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Jonathan puts issuance of N5,000 note on hold ONDO .

COUNTDOWN TO

GUBER POLL

NASS replies Maku, says he’s ignorant

GEORGE OJI, ROTIMI FADEYI, EMMANUEL ONANI AND TORDUE SALEM

Vol. 2 N0. 453

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has put on hold the planned introduction of the N5,000

October 20, 2012

note. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

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DAYS TO GO

INEC: 1.6m voters to participate in poll Mimiko runs a one-man govt –PDP P.13

Friday, September 21, 2012

FRONT PAGE COMMENT:

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N150

Nigeria’s aviation sector on the brink of collapse

esterday’s suspension of the domestic operations of Nigeria’s biggest airline, Arik Air, just 10 days after the national flag carrier, Air Nigeria, suspended all its operations for 12 months due to difficult operating environment, signals the virtual collapse of the commercial passenger segment of the nation’s aviation industry. Conflicting reasons have been

advanced for the suspension, with Arik claiming that it was a voluntary action, while reports say three aviation industry unions forced the airline to stop operations on account of the huge debt it owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN. Ironically, Arik’s suspension came only a day after some senators curiously suggested that the airline should be designated as the national

carrier. Whatever triggered Arik’s suspension only confirms what has been obvious for decades – that the business environment under which local carriers operate is patently hostile – with airline owners struggling to survive amid huge and rising debts, high fuel costs, inadequate and substandard airport infrastructure, lack of

Airports in chaos as C Arik suspends flights

CONTINUED ON PAGE 16>>

TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND OLUSEGUN KOIKI

...passengers stranded, ticket prices soar by 100% ‘Aviation minister wants 5% stake in Arik’ .

IN OPERATION

Aero Contractors IRS Airline Overland Airways Associated Airline

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SUSPENDED

Arik Air Air Nigeria *First Nation *Dana Air *Chanchangi Air

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haos reigned supreme yesterday at the General Aviation Terminal, GAT, of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos and major airports across the nation, as Arik Air, was grounded after members of the aviation industry unions stopped the carrier’s operations as a result of the alleged N20bn debt CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

COMATOSE AIRLINES

Okada Air Nigeria Airways Bellview Airline Sosoliso Airline

Albarka Air Afrijet Skyline (Nigeria) Freedom Air

Merchant Express Aviation Cargo Fresh Air Dasab Air Services Chrome Air Services

Premium Airshuttle Savannah Airlines ADC Airline

Passengers stranded after the stoppage of Arik Air services by aviation industry unions over non-payment of debt owed government agencies in Lagos, yesterday.

Protesting union members at the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos yesterday.

Gowon, IBB warn against Nigeria’s break-up

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PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA

Excess crude: Again, govs drag FG to court

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News

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Airports in chaos as Arik suspends flights CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN. Hundreds of passengers, who had arrived at the Lagos terminal to catch early morning flights to Abuja and other destinations, were stranded after being prevented from entering the terminal building. Arik’s ground staff had also been sent away by members of the Air Transport Senior Staff Services of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, who stormed the terminal as early as 6 a.m. leaving check-in counters empty. Arik’s passengers were also stranded in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kaduna and other airports though the airline was said to have operated one or two flights out of Abuja early in the day. The President of ATSSSAN, Comrade Benjamin Okewu, told journalists that the unions decided to ground the operations of the airline over the huge debts owed various agencies like FAAN, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, for services rendered to the airline over the years. The grounding of the airline is in fulfilment of an earlier threat made by the unions last week to ground the operations of all airlines indebted to the agencies, he said. National Mirror learnt that the unions had on Wednesday night at a meeting held at ATSSSAN office perfected plans to disrupt the operations of the airline yesterday. When the unions stormed GAT, the security officers on duty were caught unawares. The management of FAAN, however, distanced itself from the action of the unions, saying that the action was counterproductive for business. The airline’s management at a news conference yesterday afternoon, however, denied that the unions grounded its operations, insisting that it decided to suspend all local operations until the issue is resolved, threatening that it would not hesitate to stop

local operations if the Federal Government does not intervene. It also said that it was not indebted to FAAN, stressing that the agency had commenced “Pay As You Go” scheme over 18 months ago. The Managing Director of Arik Air, Mr. Chris Ndulue, accused the Ministry of Aviation of persistent hostility towards the airline, based on “personal interest as against national interest, which overrides every other interest.” He said that the airline had an outstanding debt of N1.6bn owed FAAN as against the over N7bn claimed by the unions. According to him, the debt had accumulated before the commencement of the “Pay As You Go” scheme introduced by FAAN over 18 months ago; stressing that it had since been paying N100m into the coffers of FAAN monthly as ordered by the aviation minister. Ndulue also accused the management of FAAN of refusing to attend meetings called by stakeholders to reconcile the debts, warning that if the threat against the airline continues, it would be forced to close shop. There were also allegations in a statement circulated online yesterday that the Minister of Aviation had demanded to be allocated a five per cent equity shareholding in the airline, but officials of the ministry dismissed it saying that they would not respond to any anonymous allegation. The ministry’s spokesman, Mr. Joe Obi, challenged the authors of the material to come out and confront the ministry. “We don’t respond to allegations made by anonymous person,” he said when contacted by our correspondent. Okewu had alleged that Arik is indebted to FAAN to the tune of N7.2bn; NAMA, N5bn and owed NCAA about $300m. He added that the decision of the aviation unions to ground the airline’s operations was in response to failure of the debtor airline to service its debts owed the agencies, adding that all efforts to make Arik Air pay have been abortive He said: “Basically, the N20bn they are talking

about is an approximated figure in the sense that there is that tendency for it to be more. Arik owes NAMA, from the statistics we have, over N5b; Arik is owing FAAN from the statistics available to us over N7bn; Arik is also owing NCAA from the statistics available to us, over N5bn. “There are also foreign currency components, as Arik owes NCAA about $300m. If you convert that all the money Arik owes, it is over N20bn. There are also overdue payments to SAHCOL and NAHCo Aviance; the handling companies and all other aviation services providers.”

He added that the unions have tried to ensure that Arik reduces the debt it owes like other airlines have done, but such efforts have been unsuccessful. “The one that aggravated the workers most is the one that took place after taking this agitation to the Federal Government. They set up a committee comprised of directors of Ministry of Aviation, Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, FAAN management and Arik management to sit down and reconcile the exact amount Arik owes these parastatals, so they can agree on a suitable mode of payment. Inciden-

tally because Arik has always shown that they are above the law, they never came for this meeting.” However, a statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, Mr. Akin Olukunle, stated that the management was taken aback by the action of the unions and described the action as counter-productive. The statement reads in part: “Earlier today (yesterday), Thursday September 20, 2012, it was brought to the attention of the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria that members of the industrial unions in the aviation

industry carried out an industrial action, which entailed the disruption of Arik Air’s flights, allegedly to recover debts owed by the airline to various agencies in the industry. “The management wishes to inform the public that it was not aware of any plan by the unions to embark on the said industrial action as the management considers it to be counter-productive to the current efforts being made by management to recover debts owed FAAN by Arik Airlines and other customers. “The management wishes to assure the public, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

L-R: Head of Service, Alhaji Bello Sali; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad; Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; Chairman of the occasion, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd); President Goodluck Jonathan and President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, during the National Peace Summit and Rally, organised by the NLC in Abuja, yesterday.

Jonathan puts issuance of N5,000 note on hold CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said last night in Abuja that the introduction of the N5,000 note was put on hold to enable the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, embark on public enlightenment on the initiative. Many Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as the Senate and House of Representatives had kicked against it. Jonathan, according to Abati, urged the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to step down the idea to allow for adequate consultation with the people. “We are stepping it down for now to give room for public enlightenment,” Abati said. Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday dismissed the

statement credited to the Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku that legislative resolutions do not carry the weight of the law, as they are merely advisory. Labaran made the statement while reacting to the resolutions by the Senate on Tuesday, directing President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately halt the implementation of the proposed currency restructuring by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. But speaking through the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the upper parliament said it needed not to be informed by Maku about the non-binding status of its resolutions but reminded the minister that he must bear in mind that he was not elected by the people to become a minister, but that his position as minister

is at the whims and caprices of the President. Ekeremadu, who made the explanation as part of his closing remarks, before an amendment bill to the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act P38, LFN 2004 seeking to provide for inclusion of host communities in sale of shares and to ensure better accountability, sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, was committed to second reading, insited that all resolutions of the Senate are always well thought-out before being made. According to Ekweremadu, any person who ignores the resolutions of the Senate does so at the expense of good governance. Ekweremadu said: “The response from the Minister of Information to our resolutions concerning the

N5,000 note that our resolutions are not binding, I don’t think that we need the Minister of Information or any other minister to tell us that our resolutions are not binding just as we don’t need to remind him that he was not elected. “We know that our resolutions are not binding but the positions we take in this Senate, especially regarding the resolutions are all well thought of. They are borne out of patriotism, they are well researched and they are amalgamation of the views of very responsible Nigerians and to that extent, it is very persuasive and any person who is ignoring the resolutions of this Senate is doing so at the expense of good governance and we cannot encourage such a thing.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Good Health

L ATEEFAH IBRAHIM-ANIMASHAUN

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oloured contact lenses are fast becoming fashion accessories for everyday use. Recently, they have become a must-have fashion item among many youths, especially ladies, as they try to imitate celebrities who use them. Some of these people make sure the colour of their eyes match whatever cloth they wear simply for dramatic effects. These tiny lenses are worn by both people who need vision correction as well as those who don’t and it’s almost becoming fashionable just as eye glasses are worn with zero prescription lenses. Unfortunately, these lenses which come in ranges of colours and crazy designs actually pose hazards to the sight of wearers. Recent research studies reveal that the health risks associated with wearing of these lenses range from irritated and red eyes to serious complications including permanent damage to the cornea which could result in loss of vision leading to more complications. According to experts, wearing these lenses can pose serious health risk and other medical conditions that may be preventable. Besides eye irritation, the most common challenges associated with using these lenses also include discomfort arising from improper care and cleaning of your contact lenses. Consequently, contact lens wearers may experience tearing, burning, itching, dry eyes, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. Bacteria found in lens cases or hands that are not properly cleaned before using contact lens may be transferred to the eye where they can become lodged under the

Beware! Contact lens could damage your eyes

A lady with contact lenses: At risk of corneal ulcer?

lens and provide a spot for bacteria to grow. Similarly, environmental contaminants such as dust, pollen, sprays and smoke can also irritate the eye when lenses are worn or cause discomfort. It would also interest you to know that people who adorn these lenses are at in-

creased risk of developing pink eyes, also known as conjunctivitis. The condition, an infection of the lining of the eyelid and part of the eyeball caused by viruses or bacteria, results in discomfort, redness and swelling in the cornea that may affect vision. Notwithstanding these potential haz-

ards, millions of Nigerians now wear them, while so many people prefer the extendedwear variety- the type worn day and night. Though quite fashionable and easy to wear, ophthalmologists however warn that these extended-wear lenses provide a moist environment which is a potential breeding ground for organisms. According to the experts, this is because less oxygen reaches the cornea during contact lens use, thus, would not be able to fight off infection caused by bacteria or viruses. Research has however revealed that it can also lead to corneal ulcer. This is an infected open sore in the eye’s cornea caused by bacteria, fungus, viruses or a parasite and is a serious potential risk for contact lens wearers. When these occur, it could lead to loss of vision or in severe cases, the need for a corneal transplant. Are you still thinking of purchasing that over-the-counter decorative contacts, including circle lenses? You may have to have a re-think as they are not only illegal but pose a serious danger to your eye health. Experts say they will at the long run subject you to visual torture in the form of injury, infection and eventual sight loss. Are you using lenses prescribed by a medical doctor? If yes, experts also advise that you reduce chances of coming up with corneal ulcer by following your ophthalmologist’s instructions for proper cleaning and disinfection. Here are the simple steps to safer contact lenses usage: • Always soak lenses in a clean solution every night • Do not use water to clean or store your lenses •And remove lenses before swimming.

YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

Yogurt consumption lowers risk of high blood pressure

A

dding more yogurt to your diet without increasing the number of calories you eat may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. A recent study found long-term yogurteaters were less likely to develop high blood pressure and on average had lower systolic blood pressure than those who didn’t eat yogurt. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. It measures the force of blood

against the walls of your arteries when your heart is beating. During the 15 year study, researchers followed more than 2,000 volunteers who did not have high blood pressure at the start of the study. Yogurt consumption was measured by questionnaires filled out by the volunteers at three intervals over the study period. Study participants were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure if at least 2 percent of their daily calories came from yogurt, which would be like eating at least one six-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days. —Science Daily

Emotional neglect in children linked to increased stroke risk later in life

T

he results from a new study by neurological researchers from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center suggest that people who were emotionally neglected as children may have a higher risk of stroke in later adulthood. “Studies have shown that children who were neglected emotionally in childhood are at an increased risk of

a slew of psychiatric disorders. However, our study is one of few that looked at an association between emotional neglect and stroke,” said study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, a neuropsy-

chologist at Rush. The findings are published in the September 19, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. For the study, 1,040 participants in the Memory and Aging Project who did not have dementia and were 55 years of age or older took a survey measuring physical and emotional abuse before the age of 18.


PhotoNews

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Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L–R: Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and Niger State Governor Babaginda Aliyu, at the National Ecomomic Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Registrar, University of Lagos, Mr. Oluwarotimi Shodimu; Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahman Bello and his Deputy, OLUFEMI AJASA Prof. Babajide Alo, during UNILAG’s 50th anniversary in Lagos, yesterday.

L – R: Former Lagos State gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje; Head, Corporate Social Initiative, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mrs. Morin Adeyemi and Chief Executive Officer, LiveWell Initiative, Mrs. Bisi Bright, at the 5th anniversary of LiveWell Initiative and launch of LiveWell Initiative’s Easyhealth Mobile Health Service in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; Managing Director, M-Net Africa, Mrs. Biola Alabi; Zonal Director, Lagos, National Broadcasting Commission, Dr. Armstrong Idachaba; General Manager, DStv Mobile, Mr. Mayo Okunola and Regional Director, DStv Media Sales, Mrs. Busola Adeogun Philips, at the launch of Walka 7 and iDrifta devices in Lagos, yesterday.

National News

Excess Crude: Again, governors drags FG to court As S/Court adjourns northern gov’s N7bn NSMB suit

ISE-OLUWA IGE, OBIORA IFOH AND ROTIMI FADEYI

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he Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has once again decided to sue the Federal Government over the contentious Excess Crude Account (ECA). The Forum also said that it supports the upcoming Good Governance Tours as conceptualised by the National Economic Council (NEC) and plans to use the opportunity to showcase achievements of the states in various areas of service delivery. The tour, which is led by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, commenced yesterday with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and will move to other states in the North-Central zone. The governors, who met late on Wednesday at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, resolved to embark on various strategies to deepen advocacy and administration of polio vaccines with a view to eradicating polio in the country. Sources said that the meeting was called at the

instance of both the forum and the Federal Government in an attempt to amicably resolve the issues that have become legal matters at the Supreme Court. The apex court has encouraged both parties to explore the option of an out-of-court settlement in resolving the matter that had been brought before it. It will be recalled that the governors had dragged President Goodluck Jonathan to the Supreme Court, seeking legal redress over what they called “illegal deductions” from the Federation Account. The governors had claimed that the deductions, being made by the Federal Government, were specifically to offset oil subsidy payments, Excess Crude Account and other unconstitutional expenditure. As at last week, the Excess Crude Account balance over $8.2bn and the governors want a slice of the pie. While the governors seem not to be comfortable with the new policy, the Federal Government had continued to allay their fears, that the states would have more benefits than expected.

And as the operational date of October 2, 2012 draws near, the Federal Government is doing all it can to appease the 20 governors whose approval is stalling the floating of the fund. The two parties had told the Supreme Court on May 21 that their reconciliation talks had collapsed. Following the stalemate, they asked for a date for the definite hearing of the matter, but the Federal Government decided to return to the table for an out-of court settlement before September 25, the date fixed for definite hearing by the Supreme Court. According to sources, the Federal Government does not want the case to go into definite hearing because it might affect the management of the SWF, which has just been floated with $1bn. But with the decision of the governors on Wednesday to approach the court again, any possibility of reaching a truce may have been foreclosed. In a related development, a panel of seven justices headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice

Mariam Aloma Murhktar, yesterday fixed February 14, 2013 for definite hearing in a suit brought by 16 northern states seeking an order compelling the Federal Government to refund them a total N7.3bn, being outstanding value of the assets of the defunct Northern States Marketing Board (NSMB). The apex court fixed the date after clearing preliminary applications that could slow down the pace of hearing in the matter. The Federal Government, however, declared before the Supreme Court that the suit by 16 northern governors is a waste of time, saying it would not pay them a dime. The position of the Federal Government was contained in a preliminary objection filed by the Chambers of Ade-Okeaya Inneh (SAN) on behalf of the Office of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation. Sixteen of the 19 states in the North had invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court vide an originating summons asking the apex court to compel the Federal Government to pay them N7bn as outstanding value of the as-

sets of the defunct NSMB. The board was said to have been taken over by the Federal Government in 1977 from the then NorthWest, North-Central, Kano, North-East and CentralWestern states. The states as presently constituted comprise Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara which instituted the suit. They had named the AGF as the sole defendant in the case. In the suit before the Supreme Court, the 16 states specifically said that in 1977, the then Federal Military Government forcefully took over the assets of NSMB by virtue of Decree No. 29 of 1977. They said the Supreme Military Council stated that the Federal Government would pay for the assets of the NSMB and the assets of any other commodity boards. According to them, before the assets were transferred to the Federal Government, a valuation was carried out which put the total value of all the assets at N42m.

They said: “Out of the said N42m, only N1.1m was paid to the NSMB by the defendant leaving a balance of N40m.” They put the cost of immovable assets and produce taken over at N11m and N18m respectively. Bags, tarpaulin and twine as well as cotton stores complexes allegedly taken over were put at N2m. The states said that as at July 27, 1983, the Federal Government admitted owing them N10.3m which when converted using the prevailing exchanging rate (N150.00 to $1) was put at N3bn. This is said to be the value of some moveable properties and cotton store complexes taken over by the Federal Government. Meanwhile, the National Economic Council (NEC) has urged both the federal and state governments to explore an amicable out-of-court settlement on the ECA. Addressing journalists yesterday after the meeting of the Council in Abuja, Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said that though the matter is still before the court, NEC was of the opinion that the federal and state governments should encourage counsel in the case to continue out of court approach to resolve the issue.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jonathan dismisses Green Revolution ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday dismissed the Green Revolution Programme embarked upon by former President Shehu Shagari, saying that it did not achieve much. Jonathan, who spoke in Abuja while inaugurating a 14-member Presidential Committee to develop a comprehensive broadband infrastructure roadmap for the country, noted that the programme was only implemented on paper. Inaugurating the broadband committee yesterday, Jonathan said: “I am happy that this is happening

today. As at the time we talked about industrial revolution, this part of the world never participated, we talked about green revolution, we tried it but it was on the pages of paper. There was no revolution witnessed in this country. The real technological revolution we never participated. “That is why people always say that if you look at our Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria, DICON that started at the same time as Brazil; Brazil is building aircraft and we are still managing furniture. So, technological revolution we have not participated. We are now talking about ICT revolution. “It is only ICT that can

Jonathan puts issuance of N5,000 note on hold CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Also in the House of Representatives, members yesterday said Maku is ignorant of the role and strength of the parliament. The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Zakari Muhammed dismissed Maku’s, saying his position showed he was not on the same page with the Federal Government. “If Labaran Maku said that, then all I can say is that he is not on the same page with the Presidency as far as the issue of the monetary policy is concerned,” he said. Hon. Ken Chikere on his part said the comments were unfortunate and ignorant. “That comment must be borne out of ignorance. That person (Maku) should go back to the constitution, the basis on which our government rests. All institutions derive their powers from the constitution,” the lawmaker stated. In his response, Hon. Fort Dike said: “Labaran Maku’s comments are unfortunate and they show that he does not understand the constitution.” Meanwhile, the Deputy Senate President and other senators openly criticised the non-implementation of the Senate resolution on the enterprises privatised by the Bureau of Public Enter-

prise (BPE) by the executive. In an apparent reference to the resolution of the Senate concerning the recommendation for the sack of the BPE, Director-General, Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa, Ekweremadu said, “I believe this is the opportunity for Mr. President to go and look for resolutions of the Senate regarding the BPE investigations. If there are very fat buttocks that are sitting on it, he should use the executive powers to push them out and implement the report in the overall interest of this country.” In his lead presentation of the bill for an act to amend the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act P38, Senator Okowa said the amendment was to provide further legislative framework for improved accountability, provide appropriately for host communities and staff of public enterprises in the sales of shares of such entities. The bill also seeks to amend the functions of the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, to remove all forms of contradictions. The lawmaker recalled that the Senate constituted an ad hoc committee in July last year to investigate the activities of the BPE from inception to date with appropriate terms of reference.

make any nation to become an advanced nation so at least we should work hard to join this revolution.” He stated that in recognition of the benefits of ICT, the National ICT policy had set a target of five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017. The President also explained that the Ministry of Communication Technology was separated from the Ministry of Information to insulate it from political tendencies, which the Information Ministry was subjected to. Jonathan said: “When we came up with the idea of separating the Ministry of Communication Technology from the traditional Ministry of Information, we believed that the concept of information is bogging down that ministry.

“The Minister of Information is always harassed when people are abusing the President. We believed that communication technology is a key to economic development and we should remove that from the political gossips that adorned our media, that is why we separated it and looked for somebody that we believe probably had no voter’s card as at that time to head the ministry so that the communication technology will be insulated from the routine activities of the traditional activities of the Minister of Information.” While speaking on the importance of the broadband roadmap, Jonathan noted that broadband access and internet technologies are a key enabler of socio-economic growth and the attainment of a fully knowledge-based economy. “It is important to start

thinking of how to build a digital economy particularly in this era of the knowledge economy. The critical factor here is that we are in the middle of a digital economy. “ICTs have changed the way we live, work and learn. In some countries around the world, including Nigeria, ICTs have even transformed the way citizens participate in governance.” The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, while expatiating on the broadband roadmap at a press briefing, maintained that it was an initiative aimed at producing fast and reliable internet services for the country. The committee, which has three months to submit its report, includes Mr. Jim Ovia and Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, who are CoChairmen; Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of MTN,

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Mrs. Lynda Saint Nwafor; Chair, CDMA Forum, Mr. Phillip Chukwueke; Chief Information Officer (CIO) First Bank, Mr. Rasheed Adegoke; CEO of Phase 3 Telecom, Mr. Stanley Jegede and Youth ICT Entrepreneur, Mr. Gbenga Sesan. Also on the committee are the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Kano State, Alhaji Bala Muhammed; Special Adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Infrastructure and ICT, Mr. Kayode Jegede; an official of Ministry of Communication Technology, Mr. John Ayodele; official of the National Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Fidelis Ona; official of National Information Technology Development Agency, Dr. Vincent Olatunji; Country Manager, Google Global Service Nigeria, Ms. Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor and Mr. Junaid Dikko.

L-R: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha; Chairman, National Stakeholders Working Group of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Ledum Mitee and Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, at the stakeholders’ forum on the Petroleum Industry Bill in Lagos yesterday.

Airports in chaos as Arik suspends flights CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

particularly air passengers and all other airport users, that we are doing everything possible to address the issue that informed the industrial action by the unions without recourse to violence. “We also wish to assure the public that their safety and security remains our top priority at all our airports, including the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.” Among the affected passengers yesterday was a prominent lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN. Falana, in an interview with journalists at the GAT,

said that the irresponsibility of Nigerian government led to the collapse of the aviation industry players including the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways. He said: “Nigerian aviation industry has been left in the hands of private owners. I have the White Paper on Nigeria Airways where over $1bn was said to have been collected by the Obasanjo government and that was enough at that time to set up two or three airlines. All the properties in GRA and other places including those in London were sold at give-away prices and if the union is to

fight the crisis in the aviation industry, they have to link up with progressive civil society organisations. “When you are going to make your point, ultimately government has to do something. Most airlines have collapsed, Nigerians have been thrown out of jobs, we are not doing anything; past governments have also neglected the aviation industry while other governments are developing theirs. “Banks that were collapsed by criminals, government have put in over N3trn in the last four, five years. Why have they neglected the aviation indus-

try? These are the issues they have to address beyond helping NAMA and FAAN, because if I owe you, you can take me to court even as a government, that is why the courts are there. If you haven’t paid, the courts will give judgement of ‘go and pay within this time’ but your government will not do that because of the corruption in our leaders.” At the Nnmadi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, hundreds of air passengers that had had their flight schedules confirmed by the airline were stranded and helplessly bemoaning their predicament with CONTINUED ON PAGE 9>>


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Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jonathan, Gowon, Babangida kick against Nigeria’s break-up OBIORA IFOH AKINMUTIMI

AND

TOLA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan and former military Heads of State, Generals Yakubu Gowon and Ibrahim Babangida, yesterday spoke against any attempt to balkanise the country. The president gave assurance that despite the insecurity challenge facing the country; it would come out as a stronger and united nation. Jonathan, who gave the assurance in his keynote address in Abuja at the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, National Summit and Rally with the theme: “Labour for Peace, Unity and Development,” however, admitted that bombings in parts of the North remained a serious threat to the country. He said: “No matter what we think that have been eroded, in a contemporary society there must be peace for development. “For a nation to develop, the first thing you talk about is communication power. Now in the northern parts, commu-

nication power has been threatened because of insecurity. There is no way that will not impact on the economy. For us to move with the modern society there must be peace. We need peace if we must develop this country.” To create the desired peace crucial to political stability and economic growth, the President said as a collective responsibility, the organised labour, civil society and other stakeholders in the Nigerian project must work together and play their expected roles. Jonathan therefore commended the organised labour for taking the initiative of supporting government’s efforts to tackle the insecurity challenge and assured that despite its current travails; Nigeria would not disintegrate. He said: “Nigeria will not divide. We have security problem because most of the people involved are ignorant. For us to move forward, government and citizens must work together. “We can now talk about those calling for the balkanising of Nigeria, so

those that say they want their own nation, which is Igbo nation, Yoruba nation, are people who want to be kings in a tiny island, and they will not get it because Nigeria will not divide. We must continue to be one Nigeria and government must work with labour.” In his remarks, former Head of State and Chairman of the opening ceremony, Gowon, paid a glowing tribute to past and current leaders of the organised labour for their patriotism and relentless pursuit of an egalitarian society. He said it was better for those undermining the peace of the country to think otherwise in the overall national interest. Gowon explained that as a former head of state, who went to war to defend the sanctity of the Nigerian project, he could say

with the experiences of both war time and peace time that the best Nigerians should seek was the peace of the country. Speaking at the event, the NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, appealed to political, religious leaders and other patriotic groups in the country to jointly collaborate on the current insecurity challenges facing the country to ensure that the Nigerian project was not aborted. Omar said it had become imperative for traditional rulers, political and religious leaders to close ranks and join hands with the Federal Government in this trying moment of national development since insecurity posed the greatest challenge to Nigerians’ collective aspirations for sustainable development. Speaking at a different

forum in Abuja, Babangida warned that every thought of disintegration must perish as Nigeria was meant to remain one and indivisible nation, despite its daunting challenges. Although the former head of state attributed Nigeria’s failure to become one of the big global players to “haphazard and half-hearted” leadership styles, he warned against the attempt by the elite to negatively manipulate the system. Babangida spoke as guest lecturer at the public presentation of Blueprint newspaper, where he decried the current political system that had continuously weakened state institutions and deprived them of performing their required roles. He said: “The most fundamental charac-

teristic of the Nigerian nation is its diversity. The country, like many others, is constituted in a complex amalgam of cultures, ethnic identities, religious adherences and regional backgrounds. “I must, however, hasten to say that on its own, our diversity is not a problem, but only becomes so when it is mobilised to serve various political purposes by the elite. “The resultant fragmentation had and continues to have, very grave consequences for the ongoing process of nation-building. Indeed, if there is any single theme running through the political history of the Nigerian nation, it is the constant battle to counter the disruptive tendencies resulting from the mobilisation of our diversity for political purposes.”

PDP grants unconditional waiver to former members OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday expressed its determination to right the wrongs of the past by throwing its doors open to its former members who left over perceived injustices meted out on them. The general amnesty also extended to members still in the PDP but have been working at cross purposes with the party. In a statement signed by its National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the PDP warned against attempts by party leadership at the states and zones to obstruct the waiver. Tukur said the waiver was in keeping with the ongoing efforts to promote reconciliation within the PDP, in line with the National Executive Council, NEC-approved basic philosophy of the Triple ‘R’s, which is “that

the PDP umbrella is big enough to accommodate everybody”. The chairman therefore called on all those who left the party, or were not actively working with the party for any reason(s), to return to the party through their wards and that the exercise be carried out within 30 days. He said: “Ward chairmen and secretaries should register such returning members without inhibitions. “Anyone not allowed to go through this process should report such hindrance(s) to the next level, and up to the National Secretariat.” Tukur also called on the national vice-chairmen to ensure compliance, even as he disclosed that the National Working Committee, NWC, was also setting up zonal reconciliation committees which would handle lingering disagreements and forge a more united PDP.

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State (left) and his Adamawa State counterpart, Muritala Nyarko, at the NGF’s meeting on eradication of polio in Nigeria, in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

INEC hasn’t received 40m cards, says Jega’s aide OMEIZA AJAYI

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he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday said it had not taken delivery of 40m permanent voters’ cards out of the 73.5m it contracted to a private firm. The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said in a statement yesterday that the commission was hopeful that by next year, it would have been in possession of the whole

cards. He said: “This is to correct the erroneous report in some of today’s dailies that the cards are ready, and that the commission has the cards in its kitty. “What the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said on Wednesday when Course participants from the Defence Intelligence School, Abuja, visited INEC was that the commission had contracted out the production of the first batch of 40m permanent voters’ cards, and hopes that all registered voters would have been issued

Permanent Voters’ Cards before the end of 2013.” Idowu recalled that Jega had said that: “Our hope is that by 2015, we will not only have a very credible register for the election, which will have been updated through continuous voter registration process, we will also have been able to provide all Nigerians who had registered with a Permanent Voter Card which has an electronic chip, and which will enable us, using card readers at polling units, to ensure 100 per cent authentication. “This is to ensure that

only the people who are legitimate owners of those cards are allowed to vote in the elections. “This is what we’ve been working on and a lot of progress has been made in that regard. And our hope is that by the end of 2013, every registered voter will have been given a Permanent Voter Card in readiness for the 2015 election. “We’ve gone very far, we are already producing the first batch which is about 40m out of the 73.5m voters who have been registered.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Abuja Light Rail’ll create one million jobs’ OMEIZA AJAYI

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inister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, has stated that the FCT Administration will facilitate the timely completion of the Abuja Light Rail in order to tackle the transport problems faced by residents and as well create over a million job for Nigerians. He said aside the aftereffect of the project leading to massive job creation, the trains are expected to ferry about two million people daily in the FCT. Mohammed spoke at the commencement of a nationwide project monitoring tour being facilitated by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku and the Special Assistant to the President on Project Monitoring, Prof. Sylvester Monye. The minister expressed the commitment of the FCT Administration to ensure that the project is completed by 2015, explaining that with the recent procurement of a $500 million loan from the Chinese Exim Bank, the project would succeed against all odds. According to him, the repayment period of the loan is 20 years at an annual in-

News

Friday, September 21, 2012

terest rate of 2.5 percent. He also disclosed that the sum of N178 million has been earmarked for the compensation of displaced residents who earlier settled along the rail lines. The N132bn project was started in 2009 and it is now at 20 percent completion, owing to what the minister described as paucity of funds. He added that the FCT Administration will continue to counter-fund the project according to schedule. According to him, the objective of the tour by the gov-

ernment is to entrench the principles of accountability and good governance and to show people the practical efforts being made to better the life for Nigerians. Although, the FCT component of the National Good Governance Tour is scheduled to last four days, the minister lamented that the three days earmarked for FCTA projects’ inspection to showcase its work is inadequate considering the number of projects currently being undertaken by his administration.

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Court sentences driver to death by hanging WALE IGBINTADE

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fter 12 years of adjudication, Justice Joseph Oyewole of a Lagos High Court yesterday sentenced a driver, Kehinde Olumide, to death by hanging for the murder of a lecturer. The convict was found guilty for the murder of R. A. Adisa, a senior lecturer at the Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State. The convict was a driver with the Institute of Management and Technology, Ketu, Lagos, until November 14, 2000, when he committed the murder. Justice Oyewole in his judgement held that; “I found the de-

fendant guilty as charged and convicted him accordingly. “The only statutory punishment for murder is the death penalty. The sentence of the court upon you Kehinde Olumide, is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul. “I hold that there is sufficient evidence before the court to unequivocally ground the inference that the defendant murdered the deceased, Mr. R.A. Adisa,” Justice Oyewole said. The court further held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and that sufficient evidence exists before the court to come to the unavoidable conclusion that

L-R: Chairman, Blueprint Newspapers Ltd; Mallam Mohammed Idris; former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd); Royal Father of the day, Laz Ekwueme and Borno State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Zanna Umar, at the public presentation of Blueprint in Abuja, yesterday.

the defendant murdered the deceased. Olumide was alleged to have murdered Adisa on November 29, 2000 in Alafon village along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and dispossessed the victim of his new Honda car. The offence, according to the prosecution, was contrary to section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap 32, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State, 1994. According to the prosecution, the deceased had solicited for the assistance of the defendant to help him drive the car to Okene since he could not drive. After killing his victim, the accused person transferred the Honda car to his friend who sold the car and gave him the proceeds to process a purported journey abroad. During the trial, the prosecution called five witnesses including the father of the defendant, whose testimonies, the trial judge noted were “not subjected to cross-examination by the defence.” The judge, therefore, held that the deceased, a graduating student of the institute had travelled to Lagos from Okene to purchase the imported Tokunbo (fairly used) car and after the purchase, engaged the defendant to drive the car to Okene. Justice Oyewole noted that when the defendant eventually showed up at home with an unlicensed car, his father, knowing his financial situation, ordered him to take the car off his premises.

Senate probes alleged naval assets stripping Apo six: Murder case suffers setback again GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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he Senate yesterday said it has commenced investigation to unravel the allegation involving the striping of some assets belonging to the Nigerian Navy. At an interactive meeting called by the Senate Committee on Navy chaired by Senator Chris Anyanwu, yesterday at the National Assembly, the navy was given the first opportunity to present its case.

TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives yesterday asked President Goodluck Jonathan, to shelve his plan of presenting the 2013 budget until lawmakers are satisfied with the implementation of the 2012 budget. The House passed the resolution after it considered the Mid-Term Expenditure

Anyanwu, in an opening remark before the meeting retired into a closed-door session, revealed that the alleged assets stripping involves navy’s assets at Ogogoro Island, Navy Dockyard, Lagos and Navy shipyard Port Harcourt. “In the past few weeks, the committee has been inundated with reports and protests about what some have perceived as an on-going stripping of strategic assets of the navy,” Anyanwu said. Continuing, the lawmaker said; “This meeting is con-

vened therefore to begin the process of investigation into this report with a view to ascertaining a justification for so doing, if any. “We want to know the true position of the assets; have they been sold, leased or mortgaged for how long, to whom and under what terms and conditions? Have these transactions protected the public good and preserved the future? How will the action affect navy’s future strategic interest? Has this been well considered and protected?”

EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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he trial of the six police officers accused of killing five auto spare parts dealers at Apo Mechanic Village and their female companion, was again adjourned till November 15 and 16 for the Federal Government to call further witnesses. The adjournment yesterday followed an oral application by the Prosecuting Counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), who informed the

court that hearing of the case will not be possible owing to the inability of the prison authorities to convey the four accused persons held in Kuje Prisons to court. He blamed the development on the recurrent fuel scarcity in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. Uche noted that; “My Lord, we are very sorry and we apologise for this development. Despite the commitment of my lord to ensure that this matter is concluded on time, we still

have circumstances constraining us. We will fashion out a way of taking two days consecutively as we intend to conclude the case before the end of the year.” Responding to the motion for adjournment, counsel to the 1st accused person, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), said he will “accede to the request and to look at the challenges in that light.” Other defence counsel, including M. I. Tola (3rd) and S. A. Lawal (for 5th accused) did not raise any objection.

Reps tell Jonathan to suspend presentation of 2013 budget

Framework presented to both chambers of the National Assembly. After the House’s decision in plenary, spokesman of the House, Hon. Zakari Muhammad, said until issues on the contentious 2012 budget were sorted out, the House won’t touch the budget.

“Until we are through with all the issues (on the 2012 budget), the 2013 budget will not be an issue for now,” he said. The House also commenced its oversight function on all ministries and agencies of government to ascertain the level of implementation of the 2012 bud-

get. Before its resumption from an annual recess, the House had issued a memo to all of its committees to obtain details of budgetary performance from the various ministries they oversee. Some of the committees, notably committees on finance and appropriation

had begun their work yesterday. Other committees like the National Planning and Legislative Budget were also in close-door meetings with agencies of government. Before it took its decision to stop the Presidency from bring its budget 2013 budget proposals, the House tore to

pieces a Mid-term Expenditure Profile before it. Principal legislators and chairmen of strategic committees took turns to criticise the MTEF and dismiss it as un-implementable and in gross violation of section 30 and 33 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act on the Mid-term Expenditure frame work.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Islamic group calls for review of FoI Law KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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n Islamic group, the Muslim Awareness International (MAI) has decried the recent production in the United States of America of a video film allegedly tarnishing the image of Islam and its founder, Holy Prophet Muhammad and called on governments around the world to begin to review the law of freedom of expression without further delay. The group at a press conference held at the Central Mosque, Oja’ba, Ibadan, yesterday, said the right to freedom of expression is not liberty for blasphemy, adding that there is certainly no absolute right anywhere. Spokesman for the group, Sheikh Abdulfattah Thanni, said “Every right has its limitation while the right of expression is not tantamount to liberty for sacrilege.” Thanni, who is also the Director of Islamic Centre in Nigeria said, “No one should hide under the banner of freedom of expression to insult our Prophet or desecrate the book of Allah and our places of worship. “Muslims will never be deterred by name calling to express their feelings to and reject by any means possible, all acts of insults against the noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW).” While noting with concern that; “The latest provocative film is a calculated attempt to tarnish the image of Islam and portray

Muslims as irrational set of people ever hungry for blood at the slightest provocation,” the group said till date, Islam remains number one enemy of the Jews and the West, a development it attributed to the constant attack on the religion. It warned stoutly that henceforth Muslims would not accept that the symbols of Islam, such as Allah, the creator, Prophet Muhammad and all other Prophets sent by Allah, the Quar’an, and Islamic places of worship are subjected to ridicule, insult and attack in the name of freedom of expression. MAI further warned that; “The sort of legal guarantees put in place to limit the freedom of expression of people who deny the holocaust or write negative things about the holocaust” is the minimum Muslims demand from the governments of the United States of America and other Western nations. “Anything short of these conditions will continue to worsen the animosity between Muslims and other people that take pride in insulting Islam and the Prophet,” it stated. On the expected introduction of N5, 000 note, the group appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi , to “listen to the voice of the people on the issue and also the conversion of N5, N10 and N20 to coins,” maintaining that the policy is a potential invitation to inflation and increased poverty.

L-R: Portfolio Manager, MTN, Foyesola Oyebola; Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation (MTNF), Nonny Ugboma; Oyo State Deputy Governor, Otunba Moses Alake Adeyemo; Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Col. Olubunmi Fatunbi and Special Adviser, Special Duties, Mr. Segun Abolarinwa, during the cutting of the tape to formally receive the five patrol vans donated to the state government by MTNF in Ibadan, yesterday.

Ajimobi urges govt, private sector to partner over crime KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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yo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, yesterday called for partnership between government and the private sector in fighting crime, saying only such collaborative effort could ensure a crime-free society. He stated this while receiving the five patrol vans donated to the state government by MTN Foundation, at the Governor’s Office in Ibadan. Ajimobi, who was represented by his Deputy, Otunba Moses Alake Adeyemo, said the pooling together of re-

sources in fighting crime has become necessary in view of the paucity of funds to the police. His words: “Before now, the perception was that government was one big behemoth that has unlimited power, resources and ability. “But it has begun to dawn on us all that not only are the resources of government limited, it is humanly impossible for it to solve all the monumental developmental issues that confront it.” He said this accounted for why his administration came with the desire to activate the synergy between it and private organisations.

“One of the first things we did when we came into office was to immediately begin to oil the rusty hinges of partnership between government and development partners. “By the time we began to hold collaborative meetings with these development partners, they expressed the pleasant shock that Oyo that had hitherto disappeared from the radar of development, was showing an unmatchable enthusiasm to return to an embrace with the rest of the world,” Ajimobi said. The governor said his administration was ir-

revocably committed to partnership with development partners, adding “We believe that it is in this that our state could move forward to its desired height.” He described the presentation of the vans as one of the instances of an interface between government and development partners which could help in developing the state. He also recalled the setting up of Security Trust Fund by his government some months ago where stakeholders and government could pool resources together to combat crime in society.

Bishops may sue DSTV over suspension of programme Stakeholders endorse Amosun’s Financial Instrument Bill

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hairman of the Directorate of Communications, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, yesterday said the conference may be forced to sue the management of DSTV for suspending a religious programme on its channels. Badejo, who said this in a statement in Lagos, described the action of the management of the outfit as “regrettable.” He said the catholic bishops and worshippers nationwide were not happy about the suspension of the popular programme tagged ‘EWTN’, saying that the action was “discriminating.”

“In the last two weeks, offices of Catholic Dioceses across Nigeria have been besieged with calls from the faithful who hitherto have been receiving EWTN on DSTV bouquet in the country. “Upon investigation, we found that DSTV has decided to suspend this channel to the greatest bewilderment of thousands of our subscribers for whom EWTN had become their family and faithful channel. “We have received reports that EWTN, which by the way was the only catholic channel on the service, is the only religious channel that has been stepped down,” Badejo said.

He added that EWTN was a religious channel that broadcast activities of the Catholic Church to its teeming members. The bishop said the reason given by the management of DSTV that the programme was unpopular was ‘unacceptable,’ judging by the high volume of complaints received from Catholic faithful nationwide. Bishop Badejo said the conference urged the management of the television outfit to review the suspension and give back to millions of starved Christian households the opportunity of continually nourishing their faith at the earliest possible opportunity.

FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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takeholders in Ogun State yesterday unanimously endorsed the executive bill sent to the state House of Assembly seeking to empower the state government to raise loans to finance various developmental projects in the state. At the public hearing on the bill, which was chaired by the state House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Bankole Akanbi, the stakeholders cautioned that some parts of the bill should be amended in order to reserve the constitutional power of the legislature. National Mirror recalled that the state governor had

earlier sent a bill to the state assembly, seeking an approval for a legal frame work to provide for the raising of loans through bonds and other security which has generated reactions across the state. At the public hearing which had in attendance, council members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), members of the state Chamber of Commerce and Industry, members of the political class, among other financial experts, the stakeholders said amending the irregularities pointed out would permanently ensure that checks and balances come into play whenever the executive determined to raise loan as such would have

guaranteed recourse to the lawmakers. One of the ICAN council members, Abayomi Bammeke, who spoke at the forum, described the bill as a good document and financial instrument for the state. While allaying the fears of the people of the state, Bammeke said the bill stipulated that the state House of Assembly must legislate before any state governor could assess such bonds to ensure checks and balances. The Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) as well as the Islamic Youths League in their remarks cautioned the assembly to ensure that the passage of the bill does not become a burden to another administration.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, September 21, 2012

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N1bn deduction: We didn’t apologise to Fayemi –NULGE ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Ekiti State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employers, NULGE, said it had no cause to apologise to Governor Kayode Fayemi over its allegation last month that the state government was deducting N1bn monthly from local governments’ allocation. The NULGE Secretary General, Mr. Victor Adebayo, said yesterday that the state-

ment by the governor that the union members secretly apologised to him over the allegation was not true. Adebayo told journalists in Ado-Ekiti that the union never offended the governor to warrant apologising. He said the union only explained to the governor that he was never accused of stealing money. Fayemi, who said NULGE wrote a letter to him that the allegation of illegal deduction of council funds levelled against him was not true, had said

that he would not accept a private apology from the leadership of the local government workers. But Adebayo said: “This whole drama has put the NULGE leadership in a serious mess before our members, because they thought we are too lenient with the government. We only appealed to the governor to show sympathy and commence the payment of the wage to restore peace.” The NULGE leader, who said the publication in question did not

emanate from the union, disclosed that it only misconstrued the union’s position on the matter. According to him, NULGE could not have been petty to the extent of calling the governor unprintable names when negotiation was still ongoing on the payment of the N19,300 minimum wage. He said: “At any time, we hold the governor in high esteem and nobody among us will be happy to have insulted the governor or called him a thief. We nev-

Airports in chaos as Arik suspends flights

CONTINUED FROM 5 most of them blaming the government for the rot that had undermined air travel sector in the country. A Lagos-bound passengers, who identified himself as Alhaji Abubakar told National Mirror that the development was “most unreasonable at a time when government had failed to put the road networks in good condition and at the same time lacks the capacity to attract investments into the sector. This is the only country where nothing works.” He described the recent problem of Arik as something that “government should have averted by calling on the management and workers of the airlines to the negotiation table and solve this problem before it happened. The question now is; how many airlines are operating in the country? The stoppage of Arik’s domestic operations following the suspension of Air Nigeria’s domestic flights in May has created a crisis in the aviation industry with only three airlines – Aero, IRS and Overland – currently in operation. Air passenger said they paid up to N55,000 for Abuja to Lagos flights yesterday evening as the few operating airlines cashed in on the situation. All flights on the busy routes such as Lagos-Abuja, have been reported fully booked for days ahead. Several airlines have suspended operations this year including First Nation, Chanchangi and Dana Air. The suspension of Dana Air operating licence has been lifted but it is yet to restart operations. In another development, stakeholders in the

Nigerian aviation industry yesterday kicked against a proposal by the Senate Committee on Aviation, to designate Arik Air as the national carrier. Those who spoke with National Mirror said that the proposal was another way of short-changing the nation. The stakeholders concurred that before the national carrier status could be conferred on the airline as being proposed in some quarters, all the debts owed various organisations, aviation agencies and banks must be settled by the management. The President, Aviation Round Table, ART, Capt. Dele Ore, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, said that the pronouncement of the Senate committee was wrong, adding that the idea of a national carrier was no longer in vogue anywhere in the world. He queried the management structure of the airline, its audited accounts over the years and its debt profile to various organisations in the country. He explained that until the issues are resolved by the organisation and its agents, whatever status accorded the airline would be an exercise in futility. “What has Arik done with the status conferred on it as the flag carrier of this great nation? The truth of the matter is that the concept of national carrier is already archaic and old fashioned. The recommendation to accord Arik Air a national carrier status will be an exercise in futility without considering the factors that presently affect the flag carrier. “Those factors will be

haunting the organisation notwithstanding the name you call it to boost its status as a national carrier. In conclusion, therefore, the questions we should ask ourselves is: Is the management of the airline in control of Nigeria? Is Nigerianisation policy well articulated and put in place? Is Arik Air paying taxes as it operates? What is the status of Nigerian pilots and engineers in the airline? Are they accorded the needed respect? “Will Nigerian government support it or buy shares from the airline when it is accorded that status? There are more questions than answers.” Also, the Assistant Secretary of Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur, predicted that the proposal would never scale through. He alleged that the attempt to make the airline a national carrier was fraudulent and queried the reason for the proposal. He insisted that rather than making the airline a national carrier, government should set up another airline from the scratch, stressing that the attempt to make the airline a national carrier was to eradicate its massive debts to various organisations. He said: “Rather than making the airline a national carrier, they should set up an airline from the scratch and let people buy into it. They killed other airlines and at the end of the day, they are saying let us make Arik Air a national carrier. “Will Arik pay its outstanding debts? Before talking about making it a national carrier, all its debts to FAAN, NCAA, NAMA, staff, fuel marketers and others

must be cleared. There are so many dubious people in the industry that use the industry to siphon billions of money collected from banks and owe everybody. “They should come out and tell Nigerians the truth. Government should be very careful with whatever steps it is taking in the industry. Whatever step they take now, they will use it against them in the future. They should form a new airline entirely. They are manipulating our people.”

er said the governor was perpetrating illegal deduction, so we never offended the governor to warrant us to tender apology to him.” Local government workers in the state began an

indefinite strike last week to press home demand for the implementation of the new minimum wage, but Fayemi said it would not be paid until the ongoing council staff audit ended.

Create awareness on traffic law, Fashola tells LG chairmen MURITALA AYINLA

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hairmen of the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas in Lagos State have been advised to organise advocacy campaign programmes on the new traffic law in their domains. Governor Babatunde Fashola gave the charge yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting with the chairmen at the state secretariat. The governor said the success of the law in ensuring safety, security, sanity and standard would be determined by the ability of the chairmen to inform the public, especially at the grassroots level about the dictates of the law. Fashola, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government,

SSG, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, said that frequent advocacy campaigns and fora by the government at the grassroots would further spread the awareness of the law and ensure achievement of its safety and security objectives. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Justice Reforms, Mr. Lanre Akinshola, said the maximum penalty for the traffic offence was three years imprisonment for erring motorists while maximum fine was N100,000 and forfeiture of the vehicle. According to him, other penalties include revocation of driving or riding licences while erring motorists may also be mandated to attend the state driving institute for re-certification.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2015 Presidency: Igbo won’t accept anything else –Kalu WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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ormer Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that the Igbo would contest the Presidency in 2015. Kalu made the declaration yesterday in Ile-Ife after he delivered a lecture on “Leadership: Key fac-

tor to a better Nigeria,” at the Professor David Ijalaiye Annual Lecture Series organised by the Equity Chambers of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife. The former governor said the Igbo would not settle for any other position, warning that anybody that believed the

Igbo would settle for a lesser office should forget it. He said: “We are not ready to compromise our stand on the matter come 2015. What will happen is that the Igbo will vote for the Igbo, Yoruba for Yoruba and Hausa will vote for Hausa. Then, we will all come to Abuja to dis-

cuss and determine who should be Nigerian President. “Anybody who thinks that there is going to be a straight ballot thing to produce the President in 2015 is only fooling himself and that is our position.” Kalu, who said he was not a member of any po-

litical party, also vowed to continue to fight against injustice and stand for everything that was in the interest of Nigerians. The former governor regretted that since 1967 when the military came into governance the country had not been able to produce a good leader. He said: “Most of the

leaders are either not prepared for the office or are reluctant to take over the leadership of the country.” Kalu added that it was unfortunate that a country of about 160 million people, blessed with great natural and human resources, could not produce a good leader.

Enugu, Kogi have no claim on Anambra oil wells –Aguleri CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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guleri community in Anambra East Local Government Area yesterday warned Kogi and Enugu states, and others to stop laying claim to oil wells located in Anambra State. The people of the community issued the warning while addressing journalists through their traditional ruler, Igwe Christopher Idigo, and his cabinet chiefs. The Aguleri people said that such contentious claims, if not stopped, were capable of fanning the embers of discord. Speaking at the monarch’s palace, Chief Paul Nnamah, who read the position of the community, said there was no doubt that Kogi and Enugu sates would fail in their attempts to take over Anambra oil wells, just as they had failed before now. The community’s position was signed by all the cabinet chiefs and elders,

including Chief Raph Ugwah, Chief Ike Chinwuba, Nnamah, Chief John Ilochi, Chief Chuma Ivenso and Chief Edward Okoye. “The (people of) Igga community of Enugu State know that they have no title to the Anambra Forest Reserve, and so have no claim to make on the land. They came in 1967 and demanded compensation from SAFRAP (Nigeria) Limited, which ended in court, and they lost out. “Similarly, in 1984, when Elf Nigeria Limited came for the oil wells, they quickly demanded compensation, but could not succeed. Now that Orient Petroleum Resources has taken a bold step to commence operations, Igga community has come again, but, as in the past, they are bound to fail, as they neither have any title to the aforementioned Anambra oil wells nor any further claim to make, having been stopped by a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Oil spillage: Imo community protests Shell’s activities CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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omen in Umudike community in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday joined their children numbering over 500 to seize Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, pipelines. They were reacting to a massive crude oil spillage along the Umuduke - Assa - Rumuekpe oil delivery pipeline. The protesters, who accused SPDC of neglect, hazardous practices among other inhuman treatments, said they took over the affected pipelines to prevent

the company from hurriedly covering up the spillage without the required Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, to determine the extent of damage on the environment. This, according to them, was not the first time that SPDC would perpetuate such act against the community without commensurate compensation. “In 1997, there was a spillage that was poorly handled by the company. In 2001, there was another massive oil spillage that exploded and burnt over 13 people to death, while several others sustained severe burns that incapacitated them,” the protesters said.

L-R Governors Theodore Orji of Abia State, Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Peter Obi (Anambra), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), during the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday.

Declare emergency on federal roads, Abia Assembly tells FG GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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bia State House of Assembly has called on the Federal Government to declare a state emergency on all the federal roads in the state. The Assembly, which resumed from its recess on

Monday, made the call after it expressed disgust over the deplorable condition of federal roads in Abia State, especially the Enugu - Port Harcourt Expressway. The Abia State lawmakers resolved to meet their colleagues at the National Assembly to discuss the deplorable condition of the roads which had become a

nightmare. The legislature invited the Federal Controller of Works, the director of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and officials of the Abia State Road Maintenance Agency. The Assembly’s position followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Mr. Martins Azubike,

APGA crisis: Umeh asks CJ to disqualify self from suit DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, has called for the reassignment of the suit involving him and some members of the party. Umeh’s call followed the inability of the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, to vacate an interim order of his court restraining the APGA chairman from convening the party meetings in the past two months. In a petition he addressed

to the Chief Judge yesterday, the APGA chairman requested that the case with suit No E/270/2012, Jude Emenike Vs Sir Victor Umeh, be reassigned to any other judge that would be unbiased and who, hopefully, would do justice to the matter. Umeh said that as an ardent believer in the rule of law and due process who had respect for the office of the chief judge, he had reflected on the antecedents of the case up to the moment and had come to a reasonable conclusion that he would not obtain justice from Um-

ezulike’s court. “With every sense of responsibility and due deference, I am reasonably apprehensive that your lordship is obviously biased and compromised in this matter. “Accordingly, I wish to respectfully request you to kindly, sir, transfer and assign this case to another unbiased judge who will, God willing, do justice to the matter,” the petition reads in part. Umeh recalled that Umezulike extended the life span of the ex parte order till September 17, a period of over six weeks.

representing Isiala Ngwa North state constituency on the state of federal roads in Abia State. Azubike said the condition of federal roads in Aba State, especially the Port Harcourt - Enugu Expressway, Umuahia - Ikpot Ekpene, was so bad that plying the roads had become painful and frustrating. The lawmaker also decried the rate of accidents on the roads owing to their poor condition. He said: “Two months ago, a commercial vehicle carrying a pregnant woman had an accident at Umuikaa junction near Aba, before the woman could be taken to a hospital, she died.” “Abia people are yet to see the contractor after two months.” In his contribution, the member representing Umunneochi constituency, Ikedi Ezekwesiri, noted that the bad state of the Enugu - Port Harcourt Road had deteriorated so much that motorists had abandoned it.


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South South

Friday, September 21, 2012

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Alleged killing: Ijaw leaders shun military panel’s invitation EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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he last has not been heard of the alleged killing of six Ijaw youths by the Joint Military Taskforce (JTF) at Agge in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in June this year, as Ijaw leaders have turned down an invitation by a military probe panel investigating the matter.

The leaders are to honour the invitation of the probe panel sitting in Port Harcourt on September 17. Already, the Ijaw leaders have filed a suit on the matter because they are not comfortable with the series of invitation sought by the probe panel and how the incident was being investigated. They urged the panel to visit the scene of the inci-

dent and families of the victims. But the JTF authorities had insisted that the slain Ijaw youths were sea pirates terrorizing the waterways, which the leaders had denied. One of the leaders and Co-ordinator of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiatives (IPDI,) Austin Ozobo, told journalists yesterday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, that they had

appeared before a probe panel constituted by the Chief of Army Staff in August in Lagos, where they demanded detailed investigation into the killings, release of the victims’ bodies corpses and payment of compensation to their families. Ozobo said they were still disposed to dialogue on the matter, stressing that the Ijaw leaders decided to turn down the invi-

tation panel because they were not pleased with it. He said: “The invitation was honoured in August, 2012 wherein our demand for a proper investigation was made unequivocal. In the circumstances, we regret our inability to make further trip to the Port-Harcourt office of the military owing to the multiplicity of the investigation process. “We urge the Chief or

Army Staff to charge his investigation panel to put their best as to address the extra judicial killing of our six youths with regard to bringing the killer officers to face the wrath of the law, release the corpses to the deceased families and immediately indemnify the affected families also in order to maintain the existing peace between the Ijaws and the Federal Government”.

Youths shut down East-West road over land dispute CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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undreds of youths from the Eleme community in Rivers State yesterday morning blocked the East-West Road, protesting the alleged encroachment of their land by the people of Okrika, the home of First Lady Patience Jonathan. The youths barricaded the road around the Refinery Junction as early as 7.00am, apparently to attract the attention of President Goodluck Jonathan, who was scheduled to attend the Nigeria Oil and Gas Investment Forum 2012, which started yesterday in Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone. Unfortunately for the youths, the President did not attend the forum. He was represented by Governor Chibuike Amaechi. But the protest eventually attracted attention as it caused road users, especially participants to the forum discomfort and

inconvenience. The forum, however, started behind schedule because of the protest. The protesting youths brandished placards with the inscription: “Eleme/ Okrika: Eleme are farmers, where is our land?” President of Eleme Youths Council (EYC), Mr. Isaac Obe, said: “We decided to embark on this protest because of the judgment given in respect of a land dispute between Eleme and Okrika communities of which a demarcation was to be made. The demarcation was not done and it led to our land being encroached upon by Okrika people.” He added that the EYC had written to the state Commissioner of Police and the Boundary Adjustment Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Tele Ikuru, over their misgivings, without any response. Reacting to the protest, a member representing Eleme Constituency in the

African Union Chairman and President of Benin Republic, Dr. Boni Yayi (left) and Consul of Benin to Nigeria, Alhaji Mufari Daura, acknowledging cheers from Obudu women at Bottom Hill, during the president’s visit at Obudu Mountain Resort in Cross River State.

Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Josiah Olu, said that people of Eleme had not been treated well by the companies operating in their land, adding that the action of the youths was a way of drawing government’s attention to the situation.

Bayelsa by-election: Voters assured of credible poll EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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oters and political parties have been assured of a level playing ground in the September 27, 2012 by-election in some wards in Bayelsa State. The Bayelsa State Electoral Commission (BYSIEC) yesterday promised all the political parties contesting the election of transparent conduct of the poll to ensure its credibility and acceptability. The affected wards are Foropa Ward 14 (Southern Ijaw Local Government)

Egbema-Angalabiri Ward 12, (Ekeremor Local Government Area) Agalabiri Ward 2,(Sagbama Local Government Area) Anyama Ward 4 (Ogbia Local Government Area) and Twon Brass Ward 1 (Brass Local Government Area) BYSIEC Chairman, Chief Blessing Izagara, told journalists in Yenagoa, shortly after a meeting with chairmen of the political parties that the commission planned to conduct the election because of the elevation of some councilors to vicechairmanship positions in their respective councils.

The sacking of five council chairmen in July this year by the state governor for alleged misconduct gave rise to the elevation of the former vice-chairmen to chairmen in Sagabma, Ogbia, Brass, Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor local government areas. Earlier, the state Chairman of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Einstein Orubo, lauded the commission for convening the meeting. Orubo expressed confidence in the commission’s ability to conduct credible election.

Nigeria is most attractive investment destination in Africa –Aganga CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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inister of Trade and Investment Mr. Olusegun Aganga has described Nigeria as the most attractive destination for investments in Africa. Aganga said Nigeria has recorded the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), translating to $8.4bn (about N930bn). He spoke at the opening of the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Trade and Investment Forum 2012 taking place at the Onne Oil and gas Free Zone, a location that has attracted investments of over $6bn from 160 companies from around the world. The minister noted that the statistics he is working with was produced by United Nation Commission for Trade and Development

(UNCTAD), which also rated Nigeria as the 25th most likely country to attract investment fund in the world. Aganga added that free trade zone arrangement was now being deployed by countries around the world as an integral part of their trade stimulation apparatus. He said: “The Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, undoubtedly, is on course and it is today adjudged the single largest and fastest growing Free Zone in the world. It is dedicated to the oil and gas industry with a cumulative investment of $6 billion as at today and presence of over 160 investors.” In his key address on the occasion, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the forum was to showcase the Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone with a view to attracting more FDIs and at the same time enhancing

the role of private sector in driving the economy towards sustainable development. The President was represented by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. He said his administration’s transformation agenda was anchored on the belief that the private sector is the engine of economic growth and prime mover of the reform process. He said: “One of the cornerstones of the transformation agenda of the present administration is the public private sector partnership initiative. I assure all investors and prospective investors in Nigeria of government’s commitment and total support as long as there is sincerity of purpose to our collective efforts to reposition our economy to be among the leading 20 economies of the world in the year 20:2020.”


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North

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

JTF kills two terrorists’ leaders, arrests eight in Maiduguri INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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he Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday said that it killed two leaders of a terrorists’ group in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. In a statement made available to journalists

in Maiduguri by the JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, the task force said that at about 2:20pm on Wednesday, its men, who acted on intelligence, killed two terrorists’ leaders along Maiduguri- Kano Road as they were escaping arrest by the combined team of the JTF and the State Secu-

rity Services (SSS). Musa said the slain terrorists were responsible for coordinating violent activities in Mubi and Yola in Adamawa and Yobe states. He said that the terrorists were traveling in a Honda accord 2000 model car marked BAM 214 AA

to Damaturu for a planned attack on civilians and military locations when the task force accosted them. Items recovered from the terrorists, according to Musa, include a Honda car and five mobile phones and weapons. The JTF spokesman add-

ed that no fewer than eight other suspected terrorists were arrested in Nganaram and Lawanti areas of Maiduguri metropolis. Those arrested, Musa said, were said to have stormed Maiduguri from neighbouring states. He said items recovered from them include a Sil-

ver coloured Camry car marked AE 74 DTR suspected to have been stolen for likely suicide mission. Musa, therefore, thanked the law-abiding members of the public for their timely reporting suspicious movement and activities in their neighbourhood to security agencies.

Mark tours Benue flood ravaged communities

• Seeks assistance for victims GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Al-Makura (right) and Inspector-General Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, during the handing over of vehicles donated to the police in Lafia, yesterday.

2015: ACF moves to return Presidency to North A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he Northern sociopolitical organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has begun moves to ensure that the North produces the Presidency in 2015. National Mirror learnt that ACF planned to assemble powerful Northern politicians to actualise the purpose. It was further learnt that former Minister for Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, will head the secret negotiation team alongside other prominent politicians to bargain with Southern geopolitical zones in favour of the ACF’s agenda. ACF confirmed its stand in a two-page communiqué signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, after the forum’s emergency joint meeting of national executive council and board of trustees held in Kaduna. The ACF’s positioned came after the South-South and South-East leaders were reported to have endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan to seek re-election in 2015.

The ACF’s communiqué read in part: “While the Forum supports any political strategies that would put the North in a position which will enable it negotiate with other sections of the country from a position of strength and secure some favourable terms, it was the considered view of the Forum that it is too early to start full fledged political activities for 2015.This is because such early start is capable of detracting from the task of governance at our collective peril.” ACF, however, called on states laying claim to the oil deposit in Anambra State to shun unnecessary agitation. Calling on concerned authorities to resolve the dispute surrounding the oil find, ACF said: “The meeting received in audience a delegation from Kogi State which briefed members about the raging controversy on the oil finds among Anambra, Enugu and Kogi states. The Forum then asked the people of the states concerned not to be agitated unduly, precisely because both the offices of the surveyor General and the National Boundaries

Commission are there to resolve boundary disputes. And that the forum would stand by people of Kogi State for what is legally due and payable to them,” adding: “The emergency meeting was called to receive and consider the road map for peace, unity and development of Northern Nigeria. The road map is an outcome of the resolutions of the Arewa Conference on Peace and Unity held on the 5th and 6th

December, 2011, which were stepped down into the executive summary for implementation by stakeholders. The submission was done by former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmadu Coomassie, the Sardaunan Katsina” The communiqué, however, called on Northern stakeholders to implement the forum’s peace, unity and development recommendations.

KSIEC shifts council poll over insecurity ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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he Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KSIEC) has postponed the December 8 local government election over the insecurity situation in the Central Senatorial District of the state. KSIEC Chairman, Mr. Abraham Olaniran, said the commission was constrained to temporally ship the poll due to the deteriorating security situation in the state. Olaniran, who gave the new date for the council as May 4, 2013, alleged that the seeming proliferation of arms in some parts of the state may thwart the com-

mission’s effort to conduct credible election. He said: “Given this situation and to ensure that votes count, we have decided to postpone the December 8 local government election.” However, members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have broken into factions over allegation that the Liaison officers (the interim chairmen) have been anointed to succeed themselves by the state government. It was also learnt that some members of the House of Assembly, who are eying higher offices in 2015, are planning to plant their stooges in the local governments.

enate President David Mark yesterday toured some communities ravaged by flood in Benue State. Mark, who undertook the tour with Benue State Governor Gabriel Suawam, also inspected the resettlement camps where some of the surviving victims of the flood are taking refuge. Sympathising with the victims, the Senate President said that their predicament required urgent attention. A statement by Mark’s media office noted that the Senate President described the situation as very disturbing. The statement reads: “Nobody anticipated this, but this is a bad natural disaster. We ideally need the rains, but this is not the volume of rain

we desire. “I share in your pains. We can only ask you to be patient until the rains begin to recede. This is beyond the state government. I therefore request the Federal Government to come to the aide of the state government”. Mark, however, urged Nigerians to take precautionary measures against the strange flood that has visited parts of Nigeria this rainy season. He commended the Benue State Government and the medical team that have been rendering assistants to the victims, even as he advised the people to maintain high level of hygiene in the camps. The Senator President, therefore, donated the sum of N4m to enable the victims purchase drugs and foodstuff.

Kwara spends N3bn on roads in one year-Commissioner WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he Kwara State Government has, in the last one year, spent N3bn out of the budgeted N3.2bn for the completion of inherited road constructions. The money was spent on 40 of such roads. However, N600m has been accessed out of N3.5bn budgeted for the construction of new roads Commissioner of Works and Transportation, Dr. Amuda Kannike, stated this yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital. Kannike said in line with the government’s resolve to function as a continuity regime, the administration felt obliged to carry on with good programmes of the immediate past government par-

ticularly in areas of roads construction. The commissioner said that the government was particular about culverts and drainages on roads as a departure from the past. Also, Commissioner for Energy,Mr. Sulu Oloje, said that the government had bought and installed electricity transformers in all the local councils across the state to boost power supply.

Kwara State Governor A. Ahmed


Friday, September 21, 2012

When Aregbesola, Oyinlola faced panel

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

‘Jonathan not living up to expectation’

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ACN knocks Jonathan’s comments on subsidy protests

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described President Jonathan as “blinded by power and insensitive to the sufferings of ordinary Nigerians.” In its reaction to President Jonathan’s condemnation of last January’s fuel hike protests as sponsored by the opposition, the party in a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, wondered how a president who enjoys everything free at the expense of taxpaying Nigerians can insult the sensibility of suffering Nigerians on their right to protest an unjust fuel hike. According to the party, the President’s attack on Nigerians who resisted the imposition of unjust price hikes and the organisers clearly portrays him as a “President who

is hostage to his thoughts and one completely out of touch not only with ordinary Nigerians but also with universal trends.” The party noted that even in Egypt during the Spring protests, in Thailand when the Red Shirts took over Bangkok, in the United States of America during the Occupy Wall Street, protesters were fed and provided with water, blankets and medicine. “It may interest President Jonathan and his minders that those involved in the January fuel hike protests were lawyers, doctors, businessmen, bankers, journalists, artistes, the clergies and other accomplished Nigerian professionals from all walks of life. “To claim that this class of Nigerians were lured to the protest ground because of a bottle of water and food is to say the

PDP group lauds Shettima OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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group, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patriotic Youths Front has given kudos to the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima for being ‘patriotic enough’ to say the truth about the internal principles of key political parties in Nigeria. Speaking at the 2012 annual leadership conference organised by Leadership newspapers last Tuesday in Abuja, Shettima hit the nail in the haed, “rather than singling out the ruling PDP for condemnation as done by most speakers from opposition parties,” The National Coordinator and Secretary of the group, Dr. Kayode Olufemi and Barister Habibu Dala respectively, in a jointly signed statement, said yesterday that while monitoring happenings at the conference, which theme was: ‘Is the opposition a serious alternative in Nigeria?’, it was amazing that

of all opposition parties, whose leaders spoke at the conference, it was only the keynote speaker, Governor Shettima, of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), whose speech “was outrightly objective despite being an opposition ANPP leader.” The group maintained that the “Borno governor had confirmed to Nigerians that he is a credible leader and a true academic.” It said: “We sneaked into the conference as observers, monitored with disgust how every opposition leader and those who had fallen out of favour with the Federal Government and those with political aspiration for the 2015 presidency made the PDP a punching bag. “We were however astonished and amazed when we listened to Governor Shettima’s keynote address to note that we have such frank and sincere politician in Nigeria who will call a spade-a-spade.”

least not only uncharitable but also a reflection of the shallowness of the thought process of the President’s advisers and handlers,” the party said.

Mohammed admonished Nigerians not to be bullied into submission by a government who is always too ready to find a scapegoat for its incompe-

tence and to be ever ready to protest and speak out against any unfair and unjust government decision. “If President Jonathan’s government feels

uncomfortable with this, it should organise its own solidarity protests and supply the rented crowd truckloads of water and expensive food,” he said.

Coordinator, Galilee International Management Institute Course on National Security, Wing Cdr. Idris Hassan, rtd. (left), receiving a plaque from INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, during his visit to INEC office in Abuja on Wednesday

Ondo: 1.654m voters to participate in guber poll – INEC OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

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he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

COUNTDOWN TO

ONDO GUBER POLL October 20, 2012

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DAYS TO GO

disclosed that 1,654,205 eligible voters, who registered for the last 2011 general elections, would be participating in the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State. The commission also reiterated its preparedness for the governorship election, saying it had put all necessary machinery in place to ensure it conducts the fairest and freest election in the state. The INEC Director of

Voters Registration, Mr. Emmanuel Akem, disclosed this yesterday in Akure at the public presentation of the soft copies of the voters’ register to the 13 political parties that will be participating in the forthcoming election. According to Akem, registered female voters represented 50.10 per cen, while the male represented 49.9 per cent. He also said the statistics of the state voters’

Mimiko runs a one-man government, says Lawal BIYI ADEGOROYE AKURE

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eputy Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State in the October 20 election, Mr. Saka Lawal has promised to run an inclusive government if voted into power as “against the current oneman show of Olusegun Mimiko.” Speaking with National Mirror in Akure, Lawal, a

founding member of the Labour Party (LP) in the state and former Special Adviser to Mimiko said that during his years in the government, several advices given to the government on education, health and infrastructural development in the state were jettisoned by the governor. He said unlike flash in the pan manner of project implementation currently going on in the state, his party will revitalise the

education and health sectors as a basis for overall development of the state if elected into office. He said: “Go to various parts of the state, and see the condition of our roads; go to Akoko and you will be shocked. Look at the various roads in Ijapo Estate where you passed to this place, they are in a sorry state. Most of the projects of the former administration were abandoned. This is not good enough.”

register showed that over 400,000 eligible voters in the state are students. The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Akin Orebiyi, said the INEC had provided enough logistics to ensure that officials of the commission are not compromised during the poll. Orebiyi urged all the 13 political parties to study the voters’ register carefully, adding that INEC could not be the watchdog alone. He said: “We should check the register carefully and ensure that it is not tampered with. Every single person who registered in 2011 will have the rights to participate during the election. INEC is ready for Ondo State poll.” The REC urged the political parties to summit the forms of their polling agents before October 12, stressing that the electoral body was trying to guard against the movement of unauthorised people during the Election Day.


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Politics

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

When Aregbesola, Oyinlola faced panel The Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to look into the N18.3billion loan and other major financial transactions carried out by the former governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola between May 2003 and November 2010 has concluded its sitting. WALE FOLARIN writes on the facts and issues at the panel.

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he Commission of Inquiry set up by the Osun state government to look into the circumstances surrounding the procurement of N18.3 billion loan obtained from the United Bank for Africa (UBA) by the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and into other major financial transactions of that administration between May 2003 and November 2010 has concluded its public hearing. Several key government officials among who are the former Head of Service, Mr. Segun Akinwusi; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Mr. Abiodun Akintaro; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Olubukola Opakunle; Executive Secretary, Board of Technical Education, Mr. Olakunle Oyebamiji and a Special Assistant to the state governor who was also Oyinlola’s former Director, office of Due Process, Mr. Gbenga Abiola have given oral and material evidences before the panel under the chairmanship of Prof. Femi Odekunle. The two principal actors, Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his predecessor, Prince Oyinlola were also not left out of the drama that played out itself while the sitting lasted. While the duo, disagreed on several issues ranging from the circumstances surrounding the loan, the propriety of the former governor’s six stadia project, the upgrading of technical colleges and other failed projects such as the Free Trade Zone and the N120 million printing machine, they both agreed on the fact that it was not wrong for any government to take loans for capital projects. Oyinlola had told the panel that he took the loan in the interest of the state and at the instance of the State House of Assembly. Also in his submission, Aregbesola told the panel that there was nothing wrong in government taking loan. He, however, said that the issue was not the loan itself, but how it was managed. “It was not the loan that is the issue, but the management of the loan. When we took over, it was very difficult for us to run the government. The state was technically insolvent. Why negotiate for a short term loan of 36 months to finance long term projects? Why the draw down of the entire loan in a single day? Why do they deposit the money in the same bank without interest? Why must you take a loan for what is not immediately necessary? Why must we pay for what we are not spending?” Aregbesola queried. “It was insensitive, dubious and it smacks of desperation for them to have taken the suffocating and excruciating loan. They ran foul of simple financial rule

Aregbesola

and they put the state in a situation where it has to make excruciating monthly payment of N615 million interests on the loan. And there is the suspicious utilisation of the loan,” Aregbesola declared. According to him, attempts by his administration to renegotiate the loan with the UBA failed and the government managed to wriggle out of the financial quagmire by renegotiating a better term and repayment period with the First Bank. But Oyinlola who said that there was nothing unusual or suspicious on the circumstances surrounding the loan, also insisted that he took the loan in the interest of the state. According to him, the idea of the loan generated from the State House of Assembly which was made up of lawmakers from both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He said he had no other choice than to heed the advice of the lawmakers who are the elected representatives of the people of the state. “During my budget presentation in November 2009, the House of Assembly advised me against my position of not wanting to the take loans to execute capital projects on the grounds of budgetary low performance. We were also encouraged to seek alternative sources of funding by an assurance that refund of excess deductions from Osun State allocation by the Federal Government, which was then put at about N70 billion, would be received. “It was based upon the above two reasons that we agreed to obtain the loan to finance the priority projects of government. The conception was, therefore, that of people of the state through their representatives in the House of Assembly. “When I said the House of Assembly initiated and approved the N18.3 billion loan which my government took. I want to make it very clear that the House was made up of 15 PDP members and 11 ACN members. It was a mixed House and there was no division when those actions were taken by the House. The application for the loan was written by the Ministry of Finance which negotiated the loan on behalf of government and taking the loan was the best my government could do during that time. “Disbursement of the loan was done

Oyinlola

SEVENTY PER CENT OF THE COST WAS ADVANCED TO THE CONTRACTOR IN

A DAY...

ALL THE

EQUIPMENT WERE SAID TO HAVE BEEN SUPPLIED EVEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE BUILDINGS WERE LAID through appropriate agencies of government. It was disbursed on projects as approved by the Osun State House of Assembly to be funded from the loan that was procured also with the consent of the House of Assembly. It is necessary to state that the projects under reference were contained in the Appropriation Law for the relevant year. “The total loan approved was N18.38 out of which a sum of N10.1 billion was spent on projects approved by the Osun State House of Assembly. About N1.8 billion out of the disbursed N10 billion was repaid to the bank, leaving a total of about N8.2 billion as net indebtedness of the state government to the bank at the time our administration vacated office,” he explained. Aside the loan, Aregbesola also expressed his dismay that the Oyinlola administration decided to embark on the construction of six stadia at a time when the state was experiencing financial strain and was not participating in any international sport competition.“I am a sport lover and I believe in the efficacy of physical exercise on healthy living, but it is criminal for a state that is in financial strain and without any international competition before it to waste money on construction of six stadia,” he said. Justifying the action, Oyinlola said that it was done to meet the yearnings of the youth and in line with his administra-

tion’s love for the development of sports in the state. He said that if such move had been embarked upon in the country as a whole, athletes who went to the last Olympic would not have recorded disappointing performance. Another issue raised at the panel was the upgrading of the nine technical colleges in the state. Aregbesola described the project as a sham, saying that only one out of the nine colleges was on ground in spite of the 70 per cent cost advanced to the contractor. “The upgrading of the nine technical colleges is a case of the more you look the less you see. The atmosphere surrounding it is murky and messy. Seventy per cent of the cost was advanced to the contractor in a day and there is no technical college on ground except for that of Osogbo. All the equipment were said to have been supplied even before the foundation of the buildings were laid and billions of naira were wasted on labless kit.” But Oyinlola blamed the failure of the project on Aregbesola, saying that “if Aregbesola had not stopped it two months after he took over, the project would have been completed and met the goal of giving unemployed graduates the opportunity of acquiring vocational skills from the colleges.” The issue of the N120 million printing machine also came to the fore at the panel. Chairman of the panel wondered why an unserviceable printing machine was imported without a pre-shipment inspection by officials of the state Ministry of Information. He said it was unfortunate that it was after the machine had been brought to the state that it was discovered to be unserviceable. Asked by the chairman of the panel to comment on the issue, Aregbesola said that it was a magical arrangement put in place by the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration to enrich the state secretary of the party, Mr. Yinka Adeojo. “It was an abracadabra arrangement put in place by PDP to enrich Adeojo who knows nothing about printing,” he said. Aregbesola who wondered how the Oyinlola administration spent revenue from the excess crude oil, also accused the administration of wasting the state fund on the Free Trade Zone and hotel projects. Oyinlola, however, told the panel that he took full responsibility on the two failed projects. According to him, his administration expended N1.5 billion to the Free Trade Zone project and N430 million to the hotel project but was disappointed by the private investors who bolted away with the money, adding that he initiated the process of their arrest before he vacated office. After listening to Aregbesola, the panel chairman raised the issue of the role played by civil servants in the whole scenario. Odekunle said that the panel discovered that civil servants who are supposed to advice and guide political office holders rightly shirked their responsibility. He wondered why civil servants who were active participants in taking decisions on the failed projects turned around to deny their involvement because the administration was no longer in place. Responding, the governor said the problem would continue until the nation ensures true professionalism in the civil service, adding that many CONTINUED ON PAGE 15


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Friday, September 21, 2012

Archbishop Samson Benjamin is a United Nations’ Peace Ambassador and the founder of the Resurrection Praise Ministries International. In this interview with journalists, the cleric speaks on security and corruption. OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU brings excerpts:

‘Jonathan not living up to expectation’

For some time now the nation has been entangled in serious security challenges. How do you see the development? One would not say the security situation of our country right now is perfect, but I think government is doing all it’s supposed to do to rectify the situation. But the truth still remains that Nigeria still has a very serious insecurity situation at this particular time of our national history and its very worrisome, not only to those in government. And it’s our collective responsibility to find a way to complement government efforts to attack this security situation. If the government is doing their best, why is it that so far nobody has been successfully prosecuted for terrorism act in the country? The truth is the Boko Haram has been with us for a while now, and it’s so painful to know that nobody has been prosecuted or even sentenced, and that is where I think government needs to look into properly, because taking studies from previous terrorism states like Istanbul, terrorism did not just come to an end. They did some things or put a lot or things in place like prosecuting the people involved and hanging them, because sometimes when people are doing something wrong and you do not discipline them, you give an opportunity for other people to spring up. It does not matter who you are. Anybody that is caught should face the music. Everyday we hear that people have been arrested for terrorism activities here and there, but that is where it ends. So, in that area I will agree with you that the government has not done much in prosecuting successfully even one person for Boko Haram activities. And I think every Nigerian needs to come out to bare their minds and challenge government to prosecute anybody found to have committed a crime. Why is it that the people who kill and shed blood still walk about the streets without any kind of fear of being arrested and prosecuted? It hurts. But some of these organisations feel the problem is related with youth unemployment in the country, how do you see this? There are so many reasons why we have this level of insecurity in our nation. Unemployment is one. We have heard the confessions of some of those arrested that they were paid just N7,500 to go and kill people, whereas, somebody just sits and talks and at the end of the day, a lot of money goes into his account. It’s enough to moti-

15

Benjamin

vate and aggravate certain people to do certain things they are doing. So the issue of insecurity does not only border on who is in power or not. Nigeria has so many problems. Poverty is a serious problem. Greater percentage of the graduates in this country is jobless. Some parents even regret sending their children to school. Underdevelopment is another problem, lack of social amenities and infrastructural development in the rural areas lead to migration to the urban areas. But if we have all these in the rural areas, nobody will come to Lagos. That is why you have good farmers in America and other nations that have been able to overcome all these things; all these things are provided for them, and they are happy. The truth is that 99 per cent of those involved in these killings are mostly youths because they are idle, and as they say, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. If we are able to create jobs for them and provide needed infrastructure, we should be able to tackle some of these security challenges. In the run-up to the 2011 presidential election, Good-

luck Jonathan enjoyed massive support from different parts of the country, but today, many say his rating has dropped. Do you agree with this? To be very honest, I laid down my neck for him to be elected. I went to first class Emirs in the North to make them accept him and stop the ethnic and religious inclination they bring into our politics. The truth is that a lot of people are disappointed because he was accepted on a platform that looked like that of Barack Obama. But he is not living up to the standard people expected. But I will not judge the president on the same platform on which I will judge the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and I will not assess him on the grounds of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. These people had a viable atmosphere to discharge their duties, but he does not have that luxury. If you judge him based on what we all hoped for before he became president, we would be judging him wrongly, because money today that is meant for infrastructure is being diverted to see if he can appease this region that is causing this issue, like opening an Almajiri school. For me, the Jonathan administration is one of consolation. From the very day he came into office to now, he’s been consoling one family or the other. If there’s going to be a worldwide presidential award for consolation, Jonathan will surely clinch the award without competition. How can a man perform under such circumstances? If we want to assess him, let the North calm down, give him the time to rule, then all of us will judge him, based on the same platform Yar’Adua and Obasanjo had. Let us agree that he used his first four years to do consolation, give him another four years so that we can then say that the South-South had its opportunity. Beyond terrorism, another issue plaguing the country is high level corruption, how do we combat this menace? Tackling corruption has become a problem because we have been tagged one of the most corrupt nations in the world. The problem is that we are not practising true democracy; power is not with the people, but with the elite. Countries where corruption is tackled seriously are practicing real democracy. The problem of corruption in this country can only be solved when there is a true democracy in place. This is the only country where people don’t resign from office when they are found wanting. That’s why I admire someone like Barth Nnaji. So, in actual fact, we are always talking and thinking we are fighting corruption, but we are not doing it the way it is supposed to be done. Believe me we will get it right in 2015 if Christ tarries. We will have to insist that anybody who is going to hold a public office in this country should be screened properly by the State Security Service (SSS).

When Aregbesola, Oyinlola faced panel CONTINUED FROM 14 civil servants today are partisan. However, a new twist was introduced into the drama barely 12 hours after the sitting of the panel, with the former Speaker of the state Assembly, Hon. Adejare Bello threatening to drag members of the Commission of Inquiry to court if indicted in any form in the commission’s final report. Bello alleged that the commission had prevented him from appearing before it to defend the N18.38 billion which he said was approved by the state lawmakers under his leadership before it was obtained by the Oyinlola administration. According to him, the Secretary to the Commission had asked him to appear

before the panel last Friday, but was surprised when he got to the venue of the panel and met an empty hall, adding that if the commission was not out to exclude him he should have been given the opportunity to state his side as the Speaker of the House when the loan was obtained. “The commission secretary had asked me to appear before the panel today and here I am, but they are nowhere to be found. They are dodging me. As a key figure they should have allowed me to appear before them. Let me warn the chairman of the commission, I will go to court if there is any attempt by the commission to indict me in its report. Bello, who said that he was surprised

when the Chairman of the commission accused him and the former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ropo Oyewole of not honouring the invite sent to them by the panel, demanded an unreserved apology from Odekunle ( panel chairman) for accusing him wrongly, adding that when he got the invitation he asked the commission to reschedule the date of his appearance to enable him return from his vacation trip abroad and the secretary to the commission asked him to appear on September 14 only for him to get to the venue on the appointed date to meet an empty hall. Expressing his opinion on the N18.3 billion loan, the former Speaker described the sitting of the panel as a waste of time

and resources because the commission had no right to query what the state House of Assembly had done. For him, it is only the court of law that has the power to do so. According to him, the best that the panel could do is to recommend that some people be prosecuted and the police would start the investigation all over before those indicted by the panel can be prosecuted. While the people of the state are awaiting the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry and that of the other ones before it, one lesson that political office holders and civil servants should draw from this development is that there will be a day of reckoning when they may be asked to give account of their stewardship


16

Editorial

Friday, September 21, 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

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MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Nigeria’s Aviation sector on the brink of collapse CONTINUED FROM PG 1

in-country maintenance facilities, suspect regulatory activities, exploitative tariff regime and the indiscriminate allocation of landing rights and frequencies to foreign carriers at various international airports. A more complex challenge the airlines have had to contend with over the years is the intrigues and politicking pervasive in the aviation sector, with frequent underground wars being fought between government officials for influence over contract awards and benefits. The seemingly intractable problems have sent many airlines out of business before now. The list include airlines like Okada Air, ADC, Bellview, Sosoliso, Chanchangi and the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways that was liquidated in 2003. The implication of the latest bad news is that air passengers will unnecessarily suffer, while the severe shortage of airline seats will constitute a serious drag on routine business. Many travellers were forced to pay as much as N40,000 for an hour’s flight after Air Nigeria suspended its domestic operations in June, followed by Dana Air’s grounding on June 3, for instance. They might now pay more in deference to the forces of demand and supply. It is shameful that in spite of all the posturing and pronouncements about government’s commitment to developing the nation’s aviation sector, airlines have not received the sort of support carriers in other nations get from their home governments,

given the strategic nature of the airline industry in any nation. While it is widely acknowledged that many carriers benefitted from the bailout package the Federal Government extended to airline owners, such funds were simply used to offset accumulated debt rather than expanding operations. As it stands, some of the key setbacks confronting airlines’ operators in the country have remained unresolved. They include the import duty regime that places a 15 per cent levy on imported aircraft and spare parts, while such imports attract zero duty in virtually all other countries worldwide. Besides, since the demise of Nigeria Airways, the country has had no standard maintenance hangar for commercial aircraft, meaning that critical ‘C’ and ‘D’ checks have to be compulsorily done abroad at huge costs. There is also the nagging problem of decrepit airport infrastructure. Even at the flagship Murtala Mohammed International Airport, local carriers manage only one runway due to the woeful failure of the FAAN to fix runway lighting on the second one. Perhaps, more worrisome is the shortage of qualified technical personnel, which compels many carriers to hire foreign pilots and aircraft engineers at cut-throat costs. It is a paradox that the nation’s local carriers remain mired in crisis, while foreign carriers make a killing in the seeming all-comers Nigerian aviation market. The indiscriminate allocation of frequencies to big international carriers, such

INDEED, THE THINKING IN SOME QUARTERS IS THAT THE RECENT

AIR NIGERIA AND ARIK AIR ARE BEING TRAVAILS OF

ORCHESTRATED IN FURTHERANCE OF THE MERGER AGENDA as the British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, KLM-Alitalia, Emirates, Etihad, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines, etc., under apparently ill-conceived Bilateral Air Services Agreements with their respective home governments has seen foreign carriers operating direct flights out of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano with little or no reciprocity from their Nigerian counterparts. The net effect on local carriers has been the latter’s inability to feed the international carriers at the international gateways, since the major airlines are already operating out of the said airports. Indeed, the only Nigerian carrier currently flying international, Arik Air, had to resort to government intervention to get a slot at the London Heathrow Airport for its daily flight, while it cancelled its thrice weekly Abuja-London flights for the same reason, even though British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which have been

accused of overcharging Nigerian passengers, still operate 36 weekly flights out of Lagos and Abuja. This is sad! Worsening the sordid situation are revenue figures which indicate that international carriers repatriated over N200bn last year to their respective home countries. Nevertheless, while not all of Nigeria’s airline problems are environmental, some of the local carriers have been found to be saddled with weak management and controls, and are unable to engage and retain top class personnel. In addition, their interactions with the FG and regulators have been less than robust and tilt towards activism, as owners of airlines are excluded from the leadership and running of the Airline Operators of Nigeria. Perhaps, this explains why the FG’s recent subtle moves to force the merger of such major carriers as Arik Air, Air Nigeria and Aero Contractors to form a new national carrier seem to be facing stiff opposition. Indeed, the thinking in some quarters is that the recent travails of Air Nigeria and Arik Air are being orchestrated in furtherance of the merger agenda. Nonetheless, it is clear that Nigeria’s aviation industry is on the precipice and risks a major disaster with grave implications for the entire economy. It is unthinkable that most cities that are now state capitals do not have air links with the rest of the country as was the case in 1960. The government must address those issue in a fair and balanced fashion.

ON THIS DAY September 21, 2001 ‘America: A Tribute to Heroes’ was broadcast by over 35 network and cable channels, raising over $200 million for the September 11 attack victims. America: A Tribute to Heroes was a benefit concert created by the heads of the four major American broadcast networks; Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS. Joel Gallen was selected by them to produce and run the show. Actor George Clooney ‘wrangled’ the celebrities to perform and to man the telephone bank (which was Clooney’s idea).

September 21, 1981 Sandra Day O’Connor was unanimously approved by the United States Senate as the first female Supreme Court justice. Sandra Day O’Connor (born March 26, 1930) is a retired US Supreme Court justice. She served as an Associate Justice from her appointment in 1981 by Ronald Reagan until her retirement from the Court in 2006. She was the first woman to be appointed to the court. Prior to O’Connor’s appointment to the Court, she was an elected official and judge in Arizona.

September 21, 1939 Romanian Prime Minister, Armand Calinescu was assassinated by ultranationalist members of the Iron Guard. The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania from 1927 to the early part of World War II. Armand Calinescu (1893 – 1939) was a Romanian economist and politician who served as Prime Minister between March 1939 and the time of his death. Having been secretly blacklisted by Iron Guard members, the group felled him in Bucharest.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Views

Friday, September 21, 2012

17

Terrorism, society and the rest of us VICTOR NDOMA-EGBA Continued from last week

H

e retired as Deputy InspectorGeneral of Police, and I had the good fortune of becoming his colleague in the 5th and 6th Senate. He made me a member of his household. I lived in a flat on Yakubu Wanka Street, Bauchi with Justice Shehinde Kumuyi, current Chief Judge of Ondo State, Oyewale Akinrinade, who was Majority Leader in the Oyo State House of Assembly during the aborted Fourth Republic and a senior lawyer based in Ibadan and Ibrahim Muktari, the current Secretary to the State Government in Katsina State. Life-long friendships were struck. Our flat had no locks. We travelled everywhere and when we came back everything would be intact. These same Almajiris, who today are being linked to the security problems in the country, were the ones protecting the flat. They ate your cooked food when you travelled, but touched no other things. In fact, they would be the ones to report themselves to you, good naturedly that they ate the food because it was getting bad. So where did things go wrong?

I do not want to imagine that for whatsoever reasons that Nigeria cannot stand as a country. If we look at it critically, almost every other country in the world is as pluralistic in culture, religion and other values like us. Apart from perhaps the Koreas, I know no other country that is completely homogeneous. It is commendable that the Federal Government has taken some measures, most of which are military - to arrest the menace of terrorism in the country, but I believe that social therapy will also go a long way in combating the cancer of terrorism that has eaten very deep into our social fabrics. For one thing, the situation that we have on our hands now did not come about because of a general collapse of law and order, thus necessitating just the deployment of military strategies to restore normalcy. The situation came about due to collapse of communal values, those values of friendship, inter-personal trust, sanctity of human life and accommodation that once made us a people. This was the same position held by the late Senator Gyang Dantong, who was consumed by the crises in his senatorial district in Plateau State. Senator Dantong was a fine gentleman and a pillar in the National Assembly. I remember he often ha-

OUR DIVERSITY CAN BE, AND INDEED SHOULD, BE OUR STRENGTH IF THE POLITICAL CLASS IS CREATIVE AND HONEST ABOUT THE GOOD OF ALL AND NOT JUST POWER FOR THE SAKE OF IT rangued about the declaration of state of emergency in some parts of Plateau State, insisting rather that the situation required more of a social solution than military intervention. A social solution to the problem of terrorism in Nigeria will mean that the younger generation especially unlearns certain negative perceptions and prejudices against others and relearn values that unite us. Since we know that a lot of these criminal acts of terrorism are actually being committed by the youths, substantial efforts should be made to re-

engineer their mindsets to rekindle to those values that enabled communities thrive on plurality. Our diversity can be, and indeed should, be our strength if the political class is creative and honest about the good of all and not just power for the sake of it. What is the benefit of power if it does not create a secure and equitable society where all can equally and fairly compete for resources and opportunities? Of course, bad governance and corruption are catalytic to the problem. To this end, it is important to stress the point that only a government that is respected by the people and seen to be transparent, can take up this task of social healing. Concomitant to this is addressing the issues of poverty and injustice in the midst of plenty. We must make our enormous human and natural endowments work for our people and give them a sense of ownership of government. Until government touches the most vulnerable amongst us, security will remain the challenge of our time. Concluded Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) is the Senator representing Cross River Central and the Senate Leader

Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in retrospect SAM UDO ONYEMACHI

A

s we may recall, the battle to restore democracy in Nigeria was indeed a Herculean one. ExPresident Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) attested to this in his 29th May, 2000 one year anniversary broadcast when he said, “the battle divided our society into four categories of Nigerians: the dead, the imprisoned or detained, the exiled and the silenced (the cowed). The few vocal ones who were yet to be behind bars or on exile had their voices drowned by those unpatriotic and corrupt ones, who could sell their future for a pot of porridge”. Lives were lost in the process. Many more were injured through incarceration and other forms of brutalities that are painful to recall, were visited on Nigerians. Yet a good percentage of the populace suffered psychologically as they had to seek refuge in foreign lands among strange people, leaving behind their loved ones. The battle for the restoration of democracy was in itself not the end, but a means to an end. It was fought for the restoration of our battered economy and to save the people from the horrendous human rights abuses. There was clear evidence of deterioration of all the facets of our system. The polity our new leader, Chief Obasanjo, inherited manifested the following visible symptoms of distress: prostrate economy; pervasive poverty; chronic social infrastructure deficit; epileptic power supply; massive security challenge and collapsing education system. Others include heavy external debt burden; low

THE MILITARY ADMINISTRATION OF

GENERAL YAKUBU GOWON HAD ESTABLISHED THE

LAGOS SECURITY AND CIVIL DEFENCE COMMITTEE (LSCDC) AND CHARGED IT WITH RESPONSIBILITY OF PROTECTING LIVES AND PROPERTY OF THE CIVIL POPULACE IN LAGOS

national esteem; chronic corruption and abuse of human rights. One of the early far reaching intermediation measures put in place by the new democratic government to stem the ugly tide and restore confidence in the nation, was the institution of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, which was given legal backing on June 28th, 2003 by the NSCDC Act No. 2, 2003.

How it all started Civil Defence was introduced in Nigeria on May 23rd, 1967. It was thus a child of the civil war. The military administration of General Yakubu Gowon had established the Lagos Security and Civil Defence Committee (LSCDC) and charged it with responsibility of protecting lives and property of the civ-

il populace in Lagos, the then Federal Capital Territory. Prominent among those who saw to its birth were Chief L. Lawson (then the Head of Service), Dr. Olusola Saraki, Pa Omigbodun, Rev. Emmanuel Alayande and Justice Emmanuel Olawuyi Fakayode. It became a national security institution in 1984 (though without backing legislation), and the name was changed to reflect its true national character. By 1988, all the state military governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory were mandated to open branches of the Corps in their domain. The letter to that effect and dated 22nd February, 1988, was signed on behalf of the Chief of General Staff by Brigadier J.I. Bakut.

Nigeria’s status International Civil Organisation

in the Defence

Before June 23, 2003, Nigeria only enjoyed observer status in the International Civil Defence Organization (ICDO). Her status changed to fullfledged membership immediately the legal instrument for the establishment of NSCDC was perfected. In 2005 Nigeria was in the Geneva, Switzerland office of ICDO for the regularization of her membership. The then Acting Commandant – General of NSCDC, late Mr. Biola Aturamu, led the delegation to Switzerland. Nigeria was thus registered as the 66th member nation of the global security body on January 17th, 2005. During the voluntary era of observer status, a development that denied the country all the rights and privileges of full-fledged membership, Dr. Abiodun Sandey JP and Dr. Jomo

K. Oladunjoye Psc were Commandants - General of the Corps. Today, the ICDO membership strength is over 100. Nigeria’s flag is now hoisted at its Geneva headquarters. The organization’s objectives included the prevention and intervention in accident and disasters; improvement in the population’s knowledge about potential hazards; development of protection and intervention staff and manpower, and co-ordination and development of research on means of protection, planning and implementation of preparedness plans as well as safety programmes for the populace etc. The case against the merger of NSCDC In August, 2011 President Goodluck Jonathan set up a Presidential Committee on Rationalization and Restructuring of Federal Government’s Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies with a former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Orosanye, as the chairman. The move essentially was aimed at reducing the cost of governance in the country, which many feel is the highest in the world. To be continued ACG Onyemachi is Zonal Commander, NSCDC, Zonal Headquarters, Zone “A”, Lagos Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Mail Mirror

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Re: Asiwaju of Yorubaland

Y On part-time lawmakers

O

gbuefi Philip Asiodu is unarguably one of Nigeria’s best technocrats. As a former super Permanent Secretary during the General Yakubu Gowon era, he knew his onions as far as public administration is concerned. So when he recently said that part-time lawmaking is the way out of the high cost of governance in the country, we should listen to him. I just hope our leaders who claim they love this country so much are listening. It is criminal for our senators to earn more than the US president in an economy that pays a minimum wage of a little over a hundred dollars a month. The executives at the federal, state and local government levels are carting away everything that could have been used for capital the development of the country in the name of recurrent expenditure. This is unacceptable. Our leaders need to show greater commitment to the Nigerian project. Asiodu’s recommendation is timely.

orubaland has an uncommon homogeneity that is currently being underutilized. The unforgettable mistakes of the past, unforgiving spirit of people and hypocritical love for one another, the disdain of people towards one another on account of perceived superiority are the centrifugal forces pulling the Yoruba race apart. Some people have even

gone as far as insulting leaders that we ought to be breaking kolanuts to worship. This is ignorance at the worst form. Have you heard that our noble leader, Major General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo (retd), who was a key player in the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon and thus a Yoruba leader in his own right, has been relegated to a less important posi-

Yeye Yoruba, Chief HID Awolowo was also a member. How pleasant would it have been if all of us support Major General Adebayo, the father of Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former governor of Ekiti State to be the Asiwaju of the Yoruba race and Bishop Gbonigi to be his deputy? I am using this medium to appeal to all Yoruba not to betray ourselves in order for

tion by someone of just about 60 years of age by passing some disparaging remarks on him? This is abomination! Would the Yoruba ever recognize the contributions of present and past leaders? Yoruba Elders Forum was created during the first term of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the President of Nigeria. Late Chief Bola Ige agreed to be a member.

Theodore, Abuja

Timely planned overhaul of our university system

N

igeria requires genuine revolution in its education system and any leader that accomplishes this big task will forever live in the consciousness of Nigerians. Will President Goodluck Jonathan be that Messiah? The Information Minister, Labaran Maku gleefully told the nation after the Federal Executive Council meeting last Wednesday that the federal government was now set to address the rot in the education sector. We await the miracle. One thing is clear: the sector has collapsed and needs fixing. Even our leaders have passed a vote of no confidence in the sector by sending their children to universities in Ghana, South Africa, Europe and America. The perception of Nigerians on the Jonathan administration will change once he does this. He is doing well in the power sector; adding education sector to power sector as two critical areas he has accomplished praise worthy success will completely change Nigerians’ negative perception of his government. Yahaya Taraba

Adamu,

Jalingo,

IT DOESN’T MATTER: A man backing his child while walking along with his wife at Orile Iganmu area of Lagos. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

No musician like Saheed Osupa in Nigeria

K

ing Saheed Osupa is my favourite musician in Nigeria before coming to the United Kingdom, and he would be my best musician for life. I will never listen to any oth-

er fuji music except Saridon papa. Music is not about hitting drums or playing other instrumentals, but the wordings of music coming out that will pass the right message to people and turn

their lives for the better. That is the difference between Saheed Osupa and other musicians in that genre of music. Many of these fuji musicians know this, but they do not want

to accept the obvious. For me Saheed is the king of fuji music and he is a role model to our generation. Just stay cool, papa. Alimi Mojeem, Lagos

Muscle flexing over N5, 000 note

T

he ranging battle between the nation’s first and second estate of the realm should be seen for what it is: impunity of the political leadership. Once again, President Goodluck Jonathan has shown that the mood of his people should not be considered an important input into decision making process. Yes, he was popularly elected by all Nigerians

Letters to the Editor

as their president, he has forgotten that the voices of the 109 senators and 360 representatives carry more weight than his lone voice. The CBN governor’s push for the N5, 000 note, which the executive arm of government has thrown its weight behind, should not be seen a fait accompli, especially when the people’s representatives from all the nation’s constituencies have rejected it.

Prince Oseni Amoo Otun, Vice Chairman, Research and Monitoring Committee, Yoruba Unity Forum, Ikenne, Ogun State

Leave Arunma Oteh alone

I

am extremely perturbed that the House of Representatives is still pursuing its agenda to hit back at the Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh. Coming from a long break to give President Goodluck Jonathan 14 days ultimatum to sack her, smacks of extreme vindictiveness. For our democracy to work, the lawmakers must recognize that the executive has certain prerogatives that are sacrosanct. The appointment of Oteh as SEC’s DG is one of such prerogatives. If the law of the land is perceived to have been violated in the exercise of such prerogative powers, the judiciary should be approached by the aggrieved party or parties for mediation and arbitration. Unnecessary muscle flexing like the House of Representatives is currently doing would aggravate tension and strain relations. I do not think Oteh is a fundamental issue now. Nigeria is buffeted by more profound serial problems that deserve the attention of the National Assembly. Nigerians want to know why the PIB bill, the Railway Act (amendment) etc, have not been attended to. Benson Akpothu, Warri, Delta State

Pay oil marketers their dues

T

his is to make a special appeal to Petroleum Equalisation Fund management to pay all oil marketers their verified outstanding bridging claims from 2011 till date. The non-payment, even after verification and processing of the claims, is going to affect the uniformity of pricing of petroleum products all over the country. Marketers are in full support of ‘Project Aquila’ when it comes into operations in the downstream sector.

President Jonathan should know that in the ensuing fight over this issue, Nigerians will line up behind their representatives in the National Assembly because they have demonstrated in words and deeds that they care more for Nigerians than their president. Waheed Abudu, Ilorin, Kwara State

things to go on smoothly for our nation. We should not politicize everything. The best way forward for us is to put round pegs in round hole. The era of “He is our son, let him do it’, should be over.

Sanusi

Kabiru Lawal, Port Harcourt

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


Your

FRIDAY

VOL. 2 No. 453

19

Flavour

Friday, September 21, 2012

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

WISER comfortable with stage because everything is there and then, and you cannot afford to make any blunder, you have to think and improvise. So, stage for me is the ultimate. Movie is fine, but the stage is the ultimate for me,” she said. So why does it seem like the book lover, who is currently reading Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope, has left the stage for the big screen? Her response is that it’s more expensive to do stage, “so we have that challenge at the moment”. She may have cut her teeth in 1996, but her road to stardom was paved with an appearance on one of the longest running soaps on Nigerian television, Heaven’s Gate, in 2007 and is still a part of. She has since starred in many other movies that include: Golden Moon, Spirit of Love, Total Control, City of Angels, The Devil in Her, Blind Obsession, Girls in the Hood, Honey Desire and Poisonous Affair . Her performance has won her several awards, among which are: Afro Hollywood Award for Best Actress in 2009, Most Outstanding African Actress 2010 (Afro Australian Music and Movie Awards), City People Face of Nollywood Award 2011 and Best Actress in a Comedy Series nominee (ZAFAA Awards 2011). Monalisa emerged Glo Ambassador in 2009 and has continued to function in that capacity. Last year she was Carnival Queen for the annual Port

Mirror Mongers

50; AS YOU GET OLDER, YOU GET

P. 34

45 OR

Denrele’s Day

THE AGE OF

P. 24-25

CERTAIN ROLES AT

E

verybody is talking about Catwalq, the new glamour television soap series for which actress, Monalisa Chinda is executive producer in conjunction with Emem Isong and Royal Arts Academy Productions. The consensus is that it portrays Monalisa as an actress who is as good behind the scenes as she is in front of the camera. Pundits are already predicting that she will do a lot more work behind the scenes. Ms. Chinda agrees with that sentiment and told Friday Flavour in a telephone interview that she will be doing many more productions. It is easy to see why she is considering that since she broke unto the scene in 1996 in the film Pregnant Virgin , she has never looked back. She cut her teeth in the film long before she graduated from the University of Port Harcourt in 2000 with a Theatre Arts degree. That dexterity Monalisa is certain to transfer to producing films and television soaps. There is, for instance, the yet to be released Weekend Getaway in which she is executive producer alongside Emem Isong and Ini Edo. She is also appearing in the film that stars Genevieve Nnaji, Ramsey Nouah, Ini Edo, Brian Okwara, Uti Nwachukwu, Uru Eke and Beverly Naya, among others. Stage performance is Monalisa’s first love and the passion has led her to feature in, among other plays, Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, The Gods Are Not To Blame, Ovonramwen Nogbaisi and If all written by Ola Rotimi; The Fight to Stop Female Circumcision by Amatu Braid and Death and the King’s Horsemen by Wole Soyinka. “Stage is more challenging, but I’m more

Harcourt arcourt Carnival held in Rivers State, where she e hails. In the same year, ar, she was the Brand and Ambassador forr Vita500 an energy drink selling in most ost African countries es and beyond. It is noteworthy that at Monalisa’s debutt on the production scene ene was only last year in the Royal Arts Academy movie, ovie, Kiss & Tell, which she co-produced produced with Emem Isong. But why the move in front of the camera to behind the scenes? enes? “At the stage where I am, I think hink I should diversify. And it is within my comfort zone which hich is within the entertainment inment industry. One has to do other things. I cannot be acting certain roles at the e age of 45 or 50. As you gett older, you get wiser and d your thoughts broaden,, you get more excited about out new experiences and d new things you want ant to do. Also, you want ant to empower young ung people who are e coming up. That hat is just what it is for me at the e moment”, she e said.

Inside e FCT

I CANNOT BE ACTING

TERH AGBEDEH

P. P 35

Monalisa Chinda’s action behind the scene

WEEKEND STARTERS

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oday, alternative soul and pop artiste, Christine, is billed to perform at the end of an open air concert and variety show organised by Alliance Francaise at their Lagos office in GRA, Ikeja, starting by 10.30 a.m. She will be performing “My Daddy” and “Munagi” in French. Also to perform at the show is Femi Leye, amongst others.

D

ream Arts & Design Agency (DADA), in conjunction with GoetheInstitut Nigeria, which just returned from a one-month recess, will tomorrow at the CChub, Yaba, Lagos present the fourth edition of ArtSpace RoundUp by 3.00 p.m. Open to the public, the event will dwell on artistic practices and the space in which it takes place. Where does spatial programming intersect

Isi Atagamen unveils with computer program- fashion line ming in real world and virtual space? What really is virtual reality? This theme will be discussed by architects, digital artists and programmers in a roundtable discussion with key practitioners.

F

a s h ion designer Isi Atagamen of IAFL (Isi Atagamen Fashion Label) will hold

a runway feature of her top pieces tomorrow at an exclusive event which also marks her birthday. The party/runway show is at NTyce VI, Lagos from 9.00 p.m.

September hue goes to Freedom Park

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he outdoor painting event of the Plein-Air Society of Nigeria will take place tomorrow at the Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos beginning from 9.00 a.m. The second in the series, it is open to both beginner and professional painters, who execute their work in the outdoor style (en plein air). The event is supported by Freedom Park.

Mosaic Theatre stages play

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oday, September 21, Mosaic Theatre Productions presents “Hangmen Also Die”, a stage play written by Esiaba Irobi at Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos from 6.30 p.m. Directed by Agozie Uzo, the play revolves round the Niger Delta predicament and oil

crisis situations. Irobi’s tragic play paints a bizarre and horrifying picture of a society in acute danger of socio-economic and ecological extinction from the effects of oil exploitation.

P. 22-23

ArtSpace RoundUp 4 holds

Escape

Soul ul diva Christine hristine at Alliance Francaise ancaise


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Artman In The House

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Some young writers are not Professor Unoma Nguemo Azuah’s flair for the written word received fine tuning as an undergraduate at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, where she edited the English department literary journal— The Muse. Azuah received the awards of the best Creative Writing Student for two consecutive years: 1992 and 1993 and went on to become an multi-award winning author. In this interview with Friday Flavour’s JERRY ADESEWO, the scholar delves into her writing voice, inspiration, approach and passing on knowledge to emerging writers. Excerpts: What is writing to you and when did you decide to become a writer? Writing feels like a vocation to me; it also keeps me sane in the sense that it helps me create a sense of order in my life and in my attempt to navigate the turbulent waters of life. I write for therapy. The stories my grandmother told me as a child made me fall in love with tales and the imaginary world. Consequently, I decided to stick with it because I enjoyed it. I was a melancholic child, so I kept journals as an outlet for the many emotions. As a child, I was battling with many unanswered questions. Journaling now became a habit that landed me on a springboard for writing generally. In secondary school, my writing was mostly therapeutic. However, this became a habit and I started exploring other aspects of writing like poetry, drama and fiction. My secondary school teacher then, Ike Joe Ogugua, nurtured me as well. What is the secret to being a fine writer? Hard work, willingness to learn new tricks, willingness to be receptive to criticism, patience, perseverance and studying the masters continuously. And of course, the talent has to be there. When was your first story written? My first written story is a didactic short story set in my university dormitory then in Okpara Hall at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I think it was entitled, Bright Lights or something like that. I assessed some of the trends on campus then, romance, and desperation for money, parties, sex, etc. I don’t know where I kept it; I’d be ashamed to publish it. I guess I was trying to vent as per all the so-called “immorality” that I witnessed as a student then. Many years down the line, how is Edible Bones, your second novel doing in the Nigerian market since its release? I think it has done well and it continues to do well, especially when you consider that people have to priotise the way they want to spend their money: clothing and feeding. Beyond just telling a story, what precisely did you seek to achieve with Edible Bones? With Edible Bones, I wanted to tell a story I feel has not been told enough. A story that has not really, in my opinion, been presented in its raw state. The story of how America might not always be the land of milk and honey for everybody, particularly immigrants. One has to earn that milk and honey. My theme was and I am still being inspired by the many immigrant stories I’ve heard and witnessed.

Azuah at the book reading for Edible Bones in Lagos

FACT FILE

Further, being an immigrant myself is part of what prompted me to write the book. To what degree can a writer reflect in his or her life as his or her own lead character? I guess it depends on the writer. Most writers dwell on what they know best. In other words, some writers have a tendency to use their own lives as points of departure, but it does not necessarily mean that every writer’s book is based on his or her life. What theories, principles or writings influence your world view and writings? A whole bunch of theories and principles influence my writing, from existentialism to absurdist to feminism to queer theory, the list goes on. All that I have mentioned in one way or another are sewn into the fabric of my writing, whether I am talking about a young woman who is forced into marriage or a man who gets stranded in America because he had a different impression of what to expect in a foreign land. Are you a feminist? What is your take on feminism vis-à-vis our traditional African culture, religious beliefs and today’s popular culture? Feminism to me entails recognising that a baby boy has the same value as a baby girl. Therefore, both should be given equal opportunities to grow and be the best they can be in life. I believe that women need to be especially empowered beyond the so-called traditional roles they are expected to play. I believe that women should have self-worth, be independent and have a high sense of value beyond marriage and motherhood. In other words, their worth should not just be restricted to who they marry and the number of baby boys they have. They should aim to be more than their expected role. They can be ministers, professors, teachers, doctors, engineers,

Unoma Azuah is a Professor of Creative Writing at Lane College, USA

She was born in Delta State in 1969 to an Igbo mother and a Tiv (Benue State) father.

Her Secondary School education was at Queens College, Enugu from where she proceeded for a Bachelors degree at University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu.

The award-winning writer is what some people call Nwa Nsukka, a child of the Nsukka soil.

Edible Bones was released in 2011; her other works include Sky High Flames (novel); The Length of Light (short story collection) and Night Songs (poetry collection).

Her awards include the Hellman/Hammett award; the Urban Spectrum award, the Leonard Trawick Award and the Association of Nigerian Authors/NDDC Flora Nwapa award for her debut novel Sky High Flames.

Unoma is involved with some literary workshops in Nigeria where she gives professional tutorials on vital techniques of poetry writing.

presidents, etc., regardless of religious beliefs and cultural beliefs. In mirroring the Nigerian society, most writers of your generation spotlight corruption in Nigeria and a other African countries. Is this a fair portrayal or an attempt to impress the Western media and be in favourable position for literary awards? I have no idea. I guess that people write for different reasons, and if their aim is to tell a convoluted


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Artman In The House

Friday, September 21, 2012

21

humble and patient –Azuah

Author Helon Habila and Azuah during a book event in Abuja

Azuah (m) at a creative writing workshop

Azuah sign her book for a literary enthusiast.

Unoma in a poetry workshop

lives of Nigerians.

IT IS UNFORTUNATE

What is your impression of the crop of younger Nigerian writers? Would you say there is hope for Nigerian literature? I have met quite a lot of brilliant and intelligent young Nigerian writers. Some of them are working really hard. Nevertheless, there are others who are not humble about their writing. They don’t take criticism well and they seem not to be patient enough to understand the basics. I think that attitude will change, particularly when time leads them through the path of maturity. Focusing on perfecting one’s skills is better than being in a hurry to rush out publications.

THAT CREATIVE WRITING IS NOT TAUGHT IN OUR

UNIVERSITIES…

NIGERIA

IS BURSTING WITH TONS OF CREATIVE MINDS story so as to win an award, all good for them. But I know that at the end of the day, the only thing that prevails in writing is honesty, both in theme and craft. As one of the Nigerian scholars teaching creative writing in universities and colleges across the world, how can we address the situation where none of our universities offer creative writing at diploma, degree of Master’s degree level? It is unfortunate that creative writing is not taught in our schools and universities because Nigeria is bursting with tons of creative minds. Yet, these great minds are not channeled towards the paths that will assist them in reaching their desired destinations in the world of creativity. Because our gifts of writing are not discovered and honed early enough, a good

number of talents are lost on the way or they develop rather late. Hence, it is important that the Nigerian educational system considers including creative writing in the curricula of the schools. I do the little I can by conducting writing workshops and teaching creative writing to both adults and secondary school children most times I visit home. Thanks to people like Chidi Victor Ononye, for instance, the co-coordinator of Triplefun Book Club in Port Harcourt. He is one of the few reading and literacy administrators who know the pivotal place of imagination and creating in the young

What advice do you have for upcoming Nigerian writers? Keep writing, if you’re good, the light will find you and get you to the limelight. Let writing be something you enjoy doing. Focus on it; perfect it as much as you can before looking into publishing. The process is painstaking, but it will come when it will come. Don’t give up. What are you working on at the moment? I am revising my second collection of poems as well as drafting a memoir that is mostly faction. We’ll see what happens.


22

Escape

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oranyan Festival: Celebrating rich K EMI O LAITAN IBADAN

F

or residents of Oyo, last Saturday will be a day to remember for a long time as the ancient city played host to teeming Yoruba sons and daughters within the country and in the Diaspora who converged for the climax of the Oranyan Festival. With booming guns and blaring of sounds, gaily dressed people in colourful traditional Yoruba attire besieged the Aganju forecourt, Aafin Oyo (king’s palace) in solidarity with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, to celebrate and venerate Oranyan, progenitor of the Yoruba race. The Oranyan festival brought about a sort of reunion for Yoruba descendants as far-flung as in Benin Republic who were not only present for the festivities, but they also came to show affinity with their kith and kin in Nigeria. The masquerade put on display by the Pobe Community of Benin added glamour to the occasion while Gelede dancers, also from Benin Republic, thrilled the people with sonorous songs and energetic dances. Beyond celebration, Yoruba culture was on display in different costumes and attires, depicting the various dialectic ingenuity of the tribe. Traditional dancers were also not left out to remind the people why the culture must not go into extinction. Expectedly, the festival brought about opportunities for prayers and cleansing of the people, their community, the state and the entire human race. Saturday climaxed the one-week celebration initiated as part of efforts to promote Yoruba cultural heritage and galvanise the indigenous states for social economic development in an atmosphere of unity, mutual understanding and purposeful direction, devoid of political rancour, intimidation or distrust. While speaking about the event, Oba Adeyemi, clad in a richly embroidered Aso Oke, said the Alaafin-in-Council approved the celebration of the festival, describing it as the one and only authentic festival for metropolitan Oyo and the Yoruba race in which descendants of the tribe joyfully, enthusiastically and patriotically participated. He maintained that Oranyan Festival was not just razzmattaz, but a showcase of the rich and unique heritage while remembering and honouring Oranyan Akin Otun, Akin Osi, Olojoi, Alaafin Ipekun Oba, a great hero, pathfinder, progenitor and potentate. The first class monarch, ruminating on happenings around the world in contemporary times, explained that there was the need for the Yoruba nation to retain her traditional and cultural identity in the face of the global village. The Alaafin added that he commissioned scholars to provide a blueprint on how to go about what he described as “a renaissance of the dying culture of my people”. According to him, much as the people tried to resuscitate various festivals celebrated by Yoruba in times past, none had been able to meet the oba’s desires. Thus, when those he saddled with responsibility of organising indigenous festivals came up with Oranyan Festival, he instantly endorsed it. Justifying the nature of the celebration, in line with the works of Adekunle Ojelabi, an erudite scholar, the monarch explained that Oranyan was a direct linear descendant of the founder of the Yoruba race, Oduduwa, whose reign as the first Alaafin marked a new phase in Yoruba history, which witnessed the transfer of political headquarters of the Yoruba nation from Ile-Ife to Oyo. He disclosed that the Oyo cabinet system of checks and balances which the British Colonial Lords met was bequeathed by Alaafin Oranyan. Also speaking, Revd. Ayo Ladigbolu, a retired Methodist Archbishop and deputy chairman of the Oranyan Festival central committee, said the festival will boost the tourist potential of Oyo and the

A masquerade performing at the event

THE FESTIVAL IS CELEBRATED TO IMPRESS UPON THE RACE THAT

YORUBA

“ALAAFIN IS THE

SYMBOL PER EXCELLENCE OF LEGENDARY

ORANYAN

state as a whole, as it exposes tourist sites and attractions like Sango shrines in the palace, Koso, Sogidi stream in Awe, Agidan hill of gods and goddesses, the grinding stones of the queens at the Arole Oba House, Bara, the burial place of the kings, Soro Hill (the talking forest) and the architectural marvel of the Alaafin of Oyo’s palace. The Oyo Prince explained further that the festival is also meant to reawaken a sense of cultural appreciation among youths while creating opportunities for greater interaction among citizens of the metropolis for the socio-economic and political development of the empire. Importantly, the festival is celebrated to remind and impress upon the sons and daughters of the Yoruba race that “Alaafin is the symbol per excellence of the outstanding legendary Oranyan and to emphasise the urgent need to accord him his due recognition, respect and honour”. The festival climaxed in the ancient town with the appointment of the former Executive Governor of old Oyo State, Dr. Victor Omololu Olunloyo, an Ibadan man, as the Balogun (warlord) of Oyo Empire. Ladigbolu who made the announcement on behalf of the Oyo monarch, to round, said the appointment of Olunloyo was in recognition of his courageous exploits both in the academic, politics and public administration. The new Balogun thanked the Oyo monarch for the honour done him with a vow that whatever is expected of him as a chief of the ancient town would be done to the best of his ability.

Crowd at the Oranyan festival.

The week-long celebration was not without its hitches as the grand finale witnessed people trooping out enmasse to support the Alaafin’s hosting of Oranyan Festival. But the crowd control mechanism put in place was not effective to ensure that guests were not denied any part of the ‘action’. This brought about a situation where some seated guests could not view many entertaining aspects of the festival including dances, drumming, performances and masquerade displays as a standing crowd from the host community obstructed their view. Expected of a maiden international event of its magnitude, security was at its peak. Aside from mobile policemen and some security operatives assigned to the venue for the grand finale, about 5,000 members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), both of the Dr. Fredrick Fasheun and Gani Adams factions were also on hand to ensure that security was not undermined with both leaders present to celebrate with the people.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Escape

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yoruba culture

Travel News FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State Ministry of Culture and Tourism has concluded arrangements to organise a four-day event tagged “Ogun State Fashion Week 2012” as part of measures to protect and project the state’s cultural heritage. The State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Olu Odeyemi, who disclosed this in Abeokuta during a recent press briefing, said the event is scheduled to hold between September 20 and 23. Chief Odeyemi said the event was in line with the agenda of Governor Ibikunle Amosun to protect culture and project the various tourist sites in order further boost the state’s profile as one of the forces to reckon with in terms of national tourism development. Highlights of the event include workshop, fair/exhibition, talent hunt and a gala night, while winners at the various events would be given national exposure at the Nigeria Fashion Week coming up in Lagos soon. The event, which is being packaged in partnership with some private organisations, is expected to further showcase the local fabric,

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Ogun to stage 4-day fashion event “Adire” as a fashion brand capable of attracting both local and international markets. In an interview with newsmen, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Amosun on Culture, Mr. Shina Williams, said the desirability of the fashion week lies on its capability to increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR) as well as increasing the country’s Gross National Domestic Product (GNDP) particularly that Nigeria is trying to diversify her economy from oil to other sector such as culture and tourism. Williams was, however, optimistic that the IGR in Ogun would be increased as participants at the fashion week are to be drawn from all the 20 local government areas, adding that Nigerians from other states would also be allowed to showcase their talents.

DISCOP content market holds in S’Africa Oba Adeyemi followed by other traditional rulers arrives for the festival

FACT FILE •

Oyo State is an inland state in south-western Nigeria, with its capital at Ibadan.

It is bounded in the north by Kwara State, in the east by Osun State, in the south by Ogun State and in the west partly by Ogun State and partly by the Republic of Benin

Oyo State covers approximately an area of 28,454 square kilometers and is ranked 14th by size.

It was formed in 1976 from the former Western State, and originally included Osun State, which was split off in 1991.

Oyo is homogenous, mainly inhabited by the Yoruba ethnic group.

The state contains a number of natural features including the Old Oyo National Park. Another prominent landmark in Oyo State is the Cocoa House, the first skyscraper built in Africa

The first university in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan (established as a college of the University of London when it was founded in 1948 and later converted into an autonomous university in 1962).

The state is also home to NTA Ibadan, the first television station in Africa

The ancient city had also hosted various traditional festivals that include: Sango, Oya, Obatala, Elegbara, Ogun, Egungun, Obatala and Esu Oja.

Within the Alaafin’s palace, special festivals are held almost every week year for which priests and priestesses are designated.

Oranyan Festival was inaugurated to immortalise and honour the deeds of Oranyan, reputed to be the head of the Kings and Princes in Yorubaland and one of the sons of Okanbi, the son of Oduduwa (founder of the Yoruba race).

In Yoruba history, Oranyan was the pre-eminent founder and builder of Oyo Empire and the Yoruba Kingdom whose fame spread to all nooks and crannies of West Africa. He established an enduring empire which spread beyond its dialectical region and lasted more than 600 uninterrupted years.

Africa’s #1 multiplatform, television content production, programming and distribution industries’ annual gathering set to take place next month in Johannesburg

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asic Lead, the Los Angeles-based organisers of the annual Discop Africa television content market and coproduction forum, announced on Monday that over 1000 non-exhibiting and exhibiting delegates representing 700 companies from 85 countries are expected to take part in Africa’s #1 industry gathering dedicated to the production, programming and distribution of multiplatform, television content. The seventh edition of Discop Africa will take place from October 31 to November 2 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg and will feature an exhibition showcasing African and major international suppliers of popular and high-quality film, series, animation, comedy shows, formats, sports content, documentaries, educational programming and thematic channels, as well as distributors of international digital broadcasting and content management solutions providers. The three-day market will welcome content acquisitions and programming executives representing African broadcasters, Pay-TV platforms, mobile networks, broadband-based TV services, airlines and closed-circuit networks. This new edition will also reinforce Discop Africa’s relevance as a marketplace for independent television content producers operating in Africa. A coproduction forum and an eclectic conference program dedicated to regional and international partnerships will provide them with true and efficient opportunities to sell content, initiate partnerships, access valuable information, connect with key players and learn from experts. “In the not so distant future, one of the main drivers of content business in Africa will be local programming. Inevitably, there will be a shift to regional coproduction and distribution models as non-African content will play a lesser role”, says Patrick Jucaud-Zuchowicki, General Manager of Basic Lead. He added “Independent tele-

Buyers meet sellers at a previous DISCOP Africa programme

vision content production is already undergoing a huge renaissance as Africa is transitioning from massive importer of content to producer of content that is far more locally relevant, outpacing in the process the traditional production formulas that the rest of the world falls back on so much”. A new pitching competition, “Formats From Africa”, will also be launched during Discop Africa 2012 to promote original TV formats created in Africa, which can begin as local successes and end up as international hits. Independent TV Formats producers taking part at the 2012 edition will be offered the possibility to forward original submissions that have local, regional and international appeal. 10 shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch their formats live in front of a judging panel of international programming executives and format commissioners. Three winners will be offered funds and expert guidance to develop a pilot Global companies expected to exhibit at the three-day event include BBC Worldwide, CCTV, Caracol, Canal+ Overseas, Cote Ouest, Zee TV, Fox International Channels, Sony Pictures Television, NBC Universal, France 24, Globo TV, IMC, IMG, MGM Networks, Mondo TV, Nollywood Worldwide Entertainment, Optima Sports, Telemundo, Televisa, Thema, Trend TV, Fox Studios, Sky News, TV Azteca, TV5 Monde, UFA TV, Venevision, Endemol South-Africa and many others.


24

Inside FCT

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Abuja residents’ craze for posh cars MARCUS FATUNMOLE

A

ny foreigner who visits Nigeria en route Abuja for the first time would find it difficult to believe there is anything called poverty in the land as being reported world-wide. From the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, down to the interior villages in the city one spots expensive cars and magnificent mansions as well as gargantuan on-going projects which could easily confound any citizen coming from poorer nations. The city is no doubt a place where opulence is practically flaunted. Apart from different mansions that dot the city’s landscape, superbly constructed roads and well-laid lawns, visitors and residents also wonder at the sight of automobiles zooming through Abuja’s wide highways. Many of these have never been seen in the nation’s villages, except during Christmas or Sallah visits by residents. It is agreed that every Nigerian, like any human being elsewhere, desire to live in comfort, a dream not too high for any of the nation’s citizens, given the vast human and natural endowments across the country. However, a far-flung divide between the privileged few who live in luxury and the populous poor who wallow in wretchedness remains a challenge. In Abuja are multi-million naira cars often acquired for pleasure rides. Different models of cars are imported in droves in for different classes of people. Expectedly, among owners are politicians and business men who acquire cars for self-comfort, while civil servants are not left out. The dilapidated Lokoja-Abuja highway remains the major route for hauling these automobiles into the capital – which further worsens the condition of the road. There are customised brand new cars for the rich and second-hand vehicles smuggled or legally brought

This “Go Kart” is sold for N3m (asking price)

TRANSPORTATION IS A BIG PROBLEM IN

ABUJA; FOR ANYONE TO REALLY ENJOY THIS CITY, THE PERSON MUST OWN A CAR into the city for the under-privileged majority. In Abuja, car dealers smile to the bank daily, even as the popular Kubwa Federal Housing Estate gate, which currently accommodates the largest car market in the city, remains a beehive of activities. One of the dealers, who simply identified himself as Mr. Kingsley, told Inside FCT that, “given the population of the city, it is expected that patronage for automobiles remains high. You don’t expect people to be travelling down to places such as Lagos to bring vehicles to Abuja or go to Benin Republic to bring vehicles into the city since we have high quality cars for sale in the city. Transportation is a big problem in Abuja; for anyone to really enjoy this city, the person must own a car”. When our reporter spoke with one of the residents in the city, Gabriel Ibru, he said it was not a bad thing for Nigerians to use cars of their choice but the high level of poverty in the land did not justify the use of such costly cars. Ibru advised the rich to consider the poor around them when taking some critical decisions. It is true that globalisation has broken down trade barriers and any quality product can be utilised by those who need the service anywhere in the world. However, the race to catch up with developed nations cannot be won by acquiring every bit of their wares; it can only be won at the market where our commodities compete with outputs from their climes to allow for a successful balance of trade.

Usman being apprehended by the police.

Ritualists on the prowl in capital city OBIORA IFOH

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buja, the pride and the power house of the nation is gradually gravitating into a city of ritualists. Residents are becoming helpless as the increasing news of mindless killings by suspected ritualists are on the increase and the authority seems to be overwhelmed by the enormity of this new crime wave. Pandemonium reigned in the early hours of Saturday morning at Bwari Park, popularly known as Tipper Garage, when a suspected ritualist identified as Usman Inuwa, an Abuja-based welder, was apprehended trying to board a commercial bus with a dead baby. The little boy was reportedly abducted from a remote community in Abuja and was neatly tucked into a black medium-sized suitcase. The crime began to unravel when the man vehemently refused to let go of the bag to the conductor for storage in the boot. As the noise of their argument started to attract attention, the man yielded his bag. The bus conductor struggled to arrange the bag with other luggage and the coldness of the bag caused him to enquire from the man what its content was. The passengers and a soldier insisted on knowing the content of the bag. When Usman realised that his game was up, he tried to flee the park. He was however caught and overpowered by the mob who later forced the box opened to reveal the lifeless body of a baby boy later identified by police as Usman’s son, Goodluck Inuwa. Shocking as this may sound, Inside FCT discovered there are even more unbelievable tales of ritual activities, which have continued to worry the police, happening in a bush site between Mararaba and Masaka suburbs of Abuja. Only recently, at Mararaba police station, a girl looking famished and tired was said to have surfaced at the station after being in the den of ritualists for three weeks. Two months ago, two young men were apprehended at AYA, a popular junction in the high brow Asokoro area with a freshly decapitated human head. When interrogated, one of the suspect said that they were hawking the head as the original buyer disappointed them hence, the need to get a new buyer. A popular radio programme in Abuja recently aired a broadcast about the booming ritual business at a mountain in Abuja popularly known as Zuma where ritual killings have gone on for years undetected as narated by a lucky victim who escaped. Not too long ago, it was reported that at a particular junction on Keffi- Mararaba road, a certain young lady who was travelling with some male friends were forced out of the vehicle by some ritualists who had successfully blocked the


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Inside FCT

Friday, September 21, 2012

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Parents bemoan rising school fees ...task govt on public schools TOLA AKINMUTIMI

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Usman with the lifeless form of baby Goodluck.

PHOTOS: ROTIMI OSASONA

IT IS BELIEVED THAT RITUALISTIC PRACTICES HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED IN

NIGERIA –MANY OF WHICH ARE UNREPORTED

road and forced their vehicle to a halt before abducting the female occupant of the vehicle. Her corpse was discovered a week later while her body parts had been butchered for ritual purpose. A young girl recently testified in one of the pentecostal churches how she was drugged and abducted in a bus, taken into a massive bush along the infamous Mararaba route where she also found out that over a dozen other victims were being held against their will to be slaughtered. According to her, she was saved by divine intervention, she recounted witnessing the slaughtering of other victims. It is believed that ritualistic practices have always existed in Nigeria –many of which are unreported. However, the recent upsurge of the barbaric and shameful act calls for concern. The law enforcement agents are on top of the matter but a lot more needs to be done to ensure that this activity does not get out of hand. Our reporter attempted to investigate what could have been the cause of the upsurge in the crime rate of such calibre. Why is life in Nigeria this cheap? It is observed that most of the perpetrators are people below the poverty line whose desperation for sustenance drives them into the dark world of ritual crimes. Many of the respondents who spoke with Inside FCT believe that poverty has a lot to do with the increasing cases fuelled by the get-rich-quick syndrome in the society. The failure to inculcate individuals with sound religious and societal values, including seeing human life as sacrosant, from home may be a contributing factor. Whatever the case, the security agencies must be proactive and responsive to curb the crime, while government ensures that justice is done. Every human being deserve to live and no man has the right to terminate another’s life not even suicide is permissible.

or parents and guardians in the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the country, this season of school children’s resumption could be likened to asking a beggar for alms. This is especially true when one considers the pains and psychological burden associated with paying school fees of these children who in most cases are attending private schools. It is a season of complaints, frustrations and sometimes quarrels in many homes as the cost of education continues to give them sleepless nights. Indeed, investigations by Inside FCT over the past week as schools are re-opening for a new academic session showed that most parents, except the politicians and their contractor friends, are groaning under the heavy burden of financial stress while trying to lay solid foundations for their children’s future through good education. As would have been expected, many of those interviewed about increasing cost of education heaped the blame on government which they claimed has abdicated the primary responsibility of giving every Nigerian child opportunity of education through public schools. Residents in Yanyan, Maraba, Kubwa, Gwagwalada, Lugbe and other satellites towns where public schools are lacking or inadequate to cope with demands, specifically sought urgent intervention of the Federal Government in order to forestall a situation where within the next decade, the FCT would become a haven for hoodlums and criminals. One of the parents, Mr. Christopher Sunday candidly told Inside FCT that government was responsible for the predicament of many parents who want to get their children educated, adding that the government was also responsible for the socio-economic hardships parents are going through (since many of the parents lack jobs or are not optimally productive). “Most of the parents you see in the FCT are jobless and many others are just doing anything to keep their families going. As parents, paying the school fees of our children and getting them back to school is becoming difficult especially now that the private schools are also increasing the fees”, he bemoaned. “I went to my children’s school to enquire about their tuition and other fees paid during the term and I was shocked to learn that the fees had been increased again. This is a challenging period for parents. As I speak with you now, I don’t know how I will raise the money for three children”.

Students on the assembly ground at school.

GO TO ANY PUBLIC SCHOOL IN FCT SATELLITE TOWNS AND YOU WILL DISCOVER AS MANY AS

120 PUPILS IN

A CLASS “I think government should be blamed for not playing its role to provide education for Nigerian children even when they claim they are doing so. Go to any public school in FCT satellite towns and you will discover as many as 120 pupils in a class; it is bad. Government should either regulate the private schools by asking them to reduce fees or build more schools to fill the gap”, Sunday said. A mother of four, Mrs Grace Olubi, described the resumption time as a period of “headache for me and my husband. Although we have one child in a public school, the three others are attending private schools because there is no space for them in the only public primary school we have here. “As a trader and my husband an electrician, it is difficult for us to get them back to school now. Before, we used to beg the proprietors of the school for installmental payment of school fees; which we do before the end of a term. But now, they refused to do that again”. She painted a sad picture of the school system by adding; “What this means is that the youngest who is just eight years old will have to stay back so that her brothers can continue. Government has failed the people. When I was growing up, I attended public schools all through my secondary school. But where do you find them today in the country?”. A school proprietress, who simply identified herself as Sister Uwadia, explained that the reasons private schools are finding it difficult to maintain old fees includes cost of inputs for training as well as accommodation challenges, in terms of tenancy fees, remain high due to the inflation level in the country. “We are not Shylocks. We base our school fees on operational cost as well as some fixed costs. For instance, cost of renting facilities in Abuja is high; you have to pay for accommodation which accounts for about 30 per cent of the costs. Two years ago, we paid about N3.5millions for two years lease, but this year the landlord increased it to N4.5million. In addition, when you also consider what the private schools’ curriculum offers and teaching standards, then you’ll know why we have to charge reasonable school fees. As they say, nothing good comes cheap”. Uwadia suggested that “Government can help private schools in various ways like supplying books to primary schools so that parents would not have to pay for these items. They can also help us by getting some vocational and extra-curricular facilities in place so that owners of private schools would not have to bear extra costs. If they do this, they will be helping parents too. As a parent, I know it is not easy to pay school fees especially now that many of parents are out of job.


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Arty News

Friday, September 21, 2012

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Homecoming for the prime minister’s son ADENRELE NIYI

I Ajegunle participants in a performance

BornTroWay project ends today O YINKAN SOMORIN

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he BornTroWay project that has been running its one-week free training workshop since September 17 is ending today, September 21. The Project, founded in 2011 by the joint inspiration of Music Matters, created a workshop and creative arts training initiative aimed at promot-

Winnie Mandela @76 appears on MTV Meets

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outh African politician, antiapartheid campaigner and former President of the African National Congress (ANC) women’s league, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is set to inspire young African entrepreneurs in the latest episode of MTV Base Meets…with MTN. The show, which premieres on MTV Base on her 76th birthday, September 26, was recorded in July at her home in Soweto with MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo and a panel of young people from across the continent including Djenneba Sidibe, Chanelle Ellaya, Belinda Gaboo, Akin Oyedele Goodman Lepota and Amandla Mbana. Among the varied topics under discussion are leadership, personal responsibility and the need for positive role models for young people. Speaking on behalf of MTV Base, Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, commented, “We are honoured that Ms. Madikizela-Mandela has granted our youth panellists the great opportunity to share her wisdom and experience in a manner that is sure to inspire and motivate young Africans across the continent”. Ms. Madikizela-Mandela is among numerous high profile ‘influencers’ to have featured in Season Two of the youth empowerment series, including SenegaleseAmerican R&B and Hip Hop artist Akon; His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Togolese international soccer star, Emmanuel Adebayor.

ing individual self-confidence, selfexpression, teamwork and integration among 35 youths (aged 15-25) in disadvantaged areas of Nigeria’s main cities. The project involves music movement, promoting emerging Nigerian talents with peace and unity through art. The project has since travelled to Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Durban, South Africa in December 2011 where participants also took part in the 2011 World Climate Conference. To end the workshop, there is going to be a open mini-performance in Bariga, a bustling Lagos suburb, interested members of the public can see the live performance at the training venue, Ade Ife Memorial Primary School, Bariga. It will feature a stellar cast of instructors including musician, producer and MTN Project Fame judge, Ade Bantu; actor, writer and producer, Omolola Oluwakayode; dance/performance artist Segun Adefila and AJ Dagga Tolar, a specialist in spoken word poetry, frontline activist and social crusader. The fifth edition promises to be bigger and better than the fourth edition which took place last month in Lagos at the famous Cairo Market, Oshodi. BornTroWay aims to travel to other Nigerian cities, to plant seeds of inspiration and hope whilst offering a unique platform to showcase the talent of young people living in marginalised communities

t was a day full of reminiscences and power-packed emotions as soloist and monodrama exponent, Greg Mbajiorgu, took time off the annual conference of the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artist (SONTA) in University of Calabar to re-visit the premises of the State Secretariat of The National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) where 21 years ago, he conceived, wrote and premiered his enigmatic solo artist play The Prime Minister’s Son. Greg Mbajiorgu was accompanied on the historic re-visit by foremost theatre scholar, Professor Kalu Uka, who incidentally was part of the premiere of the play in 1991 as artistic/technical adviser alongside the late pioneer Nigerian playwright, James Ene Henshaw. Also on the visiting entourage were Sola Balogun, Arts Editor of The Sun Newspapers; Obi Okoli, popular Nollywood actor and Denja Abdullahi, poet, playwright and National Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). The visiting team were received by management staff of the NYSC Cross River State Secretariat, led by the State Director Engr. Ibangha and serving youth corp members. Mbajiorgu, now a senior lecturer in the department of Theatre and Film Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, reminiscenced on how the then State Director of the scheme in 1991, one Mr Ajayi, encouraged him to follow his passion and approved his desire to adopt the one-man theatre show as his primary assignment and community development activity. According to Mbajiorgu, in spite of opposition from certain quarters, the then NYSC State Director, gave him an office space and an accommodation within the secretariat complex from where he unleashed his talent as a solo drama artist culminating in the conception, writing and performance of the mono actor drama The Prime Minister’s Son; which was taken round schools and communities in Cross River State. The visit ended with the presentation of copies of the 20th anniversary edition of the mono-drama to the State NYSC and the performance of a drama sketch entitled “Conundrum” by the state’s NYSC drama troupe.

A Victor and his trumpet

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka; veteran musician, Dr. Victor Olaiya and his wife, Abimbola during the presentation of the award of Omorere Ile Ekiti to the foremost highlife artiste at an event in Lagos.

Mbajiorgu

The Calabar visit thus marked the beginning of a series of events scheduled across Nigeria to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the play. The activities are conceived to highlight past contributions of soloists such as the late Funso Alabi and others to the theatrical form which is in need of reinvention in Nigeria. The next stop will be Abuja on September 27 at the Korean Cultural Centre where a play reading, performance and a critical session have been scheduled for The Prime Minister’s Son under the auspices of Arojah Royal Theatre.

Abe to intensify youth empowerment initiative ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

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t was a night of glitz, glamour and music as the curtain fell on the maiden edition of the Senator Magnus Abesponsored Lexy M Concepts Music Talent Hunt in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State. The competition, designed to detect talents in Rivers South-East Senatorial District, ended with Levi Hope winning the coveted prize and a record deal with Lexy M Concepts. Levi beat off stiff competition from Lazarus Hebron who came second and Flag Prince placed third at the exciting finale that attracted some best singers in Rivers State and dignitaries from the entertainment industry. An indigene of Eleme LGA, Levi, in an interview shortly after his victory said, “my triumph was as a result of hard work”. “I’m quite humbled that I was chosen ahead of other equally talented contestants; all I can say is that I will do everything possible to live up to the high expectation”. He said youths in the area rarely had the opportunity to display their talents towards becoming successful in the Nigerian entertainment industry and thanked Senator Abe for sponsoring the competition. Sen. Magnus Abe, represented by the Chairman, Gokana Local Government Council, Mr. Ledee Demua said the competition would be a yearly event. He disclosed that the initiative was instituted to discover budding talents, stressing that more programmes are being worked out to empower youths in the area and promised that the next edition would be bigger and better.


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Dhul Qaddah 7, 1433AH Friday, September 21, 2012

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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

Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif

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entral Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif is one of the largest mosques in Europe, with space to accommodate nearly 5,000 worshippers. The mosque was named after a Sufi, called Ghamkol Sharif, whose followers are concentrated in Birmingham. In a joint programme with the Birmingham Central Mosque and Birmingham City Council, the Central Jamia Mosque works to address the chronic unemployment of some Asian immigrants who suffered from the industrial downturns from the 80s.It is a major mosque in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, England. Construction work was started on March 15, 1992 in the holy month of Ramadan. Each night throughout construction, a hafiz would recite the Quran on the construction site. Building work was completed in 1996, and upon completion, it was one of the largest mosques in the country in which can fit up to 5,000 people at one time and can fit up to 25,000 people on the multiple number of Eid Prayers during the Eid celebration It is a Sunni Muslim-run mosque, although welcomes all to visit and take part and host events at the mosque. The mosque is popularly used for funeral arrangements, for which the mosque has a division of undertakers for the provision of services like Ghusl, Namaaz-e-Janaaza, storage and transport services for many people who want to take the deceased to be buried abroad. Many of the residents of Birmingham use this area for a full day in the event of a death. On a busy day, the mosque can host up to four services.

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n terms of gratefulness to God, this year, the grace of God enabled the message of Ahmadiyyah to be taken to every corner of the Earth. This was also achieved in places where the task apparently looks difficult. This was experienced during the tours of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih and he has spoken about these experiences. It is God’s promise that gratefulness brings greater blessings. It is stated: ‘…If you are grateful, I will, surely, bestow more favours on you…’ (14:8). God certainly bestows and it is man’s own ungratefulness that sometimes leaves him deprived. God is SelfSufficient and does not need anyone’s help, He does not need anyone’s blessing and is not in need of man’s gratefulness. He is the Master of all wealth and

Islam and HIV/AIDS 28

Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif

Every Friday with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya

Gratitude – a source of blessings all power. However, when God bestows His blessings on man, He sees whether man is grateful or not. With reference to Hadhrat Sulaiman (on whom be peace) the Holy Qur’an states: ‘…that He may

Muslim women should be more resourceful –Dr Yusuf 30

try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful. And whosoever is grateful is grateful for the good of his own soul; but whosoever is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Self- Sufficient, Generous.’ (27:41) Grate-

fulness to God is to inculcate demonstration of high morals. It is the misfortune of worldly people that they forget to be grateful to God in prosperous times. The ‘self ’ assumes that all success is brought about due to personal hard work and good planning. God states in the Holy Qur’an: ‘…but few of My servants are grateful.’ (34:14) True believers are always grateful to God. Ahmadis, who have accepted the Imam of the age, are always grateful, indeed, they should be grateful. The shower of God’s blessings encourages them that they are included among those on whom God bestows His grace and they associate every success to Him. Hadhrat Khalifatul CONTINUED ON PAGE 29

Godliness in parenting 28


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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Dhul Qaddah 7, 1433AH Friday, September 21, 2012

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Godliness in Parenting

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llah (SWT) has a purpose for granting you your children. The same He has for making others barren. Do you now appreciate this favour by failing to fulfill His obligation on your children? The circumstance of conceiving these children was when you were satisfying your urge in the legitimate bed of love. When you reached orgasm, you know how you felt. It is expected that your attention, concentration and intimacy you had for your love will also be given to these children so that the ummah can positively feel their impact. Alas! You enjoyed yourself and failed to train the product of your love. May Allah (SWT) not turn your joy into sorrow as regards these Children. He can, if He wills, as a kind of punishment, turn your children against you that they will not obey and be a sort of affliction for you that you will even regret bearing them in the first place. You must see child-bearing as a means of reinforcing the cause of Allah (SWT). Your niyyah and method of nikah determine the kind of child you will have except Allah (SWT) wants to try you. Your role towards your child starts before he or she is born. You seek Allah’s guidance in

AS THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THESE CHILDREN GROW OR ARE TRAINED IS INCREASINGLY BECOMING SPIRITUALLY AND

MORALLY UNFRIENDLY, EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO TURN TO ALLAH (SWT) FOR ASSISTANCE selecting your spouse and supplicate for a righteous child. Raising a child is not as easy as we think it is, especially in the modern times where distractions abound. The first injustice to the child is that he is born outside wedlock. What then are these noises about child right acts all year round? What right is greater than giving a child a noble birth? As if adding insult to injury, a child is a product of Zin , he is further nourished with unlawful means. The child has no blame for either but the parents do. Pur-

suits of haram to feed and train a child spell a spiritual disaster for the child. It attempts to stigmatise it spiritually. Many have become negligent of the source of their income. They feed on either haram or doubtful income and thereafter nourish their children with such. When the child starts to behave abnormally or fails to hearken to correction, they will never recall that they have nourished it with haram. However, trials could come from Allah (SWT) whereby a child will fail to hearken even where he had been nourished with lawful earnings. Allah (SWT) knows best. But we should return to decent living and pray to Allah (SWT) for lawful sustenance. Every child is first nourished from the milk of the mother. So, if she feeds on haram, she will produce and feed the child with unlawful milk and this may affect the child later in life. The child may refuse to yield to simple guidance and develop bad habits that may be disastrous. So, the mother must be careful of whatever she consumes. And the father must be wary of his source of income with which he sustains his family. That the economy is hard does not presuppose otherwise. As the environment in which these

children grow or are trained is increasingly becoming spiritually and morally unfriendly, each and every parent needs to turn to Allah (SWT) for assistance. All homes are not safe – as no one can tell what becomes of his child as he watches the television and its other accessories, interacts with peer groups or goes to school. As a parent, improve your relationship with Allah (SWT). Do always discharge your duties to Him. Be God-minded all the time. Devote yourself to your Lord. Fulfill the obligations of Allah (SWT) at its due time. Parents cannot afford to be oblivious of observing Tahajjud. Stand before your Lord and lay bare your problems or challenges. The greatest of this is your child. Ask Allah (SWT) to help you in the upbringing. Implore Him to guide your child rightly. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

Islam and HIV/AIDS SHEIKH ARIKUNKEWU

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Mufty of Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi, (left) Executive Director, Zakat and Sadakat Foundation (ZSF) Imam Abdullahi Shuaib (right) & Executive Chairman Yaba LCDA, Hon Jide Jimoh (m) at the presentation of bore holes to residents of Makoko community.

L-R: The Publicity Secretary of Merciful Assistance Foundation (MAF), Osolo of Isolo Kingdom, his Royal Majesty, Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka, the President of MAF, Chief Wale Oduyoye and other executives of the organisation during a free medical examination and distribution of drugs to people of Isolo community in Lagos recently.

cquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease which attacks and breaks down the defence system of the body. The current cause of this deadly epidemic is unlikely to change unless the people affected and those at risk make a concerted effort to adopt preventive measures. Apart from transmission from mother to child, sharing objects such as needle, blade, etc with an infected person, certain types of behaviour like unprotected sexual intercourse place individuals at increased risk for HIV and AIDS. When we assume that the only cause of HIV infection is sexual promiscuity, then our attempts to deal with it will not really yield the expected results. For example, when the mother of Prophet Isah (pbuh) was pregnant, people said all sorts of things about her. She was accused of infidelity by people who knew nothing about her personal life and Allah’s plans for her. The disease is therefore largely avoidable by changes in personal behaviour. Containment of the AIDS epidemic thus depends on effecting a change in behaviour and lifestyle to break the chain of transmission. Muslims are expected to live responsibly. In fact, we are all obliged to get tested for HIV – know our status, view our bodies as well as the bodies of other persons as a trust from Allah, understand the social factors that work against us as a community and take responsibility for our lives by actively work against the negative social factors. Unfortunately, in an environment like ours, people use to discriminate against the infected persons thereby stigmatizing such fellows. They go to the extent of not touching whatever the victim might have touched!

Arikunkewu

The word “stigma” can be likened to words like “mark of shame or discredit,”, ” “disgrace,” “dishonour.” These are some of the words associated with muslims affected by HIV/AIDS. It must be noted that labels are for packages not people. Also, judgment is for Allah. The only way to kill stigmas, labels and ignorance is with education, counseling and awareness. The holy prophet Mohammed (SAW) tells us that seeking knowledge is incumbent upon the muslim. The knowledge is not limited to only Quran and Hadith but knowledge that benefits and uplifts people and communities. He also enjoins us to be our brother’s keeper all the time. None of the examples of stigmas suggests that having HIV/AIDS negates ones Islam. If so, why will a muslim brother or sister with HIV virus be abandoned by the same muslim community that is expected to be his rallying point at this distressed stage? Meanwhile, it must be noted that Islam frowns at revealing secrets of fellow human beings. For example, Quran chapter 24, verse 19 states that “Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread or publicized among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know”. Sheikh Abdul Gannyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jubulatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBAT)


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Friday, September 21, 2012

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Dhul Qaddah 7, 1433AH

Head of Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Khalifatul Masih V, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, central and other executive members, during the Jalsa Salans held in the United Kingdom last Sunday.

L-R: Missionary-in-charge, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaát Nigeria, Maulana Khalique Nayyar; Amir, Dr. Mashhud Fashola Aderenle and Missionary Abdulkhabree Olowolayemo.

Call to Worship

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L-R: Missionary Tirmizy Muhammad Adeniran; Naib, Amir East, Dr. Abdul Ganiyy Enahoro; Missionary Elias Nurudeen, Oba Muraina Adedini, Asoya of Ile Isoya, Osun State and missionary Mudahir Alaka, at the Jalsa.

Cross section of the Nigerian delegate, during the Jalsa.

PHOTOS: BAYOOR EWUOSO

Muslim women should be more resourceful – Yusuf Ahmadiyya to hold conference M soon STORIES: LATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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hmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Nigeria is set to hold a three-day conference with the theme: Love for all, hatred for none, at Ilaro, the headquarter of Yewa south local government from today, September 21 till Sunday 23rd of the month. The gathering will feature Quran competitions, lectures, medical camp, sports and visitations to the paramount ruler of Yewaland, chief imam of Ilaro, the chairman of Yewa south local government, coordinator of the Yewa south Christians Association of Nigeria, the prison, motherless babies home and the General Manager, Ogun State Broadcasting Service, (radio and television). There will also be a speech on the topic, Holy Prophet Muhammad as Mercy to mankind, Khalifat: the rallying point for world peace and drug abuse. Ahead of the convention, a one hour enlightenment programme was aired on Ogun radio to propagate the essence of Islam and its message to the populace and this was presented by the National Tabligh secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim ja-

uslim women have been asked to be resourceful in terms of impacting on the lives of people around them by caring about the affairs of neighbours, including non-Muslims to enhance peace and mutual relationship in the society. This was disclosed by Dr Tajudeen Yusuf while addressing Al Mu’minaat women on the Understanding Islam during their Women’s Week held at Dawah Centre, Ijesha, Lagos. He said Muslim women cannot afford to live a lonely life of waking up, going out and coming in without having a direct relationship with people around them. He said by relating with the people,

Muslim women will get to know their problems and as such, will be able to proffer solutions to these problems which, he said, could also be in form of prayers. He urged them to improve on their primary role of raising God fearing kids that will reform the society. This, he said, can only be actualised if they engage their children in useful activities like memorization of the holy Quran, prayers and giving them admonitions on injunctions of the Almighty Allah. He dissuaded women from segregating due to way of dressing but to admit the differences in other people and use it as a medium of developing good inter-

personal relationship. Dr Yusuf advised that women be submissive to their husbands, no matter how educated and highly placed they may be. This, he said, manifests when the woman admits the role of men in the home to attain the pleasure of Allah. He enjoined women who are more knowledgeable than their husbands on religious obligations to be patient with them and correct them in the best manners to sustain peace in the home. “Don’t ever correct your husbands or your wives in the presence of your children nor should you scream on each other in their presence”, he admonished.

Gratitude – a source ‘Include morals in teaching children’ of blessings CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 Masih has seen the management of UK Jalsa as well as the workers tearfully attribute their success to God’s blessings. As long as we will be grateful servants of God we will experience His blessings. Each person from the Jalsa management, each worker, each attendee of Jalsa and each Ahmadi who participated in the Jalsa via MTA should sing praises of God and prostrate before Him with gratefulness.

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clarion call has gone to stakeholders in the education sector to include the core values of morality, nobility and dignity in teaching children to prepare them for future inevitability rather than giving emphasis to entertainment at the expense of education. Giving this advice at the 10 years anniversary of Vanguards Academy held at The Muslim Congress National Secretariat, Thanni Olodo Street, Jibowu Lagos the Director of the school, Dr Za’afaran Adeniyi urged wealthy Nigerians to invest in their chileducation. He encouraged government across all

levels to give genuine attention to the welfare of the youths as this will stabilise the country and provide good leadership. He said the solution to increasing insecurity in the country is for government at all levels to invest massively in education agriculture and to also improve electricity supply. He lamented that the Federal Government has allocated a lesser proportion of the budget to education when compared to other sectors like entertainment which, he said, is the reason for the fall in the standard of education in the country.


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Friday, September 21, 2012

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MARKAZ @ 60: A LEGACY REDIFINED (I) THE UNIQUENESS OF MORKAZ WAS NOT

ABDULGANIYI K AYODE IBN BALOGUN ALI AMUMGGUN & AMUDA AKANBI MAIGIDA

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he Institute of Arabic and Islamic Training Centre, popularly known as Morkaz, turned 60 this year. It was a call for double celebration as the Founder of the School, Sheikh Adam Abdulahi El-Ilory, also transited twenty years ago. The Centre, known worldwide as Morkaz Agege, was established 60 years ago by the late iconic scholar in Abeokuta. It was set up essentially as an intellectual training centre working from an Islamic perspective to train, promote and support research projects, organize intellectual and training lectures. It has established a distinct intellectual trend in Islamic training which relates to the vivid legacy of the Muslim Ummah, and its continuous efforts of intellectual and methodological reform, which is achieved by Islamic lecturers and scholars from all over the Muslim world. The uniqueness of Morkaz was not to be found only in the quality of the education it provides, was also a pathfinder in the modern method of teaching Arabic and Islamic studies. It was Morkaz, which for the first time in Nigeria used the chalk and blackboard, and structured examination template based on a verifiable curriculum, to test and promote students. It was also the first to introduce a

TO BE FOUND ONLY IN THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATION IT

PROVIDES, WAS ALSO A PATHFINDER IN THE MODERN METHOD OF TEACHING

ARABIC

AND ISLAMIC STUDIES

Muhammed Adam Abdullah

school uniform, the first to issue certificates as a measure of standard. The school also introduced handwriting, syntax, phonology, Theology, Maths, Geography, Literature and Jurisprudence and also taught Quran and Hadith as separate subjects. The school can

therefore be described as the standard bearer of the modrassa in Nigeria. After three years in Abeokuta, the school relocated to Agege, Lagos in 1955, and since then Morkaz has become synonymous with Agege. In his lifetime, Sheikh Adam Abdu-

lahi El-Ilory was reverred and honoured throughout the Muslim world. The Abogumati Compound of Ilorin born scholar was honoured with the Egypt National Award for Arts and Science, Mauritanis National Awards among many other local and international recognitions. He was also a celebrated author of many books and his sermons are still so relevant even after his demise. The Director, Sheikh Habibulahi ElIlory, has ensured that the legacy remain intact for the last two decades, and it is clear that Morkaz would still be the reference point in modern Islamic scholarship when it celebrates its century. Insha Allah.


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Friday, September 21, 2012

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Friday, September 21, 2012

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Critics

Friday, September 21, 2012

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Movie

A dark demonstration of the power of film

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s movie is a bigoted piece of poison calculated to inflame the Muslim world. It ought to be treated with the contempt it deserves. PETER BRADSHAW

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ritics like to talk about the “films of the year”, but the awful truth is that this year’s most significant movie may well turn out to be a nonmovie, a hoax movie, a bigoted piece of poison calculated to inflame the Muslim world. Innocence of Muslims is a 13-minute low-budget video on YouTube, abysmally scripted, acted and directed; it might be risible were it not for the ugly Islamophobia which it promotes and whose effects are now being seen around the world. It was apparently made by an EgyptianAmerican based in the greater Los Angeles area, one Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, reportedly a Coptic Christian, who initially claimed to be an Israeli property magnate called Sam Bacile, using funds from “Jewish donors”. How Nakoula actually bankrolled this film is not clear. He says his wife’s family contributed the money; he himself is a convicted fraudster. This video is routinely described as a “trailer” and some screenings – of something – do appear to have taken place at one rented Californian cinema, but there is no proof that audiences ever saw anything substantially longer than this, nor that there is anything resembling a “film” of which this is a “trailer”. Yet the damage is done. People throughout the Muslim world are being persuaded that there is a proper feature-length entertainment, backed

by Jewish donors and being watched by Americans in their movie theatres. The video appears first to show Christians being attacked and a medical clinic trashed by a Muslim mob in Egypt while the police stand idly by. Here is where – for what it’s worth – the bulk of Nakoula’s budget appears to have been spent. Then we cut to a crass supposed retelling of the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Hammy and preposterous acting is the order of the day, along with crude green-screen staging. People in robes exchange wooden dialogue and gurning threats against back projected deserts. There is plenty of suspicious cutting and dubbing; crudely Islamophobic lines don’t lip-synch with what the actors are mouthing – stuff like: “Muhammad is our messenger and the Koran is our constitution!” It is quite possible that the actors had no idea what they were doing. But the really sinister thing is that all this ham-fistedness and crassness is an important sense deliberate. It has to look like propaganda for the provocation to be effective. Innocence of Muslims might prove, in the most nauseatingly ironic way, that cinema still can make a difference. Actually, what it proves is that the movies are still associated with an idea –the idea of America’s global power and prestige. If you can produce something hinting at a film proving that this power is being put to Islamophobic uses, you can get an extreme reaction. Heaven knows there are plenty of gung-ho Hollywood movies with

Scene taken from the movie trailer

INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS MIGHT PROVE, IN THE MOST NAUSEATINGLY IRONIC WAY, THAT CINEMA STILL CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Arab villains –respectably produced and distributed –all feeding the disenchantment. Also, of course, it proves the global reach of the internet. Explosive material can be easily disseminated. Perhaps the most comparable example is Kony2012, the powerful viral video calling for the arrest of Ugandan cult leader Joseph Kony which in March this year exploded uncon-

trollably in popularity and resulted in its director suffering a temporary emotional breakdown. Innocence of Muslims, a thoroughly nasty piece of work, has caused something worse than this, and was intended to. But like Kony2012, it was almost certainly timed for the American election, in this case to incite Muslim communities and then provoke macho responses from the presidential candidates. There is naturally a great deal of ultradodgy stuff out there on the web, with no gatekeepers to enforce levels of technical competence or ideological good taste This is what has brought Innocence of Muslims into being; even discussing it in these terms plays into its authors’ hands. Here’s hoping Muslim communities can be persuaded to treat it with the contempt it deserves and that the US president and his challenger can keep their nerve. Culled from The Guardian UK; Bradshaw is a British film critic.

Book

Troubled Dust of a country in progress Troubled Dust was presented to the public on February 23 in Lagos, it got the attention of Nigerians from all walks of life perhaps because a major participant in the Civil War told the story.

TERH AGBEDEH

T

roubled Dust, by the 84-year-old Onuora Nzekwu, and from the stable of MAY University Press, Lagos, is a historical novel on the Nigerian Civil War. Told in 49 chapters, Troubled Dust has four parts: 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969. It opens with a messenger from Kano who brings a letter to the Nwite household

in Obodoani, eastern Nigeria at a time when there are rumours about the outburst of violence in Kano. The messenger, Andrew Ofokansi a.k.a. Andof is shocked to find Mero, who speaks fluent Igbo, but has a Hausa name, in the household. This is how the gripping tale begins with perfect dialogue and descriptive language that could have only been put together by the eloquent writer of classics like Eze Goes to College, a sequel to Eze Goes to School that he co-wrote, among others. Troubled Dust is essentially the story of Mero, born of northern parentage, but who grows up with an Igbo family, goes to school and marries someone from the east, who is active in the war and away most of the time. She lives most of her life in the eastern part of the country and through her eyes, the reader sees humanity at its best and worst. The letter Andof delivers is from her adopted brother, Enenia Nwite and as soon as she knows he is in danger, she

takes a trip to Kano to try and rescue him. The mission is heart thumping and through the artful telling by Nzekwu, the reader does not miss a bit. Their train ride back to the east is as hair-raising as it is instructive. Disguised as a Red Cross nurse, Mero tends the supposedly wounded Enenia, who is bandaged up to deceive those who may want to visit the same hurt he and his family have gone through in Kano on him. The horrors they go through are better imagined than experienced. It is amazing that many years after these horrors, people still talk about war in the country as if it is child’s play and history seems to be on the verge of repeating itself with people still being killed in parts of the country. It would seem that not much has changed from what obtains in the book; Kano is still a hotspot long after the war. While the north battles with the east, Lagos is completely out of the whole action, but what is commendable is that no character is forgotten, For instance, the

young Hausa man Mero meets in Kano on her trip there appears as a soldier man fighting on the Nigerian side at the end of the war and the book. But the Biafran currency Mero makes, when circumstance force her to do business during the war, she is unable to change into Nigerian money when it ends, but life goes on. Indeed, anyone who reads this book would rather jaw-jaw than go to war. It is double-edged with the power to shock, but also replete with words chosen to soothe. But it is believable not only because it comes from a brilliant writer, but also because he is a part of most of the action in the book. Troubled Dust is also reflective of the research the writer has done on the Onitsha people and this is particularly evident when the battleground in the civil war shifts to Onitsha. Every Nigerian should read this book, which reads like a sovereign national conference with even the minorities in the country getting a chance to put in a word or two.


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

denrele@nationalmirroronline.net

08059100422 (SMS only)

A

t first, I received the astounding news of Bestwood Chukwuemeka’s jail term conviction for a homosexual crime mirthfully —then, a raised eyebrow in puzzlement at the ludicrous scripting of the statement which announced his offence and sentencing. The opening sentence of this report came laced with comic relief for an act locally frowned upon as alien to humanity and intolerable: “An Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court sitting in Karu yesterday (Tuesday) sentenced a Nollywood actor, Bestwood Chukwuemeka to a prison term of three months for engaging in sexual intercourse with another man through the anus after he pleaded guilty to the charge”. My humour was inspired by the phrase in italics and the immediate thoughts reading those words went like: “Really? You don’t say! I could have sworn men have sex through the nostril or ear hole!”. The writer’s intention could have been to evoke mental imagery of the orifice we traditionally associate with excretion thereby eliciting shock and repulsion. Great technique if the purpose is to nip homosexual inclinations while at the very nascent state of thought, but it reveals a terrible gaucheness of unfamiliarity with intrinsic dimensions to human sexuality. For the record, I’m not a gay rights crusader nor alluding to my sexual orientation for or against. Also, as a patriotic, tax-paying citizen, it is my duty to adhere to laws and policies enacted to govern the land. Therefore, the anti

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thin line of sexuality same sex marriage and relationship law passed into bill by the country’s legislators is respected for the authority it wields. But it is my inalienable right to pick holes in this law and suggest its amendment on the strength that sexuality is a personal right and sexual interactions an exclusive reserve of mutually consenting adults where physiological, psychological and emotional maturity are not in contest. In passing the bill, which prescribed a jail term of 14 years for convicts, the National Assembly’s upper chamber stated thus: “Persons who enter into a same sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment. “Any person, who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationships in Nigeria commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10-year imprisonment”. Held under scrutiny, Bestwood’s case, from shoot (pun intended) in the bedroom to finish in an Abuja court is unsettling and doubtful. Perhaps someone deliberately held back crucial information and key missing pieces of the puzzle in this crime of sodomy. I don’t know about his claims of being an actor (Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, denies the 28-yearold), but Bestwood deserves an award for the lousiest drunk if he unwittingly ‘humped’ an anatomically similar bedmate in a drunken stupor. “I was under the influence of alcohol, I thought it was my girlfriend and I want the court to temper justice with mercy”, he

W

The photoshop image

‘photoshopping’ pranks, Mother Teresa’s head can be superimposed on Nicki Minaj’s body or the Pope’s character supplanted over the figure of an adult in a child pornography video; any twist is possible. If Nigeria’s deep-seated cultural values is anything to go by and knowing Omotola as a wife,

CLAPPERBOARD with

Eddie Ugbomah www.edifosafilm.com

Bestwood

pleaded in court. Which bring me to ask who the anonymous ‘male sex partner’ is in this quirky tale? The pseudo actor’s defence was inebriation, and the other man who instituted the case against Bestwood, according to court reports, was he under the ‘influence of alcohol as well’? The charge did not allege rape (forceful entry) ... so where does that leave the presumed infraction by the chargee? For parity sake, shouldn’t both of them be sentenced for this criminal act under the Nigerian law? I begin to wonder if the sex may have been consensual; or how likely is it that the other party, for unstated reasons, was completely oblivious to Bestwood’s intimate prodding until lusts had been satisfied..? Too many dark spots in this landmark case is an early undoing for this law and reinforces my belief that government is being distracted by wading into dicey intimate matters fuelled by passion and emotions, un elements. Lastly, I’m apprehensive for my circle of female friends and our overt display of affection with one another... does this new law mean my girlfriends and I can no longer publicly share lip kisses and hugs? Just asking!

Omotola: An object of wild fantasies hile we are on the discussion about sexuality, foxy Omotola Jalade Ekeinde made news too. The fullfigured Nollywood leading lady and philanthropist is considered one of the most physically alluring women in celeb-dom. Her husband, Matthew Ekeinde, a first rate airline pilot with whom she has four children is said to have nicknamed her ‘omosexy’ — aliases like that are not given by chance, if you get my drift. Anyway, a purported nude picture of Omotola surfaced on Blackberry Messenger this week shocking fans and admirers of the award-winning actor by the graphic exposure of skin. The image shows an unclothed Omotola, back to the camera, shielding just her buttocks with a fringed fabric –showing enough to tease. Truth is, with the arrival of

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mother and role model of sorts, she is not of the I-could-care-less ilk to bare-it-all. The photograph is some overimaginative prankster’s mental projection of a naked Omotola. Her face was taken from an older picture and imposed over the body off an unidentified female male whose body structure bears close resemblance nce to Omotola’s. a’s. But I would ld imagine Omotola otola with heavierr thighs and backside. Most definitely! Love and peace for t h e weekend! The original picture

When do we make world festival films?

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ow do you expect me to respect or listen to NEXIM Bank’s Managing Director who has the effrontery to tell us he has given over N600m out of the N4bn fund for the entertain Industry. NEXIM and Bank of Industry (BOI) gave cash to two people to build cinema houses, what film will they show? The same foreign films we want to stop in our markets? They gave money to a part-time marketer Tony Abulu to shoot one childish art film that has failed before release. Abulu has no reputation in Nigeria motion picture; he started coming to Nigeria when President Jonathan promised us the ‘mirage’ $200m. If only marketers, producers, directors and actors had agreed to my advice that we come together under one or two production names. NEXIM and BOI would have been impressed and given us this money. Eddie Ugbomah, with his reputation, cannot get ordinary $1.5m from NEXIM or BOI instead I’m asked to fill form C1, C2 and C50. I promise this people that I will eventually raise cash to shoot my film The Hijack. I am sure the Censors Board won’t have the guts to approve this film and it wouldn’t be on video because of pirates. The content of this film will make people think twice before they use tribalism, corruption or nepotism to gain power. The origin of kidnapping, militancy and Boko Haram will be exposed. There are only 12 Nigerians exploiting this country and the film will expose them; imagine a country where people are richer than their state or country. The Hijack will be shot without a godfa-

THE HIJACK WILL BE SHOT WITHOUT A GODFATHER SO

I CAN EXPOSÉ ILLS IN OUR SOCIETY AND CONTROL CONTENT

ther so I can exposé ills in our society and control content. I promise Nigerians and the world that yawa go gas. Entertainment people should stand for something and stop praise singing these heartless thieves. We must inform, educate and entertain the masses; ‘kiss-kiss’ pornographic films must be discourage. I am still trying to sell one of my six epic stories to producers that can make a world acceptable movie. I have stopped going to all these foreign festivals that have refused to accept our films. No Nigerian film has ever been bought for screening or distribution in the world but we all watch Indian, Japanese, European and American films. My pain is that all our producers think of is money, forgetting that good film breeds money. There are many happenings in society that Nollywood can make into good films; our problem is lack of cash. I have written so many letters to our oil tycoons, and governors but they don’t bother to reply. If I get angry and expose their money stealing, they rush to court for protection. We don’t need rejected American actors to sell Nigeria films. I have world standard scripts and I only need cash or investment to produce these epics.


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Mirror Mongers

Friday, September 21, 2012

Martin Elechi’s luxury gifts

Advising the maestro adviser?

I Aliyu

Babangida Aliyu’s five-star hotel

I

t is good for a governor to have a project he is passionate about and would etch his name on the minds of his subjects. For Governor Tanko Al Makura of Nassarawa State, it is the cargo airport to be sited at the border area between Abuja and Nassarawa State. It is perhaps in this vein that the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu, according to MM sources, has concluded plans to leave the citizens of Niger State with a five-star hotel as one of the signs of his stewardship (as governors in Nigeria call it). But the process of this proposed edifice comes at a huge cost and consequence. The buzz is that the state would obtain some money from the capital market to execute this project which when completed, would see ‘the good people of Niger’, relishing the beautiful edifice. But tongues are wagging in some quarters if the state should obtain loans to execute a project of luxury at the expense of some other basic needs.

t is not in doubt that one of the most experienced political office holders in Nigeria is the Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. Martin Elechi. Political analysts usually hinge their argument on his involvement in government since the 1960s, which is why some of the things happening around him in Ebonyi have come under serious criticisms. As one of the recipients of the 2012 National Honours earlier in the week in Abuja, Ebonyi residents are eagerly waiting for the governor to roll out the drums, like he did when he was declared victorious by the Supreme Court earlier in the year, for which workers in the state got a public holiday. However, MM scooped that while the residents may have forgiven and forgotten what happened during the jamboree to celebrate his judicial victory, they are not in a hurry to forget that he doled out car gifts to some Ebonyi indigenes, to celebrate their positions in the Federal Government. Sources said Elechi, who has always remotely hinged his ‘de-

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S

Elechi

velopment strides’ on the meagre allocation from the FG, handed out gleaming SUVs as gifts to the officials who are already counting their blessings in millions of naira, while some school leavers of Ebonyi origin run the streets of Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Abuja as hawkers.

ome players are so good at their game that one would pause to wonder if they would ever need any coach to get better. But that is the puzzle the recent development at the camp of the Senior Special Adviser on Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan, is trying to unravel. According to the buzz, Dr. Doyin Okupe, a man so good at responding to critics of his principal, may have recruited the services of Jackson Udeh, the publisher of Pointblank News (a virtual news portal) to serve as his media adviser. But for all it represents, there is no doubt that this adviser must be in need of an adviser as well. The choice of someone deeplyrooted in online news may not be unconnected with the growing concern of many government officials about criticisms online.

No warning yet about River Delta

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ast week, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency issued yet another warning of an impending threat to lives and properties of people living by the banks of River Niger. Specifically, scientists at the agency had warned residents in Anambra, Kogi and Benue states to be on the lookout for increased water levels which would lead to flooding. But MM scooped that some people are wondering why the agency, fondly called NIMET, failed to warn residents of the Delta State Government House of the impending flood which seems to be ravaging them as well. This is an aftermath of the buzz that when there are heavy rains, ‘the big masquerades’ who live within the premises literally ‘swim across River Delta’ in their exotic SUVs to their offices.

An Asaba street

ONE-SECOND Q&A

NICHOLAS OKOH

The issue of homosexuality has continued to generate moral questions even as the National Assembly passed a law in November 2011 criminalising it in Nigeria. His Grace, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, reacts to the development as it concerns Anglican Church. What are you doing to curb the growing influence of homosexuals in the church community?

T

he issue of homosexuality is not an Anglican affair. It is a social ill that is growing and it has been well accepted by the Western society, not only by their ordinary people but by their church and by their governments. So, it is not an Anglican Church affair. The special thing about the Anglican Church and homosexuality is that we dared to raise the issue and since we raised it, it has divided our church in the sense that some are able to be categorical in their rejection of it as non-biblical, as ungodly, as a dead end to the societythat if people follow that kind of lifestyle, the society will be worse for it. The Church of Nigeria, some African churches and also other parts of the world, including the United States, are resolute in the rejection of same-sex marriage and the homosexual lifestyle as a way for a Christian to live. We reject it because we believe that God has made adequate provision for man’s sexual needs and that the other type of arrangement is not in the interest of humanity.


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Friday, September 21, 2012

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Mirror Drive

Honda Civic brand bra and nd

Sturdy, high-tech convertible T STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

he 2012 Volvo C70 is the signingoff model for the high-tech Swedish convertible, as it packs up its folding hard top and retires. Thanks to that hardtop, however, the C70 still offers

T

he fourth generation Honda CR-V again received commendation recently in Abuja when The Honda Place (THP), authorised marketers of Honda automobiles took the wrap off the appraised model at a gala night. Earlier, at the June launch in Lagos, the remodelled crossover had reawakened the enthusiasm of automobile enthusiasts who witnessed the unveiling ceremony. Coming 16 years after it was introduced, the CR-V has continued to enjoy customer loyalty and increasing sales year-on-year due to its uniqueness, ample passenger room, cargo capacity and competitive pricing. In these years of global achievements, the CR-V elicited more than a dozen different competitive models from rival automakers making their way into the mid-sized SUV category.

Mr. Arvind Sharma, Branch Manager, The Honda Place, Abuja who gave this insight in his presentation, described the new CR-V as sedan-like ride with stunning economical four-cylinder engine spectrum with remarkable handling. “While some models offer V6 engines, Honda CR-V has remained focused on its practical aspirations and true-to-form design, becoming the best choice available in the all-important compact, small-SUV segment”, he said. Redesigned for 2012, the new Honda CR-V maintains its previous size, with minimal hardware changes though with enough style and feature modification to keep Honda’s top selling crossover fully competitive. Like its predecessor, the remodelled CR-V is offered in familiar LX and EX-L trim levels. The LX model though

a comfortable and secure coupe-like experience when the weather is unfavourable and its unique style and reasonable price tag mean it should still be on the luxury convertible shopper’s list. Though it carries forward for the new model year with no changes, the 2012 C70’s folding hardtop remains the centre of attention; it takes just 30 seconds to lower and folds intricately out of sight. Top down, the C70 cuts a sporty silhouette, though not everyone will be as pleased with the somewhat funky lines of the raised roof.

Crossover Honda CR-V arrives Abuja

comes pretty well-equipped, its EX-L option gets additional convenience and luxury features, but without navigation systems for the local market. A peep in the hood underscores CR-V’s standard 2.4-litre inline four cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 163 poundfeet of torque’ mated to Honda’s fashionable five-speed transmission, just as all models comes in the traditional front wheel drive safe for the all-wheel drive that is op-

tional. Other technical features on the new CR-V focuses on the next generation mini-utilities, which come as standard, e.g. two info screens, a rear view camera, Bluetooth and a function that reads incoming text messages from paired phones –provided the phone is a BlackBerry. Honda has also improved on the CR-V’s fuel management system, improving from 21/28mpg city/highway to 23/31mpg and the all-wheeldrive models from 21/27mpg to 22/30mpg.


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Inside, the design is typical Volvo: clean, sophisticated and backed up by generally high-quality materials. Aluminium trim and sculpted wood are the highlights. Space is not abundant, but considering it is a sporty convertible, a shopper will find room in the trunk for a couple of enough ro golf bags even with the top down; with the top up, up it is just about sedan-sized. turbocharged 2.5-litre engine proA turb vides 227 horsepower and 236 poundtorque, with peak torque arrivfeet of to ing at just 1,500 rpm--figures that, while mind-blowing, will provide quite a not mind peppy driving fun. Sixty mph arbit of pep rives in 77.5 seconds, and the 2012 C70’s top speed is limited to 150 mph. A fiveautomatic transmission is the speed au offering. only offer Handling is light, which is unexpectH Ha ndli ed considering the car’s portly 3,840-pound curb weight. That lightness doesn’t equate to nimbleness, however; the electric power steering is precise, but the light feeling comes from slightly overboosted electric power steer-

ing. On the whole, however, the C70 is a satisfying car to drive, if not truly sporty. In spite of its weight and relatively potent engine, the 2012 Volvo C70 manages respectable fuel economy, registering 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for a combined rating of 21 mpg. Features abound in the C70, with a strong standard options list supplemented by a variety of available upgrades. Bluetooth hands-free calling is standard, for example, as are auxiliary/USB inputs, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and steering wheel audio controls. Volvo’s navigation system can be added as part of a package, as can rain-sensing wipers, rear park assist, and a premium audio system. The NHTSA rates the car at its top rank of “good” for all measures, though it does not earn a top safety pick. Volvo’s reputation for safety and a wide array of standard safety gear, including roll-over protection, pedestrian protection, whiplash protec-

HANDLING IS LIGHT, WHICH IS

UNEXPECTED CONSIDERING THE CAR’S PORTLY

Mirror Drive

Friday, September 21, 2012

3,840-POUND CURB WEIGHT

tion, front, side, and curtain airbags, a collapsible steering column and much more, mean there is plenty of both active and passive safety measures in every C70.

Acceleration and Power The front-wheel drive Volvo C70 is powered by a turbocharged, 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine that generates 227 horsepower. Auto reviewers say the engine will meet the needs of most commuters, but it trails most of its competition with subpar acceleration. The engine is paired with a fivespeed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. Auto stakeholders have few complaints about the automatic. According to the EPA, the 2012 Volvo C70 gets 18 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway.

Handling and braking Aside from the Volkswagen Eos, the 2012 Volvo C70 is the only front-wheel drive hardtop convertible in this price range. As a result, the C70 handles differently than its rear-wheel drive competitors and test drivers say it is decidedly the least sporty of the bunch. They complain of dull steering feel and sloppy cornering. Brakes are strong, which is a common Volvo trait, but those looking for a sportier convertible will want to consider the BMW 3-Series or Infiniti G37 instead.

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Volvo C70 Interior Volvo interiors are known for their thoughtful design and clean styling. The cabin of the 2012 C70 is stylish, with a contemporary design. It offers soft-touch surfaces. The front seats of the Volvo C70 are some of the best on the automotive market; very adjustable and supportive. However, many auto stakeholders note that the C70’s stereo and navigation controls can be confusing. Some complain that the standard stereo sounds cheap, but most reviewers rave about the optional sound system for its audiophilelevel sound quality. Additionally, not all critics think the back seat is large enough to be practical, but that is not unusual among convertibles. Besides, the C70’s back seat is still more accommodating than the one in the Infiniti G37 convertible.

Cargo All hardtop convertibles have less trunk space than their soft-top competitors. When folded, their three-piece retractable hardtops take up most of the available cargo hold. The same is true of the Volvo C70, which has 12.8 cubic feet for cargo with the top up, but only 6 cubic feet with the top down. The C70 offers more trunk space than most hardtop convertibles, but shoppers should be aware that such terms are relative. The C70 has marginally more usable space than most competitors when its top is stowed, but to be fair, no hardtop convertible offers a practical trunk.

Hyundai donates to Replacing a water pump Europe’s underprivileged MAINTENANCE TIPS

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s pa part of the company’s worldwide efforts to expand its corporate social responsibilitie, Hyundai Motor Spain, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, during the week delivered 50,000 (Euros) to a non-profit organisation to support underprivileged youth in Europe and develop leadership skills through football. A statement signed by Media and Marketing Manager, Stallion Motors, Mr. Nair Santhosh stated that the donation was part of the 250,000 accumulated through the UEFA EURO 2012™ ‘Make a Pledge’ event that was held between May and June this year. Santhosh said that the fund was handed over to Streetfootballworld by one of Team Hyundai’s football ambassadors and captain of the Spanish National

Team, Iker Casillas, at the Hotel Puerta De America in Madrid, Spain. He stated, “Hyundai is very pleased to be able to use the accumulated donation contributed by the soccer fans from all over the world for underprivileged youth in Europe. As a leading automotive company, Hyundai will continue its push to create more CSR initiatives”. Within this year, Hyundai will hand over the remaining 200,000 to Germany, France, Italy and the U.K. ( 50,000 each) through the NGO, Streetfootballworld. The EURO 2012 ‘Make a Pledge’ event was a fundraising campaign held for two months starting May on Hyundai’s official Facebook page, where for each pledge a soccer fan makes to support the Team Hyundai members, Hyundai donated 1 to charity for the purpose of a better future for Europe’s younger generation.

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water pump replacement is a repair that may be undertaken by an experienced auto mechanic. If you are confident in your car maintenance skills, this is a task you can complete in a few hours; however, if you are not comfortable you should definitely take it to the auto workshop. When replacing the water pump, professional mechanics suggest replacing the hoses and belts for the cooling system. It may seem like an effort to get you to part with more money than is necessary, but it is a very good idea. Belts and hoses are actually somewhat fragile and can easily be damaged during removal or while putting them back on the engine. While they are off, they must not come in contact with grease, anti-freeze, oil or gasoline; not always easy in a repair situation. New hoses and belts are not expensive, and it is always better to spend a little more and replace them, just to be on the safe side.

Accessing the water pump In many modern cars, it is required you remove the alternator and in some cases, other parts in order to access the water pump. Before you begin, make a list parts that will require removal and then check the service manual (an instruction book for the various repairs that may be necessary on a specific make and model vehicle) for instructions on how to remove them. Again, be sure you have all the required tools and that you understand the process for the removal of these before you begin. In addition, be sure to disconnect the negative battery cable before you start as a precaution. This is a

good safety measure for any automotive repair, whether you are working with the electrical system or not. Install a memory saver if you have one and disconnect the under-lamp so as not to drain the memory saver battery.

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

Finishing Up Once you have replaced the water pump, belts, hoses and other components, replace the anti-freeze and water in the system according to the directions in the manual and on the anti-freeze container. Be certain to dilute anti-freeze to one part anti-freeze, one part water. More is not better when it comes to anti-freeze. Store any unused anti-freeze out of the reach of children.


Cocktail

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Friday, September 21, 2012

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (7)

If you don’t subject wheat to the grinding millstone, how will bread ever come to decorate your table? **Mathnawi * * * The Way To Reign I have never seen a seed that grows without first dying. I have never seen a white cloud without dark spots. I have never read a story of glory and crown without a cross. To think that we can go through life without tests and trials is to embrace illusions and shallow thinking. Here are the facts of life: the way up is down. No pain, no gain. No cross, no crown. Those who are grounded in these realities don’t kick against circumstances, rather they use circumstances to soar and conquer. They turn obstacles to miracles. They excavate testimonies out of trials and temptations. May we keep gaining the deep understanding of the cross and profit highly from it! Stay Great! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Unaware of pregnancy pregnancy, UK soldier delivers in Afghanistan

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British soldier who did not realise she was pregnant has given birth to a baby boy at the Camp Bastion field hospital in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) in London said mother and baby were in stable condition and a specialist “Paediatric Retrieval Team” would fly out from Britain to care for them during the long flight home. “It is not military

policy to allow servicewomen to deploy on operations if they are pregnant. In this instance, the MOD was unaware of her pregnancy,” the ministry said. The Daily Mail newspaper, which first reported on the birth, said the woman herself was unaware of the pregnancy. The Mail said the Royal Artillery gunner had conceived before her six-month stint in Afghanistan began.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Future planes could fly on sawdust, straw

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assenger jets could be chomping on straw or flying on fuel extracted from sawdust in coming years as the search widens for cleaner alternatives to kerosene, French scientists say. The “ProBio3” project, started in early July and cofinanced by a French government economic stimulus programme, aims to use traditional horse-bedding materials to develop a new kind of bio fuel that can be used in a 50/50 blend alongside kerosene. “Tomorrow, planes will fly using agricultural and forest waste,” said Carole Molina-Jouve, a professor at Toulouse’s National Institute of Applied Sciences (Insa), who is coordinating the ProBio3 project. “We already know how to set up a basic production line but we must move towards an industrial line,” she said. “We need to translate what is done in laboratories to the real environment while improving its profitability and efficiency.” The move to use straw-

based materials or wood shavings as a source of fuel is the latest in a series of bio fuel ventures aimed at cutting fuel bills and pollution. So far most attempts have been based on crop-based products, raising concerns over food shortages following recent drought. But European plane maker Airbus, one of the programme’s backers, believes woodchips and agricultural waste could be alternative fuel sources of the future. With a budget of 24.6

million euros (19.7 million pounds) over eight years, ProBio3 aims to set up a profitable production chain for hydro processed oils, a type of bio fuel which has been certified by international standards organisation ASTM as useable for aviation in combination with kerosene. Fuel made from wood and straw may seem at odds with some of the most extreme man-made conditions inside a modern jet engine, where temperatures can reach

A tractor transporting bales of straw in Reichenhofen near Ingolstadt.

1,600 degrees Celsius. But scientists say they already know the basics of the process. Industrial or farm waste is broken down into sugars through enzymes, then mixed with microorganisms such as yeast, and transformed into lipids through the chemical process of fermentation. The fats obtained are then treated with hydrogen to make a type of hydrocarbon with similar properties to fossil fuels.

PHOTO: REUTERS


Friday, September 21, 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

Tank owners begin strike, disrupt fuel distribution UDEME AKPAN

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he nation may witness another round of fuel scarcity as owners of tank farms, where commercial quantity of petroleum products are stored have embarked on a nationwide strike, targeted at disrupting supply in all parts of the country. The operators who issued a 24 hours ultimatum on Tuesday, calling for the immediate withdrawal of the military from the premises of Integrated Oil & Gas Limited said the strike started yesterday. The Executive Secretary of the Jetty and Farm Tanks Owners Association of Nigeria (JEPTFON), Barrister E.B Kanawa who confirmed the development in a telephone interview said: “We have shut down our operations in all parts of the nation. Depots belonging to our members will remain closed until we get positive response to our request.” He said it is unfair for

the government to forcefully occupy the premises of the oil company alleged to have been involved in crude oil theft. Kanawa said: “it is sad that this forceful occupation is taking place under a democratic government that should have respect for the rule of law.” JEPTFON had on Tuesday; this week said it would embark on strike at the ex-

piration of its 12 hours ultimatum, meaning that the Association would withdraw its members from providing essential services nationwide during the period. He said: “ The action of NIMASA is illegal , unlawful in the seizure of the depots and facilities of integrated oil and gas Limited, its head office in total disregard to the safety and

sensitive nature of such homogenous assets in the country.” Kanawa said the physical torture of the Chairman of the firm Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, abducted by the armed soldiers and had to be released by the staff of the State Security Service (SSS) was worrisome. He lamented that the Association has considered

that its members have been bleeding excessively due the wishful and deliberate policy of government in the payment of subsidy noting that the group has regarded the latest onslaught on integrated oil firm as a careful scripted agenda by some persons in government to create unemployment by dealing squarely with their members.

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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ederal Government has sold N101.2bn ($642.26m) in treasury bills with maturity ranging from three months to six month and yields

ADVERT HOTLINES: For advert bookings and information, please contact the following:

LAGOS: 01-8446073, 08094331171, 08023133084, 08034019884 ABUJA: 08033020395, 08036321014

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

L- R: Head of Corporate Marketing, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Donald Etim; Operator Account Manager, Ms.Lolade Shonubi; Hand Held Products Marketing Executive, Ms. Olajumoke Okikiolu and Head of Sales, Hand Held Products, Mr. Olumide Ojo, at the media launch of Samsung’s Chief Hero E 1500 mobile phone at Samsung Experience Store in Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday.

FG issues N101bn in T-bills, yields down JOHNSON OKANLAWON

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

were down more than 100 basis points due to strong demand for the paper. The country’s bond market is preparing for its inclusion in JP Morgan’s Government Bond Index for emerging markets from October. The Central Bank of Nigeria sold N37.49bn of 91-day paper at a yield of

12 per cent, lower than the 13.64 per cent it offered at the previous auction. It sold N63.73bn in 182day paper at 12.6 per cent, down from 13.80 perc ent previously. Total subscriptions were at N220.9bn, while demand for the 182-day bond was the heaviest, at N143.5bn.

Stakeholders call for early passage of PIB

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According to the CBN, bills to be auction in October are N30.16bn bills in 91-day, N73.49bn in 182-day and N68.19bn in one year. Others are N34.89bn in 91day, N45bn in 182-day and N31.37bn in one year. The apex bank said that N32.06bn bills worth N91-day, N50bn in 182-day and N47.79bn in one year

will be issued in Novermber. Others to be issued in the same month are N30.65bn in 91-day, N45bn in 182-day and N40.54bn in one year. Also, the government is proposing to issue N32.97bn in 91-day, N45bn in 182-day and N50bn in one year in December, 2012.

Yuletide: Stakeholders await simplified cargo clearing procedure

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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


40

Business News

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

S&P tasks banks to diversify portfolio, secure fund profile JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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ong term success of Deposited Money Banks in the country will depend on the banks enhancing their risk management, diversifying loan portfolio and securing their fund profile, Standard and Poors, a global rating agency, has said. The agency which rated the banks in the last two years on the premise of their regulatory oversight and corporate governance, pointed out that the banks still need more track records for proper rating. According to the Associate Director, Financial Services Ratings, Mrs. Samira Mensah, rating is not only about the ongoing reforms, but strictly adherence to the rules. She said, “It’s not about the reform, which may be stopped at the middle and the banks return to the usual way such as the display of different results to investors. They have to keep the rules to the letter.” To rescue the banking sector, shed urged the regulator to encourage the banks to lend into agricultural and industrial sectors that will further benefit the

economy. Mensah stressed also there is need to increased regulatory oversight and cooperation between the banks to improve corporate governance. She said, “The banking industry is still very high, but an improvement risk led us to revise upward our Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) on Nigeria group eight from nine.” The rating analyst noted that the acquisition of failed banks enlarged low-to-mid-tier players leaving fewer, but larger banks and a less fragmented banking sector which could lower banks’ risk appetite as competitive pressure reduce. “The change imposed on Nigerian banking industry will have long term effect on competition as their creditworthiness remain relatively stable over next 12 months as Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has enabled failed banks to clean up their loan books,” Mensah added. In the next 12 to 18 months, the capital position of banks will remain broadly stable, according to Mr. George Maisey, a rating analyst from Standard and Poors.

L-R: Director, Corporate and Indirect Channel Sales, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ken Ogujiofor; Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Wael Ammar; His Royal Highness, the Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida, Afunbiowo II and Director, Product and Services, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Lucas Dada, during a visit to the Oba’s palace, as part of activities to mark Etisalat’s 3G launch in Akure, recently.

Stakeholders call for early passage of PIB STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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takeholders in the petroleum and related industries have called for early passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). This aims at enabling the nation to find lasting solutions to crucial

BOI to create special desk for ICT financing KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he aspirations of local IT entrepreneurs, who are craving for funding for them to properly drive local content development in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology industry, may have received the approval of the Bank of Industry, at least in principle. The Managing Director of the bank, Mrs. Evelyn Oputu, gave the indication during an ICT investment forum organised by the Information Technology Association of Nigeria in conjunction with some Indian ICT firms under the auspices of the National Association of Computer and Software

Companies of Indian. Speaking at the event in, Lagos recently, Oputu said the bank would support ‘worthy ICT transactions’ by creating a special desk to address funding of ICT projects that are adjudged to have greater value on the economy. She explained that the bank took seriously, any part of the industry that has impact on the economy in terms of technical know-how, stressing that ICT industry was not an exception. According to Oputu, “We would support any joint venture between local IT firms in Nigeria and foreign firms. IT entrepreneurs who are above-board with deserving transactions should be rest assured that we would support them. Also, we would not

hesitate to set up an ICT-specific desk to handle ICT transactions and lending as the volume of such requests increases, though we do not have such a desk for now. We can be hiring personnel and investing in other required logistics in creating such unit if we don’t have worthy ICT-related transactions and financing proposals to justify it.” She, however, advised ICT companies willing to approach the bank for such financial support to ensure that their proposals were ‘clear, transparent and devoid of ambiguity’, adding that technology is a technical area and as such, clarity is needed by bankers, who will be saddled with the task of vetting such proposals for smooth assessment.

NAICOM expects growth in agricultural insurance OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

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he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has reiterated the need for underwriters to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the commercial unsubsidised risks in agricultural insurance. The commission said that so far, one insurance company has gotten approval to underwrite the risks while few others are in the process of getting approval. Commissioner for Insurance

Mr. Fola Daniel who disclosed this recently stated that the development of agricultural insurance is an area the commission expects appreciable development. He said, “Huge opportunities still exist in the areas of commercial unsubsidised agriculture risks that the industry could take advantage of. We will encourage any underwriter who desires to underwrite the conventional agricultural insurance to do so, provided it is within the ambit of relevant laws.”

Daniel noted that NAICOM was not unmindful of the fact that the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), by virtue of the Act that established it, had the exclusive right to insure all subsidised agricultural risks in the country. He explained that the Federal Government has demonstrated effort for development of agriculture and insurance through the unveiling of the Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL).

issues and challenges in the industry. The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who stressed the importance of the bill at a stakeholders’ engagement forum in Lagos said: “The PIB is an important Bill expected to drive the reforms in the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.” She said: “It will also provide solid foundation for the regulatory, structural, commercial and fiscal frameworks for the operations of oil and gas sector in order to halt the mismanagement, inefficiency and lack of transparency in the sectors which NEITI has over the years identified as the bane of the industry.” Ahmed said, as an agency responsible for transparency and accountability matters, NEITI has a legitimate stake in the PIB, expected to enhance the implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives in Nigeria. She said: “We in NEITI believe that the PIB must emerge as a law that respects fair competition, efficiency, professionalism, openness and prudent resource management while promoting investor interests. NEITI also thinks that financial, physical and governance issues provisions in the PIB should be such that citizens of Nigeria will feel the impact of the natural resources their country.” She called on people and institutions to make inputs so that the PIB could be passed into law in a form that would enable the Federal Government and others to accomplish set objectives in the industry. The Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha who traced the history of the PIB said lack of support from some stakeholders, including the Executive arm of the government culminated in the delay of the Bill. Deputy Speaker said that the House of Representatives did not

receive support of the Executive. He added that the Executive informally intimated the House that it should suspend action and wait for a new draft of the PIB. He remarked that the 7th National Assembly should not be held responsible for the delay in passing the PIB as the new bill was introduced on the day the House adjourned for recess. In his words, “For all practical purposes the bill can be said to have been placed before the National Assembly for legislative action only from this week, after our recess “. He noted that the PIB has a chequred history, as one of the major legacies of the Yar’adua administration, which unfortunately the 6th National Assembly could not conclude work on it before the Assembly ended. Ihedioha explained that the PIB is expected to lay a solid foundation for the regulatory, structural, commercial and fiscal framework for the operations of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria as well as drive broader reforms in the sector. The Chairman of NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee, said that NEITI is the national version of the global multi-stakeholders initiative to promote transparency and accountability in the management of extractive resources with a view to aiding sustainable development with specific target on poverty reduction, elimination of social conflicts and creation of peaceful business environment. He added that reports revealed that the Federal Government earned $269bn from the oil sector within the period of 1999 to 2008, adding that this period; $92bn was received from oil-specific taxes while $5bn from non-oil specific taxes from oil companies and $172bn was received from sales of government equity crude.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Friday, September 21, 2012

Nigeria targets 52 million tonnes of liquefied gas production yearly UDEME AKPAN

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igeria is set to produce 52 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the nearest future following the expected completion of ongoing projects in the nation. The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, who disclosed this at the maiden edition of the LNG Producers –Consumers Conference organised by the Japanese Government said the feat will enhance the ranking of the nation as an LNG producer and exporter. Spokesman of the Corporation, Mr. Fidel Pepple who confirmed this in a statement quoted the GMD as stating that: “From a modest two train base LNG project of 8 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 1999 to the current six operating train capacity of 22 mtpa. In 2011, the six trains exported about 22 mtpa of LNG, representing about 10per cent of world production.

Other major LNG projects (Brass & OK LNG) are in different stages of development. Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Brass LNG project comprising two trains of 10 mtpa is planned for first quarter, 2013.’’ Yakubu noted that the overall target is to immediately take FID on the Brass LNG’s 10mtpa project which will be closely followed by FID on the NLNG’s 7th train of 7.8mtpa, and thereafter OKLNG. He said: “On completion of these LNG projects Nigeria’s LNG production capacity will be over 52 mtpa.” Yakubu stated that though Nigeria entered the LNG market a bit late, the country has overtime emerged a reliable supplier in the global liquefied natural gas market. In his paper titled: “Prospects of LNG Supply from Nigeria and NNPC LNG Sales Strategy,” the NNPC GMD disclosed that as at last count the Country holds the record for the fastest growing LNG production capacity in the

world. The GMD said the activation of a new LNG Sales Strategy for upcoming LNG projects with the following basic components namely; to capture & retain high value LNG markets globally including Asia Pacific markets like Japan and Participate in the downstream segment of the LNG value chain He said: ``Historically, Nigeria’s marketing effort was geared towards meeting the demand in the Atlantic Basin. However, the changing market conditions in the Atlantic Basin have compelled a broadening of our sales strategy to include the competitive Asia market.” Yakubu noted that in recognition of the new commercial reality and the need for market diversification, NNPC has developed an appropriate strategy that will provide a platform through which LNG off-takers in the Pacific region could be involved in green field LNG projects such as the Brass and OK LNG projects.

Ecobank unveils Back to School Campaign JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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ith Ecobank rapid transfer, parents can pay their children school fees with other allowances and win instant gifts, the bank’s Head, Domestic Products, Mr. Funwa Akinmade, has said. Akinmade was quoted in a statement from the bank that as the new school year begins; it is reliable to transfer money within the country and across 32 African countries where the bank operates. He explained that the payment enables easy payments across African borders without the hassles of sourcing for foreign exchange as the payments are made in the local currencies of both the transfer and the receiving countries. The Rapid Transfer he reiterated is very suitable for transborder traders, schools/students, travellers, parents, foreign nation-

KUNLE A ZEEZ

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FDI: New visa policy working –Aganga

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he Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga yesterday said that the new visa policy aimed at facilitating investors to the country is working. It would be recalled that the Federal Government had introduce a system which would enable investors willing to invest in Nigeria get their visas at the Port of entry. The policy is put in place to remove the usual encumbrances associated with obtaining visas into the country. Aganga spoke at the ongoing Oil and Gas Trade and Investment forum holding in Porth-Harcout, the Rivers state capital. He said the new visa policy was working because some of the investors had their visa at the port of entry.

He said“We have investors globally participating in the forum, there are investors that have been invited from Europe and other countries. “I met with seven of them few days ago and they confirmed that they actually tested the new visa policy which says that you can obtain your visa at the point of entry. “They went online filled their forms, paid their fees, have their receipt and based on that they were granted visa at the point of entry, this shows that the new government policy which is to encourage investors and tourists is really working”. Aganga also said government was working on how to address the issues of security and infrastructure challenges to further boost the investment profile of the

country. “Security is very important when you are talking about attracting investment. The President has talked about it many times. I am absolutely sure that the FG is working tirelessly over it, he said. The minister said in spite of the security challenges, investors are still attracted to Nigeria because of the high rate of return on investment. “As of today when you look at the investors coming to Nigeria or any other part of the world they are after two main things one of which is the return on investment, he also explained. According to him, “there is no place in the world where you have the kind of return on investment you have in Nigeria.

als residing in Nigeria, churches and missions, embassies and consulates, regional airlines/transporters amongst others. He said, “Ecobank ensures that the exchange regulations of the various monetary zones are respected and that the Know Your Customers principle is strictly adhered to in order to guide against money laundering. “The Rapid Transfer product is one of the innovative products of the Ecobank Group developed out of the need to provide convenient, accessible and reliable money transfer system for its retail and wholesale customers, thereby contributing to the financial and economic development of Africa.” He added that the uniform cross-currency rate is applied daily across the bank’s group, as both buying and selling rates will be determined by the bank and will be competitive with the parallel market.

Minister, others set for Internet governance forum he Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, and other key stakeholders mostly from the nation’s Information and Communication Technology industry are set for a one-day brainstorming session to deliberate on critical issues revolving around internet governance in the country. The forum ‘the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum 2012’, aptly dubbed ‘NIGF-2012’

L-R: Area Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Abuja, Mr. Ayemibo Akintunde; Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Deepak Singhal and City Sales Manager, Abuja, Mrs. Susan Akintade, during the prize presentation to winners of 2012 Indomie Mum Like No Other Art Competition in Abuja recently. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

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and scheduled to hold at the NICON Luxury International Hotel, Abuja on September 25, 2012 is being jointly organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigerian Internet Registration Association, National Information Technology Development Agency, in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Communication Technology. The event would be chaired by the Chairman, Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria (ICN), Rear Admiral (rtd.) Allison Madueke.

Online marketing: VConnect trains 5,000 SME owners KUNLE A ZEEZ

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igeria’s largest local search engine and leading Information service provider, VConnect Global Service Limited, has trained over 500 owners of Small and Medium Enterprises resident in Abuja on various aspects of online marketing. The training, according to the company was aimed at bridging the existing information gap between business owners and their target markets across the country by hosting a forum on Online Marketing in the capital city. The business forum held in Abuja recently witnessed a massive turnout of over five hundred business owners who were given a remarkable platform to ask questions and make every possible enquiry of the service in the three sessions organised. Speaking at the event, the Sales

Territory Manager, VConnect Nigeria Limited, Mr. Wale Onibudo, disclosed that the recent expansion of VConnect to Abuja was in line with the company’s mission to give businesses everywhere in Nigeria the opportunity to partake of the numerous benefits associated with getting listed on its website. “VConnect is constantly repositioning its marketing strategies and quality of service with a view to giving businesses the opportunity and awareness required to increase their profitability. “The success of a business is tied to the level of awareness created around the business and any business listed on the Vconnect directory would enjoy numerous requests from other parts of the country. We want businesses in other parts of the country to have a feel of what our Lagos clientele have been experiencing,” he said.


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Maritime

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Yuletide: Stakeholders await simplified cargo clearing procedure

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resident Goodluck Jonathan last year at the peak of the congestion that rocked the nation’s seaports, especially Tin Can Island and Apapa Ports both in Lagos, set up a Presidential Committee on Port Reforms with a specific mandate to rid the ports of cargo congestion. To underscore the importance and urgency of the assignment, the committee is headed by the Special Assistant to the president on monitoring and compliance, Professor Sylvester Monye while Mr. Leke Oyewole, Senior Special Adviser to the president on maritime services is a member. Other members of the committee, which cuts across the entire length and breadth of the maritime industry include Prince Olayiwola Shittu, national president of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, the biggest freight forwarding group in Nigeria and an Assistant Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Musa Tahir, among several others. It is therefore, evident that the committee has done tremendous work towards ridding the ports of congestion. For instance, despite the initial challenge posed by funding, the committee was able to remove over 5,000 consignments including some Independent Power Plant equipment abandoned by Lagos State Government and some government agencies at both Apapa and Tin Can Island ports. Some of the affected agencies include the Central Bank of Nigeria, Power Holding Company of Nigeria and Delta Steel Mill, among several others. Even with the dearth of barges, the committee was able to transfer most of the consignments to the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal where they were cleared in line with the amnesty granted by Customs since some of the consignment have spent over three years, thus, exceeding the statutory six month-period for them to be auctioned as overtime cargo. Similarly, the committee with the assistance of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation were able to clear the trucks that parked almost permanently on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway with the attendant gridlocks that characterised the port access roads. Monye, had while commenting on the evacuation of the trucks that had blocked the roads for several years, said that with the achievement of this feat, the committee’s next target is to ensure prompt cargo clearance at the ports. According to him, the committee commenced business late last year, following a presidential mandate to make the seaports work. The evacuation of the trucks was also sequel to the sack of some agencies like National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Standards Organisation of Nigeria from the nation’s seaports. Also affected in the shake-up are Directorate of Naval Intelligence, Nigerian Plant Quarantine Services, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and

More than eight months after the Presidential Committee on Port Reforms mooted the idea of a simplified cargo clearing system called Five Smart Steps to smooth and efficient cargo clearance, which most port users received with excitement, nothing seems to have happened. Stakeholders are at loss as to the cause of the delay, especially given that the Yuletide season, characterised by massive importation, is around the corner. FRANCIS EZEM looks at the issues.

Okonjo-Iweala

Dikko

I AM WITH A SIMPLE MESSAGE FROM MR.

PRESIDENT AND THAT MESSAGE IS THAT IT IS TIME FOR OUR SEAPORTS TO START WORKING AND THEY MUST START WORKING FOR HONEST AND HARDWORKING

NIGERIANS, NOT FOR THOSE

WHO ARE WORKING TO MAKE THINGS MORE COMPLICATED

other Related Offences Commission, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, among others. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who addressed journalists after the sack said; “I am with a simple message from Mr. President and that message is that, it is time for our seaports to start working and they must start working for honest and hardworking Nigerians not for those who are working to make things more complicated, make money out of our ports and make things more difficult for honest business person man or woman in this country. “We must make our ports work for Nigerians who want to create jobs, that is what Mr. President wants us to do and our being here today, is a demonstration

that we need to act and that this is no longer time for talking. We know that without an efficient port system, there would be high cost in the economy and so, what we are doing now is to reduce those costs so that our business people would have the wherewithal to create more jobs”, the minister had stated. Other reform measures include the scrapping of the controversial Comptroller General of Customs taskforce, which had been accused of extortion and corruption. According to her, the objective of these reforms is to reduce the time spent in clearing goods, check increasing cases of extortion and corruption by dismantling all the unnecessary checkpoints in the process of cargo clearance and also reduce the cost of doing business at the seaports, make them as efficient as possible.

Monye had also disclosed that the committee was working on a simplified clearing procedure christened Five Smart Steps to smooth and efficient cargo clearance as a way of consolidating the achievements already recorded. The stakeholders’ excitement, which has since died down, especially following the return of the trucks, stemmed from the fact that with the trucks out of the way and the introduction of a simplified system, 48-hour cargo clearance will come naturally. Shittu, who is the head of the technical sub-committee, had said that under the new system, all necessary documentations relating to any import including payment of duty must be concluded before the arrival of the consignment unlike what is in practice now when the importer will begin to source funds days after the arrival of the consignment. According to him, the new system, which will use the Single Window Platform provided by the Automated System for Customs Data, will help reduce cargo dwell time to between 48 and 72 hours from the date of arrival of the cargo. It was also gathered that the new system, which will be hinged on the integrity of the importer will ensure that all documentations from the opening of Form M with the Central Bank of Nigeria is done electronically even as non compliant consignments will be escorted to the importer’s or any other designated examination ground by relevant security agencies to reduce congestion. Several months after, as fantastic as these concepts looks, nothing seems to have been said or heard about them, thus, leaving the once excited port users in the dark. Many of them have regrettably lost hope, primarily due to the long wait. This loss of hope may also not be unconnected with the fast approaching Yuletide season when the seaports are usually awash with massive importation with the attendant congestion that trails it. President of National Association of Government Approved Agency, Mr. Eugene Nweke, who commented on the development, noted that the Nigerian port system is in need of efficient procedure in cargo clearance. This, according to him, probably informed why most stakeholders received the news of the five smart steps with joy and excitement. He, however, expressed optimism that the recent approval for the introduction of Single Window Concept, all hopes might not be lost after all.. But source also hints that apart from the proposed introduction of the Single Window Concept, the delay may have been caused by the decision of the committee to send the proposal to the Federal Executive Council for necessary approval. It was also gathered that the system was earlier sent to the National Economic Group for their input. While taking time to work on the process, the relevant authorities should also realise that time is of the essence because a stitch in time, they say, saves nine.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Maritime

Friday, September 21, 2012

‘Harmonisation of importers’ identification will enhance speedy goods clearance’ STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

T

he Nigeria Customs Service has said that the harmonisation of Importers and freight forwarders’ Tax Identification Number with that of the Automated System for Customs Data will enhance speedy clearance of imported goods at the air, seaports and land borders. TIN, issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, is the identification issued to taxpayers including importers, which is a means of electronic identification aimed at reducing manual process of tax payment while the ASYCUDA number also identifies the importer or freight forwarders through which they gain access to the Customs clearing network for online declaration of their consignments. Comptroller General of the service, Mr. Abdullahi Dikko made the observation while making opening remarks at a one-day stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting organised in Lagos by the FIRS in conjunction with Customs, said that such regular meetings with the relevant stakeholders make for harmony, as they provide a platform for them to rub minds on critical issues. The Comptroller General,

L-R: Integrated Tax officer of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Moses Kiloye, President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Prince Olayiwola Shittu and representative of the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Dera Nnadi during a one-day stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting organised by FIRS in conjunction with Customs in Lagos recently.

who was represented by an Assistant Comptroller attached to the Customs headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Dera Nnadi, said the need for the harmonisation of both means of identification, as well as regular meeting of the stakeholders cannot be overemphasised. According to him, submission of relevant means of identification like International Passport or Drivers License for purposes of identification has become

mandatory requirement in the process of clearing goods at the air, seaports and land borders. He noted that the harmonisation of both importer’s TIN and ASYCUDA numbers it will remove all bottlenecks associated with the clearing of goods and enhance efficiency. While comparing the harmonisation of the numbers to the introduction of electronic cargo clearance sometime in the late 1990s with the introduction of e-

payment of duty and other charges, he noted that the number of seats was reduced from like eight to only two, arguing that the harmonisation will bring about cargo release in six hours. ‘The immediate benefits of the harmonisation is that it will make identification easier, save time and efforts, help keep every importer’s data within the system and by so doing cut short the process of cargo clearance’, he assured.

Performance contract: No excuses, minister warns NRC, NIMASA, NPA

S

equel to the recent signing of performance agreement between President Goodluck Jonathan and members of his cabinet, the Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar has warned directors of the ministry and chief executive officers of parastatals under it that he would not accept excuses from any of them. Parastatals under the ministry include the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Shippers Council, National Inland Waterways Authority, Nigerian Railway Corporation and the National Institute of Transport Technology Umar, like other ministers had on August 22, 2012, signed a performance agreement with President Jonathan and the period between January-December 31, 2012, which covers areas such as the resuscitation and revitalisation of the Nigerian railway system for the haulage of goods and carriage of passengers and reposition of the nation’s port system in line with global best practices. Other terms of the agreement in relation to the ministry of transport include Increase in the use of inland waterways to stimu-

late economic activities, enhancing maritime safety and security, improving Inter-modality of Nigeria’s transport system, enhancing private sector participation in the transport sector and provision of policy, regulatory and administrative services, among others. In what appeared as a replication of the presidential agreement at the ministry level, the minister told directors and heads of parastatals under him that he would not accept any excuse in any form. “I want to leave you in no doubt that Mr. President regards the transformation agenda as a social Contract with Nigerians which he is fully committed to actualising. Each MDA must therefore demonstrate the same commitment. The era of sluggishness, making excuses, or passing the buck is over. It is no longer business as usual”, he warned sternly. The minister had reminded the directors and the heads of government agencies that performance agreement he signed with the president was binding on all of them, arguing that it was based on the input of the directors and heads of the agencies, which is in line with the vision

Umar

of the administration to deliver good governance. “These agreements are one of the high points of this administration in its quest to give purposeful and meaningful leadership that will impact directly on living conditions and improve the quality of life of Nigerians through efficient, transparent and accountable service delivery”, he noted. “It is necessary to point out that the agreement signed with Mr. President is based on an itemised list of key deliverables and tangible, measurable outcomes, which incorporates specific targets derived from the mandate

of each MDA. These targets or key performance Indicators are the proof of the MDA’s performance”. “For the avoidance of doubt, the ministry’s KPIs were derived from the individual inputs of departments of the ministry and the parastatals. We jointly scrutinised, fine-tuned and ultimately agreed on these targets. Therefore, there should be no difficulty in judiciously implementing the relevant projects and programmes that will ensure that we deliver on the commitments we made”, he further remarked. He therefore reminded them that by signing of the agreement at the ministry level, all of them will be held accountable for the period January – December, 2012, warning that the agreement is non negotiable. As part of measures to achieve the targets set in the agreement, the minister directed that all matters coming from the agencies must be attended to and disposed off within a maximum of two weeks from the date of receipt of such matters, but however failed to specify if any department contravenes this directive.

43

New Apapa Customs controller harps on transformation

C

ontroller in charge of Apapa Area 1 command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mallam Mohammed Umar has said that the service needs the support and cooperation of the stakeholders in its transformation programme. Umar spoke in Lagos during a brief handover ceremony when he took over the mantle of leadership of the command from Mallam Adamu Garko, who has been redeployed to the Customs headquarters, Abuja. According to him, such support and cooperation had become necessary at a time the service is working round the clock to ensure efficient cargo delivery at the air, seaports and land borders, improve revenue generation and also facilitate trade. He noted that the service cannot do it alone without the support and cooperation of the stakeholders, pledging that he would run an open door policy in order to accommodate all shades of opinions. The outgoing controller had urged stakeholders to extend to his successor, all the cooperation they gave to him in the 10 months he spent at the command, which is about the longest time any controller would spend at a command in the last three years since Comptroller General of the Service, Mallam Abdulahi Dikko mounted the saddle. Garko is reputed to have collected the highest revenue in the history of the command when in June this year; he collected a whopping N36.7billion to surpass the existing record of N25billion collected in September 2011. The new controller, Umar, who hails from Kudaa Local Government Area of Katsina State graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from the Bayero University, Kano in 1981. He joined the service in 1982 as an assistant superintend collector grade II to his current rank of a comptroller through dint of hardwork. As a highly technical officer, Umar is well vast in a wide range of Customs practices and procedures and has worked in several commands such as the Port and Multiservice Limited terminal located in Tin Can Island Port, Calabar and Kano commands, among others. The greatest challenge to be faced by the new CAC would be how to meet the command’s revenue target for the 2012 fiscal year. Apapa, which is the biggest command, was at the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year given a N324billion revenue target out of the N1trillion target given to the service by the government, which translates to N27billion per month. As at the end of June, the outgoing controller had collected a total of N146billion.


44

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, September 21, 2012

Investors gain N78bn in bullish trading JOHNSON OKANLAWON

B

ullish run in equities continued on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took advantage of the relatively low prices of stocks. The All-Share index rose by 0.91 per cent to close at 25,875.31 points, compared to the increase of 0.32 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 25,642.39 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N75.9bn to close at N8.23trn, higher than the rise of N59.3bn recorded the

preceding day to close at N8.16trn. Fidson Healthcare Plc led the gainers’ table with 12 kobo or 9.30 per cent to close at N1.41 per share, followed by Nigerian Breweries Plc with N8.50 or 6.23 per cent to close at N145.00 per share. Honeywell Flour Mills Plc gained 10 kobo or five per cent to close at N2.10 per share, while Dangote Flour Mills Plc appreciated by 35 kobo or five per cent to close at N7.35 per share. Cadbury Nigeria Plc rose by N1.02 or 4.97 per cent to close at N21.56 per share. On the flip side, In-

ternational Breweries Plc lost N1.66 or 9.95 per cent to close at N15.03 per share, while Diamond Bank Plc declined by 22 kobo or 6.23 per cent to close at N3.31 per share. Arbico Plc depreciated by 51 kobo or 4.91 per cent to close at N9.88 per share, while Mc Nicholas fell five kobo or 4.90 per cent to close at 97 kobo per share. Learn Africa Plc dipped by 10 kobo or 4.74 per cent to close at N2.01 per share. The Financial services sub-sector led equities transaction volume with 446.28 million shares worth N1.09bn

exchanged in 2,569 deals, compared to 794.41 million shares valued at N4.50bn traded in 3,032 deals the preceding day. The volume recorded in the sector was driven by transaction in the shares of Unic Insurance Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, First Bank Plc and First City Monument Bank Plc. Transaction volume in equities dropped by 39.5 per cent, as a total of 546.82 million shares valued at N1.81bn were exchanged in 4,679 deals, as against 904.16 million shares worth N5.44bn traded in 5,340 deals the preceding day.

Ashaka Cement’s turnover hits N6.2bn in H1 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

A

shaka Cement Plc has declared a turnover of N6.16bn for the financial period ended June 30, 2012, an increase by 25.3 per cent when compared to N4.92bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s cost of sales rose to N3.67bn in the half year, from N3.06bn recorded in the 2011 half year, an increase by 19.7 per cent, while taxation stood at N540m, from N228.3m recorded in the same period of the preceding year. According to the re-

sult presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, the value of stocks increased marginally by 4.4 per cent to N4.19bn in the review period, from N4.01bn recorded in the 2011 half year. Further analysis showed a net assets of N20.3bn in 2012, from N19.04bn recorded in the 2011 half year, while total liabilities stood at N15.1bn, from N15.3bn in the 2011 half year. The chairman of the company, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga told shareholders at the 37th Annual General Meeting in June 28 that in spite of

the persistent challenges in the economy and the attendant eroding effects of purchasing power, which made 2011 so difficult, the company still improved. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Neeraj Akhoury, said that the company’s improved performance was due to the management’s focus on capacity utilisation of the plant. “Gradually, we are beginning to record improvement in reliability on key areas of the plant with positive impact on cement production,’’ he said. According to him, the

support and encouragement received from the board, the dedication, hard work and diligence of staff and cooperation of stake holders are responsible for the positive result. Akhoury assured that the company would remain committed to capacity building of its staff, adding that 25 graduate trainee engineers were recruited to take high responsibilities in future. He challenged the company to upgrade the primary school in Ashaka community to a secondary school, just as the company was expanding its plant.

Emerging stocks, commodities fall on growth concern

S

tocks indices of e m e r g i n g - m a rke t shares fell most in two months, and metals slipped as reports signaled economies in Europe and Asia are slowing. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the euro weakened and Spanish bonds dropped, while Treasuries gained for a fourth day. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index fell 0.5 per cent to 1,453.7 points, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index slide 1.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index tumbled to the lowest level since 2009. The euro lost 0.8 per cent to $1.2939. Ten-year Treasury note yields sank four basis points to 1.73

per cent while Spain’s 10year yields rose for the first time in three days. Coffee, soybeans and corn lead losses in commodities while oil slid to a sevenweek low. Euro-area services and manufacturing output fell to a 39- month low in September and China’s manufacturing probably contracted for an 11th month, according to data from Markit Economics and HSBC Holdings Plc. Japan’s exports slid for a third month in August, the Finance Ministry said. More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, the Labour Department said, before reports that may show a

gauge of leading indicators declined. “We had a strong rally based on aggressive central bank actions, this week we’re getting the reality that economic activity is weak,” Alan Gayle, a Senior Strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management in Richmond, Virginia, said. “The slowdown in China is not over and it is likely that Europe will officially enter into a recession.” The S and P 500, which closed at the highest level since December 2007 last week after the Federal Reserve announced plans to buy mortgage securities to bolster the economy, retreated for the third time in four days.

Bed Bath and Beyond Incorporation, the operator of more than 1,000 homefurnishing stores, dropped 8.3 per cent for the biggest drop in the S&P 500 after it reported second-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as discounts cut into profit margins. Norfolk Southern Corporation fell 7.3 per cent as the second- biggest eastern US railroad forecast thirdquarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates. Jobless claims decreased by 3,000 in the week ended September 15 to 382,000, Labour Department figures showed. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 375,000.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 19 SEPTEMBER & 20 SEPTEMBER 2012 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00

19-Sep-12

20-Sep-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

27-Sep-12

182-Day

59,081.14

15.05

27-Sep-12

364 -Day

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

297Days

7,878.70

16.40

27-Sep-12

289-Day

12,963.25

16.39

27-Sep-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$180m

N/A

$179m

19-Sep-12

$180m

N/A

$130m

17-Sep-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, September 21, 2012

45


46

Capital Market

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at September 20, 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, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

Community Mirror “I think the disadvantage of the introduction of the N5000 note at the moment far out-weighs not introducing it and on the balance, we should not go for it.” SENATE PRESIDENT, DAVID MARK

Tension over murder of teenager in Bayelsa EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA.

T

he alleged murder of a 19-year-old youth, John Oweikabo, at Obrigbene community in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State

by his friend, is now generating tension in the area . Oweikabo was allegedly stabbed by Daniel Esamgbala, with a sharp object during a scuffle in the community, as sympathizers immediately conveyed the victim to Ekeremor

Geologist urges database to prevent disasters KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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geologist from the Oyo State Rural Water and Sanitary Agency (RUWASA), Mr. Isreal Olabisi Ojeyinka, has stressed the need to have a database of all drilled boreholes in the country, in order to forestall natural disasters like earthquakes. Ojeyinka, who said this at the inaugural meeting of the state chapter of the Borehole Drillers’ Association, in Ibadan, maintained that having database of drilled boreholes in particular areas, would help in preventing natural disasters, and also in planning for the provision of potable water. He, therefore, called on operators to register all drilled boreholes with the relevant agencies. Speaking at the event, a

geophysicist from the Oyo State Ministry of Industry, Applied Sciences and Technology, Mr. Oladele Majolagbe, said geophysical surveys have only 60 per cent guarantee of ensuring successful borehole drilling in terms of quality and quantity of water supply. He said what the survey looks out for, are cracks in the underground rocks, and that there are some rocks whose cracks do not release underground water, urging members of the association to always engage the services of geologists, while carrying out surveys and in interpreting the results. Chairman of the association, Mr. Oludare Ale, explained that the association was established to cooperate with relevant government agencies and to ensure better services to members’ customers.

General Hospital, where he later gave up the ghost. Community Mirror gathered that Oweikabo was stabbed in the neck, which cut vital nerves and veins supplying blood to the brain and heart, as he bled profusely.

A vehicle stuck in the mud at Hercules Bus Stop, Agbado, Ogun State.

Cross River approves compensation for land OKAY OSUJI

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he Cross River State Government has approved N216 Million for payment of compensation on land acquired for various projects at Ikom and Ogoja local government areas in 2011. Payment for compensation for land acquired for waterworks at these locations would be handled by Water Board Ltd, while compensation for right-of-way to Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) has already been paid. These were disclosed by the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Ralph Uche, during the ministerial briefing at the Ernest Etim Bassey Press Centre, Cala-

bar. Ralph Uche, added that enumeration for payment of compensation to the land owners is ongoing in respect of the International Airport Road By-pass. He said that 73 Certificates of Occupancy(C-of-O) were engrossed and forwarded to the governor for signature, while 121 applications for issuance of certificates of occupancy were recommended and have received approval-in-principle. The commissioner explained that, though there was no allocation of state land in 2011, due to non-availability, he would ensure that the situation changes very soon, even as he enumerated sites selected for layouts for various projects to include proposed institutional layout, Ikom Omin, proposed

The corpse has been deposited at the morgue of Bomadi General Hospital in Delta State, just as the suspect has fled on hearing the news of his friend’s death. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Fidelis Odunna, confirmed the incident,

layout plan for Energy City, Adiabo, sites for Modern Urban Township Stadium at Ikom and Ogoja and for Independent Power Plants at Adiabo. Others are sites are for Calabar Central Market, amendment of Atimbo Housing Scheme; amended proposed Ikot Uduak residential layout and review of Government Residential Layout at Ekorinim, among others. Uche, stated that ongoing projects carried over to 2012 were Right-of-way from Margaret Ekpo International Airport Inter-change at Ndidem Usang Iso Boulevard, Right-of-way to International Convention Centre and Theme Park; Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) skill s acquisition centre, Akpabuyo and New Town Development at Bakassi.

saying the police have launched a manhunt for Esamgbala now at large. While condemning the killing of Oweikabo by his friend, Odunna said it is unlawful for anyone to take laws into his or her hand.

PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Commissioner promises installation of transformer CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

T

he Anambra State Commissioner for Special Duties, Chief Vincent Ezenwajiaku, has promised to install an electric transformer in Amanasaa community, Umuchu in Aguata Local Government Area. He stated this during the new yam festival at the town union hall. Chief Ezenwajiaku, assured that Amanasaa would receive a transformer whenever the government starts distribution of same to other towns. He called on the people to support the administration of Governor Peter Obi and APGA. His words, “Governor Obi has been

working hard to improve the welfare of the state and needs to be encouraged, especially by Umuchu people for appointing me into his cabinet”. He also disclosed that the contract for the Nkpologwu-AkpoAchina-Umuchu road, being handled by a local contractor has been terminated due to non performance, and the contract has been re-awarded to Niger Cat Construction Company. Ezenwajiaku, who hails from Umuchu, further promised to facilitate the employment of qualified indigenes in the civil service, as he urged them to embrace agriculture and form cooperative societies, to enable them have access to loans


48

Community Mirror

Friday, September 21, 2012

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49

World News

Pakistan’s anti-film ads feature Obama, Clinton

50

PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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ays after soldiers were deployed; South African President Jacob Zuma’s office announced yesterday that he has ordered military forces to assist police trying to control labour unrest in the nation’s crucial mining sector. Despite resolution of the longest and bloodiest strike, two more deaths were reported. Even as miners returned to work yesterday at the Lonmin PLC platinum mine in Marikana, where police killed 34 miners on Aug. 16, labour advocates said police killed two more people: a ruling party municipal councillor who died of injuries from a rubber bullet and a miner who was run over by an armoured car. Zuma’s office said he was invoking the Constitution to use the military to support police “in the prevention and combating of crime as well as the maintenance of law and order in the Marikana Area ... and other areas around the country where needed” until Jan. 31. The notice from the presidency referred to section 201 (2) of the Constitution, which states that “only the President, as head of the national executive, may authorize the employment of the defence force.” Last weekend some 1,000 soldiers were trucked into the “platinum belt” northwest of Johan-

“The Tymoshenko case is an internal matter of Ukraine, but at the same time this case is a serious, significant obstacle in the rapprochement between Ukraine and the European Union” – Polish President, Bronislaw Komorowski

S’African police kill two more in crackdown on strike nesburg. Thursday morning, police in two water cannon trucks and several armoured cars confronted striking Anglo American Platinum miners at a shantytown where residents set up barricades of rocks and burning tires and logs. Before long, the fires died down and most of the po-

lice pulled back. The people dispersed, leaving a herd of goats milling around the water cannons. Police spokesman Dennis Adriao confirmed that police fired tear gas and a stun grenade on the illegal gathering near Sondela settlement. There were no arrests, he said.

However there was a fatality from the confrontation Wednesday between police and strikers. Strike leader Evans Ramokga told The Associated Press that one miner was run over Wednesday by a police armoured car and dragged several meters (feet) before it stopped. He said the man died overnight in the hospital.

M

Libya has apologised to visiting US deputy secretary of state William Burns for an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which American ambassador Christopher Stevens died. Burns was holding talks in Tripoli with Libyan leaders yesterday, including new Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour and Mohammed al-Magarief, head of the national congress, following last week’s assault, in which three other Americans were also killed. He was also due to attend a ceremony commemorating Stevens. Ashour Bin Khayyal, Libya’s foreign minister, apologised for the violence on Tripoli’s behalf, praising Stevens as a “friend of Libya”, a foreign ministry official said.

Suicide bombers kill six in Mogadishu

Miners returning to work at the Lonmin Platinum mine after agreeing to 22 percent pay raises, in Marikana, Rustenburg, South Africa. PHOTO: AP

Egypt’s mufti urges Muslims to endure insults peacefully uslims angered by cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad should follow his example of enduring insults without retaliating, Egypt’s highest Islamic legal official said yesterday. Western embassies tightened security in Sanaa, fearing the

WORLD BULLETIN Libya offers apology for US deaths

cartoons published in a French magazine on Wednesday could lead to more unrest in the Yemeni capital, where crowds attacked the U.S. mission last week over an anti-Islam film made in America. In the latest of a wave of protests against that video in the Islamic world, several thousand

Riot policemen standing guard outside the French embassy in Sanaa yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Shi’ite Muslims demonstrated in the northern Nigerian town of Zaria, burning an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama and crying “Death to America”. The cartoons in France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly have provoked relatively little street anger so far, although about 100 Iranians demonstrated outside the French embassy in Tehran. An Islamist activist called for attacks in France to avenge the perceived insult to Islam by the “slaves of the cross”. Mu’awiyya al-Qahtani said on a website used by Islamist militants and monitored by the U.S.based SITE intelligence group: “Is there someone who will roll up his sleeves and bring back to us the glory of the hero Mohammed Merah?” He was referring to an al Qaeda-inspired gunman who killed seven people, including three Jewish children, in the southern

French city of Toulouse in March. Condemning the publication of the cartoons in France as an act verging on incitement, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa said it showed how polarized the West and the Muslim world had become. His statement echoed one by Al Azhar, Egypt’s prestigious seat of Sunni learning, which condemned the caricatures showing the Prophet naked but said any protest should be peaceful. An official at the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, whose population of 83 million people is 10 percent Christian, also condemned the cartoons as insults to Islam. Gomaa said Mohammad and his companions had endured “the worst insults from the non-believers of his time. Not only was his message routinely rejected, but he was often chased out of town, cursed and physically assaulted on numerous occasions.

Two suicide bombers walked into a restaurant in central Mogadishu and blew themselves killing at least six people, witnesses said, less than a week after militant bombers targeted the country’s new president, Reuters has reported. A Reuters photographer said he could see six bodies as well as the severed heads of the two bombers. Chairs and tables were strewn across the restaurant and pools of blood covered the flooring. “Two suicide bombers targeted a restaurant called ‘The Village’ opposite the theatre. There are bodies and there are wounded people,” said Mohamed Sheikh, a security guard at the National Theatre located opposite the blast site.

‘Niger floods displaced 500,000’ The international aid group Oxfam says half a million people have been displaced in Niger as the country reels from the worst flooding in 80 years. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that more than 80 people were killed in the floods. The landlocked West African country of Niger has been pummelled by back-to-back droughts in 2005, 2010 and the first part of 2012 causing an acute hunger crisis. Samuel Braimah, country director for Oxfam, says the rains were needed, but the excessive rainwater has now destroyed 17,000 acres (7,000 hectares) of crops, making it even more difficult for families strained by drought to rebound. Of the 1 million children facing life-threatening malnutrition this year in the Sahel, UNICEF says that one-third live in Niger.


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WORLD BULLETIN Palestinians condemn Romney's Mideast peace comment A senior Palestinian official says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is undermining hopes for peace and democracy in the Middle East. Saeb Erekat, a top aide to President Mahmoud Abbas, rejected Romney’s recent video remark to donors that the Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever” in peace. Speaking at a news conference Thursday, Erekat said “no one stands to gain more from peace than the Palestinians, and no one stands to lose from the absence of peace like the Palestinians.” He said those who tolerated Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories are “working against democracy and peace.” Erekat also urged world leaders to “create hope and opportunities, not despair.”

UNESCO chief calls for probe of journalists' killings The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom yesterday condemned the recent killings of two journalists in South-East Asia – one in Cambodia and the other in the Philippines – and called for investigations into their deaths. “I am deeply concerned by the killing of Hang Serei Oudom,” the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, said in a news release. “This is the first murder of a journalist in Cambodia in a long time and I trust that the Cambodian authorities will do all in their power to bring those responsible for this crime to justice.” “I condemn the murder of Eddie Jesus Apostol. It is important that the authorities conduct a serious investigation into this killing and ensure that the perpetrators are punished for their crime,” Ms. Bokova added in another news release.

UK’s ‘Torture Gang’ boss, Richardson dies at 78 British gangster Charlie Richardson, one of the most feared underworld figures of 1960s London who fought a vicious turf war with the more famous Kray brothers, has died, his family said on Thursday. He was 78. A scrap metal dealer, he built a criminal empire based on fraud, protection rackets and gambling that earned a reputation for extreme violence and brutality. Known as the “Torture Gang”, his associates were said to nail victims to the floor, cut off their toes with bolt cutters and give them electric shocks in a bath full of water. His 1967 trial for fraud, assault and robbery made Richardson a household name and exposed the gruesome tactics of those who worked for him. Jailing Richardson for 25 years, judge Frederick Lawton said: “One is ashamed to live in a society that contains men like you.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Pakistan’s anti-film ads feature Obama, Clinton

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arked by the U.S. Embassy seal, advertisements condemning an anti-Islam video appeared on Pakistani television on Thursday in an apparent attempt to undercut anger against the United States, where the film was produced. Hundreds of youths, however, clashed with security officials as they tried in vain to reach the embassy in Islamabad amid anger in many countries over the film’s vulgar depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. The advertisements appear to be an effort by the U.S. government to dampen chaos surrounding the film and undo some of the damage to America’s image in the Muslim world. Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people have died in protests in Pakistan. In recent days, the decision by a French satirical magazine to release cartoons crudely depict-

ing the prophet has added to the tension, as may the upcoming issue of the German satirical magazine Titanic. The magazine’s co-editor Martin Sonneborn said it was up to readers to decide whether the cover of an Arab wielding a sword actually depicts the Prophet Muhammad.

Most outrage appears linked to the amateurish movie, which portrays the prophet as a fraud, womanizer and child molester. The television ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in

Afghans holding placards reading: “Our leader Mohammed” during a protest vagainst an anti-Islam film in Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday. PHOTO: AP

29 dead, 46 hurt in Mexico pipeline fire

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he death toll in a pipeline fire at a distribution plant near the U.S. border has risen to 29, Mexico’s state-owned oil company said Wednesday. At least 46 others were injured, and more might be missing. Juan Jose Suarez, director of the state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos company, told local media earlier in the day that at least five workers had not been seen since the blast. On Tuesday, the company, known as Pemex, said in its Twitter account that a total of seven people were unaccounted for. President Felipe Calderon said the quick reaction of emergency teams prevented a “real catastrophe,” by controlling the fire before it reached the huge tanks of a neighboring gas processing plant. The enormous fire Tuesday hit a distribution center near the border with Texas that handles natural gas coming in from wells and sends it to a processing plant next door. “The timely response by oil workers, firefighters and the Mexican army was able to control the fire relatively quickly and avoid a real catastrophe of bigger proportions and greater damages if the fire had spread to the center for gas processing, which is right there,” Calderon said in a speech in Mexico City. The blast and ensuing fire left charred tanks and a mound of tangled steel at the walled plant near the border city of Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas. Two of the injured were reported in serious condition.

Dr. Jaime Urbina Rivera, deputy medical director of Hospital Materno Infantil de Reynosa just a few miles from the plant, said his hospital had received nine injured workers with first- and second-degree burns covering 10 percent to 40 percent of their bodies, with the burns concentrated on their backs and legs. They all arrived conscious, he said. Pemex officials said the blast appeared to have been caused by an accidental leak, and there was no sign so far of sabotage. The Mexican Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into the explosion Wednesday, sending more than 20 investigators into the site, which was blocked to the press. The facility’s perimeter walls, topped with razor wire as a security measure in a country that has seen thieves, saboteurs and drug gangs target oil installations, presented an obstacle for

plant workers trying to flee. Esteban Vazquez Huerta, 18, who was inside the plant when the fire erupted, managed to find a gap in the wire, scale a wall and escape. “We had to climb the wall from that side because the fire, the heat was reaching us,” Vazquez Huerta said Wednesday as he stood outside the plant, waiting for word of missing coworkers. Until the final moments before the explosion there was no sign anything was amiss, Vazquez Huerta said. Pemex said workers from contracting firms, such as Vazquez Huerta, and its own employees were performing routine maintenance at the plant, where pipelines from gas wells in the Burgos basin converge. The plant feeds gas next door to separate liquid hydrocarbons from the gas. The production is for domestic Mexican use.

Morgue employees removing the bodies of people who were killed by the gas pipeline explosion in Reynosa, Mexico. PHOTO: AP

Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu. “We absolutely reject its content and message,” said Clinton in the advertisement. A caption on the ad reads: “Paid Content.” The advertisements end with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. It was not known how many channels were airing the ads or whether they were being run in other Muslim countries or just Pakistan. An embassy spokeswoman declined comment. In an email yesterday, the embassy sent out a link to video of ordinary Americans condemning the anti-Islam film, which appeared on YouTube. Protests have tapered off in many countries, but in Pakistan on Thursday, more than 2,000 people tried to reach the U.S. Embassy inside a guarded enclave that houses embassies and government offices.

US Judge rejects bid to remove anti-Islam film

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California judge has denied an actress’ request to remove from YouTube an anti-Islam video that sparked riots in the Muslim world. Cindy Lee Garcia says she has received death threats over the film trailer, in a lawsuit against Google, which owns YouTube, and a man linked to the film. Garcia said she had been misled by the maker of the amateur movie and was unaware of its anti-Muslim content. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the trailer’s alleged director, is in hiding. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin said in his ruling that he had rejected Garcia’s request partly because the man who is believed to have made the film had not been served a copy of the lawsuit. Before appearing in court on Thursday, Garcia said she had been left emotionally disturbed by the fallout from the film trailer. “My whole life has been turned upside down in every aspect,” she said. “My family has been threatened.” Referring to the video, she added: “I think it’s demoralising, degrading. I think it needs to come off [YouTube].” A clip dubbed into Arabic provoked widespread anger for its disrespectful portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad. The film, Innocence of Muslims, which was made in the United States, has sparked protests across the Middle East, North Africa and as far away as Sri Lanka, with some demonstrations violent.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Friday, September 21, 2012

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Projects execution: Gombe exco scores self high As Dankwambo charges hajj committees to live above board

DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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n enlarged State Executive Council (SEC) meeting in Gombe State yesterday appraised its performance in various sectors of the state’s development as it scored itself high in the execution of projects in the state. The state executive council praised itself especially in projects handled by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the office of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Briefing journalists after the council meeting that also included permanent secretaries, heads and directors in various ministries and departments, state Chairman of SUBEB and the Special Adviser to the Governor on MDGs; the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Rev. Habu Dawaki, said the enlarged executive meeting will continue until all the state’s socio-economic sectors are covered. Others that were part of the meeting were the state’s Due Process Office, the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Office

and consulting firms handling different projects for the state government. On the two sectors, MDG and SUBEB that were assessed during the last meeting, the Commissioner said all projects being undertaken by them were at various stages of completion. Dawaki said the SUBEB, which has 53 projects of basically renovating, furnishing and fully equipping primary schools across the state, are mostly 80 to 100 per cent level of completion. For the MDGs, which handle the renovation, extension and equipping

of 34 Primary Health Care centres (PHCs) and the drilling of 45 solarpowered boreholes, the commissioner said they also are at various levels of completion. He said in addition to being at different levels of completion, all the 34 PHCs have all been equipped with medical apparatuses. Dawaki, who expressed the council’s satisfaction with the jobs being handled by the MDGs and SUBEB, said the enlarged executive would be a routine exercise aimed at helping all Ministries, De-

partments and Agencies (MDAs) to be on their toes. Meanwhile, the state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, has inaugurated the state’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board and two other committees that were charged to close ranks and ensure the comfort, good conduct and security of pilgrims from the state during this years’ hajj exercise. Speaking at the inauguration held at the Government House, the governor said the two other committees, the Amirul Hajj committee and the Technical team were expected to improve on last years’ performance of the exercise from

ALGON denies attempt to dump Al-Makura IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

No plan to attack Plateau, says Fulani herdsmen

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JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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ulani herdsmen in Plateau State yesterday said they have no plan to attack any part of the state as widely speculated. The state governor, Jonah Jang, had on Tuesday, during a stakeholders meeting in Jos, alleged that security reports at his disposal indicated that some Fulani terrorists were planning to launch fresh attacks on innocent citizens in the state. But the herdsmen, under the auspices of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in a statement yesterday described the governor’s comment as untrue, malicious and inciting at the least. The group challenged the governor to call the association and the security agencies in the state and the country at large and make such security reports public. The statement, which was signed by the National Secretary of the association, Alhaji Sale Bayari, reads in part: “We want to categorically tell the people of Plateau State and all Nigerians that the Fulani have never and will never attack anybody and will only fight back in self-defence; even this shall be as a last resort as the Fulani believe in the rule of law and will continue to rely on the law to protect them.”

the preparations preceding the exercise in the country and in Saudi-Arabia to their return journey. Responding on behalf of the other committees, the Amirul Hajj and the state’s Grand Khadi, Justice Usman Baba Liman, thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in them and the approval of their membership of the various committees including that of the pilgrims board.

L-R: Yeriman Zazzau, Alhaji Mohammed Munir Jafaru; Bishop of Kaduna Anglican Diocese, Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon and Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State chapter, Amb. Samuel Kudjiyat, at the public hearing of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee in Kaduna, yesterday.

Group passes no confidence vote on Senator, others A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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Southern Kadunabased group, The Gurara Patriot Foundation (GPF) yesterday passed a no confidence vote on Senator Nenadi Esther Usman and three other House of Representatives’ members at the National Assembly over non-performance. Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, the

group’s Chancellor and Secretary-General, Mr. Vincent Bodam and Jerry Adams respectively, said the National Assembly members from the zone have failed to execute constituency projects. The group further said that if the legislators fail to improve on their campaign promises it may be forced to mobilise the constituents towards their recall. According to the group;

“We call for this press conference because we are totally unhappy with our representatives at the National Assembly. This is therefore, a vote of no confidence on their performance at the National Assembly.” The group added: “The Gurara Patriots Foundation wrote letters to all the representatives from Southern Kaduna requesting to know efforts made by them in citing federal proj-

ects in their constituencies, among others issues as true representatives. “Only Senator Nenadi E. Usman, deemed it necessary to reply us with a somewhat vague response without reverting to the questions posed in the letter. “Their silence is therefore a tacit confirmation of failure or sheer insensitivity to the people that voted them,” the group said.

Airtel, Etisalat survive terrorists’ attacks on GSM masts INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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ollowing the torching of over 37 Global System of Mobile Communication (GSM) firms’ masts in Borno, Yobe, Bauchi and Adamawa States in the NorthEast geo-political zone of the country, communications and internet services on cell phones and GSM

modems of subscribers in Maiduguri and Damaturu, were “disrupted and cut off ” completely for seven days, leaving only Airtel and Etisalat firms rendering communications internet services. Other GSM firms; MTN and Globacom including Visafone and Starcomms, could not render any communication and internet service,

since the torching of their masts on September 10 and 13 2011 in 15 wards and communities in Maiduguri and Damaturu. Subscribers of the affected GSM firms in the two states were, however, frustrated and disappointed with the poor communication and internet services, caused by the torching of the GSM base stations by suspected terrorists.

Frustrated by this development, journalists in Maiduguri could not file their stories to their head offices. Subscribers of the four affected outfits thronged the offices of Airtel and Etisalat on Kashim Ibrahim Way, Maiduguri, for the purchase and registration of SIM cards for their cell phones to ensure continued communication.

asarawa State chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has denied media reports that its members are set to dump the administration of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, over alleged non-release of funds to council areas in the state. State Chairman of the association, Dahiru Hudu Musa, denied the report at a press conference yesterday in Lafia, the state capital. He described the report as unfounded and malicious aimed at destabilising the fragile peace being enjoyed in the state. Dahiru, who is also the chairman of Lafia municipal council area, affirmed that the state government has recently released N445 million to chairmen and administrators of local government and development areas to embark on developmental projects. According to him; “How would members of the association condescend so low to contemplate leaving office as they were serving the people at the grass root level with the available resources at their disposal.” He, however, commended the state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, for his foresight in blocking the leakages that dealt a huge blow on the lean resources of the councils.

Al-Makura


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TRANSITION

Friday, September 21, 2012

Madam Cecilia Onyewuchi

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he Onyewuchi family of Umugweze, Umualum, Nekede, in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, has announced the passing of its matriarch, Madam Cecilia Ihuarulam Onyewuchi, nee Ebomuche. Late Madam Cecilia Onyewuchi, was a devout Catholic and committed Christian, counselor and recognised/honoured community leader. She died on August 19, 2012 after a brief illness at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, Imo State. She was aged 78 years. The late Madam Cecilia is survived by her children, Chief (Sir) Chris Onyewuchi, Ezinwa Eugene Onyewuchi, Lolo Leticia Ohale, Everest Onyewuchi, Mr. Victor Onyewuchi and many grand children. According a statement released by Everest Onyewuchi, Sports Editor, National Mirror Newspapers, his late mother’s remains will be interred at her hometown, Umugweze, Umualum, Nekede, Owerri on September 28, 2012, after a Requiem High Mass at the St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Umualum Nekede. The statement added that Madam Cecilia would be missed by her brothers, sisters, in-laws, friends and wellwishers because of her gentle disposition and wise counsel.

Chief Oluwole Adeosun

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he Chairman, National Pensions Commission, Chief Oluwole Adeosun died on September 13, 2012 in New Delhi, India. A prominent Egba son, Adeosun was a former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc from 1987 to 1990. He was the Osi of Egbaland, and Alagba, Ojoo, Gbagura, Abeokuta. Born on November 25, 1938 to Chief and Mrs. Joseph Makinde Adeosun, Wole, as he was fondly called, attended

Abeokuta Grammar School, Abeokuta from 1954 to 1958. He worked briefly as an Agric Officer with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ibadan, before proceeding to University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, where he bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Bsc (Econs). Chief Adeosun was a seasoned banker and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria, ICAN. He was also a Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB); Fellow, Chartered Institute of Secretaries (FCIS), and Fellow, Institute of Directors. Adeosun was, at various times, the Chairman Indigenisation Committee of the Nigerian Stock Market; Managing Director of NAL Merchant Bank, 1979 to 1987; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, 1987 to 1990; Vice Chairman of National Bank of Nigeria, 1991 to 1992; President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chairman of First Fund Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of First Bank. He was appointed Secretary of Transport, Aviation and Communications during the Transitional Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan in 1993 and also served on the Presidential Monitoring Committee during Nigeria’s bid to host the Under-23 World Cup in I985. He was President of Nigerian- American Chambers of Commerce in 1993. He is survived by wife, children and grandchildren.

Prof. Elizabeth Okeke

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t has been tears and wailings for the family, academia and friends of the foremost nutritionist and distinguished academic, Professor Elizabeth Chinwe Okeke, who died in an auto crash on July 27, 2012. Professor Elizabeth started her education at Holy Trinity Anglican Primary School, Calabar and Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls’ School (ACMGS) Elelenwa, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. After high school, she taught at Abbot Girls Secondary School, Ihiala, Anambra State, where

she was until the outbreak of the civil war in 1967. In 1969, she got married to Prof. Emeritus Cajetan Okeke, an erudite scholar and physicist. After the war, she proceeded to the United States of America in 1972, and attended Finch College, New York, from 1972-1975 and obtained B.A. Hons (cum laude). While raising a family, she also worked at Marymount Manhattan College, New York (1974-1976). She then proceeded to Teachers’ College and School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York from 19761977, where she obtained her M.Sc. (Community Nutrition and Public Health). From 1977-1978, she worked as a Nutritionist at the Harlem Hospital, WIC Program, New York City. On her return to Nigeria, she joined the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), as Assistant Lecturer in 1983. Thereafter, she enrolled for her Ph.D. at the Department of Home Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, UNN, and obtained a doctorate degree in Human Nutrition in 1988. Throughout her academic career, she was awarded multiple prizes which include Foreign Students’ Scholarship for graduate program at the Columbia University, New

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Agnes Oyebimpe Alabi

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ama, Agnes Oyebimpe Alabi passed on to glory on June 7, 2012, after a brief illness at the age of 78. According to the spokesperson for the family, Mike Alabi, burial arrangements will kick-off today with a Christian Wake Keep at her residents at Dada Estate, Opposite White House, Old Ede Road, Oshogbo. Funeral service will commence by 11am on Saturday September 22, 2012 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Cathedral, Popo Oshogbo. Guests will be entertainment at WOCDIF centre, Ikirun Bye-Pass, Ring Road, beside the NNPC Mega Station, Oshogbo. She is survived by children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

Elder Ahudiya Akalezi

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community leader, Elder Ahudiya Akalezi Imo Maduako (Nne Nke Okwukwe) who died on June 26, will be buried on September 29, 2012 in her hometown, Umuda Isingwu, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State. Late Maduako was a devout Christian and a Lay Preacher of the Methodist Church, a successful businesswoman and a philanthropist. Her remains would leave the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia for Umuda Isingwu, where it will lie in state, followed by a funeral service at St. James’ Methodist Church, Umuda Isingwu, Umuahia. She is survived by children, grand children, great grand children and great – great children, among who is Dachi Maduako, journalist and Pastor at the Foursquare Gospel Church, Lagos and a host of other relations. She was aged 110 years.

York, USA, 1976; Certificate of participation in workshop on curriculum reorientation on Home Economics Rural Development in Selected African countries in Nairobi, Kenya, 1986; Prestigious Institute of Food Technologies (IFT), International Award on Cowpea Research. Professor Okeke was a member of several reputable societies including: International Union of Nutritional Societies (IUNS) since 2001, Society for Nutrition Education Oakland, California, Nutrition Society of Nigeria and Third World Academy of Science. Others include United Nations University/Institute of Natural Resources in Africa, UNU/INRA College of Research Associates, New York Academy of Sciences and Board of Trustees, Nutrition and Health Research Initiative, Abuja. She was also one of the resource persons for Nestle Foods Nigeria (since 1995), UNICEF, since 1995, and UNFPA. From 2000-2002, she served as Vice President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria. In 2003, she was Chairperson of the Enugu branch of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria and held multiple external academic appointments at several universities including University of Ibadan, Rivers State University, University of Agriculture, Umudike, University of Agriculture Makurdi, Imo State University, and the University of Ghana, Legon. She is survived by her husband, aged mother, children and grand children.


Friday, September 21, 2012

CAF seat: Anouma seeks 12-year term

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

- ZIMBABWE ASSISTANT COACH, PETER NDLOVU

UCL: I’ve no excuses for drawing Chelsea –Mikel

Glo rallies support for F/Eagles, Eaglets

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EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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Chelsea’s Mikel Obi (on the pitch) tackling Juventus’ striker, Mirko Vucinic, during their UEFA Champions League match at the Stamford Bridge, London, on Wednesday

the summer, opened his Chelsea account with a deflected shot, before curling in a stunning second. “He took on board the information we gave him and it was great to see we have a player

like this in our ranks. He is a big talent. He has got a bit of everything. “We shouldn’t forget he is still a young man but he is already well established with the Brazil team. We are lucky to have him

20 coaches jostle for Kwara United’s job

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Sport

Nothing gives me pleasure than being on the verge of the third Nations Cup but now as a coach

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’m sorry about the mistake, but there are no excuses. I think that’s what you get from playing in the Champions League. You make a mistake, you get punished for it’ The above statement was how Chelsea defensive midfielder, Mikel Obi, apologised to his team mates after Wednesday night’s Champions League 2-2 draw with visiting Juventus at the Stamford Bridge. Mikel’s flop resulted in the equaliser scored by the Italian champions. “If I want to make up an excuse, I can. But, for me, I gave the ball away. I put my hands up, we move on,” the Nigerian international told BBC Sport. The Blues coach, Roberto Di Matteo, who said his team was “deflated” after giving up a 2-0 lead against Juve, however praised Oscar for scoring a brace on his full debut match for the club. “We are disappointed and a little bit deflated. Oscar did a perfect job tactically and scored two goals,” said Di Matteo. The Brazilian netted twice in two minutes before Juve hit back through Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella, who equalised with 10 minutes left, capitalising on Mikel’s howler. The 21-year-old midfielder, who joined from Brazilian side Internacional for about £25m in

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o fewer than 20 coaches have applied for the vacant coaching position at Nigeria Premier League side, Kwara United, following the end of Tunde Sanni’s one-year contract. Sanni, a former captain of the team led the club to 6th position on the log. Sanni barely escaped the exit door last term and has since re-applied for the job as directed by his former employers. The former captain believes he will return to the job when the recruitment exercise is completed. “I’m satisfied with my performance last season. We won at Gombe United and were unlucky in some other matches,” Sanni told to supersport. com. Supersport.com learnt that the

race for the job has been characterised by intense intrigues and power play. Also in the race are former 3SC gaffer, Festus Allen, Fatai Amoo, Erasmus Onu, Alphonsus Dike, Super Falcons’ Assistant Coach, Samson Unuanel and Akwa United gaffer, Solomon Ogbeide among others. Despite the presence of several big name managers since the club evolved from defunct Kwara State Utility Bombers (Kwasu) in the 1990s, Kwara United has never won the domestic league. The legendary Kadiri Ikhana earned the club a place in the continent after finishing third during the 2006 Super Four and the club reached the group stage of the 2007 CAF ConTunde Sanni federation Cup.

here.” The Blues next travel to play Danish side FC Nordsjaelland, beaten 2-0 by Shakhtar Donetsk in their Group E opener, for their next Champions League game on Tuesday 2 October.

igeria’s national telecoms operator and official sponsor of Nigerian national teams, Globacom, has called on the Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets to approach their respective football engagements this weekend with a focus on total victory. The U-20 and U-17 teams are mounting a double assault for African Youth Championship and 2013 African U-17 qualifier tickets in Johannesburg and Calabar respectively. While the Flying Eagles take on Amajita of South Africa today inside the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Golden Eaglets will on Sunday file out against the junior Menas of Niger at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar. Globacom in a press statement called on both teams to make Nigeria proud by winning their matches to pave way for early qualification for both competitions. Total victory according to Globacom is required as the battles for qualification gather momentum. Flying Eagles are hoping to avenge a 1-0 loss they suffered in May when the Amajita stopped them by an odd goal on their way to finishing third at the Cape Town International Challenge, which was won by world champions, Brazil. The return leg match is billed for Sunday, October 7 in Ilorin with the overall winner booking a ticket to next year’s AYC in Algeria.

W/Cup: Flamingoes set for Canada test

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igeria’s Flamingoes are not leaving anything to chance to clinch the title as the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup gets set to kick off tomorrow in Azerbaijan. Media Officer of the team, Gracious Akujuobi, informed National Mirror that the team, yesterday, took time to practice set pieces and the coaches are leaving nothing to chance in bolstering the squad for glory. Flamingoes will have one training session today for just an hour which will take place by 5pm at the venue for the Saturday’s match against Canada to enable them feel the turf of the stadium. Flamingoes play their first match against Canada by 5:00pm local time which is 1:00pm Nigeria time.


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Sport

Friday, September 21, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oscar relishes ‘beautiful goals’

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helsea’s new hero, Oscar, has revealed his delight at scoring what he calls beautiful goal on his full debut for the European champion. Oscar scored twice in a matter of minutes-the second a stunner-to put the Blues two goals ahead against Juventus before the Italian champion earned a 2-2 draw. Interestingly while there was disappointment at Stamford Bridge after dropping the vita points, Oscar was in a different mood yesterday. “I was very happy to score my first goal in the Champions League and my first goal at Chelsea,” the Brazilian said. “I think I played very well and I’m very happy with this debut,” he added.

Pardew denies Ba row

Carragher

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Branding: ExtraJoss bids for Okocha AFOLABI GAMBARI

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ormer Nigeria international, Austin Okocha, is on the brink of being appointed Brand Ambassador for energy drink ExtraJoss as organisers of the maiden ExtraJoss Football Championship announced plan to commence talks with the famous star. Representative of Kalbe International, co-sponsor of the championship with Orange Drugs, Mr. Didik Novandi, who made this disclosure in Lagos yesterday, said Okocha was the most preferred of Nigerian players as the brand choice. “To the best our knowledge, Okocha’s life on and off the pitch has been excellent and this is aside the fact that he registers more in the mind of aspiring football stars in the country at the moment,” Novandi explained. “We hope to finalise the talks with him and will unveil him soon after,” he added. Meanwhile, the football championship which is also supported by the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Sports will commence at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos on September 29 and end on October 27. According to Chairman of

the Local Organising Committee, Mr. Uthman Ola Okunnu, 32 teams of four in each group will participate in the competition which has about N14m sponsorship fee attached. “It is an inter-local government event where the councils will produce teams and the draws will hold at Teslim Balogun on September 26,” Okunnu said.

ewcastle United’s Manager, Alan Pardew, is confident he still has a good relationship with Demba Ba despite rumours of a bust-up between the pair. The Senegal international admitted his displeasure at only being named among the substitutes for Monday night’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Everton having responded in fine style by coming off the bench to score both goals for his side. His agent, Alex Gontran, caused consternation on Tuesday on Tyneside when he suggested Ba might have to consider his options if he found himself sitting on the bench too often in the future. “That’s just people needing to say things they shouldn’t say, really, but it doesn’t really affect me and Demba. We have got a good relationship,” Pardew defended yesterday. Ba joined the Toon Army last summer and scored 15 goals before heading off to the African Cup of Nations where he scored just once more before the end of the campaign.

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ading Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, has received assurance of squad spot after manager Brendan Rodgers said the veteran’s future in the club is guaranteed. Carragher has seen first-team chances in the Premier League limited this season, with the defender being used more in the Europa League. The Reds stalwart captained a largely inexperienced side in their Europa League clash with Young Boys yesterday as Rodgers rested most of his stars for Sunday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester United. The 34-year-old Carragher, who is in the final year of his contract, would decide whether he wants to continue playing or join the coaching staff next season, according to Rodgers. “I had a conversation with Jamie when I first came in and he wasn’t sure about where he was at in his career,” the manager said.

Tit Bits

Hodgson

England Manager, Roy Hodgson, believes the introduction of a winter break would be beneficial to the international endeavours of the national team. Many of Europe’s leading nations see their domestic competition shut down for a spell over the festive season, and Three Lions boss is keen for the Premier League to follow suit. The idea has been mooted for some time by many people in the game but has yet to come to fruition, with an already hectic schedule for the leading clubs often used as an explanation.

Wilshere nears start

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rsenal midfielder, Jack Wilshere, has returned to full training as he edges closer to his long-awaited comeback with the Gunners. The England international has endured an injury nightmare over the past year, with his last appearance coming in the pre-season friendly against New York Red Bulls in July 2011. An ankle injury kept him out for all of last season before the 20-year-old was forced to undergo knee surgery in the summer. “We are so pleased that Jack is back in full training. It’s been 14 months and that’s a long time for someone at his age. It’s an eternity, but it’s great news,” Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger said yesterday.

Rodgers reassures Carragher

Ramos Chelsea and PSG are being linked with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, according to latest reports. Ramos’ future at Real is in doubt after his axing for their Champions League win over Manchester City. AC Milan and Chelsea have been long-term suitors for Ramos and it’s suggested the Rossoneri would now be incapable of competing for his signature should he become available.

Kagawa

Ba

Former Manchester United defender Henning Berg says the Red Devils are not making the most of Shinji Kagawa. Berg has been impressed by Kagawa’s positional play. “I was very impressed with Kagawa against Galatasaray,” he said yesterday, adding, “He looks a top player and is a real bundle of energy and the only thing missing is someone to score all the chances he makes.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Friday, September 21, 2012

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Davis Cup: Federer may meet Berdych

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he first round of the 2013 Davis Cup could feature a matchup between Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych, the man who beat him in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open two weeks ago. Switzerland was paired against the Czech Republic in Wednesday’s draw for the opening round of the World Group. In other matches, Spain will travel to Canada, the United States will be at home against Brazil, and Argentina will host Germany. Top-ranked Federer has a career 11-5 record against Berdych, but the No. 6 Czech defeated him in four sets at the U.S. Open. Berdych also beat Federer in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2010 and at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Switzerland will be at home for the February 1 to 3 series. Federer does not always play in the early rounds of the Davis Cup and his plans for 2013 are uncertain. Federer played in last weekend’s playoff against the Netherlands, winning both singles matches to lead Switzerland to a 3-2 victory that ensured his country stayed in the World Group for 2013. Berdych secured all three points for the Czechs in their semifinal win over Argentina. The Czechs will host Spain in the final November 16 to18. The Czechs hold a 6-2 advantage against Switzerland, although the Swiss won the last time they met on home soil in 1998.

Wozniacki sails in Korea

Grace Anozie (c) flanked by President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo at the reception for the Paralympians in Abuja last week

Award has changed my life –Anozie YEMI OLUS

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aralympics gold medallist and one of the recipients of the 2012 National Awards, Grace Anozie, says she feels fulfilled to be among the eminent Nigerians accorded that privilege for their service to the nation. The powerlifter, who competed in the +82.50kg category in London, was awarded with Member of the Order of the

The proud award winner is, however, unfazed about not receiving the cash reward of N5m as yet. “There is no need to bother about this because I believe that Mr. President will not fail us after he made a promise,” he said. The London Games was Anozie’s fourth outing to the Paralympics, having won bronze in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 as well as a silver medal in 2008 at the Beijing Paralympics.

Amidst growing belief that the 35-year-old will not participate in the Rio 2016 Olympics, Anozie says her state of health will determine her outing in the South American city. “For now I’m going to take a one year break and give myself some rest and after that, I will see if my body will be up for 2016. I am the current Paralympics and World Record holder. I have set many records so I would want to leave with my respect intact.”

CAF seat: Anouma seeks 12-year term

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umber one seed Caroline Wozniacki yesterday advanced to the quarterfinals of the KDB Korea Open tennis tournament. Wozniacki defeated Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 6-3 at the only annual Women’s Tennis Association stop in South Korea,. After easily taking the opening set, Wozniacki, ranked 11th in the world, took a 4-1 lead in the second set. But Garcia won the next two games to cut the deficit to one. Wozniacki broke Garcia’s serve to lead 5-3, and battled the French to deuce before claiming the decisive game. Wozniacki, who is a former number one WTA player, will face Klara Zakopalova of Czech Republic in the quarters today.

Niger, (MON), an honour the nation has bestowed on several sports men and women in the past including Olympics gold medallists Chioma Ajunwa and Nwankwo Kanu. Other Paralympians who benefitted from the latest gesture are Paralympic gold medallists Yakubu Adesokan, Esther Onyema, Joy Onaolapo, Loveline Obiji and Ivory Nwokorie. “I feel great and very different now,” Anozie told National Mirror yesterday.

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Jacques Anouma

IFA Executive Committee member, Jacques Anouma, has called for a strict term limit for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football, as the former president of the Cote d’Ivoire Football Federation bids to become the next CAF president. The African football’s top position has been held by Cameroun’s Issa Hayatou since 1988 and Anouma has told BBC Sport that the game in Africa could not carry on being “run like a fiefdom controlled by a village chief.” “I believe three mandates of four years will be the right thing; 12 years will be enough for anyone to put in place his programme,” Anouma said yesterday. “If we do that it’s going to solve the problem because people will not be able to last longer than they should. Whatever one cannot do within 12 years, he’s not going to be able to do it even if you give him more time.”

The former president of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) is mindful that there are many in Africa who feel that Hayatou has overstayed his tenure. Should the controversial Camerounian gets another term in March next year as expected, he would have been in power for 29 years by the time his mandate expires in 2017. Anouma sits on the FIFA executive committee by virtue of which he has a place on the CAF executive committee as an ex-officio member. As ex-officio members are not directly elected, they do not have any voting rights, although they are allowed to participate in all deliberations. However, the 58-year-old Ivorian has refused to withdraw from race, clinging unto Article 21 in the CAF statutes which state that it will take 90 days for the Seychelles rule to come into force, by which time he will have officially put forward his nomination.


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Largest Online Marketing Seminar Vol. 02 No. 453

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Friday, September 21, 2012

EFCC’s rattling of corrupt judges

ndications that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating five corrupt judges came to one as a mixed grill: pleasant news since hopefully, the outcome would assist in fishing out ethically depraved judges and giving them the boot. On the other hand, it is a sad confirmation of the unnerving verdict of monumental corruption among the nation’s judges. According to reports, the EFCC probe centered on alleged financial crimes committed by the affected judges, such as suspicious funds lodged into their accounts by litigants and their cronies to allegedly influence judgments. One of the judges was said to have been found wanting by the Performance and Evaluation Committee (PEC) of

FRIDAYS WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) the National Judicial Council. The same judge was said to have attracted petition to the NJC from former chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, over his alleged dishonest handling of the corruption trial of a former governor which ended up with curious court pronouncements. The development reminds one of the Federal Government’s Ikoyi Properties sales scandal which led to the sacking of Mrs. Mobolaji Osomo, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo government in 2005. Involved in the Ikoyi houses’ sale embarrassment were two Supreme Court Justices and a Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) then under the leadership of the current governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, had implored the FG to investigate one of the Supreme Court justices involved, following reports that he allegedly paid a whopping sum of N97.2 million for the purchase of one of the houses located on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. The NLC seemed convinced that the official pay of the said judge was incapable of accommodating the rather huge bill for the purchase of one choice property. Those closest to the corridors of

eports yesterday revealed that Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has had a fresh altercation with manager Roberto Mancini after was left out of the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League defeat at Real Madrid.

PERHAPS, THE EFCC SHOULD BEGIN TO THINK OF WAGING THE

ANTI-GRAFT CAMPAIGN WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON CORRUPT JUDGES the nation’s judiciary, including the top echelons of the third arm of government, have never hidden their revulsion to the pervasive corruption therein. Not too long ago, Obasanjo, at a function graced by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Muhammed Uwais; former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; and the erstwhile Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; etc., in Lagos stated: “… the judiciary has been riddled by corruption, which has affected other sectors of the country… if the judiciary becomes corrupt, where is the hope for the nation?” Uwais, who worked closely with the Obasanjo government, concurred. Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Joe Daudu, while in office was once

quoted as saying that the judges in Nigerian courts were at their weakest and most corrupt stage in the nation’s history. Likewise former CJN, Justice Aloysius Kastina-Alu, once credited with the remark that the nation’s judiciary’s cup was half empty in terms of integrity, though he was tainted by the by the same plague when he clashed with Justice Ayo Salami of the Federal Court of Appeal following the latter’s contentious suspension last year. Little wonder critics wanted to eat former CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, raw over his reaction to the verdict of the United States Department of State’s report submitted to the American Congress by the country’s Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton last May. A portion of the honest report read: “There was a widespread perception that judges were easily bribed and that litigants could not rely on the courts to render impartial judgments. Citizens encountered long delays and alleged requests from judicial officials for bribes to expedite cases or obtain favourable rulings.” The said report literally dismissed the nation’s anti-graft war as very ineffective. But Musdapher’s reponse was that corruption in the judiciary was not peculiar to Nigeria; and that the only difference between the situation in the US and Nigeria “is that democracy is deeply entrenched in the US”; as if to say deeply corrupt judges must hold court in a fledgling democracy like Nigeria’s. Perhaps, the EFCC should begin to think of waging the antigraft campaign with special focus on corrupt judges - all that may be necessary is to track them using their performances in high profile graft cases and election petitions since 1999, until the nation can extract from the judiciary sound judgments and punishment based on the weight of offences committed; and delivered on time.

Sport Extra

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Balotelli, Mancini renew age-old rancour

Mancini, who is fed up with Balotelli’s wild ways that include the player’s smoking habit has lost patience with the maverick Italian. Balotelli partied until the

early hours after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Stoke and was pictured with boxer Amir Khan on a night out at Circle Club in Manchester. An incensed Mancini was left angry with Balotel-

li, forcing the controversial Italy international to travel to the Bernabeu despite being told he wouldn’t play a part before stepping on the plane. “Mario is in the bad books

on two fronts,” a source at the Eastlands said yesterday. “He and Mancini had words on Monday afternoon and it led to him being dropped from the squad,” the source added.

Mario Balotelli

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Friday, September 21, 2012  

*Jonathan puts issuance of N5,000 note on hold -NASS replies Maku, says he’s ignorant *Airports in chaos as Arik suspends flights -......

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