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Minister calls PHCN workers’ bluff ...says ‘no going back on privatisation’ AYO OLESIN AND OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, yesterday said that

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the privatisation of the subsidiaries of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, would go on as planned despite the lingering dispute with the labour unions over severance ben-

efits. Nnaji said at a news conference in Lagos that the government had offered the workers a generous package in line with the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Okonjo-Iweala

‘Capital budget utilisation rises to 65%’ P.2

Friday, August 17, 2012

Govt, marketers move T to avert fuel scarcity

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UDEME AKPAN AND JOHN UWE

...as negotiations begin on subsidy crisis Alison-Madueke: NNPC’s reserves can last 45 days

he Federal Government and marketers of petroleum products have started negotiations aimed at resolving the fuel subsidy payment and sustainable fuel supply in the country. The negotiations came after fuel queues appeared in some parts of the country. The queues returned following a strike embarked upon by oil workers’ unions CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

A cross-section of oil bunkering suspects arrested and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by the Nigerian Navy in Abuja yesterday.

PDP vice-chair recounts ordeal in kidnappers’ den Prayers for Nigeria, Gawat

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Eid-el-fitri: IG orders AIGs, CPs to boost security P.4,29

Abducted Delta judge regains freedom

VC’s kidnappers demand N200m ransom

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Govt, marketers move to avert fuel scarcity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

in solidarity with some petroleum marketing companies that had not been paid fuel subsidy “as government seeks to verify claims made in the past.” The talks, which commenced yesterday in Abuja and presided over by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was attended by representatives of Oando Plc, Sahara Energy, Folawiyo Petroleum and NIPCO Plc. The minister explained that government was willing to listen to all marketers with genuine claims and attend to them to forestall any crisis that might be caused by some indicted marketers. Okonjo-Iweala said that some of the marketers had embarked on blackmail of government in the downstream sub-sector of the petroleum industry. She explained: “We are talking about the fact that they have outstanding claims, which have not been paid and that is the basis of the dialogue and as I have said to you earlier, yes they have outstanding claims, we also have claims outstanding against them and that is what the dialogue is all about. “So, we will dialogue with each other on these claims and hopefully at the end of this we will be able to come to some agreement about the net claims that will be paid and then we will be able to move on. We are very willing to listen if there are genuine people that want to talk with government.” The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Review of the Fuel Subsidy Payments, Mr. Aigboje Aig -Imokhuede, said the findings of the committee indicated that recommendations in the report as they affected the four marketers were not of any degree of severity in the fuel subsidy payments and expressed the hope that if the issues of their claims were resolved, it would significantly impact on the volume of products in the market. He added: “I think from what I have come to understand about the industry, it is clear from what we saw in the report that the four

marketers, maybe there are two or three others that are not here, account for a significant portion of the genuine importers of products that are imported into the country. “What we did notice is that the backbone of importation into the country is being done by less than 10 companies. “The problem came when other companies are part of the heavyweights in the petroleum products importing business. “So, if we are able to settle with them there should be no reason for people to continue to experience difficulty in getting fuel.” Oando Plc’s representative, Mr. Mofe Boyo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said the meeting was intended to enable them discuss their claims proposal, which had been forwarded to the government, adding that the marketers were looking forward to quick resolution of the pending issues to enable them to sustain their operations. On the industrial action by National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, the minister said the strike was happening because the government was doing the right thing by not paying the unverified claims, adding that government would not succumb to cheap blackmail by any group whose interest was against collective aspirations of Nigerians Okonjo-Iweala said: “This is what Nigerians actually want. Nigerians say that government is not taking actions on the issue of subsidy scam. Now the President took action by asking the committee to still re-verify and from that re-verification with forensic officers and examiners, we were able to sort out people who were clear and we paid them. “And then there are some who were not cleared. I hope you are not asking us to do the wrong thing? “We are doing the right thing so that Nigerians agree with us. At the same time, we are quite willing to talk to those marketers who feel that they have not been paid so that we can resolve issues. “We will pay them if they are willing and able to

dialogue with us and provide clarifications on some the question marks against them. “But we should not give in to any blackmail by others who may not have the right thing and now using this as lead.” The Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, told our correspondent yesterday that negotiations with the oil firms were ongoing. Nwabuikwu said government had consistently paid subsidy to marketers who had no outstanding issue to settle with authorities. According to him, “There are basically three

groups of marketers. The first group is those who have been paid because they have no issues with government. “The second group has minor issues to settle. But the third group is dominated by those who do not only have major issues but are also heavily indebted to the government. They are the ones mostly causing the trouble we are experiencing.” Meanwhile, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, has said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has enough stock of petrol in its reserves to meet the

nation’s consumption for the next 45 days, even as queues at filling stations in Abuja grew longer yesterday. The minister, who made the clarification at the inaugural meeting of the newly- constituted board of the NNPC, appealed to petrol marketers to cooperate with the government as issues surrounding the dispute were being resolved by the Ministry of Finance. A survey showed that a litre of petrol was sold at N250 in Abuja with more filling stations running out of stock. She said: “Ministry of Petroleum Resources has

Residents leaving Mpape, a surbub of Abuja, after a market was demolished yesterday.

noticed the queues at our filling stations particularly here in Abuja. “I want to assure the Nigerian public that the NNPC and PPMC have no scarcity of products and that in fact, we have 40-45 days stock of consumption in our reserves at this time. “It is also very clear that the Ministry of Finance is working hard to address the situation at hand. “I will like to appeal particularly to the marketers to please cooperate with the Federal Government at this time particularly as we go into Eid- el-fitri. We must find ways and means to bring the strike to a very quick end.”

PHOTO: NAN

Capital budget utilisation now 65% –Minister TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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ith the additional release of N300bn for the third quarter of the financial year, total capital budget utilisation has risen to N704bn so far, representing about 65 per cent of the approved capital appropriation for the year. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja. She said with the additional release of funds for this quarter, the utilisation of capital budget 2012 had risen to 65.4 per cent.

The minister said the release of the funds to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, further demonstrated government’s commitment to achieving budget efficiency, particularly in ensuring that capital budget implementation target was met. She said: “With this release, we would now have released N704bn of capital. We had earlier released N404bn, with this additional N300bn, that brings us to N704bn which is about 53 per cent of the annual capital budget of N1.36trn. “We should note that based on what we had released before which was N404bn, utilisation of that had gotten up to

56 per cent at the end of June. As at the end of July, utilisation of the N404bn is now at 65.4 per cent, so it has gone up. And on top of that, we are now releasing this additional N300bn for the third quarter.” Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said there was a lot of room now for the MDAs to improve the performance of the capital budget in view of the expectations of millions of Nigerians. She also confirmed that most of the MDAs were already fast-tracking the implementation of their capital budgets on various projects. Expressing satisfaction with the implementation of the 2012 budget so far, the minister prom-

ised that with the early commencement of the preparations for 2013 budget, everything would be done by the government to ensure that implementation of the 2012 budget would end by December. Meanwhile, she also disclosed that salaries were being paid as at when due, adding that federal civil servants were expected to receive their August salaries yesterday to enable the Muslims have their salaries for the Sallah celebration. The approved appropriation for the year is N4.69trn out of which N1.34trn is for capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure accounts for the balance.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

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Photo News

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Chairman, Digital Peers International, Prof. Placid Njoku; Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, during the closing ceremony of 2012 DIGITEST in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Deputy Advert Manager, National Mirror, Mr. Bode Ehinmisan; Manager, Mr. Monday Ashibogwu; Marketing Manager Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria, Miss. Orhue Guobadia; Assistant Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Dayo Ajigbotosho; Registrar/Chief Executive, Mr. Olutoyin Adepate; Senior Manager, Strategy, Alhaji Gani Kayode Balogun of National Mirror and General Editor, Mr. Lanre Oyetade, during a courtesy visit to ICAN office in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

Managing Director, Infrastructure Bank Plc, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye (left), with Managing Director, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEpXIM), Mr. Roberts Orya, during the later’s visit to Infrastructure bank’s headquarters in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Ben Angwe; Deputy Director, Legal Services, Defence Headquarters, Commodore Austin Owhor-Chuku and President, International Federation on Ageing, Nigeria, Mr. Ike Willie-Nwobu, at a national stakeholders meeting on the elderly as internally displaced persons in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

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Eid-el-Fitri: IG warns miscreants against breach of peace OMEIZA AJAYI, JAMES ABRAHAM AND PRISCILLA DENNIS

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head of next week’s commemoration of the Eid-il-Fitr, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has warned miscreants against causing a breach of the peace during and after the festival, vowing to deploy necessary force in tackling any breach. The IGP has also directed all Assistant InspectorsGeneral of Police (AIGs) and state command police commissioners to ensure that they provide adequate security for all Nigerians during the celebration. In a statement yesterday in Abuja, which was signed by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, the police boss also expressed belief that prayers said for the nation during the Ramadan have gone a long way in ensuring the peace and unity of the country, notwithstanding the numerous challenges facing the country. The IGP also assures the

•Charges AIGs, CPs to scale up security general public, particularly worshippers, travellers and indeed all well meaning Nigerians that the police force, in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility, will continue to do everything within its capability to provide adequate security for everyone across the country. “It is on this note that the IGP strongly warns all miscreants and mischief makers of all shades and colour, in their own interest, to keep away from disturbing the public peace, as the force will stop at nothing to bring law-breakers to book. “To ensure a peaceful and incident-free Eid-el-Fitri celebration, the IGP has directed all zonal AIGs and state command commissioners of police to take adequate measures to ensure the provision of water-tight security across the country before, during and after the celebration. Officers and men are to be deployed to ensure that the highways are effectively covered with motorised patrol teams. “CPs are particularly mandated to personally en-

sure that all places of worship, recreation centres, resorts and other public places are adequately and effectively protected, to enable worshippers and the general public enjoys maximum fulfilment,” the IG said. The statement added that, “In addition, all zonal AIGs and CPs have also been advised to ensure the provision of 24-hour security around all government installations, facilities and other related valuable targets. “The IGP warned officers who will be deployed during the period, to ensure that they comport themselves within the confines of the law. They must be firm but polite, civil and professional in the discharge of their assigned roles giving due regard and respect to the fundamental human rights of all Nigerians at all times.” In Niger State, the state police command has reiterated its commitment to ensure the safety of lives and property during the period of the Eid-el-Fitri. This was contained in a press release signed by the

state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Desire Deseye Nsirim, in Minna. The command disclosed that it has put in place robust surveillance patrols in all the nooks and crannies of the state, including places of worship during the celebrations. “In fact we are adequately prepared; we have had a meeting with officers and men of the command to ensure robust patrols during

the Eid-El-Fitri celebrations and the Durbar displays, the following day after the celebrations”, she said. In Jos and its environs, security was yesterday beefed-up as part of measures to ensure a peaceful Sallah celebration. The state police command has equally mapped out additional strategies to ensure a violent free sallah In a statement yesterday, the state Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ayeni, said that the Eid-el-Fitir

prayers would not be observed at Rukuba Road and Polo grounds, considering the security risk involved Also the Abatior Air Force Round About would be closed to traffic during the Eid-el-Fitir prayers. The statement also said that full security coverage would be provided at the agreed designated prayer grounds like the Bauchi Road Motor Park as well as assurances of adequate traffic control in the city and its environs.

JTF kills two terrorists in Maiduguri INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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ess than 24 hours after a suicide tricycle bomber attacked the Joint Task Force (JTF) military patrol vehicle at the Customs area of Maiduguri metropolis in Borno State, two suspected gunmen in the early hours yesterday attacked another military post at the Nganaram Bus Stop at 4.00 am. The soldiers, according to residents of Nganaram ward, engaged the gunmen in gunfire that lasted for

about an hour, before the area was condoned off by JTF. Confirming the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, spokesman of JTF, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, in a signed press statement said that the two gunmen were killed, with the recovery of a Kalashnikov rifle, in the exchange of gunfire after the military post was attacked. The area, he added, has been condoned off since yesterday morning to prevent further attacks and killings, claiming that the security situation in the

ward has normalised, as normal activities and other businesses are going on without hindrance. He further appealed to residents to continue to cooperate with the JTF and police, by providing information on the hideouts and modus operandi of terrorists in the state. Musa said: “The information being provided by some residents of Maiduguri, has yielded a lot of results in improving on JTF’s intelligence gathering on Boko Haram sect hideouts and its insurgency.”


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A&G drags NAICOM to court over suspension order OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

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he management of Alliance & General Insurance Ltd has dragged the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, before a Federal High Court in Lagos to challenge its suspension. It would be recalled that the commission suspended Alliance and General Insurance Company Ltd, A&G Life Assurance Plc and Fidelity Bond Insurance Brokers for various violations of the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and the Insurance Act 2003. But the management of Alliance and General Insurance Company Ltd and A&G Life Assurance Plc said they have been merged into an entity before NAICOM’s pronouncement and as such, the suspension is null and void. In a statement made

available to journalists yesterday, the management of Alliance & General Insurance stated that Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Tuesday, in a ruling on an ex parte application restrained NAICOM from implementing a directive suspending the insurance company from transacting business in Nigeria for the next six months with effect from August 6, 2012. The statement said: “The court restrained NAICOM from proceeding with planned sack of the current management of the insurance company “It further restrained the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her ministry from either approving the removal of directors and management of Alliance & General Insurance or ratifying the appointment of new directors and management to assume control

Third Mainland Bridge repair: Total diversion on Monday MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State government yesterday said that there will be total traffic diversion from the Third Mainland Bridge on Monday from 11am to 2pm. Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who made this known said that the total diversion of traffic is highly imperative since the Phase 1 (inbound Lagos Island) of the repair works would be completed by Sunday night and the contractor, Messrs Borini Prono, will immediately commence the repairs of the five expansion joints of the inbound (Oworonsoki) section of the bridge. Opeifa said that no vehicle would be allowed on the bridge during the period, in order to ensure easy movement of equipment to be used for the Phase 2. The commissioner, who commended Lagosians for their perseverance, said that during the second phase of the repair works, which begins on Tuesday, the change over time will be noon and 12.30pm

for inbound Lagos and 12.30pm for inbound Ikeja. He reminded motorists that during the second phase, the same diversion plan on traffic management will be implemented. Opeifa urged motorists to as usual follow the diversion plan, make use of their regular alternative routes and obey the officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, who are on the roads to give traffic instructions and render assistance. It would be recalled that the Federal Government commenced repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge on July 8, 2012 and it is expected to be completed in November.

Onolememen

over the company. “The judge, after entertaining argument from counsel to the plaintiff, Alliance and General Insurance Plc, Ayodele Akintunde, specifically barred NAICOM from either sacking the management of the plaintiff company or appointing new directors to assume control and management of the company.

“Justice Ajoku ordered NAICOM to remove forthwith from its website, information regarding the suspension of the plaintiff from transacting insurance business in Nigeria for the next six months, as well as further publishing same in the national newspapers. “The orders, according to Justice Ajoku, are to remain in force pend-

ing the determination of a motion on notice filed by the plaintiff against the respondents, which include NAICOM, Ministry of Finance, Minister of Finance and the Attorney General of the Federation, Bello Adoke (SAN). The judge however, ordered the plaintiff to sign an undertaking to pay damages to the respondents should it later

turn out that the orders ought not to have been granted.” The court also granted leave to the plaintiff to serve some of the respondents outside jurisdiction with the process filed in the matter and fixed august 22, 2012 for hearing, while also ordering that hearing notices should be served on all the respondents.

L-R: Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Dickson- Ishaku; Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji and Government’s Chief Negotiator, Dr. Timiebi Koripomo Agary, at a news conference on the power sector reform in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: AYO OLESIN

Minister calls PHCN workers’ bluff CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004. But the unions had insisted on getting severance benefits based on defined payment from a superannuated fund that was grossly underfunded at present. Insisting the government would not succumb to blackmail from the unions, Nnaji said that the workers had given considerable concessions, including a 50 per cent salary increase and payment of monetisation benefits arrears since 2003. He added that the superannuated fund on which they relied for pension payments was in a deficit of over N160bn due to mismanagement. The minister blamed the present situation on the failure of the PHCN management and union leaders to implement provisions of the Pension Act, which directed government and private sector employers to switch over to the contributory pension scheme. Nnaji, however, noted that the PHCN fund was being investigated and a report was expected in two weeks.

He said: “The workers must be free to transit from the public into the private sector workforce. “I must stress that the companies are not going to be 100 per cent privatised; government would only reduce its holdings in the companies to a minimal level. “The hydro power plants would, however, not be privatised as government would only concession them to the investors and do everything to accommodate the workers.” He also noted that the private sector investors would still rely on PHCN staff to operate as they had the requisite experience and might even be offered enhanced terms of service. The minister added that government would not do anything to jeopardise the interest of the workers. Speaking on the reforms, Nnaji said that government had made significant progress with the creation of an industry regulator; emplacement of a commercial tariff regime and establishment of a bulk trading company to guarantee

power purchase from the power companies when privatised. He also said that the power infrastructure had been overhauled, resulting in tremendous improvement in the supply of electricity in the country since July. The minister said: “I believe that power has improved in the country and we are doing everything we can to sustain it. Once we are able to solve the problem, the international community will be able to invest in the country. “You will agree with me that in recent times, there has been a great reduction in diesel cost a well as the credit that is needed for pre-paid meter services in the country. “No doubt, this will have a positive effect on the population. What Nigeria needs is a sustainable power sector.” The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Dickson- Ishaku, told the workers not to worry as “it is clear that privatisation will yield more benefits for them in the sector.” Commenting on the ongoing dispute between the

government and the labour unions, the government negotiator, Dr. (Mrs) Timiebi Koripomo Agary, said that government was working hard to avoid some of the pitfalls of the past. She said: “Government decided to engage labour in series of discussions and in the end, outstanding issues would be cleared.” Agary said the government was at a loss as to why labour unions were insisting on going with the old pension scheme, which was not funded and suggested that the present issues appeared to be dispute of interest, not of rights. She said that the government had been magnanimous in agreeing to pay 20 per cent of total accrued pension and gratuity as at June 2004, amounting to N80bn, and to pay the 15 per cent pension contributions on behalf of the workers and PHCN from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2012 estimated at N35.4bn. The negotiator stressed that workers were in danger of losing out if they failed to open Retirement Savings Accounts as this was where any benefits would be paid.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

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IBB allays fears over state police PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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ormer military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has allayed the fears over the call for the creation of state police in the country. Babangida, who spoke while fielding questions from journalists on the eve of his 71st birthday at his Uphill residence in Minna yesterday, said that state governors would not use the state police to harass anyone in their states as it was the case in 1959. “In 1959, the police and Dandokas (local police) were used to beat and harass people in the elections, but the situation is different now.

“I don’t believe the fear of what happened in the 1950s should continue to haunt us. We should try to move on. We have gone beyond that level now in this country,” he said. Babangida said that because of what happened in 1959, people had continued to kick against the creation of state police, hence his government was lambasted for establishing the National Guard which was dropped, owing to people’s fears. He said: “Honestly, I don’t think any governor now can use state police to intimidate and harass anybody. The whole essence is to provide security of lives and property of the people. I feel the fear is

unfounded.” Babangida also accused the media of not doing much to unearth the cause of violence rocking parts of the country, including the attacks by terrorists and other insecurity challenges. “I want to say that the media in Nigeria has not really done enough investigation to find out the cause of Boko Haram, community violence, Fulani herdsmen clashes, among others. The media should be able to do this,” he added. On the accusations that northern elders were behind the activities of terrorists for not speaking out, the former military president challenged any-

one with solution to the issue to come up with it in the interest of the country. Babangida, however, regretted that 22 years after he left office, instead of looking for means to address the issue of corruption by subsequent governments, he was still being accused of institutionalising corruption. He said: “If you say during my time corruption was institutionalised; now the question, in the name of God, is are we not capable of doing something about it in the last 22 years? Why do we fold our arms and wait until somebody talk. Are there no people capable of righting the wrong? We just talk about it and yet

do not offer solution.” Babangida also said that he bore no grudge against the Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark for his comments. He said: “Edwin Clark is my friend for 35 years and I respect him. I will not therefore be drawn into any argument with him. He will not deny me (as his friend).” Asked on how he felt 71, Babangida said, “I’m grateful to God, for I am aging gracefully.” Meanwhile, the Northern State Governors’ Forum, NSGF, has described the life of Babangida, who turns 71 years of age today, as a proof to the power of excellent leadership. In a massage of goodwill issued by its Chairman and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, the NSGF described the for-

mer military president as the symbol of statesmanship, patriotism, vision and courage. These attributes, the NSGF said, were some of the excellent leadership virtues which had guided him through his years of active public service life. Babangida, according to the message signed by Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Danladi Indayebo, excelled in his chosen profession and went on to preside over Africa’s most influential country and showed rare vision, courage and exemplary leadership. The NSGF observed that the former military president had consistently remained on the path of promoting national unity, integration and development with his influential networks cutting across the length and breadth of Nigeria and beyond.

FRSC begins operation ‘Barka da Sallah’

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Holdup caused by vehicles queuing for fuel at the Central Area of Abuja, yesterday.

A fuel hawker bargaining with a customer on Ibrahim Babangida Way, Wuse 2, as fuel queues resurfaced in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTOS: NAN

Oyerinde: Court orders IGP to release Ugolor SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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n Edo State High Court yesterday ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to immediately and unconditionally release Rev. David Ugolor, the executive director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, from police detention. Ugolor is being detained in connection with the murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, the principal private secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. But Justice Esther Edigin of Court 4 yesterday ruled that Ugolor’s contin-

ued detention without trial was a clear violation of Section 37, Sub-Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution. The judge expressed dismay that even after having served the respondents: the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation the motion on notice, “up till now, they are yet to respond.” The judge was also not happy over the absence of the applicant in court. It was learnt that Ugolor was taken out of the state as a pre-emptive move ahead of the bail hearing. Justice Edigin said: “Since the applicant is not in court, I cannot grant him bail; but rather I will order the respondents to re-

lease him forthwith, pending the determination of the substantive suit if anything (is found) against him.” Counsel to the applicant, Mr. Olayiwola Afolabi, commended the ruling, adding that it would be served on the respondents. Asked what he would do if the police refused to honour the ruling, Afolabi said, “if they refuse to release him; we can file contempt against them.” Ugolor was arrested by security operatives from the Force Headquarters in Abuja on July 27. On Wednesday, Oshiomhole called on President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a probe panel to look into the contradictions in

the investigation of Oyerinde’s murder by the police and the State Security Service, SSS. The governor asked the President to order full investigation into the apparently embarrassing confusion from the investigations and the arrests of different persons for allegedly killing Oyerinde.

Oshiomhole

o ensure sanity on the highways during this year’s Eidel-fitri celebration, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, said it had begun a nationwide special patrol tagged: ‘Operation Barka da Sallah.’ The operation, which started yesterday, will end on August 22. According to the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of FRSC, Osita Chidoka, the exercise, which is in line with the commission’s renewed determination to reduce the spate of road traffic crashes in the country by 60 per cent at the end of the year, was also designed to address the perennial rise in the violation of traffic rules and regulations especially during festive seasons. The intensive special patrol, he said, would address the spate of avoidable road crashes usually associated with surge of human and vehicular traffic across the country. The Corps Marshal said the exercise would witness intensive patrols, prompt rescue services, strict enforcement of traffic rules and robust public enlightenment campaigns across the country. The objectives of the special exercise, according to him, include the removal

of obstructions from the highways, traffic control/ decongestion, public enlightenment campaigns through the distribution of safety handbills and other forms of awareness campaign in addition to strict enforcement of road traffic regulation infractions such as non-use of seat belt, use of cell phone while driving, overloading, excessive smoke emission, speed violation, dangerous driving/ overtaking, light sign violation and other road vices. As usual, the FRSC has embarked on a massive deployment of personnel, patrol vehicles, motorcycles, tow trucks and ambulances along designated corridors and black spots such as Yangoji, Lokoja, Lagos, Benin, Ore, Akwanga, Jos, Mokwa, Bida, Potiskum, Bauchi, Lafia, Makurdi, 9th Mile and Kano in addition to the establishment of mobile courts at specific locations across the country for quick dispensation of road traffic offences. Chidoka said the nationwide exercise “forms part of the commission’s sustained efforts to build a consistent tradition of enforcing traffic rules and regulations throughout the year to avoid a one-off approach to road safety management in Nigeria”.


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Nigerian motors parks are dens of criminals –IGP OMEIZA AJAYI AND MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Information, Mr. Raji Lateef (left), receiving a letter of protest from the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Chairman, Mr. Deji Elumoye, in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Cultists kill four in Enugu as VC’s kidnappers demand N200m ransom • ASUU, Okebukola blame abduction on security lapses

DENNIS AGBO AND TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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o fewer than four people were killed yesterday by some suspected cultists in Enugu. The victims were killed in different locations. Two were shot dead in the morning at Adelabu and Peter Okoye streets of Uwani area, while one was killed at Onuasata in the afternoon. The fourth victim, a councilor in one of the local government areas in Enugu State, was killed in the evening at One Day Road, Awkunanaw. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Enugu State Command, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the killings. Amaraizu said: “The command has begun investigating a case of murder involving one Nwaokolo Nnamdi and that of one

Uwani, but we are yet to establish whether the incidents were cult-related.” However, abductors of Prof. Cyprian Onyeji, the Vice-Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), have allegedly demanded N200 million ransom for his release. The police said they had launched manhunt for the kidnappers. Although the police did not confirm the ransom demanded, they confirmed that the vicechancellor’s vehicle was recovered intact. Amaraizu, said the police were on top of the situation. Meanwhile, National Treasurer of the Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) Dr. Ademola Aremu and former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, have condemned Wednesday’s kidnap of Prof. Cyprian On-

FCTA demolishes Mpape, Abuja suburb OMEIZA AJAYI

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ith its earlier resolve to demolish about 10, 000 houses in the Mpape area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday moved into the area, pulling down structures at the town’s New Market. Officials of the Department of Development Con-

trol were seen in the area with bulldozers pulling down structures within the market. Guarded by a heavy detachment of security operatives drawn from the Army, Police, members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the State Security Service (SSS) officials, the rampaging bulldozers reduced the market to rubbles within minutes.

yeji, describing the incident as a bad development. They, however, blamed the incident on the security challenges confronting the country, while demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the abducted colleague unhurt. Aremu, who is a senior lecturer in the University of Ibadan, said yesterday that the development was the byproduct of the security problem in the country, which he said the government was helpless to tackle. He, however, said the worst part of the incident was that the security escorts attached with the vice-chancellor could not prevent him from being abducted, adding this showed that something is wrong with the country’s security system and personnel. Aremu said: “Where do we go from here except government in particular across tiers should seriously intervene to tackle the security challenge which has taken

huge toll on Nigeria’s public.” To Okebukola, the incident was shameful and scary. He said: “The incident is shameful because it further shows that the country’s security situation is still very bad while scary in the sense that if a vice-chancellor could be kidnapped in a broad day light, no member of the university community is safe.” Okebukola, who is now the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman in Council of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, said this particular development would have a long- term negative effect on international linkages as staff and students from foreign universities would be scared to come to Nigeria on exchange programmes. For National Sectary, Association of Provosts of Colleges of Education in Nigeria, Prof. Olu Akeusola, the implication of the incident was that nobody is safe again in Nigeria.

Lagos faults report on rating MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Government yesterday flayed the recent survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit which ranked Lagos as the third worst city to live in the world. In the survey report, Lagos placed 138th out of the 140 cities surveyed, describ-

ing the state as one of the world’s worst cities with poor living conditions. Reacting to the report at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Raji, faulted the rating, saying the report lacks merits, as the researchers and initiators of the survey did not actually carry out any research.

he Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has described many of Nigeria’s motor parks as dens of criminals. Abubukar made this known yesterday at Nigerian Police Partnership Meeting with national and states leadership of Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Abuja. According to him, illicit activities such as hard drugs peddling and consumption; criminal use of weapons and irresponsible behaviours at the motor parks made them open avenues for criminal activities. Abubakar specifically called on the union leadership to enlighten their members across the country on their driving, parking and loading attitudes. He said: “We have turned motor parks to criminal dens. They sell Indian hemps; they sell all kinds of drinks and ordinarily, these are issues that should not take place. As responsible members of this organisation, what effort have you put?” Speaking on the im-

portance of partnership between the police and the NURTW, the IGP said: “There is no doubt that your organisation is a major stakeholder when we are talking about safety and security in Nigeria and I do know the important roles and contribution you make in national development and security in this country. In view of the fact that on daily basis, your membership and our officers and men have interaction on major roads in this country, we cannot but partner to make things better, to make lives safer and reduce the harassment that some of your members face, while discharging their duties on public highways.” Abubakar noted that the Force took the step because the police authority believed in unity of the country, stressing that the move would also help in rebuilding the seeming smashed image of the police among the union members. He decried the porosity of the country’s borders, which he regarded as a great challenge to the Force. He, however, said the police would always complement the efforts of the Nigerian Immigration and Customs Services to make the borders safe.

Vessel, crew arrested for alleged bunkering OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he determination of law enforcement agencies to combat bunkering paid off on Wednesday after a vessel suspected to be carrying 300 metric tonnes of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil known as diesel was impounded and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). However, this feat was not without a price as a member of NIMASA patrol team got drowned during cross fire with the sea pirates after the boat conveying the government security agents capsized. Eight crew members and three staff of Vital Shipping Limited, Apapa, owners of the vessel, MT Ocean Treasurer, including Ayoade Emmanuel, Stephen Bamgbose, Id-

owu Balogun, King C. Fred, Michael Ekanem, Olorunwa Omowunmi, Felix Ayenuberu and Suru Lepe; as well as the three staff on board the vessel; Onuoha Ikechukwu, Omodara Emmaneul and Faith Akhahowa are in the custody of the commission. Principal Maritime Safety Officer of NIMASA, Duniya David, who handed over the vessel and crew on behalf of the Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro, urged the commission to carry out further investigation on the source of the petroleum product and the operations of the vessel. Receiving the document transferring the vessel and crew, Usman Ladan Baki assured that the EFCC would do its best in investigating the case. A sample of the product was taken by operatives of the commission for analysis.


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South West

Friday, August 17, 2012

20-man gang raids bank in Ekiti ABIODUN NEJO

ADO EKITI

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he police in Ekiti State yesterday engaged a 20-man armed robbery gang, who invaded a first generation bank in Ifaki-Ekiti in the Ido/Osi council area of the state, in a gun battle. Sources said the bandits stormed the community in a convoy of four

vehicles at about 12.30 p.m. and headed for the police station in the town where they fired sporadically at the police officers before proceeding to the bank nearby. Sources said the robbers, who perforated the bank with bullets, were said to have carted away an undisclosed amount of money. Ekiti State Police Com-

missioner, Mr. Sotonye Wakama, who confirmed the incident, said none of the robbers was arrested after the gun battle with his men at Aramoko Ekiti. The armed robbers were said to have abandoned three of their vehicles and escaped through the bush while the gun duel lasted. Although, no life was lost and no arrest made

during the duel, the police said they had recovered the three abandoned vehicles. Wakama said the robbers after successfully robbing the bank, had attempted to escape through Aramoko-Ekiti, but ran into combat-ready policemen, who had barricaded the road. The police boss said he had ordered all entry and exit routes in the state manned to prevent the bandits from escaping. Wakama, who said that the police were on the trail of the robbers, however, assured that they would be apprehended soon.

Suicide bomber vehicle stoppers’ distributed to the leadership of Jama’atu Nasril Islam and Christian Association of Nigeria by the 1 Mechanised Division, Nigerian Army in Kaduna, yesterday.

Police protect corps members against terrorism KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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s part of measures put in place to secure youth corps members, the Nigeria Police have dispatched bomb detective squads to the various schools and other establishments where they are currently carrying out their primary assignments in Oyo State. Out-going Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammed Yabo Tambari, who was recently promoted an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), made the disclosure in Ibadan yesterday while playing host to the Oyo State NYSC Coordinator, Mr. Olanipekun Alao, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office. The police boss while insisting that the Federal Government attached

paramount importance to the security of corps members across the country, said the security duty of the police for corps members did not stop at fortifying the orientation camp but also continues as the corps members go about their primary assignments and community development activities. He said operatives of the police command have been dispatched to schools where many corps members are posted, in addition to their hostels, where they are carrying out patrol and other surveillance activities, to ensure that they are safe. His words: “The command also engages in other combat operations while proactive measures are also taken at divisional levels across the state as the command continues to ensure the best of relationship with the NYSC.” Tambari, however, expressed concern over

what he tagged “the rejection syndrome” among many employers of labour, who unilaterally turn down the offer of engaging corps members in their organisations. He added that this has defeated the purpose for which the scheme was established, charging the NYSC authorities to guide against the ugly phenomenon in the overall interest of the scheme. The state NYSC Coordinator, Mr. Olanipekun Alao, congratulated Tambari on his elevation to the status of an Assistant Inspector General of Police, just as he commended his indelible contributions to security in the state. He noted with delight that the NYSC in the state have no problem when it comes to security, saying “we have not recorded any serious incident due to the confidence-inspiring alertness of the state police command.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dana Air crash: Coroner recalls pathologist, NAMA KAYODE KETEFE

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coroner conducting inquest into the Dana Air crash which occurred in Lagos on June 3, 2012, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, has invited once again the Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State and a consultant forensic pathologist, Prof. John Oladapo Obafunwa and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to make fresh appearance before it for the purpose of shedding light on some fresh issues. The coroner made this invitation yesterday at the continued hearing of the inquest proceedings. The invited parties are to appear next Wednesday for re-examination. Meanwhile, an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Adeoye Oluyemi, who gave evidence before the court, said at about 3.45 pm on the day of the incident, he was informed by a commercial motorcyclist that a plane had crashed into residential buildings at Toyin area of Iju-Ishaga, Lagos. Oluyemi, a Zonal Head of Zone 29 of LASTMA, said immediately he got the information, he went straight to the location for on-the-

site-assessment in pursuant to his professional obligation. He added that when he and his men arrived at the location, the traffic on Toyin Street, which is the nearest major road leading to the crash site, was unusually heavy as a result of which he and his men started controlling the traffic, to pave way for emergency and rescue vehicles to enable them access the crash site. He said the traffic at the scene and the crowd, including sympathisers, residents and concerned citizens were so overwhelming that they could not control the situation. Oluyemi further said that with the cooperation of the police which arrived after them, they were able to block the traffic flow from Ishaga Roundabout and from the Agbado end of the area, thereby ensuring better accessibility to the crash site, a development which he said enabled the rescue teams to operate. Oluyemi, said the blockage of traffic continued late into the night and commenced again the next morning and the traffic became heavy around the diverted points. The coroner before whom Prof. Obafunwa had earlier appeared adjourned the matter till Wednesday.

Assault on photo journalists: NUJ takes protest to Fashola LEONARD OKACHIE AND MURITALA AYINLA

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embers of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Lagos State chapter yesterday stormed the office of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to register their displeasure over what they termed the continuous brutalisation and harassment of its members in the course of discharging their constitutional duties. As early as 8.00 am, the protesting journalists, mostly photo-journalists, had converged on the Ladi Lawal Press Centre, the union secretariat, where the protest march began at about 10.00 am. The protesters led by the Lagos State NUJ Chairman, Deji Elumoye and other officials of the union, moved

from the union secretariat at Iyala, Alausa and matched through Awolowo Road, making a brief stopover at the state House of Assembly before terminating at the State House, Ikeja. Carrying placards and banners of varying sizes, some of which bore the photographs of the Leadership newspapers photo journalist, Ben Uwalaka and former Photo Editor of the Nigeria Compass, Tunde Ogundeji, they chanted solidarity songs. They expressed displeasure over the brutalisation of Leadership photo journalist, who was inflicted with severe injuries by overzealous mortuary attendants at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and harassment of the former photo editor of Compass by suspected thugs purportedly

from the Nigeria Railway Corporation. On some of their placards were inscription such as: “Journalists are friends not foes;” “We demand for our rights;” “We will no longer tolerate these assaults;” “Stop the assaults;” “We will resist the brutalities,” among others. They barricaded the entrance of the office for a while when they could not gain access to the governor’s office as they were told the governor’s representative would attend to them on behalf of the governor, who was not on seat. Poised to achieve the aim of the protest, the journalists sat on the bare floor of the entrance to the State House and kept the protest alive, chanting songs while they waited for the government representative to attend to them.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Friday, August 17 , 2012

Union directs workers to shun promotion exam A •NULGE issues fresh seven-day ultimatum

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Group slams Okupe over call for Ikuforiji’s resignation

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he promotion examination organised by the Ekiti State Government for all categories of civil servants may suffer setback as the workers have been directed to shun the exercise. The state chapter of Joint National Public Service Negotiating Councils (JNC) said the directive became necessary as the workers were not carried along in the planning of the examination and their lack of trust for the motive

of the exercise. The examination, slated for tomorrow at three centres in Ado-Ekiti, is billed for the civil servants at the School of Nursing; Christ School (Boys) and Christ School (Girls). JNC State Secretary, Mr Olugbenga Sobande, told journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday that “We believe it is a ploy by government to retrench workers and reduce their overhead cost so that they will have enough to share for their

political associates”. This is as the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) yesterday issued a fresh seven-day ultimatum to the state government to press home the payment of N19,300 as minimum wage to local government workers in the state. The fresh ultimatum followed the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum earlier issued over the refusal of the government to pay the new minimum wage to council

workers and other sundry issues affecting them, including the CONHESS and CONMESS of medical and health workers. In a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday, NULGE State Secretary, Mr. Victor Ade Adebayo, said: “Consequently, the union had convened a meeting to review the scenario. It therefore, resolved to proceed with the issuance of another seven-day notice of dispute with effect from 16th August, 2012.

PDP inaugurates reconciliation committee FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday inaugurated a five-man reconciliation committee with the task of holding consultations with stakeholders and aggrieved members. The committee, chaired by the former PDP SouthWest Woman Leader and National Coordinator of Women for Change, Chief Nike Oluwole, was charged to hold consultations with stakeholders, address issues raised by

the aggrieved members as well as suggest ways at ensuring unity for the party. A lawmaker representing Egbado North II and the Minority Leader in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Job Akintan, is the committee’s secretary. Members are former PDP Chairman Elder Joju Fadairo, another PDP chieftain Gbolade Osinowo and Woman Leader in Obafemi Owode Local Government, Alhaja Serifat Ajose. Inaugurating the committee, the new chairman of the party, Senator Dipo Odujinrin, said there was

no truth in the claim that the National headquarters of the party nullified the congress recently held in the state which produced him and 28 others as the executive committee members. He also dismissed a report that the Congress Committee of PDP that supervised the election of the state executive members had called for fresh congress. Odujinrin, who displayed a copy of letter with reference number PDP/NS/07/12 and dated 14th August, 2012, written by the National Secre-

the attendant loss of lives and property. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Miss Kafayat Adeojo, said the exercise was being carried out in the overall interest of the people. He said: “I want to implore everyone to cooperate with the government for the betterment of the state and the people. We want the state to move forward; we need to be healthier. So I am appealing to our people to, please, bear with us and forgive us if we have offended them by this exercise. “This administration is a listening one. It cares about you and your feelings, but some things have to be done. Some sacrifices have to be made by everyone of us to move the state forward.” He explained that the demolition had been long overdue, adding: “tThese structures have to be demolished to move the state forward. If there is a disaster, the people will blame the government, but government wants to help the

people to help themselves. “We have about 40 of such structures and we are taking into consideration the 11 local government councils in the state capital.’’ Meanwhile, the state government has commenced the rehabilitation of some of the roads and bridges affected by the recent flooding in Ibadan metropolis. The exercise, being carried out by the state Road Maintenance Agency (OYSTROMA), commenced with the rehabilitation of Cultural Centre/Premier Hotel Road as well as construction of drainages. Other affected roads included Agbongbon bridge; Simeon Adebo\ Davies Hotel/Blessed Water road; Simeon Adebo/ Adeyi,Awolowo road; Orita Aperin/Omowumi/ Olorunsogo bridge; Failed portion, opposite Orogun junction, along U.I/Ojoo road; Mokola/Cele/Barrack Junction road/bridge; Salami Estate/Bodija road and Ona River at Olubadan Avenue, Oluyole Estate, all within Ibadan, the state capital.

Oyo demolishes structures on flood paths KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Oyo State Government yesterday began the second phase of demolition of structures built on flood paths and waterways within the Ibadan metropolis, as Governor Abiola Ajimobi appealed for the understanding among residents The exercise, which was supervised by the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, would see about 40 structures being pulled down. Ajimobi said the demolition of illegal structures would enable free flow of water during rains, thereby preventing flooding and

Ajimobi

tary of PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), which accorded recognition to the congress, stressed that the party is set to reconcile aggrieved members. Recalling that the disunity and gross act of indiscipline within the party was responsible for its present predicament, he said the report, which purportedly discredited the congress, did not exist.

group, the Congress of South-West Youth (COWSY), has criticised the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, over his recent call for resignation of the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. Okupe recently called for Ikuforiji’s resignation over his pending trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering. The group, at a press conference yesterday, described the call by Okupe as misguided and uncouth, adding that it is yet to fathom why Okupe, “an old man in his mid 60s could descend so low as to take the offer to be an attack dog to President Goodluck Jonathan administration. “We wonder why he would be an attack dog to Jonathan’s administration to the extent that every well meaning individual or group having opposing views to that of the Federal Government has become a potential target for mudslinging and malignant at-

tack in the media. “What penchant for public relevance or monetary gain could have prompted Okupe to make unfounded and prejudicial vituperations about a case that is already undergoing trial in court?” the group asked. The group noted that it is contemptuous for anybody to suggest that Ikuforiji should resign when the law is explicit on the fact that a person standing trial in court should be presumed innocent until when proven guilty by a competent law court. It said: “Contrary to Okupe’s blackmail against Ikuforiji, it is sacrosanct that the rule of law should reign supreme in matters of this nature while the court remains the final arbiter in any matter of dispute. “The truth of the matter is even that Mr. Speaker was never accused of misappropriation of funds, neither is he being tried in the court for corruption. It is on record that the EFCC officials in their investigation could not trace any stolen money to Ikuforiji in relation to fraud or misappropriation.”


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South East

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

APGA crisis: Obi holds talks with chairmen, stakeholders CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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o find solution to the crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State yesterday held a strategic meeting with key stakeholders and 21 local government ar-

eas chairmen of the state chapter of the party. The meeting, held at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka, discussed ways to reposition the party. Addressing journalists later, Obi said the closeddoor meeting dwelt on the state affairs and how to re-strategise APGA for progress.

Abduction: Anambra seals two buildings in Nri CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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nambra State Government has sealed two buildings suspected to be linked to the kidnap racket in Nri in Anaocha Local Government. The buildings are a onestorey structure under construction at Uruoji, Agukwu-Nri and a bungalow at Obeagu village, Agukwu-Nri. Governor Peter Obi ordered the buildings shut when he and key security operatives visited the town yesterday. It was gathered that when the governor and his entourage entered the compound of the building at Uruoji, they met a middle-aged man who identified himself as Mr. Masamu from Adamawa State. The man, who claimed to be a security man incharge of the compound since January, reportedly said that before he assumed work, he heard that some suspected kidnappers were arrested in the area by security agents. Speaking in a similar vein, an uncle of the owner of the building said the suspects were arrested

last year by joint police and military team. He identified one of the suspects as a trader occupying a shop beside the building. At the building at Obeagu village, a native doctor, who is related to the owner of the house, said one of the nephews of the owner was on the run from security agents because of suspected involvement in kidnap racket. Obi, who disclosed that security report confirmed that the buildings were linked to kidnapping, said the two buildings would be sealed in line with the policy of his administration on kidnapping. He also disclosed that more houses would be shut and confiscated by the state government if the owners were discovered to be involved in kidnapping. The governor said his administration would now examine the owners of such buildings, their sources of livelihood and degree of involvement in the crime. Obi promised that at the end of investigation, the state would either demolish the buildings or put them to government use.

The governor said some of the decisions taken at the meeting included the need to provide logistics for the council officials and encourage them to work for the interest of APGA at the grassroots. He said the councils would be provided with vehicles and other essential materials to improve

mobility in the course of their job. “We will do whatever is necessary to make APGA stronger in Anambra State. We will reposition APGA and make it what it should be as a political party,” Obi said. Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Mike Udah, in a

statement issued in Awka yesterday, refuted allegations that Obi was the architect of the crisis rocking APGA at the national level. He said: “It is quite unfortunate that people who know next to nothing about the history and nurturing of APGA could be hired to make wild and unsubstantiated allegations against

...Court restates order restraining Massalla, Okwenna EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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Federal Capital Territory High Court yesterday, restated its earlier order restraining Alhaji Sadiq Massalla and Ifenna Okwenna from parading themselves as Acting National Chairman and Acting National Secretary of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA. Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf had on August 7 granted an ex parte application brought by Mr. Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), counsel

to the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh. The trial judge also restrained the defendants from “convening, calling, organising or holding any meeting of any organ of APGA and or otherwise interfering in any manner whatsoever in the affairs of APGA at any level, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.” When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, counsel to the defendants, J. O. Ekeyi, informed the court that he was yet to be

served the court order. Consequently, counsel to Umeh, Ikwueto applied to serve the defence counsel in court; an application that was granted, hence service was duly effected on behalf of the defendants in court. The matter was adjourned till September 13 for hearing. Umeh and the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, had, in a 37-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the latter, averred that the defendants/applicants had been suspended from the party

OWERRI

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United Statesbased consortium, Framzimex Limited, in collaboration with its Nigerian counterpart, Califco Limited, is to partner with Imo State Government to build a 400 megawatts power plant in the state. Also, the Imo power project will be funded by the United States EXIMBANK through the sale of power from the power stations. Addressing newsmen

after a courtesy call on Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha at the Government House, Owerri, the leader of the delegation from the consortium, Mr. Ike Mbaelu, observed that the development of electricity power infrastructure owned by Imo State Government would be a major positive drive for the industrial and economic development of the state. He said the project would be carried out in three phases which included an immediate development of 10 to 20 megawatts of power within six months, develop-

since June 19, where they were members of the National Working Committee, NWC. Umeh and Shinkafi, therefore, urged the court to stop the defendants forthwith from interring in the affairs of the party. It was averred that, “As required by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act (as amended) the 1st plaintiff APGA held a National Convention on February 10th 2010. Prior to the February 10, 2010 convention we held a national convention on December 2, 2006.”

Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (right) announcing the sealing of two buildings linked to kidnappers in Nri, yesterday.

American firm, Imo to build 400mw power plant We’ll protect your interest, Amadi CHRIS NJOKU

Obi, who singlehanded raised APGA from the doldrums to limelight. Ugwunze’s view which is a rehash of an old story is neither plausible nor logical... It is members of APGA who are calling for the restructuring of the party. This call has been long and consistent and has nothing to do with Obi.”

ment of 100 megawatts of power and associated infrastructure within two years and the development of additional 400 megawatts gasfired-turbine-power plant and associated infrastructure within five years. Mbaelu said that on completion, the power plants would be a significant source of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to the state, provide employment for over 1,000 Imo youths and attract direct foreign investment to the state and improve industrial development.

assures electricity consumers

GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, said it would at all times protect the interest of consumers, despite the new tariff regime. The NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, made the promise yesterday at Umuahia at the Power Consumer Assembly organised by the commission. He described the consumer as “very important

stakeholder that must be informed and heard loudly and clearly”. Also at the event, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State charged the commission to develop the right attitude to work to ensure that the new electricity company succeeds so that Nigerians would enjoy increased electricity. Orji, who spoke through one of his aides, Dr. Nick Eleri, urged the commission to carefully regulate and monitor the rates to ensure that they were affordable,

warning that if the rates were exorbitantly high “it could trigger off crisis”. The governor advised the consumers to ask relevant questions during the interaction to be well informed on the workings of the commission. Amadi, who was represented by Patrick Umeh, said the commission was poised to ensure that the new electricity company was modelled to achieve international best practice. He said: “We are also striving to ensure that the consumer is fully protected from exploitation by the service providers.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Friday, August 17, 2012

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Kidnapped Delta judge regains freedom AMOUR UDEMUDE AND SOLA ADEBAYO

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elta State high court judge, Justice Marcel Okoh, who was kidnapped last week in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state has been freed last night by his abductors after allegedly receiving an undisclosed amount of ransom. As a way to press home their grievances, lawyers as well as courts in Delta State had to down tools following the kidnapping of Justice Okoh, who was seized last Tuesday, August 7, by armed gunmen on his way to Warri to resume as a vacation judge. The negotiation for the release of the judge, it was gathered, was carried out by lawyers that worked with Okoh during his reign as the state Director

•My ordeal in the hands of kidnappers –PDP vice-chair

of Public Prosecution. Confirming the release of the judge, Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Charles Muka, said before his release last night, several efforts were made to rescue him and to track down the evasive armed gang preying on Deltans and Nigerians as a means of earning a living. According to Muka; “We have his driver in custody. We have revealing information on the persons of these hoodlums and efforts are on to get them. The command has put stringent measures in place to stem such tides. The command appreciates various agencies, vigilantes and stakeholders for collaborations and synergy.” Delta State police command had few weeks ago thwarted an attempt by

kidnappers to abduct the state’s Head of Service, Mr. Okey Ofili. Meanwhile, the ViceChairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Mr. Ekenwa Akwagbe, yesterday narrated his ordeal in the hands of kidnappers. Akwagbe, who was abducted on Tuesday, August 7, along Benin-Warri Bypass, was freed on Wednesday after spending eight days with the hoodlums. National Mirror gathered that Ekenwa, who was kept in a village between Abraka and Eku, in Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state, regained his freedom after members of his family parted with an undisclosed ransom. Ekenwa, who spoke with National Mirror, yesterday, described his experience as

“horrible and horrifying” and praised God for surviving the ordeal. The politician, who spoke in a telephone interview, lamented that he was kept in the boot of a rickety 190 Mercedes car, for a three-hour journey to the hide-out of the kidnappers in an area in Ethiope council area of the state. He said he survived on bread and water for eight days and went to toilet only once while in captivity. “I was travelling in a vehicle operated by a transport company in Warri, when the driver suddenly raised an alarm and that woke me up from sleep. This was around 8:30am on Tuesday, August 7. “I initially thought it was an accident as our vehicle was sandwiched between a Mercedes Benz 190

in the front and a Hyundai Jeep at the rear. Four gunmen later emerged from the two cars and directed us to submit all our belongings. “All of us complied promptly and we brought out all we have. I brought all my money, my phones, even my iPad, everything I have on me was submitted to them. After collecting all our belongings, they singled me out and directed me to follow them. “I was ordered into the Hyundai Jeep, where I was until they drove for about one hour when they parked somewhere along the road and pushed me into the boot of the 190 Mercedes Benz. “I was kept in the boot as they drove for about three hours until they got to their destination in a village in Delta State at about

1.00 pm. They subjected me to serious interrogation, apparently to ascertain my personality. They demanded to know the work I do and my relationship with the people, whose numbers they saw in my cell phones. “They asked me how much I can produce and how much my friends and associates, whose names they saw in my cell phones could volunteer to secure my freedom. “I was kept under inhuman and traumatising conditions in a village. I can’t really say the exact place where I was until I was freed and I came out in Eku on Wednesday. Their boys suddenly asked me to go and I later came out in Eku, after walking a distance from the bush. “I don’t know why they decided to release me until I got home when I discovered that my people had released some money to them to secure my freedom.”

JTF accuses TUC of involvement in oil theft CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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L-R: Wife of Delta State Governor, Mrs. Roli Uduaghan; her husband, Emmanuel and Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of Kingsway International Christian Centre, during the pastor’s visit to the Asaba branch of the church, yesterday.

he Joint Military Taskforce, ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ has accused members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Rivers State of involvement in the oil theft network in the state as some of the trucks and barges being destroyed by the JTF belonged to them. This was according to Captain Sunny Samuel, immediate past acting Army PRO, Bori Camp, Port Har-

ACN endorses Bayelsa’s flag, coat of arms

Mobil, host communities disagree over oil spill

EMMA GBEMUDU

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YENAGOA

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n spite of the attacks on the newly introduced Bayelsa State coat of arms, anthem and flag, the National Youth Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Miriki Ebikibina, yesterday threw his weight behind the new symbols and songs law signed by Governor Seriake Dickson. Ebikibina described claims of secession by some people against the present administration in the state mischievous and the people lacking in knowledge. The ACN official in an in-

terview with National Mirror said the controversy over the new law was targeted at President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that the decision should have been commended and viewed as another opportunity of according the Ijaw nation a means of identity and sense of belonging, in a true federating state. Ebikibina, who is also a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Inter-Party Affairs, argued that the action of the state government was not at variance with what had been done by progressive states such as Lagos, Osun, Oyo and Ogun.

TONY ANICHEBE UYO

he statement credited to officials of US oil firm, ExxonMobil on Monday’s oil spill in Ibeno has sparked off a dispute between the company and its host communities in Akwa Ibom Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) said the source of oil spill noticed on the Atlantic coastline in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State, is unknown. Deposits suspected to be crude oil was reported on Monday by residents of Atia community in Ibeno within the Qua Iboe oil

field operated by MPN. Mobil Producing, an affiliate of US energy firm ExxonMobil, operates two offshore oil blocks and a 960, 000 barrels per day crude export terminal, off the Akwa Ibom coastline. A statement by Mobil in reaction to the spill incident on Monday, said that a response team had been deployed to the spill site and samples taken to ascertain its source. “Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture, confirms that oiling from an unknown

source had been sighted on the shoreline, near Ibeno, Akwa Ibom. “An emergency response team was immediately dispatched to the shoreline and samples of the substance collected for fingerprinting to determine its source, which remains unknown,” it stated. The statement signed by the General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Mr. Paul Arinze, added that relevant government and regulatory agencies had been duly notified. Reacting to the statement, Mr. John Cyril, a youth leader dismissed the statement as unacceptable.

court, who was speaking on the issue in Port Harcourt. He said all the allegations by the trade union against the army in recent times were apparently to divert the army from its focused determination to flush out oil thieves. Samuel, who spoke while handing over to Major Michael Etete, the substantive APPRO of the 2 Amphibious Brigade Nigeria Army, was reacting to recent allegations by the Rivers TUC and National Union of Petrol and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) that men of the JTF had been compromised on the issue of oil theft in the Niger Delta. He said the successes of the JTF in the past two months and the destruction of equipment and machinery used to perpetrate oil theft in the region is a testimony of the determination of the JTF to put oil thieves out of business. The outgoing acting APPRO challenged the TUC and NUPENG to come out with evidence of the JTF’s involvement in oil theft and forward same to the army command or make such evidences public through the media.


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North

Friday, August 17, 2012

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STF operations in Plateau sensitive –Commander JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he Special Military Task Force, STF, on Jos crisis, has given reasons why its military action in some communities in Plateau State would not be made open to the public. Since the authorities of STF ordered members of

five communities such as Mahanga, Kuzen, Maseh, and Shong in Barki Ladi and Riyom local governments to vacate their settlements within 48 hours to enable soldiers carry out military operations against terrorists in the areas last month, there have been calls by many stakeholders for the STF to make the outcome of its operations open.

But the STF Commander, Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola, said on Wednesday night that doing so would breach military tradition, which required that such sensitive exercise be kept away from public glare. Ayoola, who spoke during an interactive session with journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Press Centre, in Jos

on Wednesday night, said the incident which led to the villagers being asked to vacate their communities actually changed the mode of operation of the STF on the Plateau. He said: “What we had before was an internal military operation until that time. But it moved from low intensity to high intensity; what we did was to segre-

gate it from the type of operation that we used to have. What you now find is a purely military operation. “Usually, in the military, pure military operations are not advertised. You don’t see it displayed on TV screens. It is not normal operation where you show people who were arrested, the weapons ceased and all that. We don’t do that in

the military because it will jeopardise future operations.’’ The commander, however, said that arrests had been made and weapons confiscated from the terrorists during the course of their operation. He added that the operation would continue until all terrorists were flushed out of their hideouts.

PDP plans to rig Benue LG polls –CNPP HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he Benue State Chairman of the Conference of All Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, Mr. Baba Agan, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of planning to manipulate the November 24 council polls in favour of the party. Agan, who made the allegation while speaking with journalists yesterday in Makurdi, said part of the plot was the hike in the fees of form of intent to outrageous amount to prevent the opposition parties from raising the funds to field their candidates. He added that the N200,000 fee charged by the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission, BSIEC, was outrageous and was done to weaken the opposition parties and prevent them from participating in the polls. Agan, however, said that the opposition parties would soon embark on a protest, if the fees were not reduced.

The CNPP chairman also urged the Zone ‘4’ Command of the Nigerian Police Force to set up a special task force to monitor the local government elections. This, according to him, is to prevent men of the Benue State Police Command from taking sides with the state government in the polls. In a related development, some PDP chairmanship and councillorship aspirants have decried the sudden increase in the fees to be paid by contestants for form. The form, according to them, was initially pegged at N250,000 but was suddenly raised to about N700,000. Some of the contestants, who spoke with journalists on the condition of anonymity, said the astronomical hike was anti-democracy. “They want to frustrate us because even the forms are not made available to all aspirants,” the aspirants alleged. Efforts to reach the PDP State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Godwin Ayihe on the matter, were futile, as his phone was engaged.

L-R: Kaduna State Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa; Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Kaduna State, Dr.Solomon Avitime and Medical Director, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Lawal Khalid, during the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the NMA in Kaduna, recently.

Bauchi sponsors 25-year-old man’s kidney transplant in India

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auchi State Government said it would settle the medical bills of the 25-year-old Abubakar Buba whose two kidneys were recently removed at a private clinic in the state. The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, said in a statement that the government had so far released $22,000 (about N3.5m) for

kidney transplant in India as recommended by the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, ATBUTH, Bauchi. The statement added that the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sani Abubakar Malami, had led a team of medical personnel from the Ministry of Health to assess the condition of the patient with the aim of

flying him to India for the transplant anytime from now. Malami, according to the statement, disclosed that the move was in line with the policy of Governor Isa Yuguda’s administration to assist patients who could not afford the cost of foreign treatment. He added that when he was briefed on the plight

of the patient, Yuguda ordered immediate arrangement to fly the patient to India to save his life. The government promised that the circumstances which led to the removal of the kidneys would be thoroughly investigated with the aim of taking appropriate actions against anyone indicted in the professional misconduct.

UNILORIN: Aspirant denies supporting new VC Bomb scare at AIT, Brilla FM Kaduna office WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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ne of the contestants for the post of the vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, Prof. Jacob Olorunfemi, has denied the report that those who lost out in the contest had endorsed the choice of Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali by the Governing Council. Olorunfemi, who spoke with journalists in Ilorin on the issue, said that media reports had created a different impression of what transpired at a meeting attended by the out-going Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the contestants and some very senior management staff of the

university. He confirmed that the “senior management staff ” otherwise called “Critical Stakeholders,” attended a meeting called by Oloyede to discuss the outcome of the selection by the university’s Governing Council. Olorunfenmi, who disclosed that he, like the others, had nothing against either Oloyede or Ambali, said his concern was that “the process employed in the selection was capable of killing the morale of hardworking members of staff and run contrary to the dreams of the founding fathers of the university”. His comments came against the backdrop of reports that a group, UNILO-

RIN Stakeholders Forum, had taken the outcome of the exercise to the Presidency, asking for a review because of a “biased process employed by the Council”. However, the institution’s spokesman, Mr. Kunle Akogun, denied the allegation of bias against the Council, saying the body composed of people with proven character and integrity. He also explained that the university was not in possession of the purported petition against the Vice-Chancellor-designate, while the institution would not like to be drawn into unnecessary controversies over the development.

A ZA M SUE KADUNA

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ccupants of Nagwamatse House in Kaduna city were apprehensive yesterday over the suspicion that a Toyota Camry car parked by an unknown person in the premises was carrying a bomb. The 11-storey Nagwamtse House houses Africa Independent Television, AIT, Ray Power FM, Brilla FM, North West zonal office of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, among others. A witness said the owner of the car was

taken away by security operatives when he later came back to pick his car. “When the man came back, he said there was hold up on his way and his wife called him to return home urgently over his son’s health. He parked the car in the building and picked a commercial motorcycle home to attend to his sick son. But police took him away with his car,” the witness said. Also, a cameraman with AIT, Mallam Umar Usman, told our correspondent that the occupants of the building were scared that a bomb might have been planted in the car.

He said: “Somebody came in and parked a Toyota Camry car and went somewhere. After waiting for a while without seeing the person, we called police but when they came, nothing was found in the car. You know we need to be security conscious at our workplaces.” When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mallam Balteh Abubakar, said in a text message that he was not aware of the incident. He said: “I am in a seminar in Abuja. I can’t confirm for now until I make contacts.” But his phone was later switched off.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Justice Ayo Salami: One year in judicial Siberia

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Politics

Yoruba leaders in dirty fight

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I’ve no problem with Saraki – Kwara gov FELIX NWANERI

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overnor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has dismissed claims of feud between him and his predecessor, Senator Bukola Saraki, saying the rumour is a lie being propagated by the opposition in a futile attempt to cause disaffection between the two ahead of

the 2015 elections. Ahmed, in a statement issued in Ilorin, the state capital, by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, stressed that the relationship between him and Saraki, rather than waning, remains cordial and strong based on their long association and shared vision of a prosperous Kwara State.

He said: “Ours is a unique partnership based on mutual respect, which grows stronger daily due to our long history and standing commitment to making Kwara a model for other states in terms of economic growth and prosperity for the people. We are like a tag-team in which we are, pulling our strengths together in a determined effort to build a

greater Kwara for the benefit of prosperity.” The governor who served as a commissioner for seven years during Saraki’s tenure as governor, added: “Senator Saraki is a man for whom I retain the highest regard and I am happy to state that the feeling is reciprocal.” Describing his administration as a government of continuity, Ahmed noted

L-R: Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kombowei Benson presenting eight bills for assenting into law to the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson at Government House in Yenagoa on Wednesday.

that the political situation in the state is unique due to the peaceful transition from the previous administration to the current one, adding that his decision to continue with the laudable programmes initiated by his predecessor was an eloquent testimony to the benefits of continuity. The continuity, he said, has continued to elude other states in the country and remains the bane of sustained development in Nigeria. He also noted that 2015 is still far off; assuring the people of the state that he remains focused on their economic empowerment and growing the state’s economy through his administration’s robust Shared Prosperity Programme. Ahmed also restated his determination not to be distracted by the antics of the opposition in the state and called on Kwara indigenes both at home and abroad to ignore the antics, which he said are designed to sow seeds of discord between him and Saraki.

Yuguda assures displaced persons of govt attention

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nternally displaced persons taking refuge in various camps across Bauchi State have been assured of government’s attention in the provision of social amenities that will make life meaningful for them as long as they remain law abiding. According to a press statement from the Chief Press Secretary, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, Governor Isa Yuguda gave the assurance while flagging off the distribution of assorted relief materials donated by the Dangote Group to the affected persons in some of the camps in Toro LGA including Rijiyan Mallam, Panshanu, Magaman-Gumau and Lame. The governor sympathised with the affected persons who fled to Bauchi

from neighbouring states and called on them to respect the traditions and cultures of their host communities for peaceful coexistence. He also pointed out that it was because they found the state to be peaceful that they chose to take refuge there. He said: “Since you have chosen Bauchi State to stay, you have become indigenes of the state, you must not do anything that will bring about the disruption of the peace all of us enjoy. You are free to enjoy all the facilities provided by the government as bonafide citizens of the state, Bauchi is yours now until such a time you deem it necessary to go back to where you came from.” Earlier, the caretaker chairman of Toro Local

Government Area, Bala Y. Umar had disclosed that the displaced persons who came from crisis prone neighbouring states have chosen to settle in Bauchi, adding that there are 10 camps for them in the area. He added that his council is

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doing everything possible to make life better for them. The council boss also disclosed that a lot has been done in terms of provision of emergency relief materials to the displaced persons, assuring that more would be done, particularly now

that the state government, individuals and groups have come in to assist. Representatives of the affected persons in all the camps thanked the state government for granting them indigeneship of the state.

Court orders Akeredolu to pay N4.3m for billboards

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he governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has been ordered by the State High Court, sitting in Akure, the state capital, to pay N4.3 million to the Registrar of the Court for his numerous billboards erected all over the state. Akeredolu had filed a suit challenging, among other things, the constitutionality or otherwise of the Ondo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OSSAA) Law, 2011. He had also filed a Motion for Interlocutory Injunction restraining OSSAA from carrying out its duties as empowered by the Law pending the determination of the substantive suit. The matter had been adjourned by the Presiding Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola to Thursday, August 16 for the hearing of the Motion for Interlocutory Injunction. But before the hearing date, Akeredolu was said to have gone ahead to erect billboards all over the state for his electioneering, a development which made OSSAA to issue Demand Notice for the payment of the sum of N4.3million being amount payable on the said billboards. He subsequently adjourned the case to October 11.

Group accuses Aregbesola of plot to impose CJ on Osun FELIX NWANERI

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he Lagos Collectives, a political pressure group, has faulted what it described as plans by the Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, to impose Justice Olubunmi Oyewole as the Chief Judge of the state. The group, in a statement signed by its chairman, Prof. Tejumade Aki-

toye- Rhodes, described the move as an untoward turning in the history of governance and the judiciary in the country, adding: “It is a crude, indecent compensation and payback to a Lagos-based judge who has been accused of untidiness and complicity with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leadership in the unfair imprisonment of Chief Olabode George three years ago.

“If there were any doubts at all about the partiality of Oyewole in the partisan cum judiciary conspiracy to rubbish the Lagos icon, the present shameless move in Osun State removes any lingering doubts. Aregbesola’s primitive dalliance and sponsorship of the Lagos Judge is the greatest testimony of the innocence and the apparent judicial lynching of Bode George.”

The group therefore called on the National Judicial Commission (NJC) and the Supreme Court to scrutinise and appraise with all decisiveness “this unwholesome and gross attempt to pervert the justice system by the ACN leadership.” The group urged the people of Osun State to reject the plot, as it thwarts the rule of law and all normative decency.


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Politics

The recent cold war among some Yoruba leaders has generated a public discourse. SINA FADARE in this report examines the contending issues.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yoruba leaders in dirty fight

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he political battle in Ondo State as regards who gets what by October 20, has knocked the head of leaders of Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, against each other. It was the former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande who fired the first salvo by calling the likes of Chiefs Reuben Fasoranti, Ayo Adebanjo and Olu Falae as political jobbers who are always pitching their tents where their bread is going to be buttered. Akande spoke on the premise of the recent endorsement of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, by the Afenifere leaders for a second term, when they attended Mimiko’s declaration in Akure. The former governor of Osun State said that the Yoruba leaders were mere political liabilities in any party they find themselves. According to him, their actions never came to him as a surprise because “the three of them are glorious political beggars who have lost relevance in the nation’s politics.” Not done yet, Akande who is the National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), noted that Fasoranti, Adebanjo and Falae are always in Government Houses to beg for crumbs. “The so-called leaders are only looking for what they will eat. Of what relevance are they? They cannot point to any individual as their followers even in their home state,” he asserted. Akande pointed out that their bad luck and poor political antecedent crumbled Afenifere, the socio-cultural organisation of the Yoruba. He further referred to them as fake Awoists. Since Akande has thrown pebbles into the camp of his political adversaries, it was not a surprise that missiles were equarly hurdled back at him for his “caustic tongue”. Reacting to Akande’s allegation, Adebanjo said that the former governor was an ingrate because he was the chairman of the party that made him governor in 1999. Adebanjo lashed out at Akande for describing him (Adebanjo) as a fake Awoist, saying Akande was ignorant and ill-informed about Awoism. Adebanjo noted that if Akande had confined his criticism on him as being an electoral liability, he would have ignored him, because he was too junior to him, but will not accept the label of a fake Awoist. “I would have ignored him and would not have bothered to dignify his ignorant and ill informed statement which has become his singsong criticism of me without any response. The reason for this is simple. He is too junior to me politically for me to enter into political disputation with him. But when he opened his mouth so wide... I believe Bisi Akande is indeed what the Yoruba will call, “Omo Atiro to lo da bata fun baba e oro lofe gbo” (literally means, the son of a lame father who thoughtlessly bought a pair of shoes for his father he needs to be reminded the physical position of his father),” Adebanjo said. He pointed out that there were strong and notable Awoists who never contested elections, but lived their entire lives within

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Akande

the dictates and tenets of the philosophy of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, adding that he had no regret to have shared something in common with such people. While he likened Akande’s outbursts against their support for Mimiko to cheap blackmail and gratuitous insult, Adebanjo challenged the former governor to say what “crumbs” he collected from his table when he was governor. “It is cheap blackmail and gratuitous insult for Akande to allege that our support for Mimiko was to collect crumbs from his table. Chief Akande should tell the whole world what crumbs I collected from his table when he was governor of Osun State and I was the chairman of the party. Such unguarded and irresponsible statement is least expected from somebody who is a chairman of a national party however figurative he may be holding the post,” he said. If Adebanjo was full of anger on the pronouncement of Akande, Falae was embarrassed and could not hide his feeling when he noted that the former governor has penchant for rudeness and unguided statement. The former joint presidential candidate of AD/ANPP in the 1999 election pointed out that Akande was a dreamer who probably did not know what he was talking about. He said: “What bad luck did he mean I brought to Alliance for Democracy (AD)? In Osun State where he contested the governorship in 1999, I scored more votes than he did. So, who brought better luck? “It is my prerogative and right to belong to a party of my choice and Akande is also free to belong to a party of his choice. He is in the ACN; have you ever heard me criticise him for doing so? Why is he criticising me now for belonging to a party of my choice and the party collaborating to support a particular candidate, just as the AD did with the All Peoples Party (APP) in 1999?” The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) further pointed out that “there is no sense in what Akande was saying at all. It is just out of bitterness; he has a penchant for rudeness and I don’t want to take him on. I am an elder statesman and all he has said are empty and meaningless.”

Adebanjo

Falae

However, Akande’s outburst raised some fundamental questions, is it true that the people he attacked are really beggars and political liabilities? How can one refer to a former Minister of Finance and SGF as a beggar? Is Adebanjo who had made his name in property law over 40 years still a beggar? How about Fasoranti who was commissioner in the old Ondo State in the Second Republic? Political pundits believe that it is out of place for Akande to describe these elder statesmen who had traversed the political turf of the country in the last five decades as beggars. Could Akande still remember that the same Adebanjo he referred to as a non-issue in the political turf was the chairman of AD and one of those who screened him before he was considered as the gubernatorial candidate of AD and eventually the governor of Osun-State in 2003? Perhaps the big question which political observers are asking Akande is: When has it become a crime that somebody joins the party of his choice and where he goes or who he supports at any point in time? Also, is it mandatory for everybody to belong to the same political party or share the same political ideology? It will not be out of place to say that the Afenifere bond that joined all of them together suddenly cut due to avarice, greed, deceit, ambition and personal ego.

Some pundits, however, noted that if it is true that Adebanjo and his co-travellers are not political beggars as Akande called them, how are they going to justify their tour of the South-West governors in 2008, when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in control? This action, according to political observer, was a dignified way of saying ‘please don’t forget us’. The Yoruba leaders will not forget in a hurry how they were humiliated in Osogbo, the Osun State capital when pebbles and sachets of water were pelted on them, though they were compensated in Ogun State where Otunba Gbenga Daniel warmly welcomed them as governor. Therefore, looking at the issue from this premise, Akande may be right; after all he was on a familiar terrain, but may be lacked the right language to use. Akande raised a fundamental question of fake Awoist. But is it by putting a round pair of glasses and donning a round cap to match that qualifies somebody as an Awoist? Or the constant visit to Ikenne, the home of the late sage, to register once presence during one social occasion or the other, makes somebody an Awoist? Or by leaving each day as if it was the last in the service to humanity, no matter how little it may be qualifies one as Awoist? These are the numerous questions which political pundits are asking. Prof. Adebayo Williams succinctly answered these questions in his lecture delivered at the 17th annual Obafemi Awolowo lecture on march 5, 2004 in Lagos, where he lamented that majority of the so-called Awoist have abandoned the tenets, principles and ideologies left behind by the late sage. “I am sure if Chief Awolowo were to come back today, to see the trail of deserters, the thick pall of perfidy, the surging number of apostates who shout his name in vain, the estrangement among his true followers and the stark diminution in power and status of Afenifere, he would probably observe with great sadness and characteristic forthrightness.” The scenario painted by the renowned essayist is still relevant and germane till today. The elders should go back to the drawing board and sort things out with all sincerity and sense of purpose, as time is not on their sides. The cold war between the leaders of Yoruba started since 2003 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) swept the SouthWest excluding Lagos. The governors produced by the PDP were not seen as being part of Afenifere. With the development, Afenifere could not speak in one voice again. But soon, some leaders of the group started romancing with the new PDP governors. Then crises set in Afenifere, especially about the leadership. The group was factionalised. The crisis led to the formation of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG). While Akande, former governor of Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu and others led one group, Fasoranti, Adebanjo, Falae and others lead the old Afenifere. Since then, the three leaders have not been in the camp of the ACN. This explains the altercation with Akande over their political affinity.


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Politics

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tomorrow, August 18, will make it exactly one year that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami was suspended. EMMANUEL ONANI writes on the judicial imbroglio.

JUSTICE AYO SALAMI

One year in judicial Siberia The council’s volte-face came on the heels of the recommendation made by a sub-committee headed by the new and first female CJN, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, on Thursday May 10, 2012. Before the composition of Justice Mukhtar’s sub-committee, a 29-member committee had previously been set up by Musdapher on October 14, 2011. The 29-man committee, which was headed by a former CJN, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, appointed a three-member sub-committee, which eventually recommended Salami’s reinstatement. The sub-committee comprised Justices Mamman Nasir, U. Kalgo and Bola Ajibola. The reinstatement letter was said to have been sent to the Presidency on May 11; though it was said to have reached President Jonathan on May 14. However, the Mukhtar-led committee recommendation was rebuffed by the Presidency on the ground that, any action on the contentious matter will be subjudice, hence the need to wait for the wheel of justice to run its full course.

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ome Saturday, August 18, the embattled Justice Ayo Isa Salami will be a year on suspension from office as President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), having been so axed by the National Judicial Council (NJC) on August 18, 2011 on grounds of alleged “gross misconduct.” Justice Salami’s “judicial sins” also included his refusal to tender an unreserved apology to his now estranged friend and former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, who was the NJC’s chairman when Salami was sent to “Siberia”. What is clearly Justice Salami’s pain is obviously Justice Dalhatu Adamu’s gain, as the latter, who headed the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal, has since been acting as President of the Court of Appeal, having had his tenure renewed four times. It is pertinent to note that, while Justice Salami is the first PCA to be interdicted, Adamu, on the other hand, breaks the record as the first to act for a prolonged period as this. In recommending Salami for suspension to President Goodluck Jonathan, the council said it acted based on the powers conferred on it by Sections 238 (2) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and Rule 1 (1) of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers. The statement signed by the council’s Director of Administration, Mr. E. I. Odukwu, reads: “Pursuant to the powers conferred on the National Judicial Council in the Constitution of the Nigeria, 1999 as amended, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, OFR, President of the Court of Appeal has been suspended from office with effect from today, August 18, 2011. “The decision was reached at the 7th Emergency Meeting of the Council held on August 18, 2011. “The decision which was reached at the National Judicial Council further directs that Justice Salami should hand over the affairs of the Court of Appeal to the next most senior justice of the court.” Rule 1of Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers provides that, “A judicial officer should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities; (1) A judicial officer should respect and comply with the laws of the land and should conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” President Jonathan, in approving NJC’s recommendation to appoint Adamu as acting PCA, based his action on section 238 (4) of the constitution. The statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati reads: “His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, is in receipt of a correspondence dated 18 August, 2011 from the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommending the compulsory retirement of Justice Isa Ayo Salami (OFR) in accordance with section 292(1) (ai) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic

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Government’s position

Salami

of Nigeria, as amended and Rule 1(1) of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Consequently, Mr President, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 238(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, approved the acting appointment of Hon. Justice Dalhatu Adamu to perform the functions of the President of the Court of Appeal, pending when all issues relating to the office of the President of Court of Appeal are resolved.” The decision to suspend Salami was without recourse to the suit he filed before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to challenge the reports of the Justice Umaru Abduallahi panel, which investigated him and Katsina-Alu, for alleged misconduct as well as a sub-committee headed by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta. The Auta panel had recommended that Salami tender a written apology to both Katsina-Alu and the Council, even as the Auta panel recommended that the embattled jurist be cautioned. Consequent upon this, a letter of caution was sent to him. However, Salami called the bluff and thus approached the court, praying it to set aside the proceedings and findings of the investigative panels and their recommendations. He contended, among others, that the setting up of the NJC Investigative Committee and its composition were in gross violation of the principles of natural justice and his constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing, guaranteed under Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). He urged the court to declare all NJC’s actions as well the approval by Jonathan as unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

AS JUSTICE ADAMU’S FOURTH TERM IN ACTING CAPACITY

AUGUST 21, WILL THE NJC ENDS ON

EAT THE HUMBLE PIE BY WRITING THE PRESIDENT FOR RENEWAL OF

ADAMU’S TENURE FOR THE FIFTH TIME OR

STICK TO ITS GUNS? Listed as Defendants in the suit were, the NJC, Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, Hon. Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, Hon. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, Hon. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, Hon. Justice Dominic Edozie, Hon. Justice Michael Akpiroroh, Mrs. Rakia Sarki Ibrahim, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta, Hon. Justice Kate Abiri and Hon. Justice Peter Umeadi. He has a formidable team of lawyers, led by a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN). Others are Rickey Tarfa (SAN) and Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN).

Recommendations While the legal tussle by Salami to reclaim his exalted office continued to suffer setbacks, the NJC under the immediate past CJN, Justice Musdapher met in stormy sessions and later came out with a recommendation to re-instate Salami.

The “silence of assessment” on Salami’s suspension and subsequent reinstatement conundrum was broken by the AGF, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), the chief law officer of the country. Adoke made the position of the Federal Government known on May 22. The AGF stated that, “Rather than do anything, what the President did was to exercise his power under section 238(4) of the Constitution to appoint an acting President of the Court of Appeal. On May 11, the NJC was said to have recalled Justice Salami; the Presidency only received the letter last Friday and another day the Federal Government received various litigation by the way of originating process, challenging the competence of NJC to reinstate Salami.” “This government is anchored on the rule of law, and we will do the right thing as soon as all matters are resolved in the court,” Adoke submitted.

Litigations against Salami’s reinstatement The position of government is predicated on the litany of suits against Salami, apart from the original suit which he instituted against his interdiction. One Mr. Wilfred Okoli had filed a suit against the Federal Government asking the court to restrain government from reinstating Salami. Before different courts in Abuja are suits filed by one Amobi Nzelu, where he is asking the court to hold that the NJC cannot deliberate on an issue that is a subject of litigation. The plaintiff, who listed as defendants the NJC, Justice Salami, the AGF and President Jonathan, is also seeking a declaration to the effect that Jonathan was not under any constitutional obligation to act upon the recommendation made for Salami’s reprieve. The crisis was also deepened by two law suits that seek to stop Jonathan from approving Salami’s reinstatement. Other pending suits are those by Noah CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


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Politics

JOHN AINOFENOKHAI

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he new shape and texture of politics in Edo State have presented a positive challenge which politicians in other states must accept: a challenge of commitment to state interest as amply demonstrated by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which decided not to file any petition against the outcome of the July 14 governorship election in which Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) emerged winner. A proper reading of the decision and how it was communicated to the public would indicate that it was not an admission that there were no solid grounds on which a petition could be filed against the election of Oshiomhole at the tribunal. The PDP believed and still believes that there were enough good grounds to challenge him at the levels of qualification and alleged irregularities that marred the election; but it had chosen to take the painful decision not to proceed against him. Indeed, nothing more fundamental than state interest could have been reasonably adduced as the main reason that informed the PDP decision. There could have been other pertinent reasons, but I believe the least of them would be greater than a mere exercise in the political cajoling of Oshiomhole, given the gutsy build-up to the election: the brickbats, propaganda, intimidation and blackmail. Against the backdrop of those aggravations, not going to the tribunal would have been the last thing on the minds of the PDP and its angry leaders. But chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, who announced the party’s decision not to go to the tribunal, had premised the action on devotion to the preservation of state interest – some form of patriotism to state politics, and not on selfish considerations. According to him, “…Edo people went to the polls to elect a governor to administer the affairs of the state. The results that were declared by INEC were in favour of the ACN candidate, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. “There is no doubt that every genuine member of our party in the state worked hard enough to secure victory and ensure

Friday, August 17, 2012

Guber poll: The PDP exemplar in Edo

Oshiomhole

Airhaivbere

that our candidate, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (retd) was elected. Unfortunately, while our party worked and abided by the principle of one man one vote, our main opponent engaged the instrumentalities of intimidation. “They obstructed the continuous voters re-registration exercise, thereby preventing eligible voters from being registered and vote during the election, and also manipulated existing voters’ registers as well as the results of the election to their fullest advantage. The results of the election are not only ridiculous but also completely at variance with rational reasoning and human expectations. “Curiously, on election day, Governor Oshiomhole had earlier rejected the way and manner the election was being conducted by INEC when he thought his rigging plan had failed, yet the result of the same election is now being hailed by all because it is PDP that has lost. It has now become a tradition that when PDP loses an election, the

election is free and fair.” Orbih said: “With the above assessment of the results, PDP is aware of the divergent views and expressions by the public. The PDP is also aware of the legal options. However, PDP has fully consulted the leadership of the party both within and outside the state. During these consultations, legal opinions were sought and it is the conclusion of the party that while we appreciate the effects the results declared by INEC will have on our teeming members, we are also mindful of the consequences which the state may run into with protracted litigation. “Consequently, though painful, for now PDP has decided not to file any petition before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the interest of the state. We in PDP in Edo State should continue to remain steadfast and not be discouraged by setbacks as this election defeat may just be a stepping stone to a future victory. In every election, we have always prepared our-

Justice Ayo Salami: One year in judicial Siberia CONTINUED FROM 15 Ajare and Okoli. They, too, are asking the court to stop Jonathan from acting on the correspondence from the NJC, pending the determination of all pending issues. The plaintiffs referred to Salami’s own suit against the NJC as well as those by former governors of Osun and Ekiti states, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Segun Oni. Specifically, Oyinlola is praying the court to jail Salami based on alleged perjury. A twist to what now seems like a surreal drama was added on May 30 when Justice Abdul Kafarati of Federal High Court, Abuja, threw out Ajare’s suit on the ground that he had no locus standi to maintain the action. The Judge held: “From the records before the court, the plaintiff established his locus by saying that he is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) who wants sanity to return to the judiciary, nothing more. With due respect, that alone

is not enough to confer locus on him. “He can only have locus if he can show special interest over and above every other person or show how his personal interest will be adversely affected if Justice Salami is reinstated. “The issue of reinstatement of Justice Salami can be decided without the presence of the plaintiff. To me, I think the plaintiff has no work to do. He has no locus. “The second plaintiff, Judiciary Reform Committee, JRC, is not a legal person or creation of law that can be sued. Its name is therefore struck out from the suit. “I therefore hold that the plaintiff has no locus. The suit is therefore accordingly dismissed,” the judge held.

Reactions on recommendations The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed called on Jonathan “to approve the recommendation of the NJC and reinstate Justice Salami,

because that is the right thing to do, irrespective of the scheming of the hawks in his party and whatever self-serving advice he may be receiving from some aides.” Also reacting, outgoing Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN) said: “Justice Salami was suspended without recourse to the existing court cases and for government to refuse to reinstate him because of existing court cases amounts to blowing hot and cold at the same time. This also amounts to using the court as a shield and a sword at the same time.” As Justice Adamu’s fourth term in acting capacity ends on August 21, will the NJC eat the humble pie by writing the president for renewal of Adamu’s tenure for the fifth time or stick to its guns? By the express provision of section 238 (5), the president cannot renew the appointment of Adamu unless the NJC makes a recommendation to that effect. For now, Justice Salami’s fate rests in the court.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

selves for either of two outcomes….” The PDP had set a good example in Edo regardless of the sundry feelings and attitudes some persons in some quarters may harbour. It would appear that the candidate of the party, Airhiavbere, who had already approached the tribunal, is left to contemplate self-denial; but there are feelers that he is working out ways of managing the withdrawal of his petition so that he would not attract ill-will to himself from his supporters who believe that he should subject the grounds of challenge against Oshiomhole to legal test at the tribunal. But as far as loyalty to the party is concerned, Airhiavbere should not have wavered in aligning with the party decision. He should have quickly withdrawn any petition he might have filed whether shortly before or after the party announced its decision not to go to the tribunal. Anyway, he is yet to fully cut his teeth in politics. He is just about a year in the PDP and was privileged to have emerged the candidate of the party in line with some well-thought out political strategy. Perhaps, his party had not, as of the time of filing his petition, furnished him with necessary consideration. Those are internal arrangements that the PDP would have to finetune, concretise and formalise. His running mate, Hon. Johnson Abolagba, a loyal party man, has already aligned with the party’s decision. What is, by and large, significant in the emergent post-election “politics without bitterness” or if you like “demonstration of political sportsmanship” in Edo is the great example that the PDP has shown. It is an example that is capable of helping to reposition and redefine the party in the consciousness of the people and the electorate in Edo in the build-up to future elections. Oshiomhole, who is a beneficiary of this rare political sacrifice, should eternally relate to it as commendable. He should always appreciate the leaders who guided the PDP into taking the decision not to go to the tribunal. Such commendation should be borne out of the fact that, by the decision, he (Oshiomhole) is spared all forms of distraction that would have attended the legal voyage at the tribunal. In essence, his attention would now be completely focused on governance. He would have the leverage to quickly deliver on his campaign promises. This is the beauty of the PDP decision. Orbih had succinctly captured it this way: “… And now that ACN has taken the King’s trumpet, the task should be left with Governor Oshiomhole to find a place to blow it.” It is expected that Oshiomhole will blow the trumpet well in the domain of good governance and political accommodation of the opposition for the sole business of building a greater Edo State. I also expect that posterity will always remember the elements in the PDP who facilitated the decision not to go to tribunal against Oshiomhole. Indeed, the political leadership of the former chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih (aka the Leader) must be appreciated together with the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. They were all instrumental to the decision not to proceed against Oshiomhole at the tribunal; and should thus take the credit for this PDP exemplar in Edo. *Ainofenokhai contributed this piece from Benin, the Edo State Capital.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

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Still on creaky homes and messy matrimonies ABDULWAREES SOLANKE

B

uilding on Yakan’s premise of a successful or happy matrimony, I isolated some five or six fundamental errors men, and NOT WOMEN, commit that rob the larger society of the deserved peace. Granted that marriage is a shared responsibility, I strongly hold the belief that if men are sincere and discreet in matters of the heart, and not beclouded by lust and other opportunistic considerations, we will always get the partner with whom we can build a home. Yes. Therefore, the first of the errors most men commit is what I call error of intention. When the colour or the shape of the woman, the size of her purse, the eminence of her pedigree and the height of her education are what most men look out for in the woman they want to marry, such men already fall short on the benchmark of sincerity of intention. Most women soon find out why some men are after them. Not their hearts or their inner beauty. This error leads to the second fatal error: the error of selection. Lost in lust, caged by desire and fired by opportunism, some men, high in the clouds of selfishness, like falcons, are deaf to the falconer’s whistle. They plunge headlong into an affair destined not to work, because

in the first instance, it was wrongly anchored. But it is always never too late to retrace steps. For men in lust people see the smoke of future trouble and warn of dangers in the affair, advising them against their choice. Some men are incorrigible. The incorrigibility of such men leads them to the altar with the wrong mates as spouses. But we have heard tales of ‘no show’ on the day the Lord is supposed to make or run-away husband or wife leaving the owambe gathering of friends and well wishers stupefied and the family members in shame and disappointment. This could be averted. If at all such wrong couples with troubled or absent minds patch things to bring the world together in a lavish ceremony, they may never be able to build the home on love, but on suspicion and distrust. It is either they run the home like a boxing ring or a political turf. Can happy and responsible children be raised in such a home? Maladjusted children! Then, men make another fatal error: the error of assumption. I don’t blame women at all for any mistakes in marriage, just the men, because most men, when it comes to the matters of the heart lose their heads. Some go for women beyond their control and emotions. And they know this soon after they met. Yet, they assume ‘she will change, or things

LOST IN LUST, CAGED BY DESIRE AND FIRED BY OPPORTUNISM, SOME MEN, HIGH

IN THE CLOUDS OF

SELFISHNESS, LIKE

FALCONS, ARE DEAF TO THE FALCONER’S WHISTLE will change’. Unfortunately, it is a case of a leopard never changes its skin. Before marriage, some women have been made or have made up their minds on who they want to be, what company they want to belong and how they want to be perceived in the society. Men, or marriage, can’t change them. So, some stupid men lapse into the error of adaptation, putting up with their challenges and excesses in the loveless homes and adopting some coping strategies liking evading and avoiding their partners, or even abandoning their hurting and hurtful wives for some office mates and women friends. They may even become patrons of beer joints and suya spots in the neighbourhood just

to keep out of sight in the house. Here comes a disaster. Some men are even too weak to make a stand or decision when things have gone awfully wrong between them and their wives. They make the ultimate error, the error of submission to the woman they now see as the Devil in the House. But it is the foolish men, lost in lust, digging the hole and the gold in women who invite the devil into their hearts to create the monsters that many women became after their marriages. This is terrible! So, blame not womanhood for the creaky homes, messy matrimonies and death of parenting prevalent in our society and that is now questioning the legitimacy of marriage and the relevance of the family institution. To retrieve the Nigerian society from the social dislocations and maladjustment the erosion of the family has caused, the ministries of education, youth and culture, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other relevant stakeholders concerned with our social health must collaborate on evolving strategies of educating the youth on family values. This is absolutely necessary. Solanke, korewarith@yahoo.com, is Head, Voice of Nigeria Training Centre, Transmitting Station Complex, Ikorodu, Lagos

Minister’s hurdles to aviation infrastructure provisioning YAKUBU DATI

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he beauty of our nascent democracy is the ability of various stakeholders to hold government accountable. However, this leverage, often times, has been misused either for malicious reasons, partisan politics or plain mischief. The aforementioned reasons can only be the motives for the recent highly strung criticisms of the several landmark aviation projects across the country. Before the current reconstruction efforts of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Odua, successive administrations paid lip service to the issue of aviation infrastructure provisioning. Our airports and terminals had existed for almost 40 years without any facilities upgrade, a development that made existing facilities an eyesore to all that behold them. It was this dysfunctional and national embarrassment that propelled the minister to embark on this noble exercise. However, the project managers of these several projects have reiterated their commitment to ensuring that best practices are applied in terms of the engineering designs and drawings. A clear instance of the aforementioned is the near life threatening case of power outages at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, which has 70 percent dependence rate on generating plants. The ministry has finished conceptualising a permanent solution that will soon be implemented. Some of the ministry’s traducers, looking for straws to hold on to, have gone to

BEFORE THE CURRENT RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS OF

THE MINISTER OF AVIATION,

PRINCESS STELLA ODUA, SUCCESSIVE ADMINISTRATIONS PAID LIP SERVICE TO THE ISSUE OF AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE PROVISIONING the Appropriation Act for validation. However, they may wish to note that even the Act makes exemptions in certain cases. The fact is the current minister assumed duties in July 2011, several months after the Appropriation Bill 2011 had been passed. The National Assembly then appropriated part of the funds to the ministry in its Appropriation Act 2011 while the balance was in the existing BASA account, which resides with the Ministry. To access the appropriated funds for these projects and utilise the BASA funds, the National Assembly is empowered to exercise control by giving or withholding approval. For the records, the ministry followed the statutory guidelines and obtained the requisite approvals before accessing the funds.

Another point worthy of note is the courage the minister had to overcome bureaucratic red tapes with her declaration of emergency programs in addressing dilapidating airport infrastructure in Nigeria. This she achieved by applying the provision under the Procurement Act of the Bureau of Public Enterprises BPE under which the requirement for advertisement and bidding was waived to fast track the duration of conception to completion of the numerous aviation infrastructure. However, even though the waivers were obtained there can be no escaping of Due Process unit as this is the only way of ensuring that all those involved abide by the tenets of probity and accountability. These include getting approvals from the National Assembly (because the projects came after the 2011 Appropriation Act), BPE, Ministry of Finance etc. These are statutory requirements that the ministry and contractors are obliged to comply with. As such, this naturally delayed the timeline of the projects. However, the most embarrassing cause of delay in the execution has been the distractions caused by all the petitions and allegations over these projects. Instead of concentrating in their execution, the minister, permanent secretary, directors of the ministry, contractors and agency heads, have been tossed between several committees of the National Assembly and other agencies of Federal Government to respond to allegations in petitions by Nigerians over the projects. Work has effectively been delayed or stopped by this development. It is to be noted that the “regular” con-

tractors in the industry responsible for the over 30 years of decay of the infrastructure are very upset that the minister did not award the contracts for the projects to them. Thus they have been at the forefront of petition writing, sponsored advertorials, and outright insults and name calling. It is quite sad that Nigerians who are accusing the executive for non-implementation of the 2012 budget are responsible for the delay in the execution of projects that ought to have been commissioned and put to use. It is, however, gratifying that all the petitions have been thrown out. It should be noted also that no one has complained about the quality of work being done at the airports, no one is unhappy with the fact that for the first time the projects are not concentrated in Lagos but are spread to Yola, Kano, Owerri, Benin Kaduna etc. A mere whitewash cannot undo the dilapidation of ages, the Ministry of Aviation is ensuring that a thorough job is done; the projects are there for anyone who cares to inspect them. Stakeholders must insist that detractors of this rejuvenation process in aviation sector do not derail it. If we aspire for greatness, our airport terminals must be at their best as we welcome the world to our shores through them. 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 17, 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

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

SATURDAY EDITOR

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GENERAL EDITOR

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Organised Private Sector and the country’s industrialisation

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he Organised Private Sector (OPS), last month, listed the provision of adequate infrastructure, especially power, improvement of security, development of skilled manpower, policy consistency, land reforms, tackling corruption and the strengthening of supply chains as the most critical factors in ushering in a new era of increased investments in the industrial sector of the economy. In a speech at a quarterly luncheon for business leaders hosted by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments for key OPS operators, the Chairman of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Tayo Ayeni, who summed up the position of the OPS, stated that the desired economic growth and prosperity could only be achieved if the aforementioned disincentives were addressed. He said the government needed to listen to local frontline investors and engage them actively in policy formulation in order to secure their commitment to plans and objectives for economic development; development of workable and result-oriented policy initiatives; and to ensure that the right challenges were highlighted and the right solutions proffered.

The maiden quarterly luncheon, said to be the brainchild of the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, without doubt, promises a mutually beneficial partnership between the government and the private sector. Our only quarrel, however, is the fact that most of such outings in the past often ended up as mere talk shops and scarcely enhanced the country’s sustainable economic growth and development. Sharing ideas and deliberating on the problems militating against industrial growth and the ways out only become relevant when they make the desired practical impact on the issues at stake. Countries currently savouring such growth and development (like the Asian tigers, among others) revolutionized their economies and industries with awesome determination, sincere commitment and zerotolerance for corruption; not through pervasive public sector corruption and the mouthing of economic transformation agenda which does not tally with practical situations. In truth, large scale inadequacies in electricity supply, functional road and rail infrastructure, security, land reforms, policy consistency, elimination

COUNTRIES CURRENTLY SAVOURING SUCH GROWTH AND

DEVELOPMENT (LIKE THE ASIAN TIGERS, AMONG OTHERS)

REVOLUTIONIZED THEIR ECONOMIES AND INDUSTRIES WITH AWESOME

DETERMINATION, SINCERE COMMITMENT AND ZERO-TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPTION of official corruption and dubious bureaucratic bottlenecks, etc., have foisted on the nation the pains of operating an economy without electricity in a globalised 21st Century driven by knowledge and unimaginable competition. The backlash on living conditions, notably: life expectancy, infant and maternal mortality rates, access to safe drinking water, basic shelter, adult literacy, unemployment rates, public health care and other critical indices of development, have been most unfair

to ordinary Nigerians. The 2010 report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), for example, indicated that more Nigerians became poorer between 2004 and 2010 with about 61 per cent living in absolute poverty – those who cannot afford the bare essentials of food, shelter and clothing. Objective development indices provided by global bodies like the United Nations also list Nigerians among the most poverty-stricken and materially wretched in the world. Worsening the situation have been the government’s dismal failure to provide security for the citizenry; and its mind boggling passion for corruption and catering for its own comforts and luxuries mostly through indecent and dishonest escapades and policies that provoke public anger. We no less agree with the OPS’ position, especially with the dumbfounding level of corruption, insecurity and infrastructure rots scourging the country. But likewise urgent is the need to return to agriculture, a sector the nation has comparative advantage. Perhaps, only sincere determination and commitment by the government, more than anything else, may be the intervention needed to reverse the trend.

ON THIS DAY August 17, 2009 An accident at the Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam in Khakassia, Russia, killed 75 and shut down the hydroelectric power station, leading to widespread power failure in the local area. The Sayano– Shushenskaya Dam is located on the Yenisei River, near Sayanogorsk in Khakassia, Russia. It is the largest power plant in Russia and the sixth-largest hydroelectric plant in the world, by average power generation.

August 17, 2008 American swimmer, Michael Phelps, became the first person to win eight gold medals in one Olympic Games (Beijing 2008). Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is a retired American swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (18, double that of the next highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events (11), and Olympic medals in individual events for a male (13).

August 17, 1950 Hill 303 massacre: American POWs (Prisoners of War) were massacred by North Korean Army. The Hill 303 massacre was a war crime that took place in the Korean War on August 17, 1950 on a hill above Waegwan, South Korea. Forty-one captured United States Army prisoners of war were machine-gunned by members of the North Korean People’s Army during one of the smaller engagements of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.


Your

FRIDAY

Flavour

Friday, August 17, 2012

• Sir Shina Peters headlines concert

MILLION PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE ‘STREET PARTY’ EACH YEAR

Shina Peters

Jimmy Jatt

Davido

Kayswtch

the carnival is the second most popular in the world. The carnival is the largest street festival in Europe and originated in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own

cultures and traditions. Taking place every August Bank Holiday weekend in the streets of London W11, the Notting Hill Carnival is an amazing array of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity.

P. 24-25

white-green high and show the world our culture and values, using our rich music, comedy, fashion and arts”, Fagade stated. He encouraged Nigerians and friends of the country to come out in bright Nigerian fashion on the Golbourne Road W10 (Intersection of Golbourne Gardens and Hazlewood Crescent -Nearest landmark: Trellick Tower) for this year’s carnival. In a related development Friday Flavour gathered that Afro Juju maestro, Sir Shina Peters, will also be in London for the carnival. He will be appearing with stars like: Olamide, Reminisce, Buchi, Wale Gates, Muna, Nigerian DJs UK, DJ KC, DJ Abass, DJ Jerry, DJ Whateva and many more also at the Nigerian Corner. This event, beginning at noon and running till evening, will be hosted by The RMG Company and has DJAMEDIA as official media partner. It also boasts of an after party at Moonlighting Club, London. Now in its 47th year, the Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which takes place on the streets of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. At least, one million people from all over the world attend the ‘street party’ each year, and

WEEKEND STARTERS Glitz Africa fashion fiesta ends in Accra

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his weekend in Accra, Ghana, the Glitz Africa magazine will continue to celebrate African fashion and lifestyle, at the Accra International Conference Centre. The event promises to be glamorous as the Glitz Africa team has selected a list of top designers of African origin from United Kingdom, United States of America and the entire African continent to showcase their designs during the fiesta which started on Monday and ends on Saturday, August 18.

Open Mic Theatre at Terra Kulture

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Denrele’s Day

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THE WORLD ATTEND

he Open Mic Theatre is back and Dede will be present- Akintola is titled, ing its 7th edition The beautiful Ebisan. which is the beginning of ‘The Celebration Se- The artistes performries’ at the Terra Kulture, ing are Bimbo AkinVictoria Island, Lagos, on tola, Najite Kuti, Dede Saturday, August 18 by Mabiaku,Wole Ojo and a 6:00pm. The play in view host of others.

ANSU honours Bob Manuel Udokwu

A

ctor Bob Manuel Udokwu will today be honoured by the Students Union of the Anambra State University, Uli, Anambra State. Udokwu is getting an ‘Award of Excellence’ for his various exploits in the field of acting. Aside giving talks about how to get into Nollywood, he will also present a paper titled ‘Role of the Youth in Economic Survival’. The event will start at 11 am at the main campus, Uli, Anambra State. Bob Manuel

Inside FCT

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n Monday, August 27, London will once again host thousands of Nigerians that make a yearly pilgrimage to the Nigerian Corner of the annual Notting Hill Carnival, including stars like: Kayswitch, Praiz, Mr. Solek, DJ Jimmy Jatt and Afro pop prince, Davido. Organisers of the Nigerian Corner, otherwise known as Naija Corner, Sodium Brand Solutions and Reve Entertainment, announced the line up for this year’s edition of the Notting Hill Carnival in London and said more names will be made known as more stars confirm attendance. Principal Consultant at Sodium Brand Solutions, Mr. Abisoye Fagade, said some of the biggest names in Nigerian music will come together on Monday to deliver 100 percent entertainment to fans at the Nigerian Corner. Fagade said the confirmed artistes include: Kayswitch, Praiz, Mr. Solek, DJ Jimmy Jatt and Davido. “The music stars will be supported by stand-up comedians Princess, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st and Tee A”, he explained. The Nigerian Corner first staged the carnival on August 31, 2009. Now in its fourth year, the Nigerian Corner is the official space for Nigerians at the Notting Hill Carnival, with past performers including eLDee, Banky W, 9ice and Funke Akindele, among many more. “Nigerians will proudly join the rest of the world in the spirit of friendship and joy, as we fly the green-

AT LEAST ONE

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TERH AGBEDEH

Escape

Nigerian stars set to rock Nothing Hill Carnival

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

Mirror Mongers

VOL. 2 No. 428

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Artman In The House

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

I was paid N100 per episode Master folklorist Jimi Solanke is everyone’s favourite uncle; it matters little if you fall into his age group. The veteran stage performer’s endearing quality as a storyteller and singer drew both young and old through Storyland and African Stories two defunct hit TV shows for children. Last month, the illustrious proponent of Yoruba culture stepped into his 70th year of birth amid deserving fanfare. Friday Flavour was part of the birthday celebrations in Ile-Ife after where Uncle Jimi spoke with WALE FOLARIN about being an iconic septuagenarian. Looking back at your existence in the past 69 years, what do you think posterity would say about Uncle Jimi? Posterity would say he was contented –with contentment, you have a long life to live. Posterity would also remember that he was God-fearing; the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. At this point, I am the Balogun Ijo (congregation chairman) of my church here in Ile-Ife and I want to be known as godly and committed. People will say this artist was here and he did the best that he could do in all aspects of arts that he touched. You were being called Baba Agba (grandfather) even when younger. Now that you are truly a Baba Agba at 70, how do you feel? I was joking with my oga (Prof. Wole Soyinka) this morning and I said, “oga look, people like us who are now 70” and he said, “Will you stop that, you are 70 tin ti ni” (very tiny 70 years). I feel great and the most important aspect of it is that I’m ready to work and still working. I have been checking within the last two or three weeks; it is not a case of memory loss which are some symptoms of old age. I don’t feel the age, maybe it is because I have been using my body for work all the time and the body is always set and ready to do more. Do you remember any situation in your childhood which prepared you for your career? I remember my mother telling stories of how talented I was in the school drama in those days. Then, I was winning prizes, not in academics, but in drama, singing and stage plays, while I was even in the primary school. I think it’s talent because by the time I left elementary school and went to secondary school, I was already creating bands, writing songs. Majority of such songs became hits when some bands recorded them –Roy Chicago recorded about four of my songs including Khaki no be leather, Onile gogoro and Jen ro kan. While still in secondary school my name had began to appear under album credits. By the time I left school and had the opportunity to go to Ibadan, I just went straight for the microphone; singing with different bands. I also had the opportunity of being trained in different kinds of standard jazz tunes. Music seems to be your first love and you had a successful stay with Roy Chicago. What made you to leave that band in spite of a beckoning commercial music career? That’s a long story. Where Roy Chicago was situated was in Olorunsogo Abalabi Night Club. My Father’s house was on Silver Street, not too far away from Olorunsogo where the night club was situated. I used to sneak out of the house to go to the night club which my parents did not like. They didn’t want me to go near any night club at all, but I had business to do with the night club. That’s where we first started to disagree. I would sneak out and leave the car doors open so when I got back, I slept inside the car. We disagreed too many times on that. My parents would call me names like omo asunta (vagrant), ‘gutter boy’. That’s why I couldn’t stay with the Roy Chicago Band; they were too close for comfort. My father’s street was just behind the night club– so I went somewhere else to be free as a singer. Eventually, when I was asked to train as a printing technician at the Caxton Press, Ibadan, I jumped at it. But I didn’t stay at the press simply because my interest was in just being a performing artist. Have you ever had any difficulty with learning and imbibing folklores? No, because put lay your mind where your interest is. Infact, I’m publishing a book titled: Stories I told you before. Till date, I’m still collecting stories. Every time you decide to tell a story to your children, you can create one. If it becomes successful they will tell their friends who will tell their parents. Parents who are interested in keeping the stories will do and continue using them. So that’s how this folklore thing travels. I was very mindful of the fact that if you are going to be a cultural artist, you must be able to tell stories. I had been told so many stories when I was young in my home town in Ipara Remo, Ogun State; I have them all inside me. I sat down with people who were telling

stories; I collected and created stories myself. By the time I had the opportunity when I returned from America, I decided to create Family Scene which I started on Lagos Television 8 (LTV 8), a brand new station then. We agreed that I could create a programme for children. My friend, Biddy Wright the guitar player (who had been here in Nigeria), and I arranged a programme. We went to the University of Lagos Staff Club, gathered the children and entertained them. It was recorded by some people from LTV 8 and when they edited the recording, they liked it. So, about three or four different recordings at Unilag Staff Club became the first three episodes for Family Scene. That programme became popular. From there, NTA approached me and we went to a workshop. The recordings I did at Jos Television School were the first two episodes of Storyland. That’s where the story aspect began and since I knew that children –even parents– were enjoying it, I kept at it. A lot of people were asking me why did you stop and I told them I did not get a contract form. As much as people loved Storyland, I was paid N100 per episode! Yet, I was researching into stories, working with the graphic artists and all that. I was doing it because of the interest. What was responsible for the wide followership gained by Storyland? Storyland gained wide followership because I was doing it from the bottom of my heart; I was trying to let children believe me. In those days you didn’t think of money, I was doing it with so much passion. I was trying to make the children gain something from each of the episodes and that’s why they still appreciate me. I have millions of fans now all over and anywhere they meet me, they say ‘Uncle Jimi why are you

FACT FILE •

Olujimi Solanke was born on July 4, 1942.

He studied at the School of Drama, University of Ibadan (U.I).

He later became a drama instructor at U.I. and then University of Ife, serving as drama assistant to renowned dramatist Prof. Ola Rotimi.

Success and fame came in the 80s with two children’s television shows Storyland and African Stories - broadcast across Nigeria.

Uncle Jimi is an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Blessed with children, he is married to Oluwatoyin to whom his latest album Oluwatoyin is dedicated.

Ahead of his 70th birthday, Solanke was featured on the January 2nd episode of CNN’s “African Voices”.

Uncle Jimi


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Artman In The House

Friday, August 17, 2012

21

of Storyland –Jimi Solanke not doing Storyland again, our own children too are missing you’. So, we are going to find a station where we can transmit some stories and child-oriented programmes very soon. Do you suppose the school curriculum is relevant to the appreciation of indigenous culture by children nowadays? I have had the opportunity of attending conferences where we talked about curriculum and teaching processes in schools. Even if eggheads sat down somewhere and created the curriculum, the implementation is the problem. Gone are days when schools had two teachers on their listing to teach one subject and the teachers would because they had lesson notes and every tool which would make their teaching of such subject effective. Today, even if the curriculum is created, we have problems with the people who are teaching. Majority of them are teaching because it is the last opportunity for them to have a job. In the past, teachers wanted to teach because of a passion to impart knowledge into children; then we had subjects such as arts and crafts. But when I look into books children are reading today, I don’t see anything that will get them close to their cul-

MY PARENTS DIDN’T WANT ME TO GO NEAR ANY NIGHT CLUB AT ALL, BUT

I HAD BUSINESS

TO DO WITH THE NIGHT CLUB ture. We need to let the children know more about our culture, arts and craft. If we can go back to the cultural aspect and get it taught in schools, that would be good. How much of the moral lessons taught in your stories are apparent in our lifestyle today? That is the area where I am pained. When people came to me and said “oh Uncle Jimi, you have touched our lives”. Some would say “Oh! I remember when I did something wrong, my parent would punish me by not allowing me to watch Storyland’. But how well are they using the moral lessons and how much of the moral lessons are they imparting in their children? If I have the opportunity (which I’m very sure I have) I will want to do it again. I’m packaging a programme called To yi wo (Have a taste) for a station in the South Western part of Nigeria. What is life at home like for the family of a folkorist? We enjoy ourselves a lot in this home; everybody has

learnt how to be friendly. You don’t teach people by trying to force it down on them. My wife and I have been married for about 40 years and we have not had a quarrel once; she’s as happy as ever. She keeps me young and she is getting younger too. When there is togetherness, the home will be fine. You cannot be known outside to be adding value to the lives of people and then be known inside as a Bo lo ya mi kind of man. How do you relax? My wife talks to me a lot; she takes the stress off my mind. Apart from that, I go out to sing, create an artwork or finish an episode before I sleep. It is what you like most that you can relax. If I’m singing, I’m relaxing, if I have a production, I will relax into it because that is when the best of you will be revealed. I read and laugh with my friends too because laughter is therapeutic. Can you share your birthday wish with us? Yes, as I was wished from the midnight of the July 3, I pray for all of us reading this interview. May the latter part of your lives be sweeter that the early part and it will be free of sickness, worries and negative innuendoes that you don’t even need. Children should be careful, there maybe challenges, but put your mind on God and think positively. It is the way you think that your life rotates, so think positively, breathe positively and keep your mind on steady positivism.

His artworks

Uncle Jimi and wife, Toyin

In his studio

Some of his awards


22

Critics

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Book There is an intense debate presently raging in art circles. At the centre of the debate is the book In a New Light: Conversation with Nine Nigerian Artists and Curators written by Kazeem Adeleke. A collection of interviews with nine Nigerian artists and curators, the book explores their deepest thoughts, especially what drives their passion for the arts. REX L AWSON

O

lu Amoda, Victor Ehikhamenor, Nkechi NwosuIgbo, Peju Layiwola, Kelechi Amadi-Obi Onyeka Ibe, Emeka Udemba, Nkiru Nzegwu and Okwui Enwezor in the interviews talk about their work, addressing how the issues of race, gender, art politics, globalisation and culture politics have affected their practices. The collection provides an insight into the lives and practices of the artists and curators, revealing discourses others will only talk about in secret. In a New Light: Conversation with Nine Nigerian Artists and Curators is three books in one. It is divided into three parts: part one is titled Looking Outside from Within, while part two is called Outsiders on the Inside. Part three of the book is titled The Curators. According to Adeleke, “The idea behind this book is to open up and generate even greater discussions about some of the topical issues that have dominated the art world for decades”, and the book is living up to that expectation. The true measure of the book, however, is in how it opens up and sometimes complicates the issues of race, identity, gender, globalisation, colonialism, postcolonialism and global art politics. One of the very contentious interviews in the book which continues to generate passionate debate is that with Okwui Enwezor. Enwezor is perhaps one of the most celebrated curators in the curatorial field, today. In the last two decades, Enwezor has worked his way to the top of the curatorial profession, staging outstanding exhibitions which continue to stimulate discourses across the world. Besides trying to deconstruct the myth of the West as the only centre of civilisation, many of Enwezor’s exhibitions are focused on bringing to the centre, artists and countries that have for years resided in the margins and periphery of Western curatorial hierarchy. Documenta 11 duly illustrate Enwezor’s curatorial approach. Unlike other Documentas before it that focused on established Western artists and developed countries, Enwezor’s approach was inclusive, broadening the discourse to include peripheral countries that have hitherto been excluded from global art discourses. Successful as the exhibition was, however, Enwezor soon became the subject of severe criticisms. His attempt to deconstruct the traditional notion of the centre provoked intense condemnation, including being described as a stooge of the West –in other words, a sell out. At the core of the criticisms against Enwezor were the works in Documenta 11. Enwezor’s critics argued that some of the works in Documenta 11 focused mainly on disasters such as wars, famine, pestilence and earthquakes happening across the globe particularly Africa. The featuring of works with such themes in Documenta 11, they contend, is a rehash of the propaganda that has dominated Western media for years. Consequently, they concluded that Enwezor was pandering to Western dictates as a way of getting favours from the West. Is Enwezor really playing the game of the West as his critics have alleged? This is one of the very tough and daring questions Adeleke asked him in the interview. Enwezor’s tone, though subtle was direct. He vehemently denounced the criticism, noting that, “My project has not been concerned with war, pestilence and all the categories you just listed. I don’t know where that nonsense comes from”. As for those who have accused him of playing the games of the West, Enwezor responds “Whether one plays the game of the West or not, it’s very easy to lob this critique. It is fair. People will call it selling out

Kelechi Amadi-Obi’s Nkechi, 2003, water color, 114 x1

A book of controversies ONE OF THE VERY CONTENTIOUS INTERVIEWS IN THE BOOK WHICH CONTINUES TO GENERATE PASSIONATE DEBATE IS THAT WITH OKWUI ENWEZOR

or a number of different things. I find those to be really quite impoverished critiques because nobody’s offering the obverse of the kind of shows that I make.” Enwezor’s response to Adeleke’s question, instead of resolving the allegations against him, has ignited even more controversies and condemnations of his curatorial practice by not just his Western colleagues but also African intellectuals, particularly those living in the West. Besides raising issues about the fact that Enwezor is not a trained curator, they have also condemned his curatorial practice, describing it as lopsided. His presentation and focus on works by Western–based African artists as the true representation of contemporary African, they argue, is a misrepresentation of development of contemporary African art and an anathema to the principles of globalisation. There are, however, those who have questioned the intentions of these critics. They wonder if the criticisms against Enwezor are justified or politically-motivated. Some even feel the criticisms are a consequence of Enwezor’s effort to forcefully insert himself into a dominant discourse that has negated his own origin for decades. So, they ask “Is Enwezor an outside or insider”. “The notion of the insider and outsider is a very complex one”, Adeleke notes. “I think Enwezor has made the effort to balance both roles by carefully navigating the complexities of the insider and outsider binary relationship. You can see an example of that in” Snap Judgment: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography”, Enwezor’s recent exhibition at the International Centre for Photography, New York. He brought together photographers from different parts of Africa to examine the important roles of African artists within a global setting. I think the problem is that many of his critics are looking at his practice through a narrow lens. Enwezor, to me, seems to have positioned himself in that liminal space where there is a merger of discourses and ideas. The confluence of all those discourses continue to manifest in his curatorial practice”. Victor Ehikhamenor agrees with Adeleke’s position, arguing that many of those who maintain that En-

wezor only focused on Western-based Nigerian artists are wrong. Enwezor, he notes “has featured local artist in prestigious biennales”. He also thinks Nigerianbased artists are better positioned than their Western counterpart. “There are even more opportunities for those living at home (Nigeria) than those of us living in the West. The Westerners usually consider us ‘tainted’ and want to go for the exotic, to the source”. Beyond curatorial practice, Enwezor has also generated some controversies in his denunciation of museums in Africa. In a section of the interview in the book, Enwezor could not hide his disappointment with the crumbling state of cultural institutions in Africa. He notes that “having travelled through Africa: East Africa, West Africa, South Africa and then North Africa, I have witnessed different types of problems. Except for Egypt and South Africa, the state of museums is dangerously approaching the state of obsolescence”. Although Enwezor agrees that museums are essential in the development of any society, he finds the derelict state of museums and the lack of structures necessary for major exhibitions and collaborations very disturbing. This, he notes, is one of the reasons A Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movement in Africa 1945-1994, did not travel to any African country. Enwezor blames many African leaders for the ruined state of cultural institutions in their countries. Many African leaders, Enwezor insists have not done enough to improve cultural institutions in their countries and merely pay lip service when it comes to culturally development. One way of dealing with the derelict state of museums in Africa, Enwezor surmises, is for Africans to bypass government and seek alternative sources of funding. “They have to bypass governments”, so “they can build new institutions and create space for public intellectuals to emerge”. Adeleke’s interview with Enwezor is not the only contentious interview in this book. The interviews in part two of the books are also controversial yet insightful. This chapter consists of four interviews with four Nigerian-based artists: two females and two males. The two Nigerian-based female artists, Peju Layiwola and Nkechi Nwosu- Igbo discuss issues of gender discrimination in Nigeria and how it has affected their practice. They also share their experiences about gender inequality and the issues of globalism and globalisation. While there are many topical issues in this section of the book, perhaps, the most contentious is the examination of the ramification of Nigeria’s local gender politics on the international scene. Lawson wrote in from Lagos.


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Critics

Friday, August 17, 2012

23

Music

Hennessy, M.I, Naeto C: The perfect blend Hennessy, the world’s leading cognac brand prides itself in creating the perfect mix. This philosophy placed in bottles and shipped worldwide has also been transferred into music via Hennessy Artistry. ANITA AIYUDU

H

ennessy Artistry is a global music campaign and a highly celebrated musical platform that explores different vibrant music genres; fusing styles and pushing the envelope as far as experimental collaboration is concerned. Hennessy Artistry made its debut in Nigeria in 2008 and has since then involved numerous top Nigerian acts such as Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Shina Peters, Banky W, eLDee and Tiwa Savage to name a few. This year, the headliners are Naeto C and M.I. This marks the first time that both artistes would be working together as a duo. Naeto C and M.I who are widely regarded as two of Nigeria’s best rappers

came up with the theme song for this year’s Hennessy Artistry project after several studio sessions. The song titled, Bartender was released last week and was produced by Naeto C’s frequent collaborator and one of Nigeria’s finest hit makers, Tee-Y Mix. The song which lasts for about four minutes has Naeto C and M.I doing what they know how to do best– delivering witty content and catchy tunes with finesse. Music lovers know that both rappers have different styles; M.I has an excitable flow while Naeto C has a very cool and laidback style. Despite their different styles, Bartender is a manifestation of both styles comfortably blending, thanks to Hennessy Artistry. Bartender so far is proving to be growing in popularity with over 25,000 down-

A scene from the Bartender video

BARTENDER SO FAR IS PROVING TO BE GROWING IN POPULARITY WITH OVER

25,000 DOWNLOADS IN LESS THAN A WEEK OF ITS RELEASE

loads in less than a week of its release. The song is unique because it acts as both a feel good song and a club hit. It

also has a tempo that allows you to do the Etighi dance or the Ghanaian breakout dance move Azonto. As Clarence Peters has concluded stitching scenes of the Bartender music video together, M.I and Naeto C are getting ready for the Hennessy Artistry Club Tour which will feature some of the most promising acts in the Nigerian music scene today. With each passing year, the Hennessy Artistry’s theme song has gotten better. Bartender is another masterpiece of what Hennessy Artistry has been so successful at achieving– combining contemporary, hip and inspirational music.

Performance

Exposing community talents in the arts It was a remarkable experience for some budding talents in comedy, music and dance around Lagos suburbs who participated in the recently organised maiden edition of the CO.MU.DA Project designed to expose community talents to the globe.

Flawless crew

OLAYIWOLA AWAKAN

THE PRODUCTION PROUDLY

T

FLAUNTED THE UNIQUENESS

he creative industry is fast spreading into the veins of every community in the country, most especially Lagos. The youth have realised the lucrative deal in enhancing, developing and exposing raw talents in comedy, dance, music, drama and others. In addition to the existing community competitions for budding artistic talents, ShowBizMen, Dunamis Entertainment and Showstoppaz crew recently organised the maiden edition of their CO.MU.DA Project, created to connect budding talents to

EMBEDDED IN SOME MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS IN THE

NIGERIAN SOCIETY

stardom. This project, set in the heart of Igando, Idimu, Ikotun and environs, played host to fresh comedians, musicians and dance group recently at the Royal Treet Multipurpose Hall, LASU-Iba Road, Lagos. The event which was anchored by a winner of the AY Open Mic Comedy Contest, Kenneth Chinedu Igwe, popularly called M.O.G. started with rib crack-

ing jokes. While other comedians such as Plenty Mouth, V-Level, Sherokoko, Destalker, Kolo Frank Onero thrilled the crowd. The expectation of the audience was high for the firstof-its-kind show in the area. The competition commenced with the contestants in the Comedy category. Gozie, Hilarious Pisi, Mc Kel and Broyo took the stage with their jokes. Some were able to im-

press the crowd who were actually the judges, while others shared ‘dry’ and archaic jokes. Among the four contestants, Gozie was declared the winner after three phases of the competition. The second category was the music contest; mature participants thrilled the audience with rap and R & B. Alli Brown Lanre (Lab), Akinsanya Johnson (Row Don) and Ismail Bello demonstrated their skills in music. After a keenly contested competition, Row Don emerged the winner. The last category, which was dance, had only one group called Flawless. The all-male group gave a creative and acrobatic display on the Boko Haram situation; they impressed the crowd. At the end of the project, the winners were assured of being connected with some key producers as well as given the opportunity to par-

ticipate in major shows for the world to acknowledge their potentials. Among the guests at the event were Beady Nnanna, a TV personality with NTA 10; Olatomi Falade, the Admin Manager of Artsbeat Concepts; Abolaji Florence, an artiste and many others in the creative industry. The organisers Ganiyu Amusan (Aparawa), Adeyanju Adegboyega (D Prince) and Atolagbe Jide (Top Jay) of ShowBizMen as well as Kenneth Chinedu Igwe (MOG) of Dunamis Entertainment, disclosed that they are focused on promoting raw talents in communities across the country. According to them, it is a yearly event for people to recognise the strength of raw talents in community development and how the world can benefit from these untapped artistes.


24

Inside FCT

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Suleja: Soldiers’ presence spawns debate as Emergency Rule ends MARCUS FATUNMOLE

A

mist of freedom literally fell on Suleja community last month as the Federal Government finally announced the much-anticipated suspension of the over six months Emergency Rule in the ancient city. But against the people’s hope, the soldiers are still in control. This time, the curfew imposed on the town has been lifted and there is no more molestation or dehumanisation of residents and commuters; the military men only pose as security figures whose presence expectedly signals caution to those still bent on fanning the embers of crises that necessitated the deployment of the soldiers into the town late last year. Life has now returned to Suleja. Socio-economic activities, which were battered by the Emergency Rule, are fast recovering. Homes which were deserted and overgrown with weeds during the crisis are now wearing better looks with their run-away occupants taking possession of the structures. The roads and market places are now crowded with people daily and everyone going about their lawful businesses. However, the presence of soldiers in the city still leaves a bitter taste of the soldiers reign and generates argument on whether they should stay in the town or not. Ahmadu Haruna, a resident of Suleja, expressed discomfort with the way soldiers along the Secretariat Road threaten passers-by and motorists. “The fear Emergency Rule generated in our hearts will not fade away easily until these men finally leave this town”, Haruna said. On the contrary, Grace Amarachi, a food vendor in the town, expressed satisfaction with the presence of

THE SOLDIERS DON’T BEAT US LIKE BEFORE; EVERYTHING IS GOING NORMALLY the soldiers. She told our reporter that the “presence of the ‘Khaki guys’ means well for us. You don’t just leave a community which had not known crisis for more than 10 years like that. We must be convinced that peace has fully returned here before we can bid the soldiers farewell. The soldiers don’t beat us like before; everything is now normal. You leave your house anytime in the morning and come back home like a normal human being at night. If the soldiers had been like this in the past six months, nobody would really be pushing for their urgent withdrawal”, Amarachi declared. Inside FCT yet noted that some motor bike operators who carry adult males are made to disembark their passengers few meters before they get to the soldiers on the Secretariat Road. Others who convey women and children usually do not undergo that process. At the time our reporter visited the community, only two barricades were mounted by the soldiers on roads leading into and within the town. Senior Special Adviser on Politics to the local government Chairman, Isa Mohammed told Inside FCT that the emergency rule period was challenging for the town. According to him, it was difficult for people like him to come out then and speak with the media on the issue. He, however, remarked that the period afforded both religious and political leaders in the area to device ways of restoring and sustaining peace in the local council. Sources at the council said, “large proportion of council

Obstruction mounted by soldiers on Suleja Road

funds which were withheld during the crisis have been released to ensure things move on well in Suleja area council”. Until the recurrent bomb blasts where no fewer than 10 persons died minutes after Governor Babangida Aliyu addressed party faithfuls during his gubernatorial re-election campaign in March last year; another 25 people killed in April 2011 at the town’s INEC office’s

FCT residents lament VIPs

Police convoy

MARCUS FATUNMOLE

T

he needless traffic snags associated with presidential or other political dignitaries’ tours along major roads in the FCT have continued to give many residents concern over the past months, especially when the

socio-economic costs of such prolonged delays which sometimes take up to 90 minutes, are taken into consideration. The pains, which many residents bear grudgingly but also helplessly, are more recurring on the about 15-kilometre stretch of Umar Musa Yar’Adua Highway that connects the city to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Air-

port. A few months ago, many road users and motorists had heaved a sigh of relief as they saw the construction of the 10-lane road progressively moving to completion, which supposedly signalled an end to the long-standing traffic logjam on the highway. But what help does such a highway offer to the masses now routinely forced into traffic gridlocks for several hours by security personnel just to ensure unfettered travel of principal government officials. Often, movement of vehicles and other users of the road are sometimes halted even when the expected “VIPs” might still be in their offices, homes or other climes attending to personal matters. Inside FCT investigations have shown that one of the major causes of pains to the citizenry is a seeming lack of effective communication between the Protocol officers of the “VIPs” and the Police or security agencies top echelons. It is not uncommon to see hundreds of police officers and men staying under heavy downpour or scotching sunrays for hours on end waiting for

“important” persons who might still be half-the-world away from the FCT. Having being through this discomfiting experience, these officers and men show no restraint dealing with anybody that dares to enter the blocked roads even few minutes after the convoys must have departed. This bitter experience does not stop here; the security personnel at times pounce on roads that have no direct link with the highways, totting guns to ensure their lords’ absolute safety even in the face of no threat. For thousands of residents, these routine tours of the ‘political heavy weights’ do not go without negative consequences. Flights are missed, workers get to work late and already perturbed drivers soon get involved in avoidable accidents. “We (commercial drivers) become sad whenever we see those police officers filing onto the road. We instantly realise it will be difficult for us to ply the road on such a day”, said Adekunle Benson, a commercial driver in the city. According to him, he had allegedly been flagged down by the police while taking an expectant mother to the hospital for delivery. “It was by luck we


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Inside FCT

Friday, August 17, 2012

25

Demolition of FCT villages: CSOs caution authorities on approach TOLA AKINMUTIMI

A

blast; and the Christmas Day bombing at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, where about 30 lives were lost, last crisis recorded in the town was when former Governor Awwal Ibrahim became the Emir of Suleja in 1993. His ascension resulted in rioting and destruction of property by opponents. He was deposed

on May 10, 1994 by the then Head of State, General Sani Abacha. He was, however, reinstated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on January 17, 2000. His reinstatement again caused series of violent clashes, forcing the government to call in anti-riot troops and imposed a 20-hour curfew on the community.

convoys’ traffic gridlocks MOVEMENT OF VEHICLES ARE SOMETIMES HALTED EVEN WHEN THE EXPECTED

“VIPS”

MIGHT STILL BE IN THEIR OFFICES managed to get to the hospital 30 minutes after we had been stopped. The husband of the woman had almost lost hope”, Benson humorously told our reporter. Mohammed Abdulwahab, a businessman who lives at Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT, related his experience during an interview with our reporter. According to him, he had gone to sell his wares at the Gosa Friday Market along the airport road when suddenly, some soldiers took over the entrance of the market. “They did not molest us, but we were very frightened as it had never

happened. Since I have been coming to this market, armed soldiers have never taken over everywhere like that. After everybody had become panicky, one of them who looked a bit friendly told us in Hausa that they only stormed the market to ensure it wasn’t used by terrorists to attack the VIP they were waiting for”, Abdulwahab said. While it would be a national shame if the country cannot safeguard the lives of its leaders, all that seems to be amiss is a communication lapse between the Protocol officers of individual VIPs and the police authority. The citizenry understands security challenges facing the country at present and are ready to adjust to innovative ways of securing lives better. But, it should be understood too that the construction of a fly-over bridge at the City Gate still poses major challenge to traffic flow to and from the airport. Government should be considerate in handling traffic flow which remains a major challenge in the capital. Once effective communication is sustained among the concerned parties, this public burden will easily be lifted.

s public opposition to the ongoing demolition of 19 villages by the Federal Capital Territory authorities continues to assume broader scope and dimension, Civil Society Organisations committed to the rule of law and social justice have cautioned the authorities to pursue the exercise with human approach in order to protect the affected residents from untold hardships associated with forced displacement from their communities. The CSOs, comprising the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE), noted that despite the legal justification of the exercise, the FCT authorities should also be concerned about the fundamental rights of the affected residents as entrenched in the constitution and various conventions and treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory and the need to protect such rights, despite administrative necessities of the moment. The CISLAC, in a statement by its Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), on the ongoing demolition of the affected villages, pointed out that in Mpape one of the 19 villages of Bwari Area Council of the FCT where over 1000 houses had been marked for demolition, the residents with a population of over 1.8 million people feel “that their human rights have been violated”. The CSO recalled that under the jurisdiction of the law, the move to forcefully eject residents can be seen as forced eviction, adding that “considering the time of the year –the raining season, many women and children are left to suffer the harsh weather conditions, even as some others who sited their businesses in Mpape and its environs also find it difficult to cope with this harsh reality of demolition”. In addition, CISLAC stated that some residents also claimed to have expended hard earned resources on provision for roads, electricity, water, hospitals and other basic amenities to improve their livelihood and that this forced eviction has caused the loss of seven lives in its stride, but that the administration has not shown any remorse towards that. It explained that while it is understandable that residents may have been given prior notice by the FCDA, however, owing to inherent poverty level, particularly since the affected residents may not be able to afford paying for rent after losing their farmlands and other source of living, then, the exercise should be suspended. “Civil Society Legislative Advocacy

THIS FORCED EVICTION HAS CAUSED THE LOSS OF SEVEN LIVES IN ITS STRIDE, BUT

FCT

ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT SHOWN ANY REMORSE Centre CISLAC, is calling on the Federal Capital Territory Development Authorities to reconsider their actions towards Mpape residents and 18 other villages, even though they had been given prior notifications. This is to enable residents buy more time to sort themselves out before movement. This is based on humanitarian grounds considering that women and children are involved in the displacement”. The statement went further; “CISLAC also calls on the relevant committees at the National Assembly to further look into the plight of Mpape residents and other affected areas with a view to bringing succour to these Nigerians”. Speaking from the same logical perspective, the Programme Officer of the Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE), Peter Egwudah, said although the action of the authorities could be justified based on the position of law since the residents lacked legal rights to build properties in the affected land but that if the essence of the policy is intended to serve the good of the people, then, the FCTA should ensure that the displaced residents are not subjected to callous hardship associated with forceful ejection from their homes. Egwudah, who cited cases when the El-Rufai administration embarked on similar exercises some years back and resettled the affected indigenes by building small houses for them, believes that, “the same logic should apply in this case as the authorities have a moral responsibility to provide the displaced residents alternative source of accommodation and ensure that that their socio-economic conditions are not worsened. “Yes, agreed that they don’t have legal titles to the land, but policies are put in place to serve the need of the people. If any policy gets people worse off or aggravate their sufferings and pushes them down the poverty line, then, that policy cannot be justified at all. So, our position is that the FCT authorities should rehabilitate the affected residents. If they don’t have arrangements to do that now, then, the exercise should be suspended until such provisions are made”, Egwudah said.


Mirror Mongers

26

Friday, August 17, 2012

Okotie’s sermon hits at estranged wife

House catches Big Brother syndrome

A

new phenomenon is hovering over the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly, and the unfortunate thing according to Mirror Mongers sources is that the trend became the fad after Honourable Integrity (Faruok Lawan) was allegedly offered a bribe of $620,000 by businessman Femi Otedola. Like the biblical injunction about ‘cutting off the bad finger that could land one in trouble’, the lawmakers, especially those at the lower chambers are avoiding paying or receiving cash irrespective of the currency. The buzz is that the practice of availing cash at ease has drastically reduced with the legislators being cautious of whom to take from or give to. Everyone feels he is being watched like the housemates in the Big Brother Africa show.

Solomon Olusegun’s spirit of truth

I

t is good to pay official visits to where one is superintending over, just like the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 9, Mr. Solomon Olusegun did some days ago at Awka, on a visit to Governor Peter Obi. However, he seemed to have veered contrary to the ideals of his boss (MD Abubakar), who in spite of all entreaties by the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan to order the return of road blocks, told the governor plainly that ‘road blocks were history in Nigeria’. AIG Olusegun, while trying to massage the ego of Peter Obi declared that crime rate was at its lowest in Anambra! Of course, what he did not know was that the spirit of truth would come haunting his command barely 48 hours later, as a highly placed traditional ruler, Igwe Eze of Ukpo Town was seized by a group of kidnappers. Hope AIG Olusegun will not go to Borno tomorrow to declare it the safest state in Nigeria.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

T Aliyu

Mohammed

Tale of the two Babangidas

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t is not surprising that so many reactions have been coming from the Niger State end of the North Central part of the country. The governor, Babangida Aliyu, who happens to be the leader of the Northern Governors’ Forum, has been unequivocal on key issues in the Nigerian polity including the plans to amend certain portions of the 1999 Constitution to make room for state police and reviewed allocation formula. Beside Aliyu, one of the ‘biggest political kingpin in the country’, Ibrahim Babangida came out of his cocoon (or so it seemed) to speak up (the first time since the Boko Haram menace started) suggesting ways forward about the terrorism scourge afflicting the nation. Mirror Mongers, however, gathered that the entire buzz from that end of the country is a

ONE-SECOND Q&A

reflection of the political energy Niger State will soon constitute ahead of 2015. Aliyu is aligning for Aso Rock when he leaves the Minna Government House, while Mohammed Babangida, the heir to the Babangida dynasty is angling to take over from Aliyu as governor. Sources however say Mohammed in anticipation of the fierce competition ahead registered as a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, three months ago. Inspite of the influence his father wields in the country, the insinuation is that he would have to contend with the current deputy governor, Musa Ibeto and Muazu Bawa, a commissioner, who are equally doing underground mobilisation. Of course, only time will prove if the North will appreciate ‘this love and concern by the Babangidas at this crucial moment.

hose who have been praying and fasting (especially ‘in-laws’, according to Mirror Mongers sources) that Rev. Chris Okotie, who kicked his wife out of their house in June should rescind his decision would certainly be sighing after what transpired in the church a few days ago. Mirror Mongers gathered the pastor foreclosed any hopes of reconciliation with the woman whom he described with the most horrible adjectives, right from the pulpit. Worse still is the revelation that the man of God has gone a step further to retrieve the two cars he bought for the woman as a token of his love –a 2007 Mercedes Benz (reportedly bought for $200,000) and a BMW X6. This has pitched a lot of people against the man of God, whom they expect to have extended some forgiveness to the woman according to the doctrines of Christianity. Meanwhile, the man of God is undaunted about his actions, having urged his wife to open up to any media outlet she wishes. But it is most unlikely that Stephanie, who relocated to MKO Abiola Estate in Ikeja, would want to utter a word for now.

Okotie and Stephanie

CHINUA ACHEBE

Insinuations are rife that globalisation tends to consume cultures of weaker countries. Renowned novelist, Chinua Achebe reacts to the impact of civilisation on cultures: You’ve experienced living in what you have termed the “poorer addresses of the planet” – in African nations – as well as in Western countries. What’s your evaluation of the relationship between wealth, technology and culture?

I

Achebe

n my opinion, good art can come from any culture and background. Great Art does not cluster in one part of the world or the other. We are living in interesting times. Globalisation is our reality, for good or ill… and I can talk about the problems for hours! There are also good things – technology: the internet, television, emails; other tools– have made our world smaller. Many of the best artists and writers are global citizens – they move constantly. Today, there exists a significant degree of cross-fertilisation of cultures, ideas, values, stories, art, music, languages – you name it, on a grand scale across the globe. Many artists might have come from former less developed colonies but now, they operate on the world stage. So, the times have changed. Having said that, I still feel that before we can announce the arrival of the Great World Story, or Universal culture, we should hear all the stories… appreciate all that the world has to offer. We should hear more stories and revel in the Art from indigenous societies of the world.


Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 29, 1433AH Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Call to Worship

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

Mosque of Brussels

Hadith

Every Friday

“… (He who) offers the Prayers and listens quitely when the Imam stands up for sermon, will have his sins forgiven between that Friday and the next”(Bukhari)

with

Khalifatul

Ahmadiyya

Become true servants of Allah ‘And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: ‘I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.’ (2:187)

T

he first 20 days of Ramadan have already passed, very quickly and imperceptibly. Now, the last 10 days almost gone. Many letters are received by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih speaking of seeking beneficence of Ramadan, people mention this to him in person as well. Indeed, a believer should be con-

Eid-Mubarak to all muslims!

cerned to derive maximum beneficence from Ramadan. If an Ahmadi is not thus concerned, the objective to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is negated. He came to this world to bring a spiritual revolution that was to take man closer to God. His advent came to pass to bring about the following: to steer thoughts and concerns towards forging a connection with God, to strengthen faith and take it to higher level, to discharge the rights to mankind alongside developing our spirituality, to draw our attention CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

As we graduate from Ramadan 28

The Great Mosque of Brussels

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he Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium. The original building was built by architect Ernest Van Humbeek in an Arabic style, to form the Oriental Pavilion of the National Exhibition in Brussels in 1880. At that time, the pavilion housed a monumental painting on canvas: Panorama of Cairo, by the Belgian painter Emile Wauters, which enjoyed major success. However, lack of maintenance in the 20th century caused the building to dete-

riorate gradually. In 1967, King Baudouin made a gift of the building to King Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, on an official visit to Belgium, that it might be turned into a place of worship for the use of the Muslim community in Belgium which had grown considerably by that time. The mosque, after a long reconstruction carried out at the expense of Saudi Arabia by Tunisian architect Boubaker, was inaugurated in 1978 in the presence of Khalid ibn Abd al-Aziz and Baudouin. Today, it also hosts a school and an Islamic research centre.

End of Ramadan etiquettes 28


28

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 29, 1433AH Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

As we graduate from Ramadan T J ust like everything in life, Ramadan is ending today or tomorrow. Ramadan 1433 has come and gone. This reminds us that this life is ever ephemeral. Our stay therein is very short. Our days are numbered. We cannot increase it by a second. Every man will leave when it is time to part. As we graduate from the academy of Ramadan, we should bid it final adieu by giving the Zakatul-fitr. This is a humanitarian service which should be done to further purify our fast and earn us more reward. It is expected that every man or head of a home should give it on behalf of his household members. It is a demonstration of fellow feeling and the concern that should permeate the Ummah after the fast. We should be concerned about our fellow brother’s welfare. We should not live in luxury while

HE GREATEST

CHALLENGE AFTER

RAMADAN IS

MAINTAINING ITS VALUES AND SPIRITS he lives in penury. It is against the spirit of Islam that some Muslims will claim to be the richest while thousands of their fellow brothers are suffering. As for the well-to-do Muslims who have not paid their Zakat, the few hours left could still be utilized to pay so as to maximise the almost-gone Ramadan opportunity. It is obligatory like your Salaat. It is the due of Allah (SWT). You should appreciate His bounty by giving your Zakat. Do not

... As fast ends

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s Ramadan ends tomorrow, the tendency is for many Muslims to go back to their old way but this will be very unfortunate as Ramadan has come to reform us and give us the best guideline of how to live. Quite often, we hear the expression that Islam is not just about prayers and rituals, and that there is more to it than this parochial understanding of the religion. Indeed, Islam permeates every domain of main’s life: be it spiritual, moral, religious, political, social, economical, intellectual, and all other dimensions of human existence. Several empirical examples could be cited to back up the above assertion. Already, the spiritual, moral and religious dimensions of Islam are well known to all and sundry. The glorious month of Ramadan fast falls within the spiritual, moral and religious purview of Islam. The Quranic submissions that power, authority, sovereignty, leadership and all other connotations of control belong to Allah (Q: 3:26 – 27) depict the political dimension of Islam. This dimension is further illustrated by the Quranic teaching that power is rotational. It does not stay permanently with a particular individual or group of people. Rather it changes over time and place (3: 26 – 27). As Ramadan ends, ocially, Islam instructs us to continue to be friendly, tolerant with one another, forgiving, kind, patient, enduring, etc. It also warns its adherents against acts of abomination, injustice and all forms of malpractices (16: 90; 31: 12 – 19). Educationally and intellectually, the glorious Quran implores us to always listen attentively, say the truth, read, document all events, reflect over the wonders of the heavens and earth, draw inspiring conclusions and learn from the experiences of our predecessors and contemporaries (16:11 - 18). Economically, we are instructed not to be extravagant, but yet not to be miserly; to be generous, and yet not be prodigal; to be sympathetic even to outsiders not to talk of family members; and even to animals not to talk of fellow human beings. In specific terms, the Institution of Zakat falls within the economic domain of Islam.

Arikunkewu

Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. It is preceded by the institutions of Faith and Prayer and followed by the institutions of the Ramadan fast and Hajj. Zakat connotes growth and purity. Technically, it is part of an individual’s wealth given out, annually and compulsorily, to the poor or needy after it might have reached a certain limit (NISAB) and remained in the possession of the owner for a whole year. It is not only in Ramadan that we should be generous and kind to people, this should be an everyday affair. The connection between the literal and technical connotations of Zakat is that by voluntarily giving out a fraction of one’s wealth to the poor, the giver’s soul is liberated and purified from greed, avarice and the satanic urge and tendency to cling to wealth, to hoard it, and never to part with it (Q3: 14; 89:19 – 20). The recipient’s soul is equally purified from the tendency to envy the wealthy and to nurture any form of malice against him or her. As the recipient collects the Zakat, he spontaneously assumes a positive disposition towards the giver. Meanwhile, the capital wealth, from which the Zakat is taken, grows gradually as a result of Allah’s satisfaction, grace and blessings. Therefore, let us keep up with all the good lessons we have learnt in Ramadan by not going back to our bad old habits. We should not also make the mistake of celebrating the Eid with haram foods such as alcohol. Sheik Abdul Gannyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/ National Chief Missioner of Jubulatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

mix it up with sadaqah (voluntary charity) where you can just give any amount at your discretion. You also bid Ramadan bye by joining fellow Muslims to observe eidul-fitr. You should do this in humility and with deep sense of gratitude to Allah (SWT) for seeing you through the month of fasting. You finally draw the curtain on this year’s Ramadan by observing six-day fast in the month of Shawwal. If you can do this, it is as if you have fasted the whole year. The greatest challenge after Ramadan is maintaining its values and spirits. In Ramadan, you were disciplined in the manner of your eating, it is expected that you will not relapse into eating obsessively. You abstained and restrained yourself from evils. You lived all through engaging in doing one virtue after the other. You observed Tahajjud. You recited the Qur’an – night, morning, noon, afternoon, evening and started over again. You took Sahar at the uncomfortable early hours of the dawn. You observed Salawat in Jama‘ah. You memorised the Qur’an. You attended the circles of Quranic exegesis. You observed many Nawafil. You recited Ma’tharat (prayers of the Prophet). You assisted the needy and helped the poor. You studied the stories of the Prophet (SAW) and his Sahabah so as to learn from them. In fact, you did all good deeds as many times as possible. But now that Ramadan is over, will you slip back into your old indulgence? You were

so disciplined and obedient that you even forsook your lawful food, drink and wife during the days of Ramadan, will you become uncontrollable in consuming forbidden food and drink, as if Allah (SWT) only exists therein and not in other months. Will you abandon your attachment to the Qur’an for worldly pursuits? Will it be the case that Ramadan is over, Tahajjud is over. No time for the Salawat at their due times. No time for memorizing the Qur’an! No more charity. No more tafseer. No more programmes on radio and television. In no time, all evils and excesses, which the fast has come to purify you from, will engulf your life again. What a misunderstanding of the essence of Ramadan! He, who fasts and restrains himself from all evils during and after the fast of Ramadan, is indeed living for Allah (SWT). He who keeps the spirit of Ramadan after it is a true believer. He who does not relent from his acquired virtuous deeds in it will always enjoy a boundless peace. Hence, he who has fasted but cannot restrain himself from evils has not truly fasted. He has only engaged in hunger and thirst exercise. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy

End of Ramadan etiquettes

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s the blessed month of Ramadan ends, there are some important etiquettes that helps the fasting Muslim bid the month a deserving farewell, elevate his Iman, increase the weight of his deeds and bring him closer to Allah. These duties include:- The sighting of the new moon of Shawwal on 29th of Ramadan (i.e. on Friday 178-2012) and if the new moon is hidden then Ramadan should be counted up to 30th. Muslims in Nigeria should endeavour to end fast as recommended by the Prophet (SAW), without any tribal, political and ethno-centric sentiment. We should take the confirmation of just and trustworthy Muslims that has seen the moon and has been endorsed by a Muslim leader. This can be done by listening to announcement on the night of 29th day of Ramadan usually sponsored by Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, under the leadership of the Emir of Sokoto. Zakatul-fitr: It is sadaqah (charity) that must be paid by every free Muslim who can afford food in excess for a day and night. He or she pays on behalf of himself and members of his household (male, female, young, old etc), the quantity of one sa’ (i.e. 4 Mudu) of commonly consumed food items of a community such as rice, beans, garri, corn, millet etc. Some scholars are of the opinion that it can be paid in money value. Zakatul-fitr is better paid to the poor in our immediate environment. And it should be paid on the last day of Ramadan up to the morning of Eid-ul-Fitr before going to the praying ground. The Prophet (SAW) says that “it is accepted

as Zakah for the person who pays it before the Eid Salah, and it is Sadaqah for the one who pays it after the Salah”. Eid Ul-Fitr: Is Muslim festival of fast breaking. It occurs at the end of Ramadan fasting, that is, on the 1st day of Shawwal (the 10th month of Islamic calendar). And it is obligatory sunnah. Its ethics includes :- stop fasting when you hear that the moon has been sighted; pay your zakatul-fitr before the Eid prayer; prepare for the Eid prayer with your family; perform Ghusl (Eid bath) before going out for the prayer; wear a new (or best) of your clothes, men only should apply perfume to Eid; use Miswak (tooth-brush); eat before the Salah, proceed to Eid venue on time with your family; pronounce the takbirat (Q2:185) “Allah, Akbar, Allah, Akbar, Allah, Akbar, laailaha illa-lahu Allah, Akbar, Allah, Akbar, Allah, Akbar, Walillahi-l-hamd” as you move to Eid ;the prayer is valid for men, women, children, travelers, residents e.t.c., go to the Salah by one route and then return home through another route; pray Salah while the sun is approximately 2 Rumah (i.e six meter) above the horizon; avoid nawafil at the Eid ground just wait for the congregational one; listens to the Khuthbah after the Salah; congratulate one another on the days of Eid by saying “Taqabbal mina wa minka” (may Allah accept it from us and you) or “Eid Mubaraq”; avoid sinful engagements; be happy, full of thanks to Allah for His favours on you. Haruna Razaq, Chief Imam, Vanguard News papers, Lagos , 08028745366; harun1430@yahoo.com.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 29, 1433AH

Call to Worship

29

Tomorrow is Eid, if … –NSCIA LATEEFAH IBRAHIM-ANIMASHAUN

T

he Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has said that tomorrow is Eidl Fitr, if the new Crescent of Shawwal moon is sighted by National and State Moon-Sighting Committees as well as other Muslims, hence the termination of Ramadan fast today, the 29th day of Ramadan 1433AH. If the moon is sighted, it means that Ramadan will end today and the Eid-l-Fitr prayer will be observed tomorrow following the announcement by Sultan of Sokoto and PresidentGeneral of (NSCIA) Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakr. This was contained in a press release signed by the Secretary (NSCIA) Dr. Abdul Lateef Adegbite where he said the information on sighting of the moon should be communicated to Sultan of Sokoto and PresidentGeneral of (NSCIA) Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakr for formal announcement on the termination of the fast. “In the event of the moon not being sighted today, the fasting will continue tomorrow while the Eid-el-Fitr Prayer shall be observed

on Sunday 19th of August, 2012”, he said. He said the authorities must be satisfied that the new Moon has been sighted in accordance with the prescribed procedure of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as he instructed the Muslims, saying: “Do not fast unless you see the Crescent (of the month of Ra-

madan) and do not give up fasting till you see the Crescent (of the month of Shawwal). “But if the sky is overcast, count thirty (30) days of Sha’aban or of Ramadan as the case may be” (Narrated by Abdullahi Bin Umar) HeencourgedMuslims who have information concerning the sighting of the moon to do

so by contacting Chairmen of states moon sightin committees and other eminent isalmic scholars. He urged Radio and Television Stations throughout the Federation to cooperate fully and broadcast any announcement made by His Eminence, the Sultan to the Muslims.

Day 29

L-R: President, Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Sherif Yusuf (left) and General Manager, NTA, Ilorin, Alhaji Mikhail Sarumoh, during the breaking of fast of the organisation in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

L-R: Ustadh Abdul-Qadir Olawore; Rector, Arabic and Islamic Training Centre, Sheikh Muhamed Habibullah El-llory (OON) and Dr. Abdul Muhmeen Omolaja, during the annual Laylatul Qadr (Night of Majesty) of the Markaz in Lagos, yesterday.

EID-MUBARAK TO ALL MUSLIMS! “O ye who believe! When the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is best for you, if you only knew.” Courtesy: NASFAT National Women’s Committee

Imams offer prayers for Gawat, Nigeria SEKINAH LAWAL

T L-R: Sheikhul, Arabic and Islamic Training Centre, Sheikh Yakub Abdulai; Sheikh Abdul-Raham Saaro and Academic Principal of the Islamic institute, Sheikh Yunus Yakub during the occasion. PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA

Groups feed prison inmates A ZA MSUE KADUNA

G

roups under the auspices of Kebbi State Indigenes Association (KSIA), residents in Kaduna and a non-governmental organisation, Love to the World Initiative has provided cooked food and other items to inmates of Kaduna prison. President, KSIA, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Abdullahi

and Coordinator Love to the World Initiative, Mrs. Josephine Anumbor said the gesture to feed and distribute items to inmates was in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan. Alhaji Abdullahi disclosed that efforts were on the way to secure release of some of the inmates who were convicted with fine, adding that their lawyers have been contacted to commence the necessary procedures needed to se-

cure their release. On her part, Mrs. Anumbor said her NGO has visited 470 inmates at the prison and Bostal training school, had motivational talk shows with them on ways of living a decent life so as to be meaningful to themselves, their families and the society at large. She however said her organization would also paid fine for those convicted with options of fine.

he Council of Imams and Alfas in Eti-Osa, Lagos state recently organised a prayer session for the missing ace Presenter, Alhaji Aremu Gawat and urged government to intensify efforts towards unraveling his whereabouts. The chairman of the council, Alhaji Afini said stated this at the special prayer held for the missing Gawat and press conference on the state of the nation organised by the Council of Imams and Alfas in Eti-Osa, Lagos State. The Baba Adini of the area, Alhaji AbdulYekeen Olawale Bakare described the mysterious missing of Gawat as a test from Almighty Allah appealed to his captors to have a rethink and release him forthwith. “We appeal to any person or group of persons that may be connected or have hand in the disapperance

of Gawat to please have a re-think of their action and make available means of negotiation. Life is give and take. We are ready for negotiation, whatever it is, nothing from heaven is too heavy for the earth. We are sure the society is very much ready to forgive you, if he can be released and we shall go by your terms. Take it as a promise from Imams and it shall be fulfilled. Please release Gawat.” The Imams noted that the nation at this point needs divine intervention and urged Muslims to use the period to pray for the nation. He stated that it showed that no one is above temptation and divine trial. “ordinarily, no one would think such a thing could befall somebody as popular as Gawat. It is a lesson for every Muslim. Almighty Allah has just showed us that no one is too big to be tried. “It is only Allah that has

both the hidden and apparent knowledge. The beginning is known to Allah and what will end the whole scenario is surely known to Him. All powers belong to Allah and we are hopeful that he will bring our brother back to us safely and in good health.” Alhaji Afini who also condemned the incessant killings and destruction of property. “The act is alien to Islam and it is wrong for anybody to link it with Islam. Islam emphasises that if any one kills a soul, it is as if he has killed the whole nation and whoever saves a soul would have saved a whole nation. So, anybody doing anything contrary cannot be said to be representing Islam.” Islam says there is no compulsion in religion and nobody should be forced to accept Islam. The prophet taught us to preach to people with wisdom and not by coercing them to accept your religion.


30

Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Ramadan 29, 1433AH Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Become true servants of Allah CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 to bring about pious changes in ourselves and to always self-reflect for this purpose. He came to generate a spiritual revolution that would draw attention to the ways and means to attain the above. It is God’ grace and favour that time and again He provides us with occasions to attain these pieties and Ramadan is a very great and most blessed opportunity among such opportunities. Certainly, fortunate are those in whom desire to bring about spiritual revolution is created during Ramadan and they also make effort for it. However, efforts will only be beneficial when only those ways and means are adopted which God has taught. Self-made ways and means do not avail. It has been mentioned previously that nearness to God cannot be attained by relying on ‘apparent’ Salat alone although such apparent actions are important and one cannot attain nearness to God without them, for example eating of Sahur and Iftar and other actions are obligatory. However, it is wrong to say that one finds God by arranging a gathering of ‘Dikhr’ (remembrance of God) or that one pays the dues of devotion to God this way. Not at all; in order to attain this, one has to practice the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) which he advised his Ummah to do. In addition to the outward actions, one needs to bring about inward pious changes and to take them to a high level. This too is an important commandment and one needs to generate an ardour to attain this. The Quranic verse 2:187 speaks of the method to attain God’s love and speaks of that status when man becomes a true believer. While God’s love for His servants

HIS SERVANTS ARE THOSE WHO, HAVING RECOGNISED THE PURPOSE OF THEIR CREATION, MAKE

EFFORTS TOWARDS IT DAY AND NIGHT exudes in this verse, it also gives us further insight into the Hadith that relates that God states: ‘If man comes one span nearer to Me, I go one yard nearer to him, if he comes one hand close to Me, I go two hands closer to him and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ Such is God’s love for those who try to truly pay the dues of devotion to Him. While the word Ebaadi (My servants) in the verse indicates God’s love for His servants, it also shows that He does not say ‘I am near’ to the call of every person. One who does not want to go even a span towards God does not come in the category of ‘Ebaadi’. In this verse God has not used the word Bashr (man), rather Ebaadi is used signifying the addressee to be one who is inclined towards becoming an Abd (servant). How does one pay the dues of being an Abd? This takes us towards the commandment in which God has drawn our attention to the purpose of our creation and has stated that His servants are those who, having recognised the purpose of their creation, make efforts towards it day and night. As regards our purpose of creation, God states: ‘And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship

Lagos State Missionary, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Muallim Qasim Oyekola and Admin. Secretary, Uncle Taoreed Shoboyede, displayed National Mirror, during the Tafsir-ul Qur’an in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Legal Adviser, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Lawyer Ismoilu Ajijola; General Secretary, Mr. Dauda Raji; Alhaji Abudulfatal Junaid; Pa Abdul Gaffar Omoyele and former Ogin State Governor, Major General Seidu Balogun (rtd), during the Tafsir-ul Qur’an in Lagos.

Me.’ (51:57) Thus God has stated that being an Abd means having to continually raise the standard of one’s worship. One should not be only mindful of this purpose of creation during Ramadan. Rather, one who wishes to be a true Abd has to keep it in view all the time. God states that when the blessing of fasting brings about further spiritual progress, tell those who ask about Me that I come closer during Ramadan and tell those who were already drawn to Me that I come even closer during Ramadan. God comes down to the lower heaven for those who worship Him during Tahajjud outside of Ramadan. However, in Ramadan His affection grows further still and fortunate are those who take full advantage of it and then promise that they will continue with the efforts for Tahajjud and Nawafil (optional Prayers) through which they have experienced nearness to God that they will continue with their regularity in Salat and reading the Holy Qur’an. God Who knows the state of our hearts says to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to tell His servants that if they seek from Him with the promise that they will make efforts to continue their dues of devotion for Him, He will remain close to them in Ramadan and also after Ramadan. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Allah the exalted has created man so that he may acquire His knowledge and nearness; ‘And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me.’ One who does not keep this objective in view and is lost day and night in thoughts to attain the world; that how can he purchase such and such land, build such and such house, possess such and

such property. What other treatment can be given to such a person other than this that God calls him back after giving him a short respite?’ He also said: ‘Man should have an aching in his heart to attain nearness of God. For this reason, he will be worthy in God’s view. If he does not have this aching in his heart and only aches for the world and all that is in it, then ultimately, he will be finished after given a brief respite.’ This does not mean that one is not to do worldly tasks. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has also explained elsewhere that one who has land or a business and does not work hard for it, does not pay the dues. Both worldly and spiritual matters should be executed in conjunction. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has explained to us that we should have an aching to be close to God and it is also important to gain knowledge of God. God states that when effort to attain nearness to God is made with an aching, the desire will manifest into action. This will come to pass when faith will further develop, when one will try and hearken to God at everything with sincerity of intention. Man is weak and human frailty means that there are ups and downs. However, one should become conscious of mistakes immediately and turn to Taubah (repentance) and Istaghfar (seeking forgiveness from God) and to try and rid of the weakness. It should not be that one practices all virtues during Ramadan but remains involved only in worldly matters for the rest of the year with the thought to resume the effort to be an Ebd of God the following RaTO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK

L-R: Lagos Mainland Circuit Missionary, Mr. Olowomi AbdulQahhar; Lecturer, University of Uyo, Dr. Abdul Majeed Bello; Central Missionary Abeokuta, Missionary Muhammed Mudathir Alaka and Missionary Obaditan Abdul Hakeem, at the Tafsir.

Non member of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Mr. Abdul Ghaniyy Ore Anabi, during the Q&A, at the Tafsir. PHOTOS: BAYOOR EWUOSO


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Arty News

Friday, August 17, 2012

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Maami premieres at Obasanjo Library

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unde Kelani’s latest movie, Maami, just back from the 2012 London Olympics as part of activities to promote Nigeria’s commerce and culture to the world, is billed for premiere at the Main Auditorium, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State in celebration of Eid-el- Fitri. Maami, starring award winning actress, Funke Akindele as lead, is the inspiring story of a poor single parent and her young son, Kashimawo (Ayomide Abatti). Gifted with a loving heart, enterprising spirit and brave soul, she is the centre of her son’s world; until he longs for the father he has never known, a man with a terrible past. Kashimawo eventually rises to international stardom in an English football club, Arsenal, and becomes a national hero. Adapted by Tunde Babalola from Femi Osofisan’s novel of the same title, the awardwinning movie depicts love, perseverance and fate, which unfold through Kashimawo’s reminiscences of his hard-

scrabble childhood in the southern Nigerian town of Abeokuta. The premiere, an initiative of the Governing Board of OOPL Theatre and Tunde Kelani’s Mainframe Productions billed for today, is being promoted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR). Billed as Special Guest of Honour for the event is Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, while His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, the Olowu and Paramount Ruler of the Ancient Kingdom of Owu and Chairman of the Governing Board (OOPL Theatre) is the chief host. The movie will be shown to the public for two days after the premiere at the same venue. Meanwhile, Maami has been scheduled to screen at some select viewing centres in Lagos to celebrate the Eidel-Fitri between August 18 and 21. The centres include, the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, Durban Hotel, beside Murhi International, Omole, Ikeja and Big Zone Hotel, Agric Bus Stop, Ikorodu, Lagos.

Rick Ross

Eva

Rick Ross hits Nigerian stage ...Terry G, Flavour, Eva, others also to perform

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fter months of meticulous preparation, heavy publicity and feverish anticipation, renowned American rapper, Rick Ross storms the country today for Summer Jam Fest, holding at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Dubbed as the biggest concert so far in 2012, it is organised by popular magazine, St. Eve and will see the Florida native, who

made headlines with his 2006 debut Port of Miami, headline the music concert alongside rave of the moment West African musicians like Flavour, Ghana’s Sakordie, ODG Fuse, Terry G and Eva Alordiah. Veteran Disc Jockey Jimmy Jatt will man the turntable. Already, fans of the American rapper await the concert tonight with feverish anticipa-

tion. Speaking on the concert, a representative of St. Eve Magazine said, “Summer Jam Fest 2012 is geared to set the tone for an annual concert and this year some of Nigeria’s hottest artistes will be performing alongside Rick Ross. It will be recalled that two months ago, Rick Ross collaborated with hit Nigerian duo PSquare on the remix of the wellknown song Beautiful Onyinye, a song which has dominated the airwaves since it debuted.

P/Harcourt to host The Future Awards

... Tony Elumelu announced as Keynote Speaker

T Helen Paul

Gordons

AY

Nite of a Thousand Laughs in UNILAG TERH AGBEDEH

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n a Ramadan special edition the Nite of a Thousand Laughs will come to the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos on August 21. Organised by Matilda NwankwoWilliams, a final year student of the Department of Creative Arts of the university as part of her graduating project, it will feature comedians like AY, Gordons, Helen Paul and Funny Bones, among others. The event to be hosted by Yaw, an on-air person on Wazobia FM, will take place at the university’s Main Auditorium at 4.00 p.m. and is open to students and staff of the university

as well as anyone who is interested. Tickets are already on sale and Miss Nwankwo-Williams, who got permission from the creator of the popular comedy show, Opa Williams, to stage the campus edition, promised that the first 100 people to buy a ticket will get a free drink. Nwankwo-Williams was involved in the successful third edition of the annual University of Lagos Children Theatre Festival which took place at the same venue in March with the theme: “Courage in Community Service”. Schools that took part were drawn from UNILAG Women Society Nursery and Primary School, University of Lagos Staff School and YabaTech Staff School.

he central working committee for The Future Awards is excited to announce that Port Harcourt –selected by UNESCO as the World Book Capital 2014– is the official host city of The Future Awards 2012. The event will hold on August 25 and 26 at the Rivers State capital. “Exciting things are happening with Port Harcourt and we are proud that it’s inspiring Governor Rotimi Amaechi who has decided to support the vision of young leaders from across Nigeria by hosting this year’s event”, said Obiageli Ezekwesili who was recently appointed to lead the Open Society Foundations Africa Economic Policy Development Initiative and sits on the Board of The Future Awards. “These are exciting times for Rivers, which just beat Oxford, England to clinch the title of World Book Capital 2014”, said Ibim Semenitari, Commissioner for Information in Rivers State and erstwhile Editor-in-Chief of Business Eye. This also gives the

government and people of the state great pleasure to host the brightest young leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in Nigeria”. The committee also announced that the keynote speaker for this year’s awards is Mr. Tony Elumelu (MFR). Acknowledged globally as one of Africa’s most influential entrepreneurs and proponent of Africapitalism, Elumelu is the former CEO of United Bank for Africa Plc. He is also the chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation. Winners in all 21 categories will be unveiled at the event.

Ezekwesili


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Escape

Trail leading to the park

Friday, August 17, 2012

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Kwa falls

Explore the oldest rain forest in Africa OYINKAN SOMORIN WITH AGENCY REPORT

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alk about going to visit tourist centres in Calabar, Cross River State and the first place that comes to mind is the Obudu Mountain Resort, a favourite around Nigeria and beyond. But there are places where one can yet commune with nature and not have to think of the enclosing bars of a zoo. That place is the Cross River National Park famed as the oldest rain forest in the world. What the Federal Government which is said to have tagged the park, “The Pride of

A chimpanzee at the park

Elephants, Tigers; some of the wild life at the park

Nigeria”, would like to develop it for is eco-tourism. Tourists coming from Calabar will get to the park after an hour’s drive. They will find there a lodge, restaurant and wildlife museum. They can take part in game viewing, bird watching, gorilla tracking, mountaineering, sport fishing, boat cruising, and see the Botanical garden and Herbarium in Butatong. Other attractions include the Kwa Falls, in a narrow, steep ravine near the headwaters of the Kwa River; the deep plunge pool at the foot of the waterfall, which was hidden under the thick canopy of the tropical

rainforest before deforestation and the Agbokim Waterfalls on the Cross River descend in terraces through the tropical rainforest. There is also a mini zoological garden housing species of animals rarely found in Nigeria, which has helped save some rare species from extinction. First proposed in 1965, however, planning did not start until 1988. Built in two separate sections, such as the Oban (established 1988) and the Okwangwo (established 1991), it is made up of the former Boshi, Okwangwo and Boshi Extension Forest Reserve. The division has an area of about 920 km at an altitude of


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Escape

Friday, August 17, 2012

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Travel News

South African wines for the Nigerian palate TERH AGBEDEH

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Face of the drill monkey

FACT FILE •

Cross River National Park is an integral part of the Cross River State Rainforest conservation area.

Located in Boki Local Government Area, it spans from Kanyan to the foot of the Obudu Plateau with a total land area of 720 square kilometres of rugged mountain scenery and rolling hills.

The smaller area of the north east, Okwangwo Division, is separated by about 50 kilometres of disturbed forest from the larger Oban Division.

There are about 66 villages in the buffer zone surrounding the park, with the villagers dependent on the park for their livelihoods.

The Kanyang tourist village is only an hour’s drive from Calabar, which has an international airport.

The best time to visit the park is November to May. Due to its highly forested nature, recreational pursuits are done mostly on foot/trekking with patience and endurance.

Armed Ranger escorts and park interpreters are available to guide visitors

Cross River State has rich and diverse cultural heritage which is a great compliment to the existence of the Cross River National Park. Activities like the annual Boat Regatta, Yam Festival, Calabar Xmas Carnival and the popular Edikanikong cuisine add colour to the natural endowments.

150 to 1,700m above sea level. It is separated from the Oban division to the south by about 50km of disturbed Rain forest. It lies south west of the Obudu Plateau and east of the Afi River Forest Reserve where the Takamanda Forest Reserve is located. The Okwangwo Division has richly diverse flora, with about 1,545 species representing 98 plant families recorded. Some of these species

are endemic to the area. Others were unknown until recently. Over 280 species of birds have been recorded, including the vulnerable Grey-necked Rockfowl, which breeds in the Mbe Mountains, and the Golden Greenbul, rare in Nigeria. The park consists of primary moist tropical rainforest in the north and central parts, with mangrove swamps on the coastal zones. The ground is rugged, with rocky ridges and outcrops. Annual rainfall may be much as 4,280milimeters, mostly falling in the wet season between March and November. The division is drained by the Oyi, Bemi and Okon rivers, tributaries of the Cross River. The high ridge tops are covered in montane grasslands, with relict forests in the valleys. Lower down, the division is covered by lowland rain forests, with areas of savannah where humans have destroyed the forests. Parts of the park belong to the Guinea-Congolian region, with a closed canopy and scattered emergent trees reaching 40 or 50 meters in height. The Cross River National Park has one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, and it has been identified as the biodiversity hot spot. Few places will delight a tourist like the exotic sights and sounds of this park. It is one of the richest areas of the tropical rain forest in West Africa with proper boundaries and the programmes are being implemented against any illegal hunting, logging and land clearance. Home to many local species of plants and animals, it has a record of 78 per cent of primate species found in Nigeria including Chimpanzees, ( in Okwangwo) Cross River Gorillas, Drills Monkeys, Baboons, Leopards, Red Foxes, Buffaloes, Elephants and gray-cheeked Mangabey, which seems to have become extinct in the area. It also harbours a rich collection of flora and fauna. Established by Federal Military Government Decree in 1991, the Cross River Gorilla was chosen as the theme animal (Okwangwo) and the park service is an agency of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development. Its management has established a station at Kanyang as a base of primate research and eco-tourism. There is also a mini zoological garden housing species of animals rarely found in Nigeria.

ne of the most patronised activities at the Nelson Mandela International Day celebration held at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos recently was the wine tasting event. Long before it was time to grace the tables that displayed the wines, visitors had been there and had a taste of the variety of wines that came straight from South African vineyards. Most agreed that it was high quality wine; even the Nigerians among them, whose wine tradition could be said to be very young, unlike the South Africans, who have always produced and enjoyed great wines. One person who could not agree more is Chief J.A. Rowlands, MD/CEO of Westlog Nigeria Ltd, who has been bottling wines in South Africa in the last 10 years. “It has been an explosion really. But the Nigerian wine culture is still evolving because they are known for drinking beer. But a while ago, it has been changing because they now drink wine”, he said. He, however, encouraged

Rowland

Nigerians to be mindful of the wines they drink and, “they should look at wines with health benefits, not just table wines. They reduce the rates of heart diseases and that is why Westlog Wines concentrates on brewing, manufacturing and distribution of those wines that give health benefits”. Rowlands, who sees himself as a South African as well as a Nigerian, said he believes that the developments in all spheres of the South African economy should be replicated here so as to provide employment opportunities for Nigerians. He said that cannot be done without inculcating the discipline obtainable over there. “In view of that”, he said, “we are setting up a wine bottling plant in Imo State that will employ 3000 workers”. On the icon that was being celebrated he said: “The truth is that the life of Mandela is that of an inspirational icon that everyone must look up to. He has been selfless to the people and we must continue to celebrate him. We urge our leaders to follow in his footsteps because he left us with positive leadership”.


34

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

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Manners doth make a (wo)man

igeria is probably being hit by worst times in the history of her nationhood- since the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). Militancy, armed religious radicalism and ideology-based insurgency have never been this rash; morning after morning, we wake to gory tales of people being blown to bits -both the murderers and the murdered. The suffocated Federal Government would be living in a fool’s paradise to deny having a crisis situation on its hands; what the plans are to deal a death blow to these relentless and cruel onslaughts..? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, I’m rambling off a bit into heavy details. A fortnight ago, I stopped at the neighbourhood lounge/bar in Lekki to buy the grilled meat delicacy better known as suya from two Hausa men whose spicy grilled meat is the best I’ve had recently. Yet early evening on Saturday (around 6.00pmish), two customers were ahead of me waiting for their meat sizzling over the charcoal grill. Shortly, one of them, a slightly built young lady probably in her early or mid-20s, was getting her sticks of meat diced into the foil paper (yes, my suya man is so upgraded he doesn’t use old newspapers). On the preparation table was a pack of folded paper serviettes which were obviously placed handy for customers. I pulled one out of the fold to wipe my hands clean of dirt and the young lady did the same almost immediately after me. However, what happened next shook me up a bit. As she withdrew her serviette, a gust of wind blew the lightweight pack off the table and two or three yards away. Now, she looked in the direction where the pack lay on the ground and then turned back unconcerned –from one corner of my eye, I watched the suya sellers closely, mindful that they wielded razor-sharp knives for cutting meat. On the other hand, I kept hoping the young lady would simply offer a gesture of consideration and good-breeding by picking the serviette pack off the ground seeing it was an incident which sprung from her action. For where? The lady took her wrapped suya bag, waited for her change and departed with these words thrown over her shoulder at the suya sellers: “See your thing on the floor o”. The older of the sellers (sprouting some gray on his head), shuffled over and retrieved the pack off the floor -his last glance at the girl’s retreating back shot daggers. Aside from the double entendre in her statement, I internally shook my head in ruefulness at the overt rudeness and lack of class. Really, bank account, education, residential area or clothes, do not make a (wo)man. To tie it in with my opening paragraph; I suspect if the locations were switched to a more patriarchal environment and these men

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Friday, August 17, 2012

could exert authority without fear of mob action, I suspect the young lady would have had a rough deal for her insolent attitude -the suya man’s flaming eyes said that much. Bottom-line; living together harmoniously in this multi-ethnic nation begins with little gestures indicating goodwill, respect and tolerance... Otherwise, we’ll basically have difficulties fitting into a globalised world. Do unto others as you would want to be done to you.

Patricia, shine your eyes; we are watching!

Shame on this malaise

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...as my designer cheers me up, somewhat!

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or five days, since Sunday, I battled with my health... on several occasions almost breaking down in tears from weakness and loneliness. You know how it is, illnesses just isolate the sufferer from the healthy bunch and the only succour offered is the profuse pele (word for sorry in Yoruba). On Tuesday morning, racked by the most intense body pain and chills possible, I climbed into my car and drove to work –praying an award for “Most Conscientious Sick Worker” is instituted and I win unchallenged for a month-long holiday. Later at home, my neighbour clothes maker, a young urban designer whose trademark concept is in her sequined finish, stops by to cheer me up. But what she bears as ‘gifts’ even set my pulses racing further. The disarmingly innocent-looking lady bore a bagful of adult toys...hmmm! Grinning like a minx, she disclosed that there was a truckload where she got the ones with her. All of the products are from Ann Summers, undisputed queen of toys and paraphernalia. I saw things I didn’t know had been invented! And to imagine I assumed my tailor was a straight-shooting girl –when she’s such a freak! Good thing is that the distraction took my mind off the pain I felt but whether I’ll patronise her is still in the ‘pending cabinet’. Love and peace for the weekend.

One of the items in the ‘goodie’ bag: Strawberry and cream body paint.

Eddie Ugbomah www.edifosafilm.com

ife has a beginning; and everything with a beginning must have an end. Shakespeare wrote that life is a stage and we are all actors –one day, everything will come to an end. Nobody could think that one day, the former Director General of Nigeria Films and Video Censors Board, Emeka Mba would go; but go he did this month. His six years of torture that assisted the collapse of the home video industry have now ended. Stakeholders now have a new life and they must all come out to support the new acting Director General, Patricia Bala, so that we can wake the movie industry dented by Afolabi Adesanya who will soon leave the stage like his friend Emeka Mba. We have very painful memories of the malfunctions of these two men who the industry was unfortunate to have been dumped with. Stakeholders have been crying that there should be no more political appointments in the industry. On behalf of the industry, we are appealing to the Hon. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, to please allow sanity to return to the Censors Board. When the former DG came in through his godfather Chief Emeka Chikelu, all of us welcomed him saying there is ‘young wine’ that will taste better. Instead after six years of Mba at the Censors Board, he did not do any better. Afolabi and Emeka gave us horrible nightmares and murdered the industry; putting it 20 years backwards. The Board came up with this London road show, which was a disaster because no production deal was achieved. Censors Board ran out of money and a delegate who had some pounds in London bailed them out. The worst situation was when they introduced several money making programmes. Every film must carry a N50 stamp, the former free trailers now cost N20,000 and N45,000 per feature length film (extra cost if the film is longer than their expected length). As stakeholders were crying over these draconian laws, Mba and his management introduced their biggest flop of an idea called ‘distribution’. This idea brought over six court cases from his kith and kin who took the video industry as their personal property. It is true that the Igbo marketers risked their money in home video, but as usual, they wanted to make their investment and profit in one day. These pressures created the so-called dynamic producers and prolific directors; they go to location on Monday and the film is at Idumota, Iweka Road and Aba on Friday. Such films also last one week in the market and none can be remembered like the films made by late Pa Herbert Ogunde, Ade ‘Love’ Afolayan, Moses Olaiya (Baba Sala) and Chief Eddie Ugbomah. The Minister of Information should do us this favour

IT IS TRUE THAT THE IGBO MARKETERS RISKED THEIR MONEY

IN HOME VIDEO, BUT AS USUAL, THEY WANTED TO MAKE THEIR INVESTMENT AND PROFIT IN ONE DAY and keep the appointment of new Directors General from inside the existing parastatal. The Censors Board have had Mr. Farouk and Demola James in Lagos, Mrs. Odey in Abuja who left good records for Emeka Mba to follow. It is the mismanagement after that made stakeholders to appeal in unity that there should be no political appointment again. The Censors Board now seriously needs surgery, new direction and sanitisation. The idea of putting money in first, junketing abroad, wasting cash and bringing back nothing must stop. I am told that Patricia has been appointed as acting DG; if she must know, the Inspector General of Police was in an acting position but when he laid his plans, he was confirmed. Patricia you are a senior hand; wake the Board, go round and apologise to stakeholders, work with the copyrights people and the NFC to bring back the glory of the home video days. The film industry is next to oil and one of the most powerful propaganda tools of a nation. Patricia, you should work with those who will deliver the Censors Board and kick out the dead unproductive staff without sentiment. There were some unproductive senior staff that just sat there and mislead Emeka Mba. Don’t fall into their ‘eye-service’ plans. I am warning and advising the Hon. Minster of Information to make sure that Mrs. Bala joins the percentage of women as Mrs. President promised. The entire motion picture industry is in a slumber and it will take a dynamic person to sanitise it. We hope Patricia can be confirmed so that she can move us forward. I beg all my colleagues to come out from sabbatical and wake the home video industry. This essay is written from years of experience in the industry, not a commission essay, stakeholders know me. The power tussle between NFC, Censors Board and Copyright Commission has done too much damage to the movie industry. As an old friend of these men, I have tried severally to talk sense into these men but the regulations setting them up are interwoven and confusing the industry. Patricia Bala should shine her eyes and make us proud.


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People In The Mirror

Friday, August 17, 2012

35

Steve Babaeko honoured with Black Tie gig

To celebrate the kickoff of his new company X3M Ideas, close friends of advertising guru Steve Babaeko put together an exclusive black-tie gig in his honour on Sunday, August 5. The intimate event held at Villa Picasso in Victoria Island, Lagos and was anchored by comedian Tee A, attracted some of the most formidable names in the media, marketing and advertising industry.

L-R: Adekunle Ayeni, Sam Nmukoro, Kelvin Orifa and Elvis Daniel Steve and his wife, Yetunde Kingsley James and Tee-A

Babaeko and his Team, X3M

Prof Olufemi Taiwo launches book

L-R: Charles O’Tudor, Babaeko and Regina O’Tudor

Funmi Okigbo and Familusi Akin-Babajide

Last month, Olufemi Taiwo, a Professor of Philosophy and Global African Studies at Seattle University, Seattle, United States, launched his book titled: Africa must be Modern .The event held at lifestyle and music store, Jazzhole, Ikoyi, Lagos where personalities such as poet Odia Ofeimun and notable journalist, Kunle Ajibade were in attendance.

Contestants at the Miss LASU Beauty Pageant event

Miss LASU emerges after keen contest

A cross section of guests at the event

The Miss LASU Beauty Pageant, sponsored by Globacom and organised by the Students’ Union of the Lagos State University (LASU), held at the New Auditorium on the University campus last week. The event, which saw Miss Comfort Ajoke Badmus, a 200 level Industrial Relations and Personnel Management student emerge winner, was keenly contested by 14 beautiful young ladies.

Emilda Rahim (L) and Ebi Atawodi

L-R: Bello, Visual artist; Uthman Wahab and Soji Adesina

Prof. Taiwo

Former Chairman, Onigbongbo LGA, Lagos, Idowu Obasa

Prof. Taiwo making a speech. Foreground are Kunle Ajibade (standing) and Photos: OLUWASEGUN IJABIKEN Odia Ofeimun.

Globacom’s Area Manager, Lagos 3 Territory, Mr. Sam Edo receiving the new Miss LASU 2012, Comfort Ajoke Badmus


Friday, August 17, 2012

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Mirror Drive

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he 2012 Honda Odyssey is a minivan that is specifically built for families, friends and holidaymakers with comfort and unbeatable satisfaction for the eight occupants. The 2012 Honda Odyssey is an improvement on the last edition, which is reconfigured to enhance family ties, increase efficiency, increase power while reducing fuel consumption. It is a minivan built to surpass the performance and convenience of other cars in its category and it has been able to successfully create a distinctive class for the minivan. So, whether enjoying an uptown evening or taking friends to the beach, the new Odyssey makes her occupants feel right at home in a somewhat sleek, smooth and distinctive way. It is completely automated for users with a power tailgate and doors coupled with convenient opening and closing via power or remote key distinguish the Odyssey from competitors. Also, the Odyssey’s sporty aluminium wheels with precision detailing radiate Honda’s quality. At the unveiling of the minivan to auto journalists last week in Lagos, Mr. Deepak Daryanani, Director, Sales and Marketing of The Honda Place, exclusive distributors of Honda automobiles in Nigeria, said Odyssey was completely redesigned to reassert its status as an exceptional minivan with undoubtedly luxury sensation. Daryanani explained that in addition to the multi-information display, fuel economy, outside temperature, control switches on steering wheel, handsfree phone as well as audio and cruise controls, there is a rear view 3-mode monitor that enhances simpler parking with guide assistance that is inconceivably amazing. Test drivers say the new Odyssey remains a class-leading minivan for fuel economy and safety ratings, while continuing to offer the refinement, space and engaging driving experience that people have come to expect from this highly acclaimed family vehicle. Some of its class-leading achievements include the highest EPA highway fuel economy rating for an eight-passenger minivan, 28 mpg and best possible safety ratings of five-star from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Overall Vehicle Score and Top Safety pick of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) - an achievement no other minivan has surpassed yet. Although, the 2012 Odyssey comes in

Kia

2012 Honda Odyssey: Reconfigured for families with class

Honda Odyssey

THE NEW

ODYSSEY REMAINS A

CLASS-LEADING MINIVAN FOR FUEL ECONOMY AND SAFETY RATINGS five models, only the Elite version is still available in the Nigerian market, but all the models provide a unique combination of features, value and luxury with in-vehicle entertainment technology. However, changes for 2012 include the addition of select features like Bluetooth Hands-FreeLink, intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) with an 8-inch TFT screen, a 2-GB CD Library and a USB Audio Interface. The Honda Odyssey body uses a ta-

pered cabin design with a signature “lightning bolt” character line to create a dynamic and distinctive appearance. Its styling cue creates a relatively large thirdrow window that enhances the outward perspective for third-row passengers. Engineered for a quiet interior, the Odyssey’s highly-rigid body with 59 per cent high-strength steel (an exceptional amount by industry standards) helps enhance the effectiveness of the vehicle’s sound-deadening material to isolate road

noise. The high-strength steel also helps ps to reduce body weight for better fuel econnomy and optimise body rigidity for agile le handling. Odyssey interior offers multiple modes es for accommodating child seats, adult passsengers and cargo, along with off a commprehensive range of in-vehicle entertainnment technology. To fulfil its design goal al of being an ultimate family vehicle, the he interior provides three rows of comfortrtoriented seating with generous sedan-like ke

KIA Motors opens new service outlet in Abuja

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IA Motors has opened additional new service centres in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for its growing clients in the country. KIA’s Chief Commercial Officer, Sandeep Malhotra in a statement during the week stated that the auto

company decided to open a new service centre in the city following requests from Abuja residents for more KIA outlets. He explained that the clients have shown a deep love and commitment to the KIA idea and drive, stressing that the only way to reward this com-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mirror Drive

Friday, August 17, 2012

legroom in each row; along with up to five Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) positions for child seats. The passenger volume measures 172.6 cu-ft. (Odyssey LX and EX) and the cargo volume ranges between 38.4 cu-ft. cargo volume (all seats up) to 148.5 cu-ft. depending on the seating configurations. To help enhance driver comfort, especially on long trips, the driver’s seat features 10-way power adjustable seating (8way power adjustable on Odyssey LX). A “3-mode” second-row seat design provides the ability to attach up to three child seats across the second row (Odyssey EX and above) by relocating the outboard seats to alternate positions closer to the doors. Highlights of standard fea-

tures on all models include air conditioning with manual front and rear controls, power driver’s seat, power windows with auto-up/down driver’s and front-passenger’s windows, tilt and telescopic steering column, a maintenance minder system and more. Honda Odyssey Elite model come standard with power sliding rear doors, an “intelligent” Multi-Information Display (i-MID) with customisable wallpaper, ceneer console storage, a flip-up trash bag ring, conversation mirror and more. An advanced 3.5-litre, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) provides a balanced combination of performance, fuel economy and low emissions. For instance, when cruising at steady speeds, two or three cylinders run dormant to save fuel without sacrificing performance. Undoubtedly, the 2012 Odyssey is a minivan for Nigerian families that want to enjoy comfort and satisfaction to the fullest.

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Stallion, Apollo collaborate on quality R enowned Apollo Tyres has formally launched its product range in Nigerian tyre market, appointing tyre division of Stallion Group as substantive custodian of the brand. The Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Tyres, Dr. Louis Ceneviz, who conferred the honour on the marketers said at an inaugural banquet titled ‘Evening with Apollo Tyres South Africa CEO’ in Lagos said that Apollo Tyres is a global brand with an annual turnover of $2.5bn. Established in India more than 35 years ago, the Apollo brand according to Ceneviz has plants in three continents – Africa, Asia and Europe with nine technologically advanced plants in various location; two in South Africa, two in Zimbabwe, four in India and one in the Netherlands. He described its foray into the Nigerian market “as the beginning of an exciting journey that will enable

Apollo Tyre usher ultra high performance products that are suitable for speeds of up to 300km per hour. “We believe offering the right product to the right customer is essential and that is why we develop niche applications within a larger category to enable the provision of efficient fuel and cost saving products for each product segment”, he said. Also, describing Apollo Tyres as precision engineered tyres, Ceneviz said the company spares no expense when it comes to plant equipment that produces high quality premium tyres. Apollo Tyres currently produces 400,000 metric tons of tyres across all automotive categories annually with exports to more than 70 market destinations worldwide. Ceneviz explained that Apollo adheres stringent to international regulations in its production, adding that “our products emphasis safety”.

MAINTENANCE TIPS

How to replace car’s steering wheel

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Interior

mitment and the growing population of KIA lovers “is to open more state of the art, best in class and truly world class service centres in Abuja”. KIA, the car brand, which recently won the highly coveted Awards Car Manufacturer of the Year award for 2012, has established a more visible presence in the heart of Nigeria by opening its largest showroom yet in Utako, Abuja. The newly opened structure is ultra-modern and features a display of the entire model range of KIA automobiles in Nigeria.

The facility, Malhotra assured will importantly serve as an aftersale service outlet with full service and maintenance complements for KIA’s valued customers in the capital city. He said that the new outlet can service as many as 50 cars in a day, adding that the workshop is fully equipped and hosts 20 bays for servicing. The service centre is expected to employ over 45 people and is part of the company’s expansion plans and commitment to the Nigerian market.

ost people are not aware that a car’s steering wheel can be replaced manually at home. Yes, replacing the steering wheel of a car is not a back-breaking task and can be performed easily. All you need is a new steering wheel, a few tools including a multi-purpose puller, pliers and screwdrivers. Maintenance Tips bring to Nigerian motorists few instructions for owners who are planning to replace their old steering wheel with a new one. First of all, auto users should buy a new steering wheel according to your car’s type. The new steering wheel should be perfectly suitable to your car and ask for the steering as per the make and model of your car. Also, before starting the process set your car’s tyres exactly straight so that the possibility of faulty installation can be removed. After this, it’s time to unplug all the electric connections in the vehicle. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of accidentally getting electrocuted. In addition to this, by unplugging all the electrical systems, you will remove the possibility of accidental deployment of airbags, blowing out of horns and short circuit. All

you need to do this is remove the battery from the ends. At this stage, you are expected to remove the horn by pushing it down or pulling it up so that the emblem cap can come off from the steering wheel easily. After removing horn, carefully remove the spring loaded metal plug. You may need to twist the plastic sleeves off from housing of the plug. After cutting the wire of plastic sleeve, keep it aside safely for later use. Now, use a 24-mm socket and ratchet to remove the shaft nut retainer, so that shaftnut and washer attached to wheel can be removed. Besides, as you have removed all the attachments now, it is time to mark the orientation of the steering wheel on spleens so that when you insert the new steering wheel the concerned place can be easily figured out. Now remove the steering wheel. Carefully pull the steering shaft out along with checking for the couple of tapped holes. You need to insert the puller inside the shaft hole to completely dislodge the wheel. This is no doubt the most fun part. Install the new steering wheel. Rejoin all the connections and instruments. Now you are good to go with the new steering.


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Cocktail

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oddities

Babies grow up healthier with dogs in home --Report

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here is emerging science that children who grow up in households that have dogs as pets have fewer respiratory illnesses than those who grow up without dogs. The claim is made in a new study conducted by University Hospital in Finland and published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “I think a number of these studies are really telling us there’s not a reason to kick

the dog out of the house and it actually might be a good thing for a baby to be born into the home,” said Dr. Todd Mahr, who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on allergy and immunology, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. The health benefit is believed to derive from when dogs expose children to safe, low-levels of bacteria and germs, helping to inoculate them against more serious illnesses.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Armless man plays guitar onstage G eorge Dennehy was born without arms but amazingly has learned to play the guitar using only his feet. On June 2, the 18-year-old performed a cover of the song “Iris” by the band Goo Goo Dolls at the Ashland Strawberry Faire in Ashland, Va. Video of that performance has been viewed by nearly half a million people on You-

Tube alone and caught the attention of the band members, who invited Dennehy to performed live with them at the Musikfest 2012 festival in Pennsylvania this past weekend. “I think people see the willpower and determination and how much that performance meant to me and that

song. I guess it touches people’s hearts,” Dennehy said of his Virginia performance during an interview with What’s Trending host Shira Lazar. And as if that weren’t amazing enough, Dennehy tells Lazar that he’s actually a multiinstrumentalist, playing the piano, bass and

cello—all with his feet. “Every person has their purpose here,” Dennehy said. “We’re all here for a reason. Don’t let anything get in someone’s way to do what they feel called to do. I just want people to see that even though I don’t have arms I’m still striving to do what I want to do in my life.”

3D printer could build house in 20 hours

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n engineering professor, Behrokh Khoshnevis, at the University of Southern California, is really thinking big: He has figured out a way to build housing with a giant 3D printer. Here’s how it would work, according to the blog Pop Sci. The apparatus, instead of being the size of your typical laser printer, would actually be somewhat bigger than the house it would build through a concrete layering system called Contour Crafting. The professor explained the process in a speech at

the TEDx conference, which you can watch. (Start at 4:30 to see the animation demo.) In the video, the professor demonstrates how the machine lays down a concrete foundation, puts up walls, even inserts wiring and plumbing, and eventually constructs an entire building, which Professor Khoshnevis says can be completed in less than a day. (All that’s left to add are doors and windows. ) Robotics could even be used to add details like tiles, says the professor. Khoshnevis doesn’t have

just efficiency in mind—he wants to end the scourge of slums in the developing world. The system would be right for emergency, lowincome, and commercial housing, notes the Contour Crafting website, such as in areas devastated by a natural disaster. Mechanizing home building would be cheaper and more efficient, Khoshnevis argues. This kind of technology could also be helpful when humans aren’t around, say on Mars or the moon, to set up housing before humans arrive.

George Dennehy performing on stage.

PHOTO: DAILYPICKS AND FLICKS


Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Business & Finance This government is sworn to be a far departure from what we have hitherto understood governance to be. We are committed to engaging the good people of Nigeria through various platforms and we are ready to listen to and act on your pertinent propositions. Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The principle of diversification of resources is good, because if you are holding all your foreign reserves in one currency or one asset, whether it is the dollar or the euro, you run the risk of losing the value of your reserves in the event of fluctuations CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

CPC, NATCOMS differ over telecoms operators’ merger KUNLE A ZEEZ

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emergence of a monopoly in the CDMA segment of the nation’s telecoms market. She said, “CPC position on the merger arrangement involving Starcomms, Multi-Links and MTS is very simple: Because rather than develop separately as competitors, three operators are now

coming together as one company, it will definitely reduce consumer choice which is not favourable for consumers in a liberalised market.” She argued that, if not well managed by the government, such a merger arrangement can easily balloon into ‘a monopoly of sort‘ in the CDMA mar-

ket. “While it can be argued by some stakeholders that the merger is a good development, we are seeing different perspective to the issue because when the three telcos come together, there is the tendency that they will abuse such business marriage to the disad-

vantage of the subscribers,” she said. She also called for the establishment of Competition Commission to be saddled with the responsibility of evaluating merger or acquisitions arrangements in the country, especially as it affects the consumers and players in any sector.

igeria’s Consumer Protection Council has raised eyebrows over the appropriateness of the merger arrangement involving three licensed telecoms companies in Nigeria. The CPC believes the move will engender reduction in consumer choice and herald monopoly tendency. The merger arrangement involving an investment of about $200m is being formalised among Starcomms, Multi-Links and MTS and it is expected to produce a mega telecoms operator in the Code Division Multiple Access segment of the nation’s telecoms market. Speaking with National Mirror on the development, the Head, CPC, Lagos Chapter, Mrs. Obidike Ngozi, said while some industry analysts might perceive the development as L-R: Marketing Director, Huawei, Mrs. Yolanda Zhanghaiyang; Managing Partner CISOG Concept Ltd, Mr. Idowu Afe; Managing Director, Terminal West Africa, HUAWEI, Mr. Tony Liang and Mr. Earnest Chijioke, at the Dealer Conference 2012, held in favourable for the indus- Lagos recently. try, it could also lead to the

Project financing: NEXIM Bank seeks cooperation with Infrastructure Bank

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he Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) has called for synergy between it and the Infrastructure Bank (IB) Plc. to support the Federal Government’s transformation agenda through project financing. NEXIM Bank’s Manag-

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

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

ing Director, Mr. Roberts Orya, made the call in Abuja on Thursday when he led a delegation from the bank on a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of IB Plc., Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye. “We are excited to be here, the meeting is essentially to deepen inter-agency cooperation and also explore areas of transactional risk sharing in co- fi-

nancing projects that have export content so that we can explore areas of mutual cooperation and build synergies and capacities to support government’s transformation agenda. “We in NEXIM bank, are set up to diversify the economy from the monoproduction of oil. We need to work with institutions like you, to be able to actualise our own man-

IFRS: ICAN urges full, immediate compliance

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date.’’ Orya stated that there was the need for the two banks to work together on a sea-link project. According to him, the project is intended to ease Nigerian exporters’ movement of goods to other African countries and to improve trade in the ECOWAS region particularly. He explained that NEX-

IM Bank had been working hard to see how best to enhance the volume of trade in the region. “We have the sea-link project; a sea-link project is basically a maritime transport infrastructure; we are looking at how we can enhance the volumes of trade that falls within the ECOWAS sub-region and even the Central African region.”

How stakeholders seek to achieve optimum seaport efficieny

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FLIGHT SCHEDULE Air Nigeria

International (Lagos - London) Los- LGW (VK293): Tue, Thurs, Fri & Sat 11.55pm LGW-Los (VK292): Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 10.50am

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

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

234.6271

USD

155.84

CHF

159.2642

SDR

235.0535

CFA

0.2924

GBP

244.1701

EURO

191.3715

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$123.39

-0.78

NYMEX

$108.45

-0.11

OPEC BASKET

$122.86

+1.16

NATURAL GAS

$2.83

-0.03


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Business News

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

IFRS: ICAN urges full, immediate compliance •As National Mirror pays visit MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), has said it is imperative for Nigeria to embrace the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in line with globally-accepted benchmark of international financial reporting. The institute also said that the adoption by Nigeria of IFRS since January 1, 2012 had brought to the fore the need for the institute to build capacity and enhance the technical skills of members who would function within the evolving principle-based financial reporting framework. Speaking in Lagos on Thursday when receiving a delegation from Global Media Mirror (publishers of the National Mirror titles), the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of ICAN, Mr. Olutoyin Adepate, said it was high time Nigeria keyed fully into the IFRS’ set of global accounting standards for the preparation of public financial statements. He stressed that by adopting IFRS, local financial statements are made readily

understandable and acceptable in global markets, while adding that the migration of the nation’s accounting standards to IFRS would enable the nation participate effectively in the provision of global accounting services. According to him, IFRS is the “hottest” issue in global accounting, while describing it further as a global reporting language that ensures that investors’ funds are moved easily within the global market. He explained that the full adoption of the global accounting standards by Nigeria would enable the country reap the benefits on time, adding that the institute had developed comprehensive and integrated certification programme to give members the information needed to navigate complex issues in financial reporting. The ICAN chief executive officer explained that the IFRS Certification Training Programme is designed to equip all chartered accountants who either have governance responsibilities or are involved in the financial reporting chain irrespective of the sector of the economy in which they function. Speaking earlier while

L-R: Chief Sales officer, Airtel, Mr. Inusa Bello; Chief Patrick Yalaju and Olu Ogiame Atuwase II, Olu of Warri, during a courtesy visit to his palace, yesterday.

welcoming the Global Media Mirror’s delegation, the Assistant Director, Corporate Affairs of ICAN, Mr. Dayo Ajibotosho, described National Mirror newspapers as the fastest growing newspaper in the country and beyond. He said the institute would deliberate in-house, and seek ways of partnering with the newspapers in a multi-dimensional manner, considering the various areas of strength the newspaper possesses. According to him, the visit

ASSBIFI, ex-bankers trade words over severance pay MESHACK IDEHEN

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he President of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), Mr Olusoji Salako, said that aggrieved ex-workers of Mainstreet Bank should follow due process in the pursuit of their demands. According to him, the issues the ex-bankers are pursuing was not peculiar to Mainstreet Bank alone, saying also that the union was doing its best to

resolve the problem amicably without deviating from following due process. Speaking with journalists on Thursday, Salako said some other banks had equally downsised in the past, adding it was worrying to the association that the former workers believe that the union has compromised on the issue of Mainstreet Bank. The ASSIBFI president asked if Mainstreet has become the only bank that can make the union compromise, wondering what is the pecu-

liarity of the bank that can make the union compromise on the welfare of members. He said ASSBIFI does not condone lawlessness, while also stressing that the disengaged staff should allow the union perform its duties as stipulated by the law. Salako advised the former bank workers to build on public confidence, adding that mass protest without exploring other necessary avenues would amount to eroding the confidence of the public. It would be recalled that

Airtel to add 2,000 km of fibre optic cable to network

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irtel Nigeria is set to further improve on the quality of service that has earned it plaudits from customers and regulators with the addition of over 2000 kilometres of fibre optic cable on its network. Speaking recently at a media roundtable in Lagos, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Rajan Swaroop, disclosed that

the company has doubled its network capacity since taking over and is poised to improve on that in the bid to continue rendering bespoke telecommunications services in Nigeria. Speaking on his company’s plans to build on the gains of the first 24 months, Swaroop said: “In this first phase, we will be adding over 2000 kilometres of fibre optic cable to our network.”

He noted that the investment and diligence being put into transforming Airtel into the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians are already bearing fruits. He made an example of the recent rating by telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, where Airtel was rated the best network in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2012.

by National Mirror will open up bigger avenues for collaboration and partnership that will be mutually benefiting to both organisations. Responding on behalf of the delegation, the paper’s General Editor, Mr. Lanre Oyetade, said National Mirror’s wide coverage, distribution and visibility gives it an edge that the institute can take ad-

vantage of especially in the light of the fact that the paper belongs to a bourgeoning conglomerate made up of 16 other companies spread globally. Also on the newspaper’s delegation was the Senior Manager, Strategic Development, Mr. Gani Kayode Balogun, Jnr; the Advert and Marketing Manager, Mr. Monday Ashibogwu and others.

80% of Nigerian businesses offer government bribe –Report DAYO AYEYEMI

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report by the World Bank has estimated that 80 per cent of Nigerian businesses are in the habit of offering bribe to government officials to facilitate deals. Though the report, according to The Citizen, an online medium, credits Nigeria as the most attractive investment destination in Africa, it also noted the high tendency for bribery and corruption among Nigerian businesses. The World Bank report said, “One-third of microenterprises reported that informal payments/gifts to government officials were commonplace, suggesting that registered firms confront more requests for such bribes. “Only 20 per cent of microenterprise firms reported having advance knowledge of the amount of the payment required to ‘get things done.’ “The challenge posed by informal payments, since the amount to be set aside cannot even be planned for. Informal payments/gifts represented

approximately 1.2 per cent of annual sales for all micro-enterprises.” The report also cited the kickbacks government contractors have to pay in order to win and maintain contracts. “Micro-enterprises dealing in government contracts are expected to pay approximately 4.3 per cent of the contract value in order to secure it. The bribes required to obtain contracts appear much smaller for services (3.9 per cent) than for manufactured goods (6.7 per cent),” the report said. “Formal sector firms pay more for corruption: 47 per cent of formal firms claimed that informal gifts/payments were commonplace, compared to 33 per cent of microenterprises.” The report covered business activities and investments in 26 states, namely, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta and Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business News

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cement manufacturers make case for cement in road projects TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria yesterday made a strong case for cement as complementary input for road construction in the country in view of its far-reaching benefits for the economy. Presenting the association’s demand to the Minister of Works yesterday when he led a delegation of the cement manufacturers association to a courtesy visit to the ministry in Abuja, the President of the Association, Mr. Joseph Makoju, said the need for consideration of cement as alternative source on inputs for road construction had become imperative in view of the cost-benefit implications for the country. Makoju urged the government to explore the opportunities of cement in road construction as a strategic option of

improving local production capacity, job creation and foreign exchange saving benefits. According to him, there was no economic sense for the country to continue to depend entirely on asphalt as the major input to roads construction when evidences abound to show that cement has become a better alternative and the country has adequate capacity to meet road construction demands given the available production capacity. Giving statistical details of how the cement manufacturing industry has fared over the past decade, the seasoned industry expert, disclosed that current the totally installed capacity stands at 28 million tonnes yearly while demand remains at about 17 million tonnes He said this year the operators have projected to raise production level from 12.8 million tonnes in 2011 to about 20 mil-

lion tonnes thereby surpassing the current demand level. According to him, the association believes that the excess production capacity should be channelled to areas of urgent national need, hence the request by them that government should include cement in road construction in view of the fact that substantial part of the 34,000 kilometres of the nation’s road networks are in bad shape. “Nigeria has arrived to be recognised as a cement producing country. Now, that is why we believe that this success story can be leveraged to impact on another problem area of the country, which is bad roads. Everybody knows the state of our roads which as the Permanent Secretary has said, is a network of 34,000 kilometres and practically all of them in asphalt and we have done our home works and found out that cement could be used in road construction”, Makoju said

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CBN issues N75bn bond

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he CBN auctioned N75bn ($477.43m) worth of sovereign bonds with maturities in the range of five to 10 years at a regular auction on Wednesday, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said yesterday. The debt office said it sold N25bn of each note, which are reopening of old debt. The DMO issued the 5-year bond at a yield of 16.32 per cent, higher than the 16.19 per cent at last month’s auction. According to Reuters, CBN issued the 7-year note at 16.14 percent, lower than the 16.59 per cent previously, while the 10-year paper was issued at a yield of 15.90 percent, compared with 16.30 percent at the

last auction. The original coupon rates of 15.10 percent, 16 percent and 16.39 percent for the April 2017, June 2019 and January 2022 respectively will be maintained, the debt office said in a statement. Total subscriptions stood at N249.11 billion, compared with N121.60 billion at the June auction. Bond dealers said the increased participation of offshore investors at the auction accounted for the surge in demand. The government issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

Aviation & Allied Business Conference to focus on PPP in Africa OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he organisers of Aviation & Allied Business holding in Namibia first week in September has said that this year’s edition will focus on how the Public Private Partnership in aviation industry could be harnessed to foster development of infrastructure in the African continent. The organisers also announced that the 18th edition will be officially opened by the President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba in Windhoek on September 2. Speaking to journalists in Lagos on the upcoming event, the

Publisher of Aviation & Allied Business journal, organizers of the conference, Capt. Edward Boyo, the three days event will focus on finding more innovative ways of resolving the difficulties facing aviation development in Africa, while making Africa’s coordinated response to common internal and external policy challenges more achievable. Boyo agreed that the continent has made pockets of commendable progress on safety and security in the last few years, but insisted that the level of such achievements in all aspects of air transport in Africa must improve significantly and steadily.

RIM trains Nigeria’s app developers KUNLE A ZEEZ

R L-R: Retail Manager, Nokia West-Africa, Mr. Olajide Adeyemi; one of the winners of N100,000 of Nokia Danfo Reloaded Competition, Udosoh Aniema and Head, Developer Experience , Nokia West Africa, Teemu Kijaarvi, at the prize presentation for the first draw of the competition in Lagos, yesterday.

Speaker’s intervention saves Nigerian business community in Ghana GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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he timely intervention of the Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu prevented what would have been a hasty deportation of a large community of Nigerian business men and women doing business in the West African country of Ghana by now. As part of efforts to commence the full enforcement

of that country’s investment promotion centre Foreign Investment Act of 1994, the Ghananian authorities had issued a four month ultimatum to the mainly Nigerian traders and business community to quit the country failure to meet the terms of the act. The act among other provisions requires all foreign business concerns or individuals to make a non refundable deposit of $300,000 (N46.5m) with the Ghananian government as well as show proof of the employment of

a minimum of 10 Ghananians in their businesses. The act is believed to target the large business community of Nigerians in that country. However, following appeals by the Nigerian business community in Ghana, National Mirror learnt that Ekweremadu was able to elicit a commitment from the Ghananian government to defer the implementation of the ultimatum pending when the parliament debated the petition filed to it by the affected business people.

esearch-In- Motion, the makers of BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, in collaboration with Co-Creation Hub, CcHub, has organised a training forum for budding mobile application developers in Nigeria. The initiative, a partnership with the CcHub to bring the BlackBerry Developer Program to Lagos, provided resources for developers, students and teachers that want to learn about mobile app development. The event tagged, “The BlackBerry 10 Mini Jam”, which held at the CcHub lab facility in Lagos,was to provide Nigerian developers with the opportunity to learn more about the unique capabilities of BlackBerry 10. Speaking on the event, Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa at RIM, Mr. Waldi Wepener, said the Black-

Berry platform provided significant opportunities for the developer community in Nigeria. “There is high demand among developers to learn more about the tools for creating local services and apps on the BlackBerry platform, as well as a strong desire to reach the millions of BlackBerry customers around the world. By partnering locally with the CcHub, we aim to share resources and knowledge to create even more opportunity for Nigerian developers and to help create more jobs,” he said. According to him, in addition to the BlackBerry 10 Mini Jam, RIM and CcHub would host a series of BlackBerry Developer Days throughout 2012. He said the “BlackBerry Developer Days provide information about developing for the BlackBerry Java platform, as well as BlackBerry 10. The partnership will also see CcHub provide some additional week-long BlackBerry developer training sessions.


42

Maritime

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How stakeholders seek to achieve optimum seaport efficiency T

Singaporean firm for the building of the he port reform programme embarked multipurpose Lekki deep seaport under upon by the Federal Government a Public/Private Participation. It was about nine years ago, among other also gathered that the Akwa Ibom State benefits has brought several innovations Government has already handed over that conform to modern port management the Certificate of Occupancy for the tailored towards efficiency. One of these is Ibaka Port to NPA, even as the port is exthe coming on stream of world-class port pected to commence operations in 2015. and terminal operators comprising of indigenous and foreign ones. Another major Unfortunately, most stakeholders are innovation was the stripping of the Nigeyet to key into these programmes with rian Ports Authority of its cargo handling a view to making the ports perform opfunctions. Therefore, under the new dispentimally. sation, these world-class terminal operators For instance, some terminal operaare saddled with the responsibility of hantors and shipping companies are still in dling the various types of cargo in line with the habit of creating artificial hiccups the nature of the terminal, be it container, in order to delay the process of docubulk, liquid bulk and Roll-On Roll-Off, mentation for the release of consignamong others. ments so that they would collect higher Similarly, with the stripping of its cargo charges on rent and demurrage. handling functions, NPA in the post-reform A top officer of the Nigerian Customs era carries out such functions as harbour, Service, who confirmed this on the conMinister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar channel management, pilotage and other al- New MD of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi dition of anonymity, noted that some lied functions. officials of shipping companies and terIt was as part of efforts to adequately fit minal operators some times under the into this role, that the authority entered into Nigeria’s port reform programme has no doubt improved the pretence of going on break try to delay partnership with some world -class channel level of efficiency of the seaports, though there is still room for and frustrate the freight forwarders management companies to undertake both improvement. FRANCIS EZEM in this report examines the role from taking delivery of their consigncapital and maintenance dredging of the ments. of industry in achieving optimum efficiency. channels. “The greatest obstacle we have toFor instance, while the Lagos Channel wards fast and efficient cargo release is Management Company is in charge of mainthese shipping companies, most of which taining the channels in the Lagos area, the behave as if no one can do them anything. HE GREATEST OBSTACLE Bonny Channel Management Company handles the BonThey are the greatest beneficiaries of the delay in cargo ny area of the nation’s water channels, which makes for release because the longer the consignment stays at the WE HAVE TOWARDS FAST AND effective coverage. port, the more money they make”, he noted with regrets. EFFICIENT CARGO RELEASE IS Records show that the total dredged volume from 2006 to It was probably worried by this trend that the Senior date; executed by LCM for Lagos channels is 53,583,546m3 Special Adviser to the President on Maritime Services, THESE SHIPPING COMPANIES while BCC has executed a total of 43,537,000m3 for Bonny Mr. Leke Oyewole in a recent interview hinted that the MOST OF WHICH BEHAVE AS channels. government would put measures in place to remove all There have also been aggressive and sustained efforts manmade bottlenecks that inhibit smooth process of IF NO ONE CAN DO THEM on the part of the authority for the removal of critical goods clearance. He had disclosed that the Federal Govwrecks on the nation’s channels, thereby promoting safeANYTHING HEY ARE THE ernment was planning to fund substantial portion of the ty of navigation. 2012 budget through the maritime industry. GREATEST BENEFICIARIES OF In addition, this synergy has also resulted in the comApart from the sack of the various government secuing of bigger vessels to Nigeria’s ports. To this effect, ports rity agencies like the National Agency for Food, Drug THE DELAY IN CARGO RELEASE in the country now receive ships of 12.5 meters draught in Administration and Control and Standards OrganisaBECAUSE THE LONGER THE some of the terminals. tion of Nigeria, among several others, government has History was made last year when Maersk Calabar, a also taken some steps towards removing these bottleCONSIGNMENT STAYS AT THE 4,500 container capacity and over 250 metre- length owned necks. PORT THE MORE MONEY THEY by Mearsk Line berthed at Apapa Port. One of them is the decongestion of port access roads The company had said that the vessel, which is over 50 to rid them of trucks and other vehicles indiscriminateMAKE percent bigger than its conventional container vessels, ly parked on major port access roads. was designed to increase capacity, a development that It is also on record that most importers and their would reduce cost. agents indulge in all forms of import-related fraud. It was gathered that Maersk’s biggest container vessels Similarly, the gross tonnage of coastal vessels stood at Customs has also capitalised on this to carryout 100 to call at Nigeria’s ports before now carry a maximum of 828,583 showing a growth rate of 76 percent over that of percent physical examination on over 80 percent of 3, 500 containers. 470, 776 recorded in the comparative period of 2010. goods imported into the country, which further delays Expectedly, with these economies of large scale and the General Manager Public Affairs of the authority, Chief cargo release. attendant reduction in cost, NPA currently has to contend Michael Ajayi stated that the increasing volume of goods Newly appointed Zonal Coordinator of Western with the surge in cargo volume, being in charge of har- handled at the nation’s seaports is as a result of continued Zone A, Lagos Mr. Victor Gbemudu, while fielding bour services. receipt of bigger vessels which carry larger volumes of questions recently from newsmen on whether the For instance, the authority at the end of July, 2011 re- cargo. zone will continue with 100 percent cargo examinacorded an 8.6 percent growth in cargo throughput from He also attributed the increase in vessel tonnage to tion, said Nigerian importers are not sincere with the figure of 6.7 million metric tonnes recorded at the end consistent effort to rid the channels of critical wrecks and their declarations. of July 2010 to 7.3million metric tonnes recorded in the also ensure that channels are safe and secure. He cited several cases of concealment of prohibited comparative period of 2011. This, according to him, paved the way for the ports to goods like arms, under-declaration, over-invoicing, Out of these figures, inward cargo traffic (import) attract bigger vessels with larger volumes of cargo. wrong classification and forgery of import docustood at 4.8 million metric tonnes, which represents 66 As part of moves to achieve the hub port status for the ments, among several others. percent of the total cargo throughput while the outward West and Central Africa, the government through NPA “Nigeria cannot afford to risk national security cargo stood at 2.5 million metric tonness representing 34 has made some giant strides. One of such is the establish- and revenue generation in her bid to facilitate trade percent of the total cargo throughput. ment of the Ibaka and Lekki Deep Seaports in Akwa Ibom because none must be compromised for the other’, he The nation’s eight seaports also recorded a total gross and Lagos states respectively. argued. tonnage of ocean going vessels of 10.8 million, representImmediate past managing director of NPA, Mallam It is therefore instructive that all hands must be on ing an increase of 13.4 percent when compared with the Omar Suleiman, who gave details of the new seaports, deck in order to achieve optimal efficiency in cargo figures of 9.5 million metric tonnes recorded in 2010. said the authority has entered into an agreement with a delivery at the Nigerian seaports.

T

,

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,


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Maritime

Friday, August 17, 2012

Arbitrary charges: You can sue shipping firms, NSC tells importers STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM

W

orried by the growing tendency of foreign shipping companies and terminal operators to impose arbitrary charges on importers, exporters and other shipping service users, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has said that port users could adopt the legal option in other to checkmate this menace. The council, which is the Federal Government’s agency charged with the responsibility of protecting the interest of shippers, had in 2010 following the directive of the Federal Ministry of Transport abolished about 39 charges illegally imposed on port users. Executive Secretary of the council, Captain Adamu Biu, who was represented by the Director of Legal Services, Mr. Hassan Bello said at a one day free legal clinic on arbitrary charges organised by the council in collaboration with Akabogu & Associates in Lagos noted that the importers are free to use the court option to check imposition of illegal and arbitrary charges. The NSC-boss, who was responding to complaint by the President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Mr. Eugene Nweke on the imposition of transfer charges by terminal operators even when such transfer was not at the instance of the importer or his agent. Nweke had disclosed that APM Apapa Terminals Limited and indeed most other terminal operators are in the habit of transferring containers desig-

Biu

nated for Apapa Port to Lily Pond Bonded Terminal because they do not have space and turn back to compel the importer to pay the cost of the transfer. Captain Adamu, noted that the entire contract of affreightment is codified in the Bill of Lading as to the port of origin and port of destination of the cargo, noting that if the terminal operator decides to transfer the consignment to another terminal to suit its convenience, the importer must not be compelled to bear the cost of the transfer and vice versa. He noted that it is for the court to interpret the various terms of contract as contained in the Bill of Lading, arguing that only when that is done that all the parties to the contract would know

their rights and obligations under the contract. He however regretted that most importers and their agents are in a haste, and therefore have little or no time to fight for their rights, a development the terminal operators have capitalised upon to cheat them. But stakeholders have cited the slow pace of handling cases at the nation’s courts as a major reason why most importers would prefer any arbitrary charge imposed on them and rather pass such additional cost to the final consumers. The stakeholders, mostly freight forwarders had argued that while the case lingers in the court, the consignment will be accumulating demurrage at the port, arguing that the Nigeria

Customs Service will auction the consignment after a period of six months, a development that would cause the importer both the capital and the profit. The NSC-boss had while presenting a key note address at the event, disclosed that following public outcry, the council with the approval of the Ministry of Transport had in 1997 approved some charges for all consignments imported through the nation’s eight seaports. The council defines local shipping charges as contained in its import and export regulation as charges paid locally by an importer or exporter in addition to freight payable and charges such as documentation, manifest amendment, container cleaning, container rent, demurrage, cargo rent and equipment charges. The approved charges include Terminal Handling Charges, container cleaning, documentation/release charges, which are charged per each bill of lading, manifest amendment charge, which is subject to the request of the importer, refundable container deposit and container demurrage charges. He, however, regretted that following the port concession and the coming on stream of private terminal operators, some service providers have introduced new tariff headings outside officially approved nomenclature without consultation with the council. This development, he argued calls for thorough investigation to ascertain the various cost structure and cost unit in terms of tariff bands and charges under the concession regime.

Dikko splits Customs formations to clip area controllers’ wings

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trong indications have emerged that the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko has embarked on measures designed to whittle down the powers of some controllers in charge of the service’s area commands. The Comptroller General was in the past accused of frequent postings and transfers of the area controllers, as no area controller has served in a particular command for more than six months, a development stakeholders say is not good enough, as it does not promote continuity. Prior to this, the Customs-boss had introduced the tradition of posting deputy comptrollers who were alleged to be loyal to him to preside over some commands while full comptrollers who by their ranks are supposed to be in charge of commands are left in the office to move files. An authoritative source close to the service, disclosed that the newest onslaught against the con-

trollers is the new system of splitting the area commands as part of desperate moves to whittle down the powers of the controllers. But in a swift response, deputy national public relations officer of the service, Mr. Joseph Attah said that was not practicable. According to the source, who pleaded anonymity, said what the Comptroller General does now is to post very junior officers described as his ‘ears and eyes’ to the affected commands to oversee some clearing processes. The source also disclosed that while a segment of the command headed by the area controller is in charge of revenue generation, the ‘junior area controller is in charge of the ‘dirty jobs’ through which the CG favours his friends and cronies. Investigations showed that the two affected commands are the Tin Can Island and Seme Border Commands, where two junior officers are designated to man a strategic aspect of the command. For instance, at the Tin Can

Dikko

Island one Jubrin is designated to head the TCIP 1 of the command while Comptroller Nuhu takes charge of the second segment of the command while at Seme, Mr. Turaki, an Assistant Comptroller takes charge of one unit while Comptroller Sahabi takes charge of the other unit. It was further gathered that this new arrangement is causing ripples at the affected commands as these junior ranking officers have refused to take orders from the area controllers, who are the statutory heads of the com-

mands. The source also disclosed that some area controllers who were lucky for not splitting their commands were compelled to take personal assistants orderlies posted to them from office of the CG to monitor them on daily basis. A stakeholder, who commented on this new arrangement, noted that if not checked, this might affect the command structure of the service, as junior officers are now given positions high enough for the not to take orders from their area controllers. “How do you expect discipline in a command where an Assistant Comptroller for instance, who is two ranks below a Comptroller takes orders directly from Abuja and not the Comptroller, who should be the head of the command?”, he wondered. Attah, who spoke in a telephone interview, denied the allegations, saying that such cannot be possible in a uniform organisation like Customs, which has a command structure.

43

FG passionate about maritime industry, says NPA

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he Nigerian Ports Authority has said that the Federal Government under President Goodluck Jonathan is passionate about the development and transformation of the nation’s seaports in order to make them viable and competitive. Managing Director of the authority, Malam Habib Abdullahi, made this assertion when members of the Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, umbrella body of all private terminal operators paid him a courtesy in Lagos. According to him, the importance the Federal Government attaches to the maritime industry was demonstrated at the recent maritime industry retreat at the Presidential Villa which Jonathan and members of his economic management team attended in person. He pledge that the authority would continue to reciprocate government’s gesture by doing all in its powers to ensure that international best practice was enthroned in Nigeria’s port system. He, however, noted that the terminal operators as major stakeholders, are critical to achieving government objectives in the industry and urged them to do all they could to move the industry to the next level. The newly appointed managing director stressed the need for continuous dialogue between STOAN and NPA with a view to solving operational problems instead of accusing each other on the pages of newspapers. Abdullahi, who until his recent appointment, acting executive director in charge of finance and administration urged members of the association to extend the same support and cooperation they extended to his predecessor, Mallam Omar Suleiman. Chairman of the STOAN, Mrs. Vicky Haastrup, while speaking earlier had congratulated the managing director and his executive directors on their recent appointments, pledging that the association will give the new management their maximum cooperation in order to move the industry forward. Haastrup was accompanied on the visit by Mr. Joachim Theurkauf of Five Star Logistic Limited, Yehuda Kotik of Tin Can Island Container Terminal Limited, Mr. Ascanio Russo of Grimaldi Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mark Walsh, general manager, ENL Consortium and managing director of APMT, Mr. Dallas Hampton. According to her, the new management team has started on a good note, arguing that the managing director was the first chief executive of NPA that deemed it appropriate to invite the association on assumption of duty.


44

Global Business

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exico’s economic growth slowed less than analysts forecast in the second quarter as auto exports climbed to a record, helping offset a downturn in shipments of some manufactured goods and oil. Gross domestic product expanded 0.9 percent from the first quarter, an annualized rate of 3.5 percent and down from a revised 1.2 percent in the first three months, the statistics agency said today on its website. That beat the 0.7 percent median estimate of seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Economic growth in the U.S., the buyer of 80 percent of Mexico’s exports, slowed to a 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter amid unemployment that has held above 8 percent for more than three years. While Mexico’s expansion slowed from the fastest annual pace since 2010 on the weaker U.S. expansion, growth has topped Brazil’s for the past year. The central bank said last month that monetary policy is adequate with the economy on a positive trajectory. “We see less growth in the manufacturing sector due to lower growth in the U.S. economy, but we believe this is a good figure overall,” Rafael Camarena, an economist at Banco Santander SA (SAN), said by phone from Mexico City. “If the U.S. economy grows at least two

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mexico economy weakened less than forecast in second quarter

xxxxx

percent this year and a similar figure for 2013, the Mexican economy could see a good performance probably close to four percent this year.”

South Korea unemployment falls to 7-month low on service jobs

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outh Korea’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a seven-month low on increasing numbers of self-employed workers and service-sector jobs even as Europe’s debt crisis dragged down exports. The jobless rate was at 3.1 percent in July, compared with 3.2 percent in June, Statistics Korea said today in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 14 economists was for a rate of 3.3 percent. The outlook for the labor market is clouded by signs that Asia’s fourth-largest economy is losing steam. A decline in exports in July was the steepest since 2009 and the central bank said Aug. 9 that domestic demand is also weakening. “Jobs are increasing in the service sector

and the self- employed are lifting the total number of workers, but Europe’s fiscal crisis is taking a toll on company hiring,” said Sun Yoo, an economist Woori Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “The quality of the job market is deteriorating with more people taking non-salaried work.” The won weakened 0.3 percent to 1,133.00 per dollar at yesterday open in Seoul and the benchmark Kospi stock index was little changed. The number of employed people increased by 470,000 to 25.1 million in July, with the self-employed and public services providing 318,000 of those new jobs. The seasonally unadjusted jobless rate was also at 3.1 percent in July, compared with 3.2 percent in June, yesterday’s report showed.

Budget standoff causing economic gloom

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ravelers Cos. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay Fishman said that businesses are curbing spending and hiring because United State lawmakers haven’t addressed fiscal imbalances the country faces in the next decade. “The best thing that could happen right now is a bipartisan solution” to the nation’s mounting debt and widening deficit, Fishman, 59, said in an interview for Bloomberg Radio’s “A Closer Look With Arthur Levitt” to be aired next month. “The sense of gloom and despair would lift and, in fact, businesspeople would be more optimistic.” Executives including BlackRock Incorporated Laurence D. Fink and Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Mohamed El-Erian have warned that Congress’s inaction on fiscal policy will hurt economic

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto

growth in the world’s largest economy. Businesses see challenges beyond the end of this year, when the U.S. faces a so-called fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases, said Fishman, whose New York-based firm provides insurance coverage to almost a million companies in the country.

Mexico’s annual growth will slow to 2.9 percent in the third quarter before rising to 3.1 percent in the final three months of the year, according to the me-

dian estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The statistics agency, known as Inegi, also said yesterdayz that the economy expanded 3.79 percent in June from a year earlier as measured by the global economic indicator, less than the 3.9 percent median estimate of 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Annual growth in GDP eased to 4.1 percent in the second quarter from a revised 4.5 percent in the first quarter, missing the 4.3 percent average analyst estimate, Inegi said. Mexico’s peso erased its advance after the release of the economic reports, remaining little changed at 13.1366 per dollar yesterday in Mexico City. Earnings for Mexican companies such as Coca-Cola Femsa SAB and Desarrolladora Homex SAB reflected the slowdown in demand. Homex, Mexico’s largest homebuilder by sales, has cut its 2012 revenue projection, while Femsa, Latin America’s biggest Coke bottler, reported second-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates.

Americans’ view on economy are most pessimistic since November

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mericans this month were the most pessimistic on the economic outlook since late last year as fuel prices rose and unemployment remained elevated. The share of households viewing the economy as heading in the wrong direction rose to 45 percent in August, the highest since November, from 36 percent the prior month. The Bloomberg monthly expectations gauge dropped to minus 22 from minus 11. The weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to minus 44.4 in the period ended Aug. 12, lowest since January, from minus 41.9 “The American public appears to have tired of running harder to stand still, expressing their displeasure with the current state of economic affairs in the country and their own personal finances,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. The report raises the risk that a pickup in retail sales last month will not be sustained after gasoline prices climbed by 38 cents a gallon in less than two months. A jobless rate that’s exceeded 8 percent for a post-World War II record 42 months is probably also contributing to concern that the world’s largest economy is failing to make enough progress. Another report today showed the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits was little changed last week, bringing the average over the past month to the lowest level since late March, a sign the labor market has stabilized after employment picked up in July. Jobless claims climbed by 2,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Aug. 11, Labor Department figures showed. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to

Obama

365,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 363,750, the fewest since the week ended March 31. Also today, new-home construction fell in July, while the number of building permits jumped to the highest level in four years, indicating the industry will keep improving in the second half of the year, figures from the Commerce Department showed. Stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a second day, following the reports. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent to 1,406.81 at 9:40 a.m. in New York. Two of the comfort index’s three components deteriorated last week. More than half of respondents -- 56 percent -- had a negative opinion of their own finances, the most since May. Almost nine out of every 10 held a negative view on the economy, the most since February. Slightly fewer people called it a bad to time make purchases, with the buying climate index at minus 46.4 from minus 47.7 in the prior week.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Friday, August 17, 2012

45

Shareholders, brokers disagree over share certificates verification fees

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hareholders and dealers have disagreed on the increasing cost of verifying share certificates for the ongoing de-materialisation. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the disagreement among the capital market operators in Lagos followed a circular by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stipulating that the exercise was free. Investigations by NAN showed that contrary to the SEC’s directives, most stock broking firms still charged shareholders between N500 and N1, 000 as fees, depending on the location of the registrars. SEC on March 13 issued the circular making January 1, 2013, the deadline for the de-materialisation of all share certificates. According to the circular, all share certificates de-materialised on or be-

fore January 1, 2013, will be free while those that come after attract an unspecified penalty. It also said that the allotment of shares of public offerings would be electronically transferred directly to the shareholders’ accounts in the Central Security Clearing System (CSCS). The National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Sunny Nwosu, said that shareholders were being shortchanged by the dealers, in spite of their losses. Nwosu described the charges for verification as part of the market’s flaws affecting investor confidence. The ISAN boss urged SEC to ensure that it implemented the extant rules guiding the operations of the market. He also charged SEC to emphasise inclusive capital market regulation by

partnering stockbrokers and shareholders on the development and growth of the capital market. The President of the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, described the inability of the commission to protect the interest of local investors as unfortunate. Okezie said it was illogical that shareholders’ burden increased daily through multiple taxes, in spite of the commissions earned by the SEC, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and dealers from their portfolio investments. The Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars, Dr David Ogogo, urged stakeholders who owned capital to convene a meeting to address the current challenges facing the market. Ogogo suggested that the cost of verification should be treated in iso-

lation but in the context of service delivery in a depressed capital market. The President of the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, Mr Emeka Madubuike, said that the charges were decided by the various firms. Madubuike, who claimed the dealers were ignorant of the SEC circular or notice on share certificate verification, noted that the commission had failed to implement or enforce the order. He said that the verification fee was for incidentals, such as transportation and activities that would enable dealers’ personnel to follow up on the investors’ instructions. “The issue of brokers’ charges will be looked into and dealt with so that it doesn’t act as an impediment to the dematerialisation policy,” Madubuike said.

IHS posts N2. 04bn loss as ASI shed 0.17% JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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elecommunications infrastructure company, IHS Nigeria Plc has declared a loss of N2.04bn for the financial year ended April 30, 2012, an increase by 23.3 per cent when compared to N1.65bn loss recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s turnover rose marginally by 2.3 per cent in the review period, from N14.9bn in 2011 to N15.2bn in 2012, while taxation increased by 356.6 per cent to N847.7bn in 2012, from N185.7bn recorded in

the same period of 2011. According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, value of stocks appreciated by 8.3 per cent, from N1.02bn in 2011 to N1.10bn in 2012, while long term investment dropped by 62.2 per cent to N20.1m in 2012, from N53.1m in 2011. Further analysis showed that net assets rose to N25.2bn in 2012, from N8.46bn in 2011, while working capital stood at N11.5bn in 2012, from N1.97bn in 2011. Meanwhile, trading in equities continued on a bearish note on the NSE

yesterday, as some investors sold their holdings. Specifically, the All Share index dropped by 0.17 per cent to close at 23,066.74 points, compared to the decline by 0.09 per cent recordd the preceding day to close at 23,105.05 points. Market capitalisation shed N12bn to close at N7.34trn, higher than the drop of N6bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.35trn. AG Leventis Plc led the gainers’ table with six kobo or five per cent to close at N1.26 per share, followed by International Breweries

Plc with 33 kobo or 4.99 per cent to close at N6.94 per share. On the flip side, Continental Insurance Plc depreciated by three kobo or 4.76 per cent to close at 60 kobo per share, while GT Assur Plc lost eight kobo or 4.57 per cent to close at N1.67 per share. Transaction volume in equities increased by 7.53 per cent, as a total of 140.1 million shares worth N1.26bn were exchanged in 3,474 deals, compared to 231.9 million shares valued at N1.65bn traded in 3,757 deals the preceding day.

US stocks rise as building permits jump to 4-year high

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nited Stocks advanced yesterday, sending the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index toward the highest level since April, as building permits jumped in July to a four-year peak. Cisco Systems Incorporation rallied eight per cent on better-than- expected earnings while Sears Holdings Corporation climbed 5.6 per cent as its loss narrowed.

Facebook Incoporation dropped 6.6 per cent as 271.1 million of its shares will be allowed to trade, while WalMart Stores Incoporation fell 3.5 per cent after posting second-quarter sales that trailed analysts’ estimates. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 per cent to 1,409.34 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 34.07 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 13,198.85 points as trading in S&P

500 companies was almost in line with the 30-day average. “We’re in a situation where the economy is growing, jobs are being created, and the consumer seems to be feeling better about spending,” Jason Benowitz, who helps manage $5 billion at Roosevelt Investment Group Incoporation in New York, said in a phone interview. “The fact permitting is improving

in the housing market suggests the future is going to be there. On the other hand, you have to counterweight the less likely chance of further monetary easing.” New-home construction in the US fell 1.1 per cent to a 746,000 annual rate from June’s 754,000 pace, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday in Washington. The median estimate of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 14 AUGUST & 15 AUGUST 2012 30.00 29.00 28.00 27.00 26.00 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00

14-Aug-12

15-Aug-12

Source: FMDA

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

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

AGLEVENT

1.20

1.26

0.06

5.00

INTBREW

6.61

6.94

0.33

4.99

CAP

24.12

25.32

1.20

4.98

REDSTAREX

2.62

2.75

0.13

4.96

BERGER

6.93

7.27

0.34

4.91

ETERNA

2.35

2.46

0.11

4.68

CADBURY

15.25

15.95

0.70

4.59

BAGCO

1.56

1.63

0.07

4.49

IKEJAHOTEL

1.12

1.17

0.05

4.46

AIRSERVICE

1.57

1.64

0.07

4.46

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

CONTINSURE

0.63

CLOSING 0.60

0.03

-4.76

GTASSURE

1.75

1.67

0.08

-4.57

UTC

0.92

0.88

0.04

-4.35

STERLNBANK

1.07

1.03

0.04

-3.74

ROYALEX

0.55

0.53

0.02

-3.64

OANDO

13.99

13.61

0.38

-2.72

DANGFLOUR

6.30

6.13

0.17

-2.70

DANGCEM

112.40

110.00

2.40

-2.14

UNILEVER

35.50

35.00

0.50

-1.41

DANGSUGAR

4.55

4.50

0.05

-1.10

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

30,647.81

13.50

23-Aug-12

182-Day

20,000

15.50

23-Aug-12

364 -Day

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

178Days

14,231.30

15.50

23-Aug-12

118-Day

50,282.86

14.08

23-Aug-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$200m

N/A

$126m

15-Aug-12

$180m

N/A

$147m

13-Aug-12


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Capital Market

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 16, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, August 17, 2012

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Friday, August 17, 2012

World News WikiLeaks founder gets Ecuador’s asylum

49 WORLD BULLETIN Gunmen attack security forces, raid prison in Ivory Coast Unidentified gunmen attacked army and gendarme posts and freed prisoners in a town west of Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan during an overnight raid that ended yesterday morning, local residents and the country’s defence minister said. Residents told Reuters they had seen the bodies of two civilians killed in the clashes and said a third person was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound. The world’s top cocoa grower is struggling to cope with near daily raids against army and police installations that began almost two weeks ago and have revived fears of renewed instability a year after civil war killed 3,000 people.

Uganda’s PM website hacked by gay activists The Ugandan prime minister’s website was attacked by hackers on Tuesday and Wednesday, a government official has confirmed to the BBC. Screen grabs showing the website with messages from gay activists are being circulated on social media sites. In one, the prime minister apologises to all homosexuals living in Uganda and gives his support to a gay pride march. Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda and gay people have faced physical attacks and social rejection. Earlier this year, a controversial anti-gay bill, which proposes to increase the penalties for homosexual acts from 14 years in jail to life, was re-tabled in the Ugandan parliament.

Two boat migrants dead, 160 rescued off Malta Malta’s navy recovered two bodies and rescued around 160 African migrants from two boats which got into trouble on the Mediterranean Sea, an armed forces spokesman said yesterday. Two more migrants were missing after they fell overboard. The first group of around 60 people was rescued around 70 nautical miles southwest of Malta after a merchant ship contacted the national rescue coordination centre to say the vessel was taking on water and sinking fast. The migrants, who are claiming to be Somalis and Eritreans, were in urgent need of medical attention, and there were two dead bodies on the boat. While the migrants were being transferred onto the merchant ship, two of them fell overboard and are still missing, the navy spokesman said.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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olice in South Africa have opened fire during clashes with striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine, leaving 12 people dead, witnesses say. South African media reports put the death toll at 12 or even higher. Police opened fire after miners carrying machetes defied an ultimatum to disarm, reports from the scene say. The mine, owned by Lonmin, has been at the centre of a violent industrial dispute exacerbated by inter-union tensions. Ten people had previously died as a result of clashes since last Friday. The striking miners had gathered on a rocky hill near Marikana, the third-largest platinum mine in the world. Some union leaders and police had tried in vain to disperse the crowd, some of whom said they were prepared to die on the hill. During the clashes, missiles thought to be either petrol bombs or grenades - were thrown at police, who responded by opening fire, eyewitnesses said. “There are bodies on the ground; I saw one with a bullet wound on the forehead,” one eyewitness told the BBC. The recent violence was initially thought to have been trig-

“China urges the Syrian government and all concerned parties... to quickly implement a ceasefire to end the violence and start political dialogue” – China’s Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi

Police kill 12 during S’Africa mine clashes gered by a turf war between the long-established National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the newly-formed Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which is more militant. However, the AMCU has since demanded a pay rise of 12,000 rand ($1,500; £930) per month.

Lonmin said in a statement on Thursday that the strike was illegal and that any striking workers who did not return to work by Friday would be sacked. The company said it had missed six days of production as a result of the unrest, and estimated it would lose around 2% of its normal yearly output of

saleable platinum. The company’s share price dropped by more than 6% on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange. The violence has shocked South Africans, with many finding the scenes reminiscent of how the apartheid regime dealt with protests, the BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg reports.

Police surrounding the bodies of striking miners after opening fire on a crowd at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa yesterday. PHOTO: AP

Congolese music star, Kofi Olomide jailed in hotel fight

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ongolese music star Koffi Olomide, who was recently charged with rape in France, was given a three-month suspended prison sentence yesterday for injuring his producer in a fight in a Kinshasa hotel. The rumba singer, who is one of Africa’s best-known music makers, was in February accused

Koffi Olomide

by a Paris suburban court of three counts of rape and illegal confinement after complaints from three of his former backup dancers. He denied the charges and returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo before French authorities could say if he should be held without bail. The latest incident took place

Wednesday in a hotel room in Kinshasa when Olomide’s producer, Diego Lubaki, was visiting the capital for a few days. The court heard that Olomide went to the hotel and confronted the producer, better known as “Diego Music”. Olomide wanted to discuss several thousand euros (dollars) he had paid the producer for a video that was never produced. A fight broke out and several hotel security agents had to intervene. Olomide was subsequently arrested. The two men first appeared in court Wednesday, with the usually flamboyantly dressed Olomide wearing sombre clothes and large crowds gathered around the courthouse in the Gombe neighbourhood. Even though Lubaki said yesterday he wanted to drop the charges against Olomide, the judge continued the trial.

“He wanted to withdraw charges in favour of social peace and peace between him and the one he calls his big brother,” said one of Lubaki’s lawyers. Still, Olomide was convicted of assault and battery but acquitted of another charge of malicious destruction, after the hotel room door was damaged in the fight. A conviction on that charge could have earned him a much tougher sentence -- up to five years in prison. Olomide has won many awards for his rumba dance music and campaigned for Joseph Kabila during the 2011 presidential elections. He has been implicated in several other incidents but his ties to Kabila seem to have until now protected him from prosecution. In the French rape case, Olomide’s lawyer has said the women filed the complaints in the hopes of obtaining temporary French residency permits.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World News

Friday, August 17, 2012

WikiLeaks founder gets Ecuador’s asylum ...it won’t change a thing - Britain B A ritain said yesterday that any decision by Ecuador to give Julian Assange political asylum wouldn’t change a thing and that it might still revoke the diplomatic status of Quito’s embassy in London to allow the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder. The high-profile Australian former hacker has been holed up inside the red-brick embassy in

Seven US troops, four Afghans die in helicopter crash

central London for eight weeks since he lost a legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape allegations. Britain’s tough talk on the issue takes what has become an international soap opera to new heights since Assange angered the United States by publishing secret U.S. diplomatic cables on his WikiLeaks website. It may also raise

difficult questions for London about the sanctity of embassies’ diplomatic status. The Ecuadorean government, which said it would announce whether it had granted Assange’s asylum request yesterday at 7 a.m. (1200 GMT), has said any attempt by Britain to remove the diplomatic status of its embassy would be a “hostile and intolerable act”.

“It is too early to say when or if Britain will revoke the Ecuadorean embassy’s diplomatic status,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. “Giving asylum doesn’t fundamentally change anything.” “We have a legal duty to extradite Assange. There is a law that says we have to extradite him to Sweden. We are going to have to fulfill that law.” Outside the embassy,

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even American troops and four Afghans died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash on Thursday in southern Afghanistan, the NATO military coalition said. The Taliban claimed their fighters shot down the aircraft. The crash marked another deadly day for the U.S. in Afghanistan, less than a week after six American service members were gunned down, apparently by two members of the Afghan security forces they were training to take over the fight against the insurgency as international combat troops prepare to exit the country by the end of 2014. The spike in American deaths and attacks by Afghan allies have stirred fresh doubts about the prospects for the U.S. plan to leave a capable Afghan government in place when most troops depart after more than a decade of war. Spokesman Brig. Gen Gunter Katz said the NATO coalition is investigating the cause of Thursday’s crash in Kandahar province. The coalition had no immediate comment on the insurgents’ claim that they shot down the helicopter. Kandahar is a traditional Taliban stronghold and the spiritual birthplace of the hardline Islamist movement that ruled Afghanistan before being ousted in 2001 by the U.S.-led alliance for sheltering al-Qaida’s terrorist leaders.

Assange at the Supreme Court in Westminsterin central London, in February.

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British police tussled with protesters chanting slogans in support of Assange and at least three supporters were detained. Quito bristled at Britain’s warning. “We want to be very clear, we’re not a British colony. The colonial times are over,” Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said in an angry statement after a meeting with President Rafael Correa. Britain’s threat to withdraw diplomatic status from the Ecuadorean embassy drew criticism from some former diplomats who said it could lead to similar moves against British embassies. “I think the Foreign Office have slightly overreached themselves here,” Britain’s former ambassador to Moscow, Tony Brenton, told the BBC. “If we live in a world where governments can arbitrarily revoke immunity and go into embassies then the life of our diplomats and their ability to conduct normal business in places like Moscow where I was and North Korea becomes close to impossible.”

49

UK’s court denies man right-to-die man paralysed from the neck down has lost his High Court case to allow doctors to end his life without fear of prosecution. Tony Nicklinson, 58, from Melksham, Wiltshire, communicates by blinking and has described his life as a “living nightmare” since a stroke in 2005. Mr Nicklinson said he would appeal against the decision. The case went further than previous challenges to the law in England and Wales on assisted suicide and murder. Another man, known only as Martin, who is 47, also lost his case to end his life with medical help. Father-of-two Mr Nicklinson was left paralysed with locked-in syndrome after a catastrophic stroke while on a business trip to Athens. “Although I didn’t want to raise my hopes, it happened anyway because a fantastic amount of work went into my case and I thought that if the court saw me as I am, utterly miserable with my life, powerless to do anything about it because of my disability then the judges would accept my reasoning.”


50

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror “The efforts we are making are indeed yielding results because for every bomb that goes off, several others have been stopped from going off.” CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF,LT.-GEN AZUBIKE IHEJIRIKA

Residents plead for amenities in Ogun MURITALA AYINLA

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esidents of Ojo-Elepo Akan in Obafemi Owode Local Government area of Ogun State have appealed to the state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and the local government chairman to provide social amenities in their community. They said the few projects in the community were done through communal efforts of the residents, adding that they still lack potable water, good roads, electricity and other amenities. The residents called on the government to extend the dividends of democracy to them, having contributed to development of the council and state by paying their taxes and undertaking in civic responsibility. They called on the government to provide schools and health centres, even as they appealed to Governor, Amosun to up lift the community by embarking on developmental projects. Speaking with Community Mirror, the Baale of Ojo-Elepo Akan, Chief Najimu Abolaji Jolade, said the road leading to the

community was graded by the residents when efforts to get the council to do so proved abortive. He said the move persuaded the council to bring caterpillar to grade the road with a promise to provide fuel for the caterpillar which it failed to honour. The baale said development of the community would engender progress in the state, if the government explores its potentials and untapped resources. He said: “We have made several efforts to bring government attention to our plight, but are yet to get positive response. The electric poles in the community were through levies. This should not be, because we pay taxes. “We vote during elections but we don’t feel government presence as there are no roads, schools and other life enhancing amenities.” Harping on efforts to make the road in the community accessible, Jolaade said he spent N2.4million to grade the road linking other communities, urging the government to give them attention. “They should not wait till disaster occursbefore we are remembered”, he added. On his part, Otunbaale of the

Educationists warn mischief makers in Nasarawa IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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cholars in Nasarawa State have warned mischief makers to steer clear of teachers’ activities aimed at complementing efforts of the government to uplift the standard of education in the state. State Chairman of Education Secretaries Forum, Yusuf Abdullahi, said this recently in Lafia, the state capital during an interactive session with newsmen. He said: “Those mischief makers who are hell bent to derail the good intentions of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Mmakura administration by fabricating false information, should desist and leave the state to save their dig-

nity from plunging into the mud.” He noted that government’s efforts on education are very conspicuous, as the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEC, has concluded plans to award contracts to deserving firms that will rescue the sector from decades of decay. Abdullahi equally noted with satisfaction, the prompt payment of primary school teachers’ in the state, in accordance with the new national minimum wage. He, however, called on members of the forum not to be deterred in the face of propaganda but to remain focused in offering their services in order to ameliorate the unpleasant trend bedeviling primary education in the state.

community, Chief Olusegun Shobande, harped on the danger of lack of health facilities, saying it is dangerous to leave them to their fate without social ame-

nities. “We have growing children with no school to attend, nursing mothers but no maternity; and other sick people with no hospi-

tal to seek medical care. We see electric power around us, yet live in darkness. We appeal to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to help in this regard “, he said.

Passengers boarding canoes following the temporary closure of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Bank renovates classrooms in Niger FRANCIS SUBERU

N

iger State Governor, Alhaji Mu’azu Bababgida Aliyu, has said that the involvement of Fidelity Bank Plc in community work in the state, has helped to improve the welfare and social condition of the people. The governor who said this while commissioning the renovated classroom blocks at Maitumbi Primary School, Minna, said the bank has used its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, to improve live in the society. Speaking through the Commissioner for Basic Education, Mrs. Susan Gana, Governor Aliyu said he was impressed by such an initiative, where staff would take charge and be responsible to make contributions in their immediate environment. “This is indeed a laudable project that we hope every stakeholder should emulate. We appreciate your presence in our state and hope your stay will remain prosperous and fruitful.” He called on other corporate institutions and well meaning individ-

uals, to take a cue from the bank and show genuine interest in the development of their host communities. Governor Aliyu also advised the teachers to make good use of the facility and ensure the children receive proper and good education. The Speaker of Niger State House of Assembly, Hon. Adamu Usman, who led his colleagues to the ceremony, said the massive turnout underscored the importance government and people of the state attached to education. “Our gratitude is clearly shown here by the quality of attendees. It is a sign that we are indeed grateful. It shows that you truly care about our community.” Earlier in his address, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, said the bank decided to renovate the classroom blocks due to importance of education in the development of the society. He noted that people are bound to make informed decisions if they are educated, thereby improving the lot of mankind. “Our token in renovating the class-

rooms is in line with our passion for equipping people, especially in the education sector. By this we wish to challenge them to greater heights.” He thanked the people and government of Niger State for the hospitality and support shown to the bank and said the project was its little way of appreciating the kind gesture. Ihejiahi, who was represented by the General Manager, Northern banking, Idris Yakubu, explained that the practice of the bank is to invest in the community where it does business. “We believe strongly in giving back in ways that will directly benefit indigenes of the communities where we do business, working with governments at various levels to provide succor to the people. This we have done in building bore holes, supplying medical equipment, infrastructure and others in a bid to support the world around us.” He said the bank’s vision is to stimulate others to rise to challenge of doing good in their communities, insisting that in doing so, Nigeria’s greatness will emerge.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Friday, August 17, 2012

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52

North

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Muslims, Christians asked to resist religious conflict JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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uslims and Christians in Nigeria have been called upon to learn the true dictates of their religions and stop allowing themselves to be used by the elite to promote religious and ethnic conflicts. The Wazirin Katsina, Dr. Sani Abubakar Lugga, stated this on Wednesday evening shortly after breaking the Ramadan fast with members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). Dr. Lugga said since the escalation of religious, ethnic and political crisis in the country from the late 1980s to date, no elite or their children have been seen to be involved in fomenting trouble or been killed in the ensuing crisis. He said that “99.9 per cent of those who lose their lives are ordinary Nigerian citizens who are drafted as political thugs or religious and ethnic militia and made to fight for unjust

causes.” Lugga, therefore, called on Nigerians to “go back to mosques and churches and learn the true dictates of their religions” and stop allowing themselves to be used as “gun-powder by their leaders and elite who normally trigger the conflicts from the comfort of their fortress homes.” Lugga, who is chairman of Islamic Foundation in Nigeria, said the irony of the whole thing is that such leaders usually escape unhurt with their families after triggering the conflicts Participants in a farmers’ training programme on best agronomic practice at a cotton farm in Mairuwa Village, Katsina State, yesterand wooing ordinary citi- day. PHOTO: NAN zens into battle. He said politicians, religious and traditional leaders have a “major role to play in keeping the peace as they influence their people in their utterances and acon Muslims, particularly stitution would not solve zens. tions.” JAMES DANJUMA Sheik Hassan said: “We members of the group not the country’s problem, but He said such leaders KATSINA to allow anyone to misin- that the country’s success call on members of the must learn to “talk and act n Islamic group, form them in the attempt would depend on develop- terrorist group and the with utmost decorum and the Jamatu Izalatul to expunge the section ing sincerity and God-fear- Federal Government to sense of responsibility,” Bidi’a Wa Iqua- from the constitution. dialogue in the interest of ing leaders. and that Nigerians must matul Sunnah (JIBWIS), On the security chal- the nation. We also appeal He described as unneclearn to “live together in has warned that Muslims essary the amendment of lenges posed by the activi- to Nigerians to repent and peace despite our cultural would not accept the re- the 1999 Constitution, say- ties of terrorists, he called continue to pray for unity and religious differences.” moval of Section 277 from ing what Nigerians need is on stakeholders to pursue of the country.” the 1999 Constitution in not a constitutional amend- the option of dialogue with He, however, attributed the ongoing amendment of members of the group as the insecurity confronting ment, but good leadership. same by the National AsSheik Hassan noted that way to ending the violence the country to sins commitsembly. the amendment of the con- and killing of innocent citi- ted by Nigerians. The group said that the on their long association removal of the section and a shared vision of a would stifle continuous improsperous Kwara State. plementation of the Sharia The speculated dispute is a Law in Northern states of figment of the opposition’s the country . imagination. Speaking yesterday af“Ours is a unique partgerians to love one another sised that if Nigerians WOLE ADEDEJI AND ter the Ramadan Tafsir in demonstrate the kind of nership based on mutual for peaceful co-existence. IGBAWASE UKUMBA respect, which grows stron- Katsina State, state chairThe party appeals to compassion and love for ger daily due to our long man of JIBWIS, Sheik those involved in criminal one another as exemplified history and standing com- Yakubu Musa Hassan, said he Nasarawa State activities to refrain from during the Ramadan, the mitment to making Kwara the warning served as the chapter of the Peo- them, saying that the coun- country would surmount a model for other states in group’s position on the ples Democratic try belongs to all Nigeri- its numerous challenges. He advised Muslims to terms of economic growth amendment of the constiParty (PDP) has called on ans. see Eid-el-fitri as not only and prosperity for the peo- tution. PDP , however, called on Muslims in Nigeria to use Sheik Hassan called a period for mere festivity, ple. its supporters in the state the Eid Fitri period for sobut as one that connotes to always shun acts that ber reflection and unity of deep spiritual devotion and could lead to the breakthe country. rededication to the values down of law and order. In a Sallah message of humility and respect It also advised Muslims signed by the state PDP for the dignity of human and Christians to fear God led by a chairmanship assecretary, Adamu Onyaki, ADEMU IDAKWO pirant for the December the party urged Muslims in all their undertakings life, irrespective of ethnoLOKOJA poll, Hon. Abel Ogunebi, to continue to pray for the and preach love, peace and religious affiliations. The governor also urged iolence has broke protested to the party unity of the country even togetherness. Muslims to inculcate the In his own message, out in Gboloko secretariat in Lokoja and after the Ramadan period. lessons of the fasting peKwara State Governor AbDistrict in Bassa accused the PDP leaders The statement read in riod in their daily lives saydulfatah Ahmed urged NiLocal Government Area from the council of orpart: “As Nigeria transit ing: “It is imperative that gerians to shun greed and of Kogi State as mem- ganising an illegal primainto trying period, prayers Muslims remained comselfishness, which are the bers of the ruling Peoples ry contrary to the party’s remain the only alternaDemocratic Party (PDP) guidelines on the conduct tive that can bring back the major cause of the coun- mitted to complete devotry’s socio-political and se- tion to Allah, strive for piengaged one another in of the election. past glory. ety and uphold fellowship a free for all fight over alHe specifically accused “As we gradually come curity problems. and care for their neighAhmed made the call leged imposition of chair- the party chairman, Mr. to the end of this year’s Rabours beyond the month yesterday in his Sallah manship candidate by the Andrew Egbunu, to have madan and approach the of Ramadan as enshrined message signed by the party for the December 8 single handedly picked Eid Fitr period, we pray in the Quran and the HadChief Press Secretary , Abcouncil poll. his in-law as candidate that the celebration will be ith of the Prophet Mohamdulwahab Oba. A faction of the PDP for the local government peaceful and fruitful”. med”. The governor emphain the local government, poll. It further called on Ni-

Constitution review: JIBWIS kicks against removal of Section 277

A

My tie with Bukola Saraki robust, says Ahmed WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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wara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday dismissed the rumour that crisis is brewing between him and his predecessor, Senator Bukola Saraki. Ahmed, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Muideen Akorede, said the rumour was “a lie propagated by the opposition in a futile attempt to cause disaffection between the two ahead of the 2015 election.” Akorede said: “The relationship between the governor and his predecessor, rather than wane, remains cordial and strong, based

Gov. Ahmed

Nasarawa PDP, Kwara gov advise Nigerians on unity

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Kogi LG poll: PDP members clash over ‘imposition of candidate’

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Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

53

Sport

Nigeria’s performance at London 2012 Olympics was displeasing and very embarrassing

Chelsea can win EPL title – Mikel

55

- FORMER SPORTS MINISTER, ABDULRAHMAN GIMBA

U-20 W/C: Falconets relish Nigerian delicacy A FOLABI G AMBARI

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layers and officials of the Falconets were yesterday treated to Nigerian meals in Tokyo where they are finetuning strategies for the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup which gets underway on Sunday. National Mirror learnt from spokesperson for the team, Ejiro Femi Babafemi, that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had earlier arranged with the Nigerian Embassy in Tokyo to make the home meals available to the contingent. “The team was being treated to Eba and Ogbono soup with several assorted beef prepared in the Nigeria way,” Babafemi said, adding, “Players and officials felt at home and were commended by the caterer after seeing them relish the meal.” The occasion coincided with the birthday of members of the team who were born in August and interestingly, physiotherapist, Victoria Maduagwu; defender, Chidinma Okoro; and co-ordinator, Andrew Abah; were presented with a surprise cake by Team Secretary and Leader of delegation, Mrs. Faith Ben-Anuge. Meanwhile the team had its first training session yesterday afternoon at the lush green Saitama Stadium, about a 45-minute drive from the camp’s Royal Pines Hotel.

Reuben Gabriel (in green shirt) was outstanding in the Super Eagles outing against Menas on Wednesday, as he was here against Pharaohs of Egypt in a recent friendly

Niamey battle: Eagles get Menas rating

IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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enas of Niger captain, Nousse Naazou, yesterday declared his admiration for the Super Eagles playing pattern when both sides met on Wednesday in a friendly game in Niamey. The Menas Coach, Frederic Acosta, also conceded that the visitors forced his side to play defensive for the better part of the encounter arranged to shape both sides in their AFCON 2013 qualifiers against Guinea and Liberia respectively. Eagles forced Menas to a goalless draw at Stade Seyni Kountche on Wednesday. “Your team was very good and quicker on the ball and they have given us what to expect when we play Guinea in September,” Naazou said. Acosta, who was playing his last game as Caretaker Coach of the Menas before Ivorien Francoise Zahoui takes over the Nigerien side, agreed

that his side literally had its back to the wall for the better part of the game but noted that had squared what he called an experienced side. ”It’s a good preparation match for us in Niger and we could not have had a better one,” he declared. Niger Football Federation President (FENIFOOT), Col Jubrila Isa

(rtd), agreed with the coach that his side’s high rating was punctured by the Eagles, adding that work needed to be done by the coaching crew of the Menas to reach the required standard. “Nigeria has so many players and has little work to do for the Nations Cup,” Isa said.

…Team due in Abuja IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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he Super Eagles will return to Abuja today after a gritty goalless draw against Niger Republic national side on Wednesday in Niamey. Spokesman for the team, Ben Alaiya, told National Mirror yesterday that the contingent would return aboard an Asky airline flight about 9 o clock. “There will not be a break as the team will continue training ahead of the Afcon qualifier with Liberia on September 8,” Alaiya disclosed.

Among the players who had their first cap for the national team on Wednesday are Sunshine Stars Kwambe Solomon, Benjamin Francis of Heartland of Owerri, Solomon Jabason of Akwa United, Niger Tornadoes Sibi Gwar, Sani Sanusi of Gombe United, Umar Zango of Kano Pillars and midfielder Philip Asuquo of Shooting Stars of Ibadan. “The entire team did well though we did not win the match, because of wasted opportunities,” the spokesman further said. “Keshi has said that the team building will be a continuous process and I believe he needs the support of all.”

Uganda marathoner gets windfall

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lympic marathon champion, Stephen Kiprotich, returned to Kampala yesterday to a rapturous welcome, with an $80,000 cheque and a pledge that his parents will get a new house by the Ugandan government. Kiprotich, who beat the heavily-fancied Kenyan team to claim Uganda’s first gold medal in 40 years at the London Games, was welcomed by cheering fans before being whisked to a breakfast meeting with President Yoweri Museveni. Museveni presented the gold-medalist with a cheque for around $80,000. “The president has ordered that the money be deposited to his account before the close of business today (yesterday),” the president’s office said in a statement. “He also promised to construct a threebedroom house for Kiprotich’s parents who live in a remote area of eastern Uganda,” the statement said. Kiprotich, who works as a warder in Uganda’s prisons, was also handed a promotion from his bosses, a senior official at the Uganda prison services said yesterday. “We are promoting him and we will commission him soon,” Director of Correctional Services, Tommy Ochen, said.


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Sport

Friday, August 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Saha joins Black Cats

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ottenham Hotspurs striker, Louis Saha, has joined Sunderland on a one-year deal, according to reports yesterday. The 34-year old French striker was out of contract after finishing at Spurs at the end of last season and will now continue his career on Wearside. Saha, who has previously played with Newcastle United, Fulham, Manchester United and Everton will bring plenty of experience to manager Martin O’Neill’s Black Cats’ squad. “Louis is a striker whose abilities have been proven at the very highest level and he brings with him a raft of experience of top-flight football,” O’Neill said yesterday. “I’m sure he will be a great addition to our squad in an area we recognise needs strengthening and I’m delighted we have been able to complete the deal ahead of our first game of the season.”

Fergie gives RVP ‘green card’ van Persie

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anchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, says he is sure that new-buy Robin van Persie will be available to make his United debut against Everton on Monday as the Dutchman prepared to undergo a routine medical yesterday. United announced on Wednesday night that they had agreed a fee with Arsenal for the striker, with the transfer set to be finalized once personal terms have been settled and a medical has been passed. Ferguson does not anticipate any problems and is looking forward to unleashing Van Persie in the Premier League clash at Goodison Park. “We hope all the things will be tied up, although sometimes medicals do take a bit longer. I am sure he will be available for Monday’s game,” Ferguson said at press time yesterday. Van Persie’s arrival is expected to present Ferguson with a

Sahin set for Madrid exit

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eleaguered Real Madrid midfielder, Nuri Sahin, has revealed his decision to leave the club this week. Reports said despite seeing as many minutes as anyone in pre-season, the Turkey international has also declared his decision as irreversible and has instructed his representatives to sound out interested clubs from the Premier League. Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United have all been linked with the former Borussia Dortmund star this summer.

Chicharito

Ferguson

wealth of attacking options, with the Scot linking the present to 1999 when Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke scored 53 goals during United’s Treble-winning campaign, reinforced by UEFA Champions League final heroes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are two fantastic players and it will be great to have both of them,” Ferguson added, stressing, “It gives us more strength and more combinations up front.”

Chicharito heads to Gunners

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n a twist yesterday, Manchester United striker, Javier Hernandez, was being linked with a move to Arsenal, following the arrival of Arsenal striker Robin van Persie. Hernandez, who faced a drop in the pecking order, was tipped to be on his way to the Emirates where he could be guaranteed a starting role. The Mexico international endured a difficult second season at United last term and was said to be frustrated at the inevitable lack of opportunities, amid unconfirmed reports he has told Sir Alex Ferguson he wants to leave.

…Carrick hails new addition

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anchester United midfielder, Michael Carrick, yesterday welcomed the capture of Arsenal striker Robin van Persie who arrived in Manchester yesterday for medical. Carrick, who was on duty with England on Wednesday, was first to comment on the deal. “Someone mentioned in the dressing room about Van Persie and if it goes through, it will be brilliant. He had a terrific season and he will further strengthen our squad. It is a great boost going into the new season,” Carrick said. “He is a world class player and we have always been about bringing in players of that ability. “Can it make the difference between second and first? There wasn’t much difference so hopefully we can go that step further! But the club has always had strength in depth and it is about the squad and not the 11 on the Carrick pitch.”

Saha

Tit bits...

Diaby Arsenal midfielder, Abou Diaby, has thanked manager Arsene Wenger, his Gunners teammates and the rest of the staff for helping him through last season. The 26-year old French midfielder was restricted to just five appearances last season because of ongoing leg problems but is now fully fit and looking forward to the campaign ahead. With the season opener against Sunderland set for this Saturday, Diaby was in good spirits as he looks to get back to action with the North London club.

Arteta Mikel Arteta is well aware that Arsenal must start much better this season if the club is to challenge for the title. The Gunners lost four of their first seven matches last season, which included an 8-2 hammering at Manchester United, and Arteta knows that positive early results this campaign are vital to get things up and running at the Emirates Stadium. “We have to start better than last season, that’s for sure,” he said yesterday.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Friday, August 17, 2012

55

Wi Window on Nigerian players abroad

with IKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Tukura eyes Inter’s debut

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aslui of Romania new signing Michael Tukura says he will be fit on time to turn out for his debut game against Inter Milan in the UEFA Europa Cuop tie at home Thursday next week. The former Rubin Kazan midfielder injured his leg in the gym few days after penning a two-year contract with the top Romanian side. The former Israel-based star arrived FC Vaslui from Latvian champions FC Ventspils after returning from Rubin Kazan where he had an injury-filled six-month loan spell. The highly-rated midfielder also has an option of extending his contract to another two years depending on his performance. Tukura, who is currently undergoing a therapy, has been assured of

Agbetu launches clothing line

grabbing a shirt in the Europa Cup game against Inter should he hit top fitness. “I’m delighted to sign for a top Romanian club after all my injury worries that denied me top level football in Russia,” Tukura said. “I couldn’t play any official game at Rubin because the injury didn’t heal on time just before my loan contract expired. It was disappointing as well as painful for me. “I’m happy to be in the club where I will start playing regularly again. I have put the disappointment at Rubin behind to look into a brighter future here at Vaslui. “I had the opportunity to rub shoulders with top players like Obafemi Martins, Brazilian star Carlos Eduardo and Eremenko brothers.

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Onuegbu targets Bayern Munich

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nknown Nigerian striker Kingsley Onuegbu has promised to be at his best for his newly-promoted German Bundesliga club SpVgg Greuther Fürth when they travel to the Allianz Arena to face multiple league champions, Bayern Munich in the league opener next Saturday. The Kaduna-born striker told National Mirror that he would make sure he puts the Bayern defenders on their toes as the newly-promoted side make their first ever Bundesliga appearance since birth in 1903. SpVgg Greuther Fürth camped in Austria for their pre-season build ups and only returned to Germany last week to put finishing touches to the first ever season in the German top flight. Having emerged the club’s one of the leading scorers, Onuegbu believes he will make an impact in the Bundesliga and will not stop at nothing in giving the Bayern defence a stiff fight as well as eyeing a goal. “I’m very excited at the

Onuegbu

chance of starting my Bundesliga journey with a trip to the Allianz Arena and I must say I’m very ready,” Onuegbu assures. “I came through the ranks from the fifth division when I arrived Germany and I have really worked hard to get to this stage. “It will be a tough task for my club to face a top club like Bayern but we’re determined to give it our best shots. “Personally, it will be a huge experience for me because this will be the first time I will be playing against a top club like Bayern. “We’re in the same state here in Germany and our fans will troop to the Arena to lend their support which I believe, will come a long way.” National Mirror caught up with the unknown star who only arrived Germany on a vacation six years ago and was convinced to take a gamble in football after he was spotted by a scout doing a kick about at a park. Onuegbu told National Mirror yesterday that he never thought of playing professional football until a scout convinced him he was worth a bargain buy. “My elder elde brother who runs a dealership business and a soccar dealers academy in Lagos would alcer academ ways bring me to Germany on vacation from my base in Kaduna. never thought of playing “But I ne . I signed football professionally p division club SC for fifth fi Idar-Oberstein and scored Ida 44 goals in two seasons. “I signed for third division side Eintracht Braunschweig and helped them gain promotion to the Bundesligas 2 before my present Bundesliga club l b signed i d me.

Mikel

Chelsea can win EPL title – Mikel N igeria star Mikel Obi has revealed that winning the English Premier League title this season will be the top target of his club, Chelsea. ‘The Blues’ lost 3-2 to league kings Manchester City in last weekend’s Community Shield to usher in the new English Premier League campaign. Mikel said that being league champions again would be top of the London club’s wish-list in the new season after they clinched a first-ever UEFA Champions League and an FA Cup winners’ medal. Last season, Mikel’s Chelsea finished a disappointing sixth on the EPL table, well outside the Top Four they have been used to. “I would have loved to win the Community Shield, but it was not to be. We played well against

City and we showed that we are ready to challenge for titles this season,” said Mikel. “We want to have a better campaign this season by adding the Premier League crown to what we won last season.” He added: “We are looking forward to start the season on a sound footing on Sunday when we face Wigan Athletic. We have a good team who are capable of winning things again.” Mikel enjoyed a fine run at Stamford Bridge and said he is looking forward to improving on this even as competition for first-team places will intensify with the arrival of new signings. “I am always happy when I am appreciated, it makes me to work harder, to do more and now I hope to do better than what I did last season,” Mikel said.

oluspor of Turkey striker Akeem Agbetu has concluded plans to officially launch his clothing line – K2P designers – with a mission statement to compete with the leading designers in the world. The 24-year star, who opened his designer’s offices in Turkey and Nigeria recently, plans to launch his clothing line in Lagos in December when he will be on Christmas break. Agbetu, who recently signed for his fifth Turkish club, told National Mirror that he decided to go into clothing business because of his desire to do something different away from football. Agbetu says he hopes to target the young and old, including ageing people which he believes people have a lot to offer the clothing world. For a start, Agbetu’s K2P designers have rolled out different sizes of blazers which he informed would hit the market soon. He says he’s already working on other accessories like belts, shoes, face caps, suits and triousers which he informed, will hit the market later in the year. “Turkey is one of the biggest fashion countries in the world and I began to think of venturing into the business when I arrived here three years ago,” Agbetu said. “I have also employed some of the best tailors in Turkey who have already started working for. Besides, I use the best materials as other renowned designer’s like Gucci, Dolce and Gabanna and G-Star Raw. “The wears will be affordable for both rich and poor because I want to use this to affect the lives of people in Nigeria. “I hope to compete with the likes Gucci and other well known designer’s in the world and in the near future, I will achieve my aim.” Agbetu, a product of the famous Danish club FC Midtylland Academy, joins the list of other African players like Christian Obodo, former Ghana captain Stephen Appiah and Cameroun super star Samuel Eto’O, who have launched their labels.


WORLD RECORD

Tallest man ever Vol. 02 No. 428

The tallest man in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence is Robert Pershing Wadlow (USA) (born 6:30 a.m. at Alton, Illinois, USA on 22 February 1918), who when last measured on 27 June 1940, was found to be 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) tall.

Friday, August 17, 2012

NNPC’s impunity: Does Jonathan’s government hold any hope?

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ublic funds mismanagement and impunity being perpetrated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) against the nation promises to be far deeper and more startling than the odious revelations made public by the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee that recently investigated the pilfering of oil subsidy funds by some privileged smart crooks if the Annual Report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the Year Ended December 31, 2010”, just sent to the National Assembly is anything to go by. Indeed, by the time all the financial breaches dictated by the AGF, Mr. Samuel Ukura’s audit report are summed up, the N1.07trn allegedly stolen by fuel subsidy felons might be a child’s play. According to the report (see The Guardian, Thursday August 9, 2012, front page), interest earned on Joint Venture Cash Call Account amounting to $1.4bn was not paid into the Federation Account as petroleum related revenue. About $200m security vote

FRIDAYS WITH Dozie Okebalama

dozieokeama@yahoo.co.uk 08164966858 (SMS only) not included in the approved budget of the Joint Venture operators was paid to the NNPC Corporate Headquarters as security payment but the nature of the security and the beneficiaries were not disclosed. In addition, the sum of $55.7m was outstanding against some foreign crude oil customers who are no longer engaged in business with the NNPC; while penalty charges amounting to $5.7m for late submission of letters of credit were not collected from crude oil customers who failed to submit letters of credit within five business days as stipulated by the relevant laws. Another sum of N377,364,075.70 was outstanding against some local crude oil customers. The examination of annual returns from the Joint Venture Operators for the year ended December 31, 2010 also showed that Joint Venture Cash Call amounting to $824,410.23 and N120,496,213,000 were in arrears; a loan of $250,000,000 was granted to the NNPC to fund pipeline expansion, but up till date, payment of the loan is yet to be made by (the) NNPC to the Joint Venture Cash Call Account. Some operators overdrew their Naira Joint Venture Operation Accounts totaling N15,653,723,618.70. Authority for the operators to obtain the overdrafts was not made available to the AGF’s men, while the high interest charges on the overdrafts were not budgeted for, the report indicated. It stated that the sum of $282,950,223.60 was paid from the Joint Venture Cash Call Account on July 5, 2010 to the NNPC Corporate Headquarters for the purpose of funding the Escravos-Lagos pipeline expansion project Phase 2, but that as at the time the

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ITSELF WITH ENOUGH INEPTITUDE AND ILLEGITIMACY THAT THE JONATHAN

PRESIDENCY CAN ONLY BE SUSTAINED AT THE PLEASURE OF THE

NASS OR BY DIVINE VERDICT fund was released by NAPIMS (National Petroleum Investment Management Services), the budget in respect of the project for the year 2010 was not yet approved. Hence the fund was released in anticipation of the approval of the 2010 budget, which meant that when the 2010 vote for the project was approved and released, the money ought to be refunded to the Joint Venture Cash Call Account from where it was drawn. The audit report stated, however, that there was no evidence of such refund into the Account as at September 2011. Good enough, the audit findings were said to have been submitted to the National Assembly. The nation’s former President, the late Umaru Yar’Adua died on May 5, 2010. Whether in acting capacity or as fullfledged president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

Sport Extra

w eam GB’s diver,Tom Daley, has not stopped smiling since picking up an Olympic diving medal at London 2012, but he believes he can upgrade to gold in Rio 2016. Daley, who seems to have been an Olympic star for-

THE FG HAS RINGED

was in charge of the nation’s affairs for the greater part of 2010, the year covered by the AGF’s latest audit report, with the full compliments of the Ministry of Finance, its petroleum counterpart, as well as the office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), etc., including the National Assembly, all of whom interface in the management of the nation’s resources. How the NNPC has been allowed its ‘bull in a china shop’ level of financial recklessness in the midst of this line-up of a neatly defined bureaucracy remains an unresolved puzzle to the Nigerian public. The House of Representatives has merely scratched the periphery of fraudulent fuel subsidy management by the NNPC, which according to the Reps report on the subsidy scam, amounted to a loss of about N1.07trn to the nation. Nigerians had expected that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) said to have been submitted to the National Assembly would encourage transparency and demystify the operations (and financial bliss) of the NNPC, which have for long been shrouded in near absolute secrecy. But one report last week indicated that in the version of the PIB sent to the NASS, the Federal Government deleted a provision which could force it to publish the exact quantity of crude oil produced and the revenue earned in return. The older version of the PIB reportedly contained the deleted provision. This, perhaps, could better explain the twists and turns, as well as the endless stories bandied about forged versions of the PIB before it was sent to the NASS. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke’s promise that the PIB would trigger the much-awaited reforms in the oil and gas sector might well be a ruse, after all. And if it is also true that the FG is currently under intense pressure to give the subsidy fraud suspects a ‘soft landing’ following threats by some of them to open up on how the cash was used to bankroll the 2011 general elections, then the story is complete of a nation roundly conned. What seems the beauty of the sordid trend, however, is that the FG has ringed itself with enough ineptitude and illegitimacy that the Jonathan Presidency can only be sustained at the pleasure of the NASS or by divine verdict.

Daley dreams medal upgrade in Rio ever, will be just 22 by the time Rio rolls around, but it will already be his third Games. Diving in Beijing elevated Daley to national treasure status, and he was one

of the most talked about athletes heading into London 2012. That pressure meant that Daley had a lot to deal with and this explains his huge celebrations at win-

ning Olympic bronze. “I’ve just been so happy, it’s just one of those moments when all I’ve been able to do is smile,” Daley said yesterday. With bronze coming so

young, Daley is now looking forward to challenging strongly again for gold in Rio in four years’ time. “Hopefully I can go out there and challenge for the gold medal,” he added.

Daley

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Friday, August 17, 2012