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Kogi church attack: Okene shut as soldiers sack LG secretariat OMEIZA AJAYI OKENE

Wada

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usiness and other activities were paralysed in Okene, Kogi State, yesterday as secu-

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rity operatives, in what it dubbed a “mop up” exercise took over the entire town to maintain the peace. This followed Monday’s terrorists attack on the Deeper Life Bible Church

in Otite where about 20 worshippers were killed and several others severely injured. The Federal College of Education in Otite, banks, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sanusi

Two-day cheque clearing begins today

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Terrorism: Clinton meets Jonathan, security chiefs ROTIMI FADEYI AND AZA MSUE

Proposes intelligence fusion cell to combat insecurity THUNDER-BOLT!

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trategies on how to curtail terrorism, especially the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, yesterday dominated discussions between President Goodluck Jonathan and visiting United States Secretary of State, Mrs. Hilary Clinton. Clinton, who arrived in Nigeria yesterday as part of her 12-day African tour, held a closed-door session with President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa and declared that Nigeria’s future was limitless. She also held another meeting with the service chiefs, including the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petirin; Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika; National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and the Inspector-General of Police, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Jamaican Usain Bolt winning the gold medal in the men’s 200m final at the London 2012 Olympics yesterday. The first to retain 200m gold at the Olympics. Jamaican atheletes came second, third to win the silver and bronze medals of that event.

Dana plane crash: DAY 22

Absence of relations delays release of victims’ corpses

P.2 Utilise the last days of P.28 Journalist beaten to stupor, hospitalised Ramadan optimally –Imam ‘FG decides on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway soon’ P.6


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Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Absence of relations delays release of victims’ corpses TOBORE OVUORIE

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he evacuation of corpses of the Dana crash victims by their relatives started yesterday on a low scale, despite efforts by the Lagos State Government to ensure speedy collection of identified corpses. Only two corpses were claimed at the Lekan Ogunsola Memorial Mortuary of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, contrary to the designated 20 corpses that were expected to have been evacuated. LASUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof. David Wale Oke, however, explained that the hospital would not charge the families any fee for the preservation of corpses until all the bodies were evacuated, saying that some families were probably not yet ready to collect. However, a photo journalist with the Leadership newspaper, Mr. Benedict Uwalaka, was beaten to stupor at the mortuary by attendants on the allegation that he took photographs of one of the corpses claimed yesterday. Uwalaka, who claimed innocence of the allegation, said his camera and phone were seized by his attackers. Oke said the journalist,

who is presently on admission at the Surgical Emergency Ward of the hospital, free health care until he is able to recover. Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, who visited Uwalaka in company with LASUTH CMD and Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Deji Elumoye, promised that Uwalaka’s missing camera and phone would be replaced by the government. Explaining the ongoing processing of the Dana victims’ corpses, the CMD said: “Some of the relatives did not come on time, so we took their reference specimens late. “The result got to us on the night of Saturday August 4. On Monday, the commissioner was informed, the governor was informed, we immediately constituted a committee that was incharge in breaking the code of the results because they came in codes. “Earlier on, we have coded the bodies and when the result came, we needed to match them with the 132 bodies. “Then on Wednesday we held a meeting with the relatives and it was decided at that meeting that 20 bodies would be released every day until all the bodies are claimed except those yet to

be identified. “The reason for that was that some relatives did not come, some bodies were so badly burnt that we could not get the DNA materials needed for their identification processes, but our pathologists are on ground to see if they can use their experiences to further identify the remaining 16 bodies. “In order not to cause unnecessary chaos, we have decided to release the bodies alphabetically and the names were pasted on the wall for the relatives to access. “For the remaining 16 bodies, we will hold a meeting with the family members to see if we can take more specimens from the relatives. “I believe this will be faster because we are only dealing with a few cases and if at the end, anybody that cannot be identified, the family members will be contacted to decide the next line of action. “I cannot say precisely how many bodies that have been released so far because some relatives were not ready and some others decided to keep the bodies in the morgue. “Let me clarify this, as long as the corpses stay in the morgue, the Lagos State government is not charging any money from the relatives.”

On why some names of the deceased already buried still appeared on the list, the CMD said: “In order to be on a safe side, we conducted DNA tests for all the victims, so that in case mistakes were made, we would know how to make restitution, but thank God there is no mistake so far. “I assure you if all the families are ready today, they will get the corpses of their relatives accordingly. We are hoping that in the next one week we’ll be done, depending on the relatives’ response,” he said. An eyewitness, who did not want his name in print, said Uwalaka was unjustly manhandled as he did not take a shot of the corpse. The eyewitness, who is also a photo journalist, said: “When they came to meet me that I should not

take any picture, I said for what? They said: ‘If you make any attempt to do anything there, I will seize your camera’. “I said for what, why should you seize my camera and who are you? And they said, ‘It is not allowed, nobody should take any picture here’ and I said okay. I left the place immediately. “As I was going, I saw Uwalaka coming towards that direction and incidentally, that was when they were bringing out one of the bodies, and I told him that they said we should not take any photograph. “To be honest with you, he did not take any photograph, rather, he just turned back immediately. “Maybe, because I had just left the place and he was coming behind me, maybe they thought he was

taking photograph. Suddenly, one Bayo rushed to him and started slapping him from the back and before Uwalaka could know what was going on, he hit him at the back with an iron rod. “All of a sudden, about three people were all over him, pounding him mercilessly. We rushed to his rescue and separated them. “In fact, you needed to see blood all over his body, some of Bayo’s men took him inside. “As Uwalaka was battling with the gushing blood and his clothes, one Idowu came and said, ‘You’ve been warned not to take any photograph here, why should you take it?’ “Uwalaka, who was already in pain angrily, questioned why he should CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

ATTACK ON JOURNALIST BY MORTUARY ATTENDANTS

Terrorism: Clinton meets Jonathan, security chiefs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Muhammed Abubakar. Clinton, who arrived at the Presidential Villa at 3.52p.m., amid tight security, was received by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, after which she later met with the President. National Mirror gathered that the meeting focused on strengthening bilateral ties between Nigeria and the United States. It was also gathered that the issue of insecurity in the country and possible ways through which the US could assist in overcoming the security challenge posed by the violent Boko Haram Islamic sect was also discussed at the meeting.

It was reliably gathered that security issues in Nigeria and other African countries were tabled during the over two-and-a-half hour meeting between Clinton and the security chiefs. Clinton also urged Nigeria to boost her intelligence capabilities to combat the growing extremist violence. She suggested that Nigeria should create an “intelligence fusion cell” that would combine information from the military, spy services, police and other federal, state and local agencies. “The cell would also coordinate counter-terrorism activities and serve as a contact for foreign intelligence services,” said a

senior State Department official, who did not want his name mentioned. The official however said that the aim of the meeting was to discuss the assistance US was extending to Nigeria, saying that the security situation in Nigeria would have adverse effect on neighbouring countries. “(Clinton) will be renewing our offers of assistance and help to the Nigerians. “This is a problem for Nigeria, but also, northern Nigeria’s borders with Cameroon, it’s borders Niger. We are concerned that this kind of radical network could undermine the security of neighbouring states,” the official said. The official explained CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

BAYO, THE ATTACKER

A photojournalist with Leadership newspapers, Mr. Benedict Uwalaka, being brutalised by officials of TOS Funeral Service of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, yesterday at the release of corpses of Dana Air crash victims in Lagos. Bayo (right) escaping with Uwalaka’s camera PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI


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Friday, August 10, 2012

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L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeiri; Minister of Culture, Chief Edem Duke and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at a meeting on the repositioning of the NOA in Abuja, yesterday.

L - R: Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Director of Zambeef Product Plc, Mr. Ibrahim Isral; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru; Group Director, Mr. Carl Irwin; Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Chief Executive Officer, Zambeef Product Plc, Mr. Francis Coragon and Commissioner for Agriculture, Engr. Ayo Olubori, during a courtesy call on the governor in Abeokuta, recently.

L-R: Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Chidi Okezie; Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Sola David-Borha; Chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yinka Sanni , during the bank’s court ordered extra-ordinary general meeting and 23rd Annual General Meeting in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Dfid Head of Office in Nigeria, Mr. Richard Montgomery; Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga; Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and World Bank Country Director, Ms. MarieNelly Francoise, during the launch of World Bank’s Investment Climate Assessment Report in 26 PHOTO: NAN States of Nigeria, in Abuja, yesterday.

National News

Two-day cheque clearing commences today ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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ank customers in the Lagos area will have their cheques cleared within two days instead of three with effect from today as the pilot scheme of the Cheque Truncation System takes effect. The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said in a statement yesterday that the pilot scheme was authorized, after it was satisfied that the banks were prepared for the implementation. The new system involves confirmation of cheques via visual images sent electronically rather than physical examination and exchange at the clearing house and is designed to further encourage the use of cheques in transaction settlements. The apex bank said the new system was part of efforts at revamping the National Payments System started in August 2007 under the Payments System Vision 2020 initiative, which strategy docu-

ment benchmarks Nigeria against global best practices. Other initiatives include the review of the Nigerian Bankers Clearing House Rules and the Nigerian Uniform Bank Account Number, which implementation have since started. The CBN pointed out that it had earlier issued guidelines on cheque truncation that outlined the scheme’s regulation and management to reduce cost and clearing days; articulate rights and responsibilities of paying banks and facilitate an effective and efficient payments system. The current system, it said was approved after a systems audit certification and test on banks confirmed their readiness. “Our finding is that conditions are appropriate for the cheque truncation scheme to go live in the Lagos area,” the CBN said. This, according to the regulator, means that the cheque clearing cycle will be reduced from T+2

to T+1 (Transaction plus two days to transaction plus one day). The CBN said that although the scheme will commence in Lagos, which accounts for about 70 per cent of cheque transactions in the country, it would be extended to other clearing zones as soon as possible. Between January and June this year, the value of cheques processed in the country by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, NIBSS, stood at N3.89trn. The CBN however noted that given the inherent risks associated with the process, the guidelines have clearly defined the roles, infractions and sanctions for all participants. It said that while initial cost to banks is likely to be significant, it would encourage multi-bank shared cheque processing centre or facilities in order to mitigate the costs. National Mirror investigation reveals that banks have already directed their operational managers in the Lagos

zone to do a test-run of the cheque truncation policy and have already sent alerts to their customers intimating them of the new development. The scheme was earlier billed to be test-run on July 27, but was delayed by the apex bank to ensure that banks are fully ready for the scheme. A branch manager at UBA in Lagos, who did not want his name mentioned, told National Mirror yesterday that she just received an internal prototype of the electronically transferred cheque from the head office for confirmation as part of efforts to test the bank staff on how the new system works. “This is going to be a good policy. It will fast track payment of cheques, reduce payment of cheque from normal three days clearing to two days,” she said. National Mirror also gathered from a customer care service officer at an Ikeja branch of Access Bank that the bank’s staff have not been informed yet on the planned test-

run. But he said Access Bank will start operating the new clearing system today. First City Monument Bank has advised customers to ensure that accounts are funded before presentation of cheques while cheques above N500,000 will need preconfirmation. It said special mandate such as the use of seals, embossment, thumbprint or colours of pen other than black will no longer be valid since images will be used for confirmation. It also said physical confirmation of cheques would no longer be possible as only images of cheques will be in the bank’s possession. But a branch manager of a second generation bank on Broad Street said that the new system could increase fraud in the banking system. “The cheque truncation is working very well. Customers are not complaining because it is to their own advantage. If a customer pays in a cheque, the cheque would be cleared within 24hrs

from the time the customer lodged in that cheque, unlike before that the customer have to wait for three working days. But if the cheque is passed for clearing fraudulently, it might have been cleared before the owner of the cheque realises. “So our advice to customers is that they should be careful in giving out cheques and also careful with keeping it,” she said. An internal bank e-mail seen by National Mirror, asked its staff to inform customers to pre-confirm cheques and also pre-fund their accounts, as “inward clearing cheques are to be confirmed by branches on the same day and within clearing return window which is between 11am and 1.00pm (2nd session) and 4pm and 5pm (3rd session). They are also to “ensure that all outward clearing cheques deposited by customers are reviewed under the UV fluorescent light to confirm compliance with the mandatory security features specified by the Nigeria cheque standard.”


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Friday, August 10, 2012

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Terrorism: Clinton meets Jonathan, security chiefs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

that the assistance US promised to offer includes helping to develop the country’s investigative procedures and forensics. “We can help them develop mechanisms for tracking and determining individuals who are likely to be engaged in supporting Boko Haram actively,” the official said. Clinton said the United States was ready to assist the cell with organisational expertise, training and equipment, including computers, and would offer the aid to Nigeria. Speaking after the closed-door session, President Jonathan commended Clinton’s support to Nigeria, saying that within the period of her being the Secretary of State, she had raised the relationship between Nigeria and America to greater heights. Jonathan said: “Within this period of being Secretary of State, she has raised the relationship between Nigeria and America to a very high level that we have never reached for quite some time and we have discussed various things – security, economy and so on and so forth. She has been very supportive. “The President Barack Obama administration is also quiet passionate about Africa and Nigeria. He has always been very supportive of us for the past five years; from the days I came in as vice-president, especially that period as a nation we faced a lot of challenges when the late President was very ill and we passed through a turbulent period. “And the support he gave us stabilised this country. And when we insisted we must conduct election that is free and to stabilise democracy, they were very supportive. They gave us moral support; technical support to INEC and assisted us to make sure that we conducted elections that national and international observers declared as quiet, free and fair.” Clinton said that the United States and the Obama administration were committed to the partnership with Nigeria, saying that it was absolutely vital to the Nigeria United States Bi-National Commission.

She said that the Bi-National Commission helped to deepen and expand cooperation on some issues. “We are working on economic matters, the improvement of productivity in agriculture, education and health, security, diversification of your economy and so much more. “We intend to remain very supportive on your reform efforts. Thank you for mentioning the work we did together on the election, we were also very supportive of anti-corruption reform efforts, more transparency in the work that you and your team are also championing because we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless. “But the most important task that you face, as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians, South, East, West, North, every young boy and girl to have chance to fulfil his God-given potential. We want to work with you and we will be by your side as you make the reforms and take the tough decisions that are necessary,” Clinton said The US Secretary of State later left the Presidential Villa at about 6.19 p.m. without granting any interview to State House correspondents who had gathered to interview her. She simply said: “Thank you all.” Meanwhile, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, yesterday wrote the US Secretary of State on the activities of the Boko Haram sect against Christians in Nigeria. The CAN president, in the letter, urged Clinton to work towards achieving a truth-based peaceful resolution that would end terrorism and extremism facing the country. Oritsejafor described the US Secretary of State’s visit to Nigeria as courageous at a time of Boko Haram massacre. The letter reads in part: “Madam Secretary, I had wanted an audience with you to raise my concern over recent statements credited to the US government, including at a congressional hearing in which I testified last month. “These pronouncements

from the State Department have distortions, omissions and in some cases clearly misrepresent facts on the ground in a manner that beclouds the crisis facing Nigeria and is ultimately deleterious to the quest for a peaceful and truthful resolution. “Much to our dismay, the information contained in our memorandum to the Presidential Panel on PostElection Violence was not included in the 2011 State Department International

Religious Freedom Report. “Our memo presented widespread incidents of violence targeting Christians in 12 northern states in April last year during the reporting period of the 2011 report. “Unfortunately, the destruction of over 700 churches and the systematic massacre of hundreds of Christians in 48 hours – the largest single attack on Christendom in contemporary world history anywhere on the planet – were

not included in your report. “Even more surprising, the report failed to accurately describe the horrific Christmas Day multi-city church attacks. The pernicious persecution, denigration and dehumanisation of Christians in Northern Nigeria especially have been a fact of life for over a quarter of a century. It is therefore disconcerting that the US report addresses it in a speculative tone that undermines the harsh reality of the mass-

es of orphans and widows left behind. “The report while conceding that the Nigerian constitution forbids adoption of state religion does not plainly point out that the 12 Northern states by adopting Sharia codes and creating religious police, ministries of religion and funding mosques are an affront to the constitution’s establishment clause as well as the doctrine of separation of faith and state.”

L-R: American Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton; Nigerian Ambassador to United States, Ambassador Ade Adefuye; Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru and President Goodluck Jonathan, during Clinton’s visit in Abuja, yesterday.

Absence of relations delays release of victims’ corpses CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

be addressing him in such manner. Unable to control it, he held his leg and bit him on his leg. Then Idowu got a bottle and smashed it on Uwalaka’s head and that was how he fell and lost consciousness for some time.” After he regained consciousness, Uwalaka said: “I was about to take photograph when two men from the mortuary accosted me and asked me ‘where is the picture you have taken?’

They collected my camera along with other two cameras. They later returned the other two cameras but said they didn’t have my own. “They started beating me, others joined them and I started bleeding. Yet, one Idowu brought a bottle and broke it on my head. They also brought electric shocker to electrocute me but God saved me. “My face was covered with pool of blood; I could

not see anything at a point as the bleeding was profuse. Fortunately, fellow journalists around intervened, reported the case to the police and took me to the hospital for first aid and treatment.” Meanwhile, a relative of one of the victims of the Dana plane crash, Mr. Ogbonnanta Uwaeme, yesterday accused the Federal Government and the airline of insincerity and insensitivity over the pay-

ment of the initial $30,000 compensation. Uwaeme, who spoke to journalists at the morgue, alleged that Dana officials were trying to frustrate the payment of the compensation to relatives through unnecessary bureaucratic processes. Uwaeme, who lost nine family members to the ill- fated crash expressed bitterness about the whole process of claiming the money.

Okene shut as soldiers sack LG secretariat CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

eateries and shops in the area were under lock. Men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, were said to have raided the Okehi Local Government Council Secretariat in Obangede and sacked the premises. “We had hardly resumed here (secretariat) yesterday morning when some gun totting soldiers came here and chased us out. They asked why we should be sitting down here when two of their men had been

killed in Okene. “In fact, some of my colleagues sustained injuries as a result of the pandemonium caused by the invasion,” said an executive member of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, in the council who did not want his name in print. Mohammed Ogaminana, a resident of nearby Ogaminana town, told our correspondent that armed policemen invaded his fiancée’s home in Okene, beat-

ing the male inhabitants of the household and asking them to produce their guns. “They went to my girlfriend’s house in Okene and dealt with the people inside. They beat up the guys and were asking them to handover their guns even though they (guys) did not have any gun. “The government has to check these abuses. The ‘Mohammed Yusuf ’ approach is not the way forward,” he said, making reference to the 2009 brutal

murder of the leader of the Boko Haram Islamist sect, Mohammed Yusuf, in Maiduguri, Borno State. Another resident of the area, Shuaibu Stephen, described the situation as tensed. He said the policemen drafted to the area also went to Ihima in Okehi Local Government Area of the state where they swooped on markets, destroying goods just as most of the women in the markets sustained various CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>


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National News

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Okene shut as soldiers sack LG secretariat CONTINUED FROM 5

Pilgrims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for this year’s lesser Hajj at the departure hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, yesterday.

Attacks: Nigeria needs state police, say Okorocha, Gana EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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overnor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, yesterday gave backing to the clamour for the creation of state police to tackle insecurity in the country. Okorocha and Gana spoke at a function organised by the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, in Abuja tagged: “National Dialogue on Effective Leadership and Good Governance.” Both men decried bomb explosions ravaging parts of the North, perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect.

As part of measures to solve the myriad of problems besetting the country, Gana challenged public office holders to give “effective leadership”, as a way of moving the ship of state forward. Gana, who chaired the event, said: “Nigeria is one of the countries where the police are controlled by the Federal Government. It is a contradiction of federation. How can less than 500,000 police look over 160 million people. The issue of security is so serious.” On his part, Okorocha said: “What you see in Nigeria today is that we have managers and not leaders. A politician is not a leader. A politician thinks

Negligence caused Dana crash, witness tells coroner

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Coroner’s Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday heard that alleged refusal of the flight crew of Dana Airlines to adhere to required emergency guidelines caused the June 3 tragedy. Capt. Tito Omaghomi, a retired flight captain of the defunct Nigerian Airways, made the allegation at the resumed hearing of the coroner’s inquest into the accident, which claimed over 150 lives. “It was a disorganised cockpit. It became a flight that nobody had control of,” the pilot, who retired from flying commercial planes in 1991 said.

Omaghomi said that his submission was arrived at following the outcome of the preliminary report of the probe by the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB. He told the coroner, Magistrate Komolafe Oyetade, that the pilot and his crew neglected to keep to necessary checklists of the aircraft to prevent accident. The captain, who claimed to have over 32 years experience as a pilot, was led in evidence by Mr. Femi Falana (SAN). Omaghomi explained that the checklists were items and actions necessary to go through before the operation of a plane to ensure its safety.

about the next election, while leaders think about the next generation. Politicians express sentiments while leaders express views. “Money is not a factor in leadership but vision. If you don’t have passion, you cannot be a leader. There is more to leadership other than power and authority.

Tribalism is an ingredient of failed leadership. Leaders must take responsibilities.” He advised African leaders to accept responsibilities for failures recorded, rather than indulge in the usual “blame game”, which had not helped the course of development on the continent.

Stay off South-West, Yoruba elders warn Boko Haram KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, yesterday rose from its Executive Council Meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, and warned the Boko Haram sect not to attempt to spread its violence to the South-West. The YCE, also known as Igbimo Agba Yoruba, speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yemi Falade, said the security challenges being faced by the country were thoroughly discussed during the meeting. Falade said the group took cognisance of the implication of Monday’s attack on the Deeper Life Church in Kogi State, adding that all the necessary mechanisms to ward off any invasion by those he described as dissidents had been put in place. A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, which was signed by the President, Major General

Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), General Secretary, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN) and Falade, said: “Yoruba race will not take kindly or stay idle watching the country being destroyed.” The communiqué noted that the YCE at the meeting, “critically and extensively reviewed the security situation in the country and expressed serious concern which calls for urgent action from the Federal Government of Nigeria. “YCE highly appreciates and commends the effort our President, Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan, has employed to tackle the problems brought about by some misguided elements, who are said to be bent on destroying the unity and progress of Nigeria. “Igbimo Agba Yoruba at this meeting resolved to call such elements to order forthwith, because the Yoruba race is interested in the unity and progress of Nigeria.”

degrees of injury. He said: “The environment is really tensed up. The mobile policemen are not taking things easy for the people. Apart from the fact that there is little vehicular movement, today they visited any active market in Ebiraland and destroyed the goods of our local business women. “Troops of mobile policemen came down to Ihima, then visited one local market in Ikuehi- Ihima. Several of our local business women got all their wares destroyed when they ran away from the market, leaving their wares to avoid police arrest. “Many sustained injuries and a handful of them are in critical situation due to the attack. “I want to say that the presence of mobile policemen in our land is well-deserved, but they are causing more havoc to us than maintaining the peace. “They arrest any innocent individuals on the road without any provocation. They also go to some houses and pick anyone on sight,” he said. He accused the policemen of taking laws into their hands, adding that they had earlier in the day impounded five motorcy-

cles in Okene and consequently set fire on them. “Apart from that, they break into homes, beat up the male-folk and even arrest most of them,” Stephen added. It will be recalled that on Tuesday, two soldiers were said to have been killed by some hoodlums around the Okene Council Secretariat. As at press time, efforts to reach the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, were unsuccessful as he did not return calls to his mobile phone. However, the mop up exercise continued amid criticisms by residents of the town who accused security operatives of being vindictive in their operations and brutalising law-abiding citizens. Consequently, an uneasy calm pervaded the area as both human and vehicular movements were unusually light. The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Simon Ile, said that the policemen were sent to Okene for a “mop up” exercise. Ile said the security agents would sustain the operation until all the culprits behind the killings are apprehended and the arms stolen from the dead soldiers recovered.

David-West berates Jonathan over el-Rufai’s arrest, interrogation VANESSA OKWARA

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ormer Petroleum Minister, Prof. Tam David West, yesterday described as unfortunate the arrest and subsequent release of former Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Minister, Malam Nasiru el-Rufai. Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, David-West condemned the action of men of the State Security Service, SSS, who interrogated el-Rufai at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, on his way to Saudi Arabia. He said: “This is one of the most unfortunate things that President Goodluck Jonathan has done in recent times. Why does he always make things difficult for himself? He simply does not have good advisers. I am saying this with all seriousness.

This is not what he should be involving himself with right now, especially with the state of the country’s security problems.’’ David-West also expressed disappointment over President Jonathan’s response to the recent call by Boko Haram that he should convert to Islam or resign. He said; “I believe the President was very childish by replying to the call by Boko Haram to vacate his position as president. The constitution of this country is very clear on how a president can be removed from office. The two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives have to agree before this could happen. Even Boko Haram has spoilt their cause by asking the President to resign and become a Muslim; unless they don’t understand the constitution governing the country on such issues.”


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FG set to abolish indigenes, settlers’ dichotomy OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he controversy surrounding the indigenes-settlers’ dichotomy in the country will soon give way as the Federal Government yesterday said it was set to abolish the indigeneship clause in the country’s laws to put an end to the rancour associated with it. Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, spoke of the government’s new policy thrust when he received in audience leaders of the National Peace Forum, led by Senator Sun-

day Fajinmi. “The Federal Government is proposing the abrogation of the indigeneship clause or indigenes-settlers’ dichotomy as a means of putting an end to the issue in every part of the country. No meaningful achievement can be made without peace,” he said. He said the President has, this week, waded into the crisis in Plateau State by convening a peace meeting with leaders of the North-East zone to explore how to find a lasting solution to the problem. According to Gulak, the security situation in the country has become a

national problem and all hands must be on deck to maintain peace and unity in the country. The special adviser, who met with several groups that were on peace and solidarity visit to the President yesterday, said there are people who want to see Nigeria disintegrate or degenerate into anarchy. He said as Nigerians, we should not allow the prediction of people who wish that the country disintegrate, come to reality. He expressed concern over the unguarded utterances of some leaders and urged Nigerians to ignore calls for disintegration of

the country. He said disintegration is an ill-wind that will blow no one any good. Fajinmi said the National Peace Forum has many prominent Nigerians as members, including Senator M. T. Mbu, Senator John Damboye, former Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama, Governor Rochas Okoroacha of Imo State and Justice Maman Nasiru. He said the visit of the group was to see how to work with the Federal Government in order to nip the brewing violent conflict in different parts of the country in the bud.

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Five die in Awka, Abuja road crashes CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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ive persons were killed in separate accidents in Awka, Anambra State and Abuja, yesterday. In Awka, about four persons including a commercial motorcyclist, a hawker and a child beggar were killed in a ghastly accident at the popular UNIZIK Junction of Enugu to Onitsha Expressway. It was also gathered that over 21 vehicles, consisting of private and commercial buses and other cars were destroyed during the accident, which occurred when the driver of the truck with registration number, Benue XD 230 MKD conveying unknown goods to Onitsha, allegedly experienced a brake failure and lost control of the vehicle. It was also gathered that the accident was made more ghastly by a traffic hold up

at the junction as a result of construction work going on, on one part of the road. The accident, which was said to have happened at 4:10 pm, attracted a lot of onlookers, who wailed, as the traffic congestion persisted for many hours. A source, who witnessed the accident, described one of the victims as Chisom, a child beggar. It was also learnt that officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) later arrived at the scene of the accident to document the casualties of which were a motorcyclist and a hawker, just as a young girl conveyed by the commercial motorcyclist was lucky as she was rescued from under the truck alive, while she sustained severe injuries on her legs. In Abuja, a multiple accident on Karu Bridge involving about 12 vehicles led to the death of one person.

Jega swears in three new RECs, urges them to be honest OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

T L-R: President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Prelate, Methodist Church, Nigeria, His Eminence (Dr) Sunday Ola Makinde and Secretary of the Conference, Rev Raphael Opoko, during the official opening ceremony of the 43rd/8th Biennial conference of the Methodist Church in Lagos, yesterday.

Plateau lawmakers plot Speaker’s removal JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. John Clark Dabwan, may be replaced any time soon if plans by some aggrieved lawmakers to effect a change in the leadership of the House succeed. National Mirror gathered yesterday that majority of the PDP-dominated House members have made up their mind to dump the speaker, accusing him of not representing them appropriately before the state executive arm of government led by Governor Jonah Jang. It was gathered that most of the lawmakers are rooting for the immediate past Speaker of the House Hon. Istifanus Mwansat,

who led the 6th House of Assembly till the end of the last tenure of Governor Jonah Jang and could have returned the same Mwansat if not pressures from the leadership of the party that resisted his reappointment as the speaker. He was accused of not dancing to the tune of the party to carry out some hatchet job to declare the seats of some lawmakers who defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria from the PDP vacant before the last general elections were held in the state. It was further gathered that the present face-off between the state lawmakers and their speaker came into the open recently when the speaker, who was holding most of his colleagues suspect, influenced the executive arm and the

party leadership to remove the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Helen Chundusu, her Deputy, Sergeant of Arms, and the seat of the Deputy Sergeant of Arms vacant by the state House of Assembly Commission. The announcement of

the vacant positions in the House of Assembly was published in the state owned newspapers, Sunday Standard, dated July 29 last month which prompted the majority of the state lawmakers to begin to suspect foul play.

he Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday sworn-in three new state Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs). Performing the ceremony at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Jega said the action became necessary in order to turn around the fortunes of the commission and reposition it for greater challenges ahead. While he listed the new commissioners as Baritor Kpagih from Rivers State, Habu Zarma-Hanni from

Gombe State and Ikoiwak Abasi from Akwa Ibom State, Jega urged them to key into his vision of making INEC a foremost election management body in Africa, explaining that their appointments were coming at a time when INEC was re-strategising ahead of the 2015 general elections. While Abasi was deployed in Rivers State, Zarma-Hinna was taken to Plateau State and Kpagih to Edo State. The INEC boss said with the experiences garnered over the years by the new appointees, they are expected to contribute meaningfully to meeting the expectations of Nigerians.

Adeboye debunks colour message MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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he General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E. A. Adeboye, has described a message circulating in the social media warning everyone, especially members of his church not to wear ‘anything red’ as untrue. Responding to the message on his Facebook page, the pastor said he

did not send any message out informing members of the public not to wear a particular colour (red) and do not have any issues with whatever colour. A part of his reaction read: “No message stating you should not wear a particular color was ever authorised by The Redemption Camp or my office. Please be mindful and careful of erroneous messages.” There had been fear

across the country since Wednesday afternoon when a message which directed members of the public not to wear any red item throughout yesterday flooded the social media. The message was also sent as text message by the public. The message had implied that putting on anything red, yesterday, could make members of the public vulnerable to being sacrificed for the nation.

Pastor Adeboye


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South West

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos blames disasters on poor safety precautions MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) yesterday blamed most disasters recorded in the country on lack of safety precautions by residents, describing the attitude as a threat to government’s disaster prevention efforts. Addressing journalists shortly after a meeting of heads of the state’s emergency response agencies, the Director-General of the

Commission, Mrs. Dominga Odebunmi, who made the disclosure, said lack of safety precaution has contributed to frequent disasters experienced in recent times. She advised residents to always put safety first in all their undertakings as a precaution against disasters, saying that most disasters occurred because people ignored simple safety precautions. Her words: “Safety is a collective responsibility.

It is not something that is done only as a last resort. It should be our core value and something we give consideration to in all our thinking and undertakings. “We need to always take precautions to guard against accident, injury or disaster. It should be a culture and indeed it is cheaper than managing disasters.” Odebunmi said the commission would embark on aggressive sensitisation of residents on the need to

adopt safety precautions in workplaces, public places and anywhere they found themselves. The director-general said the meeting of emergency officials was to evolve strategies aimed at sharpening the response of emergency agencies to disasters. Also speaking, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, Dr Femi OkeOsayintolu, decried looting by the supposed rescue volunteers in disaster scenes,

describing the habit as inhuman and counter-productive. He said the major challenge faced by emergency agencies in the state is crowd control, which according him, prevent the professional emergency responders from carrying out their duties diligently. He said government had established local emergency committees at the local governments to make response to emergencies faster and more effective, adding that emergency

simulation exercises would soon be held in all the local governments to test and boost the preparedness of these committees to handle emergencies. “This is an important forum, because we have to review our various management strategies. And I believe with this kind of platform we can strengthen our capacities to manage emergencies. People must be educated against looting when trying to rescue disaster victims,” he said.

AIG seeks govt’s suport on security challenges KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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L-R: Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; her husband, Kayode; Commissioner for Integration and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami; and Chairperson, Governing Board of College of Health Sciences, Ijero-Ekiti, Mrs. Monisola Oloro; during a courtesy visit to the Governor in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.

Court nullifies Ondo PDP congresses HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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high court sitting in Akure, yesterday nullified the local govenment and state congresses of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State chapter just as the court also restrained members elected through the congresses from parading themselves as executive members of the party. The court, which was presided over by Justice C. E. T Ajama, said the order remains till the determination of the substantive suit before it, adding that the congresses were held against the order of the court. Ajama was ruling on the application for an injunction brought by some members of the party, which include, Mrs. Alaka Abigail, Adetokunbo Michael, Fanika Oluwasina and Akinyemi Rufus. The plaintiffs had approached the court seeking for an order to nullify the congresses held by the party after an earlier order

of the court that restrained the defendants from participating as candidates or directing the conduct. The defendants included in the suit were members of the nine-man interim committee headed by Ebenezer Alabi that was put in place immediately after the resignation of the Omotayo Dairo-led executive in the state. But, Chairman of the party in the state, Ebenezer Alabi, said the party will appeal against the judgment, fingering the ruling Labour Party (LP) in the judgement. Alabi said the court will not be a stumbling block towards the party determination to win the next election in the state. The plaintiffs approached the court following the conduct of the congresses and the emergence of some of the members of the interim committee through their counsel, Rotimi Olorunfemi, calling for order to nullify the exercise. After arguments and

counter argument by Olorunfemi and counsel to the defendant, Abayomi Ojo, the court held that the congresses is nullified and annulled. The court further ordered that; “The state congress of the PDP in the state purportedly held on March 17, 2012, at Helena Hotel, Ijapo Estate Akure, in which the defendants herein took active part in flagrant disobedience of a subsisting Order of the Court dated March 9, 2012 is hereby an-

nulled and nullified. “All those who purportedly emerged as officers or members of the Ondo State executives of the PDP, particularly the defendants in this suit on March 17, 2012 in flagrant disobedience of the court’s order dated March 9, 2012 are hereby restrained for now from parading themselves as members of the Ondo State executives of the Peoples Democratic Party until the final determination of the suit.”

he new Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 11, Mr. Orubebe Ghandi Ebikeme, has called for partnership between the force and the Oyo State government in the areas of equipment, manpower and logistics, to help combat crime in the state. He said this yesterday during a courtesy visit to Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan. He said the security of the nation is a collective responsibility which everybody must be willing to partake in and lauded the state government for its commitment towards re-

Ajimobi

NULGE orders council workers to shun promotion exam ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has directed its members in the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State not to participate in the promotion examination organised by the state government. The promotion examination is scheduled to hold on Monday. Ekiti NULGE Secretary, Mr Victor Ade Adebayo,

said the union did not have confidence in the process and the ability of the state government to conduct honest and transparent test for the local government workers. Adebayo said in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday that “This is, more so, when we are aware of the terrible fate that befell some council staff who had participated in a similar exercise in recent times.” NULGE said it has not reneged in its decision to

come up with the next line of action at the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum earlier given to the state government within which the demands of the council workers ought to have been met.p The statement also faulted Governor Kayode Fayemi’s position in a recent interview where he attributed the ongoing biometric exercise to the non-payment of the new minimum wage of N19, 300 to local government workers.

ducing crime in the state. The AIG also expressed the renewed desire of the force in ensuring that the crime rate in the state is brought to zero-level, saying it could only be achieved through collaborative efforts from the citizens and other stakeholders. Governor Ajimobi, in his response, charged members of the Nigeria Police to be fearless in their efforts at addressing the security challenges currently facing the country. He said since the police are saddled with the responsibility of providing security for lives and property, only a bold step is required to be taken by members of the force to re-assure the citizens that their lives and property are safe. He also charged the police to avoid taking side in any given situation in the performance of their duties. He said his administration would continue to accord priority to security, adding that the recently launched state Security Trust Fund would further strengthen the state in its efforts at providing security in the state. His words: “Talking about security generally, Oyo State takes security very seriously, hence we have cooperated and worked closely with the police; here, we obey the rule of law and we are guided by it. “Oyo today is a peaceful and secured state, and we are not only ready for business but also, we are prepared to accommodate people of different ethnic backgrounds.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oyo: No resolution yet on sacked workers - Committee KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he ad-hoc committee set up by the Oyo State House of Assembly to review cases of the 3,000 workers recently sacked by the state government has not passed any resolution calling on the executive arm to reabsorb the former workers. The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Segun Ajanaku, who made the disclosure in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday, said the committee had not even submitted its report to the Assembly on the affected workers.

He said: “The insinuation that Governor Abiola Ajimobi has refused to comply with a so-called House resolution calling for the reinstatement of the sacked workers is farther from the truth. It is a blatant lie because my committee has not even submitted its report to the House. So how can a resolution be passed on a report that is yet to be submitted?” While admitting that the committee was given two weeks within which to submit its report to the House, he said the report was ready for submission but that it could not be submitted because the House

was on recess. “I can tell you that my committee worked conscientiously to ensure that we beat the deadline. The report is indeed ready but we could not present it because the House is on recess,’’ Ajanaku said. He added that the report would be submitted when the House resumed. “Even if the House calls for an emergency plenary today, we are ready to submit our report. There is nothing disturbing us because we are through with the exercise,’’ he said. The lawmaker, who disclosed that over 2,000 of the affected workers appeared

Amosun will soon return to PDP – Odujinrin FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Dipo Odujinrin, has expressed the optimism that Governor Ibikunle Amosun may soon return to the party because of the ongoing reconciliatory efforts in the party. Odujinrin, who gave the hint yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, while

Amosun

inaugurating the chairmen for the 20 local government executive committees of the party, also said that all aggrieved members who defected to other political parties would soon return to the party under his leadership. With specific reference to Amosun, the newly elected chairman said the new state executive committee under him had set up a five-man reconciliation committee to bring back those who might still be aggrieved in line with the policy of allinclusiveness and team work currently going on in the party. Odujinrin, who was reacting to a statement credited to the governor that he was in the wrong party during his period in PDP, said Amosun

couldn’t have regretted being a legislator in the party that gave him the opportunity in his first political aspiration to be a senator. He said: “We campaigned for him, it was during the period of Obasanjo/Atiku Presidential Campaign; we used the name of Obasanjo to sell him to go to Senate from Ogun State. He now said he regretted it, he did not regret it then. “I assure you very soon all aggrieved members will return to the party, including the governor. As responsible leaders, we have set up a five-man Reconciliation Committee to bring back all people who are aggrieved to the party. The governor is a member of the party and he is welcome to return to the party.”

cycle. The EKSUTH Chief Medical Director, CMD, Dr. Patrick Adegun, who refused to give the details of the stolen money yesterday, said the Management Board was handling the issue. Although he neither confirmed nor denied the suspension of the accountant, the CMD said the matter was being thoroughly investigated by the management, due to its high level of financial integrity. But the EKSUTH Board Chairman, Dr. Kayode Akinlade, told journalists on phone that the issue

was already being investigated by the police. It was gathered that that the accountant might have been suspended, pending the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee set up to investigate the matter. Sources said the hospital board would hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the missing fund and discuss the trial of those involved. However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, said the Command Headquarters had not been briefed on the matter.

Crisis rocks EKSUTH over stolen N2m

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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kiti State University Teaching Hospital, EKSUTH, Ado Ekiti, may have suspended its accountant over alleged incompetence and dereliction of duty in circumstances surrounding the loss of N2m belonging to the institution. The clerk, who the accountant delegated to deposit the money with a bank in the state capital last week, had returned to EKSUTH to narrate how it was allegedly snatched from him by two robbers who operated on a motor-

before his committee, said many of them failed to prove their innocence as they were guilty of the offences which led to their sack. He said: “We discovered that it is true that some of them falsified their certificates, while several others went to acquire fake certificates for whatever reason(s), after being in service. Many others were also discovered to have over-stayed long in service and due for retirement but they falsified their ages so as to escape retirement. “For these categories of people, there appears to be nothing our committee can do. We are fully in support of the governor for taking the bold step to flush them out of the system. We cannot continue to condone corruption and allow the civil service to be grounded to a halt.’’ Ajanaku, however, pleaded with the government to reconsider the cases of those sacked on account of irregularities in the age written in their primary school testimonials and re-absorb them.

FG decides on Lagos - Ibadan Expressway soon –Department Onolememen out of which

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, said yesterday that the Federal Government would soon take a decision on the concessioned Lagos - Ibadan Expressway to ensure that work begins on the road because of its economic importance to the country. Speaking with State House Correspondents after briefing President Goodluck Jonathan on the performance of the ministry’s 2012 budget, Onolememen said that government had engaged the concessionaire in re-negotiation with a view to resolving the problems stalling the project. He said: “A meeting was held on it on Tuesday. We are engaging the concessionaire and very soon, something will be done on it.” The minister also disclosed that the ministry had so far received N44bn in the 2012 budget, out of which 93 per cent had been utilised. Onolememen added that about N38bn had been released in the Highways

Politics 2015: Strategising ahead of battle •PDP is the only party that is committed to the continued existence of Nigeria – Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary •Merger of political parties is the only way we can rescue this country from the PDP – Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ACN National Publicity Secretary •We can’t afford to fail to unite all the progressive forces. – Osita Okechukwu, CNPP National Publicity Secretary

Crime Watch Kidnappers kill surgeon over unpaid ransom We actually rallied round and raised the N400,000 ransom. We gave it to one of his brothers. In one breath, he claimed that he had paid the kidnappers, and in another, he said the money was still with him and that he had not paid it before the deceased’s corpse was found. – Relation

Celebrity

‘I am happy to be Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria’ g Isabella

Ayuk Ay A y

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N37bn was spent on projects and programmes which represented about 96 per cent. According to him, 12 roads projects have been completed while 156 others are ongoing He said: “Some few projects were highlighted particularly in terms of budget 2012. We are also experiencing national emergencies on some of our arterial roads. For instance, like Port Harcourt - Enugu Expressway where we are making contingent plan for quick intervention so that we can make that road motorable.” The minister added that the ministry was involved in carrying out maintenance work on Enugu - Aba carriageway even though plans were on for its reconstruction. He also spoke on ongoing presidential initiative projects, including the extension of the Ontisha -Enugu Expressway, the Abuja - Abaji Expressway, Kaduna Expressway, Lokoja Expressway and Kaduna – Kano - Maiduguri Expressway.

Saturday Starter MOSOP and the drums of self determination We all know that the United Nations has given minority or ethnic groups the right to self autonomy.... However, we do not believe that this is the wish of all the Ogoni people at this time. -- Mr. Tony Uranta, Executive Secretary of National Summit Group I am of the view that such unilateral action is not called for. If anybody is interested in showing any grievance, they should wait till we meet at the National Conference. – Dr Fredrick Fasehun, Founder, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) They are entitled to their opinion because under International law as spelt out by the United Nations, which Nigeria is a member, any region and tribe has the right to declare its political autonomy and it is left for the government to either accept or not. – Comrade Shetima Yerima, President Arewa Youth Consultative Forum I belong to that school of thought which says that people have right to self determination under International law. So, if the people of Ogoni have decided to go, they have right to that under International law. – Mr Bamidele Aturu, human rights and lawyer. The leadership of Pro National Conference Organisation, (PRONACO) backs the declaration of the Ogoni people for political autonomy and self determination of their people and territory within Nigeria. – Comrade Wale Okunniyi, Spokesman of Pro National Conference Organisation (PRONACO)

x SeTalk How much sex is too much or too little?

This column is x-rated


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South East

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ndigbo allege deprivation, seek reparation from Nigeria DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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outh-East political leaders have demanded for immediate reparation from Nigeria against the neglect and deprivation Ndigbo have suffered since the civil war ended 42 years ago. The leaders, who met

yesterday in Enugu, under the auspices of South-East Forum, said time was ripe for other political regions in the country to compensate Ndigbo for the sacrifices they had made for the progress of the country. The event marked the formal presentation and launching of the forum’s constitution.

Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, expressed worry that in spite of the invaluable contribution Ndigbo were making towards the development of every part of the country, they are grossly being persecuted. He said the political situ-

ation since the war ended showed that there was a serious conspiracy to make sure that no Igbo man occupied the highest office in the land, stressing that the nation has continued to see Ndigbo as rebels. “How many Hausas, how many Yorubas, how many Tivs have investments here in South-East as much as

L-R: Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha; Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri and Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Jerry Gana, at the National Dialogue on Effective Leadership and Good Governance by the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja, yesterday.

Dissolution of LGAs: Court quashes ex-parte order on Okorocha CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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n Owerri High Court yesterday quashed the interim injunction restraining Governor Rochas Okorocha, from dissolving the 27 local government councils, but fixed Monday, August 13, 2012 for the substantive hearing of the case. The court had earlier restrained the governor from dissolving the local councils, thereby sacking the chairmen and appointing others from taking over, pending the determination of the suit. The Presiding Judge, Justice Ngozi Opara, made the pronouncement quash-

ing the interlocutory injunction yesterday after hearing the arguments and claims from both parties during the proceedings, which lasted till about 1.30 pm. The judge, who proceeded on a 30 minutes recess returned to vacate the order and immediately fixed hearing on the motion on notice on the ground that the injunction was granted ex-parte without hearing the other party. Reacting to the development, ALGON Secretary in Imo State and Chairman Ngor Okpala LGA, Mr. Enyinna Onuegbu, said the court acted in its wisdom, but stressed that

“it is a settled law that once a party has being served a court process, including notice for interlocutory injunction, the party is under law to keep the status quo until the court decides the matter.” He described the development as a pyrrhic victory for the APGA-led government, because they have been served the processes and have replied to them, adding that they could not take away lawful act against those processes. “Anything they do from today to prejudice the action will amount to nullity and will be visited with the contempt that it deserves by the court. As at today, the local government is

on stand still, because of what we are complaining against. As at today the parties are obliged to the pendency of these processes. The authority is Ojukwu vs Lagos State,” he said. The ALGON secretary maintained that the local government chairmen are still in office and will remain until the court dispenses the pending suit, insisting that nothing can happen outside of that. However, Counsel to the governor, Niyi Akintola (SAN), argued that the defendant have the right to take action to ensure that there is no vacuum in the councils since the order of injunction has been vacated.

Gunmen attack union leader in Anambra NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria, MTUN/Autobike Owners Association of Nigeria, AOWAN, Chief Jimmy Okonkwo, narrowly escaped death few days ago, when gunmen suspected to be members of a rival group attacked him

at Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. The incident, according to eye witnesses, occurred two poles away from one of the new generation banks where the victim had just withdrawn N3 million cash. According to the source, as soon as Okonkwo withdrew the money and was escorted to his car and drove off not up

to two poles from the bank premises, two Mitsubishi buses carrying about 10 armed men blocked his vehicle, one in front and the other at the rear. It was gathered that as soon as they blocked him, they jumped down and started firing gun shots at him, while others forced the car doors open and allegedly used axes and cutlasses on him. The source further

hinted that while the attacks lasted, to the extent that one of his staff who was with him in the vehicle managed to escape, the hoodlums took N362, 000 from his car door mat and was still struggling to open the car booth to take the N3 million, before they got wind of an approaching police van and abandoned him and his vehicle, jumped into their buses and zoomed off.

Ndigbo have across the country, why then are we being killed, why are we being persecuted?” Nwodo, who chaired the event, said time had come for these anomalies to be addressed by other regions by supporting the Igbo presidency project as well as addressing the imbalance in state structure. His words: “We are losing revenue by having five states only, we are losing revenue by having a shortfall in the number of local government areas, we are losing three senators, repredsentatives, state assembly members, board appointments, among others. “Who will tell me how many industries the Federal Government has cited here ever since the war ended, who will tell me any part of the country that has the worst network of roads than the South-East, is there any government that didn’t use the second Niger Bridge as a campaign promise? “We have suffered enough and we demand reparation from this country, we are planning a summit for the people of this region after which we shall make our demands clear and we expect our tears to

be wiped.” National Chairman of the forum, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu, said they were committed to the realisation of Igbo presidency in 2015. According to Izuogu, “We support the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and we pray for him to succeed, but we also support the emergence of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction come 2015.” He disclosed that the forum was borne out of the need to fill a gap created by lack of a formidable sociopolitical organisation in the zone. “While the South-West had Afenifere, the North had Arewa Consultative Forum and the middle belt had the Middle Belt Forum, through which these zones organise themselves and present a formidable front in negotiations with political power brokers and office seekers, the South-East has no platform.” In a communiqué presented at the end of the event, the National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Prof. Catherine Acholonu, announced the setting up of an 80th birthday planning committee for former VicePresident Alex Ekwueme, under the chairmanship of Senator Ken Nnamani.

Chime commissions three rural electricity projects DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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nugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, yesterday commissioned electricity projects in three communities in Udi Local Government Area of the state. Commissioning the projects at Akpakumenze community, Governor Chime said his administration was determined to bridge the gap between the rural and urban areas while working to reduce rural-urban migration in the state. Represented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Dr Eric Oluedo, the governor reiterated his government’s resolve to establish a paradigm shift from the old practice whereby government’s presence is determined by political equations. He said his administration, from inception,

embarked on an operation ‘Visit Every Community’ (VEC) aimed at identifying four cardinal projects that are of importance to the 472 communities in the state. He pledged that his administration will leave four different projects in all the communities at the expiration of the administration in May 2015. “This is aimed at strengthening rural dwellers and to boost the activities of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state to enable the state boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”

Chime


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oyo: No resolution yet on sacked workers - Committee KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

T

he ad-hoc committee set up by the Oyo State House of Assembly to review cases of the 3,000 workers recently sacked by the state government has not passed any resolution calling on the executive arm to reabsorb the former workers. The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Segun Ajanaku, who made the disclosure in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday, said the committee had not even submitted its report to the Assembly on the affected workers.

He said: “The insinuation that Governor Abiola Ajimobi has refused to comply with a so-called House resolution calling for the reinstatement of the sacked workers is farther from the truth. It is a blatant lie because my committee has not even submitted its report to the House. So how can a resolution be passed on a report that is yet to be submitted?” While admitting that the committee was given two weeks within which to submit its report to the House, he said the report was ready for submission but that it could not be submitted because the House

was on recess. “I can tell you that my committee worked conscientiously to ensure that we beat the deadline. The report is indeed ready but we could not present it because the House is on recess,’’ Ajanaku said. He added that the report would be submitted when the House resumed. “Even if the House calls for an emergency plenary today, we are ready to submit our report. There is nothing disturbing us because we are through with the exercise,’’ he said. The lawmaker, who disclosed that over 2,000 of the affected workers appeared

Amosun will soon return to PDP – Odujinrin FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Dipo Odujinrin, has expressed the optimism that Governor Ibikunle Amosun may soon return to the party because of the ongoing reconciliatory efforts in the party. Odujinrin, who gave the hint yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, while

Amosun

inaugurating the chairmen for the 20 local government executive committees of the party, also said that all aggrieved members who defected to other political parties would soon return to the party under his leadership. With specific reference to Amosun, the newly elected chairman said the new state executive committee under him had set up a five-man reconciliation committee to bring back those who might still be aggrieved in line with the policy of allinclusiveness and team work currently going on in the party. Odujinrin, who was reacting to a statement credited to the governor that he was in the wrong party during his period in PDP, said Amosun

couldn’t have regretted being a legislator in the party that gave him the opportunity in his first political aspiration to be a senator. He said: “We campaigned for him, it was during the period of Obasanjo/Atiku Presidential Campaign; we used the name of Obasanjo to sell him to go to Senate from Ogun State. He now said he regretted it, he did not regret it then. “I assure you very soon all aggrieved members will return to the party, including the governor. As responsible leaders, we have set up a five-man Reconciliation Committee to bring back all people who are aggrieved to the party. The governor is a member of the party and he is welcome to return to the party.”

cycle. The EKSUTH Chief Medical Director, CMD, Dr. Patrick Adegun, who refused to give the details of the stolen money yesterday, said the Management Board was handling the issue. Although he neither confirmed nor denied the suspension of the accountant, the CMD said the matter was being thoroughly investigated by the management, due to its high level of financial integrity. But the EKSUTH Board Chairman, Dr. Kayode Akinlade, told journalists on phone that the issue

was already being investigated by the police. It was gathered that that the accountant might have been suspended, pending the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee set up to investigate the matter. Sources said the hospital board would hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the missing fund and discuss the trial of those involved. However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, said the Command Headquarters had not been briefed on the matter.

Crisis rocks EKSUTH over stolen N2m

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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kiti State University Teaching Hospital, EKSUTH, Ado Ekiti, may have suspended its accountant over alleged incompetence and dereliction of duty in circumstances surrounding the loss of N2m belonging to the institution. The clerk, who the accountant delegated to deposit the money with a bank in the state capital last week, had returned to EKSUTH to narrate how it was allegedly snatched from him by two robbers who operated on a motor-

before his committee, said many of them failed to prove their innocence as they were guilty of the offences which led to their sack. He said: “We discovered that it is true that some of them falsified their certificates, while several others went to acquire fake certificates for whatever reason(s), after being in service. Many others were also discovered to have over-stayed long in service and due for retirement but they falsified their ages so as to escape retirement. “For these categories of people, there appears to be nothing our committee can do. We are fully in support of the governor for taking the bold step to flush them out of the system. We cannot continue to condone corruption and allow the civil service to be grounded to a halt.’’ Ajanaku, however, pleaded with the government to reconsider the cases of those sacked on account of irregularities in the age written in their primary school testimonials and re-absorb them.

FG decides on Lagos - Ibadan Expressway soon –Department Onolememen out of which

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, said yesterday that the Federal Government would soon take a decision on the concessioned Lagos - Ibadan Expressway to ensure that work begins on the road because of its economic importance to the country. Speaking with State House Correspondents after briefing President Goodluck Jonathan on the performance of the ministry’s 2012 budget, Onolememen said that government had engaged the concessionaire in re-negotiation with a view to resolving the problems stalling the project. He said: “A meeting was held on it on Tuesday. We are engaging the concessionaire and very soon, something will be done on it.” The minister also disclosed that the ministry had so far received N44bn in the 2012 budget, out of which 93 per cent had been utilised. Onolememen added that about N38bn had been released in the Highways

Politics 2015: Strategising ahead of battle •PDP is the only party that is committed to the continued existence of Nigeria – Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary •Merger of political parties is the only way we can rescue this country from the PDP – Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ACN National Publicity Secretary •We can’t afford to fail to unite all the progressive forces. – Osita Okechukwu, CNPP National Publicity Secretary

Crime Watch Kidnappers kill surgeon over unpaid ransom We actually rallied round and raised the N400,000 ransom. We gave it to one of his brothers. In one breath, he claimed that he had paid the kidnappers, and in another, he said the money was still with him and that he had not paid it before the deceased’s corpse was found. – Relation

Celebrity

‘I am happy to be Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria’ g Isabella

Ayuk Ay A y

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N37bn was spent on projects and programmes which represented about 96 per cent. According to him, 12 roads projects have been completed while 156 others are ongoing He said: “Some few projects were highlighted particularly in terms of budget 2012. We are also experiencing national emergencies on some of our arterial roads. For instance, like Port Harcourt - Enugu Expressway where we are making contingent plan for quick intervention so that we can make that road motorable.” The minister added that the ministry was involved in carrying out maintenance work on Enugu - Aba carriageway even though plans were on for its reconstruction. He also spoke on ongoing presidential initiative projects, including the extension of the Ontisha -Enugu Expressway, the Abuja - Abaji Expressway, Kaduna Expressway, Lokoja Expressway and Kaduna – Kano - Maiduguri Expressway.

Saturday Starter MOSOP and the drums of self determination We all know that the United Nations has given minority or ethnic groups the right to self autonomy.... However, we do not believe that this is the wish of all the Ogoni people at this time. -- Mr. Tony Uranta, Executive Secretary of National Summit Group I am of the view that such unilateral action is not called for. If anybody is interested in showing any grievance, they should wait till we meet at the National Conference. – Dr Fredrick Fasehun, Founder, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) They are entitled to their opinion because under International law as spelt out by the United Nations, which Nigeria is a member, any region and tribe has the right to declare its political autonomy and it is left for the government to either accept or not. – Comrade Shetima Yerima, President Arewa Youth Consultative Forum I belong to that school of thought which says that people have right to self determination under International law. So, if the people of Ogoni have decided to go, they have right to that under International law. – Mr Bamidele Aturu, human rights and lawyer. The leadership of Pro National Conference Organisation, (PRONACO) backs the declaration of the Ogoni people for political autonomy and self determination of their people and territory within Nigeria. – Comrade Wale Okunniyi, Spokesman of Pro National Conference Organisation (PRONACO)

x SeTalk How much sex is too much or too little?

This column is x-rated


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North

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

You can end bloodletting, CAN tells northern governors DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the North-East region, has called on northern governors to take a cue from Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, who threatened to call names in case of any terror attack in

his state. Rising from its zonal meeting in Gombe, the zonal CAN Chairman, Rev. Shuaibu Byal, said that if all the governors in the North, especially those whose states were prone to terror attacks, would emulate Lamido, then there would soon be an end to the killings in the region. Byal, who said the meet-

ing was to appraise the security situation in the zone, also commended the existing relationship between Christians and Muslims in Gombe State where he recalled Christian youths invited their Muslim counterparts to a recent conference in the state. He said that was very good because the Muslims were present in the Chris-

tian gathering to give their input to the security challenges facing the country and to form a united front. The CAN chairman said the insecurity situation caused by terror attacks and ethno-religious intolerance in the zone called for a serious concern as it was beginning to threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria.

He said: “Prayer is now the strongest weapon to fight the madness that is causing the spilling of innocent blood. “Someone somewhere is certainly sowing the seed of discord because I can’t imagine why we can’t live together despite our ethnic diversities especially here in the North where in a state like Adamawa or Gombe,

there are over 100 and 60 ethnic tribes respectively.” The Christian leader also called on the Federal Government to urgently address the imbalance in the courses offered in the newly established Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State where Christian Religious Studies was omitted while Islamic Religious Studies was included.

Plateau govt’s panels’ reports unacceptable - Hausa Fulani ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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ausa Fulani in Plateau State have said that they had no confidence in the reports of most of the Commissions of Inquiry set up by the state government to look into the ethnic clashes between them and the indigenes of the state. They said they only had confidence in the panel set up by the Federal Government on the crisis, especially the General Abisoye panel and the advisory committee on Jos crisis headed by Chief Solomon Lar. The people added that reports of all other panels were sub judice, therefore could not be implemented. The Hausa Fulani also expressed the belief that the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan would bring lasting solution to the incessant ethnic clashes in the state, saying that they had a right to be indigenes of Plateau State. At a meeting with Jonathan on Wednesday night which ended yesterday morning, one of those in attendance, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, former Minister of State for Information and Communication, said: “We discussed, and agreed to a larger extent, most of the Commissions of Inquiry especially those set up by the Plateau State Government, we said all those Commissions of Inquiry have lost contemporary relevance. But we are comfortable with the reports of the ones set up by the Federal Government, especially the General Abisoye panel and the Advisory Committee on Jos crisis headed by Solomon Lar. The rest are in fact sub judice and therefore cannot be implemented.” Also speaking, the representative of the Fulani

people and protem National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria, Alhaji Sale Bayari, said the nomadic nature of the Fulani’s did not take away the fact that they were also indigenes of the state. Bayari claimed Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang had not shown enough interest in resolving the conflict as it was done in some states like Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Kaduna. He said: “In Plateau State, the problem has been that there is nobody forthcoming either from the traditional institution or the government to say let us sit and discuss.”

Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura (left) and his deputy, Mr. Dameshi Luka, breaking their fast with journalists in Lafia, on Wednesday. PHOTO: NAN

Gunmen kill one, injure two in Maiduguri INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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rmed men shot and killed a tea vendor, an indigene of Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, at his Gomari ward shop in Maiduguri, Borno State. Two people, who were in the shop to buy tea, were injured in the shooting. The incident, which occurred about 8pm on Wednesday, came barely 48 hours after gunmen assassinated a 57-year-old

Evangelist of Good News Church in the Maiduguri metropolis. A witness said the killing of the tea vendor was in continuation of the attacks by the Islamic sect targeting policemen, security personnel, politicians and Christians in the metropolis. He said: “The slain tea vendor was to travel to Michika today (yesterday), before the gunmen trailed him to his shop in Gomari ward, two kilometres south of the Nigerian Air Force,

NAF, base.” The witness also claimed that Boko Haram had early this year issued a warning to the tea vendor to vacate his residence and shop. Men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, rushed to the scene yesterday morning, firing gunshots into the air. They also condoned off the area. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Gideon Jibrin, confirmed the incident to newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri. He said: “We received

the reports of yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) killing in Gomari of the tea vendor this morning by two suspected gunmen.”

A ZA MSUE KADUNA

T Governor Shettima

FG not honest with our retirement benefits - PHCN staff PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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orkers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, have accused the Federal Government of being dishonest over the non-payment of their retirement benefits. The workers, who protested the Federal Government’s refusal to pay their entitlements in the compa-

ny slated for privatisation, carried placards with various inscriptions such as, “Don’t short change us, pay us our full benefits”, “Bart Nnaji, tell Nigerians the truth about PHCN”, “Minister of Power, treat us with dignity”. The members of the Senior Staff Association of the Nigeria Union of Electrical Employees, NUEE, Shiroro Hydro Dam, also accused the

Federal Government of not honouring the condition of contract of their employment. They said: “We are not against privatisation and do not want to be part of PENCOM pension scheme. They are asking us to go under force; we are ready to go if our entitlement is paid. Government should honour the agreement to pay our full benefits. You cannot send

Scholarship: NUC against the North –ACF

people away by force; it is not done anywhere in the world. We do not have guns, we only want the world to know that we are being intimidated and cheated.” Speaking on the development, the NUEE Chairman, Mallam Nagwa Mohammed, told journalists that most of the workers had been asked to go without paying them their full retirement benefits.

he Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday called on the National Universities Commission, NUC, to urgently reverse its list for the award of presidential scholarship, which almost excluded the 19 northern states and Abuja. The ACF said NUC designed the programme to exclude candidates of northern extraction from the exercise. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, the ACF said NUC had ignored national consensus and balance of competing demands among Nigerians in a programme designed to train and develop young Nigerians to become entrepreneurs capable of creating jobs, wealth and progress.


Friday, August 10, 2012

African First Ladies’ jamboree in Abuja

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

Jonathan can’t support rt Mimiko against PDP – Adeusi si

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PDP denies causing crisis in opposition parties OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the blames heaped on it by the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) over the intractable crisis in some political parties advising that such parties should look elsewhere in their search for the cause of their travails. The PDP said that it cannot be held responsible for the inability of any group to

discipline its members and peacefully organise itself. The CNPP had on Wednesday accused the PDP of instigating crisis in other opposition parties as a way of achieving its plans of ensuring a one-party state in Nigeria of which the latest is the intraparty crisis ravaging the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party said the fact that fringe political associations have

been unable to manage even the slightest disagreements amongst themselves is a clear evidence of the opposition parties’ unpreparedness to administer a complex society like Nigeria. Metuh said: “It only goes to show that the associations lack the basic democratic tenants of sacrificing individual interests for the larger group. We in the PDP are proud of our heritage as a political movement deeply entrenched in the pursuit of the best democratic practices. We are not

ashamed to admit that we have had our own share of internal conflicts, but what sets us above the rest is our ability to skilfully manage them and emerge even stronger. This is because our members have been nurtured to always consider the supremacy of the party over any individual. “The reason why other political parties get torn apart by internal strife is simply because they are formed to serve narrow selfish and ethnic interests. They do not possess

the ability to mobilise a national consensus. They are indeed extensions of the personal empires of the clique that run them.” The ruling party noted that it is worrisome that rather than confront the challenges that face them, the opposition political parties have resorted to escapist methods, blaming those who have painstakingly put their house in order and shown the capacity to lead. “We shall not be distracted by such claims as we are determined more than ever

before to broaden our support base and provide the political muscle for the success of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. While we welcome the concept of a virile and strong opposition in a democracy, we wish to state that we do not exist to solve the self-inflicted problems of our opponents. “We urge those in the CNPP to look elsewhere in their search for the causes of their travails and refrain from unnecessary name calling,” he said.

N25bn debt: ‘PDP spreading falsehood’ FELIX NWANERI

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L-R: Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega and new Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Habu Hinna, during the swearing in of Hinna in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

A’Ibom govt, ACN trade words over Effangas’ murder FELIX NWANERI

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Akwa Ibom State government have been locked in a war of words over the murder of the mother and brother of the party’s spokesman in the state, Mr. Basil Effanga. The ACN, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, condemning the gruesome murder of Mrs Erasmus Effanga and her son, Basil, whose decomposing bodies were found in their home in Mbinkpa Atan village of the state on

August 5, said the incident is a further proof of the culture of violence against and systemic decimation of its members in Akwa Ibom State. The party therefore called on the Presidency to rise above partisan politics and direct the relevant security agencies to apprehend the killers of the Effangas. The ACN said: “This latest gruesome murder has once again confirmed that the reign of politics of intolerance, assassinations and kidnappings of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State which has so far claimed

over 100 lives is far from over and President Goodluck Jonathan should forthwith direct the relevant security agencies to investigate and fish out the culprits.” But in a swift reaction, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Aniekan Umanah said: “The illogical press release by Mohammed is the latest in a string of bizarre press releases which he has gained notoriety for. One is therefore not surprised.” Umanah added that while the state government sympathise with the victims’ family, it condemns

in the strongest terms the despicable and treacherous attempt by Mohammed to politicise the tragedy.

he Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has berated the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for falsifying facts in order to make the Rauf Aregbesola-led government look retrogressive. The party was reacting to a statement credited to the PDP chairman in the state, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, in which he was quoted as saying that the governor lied when he said he has not taken any bank loan to finance his projects. In a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi, the ACN said: “The leadership of the PDP in the

state is beginning to sound intellectually bankrupt the way it reacts to whatever Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the state’s governor does or says. “What Aregbesola was quoted by newspapers previously as saying is that the ACN government since it took over power has not incurred debt to any bank in the course of financing all its projects so far – and that is the truth.” The party noted that “it is pathetic ignorance or ignoble mischief (or both) for the PDP chairman not to know the difference between a bank facility (the N25 billion First Bank facility from which one kobo has not been drawn by the government) and a loan that has already been drawn and is standing as a debt to be repaid.”

ACN chides PDP over Lagos Traffic Law SINA FADARE

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he Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has faulted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state over its comment on the state’s new traffic laws, saying the party lacks competence on the matter. The state Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe

Igbokwe, in a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday said: “It is curious to read the Lagos PDP’s ludicrous claim that the new traffic laws are ambiguous without pointing out the ambiguity in the well elucidated laws. “What decided PDP’s reactions on the issues that concern Lagos is the indecent urge and desire to corner the state for its selfish purposes and not the inter-

est of Lagosians. This has made the party to engage in awkward trading of lies, mischief and tendentious allegations with the hope that they will sever the bond that binds Lagosians with the ACN.” The party said that before any programme is embarked upon by the Lagos State government, a lot of scientific researches and brainstorming have taken place.


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Politics

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

African First Ladies’ jamboree in Abuja Nigeria recently hosted the African First Ladies Summit with funfare and grandeur. SINA FADARE reports that the huge resources expended on the event robbed off the intended vision of the organisers.

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he formal declaration of the African First Ladies Peace Mission was made in Harare, Zimbabwe during the OAU summit in 1996. The initiative led to the establishment of AFLPM by the then Nigerian First Lady, Mrs Maryam Abacha. The recent 7th edition of the summit, which took place in Abuja at a time the economy of the country is nose diving was said to have been a wasted enterprise. Aside this, the controversy generated by the 200 exotic cars that comprised of 80 units of BMW X3 and X5 series with a market value of N13.5 million each, and other exotic Honda brands, used for the summit has continued unabated. The designation of an 18,000 square meter land for a permanent secretariat of the AFLPM was equally seen as a needless venture. The position of the First Lady has been a national issue in the country because of the non-constitutional provision for such office. Indeed, the military administration created the office of the First Lady and their activities depend on the occupier of the office of the chief executive. At the dawn of democratic government, it was imported into the act of governance and since then has become the norm. The wife of the former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, late Maryam glamourised the office to an enviable height through her pet project, the Better Life for Rural Women programmes. Despite the fact that formal budgetary provisions are not made for the office, however, they are generously funded with public funds. In most states, white elephant projects are embarked upon and at the expiration of their husbands’ tenure, the successive ‘new first ladies’ abandon the previous projects. However, the most disheartening aspect of the whole scenario is the tussle between the wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and her predecessor, Turai Yar’Adua, over a plot of land in Abuja, for their different pet projects. The duo had been plunged into cold war after the Certificate of Occupancy for a parcel of land originally allocated to a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WYEF), a pet project initiated by Turai, was revoked by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, and the land re-allocated to Patience for the construction of the secretariat of the AFLMP. Fear of the imminent show of shame that might come out of the drama, which was to be played out in the courts, forced the government to opt for an out-of-court settlement process, which has since collapsed. Defending the controversy over the 200 exotic cars used for the First Ladies

African First Ladies at a recent summit in Abuja.

Summit, presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati denied that the cars were bought. He said they were hired and would be returned after the summit. However, officials of the motor company said that the cars were indeed paid for. But Abati could not defend the Air Force jet sent to fetch the Malawian President, Joyce Banda, for the summit; neither does he know what to say on the land tussle between the two first ladies. Political pundits are of the view that the exercise was another spirited effort by Mrs. Jonathan to seek relevance for wives of political office holders, wondering how the summit will achieve its objectives of promoting peace across the continent. The controversy generated over the office of the First Lady, perhaps, formed the basis of the recommendation by the Justice Alfa Begore-led Presidential Committee on the Review of the Constitution that if the Federal Government wants to reduce cost of governance, the office of the First Lady should be abolished. The committee said that since the office does not operate under any legal framework, the operation and funding (both in kind and cash) of such offices at all levels of government should be discouraged and abolished forthwith. Condemning the summit, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, described it as another jamboree with attendant huge depletion of the nation’s scare resources. The party said it was stupefying that the unbudgeted spending is coming when many states of the federation are on a shoe-string budget because of the depressed economy. Fashakin said in a statement: “Undoubtedly, the Jonathan regime, in word and deed, does not really ‘give a damn’ if the nation totters so long the avaricious fancies of the first family are accomplished.” Speaking in the same vein, the National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, described the conference as illegal, adding that

“there is no aspect of our constitution that gives room for such a creation.” Akande explained that while he was the governor of Osun State between 1999 and 2003, the so-called office of the First Lady was not in existence because it was not only illegal, but has no bearing in the constitution of the country. But, there is hardly much the First Ladies can do in practical terms to stem the conflicts on the continent, which has led to needless war with women and children mostly affected, if their husbands in power continue to fail in providing good governance for the people. Since its establishment in 1996, very little has been achieved in terms of prevention of conflicts by the so-called First Ladies. Speaking to National Mirror on the relevance of the summit, the South-West zonal Secretary of Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Comrade Mark Adebayo, said that the whole exercise was a jamboree and waste of the country’s resources. According to him, it was unfortunate that a country still struggling to pay its civil service will waste such a huge amount of money on such a programme. Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt leaders (CACOL), Comrade Debo Adeniran, said that the exercise was a sheer waste of taxpayers’ money. Lamenting that, “the Presidency could spend such huge sum of money to host the summit and buy about

AT A TIME WHEN PEOPLE ARE GOING THROUGH SO MUCH

PAIN AND AGONY, WE CAN AFFORD THIS KIND OF PLUNGE THAT IS MEANINGLESS IN THE NAME OF

LADIES

FIRST

200 cars running into billions of naira for the smooth-running of the programme when an average Nigerian is living below poverty index,” Adeniran said that it was unfortunate that Mrs Jonathan could enmesh herself in so many controversies in the space of a month than any public office holder could get in a whole tenure. However, the Executive Director of Equity Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, Dr. Marilyn Smith, said the summit was in the right direction. According to her, “the First Lady’s office can move from the grassroots to the upper class. Its versatility can be utilised to complement government’s effort at all levels.” But the President of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr Joe Odumakin speaking to National Mirror, insisted that there is nothing to cheer about on the display of profligacy by President Goodluck Jonathan on the First Ladies Summit that has no benefit to an average Nigerian, who is wallowing in poverty due to his administration’s lack of focus. She said: “It is a needless show of vanity. The display of 200 cars for this jamboree is the height of misplaced priorities. It’s a wasteful expenditure for an unproductive display of inanities.” Prof. Pat Utomi described the meeting of the First Ladies as insensitive. His words: “This is part of the disconnect between those in power and the Nigerian people. At a time when people are going through so much pain and agony we can afford this kind of plunge that is meaningless in the name of First Ladies. “Even if African First Ladies are meeting and we would like to host them in Nigeria, given the time, they should just arrive quietly, be taken to their hotels and to the Villa where there are several halls to have their meeting. But to splash incredible amount of money in decorating Abuja with pictures of Mrs Jonathan, buy or lease series of BMW cars which, like the ones before them would disappeared into the custody of individuals, is very insensitive and smacks of the absence of good judgement. But we tolerate these things, so it goes on.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, August 10, 2012

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Politics

Navy Captain Joseph Adeusi (rtd), is a former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State. In this interview with BIYI ADEGOROYE, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart puts a lie to the claim that President Goodluck Jonathan may support Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko in the October 20 gubernatorial election in the state.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jonathan can’t support Mimiko against PDP – Adeusi lution, which will culminate in the turnaround of the entire state, because we are convinced that we cannot have an overall development in the state if we fail to take care of all its parts. Look around and you will see a litany of broken promises by the current government. Apart from a few projects executed in Akure, the state is lagging behind in the areas of infrastructural development. I tell you, as at April this year, the state has received over N500 billion from the federation account as well as N37 billion it inherited from Governor Agagu. This is besides its internally generated revenue, the N50 billion loan from the capital market and another $50 million foreign loan. Put together, this is more than the total resources received by the governments’ of late Chiefs Adekunle Ajasin and Adefarati and Dr. Agagu. Indeed, the state has never had such a deluge of revenue in the past 20 years. Yet, when you transverse the nooks and crannies of the state, you cannot find any meaningful project. The level of development is a far cry from these resources. The government cannot account for projects worth N100 billion, yet it has collected over half a trillion in the past three years. This is the reason the people of Ondo State are crying like the children of Israel in Egyptian bondage for liberation. They want to be rescued and that is what we want to achieve when the PDP forms government after the October 20 election.

Having concluded its primaries where its candidate emerged, what impact do you think the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will make in the next governorship election in Ondo State? Right from the beginning, we decided not to go for a full-blown primary; we settled for a consensus candidate. We opted for this arrangement to avoid rancour within the party and also to reduce expenses and we all agreed that whoever the party’s leadership picked as the candidate will be supported. The primary we had was an affirmation primary because the party had early settled for the candidature of Chief Olusola Oke. So, the congress was just to affirm whether we want him or not, and everybody supported his selection; there was no rancour at all. The congress was peaceful because we have all spoken with one voice. The PDP is witnessing influx of some prominent members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Do you see this as an advantage for the party in the next election? Yes, after the ACN in the state picked its candidate for the governorship election, there was a lot of rancour within the party as some of the aspirants expressed their dissatisfaction over the choice of the party’s governorship candidate. There was mass movement of some of these aspirants which the PDP benefited from. Some of these politicians were unveiled during a press conference recently while some are still on their way to join us and I want to proudly tell you that one of the decampees has been picked as Oke’s running mate, and that is Saka Lawal. Some prominent members of the PDP deserted the party during its time of crisis in the state. Is there any reconciliation in the offing? Let me state here categorically that the few people who have decided to stay away from the party are on their own, but as I am speaking to you, we have about 99 per cent of our members working towards winning the next election in the state. We, however, have enough rooms to accommodate all the people who have stayed away from the party. The leadership is doing a great work in moving the party forward and the crisis within the PDP has become a thing of the past. There is no rancour in our party in this state; we are now one big family with a common goal. What would you refer to as the achievement of the previous PDP government in the state which should attract the people to returning the party to power? There is one thing of note in this state. Every project initiated by the Olusegun Agagu’s government has been abandoned by the current government. Take, for instance, the Ifedore Water Project, the resort in Idanre and the Olokola Free Trade Zone Project which should have translated into the industrialisation of Ondo State; all have been abandoned and these are Agagu’s legacies prior to the advent of this present administration. If we are allowed to come back, we will surely transform the state and not by building waterfalls when there is no water to drink or building markets or embarking on cosmetic projects that will be of no value to the people of the state. Real industries will be established and not ordinary markets and I am very sure the good people of Ondo State are getting the message that we need real development in this state. Do you think the development on ground matches the revenue that came to the coffers of the government in the last three and half years? Incidentally, the revenue which accrued to this admin-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Adeusi

istration in the state surpasses the revenue that accrued to the late Adebayo Adefarati and Agagu’s administrations but there is nothing to show for it. Once you leave Akure metropolis, there is abject poverty everywhere; no physical development, no single road constructed. The only road they claimed to have done is the Oba Adesida road, where they only laid asphalt and this has been done by previous administration. Arakale road is there, the Ondo and Owo township roads are also there. This government has done nothing; what they are doing can be likened to dressing the living room while the room stinks. They have nothing to show for it except the Mother and Child Hospital, construction of mega schools that can build about 10 primary schools where they are needed. Aside the over N500 billion received from the Federal Government, there are other ways which this government generate revenue internally but sadly it has failed to translate this to real development for the state. Today, we have a government that is executing what it termed mega projects designed to move the people from the rural areas to the city. That is not what a PDP government wants to do. We want to open up the rural communities and develop the cities simultaneously to discourage rural-urban drift. We want to bring about industrial revo-

IT’S THE GOVERNOR THAT HAS BEEN ROMANCING WITH

PRESIDENCY, PRETENDING TO BE PDP IN ABUJA ONLY

THE

FOR HIM TO COME HOME TO BE CLAIMING

LP AND I

WONDER WHY HE IS PLAYING THESE GAMES JUST BECAUSE OF HIS DESPERATION TO WIN ELECTION

There are rumours that the Presidency may not be disposed to supporting the PDP candidate against the incumbent, Governor Mimiko. How far this is true? This is a rumour being peddled around by the Labour Party (LP) government and I would not subscribe to this. I see no rational party leader dumping his party to support the opposition. This is nothing but a rumour without foundation. It’s the governor that has been romancing with the Presidency, pretending to be PDP in Abuja only for him to come home to be claiming LP and I wonder why he is playing these games just because of his desperation to win election. He is only doing this to tarnish the image of President Goodluck Jonathan in the state, because I can tell you authoritatively that it’s a mere rumour. So, there is no way President Jonathan will dump his party and support Mimiko in the election. What machineries has the PDP put in place to ensure the success of its governorship candidate? Everything is in place. Committees have been put in place by the party. I am a member of some of them and the party manifesto has been drafted and we are looking forward for a grand launching and I can assure you that all the necessary committees are now on ground. We are prepared for the election. The people of the state have tested and trusted us and we don’t need to cajole or use money to buy their conscience. We now have a revolutionary and crisis-free PDP in Ondo State. We are also presenting a credible candidate, who is also a grassroots mobiliser; he has been a member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) chairman and the National Legal Adviser of the PDP. He is a man of honour who will not practice the politics of money distribution to win election and I am assuring you the people of Ondo State will have no regret voting for him. His antecedents speak for him. When he was in the NDDC, he brought no little development to the state, especially the coastal area. He initiated and executed various people-oriented projects. He is a man who can prudently manage the resources of the state to bring about meaningful development. The various abandoned projects like Ayetoro road which was designed to open up the coastal area, the university project in Okitipupa, the Olokola project, will all be given priority attention. The stadium in the state today is a monumental tragedy. This must be reversed and Olusola Oke will do just that and more.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Views

Friday, August 10, 2012

17

Rivers of suya ABDULWAREES SOLANKE

I

am sad at the metaphor I am using to illustrate the anomie in our land that is pushing citizens to rush into painful, violent deaths or raising misguided elements to visit death on the citizens. I am not heartless in using this metaphor that captures the misfortune in Rivers State from where a huge chunk of the oil we luxuriate in Nigeria comes from. I cry at the recent incidents in Ahoada and Port Harcourt, spelling Armageddon. Port Harcourt on Fire: 30 feared killed in vessel explosion; JTF sets five petrol tankers ablaze; Tide, Rhythm FM burnt. That was the summary of last July disaster in the Rivers State capital, compounding the earlier one in Ahoada when a fully loaded petroleum tanker skidded, spewing its contents on the road. In the mad rush for the free oil gushing from the fallen tanker, hundreds of men, women and children were irredeemably burnt. The state, nay, the nation is yet to recover from Ahoada tragedy when another vessel exploded and burst into an inferno, sending scores of Nigerians to their early graves. In these incidents men, women and children with prospects, brilliant future and not cow meat or goat heads were roasted like suya or asun that is the preoccupations of road-side mai suyas or the barbeques grills at the entrance of popu-

lar hotels. Underlying the two incidents is the prevalence of poverty and illiteracy in Nigeria, despite the serious efforts the governments are making to meet the UN eight MDAs goals, which Nigeria swore to ensure by 2015. Rivers State represents the apple of Nigeria. As the apple of the nation, it also sits on the wealth that makes Nigeria. She is our honey pot, our treasure island. Therefore, citizens of the state are not supposed to be exposed to any threat or poverty that will push them to commit suicide, obvious self immolation, as happened in Ahoada. Rivers State should have the best of facilities that can cope with disasters. Rivers State should not be the city of corruption and a place of insecurity as the presence of JTF in the state illustrates. Despite Rivers wealth, poverty, illiteracy and disease still stalk. Despite the huge investment of the government in infrastructural development, education and public enlightenment, citizens of Rivers, who carry elephant meat on their heads, are using their toes to dig ant holes. They invite death on the land and in the creeks in oil bunkering, and until the recent past, in hostage taking. The tragedy of Port Harcourt is waiting to happen in most Nigerian cities. Some have already tasted it in the flood disasters in Ibadan, in the blood bath on the plateau and in Borno and Yobe states, or in the fear of Boko Haram that have

MOST OF THE CRISES IN OUR LAND CAN BE LOCATED IN OUR SEARCH FOR EASY AND CHEAP WAY OUT OF POVERTY turned our nation to a killing field. In all these misfortunes and fears, in all these troubling disasters that are increasing the level of destitution and desolation in our country, one thing is apparent: deficit of good governance which the governments of the day are now trying to improve. When we say deficit, we have not reached the level of failure. For, failure represents inefficacy of tools and approaches of governmental actions while deficit represents lack or insufficiency. So we will take it that governments at every level just need to do more on what they deliver to the citizens. The major flaw in our governmental system is the wrong appreciation or application of development communication. There is a world of difference between information and communication. Information is message. Communication is activity. It is engagement. It is involvement. It is sharing knowledge and experience. It is providing choices and options. It is facilitating decision. It is

value-based. It is ceaseless. The cause of the Ahoada tragedy is basically lack of beneficial knowledge. And knowledge is power. Poverty represents a crisis. But if people have correct knowledge and information, and are involved in finding solutions to their own problems, they would not behave in inappropriate ways that can compound their social economic crises or threaten their existence. Most of the crises in our land can be located in our search for easy and cheap way out of poverty. Most of the frustration in our land is because we do not have the correct knowledge nor have the correct options and alternatives to solving our problems. What is really lacking is the practice of public deliberation and engagement in the resolution of individual or collective social and economic crises. What is lacking is the right application of behavioral change communication methodologies in all our social and economic policies. The purpose of any policy is bringing about change in the lives of people or in the nature of our environment. When we initiate or implement public policies, we must come to awareness that we cannot achieve success in isolation of those that are to be changed. We must enter their world to change them. Solanke, korewarith@yahoo.com, is Head, Voice of Nigeria (VON) Training Centre, Ikorodu,

When impeachment becomes coercion, blackmail BEN NANAGHAN

THIS CURRENT IMPEACHMENT PLOT

N

igeria’s House of Representatives’ current leadership is a sole creation of opposition parties. Proof ? On Monday June 6, 2011 when the 7th session was to be inaugurated, all manners of interests converged in the gallery of the House to witness and ensure a predetermined agenda of installing an anti-government leadership, was clinically executed. The PDP has only 204 Reps, but Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal clinched the House speakership with 252 votes. The PDP/Jonathan candidate, Alhaja Mulikat Adeola from the south west zone, got only 90 votes. The development was not only a very forceful statement of gross party indiscipline, it indicated the pattern of puppeteering politics to be expected. With the signaled intention of the Tambuwal-led House to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan, the chicks have come home to roost. The Reps have never hidden their utter disdain for Mr. President. Now they are showing their hands. They have made three threats to impeach Jonathan in 2012 alone. Though none has been actuated, they represent tools of coercion and blackmail. The first attempt was during the January anti-fuel subsidy removal strike; the second was during the Otuoke Anglican Community Church renovation saga, when anti-Jonathan elements in the

IS A CALCULATED PLOY TO IMPUGN ON THE OFFICE OF

MR.

PRESIDENT

House interpreted the gesture as a bribe for contract award, and now this new threat. Mr. President has also been spuriously accused of nepotism in his appointments. No empirical validation exists. His personal staff like the chief of staff, aide de camp (ADC) and media chiefs are all not indigenes of Bayelsa State. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo throughout his eight years in office ensured that all his Inspector-Generals of Police were from southwest, but Jonathan has been the most liberal and detribalized in his approach to appointments. But those who have vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable for him have contrived to make his reign a bloody one in spite of his peaceful nature. And on the 19th July 2012, another impeachment alarm blared again on the floor of the House. This time the minority leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, is the instrument of the dangerous game. That day he talked tough, but I asked myself if the ACN Reps fully understands the spirit and character of the Nigerian constitu-

tion? The Nigerian constitution is a very sacred document. It is not a document for inanities. Section 143 (1) of our 1999 constitution states inter alia: “The President or VicePresident may be removed from office in accordance with the provisions of this section”, but Section 143 (2) qualifies it thus: “whenever a notice of any allegation in writing is signed by not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly”. Section 143 (2b) also gives a further qualification when it emphasizes that impeachment move must be made when the holder of the office of President or Vice President is guilty of GROSS MISCONDUCT in the performance of the functions of his office. This current impeachment plot is a calculated ploy to impugn on the office of Mr. President. Where is the GROSS MISCONDUCT on the non-implementation of a budget, which came into force only on April 13, 2012? Do Hon. Gbajabiamila and his pay masters expect the budget to be 100 percent implemented in just three months? The legal life span of our budget is normally 12 months, if it is released in January. But what magic can we expect when our budget was passed in the 2nd quarter of the budget year? Perhaps, the Reps have forgotten that drawing up a budget plan is the easiest aspect of budgeting. Its implementation is another ball game, which depends on various factors and circumstances. Problems of

budget implementation in developing countries like ours, include inadequate budget monitoring facilities; lack of proactive planning; long delays in passage, and delayed data supply by ministries and departments of government. It must also be appreciated that in our type economy, project plans are not readily available even after budget laws are signed. Another vital problem is that project implementation could be more tedious and cumbersome. However it is very pertinent to state here that those who go to equity must go with clean hands. It is highly regrettable to say that the House has been found wanting in many ways. The most recent cases of scandals and corruption include the Herman Hembe and Farouk Lawan sagas. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Let the House emulate the maturity of the Senate. Senate president, David Mark and the entire leadership of the upper house have always comported themselves in dignified manners. Our Reps’ leadership has a lot to learn from them. Nanaghan, bennanaghan@yahoo. com, wrote from Lagos Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Editorial

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

STEVE AYORINDE

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

SATURDAY EDITOR

LANRE OYETADE

GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Fitch’s report on the health of Nigerian banks I T

he United Kingdom-based ratings agency, Fitch Ratings, recently took a look at the Nigerian banking sector and business environment and came up with two startling revelations namely: that the nation’s business environment is inhospitable; and that in spite of the reforms in the banking sector, many Nigerian banks still lacked the capital adequacy required to contend with the economic climate. The observations were contained in a special report Fitch entitled, “Nigerian Banking Sector: Rapid Credit Growth Returns”. The agency warned that in spite of the support some of the banks received from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the recent rapid credit growth in the banking sector might give rise to weakened asset quality and higher impairment charges if left unchecked. According to the agency, the growing loan facilities in the country’s banking sector might lead to another round of nonperforming loans crisis. The report was also of the opinion that many Nigerian banks have thin levels of what it called ‘Fitch Core Capital’, which are lower than is appropriate for Nigeria’s difficult business environment. Fitch’s core capital is said to cover “equity as reported in the financial statements, including non controlling interests; and adjustments for the following:

hybrid capital reported as equity, non controlling interests not regarded by Fitch as loss absorbing, deferred tax assets (DTAs) relating to losses carried forward, goodwill, other intangibles, fair value adjustment for own credit risk, embedded value in life assurance business reported on balance sheet, equity interests/net assets in affiliated insurance companies, and first loss tranches of off balance sheet securitisations.” The agency also pointed out that “the Nigerian banks are primarily funded by customer deposits, which make up at least 80 per cent of most banks’ funding profiles”, stressing in addition that it believes internal capital generation needed to be addressed in the sector. The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, however, recently dismissed the agency’s submission. Sanusi said in an investment conference in London that he was not worried by the report, arguing instead that Nigerian banks should be increasing their lending to small and mediumterm enterprises, and that he had more information than Fitch on the banks. For Sanusi, falling oil prices and domestic energy output due to declining global demand were rather of concern to Nigeria’s economy. Some local analysts have also downplayed the agency’s apprehension as

T COULD BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE

NATION TO WATCH IT, AT LEAST, BY CONSIDERING THE CONTENT OF THE REPORT AS A BASIC

GUIDE FOR THE AUDIT OF THE NATION’S BANKS TO DETERMINE THEIR TRUE STATE OF HEALTH largely exaggerated. We think, however, that it could be in the interest of the nation to watch it, at least, by considering the content of the report as a basic guide for the audit of the nation’s banks to determine their true state of health. Still fresh in the nation’s memory was the unfortunate insistence by certain financial sector managers in the past that the Nigerian economy would not be harmed by the ripple effects of the global economic downturn witnessed few years back; an optimism that eventually turned baseless with bitter consequences to date. The country’s Excess Crude Account has suffered serious depletion (from $20bn to $6bn) since the onset of the 2007 global economic crisis without being replenished. We do not believe, for example,

that the CBN governor has been harping on the rebuilding of the Excess Crude Account because he loves shouting. With some of the nation’s banks, such as First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank and Union Bank within the ratings agency’s radar, it may sound arrogant completely dismissing Fitch’s possible possession of privileged information on the nation’s banks. It could pay the nation more if it chooses to be less optimistic and more realistic; and to err on the side of caution in the management of vital information on the nation’s economy. An earlier statement credited to AMCON that the nation’s banks cannot fail appears grandiloquent; since safe banking is influenced mainly by the right environment and the conduct of all concerned stakeholders, which AMCON may not have a direct or total control of. The CBN may need to take a more serious look into the concerns expressed by the ratings agency with a view to strengthening any weak cords within the banking system. Everything possible should be done to avert another major distress in the country’s banking sector. Many hapless depositors are yet to recover from the shocks of past bank failures occasioned largely by inefficient off-site and on-site audits and investigations by relevant regulatory agencies.

ON THIS DAY August 10, 2009 Twenty people were killed in Handlova, Trencin Region, Slovakia, in the deadliest mining disaster in country’s history. Twenty people were killed, nine others suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital. All were thought to be Slovaks. The incident was recorded as the deadliest mining disaster in Slovakia’s history since the country’s independence in 1993.

August 10, 2003 Yuri Malenchenko became the first person to marry in space. Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko (born December 22, 1961) is a Ukrainian-Russian cosmonaut. He became the first person to marry in space, on August 10, 2003, when he married Ekaterina Dmitrieva, who was in Texas, while he was 240 miles over New Zealand, on the International Space Station. As of March 2011, Malenchenko ranked tenth for career time in space.

August 10, 1988 Japanese American internment: Former United States president, Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing $20,000 payments to Japanese Americans who were either interned in or relocated by the US during World War II. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 is a US federal law that granted reparations to Japanese-Americans who had been interned by the US government during World War II.


Your

FRIDAY

Flavour

Friday, August 10, 2012

Osupa

tory right of occupancy of vast area of land situated at Itire and Ijeshatedo area of Lagos State. That the respondents by virtue of a poster tagged: “1st Ever Ijeshatedo Day (One Love Carnival)”, where the photograph of Alhaji King Saheed Osupa was conspicuously displayed and Chief Adio Mustapha (1st respondent) was represented as the royal host of the event. That the 1st respondent by describing himself

as “Royal Father” of Ijeshatedo land has by implication taken over the title to the land of Ijeshatedo, which the Supreme Court has adjudged to belong to the Onitire chieftaincy family. That 1st respondent was also represented in the said poster as the Adele of Ijeshatedo and Baale in Council, a position which is unknown to the governing body for chieftaincy affairs and to the Itire Community. That the

Escape

R

ave Fuji musician, Saheed Osupa, is not new to controversy. He more or less grew up in the midst of a storm in Ajegunle, a ghetto suburb of Lagos State before taking up Fuji music in 1983. Perhaps one of the most sought after artistes in his genre of music, Osupa was scheduled to be the star performer at the controversial carnival fixed for August 26. It was to hold at Imam Shuaib Street by Ogunlana BusStop, Ijeshadedo, Lagos. On Monday, August 6, a Lagos High Court restrained Osupa and five others from organising any form of carnival, show or programme tagged: “1st Ever Ijeshatedo Day (One Love Carnival)” pending the determination of the Motion on Notice. Justice Ibironke Harrison gave the order in a suit filed by Oba Lateef Abayomi Dauda, Chief Tajudeen Ishola Odubiyi, Chief Buari Abu Oloto and Chief Yahaya Idris on behalf of the Onitire Chieftaincy family of Itire, Lagos. The same court upheld the order yesterday by extending it and adjourned further hearing till August 17. The issue goes beyond singing, dancing and merrymaking as the land upon which the carnival is to take place is the reason the case went to court in the first place. Apparently, the poster announcing the carnival pasted at the venue started the trouble. In a 35-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Chief Yahaya Olaseni Idris, he stated that “by virtue of the Supreme Court judgment in Suit N0-SC 151/1974 delivered on April 30, 1975, the applicants are the traditional owners and persons entitled to the statu-

only royal house recognised by law in the entire Itire Ijeshatedo and its environs, is the Onitire Chieftaincy family, adding that if the carnival was allowed to hold, it would lead to confusion and that the respondents would perpetuate a lot of fraud on the applicants since the programme would create the impression that Ijeshatedo land belongs to the respondents and their family”. After the court’s decision, Osupa said the root of the matter is that Itire and Ijeshatedo people, who live in that area of Lagos are currently involved in an internal tussle and that if he holds the carnival, which is intended to entertain Ijeshatedo people in that location, it would aggravate the situation “because the land is disputed”. “I’m a law-abiding citizen and since the court has said that the carnival should not hold, I will do as the court has said”, he told Friday Flavour by telephone. Others restrained by the court, which heard the matter, although it was in recess, include: Chief Adio Mustapher, the Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lagos State, Akeem Adisa Bangbola, and Prince Ade Oshin (respondents). Osupa’s first album titled: Fuji Fadisco, was released in 1992 on the Alasco Films and Records label. Alongside his thriving music career, Osupa also features in notable home videos of the Yoruba film genre. He attended The Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo State, where he obtained an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) certificate in 1992. It was the creator of fuji music, late Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister that conferred on him the title of King of Fuji.

P. 34

TERH AGBEDEH

Denrele’s Day

...Court stops Fuji act Saheed Osupa, from holding music show

P. 24-25

One Love Carnival of controversy

P. 32-33

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

Inside FCT

VOL. 2 No. 423

19

Terra shows tale of child trafficking

J

o Demmer‘s compelling stage presentation titled Batonga –The Tale of Child Trafficking is live at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos

Z

ebra Living in conjunction with Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, Rosalita’s Desserts and The Life House presents a show titled Nabilla: Fashion in the Gallery on Sunday, August 12. The showcase of the versatility and integration of fashion, fine art and luxury, holds at the Nike Art Gallery, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, starting by 2.00 p.m. Side attractions include premium music, food and drinks.

this Sunday. The play which features convincing acting by the young cast is showing every Sunday in August. Show times are 4.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m.

Nigerian arts in London

T

he ongoing Nigerian cultural e x t r av a g a n z a holding in London continues at the Nigeria House, Theatre Royal; Stratford until Sunday, when it concludes. It is a showcase of the coun-

try’s creative arts such as Nollywood movies, crafts and fashion exhibitions. For children, there will be a fun storytelling workshop and an opportunity to meet famous superstars like

King Sunny Ade, Keziah Jones, 2face Idibia, M.I., Brymo and many others.

Ibadan hosts Caine Prize winner

Babatunde

R

otimi Babatunde, winner of this year’s edition of the Caine Prize for African Writing will read to the general public tomorrow at the Nigerian Society for Information Arts and Culture (NSIAC) office, Ibadan starting at 4.00 p.m. The forum titled:

‘Rotimi Babatunde: The Man and His Works’ is to honour a writer that has done Nigeria proud who emerged Caine Prize winner his short story, ‘Bombay’s Republic’. Expected guests are Remi Raji (President ANA), Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, Jumoke Verissimo, Yomi Ogunsanya, Benson Eluma, Dami Ajayi, Niran Okewole, Kunle Okesipe, Tade Ipadeola and Ayodele Olofintuade.

Mirror Mongers

Fashion, art, luxury in fusion

P. 26

WEEKEND STARTERS


20

Artman In The House

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

I’m a writer; I have books in my heart –Kalango When the Garden City Literary Festival (GCLF) holds in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in October, the entire state will be in a celebratory mood. It is not just because this is the fifth edition of the event that celebrates books and writers; it is also because Port Harcourt emerged the World Book Capital City (WBCC), for 2014 on July 9. Koko Kalango, founder of the Rainbow Book Club and director of GCLF, the woman who helped make this dream come true hosted Friday Flavour in her Lagos office in this interview with TERH AGBEDEH.

L-R: Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi and Kalango on Children’s Day this year at the State School Mgbuitanwo when the governor read to the children.

email and lo and behold! For some nights after I could hardly sleep because I went back and looked at the programme we had promised and I’m like, ‘oh God’. When anything to do with reading is mentioned in Nigeria, your name cannot be left out. How was the journey to this point? We started the “Get Nigeria Reading Again” Campaign in 2005 in Port Harcourt where we were based. But the name of the campaign is “Get Nigeria Reading Again” so it wasn’t solely a Port Harcourt thing. In 2007, we took it to Calabar (Cross River State) because the First Lady, Mrs. Onari Duke then, had called me. Some people had attended from Abuja and said that they would be next. In 2008, we went to Abuja and collaborated with UNESCO. We also did a reading with the Lagos State Governor then and that same day, Professor Wole Soyinka read. Recently, in the last two months Obi Ezekwesili read in Ajegunle on June 18 to mark the day of the African Child. But because it was Nigeria-focused, we thought it was important to touch the three main cities, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja and we achieved it. When the Garden City Literary Festival now came on with a life of its own; it’s more prominent. The literary festival started like a seed and blossomed into a plant, is bearing fruits, by God’s grace. It’s getting bigger. How did reading start for you? My dad is a lawyer and he became a judge, he was the first judge of the then South Eastern State. My mum has a school, one of the oldest private primary schools in Port Harcourt; it’s over 32 years old. So, I come from a family that places value on education. My dad would always get me books. I’ve always been good in Literature and English language and my dad wanted me to be a lawyer to follow in his footsteps. Indeed, I usually topped my class in those subjects. In final year in Aboloma, there was a national essay competition open to all schools in the country and I came third. It was a big deal; the organisers flew us to Lagos and put us in a fancy hotel. We were on national news. I remember the cheque they gave me; my father took me to the bank and told the bank manager that his daughter had won it (laughter). But it’s an interest area as a passion.

Kalango

Now that Port Harcourt is World Book Capital City for 2014, describe your emotions? Before we put in the bid, Oxford (U.K.) was there and like everyone knows, Oxford is synonymous with education, the best in the world and books as well. One of our team members just sent me an email echoing what I was thinking; ‘do you see who we are up against?’ and it was a given in anyone’s mind. But prophetically, I said to her, “it’s a case of David and Goliath” and see what happened in the end. We just did what I thought was necessary; we set up a website and put our bid on the website for people to see

that we were serious. I asked the Commissioner for Education in Rivers State to sponsor a press conference? She agreed. We brought the different people that we thought were important to be there. I was encouraged when the UNESCO Country Director himself said he was coming. Pa Gabriel Okara came, PEN Nigeria sent somebody from Lagos and Bring Back the Book was there –three big encouragements. We had an impressive press conference to announce our bid. When all these people came to the press conference I emailed their support documents to UNESCO as well to show that I had support. I sort of forgot about it till July 9, the bid day, when I checked my

How much of your passion for reading is inspired from your dad and/or that national essay competition you won? I must commend my dad; he would spot a talent in a child and keep pushing it. He would never crush your dream and that is very important. Recently, at a Church programme, they were talking about how women had been abused by the men in their lives. Not even physically or sexually, but just putting them down. And I said, ‘thank you God for my father.’ That is because I cannot come out for that prayer since nobody abused me. I realised the role of a father in a daughter’s life. If a father loves a daughter so much, unconditionally, and encourages her, that child will be very confident and secure. It makes it easier for the child to do well even in marriage. I don’t believe in women’s liberation, I don’t see a differ-


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Kalango (r) with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

ence and when I talk to my sisters, we sort of think the same way. I don’t see men as enemies. Really, I thank my dad. Do you plan on writing a book of your own? It has been in my heart and I have given myself a timeline to do this work that I’m doing and after that to pursue what I call my own dream; having sacrificed these years to push other writers and all that. I’m a writer at heart and I have books in my heart so I just see this as a period of sowing into the lives of other people. I have a timeline and when I stop I will just go into writing. You sound like at the end of that timeline, the Rainbow Book Club will be put away? No, what will happen is that the Rainbow Book Club will be strong enough to shine on its own so I, as a person, can pull back and write. What would you say is the difference in the reading culture in Nigeria when you started out and now? One thing I can say is that there has been a heightened interest in anything related to promoting books. It’s now the custom to say that I promote books; open the newspapers and you will see it there. Which is a good thing. We started because we didn’t hear anybody saying anything about it. Then, we felt like a lone voice in the wilderness. But now there are echoes everywhere. It must have been a lone and long walk when you started. What made you come this far? When they ask Chinua Achebe about Things Fall Apart he says he feels the book chose him to write it and not him deciding to write it. I feel like it’s a call, an assignment that I have been chosen to do and I don’t have a choice in the matter. There have been times of discouragement. Like I said, at the beginning, there wasn’t funding. So when people come around with their dreams and say, ‘I didn’t get money’, I look at them. I gave you an example when I had to be creative; I set up a book club where people would pay and use their money to run the other one. There has to be creativity. When we brought Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie in 2005 and set up, there was no money. But when I managed to track her down and she said she would be coming

Artman In The House

21

L-R: Kalango, Jesse Jackson and Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo-Adimora at last year’s edition of GCLF in Port Harcourt.

FACT FILE •

Koko Kalango, who describes herself as a ‘Port Harcourt girl’ attended Port Harcourt Primary School, Federal Government Girls’ College, Aboloma and the University of Benin (UNIBEN), where she studied Foreign Languages and majored in French.

For her Master’s degree she studied International Relations at the University of Lancaster in the UK.

Married with children, Koko voluntarily reads for pupils at her children’s schools.

Her love for reading led her to start the Rainbow Book Club, which, in conjunction with the Rivers State Government runs the successful Garden City Literary Festival.

to Port Harcourt. I walked into the British Council not knowing anybody there; I told them about this brilliant young lady that had written a great book and I would like them to have her here. They said yes and funded an elaborate dinner at the Hotel Presidential. I went to British Airways and told them I wanted tickets to fly her here and they gave me tickets. There was so much goodwill. In those days, I would write to newspapers and they would run it. I would write letters on my laptop find out who the ANA (Association of Nigerian Authors) president is and send him a letter. I thank God that somehow people responded and the support has been building up over the years. So were there times of discouragement? Definitely. Were there times when I wanted to give up? Definitely. But I almost feel like there is a supernatural hand that says keep going, keep at it, don’t be tired. And then you get this kind of encouragement like the World Book Capital City. How have you been able to strike a balance between family life and your work? When I hear of a lot of women who do things successfully and it sounds like they are just having perfect lives, I wonder if something is wrong with me. There is always a struggle; do I continue? My husband said, “this my wife, you are always

L-R: Kalango, Prof. Soyinka, Ajierika, Chukwuemeka Ike and others during the GCLF in Port Harcourt at the 2010 edition.

working”. So at a point, we had an agreement that once he comes through the door, I will stop working. I’m very grateful to him; he has been incredible because I’ll tell anybody it’s not easy being married to me. I’m an ‘ideas woman’. He is my opposite; he listens to me and is able to curb my excesses. A lot of times that I wanted to stop because of family life. My priority is my home because I feel that if I’m not a success with the people closest to me, then, I’m not a success at all. So I don’t compromise that; I work around my family schedule. I take my children to and pick them from school. When I take them to school, I work, I close before them and when I bring them home and they are doing their homework, I continue to work on the laptop if my husband is not home. You came to Lagos for your national service at a school. Could you talk about that? It was a government school on Adeniran Ogunsanya in Surulere area of Lagos. I was posted there to teach French. This was over 25 years ago. I walked through the gate and the boys started whistling (laughter). I got into the office and started crying. The principal came over and wanted to know what the problem was. He asked me a bit of questions about my background and got to know that I was from a family of girls, a very sheltered home. He sent me back to the NYSC, which sent me to New Era, a girl’s school. How prepared are you for the enormous work of Port Harcourt winning the bid for the WBCC? In my heart I’m ready to embrace the challenge. I believe one important work is putting down a plan and that is where

we are. The very first thing is to constitute an office. So, we will be looking to engage people for at least three years. There is going to be a lot of work; the corporate people will bring their money, the NGOs, the professional organisations… infact, somebody contacted me, a very big auditing firm that they would like to audit for us pro bono as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). So, we expect a lot of goodwill which has been built over the years. With this heightened interest in reading now, a lot more people are going to have to key-in because this is for all of us. You are no doubt a very busy person but do you create time for yourself? I do. You may not see me staying here (office) morning till evening. My day, as I explained, helps me bridge in because I can’t really sit for too long. So, when I drop the children off at school and return, I do six hours of work, then I go to pick them and take them home; that’s a break in-between. When they are doing their homework I work on my laptop. I usually work in the evenings. That is a really wonderful time for me to clear my head. I work with my mum, who is almost 80. I use that to have her exercise and have me exercise. Then, because I work for myself, there can be a day in the week, if I’m tired, I don’t leave the house. Sometimes I could go to the spa to have a massage or do something to my hair or go shopping. All these things relieve tension. But I think I’m able to strike a balance. In May, a family member had a wedding in Edinburgh (Scotland) so I used that opportunity… I went to London and stayed for a week just on my own. So, I really was able to rest.


22

Critics

Friday, August 10, 2012

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Premiere

Nollywood’s angle on ill-fated flights Award winning director Obi Emelonye premiered his movie, Last Flight to Abuja at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema LekkiLagos recently. The thriller takes a dramatic look at the series of aviation disasters which plague the industry many years back. In the light of the most recent air mishap, the movie is a poignant portrayal. BOLA OGUNTOLA

T

he new thriller from Obi Emeloye, acclaimed writer and director of The Mirror Boy, is yet another blockbuster film –a Nigerian version of Hollywood with a script whose idea emanated from true life experiences of the plane crash incidences in Nigeria and Ghana. Last Flight ot Abuja kicked off with an imminent plane crash of Flamingo Airways and passengers on board try to escape, pray or hold on to one last person before their death. This action is supported by sound effects action but a shift in scene reveals series of events which predate the plane crashing. A couple on their way to the airport have an argument with the lady Suzzy (Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde) insistent on travelling that evening inspite of her fiancé’s plea. The managing director of a multinational company announces largesse of an all-expense paid weekend trip to Abuja for top executives for consecutive successes over a period of three years. One of those who also benefited from the largesse eventually misses the trip because he took a nap and woke late. Another Abuja-bound executive, Shola (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) hurries off to catch the same flight after just killing a Youth Corper attached to his company’s account department to cover

Play

THE MOVIE IS AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT BUT

EMELONYE’S

ANTECEDENTS PROVE THAT THE ACE DIRECTOR IS NOT ONE TO BE FAZED BY CHALLENGES up a fraud he had committed. Another scene shows an elderly couple conversing about the husband’s medical operation which necessitates the need to travel to Abuja. Similarly, a much younger couple arrive the airport accompanied by a little girl. As the father alights from their car, his daughter makes an eerie statement that he will not return if he boards that plane. All these mix-matched passengers then move to the airport’s departure to board the Flamingo Airways Flight 212 to Abuja. The flight takes off after mandatory check-in procedures and technical clearance. Soon, in mid air, pandemonium breaks out when smoke starts oozing from the toilet area into the fuselage where passengers are seated. While the air hostesses try to restore calm, the pilot and co-pilot (played by Anthony Monjaro

Scene from the movie

and Celine Loader respectively) can be seen in the cockpit relaying the development to control tower. The control tower official on the other end is nonchalant about the emerging crisis rather wishing he were not on duty to deal with it. Eventually, engine failure occurs and the plane loses altitude. The plane crash lands somewhere in Ilorin, Kwara State; surviving passengers scramble out of the smouldering wreck and try to help others who are trapped. After a while, the plane explodes killing all remaining on board. When news of the plane crash breaks on TV stations, the movie then relays the apprehension and distress that permeates families who have loved ones on board Flight 212. Those who miss the flight also add to the colouration of emotions. Last Flight to Abuja is an ambitious project, but Emelonye’s antecedents prove that the ace director is not one to be fazed by challenges. The aircraft and interior was a set recreation and the flight simulated. However, it is convincing except for a few times when the characters appear superimposed on the background

and the sky does not sync. The director engaged various techniques one of which worked in his favour is flashback; it kept suspense level high. At the end, viewers will learn that Shola smoking a cigarette did not spark the problem on board as he had been accused. The script is well-written allowing characters to interpret their roles with required mannerisms, facial and body expressions. The cast is a mixture of known and unknown faces in the industry and to situationalise the dialogue, it is a blend of Pidgin and English. However, the co-pilot’s facial expression at crash point did not show the horror and fear required for someone in her situation. There was also no head view of the main pilot while the plane was about to crash. As a didactic production, Last Flight to Abuja exposes the inefficient aviation industry system in the country and the need for everyone including authorities to tackle this menace that is claiming innocent lives by the day. The movie is also a humanitarian attempt to speak for victims and attend to the plight of families involved in the plane crashes.

Restoring theatre’s After series of well-organised TV, radio, newspaper and mobile publicity, in the city of Lagos for the stage production of The Five Maids of Fadaka, the stage production came up on Sunday, July 21. A stage performance in Lagos had not witnessed such a massive turnout like that in years; audience members sat glued to their seats while others stood and some squatted by the isle of the auditorium at the Agip Hall of the MUSON Centre. The drama on stage was riveting. OLAYIWOLA AWAKAN

I One of the virgins in performance.

t is an incontrovertible fact that theatre in Nigeria is beginning to regain its stance through great synergy and sponsorship with corporate organisations. Professionals

in various spheres of the stage art, veterans and mature stage actors, dancers and singers are also going to great measures to restore the glory of stage business. For some years, it had been on the edge of extermination, but alas, theatre is back! On the last day of its showing,


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Critics

Friday, August 10, 2012

23

Book

Security handbook from the expert How does one overcome security challenges? The answer to this question is captured in a book titled; Overcoming Security Challenges, as narrated by no other person than an expert himself, Sir. Mike Mbama Okiro, a veteran and seasoned security genius. EMMANUEL NKWOCHA

G

od regretted creating man; that the thought of men are evil continually (Genesis 6: Verses 5 & 6). To corroborate this, Sir William Golding, a 1983 Nobel Laureate could not understand why people perpetrate evil and cause unbearable pains to their fellow human beings. Golding buttressed his point by saying: “Human beings are essentially evil. They secrete evil the way bees secrete honey”. Therefore, it is pertinent to state categorically that the security of life and properties have over the years become the biggest challenge confronting man and his surroundings today. The menace directly or indirectly affects the activities of man in a socio-economic and political environment and poses as a threat to human life. However, every individual, corporate bodies, government and nations who ignores the global security threat ravaging the world presently must be living in fool’s paradise. In his 155-page new book, Sir, Mike Mbama Okiro, a veteran and seasoned security genius, who has been in the forefront to confront security challenges in Nigeria attempts to solve some of the security riddles Nigeria is currently grappling with. From a humble beginning as a low cadre officer, cadet assistance superintendent of police in 1977, Okiro later retired successfully as an Inspector General of Police on July 24, 2009 at a normal retirement age of 60. The book is not a feature but a chronicle or compendium of real life stories of grievous and irreparable security clangers made by people, including security experts across the globe as told by the author. Names and addresses of some of the dead people in the book are quoted while pseudonyms are used for individuals alive. Location and dates are changed for obvious security reason. Stories have been made simple so as to be handy for readers. Telephone numbers of police stations, emergency and control rooms across Nigeria are equally included for easy contact in case of emergency. The author believes that security of life and property anywhere in the world would be successful if people take preventive measures to protect themselves and also give comprehensive report of suspected crime

lost glory The Five Maids of Fadaka written by Ayodele Jaiyesimi recorded a sold out hall. It was the effort of the Thespian Family Theatre in collaboration with First@arts that made a difference. The stage drama, an adaptation of the Bible story about the 10 virgins, had over 55 members of cast, comprising well known movie stars like Rachael Oniga, Nobert Young, Gloria Young, Bimbo Manuel-Udokwu, Carol King and Iyke Okechikwu as well as upcoming actors, dancers and award-winning choreographers. The total theatre production had colourful dances, acting, stage formations, stage construction, costumes, music, which culminated in the powerful aesthetics pulled by the production. The story is about a King’s lavish marriage ceremony and the native preparations that usually go along with it. In

moves and movers who perpetrate misdeed anywhere in the world. He reiterated that if people are security conscious, report offered and proper measure taken to punish culprits, people would desist from doing evil. Each of the 31 chapters shares thorough and touching life accounts of security lapses of people who fall prey from time to time of culprits either by error of commission or omission. In chapter one, the author regrets what he described as impersonal relationships. He enumerates how Chief Adebisi Thompson who lived in a particular house for more than five years did not know his neighbour. “On a day in June 2005, he came back from a long trip and was comfortably relaxing in his living room… his security guard informed him that armed robbers were operating in his neighbour’s compound. He loaded his double barrel gun, shot the young man that jumped into his house at close range presuming he was one of the robbers. Surprisingly, his security guard came close two minutes later to identify the dead man as Peter, their neighbour’s first son”. If Thompson had known his neighbour, he could have recognised the man as his neighbour’s son running away from armed robbers, he concludes. Again, he warns that people should be mindful of stalking vehicles when driving. He recounts how an Air Force Commodore, Anthony Ikhazoboh did not notice the Pontiac bus that followed him from Falomo to Lekki, a distance of about five kilometres. The hoodlums traced him home, robbed and shot him dead. On the other hand, the author alerted that insecurity is a global issue. That what is obtainable in a country is not peculiar to the other. That people should always be careful of what they do and how they do it anywhere on earth and equally bear in mind that improper logistic arrangement and unscreened employees can lead one to a big security mess. One of the most interesting chapters in Overcoming Security Challenges is the last. Here, the author carefully reveals 25 security measures one can take to prevent most of the lapses that leads to security collapse. The author wrote: “remove any object which can help an intruder into your home or office such as: ladders, hammers, axes etc”. Another issue worthy of note is where he says “de-

mand for identity cards from person(s) who call in the guise of metre readers or salesmen. In a business premises, have good lighting inside and outside so as to maintain good visibility. Don’t keep the engine of your car running while discussing with someone by the roadside and do not remain inside a parked car for a long period of time so as not to be vulnerable to armed robbers”. Dedicated to DIG John Haruna who died in a helicopter crash in Jos on March 14, 2012 while trying to restore peace and security to Plateau State and Sgt. Sunday Badang who died in Kaduna on February 14, 2012 while trying to defuse a bomb, the book is engaging and does not allow the reader to put it down until he or she gets to the last point. Overcoming Security Challenges is an empirical analysis of critical security situation and occurrences which is a fundamental security manual an average person can read and understand due to its simplicity and proper use of grammar. Both individual and corporate bodies will find it very useful. Going by the global security menace, there would not be an appropriate time for this book to be launched other than now. It is very refreshing and a good reference material. Written in a simple English with a classical cover and page design It is recommended to everyone who likes to protect his life and property at all times.

THE PRODUCTION PROUDLY FLAUNTED THE UNIQUENESS EMBEDDED IN SOME MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS IN THE

NIGERIAN SOCIETY

selecting the bridal train, he sends word through his towncrier to invite maidens from neighbouring villages in what seems like a beauty pageant. In the contest, the main focus is not on outward beauty but the test of the inner constitution and character of the contestants. The play employed the techniques of folklore, traditional dance, music, comedy and other creative stage paraphernalia. The production proudly flaunted the uniqueness embedded in some major ethnic groups in the Nigerian society. At the end of the production, the closing glee was a beautiful dance performance of the evergreen Olori Oko song by gospel group Infinity. A lot of finger foods, fruits and palm wine were served thereafter to ‘africanise’ the venue which was deco-

rated with tie and dye clothes and mats. The directing was handled by Abiola Segun-Williams, a product of Dramatic Arts from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). She runs Party People Nig. Ltd, a company that specialises in creating bespoke entertainment. Among other crew members were Joseph Ofili, Kenneth Oyin Onwelikwu and Adesina Ayodele. According to Rachael Oniga, who played the part of Nne, the storyteller, “the play is about humility, obedience, being level-headed, seeking for wisdom. In the play, the five maidens were not wise and they did not seek for wisdom, they failed to obey the law of life; those things made them lost out”. The playwright, Ayodele Jaiyesimi gave her motivation for the play as “Prob-

ably my belief, first and foremost. I believe in purpose. I try in everything I do to connect to other people in my community and to the young people especially. The second reason is value. I look around and see that there is a dearth of good value. The fact is that parents don’t teach their children good values any longer. I remember when I was young; my parents would sit us down and tell us stories after which moral lessons would be drawn. Those lessons still work for me till date. Another thing is Godly values. The fear of God makes us to have impacts on other people’s lives. A lot of fighting in our country today among tribes, religion and individuals; I don’t think there is any country that is as blessed as Nigeria. But our children don’t even know some of those things that make us rich as a country. We should pull those resources together”. The Five Maids of Fadaka production was proudly sponsored by Societal Positive Impact Initiative, First Bank, Tastee Fried Chicken, Barcelos and HealthPlus.


24

Inside FCT

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How prepared are residents for torrential rainfall? MARCUS FATUNMOLE

A

s torrential downpours hammer the nation’s capital, as in all parts of the country in recent weeks, wreaking havocs of monumental proportions on some states of the federation, how prepared are residents of Abuja for the eventualities as the trend continues? Unlike the past when some part of the North could experience just two rainfalls in a year, the zone is witnessing more rainfall than ever as a result of climatic changes. Plateau and Nasarawa states had in past weeks fallen victims of flooding brought about by heavy downpour. Last month, heavy rains kept falling in Abuja and this led to some challenges, especially in the remote villages in the nation’s capital. Inside the city, where less than 25 percent of residents live, are nice-looking mansions, well-laid drainages and beautifully clipped lawns. There are trees planted in almost every premises to protect the environment. Children are made to stay indoors, when not in school and

CHILDREN RUN NAKED IN THE RAIN TO HAVE FREE BATHES, THUS EXPOSING THEM TO PNEUMONIA AND OTHER RELATED DISEASES during rainfall. Comparatively, in most of the satellite communities are no drainages. They are sordid, littered with thrash including domestic wastes, human and animal faeces. Most of the communities’ untarred roads are eroded by flood and are almost un-motorable. During rainfall, some vehicles are stuck in mud or flood for hours before they are finally pushed off. Motor bike operators –the only messiah for conveying people to and from their homes– struggle to gain possession of the narrow portion of the badly-damaged pathways as they file in procession. Their fares change with the conditions of the roads. Residents are drenched by rain as a result of walking distance between where they live and the major roads. Inside the villages are structures which easily collapse as the rain increases. Children run naked

in the rain to have free bathes, thus exposing them to pneumonia and other related diseases. Most parents don’t even care. Findings by Inside FCT around the city revealed that residents of villages really nurse fears over dangers that may accompany the rains. Yet, they seem ill-prepared and ignorant of what their defective behaviours may cause them. Many of the drainages are blocked by wastes such as polythene products and other domestic garbage. Our reporter spoke with some residents one of whom is Mrs. Mulikat Abeni of Gwagwalada. She expressed fear that residents were not doing enough to avert any danger that may accompany rainfall in her area. She condemned a situation where people just dump refuse inside the drainages at this time without even considering the impacts of such

Main road leading to Nuwalege village, Abuja split by erosion

behaviour. Abeni however remarked that government was not doing enough to protect the environment. “If government makes scapegoats of some of us who offend environmental laws, there will be significantly positive change of attitude”, Abeni noted. Mojeed Abdulwaheed, a resi-

dent of Nuwalege village in Abuja, said the satellite villages in the city would continue to encounter more environmental challenges. He based his argument on fading attention from government to satellite communities. His words: “The problems of environment in these villages will continue unabated.

Parents recount pains, IJEOMA EZEIKE

T

An Abuja school before the holiday

he word ‘vacation’ can strike a feeling of dread in some parents. Children are out of school and have the long ‘lazy’ days of July and August ahead during which domestic expenditures will expectedly shoot up and hitherto neatly kept sitting rooms and balconies will invariably wear ungainly looks. Naturally, the kids could spend their vacation glued most times to TV shows or programmes that appeal to their senses; use their imaginations to create projects reflective of their unique talents or in some cases, attend holiday coaching centres, depending on how parents are able to manage the holiday break. Investigations by Inside FCT over the past four weeks showed

that the usual hustle and bustle of early morning rush, as parents make haste to prepare their children for school and still meet up official or business schedules have stopped. The school-goers are now enjoying the holidays either at home or with relations or friends. Whereas some youth are crisscrossing the FCT for adventures and excursions, some parents have turned their kids to hawkers, especially in satellite towns. They say it is a means of letting the kids support efforts of raising their school fees. Life, they say, is a story with many chapters! Still, some parents are yet to know what they would do with their kids during this period. But our reporter discovered a few coaching centres in Abuja that would at least accommodate the large number of children


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Inside FCT

Friday, August 10, 2012

25

FCT, NURTW bicker over minibus routes OMEIZA AJAYI

I

One of the reasons is that government does not really recognise these communities as part of the city. I think it will be difficult for government to come and put any form of meaningful infrastructure in places they could demolish at any time. That is why you hardly see any impact of government in these places; the people provide everything for themselves. This may account for reasons residents of the villages do whatever they like in the environment with impunity and they

truly go unpunished”, he said. About a month ago, in Nasarawa State, some 10 children were swept away by flood while studying in their classroom. A heavy rainfall suddenly broke their school fence while flood sped into their classrooms. The casualties would have been higher but for the help of the teachers and people around. Plateau too witnessed a similar incident two weeks ago when more than 35 lives perished in a sudden flood triggered by rainfall.

joys of wards’ holiday season HERE IN ABUJA, SOME PEOPLE RUN FROM PILLAR TO POST LOOKING FOR WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR KIDS INSTEAD OF HELPING THEIR CHILDREN LEARN that are currently on holiday. Mrs. Ngozi Ukwuoma, an Abuja resident, told Inside FCT that she preferred that her children remained in school rather than come home for holidays. “I am going to be honest; the holidays make me very anxious. My kids disturb a lot and this makes the holiday almost impossible to enjoy. I don’t have a house help and my husband travelled some weeks ago for business. As you can see, I am the only one taking care of our four children and all the house chores are laid on my shoulders until my husband returns”, she said.

But Mrs. Gloria Emmanuel, who spoke from another point of view, said the holiday is a carefree time to be savoured. She said holiday stress has become a tradition. “Here in Abuja, some people run from pillar to post looking for what to do with their kids instead of helping their children learn and develop. For instance, a parent can use his or her imagination and write a story with the kids. It doesn’t have to be original, the kids could write down their favourite fairly tale and have their unlimited fun out of it”, she said.

Interestingly, there are many places in Abuja for families to visit. Children can explore the Arts and Culture Village in Area 10 because most of them are losing touch with African arts and culture. Many kids do not know common words in their local dialect or even important information about Nigeria art, culture and history. A visit to such a place will make for an interesting day out to admire Nigeria-made products and artifacts. There are also many cinemas and entertainments halls in the FCT; children will find the mall and cinema experience very fascinating. There is no fuss involved in this outing for a parent. Simply purchase required movie tickets and enjoy two hours relaxation in the cinema hall for the parent and entertainment for the children.

nitial hope that the raging opposition by mini-bus drivers to the decision of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to restrict bus operations to satellite towns and feeder routes within the FCT may end soon may just be missing the point after all. Reason? The National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW), are enraged at the decision which they argue is aimed at sending them out of business. Only last Tuesday, officials of the Transport Secretariat of the FCTA had gone to the Branch 1 of the NURTW Park in Wuse Zone 5, to continue the administration’s bid to sensitise commercial road users on its transport routes policy for minibus operators. However, the presentation by the Chief Transport Officer of the secretariat, Mr. Alebiosu Adewale was interrupted midway by the angry drivers who felt the administration was out to deny them their source of living and shut them out of existence. Consequently, they have vowed to resist any move to send them packing. Alebiosu told the transporters that the administration has assigned intra-district and inter satellite town routes to minbus operators as a way of reducing traffic congestion in the city as well as ensure a seamless transport experience for the residents. With the policy, minibuses comprising of 12-18 capacity passenger buses are effectively banned from plying the major entry routes in the FCT and hence, are restricted to feeder routes in the satellite towns and the districts. To the drivers, the new arrangement is a deliberate ploy to incapacitate them economically. Inside FCT learnt that routes like Jabi- Mbora Lugbe; Mpape to Murtala Muhammed Way, Bwari town-Dutse AlhajiExpressway (ONEX) and Zuba Gwagwalada amongst others are where the mini-buses will be expected to ply. One of the drivers, Chris Nwawuru, explained that such a policy was not practicable in the FCT. According to him, Abuja is not like Lagos where the city is fully developed and densly populated such that all routes have passengers to be commuted from one point to another. “The FCT has a one

THE ROUTES OF CHOICE WAS TAKEN OVER BY THE ADMINISTRATION AND HANDED OVER TO THE LICENSED OPERATORS AT OUR ECONOMIC DETRIMENT way traffic at peak periods like early in the morning and after work. From Shomolu to Bariga alone, one can pick passengers round the clock; but the routes being assigned to us have no passengers to be conveyed. It will not work except you want to remove the life out of us”, he stated. Christian Abugu, another driver, said the administration should allow commuters decide whether to patronise minibuses or the high capacity buses. He lamented what he described as deliberate effort by the administration to frustrate mini-bus drivers who have complied with all demands by the administration; amongst which was the forced painting of their vehicles to green and white as well as registration of the vehicles for the FCT data. “The routes of choice was taken over by the administration and handed over to the licensed operators at our economic detriment, thus, the project will not work”, Abugu said. Inside FCT, however, learnt that the FCTA has set aside the sum of N1 billion in the 2012 budget to cushion the effect of the new policy on the drivers. “The FCT Administration has budgeted N1 billion in the 2012 budget to augment the revenue of the transporters as their new routes may not be as buoyant as the one they have dominated but the overall intent of decongesting the roads of heavy traffic would have been achieved”, a top source within the Administration told Inside FCT. While the negotiation continues, residents will have to contend with the harrowing traffic situation within the territory, especially during the rainy season when commuters get the worst of drenching and inconveniences.


Mirror Mongers

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Okorocha’s queens A lthough some people believe that actress Nkiru Sylvanus and Ms. Lisa Asugha wield a lot of influence in the scheme of things in Imo State, which is instrumental to their nicknames ‘Okorocha’s Queens’, it is likely that they are being prepared for higher offices considering how they are routinely swapped from their offices. Infact, the changes have left many of Nkiru Sylvanus’ colleagues in Nollywood wondering what next would come her way.

Mirror Mongers gathered that the actress has just been upgraded from the Special Adviser on Lagos Affairs to Senior Special Adviser on Public Affairs. She swapped her position with Ms. Lisa Asugha, who has already resumed in Lagos for the new job by paying a visit to Governor Fashola of Lagos State. Inspite of this, Nkiru is a regular face in Lagos, where a few days ago, she had her talent hunt show in Lekki, meaning to find new talents under the Face of Hope project.

Costume of the future?

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Mark

‘Mark-ing’ Nigeria’s social media

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Sylvanus

Asugha

Beggars with a choice

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ontrary to the age long saying that beggars do not have a choice, Hassan Zakariwa proved earlier in the week that the notion is old and perhaps ‘expired’. Zakariwa, leading a group of 65 beggars, had stormed the Lagos State Government secretariat to complain about some injustices being meted out to his colleagues in the begging profession. While demanding ‘princely treatment’ from the government, he complained of constant harassment aside the plans by the state government to picket whoever

hands alms out to them. However, he failed to rightly point out that like every other profession in the country, beggars may have constituted themselves into a union and may soon ask that their view be reflected in the constitution. The government official, Tunde Panox, who received them on behalf of Lagos State governor, assured them of better days with the usual diplomatic slang: ‘we will look into it’. But the move has elicited reactions that Nigerian beggars would soon grow beyond ‘wishing’ to riding horses.

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avid Mark, the Senate President, must begin to be increasingly mindful of what he says during retreats since it brings him condemnation. In the past one month, the senators have decided to hold working (?) retreats at Asaba (the Delta State capital) and Umuahia (Abia State capital). Mark has been roundly criticised for making what his followers would term ‘simple comments’. At the Asaba retreat, he was admonished by many northern politicians for exonerating himself from being a northern leader (after he tasked leaders from the north to unite and find solutions to Boko Haram) but at the Umuahia retreat, Mark took on social media-loving Nigerians, whom he admonished for posting a lot of spurious and unverifiable claims about Nigerian leaders online. It is said he fell slightly short of calling for a ban on the use of social media where Mark has suffered a barrage of criticisms from Nigerians. But a look at the Facebook page of the Senate President will give an insight into the kind of postings Mark desires from Nigerians. In the past one year or so, he has been on Facebook twice: On April 16, prior to the election, he was around to urge Nigerians to vote for Goodluck Jonathan and last Saturday, at the heat of the comment, he was also around to recommend a particular brand of malt drink called Hummer to his over 5000 followers. One US-based blogger, incensed that Mark was against social media took a swipe at him, leading to one of the most hurtful articles ever done of the Senate President. And since it was deployed on the social media, it has been moving with e-speed.

ONE-SECOND Q&A

ost Nigerian governors call themselves ‘chief executive officers’ of their states. But when it borders on getting their monthly security votes, they prefer to be called ‘chief security officers’ of the state. Earlier this week, the incident at Okene, Kogi State, clearly shows the side of the divide, Idris Wada, the governor, belongs. He was captured in a picture, donning his full kit as the chief security officer of Kogi State, which is understandable considering what happened to late Senator Datong in Jos, Plateau State some weeks ago. For those who saw the photo which is still fresh on the social media, Wada, while commiserating with the victims of the recent church shooting at Okene did not forget his bullet proof vests. This clearly leaves the common man in Kogi, thinking of not only food but bullet proof vests as well, since the chief security officer has shown the way. But could someone remind Wada that Rudy Giuliani, the Mayor of New York in 2001, became a hero without bullet proof vests.

Wada in bullet proof vest while visiting victims of the Deeper Life Bible Church attack.

TAM DAVID WEST

As Nigerians continue to share opinions about the stance of the Federal Government on corruption, former Minister of Petroleum, Tam David West reacts to the prevalence of the scourge in the polity. How would you assess the level of corruption in the country?

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David West

agree with the late Alhaji Shehu Musa who was a former Secretary to the Government. He said it so many years ago that in Nigeria, not only are officials corrupt, but that corruption is official. President Goodluck Jonathan cannot fight corruption and the pity of it is that most Nigerians are ambivalent when it comes to the issue of fighting corruption. Here, we don’t like corruption but if you are not corrupt, they don’t like you. But look at what is going on now on the oil subsidy; journalists know about it, you have been writing about it and except we can handle corruption, the country cannot go forward. And if we don’t handle the issue of corruption very well, the problem in the country will continue. There is a stage in which the poor people will continue suffering and suffering, while the rich people are becoming richer, daily. But a time will come when this will stop and it will create a national catastrophe.


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Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 22, 1433AH Friday, August 10, 2012

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

15-year old Nigerian secures admission in Harvard ... A neuroscientist in the making

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any parents dream of their children going to Harvard one day. But a Muslim girl has actualised the goal of getting into the prestigious university at the age of 15! Saheela Ibraheem, of Edison, was also accepted to MIT and 13 other schools, including Princeton and Columbia before settling for Harvard after falling in love with the campus. She skipped two grades and said the key to sucCONTINUED ON PAGE 30

Glasgow Central Mosque

Behold Glasgow Central Mosque

Every Friday

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with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya

Attributes of a Mumin

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udhur said: Today, matters will be expounded with reference to Khashiyyat of God. The word Khashiyyat is used commonly, but if its essence was understood, it would enhance level of virtues. The literal meaning of Khashiyyat is generally understood to be fear, which is correct. Fear of God takes one to virtues. However, fear of God is not

Make use of these special periods 29

like the ordinary emotion of fear. The Quranic verse that states that only those with Khashiyyat who have knowledge does not mean that anyone who presumes to possess knowledge has Khashiyyat and anyone who is not a scholar has less Khashiyyat. Indeed, hundreds and thousands of ‘religious scholars’ of today CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

Quintessence of Itikaaf (Seclusion) 29

he Mosque was built in 1983, by a retired businessman Muhammed Tufail Shaheen who is an active community leader and President of the Glasgow Central Mosque, Scotland United Kingdom which he was instrumental in building. The central Mosque was formally opened in 1984 by H E. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League. Built on a 4-acre (16,000 m2) site, the present Mosque is shortly to be enhanced by the new Islamic Centre to be erected on an adjacent 4-acre (16,000 m2) site. The new Islamic Centre will contain a general purpose hall, sports and changing facilities, meeting rooms, library, cafeteria and facilities which will offer education and welfare support to the community. The Mosque was built at a cost of three million pounds. The courtyard of the

mosque is in keeping with the traditional Arabesque style. It is enclosed on one of its sides by gardens and on the other by a long façade of arched windows. The main entrance arched with etched glass doors of a floral design. In the courtyard is one of the most noticeable features being the Minaret (tower) where traditionally the Muezzin recites the call to prayer stands. The other more noticeable feature is the dome above the main prayer hall allowing natural light into the building. Inside the mosque is a recess which is called the Mihrab where the Imam stands. The Mihrab points in the direction of Mecca. Enclosed in a walled garden and with a separate minaret, the mosque combines Islamic architecture with the characteristic Red Sandstone material used to build many of Glasgow’s buildings. The building can accommodate 2500 worshippers.

Etiquettes of the last 10 days of Ramadan

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Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 22, 1433AH Friday, August 10, 2012

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Okorocha tasks Muslims on unity CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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mo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has called upon Muslims to always imbibe and promote the spirit of peace and unity especially now that the country is going through some challenges that are threatening its corporate existence as a nation.

The governor, who stated this when he hosted the Muslims community in the state at the Government House, maintained that religious tolerance has become paramount to save the nation from collapsing. He however, predicted that Nigeria would remain an indivisible entity in the face of the challenges and urged the Muslims to use

the period of Ramadan to pray for the leaders for purposeful leadership and good governance. The governor reiterated his commitment to ensure that dividends of democracy are spread to uplift the living standard of everyone resident in the state. Earlier, the leader of the group, Alhaji Dauda Onyegacha The faithful commended the governor

for the speedy transformation of the state and described him as a detribalized leader whose leadership qualities have continued to earn recognition in the country. While commending the governor for appointing two Muslims into his cabinet, Alhaji Onyeagocha assured their unalloyed support and loyalty to his administration.

UN should stop killing in Rohingya –TMC

Day 22

L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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n the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslim Congress (TMC) has requested that the United Nations General Assembly and the international community should intervene in the displacement, victimisation, killing and confinement of Muslims in Rohingya Myanmar-Burma under siege during this period of fasting. This was contained in a press statement signed by The Amir of the congress, Mallam Luqman AbdurRaheem where he proposed a durable solution to refugees’ plight in MyanmarBurma and urged the United Nations to issue strict warning to the war mongers. He urged the United Nations to stop the genocide within twenty-four hours or face the wrath of the UN Peace-keeping force and also called for immediate investigation of the immediate and remote causes of the genocide. He called upon all relief organisations, NGOs, charity groups, individuals and religious organizations to provide moral and financial assistance to the refugees in Myanmar in order to assist them reclaim their identities, develop self-esteem and rebuild their future hopes and aspirations during and after Ramadan. “We advocate that the perpetrators of this avoidable genocide be prosecuted for war against humanity in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague. This will serve as deterrent to future re-occurrence”, he added.

Utilize the last days of Ramadan optimally –Sayi LATEEFAH IBRAHIM-ANIMASHAUN General Manager (Financial operations) MTN Communication Limited, Alhaji M.A. Kadiri presenting a tricycle (Keke Marwa)to a beneficiary of Zakat distribution ceremony organised by Zakat & Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) at the Multipurpose Hall, Lagos Secretariat Central Mosque, Alausa while Chairman, ZSF, Alhaji Sulaimon Olagunju, Dr. Abdul Hakeem Mobolaji and Mallam Abdullahi Shuaib look on.

A cross-section of Muslim faithful at the Anwar Central Mosque, Ikorodu, Lagos to break the fast as part of Indomie’s annual Ramadan sampling. The noodles giant plans to feed a million faithful this year.

L-R: Special Assistant to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Transport, Mr.. Babatunde Odejinmi, SA on Environment, Mr. Osinowo Temitope and SA on Media, Hajia Ronke Raji at the presentation of the new ambulance services by the State Ministry of Health recently.

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clarion call has gone to Muslims all over the country to increase their acts of worship during the last ten days of the Ramadan fast by using the medium to get closer to Allah, pray for the country and to also witness Lailatul Qadr (Night of majesty). This was said by Chief Imam Lekki Muslim Ummah, Barrister AbdurRaheem Ahmad Sayi during a Ramadan lecture held in Agidingbi, Ikeja where he urged Muslims to be more dedicated and emulate Prophet Muhammad by secluding themselves in the Mosque within the last ten days of the fast. He said the seclusion will give them the opportunity to engage in recitation of the holy Quran, commanding good and forbidding evil, listening to soul inspiring lectures that can improve their lives while waiting to witness the night of majesty within these nights. Imam quoted Q97 verse3 where Allah said the grand night is better than a thousand months and added that Prophet Muhammad said worship on this night with faith and sincere intention makes Allah to forgive all the previous sins of such person. ”Nobody can do a work to earn the paradise of Allah except with the mercy of Allah and one of the mercies of Allah is that there is a special day in it

that is very special for those who seeks the pleasure of Allah”, he said. He said one of the special days in the sight of Allah is the day of Arafah and that Allah descends in the afternoon to seek those who are in need of him and that the best night in the sight of Allah is the night of majesty. He encouraged Muslims who can afford it, to go for Umrah as he stated that holy Prophet Muhammad encouraged Muslims to do this during Ramadan which he said is equivalent to performing Hajj. He said Quran was revealed this night and urged Muslims to strive towards witnessing this day as he discouraged them from associating partner with Allah, fornication/ adultery and other social vices.


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 22, 1433AH

Call to Worship

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Quintessence of Itikaaf (Seclusion) W I t is a fact that this world is very glittering. Man is desirously in the quest to amass its delicacies. This has most often than not made him to neglect or even forget his duties to his Lord. Unfortunately, he closes his eyes to the reality of departing the world which began the moment he was born. As he grows older, he gets nearer to his grave. He may not live to sixty years before he answers death’s summon. It puts all on equal footing. Every¬thing that lives must die. The male and female, the old and the young, believer and the unbeliever, the Muslims and the non-Muslims, the righteous and the unrighteous; the knowledgeable and the ignorant, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the healthy and the sick, the king and the subject, the oppressor and the oppressed are all equal before death. Nobody will die except that he is shown his place in Hell or Paradise. Every person will suffer the pang of death in proportion to the quality of his deeds. While it will be light on the believers, it will be hard on the unbelievers. The depar¬ture of the soul from the body is very painful indeed. The time has come for man to return to His Lord and render ac¬counts of all his deeds. He must part with his beloved wives, chil¬dren, family and friends. He will bid

HEN MAN IS

EVENTUALLY LAID IN HIS GRAVE ... THE SOUL IS

RESTORED BACK TO THE BODY this world adieu and proceed to that of loneliness in the grave. He will leave his wealth behind for others to inherit and travel with his deeds to the unknown abode. When a believer is about to die, angels of mercy will descend to him with their shinning faces. They will bring a shroud and perfume from AI-Jannah. Then, the angel of death will come, sit by his head and say: ‘0 you pure soul, go out to the forgiveness and pleasure from your Lord’. As the soul quits the body, they will not let it stay for a mo¬ment in the hand of the angel of death until they have taken and kept it in the white cloth they have brought. They will ascend with it to Allah (SWT) who will welcome it and ask them to keep it in the Illiyyin, special place for the righteous ones. As for the unbelievers, some angels will also come to him, but with stinking black c1othe. After the soul has departed from the body, they will keep it in the cloth they have brought and ascend with it to Allah (SWT). He will reject it and ask them to keep it in the Sijjiin, a

Make use of these special periods

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here are certain times dua (supplication) is more likely to be accepted by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) as mentioned by Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). These times are as follows:

The Last Third Of The Night Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘In the last third of every night our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) (Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)) descends to the lowermost heaven and says; “Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?.”‘ [Sahih AlBukhaari, Hadith Qudsi] Amr ibn Absah narrated that the Prophet said: ‘The closest any worshipper can be to His Lord is during the last part of the night, so if you can be amongst those who remember Allah at that time, then do so.’ [at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i, al-Hakim - Sahih]

Late at night When people are sleeping and busy with worldly pleasures Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) gives the believers an opportunity, or an answer hour if they can fight sleep and invoke Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for whatever they need. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘There is at night an hour, no Muslim happens to be asking Allah any matter of this world or the Hereafter, except that he will be given it, and this (occurs) every night.’ [Muslim #757]

Between Adhan and Iqamah Anas (RadhiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘A supplication made between the Adhan and Iqama is not rejected.’ [Ahmad, abu Dawud #521, at-Tirmidhi #212, Sahih al-Jami #3408, an-Nasai and Ibn Hibban graded it sahih (sound)]

An Hour o¬n Friday

Arikunkewu

Narrated Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu anhu): Allah���s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) talked about Friday and said: ‘There is an hour o¬n Friday and if a Muslim gets it while offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), then Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will definitely meet his demand.’ And he (the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) pointed out the shortness of that particular time with his hands. [Sahih AlBukhaari] Some have said that this hour is from the time the Imam (prayer’s leader) enters the mosque o¬n Friday’s prayer until the prayer is over (ie between the two khutbahs), whereas others have said that it is the last hour of the day (ie after the Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer). (Note: when we say an hour here we do not mean the hour everyone knows (60 minutes) but an unspecified period of time because the time counters which we use today came after the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had died.

While Drinking Zamzam Water Jaber (RadhiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: ‘Zamzam water is for what it is drunk for.’ [Ahmad 3: 357 and Ibn Majah #3062] This means that when you drink Zamzam water you may ask Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for anything you like to gain or benefit from this water such as healing from illness…. etc.

horrible place for the evil ones. When man is eventually laid in his grave and covered with the earth, the soul is restored back to the body. Two angels will appear to him with an iron rod, which can pow¬der a mountain. They will ask him three questions: Who is your God? What do you know about Prophet Muhammad? What is your religion? If he fails to answer them satisfactorily, he will be severely beaten with the rod. His cries will be heard by all except men and Jinn. Thereafter, the soul will be suffering or enjoying until the resurrection day. The itikaaf during the month of Ramadan remains the only time when man is effectively able to rescue himself from the clutch of this glittering world and prepare for the world beyond. For those who know the value, they want every blessed day to be Ramadanic. This is impossible as life itself is transient, hence, the quintessence of taking the advantage of the period of itikaaf to further enrich the soul. Beyond the search for laylatulqadr which is equivalent to one thousand months, it is really a fulfilling time to cast away all worldly disturbances. You become a true servant of Allah (SWT). You are able to devote your whole life to your Lord. You are able to interact with fellow Muslims in the masjid sharing things and having feelings for one another.

You have more time for reading and reflecting over the Qur’aan. You have ample time to observe more and longer nawaafil. You feel the ebullience of spirituality. You must strictly note that itikaaf time is not for backbiting. It is not a place to go and sleep or while away the time. It is not a place to litter the masjid. It is a time to observe all its etiquettes. There should be proper organization of affairs, things and persons. Every itikaaf point must have coordinators. We must, however, be security conscious. All must not always sleep at night; there should be schedule of guards. There have been reported cases of unknown persons who come to steal different items in the garb of joining the itikaaf. Every participant should be known and identified. With the trend in the country, we must take security very important in the days and nights of the itikaaf, especially during resting time. Every stranger must be apprehended. I wish you all a successful itikaaf. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

Etiquettes of the last 10 days of Ramadan

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ow that we are in the last ten days of Ramadan, whoever lives through these days in good health and did not strive hard (in worship) in a way that he did not strive at any other time has indeed denied himself the most rewarding acts in the month of Ramadan and have lost the exaltation which follows whoever emulates the prophet (SAW). This is so because, Aisha (RA) is reported to have said “The Prophet (SAW) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other time (Muslim, 1175). Among the ibadah (worship) that the Prophet (SAW) used to do during this period are:(1) I’tikaaf: to engage in a retreat in the mosque and stay there with the intention of seeking nearness to Allah. As reported from Aisha (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) used to do I’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until he passed away... (Agreed upon). It is sunnah for the person in I’tikaaf to keep himself busy with worship, and it is for bidden for him to have intercourse or to do anything that leads to it (see Q2:187). And he should not go out of the mosque except in the case of a pressing need. Commencement of I’tikaaf: Aisha (RA) said “whenever the messenger intends to engage in I’tikaaf he will pray Fajr (salat), then he begins his I’tikaaf (Agreed upon). But the four Imams and others (RA) said that he entered it before the sun set and explain that the Prophet only entered his place of I’tikaaf and kept away from people after salat Subh, not that this was the time he started his I’tikaaf – (see sharh Muslim lil-Nawawi, 8/68, 69; Fath-al-Baari, 4/277). Place of I’tikaaf: There are various opinions regarding the mosque in which the I’tikaaf is valid, but the most acceptable one according to our research is any mosque in which Juma’ah prayer holds. (2) Stay up at night: That is, he would stay awake, spending the night in prayer.

(3) Wake his family: That is, he would wake his wives to pray tahjud, although he use to wake them all year round, to spend part of the night in tahjud, but was more persistent in the last ten days of Ramadan. (4) Gird his loins: is a metaphor for his preparing himself to worship and strive hard in worship, more than usual. (5) Seeking the night of Qadr (power, honour, decree etc): which is a special gift only for Muslim. The night is more meritorious than one thousand months. Allah has concealed the exact date of the Night of power so that Muslim would double their efforts in worship of Allah during those nights, so as to attain the rich reward and virtue of the tremendous time. However, evidence point to the fact that the night occurs in the last ten days of Ramadan, specifically in the odd numbers nights. And the special invocation for the night is “Allahumma Innaka ‘Afuwwun, Tuhibbul-‘Afwa Fa’fu ‘Ani” (Meaning – ‘O Allah! You are most forgiving, and you love forgiveness; so forgive me)” (Tirmizi 2789). In addition, there is a popular belief that Umrah should be on the 27th of Ramadan, the date that is believe to likely be the night of Qadr. This results in a crowd on that date in ka’abah with thousands of Muslim visitors around the world wanting to make Umrah on that night whereas the recommended act on the night of power is Tahjud (Night prayer). Still, for Muslim who can afford it and may have performed Hajj. Umrah in Makkah during Ramadan is very meritorious. (6) Increasing in all types of worship: such as five daily salats with Jama’ah, Nawafil, recitation of Qur’an, giving out sadaqah, engage relentlessly in the praise worthy azkar, duah etc. Therefore, let us follow the example of the Prophet (SAW) by striving hard in worship of Allah in this last ten days of the blessed month of Ramadan. Haruna Razaq, Chief Imam, Vanguard News papers, Lagos , 08028745366; harun1430@yahoo.com.


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Call to Worship CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

whose words and deeds are contradictory do not understand the Qur’an. Not only have they not accepted the Imam of the age, they stoop low in his opposition. It should be clarified here that no doubt Islam is the perfect religion and those who possess religious knowledge of Islam claim that they have the knowledge. The spread of Islam is by virtue of God’s decree and it will not take place through the scholars who have worldly interests at heart. The Promised Messiah (as) said: ‘Remember, it is always the foolish that slips. When Satan slipped, it was not due to knowledge but due to foolishness. If he had excellence of knowledge, he would not have slipped. The Qur’an does not condemn knowledge, rather it states: ‘Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah’. Half-learned Mullah is renowned as danger to faith. Knowledge is something that is certain

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 22, 1433AH Friday, August 10, 2012

Attributes of a Mumin HALF-LEARNED MULLAH IS RENOWNED AS DANGER TO FAITH and absolute and true knowledge is found in the Holy Qur’an and not in Greek philosophy or in the current British philosophy. Rather, true knowledge is found in philosophy of faith. The excellence and zenith of a believer is in attaining the status of a scholar and in achieving the state of certainty of knowledge which is the pinnacle of knowledge. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that the Hadith which relates that a time will come when Muslim religious scholars will be the worst of creation under the heavens and all

evil will come from them and will return to them proves that everyone who is known as a scholar does not have Khashiyyat of God. God is Independent of all, He accepts what He wishes and does not accept what He wishes, one should always be in fear and awe of Him. Hadhrat Umme Salma (ra) related a prayer of the Holy Prophet (saw): ‘O

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Changer of hearts, keep my heart firm on Your religion. This was the great Prophet who gave us a great model of Khashiyyat of God. Each prayer of his, each practice of his was replete with Khashiyyat of God although he was the closest to God and even those who were associated with him earned the salutation of ‘raziAllah’ (may Allah be pleased with him/ her). Such was his blessed, exemplary model and such was his Khashiyyat of God.

L-R: Central Missionary Ijebu-ode, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Maulana Aliu Giwa; General Secretary, Mr. Raji Dauda; Missionary-in charge, Maulana AbdulKhalique Nayar and Amir, Dr. Mashhud Aderenle-Fashola, during the Ramadan lecture in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.

15-year old Nigerian secures admission in Harvard CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

L-R: Member, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Alhaji Aliu Yusuf; former Amir, Engr. Sunmonu Oseni and Lawyer Ismoilu Ajijola, at the Taosir in Lagos

L-R; Circuit President, Ijebu-ode, Engr. M. Ali, Sadar, Malis, Ansarullah, Alhaji Mikailu and Naib Sadar, Alhaji Idris Muheeb, at the lecture in Ijebu-Ode.

L-R: Ustas Ismailu AbdulQuadri; Central Missionary Abeokuta, Missionary Mudatshir Alaka and Missionary Nurudeen Okubena, during the Ramadan Taosir in Lagos.

cess is figuring out what you love to learn as early as possible, something she did at age 5. “If you are passionate about what you do, and I am passionate about most of these things, especially with Math.” She is well on her way to fulfilling her dreams of one day becoming a Neuroscientist. This fall, the 15 year-old high school senior will be heading to Harvard University. Harvard was one of the 14 schools that Saheela applied to. She was accepted into 13 of those schools: Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Williams College, Stanford, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis. After much debate, she settled on Harvard because “she fell in love” with the campus. She hopes to study neurobiology or neuroscience while at the prestigious university. She serves as president of the school’s investment club, which teaches students about the stock market by investing in virtual stocks. Saheela wasn’t sure any college would want to admit a 15-year-old. So, she hedged her bets and filled out applications to 14 schools from New Jersey to California. In the end, 13 colleges accepted her, including six of the eight Ivy League schools. After weeks of debate, Saheela settled on Harvard. She will be among the youngest members of the school’s freshman class. Nationwide, this year’s college selection process was among the most competitive in history as most top colleges received a record number of applications. Saheela joins a growing number of New Jersey students going to college before they are old enough to drive. Last year, Kyle Loh of Mendham graduated from Rutgers at 16. In previous years, a 14-year-old from Cranbury and two of his 15-year-old cousins also graduated from Rutgers. For Saheela, her unusual path to college began when she was a sixth-grader at the Conackamack Middle School in Piscataway. Eager to learn more about her favorite subject, Math, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants asked to move to a higher-level class. The school let her skip sixth grade entirely.

By high school, Saheela said, she was no longer feeling challenged by her public school classes. So, she moved to the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, a 420-student private school, where she skipped her freshman year and enrolled as a 10th-grader. Her three younger brothers, twins now in the ninth grade and a younger brother in second grade, all eventually joined her at the school. School officials were impressed Saheela, one of their top students, didn’t spend all her time studying. “She’s learned and she’s very smart. But she keeps pushing herself,” said William Jenkins, the Wardlaw-Hartridge School’s director of development. Saheela also excels outside the classroom. She is a three-sport athlete, playing outfield for the school’s softball team, defender on the soccer team, and swimming relays. Saheela began applying to colleges last fall. Her applications included her grade point average (between a 96 and 97 on a 100-point scale) and her 2,340 SAT score (a perfect 800 on the math section, a 790 in writing and a 750 in reading). She was delighted when she got her first acceptance in December from California Institute of Technology. “I was so excited. I got into college!,” Saheela said. More acceptances followed from Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Williams College, Stanford, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis. Saheela was torn between going to MIT and Harvard. A visit to both campuses last month made the choice easy. “She went to Harvard and she fell in love with the place,” said Shakirat Ibraheem, her mother. She said she wants to major in either neurobiology or neuroscience and plans to become a research scientist who studies how the brain works. She credits her parents with teaching her to love learning and work hard. Her father, Sarafa, an analyst and vice-president at a New York financial firm, would often study with her at night and home school her in subjects not taught at school. “I try my best in everything I do,” Saheela said. “Anyone who’s motivated can work wonders.”


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Arty News

Friday, August 10, 2012

31

Stars for Naija Corner at Nottinghill Carnival

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odium Brand Solutions and Reve Entertainment have announced the line up for this year’s edition of Naija Corner at the Nottinghill Carnival in London. Executive producer, Abisoye Fagade said some of the biggest names in Nigerian music will come together on Monday, August 27, to deliver 100 percent entertainment to fans at the authentic Nigerian corner. Confirmed artistes include Kayswitch, Praiz, Mr. Solek, DJ Jimmy JATT and pop star Davido. The music stars will be supported by stand-up comedians Princess, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st and Tee A. Now in its fourth year, Naija Corner is the country’s official corner at

the Nottinghill Carnival, with past performers including eLDee, Banky W, 9ice, Funke Akindele and many more. “It’s the Olympics year and a special one at the Nottinghill carnival. Nigerians will proudly join the rest of the world in the spirit of friendship and joy, as we fly the green-white-green high and show the world our culture and values, using our rich music, comedy, fashion and arts”, Fagade said. “We encourage Nigerians and lovers of Nigeria to come out in bright Naija fashion on Monday, August 27, as we gather on Golbourne Road w10 (Intersection of Golbourne Gardens and Hazlewood Cresent - Nearest landmark: Trellick Tower) for this year’s carnival.

Davido

Jimmy Jatt

The Naija Corner is proudly supported by Encomium Weekly, BlackHouse Media Group, thenetng.com, Digiprints, Primetime Africa, Hip TV, Yes Interna-

tional, Alexia, Emblue, E24-7, Aquila Oil, Core Media, Nigezie, Playcentre, Acada, First Class Entertainment, Nigerian Entertainment Today and EME.

Dapo Dina thrills at Mandela Day celebration

Ex-Nollywood actress battles breast cancer

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eteran Nollywood actress, Juliet Aguwa is coming back home from her base in America as she continues her campaign against breast cancer. The beautiful mother of two daughters, who herself survived the diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer stage 3c in 2008 is preparing to visit Nigeria in continuance of her awareness programme for Africans worldwide and the need to reach out to under-privileged African women undergoing the painful trauma caused by the disease. Juliet appeared in several TV series and talk shows on NTA, Lagos, including drama series such as Twist Away and Memorial Hospital before relocating to the USA for education. On the platform of her Courage to Dare Foundation and courtesy of an invite from Imo State’s First Lady, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha, the ex-actress will launch an inaugural educational programme on breast cancer awareness later this month. “These days, I feel as though breast cancer gave me a new life. Before I had breast cancer, I worked hard on being a mother and

Aguwa

a wife and I think one of the things I neglected most was me! So after cancer, I decided that you only have one time to live your life. I want to go back to the film industry”, the graduate of Theatre Arts stated. “I am also going to keep talking about breast cancer because people have to know that being diagnosed with the disease doesn’t mean death. With early detection and quick action, they can survive breast cancer”, she concluded.

he recently held Mandela Day celebration in Lagos to honour the living legend Nelson Mandela fondly called Madiba, was a wellattended event. The event, organised by the South African High Commission in partnership with Silverbird Group was held at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos. Amongst dignitaries present were Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, Consul General South Africa High Commission, Ambassador Monaisa; seasoned broadcaster, Soni Irabor and Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Mr. Foluso Philips to mention a few. Part of the activities of the day was the revelation of German based Nigerian pianist Dapo Dina, who left attendees spellbound as he and his band which included ace Saxophonist Segun Atoyebi and Bassist Joshua Fashina, performed to the delight of the crowd. Dina showed dexterity on his Clarinova piano which he specially brought to the event because of what he called its ‘weighted’ keys. In between the various activities on

the programme for the day he was on hand to deliver both traditional South African tunes from Miriam Makeba, Abdullahi Ibrahim and also several Nigerian traditional standards. His mastery on the piano left Prof. Soyinka thrilled as other notable guests also commended his artistry as a musician. Dina is expected to feature prominently in the forthcoming The Tale Of Two African Cities Fusion a showcase between Nigeria and South Africa and The MUSON Jazz Festival 2012. The musician is also set to release his latest work, Wealth of Knowledge into the African market under the auspices of Inspiro Productions.

Dina

BornTroWay auditions, trains in Oshodi

Participants at BornTroWay in Durban, South Africa late last year.

TERH AGBEDEH

B

ornTroWay, a creative arts training initiative aimed at promoting in-

dividual self-confidence, selfexpression, teamwork and integration among 45 youths (aged 15-25) in disadvantaged areas of Nigeria’s main cities, has been registering participants for its

fourth edition since August 3. It closes today with auditions at Model Primary School, Inside Owoseni Primary School, Oshodi-Isolo, Lagos from 8.00 a.m. Organisers said training will begin August 13 and end on the 18 at the same venue. The training will culminate in a mini-performance open to the public on August 18 at the Model Primary School and Cairo markets both in Oshodi. “The workshop, which uses spoken word, music, dance and acting, focuses on the is-

sue of ‘waste’; physical (our relation with the environment) and human (our undiscovered, untapped or unutilised talent”, said Ilaria Chessa, co-founder of the project. Training instructors include: musician, producer and MTN Project Fame judge, Ade Bantu; actor, writer and producer, Ropo Ewenla; dance and performance artiste, Segun Adefila and poet, frontline activist and social crusader, AJ Dagga Tolar. The BornTroWay Project is inspired by Music Matters, a

music movement promoting emerging Nigerian talents; and Ade Bantu who is co-founder. It is also supported by various organisations and individuals committed to the investment of youth development as an instrument for empowerment. BornTroWay was launched in Ajegunle, Lagos, from May 16 to 21, 2011 and the project has since travelled to Port Harcourt and Durban, South Africa where participants also took part in the World Climate Conference in 2011.


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Escape

Friday, August 10, 2012

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Admin, game zone and film studio area

Entrance way to Apartheid Museum

Africa Cup Polo: Jo’burg rolls out lush red carpet ADENRELE NIYI

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he game of Polo is not called the “Sport of Kings”, for rhetorics; it is a game which discriminates without malice against bank balances. One typical indicator: acquiring, maintaining and training a single thoroughbred polo pony, estimated at $35,000, is as costly as owning luxury automobile in top condition. Paraphernalia, locations and details associated with the game oozes aristocracy and wealth; and history that dates back some 2000 years to the Persian and Mongol conquerors of India who spread the game of polo across the Eastern World confines it to that elevated pedestal. Polo’s sophisticated appeal is so wide-reaching it made incursions into fashion designing. In 1972, Ralph Lauren, a renowned American designer, adopted the Polo trademark (rider swinging a mallet on horseback) for his luxury clothing brand. In modern times, the sport is fanatically played and followed by over 50 million people from different countries including Argentina, England and on the African continent, South Africa hosts more than three international polo

ONE OF THE BOUNCERS AT THE VIP SECTION IS A NIGERIAN NAMED TONY WHO LONGINGLY GLEANED SNIPPETS OF GISTS ABOUT HOME tournaments annually. Over the weekend of July 20 to 22, South African Tourism, SAT, invited media partners and tour operators from Ghana and Nigeria to witness the 2012 Africa Cup Polo held at the swanky Inanda Club, Johannesburg. The nation’s foremost tourism agency came up with an amazing itinerary woven around the polo competition essentially to unmask the leisure and lifestyle attributes of Jo’burg. The cosmopolitan city itself was bent on giving visitors for the competition first-rate reception. Bandying a slogan “Jo’burg is hot this Winter” and the weather graciously living up to the slogan, Jo’burg’s winter showed magnanimity to visitors coming from locales of all-year round sunshine. A weekend prior to the competition’s opening, temperatures had dropped to as low as 9°C with

reports of snowing in some provinces. Landing at Oliver Tambo International Airport on the dawn of Friday, July 20, aboard a South Africa Airways flight from steamy Lagos, temperature had climbed to 14°C —noticeably warmer. Apparently, Jo’burg’s forces of nature were in connivance with city administrators to impressively host Africa! Niceties had been lined out to treat the West African team of 15 adults to the ultimate polo/tour experience even for non-first timers to SA. The drive from the airport to Radisson Blu Guatrain Hotel in Sandton was at best uneventful by 5.30 a.m. However on the ride, we got acquainted with John, our effervescent 60-something year old tour guide; a coloured South African who bore psychological and emotional scars of his Apartheid experience like a well-worn title badge which conferred no limitations on his ability to function in his country post-apartheid. With each guest checked into toasty standard rooms, welcomed with a chocolate bar and fruit basket courtesy of the hotel’s refined hospitality, it was time to catch a few winks of revitalising sleep on the freshly-laid double bed and plumped up pillows (four of them!)which beckoned alluringly... For someone who had a thing for fluffy pillows, this was head-laying heaven. However, upbeat John, who swiftly took charge of the itinerary, announced slight alterations to the day’s schedule. Rather than time out to recoup from the overnight flight over the Atlantic, invigorating pampering awaited us at the Spa in Sandton Sun Hotel, a brisk eight-minute stroll from Radisson. Spa and massage were the secret passwords to unlock our storehouse of energy! We went from a lethargic group of grumpy travellers to an animated bunch of massage lovers. The tranquil ambience trapped in the spa’s reception room belied the bustle of human traffic and activity around the world-famous Nelson Mandela Square a few short steps away from Sandton Sun. Walter, a wispy and quiet therapist, administered my hour-long session of Serene Soul Sequence, an intuitive massage therapy which concentrates on specific need areas —in this case my legs, thighs (which had taken a pounding from driving in Lagos traffic), neck


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Escape

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cross section of guests at the Polo series cocktail Serene corridor along which massage rooms are nestled

and shoulders. Exhibiting high professional courtesies, Walter kneaded, rubbed and prodded using warm rejuvenating oil to aid blood circulation and relieve tension in stiff muscles. The rousing massage set the right mood for socialising with star polo players from Nigeria, Dubai, South Africa and Pakistan later that evening at the welcome cocktail shindig hosted by Inanda Club. After a sumptuous late dinner at Trumps Grill one of the specialty eating places situated in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton’s exclusive Club Icon seemed the logical stage to burn off calories and what a blast it turned out to be! Club Icon’s patrons are the upwardly mobile class and the locale is relatively secure; however, we were cautioned about walking back to the hotel just two streets away —hiring a taxi is a much safer option. One of the bouncers at the VIP section is a Nigerian named Tony who longingly gleaned snippets of gists about home from us. But ‘compatriotism’ did not win us special favours outside of ice-cold bottles of champagne provided by our host. For another nostalgic touch of home, the packed dance floor lit up when Flavour’s charttopping track, Nwa baby (Ashawo remix) came on, apparently the Nigerian singer has a huge fan base in South Africa. Conscious of a packed schedule the next day, some of members of our team called it quits at 2.00 a.m. departing with a promise to Tony to revisit soon. The sun rose on Saturday morning dispelling a bit of the winter gloom and injecting a certain vitality to the day. Kicking off the morning on that cheerful note, the media and tour team clambered into our tour bus, Jeff behind the wheels and vibrant John coordinating our trip to Apartheid Museum. It turned out to be an excursion into South Africa’s traumatising history of about 100 years. Inspite of the ugly past it preserves, the museum is an artistic beauty documenting the history of 50 million people in installations, audio-visuals, newspaper collage, documents and significant artifacts. The entrance way is divided into two along racial lines —White and Black, while visitors purchase either Black or White tickets. A ticket label determines which of the entrances one has access to —a poignant allusion to years of segregation in S.A. when it was forbidden that both races shared a common identity. At the heart of this museum’s histrionics is the heroism of African National Congress, ANC, members and ordinary Black men and women whose relentless struggle and numerous deaths led to the dawn of day in South Africa presently. In the Hall of Execution, a South African member of our team who lived through the horrors of Apartheid suddenly could not hold back her emotions; neither could many others in the museum that afternoon. Officials should be accustomed to weeping and sniffling visitors; it’s overwhelmingly sorrowful reliving the gross injustices and inhumanity wielded during the racist Apartheid regime. Although picture-tak-

33

Clients look around the Sandton Sun Spa

FACT FILE •

With a population of roughly four million, Johannesburg is the economic and lifestyle capital of S.A.

Sandton City, located in the Northern Gauteng province, is a high-end residential and business area.

Inanda Club is located in Sandton as well as the 1000sqm Nelson Mandela Square which houses nearly a hundred boutiques, several restaurants, a theatre, banks, business shops and two hotels.

A six-metre statue of Mandela adorns the Square which also serves as stage for many international events.

The Apartheid Museum, constructed at a cost of 80 million Rands, was opened in 2001. The construction was paid for by Akani Egoli which owns the Gold Reef City Casino.

In the cage are samples of Apartheid era identity passes which citizens must carry on them at all times.

Walking into the museum: Overhanging signs preserved from the colour restriction era in South Africa

ing in the halls is strictly disallowed, outside the Museum is a quaint book and curio shop for picking up mementoes of visits. These quantified just one portion of experiences South Africa has in store for tourists. Others include the exhilarating Gold Reef City Theme Park; soulful Soweto and the township’s fantastic memorial to Nelson Mandela; night crawling adventures; a scenic road trip with Harley Davidson bikers; Limousine ride to Pretoria for dinner and the cherry on the sundae, vintage chauffeur-driven rides to the Africa Polo Cup finals. All these and more exclusive to Escape in subsequent editions of National Mirror!

Inside Trump Grill

The expansive Nelson Mandela Square.

PHOTOS: ADENRELE NIYI


34

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

denrele@nationalmirroronline.net

08059100422 (SMS only)

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hursday, August 2, 1997 was a dark day for hundreds of thousands of Afrobeat music aficionados and proteges —their hero, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti transcended from one spirit realm to another. Ten days later, a funeral procession of an estimated two million Nigerians not coerced or mobilised and unrivalled by any known procession for an-about-tobe-interred Nigerian leader/ artiste/celebrity/politician followed Fela’s remains from Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island to his Ikeja home. The journey took the better part of an entire day. 15 years after his death, National Mirror, through its Arts and Culture desk, as a socially responsible news organ remembers the pioneering of this 21st century African impresario to the history of world music. We also couldn’t dismiss his dare-devil political activism and spot-on criticism of ‘government magic’. Many of such wuru wuru are still witnessed and condoned two decades after Fela prophetically sang about them on album after album till Baba ‘70 sounded like a broken record (no pun intended). Now for a moment let’s remove our thoughts from Fela’s senseless death wish by courting the enmity of governments (MILITARY!) of the day and getting scalded severely in the process. Likewise, suppress imageries of the hedonist Fela who flaunted his addiction to “bend bend sleep” like a phallic symbol (pun intended here) and could seduce a nun who wandered into Kalakuta Republic to mull over the sensibility of her vow of celibacy (apologies to the Catholic Church). Finally, can we dismount our moral high-horse to objectively view Fela away from the jumbo-sized wrap of half-smoked ‘igbo’ stuck —I mean literarily glued— between his fingers? I’ll be the first to admit that Fela grappled with personal devils. However, Fela was an undeniably prodigious music maker and a game changer —period. At the risk of repeating myself, his legend sprung from the rarity of artistry; the profound changes he brought to music. He trained at the famed Trinity College, Eng-

Friday, August 10, 2012

One week after Fela

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CLAPPERBOARD with

Eddie Ugbomah www.edifosafilm.com

Who do we run to? I I N Fela

land. Then after he was done learning Classical music and instruments, Fela retrained himself through ideologically-transforming encounters with Africa and the travails of the Blackman. Burning with a crusader’s spirit, he interpreted sounds and chose lyrical themes influenced by Africanism. Fela’s mind became a music laboratory and there, he experimented with textbook theories about music and practical demonstrations of fusing different genres to create a breakthrough music genre. Fela shattered barriers and founded a new form of liberating music. His extensive discography of compositions, Femi Kuti’s threetime Grammy nomination (and World Music Award win), Tony Allen’s (Fela’s first drummer and key to the evolution of Afrobeat) successes overseas and several bear living testimony to his sweeping influence. The manner the rest of the world viewed African music changed after Fela’s Afrobeat emerged; our musical culture earned respect. Can you picture what dignifying fortune would have befallen Fela were he a White man -say American for instance? I can say without fear of contradiction that the name Fela would be emblazoned as inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; it is forgone conclusion that a Fela wax in tight-fighting outfit and saxophone sans “Igbo” would be on display at Madame Tussaud. His home state would have passed a legislature including a study of Fela’s music influence in the school curriculum... He would have been heralded and celebrated so the world does not forget in a hurry that America is the land of greatness! Hip Hop mogul Jay Z and Hollywood star couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith understand what history is

Bob Marley

and the impact of Fela on same. On this premise FELA! on Broadway was born in 2009 touring several countries and yet very much in demand. The production which explores Fela’s life, music and politics received 11 Tony Awards nomination in 2010 and won three of the prestigious award turning the musical into a runaway success. I hurt last Saturday evening as I watched the Big Brother Stargame, a night before the grand finale show. Big Brother content creators themed the day all about Jamaica as it marked 50 years of independence. Jamaican chefs stormed the Big Brother house to give housemates a taste of the country’s cuisine, culture and popular music. Speaking of which, really, what is Jamaica without Robert Nesta Marley it’s biggest export — after dreadlocks and Reggae? As the African housemates sang One Love possibly Marley’s best known Reggae songs (just to add that Marley also recorded a track about ‘Igbo’), the thought jumped into my mind that if the artiste of honour were Fela, could this fellow African youths mime hit songs like Water No Get Enemy or Teacher don’t teach me nonsense? That I couldn’t answer convincingly. I sincerely believe Fela merits local recognition for the prestige he attracts our country’s way... We ought to desist from venerating public fund looters, mediocrity and incompetence. This is a Ceasar worthy of what is his. P.S. Random crazy question: Can you hazard a guess who smoked more ‘Igbo’ between Fela Kuti and Bob Marley? Send answers to my mail box denrele@nationalmirroronline.net before next Friday and emails with the most original response will feature in my column for next edition. Love and peace for the weekend.

t is so sad that Nigerians don’t know what they have until some foreign people come to exploit it. Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL), was messing around until these new telecoms companies came and made communication cheap. What these new companies are doing now is pure fraud. Imagine how they steal our money and force us to read their fraudulent offers. When you complain, their faceless machine sends you more fraudulent promos. They must not forget that they have offices that one can go to protest or demand his or her right. In other civilised countries, mobile companies ask to advertise on your phone. Their staff give out people’s telephone numbers to yahoo-yahoo and 419, people who offer you millions you did not ask for. I know many people in print and electronic media who are afraid to say anything; we are suffering in silence. I am asking Nigerians to speak up because these mobile companies are power drunk and uncountable. One of them at their faceless call centre toll me that there is nothing anybody can do to them because they have paid off the powers-thatbe and they give airtime to the top powerful official. Now who do you run to when everybody has been bought over and once more, we are suffering in silence? I want us to come together and save this country’s name by showing these foreign people abusing us that we have had enough. This country has been sold to Lebanese, Indians, Chinese even South Africa in the name of free market and world business. We should stop them before they do more harm than we can ever correct. Recently, Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, fined these mobile companies but they did not share the fine with us, the cheated people. Now they are taking my money without my permission. When you send a text message and it does deliver, you are supposed to keep your money. Here in Nigeria, mobile phone companies take your money and if you repeat the text, they take your money again. This can only happen in a country where security, health etc are non-existent. My junior brother was admitted to a hospital near Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH), during the doctors’ strike. We wanted to take him to India or London be-

WARNED

IGERIANS

ABOUT SATELLITE

TV COMPANIES WHO AIR OLD

FILMS AND DON’T PAY ROYALTIES TO ACTORS,

WRITERS, CREW OR PRODUCERS cause he could afford it but this young Nigeria doctor said no. We paid N50,000 per week and two weeks ago, he died of the cutlass injuries inflicted on him by an assassin. Sometime in the past my wife was having delivery problems, I told the doctor to operate and remove the baby; the doctor said no. Later, he demanded for N200,000 to operate. I gave him N100,000, ran home to get the balance but when I got back to the hospital, he had done nothing and my wife died leaving me with three kids. In 10 years, two worthless doctors have collected money from me and watched my wife and junior brother die. The pain is that my brother, Captain Wilson Ugbomah, could have been sent abroad because he could afford overseas treatment. These doctors in Nigeria are nothing but butchers just like private schools and universities in Nigeria -mere extortionists. Many years ago, I warned Nigerians about satellite TV companies who air old films and don’t pay royalties to actors, writers, crew or producers. They bought these films cheap and are holding on to it as if they bought them outright. Two weeks ago, they were showing the works of Chico Ejiro and when I asked him if he had been paid extra royalties, Chico told me that he does not even know they were still showing these old films. I have said these companies will ruin the home video industry. When these cable stations abuse your film or over screen it, who do you go to for redress? Nobody; because the collecting associations are just toothless bulldogs. We are sitting on top of dynamite which will soon explode if people can’t get support or redress. One day, fowl will go to market and will not come back.


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People In The Mirror

Friday, August 10, 2012

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Emelonye debuts new movie in Lagos Last Flight to Abuja, starring Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Anthony Manjaro, Jim Iyke, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Jide Kosoko and Celine Loader amongst others, premiered at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema, Lekki, Lagos on Friday, August 3. The film opening was graced by the presence of stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry and a large turnout of movie lovers who gathered to witness another of Obi Emelonye’s works.

Last Flight to Abuja actor, Celine Loader (l) and film director, Obi Emelonye

Actor, Anthony Monjaro (l) and On-air-personality, Freeze

Film Director, Mahmood AliBalogun

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde at the event

L-R: Film writer, Tunde Babalola and American entertainment icon, Jeffrey Daniel

L-R: Olayinka Ogbewi, Oge Okoye, E4pr and Chelsea Eze

L-R: Mabel Makun (AY’s wife), comedian AY and music artiste JJC Photos: OLUFEMI AJASA

Soyinka meets with media on VOTC

Prof Wole Soyinka addressing Vision of the Child participants

Presentation of certificate to one of the VOTC participants

On Wednesday, July 25, Festival Consultant to the Lagos Black Heritage Festival, LBHF, Prof Wole Soyinka, hosted the media to an interactive session on Vision of the Child, VOTC, a painting competition for children (ages nine to 12), which held as part of programmes for the 2012 LBHF. There was also exhibition of paintings and presentation of award certificates to all participants of Vision of the Child. The project was sponsored by Diamond Bank PLC with the support of Lagos State government.

Alex Otti receiving a gift presented to Diamond Bank by Festival Head of Protocol, Femi Segun on behalf of LBHF. L-R (holding wrapped gifts) Linda Ivy Okeke and Foluke Michael (Festival Secretary).

L-R: Diamond Bank Executive Director, Corporate Banking and Regional Businesses, Mr. Uzoma Dozie; Festival Consultant, LBHF Prof. Wole Soyinka; Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti; Mrs. Folake Soyinka; Director, Freedom Park, Arc. Theo Lawson and Diamond Bank Executive Director, Regional Businesses, South, Mr. Victor Ezenwoko, at the event.

Nokia launches 808 PureView, next big thing in photography Nokia recently launched its Nokia 808 PureView in Lagos amid rave reviews from photography and digital technology experts. 808 PureView comes with a never-before-seen 41 mega pixel lens and is set to give consumers with a taste for the edgier lifestyle an exciting experience of digital photography on a mobile phone.

L-R: Marketing Manager, Nokia, West-Africa, Kesiena Ogbemi; Nollywood star, Omoni Oboli; celebrity photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi and Retail Marketing Manager, Nokia, West-Africa, Olajide Adeyemi, at the media breakfast/launch of Nokia 808 PureView


Friday, August 10, 2012

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Mirror Drive

2012 Jaguar XJ series performance OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he current-generation Jaguar XJ entered the market in 2011 as a radical departure from previous XJs. With Jaguar’s lead designer, Ian Callum, at the helm, the new 2012 XJ commands road presence with a sleek and modern shape adorned with LED lighting, chrome and blacked-out C-pillars. Not surprisingly, changes for the 2012 Jaguar are minor and include added interior trim choices. The XJ is still offered in normal and long wheelbase models with trim levels that include a XJ base, XJL Portfolio, Supercharged and Supersport. Jaguar’s flagship sedan comes standard with leather seating surfaces, heated and cooled front seats, Jaguar’s Smart Key System, ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof and a blind spot monitor. The XJ is available with three engines, the first being a 5.0-litre, direct-injection V-8 rated at 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The Supercharged models get a 5.0-litre, supercharged V-8 rated at 470 hp and 424 lb-ft, while the Supersport gets the same engine tuned to 510 hp and 461 lb-ft. The 2012 edition marks the second model year for the current-gen XJ so changes are very minor. Jaguar is offering more leather, wood and metallic choices, which allow customers to further personalise their XJ. A new rear comfort pack allows electric adjustment of rear seat backrests, an electric rear sunblind and upgraded surfaces. Finally, the illumination package, which has always been standard on the Supersport model, is now available on other trims. Jaguar XJ comes in two wheelbases and three trim levels, which are largely based on performance. The base XJ comes with a 385-horsepower, 5.0-litre V8 and includes standard features such as navigation, front and rear parking sensors with backup camera, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and push-button start. If an auto stakeholder is looking for some extra legroom in the back seat, the long-wheelbase XJL Portfolio adds 4.9 inches to the XJ’s length, and an addition to the price tag, as well as more standard features. The Jaguar XJL comes with all the equipment listed above, but also adds four-zone climate control, upgraded front seats with massage and rear seats that are heated and cooled. Exterior Jaguar’s Ian Callum, penned a number of drastic features for the current-gen XJ. The front fascia is punctuated by sleek headlights that are much more modern than the traditional round units found on past XJs. The profile features a high beltline with a chrome accent on the front fender. The back features a blacked-out C-pillar, giving the illusion of a wraparound rear window. Interior The Jaguar XJ maintains its flagship status with a long list of creature comforts including dual cli-

mate control, an analog clock, a heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, leather, heated and ventilated front seats, and voice control. Opting for the long wheelbase model adds even more luxury including a folding tray for laptops, reclining back rests, and an available rear entertainment system with dual eight-inch screens. Acceleration and Power With three engine choices and an excellent six-speed automatic transmission, the XJ is no slouch when you step on the fuel. The standard XJ features a 5.0-litre, 385-horsepower V8. Although it is slightly less powerful than a BMW 750i, reviewers say that it is just as quick. If a driver is looking for even more power, special-order Supersport models feature supercharged versions of the 5.0-litre V8 that put out 470 and 510 horsepower, respectively. The EPA has yet to test the 2012 XJ’s fuel economy. However, they have tested the similar 2011 model, which gets 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway with the 385-horsepower V8. The XJL gets 15/22 mpg city/highway with the same engine, while the XJ Supercharged uses a bit more fuel, getting 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Handling and Braking The XJ’s aluminium body also gives it an advantage when it comes to handling. Most auto stakeholders think that the XJ drives like a much smaller car and they are impressed with its adaptive suspension, which can be adjusted to increase comfort or firmed-up in dynamic mode for twisty roads. Despite its nimble cornering ability, a few stakeholders think that the XJ’s suspension could handle road imper-

fections a little better. The steering and braking systems also get high marks from most, although one reviewer thinks that the XJ’s brakes are too sensitive. Seating Seats inside the Jaguar XJ are generally considered comfortable, but a couple of stakeholders say that headroom might be a little tight if you are over six feet tall, a common complaint among super luxury cars. And although legroom is impressive in the back seat of the XJL, some say that the standard XJ’s rear row is a little tight. The XJ comes standard with heated seats at all four corners. The front row features a 16-way power driver’s seat and a 12-way power passenger’s seat, which are both also ventilated. The XJL gets these features as standard equipment, but also adds front seat massage and back seat ventilation.

Interior


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

Friday, August 10, 2012

37

VW, Porsche finalise early merger

WITH THREE ENGINE CHOICES AND AN EXCELLENT SIX-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, THE XJ IS NO SLOUCH WHEN YOU

E

urope’s biggest carmaker Volk- rent holding company Porsche SE 4.5 swagen has wrapped up its take- billion Euros plus one VW share for over of German luxury sports the 50.1 per cent it did not already own car group Porsche two years earlier in the sports car maker. The new mergthan planned in a move they said would er structure will also have the advantage of averting massive tax payments strengthen both firms. In a deal announced last month, the for VW. Porsche had effectively been part two companies - which had been seeking to merge since 2009 - agreed to move of the Volkswagen Group for some up the integration of their businesses time –the sports car manufacturer had to to create economies of scale in an in- long been included in the Volkswagen Group Night presentations ahead of creasingly tough global market. “The path is now finally clear for a major auto shows, for instance. Now bright future together”, VW Chief Ex- that the VW-Porsche saga has come to ecutive Martin Winterkorn said in a an end, expect the two well-known automakers to collaborate more on vehistatement on Wednesday, August 1. The story began in 2008, when cles for many different segments with Porsche announced it owned 75 per- each brand still maintaining their own cent of Volkswagen’s shares and pre- identities. “Even closer cooperation will enable pared to mount a takeover. But Porsche suddenly racked up huge debts as the us to significantly strengthen Volkswaglobal economy collapsed, making gen and Porsche, and further expand that planned deal impossible. Instead, the group’s product portfolio with fasVolkswagen engineered a sort of com- cinating new vehicles”, said Martin plex merger with Porsche in 2009 –fir- Winterkorn. This acquisition further expands ing then-Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiethe reach of the behemoth Volkswagen deking in the process. A holding company called Porsche Group, which also controls Audi, BentAutomobil Holding SE controls 50.1 ley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Scania, Seat, percent of Porsche shares, and trans- Skoda and truck and diesel equipment ferred those to Volkswagen AG a. That group MAN SE. Luxury division Audi, means Volkswagen now controls 100 for its part, recently acquired Italian percent of Porsche shares, via both its motorcycle manufacturer Ducati. own stake and that of the Porsche SE holding company. It has taken some time for the deal between Volkswagen and Porsche to be completed, and it remains a somewhat complicated business arrangement. Under the agreement, which they said would unlock 320 million Euros ($A377 million) in net synergies, VW, Porsche merger VW paid Porsche’s cur-

STEP ON THE FUEL

Jaguar XJ

MAINTENANCE TIPS

How to repair dent in your car hood R epairing a dent in your car hood is a relatively simple process. If a dent is excessively large, it is normally more cost effective to consider purchasing a new panel. However, small dents are easily fixed with Maintenance Tips’ instructions provided below:

Tap out the dent Park your car on a flat, level surface to prevent it from rolling or moving while the repair is being carried out. Working from inside, take a lightweight hammer and gently tap the dent to make it as level as possible. Always tap from the outer ring of the dent and work inwards instead of working the centre of the dent. Continue tapping lightly until you have lifted as much of the dent as possible.

Sanding Put on your dusk mask to help protect against dangerous paint particles while sanding. Use a random orbital sander to sand around the entire dent making sure an effective key is established. The key should protrude at least three inches past all areas of the depressed metal. Use compressed air from a can or compressor to blow off

surplus dust.

Add Filler

Use a plastic spreader and an old piece of cardboard for mixing up enough body filler to fill the remainder of the dent. Make sure that the correct ratio of body filler and hardener is used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the mixed filler into the dent making sure that it sits above the surface of the hood. Ensure that enough filler is added beyond the actual dent because much of the newly-applied filler will be lost in the sanding process.

dents and make life more difficult. Continue rubbing down until the body filler is flush with car hood. It is highly unlikely that you will manage to level the dent on the first application of filler so make sure that all filler dust is blown from the hood with compressed air before applying further coats. Once the filler is level and you have a smooth finish, the vehicle is ready to be painted.

Rubbing Filler Take your sanding block and a sheet of P120 sanding paper and begin rubbing down the filler. Try to cover the entire area with each individual sweep of the block, making sure that it remains as flat as possible at all time. Work in a backwards and forwards motion, occasionally changing direction so that difficult edges can be dealt with. Try not to press down too hard; allow the block to do the work. Excessive pressure can actually cause more

Car hood dent


38

Cocktail

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oddities x

Lost camera reunited with owner after three years

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bagel shop, a purple door, and a street sign helped reconnect a lost camera with its owner after three long years. John Noerr uncovered a water-logged Canon XT digital camera in a creek in upstate New York near his parents’ home. The art educator from Poultney, Vt., realized that the memory card of the camera amazingly still worked, and with 581 photos, there could be enough information to track down the owner. According to the PostStar, the supersleuth spent

three weeks combing through the photos looking for clues to the owner. After plenty of dead ends, Noerr found two pictures he called the holy grail. A woman sitting on a stoop in front of a purple door with the street number 327, and a shot of a sign: Third Street. A random snap of a bagel shop helped lead the 39-year-old to conclude he was looking for someone in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. Using Google Maps for street views, he located the address. Tax records gave him a family name: Comeau.

Two men charged with staging reality TV robbery

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olice have charged two out-of-state men with robbing two other men in western Pennsylvania by claiming they were recording a video for a reality TV show called “You Just Got Robbed.” Police in Indiana, Pa., tell The Associated Press the incident happened about 1:20 a.m. and that the suspects apparently

attend a nearby technical school. They’re identified as 21-year-old Randall Smith, of Temple Hills, Md., and 18-year-old Artie Goodwine, of Memphis, Tenn. Police say one of the men put the victims into headlocks while the other recorded the robbery — in which $20 was taken from one of the victims — on a cellphone.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

US police rescue baby deer from 20-foot-deep manhole P olice on New York’s Long Island spent over four hours rescuing a baby deer that fell into a 20-foot-deep manhole. The cute, speckled creature scampered into the woods after it was released Thursday by its beaming, burly rescuers. Landscapers called Suffolk County police around 3:30 p.m. Thursday after they saw the deer fall into the hole near a vacant lot in Mount Sinai. Four emergency service officers responded. The officers said the deer looked scared and sounded like it was crying. One officer descended while wearing a breathing apparatus and a harness. He placed another harness on the deer. The team raised it to ground level around 8 p.m. They proudly posed for pictures with the fawn before releasing it.

The Suffolk County Police Department officers posing with the young deer before releasing it in Mount Sinai, N.Y. PHOTO: AP


Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business & Finance The culture of taking money abroad, raising demand for dollars will continue to be a fundamental issue that will continue to put pressure on the naira

For lasting success of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy, there must be a reliable centralised national identity management system in place -Director-General, National Identity Management Commission, Chris Onyemenam

Head, Credit Risk Management, Access Bank Plc, Joe Osojie

Dana crash: FG asked to ignore Obakpolor panel report LOCAL FLIGHT SCHEDULE

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Capt. Dele Ore yesterday condemned in its entirety the report of the nine members Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic airlines set up by the Federal Government in the aftermath of the June 3, 2012 air accident involving Dana Air plane, MD 83 in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos. Ore said that the report submitted to the government showed lack of depth of aviation practices by the Grp. Capt. John Obakpolor’s led committee, insisting that the report revealed that the panel lacked capability for their assignment based on the skill, knowledge, experience and qualification of its individual members and panel collectively. He therefore urged the Federal Government

not to implement any aspect of the recommendations because of its tendency to mislead the public and further embarrass the nation. “Because of the panel’s limitation, it is therefore, not surprising the low quality and misleading final report. The uninitiated members of the public were fed with the panel’s re-

port, which is only fit to be thrown into the dustbin,” Ore said. He pointed out that despite the fact that the committee condemned virtually everything in the country’s aviation industry, the President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Roberto Gonzalez, only last week praised the effectiveness

of the safety oversight system available in Nigeria. The ART President noted that the assignment of the panel was best embarked upon by ICAO trained auditors using specific ICAO protocols, adding that the process required that ICAO auditors undertake requisite analyses prior to audit of the

eight Critical Elements of Safety Oversight, which takes at least three months. He stated further that the process employed by the panel was expected to meet international best practices, but was not the case for some ulterior motives on the part of principal and influential members of the panel.

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acked former members of staff of Mainstreet Bank Limited numbering over 1, 500 have given the management of the bank a one-week ulti-

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

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

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

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

L-R: Africa Leader, Advisory Services, Ernst and Young, Mr. Viv Oates; Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu and Africa Leader, Transaction Advisory Services, Ernst & Young, Mr. Sandile Hiophe, during a courtesy visit to Corporate Head Office of Union Bank in Lagos, yesterday.

Over 1,500 sacked Mainstreet Bank workers give mgt seven-day ultimatum FRANCIS EZEM

Air Nigeria

matum to pay their redundancy and other final entitlements or face the wrath of the aggrieved workers. The workers however indicted the leadership of Trade Union Congress, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and Nigeria Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) of not

showing concern over their plight. The management of Mainstreet Bank, formerly Afribank Nigeria Plc had in a letter dated April 24, 2012 and signed by its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Faith TuedorMatthews informed the workers of the decision of the board of directors to embark on a human capital reorganisation exercise.

FG approves N34bn for payment of accrued pensioners’ benefits

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To be affected in the exercise are members of staff, who have spent a minimum of 25 years in the banking industry in any capacity, members of staff, who have attained the age of 55 years and above and members of staff who are 50 years and above and are below the rank of a manager. Spokes persons for the embattled workers, Mr. Usanga Eyo, Mr. Christopher

Nwajei, Mr. Sanni Waheed, Mr. Paschal Ndukwe, Mr. Akintola Michael and Mr. Felix Aligbeh, who addressed the media at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos Council secretariat in Ikeja on Thursday, alleged that the sacked workers, most of who have put in 25 years and above were only paid one month basic salary of less than N50, 000.

NIMASA and challenges of patrolling Nigeria’s vast waters

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

EXCHANGE RATES WAUA

240.5112

USD

151.01

CHF

193.8013

SDR

242.658

SAR

40.264

GBP

247.2034

EURO

216.9712

CFA

0.3064

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$109.59

-1.01

$86.31

-1.27

OPEC BASKET

$105.42

+0.64

NATURAL GAS

$4.21

-0.05

NYMEX


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Business News

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG approves N34bn for payment of accrued pensioners’ benefits TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government has approved the release of N34bn to off-set the outstanding accrued rights of retirees and death benefits of deceased federal employees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). Consequently, all retired employees enrolled with the National Pensions Commission including the Next of Kins of deceased employees that had registered with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and with such documents submitted to the Commission but have not been paid their entitlements have been advised to contact their PFAs for the payment of their benefits. A statement by PenCom signed by Mr. Emeka Onuora, Head Communications Unit, indicated that the approval followed the recommendations of the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Fi-

L-R: Centre Manager, British Council, Port Harcourt, Mrs. Ijeoma Arguba; Regional Marketing Manager, South-South, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Kester Osahenye, and Editrix, Haute Fashion Africa.com, Ms. Wadami Amolegbe, during the MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week Auditions in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday.

nance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, based on submission by the Commission, to the government. The recommendations contained mainly the status of the account and the huge deficit therein and the need to defray the

outstanding liabilities. The Commission stated that government has been setting aside 5 per cent of its total monthly wage bill into the Retirement Bond Redemption Account with the Central Bank for the set-

Airtel Nigeria invests N189bn in two years KUNLE A ZEEZ

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wenty four months after acquiring Zain Telecom`s Africa`s operation, Airtel Nigeria said it has invested extra $1.2bn (about N189bn) on various service upgrades and network expansions in Nigeria. This was disclosed by the Airtel Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rajan Swaroop, during a media interaction on the company’s two years of services in the nation’s telecoms sector in Lagos during the week. Swaroop said the company

was not daunted by the various challenges bedeviling the sector, stressing that government needs to support the growth of the sector. He explained that in spite of the challenges in the operating environment such as Nigeria, Airtel was still able to grow its subscriber base from 14.5 million to 20 million between July 2010 and 2012, an increase of 31 per cent, adding that traffic on its network has also increased by 124 per cent. The CE0 said the telecoms firm now has its 3.75G in more than 75 towns and villages in Nigeria with about 3000 sites launched.

PHCN workers for showdown over distribution of severance letters MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Federal Government through the Ministry of Power has commenced the distribution of severance letters to workers in the electricity sector following partial success recorded so far in the ongoing reforms in the sector. However, fresh disagreements seems to be underway between the government and workers of the successor companies of the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), over the dis-

tribution of severance or terminal letters to the workers, as majority of the workers said they are likely to reject the letters. Many of the workers who spoke with National Mirror on Thursday said their rejection of the terminal is based on the fact that the (workers) are yet to be “sorted out”, and that accepting the letters may give the impression that all negotiations and agreements have been met. President of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Corporations,

“Despite challenges, we have grown our subscribers to over 20 million. It will interest you to note that we are yet to breakeven. We have equally invested over $1.2bn on expansion of our networks,” he stated. Swaroop, who highlighted some of the challenges facing operators in the sector including multiple taxation, erratic power supply, vandalism among others, disclosed that operators spent N5bn monthly on power generation, adding that an average operator suffers between 70 to 80 fibre cuts monthly and an average of 50 to 60 cases of locked up sites monthly.

(SSAEAC), Mr. Bede Opara, told our correspondent on phone that electricity workers have a right to determine how their future will be. He said further that the union supports the power sector reforms, but that electricity will not be offered as the sacrificial lambs in the effort to fix the sector. The SSAEAC president explained that the management of PHCN began the distribution of letters to each PHCN staff member few days ago, adding that the letter’s content sought to advice the workers on their retirement benefits, ahead of the impending privatisation of 17 out of the 18 PHCN successor companies.

tlement of the accrued pension rights of its employees since the commencement of the Contributory Pension Scheme as required by the Pension Reform Act, 2004. The statement reads: “However, the account has been over-

stretched in recent years with the upsurge of retirements from the Federal Civil Service occasioned by the tenure policy, voluntary retirements and thousands of unredeemed death benefit claims resulting into heavy back log of arrears that cannot be accommodated due to paucity of funds in the account, giving rise to untold hardship to these people. “This special positive intervention by Mr President, therefore, would go a long way in settling those outstanding payments to those categories of beneficiaries and alleviating their sufferings,” it added. The Commission commended the President for approving the payment and the minister for her concern about the plight of the retirees and NoKs of deceased employees. The Commission also expressed its appreciation to the thousands of retirees and NoKs of deceased employees for their patience and understanding with the Commission over the delay in paying their entitlements.

A&G Insurance tackles NAICOM over suspension OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO.

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lliance and General Insurance yesterday berated the industry regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for announcing the suspension of Alliance and General Insurance Company Ltd and A&G Life Assurance Plc, companies which it said no longer exist. Divisional Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy, A&G Insurance Plc, Mr. Dotun Onipede, who addressed a press in Lagos stated that the subsisting company now is called A&G Insurance Plc is a product of the successful merger between Alliance and General Insurance Company Ltd and A&G Life Assurance Plc, which it he was approved by NAICOM and question the regulators motives regarding the suspension. He noted that unless there is a deliberate intent to bring down Alliance & General Insurance Plc, The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and NAICOM should not have hastily taken a decision against it based on issues against the two former companies whose merger was well approved by NAICOM and other relevant authorities. Onipede denied allegations of any wrongdoings leading to the suspension by NAICOM on the pages of newspapers insist-

ing that its operations are fully in line with good corporate governance and the interest of its clients and shareholders. He said, “The company is surprised and still wonders how the allegation of insolvency came up given that it had paid out more than N20m for claims in the last two weeks. It paid claims to CBN Dana Air Crash Victims Group Accident Claim and over N1.2bn to Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria among others In a swift reaction to the allegations levelled against it by A&G, NAICOM in a statement signed by the commission’s spokesman, Mr. Lucky Fiakpa, said claim that the company got approval on merger between the two companies from NAICOM was untrue. On the claim by A&G that there was no basis for sanctioning the two companies since they have merged into one entity following approval given to them by NAICOM, the commission stated, “The merger they are relying on is a post-2010 event. “The issues in contention are on the 2010 financial statements of the companies. So their defence does not add up at all. As at 2010, no merger had been consummated. Even now, only approval-in-principle was granted by the Commission as no final approval has been granted.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chinese firms to invest in Nigeria’s Aerotropolis project, says minister OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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hina State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC), has indicated readiness to invest in the development of Nigeria’s aviation sector, especially the construction of Aerotropolis within the major international airports in Nigeria. A statement signed by the Special Assistant, Media to the minister of aviation, Mr. Joe Obi stated that the Overseas Operations, Vice President of the corporation, Yu Zhende made the declaration at the headquarters of the corporation in Beijing, China during a visit by the delegation from the Nigeria’s ministry of aviation. Stellah Oduah and some chief executive officers from the ministry are currently on a controversial investment drive in China, United States and Canada. Yu Zhende described Nigeria as

a major country in Africa hence the development of her aviation sector would establish the country as a major hub on the African continent. He assured that a delegation from CSCEC would soon visit Nigeria to study and deliberate more on the concept of Aerotropolis development and expressed the readiness of the company to sign an agreement and mobilise to site as soon as the Nigerian and Chinese governments come to a compromise. He said, “We will send a delegation to Nigeria to conceptualise this project, subsequently we will work with the Chinese government to finance this project,” He stated further that it would take the support of both governments to actualise the project, but noted that the company would move as fast as the Nigerian government wants it to. He assured that financing the

project would not pose any serious challenge for the Chinese government once an agreement is reached. On the technical know-how of CSCEC, the Vice President said the company has vast and extensive experience in airport construction in China, the UAE, Europe, Asia and Africa. He added that the magnificent African Union building in Ethiopia was built by CSCEC and donated to the AU. Similarly, Huawei Technologies Company of China in conjunction with their IT solutions partner, SITA has presented a Joint Proposal to the ministry seeking to provide IT Infrastructure for the new terminals. Obi stated that the proposals were made when the Nigerian delegation visited Huawei at their headquarters in Shenzhen where discussions and meetings were held with top management of the enterprise group.

L-R: Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Affairs Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Vivian Ikem; Director and Curator at African Artist’s Foundation, Mr. Azu Nwagbogu and Project Coordinator, Mr. Joseph Gergel, during the Nigerian Breweries and AAF National Art Competition 2012 media briefing in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

Nigeria has the most attractive environment for investment – World Bank chief

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he Country Director, World Bank, Nigeria, Ms. Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, has said that despite the current infrastructure challenge facing Nigeria, the country still remains the most attractive place for both local and foreign investors. Marie-Nelly stated this on the sidelines of the Launch of the World Bank’s Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) Report in Abuja, on Thursday. She, however, said there was need for the country to improve its business environment in order to maximise the huge untapped investment opportunities that exist across the country. She said, “Nigeria has the most attractive environment for investment because Nigeria is a large

market in the continent; it is the second largest economy in the continent. It is a market that any investor cannot ignore with over 160million people and a gateway to the ECOWAS. For me, while we say the country’s current investment climate could be better in terms of providing electricity, access to finance and other things, you should also look at the huge opportunities for investment in Nigeria . “The basic lesson from the World Bank Assessment Report titled “ Nigeria, An Assessment of the Investment Climate in 26 states”, is that there are critical constraints in Nigeria that impede the development of the non-oil sector . Some of the critical issues include electricity,

which affects the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises. However, the labour cost in Nigeria is actually lower than most of Nigeria’s competitors such as Brazil and South Africa. So, there is need for Nigeria to address some of the constraints in order to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities that exist in the country.” In his Keynote address titled “ Reforming Nigeria’s Investment Climate”, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said his ministry had already embarked on far-reaching investment climate reforms in order to improve the county’s competitiveness ranking and attract more Foreign Direct Investment into the country.

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NOTAP promotes technology transfer for economic growth KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, (NOTAP), has said it will strengthen its activities aimed at promoting technology transfer and infusion in the various industries for the growth of Nigerian economy. Director General, Engr. Umar Bindir, restated the commitment during the 2012 African Information Society Merit Award, Cyber Nigeria Forum organised by AIT InfoTech Network in collaboration with the Nigerian Internet Group.

The NOTAP recognised three companies for the NOTAP award category endorsement/ sponsorship of the Best Technology Transfer Agreement (BTTA) at the just concluded event in Lagos. The award recipient, which included Eleme Petrochemicals Company Plc, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc were nominated for the NOTAP sponsored Technology Transfer category of the AISMA award based on their respective outstanding contributions to the technological development and economic growth of the Nigerian economy.

Etisalat, Samsung to deepen Internet access KUNLE A ZEEZ

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tisalat Nigeria, the country’s fifth global system for mobile communication operators, has introduced a new offer bundling its super fast 3.75G easyblaze service with the new Samsung Galaxy S3 as part of effort increase access to the internet by its over 13 million subscribers. Speaking on the offer, the Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat, Mr. Wael Ammar, highlighted the features of the Samsung Galaxy S3 to include android applications, 4.8 inch full capacity touch screen, accelerometer functionality, WIFI functionality, WIFI hotspot and document viewer. He said the high-end device which runs on the new android 4.0 (ice cream & Sandwich), also serves as a pocket digital assistant with functions for download of applications, e-mails-on-the-go,

bigger memory size for storage, document viewing and editingon-the-go among others. “This is another strategic partnership with Samsung and we at Etisalat are pleased to enter into it with the sole intention of enhancing the communication lives of our esteemed customers. The offer underscores our resolve to continue to offer innovative products and services to our customers”. “To enjoy this whole bundle with free offers, customers need to simply buy Samsung Galaxy S3 handsets and get a free Etisalat micro SIM card, with free monthly 200 MB for 12 months at a cost of N107,000 only,” he said. He noted that Etisalat’s ongoing partnership with Samsung has proved encouraging so far, looking at the post launch results of previous devices such as Samsung Galaxy tab, Samsung galaxy note and Samsung Galaxy Gio

FG to tackle ICT access challenge, others with USPF KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Federal Government is set address key challenges to impeding access to Information and Communication Technology connectivity especially in rural areas. The move to bridge the digital divide between people living in the cities where there is already ICT access and the unserved and the underserved areas in the country is being driven through the Universal Service Provision Fund. The USPF, a body set up by the Nigerian Communica-

tions Commission to promote the growth of ICT connectivity in the rural areas, is to ensure the implementation of the development of a Strategic Management Plan 20132017 for the ICT industry. Speaking at a consultative stakeholders forum organised by USPF to unveil its strategies for the country to achieve implement the SMP 2013-2017, the Chairman, USPF Board and Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, the government’s plan was to leverage USPF to fast-track ICT access and address other issues affecting both data and voice services availability.


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Maritime

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NIMASA and challenges of patrolling Nigeria’’s vast waters The increasing insecurity on Nigeria’’s waters has negatively placed her under the watch of the international community. FRANCIS EZEM examines some of the issues.

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he increasing level of insecurity in Nigeria’’s waters, constitute a source of worry to maritime stakeholders both locally and internationally. This is occasioned by the several cases of attacks on vessels by pirates and sea robbers coupled with cases of illegal oil bunkering and crude oil theft, among others. For instance, early this year, a ship captain and his chief engineer were murdered by suspected pirates off the coast of Lagos, which was also followed by the attack on a Russian ship in Port Harcourt and its captain kidnapped barely one week later. It was probably worried by these incidents, which brought Nigeria negatively into world focus that the International Maritime Bureau issued a travel warning to ship owners to steer clear of Nigerian waters and advised ship crew to be on extra alert on approach of Nigerian waters. Additionally, IMB had placed Nigeria second on world’’s piracy hotspots after Somalia. Here in Nigeria, it is estimated that the country loses over 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which amounts to about $16million (N2.5bn) to oil thieves. This translates to an annual loss of over N900bn. These and other incidents may have informed the decision of former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Austen Oniwon to raise the alarm early this year over the possibility of some oil thieves taking over the machinery of government in the country if care was not taken. The former GMD had alleged that pipeline vandalism currently presents the single biggest threat to the smooth operation of the petroleum industry in Nigeria. According to him, if the activities of oil thieves were not checked, they could degenerate into a similar situation faced by Mexico and Colombia, where criminals empowered themselves through nefarious activities and were now calling the shots because they had stolen so much from the system through under-world operations. The Ministry of Defence had also in reaction to this increasing insecurity organised a ‘‘stakeholders’’ meeting’’ with security agencies, especially the Nigerian Navy. The Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada had while speaking at the event held in Abuja, admitted that there had been an upsurge in attack on ships, which, according to her, continue to hamper shipping operations, especially within the coast of Somalia, Gulf of Aden and a great expanse of the Indian Ocean. She, however, pledged that her ministry will articulate clearly defined procedures and guidelines for compliance with the International Maritime Organisation’’s regulation in line with extant laws and regulations. Bergen Risk Solutions, the Norwegian

DG NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi

Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar

THERE ARE NO VESSELS IN THE COUNTRY OR EVEN WITHIN THE SUB-REGION THAT CAN BEAT THESE KIND OF PATROL BOATS IN TERMS OF SPEED AND CONTROL GADGETS -based specialist in political, maritime and security risk assessments had in a special focus on Nigeria and the Niger Delta identified what it called, ‘‘worrying new trend in Nigerian piracy’’, saying it involves the use of mother ships and skiffs in a similar manner to Somali Pirate Action Groups. Bergen Risk Solutions said this is a relatively new development. In response, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, government’’s organ charged with the duty of providing maritime safety and security, especially under the current management had taken steps towards addressing these issues. Apart from its Memorandum of Understanding with the Navy to form the Maritime Guard Command, the agency has also put in place other measures to deal with the menace. The agency recently took delivery of four state-of-the art patrol boats as part of efforts to combat these illegalities. The acquisition of these boats is in line with the concession contract signed with Global West Vessels Specialists Limited, a private firm early this year. Under the strategic concession partnership contract, GWVSL would provide platforms for tracking of ships and cargoes as well as to enforce regulatory compliance. It will also enable NIMASA carry out comprehensive surveillance of the nation’’s maritime domain with the view to combating criminal activities. Director-General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolekemi said in Lagos recently while officially receiving the boats, which are the first tranche of the 20 boats expected under the contract that they are of high standard and are the fastest boats on the nation’’s waters.

According to him, the boats christened NIMASA Port Harcourt, NIMASA Lagos, NIMASA Burutu and NIMASA Warri can withstand any adverse condition and would help NIMASA to effectively combat illegal activities in the country’’s maritime domain and thus engender the agency’’s fulfillment of one of its core mandates of ensuring safety and security. It was gathered that the boats have a speed capacity of 50 nautical miles per hour. While commenting on the propriety of the Public Private Partnership, Akpobolokemi said: ““Government alone cannot solve the problem of piracy due to the paperwork and the bureaucracy that projects of this nature are usually subjected to, an agency that is involved in search and rescue operation and emergency anytime anywhere must not subscribe to the civil service way of doing things; there should be some creativity.”” On the efficiency and suitability of the boats for security surveillance he said: ““There are no vessels in the country or even within the sub-region that can beat these kind of patrol boats in terms of speed and control gadgets””. He assured that more boats with different configurations are expected to come into the country before the end of the year. ““What we have done is to get the private sector to provide these boats and man them while we will work in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy in keeping security and safety and in keeping the environmental laws,”” he added ““This is just the beginning, more and more vessels of different configurations are coming, as for the cost, it is the private company that will know how much they have invested””, he noted.

Managing Director of GWVSL, Captain Romeo Itima, said each of the boats has four outboard engines, each with 300. He said the engines and body of the boats were bullet- proof, thereby making it difficult for the pirates to target the crew on board. He explained that each of the boats has a tank capacity of 1,500 litres of fuel and can do 200 nautical miles before refueling.. Itima disclosed that the remaining 16 other boats to be supplied by the company under the contract had already been constructed and are expected to arrive Nigeria later in the year. Meanwhile, in a recent chat with newsmen, legal adviser of the agency, Mr. Mathew Egbadon disclosed that NIMASA’’s operations require its officers to be able to move from one place to another within the maritime domain but regretted that over the years, the agency lacked the necessary platforms for the use of the agency’’s staff and the guard command. Egbadon, who doubles a secretary to the board of the agency had argued that the involvement of the private sector was the last option open to the agency in its bid to secure the nation’’s maritime domain. Some maritime stakeholders who commented on the contract lauded the PPP arrangement in the acquisition of the boats. Captain Niyi Dada, secretary general of the Indigenous Ship owners Association of Nigeria who spoke at a recent stakeholders meeting to appraise the contract, noted that there was nothing wrong in partnering the private sector in acquiring and maintaining the boats, especially given the bureaucratic nature of the civil service in Nigeria. He had argued that issues that relate to safety and security needed to be handled with dispatch in order to forestall any disaster that could lead to high casualty rate and so should not be subjected to the civil service way of doing things. But he argued that the manner in which the contract was awarded made it suspicious and the attendant criticism that trailed it. However, Mr. Adeniyi Oshinowo, who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, Commodore Sa’’ad Ibrahim at the stakeholders meeting had cautioned on the handling of the contract with the private. He had warned that if not properly handled, it might lead to un-intended situations. The stakeholders are however of the consensus that these boats should be effectively utilised in carrying the core duties of the agency like effective maritime patrols to ensure security in the maritime domain, check midstream discharges with the concomitant impact on revenue generation, detect incidents of pollution of the waters, carry out its search and rescue responsibility and enforce the provisions of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. This will no doubt save Nigeria the bad image she has earned among the shipping nations of the world as a result of the un-patrolled waters and the high level of insecurity.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Maritime

Friday, August 10, 2012

Apapa Port: FG nets N205bn on VAT, fees in six months STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

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he Federal Government has collected a total of N205bn in six months on Value Added Tax, fees and levies imposed on all categories of goods imported into the country from Apapa Port alone. Most shippers (importers and exporter) and other port users have over the years been groaning under the high cost of shipping goods in and out of the country arising from charges imposed on them by the government, which stakeholders believe make Nigeria’’s seaports one of the most expensive in the world. Revenue figures released by the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, which covers the Lagos Ports Complex the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base Free Zone and other off dock terminals show that a total of N155.4bn was collected from fees, N24.7bn from VAT and N24.9bn from other charges totaling N205bn between January and June, 2012. Details of the statistics show that N17.4bn was collected in January from fees, N3.6bn from VAT and N1.3bn from levies as against the N24.8bn collected on fees in February, N4.7bn from VAT and N1.9bn from levies. For the month of March, a total of N38.9bn was collected on fees, N4.2bn on VAT and N2.4bn levies while N30.2bn was generated from levies in April, N3.7bn from VAT and N3bn from levies in the same month. Similarly, in May, a total of N28.5bn was generated through fees, N4.4bn from VAT and N4.4bn from levies even as N18.6bn was collected in June from fees, N4.3bn

from VAT and N12bn from levies. The command had collected a total of N139.2bn revenue into the Federation Account for the period under review from import duty out of the total of N1tr revenue target given to the entire service of 25 commands for the 2012 fiscal year. The Federal Government at the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year gave the command N324billion revenue target, which translates to N27billion per month. Customs Area Controller in charge of Apapa, Alhaji Adamu Garko who briefed newsmen on the activities of the command last week on the activities of the first half of the year, said that after a dismal performance in the first three months of the year, which he attributed to the uncertainties that characterised the beginning of the year such as the fuel subsidy removal and the crisis it gen-

erated, the command’’s revenue picked up. The command had in January collected N15.4 billion, in February it collected N21.3 billion and in March it collected 21.2 billion. This brings to a total of N57.9 for the first quarter as against the targeted N81 billion on the basis of N27 billion monthly revenue. According to the controller, with this impressive revenue record for the second quarter of the year, the command is certain that it would make the N324billion target for the year and by implication raises a glimmer of hope that the service would make its N1tr 2012 fiscal year revenue target. But most stakeholders have questioned the rationale of giving annual revenue target to the service by the government, which they argued would make the service place more emphasis on revenue generation over and above

national security and trade facilitation. They had argued that the normal practice even among developed countries of the world is to allow Customs Administrations to concentrate on their statutory duty of trade facilitation while revenue is collected on the side line. It was however in a desperate move by the service to meet its target that the management early in the year introduced benchmark duty of about 26 electrical and electronic items, which was vehemently opposed by importers and freight forwarders. The importers and freight forwarders had argued that what determines the amount of duty paid on any consignment is the value, insisting that a situation whereby the same amount of duty would be paid on imported goods irrespective of their value.

A ship loaded with containers

NAGAFF petitions Customs, Police over invasion of ofce

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he National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service over alleged invasion of the association’’s national headquarters located in Apapa. The Customs Deputy Comptroller in charge of the Customs Intelligence Unit of Tin Can Island command, Mrs. Jane Shoboiki and wife of Major General Shoboiki, had last week in company of some armed soldiers invaded the office of the association over an alleged petition to the Customs headquarters over some of it illegal activities, describing her as a revenue risknefarious activities. The petitioner, Larry Okonkwo & Co; legal, corporate and maritime consultants and solicitors to the association, wrote on behalf of Chief Uche Nwabude, Mr. Godfrey Nwosu and Mr. Pius Ogudu, vice president, Western Zone and Customs relations officer of the association.

The law firm in the letter dated August 1, 2012 and signed by Mr. Larry says the petition also acts as a one-month pre-action notice for any suit incidental or consequential upon the unlawful invasion and wanton destruction of property and assault on its clients. It also disclosed that the firm would institute a legal action against the two security organisations at a Federal High Court in which the organisations would be defendants and the firms’’ clients’’ claimants. According to the petition, there was stampede and pandemonium at the headquarters of the association when 13 uniformed and combatant soldiers in company of Mrs. Shoboiki invaded the office in a commando manner and forced their way into the headquarter complex breaking into many offices. Loaded in a white Toyota Hilux van with registration number: EM 165 GGE while Mrs. Shoboiki came in a black Toyota Lexus Jeep with registration

number: BU 300 RBC, the mission of the invaders was to arrest the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam over a petition to the Customs management. ““In the office of the founder of the association, Dr. Aniebonam, who was incidentally not available, the soldiers commandeered his personal secretary, Mr. Lucky Enuma and other guests waiting to see the founder, threatening to kill anyone who would stand on their way””, the petition alleged. ““Without giving any of the persons in the office any opportunity to ask questions as to why they want to arrest Dr. Aniebonam, the soldiers went ahead destroying computes and other office equipment on the instruction of their leader, Mrs. Shoboiki””, the petition went on. It was also alleged that Mrs. Shoboiki had following her futile attempt to arrest and take her victim away, she had boasted that she has all it takes to fight Aniebonam and that his life was no longer safe as the

battle line has been drawn. The petition therefore urged the IGP and Customs boss to use their good offices to intervene in the matter to save the lives of the clients. ““We also wish to express our displeasure at the wanton abuse of power by Mrs. Shoboiki and her military officers under a democracy. The unlawful and illegal invasion of the office is condemnable and should be better seen than imagined, as it was a complete show of shame and cowardice””, the petition concluded. The law firm had also warned that it is willing and able to institute a legal action in a court of law to protect the rights of its clients. Meanwhile, some stakeholders, who commented on the invasion, had argued that the use of soldiers by such a senior Customs officer to effect the arrest of somebody was a clear demonstration of her contempt and insubordination to the management of the service.

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Promoted Customs PRO pledges good image for command

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he newly promoted public relations officer of the Apapa Area 1 command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Timi Bomodi, said he would work assiduously to ensure a better image for the command in particular and the service as a whole. Bomodi, who was posted to Apapa late last year to head the public relations unit, was over four years the chief image-maker of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal command of the service. He was promoted from the position of Chief Superintend of Customs to Assistant Comptroller of the service. While speaking on behalf of other promoted officers, Bomodi said that the promoted officer were eternally grateful to the management of the service over its decision to single some of them out for promotion. According to him, the best was to reciprocate the gesture of the management was to do their best in their places of primary assignment in order to ensure a better service delivery by Customs. He said that as the chief image maker of Apapa, the biggest command, he would do everything within his powers to further lift the image of the command in particular and that of the entire service in general. He noted that the command has pioneered most of the reforms in the service, especially in terms of the use of Information Technology to ensure efficient cargo clearance, adding that he would continue to maintain a good relationship between the command and the various stakeholders, without which nothing meaningful would be achieved especially in terms of efficiency. Customs Area Controller in charge of Apapa, Alhaji Adamu Garko, who decorated the officers promoted to the rank of Assistant Comptrollers had charged them and other promoted officers to be good ambassadors of the service. He noted that the current management of the service has done so much for the officers and men of the service in terms of welfare and providing good working conditions and therefore, enjoined them to reciprocate such a kind gesture.

Bomodi


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Nokia to sell application unit amid increasing microsoft reliance

Stephen Elop

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okia Oyj, the smartphone maker that started using Microsoft Corp. operating systems to revive its business, agreed to sell its Qt app-tools unit to Digia Oyj as it abandons homegrown software efforts. Nokia bought the Qt technology in 2008 to give developers tools to write applications for Symbian and MeeGo devices -- two operating systems it’s since cast aside in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone. As many as 125 employees will move to Digia as part of the deal, according to a statement from the Finnish software maker yesterday. No terms were disclosed.

The disposal highlights Nokia’s increasing dependence on Microsoft as it tries to stem plunging sales amid competition from Apple Incorporated’s iPhone and devices running Google Inc.’s Android software. Photographer: Ashley Pon/Bloomberg The disposal highlights Nokia’s increasing dependence on Microsoft as it tries to stem plunging sales amid competition from Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s Android software. Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, who started betting on Microsoft software last year, has shed units, announced more than 20,000 job cuts and closed plants in a bid to return the company to profit. “With Nokia smartphones relying on Windows-based applications, which are rapidly increasing in number, Qt no longer has a role to play in Nokia’s smartphone efforts,” said Janardan Menon, an analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd.

Poland needs jobs, markets to keep growing, adviser says

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oland’s government can’t wait for the central bank to cut rates and must help local companies add new jobs and export markets to maintain economic growth, said an economic adviser to Prime Minister Donald Tusk. “Poland’s slowdown has reached the stage where decisions have to be taken if we want to avoid a contraction next year,” Malgorzata Starczewska-Krzysztoszek said in an interview in Warsaw today. The nation must “overhaul the labor market to protect jobs and avoid an increase in unemployment; a rate cut isn’t the Polish economy’s biggest need right now.” The European Union’s biggest eastern economy will outperform the rest of the 27-nation bloc this year, growing 2.7 percent, the European Commission forecasts. Still, that’s slower than last year’s 4.3 percent as Poland feels the impact of the debt crisis in the euro region, where it sells about half of exports. As concern about the global economy mounts,

the government must adjust next year’s budget to assume that growth “probably won’t exceed” 2 percent, Starczewska-Krzysztoszek said. She urged the government to relax business and labor-market regulations, use more public-private partnerships, introduce special-purpose funds for infrastructure projects and support local companies seeking new markets in China, India, Indonesia and Brazil to reduce dependence on the euro area. The zloty traded at 4.0730 per euro yesterday in Warsaw, down from 4.0704 yesterday. The government’s fiveyear bond yield rose 10 basis points to 4.51 percent.

Starczewska-Krzysztoszek

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Trade deficit in the US shrank more than forecast

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he United States trade deficit narrowed more than forecast in June as the biggest drop in crude oil prices in more than three years helped cut the nation’s import bill. The gap shrank 11 percent to $42.9 billion, the smallest since December 2010, from $48 billion in May, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 69 economists called for the deficit to shrink to $47.5 billion. Exports climbed to a record on demand for autos and industrial engines. U.S. initial jobless claims unexpectedly dropped by 6,000 to 361,000 in the week ended August 4, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Separately, the U.S. trade deficit shrank 11 percent in June to $42.9 billion, the smallest since December 2010, according to the Commerce Department. Betty Liu and

Michael McKee report on Bloomberg Television’s In the Loop. Gary Shilling, president of Gary Shilling & Co. and a Bloomberg View columnist, talks about the global economy, the U.S. housing market and Federal Reserve policy. He speaks with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.” The opinions expressed are his own. Imports dropped 1.5 percent to $227.9 billion from $231.4 billion in the prior month. The better-than-projected reading may help boost second- quarter growth figures when the government revises the data later this month. The recent rebound in oil prices and slowing economies in Europe and Asia mean the deficit will probably not keep contracting, making it more difficult for trade to aid the economic expansion. “For all the talk about the troubles in Europe and

Stanley

China slowing, what’s going on around the world is not make or break for the U.S. recovery,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “This report is a positive in the sense that growth in the first half of the year was a little better than reported.” Bloomberg survey estimates ranged from a deficit of $44 billion to $50 billion. The Commerce Department revised the trade deficit for May from an initially reported $48.7 billion. Fewer Americans filed ap-

plications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market may keep improving after employment picked up in July, another report today showed. Jobless claims unexpectedly dropped by 6,000 to 361,000 in the week ended August 4, according to the Labor Department. The median forecast of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 370,000. Stock-index futures trimmed earlier losses after the reports. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in September fell 0.2 percent to 1,396.1 yesterday in New York. Imports dropped 1.5 percent to $227.9 billion from $231.4 billion in the prior month. In addition to crude oil purchases of computers and televisions also fell. The value of imported crude oil fell to $26.4 billion, the least since February. The cost of a barrel of crude decreased $7.78 to $100.13, the biggest decline since January 2009.

Global food reserves falling as drought wilts crops

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tockpiles of the biggest crops will decline for a third year as drought parches fields across three continents, raising food-import costs already forecast by the United Nations to reach a near-record $1.24 trillion. Combined inventories of corn, wheat, soybeans and rice will drop 1.8 percent to a four-year low before harvests in 2013, the Abbassian U.S. Department of Agriropean crops and India’s culture estimates. Crops monsoon rainfall already in the U.S., the biggest is 20 percent below norexporter, are in the worst mal. The International condition since 1988, heat Grains Council began waves are battering EuJuly by forecasting record

harvests. It ended with a prediction for a 2 percent drop in output. The U.S. drought in June was the widest since December 1956 and the past 12 months were the hottest on record, weather data show. Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organisation, talks about the outlook for corn and soybean prices as droughts damaged crops from the U.S. to Russia. He speaks from Rome with Maryam Nemazee on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visits a farm in Des Moines, Iowa. Romney was briefed on the state’s drought by Lemar Koethe, owner of Marko Properties, and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. The speed of the destruction drove corn prices to a record yesterday and soybean prices to an all-time high last month, while wheat went to a four-year high. For investors, crops are the bestperforming commodities this year, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Macquarie Group Ltd.

Spanish, Italian notes fall as ECB debt-purchase optimism wanes

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panish and Italian two-year notes declined for a third day amid speculation the European Central Bank’s plan to purchase the nations’ securities won’t be sufficient to stem the regional debt crisis. The notes underperformed their regional peers after an ECB quarterly survey of professional forecasters predicted the euro- area contraction this year will be worse than previously estimat-

ed. Spanish and Italian bonds jumped last week after ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank may buy government debt in unison with the region’s bailout fund. Greek bonds rose even as the jobless rate climbed to a record. “The market’s keeping a close eye on Italy and Spain,” said David Schnautz, a New Yorkbased fixed-income strategist at Commerzbank AG. “The momentum since

the ECB meeting is running out of steam. Spanish bonds are under some pressure. The market gets nervous when it sees double-digit increases in twoyear yields.” Spain’s two-year note yield climbed 18 basis points, or 0.18 percentage point, to 4.06 percent at yesterday time after falling to 3.38 percent on Aug. 6, the lowest level since May 9. The 4.75 percent bond due in July 2014 fell 0.345, or 3.45 euros per

1,000-euro ($1,231) face amount, to 101.28. The Italian two-year note yield increased seven basis points to 3.26 percent after rising 16 basis points over the past two days. The ECB said in its monthly bulletin yesterday that it may intervene in bond markets in tandem with Europe’s bailout funds, only if troubled nations commit to improving their economies and fiscal positions.


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Capital Market

Friday, August 10, 2012

45

FG auctions $1.1bn in T-bills, tightens liquidity

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he Federal Government sold N172.1bn in Treasury bills yesterday more than expected. This increased the yield it offered on the shortdated paper to mop up liquidity to support the currency The bank said last week that it would auction N142.1bn of treasury bills with maturities of between three months and one year. It gave no reason for the additional N30bn of issuance. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, naira surged 1.1 per cent to a more than two-week high on the interbank market following the sale and after the Nigeria National Petroleum

Corporation sold $450m to banks in exchange for the local currency. Reuters quoted CBN saying it had sold N50bn of 182-day Treasury bills at a yield of 15.30 per cent, higher than 14.94 per cent at its previous auction last month. It sold N90bn of 364day bills at a yield of 15.38 per cent, compared with 15.60 per cent a month ago, and N32.06bn of 91-day bills at a yield of 14.5 per cent, higher than 13.94 per cent at the last such auction a month ago. Nigeria issues Treasury bills twice monthly to reduce the money supply, curb inflation and help lenders manage their liquidity. “There was strong offshore participation at

the 364-day tenor which also resulted in an appreciation of the currency,” Samir Gadio, an emerging-market strategist at Standard Bank Group Limited said. “Rates in the primary market inched up in reaction to tighter liquidity conditions.” Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 12.9 per cent in June from 12.7 per cent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said July 18, prompting the CBN to raise cash reserve limits for banks as it tries to bolster the naira and control inflation. The regulator restricted access to its twice-weekly currency auctions last week, barring banks who used repurchase transactions

and its standing lending facility. Overnight lending rates spiked on Wednesday to more-than twoyear high of 35 per cent, partly because of the Treasury bill sale and a foreign exchange auction of $318m which soaked up naira liquidity. The bank two weeks ago left its benchmark interest rate on hold at 12 per cent but raised the cash ratio for lenders to 12 per cent from eight per cent to tighten liquidity. Total subscriptions for the bills were 422.8bn. Meanwhile, naira rose for a second day to N158.35 a dollar, heading for the highest in almost three months.

Equities gain 0.5% in bulish trading JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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nvestors’ appetite on blue chips stocks halted three days bearish trend on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday as the rally recorded mostly in consumer-goods stocks lifted the benchmark indices. The All Share Index gained 0.5 per cent to close at 23,178.87 points, as against the decline recorded the preceding day to close at 23,166.58 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N4bn to close at N7.38trn in contrast to the dip by record-

ed the preceding day to close at N7.37trn. The consumer goods index gained 0.5 per cent to close at 1,935.66 points, followed by Lotus Islamic index with 0.49 per cent to close at 1,352.50 points. The insurance index appreciated by 0.37 per cent to close at 124.36 points, while the banking index gained 0.32 er cent to close at 356.63 points. The NSE-30 index rose by 0.09 per cent to close at 1,083.05 points, while the oil and gas index increased by 0.8 per cent to close at 1,352.50 points.

Evans Medical Plc led the gainers’ table with five kobo or five per cent to close at N1.05 per share, followed by May and Baker Plc with eight kobo or 4.94 per cent to close at N1.70 per share. RT Briscoe Plc appreciared by eight kobo or 4.94 per cent to close at N1.70 per share, while Berger Paints Plc increased by 36 kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N7.67 per share. Eterna Oil Plc rose by 12 kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N2.56 per share. On the flip side, Arbico Nigeria Plc dropped by 86 kobo or 4.97 per cent to close at N16.43 per share,

while Airservice Plc dipped by eight kobo or 4.65 per cent to close at N1.64 per share. Royal Exchange Plc shed two kobo or 3.51 per cent to close at 55 kobo per share, while WAPIC Nigeria Plc fell two kobo or 3.51 per cent to close at 55 kobo per share. Presco Plc declined by 35 kobo or 2.33 per cent to close at N14.65 per share. Transaction in equities rose by 125 per cent, as a total of 429.57 million shares worth N1.45bn were exchanged in 3,821 deals, compared to 190.36 million shares traded in 3,926 deals the preceding day.

Partnership Investment earnings rise 21% JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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artnership Investment Company Plc, a stockbroking house, has recorded a gross earnings of N1.89bn for the financial year ended December 30, 2011, an increase by 21.3 per when compared to N1.56bn recorded in the same period of 2010. Speaking at the company Annual General Meeting in Lagos yesterday, its chairman, Mr. Cosmas Irune, said that despite increase in operating and administrative cost in it declared N144.5m

dividend, compared to N105.4m paid out in 2010, translating to five kobo per share. He noted that despite 6.5 per cent drop in profit after tax from N294.4m in 2010 to N275.2m in 2011, the company’s total asset rose by 22.2 per cent from N9.24bn in 2010 to N11.3bn in 2011. Further analysis of the company’s cash flow showed 40 per cent rise in working capital, from N1.66bn in 2010 to N2.33bn in 2011. According to the chairman, given the instability of the financial market during the year, the com-

pany borrowed less from its bankers as shown by the significant drop in interest payment to N76.7m in 2011 from 349.7m in 2010. Irune said, “Our balance sheet remains strong with shareholders fund of N3.96bn. The drop in this position by 3.18 per cent, compared to 2010 is principally attributable to the share buyback exercise that was embarked upon in the period which led to a reduction in share premium and share capital figures.” He explained that net cash flow from investing activities rose by over 155

per cent from N1.02bn in 2010 to N2.6bn in 2011. He said net cash flow from financing activities rose from a negative position of N520.1m to N390.4m. “Thus, at the end of the year, cash and cash equivalents which imply the liquidity of the firm rose by over 72 per cent to N304.4m. “Overall, the year 2011 was good for our company and given the strategies for business growth and development that are currently being pursued, management is confident that this performance will be surpassed in the 2012 financial year”, he said.

Source:

NSE

Source: FDMA

Market indicators All-Share Index 23,178.87 points Market capitalisation 7,377trn

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

EVANSMED

1.00

1.05

0.05

5.00

MAYBAKER

1.62

1.70

0.08

4.94

RTBRISCOE

1.62

1.70

0.08

4.94

BERGER

7.31

7.67

0.36

4.92

ETERNA

2.44

2.56

0.12

4.92

SMURFIT

1.23

1.29

0.06

4.88

AGLEVENT

1.04

1.09

0.05

4.81

CCNN

4.18

4.38

0.20

4.78

TRANSCORP

1.00

1.04

0.04

4.00

VITAFOAM

3.00

3.10

0.10

3.33

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

ARBICO

17.29

16.43

0.86

-4.97

AIRSERVICE

1.72

1.64

0.08

-4.65

ROYALEX

0.57

0.55

0.02

-3.51

WAPIC

0.57

0.55

0.02

-3.51

PRESCO

15.00

14.65

0.35

-2.33

REDSTAREX

3.02

2.95

0.07

-2.32

GLAXOSMITH

29.55

29.00

0.55

-1.86

IKEJAHOTEL

1.15

1.13

0.02

-1.74

UBN

4.73

4.65

0.08

-1.69

LIVESTOCK

1.36

1.34

0.02

-1.47

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,057.31

13.90

9-Aug-12

182-Day

50,000.00

16.10

9-Aug-12

364 -Day

60,000.00

9.05

9-Aug-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

252-Days

26,036.45

16.39

9-Aug-12

248-Day

11,644.09

16.40

9-Aug-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$350m

N/A

$318m

6-Aug-12

$250m

N/A

$250m

1-Aug-12


46

Capital Market

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 9, 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, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

47

Community Mirror “We are completely opposed to state police because they will be misused like native police during colonial and First Republic. ” FMR. GOVERNOR OF DEFUNCT KADUNA STATE, ALHAJI BALARABE MUSA

Senator urges security agents to fight terrorism OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

F

ollowing the recent attack by gunmen on the Deeper Life Bible Church, Otite in Okene, Kogi State, in which 16 worshippers lost their lives, the

lawmaker representing Kogi Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has called on security agents to intensify their fights against terrorism in the country. Speaking through his media

Council boss alleges threat to life GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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he transition Committee Chairman of Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Dr Reginald Chidi Alozie, has alleged that his life is being threatened by some workers of the council, because of his insistence on using a biometric system to pay their salaries, even as he accused those opposed to the new system, as being behind the plot. The chairman was said to have been held hostage by the workers, who resisted being paid through the banks, while insisting they be paid in cash which is against government policy. Community Mirror learnt that the chairman was saved from the angry workers by soldiers of the “Operation Jubilee” following a distress call. Speaking in Umuahia, Alozie disclosed that he has saved N6 million monthly through the use of biometric payment. He also disclosed that more than 200 ghost workers have been discovered since introduction of

biometric data capture machines in the council. According to him, while he was holding a meeting with all arms of security organisations in the area, some workers assembled and insisted they wanted their salary paid in cash. He said they held him hostage, and was only allowed to go after promising to pay in cash, even as he accused the former council chairman of handing over the motor park to his brother who now collects the levies, thereby reducing revenue due to the council. “ Since the governor instructed that we increase our revenue base, I went about trying to do so, only to discover that the former council chairman handed over the motor park in the area to his elder brother”, Alozie lamented. The park generates t N100,000 monthly while the council receives only N20,000 from the agent and all efforts to stop him led to the writing of official letter to him and rather he went to court challenging our right to take over the park”, he said.

Kumuyi decries attack on church

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he General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Folorunsho Kumuyi, has condemned the attack on members of his congregation in Okene, Kogi State, saying it is hard to reconcile that peace-loving people, studying the Bible were gunned down in cold blood by those they had no cause to provoke. Kumuyi described the attack as not only wicked, but utterly premeditated, as he urged the government to come to terms with the fact that many people are being killed, even as law enforcement agents seem unable to provide the required protection for all law abiding citizens. These, he said, have implications for the progress, development and well

being of the country. He noted that these killings and destructions have been going on particularly in the northern part of the country for long and each time they occurred, the usual condemnations are made, but nothing is being done to assure the citizens of security of their lives. Pastor Kumuyi, therefore, urged more prayers by Christians, even as he said that that when Christians pray, God in heaven answers. “If the body of Christians would rise up and pray, and the law enforcement agencies intensify efforts to combat this creeping instability, the killings and destructions in our country would be stemmed”, he said.

aide, Michael Jegede, Senator Abatemi-Usman, urged members of the public to be vigilant and security conscious in order to help flush out perpetrators of evil in their midst. Denouncing the terrorist acts, Abatemi-Usman commiserated with families of the deceased while praying for the quick recovery of the injured. Abatemi-Usman, currently in Saudi Arabia on lesser Hajj, expressed shock at the gruesome and barbaric act, expressing concern that such dastardly act could take place during the holy

month of Ramadan, when Muslims all over the world, are making special supplication to Allah. He said: “I wholeheartedly condemn the unjust killings of worshippers in a Church in Otite. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives, and those injured, as well as their families and friends. For such a horrific act to occur in my constituency is really devastating. It is especially disheartening that such senseless massacre of innocent Nigerians is taking place at a time when we are supposed to be in a prayerful mood and moving

Illegal trading on a pedestrian bridge in Lagos.

closer to God.” He therefore charged people in the constituency to be more vigilant, saying that, it has become critical to be watchful of people around us and their activities. We really need to be security conscious. Furthermore, security agencies must beef up efforts to uncover the perpetrators and bring them to book. He urged the terrorists to accept dialogue in order to address whatever grievances they have, so the country can more towards peace, harmony and development.

PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Flash flood kills three in Cross River BONIFACE NZAMA CALABAR

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bout three persons are feared dead, following the flood that ravaged Agwagune community in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State. The victims include two girls and a 55 year old man, even as efforts by divers to recover the corpses after a four day search proved abortive. A total of 60 houses were washed away, while more than 100 homes are now on the verge of collapsing soon. Investigations revealed that over 1,400 persons have been displaced, while many others have relocated taking along them the few properties that could be salvaged.

Speaking, one of the displaced persons, Mr. Unoh Eyama Eko, lamented that he had no place to go with his wife and three children, as he called on the authorities to come to their aid. Mrs Eso Eghe, who had lost her salon to the flood, said she has lost all hopes of staying back, as she is not sure her home will survive the flood. Chief Onun Ogban Bassey, who is secretary of Council of Chiefs of Imomoro village, said though the community has witnessed past floods, this year’s looks like the last straw and everyone is now living in fear of being drowned. Assessing the disaster, the Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr

Vincent Aquah, ordered the immediate evacuation of the victims. “This is no drill, please leave immediately and do not worry about your property, “he said. The Director General represented by the Assistant Director (Information), David Akate, advised those affected to take refuge in public buildings like schools and markets. According to him, the lives lost were enough to upset the government and everything would be done to avoid more casualties. Collaborating, House of Assembly Members for Biase, Hon. Igim Okpo who also undertook assessment tour of the area, said there was no option but to immediately evacuate the villagers.


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Friday, August 10, 2012

World News Obama leads Republican candidate Romney in new poll

49

WORLD BULLETIN Mali thief’s hand amputated by Islamists Militant Islamists in Mali have cut off a man’s hand as punishment for theft in the northern town of Ansongo. A crowd in the village square pleaded in vain with the militants to spare the man, Reuters news agency reports. Northern Mali has been overrun by Islamist and Tuareg rebels following a coup in Bamako in March. The Islamists have vowed to implement strict Sharia law, despite strong opposition from the local Muslim population. Last week, a couple who had sex outside marriage were stoned to death in the town of Aguelhok, controlled by the Islamist group Ansar Dine. The group has also destroyed ancient shrines in Timbuktu, denouncing them as promoting idolatry.

“I hand over the constitutional prerogatives to the General National Congress, which from now on is the legitimate representative of the Libyan people” – Libya’s NTC chief, Mustafa Abdel Jalil

Ghanaians weep during President Mills’ lying in state PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

T

he State House, the venue for the public viewing of the body of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, yesterday came under siege from mourners from all walks of life. About 10. 38 a.m (Nigerian time) yesterday, the cortege conveying the mortal remains of the President was accorded a presidential

ride from the Castle to the Banquet Hall for the commencement of the three-day state funeral. The mourners, including President John Dramani Mahama and the Vice President, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, could not hold their emotions but shed tears for the loss of President Mills. Amidst the beating of fontonfrom drums and the sounding of dirges, the mourners formed a thick crowd at the forecourt of

the State House, and waited in long queues to gain access to the Banquet Hall where he was lying in state. Public buildings, trees and electricity poles on ceremonial streets in the national capital as well as the whole State House area are draped in red and black colours. Some mourners arrived at the State House as early as 5:00 am to await the arrival of the body of the President to enable them

Madagascar leader blasts ousted rival after unsuccessful talks Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina said yesterday that his rival Marc Ravalomanana, whom he toppled with army support in 2009, must be kept “at all costs” from returning to power. Rajoelina met Ravalomanana -- who is now exiled in South Africa -- in the Seychelles for half an hour Wednesday without result, although the pair said discussions would continue in the future. The Madagascan government has announced elections for next year in the large Indian Ocean island nation, but is opposed to Ravalomanana returning to contest the vote, arguing that a criminal conviction disqualifies him.

Cholera outbreak in Guinea worsens An outbreak of cholera in Guinea has killed 60 people since February and is showing no signs of letting up, the country’s health ministry said yesterday. Officials have registered 2,054 cases, with the capital Conakry and the south-western city of Forecariah worst affected. Thirteen people have died in Conakry and 23 in Forecariah. The NGO Doctors Without Borders said in a statement it had increased the number of hospital beds to “soon reach 600 to prepare for the height of the outbreak”. Two other organisations, Unicef and Action Against Hunger, have donated hygiene kits containing soap and chlorine to purify water. Guinean health authorities are also running local awareness campaigns in a bid to stem the outbreak.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ghana Bar Association members leaving after viewing the body of late Ghanaian President Mills, in Accra, Ghana yesterday PHOTO: AP

pay their last respects to the man whose death has united the nation in grief. President Mahama and the Vice-President, Mr. AmissahArthur, were first to pay their last respects to the late President. They were accompanied by their spouses, Lordina, the First Lady, and Matilda, wife of the Vice-President. The widow and son of the late President, Dr Ernestina Naadu Mills and Mr Samuel Fiifi Atta Mills, accompanied by some close relatives also filed past the body and stayed for a while to exchange greetings and to receive condolences before they returned home. Other dignitaries who were at the State House to mourn the death of President Mills were the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood; the Speaker of Parliament, Mrs Joyce Bamford-Addo; the Chief of Staff, Mr Henry Martey Newman; the Secretary to the late President, Mr Samuel Bebaako-Mensah; and the Spokesperson for the late President, Mr Koku Anyidoho. The death of the President has served as a unifying force for the nation. In spite of the ideological differences, representatives of political parties poured out their grief over the death of the President.

UN warns of global food crisis as prices surge

T

he world could face a food crisis of the kind seen in 2007/08 if countries restrict exports on concerns about a drought-fuelled grain price rally, the UN’s food agency warned yesterday, after reporting a surge in global food prices in July, Reuters. A mix of high oil prices, growing use of biofuels, bad weather, soaring grain futures markets and restrictive export policies pushed up prices of food in 2007/08, sparking violent protests in countries including Egypt, Cameroon and Haiti. Concern about extreme hot and dry weather in the U.S. Midwest sent corn and soybean prices to record highs last month, driving overall food prices higher again and reversing the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s forecast for declines this year.

“There is potential for a situation to develop like we had back in 2007/08,” the FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters. “There is an expectation that this time around we will not pursue bad policies and intervene in the market by restrictions, and if that doesn’t happen we will not see such a serious situation as 2007/08. But if those policies get repeated, anything is possible.” A number of major producers imposed various restrictions on exports in an attempt to control domestic prices in the 2007/08 crisis, including outright bans as well as quotas or higher tariffs on exports of foods including rice, corn and wheat. The restrictions reduced supply on international markets, helping to drive prices even

higher. Grain markets have been boosted recently by speculation that Black Sea grain producers, particularly Russia, might impose export restrictions after a drought there hit crops.

Markets drew a little comfort from official Russian comments on Wednesday that the country saw no grounds to ban grain exports this year but did not rule out protective export tariffs after the end of the 2012 calendar year.

A woman walking past a grain shop at a market in the Kenyan capital Nairobi recently. PHOTO: REUTERS


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

A

mericans are increasingly pessimistic about the future but voters do not seem to be holding it against Democratic President Barack Obama, who slightly expanded his lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney this month, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found, Al Jazeera has reported. Three months before the November 6 presidential election, nearly two-thirds of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction, according to new poll results released on Wednesday. Only 31 per cent of participants said it is moving in the right direction, the lowest number since December 2011. But Obama’s lead over Romney among registered voters was 49 per cent to 42 per cent, up slightly from the 6-point advantage the president held a month earlier over the former Massachusetts governor. The results of the monthly poll, in which a majority of voters agreed that the economy is the most important problem facing the United States, suggest that the Obama campaign’s efforts to paint Romney as being out of touch with the concerns of middle-class Americans could be preventing the Republican from gaining momentum in the race. “The overall ‘right track, wrong track’ is worse than last month, the news hasn’t been great lately,” Chris Jackson, an Ipsos pollster, said. “But Obama seems to be, to some extent, inoculated against some of the worst of that.” The telephone poll of 1,168 adults, including 1,014 registered voters, was taken from August 2 to August 6. During that period, the Labour Department

Syrian president appoints new Prime Minister

S

yrian state-run news agency SANA says President Bashar Assad has appointed a new prime minister to replace one who defected this week to neighbouring Jordan. Assad appointed Wael Nader al-Halqi, elevating him from the post of health minister. Halqi is a member of Assad’s ruling Baath party and hails from the southern city of Daraa, birthplace of the Syrian uprising. The 48-year-old held the post of secretary general of the Daraa branch of the Baath party from 2000-2004. He was appointed head of the doctors’ syndicate in 2010. The former premier, Riad Hijab, completed his defection by crossing into Jordan early Wednesday. His defection was a humiliating blow for Assad’s regime.

World News

Friday, August 10, 2012

Obama leads Republican candidate Romney in new poll reported that US employers hired the most workers in five months but that the nation’s jobless rate had risen to 8.3 per cent from 8.2 per cent. Even so, in a reversal from July, registered voters thought Obama was stronger than Romney in dealing with jobs and the economy, and with tax issues. Obama has also aggravated a culture war battle over contraception on Wednesday as he wooed women voters, warning that Romney’s Republicans would turn back the clock to the 1950s. Obama cranked up his re-

election bid in the swing state of Colorado, where a poll showed his White House foe Romney up by five points, vowing Wednesday to protect women’s health rights enshrined in his historic health care law. “When it comes to a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st Century,” Obama said, in a stinging attack on Republicans. Obama argued that Romney’s vow to repeal the law would tear away hard-won care for women,

including in some cases free birth control, breast cancer screenings and other preventive care insurance firms must now cover. “The decisions that affect a woman’s health, they are not up to politicians, they are not up to insurance companies, they are up to you,” he told a raucous rally in Denver, against a backdrop of female supporters. “You deserve a president who will fight to keep it that way. That’s the president I have been. That is the president I will be if I get a second term.”

49

WORLD BULLETIN Storm Ernesto heads to Mexico Tropical Storm Ernesto headed into Mexico’s southern Gulf coast yesterday as authorities in the flood-prone region prepared shelters, army troops and rescue personnel for drenching rains. Ernesto spun through the southern Gulf of Mexico overnight, across waters dotted with oil rigs operated by the state oil company, after hurling rain across the Yucatan Peninsula but causing little major damage. The government closed its largest Gulf coast port, Veracruz and the smaller ports of Alvarado and Coatzacoalcos. Coatzacoalcos, located near the storm’s path southeast of Veracruz port, was already getting hit with bands of rain from Ernesto, said city civil defence chief Juventino Martinez. “It’s raining intermittently, it rains, its stops, and then it rains again,” Martinez said. “We have some flooding, some water building up” on streets in lower-lying sections of the city.

US Navy rescues 10 Iranian sailors in Gulf of Oman

Sandra Fluke (R), who has been at the forefront of US contraceptives debate, at Obama’s side in Colorado

PHOTO: EPA

China politician’s wife doesn’t deny murder charge

T

he wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai lured a British businessman to a hotel in the south-western mega-city of Chongqing, where she got him drunk and poisoned him, according to testimony Thursday in one of China’s highest-profile murder trials. The secretive trial of Gu Kailai and a household aide, who are accused of murdering Bo family associate Neil Heywood, ended within hours at the Intermedi-

ate People’s Court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei. The defendants did not contest the murder charges. A guilty verdict is all but assured and could carry a death sentence. The tightly orchestrated court proceeding marks a step toward resolving the messiest scandal the Communist leadership has faced in two decades. Bo was one of China’s most powerful and charismatic politicians until he was ousted in the

The wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, standing trial in the Intermediate People’s Court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei yesterday. PHOTO: AP

spring as the scandal surrounding Heywood’s death unfolded. Observers say the party’s main objective is to keep the focus tightly on the murder case and not on larger allegations of corruption that could further taint the regime. International media were barred from the courtroom, so details of the case against Gu were provided afterward by Tang Yigan, the court’s deputy director. He said prosecutors told the court that Gu sent her aide, Zhang Xiaojun, to meet and accompany Heywood from Beijing to Chongqing, where Bo was the Communist Party boss. Gu and Heywood were business associates but had a dispute over economic interests, according to Tang, whose account matched details from the indictment reported in official media several weeks ago. Gu thought Heywood was a threat to her 24-year-old son, Bo Guagua, and decided to have him killed, said Tang, who did not specify what sort of threat Heywood posed to the son, a recent Harvard graduate.

The U.S. navy says it has rescued 10 mariners who claim to be Iranian from a burning boat in the Gulf of Oman. Wednesday’s rescue by the USS James E. Williams is at least the seventh involving Iranian sailors in nearly two years and is a reminder of U.S. efforts to demonstrate the humanitarian value of its naval presence in the Gulf, a strategic waterway the Iranian government has threatened to close in retaliation for international sanctions over its nuclear program. The sailors were rescued from a traditional wooden boat flying an Iranian flag and transported aboard the U.S. vessel where they received medical treatment and are awaiting transport to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is coordinating repatriation efforts, said Lt. Greg Raelson, spokesman for the Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.

Israel holds two Palestinians over lynching Israel has broken a network of Hamas cells in the West Bank and arrested two men suspected of involvement in the lynching of two soldiers in Ramallah in 2000, the internal security agency said yesterday. A statement from the agency said that “during June 2012, the Shin Bet, along with police and the military, exposed a wide infrastructure of Hamas active in Ramallah and villages” in the region. “Among the activists arrested and interrogated by the Shin Bet were two, who admitted in their interrogation to involvement in the lynching that took place on October 12, 2000 at the Palestinian police station in Ramallah,” the statement said. Shortly after the second intifada broke out, Palestinians caught and lynched two Israeli reserve soldiers who mistakenly entered the West Bank city.


50

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ahmed Oduola (Dento)

V

eteran Yoruba actor, Ahmed Oduola, popularly called Dento, died on Monday after a prolonged battle with illness.He was 58 years old. He was reportedly hit with stroke some months ago. Few months ago, there were calls for financial help for the actor. The call was heeded to by some Nigerians and Oyo State government, who donated some amount of money for his treatment. His remains were on Tuesday committed to mother earth in Owode Academy area of Ibadan, Oyo State according to Muslim rites. Dento, who was a fine actor, built a considerable fan base through his versatility in switching from one role to the other. Members of the state ANTP at the burial eulogised his acting style, even as emotions ran high due to how death painfully eclipsed his career. A popular comedian, Mr. Bolaji Amusan, otherwise called Mr. Latin, described the deceased as a senior colleague. He has been buried according to Islamic rites on Tuesday (August 7, 2012) morning. The star actor who hailed from Oyo State was a talented comedian who has thrilled many fans in several Yoruba Nollywood movies. He would be remembered for his stylish way of walking and talking.

munity leaders of his generation ion the entire Iteskiri kingdom. Her mother was Ineburagho, the daughter of Egbe of Orugbo and Uwangue family of Jakpa. Until her death, she was a devout Christian and a strong member of First Baptist Church. She was also a strong member of the Itsekirir Intercecessors of the First Baptist Church. She pioneered the now famous Tuesday Prayer Group in thechurch. She won the special Oustanding Weekly Attendance Award of the church on May 9, 2010 as recognition for her punctuality in the church activities. A firm believer in hard work and unflinching determination to succeed in life’s endeavours, she was a great counsellor who related to newly married couples and help young women to cope with matrimonial stress.She was also remembered as a woman who stoutly stood for the unity of her family. She left behind six successful children: three men, three women, three sons in-law, three daughters in-law, thirteen grandchildren, one grandson in-law, and a great granddaughter. A service of Songs was held yesterday at 1 Agbaje Street, Off Youwunren Secondary School Road, Ugbuwangue, Warri, the lying in state is today.Funeral service hold today at First Baptist Church, GRA, Warri. Recepions follows immediately at 911 Play Ground, Warri, while thanksgiving/ outing service takes place on Sunday. She would be fondly remembered for her sense of humour and daily devotion.

Pa Egodo goes home adam Rebecca Ayonmike, mother-in-law of Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, died on Monday, July 9, 2012. Late Madam Ayonmike, mother of Delta State First Lady, Deaconess Roli Nere Uduaghan was born on the 10th of November 1931 to the family of late Chief Oritsemogho Ayomike of Ugborodo in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. Her father was a Warrant Chief nominated by then colonial masters to represent the people of Ugborodo and one of the most influential com-

51

Adepeju Oluyele Marinho

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Madam Rebecca Ayomide

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TRANSITION

Friday, August 10, 2012

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enowned educationist, Pa Joseph Dare Egodo, 92, is dead. The University of Reading, England trained teacher died on Monday June 4, 2012. Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese, Bishop Felix Ajakaiye was among the first sympathizers who paid condolence visit to the Owalushi Quarters, IwaroOka, Akoko, Ondo State residence of the late teacher. According to a statement by the family announcing the funeral, a Christian wake-keep was held at his residence while his remains were laid to rest after a requiem mass at the Our Lady Good Counsel Church, Iwaro-Oka by 11am. Reception followed immediately at the Local Authority School I, IwaroOka.

depeju Oluyele Marinho, (nee Debayo -Doherty) lawyer, died in London on July 13, 2012 aged 68. Much loved, admired and respected mother to the late Bolanle Marinho and Akin Marinho. A Memorial Service was held on August 7, 2012 at St. Marylebone Parish Church, 17 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LT. The Funeral Service will be held today at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, Mrs. Marinho attended the Council of Legal Education in London and was called to the English Bar in 1966. She undertook pupilage at Crown Office Row under John Archer QC; She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1967. She has extensive experience, attained over 35 years of practice in Nigeria for a diverse range of clients whether by sector or nationality. Mrs. Marinho was the pioneer Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser of the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, a position she held for almost a decade. She has held a number of non executive directorships in a number of different business areas such as banking and an indigenous multi sector conglomerate. Her areas of practice include maritime and admiralty, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, EPB, business advisory, governmental relations, corporate and company/commercial, real estate, intellectual property, foreign direct investment, estate planning and private client. She attended the first SEC workshop on Public Offers of Securities.

Chief Rachel Bolanle Adenuga

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he Adenuga family announced the passing into glory of their dearly beloved mother, grand-mother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, Chief (Mrs) Rachel Bolanle Adenuga. Late Bolanle Adenuga, was the Yeye Meso of Ile Ife, Yeye Oba of Ifon-Osun, Otun Lika of Ijebu-Ekiti and Yeye Otunba of Ijebu-Irolu, the Oloromeye of Ado-Ekiti. She was married to Late Professor Atanda Adegbesan Adenuga of Ijebu-Igbo and survived by many children and grand children. The burial programme of Chief (Mrs.) Victoria Olawunmi Osinubi has been announced. She died on June 11, 2012 at the age of 91. A Commendation Service will take place on Wednesday, August 15, at Methodist Church Nigeria, Fakorede Street, Shomolu, Lagos, at 10am. On the same day, a Service of Songs will hold between 5pm and 7pm at Hoare’s Memorial Methodist Cathedral, Sabo, Yaba. On Friday, August 17 at Methodist Primary School, Imososi, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, a Christian Wake will hold between 5pm and 7pm while the funeral service and interment will take place on August 18 at Methodist Cathedral, Imere, Ago-Iwoye at 10am. The late Mrs. Osinubi is survived by Mrs. Oluyemisi Jaiyeola; Dr. Abiodun Osinubi; Mr. Olusegun Osinubi; Dr. Titilola Benedict; Mr. Ademola Osinubi; Mrs. Oladunni Taiwo and Mrs. Anuoluwapo Odumosu.


52

North

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SUBEB, civil society groups partner on education A ZA MSUE KADUNA

K

aduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with civil society organisations in the state for the training of school-based management committees in 480 public primary schools. Addressing civil society groups at the event in Kaduna, Executive Chairman, Kaduna SUBEB, Mr. Ishaya Dary Akau, said the board has committed N56 million to the project. He also said that the gesture was in support of the Universal Basic Education Commission’s (UBEC’s) effort at reviving the moribund school committees

across the 10 selected local government education authorities in the state. The SUBEB boss said the policy would challenge bad school management and make teachers accountable for poor performance of students. Akau said the effort was in response to the international drive toward achieving education for every citizen with the need to involve the communities in the delivery of qualitative basic education in the country. His words: “The purpose of the school-based Pensioners protesting delay in payment of their entitlements in Abuja, yesterday. management committtees, whose membership is voluntarily and unpaid is to ensure that schools make the best use of resources so that children can learn well in a happy and safe environment.” part: “Available informa- ing security and ensuring INUSA NDAHI tion show that people are the protection of life and MAIDUGURI property of the people in leaving on the basis of obe State govern- rumours being spread in Damaturu and across the ment yesterday ap- Damaturu that the Boko state. pealed to residents Haram sect will launch “With relentless A resident of Tsohon Company, a suburb of Bau- of Damaturu, the state further attacks on the city. prayers that people have “These rumours have been offering to God for chi metropolis, Mallam capital, not to relocate to caused panic in the minds his intervention and their Ibrahim Bola, said, “I was other parts of the state. The appeal came as a of hard working, law abid- continuous support, the paying N507, but under the new tariff, my bill is result of the mass move- ing residents thereby af- JTF is up to the task of now N4, 500, which is out- ment of people out of the fecting normal day-to-day ensuring the safety and serageous. I can’t make up city as a result of inces- business and social activi- curity of people in Damaturu and other parts of because I don’t have such sant attacks by the Boko ties.” Haram sects that have left The state government, the state,” the statement money to pay monthly. “The worst is that since scores dead and countless urged all residents of the added. Governor Ibrahim state capital to remain June, I cannot remember others injured. Special Adviser to Gov- in the city and go about Gaidam, however, aphow many times we have light in our area, yet we are ernor Gaidam on Press their normal, legitimate pealed to Damaturu resiAffairs and Information, businesses, adding that dents especially, to remain being made to pay more. “If that is the case, I will Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, the state government will calm and be confident that go for my generator rather in a statement yesterday continue to give every nec- the security situation in than paying such amount, said there was no need for essary support to officers the state capital will surepeople to result to panic and men of the Joint Se- ly improve, God willing. he lamented. He also urged the people curity Task Force (JTF) Residents of Wuntin measure. The statement said in in their effort at restor- to cooperate and show unDada, also a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, complained of unwarranted hike in their bills, which they said increased from from N7, took place are Muntokshi, abiding. 000 to N11, 000 for those who EZEKIEL TITUS According to him, peoMingil, Mundadi, Gumel, BAUCHI were paying an average Pekman and Arewa and ple no longer go to their monthly bill of between he Christian As- also in Bogoro area. He farms for fear of being N600 to N2, 000. According sociation of Nige- called on security agencies killed by the herdsmen, to him, this represents an ria (CAN) Tafawa- to expedite action and ar- saying that the situation increase of more than 300 Balewa chapter in Bauchi rest the situation before it may lead to poverty and percent. State has warned Fulani gets out of hand. low agricultural producOne of the residents, herdsmen in the area to Pastor Istifanus regret- tion in the state. Hayatu Garba, said, “My desist from destroying ted that several houses The cleric said the ecoaverage energy consumpfarmlands belonging to and lives were lost recently nomic boom witnessed in tion over the past six Sayawa ethnic nationality due to attacks by herds- the area in the past has months has been in the as a way of encouraging men, ‘yet government has been undermined and region of 200 units. I was peace in the area. remained silence on these paralysed due to the insecredited with about 600 CAN Chairman in the unfortunate and barbaric curity in the area. units of energy consumparea, Pastor Isaac Istifanus, incidents.’ When National Mirror tion for the month of June gave the warning in a chat He decried the insecu- visited the area to subalone. This is despite the with journalists in Bauchi, rity in the area which he stantiate his claims, sevfact that there was no noHe said over 20 farmlands attributed to religious and eral families continued to ticeable improvement in have been destroyed in six ethnic differences among count their losses while power supply during the villages recently. the people, saying Sayawa many have relocated and month over the previous Among the villages people are peace loving were accusing the State months.” where such destruction and will continue to be law Emergency Management

Bauchi residents lament high electricity tariff EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

B

auchi State residents yesterday cried out over the increase in electricity bills from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), especially with constant power failure across the state. Electricity consumers, who decried the new tariff, wondered what criteria were used to arrive at the hike in their electricity bills contrary to what industry regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), told the general public. Investigation by National Mirror revealed that apart from the tariff, which was increased from N7.30 to N12.45 per unit of consumption for residential rate (R2), the monthly energy consumption was arbitrarily increased for all the affected persons.

Gov. Yuguda

PHOTO: NAN

Insecurity: Yobe govt urges Damaturu residents not to relocate

Y

derstanding and patience with regard to the ongoing JTF operations around the state capital, which are designed to restore security and promote peace and order. The governor assured the people that everything necessary will be done within the bounds of propriety - to ensure normalcy in the state. Governor Gaidam also urged the people to use the remaining days of the holy month of Ramadan, which are very special, to pray fervently to God to restore peace and security in the state and the nation in general, as God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an, “with every hardship there will be ease.”

CAN warns herdsmen over destruction of farmlands

T

Agency (SEMA) for neglecting them. Speaking to the Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State SEMA, Alhaji Mahmood Garba, he said the agency was on top of the situation. Garba added that the state government is committed to providing an enabling environment for people ravaged by disaster while charging the people to live in peace. Speaking to the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr. Idris Abubkar, on phone, he said he was not in the position to confirm the incident as he was out of town on official engagement.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Bryant lifts Dream Team

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

53

Sport

It’s a new lease of life here at Dinamo Kiev. I really look forward to re-igniting my career

55

- SUPER EAGLES DEFENDER, TAYE TAIWO

Oke crashes out of medals zone

• Okagbare, others scrape through

T

riple jumper Tosin Oke finished seventh overall with a leap of 16.95m last night, joining the growing list of Nigerian athletes that have chased London 2012 medals in vain. The event was won by world champion, Christian Taylor from the USA

Oke

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

with a season’s best of 17.81m, followed by compatriot Will Claye with 17.62m while Italy’s Fabrizio Donato placed third with 17.48m. Nigeria escaped by whiskers to make it to the final of the women’s 4x100m holding today after finishing fifth in the heats last night with a season’s best of 42.74 seconds. The team was made up of Christy Udoh, Gloria Asumnu, Damola Osayomi and Blessing Okagbare who anchored the race. The heat was won by the US team comprising of Tianna Madison, Jeneba Tarmoh, Bianca Knight and Lauryn Williams with a season’s best of 41.64 seconds. Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, Brazil, Ukraine, Jamaica and Germany also qualified.

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Abdullahi admits Team Nigeria failure

S

I cheated to win gold–Van der Burgh

S

outh Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh has admitted using an illegal dolphin kick on his way to winning the 100m breaststroke gold medal but is allowed to keep his medal as FINA is unable to sanction him. With no underwater technology swimming’s governing body has no way to investigate the admission five days after the event, meaning that the South African will retain his gold medal. Van der Burgh won the title in a world record time of 58.46 seconds ahead of Australian Christian Sprenger and Brendan Hansen of the US. Underwater footage of the start of the race clearly shows Van der Burgh doing more than the one dolphin kick allowed by breaststrokers on starts and turns. But the gold medallist claimed he was forced to break the rules because illegal kicking was common-place among the swimmers and policing the rule was poor. “I think every single swimmer does that. At the point of time before the fly kick was legal, Kosuke Kitajima was doing it and the Americans were complaining,” Van der Burgh said yesterday.

Van der Burgh

Bolt

Bolt leads Jamaican 200m sweep

I

t was a clean sweep for Jamaican trio of Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir in the 200m final of the London 2012 Olympics last night. But Bolt, whom man had expected to shatter his world record of 19.19secs set at Berlin 2009 World Championships, won the gold in 19.32secs, two seconds short of equalling his Beijing 2008 Olympics time. Fellow Jamaicans Blake, who had dogged Bolt’s heel since dethroning him at the World Championships in Daegu last year, came second in 19.44secs while Weir followed in 19.84secs. It would not matter how other contenders ran as the Jamaicans sent the Olympic Stadium erupting soon after the race that saw the crowd hailing Bolt who had on Sunday won the 100m final in a record 9.63secs. But Bolt has sensationally become the first man to win two Olympic titles in the 200m, as well as the first man to twice sweep the 100m and the 200m.

ports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, yesterday admitted that the Nigerian contingent to the 30th Olympiad that ends in London on Sunday has failed the nation. At a well-attended press conference held at the Nigeria House in Stratford, the minister revealed that he had gathered himself together to forge ahead “after crying three days ago”, admitting that contrary to the hopes he had raised among Nigerians before the Olympic Games started, the contingent had failed to complement. “We hoped to make decent achievement, but here we are, with Team Nigeria yet to be on the medals table,” the minister said, adding, “I am disappointed like every other Nigerian.” Abdullahi, however, vowed to change Nigeria’s fortunes in sports, promising a short, medium and long term panacea to the country’s dwindling sports achievements if he remains as the Games Master-General of the Federation. “This is no time for buck-passing, we’re not involved in blame game, but we would do scientific diagnoses of why and how we failed. We would use this experience to re-plan. “In my last two weeks here in London, I’ve received better lessons than since my appointment as the Minister of Sports. This is our chance to ask the right questions and make drastic changes,” he further said. Abdullahi, who said that Nigeria had relied so much on luck and prayer to win some medals at previous international competitions, said henceforth, hard work would be the order of the day. “Medals are won by those who had worked hardest, not those who prayed the most. We have been banking too much on luck, but God has asked us to go and work,” he said, further lamenting, “We’re in very difficult situation, but will re-start somehow and forge ahead.” He said that the rebuilding process of the Nigerian sports would start at the EKO 2012 National Sports Festival to be hosted by Lagos State in November, before heading to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 onward the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “The focus will be on development and discovering of new talent since the current athletes have proved in London that they could not carry the aspirations of Nigerians,” he assured. According to Abdullahi, wealthy individuals should be ready to partner the government in reviving Nigeria’s sports. “Hard cash is involved in planning for medals technically and financially,” he submitted.


54

Sport

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FROM THE LONDON 2012 LENS

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Letter from London… As I write, Team Nigeria is yet to win a medal of any hue, in spite of the promises the Sports Ministry/National Sports Commission and the Nigeria Olympic Committee made before now. Even the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya, confidently said at the Send-Forth Ceremony for Team Nigeria at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, last month that Nigeria would win four medals. It is still possible, patriotically speaking, after all, in previous games our medals were always won in the last few hours. What bothers me is that the administrators are now even blaming the media for our woes. After a function last week, the NOC president, Sani Ndanusa, offered Duro Ikhazuagbe of Thisday, myself and Pius Ayinor of The Punch ride in his official delegation latest BMW 5 Series car, driven by a Nigerian lady volunteer, Yeside. After regaling us the funding gaps that have stifled the development of sports in the country, which contributed to Nigeria’s failure in London, Ndanusa wooed us to join hands with the administrators and bring corporate bodies to the sector. Yesterday, while lamenting at a press conference to explain Team Nigeria’s failure also, Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, equally blamed the media for not assisting them to secure corporate sponsorship. These officials say we should not start blame game here, but even if I agree that sports deserve more in terms of enhanced budget, the administrators have not shown transparently how they utilized the little funds from government. Frankly, why nobody will blame the athletes for not living up to expectation is because of what I told you in my earlier letter. We don’t deserve to be at major international sporting competitions. There is no infrastructure in place to raise world beaters. I will tell you more after the Games, but for now I’m home sick. Let the Games end, let me go and see my children and eat my wife’s food. I’m tired of Macdonald’s burger. See you…

Daria Dmitrieva of Russia performing with the hoop during the Rhythmic Gymnastics qualification yesterday

Pascal Behrenbruch of Germany competing during the Men’s Decathlon Discus Throw yesterday

Jake Donaghey (l) and Alex Haas of Australia in action during the men’s Kayak Double (K2) 1000m Canoe Sprint final yesterday

Medals table Country

G

S

B

Total

China

37

23

19

79

USA

35

23

25

83

Great Britain

24

13

14

51

Russia

12

21

23

56

Korea

12

7

6

25

Germany

9

15

10

34

France

8

9

11

28

Hungary

8

4

3

15

Italy

7

6

5

18

Australia

6

13

9

28

Kazakhstan

6

0

3

9

Japan

5

13

14

32

Netherlands

5

5

6

16

Iran

4

3

1

8

DPR Korea

4

0

1

5

Belarus

3

3

4

10

Jamaica

3

3

3

9

Cuba

3

3

1

7

New Zealand

3

1

6

10

Ukraine

3

1

1

5

Delphine Ledoux of France competing in the Individual All-Around Gymnastics Rhythmic yesterday

Tetyana Lazareva of Ukraine (red trunk) and Tonya Lynn Verbeek of Canada compete in the Women’s Freestyle 55 kg Wrestling event

Ebba Jungmark of Sweden contesting during the women’s High Jump qualification yesterday. www.london2012olympics.com


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Friday, August 10, 2012

55

Radcliffe set for surgery

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ritish marathoner, Paula Radcliffe, is hoping to undergo surgery at the end of August on the foot joint which forced her to withdraw from the 2012 Olympic Games. Radcliffe revealed she had cried more tears than ever after admitting defeat in her battle against osteoarthritis in her left foot, a degenerative problem which cruelly resurfaced just a few weeks ago. The 38-year-old had hoped to claim a first Olympic medal in her fifth Games, having finished fifth in the 5,000m in Atlanta, fourth in the 10,000m in Sydney and suffering despair in the marathon in 2004 and 2008. Although her Olympic career is now over, Radcliffe insisted she will carry on running, saying: “The joint’s pretty degenerated and it’s not going to recover until I get surgery on it. But I am getting surgery on it and then I will be able to run on it again.”

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Pistorius

Final place delights Pistorius

S

outh Africa’s Oscar Pistorius is delighted that his country been awarded a place in the 4x400m relay final on appeal. Pistorius was due to run the third leg in yesterday’s heats but did not even get his hands on the baton after team-mate Ofentse Mogawane collided with Kenya’s Vincent Mumu Kiilu around the top bend on the second leg. Both athletes were sent sprawling to the track and although Kiilu was able to resume running, Mogawane suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder and could not carry on. The Kenyan team was disqualified and South Africa lodged a successful appeal which saw them added to Fridays final in lane nine, with LJ van Zyl replacing Mogawane. “It’s on! We are in the final,” double amputee Pistorius wrote on Twitter yesterday. “We have been given Lane 9!! Thank you Lord! Emotional roller coaster!” Pistorius won a silver medal in the relay at the World Championships in Daegu last year, although he was not selected for the final after running in the heats.

Tight contests stare Relay final

T

he line-up for the men’s 4 x 400m Relay final has been decided after two close heat races in the Olympic Stadium. Trinidad and Tobago tied with Great Britain in first place for the first heat-both registering 3:00.38.Great Britain’s Jack Green produced a storming finish to the third leg to give anchor runner Martyn Rooney a narrow lead. Rooney held the lead until easing up just before the line, allowing Trinidad and Tobago to take first place, although both teams were given the same time and qualify automatically for the final. The Bahamas and the USA were also given the same time-2:58.87-in the second semi-final, to qualify quickest. Those four nations will be joined by Cuba and Russia in today’s final after they also hit qualification times in the heats. Any faint hopes of Usain Bolt appearing in the 4 x 400m Relay final were ended when Jamaican team-mate Jermaine Gonzales pulled up injured on the third leg.

Kobe Bryant

Bryant lifts Dream Team A merican star, Kobe Bryant, finally came to life in the 2012 Olympics to help his country’s cruise into the last four of the men’s basketball tournament early yesterday. The gold medal favourites saw off Australia 119-86 in the last quarter-final, though the one-sided score line didn’t tell the full story. The Americans went just nine-of-17 from the free-throw line in the first half and a fine run from the Boomers at the start of the second saw them get to within three points of their illustrious rivals. However, Bryant-who had committed as many fouls, 14, as he had field goals at the London Games-went on a tremendous personal scoring run, hitting six-ofnine three-point attempts. He finished the contest with 20 points while Deron Williams (18), Carmelo Anthony (17) and Kevin Durant (14) also made useful contributions for the starstudded US team. Elsewhere, Spain kept their cool to come through a tempestuous quarterfinal 77-74 against France. The repeat of last year’s EuroBasket final came to a rather undignified end as the French, trailing by some distance in the fourth quarter, lost their cool.

In the opening quarter-final, Russia rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to triumph 83-74 over Lithuania. Argentina held off a late rally to beat South American rivals Brazil and make it to the semi-finals of an Olympic Games for the third straight time.

Radcliffe

No rift with my coach–Idowu

T

riple jumper, Phillips Idowu has denied that he had broken off contact with his coach, Aston Moore in the build-up to the London Games. Idowu opted to arrange his own treatment on a trapped nerve in London rather than attend UKA’s training camp in Portugal, even though Moore and UK Athletics’ medical experts were there. UKA head coach, Charles van Commenee said he was perplexed that Idowu had “turned his back” on Moore, whom he said had only received a brief text before Idowu cut off contact. Speaking on August 1, Van Commenee said: “Up until about two weeks ago, Aston was in regular contact and had seen him in training a number of times, but that contact died. “He had a brief text message about

a week ago and that was it. Phillips decided not to join the team (in Portugal) and by definition in my eyes he compromises his preparation. I find it bizarre. Aston finds it bizarre.”

Idowu


WORLD RECORD

Oldest animal charity Vol. 02 No. 423

The world’s oldest animal charity is the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Animals. The SPCA was established in London in 1824 and was given its Royal approval in 1840, thus becoming the RSPCA. Its headquarters are in Horsham, West Sussex, UK.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Oyo legislature and aviation road show jamborees

L

ike thieves in the night, about 31 or 32 wives of members of the Oyo State House of Assembly, according to reports, sneaked into the country recently after allegedly squandering a whopping N50 million in a posh London hotel. One report said they entered Oyo State under the cover of the night “just to avoid public lynching”. Led by the Speaker of the House, Honourable Monsurat Olajumoke Sumonu, the women abandoned their jamboree and hurriedly ran away from London following bouts of thorough embarrassment by Oyo indigenes resident in the city, who stormed their sanctuary at the Custom House Hotel, London with angry protests. An online media outfit, newsbreaknigeria, reported that on getting hints about the frivolous trip, the protesters staged a peaceful demonstration and vowed not to quit the hotel until the women left. The irate protesters, reports said, rained curses and abuses on them for wasting the scarce resources of their state. The profligate trip was said to

w

K

enyan David Rudisha broke the world record over 800 metres as he sensationally stormed to Olympic gold last night. The Kenyan stormed through the first lap in 49.28 seconds before pow-

FRIDAYS WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) have been hatched by the Sumonu-led leadership of the Oyo legislature under the guise of training on “Husband Support”. While in London, however, they reportedly indulged in a shopping spree than on the so-called “Husband Support” training. It is most improbable that they would have hurried home by now but for the vigilance of the protesters. Elsewhere at the federal level, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, is leading another 10-day jamboree tagged as road shows to woo foreign investors to key into the transformation and infrastructural development of the nation’s aviation sector. In a world that is now a global village - courtesy of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with countless social media networks; and with a hardly hospitable business climate for aviation industry operators in the country; Oduah was quoted as saying the road show would hold in selected cities in China, the United States of America and Canada where ‘’Investment Baskets’’ would be opened to reveal the huge investment potentials of Nigeria’s aviation sector. Another conflicting reason for the road show credited to the aviation ministry was that the contingent would study the airspace policies and airports of the three countries and compare them with Nigeria’s to find out the areas of inadequacies. Back home, however, Nigerian airline operators are groaning under stifling import duties on acquired aircraft and spare parts, for example. Not surprisingly, members of the National Assembly (the Senate to be precise) formed part of the road show team, for ob-

THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS ENSURING THE SECURITY AND WELFARE OF

THE PEOPLE, HAS BEEN SUBSTITUTED WITH CRASS ELITE

SURVIVAL AND SELFAGGRANDIZEMENT vious reasons. Reports said one of the senators went personally to Oduah’s office to pursue his allowance of $7,000 for the road show trip because he would not tolerate a third party payment. This is how legislative oversight functions are compromised; only bursting to public knowledge and ridicule when there are bitterness and rancour in the process of ‘settlement’. Crude misplacement of priorities and the misuse of public funds by a ruling class fixated on providing everything for itself and nothing for the governed seem the unwritten creed of those vested with governance in the land. How else would the government demonstrate its mockery of the prevailing lowly living standards, abject poverty, anger, desperation and confusion among ordinary citizens if not by funding

the venality of the husband support training and aviation road show, among others? Indeed, it is no longer secret that the primary purpose of government, which is ensuring the security and welfare of the people, has been substituted with crass elite survival and self-aggrandizement. The political, ethno-religious and economic crises dogging the nation have often been blamed on the nation’s irredeemably disoriented political class “fixated on pen robbery and the maniacal accumulation of material trash”, in the words of one critic. A government and its members committed to patriotically discharging their duties ought to ponder on the humiliating fact that 51 years after the country’s independence, Nigeria is still wallowing in political, economic and technological stagnation and seems not prodded by the exploits of countries that were hitherto in the same category with it, that are now in the class of advanced nations. Singapore is a good example. The country became part of Malaysia on September 16, 1963 following a merger with Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak. But irreconcilable differences among the federating units which resulted in serious internal security problems, riots and killings, led to the expulsion of Singapore from Malaysia on August 9, 1965, making it the first and only country to date to gain independence against its will. But faced with the realities on ground - becoming self-sufficient, mass unemployment, housing deficits, lack of land and natural resources, etc., the country’s Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, between 1959 and 1990, curbed unemployment, raised the standard of living and implemented a large-scale public housing programme, invested massively in highertechnology industries, stabilized the economic infrastructure and doused racial tension, among others. Nigeria gained independence five years before Singapore after much fussing and fighting. And what has it yielded after 51 years but leaders with swollen cheeks and pot bellies without conscience; suffused in legendary corruption and sundry frauds; and stagnation in all indices of development and good living. The setback is fatal and requires drastic measures to reverse.

Sport Extra London 2012: Rudisha shatters world record, wins 800m ering to victory in one minute 40.91 seconds, taking exactly one tenth of a second off his previous record as all eight finalists set a season’s best, personal best or national

record. Teenager Nijel Amos of Botswana claimed silver in a national record of 1:41.73 ahead of Kenya’s Timothy Kitum, with Britain’s Andrew Osagie

taking 0.71s off his personal best despite finishing eighth. Rudisha added one more gold to Kenya’s earlier haul of one and trails South Africa who leads

Africa with three gold medals. Women football results Third Place Canada

1-0 Final

USA

2-1

Japan

Rudisha

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Friday, August 10, 2012