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Nigeria, S’Africa, Kenya top –KPMG fraud cases in Africa P.11 Telecoms firms shun NCC on promos JOHNSON OKANLAWON (WITH AGENCY REPORT)

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igeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa make up 74

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per cent of all fraud cases reported in Africa, KPMG has said in a report released yesterday. According to the Africa Fraud Barometer prepared by KPMG, a global

network of professional firms providing audit, advisory and tax services, while fewer cases of fraud are reported in South Africa, the overall value of CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Protesters force UN to suspend Bakassi demarcation P.11

Ban Ki-Moon

Friday, November 23, 2012

Excess Crude Account:

FG, governors’ peace talks collapse again ...as Supreme Court adjourns suit till 2013

N150 ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he peace talks between the 36 state governors and the Federal Government aimed at resolving an ongoing litigation over maintenance of Excess Crude Account, ECA, and the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF, have again collapsed. The governors told the Supreme Court yesterday that the Federal Government was not sincere about the proposed out-of-court settlement and requested

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Lagos raises N80bn bond for infrastructure

Tribunal declares PDP winner of Agbado/Okeodo LCDA, orders rerun in Yaba P.7, 8

Fashola

Contracts: Reps, minister disagree over bribery allegation Lawmakers grill Works Minister over bad roads

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L-R: Director, Marketing and Innovation, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Austin Ufomba; Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr. Seni Adetu; Commercial Director, Ms Lisa Nicholas and First Vice-President, Nigeria Football Federation, Chief Mike Umeh, at the launch of ‘Fly with the Eagles’ campaign, in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

How we foiled terrorist attacks –Army, police

Four die as violence erupts in Kano

Gunmen kill SSS officer’s children

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Kwankwaso

Marriot plans new luxury hotel for Lagos

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Heads of government of member-countries at the Eighth D-8 Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, yesterday with President Goodluck Jonathan (6th left).

How we foiled terrorist attacks –Army, police OMEIZA AJAYI AND INUSA NDAHI

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ecurity agents yesterday said that they had foiled several planned terrorist attacks on the country in the past few days. They, however, confirmed that they had to allow some of the suspected terrorists to escape to avoid what they described as “high collateral damage”. Both the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, told journalists in Abuja that the Joint Task Force, JTF, acted on intelligence reports to achieve the results. He said: “Gone are the days when we take actions without calculating their consequences. “Certain terrorists have also been allowed to escape

just because the collateral damage was considered unacceptable.” Ihejirika, who was at the Force Headquarters on a courtesy call on the IGP, added that the development was as a result of the inter-agency collaboration between the military, the police, the State Security Service, SSS, and other sister security agencies in the country. “Within the last one week, we have recovered nothing less than 30 different sorts of weapons. “We have recovered money hidden in the engine compartment of vehicles by these terrorists. We have recovered both vehicles prepared for bombing and attacks. So, I want to tell you that the military and police are very professional. He also debunked allegations that the military was molesting civilians in the

troubled parts of the country while fielding questions from journalists. He said: “That the issue of allegation about the killing of innocent citizens has resurfaced here. No well meaning citizen of any nation should tolerate any harm on innocent citizens. The military, the Army in particular, our primary job is to protect innocent citizens. He said this is what is inculcated in the mind of every officer and soldier, right from the recruiting stage. Ihejirika stated: “Let me emphasise that we go at length to ensure protection of innocents through lectures and press releases in collaboration with the International Red Cross. “If you go to any of our training schools, you will confirm that this is true. “To react to the recent allegation, perhaps you may

not be aware of the recent rebuttal through various press releases by the JTF in Maiduguri and later by the public relations units of the Nigerian Defence and the Army Headquarters. “What we do as soon as we receive any complaints of such allegations is to quickly carry out an investigation. In a very recent case which came just after some allegations by Amnesty International and making reference to the video which some of you have come across; on careful examination of those clips, we discovered that the same video clip was shown sometime in 2009. “In the video clip, you would see one man in babariga dress and other civilians there directing those in uniform on what to do. “It was also discovered that a picture taken from

that same video clip was used by Amnesty International, several weeks earlier as the cover page of their report. “But the latest clip was shown by Reuters and when we discovered it, we wrote our observations and they quickly removed the clip from their website. “But I am aware also that the Nigerian Defence Public Relations Department has asked for apology. At the conclusion of the election in 2011, you are aware that there was crisis in certain parts of the country and I also received an allegation by one lawyer that innocent citizens were being manhandled by the military and the man supported these allegations with some pictures. “On examination of that particular picture attached, we found out that the uniform men that those people

PHOTO: NAN

purported to be members of the Nigerian Armed forces wore uniforms being worn in some French speaking countries. We made the analysis and we wrote back to the lawyer to point out several things. Of course he did not even write back.” The army chief, however, pointed out that the use of GSM and internet has made communication easy and that any member of the public that comes across a situation where an innocent person is being manhandled by the military, police or any other security agency for that matter, they only need to make a phone call and report “and there will be immediate intervention.” According to him, however, “this is not to say there are not occasional overreactions by some people CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

FG, governors’ peace talks collapse again CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

for a hearing date to thrash the legal issues involved on their merits. The parties were expected to report to the Supreme Court yesterday but could not do so because no agreement has been reached. The Federal Government through its counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) told the court that they were yet to agree on the terms of settlement. He, therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable them reach a concrete and en-

during settlement. However, the state governments through their lead counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) told the apex court that they want it to adjudicate on the matter since the parties have not been able to come up with an amicable solution. Olanipekun had earlier told the court that the matter in contention is political and that the court should give the parties more time to explore further solutions. In his response, Awomolo had insisted that the

matter before the court is a constitutional one and not political. He prayed the court to hear and give a definite pronouncement on the suit which has been pending since 1998. Subsequently, the apex court fixed May 9, 2013 for report of settlement. The governors had dragged the Federal Government before the court over plans to transfer $1bn from the Excess Crude Account to a new account to be known as the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The apex court had ordered the parties to out of court and come back with the report. At the last adjourned date, counsel to the Federal Government, Austin Alegeh (SAN) told the court that the plaintiffs had just submitted additional terms of settlement and that he would need time to study and respond to them. Though the case was filed by the 36 states governors in 2008, the Federal Government however approached the court pleading for time to allow the

parties explore amicable resolution of the case through negotiation. The plaintiffs had in their consolidated suit prayed the apex court for an order restraining the Federal Government from making any withdrawals whatsoever from the account styled the Excess Crude Account (or any account replacing same by any name howsoever) pending the hearing and determination of a subsisting suit. The Federal Government in its defence, had accused the states of mis-

chief because they took part in the deliberation of the National Economic Council, NEC, where the decision to transfer the $1bn from the ECA to the SWF was taken. It added that the states had also been receiving their shares from the money and accused them of insincerity. But the states insisted that they had shared only the legitimate funds deposited in the Federation Account and not from the funds illegally deposited in the Excess Crude Account.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, November 23, 2012

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Friday, November 23, 2012

L-R: President, the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe; Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Education, Prof. Adedibu Abass; representative of the Minister of Education, Emeritus Prof. Umaru Shehu; Chairman, Advisory Board for Science, Mr. Babs; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NLNG, Mr. Basheer Koko; Deputy MD, NLNG, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo and Chairman, Advisory Board for Literature, Prof. Awale Maduemezia, at the Science Stakeholders’ Engagement Forum in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: President, World Gastroenterology, Prof. Henry Cohen; Chief Medical Director, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Dr. Thomas U. Agan; Cross River State Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham and President, Africa-Middle East Association of Gastroenterology Association Congress, Prof. Hussein Abdel-Hamid, at the opening of AMAGE congress in Calabar, yesterday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Strategy and Perception Manager, Abuja Bureau, National Mirror newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Adeosun; Assistant Editor, Business, Mr. Tola Akinmutimi and Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, during a visit of Abuja Bureau management of National Mirror to the NUC in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Head, Planning Committee, Champions Youth Development Association of Nigeria, Mr. Adedapo Ibukun; Trustee, Ms Lynda Nweke and President, Mr. Umar Ismail, during the association’s working visit to National Mirror headquarters in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

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D-8 must empower private sector to boost economic growth –Jonathan ROTIMI FADEYI, ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that the focus of the D-8 should be to empower the private sector to be the driving force propelling programmes, activities and the economy of member countries. Jonathan spoke in Islamabad, Pakistan while handing over the baton of leadership of the group of developing countries, D-8, to the President of Pakistan, Asif Zardari. He said he believed this was the right step to take because it reflected the shared vision of the countries to limit the role of government in the day-to-day activities of the D-8 to merely that of catalysts and enablers of economy and trade. Jonathan, who was the chairman of the organisation for two years, said: “Throughout Nigeria’s stewardship, we were guided by the vision to nurture our organisation in a way that will empower the private sector in our countries to be the driving force pro-

•As Nigeria woos Pakistani investors

pelling our various programmes and activities. “I believe this is the right road to take, because it reflects our shared vision to limit the role of governments in the day-today activities of the D-8 to merely that of catalysts and enablers of economic and trade cooperation among our various countries.” While speaking on some of the notable achievements under his leadership, Jonathan said they included the entry into force of the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement in August 2011; the Multi-lateral Agreement among D-8 Countries on Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters, which came into force last October. According to him, the Agreement of Simplification of Visa Procedures for Businessmen of the D-8 Member States, which had been ratified much earlier, was also one of the three main agreements pivotal to trade promotion and cooperation among D-8 countries. According to him, the rat-

ification of the agreements by almost all member states showed the faith they had in the D-8 as a viable platform for fostering economic and trade relations among various countries. He said: “It is worth recalling that the Abuja Declaration of 2010 directed the Commission to finalise work on the draft D-8 Charter, the Statutory Documents and the Global Vision. The conclusion of work on these core documents remains one of the major accomplishments of our organisation in the last two years. “Undoubtedly, the adoption of these documents here in Islamabad will be a fitting tribute to the vision and aspirations of the founders of our organisation.” Jonathan said he was happy to report that in the past two years, D-8 member countries gave strong support to the Nigerian Chair, stressing that members were always ready to help remove obstacles and carry forward the D-8’s strategic

vision. “From what I have seen and observed, from the commitment of member countries, I can say with confidence that the future of the D-8 is bright and solid. Of course, this is not to say that the road ahead is all smooth and without bends, bumps and twists; far from it. The advantage the D-8 has is that it is a voluntary organisation of like-minded countries with a shared vision to work together for the benefit of all”.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, has said Pakistani authorities had agreed to collaborate with Nigeria in the areas of sugar production, textile and the financing of Small and Medium Scales Enterprises. Aganga, who is among the Nigerian delegation to Pakistan, noted that the agreement was reached during a meeting he had with his Pakistani counterpart, Munir Qureshi, and the deputy governor of the country’s central bank, Kazi

Muktadir He said: “There are four areas we have agreed to work together. One area is the financing of SMEs. They have a system here; they use mobile phones and it has worked well and where they share risk and profit with SMEs of the country. It has been found to be successful in some areas. We are looking at how that can be applied to Nigeria quickly because we have a very big SMEs sector. That is the sector that drives economic growth and job creation”.

Senate committee queries partial handover of Lagos Airport OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Senate Committee on Aviation yesterday visited various project sites at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos and expressed dissatisfaction over the level of work done so far by the ministry. The committee Chairman, Senator Hope Uzodinma led members to Lagos while the Permanent Secretary, Miss Ann Ene-Ita, led the government delegation.

Some of the areas visited included the recently commissioned General Aviation Terminal, GAT, the power house of the airport, TRACON site of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, and Arik Air. At the GAT, Uzodinma queried the partial handover of the project by the contractors when it was not yet completed. But the contractor, Archivisual Solution Limited, said the partial handing over was part of the agree-

ment entered with the government in the interest of the flying public. Committee members requested for the drawings of both the old and new terminals from the contractors and the consultant. The committee also enquired about the cost implication of the conveyor belts, the air conditioning, the tiles, bill of quantity and other procured materials for the project, which the contractors and consultants could not provide.


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Nigeria, S’Africa, Kenya top fraud cases in Africa –KPMG CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

these cases is far greater in Nigeria. The Africa Fraud Barometer has been developed to provide a bigger picture of fraud prevalence on the African continent. Though the cases of fraud decreased from 520 in the second half of 2011 to 503 cases in the first half of 2012, the value of fraud decreased from $3.3bn to $2bn, the report said. The KPMG’s Global Leader of Forensics, Mr. Petrus Marais, who developed the barometer, said: “This is only the second barometer we are publishing, but we have noticed a decline both in terms of

reported fraud cases and their monetary value. We see this as a positive trend, there is an increasing interest in Africa as an investment destination, but the continent struggles with a rather negative image. “We are providing an analysis of fraud profiles in individual African countries to foreign investors since a generic approach to assessing fraud risks on the continent is not possible. The overriding point is that investors need to assess the prevailing environment in each country.” According to him, the Barometer distinguishes between the number of reported fraud cases, type of perpetrators, victims of

fraud, type of fraud, countries and targeted industries. He said that data currently available captures the entire year of 2011 and the first half of 2012. To obtain some indications of trends, findings from the first six months of 2012 were compared to those ones of the second half of 2011. “This updated KPMG Fraud Barometer shows that fraud and misrepresentation had the highest reported cases at 37 per cent, a decrease of 10 per cent from the previous six months. Most fraud is committed by government officials (18 per cent), followed by business people (15 per

cent) and employees (14 per cent),” he added. Marais stressed that government at 38 per cent is still hardest hit by fraud and corruption, an increase of one per cent. The report stated that in the private sector, multinationals are increasingly exploring ways of addressing internal fraudulent activities. The KPMG’s East Africa Director responsible for Forensic Services, Mr. William Oelofse, said that since international and local legislation has been put into place, the consequences for companies are far greater than ever before. “In the East African region, Kenya in standing

L-R: Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika; Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar and Deputy InspectorGeneral ‘D’ Department, Mr. Peter Gana, during the visit of the IGP to Force Headquarters, Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

from time to time.” He added: “One thing I want to assure you is that we have had such reports too when we had to arrest the soldiers in question, charged them and dish out commensurate punishment. And we go all out all the time to improve their attitude towards civilians generally, through training. It is to show we have good management of crisis that the army headquarters established the Department of Civil Military Affairs headed by a major general.” Explaning further, the Army boss said, “Most of the allegations you are seeing are malicious and meant to distract the security agencies of the task of ridding the nation of terrorism. These allegations always come at a time the security agencies are making tremendous progress.

out with 7.75 per cent of reported fraud cases, well ahead of Uganda (2.98 per cent) and Tanzania (2.78 per cent). Kenya has recently become more serious about fraud prevention. The conviction of former Tourism permanent secretary and Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) ex-managing director was hailed as a major success. Both government of-

ficials were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the ministry of Sh8.4 million (about $100,000). They received heavy jail sentences and fines for misappropriating public funds. The data for the Africa Fraud Barometer is compiled by analysing available news articles and reviewing fraud cases from designated databases. Updates are disseminated by press release every six months.

4 die as violence erupts in Kano AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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loody riots broke out in Bichi, a local government headquarters in Kano State located some 50 kilometres away from the state capital in the early hours of yesterday, leaving in its trail bloodshed and wanton destruction of properties. No fewer than four persons, including two students of the Federal College of Education, Bichi were said to have been killed in the disturbances, but police denied knowledge of any deaths. As at midday yesterday, the only road leading to Kastina from Kano State was blocked by the rioters, comprising Muslim youths in the town, who were protesting alleged

blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed by a Christian tailor in the community whose whereabouts could not be ascertained as at the time of this report. The state Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, however told newsmen yesterday in his office that the tailor whose comment allegedly provoked the uprising was rescued to safety while re-enforcement of antiriot policemen had been drafted to quell the riots. Our correspondent gathered that trouble began in Bichi as early as 8a.m. on Thursday when a tailor based in the community and identified as Igbo by tribe, purportedly mocked the Prophet with a design on one of the materials brought to him to CONTINUED ON PAGE 7>>

Why we allowed terrorists escape –Army, police When we do operations and arrest a lot of these hoodlums, recover their weapons the following week someone will come into the air with some allegation to dampen the morale of officers and to discourage action. “Let me give you an example of a very sad encounter. A brand new SUV in Damaturu, beat a military checkpoint and the soldiers were at a loss whether to fire, but they took a decision to get the man arrested. Thus they blocked the man in front and another one blocked him at the back. The man detonated the bomb that killed six of our officers. I will advise anyone who is stopped at any checkpoint of those conducting stop and search to stop and those harbouring terrorists in their house, to

desist because they are endangering their lives. “If a terrorist fires from your window, the security agencies should fire back. These are simple logic and there is nothing anybody can do about it. In operations like this, occasionally we have collateral damage. At all levels, we take steps to ensure that innocent citizens are not harmed,” Ihejirika stated. The IGP expressed gratitude to the military for the new spirit of collaboration and pledged that his administration will do everything possible to advance the course. Meanwhile, three children of ages 5, 7 and 12 were yesterday slaughtered in the presence of their mother in Sulimanti ward of Maiduguri metropolis when the bread winner, Mr.

Aduju Zubairu, a personnel of the State Security Service, SSS, was away. Five others persons were also shot dead during a night attack by gunmen suspected to be members of Jamatul Ahlis Sunnah Lid Daawa wal Jihad popularly known as Boko Haram. Our correspondent, who was at the scene of the incident in Sulimanti in the morning on Thursday where the three children were slaughtered gathered that the assailants stormed the resident of the victims at exactly 1:55a.m. and forcefully broke the main gate where they violently woke up the three children and slaughtered them before living them in the pool of their blood. When the assailants combed the house and could not find any adult

as the mother went into hiding, thinking that the children are always innocent and could not be harmed, they returned to the house where the children were sleeping and slaughtered them. The gunmen after slaughtering the children went to a nearby house belonging to one Mr. Joel Temai, a retired nurse, and when they could not find anybody at home, as the man fled and his wife was said to have travelled, set the house ablaze before firing some shots in the air and fled. One of the victims’ neighbours who did not want his name in print told our correspondent that at exactly 1:55a.m., he was woken up by some gunshots in the neighbourhood and later saw some thick smoke

in the air but could not come out for fear of being attacked by assailants . He said: “When I came out in the morning I found out that my neighbour’s children had been slaughtered while the house of another neighbour was set ablaze by the gunmen. It all happened like a dream, I prayed to God not to experience such a horrible incident again in my life.” In a related development, five people were also killed in Lawan Bukar ward of Maiduguri Metropolis. Our correspondent learnt that the gunmen came for a retaliation mission as they believed that their victims were responsible for revealing the identity of two of their gang members to the JTF who were killed on Wednesday.


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Contracts: Reps, minister disagree over bribery allegation TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives and the Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafiya, differed yesterday on allegations that officials of the ministry were taking bribes from contractors before leading them to sites. Besides, the lawmakers sought the immediate restructuring of the Ministry of the Environment for effective service delivery. It will be recalled that the House of Representatives Committee on the Environment, earlier in the week, flayed the minister and called for her immediate removal by President Goodluck Jonathan over claims of N396 billion shortfall in the Ecological Fund deductions. Yesterday, the committee alleged that senior officials of the Ministry of Environment were taking bribes

from contractors before releasing contract papers to them. Speaking at the 2013 budget defence, Chairman of the Committee of the Environment, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, said there was an avalanche of petitions against the procurement and award processes of the ministry. She said: “We want to know whether you do partial procurement or full procurement. We also want to know why these contractors must pay money before they are given their papers and taken to sites. I just remembered that contractors would not go to sites unless they pay certain amounts of money.” But the minister retorted that nothing of such existed in her ministry. The minister said: “Contractors do not pay money. I am not aware of such a practice. It must be a kind of relationship which I am not

L-R: Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson; Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama and Vice-President Namadi Sambo at a meeting on Centralised Demographic Data held in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

aware of. And that is what am talking about- we have people who are coming in to bastardized the process. “Any contractor who has paid money before he is taken to site, I think it would help us to know who he paid to and why he paid the

N250bn suit: We’ve immunity against prosecution – Tambuwal, Lawan ISE-OLUWA IGE

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peaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and former Chairman of the Fuel Subsidy Probe Committee, Farouk Lawan, yesterday told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to terminate the N250 billion suit slammed against them by Lagos businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola, over the $3m bribery saga. The lawmakers said they were covered by legislative immunity against litigation arising from their of-

ficial duties. Although Otedola begged the court to discountenance the argument yesterday, the trial judge reserved ruling on whether or not the lawsuit is competent. Following the bribery saga that dogged the probe of the fuel subsidy payments to oil marketers in the country, the business mogul had dragged the Speaker and Lawan before an Abuja High Court where he is claiming the huge sum as compensation for business losses he suffered by the action of the defendants.

In the suit instituted on his behalf by Chief Babajide Koku (SAN), Otedola is claiming N100 billion as general damages for acts of intimidation, loss of goodwill and patronages occasioned by the acts of the Speaker and Lawan. In the legal action he jointly filed along with his Zenon Petroleum and Gas Company, Otedola is claiming another N150 billion against the defendants as exemplary damages for their alleged oppressive and arbitrary actions against him and his company.

Justice Bulkachuwa appointed Acting Appeal Court President ISE-OLUWA IGE AND EMMA ONANI

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has approved the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) for the appointment of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as the new Acting President of the Court of Appeal (PCA). Justice Bulkachuwa replaces Justice Dalhatu Adamu, whose fifth term ends today. Although the 1999 Constitution does not allow the President to renew the appointment of the Acting President of the Court

of Appeal more than once, President Jonathan, in the case of Justice Adamu, breached the constitution by renewing it four times and without the recommendation of NJC on three of the occasions. According to a statement signed by NJC’s Deputy Director of Information, Justice Bulkachuwa, who incidentally is the first female Acting PCA, will be swornin today at 10:00am prompt by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar. Until her appointment, the new acting PCA headed the Yola Division of the Court of Appeal.

She delivered the judgement dismissing the appeal by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) challenging the return of Murtala Nyako as Governor of Adamawa State.

money. If you go and pay we should be told who paid and why he paid. Madam, I am not aware that any contractor is paying money.” Members of the committee, however, urged the minister to investigate, rather than dismiss the allegation of extortion by the ministry’s workers. . “It is absolutely wrong and we would investigate,” the minister promised. According to the minister, N27, 248,454, 420.00 was approved for the ministry,

its parastatals and agencies in 2012, but challenges of natural occurrences and emergencies, such as flood, epidemic outbreak, lack of engineering drawing for introduced projects, debts to local contractors and outstanding liabilities of about N12 billion for 2010 and 2011 capital projects were drawbacks to its implementation. But the committee noted that despite fact that 2012 budget of the ministry was approved without amend-

Reps grill Works Minister over bad roads TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives yesterday asked the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, to explain why the nation’s major roads are still in terrible condition despite the huge amount of money appropriated for his ministry in the 2012 budget. The minister appeared yesterday before the House of Representatives Committee on Works to present the 2012 budget performance of his ministry as well as defend the

2013 budget estimate. Chairman of the House Committee on Works, Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, noted that budget for the Ministry of Works attracts the highest national interest because of the great responsibilities the ministry owes the nation in respect of construction and maintenance of road infrastructure. The committee members were particularly angry that most Trunk A roads nationwide, which constitute the major routes for driving commerce and propelling economic development, are

VIO arrests lawmaker for reckless driving OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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t was a dramatic twist of fortune yesterday in Abuja, when men of the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, DRTS, commonly known as Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs, apprehended a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Sam-

ments, the performance of the ministry was poor. The committee frowned at the fact that the ministry was still awarding contracts few months to the end of the year. According to the committee, the ministry needed to attend to abandoned projects, gross inefficiency in monitoring of projects, incompetent contractors and an integrally generated revenue that is not at par with global best practice.

son Okwu, for dangerous driving. Okwu, who was arrested at the Games Village Junction in the Federal Capital Territory, was alleged to have driven against the traffic. The lawmaker, who represents Uju-Obi Federal Constituency of Benue State, said he was compelled to

beat the traffic to enable him keep an appointment with the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, even as he resisted being dragged before a mobile court set up for such purpose. Okwu defended his action by challenging the officer on duty to watch out for public officers who have exception while using the road as ac-

in pathetic condition. Among the roads are: Abuja-Lokoja Expressway, Enugu-Onitsha Road, Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, KanoMaiduguri Expressway and Lagos-Ibadan Express Road. A member of the committee, Hon. Abdulmalik Usman, who was visibly angry described the deplorable state of the roads as a national disgrace, saying that he had stopped going to the Federal Ministry of Works for the seeming lack of commitment to put the roads in good shape. cording to him, the rules should be bent for their sake. “That is why I am telling you that in a government there are people that are allowed to bend some of the laws. There are rules, I explained to the gentleman, but he wanted to use his rank to intimidate me but my car is carrying a government number that is why they gave me that number.”


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Friday, November 23, 2012

Lagos raises N80bn bond for infrastructural projects MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday signed a financial deal to raise N80 billion through bonds with Chapel Hill Limited as lead issuing house, saying his administration is encouraged to do so due to the success of previous bond transactions. According to the governor, the sum which is the highest ever by any state government through bond issuance, will be expended on the completion of ongoing infrastructural projects across the state. The bond represents the first tranche of the N167.5 billion the state is sourc-

ing under its second bond series (by way of a book build) between now and 2019. It is also the fourth time the state is raising funds via bond issuance to drive its infrastructural development. The bond, the governor, said are expected to fund projects such as the expansion and reconstruction of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the Blue-line rail corridor and ferry terminals in parts of the state to boost water transportation. Others are the construction and completion of health institutions such as Ayinke House within the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the Maternal

Healthcare Centres, among others. A source at the Lagos House recently told National Mirror that the N120 billion earlier estimated for the execution of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project that is designed to accommodate rail and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme is inadequate to complete the project. Briefing journalists after the board meeting for the bond deal held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Governor Fashola assured that the money would be tied to specific projects that would add value to the state, add-

ing that the projects will enhance the state’s economy. His words: “This is a serious undertaking that imposes serious responsibilities on us.” Fashola added that his decision to secure the bond is to further tackle infrastructural deficit, saying Nigeria leaves in 40 years of infrastructural decay. He said the state is reputed for keeping faith with the lenders term and condition of payment, adding that the state has put in place all necessary mechanisms for the payment of the bond to the lenders.

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Nigeria, key to sub-regional stability –Awoonor AFOLABI GAMBARI

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igeria yesterday was described as the key to the stability of the West African sub-region. Making the description was the Chairman of Ghana’s Council of State (GCOS), Prof. Kofi Nyedivu Awoonor, who said this in an exclusive interview with National Mirror in Accra. He said unless Nigeria plays its leadership role conscientiously, stability in the sub-region will continue to be elusive. He added that the population and resources of Nigeria had imposed a huge responsibility on

the country. “Whatever affects Nigeria, affects the entire West Africa and beyond, whether positively or otherwise, and I think this is without any doubt whatsoever,” Awonoor, who is a renowned writer and poet, said. “It is also a fact that Nigeria has pioneered several progressive initiatives for the sub-region in the area of trade, investment and peacekeeping and we in Ghana believe that any threat to stability in Nigeria poses a threat to us and others,” the academic, who was Ghana’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations added.

Yuletide: Protect national assets, Abolurin charges NSCDC OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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head of the yuletide, the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ade Abolurin, has charged officers and men of the corps to be proactive in protecting national assets and vital infrastructures in the country. He said hoodlums are at all times looking for ways of vandalising such critical assets which they hope to sell and expend during festive periods. Abolurin spoke yesterday against the backdrop of the re-deployment of some key principal officers of the rank of commandants and above to state and zonal commands in compliance with the directive of the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro. He advised the officers

Abolurin

to urgently study their new areas of posting and immediately adopt more proactive measures in tackling issues of emergencies associated with “ember” months. “It is a season characterised by a lot of disaster such as auto accidents, fire outbreaks, burglary, theft and armed robbery and most especially, the unnecessary hike and plan by saboteurs of government in hoarding petroleum products in order to cause artificial scarcity,” he said.

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; his Deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Adetokunbo Abiru, at the completion of the board meeting of Re-Bond Issuance Programme in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Four die as violence erupts in Kano CONTINUED FROM 5 make a cloth, another said his remark thus: “Annabi ya shigo kasuwa” was the source of the bloody attacks. We learnt that when some of the Muslim youth saw the controversial design in the tailor’s workshop, they raised alarm which attracted others. In the process, he was said to have been manhandled and beaten to a state of comma by the rioters who wielded machetes, knives, sticks and other dangerous weapons. Eye witnesses said the uprising spread like wild fire in other parts of the

town, resulting in massive looting of shops, houses and other business places in Bichi, which they said were later razed to the ground by the attackers. Unspecified number of persons, mostly non-natives sustained varying the degrees of machete wounds during the confrontation. It was gathered that scores of the victims have been admitted at the Kano military hospital, Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, and some other private clinics in the cities. A number of churches in the area were also known to have been attacked by the mob who burnt them down. The State Commissioner

of Police said the situation has been brought under control, adding that the area is being monitored closely by security operatives. Meanwhile, Kano State Government has again clamped down on commercial motorcycle operators in the state, restricting their operations from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This action was taken by the state in apparent response to incessant gun attacks by suspected terrorists using motorbikes, several of such attacks have been reported lately in parts of the city. The state Commissioner of Police, who disclosed

this to newsmen in Kano yesterday, cited security reasons for the action. “The incessant use of motorcycles to attack innocent citizens in the state has made it necessary for the state security council to convene a meeting on Monday 20 November, 2012 and it was resolved that imposition of ban on the use of motorcycles from 6p.m. to 6a.m. within the state is enforced. “It is very necessary considering the fact that criminals are using motorcycles to wreak havoc in the state. You are as well aware that almost all the incidents of killings and armed robberies in recent

times in Kano State were carried out on motorcycles. We hereby call on motorcycle users to abide by the curfew without any exception. Snap checkpoints have been put in place across the state to check and arrest the violators,” Idris stated. The police boss said the security meeting presided over by Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso warned that on no account should the motorcycle law be violated even by security agents as offenders would be adequately prosecuted no matter who is involved. He also stated that the order would be on till after the ember period.


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South West

Ondo poll: Tribunal promises impartial adjudication HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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s the Election Petition Tribunal in Ondo State began sitting yesterday in Akure, the state capital, the tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Kaka’an, has assured that the team would discharge its duties in accordance with the law. Justice Kaka’an said the tribunal would be dealing with five petitions arising from the October 20 governorship election within 180 days, just as he warned against trying to influence the outcome of the petition. He said: “As judges, we took oath to discharge our duties and perform our function, honestly to the best of our ability and faithfully in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law. “We also swore to abide by the code of conduct, not to allow our personal interests to influence our official conduct or official decisions, do justice to all manner of persons without fear or favour, affection or ill will promising not to be corrupt or aid or abate corruption. We want to assure you that we shall discharge the function for which we are sent here in abiding faith with the oath we took.

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos LG polls: Tribunal declares PDP winner of Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA •Orders re-run in Yaba OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Lagos State Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal yesterday declared the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Busari Ayinde, the winner of Agbado/Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, LCDA, election. The tribunal also ordered a re-run election in Yaba LCDA, which result was also challenged by the PDP. The party questioned the educational qualification of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, candidate in the poll. The Chairman of the La-

gos State Independent Electoral Commission, Justice Afolabi Abdulfatai Adeyinka (rtd), had declared the ACN candidates winners in all the 57 local government councils and LCDAs, without actually announcing any figures of votes garnered by the winning candidates. This led to a litany of litigations by the PDP and many of its candidates in the election. On October 4, the tribunal had declared the candidate of the PDP Babajide Obanikoro, son of the former Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro, the winner of Ikoyi/Obalende LCDA.

Ikoyi/Obalende LCDA is the home council of the national leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The tribunal had also declared about seven councillorship seats for the PDP. Nullifying the election of Adewale Adeniji of the ACN, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya ordered the LASIEC to revoke the Certificate of Return issued to him and give same to the PDP candidate. Delivering the judgement, the Chairman of the five-man tribunal, Akinsanya, held that the petitioner (Obanikoro) ought to have been declared winner of the election by the Returning/Electoral Officer. The tribunal also held

that Section 11(2) of the Local Government Elections Petitions Tribunal Law 2011 empowered it to nullify any election that did not conform with the laid down regulations. The tribunal said: “The petitioners have been able to discharge the burden of proof vested on them as regards to the collation of the results. It transferred the onus to the respondents who did not tender any LASIEC Form 9A which is the first stage of any election. “The petitioners have shown that the non-collation of the results at the units and ward levels substantially affected the outcome of the result declared by LASIEC’’.

L-R: Representative of Chairman of Police Service Commission, Mr. Ben Iwambe; Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and author of the book: “National Security and Policing in Nigeria” and “Overcoming the Challenges of Transformation in Nigeria,” Dr. Otive Igbuzor, during the public presentation and launch of two books in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Church Times holds fifth anniversary

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hurch Times Nigeria will hold its fifth anniversary alongside a seminar and award ceremony for deserving Christians in Nigeria on Monday, November 26, at Excellence Hotel, Ogba by 4.00 pm. Publisher of the churchbased journal, Mr. Gbenga Osinaike, in a statement, said the anniversary was the organisation’s own way of thanking God for making it survive the first five years of its existence. Osinaike’s words: “We basically want to thank God. We are not where we should be, but we are certainly not where we were at the beginning. So, we want to thank God and appreciate Him for keeping us through the troubled waters of publishing in the last five years. “We also want to thanks all our advertisers and patrons in the last five years. We also want to use the opportunity to celebrate some Christians in Nigeria who have been of immense value to the Body of Christ.” The theme of the anniversary, according to the publisher, is: “Church in Times Like this.” The guest speaker for the occasion is Prof. Duro Adegboye, a missionary evangelist and a former Dean of the Faculty of Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Kano. He said some Christians, including Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade, will be given the Church Times Christian Service Award, among others.

Eight injured in attack on OPC members Ogun 2013 budget’ll enhance K O economic development –Assembly EMI LAITAN IBADAN

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ommercial activities were yesterday paralysed in Apete area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as about 40 members of a vigilance group called Alajobi stormed the locality and allegedly attacked some members of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC). National Mirror learnt that no fewer than eight persons, including three OPC members, were seriously injured by the vigilance group. The attack, which started about 9:am, lasted for almost an hour. It was gathered that the injured persons

- Ajagbe Kabiru, Mutairu Alase and Sunday Badmus - were among the OPC members employed as guards by the company handling the re-construction of the Apete bridge swept away by the August 26, 2011 flood that ravaged Ibadanland. The OPC Chairman in Ido Local Government Area, Mr. Muritala Adekola Ifawale, confirmed the attack on his members, adding that the victims were receiving medical attention at a private hospital located within the Apete community. Ifawale, who identified those who led the attack as Kehinde Oloro, Ramoni Bodija and Legba, said the attack-

ers suddenly stormed the site where the OPC members were guarding a cement store and vehicles parked by residents of the Apete community who could not drive into their houses because of the collapsed bridge and unleashed violence on them. He said the hoodlums hit the victims with weapons such as cutlasses, matchets and guns. According to him, the attack might not be unconnected with an earlier effort by some hoodlums to cart away goods from the site, which was resisted by the OPC members. Ifawale said the incident had been reported to the police.

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he 2013 Appropriation Bill presented before the Ogun State House of Assembly on Tuesday by Governor Ibikunle Amosun has been described as a financial proposal capable of fast– tracking the socio-economic development of the state. Some lawmakers made the submission yesterday during a debate on the appropriation bill. The House Majority Leader, Hon. Israel Jolaoso, said if implemented to the letter, the bill would further facilitate the state’s transformation. In his submission, the Minority Leader, Hon. Job Akintan, commended Amosun over the proposal which

he said contained many people-oriented programmes. He, however, urged officials in charge of revenue generation to be proactive in the discharge of their duties, adding that the state would need more funds to execute laudable projects outlined in the 2013 budget. On his part, Hon. Abiodun Akovoyon, who represents Ipokia/ Idiroko Constituency, urged the state government to place more emphasis on rural development to curtail ruralurban migration. The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Tola Banjo, gave kudos to the governor for the prompt and timely presentation of the 2013 budget,

saying this would enable the lawmakers to have enough time to properly scrutinize it. Meanwhile, commissioners as well as heads of departments and agencies in the state have been called upon to ensure strict compliance with the timetable for the budget defence for speedy passage.

Amosun


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, November 23, 2012

9

PDP, govt differ on Ekiti financial status ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State and the state government yesterday differed on the status of finances of the state. While the PDP said the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government had run the finances of the state aground and

could not meet its responsibilities to its teeming workers, the state government said it had been meeting its financial and social obligations to Ekiti people. Ekiti State PDP Chairman, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, lamented that the state was “broke” to the extent that the government could not release running grants to ministries and agencies in the

last three months. He said in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Omolusi, that Governor Fayemi could not meet his obligations to workers in the state, including local government workers, who were impressed upon to end their two months old strike recently. The PDP also accused the state government of inability to pay the 2012

leave bonus to its workers and the abandonment of some projects, adding that; “The situation has gone so bad that some ministries and agencies have no money to buy papers and office necessities. “The state government is also planning to sack 8, 000 local government workers and peg the number of workers in each council at 300 because of

this financial difficulty,” the PDP stated. But state Information Commissioner, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, said on telephone that the allegations by the PDP were unfounded as government was doing everythig to meet its obligations to workers, contractors and others. Afuye’s words: “The road projects we are executing across the state are not abandoned, we are

moving forward. The Ikogosi Warm Spring project is still on, renovation of schools is on, are all these signs of a state having financial difficulties?” The commissioner said the hope of PDP was a government which would continue with “the days of indiscriminate sharing of state funds and opening the state’s treasury to people to begin to loot.”

Court adjourns money laundering case against Fayose till January ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

A L-R: Prelate of Methodist Church Mission in Nigeria, Rt. Rev. Sunday Makinde (left) and former Special Adviser to the President, Dame Titilayo Ajanaku, after her consecration as one of the Lay Presidents of the Church in Lagos, recently.

NDLEA arrests drug dealer with 584kg of cannabis OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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fficials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday announced the arrest of a suspected major cannabis dealer in Lagos. The agency said the arrest was made during raids on selected flash-points used as hideouts by drug trafficking gangs in the state. An on-line statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said dried weeds

suspected to be cannabis weighing 584kg was seized from a hideout at Olosha, Mushin, where the suspect, Dada Etop Ejalonibu, 38, was apprehended. Ofoyeju said the suspect is currently being interrogated by narcotic investigators attached to the Lagos command of the agency. The public affairs officer said the Lagos State Commander of the anti-drug agency; Mr. Aliyu Sule, stated that the drug suspect has been on the command’s list of wanted drug dealers for some years now.

His words: “The command has arrested one Dada Etop Ejalonibu, who is believed to be a major distributor of cannabis in Mushin area of the state. We carried out two separate raids on their hideouts where the suspect, who has been on our wanted list, was arrested. “In the first raid, 475.6kg of dried weeds of cannabis was seized while another 108.4kg was recovered in another operation bringing the total quantity of cannabis to 584kg,” Aliyu explained.

‘Dana plane crash prompts new health policy’ SEKINAH L AWAL

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he June 3, Dana Air crash in the country has prompted the Federal Government to adopt a new oral health policy for Nigerians. Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the review was as a result of the air crash in which only victims from other countries were the ones whose dental records facilitated their easy identification procedures, “whereas there was no Nigerian whose dental record could allow for same easy identification process.” As the Federal Government launched the policy

Chukwu

with the introduction of new standards in medical check-ups for Nigerians, multinational service provider, Unilever has pledged to develop new technologies to promote and protect oral hygiene among Nigerians. Chukwu assured that the new policy will lay the

foundation upon which the country shall build a formidable oral health system “that will provide efficient, effective, accessible and affordable healthcare for the Nigerian populace”. According to the minister, the National Council on Health has approved that henceforth; there should be standard operational guidelines for medical check-ups to include dental records of every individual alongside other relevant medical data. He enjoined other service providers and stakeholders to pay attention to that part of the body which serves as both gateway and mirror of the whole body.

Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has adjourned till January 24, 2013 proper hearing in the case of alleged money laundering preferred against former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the EFCC failed in its bid to convince the court to confiscate Fayose’s international passport.

The prosecution counsel, Mr. Adeniyi Adebisi, objected to Fayose’s holding on to his international passport despite the court’s pronouncement that it be deposited in its custody. Adeniyi said part of the seven conditions for Fayose’s bail on January 26, 2008, was that his international passport should be in the court’s custody pending the determination of the case. The EFCC also presented a newly amended 27-count charge against the former governor, who had been on trial for alleged money laundering since January, 2008.

Politics

Discordant tunes over Constitution amendment The National Assembly must grab the opportunity of the ongoing efforts to amend the 1999 Constitution to ensure the outcome is geared toward building a nation. –Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State The 1999 Constitution is not a product of the present National Assembly. Therefore, Nigerians should be gracious to the present National Assembly for attempting to review the Constitution. –Senator Sola Adeyeye The constitution amendment process driven by National Assembly can never lead to the desired people’s Constitution. –Mr. Wale Okunniyi, PRONACO spokesman Nigerian Constitution gives the National Assembly power to amend the Constitution and not power to review the Constitution. –Alhaji Yaya Ndo, Convener, People’s Movement for a New Nigeria

Woman

Poverty is a major ajor challenge to happy marriage Akiyode-Afolabi iy yo abi

It said Fayose had at various times in 2004 conspired with Biological Concept Nigeria Limited and Avian Specialists Nigeria Limited, consultants to the state government in the Ekiti State Integrated Poultry Project to convert the state funds for personal use. According to the EFCC, which had initially preferred a 51-count charge against Fayose at the Federal High Court, Lagos; the offence is punishable under section 14 subsection 1 of the Money Laundering Act 2004.

Celebrity

Nollywood has not changed me

–Sam Dede

Living Beware! That Tokunbo stuff may be your death Candidiasis, Hepatitis A, B and C and skin infections of different forms. What have they to do with second hand stuff? Think twice before you bend down and select.

Herbs: Drink of life or death? Damilola Amuda died on his fifteenth day on earth, no thanks to a herbal concoction administered on him by his mother. Adeoye Babatunde is in his 30s. He had an erection for more than five days. Reason: he wanted to give his wife a “good’ time, so he helped himself to native aphrodisiac from a herb seller.

x Size matters 2: Too much of a SeTalk good thing may be bad

This column is x-rated


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South East

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Imo varsity VC sacked amidst controversy

• Former ASUU President, Awuzie now new VC CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Acting ViceChancellor of the Imo State University (IMSU), Prof. Betrand Nwoke, has been sacked by the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, amidst widespread criticisms from lecturers and students of the university. Governor Okorocha, in a radio broadcast, Wednesday night, announced the immediate sack of the

embattled vice-chancellor, who was immediately replaced by the former National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie. It was gathered that the sack of Nwoke may not be unconnected with his cold attitude towards the state government over his appointment and his disagreement over certain issues, especially the government’s free education policy. Some lecturers who

spoke on the issue but who would not want their names mentioned, said the sacked vice-chancellor has been having a running battle with the state governor, who had refused to regularise his appointment, despite calls from ASUU to do so. They also accused the governor of interference in the running of the institution, adding that the governor had sacked two vice-chancellors since he assumed office more than

a year ago. “This is the second vice-chancellor of IMSU to be sacked by Okorocha and it is not healthy for the system, we need a stable administration that will be allowed a free hand to run the institution.” Meanwhile, policemen have been drafted to forestall the breakdown of law and order in the campus while aggrieved students were seen in groups discussing the sudden removal of the vice-chancellor. Some of the students, who spoke with our report-

DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

N Okorocha

er, decried the situation, saying that; “The frequent interference of this current administration in the affairs of IMSU is becoming worrisome, we are yet to comprehend the free education policy that has thrown the institution into disarray and overnight our

FRSC moves to ensure hitch-free Christmas NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Anambra State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has taken steps to ensure a hitch-free yuletide season. The command in a forum with the leaders of thought in the state is making plans to find a lasting solution to the usual yuletide traffic jam in the state, with particular reference to the commercial city of Onitsha. The Sector Commander, Hyginus Uchenna Omeje, who disclosed this yesterday at the GRA Onitsha residence of Chief G. U. Okeke, a transport magnate and Chairman of GUO Transport Limited, said the consultation was prompted by the fact that the traffic gridlock had already started building up gradually. Flanked by the new Onitsha Unit Commander, A. C. Metta, Omeje said they were in Okeke’s residence to acquaint him of the necessary steps required to combat traffic logjam in various cities in the state, including Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha. He listed towing vans, patrol vans and roads demarcation as some of the necessary components needed to enhance their smooth operation during the yuletide season. He added that with the on-going rehabilitation of the Bridge-Head/Upper Iweka-Bor romeo-Umunya-Awkuzu-Awka dual carriageway, traffic free flow could be guaranteed this year.

L-R: Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi; Senator Andy Uba; Senate President David Mark and Senator Chris Ngige, at the Anambra State University 2012 Convocation Lecture at Igbariam, Anambra State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Physically-challenged persons’ protest grounds activities in Imo CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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usiness and social activities, including human and vehicular movements, were yesterday disrupted in Owerri, as physically-challenged persons barricaded all major roads in the Imo State capital, protesting government high-handedness in their affairs. The physically-challenged persons, numbering over 5, 000 took over the major and link roads in the capital city as early as 9.30am in protest of the

non-payment of their salaries and allowances. The action resulted in heavy gridlock that forced most motorists and passengers to abandon their vehicles and trekked to their various destinations. It was gathered that the protesters, who had earlier stormed the Government House to stage the protest, but were dispelled by securitymen, were said to be demanding, among other things, the payment of all their outstanding salaries and allowances and the sack of the Governor’s Special Assistant on the Disabled

Persons, Mrs. Kate Okolie. The governor’s aide was accused of allegedly diverting over N3 million released by the state government for the payment of their salaries and other entitlements. Speaking in an interview with some of the physicallychallenged persons, who were confined to their wheelchairs, they said Mrs. Okolie has been meddling in the affairs of the association, adding; that “She wants us to change the name of the organization; the Joint National Association of People Living with Disabilities to Imo Spe-

Enugu LG kicks off construction of N1.5bn road

cial Citizens and we told her it is impossible because we are a national body.” Another source further alleged that; “The governor’s aide is fond of hijacking gift items and money given to the body by wellmeaning Nigerians and deceitfully present it as if it was given by the government and she will make us pose for pictures which she will paste on the internet without our knowledge.” But when contacted, the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Ebere Uzoukwa, said the demonstration was unnecessary.

kanu East Local Government Council in Enugu State has commenced the construction of the 23 kilometre Idodo-Owo-UbahuAmankanu road expected to cost N1.5 billion. The first phase of the project, a 10.7km stretch from Idodo to Ubahu is to cost N600 million with a completion period of 12 months after which the remaining portion is expected to take off. Flagging off the project yesterday, the Nkanu-East Local Government Chairman, Pastor Sam Iyiogwe, said what the council is doing is to emulate the performance of the state governor, Sullivan Chime, who he said is committed to the transformation of the state, especially roads and other infrastructure. He said as a council chairman, he trekked a distance of over 10 kilometres from Ubahu to Idodo to sit for his first school leaving certificate, lamenting that about 40 years later, his people still trek the distance and even more to go to the council headquarters at Amagunze. He said so many attempts had been made by past administrations to construct the road, stressing however that this time around and with the help of God, the road will be completed in the next 12 months. The council chairman assured the people that the road will continue to the council headquarters at Amagunze, despite the great challenge of constructing a bridge accords the Nyaba River, which he said has posed a great problem in the past. He also pledged to tackle other road construction projects like the Amagunze to Nara road; the Nara to Mburubu to Nkerefi roads, among other very difficult terrain in the council area.

Rights activist appeals ruling on LG caretaker committees NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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n Onitsha-based human rights activist, Jezie Ekejiuba, has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, against the judgement of an Awka High Court in Anambra State, presided over by Justice Hope Ozoh.

Ekejiuba had dragged the Anambra State governor, the Anambra State House of Assembly and the Attorney-General of Anambra State before Justice Ozoh’s Awka High Court challenging the constitutional powers of the defendants in running the affairs of the 21 local government areas of the state

with caretaker committees, in place of democratically elected chairmen and councillors that were provided for in the 1999 Constitution. In the suit No. A/250/2010, brought against the Governor of Anambra State, the State House of Assembly and the Attorney- General of the state, Ekejiuba sought, among others, a

declaration that the appointment of Caretaker Transition Committees governing the 21 LGAs of Anambra State is unconstitutional, null and void ab initio. The plaintiff also sought a perpetual injunction retraining the defendants from governing the 21 LGAs by appointed LG Caretaker Transition Com-

mittees under S.7 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, adding that the court should compel the defendants to conduct election at the local government level to produce democratically elected chairmen and councilors, who will run the affairs of the local governments councils, as provided in the constitution.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Friday, November 23, 2012

11

Jonathan, Amaechi, Dangote, Adenuga top 50 most influential Nigerians

Protesters force UN to suspend Bakassi demarcation P T

TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

he United Nations, UN, yesterday suspended the final demarcation of Bakassi Peninsula following protests by members of the community in Calabar, Cross River State. The UN delegates, assigned to carry out the demarcation were driven away from the peninsular by youths in the community who decried alleged rush by the body to carry out the final demarcation between Nigeria and Cameroun without paying attention to the plight of the indigenes.

The youth later marched to Pyramid Hotel in Calabar, where the delegates were staying, with placards displaying pictures of some of the indigenes that were brutally murdered by Camerounians. Some of the placards read: “The land and the people vs the oil: which is our priority?” “We say it clearly, we are Nigerians. Here we belong,” “The judgement of the ICJ is unacceptable to our people,” among others. They also urged the UN not to embark on the demarcation exercise to fore-

stall total annihilation of the people by the Camerounians. A representative of the protesters and Coordinator of the Save Bakassi Group, Mr. Maurice Ekong, told journalists that the youth decided to march to Calabar to talk to the UN delegates about their plight and persuade the world body to consider the Bakassi people’s fundamental human rights to life and to live in a place of their choice without molestation as they were currently being treated by Cameroun.

Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (right) and Managing Director Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr Mark Ward, during the latter’s visit to the Government House in Uyo, yesterday

He said: “We are here as citizens of the United Nations. We will like to ask the UN delegates some questions. Has the UN taken the pain to find out what the people are going through? “We believe the first thing the UN should do is to first consider the wellbeing of the people before talking of demarcation. A final demarcation at this stage will foreclose the Bakassi issue. It means the people will continue to be brutalised, killed at will and be subjected to the kind of indignity and cruelty the Camerounians inflict on them every day.” Ekong and other leaders of the protesters were later allowed to enter the hotel to talk to the UN delegates. Journalists were, however, barred by security agents from following them. But the Bakassi youth leaders told journalists after the meeting that they were assured by the UN team that the demarcation exercise would be suspended for now. They also disclosed that the UN team advised them to document and submit their grievances to enable the world body take necessary steps that would help alleviate their plight.

Man collapses as Airhiavbere’s witnesses address tribunal SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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man believed to be in his sixties collapsed yesterday at the venue of the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Benin. The tribunal’s venue was at the Edo State High Court Complex. The incident occurred during the continuation of the testimonies by witnesses in a petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Maj-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd). Immediately the man collapsed, those that came with him quickly moved to rescue him and shielded him against the prying eyes of journalists. But National Mirror gathered that doctors at the Benin Central Hospital were battling to save the life of the man as the time of filing this report.

Airhiavbere is challenging the victory of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Congress (ACN) in the July 14, 2012 election. Airhiavbere is challenging Oshiomhole’s victory on two grounds - academic qualification and alleged malpractices in the election. After advising Airhiavbere against challenging Oshiomhole’s victory, the PDP struck off its name from the petition. However, the tribunal

SAM OLUWALANA

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ome of the 176-room prototype hostels built by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 19 universities and polytechnics in the nine Niger Delta states will be ready for commissioning in few months. NDDC Managing Direc-

continued its sitting yesterday as it heard testimonies from four more witnesses who appeared to support the petitioner’s claim of electoral malpractices and rigging. The fourth witness, Mr. last Agbonayinma, contradicted his written statement at the tribunal, saying he lives in Egboko in Orhionmwon Local Government Area. Under cross-examination by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Mr. Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), he denied his

statement on oath before the tribunal by claiming that his lawyer did not record what he asked him to write down. He said: “We have two units in Osaretin primary school: 14 and 15. In unit 14, I did not know the PDP agent. Around 1:pm that July 14, the deputy governor’s aide came with three different vehicles to my village and the people that came out from the vehicle were wearing DSS bullet proof vests, all of them carrying AK47 guns.”

resident Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Senator David Mark, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and 45 others have emerged as Business Hallmark 50 most influential Nigerians. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the publisher of Business Hallmark newspaper, Emeka Obasi, while revealing the list of the 50 most influential Nigerians, through Hallmark (Annual) Power and Influence Index 2012, said those who made the list are individuals who influenced the outcome of an event formally or informally in Nigeria more than any other Nigerians. According to Obasi, those who made the 50 most influential Nigerians were people who have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country in private and public sectors. In the breakdown of the Hallmark Power and Influence Index, which was divided into five categories; most influential Nigerians, most influential

achieved and charged the contractors to keep up the pace. He said that NDDC, as an interventionist agency, would continue to provide infrastructure that would benefit the Niger Delta region. Oboh said: “We see the hostel projects as a way of alleviating the accommoda-

Jonathan

Akwa Ibom govt promises robust tie with oil firms

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he Akwa Ibom State Government has reiterated its readiness to maintain a cordial relationship with oil companies operating in the state. Governor Godswill Akpabio spoke yesterday when the Chairman and Managing Director of Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Mark Ward, visited him at the Governor’s Office in Uyo, the state capital. Akpabio said: “We remain committed to maintaining a cordial relationship with oil companies operating in the state. With Mobil Producing Nigeria as the major company in our state, our government is ready to assist in providing

NDDC hostels built for varsities ready soon, says MD tor, Dr. Christian Oboh, gave this assurance after inspecting the projects at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) and University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT). Oboh, represented by his Media Adviser, Honour Sirawoo, said he was impressed with the milestones

governors, most influential Corporate Nigerians, most influential women and most Public Commentators/Thinkers, 10 names were mentioned for each categories. In the most influential Nigerians category, President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, were closely followed by Senate President David Mark, Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and Vice-President Namadi Sambo. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika and National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki also made the list.

tion problems of our students, thereby encouraging them to excel in their academic pursuits.” Project Manager of the RSUST NDDC-hostel, Mr. Ebi George, said the hostel would be completed in January, next year. George said: “We are now mounting the door

an enabling environment for their operations to improve the lives of our people. “Mobil Producing Nigeria has brought uncommon peace to bear in our communities because of your humility and understanding. We would continue to see to this harmonious relationship between Mobil and the host communities, for we need peace and harmony with oil companies operating here.’’ The governor, however, sympathised with the company over the recent oil spill in its host communities. He commended the host communities for remaining calm over the issue, assuring that the company would soon address the problem. frames and fitting the glass windows. Generally, we are working on the internal fittings, which will be completed in a few weeks time.” At the University of Port Harcourt, the supervising engineer, Mr. Victor Uromtah, said roofing of the hostel would be completed in a couple of weeks, assuring that the job would be delivered in February, 2013.


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North

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

15 ex-DGs get benefits 24 years after retirement PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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ifteen former director-generals in the Niger State civil service have cause to smile again 24 years after they were unceremoniously eased out of service as a result of the 1988 civil service reform. The Niger State government has decided to revisit their cases and

pay them their retirement benefits. Under the review of the civil service rules in 1988, all permanent secretaries were converted to director-generals and were directed to retire with the government under which they served notwithstanding their length of service. This was disclosed to journalists in Minna at the end of the state execu-

tive council meeting by the Head of Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Matane. He said going through the files, the Niger State government recently discovered that the 15 affected director-generals had not put in the mandatory 35 years in service or attained the 60 years age limit needed for them to retire. According to him, government has decided to

restore the retirement benefits of the affected former civil servants in line with the administrations posture of recognising hard work and rewarding dedication to duty. Matane further said that beginning from this month, the 15 affected former directors-general will start drawing their monthly pension put at N1.1 million for each of them.

He also appreciated the contributions of the affected people to the growth of the state civil service while urging serving workers to take the incident as a call for them to work harder as all their efforts will be rewarded. The state executive council also changed the name of the former state Ministry of Solid Minerals to state Ministry of Mining and Mineral Re-

sources releasing N55 million as its take-off grant. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Alhaji Bala Jida, said the grant was to enable the new ministry secure accommodation and recruit qualified staff to man the ministry. He further said that the speedy takeoff of the ministry will contribute to the economic transformation of the state.

Exam fraud: JAMB introduces e-test in Bauchi EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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Niger State Governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, at the presentation of a report by the University of Jos Peace Building and National Unity Project in Minna, yesterday.

Task Force arrests two as gunmen kill three in Plateau JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he Special Task Force (STF) in Plateau State yesterday arrested two people in connection with the killing in Barkin Ladi local government in the state. This was even as reports said that at least three people were shot dead by gunmen on Wednesday in the state. Findings revealed that the victims were killed in two separate incidents which occurred along Sho village in Barki Ladi Local Government and Rankebot village in Riyom Local Government Area of the state. A resident said unless efforts are made to mop up guns in the surrounding neighbourhood, the killings may not abate. In the Sho attack, National Mirror learnt that the gunmen, after shooting two of their victims within the neighbourhood

around 7.00pm, disappeared into a nearby bush leaving the villagers helpless. It was also learnt that a similar incident occurred at Rankebot village in neighboring Riyom Local Government at about 5.30 pm where a farmer work-

ing on his farm was shot at close range by some gunmen and died before getting to the hospital. Spokesman of the STF in Jos, Captain Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed the two incidents to journalists yesterday, however, said two suspects have

been arrested in connection with the two killed in Barakin-Ladi local government, adding that the command has also commence full investigation into the matter with a view to apprehending those behind the dastardly act.

Meaningful development possible through planning –Shema JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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atsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, has emphasised the need for deliberate planning in Nigeria for the country to experience meaning development. Shema stated this yesterday during a two-day programme organised in the state by the National Planning Commission, NPC, for directors of Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS) in the Nigerian public service. The governor said advanced nations of the world

are where they are today because of deliberate planning and that such plans were through effective taxation policies. According to him; “Advanced nations depended heavily on taxation in order to provide needed services for their people and that Nigeria would do well to borrow a leaf from them. He also said that the Lagos State government does not depend only on what comes from the federation account but on taxation, and that the state has been able to generate billions of naira to better the living condition of its people.

Governor Shema called on stakeholders to come up with ways by with taxation would be an acceptable norm in the country which, in the long run, would help to meet the form of growth and development the country desires. In his introductory statement, NPC Secretary, Mr. Ntufam Ugbo, said the commission remained committed to the pursuit of programmes and activities that would strengthen the departments of PRS in the federal and state Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, for effective service delivery.

etermined to improve its credibility and win the war against examination malpractice, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has introduced computer-based testing ahead of the forthcoming 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Speaking during the launching of the e-Examination in Bauchi, the Zonal Coordinator of the board, Alhaji Usman Sambo Zage, said the e-examination is a system whereby candidates choose to write examination using computers instead of the popular paper-pencil examination. He said the policy was aimed at curbing the incidence of examination malpractices, missing scripts and cases of incomplete results; adding that the system will go a long way in improving computer literacy in the students, especially in this era when the world has become globalised.

Zage, who stated that the e-examination will be implemented gradually across the country, noted that by 2015 there will be no more paper-pencil examination again. Governor Isa Yuguda represented by the Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu, applauded JAMB for the new policy, saying it is timely. He said government in collaboration with some telecommunications’ companies had provided computers and established ICT centres in selected secondary schools in the state so as to enable both teachers and students to be computer literate and ICT compliant.

Education Minister, Rufai

ABU honours Abibatu Mogaji

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he Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, will tomorrow honour the President-General of the Nigerian Market Women and Men Association, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, with the Degree of Doctor of Human Letters (D.H.L) Honoris Causa as part of activities marking the celebration of its 50th anniversary. A notice from the office of the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, said; “This is in recog-

nition of your sterling qualities, exemplary character and contribution to human development in all fields of human endeavour.” The conferment on Alhaja Mogaji will be done at the golden anniversary convocation of the university. The former governor of Lagos State and son to the president-general will be on hand in Zaria to receive the award on behalf of his aged mother. He will also read her acceptance remark.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Corruption: Rising rage and calls for death penalty

ABUJA

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he Senate yesterday threatened to veto President Goodluck Jonathan if he again fails to sign into law the state of the nation address bill when the National Assembly forwards the bill to the president the second time. The state of the nation address bill seeks to make it binding and mandatory for the president to present an annual address to the joint sitting of the National Assembly on critical issues, comprehensively appraising and reflecting on government performance in the past year and setting goals and agenda for the ensuing year through broad ideas and specific details. It is different from the annual budget speech or the independent anniversary speech. The bill was first introduced in the Senate by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu in 2004. It was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 6th Assembly in 2010, but President Goodluck Jonathan failed to assent to it before the end of his tenure then. The bill elapsed with the 6th National Assembly as required by the constitution and the process had to be commenced afresh. Already, the House of Representatives had passed the bill and forwarded it to the Senate for concurrence. Senators who contributed to debate on the bill during its second reading yesterday cautioned that this time around if the president fails to assent to the bill when it is finally passed by both arms of the parliament, they (lawmakers) would have no option but to veto the president. Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba who led debate on the bill yesterday explained that the idea was for the president during the annual address to take stock of the nation, that is, the country and its condition, the government

Politics 15

Senate threatens to veto Jonathan on state of nation address and its performance, the people and their wellbeing. According to NdomaEgba, most of the advanced and a number of emerging democracies around the world have entrenched this in their governance process even as a constitutional obligation. He said the United States of American constitution in article 11, section 3, provides that the president shall from time to time give congress information of the State of the Union and recommend for their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. Ekweremadu, who presided at yesterday’s plenary, explained the circumstances that led to the inability of the National Assembly to veto the president on the bill when it was first passed. He described as unfortunate, the inability of President Jonathan not to have assented to the bill when it was forwarded to him. He disclosed that during the public hearing on the bill, representatives of the executive argued against the bill on the grounds that there are enough constitutional provisions on the matter and therefore there was no need for the bill. Senator Uche Chukwumerije in his contributions explained that the passage of the law would give legal teeth to what have been the vagaries of discretion on the part of

the nation’s rulers to address the country. He said a law like this will make it mandatory for the president to address on the state of affairs. He said the speech must be such that it will capture all the thematic guidelines and contain two to three broad areas including the economy, social stability and the

polity. Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi said the bill when passed into law will make it mandatory for a sitting president to come and openly address the people for instance why we should not have 24 hours power, why petroleum subsidy should be withdrawn, why insecurity has to be curbed

at all costs etc, noting that, “It is only when the president speaks on national issues that the people will be able to appreciate the problems of the country.” Senator Eta Inang said the state of the nation address would be an opportunity for the president to present the mid-term report of his government,

IBADAN

A

group within the Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Stakeholders Forum, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for terminating the concession agreement between the Federal Government and

enlighten the people on a number of issues and thus help in dousing tension between the executive and the parliament. On his part, Senator Babajide Omoworare said the practice of state of the nation address will help to strengthen the nation’s democracy and separate it from autocracy. According to him, “If this bill is passed and the president does not assent to it, we will then have the powers to compel him to and veto him.”

L-R: Governance Consultant to United National Party for Development (UNPD), Adebowale Olorunmola; National Chairman, Kowa Party (KP), Umar Mustapha and his National Conscience Party (NCP), counterpart, Yunusa Tanko, at an electoral alternative dispute resolution workshop for chairmen of political parties in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Why I accepted Oshiomhole’s appointment – Afegbua SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

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he newly appointed Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Prince Kassim Afegbua has said he accepted the appointment because of the governor’s humility

and zeal to take the state to greater heights. Afegbua, who was the former Director of Publicity of the Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation for the 2012 Edo State governorship election, resumed his new post at the Government House in Benin City yesterday.

Speaking with National Mirror yesterday, he thanked the governor for giving him the opportunity to serve Edo State people again. He also thanked General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, whom he was working for as spokesman, for releasing him to assist in the resounding re-elec-

Oyo PDP lauds Jonathan on Lagos/Ibadan Expressway KEMI OLAITAN

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We’ve cleared all candidates for Benue LG poll – Ahire

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GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited for the reconstruction of Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. The commendation was contained in a statement issued in Ibadan, Oyo State, by its chairman and former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Asimiyu Alarape. He said the President not only deserves praise for

hearkening to the cry of the people of the South-West as well as motorists and commuters plying the road but for taking issues that touch on the safety of Nigerians seriously. His words: “By terminating the failed concession granted to Bi-Courtney Highway Services, President Jonathan has demonstrated in a most powerful

and unmistakable manner, his love, concern and care for the people of the SouthWest, and indeed all Nigerians. “The President has clearly demonstrated that he also feels the pains of the masses, given the loss of lives and properties that road users suffer while plying the most important and busiest road in Nigeria.”

tion of Oshiomhole. “I accepted the appointment for too many factors. It is true that I worked for him before as Chief Press Secretary. I stayed barely for five months. When I resigned, I gave my reason as having to pursue other greener pastures because I knew then that my boss, General IBB was going to run for election. But my main motivation in coming back now is the fact that from day one, I have always been on the same page with the Comrade Governor in terms of his love for the state, his vision and his mission in governance. I have seen a very peculiar characteristic on the side of the governor in terms of his aggressiveness towards developing the state,” he said.


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Politics

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Corruption: Rising rage and calls for death penalty FELIX NWANERI writes on the controversy over the recent call by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) for death penalty to be imposed against corruption, as the vice has become the rule, rather than the exception in Nigeria.

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he public hearings on constitution amendment across the country have once more shown that Nigerians are in unison on the need to alter several sections of the nation’s law book as there is a general belief that the 1999 Constitution as amended was foisted on the people by the military. However, while most contentious issues such as demand for new states, true federalism, state police, local government autonomy and tenure of elected public officers have dominated debates among the people, none of them has stirred controversy like the proposal by the pan Northern group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) for death penalty against corruption. ACF had in its proposal ahead of last week’s zonal public hearings on the constitution amendment advocated capital punishment for anyone found guilty of corruption. The group premised its submission on the destructive impact of corruption on the country. The group stated: “The law classifies crimes according to the severity of their consequences both on the individual victim, the community or the country. If crime holds a high potential to gravely harm or kill its victim, the more severe the punishment, which was designed to punish and deter offenders. “This is to say that punishment must always fit offences. One crime that has proved capable of gravely harming or killing its victim, Nigeria, is corruption. Sadly, our laws have not recognised corruption for what it is. ACF recommends that corruption be recognised as a capital offence and made to carry capital punishment.” While capital punishment is not new in Nigeria, as some heinous crimes such as armed robbery and murder attract death punishment, China is perhaps the only notable country in the world where corruption attracts death sentence at the moment. Just last year, the world’s most populous nation executed the deputy mayors of its Suzhou and Hangzhou provinces; head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Secretary of Justice of Chongqing City and the vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. This makes China the global leader for the number of corrupt officials who are sentenced to death, and actually executed each year. But, judging by the seemingly endless “public demand” for this kind of punishment and the surging popular anger in China, it seems that there is actually not enough of it. Although so many people have been “beheaded,” officials at all levels are still determined to brave death by trying to make the most of corruption. The Chinese example, perhaps, explains the flurry of reactions, which have

Lamorde

Agbakoba

ONE CRIME THAT HAS PROVED CAPABLE OF GRAVELY HARMING OR KILLING ITS

VICTIM,

NIGERIA, IS CORRUPTION... ACF RECOMMENDS THAT CORRUPTION BE RECOGNISED AS A CAPITAL OFFENCE AND MADE TO CARRY CAPITAL PUNISHMENT so far trailed the ACF’s proposal despite the acknowledgement by both sides of the divide on the issue that corruption, defined by as “abuse of entrusted power for private gain” hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in positions of authority. To those in support of the death penalty proposal, the dimension that corruption has taken in Nigeria is so frightening that more drastic measures need to be taken to combat it, as the various antigraft agencies are fast losing the war due to delayed prosecution of alleged corrupt officials. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for instance, is yet to make any head way in the trial of exGovernors Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Orji Kalu (Abia), Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu), Sani Ahmed (Zamfara), Saminu Turaki (Jigawa), Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo), Joshua Dariye (Plateau), Jolly Nyame (Taraba), Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto) since 2007, when their prosecution commenced. Some of them have even gone ahead to contest elections and are currently occupying top positions in government, even as it only took a United Kingdom court to convict the former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is currently serving a 13year jail term in London. But unlike Ibori, ex-Governors Lucky Igbnedion and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha

of Edo and Bayelsa states, respectively, who got convicted in courts at home, were merely reprimanded. While Igbinedion was convicted and fined N3.5m, following a plea-bargain deal with the EFCC that saw 191 charges preferred against him reduced to just one, Alamieseigha was sentenced to only two years imprisonment. This slap on the wrist kind of judgement on such high profile cases may have been responsible for the call by the ACF, though the world is gradually moving away from capital punishment to life imprisonment. Lagos lawyer and activist, Fred Agbaje, who is of the view that the call is the way forward, said: “If we feel that the death penalty will put an end to or reduce corruption in our society, so be it.” He added: “In Nigeria, corruption has become the 37th state of the federation, growing in leaps and bounds and drawing its weekly and monthly allowances from the Federation Account. If the death penalty will address it, it’s okay because we have not reached the level the advanced countries have reached where they convert the death penalty to life imprisonment. “I will suggest that there must be a fundamental surgical amendment to the act establishing the two anti-graft agencies. And it must include the removal of the power of the president to appoint the headship of the organisations. So long as the president retains the power to appoint the headship, the fight against corruption is a joke because you cannot fight yourself.” Similarlarly, the Secretary General of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Chief Willy Ezugwu, described the proposal as one in the right direction, given the collosal damage that corruption had done to the polity. “I agree with the ACF because there must be severe punishment for coruption in this country, else we are going no where. No matter the measure, even death penalty against coruption, I am totally for it, if it will make public office holders to sit up,” he told National Mirror. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Yusuf Alli, who has persistently advocated such measure, argued that corruption contributes at least 80 per cent to problems in the country, adding that if it is reduced by 50 per cent, the level of efficiency in the

country will increase. His words: “When you are proven guilty of corruption charges, the person should just be executed. I’ve been preaching this for more than a decade. I used to call it the Chinese treatment, because in China, if you are convicted for corruption, you are either hanged or shot. “I believe this is necessary. At least, we would have achieved one thing; the person who committed the crime would not be the beneficiary of the gain. He won’t live to enjoy the fruit of his crime. Also, Nigerians will not be committing crimes for others to enjoy. Once they know and see example, they won’t be committing the crime.” But convincing as the arguments may sound; another political school of thought fears that such law could also be a political tool. To them, officials who do not have godfathers or got caught on the wrong side may be used as scapegoats. “Anyone could be a victim. Once you lose your footing in the political power struggle, the accusations of corruption are very likely to fall on you,” a senior Police official who pleaded anonymity told National Mirror. Executive Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Debo Adeniran, who also disagreed with the ACF’s call, said: “As much as we are worried about the recalcitrance of corruption culprits in Nigeria, death penalty cannot solve the problem. It would reduce the frequency no doubt, but criminals may become more brazen in their game. They will steal so large so they’ll feel comfortable dying for their progeny to remember them to have made eternal wealth for them.” He further said that such penalty presupposes that neither the accusers nor the trial judge can make mistake, as a culprit, once executed can never be brought back to live. He therefore opined that “rather than kill them, corrupt criminals should lose, not only the direct proceeds of corruption they’re found guilty of but also whatever wealth and property they might have accummulated in their lifetime to the state. Such would be deemed to have been gotten through corruption.” In the same vein, notable lawyers like Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Femi Falana (SAN), said what the nation needs to fight corruption is a strengthened legal system and a strong leadership with sufficient political will. Agbakoba said: “It is understandable that people are frustrated and that is why they are calling for extreme measure but what we need is strong leadership to tackle corruption. There is extreme poverty in the land. Even if you impose death penalty, corruption will continue to grow if there is no strong leadership. What we need is strong EFCC, strong police, strong SSS, strong ICPC which will ensure that corrupt persons will be dealt with.” To Falana, death penalty is barbaric and should not be encouraged. “It is not the death penalty that will serve as the deterrent; it is the political will of the government of the day. It is the strong political will of the government of the day that will enforce the law that will ensure that there is no sacred cow; that will ensure that reports indicting highly influential criminals are not suppressed,” he noted.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, November 23, 2012

Prof. Philip Terdoo Ahire is the chairman of the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BESIEC) whose first major assignment is the conduct of local government polls on November 24. Ahire, who served as Secretary of the Presidential Electoral Reform Committee set up by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and one-time Special Adviser to Governor Gabriel Suswam, in this interview with journalists, speakes on the forthcoming council polls and other issues. SINA FADARE brings the excerpts: People are agitating for the scrapping of the state Independent Electoral Commissions, what’s your position on this? Nigeria is a federation; in a federation power devolves to the federating units leaving only very few functions at the centre. Power is allowed to reside or be devolved to the federating units leaving very few critical functions at the centre like foreign relations, immigration and so forth in such a way as to take care of the diversity of the people. You are allowing them to do things locally in a way that best suits them so that they don’t even realise how diverse they are because you’ve been provided with mechanisms whereby some local things are settled according to customs and traditions. That’s what America does. Things like elections are local matters settled at the level of states, things like police are local matters settled by states in a way that suits them. So, if we want to operate a true federation then we should allow matters like police, local elections to be handled by the state. After all, there’s excellent collaboration between the state electoral commissions and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Even in this election, we’re collaborating with the national commissioner here; he’s going to assist us with vehicles, he’s going to help us with the distribution of materials and other logistics so that we can work together. But we have the local knowledge of the corners and routes around us and we’re in the best position to handle local situations. So, I’m against the scrapping of SIECs. Some people were recently displaced by flood and communal crises, what will be their fate in tomorrow’s local government elections? The commission is currently considering that, we haven’t finalised but we are considering those particular people who woke up and found that flood had swept away everything they have. We are considering the possibility of allowing people vote without voters’ cards provided we can see their pictures and names in the voters’ register and they will provide cogent identification like drivers’ license and national identity cards. We’re considering only those in areas affected by disaster. Do you have enough ad hoc staff to conduct tomorrow’s election? I will take you back a little. There’s an international non-governmental organisation on elections called International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). I had worked with them in Abuja before, when I was the secretary of the Uwais reform committee; I worked with them in the process of producing that report. When I got this job, I invited them to help us with whatever they could and they came here and trained myself and my commissioners on election management. They trained electoral officers, assistant electoral officers, and also trained master trainers. Those master trainers are our senior staff who will in turn train our ad hoc staff. So the training of ad hoc staff were done in two batches. Batch one is the electoral officers and supervisors who were trained in three locations, one in zone A, another in zone B and the last in zone C; that is in Katsina-Ala, Makurdi, and Otukpo. It was a two-day training and we have a manual for the training which shows even the picture of the layout of each polling unit.

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We’ve cleared all candidates for Benue LG poll – Ahire who have dragged their parties to court and only joined BESIEC. Those challenging us for not including their names I asked my commissioner yesterday to clear everybody let them go and meet their waterloo there and not say I stopped them. We don’t want to do election and do another rerun or by-election. Let the people tell them whether they like them or not. There are insinuations that BESIEC has already predetermined winners and losers in the forthcoming polls. What’s your comment? That’s a lie. I’m above that. If that is the kind of thing you want, don’t bring me in; I cannot do that. We have not predetermined anything. Everybody has a good chance but you notice that many of those involved in the election are sitting down and doing nothing. At the end of the day they will go to court. Let them go to the electorate now rather than wait to go court later.

Ahire

In all, we have in excess of 11, 719 ad hoc staff trained for the election. But we’re going to train more so that those who could not turn up for the training could be replaced. Are all the essential materials for the election ready? Yes, the election materials can be categorised into two: sensitive and non-sensitive materials. Non-sensitive materials were ready a long time ago. They are the forms political parties have been coming here to collect, fill and return to us and the sensitive ones including register of voters which is in our custody, voters’ cards, ballot papers and boxes are also ready. As I keep telling the media, if this election was to hold a few weeks back we would have been ready. We produced the materials well ahead of time. Shortly before we came here someone said the materials from China are yet to arrive… Two weeks ago I was in China so how can I go to a place and my things will not come? A group of lawyers took BESIEC to court for debts owed them what’s the situation now? We have paid them long ago. We have since cleared all our outstanding debts. Let me tell you; I have decided to clear all contestants who took us to court to go and face the electorate. The few court cases remaining are people

LET THEM GO AND MEET THEIR WATERLOO THERE AND

NOT SAY I STOPPED THEM. WE DON’T WANT TO DO ELECTION AND DO ANOTHER RERUN OR

BY-ELECTION. LET THE PEOPLE TELL THEM WHETHER THEY LIKE THEM OR NOT

Do you face challenges in terms of funding and logistics? There are no challenges in the area of funding and logistics; we have money for the election. The figure of over N100 million you heard me mention to the Commissioner of Finance is the balance of the money paid to one of the contractors who worked for us. We have ad hoc staff and money to pay them, so we have no challenges in that area. What may sound to be a challenge is the sceptics, people who believe the election will not hold and that if it takes place we will only do what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wants. This is not true. Another challenge is reaching out to people to tell them to imbibe the culture of tolerance, peace, and the culture of accommodation. Let our people begin to think of elections in a new way. Here the press has a critical role to play instead of inciting people that the PDP has reached an accord with BESIEC to do this and that, put something in your papers to tell people to be tolerant and non-violent, educate people on how to vote and about things they should not do on Election Day. You will help us better in sensitising people. People hold negative perception about election which is prone to violence. What has prepared you for this kind of assignment? Education generally makes one flexible. I didn’t go to school to study elections. I went to school and studied different kinds of things. I’ve worked for long in the university, then in the civil service of the federation. But the most critical thing that prepared me for this job is my serving as secretary of the Presidential Electoral Reform Committee under Justice Mohammed Uwais. That assignment we executed under one and a half years. We organised public hearings across the country and I organised them. I listened to Nigerians on what they want changed in the electoral process. I produced the report of the electoral reform committee as the secretary and when the committee was done, the government again appointed me secretary of the white paper on the report I had produced. That is to say; tell us which of the recommendations which you made that should be accepted by the government and I did that. When I finished with the white paper, the report went to the Federal Executive Council and the late President Musa Yar’Adua invited Justice Uwais and me to come to the FEC and shed light; about eight areas needed clarifications because they were very controversial. A cabinet committee was set up again on the eight areas under the chairmanship of Chief Mike Aondoakaa (SAN), then as Minister of Justice and I was secretary of that committee. So, all the work that has been done in Nigeria to reform the electoral process I have been involved in it. When I was secretary of Uwais committee, Prof. Attahiru Jega, the INEC chairman, was just a member. So, I believe what he’s doing in Abuja we should be able to do here too.


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Editorial

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

STEVE AYORINDE

„

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

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ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

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SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

„

SATURDAY EDITOR

LANRE OYETADE

„

GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

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CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Constitution amendment and national question

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igerians, despite the recalcitrance of the Federal Government and the National Assembly, have been relentless in their clamour for a reshape of the 1999 Constitution of the tottering ‘Federal Republic’. It is no longer news that the tokenism the above institutions have been able to offer so far is the ongoing contraption veiled as constitution review by the Senate and the House of Representatives. The argument, however, that the Constitution is an outright imposition on the nation, borne more out of the selfish interests of leaders, who shiver at allowing the status-quo ante undergo inevitable changes, than patriotic national interest, remains a national albatross. It is an indisputable fact, painfully staring at the nation’s face, that the 1999 Constitution is a military handout, bereft of any dialogue, consultation and the legitimate opinions of Nigerians on how they wished to peacefully co-exist and progressively move forward. The grund norm ought to have gone through rigorous processes before emerging as the legal document binding all the federating units. This appears the major reason why calls for the overhaul of the 1999 Constitution have always been tied to the convocation of a national conference, or whatever name

it is given. It is now public knowledge that the constitution review process is at the cruising level. The amendment which has been ‘so dear’ to the NASS has been a subject of countless retreats before the public hearings being rounded off about now across the nation’s six geopolitical zones. The lawmakers have also been inundated with all kinds of requests, ranging from the realistic to the ridiculous. Requests for creation of more states seem to be the most popular, with over 54 agitations for new states at the last count. However, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who doubles as the chairman of the NASS constitution review team, struck early enough some days ago, and to the obvious disappointment of all new state agitators, when he said NASS would not dabble into the creation of additional states. There are other critical issues bordering on the national question slated for consideration, such as the revenue sharing formula, power rotation, state police, local government autonomy, land use and indigeneship, etc. Not a few Nigerians are dead skeptical as to what the constitution review is meant to achieve. Many view it as another political jamboree, indeed, a rigmarole that is

THERE ARE MANY CRITICAL ISSUES THAT MUST BE CLEARLY AND LEGALLY DEFINED FOR

NIGERIA TO WITNESS TRUE PEACE, UNITY AND PROGRESS AS A NATION bound to fritter away the nation’s scarce resources without commensurate dividends in the end. The Nigerian Bar Association, which parades the nation’s best legal minds, for instance, seems to fall in this category, which, perhaps, will help explain its call for a referendum to endorse the product of the constitution amendment process. Not surprisingly, the call received cold treatment and was bluntly rejected by NASS members, who dismissed it as not only unnecessary, but also unconstitutional. The point we are unequivocally making is that while the 1999 Constitution is long overdue for a comprehensive review, the modality chosen by the FG and NASS to go about it appears patently at variance with the popular opinion of Nigerians. The public seems not impressed with the red herring. What the nation looks forward to is a brand

new constitution fashioned by patriotic Nigerians drawn from all strata of the society. The envisaged constitution can scarcely emerge from the diversionary, non-inclusive, arbitrary, self-preserving and lily-livered steps the FG and NASS have taken in the name of constitution review. The dream constitution can only emerge through a rigorous national dialogue, where all shades of opinions are represented and possibly accommodated or jettisoned based on superior argument. Contrary to the ostrich-styled disposition of especially the NASS on the issue and its claim that it has no constitutional power to empanel a national conference, we think between it and the President Goodluck Jonathan government, such a conference could be convened in the long term interest of the nation. This seems the only panacea to the endless cacophony of demands and agitations by various ethnic nationalities that make up the nation, demands that are mostly politically motivated. There are many critical issues that must be clearly and legally defined for Nigeria to witness true peace, unity and progress as a nation. Many of them have been highlighted at the various public hearings. Glossing over them would merely postpone the doomsday.

ON THIS DAY November 23, 2011 Arab Spring: After 11 months of protests in Yemen, the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, signed a deal to transfer power to the vice president in exchange for legal immunity. The Arab Spring, a term given to the Arab Revolution, is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars occurring in the Arab world that began on December 18, 2010. To date, rulers have been forced out of power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen as a result.

November 23, 2005 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected the president of Liberia and she became the first woman to lead an African country. Sirleaf (born October 29, 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She served as the country’s Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d’état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She was one of the founders of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, the warlord, Charles Taylor’s party.

November 23, 2001 The Convention on Cybercrime was signed in Budapest, Hungary. The Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime or just the Budapest Convention, is the first international treaty seeking to address Computer and Internet crimes by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques and increasing cooperation among nations. It was drawn up by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Friday, November 23, 2012

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Adeniran Ogunsanya: Remembering an icon ADENRELE ADENIRAN OGUNSANYA

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n January 31, 1918, Otunba Adeniran Olugbenga Obasanya Ogunsanya (QC, SAN), arrived this world, the sixth child of Prince Suberu Ogunsanya Oguntade, the Odofin of Ikorodu. But on November 22, 1996, 16 years yesterday, the man acknowledged by everyone as a distinguished statesman, took his final bow from the stage of life. However, by then he had come, seen, struggled and finally succeeded in leaving his foot-prints on the sands of time. As a young boy, Adeniran had an early start in education. He cut his first academic teeth at the Madariola Private School, one of the earliest preparatory schools in Nigeria, located in the heart of Balogun Compound at Itunmeko in Ikorodu. Among his classmates were late Professor Bolaji Idowu and Otunba TOS Benson. The rigidity of children upbringing then took him from home to live under the guardianship of uncles and elder brothers. Among such was Uncle James Ogunlehin, a civil servant, through who he lived in Calabar. It was this fate that took him to the famous Hope Waddell Training Institute. However, he completed his primary education in Lagos, but but under the guardianship of his elder brother, Simeon Ogunsanya, also a public servant. An exceptionally brilliant person, Adeniran scored the highest mark at the

1937 Government Standard VI examinations. He was the only candidate from Lagos among the five, who won government scholarship to King’s College, Lagos, where he spent only three years to complete a six year programme! His classmates included Dr. George Ademola, Charles Adeyinka, Jaja Godfrey Amachree, Wenike Briggs, S.Y. Eke, Emmanuel Obahiagbon and U.O.B Ugot. It was there young Adeniran met his mentor and lifelong friend, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who had been invited to give a lecture. In 1945, he sailed to the United Kingdom for further studies. There his world view changed following encounters with Pan Africanist greats like American Dr. W.E. B. Du Bois, Kenyan Jomo Kenyanta of Kenya, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana (then Gold Coast) and Amy Marcus Garvey, wife of the founder of the Pan Africanist Movement. After eight years of sojourn in the UK, Adeniran returned to Nigeria on 6th May, 1953, a qualified lawyer and a better informed politician. He returned to his country with this writer, his first child from his first marriage with Ellen nee Barlow. He remarried on May 31, 1955 to Christiana King and the union was blessed with seven children. Adeniran began his law practice at Chief T0 S Benson Chambers located at No. 47, Customs Street, Lagos, but in 1956 he joined his brother, Sulu Adebayo Ogunsanya, to establish Ogunsanya & Ogunsanya Chambers. In 1963 at 45 he took the silk as a Queens Counsel (QC).

IN POLITICS AND LEGAL PRACTICE, OTUNBA OGUNSANYA WAS DRIVEN BY THE OVERRIDING PASSION OF GIVING ALL OF HIS LIFE IN THE SERVICE OF

NIGERIA AND HER PEOPLE

His No 13 Odaliki Street, Ebute Metta home was a Mecca for Lagos political big wigs. There the great Zik of Africa, Aminu Kano, Adegoke Adelabu, Olu Akinfosile, Kola Balogun, Osita Agunna, Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe, T. 0.S Benson and Adeyinka Oyekan (the late Oba of Lagos) used for their political rendezvous. In politics and legal practice, Otunba Ogunsanya was driven by the overriding passion of giving all of his life in the service of Nigeria and her people. He was a humble man who never liked to fight, but not afraid to throw his cap in the ring if the fight was all about a good cause. Politics was his life. He was a member of the House of Representatives. It is on record that he moved the motion that led to the creation of the Mid Western Region in 1963. He capped his political appointments as Federal Minister for

Housing and Survey before the January, 1966 coup d’état. He was variously Chairman, Federal Loans Board; first Chairman, Mushin Local Government Council; Member, Lagos Town Council. Papa was the first Attorney-General of Lagos State and later Commissioner for Education, all this between 1968 and 1975. My father lived for honour and integrity. At the collapse of the Second Republic, for example, while other politicians went into hiding, he submitted himself for probe. Despite the trump-up charges of embezzlement leveled against him, he was not only exonerated, the military government handed back to him over half a million naira wrongly taken from him! One other virtue of his is humility. At the first meeting of Yoruba leaders convened by Major General Adeyinka Adebayo after the July 29, 1966 counter coup at the government House, Ibadan, it was he that nominated Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a political rival, to take the mantle of leadership of the Yoruba race. Awo played that role until his demise in 1987. The legacy we have today of the late Otunba Adeniran Ogunsanya can best be summed up in these words of Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN): “He was a gem, pure gold. Everything he touched was a success.” Princess Ogunsanya, a former Secretary to the Government of Lagos State, wrote from Lagos

Re: Aregbesola’s strange holiday in Osun ABDUR-RAHMAN BALOGUN

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read the above titled editorial on Tuesday November 20 in a national daily (not National Mirror). The following observations by me are directed at the Chairman, Editorial Board of that newspaper. You claimed that the decision of the Osun State government to declare Hijrah holiday for the over 50 per cent Muslim population in the state`` was odd and totally uncalled for’’. Interestingly, you quoted Public Holidays Act, which empower a state governor to declare a public holiday, but you put a caveat that”such powers should not be used to further religious interests’’. Please, can it be used to further political interests? In the said editorial, you also stated: ``Interestingly, many predominantly Muslim states do not even have public holidays for Hejira’’. This assertion is not correct as Iran, Malaysia, and some states in Nigeria like Niger, Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara do declare public holidays for Hijrah. You may also wish to go to Israel (the origin of Christianity) and complain to Benjamin Netanyahu on why Sunday, Christmas day, 1st January, Easter, etc are not declared as public holidays as you claimed about Saudi Arabia not declaring public holiday for Hijrah. Aregbesola acted within the law and if your management thinks otherwise, the law court should be the option rather than writing a strange editorial.

NIGERIA IS A MULTIRELIGIOUS STATE AND NOT SECULAR Another misinformation and a wrong mindset in the said editorial is what I term the wrong definition of the word ``secular’’. You stated ``and what was the fortuitous holiday meant to achieve in a secular society like Osun’’. There is no such society or state in Nigeria. Nigeria is a multireligious state and not secular. Secularism means a state without any religion or a system of social teaching, which allows no part for religion. In as much as I am not speaking for Osun State government nor the governor as I have no such power or affiliation, but your claim that Aregbesola ``false optimism that his frivolous holiday will promote religious harmony in the state falls wide off the mark’’, is unfair on the governor or the state, as there was nothing wrong in giving a holiday to Osun worshippers to be able to worship their deity. This to me is the spirit of religious harmony. I am aware that the Ijebus do have Ojude Oba celebration on the third day of each in Ijebu-Ode. If such day falls within Monday to Friday, the Ogun State government usually gives a work free day, and with the governor in attendance to mark it! The editorial also claimed: ``Already, Nigeria

is known for too many holidays. Excessive public holidays cause productivity slowdown and set the economy back’’. In as much as this statement seems to be considerate, a friend from Saudi Arabia sent in this while writing this rejoinder. ``Saudi Arabia gives 10 days each as holidays during the Eid-el Fitr and Eid-el Adha; five days before and five days after, yet that did not affect its oil production effort, and we have not heard that OPEC has been disturbed by it.’’ Malaysia, I learnt, has about 13 national holidays and a variety of other holidays at the state level and this does not disturb its economic advancement. Also, Dominican Republic has 17 holidays in a year and it has nothing to do with her economic development. When the Federal Government declared May 29 as Democracy Day and some states, especially in the South West, declared June 12 as their own Democracy Day, the Editorial Board of your newspaper did not see that as odd and championing regional or political interest? Why is it that anything that has to do with religion, especially Islam, we hypocritically pretend as if it does not exist? Religion is already part of us and cannot be exclusively in the private realm in this country as appointments, elections, public gathering, pilgrimages, education curricula, mode of dressing, praying and speaking are part of our life. I am of the opinion that Gov. Rauf Areg-

besola and his executive council team should be commended for their pro-activeness as against this strange editorial on a matter over which the state has constitutional right. I don’t know of any state or country that goes into crisis as a result of public holiday as alleged in your strange editorial that Aregbesola’s fairness in Osun was capable of causing religious mayhem in the state. You wrote: ``The abusive manipulation of religious causes has to stop. Osun State should not be turned into a new centre of full-scale religious extremism in the country’’. This definitely is provocative and itself capable of causing disaffection among the people of Osun State, who are not complaining. As media practitioners, I think our judgment on all issues should not be biased, tainted, subjective and coloured with political undertones. Abdur-Rahman Balogun, muslimmediaabj@yahoo.com, Chairman, Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), wrote from Abuja Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Mail Mirror

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The Aregbe train phenomenon W Is Lagos State Traffic Law working?

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live in Ketu, but work in Lagos Island. Many Lagosians applauded Governor Babatunde Fashola for rolling out the state’s new traffic law, especially with regards to the activities of NURTW field workers and the lawlessness of Danfo drivers. Just few weeks into the implementation of the law, we are back to status quo ante, that is, it is business as usual. The agberos that went underground are again back in full force. The only difference is that they operate without their giveaway uniform. As for the danfo drivers, they have become emboldened in their lawlessness. Climbing the median divide to move from one side of the road to the other is the order of the day in Ketu, Ojota and Mile 12. They do this in the full glare of LASTMA operatives. They do not use the service lane but pack along the busy express roads to carry their passengers. The question now is was the traffic law intended to achieve specific objectives, one of which must be traffic orderliness? Governor Fashola and his team owe Lagosians explanation.

e have all enjoyed last week’s Salah celebration and the usual merriment that accompanies it. This time around, it was also complemented by a long holiday (Thursday-Sunday), which made it a restful period for many. As an indigene of Osogbo, who is resident in Lagos, I have for the last 10 years made it a habit to celebrate the Eid ul-Fitr back home. The festival was always attended by the hustle and bustle of festivities; meeting with friends and family both from home and abroad. It afforded an annual opportunity to renew old ties, check on relatives and generally unwind after a year of work-filled sojourn in stress-filled Lagos. However, there was a

new twist to this year’s Salah feast, which made an impression on me. From my place at Igbono area of the town, I had gone to Owode-Ede on Thursday to see an old friend of mine – I had arrived by road early on that day. My goodnatured friend gave me a Salah-before-Salah treat because he hadn’t seen me for a while. I decided to take my time to relax with him and his family. At sundown I finally took my leave and headed home. On getting to the OlaIya intersection, we ran into a heavy traffic that set tongues wagging regarding the cause of the traffic, which was unusually congested. The question that dominated discussion was whether ‘Aregbe Train’ had ar-

rived. Those with sufficient knowledge of its movement confirmed that the train had indeed arrived at the Old Garage Railway Station. At a point when I could no longer bear the traffic situation, I got down from the Korope bus I had boarded from Owode-Ede and headed on foot towards Old Garage. I discovered that the cause of the traffic was not the Aregbe Train as we were glibly led to believe, rather the traffic situation was occasioned by acts of lawlessness on the part of the commercial bus drivers, who parked their vehicles right in the middle of the road to load them with passengers. But the traffic congestion did have something to do with the Aregbe Train; the passengers in

question, whose presence occasioned the lawless conduct of the commercial bus drivers, were the people conveyed from Lagos to town by Aregbe Train. And they were not few. In fact, it was the fact of their very large numbers that attracted commercial buses to the scene to convey them to their various destinations, for a fee of course! I quickly recalled that the Aregbe Train was a free train ride launched earlier in the year without much fanfare. It surprised me that it could have become such a phenomenon within such a short time. Ironically, most of the people that came by the train were actually not Osun indigenes, which Ogbeni had intended it for. They were people from Ajase, Offa

Don’t tamper again with petroleum price

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id President Goodluck Jonathan really say he knew what privations are as a small boy? His statement presupposes he had a humble beginning. We expect a man like that now that he is a leader to know where the shoes of poverty pinch. Last January, the nation woke up to the rude shock that the litre price of petrol rose from N65 to N141. It took aluta struggle to force the federal government to slash it down to the present N97. Less than one year after, the mantra of ‘oil subsidy must go’ is resonating the nation’s airwaves. There is therefore, the likelihood of another fuel price hike in January 2013. Was does Mr. President have against poor Nigerians? In policy formulation it is imperative to strike a balance between economic wisdom and political expediency. What is economically correct may not necessarily be politically correct. For a depressed people like Nigerians, the least an ineptitude leadership could do is to leave them where they are, if it could not take them to the next level. Jonathan should not worsen the situation of Nigerians that are already down. Comrade Igbuan Ojei, Abuja

and other neighbouring towns in Kwara State. This in fact explains why commercial buses were able to cash in on the quick-profit opportunity, which would not have been available had the passengers been people from Osogbo and its environs. The Aregbe Train had not only created Salah succour for passengers; it had also created moneymaking opportunity for bus drivers. Come next Salah, I might give a try myself. Coming by bus wasn’t cheap! Lukman Adeyemi, Surulere, Lagos

Stop this senseless carnage now

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he federal government must immediately set up a committee to find lasting solution to the pervasive acts of terrorism and attacks on Christians’ places of worship. These terror acts are more political than religious. If the government cannot provide security for Christians in the North, then they should start looking elsewhere for residence. The government should also improve on intelligence gathering and be proactive on situations like the recent bombings in Kaduna. Gaius Chikere, tac Town, Lagos

Fes-

Dialoguing with Boko Haram

I Two young porters waiting for the customers at Oba Akran Road, Ikeja, Lagos.

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read with disgust in yesterday edition of your newspaper that the Federal Executive Council approved the sum of N13.9 billion for a planned international airport for Bayelsa State. The proximity of the state to Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, which has an international airport, rules out economic imperative as a strong point for the project.

Letters to the Editor

Why airport for Bayelsa? President Goodluck Jonathan must know that he is insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians in the way and manner he favours his home state with federal presence. Having given his village a federal university, siting an international airport in the same state, an investment that would later

turn out to be a ‘white elephant project’ is strengthening the argument by many that what a community or ethnic nationality gets from the government of the day is a function of where the big man in government comes from. Nigeria leaders, especially at this present time of excruciating eco-

nomic downturn, must use the available foreign exchange made from oil wisely so as to have favourable return on investments. We have become an okada economy, the result of the reliance of most Nigerians on okada business for their sustenance. Is this not a strong argument for wise spending?

f Boko Haram, the militant Islamic sect, is ready to drop arms and embrace peace, why not. After all, dialogue is the spice of life. From family level to the most complex social level conflicts are resolved through dialogue. However, there is an ironic twist to the much touted Boko Haram initiative: It wants to solely set all the ground rules. This is against the principle of conflict and bargaining. The sect should allow third party mediator to clear the hurdles for peace. Nigerians are tired of the senseless and mindless killings over nothing.

James Agu, Plateau State

Grace Aifua, Benin City, Edo State

PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

Jos,

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.


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FRIDAY

Flavour

Friday, November 23, 2012

sion (CCTV) cameras in major parts of Abuja, the nation’s capital city, to check the spate of bombings and other criminal activities. Ewelukwa regarded the security measure as a source of confidence to most residents in the city. For Hasssan Mohammed, a civil servant, the festival will provide Nigerians the opportunity to show that the country is not all about Boko Haram, bombings, kidnappings and others social vices that have characterised the nation in the recent past. Mohammed said it is an opportunity for the country to recreate the wrong impression, activities of the Boko Haram sect has created against Nigeria in the international community. “I expect a colourful festival that will project Nigeria in very positive image as against the dreaded perceptions activities of Boko Haram has created for the country in the international com-

RESIDENTS BELIEVE THIS

YEAR ’ S CARNIVAL WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL IN VIEW OF SECURITY MEASURES BY GOVERNMENT munity”, he said. The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku noted that Nigeria remains the largest reservoir of African cultures, urging organisers of the Abuja Carnival to draw lessons from FESTAC ‘77 in order to promote and guard

WEEKEND STARTERS 2012 Igbo Day holds in Lagos

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ances, masquerades and traditional sports will come to the fore as Ndi Igbo in Lagos gather at the National Stadium, Surulere to celebrate the 2012 Igbo Day tomorrow. The event, which starts at 9.00 a.m. has Pascal Dozie as the chairman, while President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Pius Anyim and Martin Agbaso are the special guests of honour. It is being hosted by the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Lagos chapter.

Leonard

Afrinolly master class online

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oday, budding African filmmakers can interact with Franklin Leonard of Black List via Google+ in the first edition of the Afrinolly Short

Film Competition Master Class Series. Organisers said Leonard will share the elements that make screenplay/ storylines great, the place of quality screenplay in creating short films and how to capture your audience in 15 minutes or less. He would also talk about his company, Black List, responsible for scripts for blockbusters like: Juno and Slumdog Millionaire, among others. The conversation will happen online at 5 .00 p.m.

AMJ brings Akpabio to Lagos for NOPA

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he Association of Movie Journalists of Nigeria, AMJ, will, on Sunday, host the fifth edition of Nollywood Outstanding Personalities Awards, NOPA at Regency Hall in Alausa, Ikeja-Lagos. Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, is special guest of honour. Under the chairmanship of the Vice Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Lagos State, Dr. James Odunmbaku, the Guest of Honour is Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Umar Manko, while the Chief

Host is Dr. Walter Ofonagoro. Organisers said the event will honour personalities who are not often identified with Nollywood because of their silent, but effective contributions towards t h e g r ow t h of the nation’s film industry. Akpabio

Denrele’s Day P. 32-33

Escape

Benue state’s queen at the 2011 Abuja National carnival

P. 26

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overs of culture and festivities are swarming the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ahead of tomorrow’s opening ceremony of the 8th edition of Abuja National Carnival – a festival of brilliant parades of cultures, colours, dancers, masquerades and other superlative spectacles that usually characterise the annual event. Residents and visitors are rolling out the drums to celebrate this year’s festival, while the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has said foreign troupes from Egypt, India, Trinidad, South Africa, Ghana, China and Cameroun, among others, would join Nigerian troupes to dazzle spectators with eclectic performances. Chief Duke, at a recent press conference to announce the line-up of events, said further that Abuja National Carnival has been transformed to an international event, adding that some participating countries have already stormed the FCT. He hinted that the President has directed the Culture Ministry to transform the carnival from a street parade and cultural performances by states into a platform of expression of creativity that would ultimately translate into business enterprises. “For the very first time, apart from the 36 states, we are also expecting a large contingent of Nigerian women at this year’s carnival. We are introducing, for first time participation, a competition among schools within and outside Abuja. We will also be having, for the first time, participation by military and para-military bands”, he said. John Ewelukwa, an Abuja-based trader at Wuse market, who has also indicated interest in the Carnival, described as a welcome development, the introduction of closed-circuit televi-

African cultures from extinction. “Nigeria happens to be the largest reservoir of pristine African Culture. There is nowhere you will go in the world and you are going to have the kind of cultures that this country presently hosts for the rest of the world on behalf of Africans. Both Africans in the Diaspora and those in the continent look up to Nigeria now as the last bastion of the defence of African culture from total erosion”, Maku said. The Minister urged stakeholders to project the image of Nigeria and harness economic potentials of the Abuja carnival, adding that the festival can drive a lot of industries. “Even if it’s the development of costume alone, it is a multi-billion naira event”, he stated. For some of the residents, the carnival will, once again, provide a window for a carefree period of jubilation and less worry about fuel scarcity and other social challenges that had held the city by the jugular. While some expressed reservations, saying the carnival may record low attendance due to insecurity, others believe this year’s carnival will be one of the most successful in view of visible measures by the government to ensure adequate security in the city. Similarly, the Director of Culture for the Abuja Carnival, Mr. George Ufot, assured that all security organisations are on ground to ensure safety of lives and properties of visitors and spectators at the event. He said “Everything is on course; relevant organisations will take care of our security. We are essentially concerned about giving you a good performance; visitors should expect the best. About 12 foreign countries and 36 states are coming in for this carnival. Abuja carnival is a fiesta that brings all the diversities of Nigeria into Abuja and we plan for the best. We want to entertain our people and we want to make our people happy”.

Mirror Mongers

CHIDI UGWU

P. 24-25

2012 Abuja Carnival: Superlative fiesta of culture!

P. 34

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

Inside FCT

VOL. 2 No. 498

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20

Artman In The House

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R Mrs. Tinuke Nwakohu, Deputy President, National Association of Nigerian Travelling Agencies (NANTA); Mr. Hloni Pitso, SA Tourism Trade Relations Manager East & West Africa and Phumi at West Africa Trade workshop held in Lagos in September

Phumi

A typical lodge available for visitors to the games reserve

We’re preparing the party of a decade for Africa –Phumi Around the period Nigeria and South Africa signed their ‘Cooperation in the field of Tourism Agreement’ in 2008, Phumi Dhlomo was taking up the mantle of responsibility as South African Tourism’s Regional Director for the Africa unit. In four years since he began that assignment, the markets under his unit have contributed significantly to total tourist arrival and value to the industry. Nigeria ranks high on SA Tourism’s West African agenda and the regional director has frequented Lagos for trade and marketing meetings/workshops to stimulate local tourism industry, as well promote destination South Africa. Ahead of his country’s hosting of the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations where Nigeria makes a reappearance after missing the 2012 tournament, he shares with ADENRELE NIYI how SATourism is preparing to host African fans. Friday Flavour also brings pictures of attractions to look out for. Excerpts:

Football unites and commands great followership in Africa; how affordable will South Africa be for visitors’ particularly at this peak period of Orange AFCON 2013? South Africa as a destination is exceptionally affordable and brilliant value for money destination and we are going out of our way to make AFCON accessible and affordable for fans of African football. The country holds its annual ‘end of season’ sale early in 2013 to coincide with the football tournament. This is a massive nationwide retail sale in all of South Africa’s shopping malls to give football fans the shopping experience and bargain of a lifetime. SATourism and VISA have also joined forces with malls all over the country to bring this special experience to fans for the duration of the tournament. The tournament is also a celebration of the African culture. In your opinion, what elements will differentiate this edition from past ones? African Cup of Nations is a celebration of Africa unity, African rhythm, excitement and passion for the game of football. We are expecting a gathering of the Africa nations in South Africa and we are preparing a party of the decade for a showpiece of the style of African football that is energetic, deeply competitive and flamboyant. We are expecting people from all over the continent to

AT THE END OF THE TOURNAMENT, THE WHOLE CONTINENT WILL HAVE SCORED A DECISIVE VICTORY FOR CELEBRATING UNITY AND CELEBRATING

AFRICA’S

FAVOURITE SPORT come to South Africa, have fun and a wonderful time meeting new friends, re-connecting with old friends and discovering our many lifestyle activities. Many Nigerian fans would like to turn out in numbers to support the national team, Super Eagles, but it is difficult getting a visa. What is SATourism doing to help? We work with the Department of Internal Affairs and other stakeholders and partners to make getting a visa as easy as possible. Although we do know that from time to time, there are delays in visa procurement. But all the service providers work hard to get these ironed out as soon as

possible. We are confident that all Nigerian fans who want to come and support the Super Eagles at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province, will get a visa in good time. Nigerians are welcome as well as any other visitors from other countries. From January to December 2011, about 64,402 Nigerians visited South Africa. The figure, compared to the 2010 Nigerian tourist arrivals for same period, represented a 37.5 percent increase. So far this year, there has been 21.4 percent increase on Nigeria arrivals in South Africa from January to May 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. We have made provisions to adequately host the continent including Nigerian fans who would be based in Nelspruit. There would be transportation (both private and public sector supplied) to transport fans to each of the stadiums in the host cities. With the expected high influx of travellers to SA during Nations Cup, how are airlifters working to get fans into SA from other African regions? Airlift from the other markets into South Africa has always been good because Africa is one of the fastest growing continental regions for tourists to South Africa. We are certain there will be ample flights available to get fans in for the


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Artman In The House

Friday, November 23, 2012

21

FACT FILE •

Phumi holds a BComm Hons and MBA and is currently studying for a Masters of Commerce in strategic Marketing.

Born in KwaZulu-Natal, Phumi started his career at Alexander Forbes as a Junior Consultant.

Before joining SA Tourism, he was General Manager of Sales and Marketing at the South African National Parks.

Phumi heads a unit whose destination marketing efforts are focused on Nigeria, Kenya, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mpumalanga is one of South Africa’s most beautiful and most visited provinces and Nelspruit is the capital.

Mpumalanga Province lies to the east of Johannesburg and includes the eastern part of the Highveld, the scenic escarpment and Drakensberg Mountains.

Mbombela Stadium is a newly built, all-seater, 40,929-seat stadium and was one of the 10 venues for the FIFA World Cup 2010.

The largest game reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park (of nearly two million hectares of land that stretch for 352 kilometres or 20,000 square kilometres) is in the province. The national park stretches from north to south along the Mozambique border and is given over to an almost indescribable wildlife experience

It is also home to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, as well as the scenic Panorama Route with its spectacular views and waterfalls.

The ‘Cooperation in the field of Tourism Agreement’ between Nigeria and South Africa has been reactivated for accelerated execution by the visit of Nigerian Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, to South Africa in September 2012.

Chief Duke was invited by South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Mr. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk for closed-door meetings.

The tourism bilateral agreement between South Africa and Nigeria covers interactions between tourism and travel trade officials, the exchange of tourism research, statistics and human resource development.

It also includes investment, exchange programmes, joint marketing and establishment of a joint commission, entry formalities and environmental matters between the two countries.

Mbombela Stadium, where Nigeria would be playing all of her group matches.

FNB Stadium Soccer City Johannesburg hosted the opening and closing matches of the 2010 World Cup and will also host same matches for AFCON 2013.

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban

Nations Cup. My best advice is to explore all the options on travel to South Africa online site to secure flights, accommodation and other tourist services and experiences in and around South Africa for the duration of the tournament. But is your country adequately prepared in the short time it took to be awarded hosting rights? Yes, I think so; South Africa is well prepared. We are excited and look forward to welcoming the continent back in 2013. Our hospitality industry is ready to welcome you, make you feel at home and give the warm, welcoming South African hospitality to make the tournament a fantastic and celebratory experience. The stadia are ready. The restaurants, nightclubs, pubs and shopping malls are ready in each of the five host cities and across South Africa, too. We are excited about the Nations Cup and we look forward to receiving visitors. Do you have an idea of the total budget for the tournament? In total, South Africa is investing US$53.5m in the Nations Cup. However, the fact that we built stadia for the FIFA 2010 World Cup makes hosting this tournament that bit easier. Of the US$53.3m, US$37m will go to South African national departments to cover costs associated with hosting (including security, protocol and migration ser-

A lion crosses in front of a Safari bus at Kruger National Park

vices). A further US$2m will be used by the provinces and another US$14m will be used by the five host cities to cover various hosting costs This event is very important to us in South Africa for a number of reasons. One of which is that it gives us an opportunity again to showcase our destination, our welcoming people, our capability and infrastructure not only to the continent, but also to the world Its impact will be significant. We are targeting 150,000 arrivals to South Africa from other African countries for AFCON. So far (in the first seven months of 2012), African tourists to South Africa have contributed about $6billion to the South African economy. We expect football fans to contribute about $154million to the economy when they come in January next year. The championship will provide a boost for our hospitality industry; boosted hotel room occupancy, busier restaurants and other entertainment venues and the creation of more jobs for South Africans in tourism and hospitality AFCON fans, of course, will also impact other areas of our economy; sectors that service the tourism industry, but are not tourism businesses per se: the banking and financial sectors of our economy, transport, the agricultural sector and so on. Organising, managing and delivering the tournament

itself is labour intensive. The Local Organising Committee of AFCON estimates that the event is creating about 16,100 jobs (in areas such as venue management, stewards, security and support staff). 2,500 South Africans will work as volunteers at AFCON and gain valuable experience of big event management and delivery. At the end of the tournament, one team will lift the champion trophy... but the whole continent will have scored a decisive victory for celebrating unity and celebrating Africa’s favourite sport. At the end of the day, African unity, celebration, fun, passion and excitement will be the real winners. Why should we come to South Africa for the championship? Why not just stay at home and watch it on TV? You could stay at home and watch AFCON on the TV. But why? You’d miss out on the excitement, the passion and the camaraderie of the crowd. And you’d miss out on South Africa; our wonderful hospitality, the great activities we offer in each of the host cities, the after-the-game celebrations in other host cities, and the opportunity to relax, go shopping, meet fantastic new people at some of the hottest and trendiest night-time entertainment on the planet. You’d miss all the fun.


22

Critics

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Exhibition

Itan: New age eye on cosmology, lore In Itan, her first solo exhibition since she began professional work as an artist and photographer in 2007, Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko dives headlong into the mystical world of traditional African spiritualism and mythology from a contemporary perspective. A DENRELE NIYI

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he exhibition, which opened on Saturday, November 3 at The Porsche Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, is situated on retelling several age-old African myths; expanding or editing, paraphrasing or translating to emphasise or de-emphasise basic elements of the story. This is the sum total of Yetunde’s stunning black and white collection but hidden in the images are multi-dimensional theme treatments. The photographer, who works out of Camara Studios in Ikeja, Lagos, is taking her exploration of the female form as a subject of photographic documentation into new terrains with this exhibition. Itan in Yoruba language loosely translates to mean “story” and true to the word’s semantic roots, Yetunde’s photographs are a 21st century narration of the mysteries and allure of culture told using lithe female figures, creative costuming, dramatic props and an ultra-modern ambience. Hanging down from the ceiling inside Porsche Centre’s sparkling and well-lit showroom, the entire collection of works each mounted on Di-Bond, cut an edgy approach as it demystifies the complexities of trado-cultural beliefs on the one hand and on the other, strikes a complimentary balance next to the sleek lines of gleaming Porsche vehicles (which on merit are somewhat of mechanical works of art

ITAN RE-FRAMES HISTORY PASSED ON FROM A PREDOMINANTLY PATRIARCHAL

AFRICAN SOCIETY

themselves). Subtly but uninhibitedly, in Itan, Yetunde reframes history passed on from a predominantly patriarchal African society –of men holding sway over legends and lores, by photo-freezing her models in daring roles and provocative interpretations of myths. Through its elaborate studio effects and wellsculpted face makeup on the models, the exhibition likewise beams the attracting klieg-light of glamour on traditional beliefs which have previously received the disdainfully distancing we reserve for Mami Water (C-Print on Di-Bond, 20 x 30 in.), her take on the fable of the underwater female siren (the equivalent of Western mermaids) reputed to possess power of divinity and is recognised by her symbol –a large snake which wraps itself around her, borders on the edge of sensuality than dread at the menace of a snake bearing woman (spirit). The image seeks to dispel the ominous cloud which hovers over dark, folklorish characters and does so by romanticising

them. In the three-part The Pretty Stranger Who Killed the King, She also expands the theme of femme fatales and their profound influence in changing the course of history in the lives of exalted men who fall prey to their wiles. In her telling, the photographer’s ability to bring alive her model’s simmering murderous design in the first photograph; the deviousness of a back-stabber (literarily) in the second shot and the haughtiness of an irresistible woman who has had her way in the third, is brilliant! Together, The Pretty Stranger Who Killed the King, artistically rendered like a film director cum storyboard artist – frames the three photos in varying moods into one loop as each concept merges into the other. According to the photographer, the trio have turned out to be one of her best-selling photograph(s) in the exhibition which is not at all surprising. As a follower of Yetunde’s photographic style from her debut in a joint-exhibition titled, Body Landscapes (2008) at Goethe Institut, Lagos, her unabashed but gracious treatment of the female figure, sometimes erotically, depicts artistic depth and originality. Itan is a testament to the power of the sensual feminine form taking on traditional gender-dominated mythology and representing its mysticism and alluring quality in a manner which does not convert, but challenges us to a more introspective look at our prejudices.

Music

D’BANJ TELLS FANS HE IS STILL FULL OF THOSE IDEAS... THAT HE IS FAR FROM BEING PUT OUT BY THE NEW RAVES OF THE MOMENT

A scene from the video

D’Banj ups the quality ante Popular Nigerian hip-hop artiste, Dapo Daniel Oyebanji, better known as D’Banj, has released a video for his latest single titled Bachelor, the second work to come from the artiste since he signed on to the Kanye West-led G.O.O.D Music. OMOEFE SOLOMON AND ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

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ince his separation from Don Jazzy and Mo’Hits, D’Banj has taken his craft to a whole new level to meet international standard and local expec-

tation that confronts him to uphold the title of ‘entertainer’. A few months earlier, the multi award winning artiste released a single titled Oyato, but received poor reviews by music pundits and fans. D’Banj pushed himself on Oyato, but the question is, has he done

better on the latest single? Poor reviews regardless, D’Banj’s dreams are coming true before his eyes; he wanted to make collaborations with international acts, he got it; he wanted to sign with an international label and be a heavy weight on the music stage, he equally got it. Now, aside his many awards, the Koko Master has just won the most coveted award at the 2012 ChannelO Music Video Awards -Most Gifted Video of the Year. He also took home Most Gifted Male Vide of the Year. This is besides his MOBO (Music of Black Origin) award and ‘Best African Act’ at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, having received the highest votes from fans across sub-Saharan Africa. D’Banj is smart to have released Bachelor along with its video directed by his long-time friend Sesan (D’Banj appears on credits as co-director). The video is a mixture of good quality, sound output, perfect scenery and production elements are well-structured the video spells money and proper use of international qualities, The video is steaming hot, spells money with scenes that tell an excellent storyline. Music video critics with raised brows would drop it a few seconds into the montage of scenes. He opens the video with a young man, played by himself, who walks into an argument with his somewhat ‘possessive’ girlfriend in a sprawling white mansion. Their voices are muted as the song plays on


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics

Friday, November 23, 2012

A narrative to savour OKECHUKWU UWAEZUOKE

A

Mami Water

in full force. The video soon swings to D’Banj partying away in the club while his enraged girlfriend smashes things in the house and then his car windshield before moving out of the house. The video is high budget shot in definition with the eye-popping mansion lingering on in memory long after the video is over. Like most of Sesan’s previous works for the Afro music star, a lot of praises has been showered on this job.

Lyrics and music production It is about a man conflicted about being in a monogamous relationship and living an extravagant bachelor lifestyle. D’Banj warns his girlfriend to be careful as he is a bachelor who is still in hot demand– kind of an allusion to critics who sneer that he is losing his grip on making hit music. The artiste tells fans he is still full of those ideas that endeared him to them; that he is far from being put out by the new ‘raves’ of the moment. The beats of the approximately two and a half minutes song are in mid-tempo and almost immediately, ‘slowly’ gets your head nodding. Just like Oyato, this song does not quite pick up pace, making its climax weak. You listen to it expecting more –something that would leap you off your feet. Bachelor is a good song that yet proclaims the self-acclaimed entertainer as a hot item. But the lyrical theme is pretty much the same vainglorious topic many Nigerian musicians and even international pop stars sing about today. If you want songs with a conscious message, listen to Nneka and Asa. That’s the whole point; there are different genres of music.

ppearances are often deceptive. Even the awareness of this incontrovertible fact, sadly enough, never restrains those who would hasten to pass judgement on circumstances they do not understand. Such is man! Right from the first page of Azuka Onwuka’s beautifullywritten novella, Wings of the Night, the reader encounters a dishevelled character. This character – who we shortly understand is a shepherd – lives a solitary life and, for that and other reasons, elicits unflattering comments from passersby. A few words gleaned from these passersby’s whispered conversation confirm their judgemental attitude. This shepherd must be mad, one of them affirms. His reasons: “He entered this village a few days ago with his sheep and wanders about, sleeping wherever he likes. Is that the way your people behave? The way he looks alone will tell you that his mind needs one more round of kindling”. (Page 6) In a nutshell, the shepherd whose name we are soon told is Nduka is being deemed insane for choosing to live differently. Adhering to unconventional principles, history attests, could make anyone a candidate for moral stone-throwing. Slander and insinuations have been known to be hurled at even great minds like Socrates or revered personality like Jesus Christ. But is this fictional character Nduka really mad? The author soon guides us into his past. He was once like anyone else in his community Ikenaano: settled to a sedentary lifestyle with a family of his own and at peace with himself and with the laws of the land. The scene opens on an idyllic moonlit night. Swilling palmwine from cow horns with his visitor Okoli, this character revels in the beauty of this night. Deftly stringing words together, Onwuka conjures a picture of a typical homestead of that 15th century Igbo Wings of the Night village. “The two friends were sitting inside Nduka’s ozo-obi. The ozo-obi was a hut where the owner of the house received his visitors. It was built outside the compound but into the front wall of the compound. The ozo-obi had no front wall. But it had a door behind through which the owner of the house and members of his family came into the ozo-obi. It was built close to the central gate of the compound. The owner of the house received his visitors, especially, the male ones, there. Except for special reasons like illness, birth or death, most male visitors stopped at the ozo-obi”. (Page 8) This is a natural entrée to the untainted Igbo customs of that time, some of which have survived till date. Savour the frequent use of proverbs in conversations. Observe the habit of addressing adults by their monikers rather than by their given names. Then consider the Igbo traditional religion as well as the belief in the chi, whose nebulous meaning can be stretched to mean anything from a kind of guardian angel or even the incomprehensible divine power streaming through all that exists. Then there are the regulatory roles of the umunna (the extended family) and, of course, the umu okpu or umu ada (daughters of the umunna married outside the family). It soon becomes clear to both Igbo and non-Igbo readers of the novel, Wings of the Night, that the author, Onwuka, has a well-above average grasp of the Igbo mores. Thus, his 145-page novel becomes one of the treasured research materials on this subject matter. Let us return to his lead character, Nduka. He is blissfully oblivious of the fact that an ominous period of his earthly existence is lurking around the corner. This is a period that

23

Book

DEFTLY STRINGING WORDS TOGETHER, THE AUTHOR CONJURES A PICTURE OF A TYPICAL HOMESTEAD OF THAT

15TH CENTURY IGBO VILLAGE

will plunge him into a purifying furnace of experiences. Before these looming experiences, his ‘chi’ seems to have been shoved aside into irrelevance. Perhaps, the character Nduka provided the threads through which the looms of the Supreme One, in accordance with the creation’s law of reciprocal action, has woven the garment which he is being compelled to wear. Yet, while Nature seems to mourn with him after the first tragedy struck him, his fellow men “wondered how such a thing could have been possible” (Page 47). A wiseacre among them even is certain that Nduka has desecrated the earth; hence it is wrecking its vengeance. It is tragic enough that Nduka lost his wife Onamma and baby boy Chima in Agu River during his return trip from consulting the priestess-herbalist Achalaugo. But it seems incomprehensible to this Job’s comforter that the river would also claim Iloka, known for his swimming expertise. Why would the gods be so unfair? It is obvious that the author of this beautiful novel – which by the way could use a better cover design – is discomfited by the practice of blaming a man’s adversities on his past misdeeds. Hardly has Nduka put this tragedy behind him, than the next one strikes him with unrelenting ferocity. What is left of his family and his earthly possessions are wiped out in a freak fire incident. Could it be that his chi has forsaken him? True: there is nothing the eyes see that can make it bleed”, as the Igbo adage goes. Yet, it is incomprehensible that even his best friend Okoli would be behind this latest calamity. This explains his turning his back on humanity and his choice to live as a solitary shepherd. His perception of his fellow men has now become distorted from the prism of his adversities. But then, that perception is challenged with his encounter of the young boy, Nkechi and his supposed parents as well as by the intrusion of a leopard. He eventually kills the leopard but dies from the mortal wounds he sustained from the encounter. At his death bed, he gets the confirmation of what he has intuitively known since his meeting with Nkechi: he is none other than his baby Chima who he believed was swept away by the Agu River. Chima (or Nkechi) continues his lineage into the 21st century. Through him, he becomes the progenitor of the community we encounter at the book’s final pages, which has is known as Umunduka. These final pages (136 to 138) would have been tidier as an epilogue. The unsuspecting reader is jolted by the revelation that the entire story in the novella is an account rendered by a 74-year-old retired principal Chief Moses Nzeako. It is comforting, though, that the author includes an erratum in the last page to include a missing word on Page 17. Other typos in the book are negligible and could easily be corrected for subsequent editions. Uwaezuoke is a deputy editor with a Lagos-based newspaper.


24

Inside FCT

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tension grips FCT over planned demolition of estates OMEIZA AJAYI

P

alpable tension has continued to grip residents of the Federal Capital Territory, especially those who have invested heavily in developing properties inside the various estates that dot the territory’s landscape. The tension is as a result of plans by the FCT Administration (FCTA) to demolish all the estates lying between the Federal Housing Estate in Lugbe and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Only few weeks ago, the administration had demolished about 500 houses at the Minanuel Estate along the Airport Road. The action, which attracted a backlash from most residents, saw human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana instituting a N5billionn suit on behalf of the developer, against the FCTA. Consequently, members of the FCT Chapter of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, (REDAN), are said to have vowed to cease development of properties within the territory. The problem now, however, is that with the FCTA’s resolve to continue its onslaught, many residents are now wary of investing in such schemes while those who have done that before are desperately seeking ways of having their money refunded. The Development Control Department of the FCTA which is saddled with the demolition, only recently announced that members of the public who may have invested their monies or planned to do so in the proposed Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mass Housing Estate along the Airport road should cancel such investment as the project is a sham. Director, Development Control Department of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Yahaya Yusuf had stated: “They should stop it; please enlighten the people because NUT is still talking of an estate there. It is a farce!”, Yusuf revealed. According to him, anybody or corporate organisation engaged in the development of properties on the Airport road for mass housing after the popular Federal Housing Estate, FHA, is wasting money, time and efforts. Con-

ANYBODY OR CORPORATE ORGANISATION ENGAGED IN DEVELOPMENT OF PROPERTIES

AIRPORT ROAD IS WASTING MONEY, TIME AND ON THE

EFFORTS sequently, he called on such persons to desist from such development as they risk demolition upon verification of any such alleged document backing their fraudulent claims has proven to be so. He called on subscribers to the doubtful NUT housing project to foreclose such transactions and save themselves any loss in the future advising them to disregard the alleged text assuring members of the public that the NUT housing project is valid, “it is a farce”, he reaffirmed. Yusuf emphasised that for the avoidance of doubt, Nigerians seeking to own properties in the FCT should verify all third party transactions on any plot put out for sale by AGIS as some of such sellers may be executing a fraudulent transactions. He maintained that areas designated for mass housing are Lokogoma, Gaduwa and Apo mechanic village as well as Kafe and Gwarimpa districts. One of the secondary school teachers in Abuja, who had subscribed to the scheme and who did not want his in print, pleaded with the union to refund him and his colleagues. According to him, he got a text from NUT on Monday asking him and those who have begun paying for the land to come for a meeting yesterday (Thursday) to seek ways of addressing the issue. With the determination of the FCTA to demolish all the estates within the ‘marked’ areas, it is perhaps wise for residents who have begun such investments to hold on and get more clarification or approval from the FCTA while those who are seeking to purchase houses or land in such estates would suspend such plans.

Subscribers of Minauel Estate, protesting at the entrance of the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo: ROTIMI OSASONA

Plans for Yuletide heighten as fuel subsidy remains MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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hank God, I am now sure I will travel home this December and will not witness another round of agonising experience which my government subjected me to earlier this year”, squealed Chinwe Emeka, last Sunday, when she heard President Goodluck Jonathan, say the controversial fuel subsidy remained. To the underprivileged like her, nothing was of greater significance than the subsidy saga in the President’s two-hour Media chat. She had glued her eyes to her 14-inch television box, which was powered by a generating set letting out raucous sound and thick smoke at her backyard, to know the President’s stance on the matter. Few minutes after the President ended his chat, Chinwe dashed out of her yard and knocked ceaselessly on the door of this reporter saying: “I can prepare for December now, our President has spoken; no more subsidy removal! I am sure I will not be caught again like what happened to me early in the year at the village”. Prior to the President’s clarification on the issue, there had been raging threats from labour unions,

WUSE IS CONSIDERED ILLEGAL BY THE FCT ADMINISTRATION, BUT THE RHYTHM OF THE SEASON IS ALREADY HOVERING OVER ITS ATMOSPHERE civil society and student groups to plunge the nation into what they called mother-of-all-industrial-actions should the Federal Government remove the fuel subsidy as widely reported. Anticipated removal of the subsidy, no doubt, had made many residents become ambivalent on possibility of leaving the city for their villages to celebrate Christmas and New Year. “The fear of January 1, 2013 is the beginning of wisdom in Nigeria”, Chinwe had told this reporter. She would not travel to the East, though her people wanted to her to feast with them, after a year of seperation. While clearing the air on the matter, Jonathan said

during the Media Chat: “Frankly speaking, I was totally misunderstood in the statement I made…we made provision for oil subsidy in the 2013 budget and if we want to deregulate as you are speculating, we would not make such a provision”. Like the Biblical Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, Christmas and New Year periods makes Abuja unappealing to anyone –residents depart the city en-masse to celebrate with families in their various indigenous communities; thereby leaving the city empty. For many people in the nation’s poverty-ridden villages, their loved ones in the ‘seat of power’ are expected to share the ‘national cak’ with them, at least during this festive season. Whereas, millions of Nigerians who travelled to see loved ones were trapped in the web of Federal Government’s unilateral declaration of fuel subsidy removal on January 1, 2012; it was a historic era in Nigeria’s history. After the gusto which accompanied the season, many of the citizens were denied their return trip back to their places of work. The price of petrol that had reached geometric rise consequent upon the subsidy suspension, spurred a corresponding escalation in transport fares, nationwide. So many people were stranded as they never envisaged such occurrence.


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Inside FCT

Friday, November 23, 2012

25

CBN beams light of hope on SOS village TOLA A KINMUTIMI

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unday, November 18, will remain memorable to the over 100 socially deprived but promising children of the SOS Village in Gwagwalada, Abuja, as the day the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, extended a hand of help to the little ones and re-assured that despite their present deprivations, the children can hope for a better tomorrow. The regulatory bank, in furtherance of its Corporate Social Responsibility, did not only commission a building named CBN Family House to provide additional shelter to the children, but also promised to sponsor some of children for the next five years. Speaking at the commissioning of the building, CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who left pressing official duties and engagements to personally mingle with the children at the early evening event, also promised to provide a water treatment facility in the village in his personal capacity. Sanusi said that as a corporate citizen, the CBN has a long standing commitment to humanitarian support and educational development which is being carried out without prejudice to race, creed, gender or religion adding that in its own little way, the bank strives to impact positively on its community by identifying and supporting worthy causes. He explained that in demonstrating of this commitment, the bank shall sustain its support for the CBN Family House for the next five years, adding that, “we, therefore, want to assure SOS that the bank appreciates and will continue to support it in its essential mission of ensuring that e less privileged in our society are well catered for”. While assuring the children that the bank would make every effort to see that they are not neglected, Sanusi, however, urged them to take their studies seriously and be of good behaviour as they would not be judged and respected by where they are today, but by what they become tomorrow. For the children who were not only elated but regaled their benefactor and others who witnessed the occasion to traditional dances in beautiful costumes, life could not have offered a better promise.

Dearth of bank facilities made travel impossible for those who could afford the fares. However, of all governments’ policies in the past decade, the subsidy removal decision remains a unique bombshell that stands as landmark barometer for testing the collective response of Nigerians to whatever policy of government conflicts with popular will. Sequences of demonstrations greeted the policy while an eventual truce brought about a 50/50 comprise between the public and government. Meanwhile, some residents still doubt the sincerity of government despite the President’s clarification on oil subsidy. Segun Oyemade, a resident in the city queried: “Did the government not deny the allegation late last year before it ultimately put the nation in disarray earlier in the year?”. However, businesses are booming with the imminent festivities. New products for sale, mostly for children, arrive Abuja daily. Everyone has begun to think of that time of the year when children, youth and the aged are eager to see the last few days that prepare them into a rhapsodic entry into a new year. When Inside FCT visited the popular Wuse market on Tuesday, trading at the roads leading into the market showed the significance of this period to residents of the capital. Though this open market is considered illegal by the FCT Administration, the rhythm of the season is already hovering over its atmosphere.

SANUSI SAID THE CBN HAS A LONG STANDING COMMITMENT TO HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT PREJUDICE Apparently unconscious of the peculiarity of their world in a country where little attention is given to human rights abuses of people in their socioeconomic status, the vulnerable children beamed with smiles as Sanusi, in assuring tones of a caring father, told them that the days of their drinking water vended from unsafe fountains by Mai Ruwa (water bearer) would soon be over. Some of the children below 10 years old were seen playing about the village in an attitudinal disposition that suggested they lacked nothing, even SOS minders kept watch over the display of youthful exuberances. As was observed by Inside FCT during the whole ceremony, staff of the ‘home’ played well the role of parents to these children who have potentials to ‘rule the world’ in the future; that is if the needed support is offered by the government. In his remarks, National Director, SOS Children’s Village in Nigeria, Eghosa Erhumwunse commended the bank for the good gesture and made an to governments at all levels, public spirited Nigerians, corporate bodies among others to support the village’s work as they continue to chart a new and better future for orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria. Erhumwunse said it is the determination of the Village to see that every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security, assuring that they are working with relevant duty bearers and other stakeholders in building families for children in need, helping them shape their own future and sharing in the development of their communities.

Some of the children prepare to put up a traditional dance drama performance.


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Mirror Mongers

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Feasting on Achebe

Governing from the air

ccording to Chinua Achebe, when a handshake goes beyond the elbow, a fight is imminent. And, as it stands, there is a handshake that is ‘gradually going beyond the elbow’, if you chose to be observant in Lagos traffic. That is the variants (in terms of price actually) of Chinua Achebe’s new book, There was a Country. Mirror Mongers leant that while the book is being sold for N6000 in regular Lagos bookshops, some hawkers on the ever busy Lagos gridlock offer them at N3,500! The source? Quite unknown, yet predictable that it would be pirates at work. Some three weeks ago, one of the characters he carpeted in the book, General Yakubu Gowon had, during an event in Abuja (to launch a new copyright framework), expressed fears that pirates may not allow Achebe make money from the book. Although the author may have made his money from foreign book deals, he would not mind hearing that the culprits are nabbed.

he country is yet to recover from the private jet syndrome that has hit it since Danbaba Suntai, the Governor of Taraba State (who is still recuperating in a German hospital) was involved in a crash while flying his private jet. The incident has revealed that the fad amongst the rich in government and Christendom is ‘ownership of private jet’, either in the name of the church or in the name of the state. After the Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, celebrated his birthday inside an airborne private jet, people have been wondering what more could be happening in the private jets flying across the Nigerian air space, more so with the governors who have made foreign trips their second name. MM learnt that this is where Sullivan Chime, the Governor of Enugu State and Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State share something in common. While Chime has been away for some weeks now (enjoying a prolonged leave), Kwankwaso has in the past few weeks visited USA, London, Dubai and sources also said he is mostly at Abuja, where he is finetuning plans for 2015.

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A

Tukur

Kalu

Tukur, Kalu, PDP’s intrigues

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his is actually not about a man who left the house he toiled to build in order to become a tenant somewhere. However, it is noteworthy to understand the high-wired intrigues that have characterised Orji Kalu’s exit from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and his bid to get back after abandoning the Progressive People’s Alliance, PPA, which he founded. From the look of things, the stage is set for more intrigues as the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, has openly said that Orji Kalu is free to return to PDP. But the buzz is that the PDP branch in Abia State has

Don’t mess with Majek

A Achebe

ONE-SECOND Q&A

fro-Reggae star, Majek Fashek has concluded plans to re-launch his career, courtesy of Hajia Remi Dagash, his new found benefactor. While plans are still on to help the music star get on his feet, he proved recently that he is still ‘in love with what is worrying him’. Of course, he is eager to prove that music is his first love at

consistently denied him the opportunity to be one of them, following the frosty relationship between him and his successor, Theodore Orji. The ‘blocking’, according to followers of Abia politics is so bad that most times when Orji is around in the state, he prefers to lie low as some of his previous loyalists have shifted their loyalty to Ochendo. More worrisome is the group’s plan to send a petition to the people at Wadata House (PDP Secretariat, Abuja) to only admit Orji Kalu back from Abuja. This would be going against the constitution of the party. Will Orji beg Orji like Orji used to beg Orji?

any event, but his demeanour would leave one wondering what his first love is really-music or ‘the other one’. While trying to play the guitar at an event which held at Durban Hotel, Ogba-Lagos recently, the musician did not mind halting the guitar to grab a bottle of ‘something’ passing by, from which he had a long gulp before resuming his action again. Hope he would not remix…’Send Majek down the...’

ESSIEN-GARRICKS (winner ‘Win an Aeroplane’ promo)

Gladys Ebube Essien-Garricks, a 27-year old student of the Rivers State College of Health, Science and Technology emerged winner of ‘Win An Aeroplane’ promo run by one of the telecoms companies in Nigeria. She shares her mood on being notified: What came to your mind when news of your victory came to you?

Essien-Garricks

I was surprised when I was called by a family friend that I had won because I thought it was not real. Before then, I had never played any game concerning MTN. Ironically, my SIM card was blocked at the time. I had a code on my phone which I forgot and in the process of trying to decode it, my line was blocked. When he told me, I just told him to forget about it that it was the handiwork of 419 people. But later, a lady called me from MTN to confirm it. I then asked her to unblock my line to convince me. She did so and it was at that point that I realised my fortune. I have never fainted in my life before, so when they called the amount I did not faint. I just became thirsty, I kept asking for water and I kept smiling, again and again. I thought I was dreaming, but with the kind of people I have been shaking hands with, people hugging me, asking to take photographs with me, I think it’s an act of God.


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Muharram 10, 1434AH Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

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

Behold Jordan’s Abu Darwish Mosque Hadith

“O you who believe seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient”Q2 Verse 153

Jodan Mosque

Why Muslim lawyers need a petition CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK

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he moral degradation of those who raised obscene allegations against the Holy Prophet and produced or worked for this film can be accessed from media reports regarding them. The main person behind the film is said to be a Coptic Christian living in the US by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula—or is referred to “Sam Bacile” or something or the other—who is reported to have a criminal background and served time in jail in 2010 for fraud. The person who directed the film is a director of pornographic films and all the actors who featured in the film are actors of pornographic films. The excesses of pornography are beyond envisagement. So, this is the level of their morality. This is how low they have stooped in filth and indecency, yet they purport to criticise that person whose high morals and purity even God testified to. By committing this obscene act, they surely continue to invite the wrath of God. The sponsors and supporters of this film also cannot avoid God’s punishment, amongst whom is also a Christian priest, who time and again

Who should learn more from Hijrah? 28

Every Friday with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya for cheap publicity in the US has attempted to burn the Holy Qur’an. Some sections of the media have condemned this film and have also condemned the reaction of the Muslims. Inappropriate reactions should indeed be condemned, but it should also be noted who instigated this. As I said earlier, it is the misfortune of Muslims that this has happened because they have no unity and leadership. Despite claiming to have ardent love and affection for the Holy Prophet, they are distant from their faith. They may claim to be strong in faith, but they have no knowledge of religion and are also continu-

Solat and good conduct are inseparable 28

ously weakening in a worldly sense. No Muslim country has strongly protested to any other country in this regard. Where protests have been made, they have been so weak that the media took no notice. The news item which has been given regarding the protests and objections of the Muslims was that 1.8 billion Muslims were reacting in a childish manner. As there is no one at the helm and they are scattered and walking lost, the reaction would then be childish. This was a cynical comment, but it also exposed the reality. May God enable the Muslims to at least, now show some embarrassment and shame. The other people

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n top of Jebel al-Ashrafiyeh’ is the striking Abu Darwish Mosque, built in 1961 with unmistakable alternating layers of black and white stone. Non-Muslims are generally not permitted inside, but the views on the way up are good. This distinctive black and white mosque, commissioned by the late King Hussein of Jordan and Mustafa Jakazi, is at the top of Jebel AlAshrafiyeh, Amman. It is located on a plaza which has some seating areas to relax. You can see wonderful views across Amman from here. The main mosque area inside is only used for the Friday Jumat prayer and other day’s prayers are done in the area that was originally designed as the wudu washing area, so do not expect a visit inside, but the exterior is amazing. The structure is famous for its unusual blackand-white stone in a striped pattern. The Abu Darwish Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Amman, Jordan.

are spiritually blind and know nothing about the status of the Prophets. They remain silent even when the rank of Prophet Isa (as) (Jesus) is slighted. They would consider therefore, the passion of the Muslims towards the Holy Prophet as childish. As I stated earlier, in 2006, I also drew attention towards forming a robust plan of action so that in future no one would even dare to insult in this way, but if only Muslims paid heed to this. Every single Ahmadi should also make efforts to convey this message. By [Muslims] merely protesting for a short while and then keeping silent the problem will not be resolved. One suggestion was presented (often people present various suggestions) that all of the Muslim lawyers of the world should join together and form a petition. If only Muslim lawyers with international standing deliberated upon the feasibility of this, or would come up with another option. For how long will you continue observing such vulgar and obscene acts? For how long will you go on protesting and causing damage and destruction, only to fall silent thereafter? This will have no effect upon the Western world or on the producers of the film. It is completely contrary to the teachings of Islam to attack innocent people in Western countries, to CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

There is more work after Hajj –Shaffi 29


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Muharram 10, 1434AH Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Who should learn more from Hijrah?

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he Muslim world entered another new year (1434) after the great migration of the noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and about a hundred of his Companions from Makkah to Madinah. Several text messages, emails, calls, etc. are on going to welcome the year. No single one (to the best of my knowledge) has said ‘unhappy’ or ‘sad’ Hijrah! It is a good thinking to always be optimistic, but not without taking stock. In this light, the story of Hijrah should be seen as a reminder of the missionary and the environmental imperative of the message of Islam. It was a great occurrence which marked the turning point in the establishment of a homeland for Islam so as to be able to spread its pristine message. Far from being a celebration or another festival, it is an appraisal of the state of the Ummah from the hamlet through the cities to the countryside; from within the household through the mosques to the

workplaces, from individuals to the congregation to the humanity. It is a basic message of the Hijrah that time is fast running out for every man. This reality we know but do not act accordingly. Our actions do not depict that we shall one day be in the grave to account for all our deeds. Our hypocrisy is becoming a tradition for others to emulate. Just before the Hijrah, the whole world mourned the death of Dr. Lateef Adegbite with tears and extolled his good works by human analyses. The finality of judgement resides with Allah (SWT). Here again Alhajis Lam Adesina and Olusola Saraki have answered the same call which Adegbite answered. May Allah (SWT) be merciful with them. Before

PEOPLE HARDLY

LEARN FROM OTHERS’ DEATH.

THEY SHED

TEARS THAT NEVER MAKE THEM CHANGE THEIR EVIL WAYS

them, many great stalwarts have died. It is not to say that other people in other places do not die but because they are never public figures, nobody talks about them. But death is death whether it involves the rich or the poor, the leader or the led. It visits them all at different time and submits them to the grave. This exactly is the crux of the matter. The post death is never like this earthly existence. It is never judged by positions or ranks. It is never a function of how politically strong you are or which party you belong. Where you come from does not matter. What matters are your deeds. The strength of your goodness is the success in the post death. No man can manipulate anything after death. It is a realm of reality where judgement is real and equal for all. Many a people not famous in the circle of men are stalwarts before Allah (SWT). People hardly learn from others’ death. They shed tears that never make them change their evil ways. We should start to mourn our political leaders before their death. They are the problems of the nation. They paddle the canoe the way they like. They cast the compass of guidance into the ocean and lead the people based on their desires. It has become a tradition for friends and foes to visit the dead and even pray for it.

Solat and good conduct are inseparable S olat is one of the pillars of Islam. In fact, it is the second pillar. Solat means observing the five daily prayers at the recommended time as ordained in the holy Qu’ran and the sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (SAW). Whosoever that observes this pillar of Islam is regarded as a practising Muslim. The prayer cannot be said at the same time and so they create a sort of rhythm which structures the day thus: Fajr; after dawn but before sunrise; Duhr- early afternoon till late afternoon; Asr- late afternoon prayer till sunset; Maghrib- just after sunset and Isha- late evening till late at night. The holy Qu’ran says that it is the observance of Solat that will be driving away the faithful from evil things and move them closer to Allah by doing good things. Good things in this context mean any act which the doer will like to be seen in such an act. It is laughable when some people say that good conduct is enough and

that one does not need to perform Solat before he secures an abode in the paradise. This is far from the truth because the two are like siamese-twins i.e inseparable. This is the more reason why people are enjoined to ensure that they die as Muslims. Chapter 2, verse 132 of the holy Qu’ran delves on this extensively. Anybody who deliberately fails to observe Solat as at when due means such a fellow has walked away from the blessings of Allah no matter his good behaviour in the society. Such a fellow will be one of the occupiers of hell fire on the day of judgement. It has been noticed that earthly things like watching of football match, home video, selling of wares, playing of games, drinking of alcoholic drinks, playing of coupon, etc have been depriving some Muslims of observing Solat as at when due. This is not suppose to be so if we truly know the God we are serving.

Like the shahadah, prayers are an expression of one’s submission to God. God’s will is not just for humanity in general, but also the praying Muslim in particular. The ritualistic and repetitive nature of prayers can help convince a person that they are subservient and need to submit to a higher authority. When people are able to do this to themselves, they don’t need as much supervision from religious leaders. In conclusion, it is laudable that Islam has practical activities to reinforce the principle of equality because rich and poor Muslims are enjoined to pray in the same way and conduct themselves in a proper way so that they will enjoy their stay in this world and the hereafter.

Hijrah 1434 A.H. and move closer to their Creator by obeying His rules as well as being good and fair to fellow human beings. He also enjoined Muslims to follow the religion of Islamic monotheism with all sincerity, by attributing to the Creator what He deserves, doing Jihad and Dawah for His sake. “We must also respect all the Prophets, believe their divine messages, revive and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed (SAW), for our lives would be peaceful and orderly.” The Islamic leader tasked Muslims to reflect on their past so as to

Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

JUBFAT launches book, gives award JUBLATU ROHFATULLAHI Islamic Society Of Nigeria (JUBLAT) will hold its 2nd year anniversary, launching of prayer book, as well as merit award preentation tomorrow at the new Oko-Oba Yidi praying ground, near State High School, Abule-Egba, Lagos starting from 10am. According to the founder and Missioner of JUBFAT, Sheikh Abdul-Ganiyy Umar Arikunkewu, the Guest Lecturer is Fadeelat Sheikh Sulaimon Faruq Onikijipa Al-Miskin billah.

Sheikh Abdul Ganniyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jublatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

‘Stand for truth in new Islamic year’ A s Muslims Ummah marks 1434 A.H. Hijrah, Sheikh AbdulRahman Adegboyega-Lawal has called on Muslim Ummah and Nigerians to stand for truth, by the truth and do the will of Allah in all their acts and deeds for Nigeria to be on the right course among the country of nations. Sheikh Lawal who is the National President, Islamic Progressive Association of Nigeria (IPAN), in his statement, noted that Hijrah is a turning point towards the right axis of governance. He further urged Muslims to be more pious and righteous in this new

This may not be a problem but why should we because of politics that we met in this world, which we must compulsorily leave behind after death, destroy our hereafter. After this life there is another life. It is a life of reward and of no return. It is a life of unveiling and reckoning. It is a life where every leader will account for resources including the people they have ruled. Thus, our leaders should take cue from this singular reminder of Hijrah, that this life is fleeting. It will cease to exist and they shall return to their Lord. It is a flagrant arrogance to refuse to have a rethink and correct evil ways. Death remains an unavoidable companion. It is on the way to meet you at a time you can never tell. This is the time for you to migrate away from all evil machinations. This is the opportunity for you to turn to your lord and repent for the past. The glorious Qur’an has clearly cautioned every man that: “… fear Allah and let every soul look into what it is putting forward for tomorrow…” If our leaders change their ways, the people have no choice but to follow suit. When that happens, everybody will live in peace.

strengthen their faith as 1434 A.H. Hijrah starts and to intensify their Solat with humility, submission, concentration and fear of the torment of the Day of Judgment, pay their Zakat as at when due, be sincere and truthful to others. Sheikh Lawal charged the Federal Government to address-corruption at all levels, insufficiency of basic and effective social amenities, lack of security and unemployment with a view to moving Nigeria forward, while the politicians should emulate the character of the Prophet, who as a statesman ruled with the fear of God.

Chairman of the 1434 A.H Hijrah celebration, Alhaji Rasheed Adesokan and NACOMYO Coordinator in Oyo State, Alhaji Moshood Akintola, taking salute at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan.

Zakat Zakat Is 2.5% Of Your Total Wealth Known As Nisab After Having Fulfilled All obligations, pay your Zakat


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Muharram 10, 1434AH Friday, November 23, 2012

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There is more work after Hajj –Shaffi SEKINAH LAWAL

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ew pilgrims just coming from Hajj have been urged to be prepared for more work after Hajj as Hajj Mabrur has been described as the best so far in terms of proper Hajj operations and performance. This accolade was showered on Hajj Mabrur Ventures by the new pilgrims during the welcome get-together organised by the Hajj operator for their new set of Hujjaj. In his lecture, the Grand Mufti of Conference of Islamic Organisations, Sheikh Dhikrullah Shaffi reminded all that Hajj is a golden opportunity to have one’s sins forgiven, one’s soul refined and one’s heart filled with iman and tranquility, hence, there is more work to be done after Hajj as the one who performs Hajj is supposed to be a model for others after returning.

“He or she is to recall throughout the year the matchless experiences gained in Hajj.” In response to the question of what next after Hajj, he stressed the fact that those whom Allah favored to perform Hajj and `Umrah, should be thankful to Allah (SWT) who has chosen them from among His servants to perform these acts of worship and urged them to keep their mind and soul attached to Allah. The erudite scholar said the new pilgrims should be very keen to avoid evil and shameful deeds especially after Allah has obliterated them and forgave all their sins, as a reward of performing Hajj. This is based on the hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) said, “The reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise.” “We advice all of us to be conscious of Allah when performing all other worships such as Salat, Zakat,

Fasting, dutifulness to his parents, visiting relations, being charitable and benevolent to Allah’s creatures, experiencing the etiquettes of Islam, taking the morals of the Qur’an as a model and the likes.” So, he enjoined the pilgrims to take that as a golden opportunity, the act of performing an accepted Hajj, which they will make use of for the rest of their life, reminiscing about the sacred places and all rituals (of Hajj), for that will strengthen his faith and help him to obey Allah. Sheikh Shaffi also urged them to observe the Sunnah fastings too on the 9th, 10th and 11th day of Muharram, Mondays and Thursdays as well as 13th, 14th and 15th days of the Lunar months. He cautioned them against bad friends who cannot add values to them but will only tried to lure them to their old bad ways. “We should also form the habit of lis-

Operations Manager, Hajj Mabrur Ventures (HMV), Alhaji Zhulkifil Adewunmi, Alhaji Mustapha Rasheed and the GM of HMV, Alhaji AbdulHameed Solate during the welcome get-together organised by the Hajj operators for their new set of Hujjaj recently.

tening good lectures. The sincerity of purpose should be there before, during and after Hajj; no joining others in worship with Allah, sins, interest, cheating, lying, fornication, adultery among others.” He admonished them to always obey the laws of the deen, comply with Sharia on how to eat, drink, dress, do business, relate with others as well as maximize both the economic and spiritual gains of Hajj. “Everything we have learnt should be sustained. We have seen that over there, whatever they are doing, whenever it is time for Salat, they abandon every other thing.

Let us increase our acts of piety too.” Also speaking, the General Manager of Hajj Mabrur Ventures, Alhaji Abdulhameed Solate reminded the new pilgrims that for their Hajj to be acceptable to Allah, it is not only based on performing it rightly but what they do after Hajj. “We are back as a new born baby, we should therefore take advantage of that to improve our closeness to our Lord and the practice of Islam especially in the new Hijrah year.” According to him, Hajj Mabrur is set up to assist Muslims to perform their Hajj rites in the right and cor-

rect manner as prescribed by the Prophet. Speaking with National Mirror, many of the pilgrims commended Hajj Mabrur for a well-packaged and spiritually-fulfilling hajj operations. Alhaji Abdul-Wasi Adeyinka Adedeji and many others said that even though this is not their first Hajj, this year’s own they performed through Hajj Mabrur is the best so far. “We were given thorough spiritual enlightenment and education in terms of what the Hajj entails and we are better for it. We only urge them to ensure that in future, pilgrims do not spend more than the allotted days.”

MTN delights pilgrims with cheaper tariffs TMC holds 1434

Muharram Get-Together

KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ne of Nigeria’s Global System for Mobile Communications operators, MTN said it delighted this year’s Hajj pilgrims with its recent offering which provided cheaper tariff plans for them while in the holy land of Mekkah, Saudi Arabia. The offering, tagged ‘MTN Hajj Roaming Proposition’, was structured to bridge the communication gaps that Hajj pilgrim’s experience every year while they are away from families and business. With calls from the Holy Land to another MTN lines in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia at N30 per minute and N50 to other networks, MTN said it ensured that all willing pilgrims never felt the usual estrangement that occur when one is within an unfamiliar environment. The company, in a statement made available to National Mirror, noted that on arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport recently, many of the pilgrims recounted

L-R: Ustaz Billal Shittu, Grand Mufti CIO, Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shaffi and Imam Musa Musibaudeen Adekunle at the welcome get-together organised by Hajj Mabrur Ventures for their new set of Hujjaj recently.

how the stress of the yearly Hajj was lessened by the ease of communication the Hajj Roaming Proposition afforded them. “Some of the people commended MTN for this sensitive and unique proposition which made their stay away from Nigeria bearable,” the company said. According to the statement, the proposition not only allowed the pilgrims to make cheap calls while away from their network domain, but also gave them access to a cheap data and blackberry services pegged at one

kobo per second. “To ensure that the corporate goodwill behind the proposition was felt by the highest number of willing pilgrims, MTN visited the Hajj camps in four major Muslim-populated cities of Nigeria – Lagos, Abuja, Ilorin and Kano. The company distributed about 100,000 free MTN 2-in-1 SIM cards to intending pilgrims and gave out over 20,000 Hajj special travel kits like bags, pouch and bathroom slippers. The purpose was to give this year’s pilgrims a memorable stay in the Holy Land

on the account of MTN,” the statement said. It further noted that the aim was achieved as the pilgrims were all delight from the moment they alighted from the aircraft. One of the MTN subscribers, Mr. Yusuf Suleiman, said he is looking forward to such philanthropic strategy when he will be visiting the Holy Land again, next year.

he Muharram GetTogether is an annual public meeting of Muslim faithful across several Islamic organisations at the beginning of the Islamic Hijrah Year to deliberate on Muslim agenda for the year revolving around a particular theme of interest to the nation, Muslims and the general public. The programme of The Muslim Congress (TMC) has been held every year in the last decade with topical themes impacting on the state of the nation at the particular time. This year’s event, the 1434 Muharram Get-Together, is nonetheless important as the theme, Towards a Peaceful and Virile Nation, is important if Nigeria if Nigeria must overcome its present security challenges and faltering steps at nation building. These challenges and the means to overcome them will be

the focus of the two erudite speakers at the event. The first lecturer, Shaykh AbdurRahman Ahmad, the Chief Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, will be speaking on the Challenges facing the Nation while the second lecturer, Abu Umar Al-Faruq, will be speaking on Good Governance: The Islamic Perspectives at the Main Bowl of the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos on Sunday, 25th November, 2012 at 10am. Eminent dignitaries, aside the general public, have been invited to this epoch-making event as the chairman of the occasion will be Captain (Alhaji) Tunde Adeoye Wakil, the spiritual father of the day, Shaykh Garba Ibrahim Akinola, OON, the Chief Imam of Lagos, and the host, Ustadh Luqman AbdurRahman, the Amir of The Muslim Congress.

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Call to Worship CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

threaten them or to attempt to kill them and attack their embassies. Islam does not permit this is in any way, shape or form. By acting in this way you will be giving an opportunity for objections to be raised against the Holy Prophet. Thus, extremism is not the answer. The answer is, as I have explained before; t o reform one’s practice, to invoke Durood and Salaam (salutations and peace) upon the Holy Prophet, who is the means of salvation for mankind. It is by the Muslims uniting and it is by Muslims living in the West gaining strength by their vote. Members of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at must work in this manner wherever they are. They should also strive to convince their non-Ahmadi acquaintances to tread on this path; that they should build their strength in such countries through the power of voting. Present the beautiful aspects of the blessed life of the Holy Prophet to the world. Today, the world clamours over freedom of speech. They allege that it is non-existent in Islam citing examples of the present day Muslim countries where citizens do not have freedom of speech. If this is the case in Muslim countries, it has no link whatsoever with Islam and it is their misfortune that they are not implementing the Islamic teachings. In history, there are examples of people addressing the Holy Prophet very rudely and without any etiquette or respect whatsoever. Despite this, the Holy Prophet

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Muharram 10, 1434AH Friday, November 23, 2012

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Why Muslim lawyers need a petition displayed such forbearance and tolerance, the like of which is not found anywhere in the world. I shall present a few examples of such accounts, which although are normally presented relating to the munificence and generosity of the Holy Prophet, but they also demonstrate his fearlessness, resolve and forbearance. Hazrat Jubair bin Mut’amra has related that once he was with the Holy Prophet and some other people were also with him. The Prophet was returning from Hunain, the Bedouins surrounded the Prophet making such persistent demands on him that he was forced to move towards a thorny tree, where his cloak became stuck in its thorns. The Holy Prophet stopped and said, “Return my cloak. If I had as many camels as the wild trees, I would have given them to you and thus you would not have found me niggardly, false or a coward.” In another tradition, HazratAnas (ra) relates: “Once I was in the company of the Holy Prophet (sa) who was wearing a cloak with thick edges. A Bedouin pulled his cloak so hard that the edges left a mark on his neck. He then said, ‘O Muhammad [sa]! From amongst the wealth that Allah the Almighty has given you, load some of it upon these two camels of mine, because neither will you give out of your wealth nor from the wealth of your

IT IS THE MISFOR-

MUSLIMS THAT THIS HAS HAPTUNE OF

PENED BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO UNITY AND LEADERSHIP father.’ Initially the Holy Prophet kept quiet. He then stated that; ‘Wealth is God’s and I am God’s servant.’ Then the Prophet said, “Revenge will be extracted for the pain you have caused me.” That Bedouin said, “No”. The Prophet said, “Why will revenge not be taken?” The Bedouin replied, “Because you do not respond to badness with badness. “The Holy Prophet laughed. He then instructed for barley to be loaded on one of the Bedouin’s camels, and dates on the other.” This, therefore, is that highest station of tolerance and patience of Holy Prophet. He did not display this only to his followers, but even to his enemies. His high moral standards encompass munificence, compassion, patience, forbearance and also a demonstration of vast tolerance. Yet the ignorant detractors, without thought or consideration, come forth and al-

lege that the Rahmatul-Lil-Aalameen (Mercy for all Mankind), the Prophet Muhammad, was severe, harsh and so on. Objections have also been raised against the Holy Qur’an in the film. I have not seen the film myself, but have heard from people regarding it. It alleges that the Qur’an was written by the cousin of Hazrat Khadijah (ra), Waraqah bin Naufal, who Hazrat Khadijah took the Prophet to after he received his first revelation. During the life of the Prophet, the Kuffaar (disbelievers) would constantly raise the allegation as to why the Qur’an was being revealed to him part by part, rather than all at once. Such pitiable people are completely devoid of knowledge and true historical facts. Those who consider themselves knowledgeable in this area are actually completely ignorant. Waraqah bin Naufal actually said; “I wish to be alive when your people will turn you out of your nation.”Indeed, a short while after this, he passed away. Orientalists have always engaged in the debate regarding the location of where Surahs (chapters of the Qur’an) were revealed, whether in Makkah or Madinah. Yet they also believe that Waraqah wrote the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an has given the challenge itself that if they believe that it was written by someone else, then, produce a chapter like it. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK

L-R: Amir, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola; Senior Lecturer, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, Dr. AbdulHafeez Oladosu and Rev. Yinka Adeoye of New Life Baptist Church Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State, during the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria’s Religious Founders’ Day in Lagos recently.

L-R: Missionary-in-Charge, Mulana Abdul Halique Nayyar; Public Relations Officer, Association of African Traditional Religions, Otunba Lekan Ajirotutu and a member of Ahmadiyya Jamma’at, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Alatoye.

Rev. Yinka Adeoye of New Life Baptist Church Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State, addressing participants at the event.

Naib Amir Special Duties, Alhaji Ahmed Alhassan (left) and Principal Jamia School, Maulana Z T L-R: Director, Islamic Affairs of the Nigerian Army, Bonny Camp, Brig. Gen. Muhammed Abdul- Ayyuba, during the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria Religious Founders’ Day in Lagos. Salam; Lagos State Missionary, Mu allim Muhammad Qasim Oyekola and Uztaz Aliu Akewugberu. PHOTOS: BAYOOR EWUOSO


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Arty News

Friday, November 23, 2012

31

Odia Ofeimun pens new book ...presents monthly review journal TERH A GBEDEH

T

Model in Capsule Collection

Olowu

JCPenny partners Nigerian designer for retail clothing line A DENRELE NIYI

F

or their first ever designer collaboration campaign, United States retail giant JCPenny is partnering with Nigerian-born, London-based designer Duro Olowu, to create a lifestyle brand that all women can afford — with everything under $100. This is great news for frugal fashionistas who are all about how high-end quality for low-end prices. Olowu, best known for his vibrant colours and powerful Ankara prints, has been responsible for dressing stylish women like First Lady Michelle Obama and Solange Knowles in his mixed prints long before it was a hot trend. Speaking on how the collaboration came about, the half-Jamacan, half-Nigerian Olowu said: Well, JCP kind of head-hunted

Efe Show in December ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

A

comedy show tagged: Efe Show (comedy time) kicks off on December 26 at a yet to be determined venue in Alimosho area of Lagos state. It is being organised by Fly Events and Starworldtainment, organisers of Miss Independence - Alimosho 2012.

me and working with JCP was a real joy. I’ve never done a collaboration; not because I didn’t want to, but because I never felt that the match was right. My main line is separate and it’s expensive because I produce limited amounts. I have a big following in America, so I thought it would be nice to ‘democratise’ my idea of style. Called the ‘Capsule Collection’, Olowu describes it as a line that will ‘accommodate everyone from age 18 to 80 and include an extensive variety of accessories, shoes, clothes, home décor and luggage’. “I treated it like a collection. It had a beginning and it had an end. All the details you normally find on my clothing, you have here”. The full collection is slated to hit JCP racks next year in March 2013. All pieces will retail between $10 (N1,580) to $100 (N15,800).

According to the C.E.O. of Fly Events, Clement Edward in an he said Efe Show is being organised for residents in Alimosho especially the upwardly mobile youths, business men and women, corporate bodies etc. This show will bring them together in a convivial environment to help in reducing the stress they went through in the year 2012. “Top stand up comedians and frontline musicians are billed to perform during the occasion. Efe Show will be a yearly event and this maiden edition promises to be a bomb. We will keep you posted when the venue is secured as gate fees are believed to be moderately affordable according”.

he gathering on Friday was for three things: public presentation of poet and essayist Odia Ofeimun’s new book, When Does a Civil War Come to an End and the second preview edition of the Lagos Review of Books and Society. The third was the stage presentation of the dance drama, Nigeria the Beautiful written by Ofeimun and directed by Felix Okolo. Only the last two took place at the Agip Recital Hall of MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. The audience only got to see an advance copy of the book, said to be Ofeimun’s answer to Chinua Achebe’s controversial and best selling new book, There Was a Country. There will be another day for the presentation but the audience that filled the hall did not go away without being thrilled to the poetry of Ofeimun, the drama and dance of the cast of the production. It was the same play but some of the props and the way

Ofeimun

the performance was realised this time gave it a new and interesting twist. The story of Nigeria from colonial beginnings to the present-day unfolded on the stage through the master telling of Ofeimun and fine interpretation by Okolo and the cast. So thrilled were the members of the audience that they gave a standing ovation when the curtains fell for the night. After the cast and crew took a bow, Ofeimun showed appreciation to his audience and saying; “we will take this play all over the world to show them that we have the best”. The 60-page monthly magazine will include write-ups by Prof. Kola Omotoso, Helon Habila and Jumoke Verissimo, among others.

FAB Awards: Genevieve, Omotola face-off ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

N

igeria’s international lifestyle awards, FAB Awards, held its nominee list party on Friday, October 7 at De Marquee Penthouse, Victoria Island, Lagos where the star-studded nominee list was unveiled. Most Stylish Actress category features top Nollywood actresses Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde in the tough battle for the award. Other nominees for that category include Rita Dominic, Nse Ikpe Etim and Beverly Naya. Most Stylish Actor also features

Genevieve

five men from the industry namely; Gideon Okeke, Ramsey Noah, Mike Ezuruonye, Joseph Benjamin and Chris Attoh. Other categories at this year’s awards include Model of the Year (male and female), Online Publication of the Year, TV Show of the Year, Radio Station of the Year and On-Air Personality of the Year, amongst others. FAB Awards, founded by Familusi Akin Babajide, debuted in 2010 as a platform to recognise and celebrate talents with the best offering every year. The 2012 award night is scheduled to take place on Sunday, December 2 at Landmark Village, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Omotola


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Escape

Friday, November 23, 2012

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Songbeto masquerades performing

Royal Troup Cultural Dancers performing a traditional piece at the festival

Masquerades from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

Olokun’s drums beat for culture renaissance FRANCIS SUBERU

D

rums for culture renaissance have been sounding its beats in the ears of Nigerians for the last three decades, but it appears it is becoming tougher for the people to dance to the beautiful tune. However, a socio-cultural group, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), led by Otunba Gani Adams has taken it upon itself to promote some Yoruba traditional festivals yearly. One of such festivals is Olokun festival organised by Olokun Festival Foundation. This year’s edition, as was the custom since the creation of the festival, took place at the serene Suntan Beach in Badagry, Lagos State. The beach does

not only present a perfect spiritual ambiance necessary for the occasion – this festival is all about worship of the sea goddess known as Olokun in Yoruba traditional mythology– the environment brings you face to face with nature. The first thing you notice on getting to the beach is the rhythmic waves of the ocean blowing peace into the soul, even as coconut trees, planted at the bank of the ocean swing back and forth to the dictates of the wind. Since the introduction of Olokun festival in 2002, it has undergone many transformations, just as it has drawn tourists from far and near. This year’s edition of the festival succeeded in attracting scores of tourists, including Olokun devotees, traditionalists, scholars and fun seekers among

others, to the ancient town of Badagry throwing the town into a state of wild excitement, amidst pomp and ceremony. Year in year out, new innovations are brought into the celebration to ensure that the festival appeals not only to Olokun worshippers but also to fun seekers, lovers of Yoruba tradition and other traditional groups. Series of activities such as traditional dances, magic display and traditional worship of the sea goddess were introduced. Various traditional groups that performed at the occasion include the Royal Troop Cultural Dancers, the Songbeto Masquerades from Cotonou as well as magical display from Sango priest. There were also boat regatta, Ayo-Oloopon games and beach soccer. It was not all about dances and magical display, as there were speeches and musical interludes. The celebration climaxed when promoters of the festival re-enacted the culture and tradition of the Yoruba race with series of activities culminating in the worship of Olokun. Worshippers turned out in their different regalia and costumes with drums of peculiar shapes and sounds. Their infectious dances won the admiration of all including the Akran of Badagry, Oba De Wheno

Travel News

Destination Rwanda beckons Nigerian travellers ...charms with affordable travel package

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wanda, the land of a thousand hills and million smiles, is attracting travellers from Africa’s most populous country with affordable travel package which is inclusive of out-of-this-world expedition experience and five-star accommodation. The package is being put together by RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda which now flies five times weekly Kigali-Lagos route in partnership with Serena Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains

in East-Africa and Thousand Hills Expedition, leading tourism company in the East African country. For only $1,350 per person, Nigerian travellers are offered an all inclusive four-night package to experience the beautiful greenlands of Kigali and Gisenyi, a return flight ticket, tour services, meet and greet and return airport transfers. The package is also inclusive of two-night accommodation in the prestigious Serena Hotel, the only

five-star hotel in the whole of Rwanda offering exceptional services matching international standard. The other two-night accommodation will be up North of Rwanda, at Lake Kivu Serena hotel in Gisenyi. Explaining the travel package at a destination Rwanda promotion seminar for travel agencies in Lagos, RwandAir Nigeria Country Manager, Hafeez Balogun detailed the bouquet of the airline’s offerings which includes numerous discounted fares on all RwandAir destinations. “RwandAir is one of the fastest growing airlines in the continent giving passengers special treat with


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Escape

Friday, November 23, 2012

33

FACT FILE •

Godwin Archie Abia hails from Eket, Akwa Ibom

Olokun is an Orisha in Yoruba religion, associated with the sea.

Its name means Owner (Olo) of Oceans (Okun)

Olokun has male or female personifications depending on what region of West Africa he/ she is worshipped

Olokun is worshipped in Benin, Togo and among the Edo and Yoruba in Nigeria.

Two annual festivals are held by the Edos and the Yoruba. The one in late February (1st ‘moon’ after the 12th moon) that takes place in Usonigbe, the site of Olokun’s original shrine, in Edo State and another, more modern festival is held in Lagos State in November.

This year’s festival in Lagos is the 17th edition by Oodua People’s Congress.

The group celebrates up to 22 cultural festivals annually.

Cross section of participants at the festival

L-R: The Onikoyi of Ikoyi, Oba Patrick Ibikunle Fafunwa-Onikoyi, Otunba Gani Adams and the guest lecturer for the occasion, Professor Raheem Kolawole

THE FESTIVAL SUCCEEDED IN ATTRACTING SCORES OF TOURISTS TO THE ANCIENT TOWN OF

BADAGRY, THROWING

THE TOWN INTO A STATE OF WILD EXCITEMENT Aholu Menu Toyi 1, the Onikoyi of Ikoyi, Oba Patrick Ibikunle Fafunwa-Onikoyi, the Onilekki of Lekki, Oba Olumuyiwa Ogunbekun and the chief promoter of the festival, Gani Adams. Harping on the importance of culture renaissance to socio-economic development of Nigeria; Chief promoter of the festival and factional leader of OPC, Otunba Gani Adams said worshipping the sea goddess (Olokun) is not idolatry but a way of appreciating God, the creator of the universe. Otunba Adams noted that continuous celebration of the festival will help re-awake people’s interest in traditional festivities. He noted that culture is a prerequisite for communal and healthy living and added

that a man without culture is a dead man. “Culture is life. It is the way we live, eat, dress, work and even in death, our culture reflects the way we bury the dead. As you all know, Olokun Festival is organised in honour of the sea goddess. We celebrate Olokun, the goddess in charge of the seas and all the treasures in it so that she would continue to bless our nation and also to redirect our focus to the importance of our cultural festivities”, he said. “To some people who are ignorant of the truth, they say members of OPC are atheists who do not believe in the existence of God; simply because we love and appreciate our culture. But, nothing can be farther from the truth because many of our members are devout Christians, Muslims and traditional religion believers. “I want to call on Yoruba people in diaspora to dedicate more time to teaching their children the history, culture and religions of our people. I want us all to reflect on the need to tap into this gold mine called culture which we believe can become a money-spinning machine for both individuals and our country”. In one of the lectures delivered at the occasion, a guest lecturer, Professor Raheem Kolawole of the

young and reliable aircraft fleet. The Lagos-Kigali route is serviced by the new Boeing 737-800NG, the first on the African continent”, Balogun said. According to Denise Benzinge-Omany, Sales and Marketing Manager, Kigali Serena Hotel, “we are focusing on Nigerian travellers not only to use Rwanda as transit point to their final destination, but also for the travellers to have a feel and experience the beautiful natural scenery that our country offers”. Jacqui M. Sebageni representing Thousand Hills Expeditions at the seminar stated that the travel package is targeted at Nigerian travellers who desire a different kind of vacation from the ordinary as well as feel at home. RwandAir gave away one business class return ticket Lagos/Johannesburg via a raffle draw at the seminar; it was won by Olaoye Olubimpe Priscilla of Giovanni Travels and Tours.

University of Education, Ghana, elaborated on the importance of culture to Nigeria’s socio-economic development, saying if we continue to play down our culture and heritage, we would all suffer for it”. According to him: “Except we go back to the root, there cannot be meaningful development in the country. That is why it is said that we should not forget the concept of Omoluwabi. We have to reflect our culture in everything we do. Even in schools, we have to teach our children things that can make them appreciate our culture. “For instance, ‘A’ for apple, as being taught to pupils in nursery and primary schools is appalling because apple as a fruit is not grown in Nigeria, it is grown in Europe and by that, we are already teaching them in a way that will make them appreciate European fruits and other things better than the local ones. True wealth can only be created when you appreciate your culture”. The university don noted that Yoruba language is gradually fading out of popular use, adding that if care is not taken, the language may go into extinction. He urged parents to teach and allow their children to speak their mother tongues fluently. “Culture promotes development; there is nothing we can do without the promotion of our culture and tradition. In Nigerian, we neglected our culture for foreign ones just because of the western education we all acquired”. The Akran of Badagry in whose domain the yearly festival takes place in his remark prayed for Lagos State, members of the Oodua People’s Congress and Gani Adams; noting that the ancient town of Badagry witnessed an influx of people for the festival.

From L-R: Priscilla Olaoye receives her raffle win, a Business Class return ticket, from the trio of Denise BenzingeOmany, Hafeez Balogun and Jacqui Sebageni.


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Denrele’s Day

Friday, November 23, 2012

Adenrele Niyi

CLAPPERBOARD

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

with

Eddie Ugbomah

denrele@nationalmirroronline.net Twitter: @mizniyi

Money-changer and I High on the stern Aeneas his stand, And held a branch of olive in his hand, While thus he spoke: “The Phrygians’ arms you see, Expelled from Troy, provoked in Italy By Latian foes, with war unjustly made; At first affianced, and at last betrayed. This message bear: The Trojans and their chief Bring holy peace, and beg the king’s relief”.

Poem by Virgil (70-10 BC); from Aeneid, a Latin epic poem in twelve books by the poet, that relates the travels and experiences of Aeneas after the fall of Troy.

I

sn’t it a relief Israel and Hamas yielded to diplomatic pressures from America and the Arab world agreeing to a ceasefire on Wednesday? Hurray, the olive branches came out in Isreal and the ‘V’ peace hand gesture were brandished by Palestinian youths on Wednesday evening who took to the streets of Gaza City in spontaneous jubilations. How does that affect the price of garri in the market, abi? Sustained armed conflict anywhere in the world usually spills over negatively, depending on how close nonaligned countries are to the epicentre of crisis. Neighbouring countries get bowled over by refugee outflow like in the case of Syria and Turkey and World trade suffers eventually. Well, I’d been holding my breath at the outcome of a ground invasion which Israel had mouthed as an option to deal a decisive blow to Hamas’ military power in this recent hostility between the strange bedfellows. Contrary to uneducated opinions, the recurring conflict dogging Jews (in Israel) and the Palestinian people is non-religious, but largely for the control of the land of Palestine (including Gaza, the home base of Hamas, labelled a terrorist organisation by Western powers). What belongs to who and who controls it. While, I’d opt to maintain neutrality, I think enough of the deaths already, particularly on the side of Gaza settlers who have suffered vastly heavier casualties from the confrontation than Isreal (about 139 dead Palestinians to five dead Israelis). The same day the peace deal was being brokered in the Middle East, I was seething with annoyance on the brink of inciting a local feud with the bureau de change operator I strongly suspected took advantage of me in a tight corner. I needed to conduct a large foreign exchange transaction on behalf of a family member and sought the money changing service of a Hausa ‘money-changer’ based

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www.edifosafilm.com

This is our home and country An Israeli girl holds her sister as they take cover in a large concrete pipe used as a bomb shelter during a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Monday in Nitzan, Israel

on Broad Street, Lagos, who came highly recommended. The initial business discussion took place over the telephone and I, limiting the conversation to enquiries about the going exchange rate for Pound Sterling without disclosing the amount I wanted to convert, was offered an attractive exchange rate of N254. I was ecstatic! the foreign currency was in five digit figures and the Naira equivalent ran into millions. However, since I didn’t intend to put my life on the line, the plan was to meet in a bank, exchange the currencies and pay into an account immediately. This would eliminate receiving dummy (counterfeit) currencies or being waylaid and robbed of the money -a foolproof arrangement, or so I thought. This hyper-paranoia resulted from the robbing and killing of a bureau de change operator in Ikeja, Lagos, earlier this year, allegedly perpetuated by two men pretending to be customers. Unknown to me, I was to be out-manoeuvred by the smart-thinking businessman. He entered the banking hall of the Broad Street bank I chose and arbitrarily offered me a rate four figures lower than his initial offer. I hollered, literarily! “What? This is unfair, why? Just this morning you told me 254 now it’s 250? Na wa o”. The man responded to my tirade with typical Hausa reserve: “Madam, na so market be. E dey fall and we no fit control am”. To which I screamed some more (by this time I was getting backward glances from other customers in the bank but I couldn’t care less; I felt like I was being slapped around and robbed simultaneously!). “Ehen, it is not fair! Na the war between Isreal and Palestine make Pound fall?” The man looked bemused at my theatrics. Anyway, the prospects of returning to the streets carrying so much Pounds in search of a better bargain when the fellow had seen my face and could identify me, put morbid fear in my heart. I acquiesced and did the exchange. I bet someone is shouting “Ha! mugu!” (simpleton). I know; I actually feel very sheepish when I realised I should have explored the bank-teller-option. Well, that’s all water under the bridge now and some thousands of Naira lost to a cunning money-changer. At least, there is peace in the Middle East so foreign exchange markets should remain stable for some time to come wishful thinking Love and peace for the weekend.

N

igeria is a country you will be proud to come from but what about the selfish, greedy, corrupt and tribalist leaders? Everybody is forced to hustle to survive; you don’t know where to start from. Tarila Thompson shot a Nigerian documentary which was a good effort from the youth group he is leading. On watching the documentary, I was thrilled that at least our youths have their own plans and we must support them quickly before they get frustrated. I have been preaching and urging the government not to ignore the youths; once we can do our best as elders and government officials, we are on our way to sanity. This documentary has been sent to all top advisers, ministers and political people around the president. To get the DVD to Abuja, my agony started by travelling from the death traps called Badagry Express Road to the airport. We got to the airport on time and to check in with our N35,000 ticket, we had to pay extra N1000 and another N3000 to the touts. At Abuja, the modern Sodom and Gomorrah, we paid N6000 for a taxi to town which took one hour and checked into the hotel where we stayed at N30,000 daily. Meals were served at N4000; so two major meals a day is N8000. Why people wouldn’t steal or cheat when you consume expenses of N200,000 per month to survive as an ordinary Nigeria in Abuja. What is the average salary? Then comes my other fear; I was suspecting everyone will Agbada, Caftan and Danshiki. The most important thing to do now is for the media and strategy planners of the Federal Government to team up and face this security crisis. I have asked this question that nobody is bold to answer. Who is a terrorist? Who is a militant? Who is a kidnapper? The sad part is these criminals have different reasons for bringing chaos to this country. The kidnappers in the main East and Delta say they are fighting for survival and their God-given rights and the Northern terrorists murder for ideology. President Jonathan must sit up and stop tolerating these murderers, criminals and self-centred faction. He must use every means possible to curb these people. All their financiers and sponsors should all be exposed so that we can live in peace. Jonathan has 2015 to 2019 to finish his second term as our constitution guarantees

IT WAS A HARD TRIP BECAUSE I HATE GOING TO VISIT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WITH

THEIR SO-CALLED EXCUSES him a second term, but can he be bold to fight these ‘powers’? When you get to Abuja, you know that you are in the Federal Capital because you can hear almost six languages being spoken in offices, hotels and along the streets. One very sad story is that the hotel prices are atrocious and we are talking of tourism. Driving is pure madness in Abuja, and I don’t expect one should run to Abuja if you don’t have N300,000 for a two or three-day visit. Our trip was successful as we meet some top advisers and TV houses and we sent them letters and packages concerning the documentary made by Tarila Thompson and his film Up the Creek. It was a hard trip because I hate going to visit government officials with their so-called excuses –they are very busy doing nothing. One good story is that NTA has agreed to buy programmes and commission programmes; a guarantee given by the Director of Programmes, Alhaji Umar and the NTA Enterprises. Halleluyah! This is heart-warming news that will salvage the dying film industry from the clutches of African Magic and GoTV. I want to quickly tell Nollywood Producers that NTA is going digital and would buy programmes at far reasonable prices compared to the insulting $300 being paid by African Magic. I urge Nollywood to cooperate with NTA; most marketers will now sell their films, musicals, soaps and documentaries to the five available NTA channels. All we need is the support another station especially NTA Enterprises. ‘I am too busy’ to listen to officials make me laugh with their excuses “I am too busy”; they forget the slogan that “no condition is permanent”. I am begging everybody to lay down their arms and let us live in peace and not in pieces. Mr. President wake up look at people right in their eyes and run the country as best as you can; not to please anybody.


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People In The Mirror

Friday, November 23, 2012

35

LABAF’s jazz night@Freedom Park The 14th edition of the Lagos Book and Art Festival, organised by the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA held sway over the city of Lagos for three days, Friday, 16 to Sunday, 18 November, under the theme ‘Narratives of Conflict’. It featured book discussions, trade exhibitions, poetry jams, musical performances and children’s book party. On opening night, three bands; Imole Afrika, Dapo Dina and Excite Band performed live at Freedom Park, Broad Street in a concert produced by Inspiro Productions.

Film maker, Femi Odugbemi (L) and another guest.

Queen Omole (L) and artiste, Girtl with D Base

Excite Band performing at the event.

L-R Olushina John, Jane Luxmore and Femi Adebanjo.

Muta Bata performing.

The energetic Dapo Dina

Institute of Hospitality debuts award event

L-R: Human Resources Manager, Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Mr. Abiodun Olofinkinle; actress, Aishat Balogun and Mrs. Adebukola Olofinkinle, on the occasion .

The Institute of Hospitality, Nigeria, on November 17, celebrated its first Chairman’s Dinner and Fellows’ Award at the Pearl Court Hotel, Parkview, Lagos. The event attracted investors and leaders of the hospitality industry within and outside who gathered to witness the inauguration of new fellows of the Institute.

L-R: New fellows of the Institute of Hospitality, Nigeria, Mrs. Adetokunbo Ajanaku; Mr. Adedayo Adesugba; Mrs. Kehinde Daniel and Mrs. Adunni Shodimu.

Night of 1,000 braids

Ambassador, Institute of Hospitality for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Trevor Ward (L), presenting certificate of fellowship to Mrs. Belinda Nwosu at the event.

Registrar, University of Lagos, Mr. Oluwarotimi Shodimu (L) and wife, Adunni at the event.

L-R: Mr. Olushola Dada; Funmi Ogundipe and Bola Bankole.

L-R: Group Managing Director, Nanet Group, Ini Akpabio; his wife, Lizzy; Chairman, Pearl Court Hotel, Deacon Olatunji Bello; General Manager, Pearl Court, Mr. Kazeem Durosomo and Chairman, Institute of Hospitality, Nigeria, Mr. Olatunde Oluloye. PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA

L-R: Mrs. Stephanie Okereke-Idahosa, Kanekalon Brand Ambassador receiving flowers from Mr. Hidesuke Amachi, Executive Officer, Kaneka Corporation, Japan at the Kanekalon Night of Thousand Braids event at Eko Hotel Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos recently.


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Friday, November 23, 2012

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Mirror Drive

2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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olls-Royce once advertised itself as “the best car in the world.” At some point that might well have been true, but until the Rolls-Royce Phantom was introduced in 2003, it had not been the case for at least 60 years. That car, an artful combination of traditional restrained British elegance and rigorous German engineering –courtesy of parent BMW, was a splendid anachronism that resonated with traditional R-R buyers the world over. If its facade was less than felicitous, the Phantom’s overall impression was one of massive magnificence. Now, with minimal but absolutely vital and extremely effective exterior changes for the Series II, the design is far more refined. The too-small, round, pig-eyed headlamps that spoiled the frontal composition have been expunged, the gigantic grille shell is formed as a single stainless-steel piece and forged 21-inch wheels are simpler in appearance and the better for it. The Phantom, available as a sedan, a coupe and a convertible, stands alone at the pinnacle of very large prestige automobiles, the ultimate symbolic conveyance for “the one per cent”. Even Bentley’s impressive Mulsanne is directly comparable only to the “entry level” Rolls-Royce Ghost, not the huge Phantom. R-R CEO, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, emphasises that the company has no interest in cars selling below a quarter-million dollars and has no concerns about other companies entering that rarefied, demand-driven segment. As Daimler’s overblown Maybach now relegated to history books for the second time shows, it is impossible to invent heritage, however soundly based. Profiting

PROFITING FROM ITS IMPECCABLE, CONTINUOUS 106-YEAR HISTORY, ROLLSROYCE SOLD SOME 3500 CARS IN 2011 from its impeccable, continuous 106-year history, RollsRoyce sold some 3500 cars in 2011, its best ever year in terms of volume. Most of them were sold more for what they represent than for what they do. The Phantom is powerful, quiet and supremely comfortable. On the toll road, the driver would be struck by the level of wind noise, not by any annoying whistles caused by leaks, but by the simple sound of a silent vehicle’s passage through the air mass, just as one is aware of movement in a sailplane. Stability at speed is unaffected by wind or road surface, as one might expect from the Phantom’s considerable weight, very large tire footprint and carefully designed suspension. Even more impressive is the big sedan’s behaviour on narrow, winding mountain roads. It is a long way from being a sports car, but it holds the line a driver sets for it as though pressed down by aerodynamics, as in a racing car rather than just by its own weight. One is subliminally aware of that weight on initial takeoff from rest. Push your foot down and there are a few thousandths of a second when the sound of the V-12 engine - newly mated to an eight-speed automatic rises, but the car does not move. The Phantom’s 0-to-60mph time of well under six seconds belies one’s fleeting sense of immovability. Yet the Rolls is really not a driver’s car, as it is intended primarily for people who

prefer to be chauffeured. The Phantom Coupe and the Drophead Coupe (convertible) are a different story entirely. Getting in through their rear-hinged doors is so effortless that it is easy to understand why they were ubiquitous in the classic era, despite less capable latches. Steering feel is slightly more positive, self-return a bit stronger and the dampening feels firmer, but does not hamper the still outstanding ride comfort. Braking power of all Phantoms is absolutely phenomenal, whether roads are dry or streaming from a sudden downpour. The cabins in all of the Phantom variants are, of course, finished to the expected highest standards with lovely wood, soft leather, bright chrome bezels and tac-

MAINTENANCE TIPS

W

hen replacing car parts, you should know that not all car replacement parts are the same. In fact, there are three types of replacement car parts that you should know. Depending on the situation, the type of replacement part may matter.

New Parts New parts, as the name implies, are those coming fresh from the manufacturers. You will go for new parts when you are sure you are going to use that car part for a very long time. These are the preferred type if you want to invest in those parts. Car parts such as leaf springs, mufflers, brake pads and wheel cylinders should be bought new since these parts affect the safety of your car. Safety should never be compromised when driving. Moreover, it is worth investing on parts such as the ra-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

Friday, November 23, 2012

2025 police car: Mercedes’ jaw-dropping preview

T tile handles and buttons. Everything you touch or that touches you has the right texture and tension to tell you it is the best possible solution. The steering wheels themselves are magnificent, evocative of the traditional, very plain, black steering wheels of yore, but with multiple buttons integrated around the hub. As your time at the wheel increases, the cars feel smaller and handier, and the odd ergonomics are less intrusive. Rolls-Royce thinks most controls should be tucked away until needed, but having to open an obstructive central console lid that tips forward and upward in order to be able to adjust a seat seems illogical. The counter to that criticism was that one becomes used to such things once you have lived with the car for a while.

he Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Forc design study is the German manufacturer’s take on what a law enforcement (police) vehicle could look like in 2025. Built on the iconic Mercedes-Benz GClass, the Ener-G-Force is meant to be an all-conquering vehicle that can keep up with police needs of the future. Mercedes believes that a law enforcement vehicle needs to gain access to any place with relative ease, which is why its design study is created to be as robust as possible. Set to be officially unveiled at this month’s Los Angeles international mo-

tor show, the Ener-G-Force design study can meet the needs of any police force around the world, according to Mercedes. But its purpose is not limited to just law enforcement, it could indeed be the first signs of what the next generation of the G-Class may look like. “The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model,” said Mercedes-Benz Cars director of design Gorden Wagener. “Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-

37

road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.” Designed at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California, the Ener-G-Forc is conceived to store recycled water in specially designed tanks on its roof. It can then use this abundant resource to create hydrogen for its fuel cells through the use of a ‘hydro-tech converter’. Mercedes-Benz estimates it would have an approximate 800km range yet emit nothing but water vapour.

Scans the land Its gadget portfolio includes emergency lights integrated into the roof, a pull-out toolbox that can be accessed without opening the tailgate and a roofmounted 360-degree topography scanner whose data is used to adjust the suspension to the current driving conditions.

Expansive interior Considering the back is such an enticing part of this car. The individual rear seats (a popular option – lounge type seating is standard) are more like thrones – each sits 0.7-inches higher than the fronts and is fully adjustable. There is a pull out veneer picnic table and 12-inch liquid crystal display screen (hooked up to a six disc CD/DVD changer) to keep each occupant entertained, plus the previously mentioned drinks cooler (first class on Singapore Airlines isn’t this good). The soft tan leather (16 different options are available, including such colours as Consort, Oatmeal and Moccasin); is perfectly stitched and sumptuously soft. Generous head and rear legroom (38.5 and 37.3 inches respectively) provides more riding comfort than most living rooms we’ve sat in (the Extended Wheelbase Phantom, with 47.1 inches of extra legroom even more so). The rear doors open with a touch of a button and contained within each is a Teflon coated umbrella; to ensure one does o’t get wet upon exit – trust the British to think of this.

Ener G Force

Again, Toyota recalls vehicles globally

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or the umpteenth time this year, Toyota Auto Company is embarking on another global recall of its products due to manufacturer’s defaults. This time around, the auto company is recalling at least 2.77 million different brands of Toyota vehicles in the world, including Nigeria, with 670,000 older Prius hybrids of such recall in the United States of America alone. The auto maker is recalling Prius for potentially defective steering.

Wisdom for replacing car parts diator because frequent repairs for parts such as these are expensive and not to mention a big hassle.

Rebuilt Parts In the case of the computer, you can replace the parts of the Central Processing Unit CPU) and still keep the CPU case to save money. Same goes for some car parts that can be rebuilt. There are some car parts when some of its components would wear out, but the casing could still be recycled. An

example would be starters, carburettors and alternators. Some of the parts would wear out, but manufacturers can still use the casing. And just like the computer example mentioned earlier, it would be cheaper if you buy these parts and just recycle the casing.

Used Parts And then there are used car parts. You can usually find these parts in junk shops or in salvage yards. These parts probably came from someone

who just sold his car to salvage any monetary value left from the old car. These parts are probably the cheapest among the three types, but also the most dangerous as there is no guarantee that they are in good working condition. If you have a car that is about to be thrown away in about a year, buying these parts may suit you well. Always consider the part that you need and don’t rush in buying these parts. Shop around for highquality parts made only by trusted automotive parts suppliers.

Also, about 350,000 of those same Priuses also were recalled last week for water pumps that could cause the cars to stall. The steering problem “is a design-related issue - insufficient hardness on the specification”, says Toyota’s Spokesman for safety issues in U.S, Brian Lyons. This will be the automaker’s second recall in the past two months. Although, the auto company said the problems are not severe and will take little time to repair, the fact that the flaws have occurred in a great number of vehicles, such as the Prius hybrid, will make the repairs costly to Toyota. The two U.S. recalls are part of larger global actions for these problems that cover nearly 2.8 million vehicles of various models. The U.S. actions cover all second-generation Priuses, (which are those built from August 2003 through March 30, 2009. Toyota says it has no reports of accidents or injuries due to the problems, but the news is embarrassing because Prius is an icon, standing for the company’s technical expertise. The actions also are an uncomfortable reminder that beginning in 2009, Toyota had to recall 12.4 million cars globally; 10.2 million in the U.S. for sticky gas pedals and floor mats that could jam accelerators. Those recalls followed complaints and crashes, some fatal. Toyota acknowledged back then, too, that potentially faulty accelerator pedal mechanisms were, in fact, built to its specifications by Indiana component supplier CTS. Toyota changed the design to prevent future problems.


Cocktail

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x

Friday, November 23, 2012

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (44)

“Money is everywhere!” –Mike Murdock * * *

MY NOTE: Money is a reward for solving problems. If you are not afraid of confronting problems, you will always have money. Money is nothing but the creation of value. When you make it a daily goal to always focus on adding value to people and things, you will always have money. Money flows to where value is. Each of us can be creative and creativity is a money magnet. Just as the air we breathe is all around us, money is all around us all the time. Think of this last statement throughout today. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

4D scans show foetuses yawn in womb

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rowing into a fully formed human being is a long process, and scientists have found that unborn babies not only hiccup, swallow and stretch in the womb, they yawn too. Researchers who studied 4D scans of 15 healthy foetuses also said they think yawning is a developmental process which could potentially give doctors a new way to check on a baby’s health. While some scientists have previously suggested that foetuses yawn, others disagree and say it is nothing more than a devel-

oping baby opening and stretching its mouth. But writing in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday, British researchers said their study was able

to clearly distinguish yawning from “non-yawn mouth opening” based on how long the mouth was open. The researchers did

TV news co-anchors quit on air

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wo news co-anchors for a Maine television station surprised viewers and colleagues by quitting on the air, later citing frustration with their management. Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio announced their resignations at the end of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. newscast on WVII. The two didn’t give spe-

cific reasons on the air for their sudden departure. Consiglio said that while they enjoyed reporting the news, “some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take.” Michaels said she and Consiglio were “are very sorry for having to say

goodbye for now, but we’ll still be around.” She plans to pursue a writing career and paint, and Consiglio said he would continue his career “in a different capacity.” Their boss said Wednesday they had been on their way out the door anyway. He said he was not surprised by the action they took.

A 4D ultrasound scan showing a foetus yawning in the womb PHOTO: REUTERS

this by using 4D video footage to examine all the times when foetuses opened their mouths. Nadja Reissland of Durham University’s department of Psychology, who led the study, said the function and importance of yawning in foetuses is still unknown, but the findings suggest it may be linked to foetal development and could provide a further indication of the health of the unborn baby. “Unlike us, foetuses do not yawn contagiously, nor do they yawn because they are sleepy,” she said. “Instead, the frequency of yawning in the womb may be linked to the maturing of the brain early in gestation.” The study was carried out on eight female and seven male foetuses from 24 to 36 weeks gestation. The researchers found that yawning declined from 28 weeks and that there was no significant difference in how often boys and girls yawned.


Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business & Finance Nigerians remain one of the most optimistic groups of consumers among those surveyed by MasterCard on the continent, with an Index score of 91.4 points

NEXIM Bank was set up to diversify the economy from the mono-production of oil.

Country Manager, West Africa MasterCard Worldwide, Omokehinde Ojomuyide

Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Roberts Orya

Telecoms firms shun NCC directive on promo ban KUNLE A ZEEZ

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gene Juwah. The commission said it had discovered that Globacom observed the directive only in breach as evidenced by not communicating the ban to the subscribers as prescribed in the directive, stressing the telecoms firm had not withdrawn all promotions and lotteries advertisement in the electronic,

print media and on the bill boards. The commission also accused Airtel Nigeria of not communicating the ban to its subscribers as prescribed in the direction. It said that Airtel did not put any publication of the ban on its websites and that the telecoms firm was yet to withdraw all promo-

tions and advertisement in the electronic, print media and billboards. For Etisalat, NCC, which also blamed the telecoms firm for not communicating the ban to its subscribers, accused the telecommunications firm of not publishing the ban on its websites; continuous advertisement of promotions and both the print

and electronic media (94.7 Rhythm FM radio). The commission thus alleged that Etisalat still sends to its subscribers such messages as “ Recharge and get 200 per cent of all your recharges back; get N100 free to call any network for ever N100 used, recharge now by dialing *156 * 1 * rechargepin#.”

hree telecoms operators including Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat have disregarded the directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission, asking them to stop all current promos and lotteries currently being run on their networks with immediate effect. The non-compliance by the operators was raised in warning notices issued to them by the NCC. According to the commission, the trio were yet to comply with the directive of the commission issued on November 8 banning all forms of promotions and lotteries in the telecoms sector. The separate letters addressed to the affected operators were signed by the commission’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr. Okechukwu Itanyi, on behalf of the Executive Vice L-R: Coordinating Director and Field Operations Group, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Samuel Ogungbesan; Acting Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eu- Coordinating Director, Mr. Andy Ejemeyovwi and Acting Executive Chairman, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, at the FIRS Vat Stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja recently.

T-Bill yields fall to two-month low on higher subscription

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igerian Treasury bill yields declined to the lowest in almost two months at an auction yesterday as investors bid for three times the N116.2bn ($738m) on offer. The Central Bank of Ni-

ADVERT HOTLINES:

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geria sold N30.6bn of 91day bills at a yield of 12.40 per cent, the lowest since a September 26 sale. The bank sold N31.2bn of 182-day debt at 12.45 per cent and N54.3bn of 364-day securities at 12.50 per cent. Bids totalled N355.9bn, the highest since October 24. The apex bank held its

benchmark interest rate at a record high of 12 per cent to check inflation and stabilise the local currency, it said November 20. Inflation, which accelerated for the first time in four months to 11.7 per cent in October on widespread flooding of farms, is still above the bank’s

FG pegs rice import benchmark at $673/tonne in Q4

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target of less than 10 per cent. “Subscription is rising due to attractive yield,” Wale Abe, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Market Dealers Association, which groups lenders trading in the money market, said. “By holding the interest rate at 12 per cent, investors

expect the central bank will borrow at a rate that is at par with the benchmark rate or above it.” The naira, which was 0.2 per cent stronger at N157.42 a dollar, has risen three per cent this year, making it the second-best performing currency in Africa after the Guinean Franc.

Doubts over Customs’ ability to take over DI scheme

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FLIGHT SCHEDULE 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 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) 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

234.6271

USD

155.84

CHF

159.2642

SDR

235.0535

CFA

0.2924

GBP

244.1701

EURO

191.3715

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$123.39

-0.78

NYMEX

$108.45

-0.11

OPEC BASKET

$122.86

+1.16

NATURAL GAS

$2.83

-0.03


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Business News

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG pegs rice import benchmark at $673/tonne in Q4

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he Federal Government has set a new benchmark price for all types of imported rice at $673 per tonne for the fourth quarter of 2012, beginning from October. A statement posted on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) website said the directive was issued in a circular signed by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala. It quoted the minister as saying that the benchmark price for all consignments of rice during the quarter be fixed at 613 dollars for the Free on Board (FOB) price and a freight charge of 60 dollars. This brings the total price of each tonne of rice imported into the country to 673 dollars. The circular further stated that the price was arrived at based on the advice of an Inter-Ministerial Committee. The committee comprised the Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractices (PCTM), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and NCS. Others are the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Budget Office of the Federation and Rice Millers, Importers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government reviews quarterly the benchmark price of all types of imported rice. The import duty is calculated based on this benchmark price regardless of the actual FOB price. The per metric tonne benchmark price was fixed at $699 for

the 2nd and 3rd quarters but dropped to $673 since October. In an interview with NAN, Dr Abdulwahab Tijjani, Chairman of the North-East Chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said continued rice importation was discouraging local production. He told NAN through a phone conversation that local rice farmers were unable to produce enough due to the lack of credit facilities and low investments in the sector. NAN recalls that Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, had said that plans were on to replace imported rice with locally produced rice. Adesina, during the recent launch of cassava bread in Abuja, announced that there would be an absolute ban on rice importation by 2015. He explained that the Federal Government had initiated a programme of producing hybrid rice, saying that current rising statistics on rice importation did not seem to help improve on this. He suggested an immediate strategic approach to raise rice yield to help the country meets its rice needs in the next 35 years. NAN reports that since July this year, the federal government imposed a 30 per cent levy on imported brown rice and a 50 per cent levy on imported polished rice. An expected final levy increase of 100 per cent for rice import will come into effect on Dec. 31.

Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Mr. Felix Atume (left), with the Registrar, Survey Council of Nigeria, Mr. Winston Ayeni, defending their budget before the House Committee on Works in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Expert attributes air accidents in Nigeria to human error OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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ll the 78 accidents including the recent Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012 that occurred in Nigeria have been attributed to human errors either on the part of the cockpit crew or engineers attached to aircraft. This was the submission of the President, Aviation Roundtable (ART), Capt. Dele Ore at a one day safety summit organised by the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN) in his paper, ‘Human Error: Common Denominator in Aviation Incident.’ He explained that apart from aviation, which has recorded thousands of human losses due to human errors, accidents in other modes of transportation too occur

Planning Minister tasks developing nations on population mgt TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he National Planning Minister, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, has urged developing nations to develop appropriate policy responses to the challenge of growing population and associated socio-economic problems within their domains, particularly towards safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of their citizens and guaranteeing the future of societies, in the face of

the lingering global economic instability. The Minister gave the charge while representing Nigeria at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) organized by the by the Partners in Population and Development (PPD) in Bangladesh, adding that Nigeria is fully prepared to take full advantage of the potential demographic dividends that her population growth rates offer and to minimise the negative effects, such as high mor-

tality and morbidity rates. Usman, who chaired both the Opening Session of the Inter-Ministerial Conference and the Technical Session on South-South Partnerships for Multi-Sectoral HIV/AIDS response said: “As we strive to meet the Millennium Development Goals deadline of 2015, this important conference provides an opportunity to enhance South-South cooperation in the critical areas of family planning and population management.

Marriot plans new luxury hotel in Lagos STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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uantum Luxury Properties Limited, chaired by Mr. Jim Ovia, has concluded arrangements to bring the prestigious Mariott Hotels brand to Nigeria. Announcing the plan at an agreement signing ceremony held in Lagos on Thursday, Ovia

said the planned five-star hotel to be located on the Ozumba Mbadiwe Waterfront boasts 150 star rooms. “We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with a world-class brand like Marriott,” Ovia said, pointing out that the Nigerian economy continues to be an attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investments, particularly with the boom in the

telecoms industry and the attractiveness of the banking sector. Giving an insight into the plan, Ovia said, “We identified a gap in the marketplace within the hospitality industry to support the burgeoning sectors. Nigeria is well known for its hospitality and Lagos as a mega-city, deserves world class facility to complement its status.”

due to human errors. He emphasised that human beings are prone to errors, adding that human errors can not be terminated, but can only be reduced with training and retraining of personnel. He advised that in order to reduce accidents in the country, there should be effective communications among technical personnel and also challenged airline managements to create enabling environments for their technical staff to operate in. He recalled that the public once lost confidence in the sector due to several crashes that occurred in the country, noted that the other modes of transportation ate currently gaining from the industry’s loss. He said, “Safety is a target moving continuously towards zero risk and safety to some extents is determined by the public. Accident can either be caused through tools, human factors or design problems. To ensure total safety, the regulatory authority must be strong for proper oversight function. “’A study of 78 accidents that happened in Nigeria indicated that all were caused by management action who decides who flies the planes and interferes in the day-to-day activities of pilots. Pilots are faced with certain decisions to be made within a split of seconds, which may either be success or a failure.” Earlier in his welcome address, President AFARN, Mr. Kingsley Nwokoma said that the challenges that have confronted and crippled the aviation industry in Nigeria in recent times is being handled as the industry is on its way to recovery. However, he noted that the industry could only recover fully when all stakeholders in the sector make safety related issues to be on their priority. In this regard, Nwokoma commended the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze-Oduah for her airport re-modelling, ex-

pansion and modernisation and urged her to look into the Cargo Apron expansion, which would assist in the revenue generation drive. He said, “The time has come when we must stand for something we strongly believe in. Let us stand tall to re-double our efforts in institutionalizing safety as a culture.” The objectives of AFARN, he said include promoting safety in all ramifications; promoting aviation role in the country’s economy; championing a global aviation security network; ensuring conditions for a fair competition; a level playing ground and contributing to efficient and effective regulations. Also, Capt. Shina Akinfenwa, affirmed that accidents or incidents in the aviation sector do not occur in a vacuum but failure by operators and management of airlines to adhere strictly to conditions that could hamper safety. He called for the establishment of a safety programme by airlines’ management that is all inclusive with provision for reporting system that accommodates deviation from such a programme. He observed that management attitude to safety is key for the organisation as it is a pointer to how personnel will react to safety issues and the attendant effects on operations. Akinfenwa also stressed for comprehensive corporate approach to safety, which will be incorporated into the operations manual of the airline. He affirmed that standard operating procedures compatibility with safety measures is very crucial to improve the safety system in the airline industry. Akinfenwa noted that management of Safety in an airline lies in the hands of the chief executive, adding that for threat to safety to be promptly reported, the management must create non-punitive measures of reporting incidents and accidents.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nigeria to increase Usan Crude exports to four cargoes in January

FG to unveil IT scheme for employees

UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he nation has concluded plans to ship four 950,000 barrel cargoes of Usan crude exports for January, next year. Bloomberg stated that: “This is the first shipping plan to be released for Nigeria’s oil exports in January. The other grades, including the country’s benchmark, Qua Iboe, were not yet available. Loading programs are monthly schedules of crude shipments compiled by field operators to allow buyers and sellers to plan their supply and trading activities.” The USAN Crude was formally introduced to the international oil market in February 22, 2012. The setting was the fantastic ambience of a first class hotel in central London, the presence of a high-powered delegation from Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, representatives from the Group, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),

as well as partners of the USAN Project, oil traders and refiners and top quality presentations. This was how the USAN Crude got the welcome nod in the international oil market. With that event, the 10-year dream of the USAN Project became a reality. The introduction of the crude to the market, the subsequent coming on stream of the field and big interest of refiners across the world are a testimony to the concrete partnership between Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria and the Nigerian nation. The Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water District, Mr. Charles Ngoka, said the ceremony was a watershed in the history of the USAN Project, and a demonstration of TOTAL’s commitment in partnering with the Nigerian government in achieving its target goals as an oil nation. Ngoka said the designed production capacity is 180,000 barrels per day, an average of 5-6 cargoes every month when production reaches the plateau. He informed the audience that in line with the commitment of

Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, the project further advances local content with more than 11 million man-hours of engineering and fabrication being performed in Nigeria. He added that “With the support of its partners, TOTAL has committed itself to a local content policy that has generated significant increase in activities not only in Engineering, but also in Training and Construction to Project Management in Nigeria.” The address was followed by four presentations. “Nigerian Crude Oil Production Update” was given by Mr. Yusuf Matashi of the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC while the presentation of the Deputy General Manager, USAN Project, Mr. Felix Ekam, was an overview of the entire project itself. Mr. Stephane Montadat, the GB&C/ COC/Contract Manager, made a presentation on “USAN Offloading & Logistics”. Mr Antoine Elzir, General Manager, Crude Oil Trading, WAF TOTSA, Geneva, spoke on “Technical Characteristics and Yields” of the USAN Crude.

L-R: Assistant Sales Manager, Nobel Carpets and Rug, Mrs. Bunmi Odunoye; winner, Win Win Bonanza Nobel Carpets and Rug, Mr. Micheal Danquah and National Sales Manager, Mr. Hemant Nahar, during the presentation of cheque to winners in Lagos, yesterday.

FAAN insists no graveyard provisions for abandoned aircraft at airports OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday said it will not provide graveyard for any abandoned aircraft in the airports. Rather, the agency asked the owners of abandoned aircraft scattered in eight airports across the country to recycle them into other useful products. This is just as FAAN explained that unlike the other ultimatums it had been issuing in the last three years for the relocation of the abandoned aircraft without success, this time around, it would match words with actions and would not extend the one month ultimatum issued to the owners of

the aircraft to relocate them. Speaking with National Mirror in his office in Lagos, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati insisted that the agency would not provide graveyard for the abandoned aircraft at the airports. He explained that in other climes in the globe, owners of unserviceable aircraft recycle them for other usage and wondered why the case is different in Nigeria. He argued that if abandoned aircraft are kept at the tarmacs as we now have in Nigeria, the airport managers would not have a space for serviceable aircraft at their airports. He said, “In the first place, I’m surprised that they are request-

ing for a graveyard because in this time and age, we live in an age of recycling of facilities and there are even people who have shown interest in moving these aircraft out and at the end of the day, they would be recycled. “People should open and broaden their minds to modernity. The day and age of burying things is over. Now, people are looking at the possibilities of recycling. What are the components of aeroplane; it’s plastic, metal and aluminum, which can be recycled and empower the industries. That is why transformation is total. These aircraft where they are parked do not fit into the aviation master plan, which is delivering a world class infrastructure for the sector.”

KUNLE A ZEEZ he Federal Government is to formally unveil the Nigeria Employees Digital Welfare Scheme, NEDWS, powered by Buyright Africa, a digital lifestyle company offering a convenient payment scheme on Information and Communication Technology equipment, home appliances and other lifestyle products. The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu and the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, together with the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ibrahim Omar will be at the formal launch the scheme scheduled to hold on December 6, 2012 at the Abuja Transcorp

41

Hilton hotel. Speaking on the scheme, the Managing Director of Buyright Africa, Mr. Mukoro Emomine, said his company had been testrunning this credit scheme for over seven months with over 7,500 certified employees, benefitting from ICT acquisition project. “Aptly dubbed ‘NEDWS’, the scheme allows Nigerian Employees in both the public and private sectors to buy ICT equipment like computers, smart phones, printers, Scanners , projectors , UPS and home appliances like TVs, Refrigerators, Deep Freezers, Microwave, Electricity Generating sets of any brand of their choice from Buyright Africa with the convenience of paying over a period of 6 months at zero interest rate,” he said.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note II berths in Nigeria KUNLE A ZEEZ

S

amsung Electronics’, the world’s largest maker of mobile handsets, has lunched its highly-anticipated Galaxy Note II in Nigeria’s market. The new Galaxy device, added to the Samsung’s range of products in this category, is a mix of smartphone and tablet with an improved digital stylus called the S Pen. The launch of the device in Nigeria is coming on the heels of its initial introduction at the IFA Trade Show in Berlin and its subsequent arrival on the African continent at a colourful unboxing event in Cape Town, South Africa, in October. Speaking at the unveiling of the device to the Nigerian public at an elaborate ceremony at

Westown Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday, the Managing Director of Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Bravo Kim, said the Galaxy Note II will ensure that Samsung maintains its dominance over Apple and other smartphone manufacturers in the global smartphone market, by positioning itself as a niche to meet the demands of consumers desirous of larger screens and more user-friendly display. According to him, “The Galaxy Note II is taking over the fame of its predecessor, the Galaxy Note, which opened a new category of smart mobile devices last year. A great number of innovations were injected into the product towards delivering new value to enhance the lives of our consumers and also provide them with the ultimate communication experience.”

Shoprite opens store in Ilorin ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

S

hoprite has announced its new flagship store at the newly constructed Kwara mall in Ilorin today. Shoprite General Manager, Anton Wagenaar, will be joined by notable personalities, distinguished Ilorin indigenes and government functionaries to officially mark its presence in the middle-belt region of Nigeria. Trading from the left wing of the ground floor, the 3,700 square metre store is part of Shoprite’s expansion strategy, as it intends to cover every major city in Nigeria. The store space is comparable to the one at the Palms in Lekki and will have as neighbors a rich line of

other international and local Nigerian retail brands. Kwara Mall is said to currently be the fourth largest shopping Mall in Nigeria, which is a joint venture between Persianas and the Kwara State government. Located on Ilorin premier business district, the new aspirational store will offer customers the very best of Shoprite’s customer service, branded products, groceries, hot bakery meals, as well as a specially chosen selection of food. Shoprite Business development manager, Jan Van Zyl, said: “we’re happy to be opening in such a welcoming environment. Kwarans are renowned for their effortless taste and we have the quality to satisfy.”


42

Maritime

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Doubts over Customs’ ability to takeo ver DI scheme About one month to the December 31, 2012 expiration of the seven-year destination inspection contract between the Federal Government and five service providers, there are serious doubts over the ability of the Nigeria Customs Service to successfully manage the scheme, reports FRANCIS EZEM.

T

he Federal Government reintroduced the Destination Inspection in 2006, which follows the suspension of the Pre-Shipment Inspection regime under which all imports into the country was inspected at port of origin. The PSI then was fraught with several inadequacies and attendant fraudulent activities. This was also a major reason for the government to opt for DI. The implication of the reintroduction of the policy is that all imports, except probably bulk liquid would be inspected both for revenue and security on arrival at Nigeria’s sea, airports and land borders. Under the DI scheme, the government contracted five service providers comprising of Cotecna, SGS, Global Scan and Webb Fountain in a seven- year Build, Own Operate and Transfer Contract. In conjunction with the Nigeria Customs Service, these service providers inspected all imports at port of destination since the consummation of the contract in January 2006. These five service providers are also to provide Computerised Risk Management System and scanning services for all imported goods into the country as well as training officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, who are to take over the scheme. As the expiration of the contract draws closer,, it becomes evident based on realities on ground that the service is not adequately prepared both psychologically and others to successfully takeover and sustain the scheme. Stakeholders have also expressed serious worries that should the system crash on account of the inability of the service to handle the scheme; it will have serious negative consequences, especially given that Nigeria is an import-dependent nation and also considering that import revenue is the second biggest source of funding for the Nigerian Government after oil and gas. Chairman of Port Consultative Forum, Otumba Kunle Folarin, who spoke on the issue, noted that the circumstances that led to the re-introduction of the DI scheme are still there. While going down the memory lane, he recalled that the primary reason for the suspension of the PSI was because of the foreign exchange scams that were associated with the scheme. According to him, while the PSI lasted, importers were in the habit of over-declaring their imports and in extreme cases, they import toxic wastes or empty containers in a bid to collect scarce foreign exchange for other uses “But today, these scams have been replaced with over-invoicing, concealment, under-declaration, among several other import-related fraud”, he observed. This, according to him, is a pointer to the fact that government should still understudy the scheme under the prevailing arrangement. He had also argued that apart from checkmating the foreign exchange scam associated with the PSI scheme, government also needed to speed up the process of cargo clearance at the ports, regretting that cargo dwell time in Nigeria, which still stands at about 25 days, is still very high. “Seven years after the scheme, it appears that there is a mutual suspicion between the service providers and Customs, an indication that the government needs to look at the scheme again, whether the service providers are to continue or whether the scheme should be entrusted in the hands of Customs alone”, he argued. Managing Director of Global Scan, which is in charge of providing CRMS and scanning services at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Warri and Calabar Seaports, Seme Border and Lagos Free Zones as well as Ports Terminal Multi-Purposes Limited in Lagos, Mr. Fred Udechukwu says that the scanning capacity in these routs are less than five

does 100 percent physical examination on over 80 percent of the consignments. The implication of this is that the service does not believe in scanning of containers. Investigations showed that it takes a maximum of five minutes to scan one unit of 40-foot container while it takes the service over four hours to carry out 100 percent physical examination. The former Apapa command-boss had argued that the main reason for subjecting larger percent of the consignments to physical examination was due to the low level of compliance by the importers.

Dikko

I CAN TELL YOU THAT ANY OFFICER THAT IS POSTED FROM

MAIDUGURI, FOR INSTANCE, TO APAPA HAS A MIND FRAME THAT RUNS CONTRARY TO THE NATIONAL INTEREST.

SO LEAVING SUCH OFFICER TO HANDLE IMPORTS ALONE WITHOUT ANY CHECKS AND BALANCES WOULD BE RISKY

Tincan Island Port, Lagos.

percent utilised. Global Scan is not alone in this observation. Managing director of Cotecna, which handles Apapa, parts of Tin Can Island Port, Banki and Jibia border station recently raised a similar alarm to the effect that less than 25 percent of scanning capacity at the company’s areas of operation are utilised. A former Comptroller in charge of Apapa Ports, Mallam Yusuf Garko, had admitted that the service

But most stakeholders have argued that sections 46 and 54 of CEMA empower the service to impound any consignment associated with fraudulent activities, arguing that when the service uses one importer as an escape goat, others will learn their lessons. But they regret that such fraud have persisted in the system because succeeding managements of the service have over the years failed to wield the big stick, arguing that even when such consignments are impounded, their owners buy them back as overtime cargo at ridiculously low prices. A stakeholder, who spoke on the condition of anonymity wondered why the service alone should be allowed to handle Nigeria’s import documentation. The stakeholder had reminded Nigerians that former President Olusegun Obasanjo once observed that if it were possible to run a nation without a Customs service that he would have disbanded the Nigeria Customs. He argued that the president was talking based on the level of information at his disposal. A former president of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Alhaji Inua Mohammed, who noted that Nigeria would be taking a grave risk if it allows the service providers to leave at this point in time. He insisted that while not holding brief for any of the service providers, he argued that their presence serves as a form of checks and balances. “I can tell you that any officer that is posted from Maiduguri for instance to Apapa has a mind frame that runs contrary to the national interest. So leaving such officer to handle imports alone without any checks and balances would be risk”, he insisted. Secretary general of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Mr. Increase Uche, while commenting on the issue, noted with regrets that seven years into the contract, many officers and men of the service are still not computer literate as many of them have focused on money making as the basis of joining the service. While taking a swipe at the service providers, he noted that many of them have not done justice to their contract, a development that makes it incumbent on the government to review the issues again and take a firm stand. On training, Udechukwu had noted that many of the officers were given the basic training as specified in the contract but regretted that at every point in time, the service brings in different sets of people instead of consolidating on those already trained, who will in future take over and also train others. He therefore made a strong case for the review of the contract for another five years with definite scope of training for the officer in order for them to grasp the rudiment of the trainings. Other stakeholders, who have also warned that the government should tread cautiously in handing over the scheme to the service, expressed worries that the government’s mute disposition to the issue was worrisome. Voice of the people, they say is the voice of God. This is time for the government to look at all the arguments and take a firm decision in the overall interest of the Nigerian economy.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Maritime

Friday, November 23, 2012

Concession: FG forecloses Minimum Guarantee Tonnage review STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

N

early eight years after the conclusion of the port reforms and subsequent coming on stream of private terminal operators, the Federal Government has said it has no immediate plans to review the Guaranteed Minimum Tonnage. GMT is the projected minimum tonnage of goods to be handled in a given terminal by the concessionaire, on which basis it is expected to pay royalties to the Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority. Some terminal operators had a few years after the consummation of the concession contract petitioned the Federal Government, calling for a 30 percent downward review of the GMT, which led to the setting up of a committee but which could not conclude its work more than three years ago. Managing director of the NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, who spoke during a visit to the ports last week, noted that it is beyond the authority to grant a review of the tonnage requirement signed with the government. The managing director, who was responding to a request by the managing director of Greenview Development Nigeria Limited, a member of the Dangote Group, Mallam Abba Bukar, who said that it was no longer profitable for his company to pay the GMT at the current rate. “The review of the GMT is not easy. You know it will take the approval of both the National Council on Privatisation

and the Bureau of Public Enterprise for such a review to be carried out and you can agree with me that this will take a very lengthy and rigorous process”, he warned. The NPA-boss noted that most of the terminal operators have already committed themselves by signing the contract in that form, over which the authority cannot do anything for now. He however said: “But we can help you increase your capacity by constructing the third berth for your terminal so that you can increase your cargo handling capacity, which will lead to increased revenue and the ability to meet your financial obligations”. Abdullahi promised that the executive director of the authority in charge of engineering and technical will urgently look into the matter with a view to dusting the files for the

third berth construction. He assured that the government is committed increasing the capacity of the ports, make them more efficient, which will in turn increase cargo volume and by implication increase revenue. The GDNL –boss had while addressing the NPA management team during the visit observed that the GMT as presently contained in the concession agreement is unrealistic. He said: “ We have called on NPA for a 30 percent downward review to enable the terminal perform optimally for the benefit of all stakeholders and limit the terminal’s liability to pay penalties associated with nonperformance”. “There is need for the committee set up by NPA to review the GMT to conclude its work and where necessary, invite affected terminals for deliberations. Till date, nothing has

been heard from NPA and the committee on the issue in spite of our written submissions to them”, he lamented. He had also complained about the current tariff structure, noting that the approved rate for cargo dues is $4.40 for bulk cargo, out of which NPA gets $1 as throughput fee and another $1 or more as lease fee and stevedoring charges paid to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, which leaves the terminal operator with little or nothing for infrastructure development, wages, multiple taxes and maintenance, among others. He had also insisted that the terminal will not pay the 0.5 percent cargo dues being requested by NIMASA in addition to the 0.5 stevedoring charge it collects, which he said is not in line with the NIMASA Act, which provides for the stevedoring charges.

Apapa port, Lagos.

Retired officer backs 3% FOB value for Customs’ funding

A

retired Assistant Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mrs. Kofo Olugbesan has said that the current seven percent of the duty paid on all imported goods into the country was grossly inadequate to fund the service. Olugbesan spoke against the backdrop of recent sharp criticisms, especially from the Federal Ministry of Finance that greeted the amendment of the Customs and Excise Management Act during a recent public hearing of the Act by the Senate, Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber. According to her instead of the current seven percent value of the duty payable, the Federal Government should support the 2.5 percent of the Free on Board (FOB) value of imports proposed in the CEMA now under review. She noted that the 2.5 percent FOB value of imports will boost the capital reserve for the service for other expedient activities, arguing that after payment of

salaries and other emoluments for the welfare of staff, nothing would be left for capital projects. “I am of the opinion that the seven percent of the collectable duty as the current funding policy for Nigeria Customs is inadequate because after salaries have been catered for, what is left is inadequate for capital project. I will thus support the 2.5 percent of the Free on Board (FOB) value of imports as it will help boost the capital reserve of Nigeria Customs for other expedient activities” , she insisted. On several calls for throwing out the bill, she commended the National Assembly for not heeding such calls, which she said were unnecessary. “You do not throw away the baby with the bath water; Customs should in fact be encouraged on issues relating to Contracts and Obligations, to enter into contractual agreements themselves, since they are readily at home with their

operational needs”, she further argued. She observed that the service as an arm of the Federal Ministry of Finance was subject to the powers of the Customs Board which is chaired by the Minister of Finance; hence the NCS should be legally free to enter into contractual agreements through its Board. The ACG insisted that rather than go through the Ministry of Finance; which may also desire to contract independently, for Nigeria Customs; with a risk of making genuine mistakes. “An example is the Single Window contract that was aborted by the intervention of the National Assembly, those who insist that the service should remain without a stronger platform might probably be doing so for other motives”, she noted. While taking a swipe at those who criticised the retention of the five Deputy Comptrollers

General of the service on the board of Customs, she noted that it was appropriate since each of them heads a different and strategic department of the operations of the service, citing the example of the Central Bank of Nigeria. “The five DCGs should be maintained on the board since they head different units and as such, would need to report to the board on the unit’s activities. The Minister of Finance’s stance that they are too many does not hold water”, she noted. “There are 10 CBN staff out of the 12 members sit on the board, which the Minister of Finance justified, if that is in place, five DCGs out of 16 members sitting on the board should not be seen as excess, given the fact that they are serving a vital interest”, she insisted. While speaking on the general provisions of the CEMA, she observed that one of the weaknesses of Act is the fixing of penalty with specific sum.

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Nigerian seaports are dirty, says NPA

T

he Nigerian Ports Authority last week took a swipe at some terminal operators who are in the habit of littering their terminals with unserviceable plants and equipment, trucks and other debris, saying that has become a major characteristic of Nigeria’s seaport environment, which is not the case in other ports. Managing director of the authority, who undertook a tour of the various terminals in Lagos about three months after his resumption, frowned at the culture of keeping the ports dirty and littered with all manner of debris. The managing director spoke when he visited Greeview Development Nigerian Limited, a subsidiary company the Dangote Group incharge of Terminal E of the Lagos Ports Complex According to him, the littering of the terminals with trucks and other debris, old plants and equipment and unserviceable trucks help to reduce the capacity of the ports to take in cargo. “The presence of these debris and abandoned trucks reduce the capacity of the ports both in terms of cargo staking areas and others. I have observed that in all the seaports in Nigeria and this is not good enough”, he warned. While directing the various concessionaires to evacuate them with immediate effect, he noted that these abandoned products constitute an eyesore to others visiting the ports, regretting that this does not speak well of the Nigerian image among members of the international shipping community. He assured that the authority will take steps to remove any unwanted equipment, pants or machinery that fall within the common user areas, which is the responsibility of the NPA to do under the concession agreement. Abdullahi also assured that that the government is committed to making the ideals of the port reforms to work by adequately playing its role and warned that no concessionaire would be speared if they go contrary to the rule of the game

MD NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi.


44

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, November 23, 2012

Transparency, key to Nigeria’s SWF success - Expert JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he success of the Sovereign Wealth Fund is hinged on transparency, as many of the funds, particularly those set up from oil windfalls lack transparency. In a report by the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Mr. Bismack Rewane, the largest SWF currently is thought to be the Government Pension Fund of Norway, managing as much as $656.2bn. Others are Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and China’s SAFE Investment Company, both of which have over $627bn and $567.9bn respectively at their disposal. According to the report, a host of smaller countries, including Bo-

tswana, whose Pula Fund of $6.9bn invests the country’s revenues from diamond mining and Gabon Sovereign Wealth Fund with $400m invested from the country’s oil windfall. “Some of these SWFs are trying to highlight their transparency by publishing full financial accounts, such as Singapore’s Temasek, which manages funds totaling just over $150bn,” the report said. It explained that the most transparent funds is that of Norway which shows the daily movement of the fund on its website. “The other SWFs set up from oil funds are at best average in terms of transparency rating, while the non-commodity funds are in the top half of the rating.

“Norway’s SWF is an important example for Nigeria not only because oil revenues source this fund, but also because the fund operates in an extremely transparent manner. SWFs can be successful and transparent as the Norwegian fund proves,” it added. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had in October said that the Federal Government hopes to expand the SWF by at least $1bn a year, despite lingering opposition from the state governors. The fund was officially launched in October when its management team took office. It is designed to save oil revenues for future generations, and cushion the economy against external shocks.

Unlike many member states of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Nigeria has never had a sovereign fund, and decades of high oil production have failed to result in any significant savings. Seed capital for the new fund was limited to $1bn to appease the state governors, who are concerned about a cut in their share from the Federation Account and have held fast to Section 162 of the constitution. The section provides that all federal collectible revenue should be shared between the federal, state and local government areas. Okonjo-Iweala, explained that the government aimed to transfer up to $100m a month to the fund.

Capital market to recover in 2013- says Sanusi JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido has said that the Nigerian capital market will bounce back next year. He said this in Lagos yesterday during a courtesy visit to his Lagos office by members of the Charted Institute of Stockbrokers. According to him, the nation’s economy will not recover fully until the capital market is given its place as a long-term security provider. “Without a very strong and deep capital market the economy will continue to depend on banks for investment funds”, he said.

He noted that banks do not have what it takes to provide the kind of longterm loans required to grow the economy, adding that capital market becomes handy in the provision of the needed funds for growing the economy. Sanusi said, “Every downturn of the capital market takes an average of three years to recover. I have always said that the market will recover in 2013, but the question according to him is, have we learnt our lessons? “We need to look at the concentration of the market. A situation where the banking sector remains the dominant player in terms of capitalisation is not ideal.

The Governor advised members of the CIS to use the occasion of their forthcoming National Workshop as an avenue to discuss issues that will stabilise national growth and to facilitate the further deepening of the Nigerian capital market. On the forbearance for capital market operators who obtained margin loans from banks and are currently not able to pay back, the CBN Governor said, “Our position at the CBN is that everybody who have lost money through margin loans and trading have to bear their losses”. “We are of the opinion that capital market operators, the banks and Asset

Index sheds 0.1% as bears sustain hold

T

he benchmark indices of equities segment on the Nigerian Stock Exchange dipped further yesterday, as more investors sold their shares. Specifically, the AllShare Index dropped by 0.13 per cent to close at 26,269.60 points, compared to the decline of 0.21 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 26,303.41 points. Market capitalisation depreciated by N10.8bn

to close at N8.37trn, lower then the decrease of N17.6bn recorded the preceding day to close at N8.38trn. Dangote Flour Plc led the gainers’ table with 47 kobo or 6.24 per cent to close at N8.00 per share, followed by Julius Berger Plc with N1.50 or five per cent to close at N31.50 per share. Fidson Healthcare Plc gained five kobo or 4.90 per cent to close at N1.07 per share, while Univer-

sity Press Limited rose by 19 kobo or 4.75 per cent to close at N4.19 per share. Unilever Plc appreciated by N1.92 or 4.62 per cent to close at N43.52 per share. On the flip side, Custodian Insurance Plc shed eight kobo or 6.40 per cent to close at N1.17 per share, while Presco Plc lost 87 kobo or 5.66 per cent to close at N14.50 per share. UAC-Property Plc dropped 61 kobo or

Management Corporation of Nigeria should all take a portion of the losses so that the market can move forward.” The President of the CIS, Mr. Ariyo Olushekun, appreciated the CBN Governor for his effort to stabilise and grow the Nigerian economy. “Let me start by acknowledging your untiring efforts as CBN Governor to ensure economic stability and growth in Nigeria. The transformation of the Nigerian banking industry and the establishment of a monetary regime that has engendered relative stability in the macro economy are eloquent testimonies”, he said.

5.45 per cent to close at N10.59 per share, while Learn Africa Plc depreciated by 10 kobo or five per cent to close at N1.90 per share. Forte Oil Plc fell 46 kobo or 4.95 per cent to close at N8.84 per share. Transaction volume in equities declined by 38.9 per cent, as a total of 159.95 million shares worth N1.39bn were exchanged 3, 189 deals, compared to 262.04 million shares valued at N1.54bn traded in 3,749 deals the preceding day.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 21 NOVEMBER & 22 NOVEMBER 2012 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

21-Nov-12

22-Nov-12

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 7,342,308 points Market capitalisation 23,066.74 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

FIDSON

1.29

1.41

0.12

9.30

NB

136.50

145.00

8.50

6.23

HONYFLOUR

2.00

2.10

0.10

5.00

DANGFLOUR

7.00

7.35

0.35

5.00

CADBURY

20.54

21.56

1.02

4.97

ASHAKACEM

12.51

13.13

0.62

4.96

PORTPAINT

3.03

3.18

0.15

4.95

TRANSCORP

1.01

1.06

0.05

4.95

UBN

8.29

8.70

0.41

4.95

UTC

0.61

0.64

0.03

4.92

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

INTBREW

16.69

CLOSING 15.03

1.66

-9.95

DIAMONDBNK

3.53

3.31

0.22

-6.23

ARBICO

10.39

9.88

0.51

-4.91

MCNICHOLS

1.02

0.97

0.05

-4.90

LEARNAFRCA

2.11

2.01

0.10

-4.74

ROYALEX

0.66

0.63

0.03

-4.55

SKYEBANK

3.28

3.14

0.14

-4.27

ETERNA

2.40

2.32

0.08

-3.33

FCMB

3.17

3.07

0.10

-3.15

CCNN

4.70

4.60

0.10

-2.13

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

21,838.51

14.09

22-Nov-12

182-Day

59,081.14

15.05

22-Nov-12

365 -Day

40,536.70

15.49

22-Nov-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

297Days

7,878.70

16.40

22-Nov-12

289-Day

12,963.25

16.39

22-Nov-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$180m

N/A

$179m

21-Nov-12

$180m

N/A

$130m

19-Nov-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, November 23, 2012

45


46

Capital Market

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at November 22, 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)


Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

Community Mirror Unless we are able to get the revenue formula changed to the advantage of the local councils, the financial autonomy being agitated for will create more problems instead of solving them.

NIGER STATE GOVERNOR, BABANGIDA ALIYU

Building collapse: Eight more marked for demolition FRANCIS S UBERU

F

Policemen manhandling a commercial bus driver for traffic offence at Idi-Iroko, Ikorodu Lagos.

PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Police arrest abducted baby’s father in Abia GEORGE OPARA ABIA

T

he police in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, are working to unravel the mystery behind the kidnap of a new born baby from a maternity home at Nkwoegwu Ohuhu, in Umuahia North Council Area The acting Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Jonathan Amaechi, said the Police was working on the theory of the husband’s strange attitude towards the wife on learning of her delivery. Amaechi said information with the police is that the husband, on learning of his wife’s delivery, immediately left the hospital premises and minutes later, some hoodlums came and took the baby away. His words: “The story before us is that one Eberechi Ihezukwu, on November 13, 2012, informed her husband that she was going to the maternity. On getting there, she was taken into the labour room where she safely delivered a a baby

girl and the husband was promptly informed. Surprisingly, nobody knew why he never bothered to see the wife and later left. Fifteen minutes later, two armed masked men arrived and stormed the labour room while snatching the child that was still covered in blood”. He said at this juncture, one of the nurses on duty informed the authorities of the maternity home who then called in soldiers rather than the police. “Later, the wife’s relations went to Ohuhu Police Station and reported the matter to the state CID. Right now, investigations are on to unravel the truth. Contrary to reports, the husband was informed that his wife delivered a baby girl and he never showed any happiness, given that his wife already had three other daughters. Not quite fifteen minutes after, armed gunmen struck,” Amaechi said This was contrary to the husband Mr, Clfford Ihezukwu,who claimed when he was informed that his wife

had put to bed, he immediately left to prepare food for the other children in the house. The acting PPRO said all the suspects are now on bail, and that they are still searching for the nurses on duty at the time, contrary to information that they have been arrested. Meanwhile, an atmosphere of fear has enveloped the Nkwoegwu community. But in his written statement to the police, Clifford Ihezukwu, 41, said that on November 13, he was aware that his wife was in labour and left for the maternity. “It was one Nneka Friday, my sister in-law who informed me that my wife had delivered and I immediately left the maternity for my residence. Some minutes later, she came crying that two armed masked men came to the maternity and abducted the baby. In his own statement, the security man of the maternity, Mr Chukwunyere Mbakwe, said it was not more than fifteen minutes after Clifford left that he heard a knock on the gate and two masked man ran in with guns and later took the new born baby away.

ollowing the collapse of a two-storey building at Jakande Estate at Church Street, Oke-Afa, Isolo Lagos, the Lagos State Building Control Agency has marked eight other distressed structures for demolition. Community Mirror learnt that occupants of the marked building have been given 48 hour ultimatum to leave. A visit to the site showed that bulldozers of the State Environmental Disaster Management Agency (SEMA), were busy pulling down the remaining structure of the collapsed building as police and state government officials have cordoned off the area to prevent looting of properties. It would be recalled that three people died yesterday when a two storey building collapsed at Block M20, LSDPC Housing Estate, Oke-Afa in Ejigbo Local Government Area of Lagos State. The only survivor, Mrs. Christiana Adebisi Coker is receiving treatment at the hospital. Meanwhile, residents of the estate are expressing fears on the state of some of the buildings which were built more than 32 years ago, even as they complained of neglect by agencies charged with repairs and maintenance of the structures and facilities in the area. Also, investaigations revealed that most of the buildings and apartments were sold to the occupiers after completion, thereby leaving the responsibility for their upkeep to the tenants.

Two nominated for entrepreneurial award

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he Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Mr. Arnold Ekpe, including Chairperson/ CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Ltd, Mrs. Catherine Uju Ifejika have been nominated for Professional Excellence Awards at the St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos. The award, organized by the Catholic Men Organization (CMO) of the church is scheduled for tomorrow, November 24, 2012 at McGovern Hall in the church compound from 7pm. Chairman of the Event Planning Committee, Mr. Mike Ogbanje, said the Professional and Entrepreneurs’ Award Nite of Excellence is meant to recognize individuals and corporate bodies that have contributed and impacted positively in their professions and businesses to the development of mankind. The event will be chaired by Chief Philip Asiodu (CON), the Izoma of Asaba, with other distinguished personalities in attendance. The theme of this year’s event “The Imperative of Wealth Creation in the New Nigeria” will be delivered by the guest speaker, Anthony Anonyai, Co-CEO Planet Capital.


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Friday, November 23, 2012

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Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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World News

Gaza ceasefire holds, but mistrust runs deep

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PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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he International Criminal Court unsealed an indictment yesterday against former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo’s wife on charges including murder, rape and persecution. It was the first time in the court’s 10-year history it has charged a woman. The world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal said the arrest warrant was issued on February 29 for former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, for crimes against humanity. Her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, is already in custody at the court’s detention unit in The Hague facing similar charges stemming from his fight to retain power after losing a 2010 presidential election. If his wife is extradited, they could face justice together in an unprecedented husband-wife trial. But a senior member of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara’s government, who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media, said Ivory Coast has already informed the ICC that the nation will not let her go. “We informed them of this a long time ago,” he said. Meanwhile, President Alassane Ouattara has tapped Foreign Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan to serve as prime minister in a new government one week after the surprise dissolution of cabi-

“When discussing the attack against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community.” – US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice

ICC issues arrest warrant for Gbagbo’s wife • Ivory Coast president names new PM

Simone Gbagbo

net. The appointment of Duncan, a member of the PDCI party of former President Henri Konan Bedie, was announced at a press conference Wednesday by Amadou Gon Coulibaly, general secretary of the presidency. Ouattara dissolved the cabinet last week over a feud between his political party and the PDCI over proposed changes to the country’s marriage law. The PDCI supported Ouattara in the November 2010 runoff elec-

PHOTO: AP

tion in exchange for the prime minister’s post, helping him defeat incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo’s refusal to cede office led to five months of violence that claimed at least 3,000 lives before Ouattara’s forces won. The court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, urged Ivory Coast to extradite Gbagbo. “The type of crimes committed in the aftermath of the 2010 elections did not happen by chance — they were planned and coordinated at the highest political

and military levels and all those bearing the greatest responsibility must be held to account,” Bensouda said in a statement. She said prosecutors continue to investigate crimes committed by both sides in Ivory Coast’s bloody power struggle and expect to issue further arrest warrants in the future. “The investigations are objective, impartial and independent, and are conducted in strict accordance with the law,” she said. Ivory Coast officials are holding the 63 year old under house arrest in the northwest town of Odienne. Last week, Ivorian prosecutor Noel Dje Enrike Yahau said lawyers had questioned Simone Gbagbo there for two days and that the domestic charges against her remained the same: genocide, blood crimes and economic crimes. Unsealing the ICC arrest warrant issued nearly nine months ago appears to be a tactic by the court to put pressure on Ouattara’s administration to hand over Ms. Gbagbo. If authorities in Ivory Coast want to prosecute her, they have to convince judges at The Hague tribunal that their case involves the same crimes she is charged with at the ICC. It is a court of last resort, meaning it only takes cases from countries unwilling or unable to prosecute them.

M23 rebels press forward after east Congo gains

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rebel group seeking to overthrow the Congolese government focused its aim yesterday on seizing the strategic eastern town of Bukavu, which would mark the

biggest gain in rebel territory in nearly a decade if it were to fall. The fighters believed to be backed by neighbouring Rwanda already have seized the provincial capital of Goma this

A soldier from the M23 rebel group looking on as thousands of Congolese people listen during an M23 rally, in Goma, eastern Congo. PHOTO: AP

week and later took the nearby town of Sake on Wednesday. The violence has forced more than 100,000 people to flee, more than half of whom are children, according to the U.N. children’s agency. While they have vowed to overthrow President Joseph Kabila’s government, they remain some 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from the capital of Kinshasa in a country of dense jungle with few paved roads. Meanwhile, hundreds of Congolese soldiers who had retreated from Goma days earlier were holed up in Minova, a lakeside city on the road to Bukavu. “We are waiting for orders, but they haven’t come yet. We’re hungry and have spent five days sleeping in the bush under the rain,” said a Congolese army major who spoke on condition

of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The rebels are believed to be backed by Rwanda, and to a smaller extent by Uganda, which are accused of equipping them with sophisticated arms, including night vision goggles and 120 mm mortars. A report released Wednesday by the U.N. Group of Experts said both Rwanda and Uganda have “cooperated to support the creation and expansion of the political branch of M23 and have consistently advocated on behalf of the rebels.” The report’s release, just one day after the violent takeover of Goma, is sure to increase pressure on the international community to confront the two eastern African countries over their role in neighbouring Congo’s conflict.

WORLD BULLETIN Sierra Leone poll: Votes seized over fraud claims About 10% of votes from Sierra Leone’s tightly contested elections have been set aside because of alleged fraud, the election head has said. Election commission chief Christiana Thorpe said the votes might have to be recounted following opposition complaints of ballot-stuffing. President Ernest Bai Koroma was challenged by eight candidates in Saturday’s peaceful election. It was the third poll since a civil war which killed more than 50,000 people. Mr Koroma’s main challenger was ex-military ruler Julius Maada Bio. Ten parties contested parliamentary elections on the same day, including Mr Koroma’s All People’s Congress (APC) party and Mr Bio’s Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

Sudan arrests ex-spy chief after foiled plot Sudan arrested its former spy chief and other senior military and security officers yesterday after foiling what officials said was a plot to incite chaos and target leaders in this oil-producing African state. Witnesses told Reuters they saw army tanks and armoured vehicles moving down a main street in the centre of Khartoum around midnight, but life in the city was normal during the day with shops in the centre bustling with customers. Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has kept up a 23-year hold on power, even as a series of uprisings troubled the country’s poor border areas, including the conflict-torn region of Darfur.

Egyptian President assumes sweeping powers Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has issued a declaration preventing anyone from challenging his decrees, laws and decisions. This means that no court can dissolve the constituent assembly, which is drawing up a new constitution. President Mursi has also sacked his chief prosecutor and ordered the re-trial of officers accused of attacking protesters under Hosni Mubarak. Mr Mahmoud’s acquittal of the officers led to violent clashes last month. President Mursi has appointed Talaat Ibrahim as new chief prosecutor. The declaration also gives the 100-member constituent assembly two additional months to draft a new constitution, to replace the one suspended after President Mubarak was overthrown.


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World News

Friday, November 23, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gaza ceasefire holds, but mistrust runs deep

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ceasefire between Israel and Hamas held firm yesterday with scenes of joy among the ruins in Gaza over what Palestinians hailed as a victory, and both sides saying their fingers were still on the trigger. In the sudden calm, Palestinians who had been under Israeli bombs for eight days poured into Gaza streets for a celebratory rally, walking past wrecked houses and government buildings. But as a precaution, schools stayed closed in southern Israel, where nerves were jangled by warning sirens - a false alarm, the army said - after a constant rain of rockets during the most serious Israeli-Palestinian fighting in four years. Israel had launched its strikes last week with a declared aim of ending rocket attacks on its territory from Gaza, ruled by the Islamist militant group Hamas, which denies Israel’s right to exist. Hamas had responded with more rockets. The truce brokered by

crept up on both sides. The body of Mohammed al-Dalu, 25, was recovered from the rubble of a house where nine of his relatives - four children and five women - were killed by an Israeli bomb this week. That raised to 163 the number of Palestinians killed, more than half of them civilians, including 37 children, during the Israeli onslaught, according

to Gaza medical officials. Nearly 1,400 rockets struck Israel, killing four civilians and two soldiers, including an officer who died on Thursday of wounds sustained the day before, the Israeli army said. Israel dropped 1,000 times as much explosive on the Gaza Strip as landed on its soil, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said. Municipal workers

in Gaza began cleaning streets and removing the rubble of bombed buildings. Stores opened and people flocked to markets to buy food. Jubilant crowds celebrated, with most people waving green Hamas flags but some carrying the yellow emblems of the rival Fatah group, led by Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas. That marked a rare

show of unity five years after Hamas, which won a Palestinian poll in 2006, forcibly wrested Gaza from Fatah, still dominant in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israel began ferrying tanks northwards, away from the border, on transporters. It plans to discharge gradually tens of thousands of reservists called up for a possible Gaza invasion.

Egypt’s new Islamist leaders, working with the United States, headed off an Israeli invasion of Gaza. It was the fruit of intensive diplomacy spurred by U.S. President Barack Obama, who sent his secretary of state to Cairo and backed her up with phone calls to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi. Mursi’s role in cajoling his Islamist soulmates in Gaza into the U.S.-backed deal with Israel suggested that Washington can find ways to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood leader whom Egyptians elected after toppling former U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak, a bulwark of American policy in the Middle East for 30 years. Mursi, preoccupied with Egypt’s economic crisis, cannot afford to tamper with a 1979 peace treaty with Israel, despite its unpopularity with Egyptians, and needs U.S. financial aid. Despite the quiet on the battlefield, the death toll from the Gaza conflict

Palestinian Hamas militants at a rally to celebrate the Israel-Hamas ceasefire in the Jebaliya refugee camp, north of Gaza Strip, yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Liliane Bettencourt. Police raided his home and offices in July as part of an inquiry ordered by the magistrate, Jean-Michel Gentil. Mr Sarkozy, who in office had immunity from prosecution, denies wrongdoing. Although he has stepped back from frontline politics

since his defeat by Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, Mr Sarkozy is rumoured still to harbour ambitions of running for re-election in 2017, the BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris reports. The outcome of the investigation could determine whether the former president will make his

Ex-France president, Sarkozy, in court over illegal donations

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n examining magistrate is questioning Nicolas Sarkozy over claims his 2007 election campaign received illegal donations from France’s richest woman. The former president, who is being questioned in Bordeaux, is suspected of accepting thousands of euros from L’Oreal heiress

widely anticipated return, our correspondent says. Mr Sarkozy avoided the media when he arrived at the heavily guarded courthouse in the south-western city, yesterday. The questioning is expected to continue for most of the day and is reportedly taking place in a basement office, where the former

leader is accompanied by his lawyer, Thierry Herzog. File image of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy The allegations relate to the financing of Mr Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign Judicial sources have told AFP news agency he could be formally charged with taking advantage of

someone in a position of weakness, although the magistrate also has the option of interrogating him as a witness under caution. It is alleged that staff acting for Mrs Bettencourt gave 150,000 euros (£120,600) in cash to Mr Sarkozy’s aides during his successful 2007 campaign to become president. Individual campaign contributions in France are limited to 4,600 euros. Mrs Bettencourt’s former accountant, Claire Thibout, alleges Mr Sarkozy’s campaign treasurer at the time - Eric Woerth, who later became budget minister - collected the cash in person. She also revealed in a leaked police interview that Mr Sarkozy, while mayor of Neuilly from 1983 to 2002, paid “regular” visits to the Bettencourt house, our correspondent says.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Friday, November 23, 2012

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Violence likely ahead of Kaduna LG election –Observer OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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head of the December 1 local government election in Kaduna State, an election monitoring group has raises the alarm over likely violence in the state. A University of Jos lecturer and a member of Election Integrity Forum (EIF), Dr. Peter Abdul, al-

leged that some of those who paraded themselves as observers and applied for accreditation for the election were actually thugs recruited by politicians to disrupt the poll. Addressing journalists yesterday in Lagos, Dr. Abdul alleged that the thugs were well coordinated by politicians to rig the local government poll in their favours.

He warned that if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not vigilant, the election would be marred with irregularities. Abdul said: “Since the series of governorship elections conducted by the INEC, a group of political thugs has been going round the country masquerading as election observers, whereas inves-

tigation confirmed that these are hired political thugs. Some of them were arrested and detained by policemen during the Adamawa State election. “INEC was able to contain this ugly situation by proper screening of the observer groups in following elections. We therefore call on Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission

(KASIEC) to follow the INEC footstep and to put in place, a mechanism for checking the activities of these criminals.” He alleged that the same group had arrived Kaduna State ahead of the December 1 poll, urging KASIEC to seek INEC’s assistance on how to screen elections observers. Abdul, however, said that not all Non-Govern-

mental Organisations (NGOs) have technical know-how of election observation. Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rights Monitoring Group, Independent Election Monitoring Group, Nigerian Bar Association, Transparency Centre Network and CLEEN Foundation, he said, are some of credible observer groups in the country.

Focus on governance instead of 2015, Group tells Jonathan JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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group called Association of Northern Youths for the Advancement of Peace, Harmony and Development has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to focus on efforts aimed at providing good governance for Nigerians, instead of preoccupying himself with whether or not to seek re-election n 2015. The group, in a statement jointly signed yesterday in Jos by its President, Mr. Melvin Ejeh and Secretary, Mr. Kabiru Adamu, warned those it described as mischief makers against using Jonathan’s name to heat up the polity. The statement reads: As Northern Nigeria youths, we are aware that nothing in the 1999 Constitution

bars President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting in 2015 because by virtue of the constitution, he is just in his first term of four years. And he is entitled to two terms of four years each. But the President should focus strictly on developmental projects that will uplift the living standard of ordinary Nigerians, instead of imagining to contest the 2015 general election.’’ Alleging that the litigation against Jonathan was just a cosmetic show sponsored by some people to deceive Nigerians into believing that there was opposition against Mr. President’s ambition, the group urged him to ignore such antics and work for the emergence of a Northern candidate for the 2015 election in the interest of equity, justice and fair play.

Bank donates to orphanage in Yobe INUSA NDAHI DAMATURU

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s part of its corporate social responsibilities, the Damaturu branch of Diamond Bank yesterday donated food items and toiletries to YETIM Care Foundation, an orphanage home in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. Donating the items, the bank’s branch manager, Shettima Babakura Imam, expressed concern over the plight of orphans in the society, adding that the bank is committed to assisting them to achieving their dreams. Shettima said that the donation was part of the bank’s corporate social responsibilities for its host community, advising the beneficiaries to be hopeful and focus in pur-

suing their dreams. He said: “We feel very happy to see so much hope in your eyes despite the condition you have found yourselves. As part of our corporate social responsibilities, Diamond Bank will always remember you. We are committed in our own little way to encourage all of you to achieve your goals and aspirations in life.” Expressing his gratitude, the Head/Administrative Secretary of the Foundation, Gambo Garba Mohammed, praised the bank for the gesture, saying: “The ram you gave us during Sallah has not finished digesting and you are here again for another donation. We thank Diamond Bank very much and we pray you succeed in your operations in Yobe and beyond.”

Residence of the Deputy Speaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Elisha Agwadu, razed during crisis at Agyaragu, yesterday. Inset: The palace of the traditional ruler razed during the crisis at Agyaragu in Nasarawa State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Striking Plateau council workers warned against lawlessness JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he Plateau State House of Assembly yesterday cautioned striking local government workers against taking law into their hands. The workers embarked on the strike to protest non-implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage. However, the House

of Assembly issued the warning just as it was alleged yesterday the striking workers have perfected plans to attack the House members whom they accused of not doing enough to resolve the six months old dispute. Addressing a Press Conference yesterday in Jos, the House Committee Chairman on Information, Hon. Diket Plang, said

there was never a time the lawmakers refused to perform their responsibility. He said the House had intervened in the matter on several occasions, but to no avail. Also the House Majority Leader, who spoke with National Mirror on the lingering strike, added: “I think the striking workers are not being fair to us if the rumour that

they will attack us is true. “As a House, we have done our best to settle the dispute, but the workers are not helping matters. If the state government has cited the relevant law to back up its position on nowork no-pay and you feel otherwise, why not go to court to seek the interpretation of the legal provision instead of resorting to lawlessness’’

Why Saraki formed Northern Union –Lafiagi WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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lawmaker representing Kwara North Senatorial District, Senator Mohammed Sha’aba Lafiagi, has explained why the Northern Union (NU) was formed. Lafiagi said the late Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, and his followers formed the Northern Union to provide a platform for the northern politicians through which they could chart a common course for the development of the region.

The former Kwara State governor spoke during a condolence visit by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) to Saraki’s family in Ilorin. Explaining that the late Saraki did not form the Northern Union as either a rival or alternative to ACF,” Lafiagi said: “The formation of NU was as a result of the realisation of the fact that ACF is purely a socio-cultural organisation. “It was the conviction of our late leader, Saraki, that a political organisation like Northern Union is desirable to complement ACF, especially in political

arena which ACF will not ordinarily dabble into.” He added that the emergence of a staunch member of Northern Union as the Secretary General of ACF “is a pointer to the fact that the two unions are complementing each other. Earlier, Chairman of ACF, Alhaji Aliko Muhammed Danlyan Misau, described the late Saraki as “a great financier of ACF during his lifetime.” “Dr. Olusola Saraki’s contribution to the development of the North was unquantifiable,” Misau said. Bayelsa State Governor Dickson Seriake and Minister of the Environ-

ment, Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim were also in Ilorin to sympathise with the Saraki’s family. Governor Dickson described the late Saraki as a leader with exemplary conduct and value. Hajia Ibrahim said: “We’ve lost an institution, not just a father.”

Lafiagi


TRANSITION

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Hon. Justice Kayode Eso

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ustice Kayode Eso died on Friday November 16, 2012 at Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom after a brief illness at the age of 87. He was born on September 18, 1925 at Ilesa, in Osun State, Nigeria. He trained at the Trinity College, Dublin where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law with Hons Degree in Legal Science in 1953 and a Masters in 1956. Justice Eso practised law almost in all the courts in Nigeria, up to the West African Court of Appeal and later the Supreme Court. After his university education at the Trinity College, he was called to the English Bar by the English Council of Legal Education in November, 1954. He was also called to the Nigerian Bar same year. Eso was appointed the Acting Judge of the High Court of Western Nigeria in March 1965. Thereafter, he became a Justice of the Court of Appeal, Western Nigeria and then, Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Western Nigeria. Justice Eso played a prominent role in the setting up of the Legal Department of the Civil Service for the Western Region of Nigeria in the 1950s. He ensured the functioning of the Ministry of Justice in the politically-turbulent years of late Akintola’s regime and the controversial Western Nigeria Court of Appeal. He was appointed the first Chief Judge of Oyo State, January 1978, following the creation of the state before he was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court. Described as the Father of Judicial Activism in Nigeria, Justice Kayode Eso played a leading role in advocating for an Independent Judiciary and very well known for his relentless efforts in maintaining discipline and protecting the integrity of his court.

A fearless and courageous judge, some of Justice Eso’s celebrated landmark judgements include: The mystery gunman case, which is the trial of Wole Soyinka over his role in a broadcast which the government of the defunct western region of Nigeria termed offensive. Justice Eso returned a verdict of not guilty on Soyinka, and shortly after the judgement, he was transferred from Ibadan to Akure, then regarded as a rural station; and the celebrated case of Chief Obafemi Awolowo Vs Alhaji Shehu Shagari, in 1979 will forever remain green in Nigeria’s jurisprudence. The Apex Court, in deciding the law relating to election cases, had by a majority of 6-1, affirmed the election of Alhaji Shagari as duly elected President. However, the courageous decision of Justice Eso in this case remains legendary. In his dissent opinion, Justice Eso held that at least two-third of 19 states could only be 13 and not 12 2/3.

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Peter Eneh

eteran Nollywood actor, Peter Eneh, died on Thursday evening in Enugu, days after one of his legs was amputated. Eneh, a popular actor served two terms as chairman of the Enugu chapter of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria and had featured in a number of films. With his death, Nollywood has lost yet another respected member of its fold. Among departed Nollywood personalities in recent times are Sam Loco Efe, Geraldine Ekeocha, Ahmed Alasari. The deceased actor featured in several films including Heavy Rain, Arrows, By His Grace, Ngozi: Abeg Marry Us, Naomi,

The Suitors and Not Your Wealth. He is survived by his wife and children.

Pa Samuel Adeyemi Oni

the school as a teacher. Although he only taught for a few years he, however, became known as ‘Brother Teacher” to quite a large number of people. He thereafter went to the School of Forestry, Jericho, Ibadan where he got a trophy as an outstanding graduate of the school marking the beginning of a distinguished career in Forestry. His career in Forestry was marked with unrelented hardwork and transparent integrity. While le Oluji community in Ondo serving in Ibadan some people State has recorded the loss of a would call him ‘African Oyinbo’ as community leader and a distin- they watched his diligence to work and as he related smoothly and inguished son. Pa Samuel Adeyemi Oni was telligently with his Europen colborn on June 6, 1926 to the late leagues who were serving in the tising Practitioners of Nigeria, now AAAN Chief John Johnson Oni a.k.a. Baba then Ministry of Agriculture and from 1992-1995, Chairman of the Advertising Jay Jay, an eminent business tycoon Natural Resources (MANR), WestStandards Panel, as well as president, inter- by his second wife, Madam Esther ern Region. Pa Adeyeni Oni was a loving fanational Advertising Association, Nigeria Adeputi. ther and a commited family man Following the early demise of chapter. who once turned down an overseas his father in 1938, the burden of Dr. May Nzeribe was very passionate scholarship offer simply because it his continuing education fell on about professionalism in the Advertising would seperate him from his young his mother who was a successful industry. He was a strong advocate for ethifamily . trader. The brilliant young man cal and responsible advertising practice, a He led an exemplary life of dedisubject on which he spoke and wrote exten- was also encouraged by his macation, devotion, diligence, integirty, ternal relations, notable among sively. good neighbourliness and love to all. whom were late Chief Lisa AkingHe provided a sound intellectual and proHe was blessed with eight children badega and late Chief Lamikan fessional support to the APCON secretariat and several grand children. Adelosoye. even after leaving office as chairman of the He will buried in Ile Oluji, Ondo After completing his Standard Council. State on December 1, 2012 at his Six education in Ile Oluji, he proHe will be greatly missed by hundreds of home on 57, Ajiferere Street, while ceeded to Ondo Boys High School, advertising practitioners who he mentored a thanksgiving service will be held Ondo, one of the then famous secas well as by the advertising industry and same day at Christ Apostolic Church ondary schools in the region at the country at large who he served in variand a reception at the playground of that time. He graduated with great ous active capacities Baptist Primary School, Ile Oluji. distinction that he was retained by He is survived by wife and children.

Dr May Nzeribe

r. May Nzeribe died on Sunday, November 18, 2012 after a period of illness at the age of 75. He was the third chairman of the APCON Council. His tenure lasted between October 6, 2003 – May 27, 2007. He was credited for the re-organization of APCON Secretariat into the present directorate structure, the construction of the Lagos office annex (study centre), construction of the APCON House, Kano (which was commissioned after he left office) and the establishment of the Owerri Office. Under his tenure, the window of opportunity scheme for registration of Advertising practitioners was initiated. Prior to his appointment as APCON Chairman, May Nzeribe had an illustrious advertising career that culminated in his founding of Sunrise Advertising Ltd. which he nurtured to become a leading marketing communications agency in the 1990s. He was president of the Association of Adver-

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Solomon Ojo Ijabiken

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olomon Ojo Ijabiken, who was until his death on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, a member of staff of Daily Need Industries Limited, was born on November 21, 1965 to Pa and Madam Olorunfemi Ijabiken in Owo, Ondo State. He had his secondary education at Ahmadiyyah Grammar School, Owo and his tertiary at Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State where he obtained both National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma

(HND) in Science Laboratory Technology and graduated in 1993. He later attended Lagos State University (LASU) for a postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration. He didn’t stop at that, he went further to obtain a Master’s Degree at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). He was a patient and God-fearing man. Left to mourn him are his wife, children, siblings and aged parents.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Utaka promises AFCON goals

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Sport

Not in recent years has being in number one been as difficult as it is now. You’ve got to be on toes! -- TENNIS STAR, NOVAK DJOKOVIC

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Only committed Eagles for S/Africa–Keshi EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, has said that he will pick players for the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) based on their commitment before considering their form at their clubs. It promises to be a Titanic battle for squad places in the Super Eagles for next year’s Nations Cup and Keshi has now revealed how committed a player is to the country’s cause will be top consideration when he picks his final 23-man squad. “It’s not how well you play for your club, but the 120 per cent you give me when I invite you that will be crucial in my decision,” he said. “We have a lot of our players starting for their clubs now and that is very good. Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi, Nosa Igiebor, Ike Uche, Brown Ideye and others and this is what I want because it keeps them fit and in shape.” Keshi, who is expected to submit his final squad list to the Confederation of African Coach Stephen Keshi is banking on in-form strikers like Ike Uche (15) for the Afcon finals Football (CAF) in the first week because many of his players are now domestic league on December 17 in Abuja before they fly out to Faro, of January, however admitted doing well in Europe. The Eagles are expected to open a Portugal to intensify training for the that he would face a selection headache ahead of the AFCON training camp for players from the Nations Cup.

Asoju Oba: Event enters final day YEMI OLUS

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Okoya Thomas

he 44th Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championship will end today with the final of the men and women’s singles taking place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Semi final matches between Portugal-based Gbenga Anthony who plays for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Mojeed Olayiwola, as well as the game between defending champion Ganiyu Ashimiyu and Ayo Omotara of Spring Fresh Table Tennis Club were being decided at press time yesterday.. Interestingly, Omotara will also serve as the captain of the Lagos

State table tennis team at the National Sports Festival scheduled to start next week. Women’s defending champion Fatimo Bello of Union Bank was also due to meet junior player Ayo Udoh in one of the semi finals while Funke Hassan of the Nigeria Police met Yetunde Thompson in the other semi final. Meanwhile the men’s singles top seed, Kazeem Adeniyi, who lost 2-4 in his quarterfinal game against Olanrewaju Ojongbede on Wednesday, has blamed loss of concentration for his loss. “I think I was distracted and I lost focus,” he told National Mirror, adding, “I feel I let a lot of people down.”

EKO 2012: Minister hails Lagos over preparation AFOLABI GAMBARI

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ports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has commended Lagos State for its genuine commitment to sports development as countdown continues to the 18th National Sports Festival commencing on November 27. Abdullahi, who spoke yesterday in Lagos at a seminar organized by the festival’s Local Organising Committee (LOC), urged other states to emulate the effort expended by Lagos to host a memorable festival. “The National Sports Commission (NSC) has the overall responsibility to improving the standard of sports but the states must have similar responsibility to design a well-structured programme as well,” the minister said, adding that Delta State had also demonstrated such commitment in recent months. The NSC boss also disclosed the ministry’s plan to review the eligibility of athletes for the sports festival with a view to in-

tegrating what he called comprehensive elite training programme. “We will organize and Under-17 Youth Games before the next festival so that athletes discovered at the games can be integrated into the main festival,” he said while enjoining states to complement NSC’s efforts by developing sports at the grassroots and constructing sports facilities. In a related development, the Local Organizing Committee has said that participating athletes will be availed with the opportunity of touring sites and facilities in the state. Secretary General of the LOC, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, who made this revelation yesterday, the organizers had mapped plans at ensuring that the visitors explore Lagos State tourism potential. “Historical, political and social landmarks abound in Lagos and we will ensure that athletes and officials see many places they probably just read about in time past,” Tandoh explained.

Racist slur: Mikel gets FA charge

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helsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, has been charged by the England Football Association over the Mark Clattenburg race row after the referee was found to have no case to answer. Mikel accused Clattenburg of using racist language towards him during Chelsea’s defeat to Manchester United last month. Mikel was charged for alleged use of threatening and/or abusive and/ or insulting words and/or behaviour in or around the officials changing room. The Nigerian stormed into the ref ’s room after the match after being told by team-mate Ramires that Clattenburg had called him

a ‘monkey’. Mikel did not hear anything at the time. He does not deny the charge but will request a personal hearing to explain the mitigating circumstances, even as there has been no apology from the club. Clattenburg, who hasn’t refereed a game since and is now clear to return to official duty, said yesterday that he was relieved at the development. ‘To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening,” the referee said. “The FA does not believe that there is a case for Mr. Clattenburg to answer,” a statement said yesterday.


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Glo golf: Sergeant wins amateur prize

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olice Warrant Sergeant, Rachael Danjuma, yesterday clinched both the Ladies’ top prize and the Longest Drive in the Amateur category at the Abuja edition of the on-going Glo Golf Tour. Playing with Handicap 9, Danjuma finished with a stablepoint score of 32 to win the la-

Mike Adenuga

dies’ category crown. She also won the Longest Drive prize among Ladies at Hole 10 with a 208.5m shot. Yaduma Aphia emerged as the first runner up in the ladies’ competition, recording a stablepoint score of 31 with handicap 18. In the men’s category, Sunny Gberevbie emerged winner in Division 1 handicap 6-15, putting a stablepoint score of 39 with handicap 15. Chinaka Clement with handicap 14 came second after finishing with stablepoint score of 38 and Samuel Galadima with handicap 7 came third, finishing with stablepoint score 37. Play will continue today in the professional category of the Glo Golf Tour and a winner is expected to emerge at the end of the day

Stay focused, PFA tells players AFOLABI GAMBARI

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igerian youth footballers have been enjoined to stay focused and dedicated if they want to be relevant in the sport. Consultant to the Pepsi Football Academy, Mr. Iain Nelson, who made the call in Lagos at the maiden PFA National Schools Programme held at the Agege Stadium, said football had witnessed tremendous turnaround in the world and the Nigerian players should abide by the trend. The competition, which had Sango Senior Secondary School, Agege; Agidingbi Senior Grammar School; Keke Senior High School, Ifako, Ijaiye and Ifako International School, Iju participating, is part of the programme to mark the 20th anni-

versary of the academy. “Your future is in your hands and you are the only one that can make it come true,” Nelson told the players. Nelson, who recalled that the PFA had helped a lot of Nigerian youth that include John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie, Elderson Echiejile and Onyekachi Apam to fulfill their ambition as footballers of international repute, said the academy had also helped to showcase the talent that abound in Nigeria since its inception in 1992. Sango Senior Secondary School emerged winner of the competition after defeating Agidingbi Senior High School 2-0 and was presented with new set of jerseys and footballs. The competition continued yesterday in Abeokuta, Sagamu, Ilorin, Benin-city, Enugu, Jos and Kaduna.

Consultant, Pepsi Football Academy, Mr. Iain Nelson (left) presenting football to captain of Agidingbi Senior Grammar School, Azeez Adekunle, at the Lagos leg of the maiden Pepsi National Schools Competition at Agege Stadium

The NPL is being challenged to ensure that these league players do not play for nothing perennially

Sponsor tasks NPL on progress AFOLABI GAMBARI

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nless the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) operates as a pure and functional llimited liability company, professsional football will continue to under-achieve its potential in the u country. c Director of Total Promotions Limited whose company is the L broadcast right owner of the NPL b matches, Mr. Niyi Alonge, who m made this remark in Lagos yesm tterday, said the absence of pure professionalism in the adminisp ttration the system had done what he called “incalculable damage”. h “Today, the NPL management has cried for the corporate sponh ssorship that would be beneficial tto all concerned from the players tto the last person in the running of the league. But it’s a fact that o tthis will remain a tall dream unttil the league body is properly organised in line with obtained o abroad,” Alonge said. a “It is obvious that poor management of the league has dea prived it from the immense p benefits that should naturally acb crue to it,” the TPL boss adding, c sstressing, “Even as the broadcast rrights sponsor, we have had to bend backwards so many times b mainly on patriotic ground so m tthat at least the league can move on as we have faced so many chalo llenges working with the NPL.”

Alonge decried a recent order by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to the NPL to suspend a scheduled annual congress, even after the NPL had announced the date. “Under a normal circumstance, the NFF would have no such right if the NPL had functioned as a limited liability company,” he observed, saying NPL’s

compliance with the order could send negative signals to potential corporate sponsors of the league. “The implication of such incident can only be imagined,” Alonge, who said the efficiency of the league administration would be linked to Nigeria’s football reputation abroad, submitted.

Nigeria hosts w/lifting course YEMI OLUS

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he Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF) has been granted the right to host the 2012 West/Central Africa International Weightlifting Coaches and Referees course holding from December 1 to 5 at the National Stadium, Lagos. Participants are expected from Cameroun, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar among others. Secretary General of the NWF, Uche Onwumeh, said the course would enable Nigerian officials to be listed among the reckoned referees on the continent. “It would also help African officials to be better rated by the International Weightlifting Federation which has since approved the programme,” she

added. National Mirror learnt that the African Weightlifting Federation will provide subsidy on accommodation, feeding and transportation for all foreign officials at the programme while Nigerian officials that are interested in the workshop will pay between N5, 000 and N10, 000 based on their categories.

Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Friday, November 23, 2012

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Wi Window on Nigerian players abroad

with IKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Utaka promises AFCON goals

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Omoh Michael (left) shielding an apponent during a league match

Omoh hangs on at Dalkurd

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alkurd FF of Sweden midfielder Omoh Michael says he’s determined to see off his contract despite attracting interests from bigger clubs. The Warri-born star’s contract runs out in December 2014 and the 20-year-old star says he loves life in the city of Borlange and will not be changing environment at least for now. He arrived from a non-league club from Warri in 2011 and soon established himself in the midfield for the club playing in the

third tier in Sweden. He played 22 games out of 26 this closed season and scored eight goals sparking interests from clubs in the first division and the top flight in Sweden. “I have a clause in my contract which stipulates that I could move next season based on my performance,” he informed. “But I’m not thinking of moving now. I’m loving it here, playing regularly and helping the club. The fans, coaches and everyone love me and I’m happy

about it. “Apart from the seven goals I scored from the midfield position, I also made 14 assists, accounting for the most of the goals our strikers scored. “I want to build on this confidence to do a lot more for myself and the club before I think of moving elsewhere.” Omoh plays alongside another Nigerian, Chidi Omeje, a striker, in the team. Omeje emerged club’s top scorer with 14 goals this past season.

alian Aerbin of China striker Peter Utaka has exclusively told National Mirror that he would deliver the goals for Super Eagles should he be named in the final squad to the Nations Cup finals holding in South Africa next year. Utaka painted the Chinese Super League with goals, returning impressive 20 goals in his first season in the Far East. He emerged the second top scorer behind Romanian striker Cristian Costin Danalache. Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi was impressed with the striker’s amazing precision in front of goal and reportedly pencilled his name down as one of the possible invites for the Eagles’ build-up games ahead of the Nations Cup. Keshi had hinted he would give the former KVC Westerlo of Belgium striker a chance as the growing number of strikers doing well in their respective clubs, continues to present an interesting headache for the former Togo coach.

Utaka, alongside Levante striker Obafemi Martins were notable names for Eagles return as both players’ were originally considered for the last Eagles’ friendly game against Venezuela in Miami, USA, last week. But it was only Martins that made the trip. Utaka said he was battleready to fight his way back to the fold where he had previously netted three times in 10 outings under Samson Siasia, but was disappointed he didn’t eventually make the team. The former OB Odense of Denmark hit man believes he’s saving his best in the Nations Cup proper and is confident he will transform his club’s goal form. “I’d really love to be part of the final squad to South Africa and I’d be delighted if I’d be named in the team,” Utaka said. “The coaching crew led by Keshi is one team I respect so much and I’m very hopeful they will give me a chance again in one of the build-up games.

Obasi happy to be back

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chalke 04 of Germany striker, Chinedu Obasi, says he’s happy to be back to fitness after being out due to injury for long. Obasi had gone under the surgeon’s knife some months back and missed many games while he underwent therapy to hit full fitness. Obasi returned briefly to action in September and managed a substitute appearance as he continued to battle his way to full fitness. Another sub appearance in Schalke’s 3-0 spanking of Wolfsburg a week later would signal a lull as the former Lyn Oslo striker battled again to hit full fitness. The Wolfsburg outing was his last for Schalke until he only made bench selection in their league game last weekend when they travelled to Bayer Leverkusen. “I’m fully back and ready to

go again,” Obasi told National Mirror. “I have been through difficult times because of the injury I suffered but thank God, I’m back now. “I’m happy to be selected in the bench in our last game against Leverkusen. It’s a sign of good things to come. “I have always remained focused even when I was out injured knowing full well that I would be back some day. “Injuries are part of the game that every player must live with. It could be frustrating, but like I said earlier, life must continue. “I must have to fight to win my shirt back and I know it will not come easy. I must work hard to play again.” Obasi arrived in Germany in 2007 signing for TSG Hoffenheim, then campaigning in the second tier of German football.

His goals and assists propelled the ‘Village club’ to the Bundesliga. He joined Schalke on loan last December and the deal was made permanent last summer.

Peter Utaka

Nwogbo tasks self to explode

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danaspor of Turkey Nigerian striker Chibuzor Nwogbo says he’s targeting the second round of the current season to fully establish himself at new club, Adanaspor. The Jos-born striker believes it will take a whole of hardwork for him to fully establish himself in his new club. Nwogbo joined the Turkish side from South African club University of Pretoria FC this summer after impressing the coach on a trial. The big striker has netted two times so far in 12 outings for the new side, a return the light skinned striker

believes he will improve on. “I have been playing regularly, though, mostly as a substitute and I think I have not done badly because I met a team when I arrived,” he said. “Naturally, it was difficult to break into the team and start scoring but it will take time for me to settle in perfectly. “The style in Turkey which I can’t explain is quite difficult from what I was used to in South Africa but things are taking shape gradually. “The coach is impressed with me but I still have to do a lot more to establish myself.

He believes in me and that was even why he signed me after the trial. “I would say I have performed above average so far but I think I can do a lot better than this. I’m confident things will be a lot better in the second round.” Nwogbo joined two Cameroonians in Adanaspor’s attacking line to add bite to their attack. Serge Etame, currently leads the club’s attack with six goals in 11 games. Adanaspor, placed eighth on the log, Nwogbo believes will reap immensely from his boots when his goals will start rolling in.


WORLD RECORD

Largest Buddhist temple

Vol. 02 No. 498

Friday, November 23, 2012

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The largest Buddhist temple in the world is Borobudur, near Yogyakarta, central Java, Indonesia, built between AD 750 and 842. The 60,000 m³- (2,118,880 ft³-) stone structure is 34.5 m (113 ft) tall and its base measures 123 x 123 m (403 x 403 ft).

President Jonathan’s subsidy tell-tale

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n one breath, at a meeting with Course Participants of the 2012 Senior Executive Course 34 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, last Thursday, President Goodluck Jonathan appeared spiritedly under pressure to win support for more rounds of fuel subsidy removal. He said the Federal Government’s subsidy policy was the major reason private investors were not interested in building refineries; on the one hand, and why the country’s four refineries said to be operating at 30 percent capacity, had remained a hopeless spectacle. Which is a clear indication that the president is yet unsatisfied with the current roof-top pump prices of virtually all petroleum products, petrol, kerosene and diesel inclusive, and will seize the slightest opportunity to announce fresh hikes in the

FRIDAYS WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) prices. In another breath, three days later, while featuring at the third edition of his presidential media chat last Sunday, the president was quoted as saying his administration had no plans to totally remove fuel subsidy this year or from January next year. But notwithstanding Jonathan’s damage-control efforts aimed at neutralizing the conflicting positions, Organized Labour and cross sections of an agitated public view the double-speak as the kind of tales that heralded petroleum products’ price increases in the past. Indeed, it was after such arguments, rationalizations, hurried and scarcely thorough ‘consultations’ late last year that the FG slammed a new fuel pump price – initially N140 per litre, later reduced to N97 – on the nation. The reason the president is speaking from both sides of his mouth on the sensitive matter cannot be determined as yet. One thing that cannot be easily flipped over, however, is the fact that Jonathan appears a die-hard believer that a subsidy-free downstream oil sector is the panacea to the nation’s financial woes; and not necessarily tacking corruption headlong as seen by the populace. Indeed, the persisting fuel scarcity in the country, which has also been viewed as part of FG’s desperate efforts to justify further ‘subsidy removal’ and increase in pump prices, has been blamed on the over N140 billion subsidy arrears which the government was said to be owing ma-

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IN THE PUMP PRICE OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS IN THE NEAR FUTURE MAY SHAKE THE POLITY TO ITS VERY FOUNDATIONS jor and independent oil marketers. The debt was said to have compelled banks to turn their backs on the affected marketers who needed loans to import petroleum products, thus making the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) the sole importer of the products at the moment. So far, the NNPC’s flimflam, its inadequate distribution infrastructure, etc., are said to have combined to make it impossible for the Corporation to make enough products available. But as has been widely argued, one of the odious facts the lingering fuel subsidy controversy brought out clearly was the dubious nature of the concept and regime of petroleum products’ subsidy. The civil society and Organised Labour had remained consistent with their argument that in reality, no subsidy on petroleum products exists; and that what the government calls subsidy is merely the baptismal name of monumental cor-

Sport Extra

w ive candidates for the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2012 award were yesterday unveiled. Former Chelsea striker, Didier Drogba, topped the list that also include his compatriot Yaya Toure of Manchester City, Newcas-

ANOTHER INCREASE

ruption in the nation’s oil sector. This position was confirmed by the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee that investigated subsidy fund management earlier in the year. Nigerians were also witnesses to how the amount purportedly spent on subsidy in 2011 dramatically changed from the N250, billion budgetary provision for that year to N500 billion, N600 billion, N1.3 trillion, and then N1.7 trillion. Just last Monday, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who also chaired one of the numerous committees set up by the FG to probe leakages in the oil sector, Nuhu Ribadu, stated that there would be no need ‘removing’ oil subsidy if the oil sector, reputed for legendary corrupt practices, can be cleaned and sanitized. It is, therefore, not surprising that in response to Jonathan’s recent contradictory remarks on subsidy, the Nigeria Labour Congress’ (NLC) immediate response was its vow to mobilise Nigerians to resist any planned hike in petroleum products’ prices. “The crisis that will welcome any announcement of further withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products will be so monumental and so far reaching than envisaged by anyone. The January protests would seem a child’s play compared to what might follow any attempt to deregulate the downstream sector of the oil industry”, the NLC President, Abdulwahed Omar, was quoted as saying in a statement last weekend. There are several reasons the NLC and the civil society will enjoy massive public support in the event of another fuel price hike. One is the lip service government officials pay to making sacrifices, though they preach same to the public. Next is the kid gloves treatment of suspected subsidy thieves by the Jonathan government, as well as the scant impact of the same administration’s war on corruption, despite the president’s claims to the contrary, among others. Therefore, however the FG goes about it, another increase in the pump price of petroleum products in the near future may shake the polity to its very foundations. Nigerians seem not in the mood to tolerate more of such.

Drogba, Toure, others for BBC prize tle and Senegal’s Demba Ba, Montpellier and Morroco’s Younes Belhanda and Henan Construction and Zambia’s Christopher Katongo. The winner will be de-

cided by African football fans who have until 1830 GMT on December 13 to vote for their choice while the winner will be announced next day. Drogba won the Cham-

pions League with Chelsea while Toure played key role in Manchester City’s Premier League triumph, as Belhanda won the French Ligue 1 with Montpellier and Katongo propelled

Zambia to the country’s first ever Nations Cup triumph at Gabon/Equatorial Guinea, living Senegalese Ba with a trophy-less season and a distant possibility to scoop the BBC prize, although he scored 17 goals to help Newcastle to fifth finish in the EPL table.

Didier Drogba

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Friday, November 23, 2012