jonathan must stop this carnage

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t is very pathetic that some people have no regards for lives. It is very unfortunate that we live in the same country with these barbarians who are doing everything to give our dear country a bad name. It is equally painful that the governments lack the capacity to contain the daily killings of our people. The government is always talking about being committed to the protection of lives. Government should tell us about being committed to the protection of the killers. The buck stops at your table, Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So do something. Lukeman Mohammed, Ilorin Kwara State

Send your letters or mails to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mirrorlagos@yahoo.com and info@nationalmirroronline.net or, 07033375481, 08035640907 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject letters or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, but must be clearly marked as such.


Your

FRIDAY

Friday, July 20, 2012

Flavour

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

Escape

A COUPLE OF SINGLES LEADING TO HIS

MONSTER HIT SONG,

Denrele’s Day Davido

P. 24-25

back to charity. But I know that Davido is fond of giving back. He does that a lot and has been silent about it. He rather sees it as a thing of the mind, preferring to let it exist between him and God. He is not the type that will give for the hype of giving. It’s not in his character.” The new album aptly titled O.B.O (Omo Baba Olowo) Genesis, has 16 tracks, featuring collaborations with some of Nigeria’s finest acts like 2Face Idibia, Naeto C, Ice Prince, Kay Switch, May D, Sina Rambo and B-Red. It also showcases the skills of some notable producers like Shizzi, Jay Sleek, Maleek Berry, Gospel, Spellz, Dokta Frabs and Theory Soundz. The show, which is being put together by Flytime Entertainment owned by Cecil Hammonds, will kick off at 5pm inside the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. A native of Osogbo, Osun State, Davido was born in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.A), but brought up in Lagos, Nigeria. He has been producing music since the age of 13. After imbibing music skills through self efforts in several studios, he began to explore the depths of music while in high-school as a member of a minor music group. Determined to make a success of this talent, Davido began lending his skills to many up and coming artists based in Nigeria like Dammy Krane and NPZ. Before this full album, he has had a couple of singles leading to his monster hit song, Dami Duro, produced by Shizzi, which made him one of the most played artistes in Nigeria’s music industry today.

P. 34

DAMI DURO

Inside FCT

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hat can this Davido do? Will his show be the most successful in 2012? Will it live up to the hype that has followed it all these weeks? Then, will the show be parading all the artistes on the list? These and many other questions agitating the minds of Lagos residents, who have come to love David Adeleke, aka Davido, would be answered this weekend, Sunday July 12, 2012 at the official launch of his full album, which has been in the mills for several months now. But being mindful of these expectations, Davido, Friday Flavour gathered, is not leaving anything to chance, as he has buried himself into rehearsals to make sure his show lives up to its billing. According to Valerie, the PR consultant to the show, so much rehearsal has gone into the preparations for the show to make it one of the most successful shows in Lagos this year. “As I talk with you now, Davido has been rehearsing tirelessly for this show. He is so concerned about making it a huge success. Of course, everything is set to make it very memorable for the fans. We are ready and so are all the artistes that will be taking part in the show. It is going to be a show that will be talked about for some time. That is what we intend to achieve with this. Everyone who featured in the album will thrill alongside Davido. I mean people like Naeto C, 2Face, May D and others, all things being equal. We will also be having other artistes like, Iyanya, Chuddy K, Flavour, Tilla Man, Rayce and KC there.” While it is noteworthy that Davido has been cornering a lot of mouthwatering endorsements deals aside money from his performances, Valerie also told Friday Flavour that he has been funneling quite a portion of the money back to charity. “I will not say how much of the funds expected at this show will be going

BEFORE THIS FULL ALBUM, HE HAS HAD

P. 26

NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

P. 32-33

Davido sweats to thrill Lagos

Davido reheasing

WEEKEND STARTERS The five maids of fadaka holds at MUSON

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he Thespian family theatre is presenting to the public a playlet for family entertainment titled, The five maids of fadaka. It’s a rich blend of traditional dancing, folklore and theatre that will take its audience back to the typical African setting. It is going to be performed at the MUSON Center, Onikan, Lagos from

the 19th to the 22nd of July. Some Nollywood stars, such as Norbert Young, Rachael Oniga, Carol King, Iyke Okechukwu, Bob Manuel and some Tinsel stars will also be featuring at the event.

Montaigne Place opens at Ikeja with David Coranson

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he world renowned make up brand, black/up Paris is set to bring Paris to Lagos as they open their new place, Montaigne Place on Sunday at Ikeja City Mall, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. The opening will gather special

guest artistes and top celebrities in the society. There will also be live make up demonstration by a team of makeup artists headed by the international celebrity makeup artist and creative ambassador of black/up, David Coranson.

Femi Taiwo presents Africa Must be Modern

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azzhole, Ikoyi and Glendora, Ikeja will come alive today and tomorrow, July 20 and 21 respectively as Femi Taiwo, presents his book, Africa must be Modern. Both shows which will see the author signing the new book

Mirror Mongers

VOL. 2 No. 408

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Artman In The House

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Prof. Fox (4th from left) with some members of the audience at the Wole Soyinka lecture event

Soyinka’s greatest investment is on his prose –Fox Writer and literary scholar, Prof Robert Elliot Fox is a familiar face in Nigeria having lectured at the Obafemi Awolowo University (then University of Ife) in the eighties. Fox visited Nigeria last week to deliver a lecture for Wole Soyinka’s 78th birthday celebrations. There, he delved into the complexities around works by Soyinka and his cousin, Afrobeat icon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. In this interview with Friday Flavour’s OYINKAN SOMORIN, the scholar of African Studies analyses further the artistic expressions of Soyinka and Fela, while also speaking about his work and life. Excerpts:

Fox

During the lecture for Wole Soyinka, there was a lot of comparison between the Nobel Laureate and Fela AnikulapoKuti; why was this? Well there were a number of reasons. To begin with, they were both activist artists, they also happen to be related. What I was trying to do is to distinguish between the two different kinds of activists –someone who is more narrowly-focused and the idea of one who is more broadly-focused. In my estimation, it is Soyinka who is more broadly-focused. Fela got applauded because of his great music; I am a fan of his music and I had seen him perform a number of occasions while he was alive. But, I have some problems with some things he said in his music. Part of my criticism in my lecture actually came through Soyinka who said that his cousin was a radical but he characterised his radicalism as being simplistic. I don’t know to what

FELA AND

SOYINKA HAVE VERY INTERESTING AUDIENCES AND THEY APPEAL TO

THOSE AUDIENCES; BUT FELA IS

MAKING PEOPLE MISUNDERSTAND US extent you will want to call Soyinka a radical, but if he is a radical, then he is not a simple one; he’s a complex one. Are you examining Fela in terms of his ideology or his music? Primarily his ideology because I think his music is terrific. But when I listen to some of his lyrics, the piece I referred to in my lecture is the piece Fela calls Africa is the

centre of the world. It is a song which is packed with wrong information, that wrong information is what the White people have against the Black people. I don’t know if really it happened, but Fela said that a white man fondled him to know if he had a tail; now I find that so hard to believe. In the past, some people could have had that kind of belief, but we are in the 20th century. So, that kind of information that White people are not the same as Black people is indeed wrong information and full of ignorance. He also talked about Africans not being in the Slave Trade which is inaccurate; he said the Africans sold no slaves and the White people came with ships and guns. Like I said in my lecture, the second statement is true and it is meant to verify the first statement which is false. Soyinka is very worried about this. He said we could actually ask for reparations in Europe for the


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

report of colonialism and racism and we better be careful, because some of the people we have to seek reparations from are some of our own past leaders. The point I’m making is that two of them have very interesting audiences and they appeal to those audiences; but Fela is making people misunderstand us. Of course, Fela has issues with the mismanagement of Nigeria and that can be seen when he talked about the death of his mother. How did you get to meet the African first Nobel laureate, was it on professional or personal grounds? Well, he was a professor in University of Ife when I first got to Ife and I met him the first month when I was invited to his home by a woman who was also being invited there. I met him with some African writers but I didn’t have any extensive conversation with him. I came on a number of occasions and he knows who I am. We have always known each other because before I met him, I had studied some of his works. We are not friends, but he is someone I admire from a distance and I hope to, one day, have a conversation with him. Maybe I will hear a response to my lecture. From 1978 to 1985, you lectured at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), what major differences did you observe between the school system in Nigeria and that of the United States? There are lots of differences I had to get used to. One is that the Nigerian system is more rigorous. What I mean is that in the Nigerian system, the people get sorted out by the exams that would determine if the person is going to go forward or not. However, the students I had in Ife were the kind of students who were able to jump the hurdle; so they are well-educated. The main thing is that the educational system of this country is based on the British system which is different from our own, although when I was in Ife, it was moving towards the Americanised system. The students were very good; though it took them sometime to get used to my American accent and it took me awhile to kind of pronounce their names, but the students, in a whole, are excellent. The U.S. system is not all that different; you can go to a university where you can go as far as a PHD; we have also a research institution; we have also the institutions and the highest they offer will be a masters, there are colleges that are just four years schools and you get your degree, you graduate and you can move on. And we also have community colleges which are just two years school. Sometimes, you can go and get a certificate for a subject or you can transfer to a four year school for a full degree. All I can say is that the kind of respect that students give lecturers in the Nigerian university is different from the one in the United States, that’s a big difference. But, I can say again that the school system here is becoming more like what we have in the United States. As a teacher of African literature, is

Artman In The House

Friday, July 20, 2012

there an evolving style in contemporary African literary art? I think there probably is, but if you ask me to specify, I am not sure if I can do so. I have been teaching African literature for a number of years. In fact, the lecture I was commissioned to do, kind of called me back to the subject, but the teaching of Africa literature that I have done is more like on the classical writers such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and others, rather than the most recent writers. What is your impression of the entire Wole Soyinka lecture? I was very pleased actually; I didn’t know the kind of audience that I would have. I thought it would probably be academics, but it was a mixed audience. There were many young people there who seem to be quite interested in what I was doing and for me to have lots of people, it’s positive. I am grateful for that, just to think I spent a lot of time preparing for the lecture. I think I was well-received. Would you kindly assess Soyinka’s poetry works some more, because in a particular interview you said you were not a fan? I would actually because in the previous interview I think I gave a wrong im-

pression about his work, I said I wasn’t a big fan; but I need to clarify that I like quite a number of his poems like Ulysses for instance. Many of his poetry are highly-ranked like his plays. He is a genius. I think, what I mean is that what he does is very good, but all his works can never be of equal value. That means when you said you were not a fan of his poetry, you weren’t talking about all his poetry? Not at all, it’s his more recent poetry which I don’t think compares to his former poetry. I think his greatest investment has been on his prose, more especially and then his biography and essays. So, that is where I believe he put most of his energy. He writes his poetry from time to time; he is not known primarily as a poet, but it is true that the lot of his works that was taught in Ife, when I was there, were his poetry which the students complained was too difficult. I told a young woman who raised the question about language level after my lecture that there is nothing wrong with difficulty. One can never be so difficult that you can’t be understood. It’s a high level of discourse that a writer uses to raise the student up to the same level than for the artist to go to a lower level. What influenced your writing the two

books, The Black Post-modernist Fiction of Leroi Jones/ Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, and Samuel R. Delany and Masters of the Black Drum: Black Literature across the Continuum. I got that phrase from the title Aime Cesaire who was the founder of Negritude Movement and he is a poet from Martinique in the Caribbean region. When I started out to do my dissertations, I actually was going to write about the poet/novelist named Lawrence Durrell when I met some interesting black writers and I was excited by what they were doing so, that got me started on the road that led me here. What’s your latest literary work? The lecture is the most recent thing I have done, but I am actually working on a book called The Archeology of Soul, which is the study of African and African American statics. I, hopefully, should finish that by the end of this year. Also, I have been working on a couple of essays, one of which is about a Jamaican poet and novelist, Claude Mckay, who was associated with the Harlem renaissance in the United States. I am also working on an essay about my own love of literature- how I got involved with whole business of writing and studying literature, but the work is still in progress.

FACT FILE •

Robert Elliot Fox is Professor of English and Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, SIUC, USA

He holds a B.A. degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

From 1978 to 1985, he taught at the University of Ife in Nigeria, alongside Scholars Wole Soyinka, Biodun Jeyifo, Kole Omotoso and Akin Euba among others.

He joined SIUC faculty in 1991

In 1992, Fox was a resident scholar at Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for AfroAmerican Research.

Courses he has taught at SIUC include Black American Writers, Afrocentrism and Black Aesthetics, The African Novel, The Beat Generation, Science Fiction and graduate seminars on contemporary American fiction.

Fox has a collection of essays and interviews dealing with black writing and one of his pertinent recent essay is “Afrocentrism and the X Factor” in Transition (issue 57).

Fox’s fiction and poetry have appeared in Yardbird Reader, Okike, West Africa and elsewhere.

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Prof. Fox delivering the lecture at the event to mark Wole Soyinka at 78.


22

Critics

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tribute

Adieu Amb. Segun Olusola, my mentor ELDER TAIYE AYORINDE JP, Baale Ekotedo of Ibadan and a former staff of Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, writes in memory of late Chief Segun Olusola.

S

egun Olusola’s sudden demise hit me like a meteorite or maybe a thunder bolt. He played a big part at the book launch of my father’s biography Abokede written by Steve Ayorinde. I have not yet recovered thinking and dreaming about this ‘grand village headmaster’s’ travel to higher glory. We were born in the same year, the same month and the same week with a day in-between. We became friends since the fifties when I was the founder of the Nigerian Theatre Group with late Chief Wale Ogunyemi (writer of the Langbodo fame) as my secretary. He suggested that I should join the University of Ibadan Operatic Society and made Segun Sofowote and I to participate in the “Players Of The Dawn” theatre play titled Dear Parent and Orger. Once again, thanks to Segun Olusola’s recommendation to Vincent Maduka being the Head of Drama Department. On the wall of my office, you will read: “It takes madness to work here”.

Madness How can you be working on drama programmes or writing all sorts of scripts for Village Headmaster, which Segun Olusola created, or producing and directing the programmes without knowing how to be mad and be sane at the same time? It is also not possible for you to produce drama programmes which can arrest the attention of the public without injecting a bit of qualified madness. The following people got injected with madness syndrome from Segun Olusola being the producer/director emeritus. Take for instance, Tunde Oloyede and his play titled, Me and Telephone; it was a beautiful and hilarious 30-minute TV programme by one man. A voice on the other hand and the actor/producer. In fact, it was madness personified; fighting with telephone just ringing. The other mad play was The Night Marauder. This particular programme showed Segun Olusola as someone who was very much alive with current affairs whilst still entertaining. At one of the weekly production programmes meetings, he sought for solution to the incessant armed robbery in the country. The result ended in research as to where the husbands of those Niger women beggars with children at petrol stations used to hide during the day. The result was a fantastic revelation since

the research involving police personnel ended in the discovery of the midnight armed robbers. That episode of Village Headmaster made the Police, the Immigration and members of the public to be alive to their responsibilities and the illegal immigrants had to leave Nigeria. This shows that it is wrong to assume that Segun Olusola is all drama, drama, drama, but also a good journalist and good leader.

Leadership There were occasions he recommended that a rascally staff be reformed instead of being sacked. As a natural leader and not a boss, he was very accommodating. As a leader, he would listen not only to the first person to report a quarrel; he would listen to both sides. Listen to the subordinates and colleagues. He was a leader that led not by what he said but also by action and physical example. Is this what we have in the government today? Chief Segun Olusola was very close to my father who most people remembered as a cultural icon. I have not quite recovered from the rude shock that my childhood friend, my in-law, my boss, my leader and most of all my benefactor should just go like this without notice. He never used to go anywhere without invitation or a necessity to; it is not in his character to leave without notice. It took me some time to know that dear Ambassador Segun Olusola was an in-law from the same clan as late Chief Dapo Soyege (husband to my immediate junior twin sister). He was ever so diplomatic before becoming a diplomat. When Western Nigeria Television, WNTV, was commissioned in 1959, he did not mince words to suggest to Mr. Black and Uncle Steve Rhodes that the first group to be aired on the programme Teevee Teen Group was my Nigerian Theatre Group. He was a good talent spotter and producer. He had his own idea that death would come when it would; he would never show any outlandish emotion. He was never afraid about death but thoughful about those left behind. When General Muritala Mohammed was assassinated, he called four of us to a very serious and electrifying meeting; Mr. Tunde Oloyede, Mrs. Bimbo Roberts-Oloyede, Bayo Awala and myself, being the Head of Drama. The output of the daily programme for seven days was an elegy. A programme

Amb. Olusola with Elder Taiye Ayorinde at the launch of a book, Abokede, in Ibadan recently.

TO KNOW SEGUN OLUSOLA WAS TO KNOW SOMEONE WHO ABHORS ILLOGICAL THINKING AND IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOUR where certain parts of special verses of bishopric Jerusalem Bible were recited with 21 professional mourners and criers sitting in black clothes around a bed bought into the studio. The general’s photograph was also well-displayed on the bed made for a king. For seven days, most of the audience that watched the highly emotional programme cried for Nigeria. That was Segun Olusola for you in action as a leader and producer emeritus. But segun olusola would not want anyone to cry at his funeral. He would rather wish for pure celebration of his life with music, dance, poetry etc. but please no crying. That was his conclusion when we were discussing my book titled, At my funeral. To know Segun Olusola was to know someone who abhors illogical thinking and irrational behaviour. He could not be found to display any form of lassitude and attitude. He was an ever-ready charged battery; full of ideas to help and to build but hated any form of lick spittle leadership and ‘yes sir’ people. To Olusola, to be weak and cowardly is a sign of an underdeveloped mind. Hence, he had people like Oba Sanya Dosumu, the Olowu Amororo of Owu as producer/director per excellence Oba Segun Akinbola – a creative vault Late Oba Wole Amele – Councillor Balogun – rabble rouser Dejumo Lewis – the Kabiyesi (but actually a producer/director Late Oba Funso Adeolu – the cantankerous Second-In-Command to Kabiyesi

Femi Robinson – the village headmaster who will not stand any bully or footle. Jab Adu – father of them all whose madness in creativity was tremendously appreciated by all. Ted Mukuro – the first rigid village headmaster ever. Ibidun Allison –The Royal College of Arts-trained dramatist turned super gossiper Amebo. Late Elsie Olusola – the genius wife of a genius, who represented the position of women in The Village Headmaster. She was like Mrs. Ransome Kuti in the programme yet a sewing mistress. Of course he had me as the enigma head of drama and producer/director. There was need for someone to be recommended to the Ministry of External Affairs from NTA to be in the committee of the non-aligned countries. Engineer Vincent Maduka simply sent for me saying your manager of programmes has recommended that you and Adamu Augie attend the meetings of the non-aligned countries on Information and Broadcasting. “You should go to the admin department and make two booking for the two of you. Do not let the country down”. Ambassador Segun Olusola did not inform me of his recommendation until the Director General did. He was my mentor in many ways. I might not have had the impetus to rise to the occasion by becoming the chairman of the group of experts (sub-committee) for the nonaligned countries on information and broadcasting. To my friend, my leader, my producer director, Emeritus Ambassador Segun Olusola, I say adieu. If you meet Senator Adamu Augie and other members of the Village Headmaster cast, please hug each other and pray for Nigeria. To my benefactor, arts connoisseur, good father of his children, friend to the honest and patriotic, a traditionalist and cultural icon, hater of thieves and vagabonds, man who abhors treasury looters –good night till we meet again.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics

Friday, July 20, 2012

23

Exhibition

One football, 11 artistic interpretations Three Nigerian artists/photographers are currently exhibiting at the New National Football Museum of England, Manchester. The group exhibition, themed Moving into Space: Football and Art in West Africa, is on from July 6 to December 31, 2012. Andrew Esiebo, UcheJames Iroha and Uchay Joel Chima (Nigerians) team up with eight other West Africans in photographs, installations, textiles, sculpture paintings and video art to provoke thought on stereotypes, intrigues and passionate fervour which the round leather game evokes. ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

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hile football has become a worldwide phenomenon, in West Africa it, has worked its way into the very fabric of the society, from the street games of children to the large amounts spent on national teams by governments seeking electoral advantage. In Moving Into Space: Football and Art in West Africa, 11 contemporary artists use football to explore wider social issues including those of globalisation and trade, gender relationships, corruption and violence. Its form evoking both a football and a time bomb waiting to explode, Romuald Hazoumè’s (Benin) Exit Ball suggests popular frustration at the way governments use events such as the World Cup to distract attention from issues such as the lethal trafficking in illicit fuel (in the plastic jerry cans from which the piece is made) which undermines the country’s economy. Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali) claims that Homage to the Referees is no more than a tribute to those abused men without whom a game cannot take place. Pascale Marthine Tayou’s (Cameroon) installation Golden Nuggets refers to the corrupting influence, in all senses, of the huge amounts of money spent on football, in contrast with the realities of the lives of the majority of fans and local team players in Africa. Gérard Quenum (Benin) uses his trademark discarded dolls from overseas aid parcels to make witty ‘portraits’ of individuals observed in his local environment, and which then serve as a lens through which we see Africa itself. Nigerian photographers Andrew Esiebo and Uche-James Iroha both address the gender stereotypes prevalent in West African society and in football. The women portrayed by both photographers challenge the viewer to deny them the place earned by them in a society in which football is trumpeted as the game that knows no boundaries of age, gender or status, but in which women remain disadvantaged. Meanwhile, Uchay Joel Chima uses video to suggest the hold that the dream of playing in Europe like their footballing heroes has on the minds of millions of young Nigerian boys imagining an escape from the harsh conditions of their lives. Owusu-Ankomah’s (Ghana) paintings incorporate both symbols and footballers in action. His desire to integrate humankind’s commonality in a universally acceptable artistic language has obvious par-

allels with the universal language which football has become. Atta Kwami’s (Ghana) abstract paintings, titled after noted West African footballers, reflect on art itself and on whether colour and form alone may express the characteristics and attributes associated with a well-known player and be conjured up by the player’s name. Godfried Donkor’s (Ghana) collages of footballing ‘saints’ are a meditation on the commercialisation of human beings, from its most extreme form in slavery to subtler variations of the ‘human goods’ trade in the sports and entertainment industries. Finally, George Afedzi Hughes’s (Ghana) paintings address power relations and the use of violence to solve geo-political conflicts, together with the way globalised communications bring such violence to us at the touch of a button. While few of the artists venture to state that football or art can affect societies rather than simply change the lives of individuals who make their mark in the game, the exhibiting artists clearly imply in these works that football will remain a powerful instrument for conveying messages about society. The exhibition is part of We Face Forward, Manchester’s dazzling season of concerts, exhibitions and events featuring West Africa’s greatest artists and musicians happening in venues, galleries and museums across Manchester for the London 2012 Festival. In 2011, Germany hosted a similar exhibition titled Beyond football - shifting interests and identity, as part of the events commemorating the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament in Germany. The exhibition featured 10 artists including James-Iroha and Asiebo among others.

‘Gele’ 2011 by Uche James-Iroha

D’BANJ AFTER DON JAZZY:

Is the music better? Oyato, a new single from D’banj is out! The burning question is can D’banj continue to advance in the music industry without Don Jazzy? The musician is a phenomenal entertainment success blessed with a keen business sense; but how extensively these elements will influence his radically divergent career path arouses rapt interest. OLUSEUN AGBESUA

L

ast week, multi-award winning musician, D’banj, released a new single Oyato, the first song the harmonica player would do since the separation from producer, Don Jazzy in March. The song is produced by Jay Sleek, CEO of Twilight Entertainment, an award winning producer who is popularly known for scoring hits with the likes of Sound Sultan, Solid Star (Omotena), Cartiair (Owo ati swagger) and most especially 2face Idibia (Only me, Implication, Outside, Take it back, Jungle don mature, I sing) .The reputable producer has officially been signed on to D’banj’s music label, D’Koko Master (DKM) Records. Following the antecedent of other singles produced by Don Jazzy such as the hits Oliver Twist, Fall in love, Mr. Endowed and Tongolo; we see how D’Banj creates diversity in his songs making use of Yoruba and English languages while Don Jazzy infuses hip hop beats. Oyato, even with Jay Sleek on it, still has a Don Jazzy feel. The song begins with the usual catchy introduction D’banj does, except this time it begins with ‘DbanjOyato x4’. Right after, he says “It’s Don Jazzy again, forget!”. If any die-hard believer in the musician-producer unbreakable union had doubts, D’banj finally laid it to rest here. What makes the song interesting, as usual, is the indigenous language used as it adds an effect to the song making people want to move their heads along to the song and dance accordingly. Although

D’banj did this on previous songs, the fact that Jay Sleek was able to allow the singer maintain this style and not change his total image made it even more interesting. The music production is good; Jay Sleek’s professionalism shows through. The song is basically about D’banj expressing himself, saying that he is Dbanj and nothing can change that. He is aware of rumours going round about him and says in the song that, “What God has done no man can destroy”. On Oyato, D’banj also resurrected the harmonica which had been his signature tool upon entering the music industry; lending its wonderful melody to the song. This presents Jay Sleek as a producer who will bring out the best in D’banj and ultimately, help the artiste use his talents to become better. The song is short though and it also ended too soon. D’banj ran it in chorus-verse one-chorus-verse two pattern. There was no bridge and hooker to create suspense for his fans and the song ended casually with no special effects. “Oyato” could have done with a climax leading eventually to its closure -a strong trait his music had maintained with Don Jazzy. But D’banj still maintained his tempo and ever positive energy in this song. From Oyato’s output, D’banj’s career appears promising in the music industry –without Don Jazzy. After all, the artiste may have parted ways with “Don Baba J”, but has retained the energy and the charm factor and gained a reputable producer whose track record is formidable.


24

Inside FCT

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Confusion grips residents of ‘marked for demolition villages’ MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

A

s public cries pervade the nation’s capital over threat of imminent flattening of about 19 villages by the FCT Administration as part of plans to restore the city’s Master Plan, many residents of the affected communities are currently confused over what to do, perhaps, to make government defer the exercise or reverse the decision. While some of the residents of the areas which include Lugbe village, Pyankasa, Tundun-wada, Aleita, Dei-dei, Karmo-dape, Idu, Gwa-gwa, Chika, Jahi, Guzape, Mpape, Kushingoro, Saburi and Gishiri among others, are already looking for alternative accommodation in distant villages such as Kaduna road, Bwari, Sheda to name a few, there are thousand others who believe the exercise could be halted by court injunction. This optimism is fuelled by the good fortune of Lugbe village which has remained “untouched” three years after it was listed and its structures marked for demolition by the authority. Joseph Gyang, a resident of Guzape, told our reporter that, “given the experience we had recently when seven villages along airport road were listed by the Demolition Control Office for pulling down and did not take more than 10 days before bulldozers arrived the villages, I am personally scared. I just paid for a year rent last month. It was this same demolition that brought me here. Now, if I am sent packing again, where do I go? I still owe the cooperative that borrowed me the money for my rent”. Ademola Iyadunni, another resident of the affected communities who pleaded not to give the identity of her village, said many of the landlords in her village had formed a common stand. According to her,

SINCE ALL THE PLEAS SEEM

TO BE FALLING ON DEAF EARS, WE ARE LEFT WITH NO OTHER OPTION THAN TO APPROACH THE COURT OF LAW “Since all the pleas we have been making seem to be falling on deaf ears, we are left with no other option than to approach the court of law. We know we cannot lay claim to ownership of the land for a long time. But our point is that government should give us time to know where to continue with our destinies. It is wicked for government to just send thousands of this city’s residents home suddenly when there is no war in the land”. “Karimu and other satellite villages that were demolished years back are still there. Nothing has been done to them. Government should be humane”, she pleaded. Since the message got to the public few weeks back that these villages would go under the wheels of bulldozers, many strategies have been employed to make government stall the decision. The airwaves of Abuja are being flooded with appeals from affected landlords and tenants who are occasionally accompanied by their children, daily. Some even mimic mourners as they howl with their families as part of ways to get government’s understanding. Maybe, it could help in ensuring the authority rescinds the decision. Just few days back, while other recent planned peaceful protests in the capital had been abruptly scuttled by security personnel who claimed it was to deter evil-minded individuals from wreaking hav-

Residents retrieve their belongings from a demolition site

oc on the city, a massive protest reminiscent of the year’s early days’ fuel subsidy war was successfully taken to the National Assembly; with thousands of participants defying barriers and security personnel. While the resolve of government to maintain strict compliance with the city’s Master Plan is commendable, it is believed that government could still exhibit some measures of leniency, given the continued unfavourable socio-economic conditions in which many of the city’s residents find themselves. More time could still be given to them to relocate. No sane human being present at a demolition site where mothers and children are forced

Fear of terrorism takes JOHN UWE ABUJA

F

Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church, Abuja

ollowing the threats of possible attack on churches by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, scores of Christians in the Federal Capital Territory, are opting for what appears to be a safer approach to fulfilling their spiritual obligations by preferring to watch religious activities on television instead of attending services in churches, particularly on Sundays. A survey conducted by Inside FCT revealed that the number of Christian worshipers at services is gradually nose-diving as many leaders of some churches visited attributed the worrisome development to fears by many members that attackers could unleash havoc at churches during Sunday services.

Victor Oke, a minister in one of the churches visited, said the development is currently questioning the faith of Christians as the Bible has given assurance that, “Gate of hell shall not prevail,” wondering why Christians should stay away from services because of Boko Haram threats. “It is unfortunate that believers have developed such fears making them staying away from services and forgetting what the Bible says ‘Don’t forsake the gathering of the children of God, therefore, it is wrong for worshipers to stay out of service”, he said. All the churches visited by our reporter were secured by combat ready security men, mostly police, civil defence corps and private security guards. They used hand-held scanners to search everybody going into the church prem-


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Inside FCT

Friday, July 20, 2012

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Ugly side of schools in satellite towns IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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in Abuja recently.

out of their homes and left in the cruel hands of darkness at night, would not halt the process if it were possible. Going ahead with this decision at this moment could be interpreted as putting a lid on the anguish which economic hardship foist on many of the city’s residents who can only afford a living Residents watch helplessly as government bulldozers level their homes during the recent demolition exercise in Abuja in the affected communities. PHOTOS: ROTIMI OSASONA

toll on FCT churches CHURCHES HAVE BEGUN TO CANCEL SOME OF THEIR WEEKLY PROGRAMMES BECAUSE OF THE HIGH COST OF HIRING SECURITY ises, while women are made to open their bags for search before they are allowed in. Driving through Abuja on Sundays has become increasing difficult because of security road blocks mounted around churches, diverting traffic to other roads. Besides, churches have begun to cancel some of their weekly programmes because of the high cost of hiring security to guide the churches. One of the major churches in Utako, Abuja and others have gone ahead to put night vig-

ils on hold pending when security situation in the city improves. Mr. Peter Okor said his family hardly to go church together, as they have decided to drive in two cars to church for services to avoid a situation where the whole family members are attack in one incident. Okor said, “it is better for some members of the family to be attacked in one strike than all the members to be involved in one single incident, God forbid”; many families are playing safe by staying away from services. “The monthly vigil of our church did not hold last month, it was postponed indefinitely due to attacks on various churches in the north by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. It is difficult to restrict members’ movement during vigils, so it won’t be easy for the security men to secure the places of worship”, Okor said. However, the churches are praying for the return of peace in the country, so that worshipers could be free to meet for services any time they like.

he condition of neglected satellite towns in Abuja by the Federal Government seems to be getting worse by the day. Not only is there a lack of basic infrastructures in the zones, but the management of primary schools in the area is poor. Parents and guardians are always reluctant to send their children and wards to dilapidated schools, to be taught by ill-motivated teachers. However, education is a human right that should be accorded to all human beings. Over the years, Nigeria has expressed a commitment to education, in the belief that overcoming illiteracy and ignorance will form a basis for accelerated national development. Hence, the importance of education to human beings cannot be over emphasised. In the heart of Abuja are some private schools that will compete favourably with their foreign counterparts. These schools give their students international exposure to prepare them for the challenges they might meet in the future. But in the satellite towns are mushroom schools and this neglect is attributed to poor funding, inadequate teacher training and lack of infrastructure. In Kuje Area Council for instance, are a number of makeshift classrooms which constructed with coated zinc materials that could easily radiate heat from the sun into the classroom on a hot afternoon. As one approaches, one has to shield the eyes from the blinding effect. In the school, teachers are drenched in sweat from the simmering heat absorbed by the zinc coatings, the pupils resort to fanning themselves with their books barely concentrating while the teachers carry on with the lessons. Findings by Inside FCT shows that some students lack chairs and desk, especially in the nursery classes, which

School children in class

SOME STUDENTS LACK CHAIRS AND

DESK, ESPECIALLY IN THE NURSERY

CLASSES, WHICH HAS RESULTED IN PUPILS SITTING ON THE FLOOR TO STUDY has resulted in pupils sitting on the floor to study. It is clear that the state of education in Nigeria is poor; there are challenges facing the country which make it difficult for quality education that empowers and is capable of bringing about sustainable development to the country. Mr. Benson Idokoyo, a civil servant who spoke with Inside FCT said, “it is very clear to me that resources being made available to the education sector are inadequate to maintain existing schools not to talk of teacher training and the increasing population of school children that is still multiplying geometrically’’. Mrs. Ngozi Okojie, whose daughter is a pupil of a primary school in Kuje, said her daughter is in the school due to lack of funds. ‘’I have five children; some are in secondary schools while others are in primary. I always wanted to give my children the best but I’m incapacitated. I know she is not getting the desired knowledge needed but there is nothing I can do about it’’. The poor management of schools in satellite towns has become a concern to residents; notwithstanding, people are still hoping that something positive would happen to turn this situation around. The Federal Capital Territory, which is Nigeria’s most developed city, has lost it glory in trying to ensure its satellite towns are provided with basic infrastructures that will create a good image for the country.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

TV station’s new commandment

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hen a television station deliberately decides to be number one in everything- news, commentaries, documentary and also draconian working policies, then, it really calls for concern. But that is the lot of broadcast journalists plying their trade in a popular Lagos TV channel that prides itself as number one ‘in all they do’. Mirror Mongers scooped that the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, is currently planning to picket the TV house

over a new policy as regards getting employed there. Owing to the frightening statistics of unemployment rate in Nigeria, the management of the television channel, led by one of Nigeria’s finest journalists, now wants reporters in its employ to abide by their ‘new commandment’, which has many terrifying clauses. Mirror Mongers sources said that any broadcaster who wants to remain in that system would henceforth sign an undertaking not to practice broadcast journalism anywhere in Nigeria even

after the person has retired from the TV station! They are only allowed to work abroad as broadcasters, after they have left the TV station. Of course, the new policy has left a lot of questions for the ‘points man’ of the TV house, who happens to have worked somewhere before getting funds to establish the station with the help of some highly-placed Nigerians. ‘What is good for the goose, is now bad for the gander?’ Is how people are reacting to this new development.

Okorocha’s four steps at a time

P Adewusi

Wakama

Two commissioners’ mandates

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hese two commissioners in Ekiti State are supposed to have the same agenda, but there are some basic differences: while one is under the employ of the state government and has a jawbreaking portfolio, the other is under the employ of the Federal Government, with a definitive portfolio. This is actually about Mrs. Fola Richie Adewusi, Ekiti State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment (three portfolios if you ask her followers) and Mr. Sotonye Wakama, the Ekiti State Police Commissioner. Since the death of 70-year-old Rebecca Adewumi, over allegations of witchcraft in Omuo-Ekiti, the two commissioners seem enmeshed in a

sort of media war, as if one is trying to teach the other how to do his/ her job. The story which started last week and credited to Fola Adewusi, said the Ekiti Police Command was unwilling to arrest the culprits indicted over the lynching of the late Rebecca, because certain elders of the town prevailed on the police to steer clear of the matter. But the commissioner of police has called this a blatant lie. According to him, his command refused to arrest people because they want to be sure of what killed the woman, whose corpse does not look like someone that was lynched. In this vein, no arrests would be made until a pathological test is done.

oliticians know how to keep the flame burning by adding fuel at the appropriate time. That is how best to describe everything that happened with so much fanfare in Imo State when Owelle Rochas Okorocha took over as governor. Reminiscent of a man who did not know how big his purse was, the governor had gone on an announcement spree, slashing his security vote, offering scholarships from primary to university level for Imo indigenes and also availing ‘pocket money’ for primary and secondary school students. But less than five months after the announcements were made, the scales seem to have fallen off Okorocha’s eyes. Mirror Mongers gathered that at the moment, the government owes five months arrears of pocket money (N100 for primary school, and N120 for secondary school pupils) and that the government no longer wishes to avail free education to every Imo indigene as previously announced. The buzz is that every community in the state will provide only two indigenes that will enjoy such privileges. Okorocha

ONE-SECOND Q&A

Dasuki

Putting the cart before the horse

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t is not surprising that security, under various guises, is the topic of majority of seminars and workshops being held in Nigeria today. But the security agencies in the country are also not helping matters in terms of drawing a line between propaganda and security alert. Two days after Sambo Dasuki took over the mantle of leadership from Owoeye Azazi as the National Security Adviser, he announced that he had established contacts with top members of the Boko Haram and hoped to begin talks with them but the sect promptly denied him with series of fresh attacks: a case of putting his cart before the horse. As if that was not enough, the Joint Military Task Force in Jos, Plateau State, a few days ago has also warned the locals in some villages in Riyom area of Jos to relocate because they want to carry out a military action against suspected members of the sect hiding in the area. Perhaps someone needs to be told that US security agents never publicly announced that Osama Bin Laden had been spotted until he was attacked and killed.

ALOMA MUKHTAR

Justice Aloma Mukhtar became Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice on Monday, July 16, following the retirement of Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who reached the mandatory age of 70. She reacts to the bugging issue of corruption in the judiciary: How would you handle corruption in the judiciary?

C Mukhtar

orruption is in every system of our society and I cannot pretend that it is not in the Judiciary. How I intend to curb this is to lead by example and to hope and pray that others will follow. As the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), I will encourage internal cleansing based on petitions, but that is not to say that I will condole frivolous petitions. Each petition will be looked at on its merit. I will also seek the cooperation of my colleagues in the council to ensure that discipline is enforced accordingly.


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 1, 1433AH Friday, July 20, 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, “Allah said: The Fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it, as he (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My Sake. Fasting is a screen (from Hell) and there are two pleasures (moments of happiness or joys) for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord. And the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better in Allah’s Sight than the smell of musk.”

The mosque of Charleston

Central Mosque of Charleston T oday, the Central Mosque of Charleston, situated at 1082 King Street, downtown Charleston, is a house of worship of God for people with ethnic backgrounds of about thirty different nationalities, including blacks, whites, Arabs and non-Arabs. It is open to every Muslim regardless of race, language or ethnicity. The Mosque is usually opened for five daily prayers. The weekly religious service, “The Jumuah

Praying, wailing and waiting for Gawat 28

Prayer”, is held at 1:30pm on Fridays. The CMC also provides wedding and funeral services to Muslims. The Central Mosque welcomes visitors to attend the mosque’s Open Houses to observe prayers. To get more information about the mosque, one can visit the mosque’s website, www.CharlestonMuslims.com, for Open House schedule or call the Mosque at 843-720-8614 to arrange for a personal or group visit. Schools are

also invited to schedule visits. With over 1 .5 billion Muslims, Islam is the second largest religion of the world. There are about six million Muslims in the U.S.A. Islam is a universal religion for the entire mankind. It is based on the belief and worship of One and Only One God of all. Islam is the Straight Path as given by the messengers of God, which include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Peace be on all.

Ramadanisation of man 29

Sheikh Abdurrahman Ahmad; Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi’i; Shiekh Sulaiman Adangba; Sheikh AbdulMajeed Ayinla; Sheikh Imran Eleha; Amir Qamardeen Ajala; Sheikh Muhammed Olatunji; Alhaji Abdullahi Akinbode; Sheikh Ismail Yusuf; Sheikh Ali Agan; Ustadh Jamiu Trimidhi; Ustadh Jamiu Adegunwa; Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen; Shiekh Isiak Adediran; Sheikh Qamardeen Adeniyi; Alhaji Lookman Saheed (Loofemsah) and other scholars at the prayer for Alhaji AbdulRazak Gawat yesterday. A whole Quran was recited before each scholar took turn to pray for Gawat.

L-R: Principal, Jamia Arabic School, Ilaro, Maulana Shukurulla Ayuba; Amir, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr. Mashhud Aderenle-Fashola; Missionaryin-Charge, Maulana Abdulkhalique Nayyar and Chief Immam Apata Mosque, Ibadan, Alhaji Isa Mustapher, during the Aminul Quran in Ilaro area of Ogun State on Sunday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

‘We need a spirit of love’ 29


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 1, 1433AH Friday, July 20, 2012

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Praying, wailing and waiting for Gawat WE WAIT ON ALLAH TO LIFT THE VEIL OF 08055102994 (SMS ONLY)

DARKNESS SHROUDING THE WHEREABOUTS OF

ABDULWAREES SOLANKE

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awat is a brother, a Muslim brother, a Muslim brother in the media. The bond of brotherhood in Islam is strong, stronger than any relationship: it’s the strongest in the midst of humanity; it is of divine essence and permanence. Brother Gawat has a gift, the gift of sibgatullah, which only Allah gives and none can deny. He has charisma, carriage, colour, glamour, panache, ebullience, oratory, dynamism, passion, network, in spite of which he is extremely humble. Such gifted men are rare. My brother, Gawat is. On Thursday July 12th, a colleague just entered my office throwing a bombshell, Gawat is missing, but his car was found somewhere in Lagos. I prayed that nothing evil happens to him. As I reached home later in the night, Modupe, my wife, confronted me asking if I got the news that Gawat was missing. I told her someone just shattered my day with the bad news earlier in the day. We wanted to latch on some conspiracy theories as to what could be responsible, but we soon gathered our thoughts that Allah is everywhere, knowledgeable of the hidden, that he will come out from wherever he is held hostage and we will rejoice at his safety and health, because this is the season that we need him, the season of Ramadan.

OUR BROTHER So, the news of his disappearance or abduction is shocking, and painful. Where is Brother Gawat, our mouthpiece in the media? We are wailing, waiting to see him today to spread the joy of Ramadan that’s fast approaching. Brother Gawat has a mission; he works for it, he lives the mission and calls to the mission. He does nothing else, but to see the glory of the mission in all homes, the mission of Islam. This is the pain of a co-worker on the path, the path of honor, the path of Islam. Allah has purchased the life of believers for bargain that is most everlasting, Al-Jannat Firdaus. They are pleased with Allah and Allah is pleased them because they are always steadfast. From the circumstances of his disappearance, this is a terrible trial for all of us, the Muslim ummah. We wait on Allah to lift the veil of darkness shrouding the whereabouts of our brother, as we are still in shock on the circumstances of Gawat’s abduction. We want to find and see that he is in the best of shapes, that nothing ominous happens to him. We wait for him, for he is a light in Ramadan, bringing happiness to homes in the midnight of Sahur until fajr when the sonorous voice of the muadhin pierces the early morning. This has been his calling. Ramadan is the period that the best of Gawat comes to the public and the Muslim

L-R: The Principal, Al-Hikmat College, Mr. Misbaudeen Bishi, Chairman of the occasion, Barrister Nuraen Dindi and the Guest Lecturer, Ustaz Sherifdeen Ibrahim at the 9th Graduation ceremony of Al-Hikmat College, Agege-Lagos on Wednesday.

L-R: MD/CEO, Zulfah Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Agidingbi-Ikeja, Lagos, Hajia Mariam Fafolu presenting the Most-Accommodating Parent award to Mrs. Akinsanya at the 11th Graduation/Prize-Giving ceremony of Al-Bayan Nursery and Primary School, Iloro-Agege, in Lagos on Tuesday.

homes and he was surely mobilizing his gifts and talents to give every viewer the best of treat of Ramadan, showering all who wakes up in the night for Sahur with all sorts of gifts he mobilized from people of means and goodwill. With his Ramadan programme, he filled Muslim homes with joy and happiness, dishing and dashing out gifts like dust of the earth and foam of the sea to the flimsiest of questions on Islam. The gifts, he gathered from all who want to gain barakah and thawwab from Allah with the instrumentality of Gawat’s programme on NTA in Ramadan. Brother Gawat gives gifts that turn lives around in seconds, benumbing gifts, gifts that leave you shell shocked, spellbound, speechless and yelling, crying Allaaaaaaahu akbaaar! God is great, God is great, God is……….and you could go berserk or snap into coma. His gifts are gifts that can lift you high above in the clouds, over the Red Sea and drop you on the desert sands of Arabia, drag you to the vicinity of the inimitable House of the Lord, the precincts of Al-haramain, to perform Hajj, in Makkah and you return holding keys to your own house as part of the package that Gawat dashes on his programme. Gawat himself is a gift from God. The kidnap of Gawat, coming at this auspicious moment when Muslims prepare for the fasting of Ramadan, should raise serious concern among the Muslim ummah on the neglect of our obligation to Allah and the nation. This is the concern I raised in my earlier piece last week in some national dailies. If we Muslims are tenacious to obliterating darkness from the surface of our land with the teachings of Allah and minds are reformed, corruption will be

substantially eradicated. The state of insecurity we found ourselves won’t be the case. When we show the sunlight of Islam, or present the mirror of Islam, the fruits of Islam will not be threatened, but be adored, nurtured and preserved. Abdurrazaq Aremu Gawat is one of the finest fruits of Islam. He is a Muslim media practitioner like me, a daiyah of inestimable value who has no scruple genuflecting before even people of his children’s age at public functions, throwing banters and calling them baba in reverence and adoration. He cannot hurt a fly and I am sure he cannot engage in haram deals that will warrant a threat to his life. Gawat is an epitome of virtue, a gift of Islam, our mouthpiece in Islam. This coming Ramadan, we pray Abdurrazaq Aremu Gawat is released by his captors from bondage into our embrace so he can continue his mission of making this fasting period happy and filled with basket of goodies for all, making this season of fasting one month of expectations with the great gifts he showers for little efforts, little as asking an adult to read ABC on TV. We are praying, wailing and waiting for freedom of Gawat who gives what others give him to be given out without holding back, without pocketing some unlike many Nigerians, because Allah is sufficient for him. He gives as one entrusted with the trust of spreading joy. Today, we ask, where is Gawat to give gifts generously at Sahuur on NTA this Ramadan? We are waiting and wailing for Gawat, our mouthpiece. AbdulWarees Solanke, Head, Voice of Nigeria Training Centre, Broadcasting House, Ikoyi Lagos korewarith@yahoo. com, korewarith@voiceofnigeria.org

Cross section of the graduating pupils at the 11th Graduation/Prize-Giving ceremony of AlBayan Nursery and Primary School, Iloro-Agege, in Lagos on Tuesday.

L-R: The PTA Chairman, Al-Bayan Schools, Alhaji Nurudeen Ajala, Best-Graduating Student of the year, Miss Karimot Oseni and her mum, Alhaja Moridiat Oseni at the 11th Graduation/PrizeGiving ceremony of the school, in Lagos on Tuesday.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ahmadiyyah salutes young Quran memorizers L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

A

hmadiyyah Muslim Jama’at Nigeria has hailed the courage and determination of 40 hufaz (Quran memorizers) youths and 22 missionaries who recently completed the memorization of the holy Quran within three years of admission into the Ahmadiyyah College, Ilaro Ogun State. The Amir, Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jama’at, Dr. Mashuud Adenrele Fashola during the graduation cer-

emony organised for the graduands, said that the organisation has trained the youths to rescue the world at large with the knowledge of the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence. He said learning Quran is a life time opportunity and urged those who have already memorized it to justify it by making it reflect in their lives and urged Muslims to always look into the affairs of people arround them by catering for their needs which, he said, can be in form of building hospitals, well, drainage and every other beneficial

L-R: Alhaja Kafayat Giwa, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Lateefat Okunnu and Alhaja Muslimat Alatise at the graduation ceremony of the Crescent Schools last Saturday.

things for the people. The Ahmadiyyah leader enjoined the missionaries to be prayerful before preaching to the people which he said will make Allah to open their hearts sermons. He urged muslims to be tolerant of fellow Muslims and non-Muslims alike and see themselves as light that illuminates the atmosphere of wherever they find themselves by standing as role models. Meanwhile, the Principal of Ahmadiyyah Missionary Training College, Ilaro, Mawlanna Dhikrullah Ayuba urged students

who have memorized the Quran to put it into practice and also appealed to them to read it repeatedly in order to retain it. He urged them to carry on the mission of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and be steadfast and live an exemplary life in order to benefit the country and the world at large. The missionary incharge of Nigeria, Mawlanna Abdul Khaliq Nayar enjoined parents to follow up the teachings given to the youths in the college by ensuring that they live by the Quran.

Head Teacher, Crescent Schools, Alhaja Fatimah Oyekan with graduating students at the graduation ceremony of the school last Saturday.

‘Solve student’s problem through round table discussion’ L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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igerian schools have been advised to include parents, teachers and management of schools in roundtable discussions to find possible solutions to the problems of students. Director of Tenderfoot Schools, Mr. AbdulRasak Kayode said this during the 14th Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony of the First Tenderfoot Schools at Ikorodu, Lagos. He urged other Islamic schools in the country to emulate Tenderfoot by putting a system in place that would respond to yearnings of parents, guardians

and other relevant stakeholders involved in moulding the lives of the pupils. Kayode advised the graduating students to uphold the principle of faithfulness, honesty, and steadfastness in their relationship with the people to implement the teachings impacted in them from the school. The Head Teacher of the School, Mr. Lateef Shittu asked parents to always support and co-operate with teachers to mould the lives of their wards. “Permit me to plead with you, however, to always adopt a sustained spirit of constructiveness in matters of criticisms, observations and suggestions”, he said.

Pupils displaying the meaning of TENDERFOOT to the Audience at the ceremony Male Graduating pupils of The First Tenderfoot Schools

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 1, 1433AH

The School Director, Mr AbdulRasak Kayode, the Head Teacher, Mr AbdulLateef Shittu and the Head Boy, Abdullah Adeola AbdusSalaam

Ramadan Special There will be Special Daily Ramadan reports, Place your adverts here for optimal reach. For further information, call: 08055102994

‘Hold fast to Quran and Sunnah’

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clarion call has gone to Muslim youths to hold on steadfastly to the teachings of the glorious Quran and the teachings of the noble Prophet, Muhammed in all their dealings. This advice was given on Wednesday by the Guest Lecturer at the 9th Graduation ceremony of Al-Hikmat College, Agege-Lagos, Ustaz Sherifdeen Ibrahim while speaking on the theme; Echoes of our time. He urged the graduating students to do all within their power to shun the bad deeds which have spread all over the world now and make a determination to be agents of good changes in the society. “Allah has endowed a great and priceless gift in youths, hence, you must always seek for comprehensive and wholesome knowledge in order to be a perfect person. If your knowledge is western-based alone without the proper religious knowledge of the Quran and Hadith, it is like a bird with one wing and it can never fly. You need both to succeed. Also speaking, the school

Female graduating pupils cutting graduation cake

Principal, Mr. Misbaudeen Bishi called on the graduating students to think properly before taking decisions and be careful as they are stepping into the period of decider which can make or mar their future. He, therefore, advised parents to support the school’s effort in building their Islamic personality and being able to weather the tsunami eroding morals and fear of Allah. In a related development, the National Public Relations Officer, League of Muslim Schools Proprietors, Ustaz AbdulFatai AbdulRahim, while speaking at the 11th Graduation/ Prize-Giving ceremony of Al-Bayan Nursery and Primary School, Iloro-Agege, Lagos, enjoined parents to give greater priorities to their children’s education and do away with certain habits that will not enhance the quality of education the children are getting. “Some parents are in the habit of watching home videos for hours instead of getting educational materials for the children. Let us pray for them a lot and give them the best of care.”

UNIFEMGA calls for entrepreneurial skills

T Male graduating pupils of the school.

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he Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA) has canvassed for impacting entrepreneurial skills in the graduating students as a way of reducing unemployment and joblessness in the country. This is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its three-day leadership retreat held at OmuAran, Kwara state and signed by Dr. AbdulWahab Egbewole and Abdur-Rahman Balogun, National President and Public Relations Officer respectively. The Association said that such skills, if well impacted, would equally assist in solving the security challenges in the country

and youth restiveness. The association condemned all forms of violence and insurrection masquerading under the guise of politics, ethnic or religion beliefs in the country and pleaded with the perpetrators to stop forthwith or incur the wrath of Allah. UNIFEMGA said that in line with its mission statement, it would continue to support scholarship and educational upliftment of students and members alike. The association equally expressed its determination to complete all on-going students’ hostel and OAU central mosque projects being championed by it in the institution as part of its contributions to the development of its Alma Mata.


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Call to Worship

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oday we are all living witnesses to the state of insecurity in the country. But the real concept of security is seemingly evading all. Security starts from the heart and its stability is manifested on the earth. Failure in the former will definitely spell doom on the society. Today, millions not to be accounted for are voted for external security but rather than securing the people and their property, they are further unsecured. One wonders then what happens to the people if these votes do not even exist at all. We pursue shadow a lot and fail to live by what we claim we are as Muslims or Christians. The insatiable propensity of our human obsession for material things at the expense of fellow men’s peace is increasing every day. The insecurity now changes headlines like the news paper. Today, Boko Haram is the menace but Boko something else may be the challenge if proper attention is not devoted to the hearts of men. The leaders know they are cheating the people; the people know they are being cheated and seriously languishing in multiple pains. The leaders tighten their positions with all security operatives while the followers are left to their fate. Hypocrisy and double standards at the high places are major causes of our predicament and jeopardy. The day

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 1, 1433AH Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadanisation of man LET US START TO INVEST IN THE SOUL OF MEN BY TEACHING AND GIVING THEM ORIENTATION ABOUT TRANSCENDENTAL VALUES our leaders live to please God alone and fear accountability before Him, that is when we will live in peace. People are killed today not because of their money. Assassins are paid to take lives of political opponents or individuals who are suspected as threats to some diabolical ambition. Our money today is not safe even in the banks. Our roads are not safe because the number of lives and properties that are lost to accidents because of bad roads are almost more than the havoc of Boko Haram! But that hardly attract attention because it happens in many places that many may not be aware of. Our drinking water is not safe even in the hospitals where people are, at time, victims of typhoid; there are several times where such environment

Ramadan: A training month UMAR ARIKUNKEWU

are not plasmodium free. Our skies are unsafe because uncontrolled fatal pollution continues to rent the air. Tobacco smokers and the like pollute our streets by making non-smokers pay dearly through inhalation. Our nights are not safe because our two eyes are restlessly open for fear of the men of the underworld. Our days are spent in stress due to traffic jam. Our homes are not homes because the parents are not available as they have all gone out for green pastures. Walking on our legs or driving our cars has become apprehension as anybody could be kidnapped for money as collateral. This has become a big time business. So, here is the Ramadan solution. It aims to purge man of his self desires. It makes every one account for the quality of his fast and be rewarded accordingly. It principally cares for the security of human heart and soul. It makes him feel for fellow men. It refrains man from all evils. A ramadanised man can never but be an angel on earth. If he is a leader he will not accumulate resources for personal aggrandizement. He will spend all on the led. Their security in mind and body will be his concern. Their safety on land, water and in air will be his utmost concern. Let us start to invest in the soul of men by teaching and giving them orientation about transcendental values. Let them know that all men are God’s family. Enough

of attributing Boko Haram to Islam. It is an orchestrated menace engineered and propelled by the injustice of the leaders, inhumanity of security operatives, ignorance of the religion, propaganda and insensitivity of the media. Is it true that there was no Boko Haram before the killing of one Muhammad Yusuf ? Why is the so-called Boko Haram happening in some parts of the Northern part of Nigeria alone and where Muslims are even in majority? Are all the attacks actually by the so-called Boko Haram? Are all the victims of the bomb explosion the cause of Boko Haram? Are those dying only Christians or Muslims? Are the properties being destroyed private or public alone? When will the menace of the Boko Haram be finally nipped in the bud? Where do they get their weapons and bomb? In these riddles or questions lie the clues to the ever ravaging Boko peace. So when we talk of insecurity, we should look beyond the Boko Haram. The Government has the paraphernalia of control; let it be used judiciously. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

‘We need a spirit of love’

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lot has been written by Islamic scholars about this glorious month. This writer has decided to write on conducts that are expected of Islamic faithful in order to enjoy the full benefits and blessings associated with the month. This subject matter can be discussed as many times as possible being one of the pillars in which Islam rests on. It must be noted that all good behaviour expected of a firm believer in Allah and His prophets should not be limited to the Ramadan period only. Good behaviour here means any conduct which the performer expects to be seen in action. Islam rests on five pillars viz: faith and firm belief in Oneness of God & the finality of the prophethood of Mohammed (SAW), daily & timely performance of all obligatory prayers, giving alms to the needy, observance of Ramadan fasting and going on holy pilgrimage if there is a means. This piece will deal with some salient points as it concerns Ramadan fasting. Muslims should imbibe the culture of performing nafilat prior to eating early in the morning. This should depend on individuals’ capacity as it is not compulsory to enjoin faithful to observe a determined number of rakat. Also, we should learn how to “eat late and break our fast early”. It is permissible for one to brush his teeth during fasting hours. It is suggested that a certain dried chewing stick that has no taste is good for this exercise. Aged people, people under maturity age, travellers that will be on road for days, sick people, women under their monthly period, etc are exempted from fasting. They will either fast the number of days missed or feed faithful for the number of days involved. Also, if a faithful unknowingly eat during

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MASROOR AHMAD

Ramadan, such a fellow is expected to fast for the day in question at the end of Ramadan. However, if anybody wilfully eats once or drinks or has a sexual relationship during the days of Ramadan, he is expected to fast for sixty days continuously! Any foreplay between husband and wife that may lead into a sexual action is forbidden during fasting hours. However, this is allowed after the breaking of fasting at sunset. Meanwhile, the couple must observe Janabah bath before the commencement of the next day fasting. If a man dreams of romancing with a woman to the point of ejaculating semen, such a person is expected to perform Janabah bath after waking up and he should continue his fasting. During Ramadan, we must control our desire for food, drink and intimate contact. We should pray both obligatory and sunnah regularly & timely and recite the Qu’ran as many times as possible. We are expected to conduct ourselves properly so that we do not harm anybody both in word or deed. Ramadan is a month for training both the body and the soul in order to exercise a self restraint. The fasting Muslim follows the rules and regulations for the whole month and then uses it as a foundation for the next eleven months in order to determine whether the training learnt during Ramadan is effective and adequate. Sheik Abdul Gannyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jubulatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

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o His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI, it is my prayer, that may Allah the Almighty bestow His Grace and Blessings upon you. As Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I convey to His Holiness the Pope the message of the Holy Qur’an: Say, ‘O people of the book! Come to a word equal between us and you – that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for lords beside Allah.’ Islam, nowadays, is under the glare of the world, and is frequently targeted with vile allegations. However, those raising these allegations do so without studying any of Islam’s real teachings. Unfortunately, certain Muslims organisations due only to their vested interests have portrayed Islam in a totally wrong light. As a result, distrust has increased in the hearts of the people of Western and non-Muslim countries towards Muslims, to the extent that even otherwise extremely well-educated people make baseless allegations against the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The purpose of every religion has been to bring man closer to God and establish human values. Never has the founder of any religion taught that his followers should usurp the rights of others or should act cruelly. Thus, the actions of a minority of misguided Muslims should not be used as a pretext to attack Islam and its Holy Founder (PBUH). Islam teaches us to respect the Prophets of all religions and this is why it is essential for

a Muslim to believe in all of the Prophets who are mentioned in the Holy Bible or in the Holy Qur’an, until and including Jesus Christ (PBUH). We are the humble servants of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and so we are deeply grieved and saddened by the attacks on our Holy Prophet (PBUH); but we respond by continuing to present his noble qualities to the world and to disclose even more of the beautiful teachings of the Holy Qur’an. If a person does not follow a particular teaching properly whilst claiming to subscribe to it, then it is he who is in error, not the teaching. The meaning of the word ‘Islam’ itself means peace, love and security. There should be no compulsion in matters of faith is a clear injunction of the Qur’an. From cover to cover, the Holy Qur’an teaches love, affection, peace, reconciliation and the spirit of sacrifice. The Holy Qur’an states repeatedly that one who does not adopt righteousness is far removed from Allah, and therefore, is far removed from the teachings of Islam. Hence, if anybody portrays Islam as an extreme and violent religion filled with teachings of bloodshed, then such a portrayal has no link with the real Islam. Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK


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Arty News

Friday, July 20, 2012

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BIG FRIDAY SHOW:

Funke Akindele unseats Basketmouth as host OLUSEUN AGBESUA

R Alicia Keys

Fally Ipupa

Alicia Keys, Tinie Tempah, Fally Ipupa for Felabration 2012 ADENRELE NIYI

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press conference to announce the 15th edition of Felabration, scheduled for October 15 to 22, was held at the New Afrikan Shrine, Agidingbi, Lagos on Tuesday, July 17. Mr. Oladeji Bello, one of the Felabration Planning Committee members, shed more light on series of events lined up for the annual music festival to celebrate the life and legacies of late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Conceived and organised by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti, first daughter of the music icon and structured into October to coincide with Fela’s birthday on the 15th, this year’s programme promises to be bigger. A six-day musical concert from Tuesday, October 16 to Sunday, October 22, will feature Nigerian artistes supported by top international acts like Alicia Keys, Wale, Tinie Tempah, Angelique Kidjo, Cabo Snoop, Fally Ipupa and others. There would also be the traditional Fela Debates (symposium) under the theme “Corruption and the Generation Next” and speakers this year will include Prof. Michael Veal, Sefi Attah, Supo Sasore and Ndidi Nwuneli. Since setting up, the symposium has dealt

with topics that border on socio-political issues crippling the development of the African continent. This annual gathering of intellectuals holds on the first day of the week-long festivity. Previous speakers who have graced the one-day interactive session are Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; author Carlos Moore; Dr. Femi Falana, Prof. Osinbajo and other notable individuals. The second edition of a Secondary School Debate holds as well under the topic “Social Media in Africa; good or bad”. It will feature senior secondary students from private and public schools in Lagos. On Saturday, October 21, the Felabration Carnival, a multicultural parade of people dressed in various Nigerian ethnic attires on decorated floats, will showcase the uniqueness of African fashion around Lagos streets. In attendance at the press conference were artistes, Felabration partners and media representatives such as Weird MC; JJC; Kenny Ogungbe, CEO of Kennis Music; Ade Bantu; Femi Esho, Chairman, Evergreen Musical Company; Jaywon and comedian Omo Baba, amongst others. Felabration is endorsed by the Lagos State Government and listed in the state’s events calendar.

egular show host, Basketmouth etmouth h was put on probation during ing this week’s Glo presents The Big Friday show by special guest celebrity ity host of the week, talented film star,, Funke Akindele. The studio guest for episode five of the show was the well-known nown international DJ Humility. The show came with all its traditional ditional segments such as w Vlog segment ent presented by Vlogger Stephanie who ho gives viewers weekly news on what is going on in the entertainment world. There e is also the Glo presents The Big Friday ay Show Prank where studio guest, DJ Humility was pranked with the help of host, Funke Akindele. Upcoming artists, Shun Don n had an opportunity in the spotlight ght to promote their craft by perrforming a task/studio challenge ge while being featured on the show. w. Other segments are Big Friday ay Show countdown and the hilarious ous ‘What were they thinking?’ Thiss episode was shot at Deuces in Victoria toria Akindele Island, Lagos. In related news, Nollywood actress, ter, the social network. The actress then Uche Jombo, has given away the dress promised to get the dress to her. Buiti she wore in Episode 2 of the Basket- originally tweeted, “I love the maxi gown mouth-hosted MTV Base Big Friday you wore on the BFS. Can I come have Show to one of her fans, Buiti Christian. it?” Uche replied, “What is your size?” Hours after the show, Buiti, an Abuja- “I am a size eight” responded an alreadybased fan of Uche’s, requested the dress excited Buiti. She received the dress in the star actor wore on the show via Twit- Abuja a few days later.

Wizkid in his car

Headies presents Wizkid with prize car T L-R: Femi Kuti, Femi Esho and Yeni Kuti

he Headies, Nigeria’s leading awards for urban music and hip hop culture kicked off activities for the 2012 edition with the presentation of the next rated prize -a 2012 Hyundai Sonata to Wizkid on Friday, July 13. The car presentation held at the Silverbird Galleria in Victoria Island, Lagos. Faces present at the presentation included vice president, Silverbird Group,

Guy Murray Bruce who presented the car to the award winning young star; Smooth Promotions CEO, Ayo Animashaun; and General manager, Silverbird Group, Bola Salako, among others. Wizkid, who recently clinched the 2012 BET Award for Best International Act, won last year’s Next Rated category which had the likes of Ice Prince, Tiwa Savage and Olamide as nominees.


Escape

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Admin, game zone and film studio area

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Craft huts at the craft village

What lurks in Omo Forest Reserve? Gateway into Erin Forest Camp

OYINKAN SOMORIN

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t is quite strange that Nigeria has a tourist centre that is not too popular because it is a highly degraded forest reserve. But inside, lays a beautiful place of nature for anyone to visit. Just three and a half hours drive from Lagos; Omo Nature Reserve provides a safe and relaxing forest getaway surrounded by wildlife. Located in Ogun State, the reserve’s terrain is undulating and elevation reaches about 300 metres on some rocky hills. This large forestland is named after the Omo Tree, indigenous to the area. At the eastern border, formed by the Omo River with its many tributaries, is the largest reserve in Ogun called the Oluwa Forest Reserve; this reserve consists of vegetation mixed with

REGARDING HUNTING, AN ESTIMATED 32,812 MAMMALS WERE ILLEGALLY TAKEN FROM THE RESERVE AS

‘BUSH-MEAT’ IN 1994

moist semi-evergreen rainforest. Due to selective exploitation in the past, the forest is known to be the largely mature secondary, with pockets of primary forest along river courses and in other areas where log extraction is difficult to cultivate. The average annual rainfall in this forest is over 2,000 millimetres. Within this expanse of land is a 460-hectare forest block,

to the south of the confluence of the Omo River, which has its tributary in the Owena River. This 460-hectare block is constituted of a so-called ‘virgin’ forest which has been declared a Strict Nature Reserve (SNA) and a Biosphere Reserve by the government. The ecological integrity of the reserve was compromised when about 20% of the area was cleared and replanted with Gmelina Arborea. The new Shagamu– Benin expressway threatens the reserve too by making easy the transportation of logs. With logging, poaching and uncontrolled farming threatening the reserve’s biodiversity, Pro-Natura International (Nigeria) has teamed up with other Non-Governmental Organisations to ensure the survival of the Omo Forest ecosystem by education in schools and raising conservation awareness amongst the local community. Regarding

Travel News

Business Traveller Africa hosts 2nd West Africa conference

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uture Group – Publishers of Business Traveller Africa magazine – and their Nigerian partners, Topcomm, will be hosting their second annual West Africa Business Travel Conference and Expo, in association with headline sponsor, Delta Air Lines and associate sponsors, MasterCard, W Hospitality Group and GHI Assets. The one-day event takes place at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos, on Monday, July 23. The conference and expo will see delegates discussing pertinent African business travel issues, in and around a series of engaging panel discussions involving some of South Africa’s and Nigeria’s top

business travel industry speakers. The theme of this year’s event is “Strengthening Business Travel in West Africa” and the day will feature four main discussion topics: Airlines: The challenges that airlines face- including the impact of rising fuel price; poor track record; safety issues and relationships with travel buyers. What impact does this have on the business travel industry? Banks/Financial Services: A look at the current trends in travel financial services and their effect on West African business travel and trade. What are the talking points, both from a bank/travel finance group point of view and from

the perspective of the Travel Management Companies (TMC)? TMCs: What issues are facing TMCs and their relationships with airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. How do TMCs survive, where are the hotspots and how do they secure the best deals for business travellers in and out of West Africa? Also, a look at African visa regulations and their impact on business travel between countries. Hotels: Raising the bar for service excellence in the West African hospitality industry and why this is an important element in securing business travel business. Also, a look at the trends and where the activity is in West Africa,

with regards new properties and options for the business traveller, along with an examination of West Africa as a viable option for meetings and conferences. BTA’s 2012 conference is the ideal event for executives and decision makers across the business travel spectrum, including hospitality, airline, automotive, forex, travel management companies, banks, travel finance services, government agencies, insurance, travel tour agencies and corporate business travellers. It also promises to be an interesting day, debating the most pressing business travel issues and those that inform the industry itself.


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Escape

Friday, July 20, 2012

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The biodiversity of nature at Omo Reserve One of the amazing species of butterfly found at the reserve

hunting, an estimated 32,812 mammals were illegally taken from the reserve as ‘bush-meat’ in 1994. A plan to extend the Biosphere Reserve has been drawn up and submitted to the Ogun State Government. Within the forest reserve are other tourist sites such as Erin Camp and the Beetle Hill. Shortly after visitors arrive ‘Erin’ (which is the Yoruba word for elephant) Camp, it is well known that before setting out along one of the camp’s nature trails, signs of elephants are normally abundant if one looks carefully. Extremely lucky campers have been known to even spot a herd. After social activities, guests can retire into one of the three basic, but clean and screened wooden cabins, each of which is equipped with two beds covered by mosquito nets. Alternatively, guests can choose to sleep in their own tent or the ones provided by the camp management. While the Beetle Hill, which is a two and a half hour walk or 45 minutes drive to the base followed by a 25 minutes climb up the hill’s steep slopes, is worthwhile for the fantastic views over the forest that climbers get at the top. The trip usually concludes with a picnic lunch either on route or back in the camp, depending on the tourist. In April, Nigeria’s first adventure cycling challenge held at the Forest Sanctuary as a project aimed at saving the last remaining herds of forest elephants in the country. The multi-discipline adventure race (mostly riding and some climbing) was organised by Exp Marketing Nigeria and supported by Pro-Natura and Nigeria Conservation Foundation. Planned as an annual event aimed at sup-

FACT FILE •

Omo Forest Reserve is located about 135 km north-east of Lagos, some 20 km from the coast.

Omo Forest Reserve is estimated to support about 8,000 species of plants, 200 species of trees, 125 species of bird and many mammal species including forest elephant, chimpanzee and white-throated guenon monkeys, all of which are seriously endangered

The reserve is contiguous with five other, highly degraded forest reserves, the largest being Oluwa Forest Reserve to the east.

There are several human settlements (with a total population of about 7,000) within and around the reserve.

The Omo river lies somewhere within the 132,000 hectares of land, which make up the forest reserve

porting the development of a sustainable tourism, as well as protecting nearly extinct forest animals in Omo Forest, participation for the two-day event was limited as the organisers used this year’s event to test run logistics, accommodation and catering. According to the organisers, all proceeds from this event will go to the development of a sustainable tourism project in the proposed Omo, Shasha and Oluwa Wildlife Sanctuaries situated within a cluster of contiguous forest reserves sharing the same name in Ogun, Osun and Ondo states.

Guest cabins at Erin Camp

Tourists being ferried in a canoe across the Omo River

Inanda Africa Cup 2012 gallops into Johannesburg with style The Game of Polo at previous Inanda Africa Cup in Johannesburg

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eginning today and running till Sunday, July 22, the Inanda Club in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa will host a spectacular display of horsemanship at the 2012 Inanda Africa Cup polo tournament. Known as the “Sport of Kings”, polo is a fast-paced, adrenalin-induced equestrian sport and the Inanda Af-

rica Cup is poised to become one of Jo’burg’s most prestigious events on the social and equestrian calendars. Following last year’s success, the 2012 Inanda Africa Cup promises to be a fantastic affair that showcases the prowess and skills of some of the best horsemen on the continent. Participants at the knock out tournament will include representative teams from African nations, as far afield as Nigeria and Ghana, as well as numerous local teams and a development side. “The Inanda Club is firmly behind the development of polo and its growth throughout Africa. In addition to our Youth and Novice Polo School, the Inanda Africa Cup is one of the highlights on the Inanda Club’s calendar”, says Paul Oosthuizen, General Manager, Inanda Club.

“What was once an elitist’s game is definitely changing. Today, the sport is accessible to all. Already there are a number of very talented developmental players including Sbu Duma, Meshake Tshidiso and Tisetso Makenethe, to name a few, who have established themselves in the polo world. The success of these individuals is significantly shifting the outlook of polo and bodes well for the continued growth of this exciting sport into the future”. While the polo players show off their skills on horseback, the social elite will undoubtedly display the latest trends in African fashion and visitors can meander through the Luxury Lane section and enjoy a glass of Veuve Clicquot, chocolates, oysters, sushi, international coffees and African arts, crafts and jewellery.


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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)

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his edition of Denrele’s Day wraps up the-Jerry Adesewo-abduction-tale where we left off last week. Publishing his survivor account has attracted emotional reactions from readers who were united in roundly condemning perpetrators of ritual killings and kidnappings. The compelling nature of Jerry’s story, likewise, caught

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gone with the wind

the attention of a veteran film maker and I’ve been requested to facilitate an adaption of this incredulous escape to a feature film. The story’s progenitor, a theatre practitioner himself, is also working on a stage adaptation and I understand he is, at the moment, collecting accounts from other abduction survivors in Abuja to broaden the play’s theme and plot.

As I write this, another witless individual is probably being charmed into the lion’s den of ritual killers. Will he or she live to see dawn break? That preternatural knowing isn’t within our purview; but this we have power over –exposure of evil activities thereby alerting you and I to take heed. Love and peace for the weekend!

Five days and four nights... My abduction tale JERRY ADESEWO

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ater that day, I heard the gang quarrelling as they argued on how much was found on me. Later the conference drifted into issues of their operations and I heard the other lady (not Lucy/Lucid) lamenting about them not being well paid for the kind of dangerous job they are doing for ‘Alhaji’. “It is better we talk to Oga o. I am sure Alhaji is cheating us. This work is dangerous now, and we are supposed to be well paid”, the second lady submitted. “Don’t worry, I will handle that. Let’s just finish with this one first. If we are to do any other job, we’ll negotiate with oga direct, or no deal”, the leader of the gang concluded. They shared jokes and laughed heartily and then they returned discussing me; what to do with me. This they did in hushed tones and moments later, the door of the room opened as they walked in. They informed me they were going out for operation and requested that I pray for their success since I appeared to be a prayer warrior. Later that evening, when the others had gone out to Ibiza, to ‘harvest’ like the gang leaders mentioned to me, the door opened and someone entered. At first, I thought my time had finally come, so I started praying. I was all alone in the room now, so I did not expect any miracle. “Why are you doing this to yourself ?” It was Lucid’s voice. “You have refused to eat all day”, she added as she relaxed the gag on my mouth. “What is the point feeding me when you are going to kill me? I don’t need your

food”, I dismissed and resumed my prayer. “You know what; I wish I could help you but it is risky, very risky”, she announced. As she made to replace the gag, I said “If the Lord places it in your heart to help me escape from here, please do. My families and friends will remember this favour and I am sure God will also reward you for it”. That intervention was to come moments later. I was exempted yet again from the night’s execution. The gang returned to the hideout this time with four ladies and after less than an hour their leader ordered for the ladies to be taken away. “Take them to blade, it’s almost midnight. You know... will soon be here”. He mentioned a name, but I failed to pick it. “All of them?” A gang member enquired and I was relieved as the gang leader announced that they should take only the girls. “That bros time never reach, now. Leave am make im enjoy im money well-well first. E go soon reach am”, he told his colleague. While I savoured the chance of seeing another day, the ladies whimpered in agony, having known their fate and in response to this, the gang leader growled at them angrily. These innocent ladies were led away never to return. Not much happened afterwards, but at about noon on Sunday, Lucid returned and tried again to make me eat, but I refused. As she walked out of the room, I found a reason to live once more. I believe in the potency of prayer. So, I started praying and singing. This time, I sang more of praise songs and prayed for Lucy. I prayed for the gang. I remembered for the first time, my Church’s 2012 watchword,

the book of Malachi chapter 3 verse 6 which says; “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed’, and prayed with it.

Divine Intervention I must have fallen asleep, if so, for the first time since I was captured. The same way I found myself in that ritual cave, I woke or should I say, regained consciousness, to find myself in a deserted bush path. At first, I could not believe myself, but when I lifted both my hands and legs freely and discovered I neither had a gag in my mouth, nor a blindfold on my face, it dawned on me that I have been set free. It took me more than five minutes to come to terms with this divine occurrence. I laboured to get on my feet, my body and head aching badly and my vision was partially impaired because of three days blindfold. Knowing what my experience in the last four nights had been, I would have started on the run immediately, but I was too weak to move. I had to sit back for minutes before I eventually managed to drag myself on. After some minutes trek, I saw a man appear ahead of me from a linked road. I explained my ordeal to him and sought his assistance. I dictated my wife’s number and he dialed. When my wife picked from the other end, he put the phone on speaker and stretched it out to me to talk with her, not wanting to let go of the phone. I understood. When my Good Samaritan ended the call, he led me to the junction and waved down a taxi, this time, an official Abuja painted taxi, to take me to Kubwa. And so, I returned home to my family after four nights in the den of the lions.

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CLAPPERBOARD with

Eddie Ugbomah www.edifosafilm.com

Ilogbo community: Hell on earth

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his is an open letter to Governor Babatunde Fashola, SAN, Lagosians (if there are any real Lagosians) and the people of Nigeria. When you decide to spite or you cheat somebody, you will end up worse for it. Rulers of this country have a nasty knack of showing off only major part of their cities while the outskirts are in total decay. These outskirts are only remembered during telections. During the old Western Region days, the Action Group of Nigeria took electricity poles to the villagers, making nice promises. After the election, all the promises went away. This caused everybody to rush to the city. I thank God that one promise was kept “free education” in the West. I want to bring to the open the sufferings of people living at Ilogbo (a suburb of Lagos) and her 10 environ towns which are OkoAfo, Agumaje, Sofe, Iyesi, Peteku, Oke-Ira (1) and (2) Eledu, Ipara Ledu, etc. I am talking of over 50,000 people ignored for the past 25 years, you will not know that it is a part of Lagos. It is now unbearable and nobody cares; the real indigenes are hostile, illiterate and haters of progress. This is an area with 64 mushroom churches, 24 private schools (I don’t even know how they got approval for these schools), four markets, one Oba, 16 Bales (local chiefs), several land cases, riots, daily robbery, bad policing, no water system anywhere and no roads for the past 20 years. The community struggled to get PHCN transformers after many years in the dark. The towns are still expanding due to expectation of the six-track lanes on the Badagry Expressway. All the farm lands have been sold by omo oniles (sons of land owners) who are made up of Aworis and Eguns. Farming, which was their main occupation, has stopped and they now sell and resell the same lands to different people causing more trouble. They use the land money for burial ceremonies, birthday parties or ‘turning over the bodies of their parents’ that died 23 or more years ago. This is the same town that was the first film village since 1983 used by Igbo or Yoruba film makers. All these

OUR MAJOR PROBLEM IN

ILOGBO IS THAT THE INDIGENES ARE IGNORANT AND GREEDY LAND SPECULATORS movie people departed when the indigenes started harassing them with oro masquerades. For the past 25 years, rainy season is a big dilemma and nasty experience in the area. If you don’t have a jeep or SUV you can’t go out. Taking a motorbike or Keke Maruwa is a risk– you must know how to swim; we are wallowing in ponds called roads. I just can’t exhaustively talk about the agony people in this area go through. I know what those of us in movie production have missed in this town. The cash now being spent at Ikorodu, Osogbo, Enugu, Aba, Benin and Onitsha is the loss of Lagos State. Film makers were giving jobs to over 200 people weekly for the years we were shooting in Ilogbo. When film markers left, the three major hotels in Ilogbo closed down and the only 500KV transformer servicing the community blew up due to over load. I want the state governor to visit these communities and spend a full day to see the agony of his people. During his campaign for office, Fashola came and promised us electricity a day after his election; after five years, he has done nothing. There were some plans to do something during the Otedola era and also during the Tinubu era; it is now 25 years of political promises. Our major problem in Ilogbo is that the indigenes are ignorant and greedy land speculators who will always block any good idea initiated by us, the non-indigenes. They have sold their lands to us and are now tenants in their socalled towns. So, they are always coming up with excuses to exploit cash us. I don’t know what type of children or future will come out of this manmade frustration. Fashola read this and come to our aid as you promised five years ago; this is hell on earth!


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Friday, July 20, 2012

Cultural fiesta for unforgettable Segun Olusola

People In The Mirror

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On Monday, July 16, artistes from the varied art genres, media executives, corporate personalities and associates of the late Ambassador Segun Olusola converged on the Banquet Hall, National Theatre, Lagos to celebrate the legacy and noteworthy life lived by the deceased culture icon. The event, titled “Culture, Media and Arts Panorama”, kicked off the week-long programme of activities which had been scheduled for the burial of Amb. Olusola. It was a day of speeches, poetry, stage plays, songs, crafts exhibition and other cultural/art performances.

Actor and comedian, Hafiz Oyetoro (Saka) and Gbenga Windapo of Laffomania, performing during the event.

Fadesewa of Simawa, Ogun State; Oba Gbenga Sonuga; his wife, Olori Peju; Prof. Tunde Babawale and film maker, Mahmood Ali-Balogun. Kenny Saint Best (middle) and other artistes under the Kennis Music, paying their respect to the late icon. Members of the African Renaissance Group in a stage presentation.

Actress, Mrs. Sola Onayiga; writer, Segun Sofowote and Architect, Demas Nwoko.

Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Music, Femi Esho and artiste, Busola Arobadi

Eyo Agere, Taiyeshe Ajolojo of Lagos, Chief Bode Arolambo; Mrs. Bisi Thomas and Chairman, Artist Village, Aremo Tope

Veteran musician Segun Sofowote thrilling the audience with a song.

Ambassador of Jamaica to Benin, Pan-African Organisation, Mr. Pere Jah; Founder, African Culture Foundation, Mazi Ajimiri Ama’echefu and Mrs. Mere Jah.

Chief Sulaiman Ayilara (Ajobiewe), performing on stage.

Members of the National Dance Troupe in a cultural performance.

Musician Wura Samba and his group performing.

PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA


Friday, July 20, 2012

36

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Mirror Drive

JAGUAR XK: Beauty for young, sporty people OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Jaguar XK has been an iconic beauty, its voluptuous fenders flowing without interruption back to the 1954 Jaguar D Type racing car, the 1957 XKSS and the 1975 XKE. So refinements to its body are almost a no-win situation. But the tweaks to the nose and tail for 2011 pulled it off. At the rear of the XK are LED tail lamps, which definitely sharpen the car at night, and a lower spoiler, which you do not really notice. The XK gets firstin-class visibility to and from the rear, with twin back-up lights and tail light fog lamps to protect the driver. The standard 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels are gorgeous and the other wheel options are just as lovely in this edition of Jaguar product. Unlike some, the Mercedes E550 convertible, for example, the fabric top on the XK does not look awkward or weird because of its shape. It goes down or up at the touch of a button in 18 seconds, disappearing under the bodywork behind the rear seats. Jaguar calls the headliner material ‘Suedecloth’; from the inside as well as the outside it is almost indistinguishable from a fixed roof. This ‘Suedecloth’ has been made available as headliner for the XK Coupe for 2012. Interior The Jaguar XK is a gentleman’s sports car and its cockpit conveys that. It is luxurious, not racy like the 1957 Jaguar XKSS, the car that started it all. There was a time when Jaguars felt more like the racing cars they used to be, at least around the edges. The XK Convertible is very quiet underway with the triple-lined top up. In fact, because the new Jaguar 5.0-litre engine is quieter than the old Ford 4.2-litre, you almost cannot hear the growl of the powerful engine any more. Even with the top down, it does not rumble unless you are up near red line. It is easy to forget the XK has a back seat. Rear legroom is 27.6 inches, about 70 per cent as much as your average back seat. But average back seats don’t have 30 per cent to lose, so the plus-two part is for kids only. The XK uses the trademarked ‘JaguarDrive Selector’, a big knob on the centre console. Instead of moving a shift lever, you rotate the knob to choose Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive or Sport. In Drive or Sport mode, you manually shift the transmission with wellshaped paddles on the steering wheel. Well-shaped paddles is n’o a given, as some cars manage to mess up the de-

sign off these controls. i h l It iis a jjoy when h something you use a lot makes you feel good about the shape, every time, and that is the case here. The gauges and instrumentation have pretty aluminium bezel rings, but

they h are not performance-oriented. f i d The h speedometer goes to 180 mph and the tachometer to 8000 rpm, but they are just numbers (except for the XKR 175, come to think of it, or rather 174). The instrumentation too, nods toward luxury.

THE JAGUAR XK IS A GENTLEMAN’S SPORTS CAR AND ITS COCKPIT CONVEYS THAT

Numbers are white b hi on the h gauges and d needles red. They are easy enough to read, though they could be easier. The big wide centre stack is mostly filled by the 7-inch LCD touch-screen. Driving Impression The Jaguar XK benefits from a light and stiff aluminium monocoque chassis that is riveted and bonded. The resulting rigid chassis produces superb handling and braking with the stiff chassis contributing to steering accuracy; it is tight and quick, but not skittish. The double wishbone suspension was upgraded for 2011: spring rates stiffened, steering ratio quickened, control arms made stronger and anti-roll bars


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

thicker. The convertible got new cross members for 2011, which means a lot to the cornering. You can feel it. The XK has never handled better. Besides, the Adaptive Damping System provides continuous variable damping for ride comfort or maximum cornering on rough roads. Chassis motion, including roll rate and pitch rate, is analysed and adjusted 100 times per second. Meanwhile, wheel travel is analysed and corrected 500 times per second. The 5.0-litre engine is designed and produced at Jaguar facilities in Coventry, England. It is an all-aluminium 32-valve V8 featuring direct injection, independent variable cam timing, cam profile switching, and a variable geometry inlet manifold. The multi-hole direct injection system sprays pressurised fuel (up to 150 bar) into the centre of the combustion chambers. The variable camshaft tim ing system has its own Jaguar spin, as well. And the naturally aspirated engine has inlet camshaft profile switching, changing the characteristics of the engine for the torque, power or economy that may

Mirror Drive

Friday, July 20, 2012 be needed at any moment. The air intake was totally redesigned for 2011, eliminating the supercharger whine, and also the view of the engine. All you will find under the hood is a blank sea of black plastic. It works by selecting air tunnels among 14 of them, varying from 27 inches (low engine speeds) to 14 inches (high engine speeds). With your foot on the pedal, you will have no complaints with the normally aspirated engine in the standard XK making a mere 385 horsepower. Nor will you have any complaints when your foot is off the pedal, after you climb out smiling. Even the exhaust note has been addressed in great detail. Engineers have accentuated the acoustic feedback into the cabin in order to further enhance the driving pleasure. Intake manifold pressure pulsations are fed into an acoustic filter at the rear of the engine that’s tuned to provide a crescendo at high revs. The 6800 rpm redline is some rush. Overall, Jaguar engineers have outdone themselves, and the mechanical/ electronic improvements in the powertrain make this an enjoyable car.

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Hyundai Elantra emerges Car of the Year

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igeria Auto Awards has ranked Hyundai Elantra as the ‘Car of the Year 2011’ at its seventh edition of the annual event, which took place recently in Lagos. Elantra was rated ahead of its arch rivals like Kia Optima, Toyota Avensis, Audi A6 and Land Rover HSE to cart away the coveted plaque. A statement signed by the media consultant to the auto company stated that the board of adjudicators says the car was rated higher because of its fluidic sculpture, styling and driving dynamics. Coming barely five months after it emerged ‘Car of the Year’ for 2012 in a similar competition by South African Guild of Motoring Journalists and West Bank, the Hyundai Elantra could undoubtedly be the car to beat. The Elantra was also recently named ‘Best compact saloon’ by South Africa’s CAR Magazine in its Top 12 Best Buys edition for 2012 and rated North American Car of the Year 2012. A comparatively familiar sedan, Hyundai Elantra made its foray into the global marketplace between 1990 and 1995 when the first generation Elantra debuted. Presenting the commemorative plaque to Hyundai Motors Ltd., custodian of the brand in Nigeria, the judges said the Elantra is renowned for its wind-craft design language, which is in sync with the car’s daring fluidic sculpture and harmonious styling that consent with Hyundai’s recent product line-up.

The statement also stated that the judges also applauded the relatively low roofline and stylish, sleek curves that not only project a sporty and dynamic style, but improves aerodynamics and lowers air resistance to contribute to Elantra’s outstanding fuel economy and quiet cabin space. Elantra’s relaxed interior also scored high points, particularly the silver garnish that starts from the crash pad and leads to the console featuring a windblown shape that exudes the overall refined and dynamic image. The new Elantra has since it was introduced into the local market October 2011 set the cat among the pigeons in its market segment, becoming a leader in its class and gaining recognition as the sedan that is more than well-equipped to elevate the Hyundai brand to the next level. Receiving the award, the Managing Director, Stallion Motors, Mr. Parvir Singh “We are extremely proud of this recognition and more so, that a worldclass product, such as Hyundai Elantra has received distinguish honour from the Nigerian Auto Awards.” He added that “the award is a confirmation of the giant strides the Hyundai brand has made locally and globally. Besides, the award is in recognition of the quality and emotional appeal that Hyundai products have developed as part of the brand’s modern premium strategy”.

Hyundai Elantra Interior

Sun Motors unveils Nissan Almera S

Jaguar XK

un Motors Ltd. last week unveiled the latest edition of the Nissan Almera into the Nigerian auto market. The General Manager of the auto company, Mr. Pankaj Ajora at the launching programme in Lagos described the car as styling and funky with massive amount of leg room for the rear passengers and almost 500 litres boot. Ajora stated that the current Almera has more rear legroom and a larger boot than a fullsized executive saloon such as a Mercedes-Benz E-class. “Park the Almera next to another sedan, for example, you will notice that the entire passenger cabin assumes a tall, hatchback-like profile, which draws attention to steeply raked bonnet and windscreen, he said. “What’s more, the Almera stretches its boot further back than other cars in its class - allowing it to have such a luxury

look with stylistically cues taken from the Nissan Teana, though this does little to disguise the Almera’s unusual proportions”. “And true to its Japanese heritage and mechanical efficiency, the Almera has proved to be very economical to run and low in fuel consumption. So, despite being larger and more spacious than its rivals, the Almera weighs between 15 to 55kg lighter than its rivals. Sometimes it is the simple solutions like reducing weight and improving efficiency that work best as they are tried and tested”. He explained that Nissan has, over the years, lived up to its reputation for excellence in engineering, playing a pioneering role in many fields of advanced technology. Nissan he said has developed a variety of weightreducing materials, such as high-tensile steel sheet for body panels, and subsequently cre-

ated sophisticated engine management systems for controlling combustion and improving fuel economy. He noted further that Nissan was also a forerunner in developing and using CAD/CAM systems and industrial robots to enhance precision to make Nissan vehicles one of the best ever, adding that the auto company also localised R&D operations, including vehicle design and

engineering, as well as business management functions at the highest level. “Nissan believes that cars should change the world and the way we move through it. It was in view of this that Nissan changed its manifesto to essentially build vehicles that are more efficient, more beautiful, more inspiring and more human than ever before. And that is our commitment to you”.

Almeria


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Cocktail

Friday, July 20, 2012

Oddities

Library closes to clean bedbugs

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ulsa, Okla., library officials called in a secret weapon Wednesday to deal with a bedbug infestation: Oklahoma’s only bedbug sniffing dog, Ms. Liberty Belle. The Tulsa Central Library was evacuated Tuesday after a library patron reported being bitten, the Tulsa World reported. Only a few chairs at the library were believed contaminated and were to be destroyed. “This was an isolated case contained to a

1,000-square-foot area,” said John Fancher, communications coordinator for the Tulsa City-County Library in a press release. “The total area of Central Library is 135,000 square feet.” Ms. Liberty Belle, the bedbug-sniffing beagle, was summoned from Norman to investigate the extent of the contamination, after which an exterminator was to be called. Library officials said the library will not reopen until the bedbugs have been expunged.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Burger King sacks workers over internet picture

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hree Ohio Burger King employees were fired after an image of one of them standing on two open bins of the eatery’s lettuce appeared online, the company said. The company released a statement Tuesday saying the workers at the Mayfield Heights store were fired after the picture was posted to image-sharing Web site, 4chan and went viral on the Internet. “Burger King Corp. has recently been made

aware of a photo posted on a social networking site that allegedly shows a Burger King restaurant employee violating the company’s stringent food handling procedures,” the statement read. “Food safety is a top

priority at all Burger King restaurants and the company maintains a zerotolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question.” “The restaurant where this photo was allegedly taken is independently-

City disapproves of bikini parade plans

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Minnesota woman said she will go ahead with plans to attempt a bikini parade world record despite the disapproval of local officials. Cynthia Frederick said she wants to gather 451 bikini-clad women to march in the Paddle Fish Days parade July 28 in Madison Lake to break the Guinness World Record for the largest bikini parade,

WCCO-TV, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, reported Wednesday. Frederick said she wants to use the event to raise money for breast cancer prevention. “The money for registration, $20 in advance, or $25 on the day of the parade, all of that money will also be forwarded directly to the Breast Cancer Natural Prevention foundation,” Frederick said.

However, City Administrator Kelly Steele said Frederick does not have the support of the City Council. “The City Council is not supportive of the event. They feel that it is not an appropriate type activity for a family parade,” Steele said. “The City Council is supportive of breast cancer awareness, and that is not why they are opposed to this.”

A Burger King employee standing on lettuce bins Photo: UPI

owned and operated by a Burger King franchisee. The franchisee has taken swift action to investigate this matter and terminated the three employees involved in this incident,” the company said.


Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business & Finance There is no other Petroleum Industry Bill for 2012. We have seen various adaptations appearing in the media, particularly online, that did not come from the Federal Government of Nigeria and we are unaware of who posted them on these sites. MINISTER OF PETROLEUM RESOURCES, MRS. DEZIANI ALISON-MADUEKE.

We expect that by the year 2016, about 30 percent of our revenues globally will come from developing markets ... including Nigeria and that is a very significant shift. CHAIRMAN OF PRICE WATER HOUSE COOPERS, (PWC) MR. DENNIS NALLY.

Lack of coordination affects progress of MSMEs STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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inister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, has blamed the non-performance of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the country on lack of coordination. Aganga who made the disclosure at the opening of a two day retreat of the strategic Micro,

Small and Medium Enterprises Policy/Programmes Technical and Implementation, organised by his ministry in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, yesterday in Lagos, said that lack of coordination, even within the government structure mar the effectiveness of the MSMEs in the country. He said that MSMEs are the biggest driver of economy of ev-

ery country in the world which should be developed in Nigeria for its effectiveness. He advised that to harness creativity ideas of MSMEs, there should be a defining role for everybody including local, states, federal agencies and individual organisation responsible for the MSMEs, which will result into promoting the platform as the only economic development of the nation.

L-R: Channel Sales Manager-English West Africa, Schneider Electric Nigeria,Mr. Kofoworola Ayodele; MD/CEO Mr. Marcel Hochet and Enterprise Account Manager-English West Africa, Mr. Josiah Mogbonjubola, at a media interactive session with IT editors in Lagos, yesterday.

He further added that Federal Government aims at improving the ability of Nigeria’s MSMEs to compete effectively in local, regional and global markets. The Policy also outlines the general parameters, benchmarks and directions within which MSMEs programmes, interventions and initiatives will be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated. In his welcome address, the Director General, Alhaji Muhammed Umar, said the event is part of the platform for industrial evolution in the country, where stakeholders come together and brainstorm for the progress of the MSME’s. According to the Director General of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) , Dr. Yemi Kale, the national MSMEs survey, shows that there are a total of 17,284,671 MSMEs in Nigeria, out of which micro enterprises account for the majority (99.87%) with 17.26 million enterprises. Lagos State has the highest number of small and medium enterprises (4,535) while Osun State has the least (100), according to the report.

Banks to commence installation of ATMs for physically-challenged TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

The Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday said arrangements to install ATMs for physically challenged as part of measures to ensure that interests of all Nigerians are taken care of in the ongoing cashless policy had reached an advanced

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stage, with the possibility that banks may begin the installation of the ATM terminals soon. The ATMs are coming with special features, including graphics, that will make e-transactions convenient and user-friendly to the physically challenged, including illiterates, in the society. Disclosing this yesterday in Akure, Director, Consumer and Financial Protection Department of the CBN, Mr. Usman Shehu, while noting

that the implementation of the cashless policy has not been hitch-free, said the apex bank in collaboration with the deposit money banks to reduce to the barest minimum the constraints. Shehu said, “We are aware of a number of challenges and information technology related complaints by customers and have initiated some measures to address them. “We have issued circulars requesting all banks and financial institutions to

Telecoms: 32.6 million phone lines inactive in Nigeria – Investigation

expand ATM help desk to accommodate all consumer complaints, we have also launched public enlightenment and awareness campaigns on consumer rights and responsibilities.” “To ensure that the banks are doing what they are supposed to do, we have commenced periodic compliance checks on them to ensure establishment of effective and functional complaint management system and we are also working hard to ensure

that POS terminals are fitted with dual Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards to reduce downtime”, he added. On the relevance of Nigerian Unified Bank Account Number (NUBAN) to ongoing reform in the banking sector, Shehu explained that the 10-digit account numbering option was introduced to among others, facilitate direct electronic funds transfer among banks and reduce clearing errors.

Expediting action on CEMA review as best reform for Customs

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

233.215

USD

155.87

CHF

158.8565

CFA

0.2884

SDR

234.4129

SAR

41.5609

GBP

243.2351

EURO

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT NYMEX

40

42

190.8316

$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 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Telecoms: 32.6 million phone lines inactive in Nigeria –Investigation KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he total number of inactive telephone lines in Nigeria has increased to a whopping 32.6 million as at the end of May 2012, even as teledensity increased to 72.6 per cent, according to National Mirror investigation. The current figure represents a decline of about 2.4 million in inactive lines down from April, 2012, when the industry’s total inactive lines stood at 35 million. National Mirror gathered that the current figure represents the combined inactive subscriptions on the networks of the Global System for Mobile Communications operators, the Code Division Multiple Access and the fixed wired/wireless networks in the country. According to the latest official industry data for the month of May, which was released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, the total connected lines stood at 134.4 million. Of this, only 101.8 million

lines of the figure were active lines, leaving about 32.6 million lines inactive. Inactive telephone lines have continued to increase and sometimes, decrease since January, 2012. According to findings, in January, when the connected telephone lines and active lines stood at 128 million and 96.1 million respectively, inactive lines was 31.9 million. The inactive line profile increased to 35.2 million in February with total connected lines standing at 131.8 million and active lines; 96.6 million. In March, with total connected lines of 134.9 million and active subscriber base of 99.1 million, the inactive telephone lines maintained an upward movement to reach 35.8 million. L-R: Area Director British American Tobacco West Africa, Mrs. Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo, keynote speaker However, the trend changed and Chairman Access Bank, Gbenga Oyebode at the 2012 annual Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) in April even as connected CEO/Policymaker Interactive series in Lagos, recently. lines and active lines stood at 136 million and 101 million respectively. The number of redundant telephone lines plunged further financial services in the country tinent with special focus on the in May, 2012 to reach 32.6 mil- OLUSEGUN KOIKI and their impact in improving the sub-region. Also, a look at the lion. current trends in travel finantravel sector.

Professionals to discuss impact of rising fuel on airlines in Africa

Experts advocate legislative advocacy panacea for tax injustice TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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rofessionals committed to improved tax system in the country have canvassed the amendment of relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution on tax matters and sustained campaigns by civil society as imperatives for improved tax administration and justice in the country. The experts, who included the Director of Internal Affairs of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Achillis Amawhe; Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Dr. Hussaini Abdu; a university don and Consultant in Taxation and Investigation, Mr. Olatunde Otusanya; and Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, amongst others, observed that some of the challenges of fair and equitable tax system are derived from constitutional provisions that allow for plurality of legislative authorities on taxes. Making their submissions at a forum organised in Abuja to discuss ActionAid Nigeria’s sponsored report on ‘Tax Justice for National Development: The Case of the Nigerian Tax System’, the discussants agreed that the nation’s tax system had failed to meet the minimum re-

quirements for tax justice as tax evasion by the rich, corruption and lack of accountability have denied ordinary taxpayers the benefits of tax compliance. The lead presenter of the report, Mrs Olusade Taiwo, lamented that despite several decades of tinkering with the various tax laws and other fiscal instruments targeted at improving tax administration in the country, the system continued to be hampered by gaps, conflicts, ambiguities and other administration flaws that have made tax justice elusive over the years. She, therefore, advocated a review of the entire system that would ensure addressing the existing challenges, including the problems of overlapping tax jurisdictions, ambiguities in tax treaties, corruption and more particularly, pervasive tax evasion by the rich people, in order to ensure equity and fairness and provision of people-oriented services from tax revenues. In his comments, Amawhe noted that the problems of multiplicity of taxes derived from the constitutional provisions and that some of the lingering problems of burden of taxation which many taxpayers complain about would be addressed if the legislative powers on tax are streamlined constitutionally.

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takeholders and professionals in African aviation industry will on Monday in Lagos discuss the challenges facing the continent’s airlines and how to mitigate against them. Among issues to be discussed at the one day conference and expo are the impact of the rising fuel price, poor track record, safety issues and relationships with travel buyers in the continent. A statement signed by one of the facilitators of the conference, Topcomm Aency, Mr. Tope Ogbeni-Awe and made available to journalists yesterday stated that apart from issues affecting the airlines, discussants would also take a cursory look at the banks and

He said that the conference, which is with the theme, “Strengthening Business Travel in West Africa” was the second of such in the region and it’s in association with Delta Air Lines, MasterCard, Hospitality Group and GHI Assets. The statement reads in part, “It’s a one day conference and expo, with delegates discussing pertinent African business travel issues, in and around a series of engaging panel discussions, involving some of South Africa and Nigeria’s top business travel industry speakers. “The discussants will be taking a look at the operating aviation industry in the entire con-

cial services are, and their effect on West African business travel and trade. What are the talking points, both from a bank, travel finance group point of view, and from the perspective of the TMC? “It’s the ideal event for executives and decision makers across the business travel spectrum, including hospitality, airline, automotive, forex, travel management companies, banks, travel finance services, government agencies, insurance, travel tour agencies and corporate business travellers. It also promises to be an interesting day, debating the most pressing business travel issues and those that inform the industry itself.”

Visa promotes risk management practices in financial institutions KUNLE AZEEZ

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isa Incoporated has launched a new award that recognises shares and promotes best practices in risk management among financial institutions. The programme aims to advance the risk management standards across all financial institutions by honoring those that have successfully implemented a secure and reliable infrastructure that counters fraud across all channels. The global payments company lauded the efforts of 20 institutions across Asia Pacific, Central

Europe, Middle East and Africa, APCEMEA, by recognising them with the inaugural annual Visa LEADER Award at Visa’s 2012 APCEMEA Security Summit. Speaking on the initiative, the Head of Risk, Visa sub-Saharan Africa, Bryce Thorrold, noted that societies are increasingly moving from cash to electronic payments because they offer greater security, reliability and convenience than cash. Thorrold said, “As the payment ecosystem evolves and payments become smarter and better, fraud attacks are increasing in sophistication. Visa recognises that combating fraud is not an individual effort, but one that

requires collaboration within the whole industry. “Financial institutions have been advancing their risk management infrastructure by enhancing their technology, protocols and tools to effectively mitigate emerging threats and trends. “Visa clients across APCEMEA have been proactively countering fraud across all channels, and we want to applaud and recognise those that have stood out in their risk management measures, strategies and success rates. We hope this award will encourage others to emulate their success in advancing the security of the industry.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Friday, July 20, 2012

Agric credit scheme guarantees N56bn in 34 years, says CBN TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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umulative guarantees provided by the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme to the agricultural sector since inception has been put at N56 billion. The scheme was introduced in 1978 to encourage banks to channel credit to the sector which currently is contributing about 42 per cent to the nation’s GDP. Specifically, the scheme has so far guaranteed N55.99 billion for 763,514 borrowers as at May 2012. Making this disclosure in his paper delivered at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents in

Akure, Ondo State yesterday, Director, Finance Department of the apex bank, Mr Paul Eluhaiwe, said the scheme which provides 75 per cent guarantee in respect of loans granted by banks for approved agricultural purposes, has had its share and called-up capital increased from the initial N100 million to N3.0 billion. According to him, out of the amount guaranteed a total of N34.11 billion was recovered from 562,224 borrowers while the fund also settled 159,589 IDP claims valued at N1.009 billion from inception in 2003 to May 2012 Eluhaiwe disclosed further that of the N200 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) which was established by the CBN in 2009, N175.53 bil-

lion had been disbursed so far to state governments but lamented that some state governments had not deemed it necessary to access the funds. On the disbursement of the accessed funds, he hinted that 193 private sector projects and 29 state government projects from which about 32, 801 jobs had been created had benefited from the scheme. Eluhaiwe, who identified weak value chains in the sector as one of the constraints hampering effective disbursement of credit to the sector, expressed optimism that the ongoing collaboration between government, the CBN and the DMBs on the current Agricultural Transformation Agenda will address some of the funding problems in the sector.

L-R: Manager, CSR/Sustainability, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Vivian Ikem; Specialist, CSR, Etisalat Nigeria, Mrs. Tola Oduyemi; Director,Sustainable Business Initiative, University of Edinburgh, UK, Dr. Kenneth Amaechi and Business Support, OANDO Plc, Mrs. Sandra Owoseni at the 2012 Etisalat CSR Masterclass in partnership with Lagos Business School, Lekki yesterday.

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Nigeria issues N75bn in 2017, 2019, 2022 bonds

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he Federal Government sold N75bn worth of 5-year, 7-year and 10-year bonds maturing in 2017, 2019 and 2022 at a regular auction on Wednesday, the Debt Management Office said yesterday. The debt office said it sold N25bn of each paper. The yield on the 5-year bond rose to 16.19 per cent from 15.85 per cent at last month’s auction. It issued the 7-year paper at 16.59 percent compared to 16 per cent previously while the 10-year paper was issued at 16.30 per cent from 16.21 per cent at the last

auction. The original coupon rates of 15.10 per cent and 16.39 per cent for the April 2017 and January 2022 respectively will be maintained, while the coupon rate for the June 2019 was set at 16.00 per cent, the DMO said in a statement. Total subscriptions stood at N121.60bn compared with N129.70bn at the June auction. The country’s issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

OPS expresses worry over FG’s intervention funds STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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ome real sector operators are either not aware or do not know how to go about assessing the various intervention funds made available by the Federal Government, the National President, Nigeria Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. Herbert Ajayi, has said. He made the statement yesterday in Lagos at a press briefing on the preparation of the maiden edition of NACCIMA/partner with the Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Business Environment (ENABLE) bi -annual dialogue, coming up at the end of the month, with the theme, “The impact of government intervention funds in the transformation of the Nigeria economy”.

On the intervention funds, Ajayi lamented that many of its members who have taken the advantage faced challenges as disbursement is either slow or not forth coming, saying that many are not aware of the development. He added that it has become imperative to create an effective forum for public private dialogue for the private sector operators and other stakeholders and actors to brainstorm on the identified issues that can shape the enabling business environment and investment climate of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. However, Ajayi cited private sector lack of requisite collateral, lack of a formally recorded and audited financial history to be used to assess the profitability and cash flow of the business, as some of the challenges, adding that the financial institutions disburse the funds on number of reasons.

Research institute backs FG on cassava bread Broadband: NCC to tackle funding challenges, others JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he Federal Institute of Industrial Research has said that the cassava bread initiative introduced by the Federal Government for baking of composite bread in commercial quantity will enhance quality bread production in the country. Besides, the institute stated that cassava industry has the capacity to generate over 3 million jobs and reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos yesterday, the DirectorGeneral of the institute, Dr Gloria Elemo, said that the institute has perfected the technology of 10 per cent high quality cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour and has transferred the technology to numerous flour millers

and bakers in the country. She said, “Indeed, the institute baking laboratory produces composite (cassava/wheat) bread which it sells to staff on a daily basis, as a demonstration of the technical feasibility and economic viability of the technology. “The composite bread produced is adjudged by all those who eat it to be of very high quality this is in tandem with the Institute’s sensory evaluation reports on cassava bread consumption.” According to her, apart from baking bread with the 10 per cent and 20 per cent composite cassava, the institute has also successfully baked various acceptable confectionery products with over 20 per cent cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour. Elemo, however, allayed the fear of Nigerians concerning the health implications of consump-

tion of cassava bread, saying that cassava bread consumption is safe and do not cause or aggravate diabetes as confirmed by glycemic indices study carried out on 10 and 20 per cent cassava bread at the institute. She said in consideration of the country’s status as the largest producer of cassava in the whole world, the inherent advantages and health benefits of cassava in flour for bread making and other confectioneries, Nigerians should embrace the policy to unleash the country dependence on imported wheat flour. “Due to economic factors which have made it impossible for the common man to have convenient food on his table at the right-time, price, quality and quantity, bread has remained the only staple food affordable to Nigerians,” she added.

KUNLE AZEEZ

F

unding options and strategies for the deployment of broadband infrastructure and services will top agenda at a broadband forum holding in Lagos next week. Tagged, the Nigeria Broadband Forum with the theme: “Demand as Catalyst for Broadband Services in Nigeria”, the event being organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, telecoms industry regulator, is part of the regulator’s the consultative regulatory process. At the forum to be attended by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson as guest speaker and Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, as special

guest of honour, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah will present a keynote address to set the tone for the event’s discussion. The stakeholders’ forum taking place on July 26, 2012, is being organised to create awareness and sensitise industry stakeholders as well as obtain stakeholders input; appraise the demand for various broadband services in the Telecommunications Industry in Nigeria and to determine strategies for substantially increasing penetration and usage of broadband across the country. Other objectives of the forum are to stimulate investment and competition in the broadband services and infrastructure markets and develop policy guidelines on provision of broadband services in the country.


42

Maritime

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

T

hough a lot has been achieved in the reform of the Nigeria Customs Service, so much more work still needed to be done in making the service a truly 21st Century administration. For instance, from a service that operated a ‘long room’ with the attendant duplication of tables, the Nigeria Customs Service now operates a modern Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA + +), which is the latest version of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This feat followed the upgrading of the former 2.7 to the current 3.0 version of the UNCTAD. Similarly, the service has also done so much in the reform of clearing processes with is almost completely electronic, especially with the introduction of the Data Trader Input (DTI) Cafes, which has largely eliminated the data capture seat of the service, which for so many years proved a stumbling block to speedy cargo clearance. Despite these modest achievements, most of which came in the last eight years, the service is obviously not yet there, especially compared with other customs administrations even among developing countries of the world.

CEMA is one of the laws inherited from Britain, Nigeria’s colonial masters, was originally enacted in the 1950s and so it is believed that it does not reflect the current situation both at the international trade arena as well as the home front since the realities of the colonial era are no longer there. For instance some of the trade practices, procedures and sanctions that were prevalent in the post independence are no longer relevant in the present day customs administration. The decision of the lower legislative chamber to review the Act may have also been informed by the need to make Nigeria’s international trade practices conform with those of the World Customs organisation (WCO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO),which Nigeria is a member. It was probably in line with this thinking that the House of Representatives, Nigeria’s lower arm of the National Assembly said that one of the reasons the CEMA, which contains most of the functions of the Customs Service, is being amended is because many of its provisions are archaic and therefore needed to conform to international standards. Then chairman, committee on customs, Mallam Abdullahi Faruk, had observed that Nigeria, like most other countries of the world is dynamic and should also enforce laws that reflect current happenings in the global economy. According to him, with the Information Technology (IT) explosion, which had made the world a global village, Nigeria cannot continue to do things as if she is still in the Stone Age. He noted that one of the major reasons for the amendment is to globalise the activities of customs to make the service competitive with other customs administrations in Europe and America. “We are looking at all the sections and provisions in the Act that inhibit the nation’s quest to make progress”, he argued. “We must re-visit CEMA in order to amend all the sections that limit progress of the service”, he noted. To underscore the importance of the review, a motion was passed on the floor of the house for an investigation of the activi-

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Customs CG, Mr. Abdullahi Dikko

Expediting action on CEMA review as best reform for Customs Over the years, several efforts have been made reforming the Nigeria Customs Service, which have not yielded the expected results. But most stakeholders heaved a sigh of relief when the Federal Government, two years ago set sail for the review of the Customs and Excise Management, which is expected to provide a legal framework for a new customs operation in Nigeria. FRANCIS EZEM reports that stakeholders, however, are not too comfortable with the slow pace of the amendment.

ties of the service visa-vis the provisions of the Act, which was concluded before the main issue. Another lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, noted that CEMA, being a law enacted in the 1950’s does not reflect the sovereignty of an independent Nigeria. The CEMA does not reflect the realities of modern day international trade and it is also silent on Destination Inspection of the present day Nigeria Customs Service. “Trade practice procedures and sanctions that existed in the 1950’s are no longer relevant, fines and penalties prescribed by CEMA are ludicrous and generally incapable of deterring economic criminals even if fully enforced”, he disclosed further. He noted that the National Assembly in the course of its over sight functions has discovered that if the service was to incorporate Customs practice, traditions and obligation, then, various recommendations and instrument on Customs and trade standard practice must be in consonance with the WCO, UNICTAD and the World Trade Organisation etc; of which Nigeria is a recognised party. “For Nigeria to fully exploit the benefits

of its strategic placement and its ambition to be the maritime hub of the sub-region, our trade laws, especially as they relate to NCS operations must be made very simple and harmonised, with that of their Customs organisations of the sub regions”. On the issue of overtime cargo, he had argued that the National Assembly has a duty of transforming over time cargo task into a transparent Public Auction System (PAS); separate the Board chairman from the supervising minister as is the case with other parastals under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) as well as make NCS operations to become more proactive. A senior customs officer attached to the office of the Comptroller General of the service, Mr. Musa Omale could not have agreed less, when he said in a writeup that though the CEMA has under gone changes largely in nomenclature since 1958, there have been no holistic changes. It is against this background that it has become imperative to review the CEMA so as to cope with the sophistication of the current trend On smuggling, he noted that the main features of CEMA are the overlapping

FOR INSTANCE, FROM A SERVICE THAT OPERATED A ‘LONG ROOM’ WITH THE ATTENDANT DUPLICATION OF TABLES, THE NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE NOW OPERATES A MODERN AUTOMATED SYSTEM FOR CUSTOMS DATA (ASYCUDA + +), WHICH IS THE LATEST VERSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT (UNCTAD)

of offences, use of presumptions, the reversal of the burden of proof, forfeiture of goods and their means of conveyance, compounding of offences, the intriguing prescription of capital punishment for certain categories of smugglers and the limitation of time for the prosecution of offences under the Act. It was gathered that the snag is the provisions of CEMA, in respect of the above issues, are largely outdated in terms of concept and punishment and are therefore inadequate to cope with the sophistication of the new trend of smuggling in Nigeria. For instance, sections 57 (1) (2) and 58 (1) of the Act where the minister makes any regulations with respect to loading of submission of a full list of all the cargo carried in the ship to the proper officer in the prescribed form, any breach of which will lead to forfeiture and a fine of N200. Director, Commercial Shipping Services of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mrs. Dabney Shall-Holma had also said while speaking at a public hearing on the review of the Act that the review was long over due. From the foregoing, it is a general consensus that the CEMA is over due for amendment the intendment of the legislation is to be achieved in the present day Nigeria. But some stakeholders have expressed concern over the delay in the passage of the review, which had gone through the second reading. Though the process of passing such bills, especially given the time lag and the holistic work being done, stakeholders urge an accelerated passage, given the importance and critical nature of that legislation. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Maritime

Friday, July 20, 2012

How foreign shipping firms, terminal operators rip-off Nigerians –Report STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

S

trong indications emerged that foreign shipping companies and terminal operators now cash in on the absence of a commercial regulator and the attendant loose regulatory frameworks to fleece the Nigerian shipping public of hundreds of millions of naira. Apart from carrying Nigeria’s exports including her wet cargo on the basis of Cost Insurance and Freight, which makes the importing nations determine both insurance and freight rate and her export on the basis of Free –On –Board, these shipping companies and terminal operators have devised un-regulated means of defrauding Nigerian shippers (importers and exporters) through imposition of illegal charges The Nigerian Shippers Council, government’s agency charged with the function of protecting the Nigerian shippers has sometime in 2010 published a list of unapproved port charges numbering over 39 comprising shipping company charges, terminal handling charges, container deposit, container cleaning charges, demurrage charges, Cost –on-

Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, Vicky Haastrup

Turnover charges, transfer and tally clerk charges, among several others. It was also in realisation of this that former minister of transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman ordered the Council to cancel about 10 of such illegal charges imposed by foreign shipping companies and terminal concessionaires. Terminal and shipping charges analysis for a 20-foot container

compiled by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders for 2011, a copy cited by National Mirror shows that Tin Can Island Container Terminal, an Israeli concessionaire and APM Terminals, a Danish concessionaire charge N45, 500 as terminal handling charge on each 20-foot container and another N5, 516 and N5, 515 respectively as import delivery charge, which the association

We are impressed by what we saw at LADOL, says committee

H

ouse of Representatives Committee on Commerce has said it is impressed by what it saw at the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base, which also incorporates the LADOL Free Zone, saying it could not have imagined that indigenous operators could take such giant strides towards the realisation of Federal Government’s Local Content initiative. LADOL, a fully indigenous oil and gas deep offshore base, currently has a Floating, Production, Storage and Operation, FPSO integration contract with Samsung Heavy Industries Company Limited. In its corporate vision of creating West Africa’s first state-of the –art oil and gas logistics support base offering a one-stop-shop environment for efficient and secure

operations in Lagos, LADOL has so far invested over $100 million in infrastructure, facilities, equipment and management. The company is currently targeting an additional investment of $500 million in order to expand its facilities for efficiency and tailormade services for the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. Chairman of the committee, Mr. Sylvester Ogbaga, who spoke shortly after a one-day tour of the facility located near Apapa Port towards the Snake Island, disclosed that the visit was a fact finding one. “ Our visit is not for sight seeing.We are actually here on a factfinding mission to ascertain that what we have heard of LADOL is the same thing they have on ground. We needed to match what we have heard with what they have

in place”, he noted. “We are quite convinced; having taken some time out to tour the facility that what we have heard of LADOL is what it is in real life. We will go back to Abuja and report back to the National Assembly that has sent us”, he concluded. The chairman who also disclosed that the committee visit was partly to assess the success or otherwise of the Local Content Policy of the government, noted that with the success recorded at LADOL, government should domore in the area of encouraging others. He also pledged that on the part of the National Assembly, the two legislative arms will continue to make laws that will boost the ability of Nigerian investors to come into the market; arguing that the time has come for Nigerians to

L-R: Hamzat Ganiyu, member, Sylvester Agbaga, chairman and Abdulrahaman Badamosi, member of the House Committee on Commerce during a visit to LADOL, recently.

sees as double charging. President of the association, Mr. Eugene Nweke, who commented on this development, noted that before the concession of the seaports, which bought about private terminal operators to takeover cargo handling from the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA used to charge only import delivery charge on containerised cargo. He, however, noted that under the new dispensation, the concession agreement specifies that concessionaires should charge only the terminal handling charge but regretted that they charge both the import delivery and terminal handling charge, which he described as double jeopardy on the part of cargo owners, which are usually transferred to the final consumer of the goods. While tracing the history of terminal handling charge, which he said was borrowed from the Port of Malaysia when the drought of the seaports were very shallow and so smaller ships were brought in to transfer cargo from the mother ship and for which the THC was introduced to carter for the midstream charge, which was subsidised by the Malaysian government for the shippers. take their pride of place in the scheme of things in the country. Ogbaga, however, lamented the negative effects of the security situation in the country, saying that the creation of employment opportunities has been hampered by the situation, potential foreign and indigenous investors fold their arms and watch helplessly.

43

Shipowners urge caution on emissions fees

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he International Chamber of Shipping said the maritime industry shouldn’t have to pay more than its share of the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming. ICS Chairman Masamichi Morooka responded to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, who said last month that, “charges on international aviation and maritime emissions would raise about a quarter of the $100 billion needed for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.” “Most shipowners believe, given the severely depressed state of global shipping markets, that now is certainly not the time to impose an additional major cost on international shipping,” Morooka said in a letter to Lagarde. He said shipowners are willing to pay their share of costs, “provided that such money is indeed used for climate change adaptation or mitigation,” and that the same charges apply to all ships internationally regardless of flag. Morooka added that any contribution by shipping should be proportionate to its 3 percent share of global emissions, and that the International Maritime Organization should be the proper forum for discussion of any fees. He noted that two-thirds of the world’s merchant fleet is registered in nations not covered by Annex 1 of the Kyoto climate-change protocol. “If any carbon charges were only to apply to ships registered in Kyoto Protocol ‘Annex 1’ nations, these ships would be at a major competitive disadvantage to the ships registered in ‘non-Annex 1’ nations,” Morooka said. “Because of the serious market distortion that would be created, many of these ships would simply change their flag to a jurisdiction where the carbon charge did not apply.”

Ships to be rerouted to protect whales

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cientists studying the carcass of a 47-foot fin whale that washed up on a beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore last month found the creature’s spine and ribs severed, likely from the propeller of one of the huge cargo ships that sail those waters. There have been many victims of such accidents in recent years as migrating blue, fin and humpback whales have been lured close to California’s shore by plentiful krill, the shrimp-like organisms they eat. All three species are endangered. Now, after a two-year effort spurred by the uptick in accidents, federal maritime officials have approved a plan to protect whales in and around San Francisco Bay. It includes rerouting shipping traffic and establishing better ways to track whale locations. The changes crafted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shipping industry representatives, whale researchers

and the Coast Guard will likely take effect next year, after a final review by the United Nations International Maritime Organisation. “In 2010 it really struck home when a female blue whale carrying a calf was found dead on the beach,” said Maria Brown, NOAA’s superintendent for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. “And blue whales’ numbers are so small — to lose a female and a new whale coming into the population really sent home the message that we needed to look at the whale strike issue.” The shipping industry worked with federal authorities to establish new cargo lanes in one of the world’s busiest ports. The plan includes establishing a real-time whale monitoring network that would use trained sailors aboard commercial vessels to report when and where they see whales. Once sighted, a warning would be sent to other ship captains.


44

Capital Market

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at July 19, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, July 20, 2012

45


46

Capital Market

Oando turnover hits N350bn

•Indices dip by 0.8% on profit taking

JOHNSON OKANLAWON

O

ando Nigeria Plc has declared a turnover of N350.6bn for the half year ended June 30, 2012, an increase by 30.9 per cent when compared to N267.8bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s profit after tax stood at N6.61bn in the review period, from N6.86bn in the corresponding period of 2011, while taxation stood at N3.81bn in the 2012 half year from N6.12bn in the same period of 2011. According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, the company net assets increased by 4.9 per cent to N96.9bn in the 2012 half

year, from N92.4bn in the 201 half year. Meanwhile, profit taking by investors in equities halted six days rally on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as the benchmark indices went southwards. Specifically, the AllShare Index lost 0.77 per cent to close at 23,098.30 points, compared to the increase by 0.27 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 23,277.30 points. Market capitalisation depreciated by N57.2bn to close at N7.37trn, in contrast to the decline by N75.9bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.43trn. The oil and gad index dipped by 0.90 per cent to close at 176.85 points, fol-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, July 20, 2012

lowed by the banking index with 0.89 per cent to close at 357.96 points. The NSE 30-index depreciated by 0.73 per cent to close at 1,081.32 points. The insurance index gained 0.06 per cent to close at 129.82 points, while consumer goods index appreciated by 0.41 per cent to close at 1,915.95 points. Conoil Plc led the gainers’ table with N1.13 or 4.99 per cent to close at N23.76 per share, followed by Dangote Sugar Plc with 21 kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N4.53 per share. Okomu Oil Plc gained N1.38 or 4.84 per cent to close at N29.90 per share, while Eterna Oil Plc appreciated by 13 kobo or 4.71 per cent to close at N2.89 per share. May and Baker Plc

rose by eight kobo or 4.65 per cent to close at N1.80 per share. On the flip side, UACProperties Plc fell 49 kobo or 4.97 per cent to close at N9.36 per share, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc dipped by 22 kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N4.25 per share. Avon Crown Plc depreciated by 12 kobo or 4.72 per cent to close at N2.42 per share, while First City Monument Bank Plc lost 16 kobo or 4.60 per cent to close at N3.32 per share. Mobil Plc shed N6.00 or 4.58 per cent to close at N125.00 per share. Transaction volume in equities dipped by 58.7 per cent, as a total of 411.97 million shares valued at N3.17bn were exchanged in 4,690 deals, compared to 259.58 million shares worth N2.20bn traded in 4,182 deals the preceding day.

Source: NSE

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 23,098.21 points Market capitalisation 7,373 trillion

Emerging markets will drive revenue growth, says PwC

A

ccountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) expects a third of its global revenues to come from developing markets by 2016, up from 19 per cent now, as its clients look for attractive returns away from crisis-hit mature economies. Chairman of PwC International, Mr. Dennis Nally, told reuters in Lagos yesterday that Africa was a key part of the group’s strategy and it had overhauled its governance structure by consolidating its 17-member firms on the continent as

M

organ Stanley reported a 50 per cent drop in earnings yesterday and said it will cut more jobs as revenue from trading stocks and bonds declined the most among Wall Street banks. Second-quarter net income was $591m, or 29 cents a share, compared with $1.19bn, or a loss of 38 cents, a year earlier. Excluding accounting adjustments, profit was 16 cents a share, below the 29-cent average estimate of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The 48 per cent drop in trading revenue, which plunged to the lowest level since Chief Executive Officer James Gorman, 54, took over in January 2010, compares with an increase

opposed to operating as individual legal entities. According to him, PwC was expanding in Africa to meet demand for services from large multinational clients growing into the region to offset slowing growth in their home markets. “These plans could easily see Africa’s contribution to its revenue double over the next five years from $575 million in 2011. We expect that by the year 2016, about 30 percent of our revenues globally will come from developing markets, including Nigeria and that is a very sig-

nificant shift. “Our business mirrors what’s going on with our clients. So the shift that our clients are experiencing from the developed markets to the developing markets, we see that,” he said. He said most of the interest in Africa was coming from Asia, including China and India, and from investment flows within the continent, particularly from South Africa. PwC last year said it planned to invest $100m in Africa over the next three years, and nearly double its 8,000 staff over a five

year period. PwC already has a presence in 31 of Africa’s 54 countries, but wants to broaden that into states at the far end of the “frontier market” spectrum, including Ethiopia, Africa’s most populous nation after Nigeria, and South Sudan. Africa remains a difficult place in which to do business, with corruption and bureaucracy creating a major barrier to entry, especially for United States listed companies that have to comply with strict anti-graft regulations back home.

Morgan Stanley misses estimates as trading revenue plunges of more than 11 per cent at Goldman Sachs Group Incoporation. Morgan Stanley said clients shied away from doing business with the firm while Moody’s Investors Service weighed a creditrating downgrade. The fixed-income results were very weak, said Charles Peabody, an analyst at Portales Partners in New York who rates the stock sector perform. “Strength tends to beget strength and weakness weakness, so I think on the fixed-income side they’re going to end up being a loser.” Morgan Stanley fell 2.8 per cent to $13.60 in New York. The shares were

down 7.5 per cent this year through, after falling 44 per cent in 2011, and are 53 per cent below where they traded when Gorman took over. The stock is trading at about half the firm’s liquidation value and has dropped the most this year of any of the 10 largest United States banks. The firm has already cut 3,272 jobs since the start of 2012 and expects that number to climb to 4,000 by year’s end, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in an interview. Reductions will be gradual and some may come from attrition, she said. Revenue dropped to $6.95bn from $9.21bn a year

earlier. Book value per share rose to $31.02 from $30.74 at the end of March. The firm’s return on equity, a measure of how well it reinvests earnings, was four per cent, below Gorman’s goal of 15 per cent. Second-quarter revenue from fixed-income sales and trading, which is run by Ken deRegt, along with commodity trading co- heads Colin Bryce, and Simon Greenshields, all 56 years old, was $770m, excluding the accounting gain. That missed estimates of $1.1bn from Citigroup Incoporation’s Keith Horowitz, and $1.39bn from Barclays Plc’s Roger Freeman.

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CONOIL

22.63

23.76

CHANGE 1.13

DANGSUGR

4.32

4.53

0.21

OKOMUOIL

28.52

29.90

1.38

ETERNA

2.76

2.89

0.13

MAYBAKER

1.72

1.80

0.08

AGLEVENT

0.88

0.92

0.04

AIRSERVIE

1.59

1.65

0.06

ROYALEX

0.54

0.56

0.02

CUSTODYIS

1.45

1.50

0.05

ACCESS

7.70

7.88

0.18

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

UAC-PROP

9.85

9.36

0.49

CCNN

4.47

4.25

0.22

AVONCRN

2.54

2.42

0.12

FCMB

3.48

3.32

0.16

MOBIL

131.00

125.00

6.00

LONGMAN

2.19

2.09

0.10

JAPAULOIL

0.66

0.63

0.03

SKYEBANK

3.19

3.05

0.14

FLOURMILL

57.00

54.50

2.50

UBA

4.60

4.40

0.20

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

30,159.21

14.00

12-Jul-12

182 Days

14,412.00

16.99

12-Jul-12

364 -Day

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

42-DAY

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

$300m

N/A

$300m

18-Jul-12

$200m

N/A

$200m

16-Jul-12


Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

Community Mirror N2.5m fraud: Ex-banker jailed five years

48

“Boko Haram appears to be the most serious challenge affecting the security of this country.” FORMER MILITARY GOVERNOR OF KADUNA STATE; COLONEL ABUBAKAR DANGIWA UMAR

Hoodlums convert police van to armoury FRANCIS SUBERU AND TESLIM AJAGBE

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esidents of Okepopo area in Lagos Island have raised the alarm over the conversion of a rickety and abandoned police van at the back of Adeniji Adele Police Division to a weapon store by hoodlums living in the area. It was gathered from the residents that hoodlums in Okepopo area are storing dangerous weapons including guns, bullets, machetes and charms in the abandoned van. Community Mirror learnt that the hoodlums found the abandoned van useful because the vehicle had been abandoned for over five years, despite that it is at the back of a police division where the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS is also located. The hoodlums reasoned that since the very unkempt van belonged to the police, it would raise minimal suspicion. Information available to Community Mirror has it that anytime hoodlums clashed in the area; they normally rushed down to pick up different weapons they hid inside the van. Residents who pleaded anonymity, told Community Mirror that the accessibility of the weapon store was responsible for incessant clash between rival hoodlum groups in the area. Similarly, residents in the area have expressed worries over an impounded van with registration number CY 861 APP parked at the front of St Andrew’s Anglican Church; Okepopo which they said

is gradually becoming a refuse depot. The van, which was impounded by the police about a year ago, is parked opposite Adeniji Adele Police Division. Unlike the initial police van, the white Toyota van is not being used as a weapon store but the people fear that if nothing is done urgently to clean up the vehicle; it may soon become another weapon store. Investigations by Community Mirror revealed that the vehicle was arrested last year by police officers along Benin/Ore Expressway on armed robbery related matter. However, when contacted in respect of the abandoned police van, the Police Public Relations Officer, Federal SARS, DSP Lekan Ogundare said officers at the division are totally unaware of the allegation, saying no one reported the matter to the police. Lekan asked: “Why don’t they report to police? We cannot know everything and we cannot be everywhere at the same time. They should have reported the matter to us and if they had done that, we would have acted promptly. “Anyway, I will send officers down there immediately to have the van thoroughly searched. I doubt the possibility of hoodlums using the van as a weapon store, but people should endeavour to always oblige us with useful information as this.” Speaking in respect of the other van, DSP Lekan accused residents in the area of using the cover of darkness to dump refuse inside

the van. He blamed Eyekole Community Development Association, CDA for neglecting their primary responsibility of ensuring that sanitary is maintained in the area. ‘’We are not the ones dumping refuse there. Look outside the station, we have our own dust-

bin and we are paying LAWMA for removal of every waste we generated. We have also set up a surveillance team to arrest suspects who are in the habit of dumping refuse inside the van.” In his reaction, the Chairman, Eyekole Community Development Association, Elder

Abass Elemosho said policemen rather than residents are responsible for dumping the refuse inside the vehicle. He said there is no way any law abiding citizen will be bold enough to pick up his garbage and walk straight to drop it at the front of a police division.

The abandoned police van, serving as weapon store for hoodlums at Okepopo, Lagos Island. Photo Teslim Ajagbe

Another abandoned at the front of Adeniji Adele Police Division

Makoko: Residents lament short quit notice MURITALA AYINLA

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till Battling with accommodation problems, evicted residents of Iwaya/ Makoko Waterfront yesterday lamented the manner in which they were hurriedly evicted from their abodes. One of the victims, Mrs Awasu Asinji told Community Mirror how her house was reduced to rubbles by the agents of government while she was away. According to her; “I arrived 30 minutes after our house was demolished. On my way home from

the market, I had heard gunshots which gingered me to hasten my movement. Few metres to our house, I saw the military men parading the premises. “After a few minutes when they had left, I moved closer, because at that moment my major concern was my three children who were in the house when I left home. On getting to our house, I saw my three children hiding inside a boat after they had tied the anchor to one of the pillars holding the structure. It was such a pitiful sight to behold.” Another of the victims, Mrs. Janet Kiki said: “I was called on phone by my neighbours who told

me that my house had been demolished by government officials. But I could not get there one hour after they had left because they shot canisters in the air to prevent people from halting the exercise.” Meanwhile Community Mirror observed that those whose houses were not demolished on Monday, were sited removing their structures themselves while government officials were also demolishing structures whose owners were not on ground. In government’s letter of eviction dated July 12, 2012 and addressed to residents in the area, the Lagos State governments

berated residents in the area for their continued occupation of the shanties despite repeated warnings. The letter read in part: “You have continued to occupy and develop shanties, and unwholesome structures on the waterfront without authority, thereby constituting environmental nuisance, security risks, impediments to economic and gainful utilization of the water front such as navigation, entertainment, recreation, etc”. “The Lagos State Government is desirous of restoring amenity and value to the

waterfront, protect life and property, promote legitimate economic activities on the waterfront, restore security, improve water transportation and beautify the Lagos waterfront/coastline to underline the mega city status of Lagos State and has decided to clear all illegal and un-authorised developments on its waterfront and water bodies”. “Therefore, notice is hereby given to you to vacate and remove all illegal developments along the Makoko/Iwaya Waterfront within 72 hours of receipt of this notice”.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

N2.5m fraud: Ex-banker jailed five years ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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ustice Dije Aboki of the Kano State High Court has sentenced a 31-year old ex-banker, Mr. Idris Ado Zango, to five years and nine months in jail for fraud. The ex- banker who was prosecuted by the

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was however given an option of a six hundred thousand naira (N600, 000) fine. Zango of No. 133 Zango Quarters, Kano was charged with obtaining money by false pretence, criminal misappropriation and theft.

His arrest and prosecution followed a petition by his former employer, Skye Bank Plc, when it discovered that he used proxy transactions, withdrawing without a cheque, to defraud some of the bank’s customers especially those he served as account officer. Investigation showed

that Zango had lied to the bank that one Alhaji Ismaila Almajir, the bank customer, had lost his cheque booklet and applied or requested for a new one on behalf of Almajir. Having successfully obtained the new cheque book, he started withdrawing various sums

from the account. He also fraudulently took some money from the account of another Alhaji Abudullahi Nasidi. In all, he fraudulently withdrew N2, 540,000:00 from his victims’ accounts. Justice Aboki, while convicting the accused said he took into cogni-

zance his remorseful sate, coupled with the fact that he had refunded the whole amount involved in the case. The judge further said that he was comfortable with Zango because he did not waste the time of the court as he pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him by the EFCC.

Kwara distributes 250 tricycles to replace banned ‘Okada’ WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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bout 250 units of tricycles were distributed to youths by kwara State governor

Abdulfatah Ahmed being part of the state’s ‘job and wealth creation’ programme. The government had earlier in the week outlawed the activities of

commercial motorcycles in selected routes in Ilorin, the State capital hinging it on the soaring reported cases of crimes allegedly perpetrated by the operators.

Making the presentation, the governor said the programme, tagged “Keke n Maigida” is designed to ameliorate the transportation challenges occasioned by the recent

banning of commercial motorcycle operations in some parts of Ilorin metropolis by fully engaging the beneficiaries in viable economic activities that would ease transportation and generate more employment to the people. The governor described the Transportation Revitalization Scheme as another milestone of his administration. The governor gave assurances that his administration remains committed to the concept of public-private partnership that will

enhance economic empowerment of the people of the State. He charged the beneficiaries of ‘Keke n Maigidda’ to make the best use of the tricycles and keep to the repayment schedule as the scheme was a revolving one. Explaining the reasons behind the ban placed on Okada operation in some parts of Ilorin metropolis, the governor said the action was not meant to punish the people but as part of the efforts to tackle emerging security challenges in the state.


Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

“Our country is in deep trouble as we make promises, and the promises are not fulfilled” – Ex- wife of former South African President, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Taylor appeals war crimes conviction PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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iberian ex-president Charles Taylor has appealed his conviction and 50-year jail sentence for war crimes in Sierra Leone, the international court handling the case said yesterday. “Charles Taylor appeals against the judgement and the sentencing judgement... and respectfully requests that (the) appeals chamber reverse all the convictions entered against him,” said the defence request made public by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. Taylor was found guilty in April of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the 19912001 civil war in Sierre Leone, for aiding and abetting “some of the most heinous crimes in human history”. He was the first former head of state to be convicted by an international court since the Nuremberg Nazi trials in 1946. The former warlord was sentenced in May to 50 years in jail

after his conviction on 11 counts for arming Sierra Leone’s rebels in return for “blood diamonds” during the war which claimed 120,000 lives. In the appeal document, his defence said the court had made “systematic errors” in evaluating evidence, and relied on “uncorroborated hearsay evidence as the sole basis for specific incriminating findings of fact”. The prosecution, which had sought an 80-year jail term for Taylor, has also appealed, according to the court which is based outside The Hague. The court had found that Taylor was paid in diamonds mined in areas under the control of Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front rebels, who murdered, raped and mutilated their victims while forcing children to fight and keeping sex slaves. Taylor, 64, maintained his innocence during the trial which saw a number of high-profile witnesses testify including British supermodel Naomi Campbell. Liberia’s president from 1997 to 2003, Taylor was arrested in

Egypt’s former VP, Suleiman, dies at 77

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gypt’s former vice president Omar Suleiman, veteran spy chief to deposed president Hosni Mubarak, died of a heart attack on Thursday in the United States aged 77, the official MENA news agency reported. “Former vice president General Omar Suleiman died in the early hours of Thursday in a hospital in the United States,” the agency said. “He was undergoing medical tests in Cleveland,” Suleiman’s aide Hussein Kamal told AFP, adding that arrangements were being made for the return of his body to Egypt for burial. MENA quoted an Egyptian diplomat in Washington as saying Suleiman died of a sudden heart attack while undergoing medical tests. Suleiman had suffered from lung disease for several months, after which he developed heart problems, it reported. “His health deteriorated suddenly around three weeks ago and he was taken to hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, where he died,” the agency said. Suleiman was appointed vice president during the uprising

Suleiman

that toppled Mubarak. He left Egypt after a failed bid to run in the country’s first ever free presidential election in May. The winner of that election, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, sent his condolences to Suleiman’s family, his spokesman Yassir Ali said, adding that Suleiman will receive a military funeral, MENA reported. Suleiman’s nomination had infuriated the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamist-dominated parliament passed a law to exclude him and other senior former regime figures from standing in the election.

Charles Taylor listening to the judge during his sentencing hearing at the court in Leidschendam, near The Hague. Photo: Getty Images

March 2006 as he tried to flee from exile in Nigeria, after being forced to quit Liberia three years earlier under international pressure to end a civil war in his own country.

He was transferred to The Hague in 2006 amid fears that trying him in Freetown would pose a security threat. He was due to serve his sentence in a British jail.

Syria crisis: West appalled by Russia, China UN veto

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ussia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution proposing further sanctions on Syria, prompting an angry Western response. The UK, US and France said the UN had failed the people of Syria. Syrian troops have been mobilised to oust rebels from parts of Damascus, after a bomb killed three senior figures in the defence establishment. State TV has broadcast the first images of President Assad since the attack, standing with the new defence minister. The footage appeared to show Gen Fahd Jassim al-Furayj, chief of staff of the armed forces, being sworn into his new post. It was not clear where the meeting had taken place. Syrian forces have deployed tanks, artillery and helicopters in parts of the capital and clashes have been reported south-west and north-east of the city. Meanwhile, the rebels are reported to have captured a number of border posts. The mood inside the security council chamber

was acrimonious after China and Russia vetoed the resolution. Britain’s ambassador accused the two nations of protecting a brutal regime by their actions. America’s ambassador said the security council had failed utterly in the most important task on its agenda. China’s ambassador denounced what he called an uneven resolution which placed pressure on one side, while Russia’s representative claimed the resolution would have opened the path to military involvement in Syria’s affairs. Now negotiations are underway to try to extend the mandate of the UN monitoring mission in Syria which is due to expire on Friday. The mission is supposed to monitor a ceasefire and support a political process - neither of which exist. So the UK is proposing a 30 day “final” extension. Russia and China have used their vetoes twice before over Syria and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned their latest action as “inexcusable and indefensible”.

WORLD BULLETIN Google launches SMS Gmail in Africa Google has launched a text message-based version of its email service targeted at users in Africa. Gmail SMS can run on socalled “dumb phones” which only have very basic features and no access to the internet. The service has so far been made available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. Gmail SMS is the latest in a line of Google products aimed at the African market - the company is also running educational programmes in the region. The search giant describes its efforts in improving computer science training as “an important goal for Google in 2012”. It recently offered grants to 17 universities to expand its Computer Science for High School project. However lack of access to affordable hardware is still seen as a critical barrier to technology adoption across the continent. Geva Rechav, Google’s product manager for emerging markets, explained in a blog post how Gmail SMS was adapted to work by using simple text commands. “Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS,” he wrote. “Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS. “You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. “Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient - who will find your message in the right email conversation thread!”

US helicopter with five crew crashes in Oman A U.S. Navy helicopter crashed yesterday in the Gulf nation of Oman with five crew members aboard, according to the Navy. Lt. Greg Raelson, a spokesman for the Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, gave no immediate word on the fate of the crew. But an Omani air force official said three of them have been found so far and are being treated in a hospital. The official was not authorized to release the information and spoke on condition of anonymity. No hostile activity is suspected. Raelson said an investigation is under way into crash of the MH-53E Sea Dragon. He said the helicopter was assigned to a mine countermeasure squadron and was involved in heavy lift operations when it crashed 58 miles (93 kilometers) southwest of the capital Muscat.


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North

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Ramadan: Police firm up security in Kaduna A ZA MSUE, KADUNA

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olice said they had beefed up security and increased surveillance across Kaduna State ahead of Ramadan.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mallam Aminu Lawan, who said this yesterday in a telephone interview with our correspondent, called on the public to be extra vigilant.

He said the security agencies would deal decisively with anyone trying to break the law during and after the fasting. Lawan said the Police Commissioner, Mohammed Jingiri Abubakar,

had earlier met with religious leaders to ensure a hitch-free Ramadan. He said: “Kaduna State Police Command has beefed up security throughout the state. Our men are on surveil-

lance and patrol to avoid any break down of law and order. We also call on people to be more conscious of time and be extra vigilant in places of worship and their domains.”

Lawan, however, called on the public to sustain the peaceful coexistence in the state, while urging the residents to always give information that could lead to the arrest of criminals.

No Certificate of Return for new Kogi lawmaker –INEC ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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L-R: Special Adviser to Plateau State Governor on Media, Mr. Pam Ayuba, Commissioner for Information and Communication, Pastor Yiljap Abraham and Chairman, Plateau NUJ, Mr. Katdapba Gobum, at a news conference on the burial programmes for late Sen Gyang Dantong and majority leader, Plateau House of Assembly, Mr. Gyang Fulani, in Jos, yesterday.

Benue varsity teaching hospital begins operation HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he management of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital said it had recruited more than 50 consultants and other professionals nationwide to oversee various departments in the institution. The Medical Director, MD, of the hospital, Prof. Abraham Malu, who disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Makurdi yesterday, said other personnel were also engaged in different categories to ensure smooth take-off of the hospital. He also said that experts were being expected from Germany to install various machines as well as medical equipment which had been purchased for the smooth operation of the health facility. Malu also disclosed that the state House of Assembly had passed a law to enable the hospital to operate as a legal entity. He said the purpose of establishing the institution was to train students to acquire skills in medicine as well as conduct research in complicated

cases with a view to producing manpower in the area of health delivery services. The MD pointed out that already the hospital had commenced operations and that the patients were commending it for its services. He also disclosed that neighbouring states like Nasarawa, Taraba and Kogi were bringing patients to the teaching hospital for treatment. Malu also denounced insinuations that the hospital was under the Benue State University. According to him, the teaching hospital is on its own and is one of the parastatals being supervised by the state Ministry of Health. He said: “The issue of accreditation, which brought about the problem between the students and the state government... Efforts are being made to accredit the courses in the institution. The visitation team was here last week and gave assurance that it would soon be a thing of the past.” Malu commended the initiative and vision of the government for setting up the project.

he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday denied media reports that it was prepared to issue a Certificate of Return to the new member of the Kogi State House of Assembly from Olamaboro constituency, Yunusa Gabriel Olofu. The state Public Affairs Officer of INEC, Alhaji Ahmed Bagudu, made the denial while

Plateau announces state burial for Dantong, Fulani JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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lateau State Government yesterday announced a state burial for Senator Gyang Dantong and Hon. Gyang Fulani. Both lawmakers lost their lives when they were attacked by gunmen at a mass burial in Barki Ladi Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Yiljap Abraham, who made the announcement at a press conference in Jos, said Governor Jonah Jang had approved the setting up a committee each for the two legislators to plan and carry out the state burial, beginning from today. He said the state burial would begin with a valedictory session at the state House of Assembly in hon-

our of Fulani and thereafter, internment at his Rayfied residence. Senator Dantong would also be buried at his Rayfield residence. Abraham said that government decided to accord the late lawmakers a state burial in appreciation of their enormous contributions “to the democratic governance of our country, and in particular the development of our dear state”.

Immortalise Attah of Igala, senator tells govt GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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overnor Idris Wada has been advised to name the Kogi State University after the late the Attah of Igala Kingdom, Dr. Aliyu Ocheja Obaje, who was also the chairman of the State Council of Chiefs. The senator representing Kogi Sast, Senator Atai Ali Idoko, made the call in a motion he took to the Senate yesterday, although he was unable to raise the motion before the Senate ended plenary and embarked on its annual vacation. The late Obaje ascended

the throne on November 2, 1956 and reigned as the Attah for 56 years. He died on Monday 16, 2012 at the age of 102 years. In addition to the naming of the state university after the late Attah, Idoko also urged the Federal Government to name any befitting monument in honour of the late monarch for his contributions to the attainment of Nigeria’s Independence. He recalled that the late Obaje attended at least two constitutional conferences in London in the build up to Nigeria’s Independence. The late monarch was also appointed a minister without portfolio by the

late Premier of the Northern Region and Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello. In recognition of his immense contributions to national development, the Federal Government conferred on the late Attah the national honours of Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, and later Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR. The late Obaje was also a recipient of the British honour of the Commander of the British Empire, CBE. He was until his death the Chancellor, University of Lagos, UNILAG, Akoka.

briefing journalists in Lokoja. He said: “I want to clarify the issue and set the record straight that Kogi Office of INEC does not issue Certificate of Return to any candidate for that matter because it is done in Abuja. I was surprised when I saw my name in the newspaper claiming that I made such comment.” A Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja had declared Olofu as the owner of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ticket in the Olamaboro constituency in the state Assembly. Dissatisfied with the ruling, the incumbent legislator from the area, Hon. Damian Adejoh, filed an appeal against the case and was granted stay of execution, since the Federal High Court is the court of first instance. But the Assembly ignored the stay of execution order and inaugurated the new lawmaker. Meanwhile, a group, Association for Social Justice, Kogi State branch, has called on the Assembly to reverse itself on Olofu’s swearingin. A statement issued yesterday by the branch Chairman of the association, Ustaz Abubakar Yusuf, said the action of the Assembly was an affront on the constitution and the spirit of democracy. The group warned that if nothing was done within 14 days, it might seek a legal redress.

INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Friday, July 20, 2012

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No indiscriminate deployment of troops, Ihejirika warns GOCs OMEIZA AJAYI

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mid concerns about the planned military action in some villages of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, has warned top Army

commanders against indiscriminate deployment of troops. He urged them to adhere strictly to the Army’s code of ethics with regards to such action. Ihejirika, who expressed the readiness and capability of the Army to ward off both internal and external

aggression at all times, spoke yesterday at the graduation of 438 specially trained forces of Batch 5 of the Basic CounterTerrorism and CounterInsurgency Course at the Army Base Camp in Kachia, Kaduna State. “Anywhere you go, no matter the intensity of

the operation, you must remember that you are deployed to protect law-abiding citizens and critical public installations,” he told the graduands drawn from different Army formations and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC. Among the partici-

pants were 60 officers and men of the civil defence corps. Charging Army commanders to adhere strictly to the Nigerian Army Policy on the deployment of Specially Trained Forces, Ihejirika said the Army had no excuse to fail the country, having been given

so much by the Federal Government. The Army Chief also charged officers and men of the Nigerian Army and those of the NSCDC to exhibit the highest form of discipline and professionalism in the fight against organised terror and insurgency.

Dantong, Fulani died of heart attack –Minister MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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L-R: Deputy Corps, Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Bisi Kazeem; Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswan and Corps Marshal Osita Chidoka, during the governor’s procurement of driver’s licence in Abuja, yesterday.

Why Osibodu overstays –Union Bank JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he Group Managing Director of Union Bank Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, who is billed to retire in the next three to six months, has overstayed her tenure. Osibodu was appointed on August 14, 2009 following the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Union Bank and four other banks that failed a stress test on their financial health. The spokesman of the bank, Mr. Francis Barde, told National Mirror yesterday that she is the only Group Managing Director who stands out of the other rescued banks in August 2009. According to him, due to the process of injecting new capital into the bank by the core investors, she has to remain in the bank to ensure due process before handling over to the core investors. He said that as she disengages from the bank, the Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, will step in to take the bank to another

level. Emeka career with Citi Bank spans over 22 years with previous assignments as Country Officer / Country head in Cameroon where he had regional responsibility for the bank’s Central African businesses in Gabon and Congo. Prior to that, he was also City Country officer (CCO) for Citi in Tanzania, Ghana and Niger following various positions in Nigeria. He returned to Nigeria in 2005 to take up the role of CCO.

Emeka is a graduate of Finance from the University of Lagos and holds an Master of Science in Management from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. The bank on June 27 emerged most active stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as the core investor in the bank, Union Global, increased its stake by acquiring part of shares owned by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

.A turnover of 4.33 billion shares valued at N15.83bn were exchanged in 55 deals in a cross deals from AMCON, which had 19 per cent stake in the bank. According to the bank, the deal vindicated the promise by the corporation that it would realise values from its investments. The bank offered the Rights Issue of 1,407,291,667 ordinary shares to its old shareholders at a unit price of N6.81 early this year.

We’ll make air travel safe, says Jonathan ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has promised that the Federal Government would ensure a world class safe air transportation system in Nigeria. The President spoke yesterday in Abuja, through the Vice-President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, at the opening ceremony of the African Ministerial Conference on Aviation Safety in Africa. He said: “Our dream is to bequeath a lasting legacy of an effective and interna-

tionally competitive stateof-the-art air transportation infrastructure that guarantees maximum efficiency and brings the industry to globally acceptable safety and security standards.” The President disclosed that to ensure a robust and efficient domestic aviation sector, government was putting in place a single digit special intervention fund, “to grow domestic airlines and encourage high net-worth investors and indigenous companies to invest in the industry,” adding that “our commit-

ment to the ongoing transformation of the aviation sector will be holistic and far-reaching.” Jonathan challenged the African Ministers of Civil Aviation to pursue the goal of zero accidents and zero fatality in Africa, emphasising the need for effective collaboration among African countries to achieve these goals. The President added that Nigeria was committed to working with sister African countries and international stakeholders towards enhancing air safety in Africa.

he Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday said the recent attack in Jos, Plateau State, that led to the death of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Gyang Datong, and the legislator representing Barkin Ladi in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Gyang Fulani, did not directly lead to their death. He said the two lawmakers died as a result of heart-related diseases which they were suffering from before the incident. The minister gave the hint at the opening session of 55th Meeting of the National Council on Health, NCH, in Abuja. Chukwu made the disclosure while speaking on the state of the nation’s

unresponsiveness to noncommunicable diseases. He said: “We are paying greater attention to non-communicable diseases in the country. The incidences of stroke and heart attack seem to be on the rise. Even the recent deaths we have witnessed (in the country) even in Jos, especially the top politicians that were involved, had nothing to do with the actual gunshots; but while they were running because they already had underlying heart disease; that was the problem. Autopsy has been done and concluded.” He noted that the diseases “are on the rise” in the country and affect largely breadwinners of families, promising that government was strengthening efforts in putting necessary facilities in place to stem the tide.

Terrorism: Ndume begs court to release his passport ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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Federal High Court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole in Abuja yesterday fixed July 24 for ruling on a request by Senator Mohammed Aliyu Ndume for an order directing the court’s Chief Registrar to release his international passport for foreign trip. The lawmaker is asking the court to release the document to enable him observe his annual medical check-up in Jeddah and perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Ndume is standing trial before the court on alleged involvement in terrorismrelated offence. But the prosecution kicked against the request on the account that allow-

ing him to travel would affect national security and jeopardise justice in the case. In an application, his lead counsel, Mr. Segun Jolaowo, said that his client did not intend to put his life in jeopardy by wanting to use any hospital in the country. He said: “We all know the state of our nation’s medical facilities; that is why he wants to travel abroad for medical attention, as well perform his religious obligation in Saudi Arabia.” The lawyer also told the court that the senator had always appeared for his trial and had never flouted any of the conditions attached to his bail and that he would promptly return his international passport to the court, on his return.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Justice Victor Ovie Whisky J

ustice Victor Ovie-Whisky was born on April 6, 1924. He was appointed the chairman of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission, FEDECO during the Nigerian Second Republic in 1980. He held the office from 1980 to 1983. He died in his country home of Agbarho, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, on Wednesday July 18, 2012 after a protracted illness at the age of 88. It was reported that he had been unwell since April 2009, considering an announcement made by the Ijaw Monitoring Group. The group had announced that Ovie-Whisky was in poor health and his condition required urgent attention from the Delta State Government. Ovie-Whiskey attended King’s College, Lagos, Yaba Higher College and University College, Ibadan (now University of Ibadan). He worked as a clerk and for a short period as a teacher, before being admitted to study Law at the University of London. He was called to the Bar in 1952. He practiced as a lawyer until 1960 when he became a magistrate in Western Region. In 1963, he was appointed chief magistrate of the newly formed Mid-Western Region, renamed Bendel State in 1976. He was serving as the Chief Judge of Bendel State when he was appointed by President Shehu Shagari as the chairman of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission, FEDECO.

Despite that he was seen as upright and non-partisan judge, the general elections of 1983 were marred by widespread irregularities and the electoral officials were accused of rigging the results in favor of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN. Amidst the electoral turbulence at the time, Ovie-Whisky declared that he was largely satisfied with the electoral process in 1983, but added that: “We did not expect to be perfect” as he denied any wrongdoing. On speculations that he collected a bribe of N1 million from the NPN, the FEDECO boss quipped that he would faint if he saw N1 million cash. While commenting on his death, ex-president, Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Thompson Okpoko described Ovie Whisky as a perfect gentleman who tried his best during his days as FEDECO boss and in legal practice in general. Chief Thompson described late Ovie-Whisky as a man of principle, saying apart from his contributions at the national level, he did not leave his local community unattended to. Ovie-Whiskey was said to be a pillar of support for his community on all development issues, just as he was helpful in resolution of disputes for the people. According to the President-General, Agbarho Progressive Union, Brig. Gen. Dominic Oneya (rtd.), the people of Agbarho community looked up to him and he was always there for them in spite of his age, saying his death will be a great loss to the community.

Attah of Igala, Alhaji Ocheja Aliyu Obaje

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lhaji Aliyu Obaje was the longest serving Attah of Igala; the highest-ranked traditional throne within the Igala ethnic group. He died on Monday, July 16, 2012 at the age of 102. Born in the year 1920, HRM Obaje was the youngest person ever to be installed as Attah of Igala as he ascended the throne at the age of 36. He served as monarch of Igala kingdom for over five decades, making him one of the longest serving monarchs in the country. HRM Obaje, until his death, was the chairman of the Kogi State Council of Traditional Chiefs. He was a household name among the Igalas and indeed the majority of Nigerians. He held Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR. He was appointed a minister without Portfolio by the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello in the First Republic. He was also a member of two Constitutional Conferences in London in the build-up to Nigeria’s independence in 1957 and 1959. He became legally recognized as first class monarch in 1967 after which he was converted to Islam. He lived out the convictions of his soul to the full. The Kogi State government, while announcing his

death, said the late Attah was renowned for his quiet, but effective administration of the traditional institution in Kogi State and for his humble and humane disposition to the affairs of his people. The state government stated further that the late Attah of Igala, whom was highly revered by his people, enjoyed widespread relationships in various parts of Nigeria. The late monarch is survived by his widows and many children, among who is Chief Abdullahi Obaje, a National Ex-Officio member of the Peoples Democratic Party. He was buried on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in his hometown, Idah, Kogi State, amid eulogies. While commiserating with the family of the late monarch, President Goodluck Jonathan said he believes that Dr. Obaje’s long and eventful stewardship of the traditional affairs of the Igala people and his contributions to the social and political development of Kogi State have ensured that in passing on, he leaves behind notable and worthy legacies for his successors to build on. The president urged his family, the people of Igala Kingdom and Kogi State to give thanks to God Almighty for blessing them with revered traditional ruler with uncommon longevity, as well as a lengthy and successful reign.

Alhaja Sikirat Abeje Ajimobi Claudius Opeseitan

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lhaja Sikirat Abeje Ajimobi died on Wednesday July 18, 2012 at the age of 85. She died in her home in Ibadan after a brief illness. She was the mother of the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi. During her lifetime, Alhaja Sikirat was a prominent trader, a devout Muslim and a community leader. According to a statement issued by the Media Adviser to the Oyo State Governor, Festus Adedayo, the deceased is survived by nine children, including Governor Ajimobi. She was buried yesterday at her husband’s house located on Johnson Awe Street, Apata, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

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hief Claudius Taiwo Opeseitan is dead. He was the Risa of Odogbo in Ilesa, Osun State. He was born in 1936. According to the burial arrangement, the Christian wake keep will take place by 5:00pm on Friday, July 27, 2012 at G.98, Isare Street, Ilesa, Osun State, while the funeral service holds on Saturday, July 28 at Methodist Church, Ilofin, Ilesa. Interment follows immediately at church cementery, Okejigba, Ilesa. Reception will hold at St. Margaret Grammar School, Oke Oye, Ilesa by 2:00pm.


Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

My preparation for London Olympics has been tough, but it has put me in competitive mood

Nadal pulls out of title defence

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- NIGERIAN TAEKWONDO STAR, CHIKA CHUKWUMERIJE

CAS frees Bin Hammam, FIFA says ‘no’

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Super Eagles’ players celebrating a goal scored during the Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda in Calabar on June 16

AFCON ticket: Keshi seeks Liberia tapes …may drop Lawal

IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, has tasked the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to furnish him with the match tapes of the Lone Star of Liberia, Eagles’ opponent in the final rounds of the 2013 South Africa Nations Cup qualifiers. Keshi told National Mirror yesterday that he was gathering facts on Liberia and hence his urgent need to study the tapes of previous matches of the Lone Star with a view to plotting their defeat. The Nigeria coach led a full team of home-based Eagles to beat Liberia 2-0 in an international friendly in Monrovia last February and is demanding the recorded tape of the game. Two goals from Warri Wolves star, Sunday Mbah, ensured an emphatic victory for the Super Eagles in that game. Nigeria will engage its West African neighbour in a two-legged tie in September in a winner takes all encounters for the AFCON ticket. Meanwhile, Keshi may drop Raheem Lawal if he fails to resolve his club future before the qualifier against Liberia in September. The 22-year-old highly-rated midfielder has fallen out with his Spanish club, Atletico Baleares, to the extent that he has refused to join them

for pre-season training. MTNFootball.com reports that Keshi has now told the former Eco FC of Lagos player in clear terms that he has to sort out his club problems before he could be invited for future national team engagements. “Lawal has refused to train since he returned to Spain be-

cause of the problem he has with his club. And he has been keeping Keshi abreast of developments. But Keshi has told him that he needs to be playing for a club for him to be invited to the Super Eagles again,” a source told MTNFootball.com. Lawal’s face-off with Baleares started after he absconded

from the club and flew to Nigeria for the World Cup qualifier against Namibia on June 3 in Calabar. He arrived the Eagles’ camp late and was not featured, but made substitute appearances in the Eagles subsequent games against Malawi and Rwanda. Although he has three years to go on his Baleares contract, Lawal has until August 31 to find a new club.

F/Eagles face Rwanda in AYC tune-up

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igeria’s Flying Eagles will go up against their Rwanda counterparts, the Junior Wasps in a friendly on July 24 in Kigali. The match against Rwanda is part of the Flying Eagles’ preparation for the 2013 Africa Youth Championship qualifier against Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Heroes on July 28 in Dares Salaam. Junior Wasps have already beaten the Ngorongoro Heroes twice in friendly games on Saturday and Monday by 2-0 and 2-1 respectively. The Rwandans are using the test game against Nigeria to prepare for their AYC qualifier against Mali on July 28. Flying Eagles are expected to leave the for Kigali on Monday

before flying into Dares Salaam for the AYC qualifier. Algeria is the hosts of the 2013 AYC and seven teams

are expected to reach the championship next year after two-legged games are concluded in August.

ormer FIFA presidential candidate, Mohamed Bin Hammam, has won his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a life ban from all soccer-related activity over bribery allegations. However, CAS ruled yesterday that the decision did not amount to an “affirmative finding of innocence” for Bin Hammam, saying that FIFA’s investigation had not been thorough enough, and that the case could be re-opened with new evidence. In reaction, FIFA said it noted the outcome “with concern” and that Bin Hammam “remains suspended” while Bin Hammam said that he wanted to retire from football, saying he had seen “the ugly face” of the sport in the last year. Qatari Bin Hammam remains suspended after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which he previously headed, opened a disciplinary case against him over alleged financial wrongdoing earlier this week. He was banned for 30 days, which was extended to a worldwide ban by FIFA on Wednesday. “The CAS has upheld Bin Hammam’s appeal, annulled the decision rendered by the FIFA Appeal Committee and lifted the life ban imposed on Mr. Bin Hammam,” the CAS statement read. Bin Hammam, a former member of FIFA’s executive committee, challenged Sepp Blatter for the presidency last year. He withdrew his candidacy, and was then provisionally suspended, days before the June election over allegations that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40 000 each in brown envelopes at a meeting in Port of Spain. CAS said the three-man panel voted 2-1 in Bin Hammam’s favour but added that his behaviour was “not of the highest ethical standard.”

NSF: Lagos screens soccer teams

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he Lagos State Football Association (LASFA) says the screening of players for its male and female teams for the 18th National Sports Festival in November is in progress. Chairman, Technical Committee of the association, Dotun Coker, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that the state’s final teams to the festival would emerge by the end of October. Coker said the male “Eko” team had been pruned to 35

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players from the hundreds that started the exercise a month ago. He said, however, that the 143 players struggling for shirts in the female team had yet to be reduced. “The final Eko football teams that will feature in the festival will comprise 18 players in both categories. We are continuing with our training and screening until the best that will represent the state and excel, since we are hosting, emerge,” he said.

Bin Hammam


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Friday, July 20, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Doregos commits to sports

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L-R Members of the Nigerian Sports Awards panel, Kayode Idowu, Ikeddy Isiguzo and Ejiro Omonode at the panel’s inauguration in Lagos yesterday PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

Sports Awards seeks new ground AFOLABI GAMBARI

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rganisers of the maiden Nigerian Sports Awards (NSA) have said the recipients will be worthy of the prizes in view of their resolve to set new standards. Chairman of the Awards Panel, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo, who made this pledge in Lagos yesterday, said Nigeria’s attainment in world sports over the years had suggested according worthy ambassadors their due. “We are driven by our achievements and the toil that

was attached and we feel it’s time we critically look into what individuals and corporate bodies have exerted in this regard and compensate them adequately,” Isiguzo, who is also Chairman, Editorial Board of Vanguard Newspapers, said. “The panel will also ensure that awards are not given just for the sake of it. Therefore, should we find any individual in any sport undeserving of an award in a category, we will not hesitate to skip such category because our main desire is to set standards for wouldbe winners to adhere to,” he added.

Among the categories to be competed for include track & field, football, team of the year, life time achievement, coach of the year, sports federation of the year and administrator of the year. Other members of the panel for the awards whose ceremony has been scheduled for November 29 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos are veteran journalists Fabio Olanipekun, Ejiro Omonode and Felix Awogu, former athlete Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo, Lagos SWAN Chairman, Fred Edoreh and Tade Adekunle while Kayode Idowu will be the secretary.

Japan 2012: Ordega recovers, back in camp AFOLABI GAMBARI

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alconets forward, Francisca Ordega, returned to training yesterday after team doctors certified her fit. According to spokesperson of the team, Ejiro Femi Babafemi, the striker cupped the injury shortly before the Falconets reported to camp on July 1. “The whole team is happy to have Fransisca back in action and it’s a boost to our preparation for the Japan World Cup,” Babafemi told National Mirror yesterday.

“On the whole, I think the mood in camp is high and we hope this can continue till we are finally set for Equatorial Guinea.” Ordega was part of the Nigerian side that was knocked out by Korea Republic in the quarter final of the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago. She is also Falconets’ leading scorer during the Africa qualifying series for the impending FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan with four goals. Nigeria will play Korea Republic in its opening game on August 19 in Saitama.

Ameobi targets top spot

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ewcastle striker, Shola Ameobi, has made it clear to manager Alan Pardew that he wants to fight for his spot on the team. The 30-year old striker, who has been at the club his entire career apart from a loan spell with Stoke City in 2008, is still keen to work hard for games despite the Magpies having Demba Ba and Papiss

Cisse whilst being heavily linked with a return for Andy Carroll. “I’m sure Alan is trying to bring more players in to get the competition for places and I’m sure that’ll make the team stronger,” Ameobi said yesterday. “But I’ve said to the manager I want to fight for my place again. He knows that and expects me to do that.”

Fransisca Ordega

ports philanthropist, Mrs. Clemetina Doregos, has pledged to continue with sports sponsorship through her foundation Clementina Abeke Doregos Foundation (CADFOD). Doregos, who made the pledge during the activities making her 65th birthday and launching of her biography “Clementina Abeke Doregos: A Woman of Destiny”, said Nigerian youths deserved attention that would put them on useful stead to improve the society. “The youths are our future and nothing must be spared to encourage them at all times,” Doregos said, stressing, “I will remain committed to sponsoring the Abesan youth football and basketball tournaments.”

A former quarter miler who represented the University of Ife at the West Africa University Games (WAUG) in the 70s, Doregos appealed to Team Nigeria at the London Olympics to shun the use of drugs in the pursuit of excellence.

Doregos

King succumbs to injury

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ottenham captain, Ledley King, yesterday finally announced his retirement from active football after battling chronic knee problems for several years. King, who was regarded as one of the most naturally gifted English defenders of his generation, has been unable to completely recover from a series of knee injuries that ravaged his career and stopped him fulfilling his vast potential. The problems made it impossible for the centre-back to train regularly and drastically reduced the number of games he was able to play each season. The 31-yearold admitted the decision to quit was tough but, after spending his entire career at the club, he could not consider playing on elsewhere. “I would like to say thank you to everyone at the club and to the fans,”King, who will however remain involved with Tottenham as a club ambassador, said. “Sadly my injuries and inability to train have now finally brought an end to my career,” he lamented. Ledley King

London-born King came through the youth ranks at Spurs before stepping up to the first team in 1998. He made 268 appearances for Tottenham but his only major silverware came in 2008 with victory over Chelsea in the League Cup final. He also won 21 caps for England, making his debut against Italy in 2002 and appearing at Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

7 TODAYS GO

JULY 27 - AUGUST 12, 2012

Sturridge awaits verdict

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reat Britain and Chelsea striker, Daniel Sturridge, will discover after today’s friendly against Brazil if his Olympic dream has been shattered by a meningitis scare. Sturridge has only just returned to training after being diagnosed with viral meningitis and remains a doubt for the Olympic football tournament, which starts for Team GB against Senegal at Old Trafford on July 26. The 22-year-old is expected to play some part against Brazil and manager Stuart Pearce will decide after the match at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium whether or not to keep Sturridge in his squad. “He looks very good, to be fair. Obviously, we are hoping to play him in some part of the game tomorrow, and really make a final judgment call at that stage. But everything we have asked of him at the moment, he’s done. He’s come through that okay,” Pearce said. After facing Senegal, Team GB’s two other group-stage fixtures are against the United Arab Emirates at Wembley on July 29 and Uruguay at Cardiff ’s Millennium Stadium on August 1

Sturridge

Sport

Friday, July 20, 2012

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Nadal pulls out of title defence

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efending Olympic tennis gold medallist, Rafael Nadal, has pulled out of London 2012, saying he is “not in condition” to compete. BBC Sport reports that the 26-year-old is suffering from tendinitis of the knee and will be unable to defend the singles title he won in Beijing in 2008. “I do not find myself in a condition to compete. It is one of the saddest moments of my career,” he said. The Spanish 11-time Grand Slam winner was expected to carry his nation’s flag during the opening ceremony in London on July 27. Nadal, ranked third in the world, became the first top-five male to win the Olympic singles when he beat Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez in the final four years ago. “I am not able to compete at the Olympics in London and therefore will not be travelling as planned with the Spanish delegation,” he said in a statement on the Spanish federation (RFET) website. “I have to think about my colleagues. I cannot be selfish and I have to think of the good of Span- Nadal reacting after a good shot in a recent game ish sport, especially Spanish tenThe two-time Wimbledon nis, and let a team-mate who is problems, with tendinitis rulbetter prepared to compete. I’ve ing him out for much of the champion has not competed waited until the final moment of 2009 season and more recently since his second-round exit at my preparation and my training, forcing him to withdraw from the All England Club in June, a charity match against Novak where he lost to then-world but I cannot do it.” number 100, Lukas Rosol, in five Nadal has a history of knee Djokovic.

sets. He will be hoping the prolonged break will increase his chances of being fit for the US Open, which begins on August 27.

NOC to open Wazobia centre July 27

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he Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) said yesterday that the Wazobia Lounge at the Africa Village in London would serve as a relaxation centre for Nigerians during the Olympic Games. Chairman, Marketing Committee of the NOC, Mr. Patrick Ukah, told newsmen in Lagos that the lounge would be inaugurated on July 27 in Kensington Garden, London. “The lounge is going to be in the African Village in London, but it would serve as the main fun centre and official Games Park for Nigerians in London. It would be used as a meeting point and a relaxation centre for Nigerians during the London Olympics,” he said. Ukah added, “We are going to use that platform to showcase our culture, and also change the bad orientation the world has about Nigeria.” The NOC marketer added that the relaxation facility would also serve as a press centre to give Nigerians timely information about athletes’ performance at the Games. “We are going to use the

lounge as a press centre. So, through the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Africa Independent Television (AIT) and other channels, Nigerians at home can access the happenings at the Games,” he said, adding that Nigerian ar-

tistes such as Eldee, Naeto C, Omawunmi and others would entertain at the place. A maximum of five hours daily would be dedicated to the Olympic highlights, including interview sessions with Nigerian athletes and artistes.

He commended the official partners, First Bank Nigeria PLC, Mr. Bigg’s, National Gallery of Art, International Energy Insurance (IEI) and Promasidor Nigeria Ltd, for making the Olympic dream a reality.

Nigeria’s absence from football normal –Dosu

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member of the gold winning U-23 football squad at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Joseph Dosu, says the country’s football is currently undergoing a transition. Dosu, who was the first choice goalkeeper of the Dream Team I, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that the absence of the country’s U-23 team from the 2012 Olympics was simply a symptom of the ongoing process. He added that the team’s absence from the Games should spur the country’s football authorities to ensure that an enduring structure was instituted at the end of the process. The Olympian stated that the absence of the U-23 team would not prevent him from watching

the highlights on television and urged fans to support other African teams featuring in the football event. “I think the best we can do now is to ensure that we give our total support to other African teams participating in the Olympics to win the medals for us; even though our team

Dosu

is not there. “That we did not qualify does not mean we are a bunch of losers; it only pushes us to work harder in order to achieve our aim, which is to dominate football in Africa and the world at large,” he said. Dosu described the current development in the country’s football itinerary as a normal experience in the sport, which was needed to reposition it for better performance. “In football and life in general, there are times that you go through a low period which can be likened to diminishing return. Take for instance; the Egyptian national football team that dominated African football for more than a decade, they are currently experiencing a downward slide in their football, which is normal.”


WORLD RECORD

Most sparsely populated country

Vol. 02 No. 408

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Friday, July 20, 2012

End of the Edo ‘Armageddon’

t last, the July 14, 2012 Edo State governorship election, dubbed as a make or mar project by keen observers, has come and gone without any major report of violence. The hype accorded possible fatal clashes during the poll was feverish, particularly following the May 4 assassination of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s Principal Private Secretary, the late Mr. Oyerinde Olaitan; the governor’s close shave with death in a purportedly suspicious convoy accident that claimed the lives of three newsmen on April 28; and the June 28 reported gun attack by suspected political thugs on Ohiomhole’s convoy after the latter’s visit to the Enogie of Usen. The massive deployment of troops in the state as well as the tough talks and grandstanding by the governor and his closest rival, Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); among others, contributed to the intense apprehension of an election that would be marked by tears and blood.

FRIDAYS WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) However, the poll, perhaps fortuitously, was concluded without the much predicted violent earthquake. The greatest surprise of the poll, for this writer, was how Edo PDP big wigs fell like a pack of cards before the feet of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state. Reports indicated that the leader of the party and former Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih; the PDP governorship candidate, Airvhiavbere himself; Airhiavbere’s running mate, Johnson Abolagba; the Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe; and the Edo PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Osi Orbih; the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; the senator representing Edo Central (PDP), Odion Ugbesia and the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, all lost their respective polling units to the ACN. This sounds incredible! Yet it is real. It is no puzzle; therefore, that Oshiomhole has been assailed with a hail of congratulatory messages for his victory, including those from some key PDP personalities in government, like the Senate President, David Mark; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; as well as former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. It does appear, however, that Airhiavbere, as at early in the week, had not come to terms with what struck him. Like the measured acceptance of defeat announced by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh; Ahiavbere sounded economical in conceding victory to Oshiomhole. He was quoted as saying: “I have heard the result … I won’t

hief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), Mr. Jonathan Mashingaidze, was yesterday arrested and questioned by Police after his predecessor Ms. Henrietta Rushwaya reported him for criminal

THE INHERENT FEAR IS THAT THE FEAT COULD BE REPEATED IN SECTIONS OF THE

COUNTRY IN THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS FOR THE SAME

REASONS EDO PEOPLE TREATED THE PDP LIKE A LEPER LAST

SATURDAY

fully comment on the election… It could have been easy to congratulate him but…” But notwithstanding the embarrassment and nostalgia that attend defeat or failure, it seems that Edo people spoke in plain language, perhaps based on their assessment of the eight-year, two-term rule of former Governor Lucky Igbinedion and the brief period Prof. Oserhiemen Aigberaodion Osunbor, Igbinedion’s immdeiate successor, both of the PDP - governed the state, vis-à-vis the first four-year period of Oshiomhole’s service to the state as the governor. It is my personal impression that the real target of the defeat was not Airhiavbere as a person, but the PDP for its past

lackluster performance. The inherent fear is that the feat could still be repeated in sections of the country in the 2015 general elections for the same reasons Edo people treated the PDP like a leper last Saturday. Worse still, such loss might even be nationwide in 2015 if the opposition forms a formidable coalition, should the PDP continue to wallow in illusory achievements while the nation remained grief-stricken and stay glued to glaring deficits in virtually all aspects of democratic governance since 1999. Therefore, the best option for the PDP seems resident in learning the harsh lesson of humiliation, not begrudging its helpless predicament in Edo State. The party and Airhiavbere should err cautiously on pressures from sycophants who are likely to come in form of lawyers and party stalwarts, and who might come up with convincing litigation counselling for very self-serving and usually pecuniary reasons. Such litigations, in the past, ruined many states financially as incumbents recklessly deployed state funds to defend their seats. With the election now over, the tensed situation that trailed the Edo electioneering campaigns should be relaxed, not stoked by court processes that would inflame ill passions and acrimony. For, all the PDP big wigs who kissed the dust in their various domains couldn’t have lost so monumentally by mere accident. Accepting failure makes a greater meaning when the victim appreciates the other side of life and resolves to make amends where necessary. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agencies and numerous others who kept their heads high despite the tensed political atmosphere in Edo State formed part of the huge success of the poll and deserved commendation. For his part, Oshiomhole should be magnanimous in victory and must not indulge in the usual ‘I-don’t- care’ and winner-takes-all disposition to victory that often trigger bitterness in the country. The victory was facilitated by Edo people’s firm commitment to enthroning good governance. Whether in the ACN or the opposition, what the people deserve from Oshiomhole is good governance, backed by visible rewards for the pains they have taken.

Sport Extra

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The most sparsely populated sovereign country is Mongolia, with a population of 3,133,318 (2011) in an area of 1,564,160 km² (603,930 miles²), giving a density of 2 people to every 1 km² (5.19 people to every 1 mile²).

Defamation: Police arrest ZIFA boss Mashingaidze defamation, but he was later released. Reports said that Mashingaidze had left the Harare Magistrates’ Court where he was a witness in his alleged abduction case when

he was picked up by detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department. Rushwaya had earlier filed the complaint after media reports quoted Mashingaidze on June 12 as saying

that two Warriors’playersOvidy Karuru and Knowledge Musona-had been seen leaving her office the night before the national team hosted Burundi in an Afcon 2013 qualifier, suggesting

that Rushwaya had asked the players to throw the match which Warriors later won 1-0, Musona netting the goal although Rushwaya and the players denied holding a meeting.

Jonathan Mashingaidze

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Friday, July 20, 2012