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Flooding

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NIMET prediction: Still, cause for alarm

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Davina: How I was able to hold my man for three years...

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Musician, Lanre Teriba, shot in South Africa P. 7

L-R: Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; visiting Brazilian President, Dilma Rouseff and Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyah Rufa’i, at PHOTO: STATE HOUSE the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday.

Ribadu, Kalu, Saraki, Fani-Kayode, others float political group P. 7

Ojukwu’s memorial library building demolished ...in midnight attack Uwazuruike: We’ll find those responsible

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ROLL CALL OF MEMBERS ORJI KALU Chairman NUHU RIBADU Chairman, committee on strategy & research FEMI FANI-KAYODE Chairman, mobilisation committee SENATOR GRACE BENT Deputy, mobilisation committee FAFA DAN PRINCEWILL Finance committee chairman SENATOR EMMANUEL ONWE Media committee PROF. MAHMUD JEGA Vice chairman, media committee

OTHERS Bode George Wale Babalakin, SAN Gbemisola Saraki Lawal Shuaibu Uba Sani Senator Umar Argungu Olusegun Awolowo Hon. Uche Ekwunife Senator Musiliu Obanikoro

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Big Read SUNDAY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

February 24, 2013

Sidi

Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Lagos.

Flooding

PIX: FEMI AJASA

Anuforom

NIMET prediction: Still, cause for alarm The rains are here again. The painful memories of the last rainfall are still poignant. Many were rendered homeless in the deluge of that season. But, with the coming rainfall, the questions are: What are the preparations to avert a recurrence of last year’s catastrophe? What really has been the outcome of the measures taken by government in the wake of the last rainfall? Head, Special Investigations, Isioma Madike, in conjunction with state correspondents, report the strategies of state governments in preventing the looming disaster, especially in the wake of the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET’s) prediction

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Niger and parts of the Niger Delta have higher chances of having more rains in 2013 than in previous years. He, therefore, advised people in such areas with high risks of flooding to ensure early planning. “We have just released the rainfall prediction for 2013. The summary is that based on the conditions that were prevalent at the time of making the prediction, we are predicting that the amount of rainfall for the North-West areas of Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and environs is likely to be above normal in comparison to 2012. “Relevant authorities are advised to use NIMET’s updates issued regularly to control possible adverse impact. In 2013, the length of rainy season is predicted to be normal in most parts of the North and South. However, longer than normal length of the season is likely for most of the central parts of the country and over parts of Yobe, northern Cross River and parts of the South Western states,” he stated. To collaborate Anuforom’s prediction, a director in the agency, Dr. Ifeanyi Nwodu, further explained that onset of rainfall is expected between late February in the southernmost parts of the country, third week of April in the central parts and first week of June in the extreme North. For the agricultural sector, he said with the normal growing season predicted for 2013, farmers are advised to commence

limate change has, no doubt, contributed to a rise in extreme weather events - including higherintensity flooding in Nigeria as seen in recent years. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has predicted, as it did last year, that this change will increase the frequency of rainfall in 2013, which may also increase the prospect of flooding and erosion, especially around the coastal areas. It advised the Federal Government, States as well as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other related organisations to ensure adequate preparedness to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to weather-related natural hazards or face the possible occurrence of emergencies nationwide. With memories of 2012 flooding still fresh, the agency’s Director General, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, said in Abuja recently that this year’s rainfall pattern would not be different from what the country witnessed last year. He noted that the annual rainfall amount is expected to be above normal in comparison to 2012 in the northwest areas of Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Zamfara states and environs, while the rainfall amount will be below normal in Ogun, Oyo and Kebbi States. He further disclosed that catchment areas of River

NO CAUSE FOR ALARM –LAGOS GOVERNMENT

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field establishment of their crops within the period when the rains have fully set, except for tuber and root crops. He said dry spells are likely to occur in Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Yobe, and Borno states, particularly in the month of June. He further advised that farmers in the southern and central parts of the country should plant tuber crops before the full establishment of rains, adding that those in Kebbi, Taraba, Niger and Anambra axis should also endeavour to plant early maturing crops. Nwodu advised NEMA and other related organisations to ensure adequate preparedness for possible occurrence of emergencies. As if to justify the predictions, the first rain this year, coupled with climate statistics, is already causing ripples among rain experts and city residents alike. This is understandable. The painful memories of the last rainfall in which many were rendered homeless and millions of property washed away, are still poignant. Though, the Federal government earmarked N17.6 billion as direct financial assistance to states affected by the 2012 flood, which its agencies are supposed to mange, not much has been done in the area of future planning. Out of the huge amount, N13.3 billion went to states, while the nation’s ministries of works, environment, NEMA, National Commission for Refugees as well as Presidential Technical Committee on Flood Impact Assessment shared N4.3 billion. President Goodluck Jonathan confirmed that so far, about N2 billion has been expended to bring immediate response to the critical situation of the affected areas. These have gone into majorly relief and rehabilitation of victims. The President said that “NEMA has so far spent N1.314 billion to provide immediate relief materials. The Ministry of Works spent N556 million on the repair of collapsed bridges and the construction of bye-passes; while the Ministry of Environment has spent N95 million on sundry CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

‘KWARA GOVT HAS NOT TAKEN STEPS TO PREVENT RECURRENCE OF LAST YEAR’S FLOOD’

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No cause for alarm –Lagos government

Underground drainage in Uyo

Opening up of the channel to effectively deflood Adeniji Adele Road, Lagos

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 relief measures.” The committee is co-chaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) while Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr serves as the chief fund mobiliser. In pursuant of their objectives, the committee was reported to have realised over N11 billion in what was described as the first leg of its fund raising. However, the Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammed Sani Sidi, appears to have keyed in into the advice of NIMET. He assured that the agency had put in place necessary measures to avert flooding this year. He said this had become imperative in order to avert the possibility of the reoccurrence of the flooding that ravaged parts of the country last year, saying, “the prediction of torrential rainfall is true and the states to be affected have equally been informed to prepare ahead. We are prepared and ready and have put in place contingency plans.” Though, Sidi did not mention the contingency plans his agency has put in place, his counterpart at the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NISEMA), Alhaji Mohammed Shaba, says that managing disaster is a not an event, but a process. “It is continuous both in response and recovery, hence the need for urgent pro-active steps by all stakeholders in the country,” he said. But, the stories from the states on their preparedness for the coming rains appear not to be inspiring. There is virtually nothing on ground in most states to fire up optimism that there will be relief when the rains come. For instance, in Niger State where many believe that the issue of flooding has been a major challenge over the years due to the presence of three hydro power producing dams, nothing concrete is being done to checkmate the impending disaster. Though, Sheba said it was the reason why the state government years back set up re-settlement centres at Akere, Wushishi, Muregi and Lavun local government areas of the state. According to him, as part of measures towards addressing any eventualities, additional six re-settlement areas are being established in Manbei-Danshita, Lavun, Jegi, Mokwa and Yelwa. Others are in Bina, Lapai, Alawa, Shiroro, Dabogi and Wushishi local government areas of the state to carter for last years’ victims as well as people living in places at the risk of flooding. He explained that those staying around risk areas would be relocated there even before the rains come and called on the federal government to give adequate attention to people and areas affected by flood in the country to prevent further loss of lives, farm lands and properties. He claimed that 30 percent of Niger’s land mass is covered by water, hence easily flooded while stressing that Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro dams that release so much water from their spill ways during rainy seasons add to the problem. Sheba stated that the Niger State government alone may not be able to cope with the enormity of the flood challenge, hence the appeal to the Federal Government to give the state a helping hand in this regard. According to him, “If we cannot have Hydro Power Area Development Commission (HYPPDAC), then the state producing power for the nation should be given percentage funds to care for the problem, just like the NDCC, or the 13 percent derivation given to oil producing states in the nation. This is because the money Niger State gets from the federation Account will not be enough to address the issue in view of the number of persons displaced, farm lands and properties destroyed, each year. It cannot do it alone.”

Clearing of canal in Katsina

Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu

Bello

Sheba disclosed, however, that NISEMA has constituted a Disaster Rate Reduction Club for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the state that go to various parts of Minna to clear the drainages that are filled with debris. Besides, he said that there have been series of sensitisations and interface with people in rural areas, especially the flood-prone ones. “These are ongoing at the moment; the people are been warned of the impending danger,” he said. During such meetings, according to him, the people are told what steps to take in case it happens. Apart from that, he also stated that his agency has entered into partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), State Vehicle Licensing Office (VIO), and the Ministry for Health as well as opening the Emergency Call Center for quick response during disaster times. In spite of the efforts of NISEMA in Niger State, the state government seems to be contented with complaints than making efforts at complementing what NISEMA is doing in the state. It is the same story in Bayelsa State where flood mitigation tasks have been described as Herculean. Many believe that efforts to check subsequent floods in the state may not be achieved given the alleged nonchalance attitude exhibited by the state government as release of funds to tackle flooding in the state has become a tall order. Over the years, previous administrations in the state had paid lip service to this hydra-headed problem. Annually, communities, including parts of the state capital, Yenagoa are consumed by flood, resulting to displacement of residents. In the history of the coastal state, last year’s flood, which occurred between October and November, was the most disastrous. Currently, a group, Bayelsa State

Post-Flood Management Committee appointed by Governor Seriake Dickson is embarking on an assessment tour of the flood-ravaged communities in the state. Chairman of the Committee, Chief Francis Doukpola, told Sunday Mirror that he would present an insight of the problems and solutions to check flooding in the state immediately after the tour. But, another member of the 15-man Post-Flood Management Committee, who confided in our correspondent, expressed fears that the N500 million in the coffers of the committee’s bank account would not be enough to offset all the problems observed from the assessment tour. Speaking to Sunday Mirror, a rights activist and State Project Officer of Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Alagoa Morris, noted that flooding has been an annual incident in the state. “The water level rises above normal in the swamps, ponds, lakes, creeks and rivers. When all the seemingly lower grounds have risen and overflow their banks, then the water will begin to find its level, flowing and spreading as the environment permits,” he said. Morris equally suggested that the state government should minimise those things that encourages climate change, such as excessive logging/felling of trees, bush burning as well as gas flaring. For Tari Dadiowei, a lecturer and environmentalist in the state, the impact of last year’s flood still lingers; he described the issue as a nightmare to all those who were affected. “It was a misery, especially among the low income earners and the mighty in the society. We have seen flood as a big threat to development because of the colossal destruction to life, crops, infrastructure and properties beyond endurance. We must, therefore, make concerted efforts to mitigate future occurrence, particularly in the years ahead now that NIMET has given us early warnings of heavy rainfalls this year. High rainfalls and low reliefs may be implicated as causing flooding in the Niger Delta and may, therefore, affect our traditional farming practices,” he explained. In Kwara State, a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mohammed Dele Belgore, has also called on the state government to “as a matter of urgency, take steps to avoid another flood in the state.” Belgore, who was the ACN governorship candidate in the 2011 general elections, said government has not taken “any concrete and aggressive measure” to prevent a recurrence of last year’s flood, which claimed life and destroyed property and farmlands in many parts of the state. “As another rainy season approaches, we enjoin relevant authorities in the state to take steps to avoid another flood,” Belgore said in a statement by his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye. His advice came days after NIMET issued a flood alert in which Kwara was listed among the states prone to heavy flood this year. Although, the Kano State government said it had adopted a number of measures to avert rain and rain-related disasters this year, the only visible sign seems to be the formation of a drainage committee. The committee is charged with the responsibility of clearing and evacuating all disposals in drainage and waterways within and outside the state capital. The government has also decided to demolish all structures, which tend to block the drainage system including buildings on waterways. The Senior Special Adviser to Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on drainage, who doubles as the Chairman of the Drainage Committee, Alhaji Idris Bala Barkum, said CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

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Kano creates new waterways, demolishes illegal structures

Oyesiji Akwa Ibom State’s waste disposal vehicle and equipment

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 members of his Committee were drawn from the Ministry for the Environment in response to last year’s flood disaster, which claimed some lives in Feggae local government area and destroyed properties worth several millions of naira and rendered thousands homeless. The Committee, according to its chairman, will among other things create new waterways to ensure free flow of water and study the master plan of the metropolitan drainage network system, as well as join hands with self-help Community Development Associations to organise Annual Community Development Seminars as part of the measures to prevent future occurrences of rain disaster in the state. “Our action in demolishing illegal structures are backed by law since 1976 and the state law also empower the agency to impose fine on defaulters. We have also advised potential builders to always liaise with the agency before embarking on any such construction,” added Alhaji Isiyaku Kura, Managing Director of KNUPDA. However, it is not all gloomy everywhere as the bitter experience of the last two years appears to have motivated the Lagos State government to adopt measures towards mitigating the incidence of flooding this year. Though, the state was lucky because the impact of the 2012 floods was not intense. But, with the unclear certainty about the coming rains, many Lagosians have already begun to develop grey hairs as they anticipate the consequences the imminent flooding will cause, particularly those living along the wetland areas. Yet, the Lagos State government has assured that there is no cause for alarm as it is fully prepared for the coming rainy season. The state Commissioner for Environment, Tunji Bello, said the government is putting everything in place to prevent flooding before the commencement of rains. Bello said he recently inspected drainage projects across the state to enable residents see what the government is doing in terms of drainage construction, cleaning and clearance. He added that some of the projects started last year have been completed while the ones commenced this year are ongoing and nearing completion, preparatory to the coming rainy season. “I am not saying that there will not be flooding, but because we are prepared for it, the consequence will be minimal. The most

important thing is that we are prepared for it. If rain falls continuously for three or four days, there is no how there will not be flooding, but the intensity of the flood will not be there because of our preparation towards it. We were able to cope last year. We hope to cope better this year,” he stated. Also in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the state government has embarked on various measures to avoid a repeat of the flood disaster not only in Ibadan but other major towns in the state. The measures include the clearing of blocked drains, dredging and de-silting of streams, especially on Ona River that runs through the metropolis. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said contracts have been awarded for the reconstruction of the major bridges and roads affected during the flood and works are on-going steadily on them, particularly the bridges at Apete, Secretariat-Bodija, Olomi and Ogbere. “Works have also begun on recently damaged bridges and roads like 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, Ona River at Olubadan Avenue, Oluyole Estate,” he said. He added that the Oyo State Environmental Management Agency (OYSEMA) is relentlessly embarking on sensitisation and advocacy programmes to all the 33 LGAs of the State while demolition of structures erected on statutory set-backs is being effected with over 60 houses on flood plains demolished and more still slated for demolition. “Government also engaged in massive sensitisation measures, especially with the residents and stakeholders of flood-prone areas on one-on-one basis, as well as on the radio and television. Part of the pro-active measures government took was to work in partnership with the World Bank. Because the task of reconstructing these bridges is so massive and is beyond the state government alone, immediately after the flood, the governor met with officials of the World Bank and did a power-point presentation on the case of Ibadan flood disaster, upon which the bank sent its representatives to the state for an assessment. The report has culminated in

the bank, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, agreeing in principle to grant the state government the sum of N200 million emergency reliefs, which is almost ready,” Adebayo added. In Ogun State, the government has trained 200 youths in flood disaster management ahead of the prediction of peak rainfall in August and October by NIMET. The state Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Lanre Tejuosho, told Sunday Mirror that the training was organised through Ogun State Emergency Management Agency (OGSEMA). “Before OGSEMA officials arrive, the people in the various communities can also come to assist in cases of emergencies. They can give first aid when faced with casualties in case of flooding and fire accidents. We have to build the capacity of the community, train them on how to protect themselves, their homes, properties and prevent risks,’’ he said. The Commissioner also stated that the government had commenced creation of additional dumping sites in various local government areas and recycling process of waste products as a way of ridding the state of refuse. He also said that environmental marshals were being sent out on environmental sanitation days to ensure that the exercise was observed by various households in all the cities of the state. Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer of Ogun/Osun River Basin Authority, Femi Dokunmu, said the measure adopted by his agency in 2012, which helped at taming the menace of flooding, would still be adopted this year. Dokunmu said the River Basin Authority would repeat the system of early release of water from its reservoirs to ensure that none of its dams causes to flooding. “Those measures have proven to us over the past years that such were effective tool at averting flooding and we hope to repeat same this year”. The Akwa Ibom State government has also adopted the pipe jacking technology system, after a careful feasibility of the topography and the terrain of Uyo and its environ. Pipe jacking is a trenchless installing prefabricated pipe below the grounds surface. The process, according to experts, is carried out using a steerable tunnel boring machine as well as hydraulic jacks locked Insides a pit. The hydraulic jacks thrust pipes from a drive shaft to a reception via the tunnel boring machine. Pipe jacking

Barkum

utilised laser-guided targeting, which result in extreme accuracy in the line and grade of the pipe installation. The technology can be used to accommodate very deep as well as shallow tunnel depths. Also, the Ministry for the Environment has presently implemented an integrated waste management system for cleanup, collection, transportation, disposal, treatment, and recycling to improve the hygiene and sanitation of the state, particularly in the capital city. As an environmental protection strategy, the ministry regulates effluent discharge, environmental hazards, as well as ground soil water contamination. In Plateau State, the Special Adviser to Governor Jonah Jang on Media and Publicity, Ayuba Pam, said the state government is doing everything possible to ensure that no part of the state is affected by flood during the coming rainy season. He said government has since discovered that the flood was largely caused by blockage of waterways. “We discovered that some people built on waterways thereby obstructing free flow of water. It is in order to correct some of these abnormalies that government has set up a taskforce on city renewal, which is working to remove illegal structures and buildings without approved plans. Government is also working to open up blocked drainages and construct new ones as part of measures to avoid incident of flooding,” he said. Flooding, according to experts, can cause a range of health impacts and risks, including death and injury, contaminated drinking water, hazardous material spills, increased populations of disease-carrying CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


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The Big Read

Sunday, February 24, 2013

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‘Kwara govt has not taken steps to prevent recurrence of last year’s flood’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 insects and rodents, moldy houses, and community disruption and displacement. As rains become heavier, streams, rivers, and lakes can overflow, increasing the risk of water-borne pathogens flowing into drinking water sources. Downpours can also damage critical infrastructure like road, sewer and solid waste systems, triggering sewage overflows that can spread into local waters. Cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa and Warri, where older sewer systems carry sewage and rain water in the same pipes, are at greater risk for sewage spills. During heavy rains, these pipes cannot handle the volume of storm water and wastewater, and untreated sewage is often discharged into local waters where people swim and play. Exposure to pathogens from sewage and unclean water can infect vulnerable communities with illnesses like cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, and norovirus, which cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, and fever. An environmentalist, Leslie Adogame, says “it appears that governments have not yet learnt any lesson going by the level of preparation. From the first heavy rains this year and climate statistics, it is likely that heavy and more intense flooding is imminent and the country might be worse for it when it happens this time. The environmental impact of flooding can be quite wide-ranging and ravaging. The food crises and the anticipated ‘deepening of poverty’ which may result from this, my greatest concerns are the immediate environmental implication, which in most cases is a combination of all impacts of excessive flooding,” Adogame said. He believes there is more to be done by the state government to avert what happened last year in many parts of the country. Adogame, who is Executive Director, Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development, advised Lagos State government and other disaster prone states to step up their flood disaster action/management plans.

Adogame

Also, the President, Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin says by now government at all levels should concentrate efforts in the clearing of the major waterways and canals in their various territories to ensure free flow of water through the drainages into the canals and rivers. “Government must take serious the removal of any structure that obstructs the free flow of water. Any structure that is built on drainages, canals or close to the rivers, seas and oceans must be demolished as soon as possible. Government and the people should ensure at this time that there is regular desalting of the drainages and gutters in the streets and street corners. There will also be the need to set up a special task force at this time that will enforce the regular and prompt disposal of refuse from homes and deposit points. Refuse must be cleared from waterways and canals and ensure that civic education on proper refuse disposal is carried out through the running of jingles on radio and public enlightenment. Ibuchukwu Ezike, Executive Director, Civil Liberty

Organisation, has echoed the sentiment of Okei-Odumakin. He says that governments should, as a matter of urgency, activate all the canals in the country, drainage systems and other related facilities. This, according to him, will help reduce incidences of flooding and allow free flow of water along its course. However, Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action, has blamed the flood situation in the country on the “lack of coordination by the managers of the various dams in Cameroun and Nigeria. There ought to be systematic and controlled release of water from the dams before they get to catastrophic levels. This was not done. The result is what we saw last year. The two countries must be pragmatic this time around.” For Kayode Oyesiku, a lecturer at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, “the major challenge over the years has been that development comes before town planning. Urban flooding occurs primarily in towns located on flat or low-lying terrain, especially when little or no provision has been made for surface drainage or where existing drains are blocked by municipal waste and refuse. There is no drainage,” said Oyesiku. In Osun, the General Manager, Osun State Environmental and Management Agency, (OSEMA), Tunde Oyesiji, says his state’s “Ecological fund is excellently and judicious made use of to tackle environmental problems. The issue of environmental education is being intensified; apart from this, the present administration is trying to mitigate the current heavy flooding by widening and clearing river courses in the state to allow free flow of water.” Additional reports by Augustine Madu-West (Kano), Priscilla Dennis (Minna), Emma Gbemudu (Yenagoa), Femi Oyeweso (Abeokuta), Kemi Olaitan (Ibadan), Tony Anichebe (Uyo), James Abraham (Jos) and Adeolu Adeyemo (Osogbo).


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NEWS

Sunday February 24, 2013

7

Ribadu, Kalu, Saraki, Fani-Kayode, others fl oat political group B MUYIWA OYINOLA

arely three weeks after the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC), about some frontline politicians from various geo-political zones of the country are working on the formation of another political association. This is part of the political permutation for the 2015 general election, as some politicians are bent on giving President Goodluck Jonathan a run for his money at the poll. Though, yet without a name, the group, Sunday Mirror gathered, last met on Wednesday till the early

hours of Thursday in Abuja as a non-partisan political organisation with the aim of instituting good governance in the country. The group which started with 37 members and was then called G37 is chaired by a former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the group has met at least five times in the last few months, in the house of a senator in Maitama, Abuja, with the attendance said to be getting better with every meeting. At the last meeting on Wednes-

day, over 200 prominent politicians were in attendance. Among those at that meeting were Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who is the vice chairman of the group, Akin Osuntokun, the secretary, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), a former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, Ambassador Fati Abubakar, Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambas-

sador Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of Aviation in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Femi Fani-Kayode, and Chris Uche (SAN). A source said the group is mainly concerned about how to stop the drift in the country. It was learnt that the last five meetings have been used to discuss the state of the nation, especially the issue of insecurity. “We are concerned about total leadership. We are concerned about the wellbeing of

Nigerians and how the leadership treats the followers. If you look at the names of members, you will see that it cuts across all the political parties. We have PDP, APGA members in the fold”, the source said. To achieve its aim, several committees have been formed by the group Some of the committees include Mobilisation, which is chaired by Fani-Kayode, with Senator Grace Bent as deputy; the Finance Committee is chaired by Fafa Dan Princewill, while Media is

chaired by Senator Emmanuel Onwe, with Prof. Mahmud Jega as vice chairman; Ribadu heads the Committee on Strategy and Research. At the last meeting of the group, prominent businessman, Dr. Wale Babalakin, and George were some of those in attendance. Other members of the group include Lawal Shuaibu, human rights activist, Uba Sani, Senator Umar Argungu, Olusegun Awolowo, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, and Hon. Yemi Arokodare.

APC can’t dislodge PDP –Lamido OBIORAH IFOH (ABUJA) AND A ZA MSUE (K ADUNA)

T

he Jigawa state governor Sule Lamido has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as an octopus party, too large for the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) to dislodge in the 2015 general election. The governor was reacting to the mega party’s statement that it will flush out PDP in 2015, Lamido, who is the reconciliation committee Chairman of Adamawa PDP crisis, said APC is a gathering of small parties. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress of Progressive Congress (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) had recently merged into APC. Addressing journalists in Abuja where Adamawa PDP stakeholders came to present their case on the crisis, Lamido maintained that APC “Is a gathering of small parties. Small party plus small party, which is equal to smaller party, isn’t it? In mathematics you can’t get something out of nothing, so, small party plus small party equal to

a smaller party. Is this the party that will flush us out? The entire votes of all the parties nation wide put together is nothing, so which type of mathematics is this, it is a warped mathematics.” Speaking on his reconciliation mission, he said, “PDP is one family where you have people who believe in Nigeria with passion. We avoid anything that will bring anything bad to Nigeria.” Speaking on behalf of Adamawa stakeholders, Senator Mohammed Maina disclosed that the delegation of very senior elders of the PDP and all the elected members of the PDP from the state came to address the Sule Lamido committee on the current crisis in Adamawa state. “Already, we have submitted our memorandum to the committee and what we came to do today (yesterday) is to show them that what we wrote to the committee is a fact and not figures. “The state is a PDP state. Adamawa state has been a PDP state from 1999 till date and fortunately there is a move ...... and you know the committee set up by Mr. President to look into this crisis has been receiving memorandum and we

came today as bonafide members of the PDP, elders and elected members of the PDP to see the committee to ask them and ensure that the PDP does not break up in Adamawa state. “Right now we are waiting for the outcome of the SuleLamido committee. You remember that the committee was set up by Mr. President to look into the crisis and ensure that the crisis is resolved so that no harm is done to PDP. Adamawa state is a PDP state,” he said Asked to clarify the information that some aggrieved members threatened to decamp to other parties if the resolution does not favour governor Murtala Nyako, Maina said “I assure you that there is nothing like that at all. “I have told you that Adamawa is a PDP state, where are we defecting to? We are the foundation of this party in the country. In our zone it is only Adamawa and Taraba that have been PDP states from 1999 till date. All the other states are either under ANPP, some were in ANPP before, but Adamawa has been in PDP and we will remain within PDP to strengthen our party.” On the several court cas-

Retiring GOC, 82 Div., Maj.-Gen. Olayinka Oshinowo, being pulled out of service in Enugu on Friday. PHOTO: NAN

es trailing the Adamawa crisis, Maina said “when the crises are resolved they will withdraw the cases from the court. We are praying for the resolution of the problems.” Meanwhile, youths in the northern part of the country have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare his intention for 2015. Apart from that, the youths, under the aegis of Arewa Youths Forum (AYF) are saying the president should react to the statement credited to Niger State governor and Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Dr. Aliyu Babangida that he had signed an

agreement to spend only one term in office. A statement signed by AYF’s National President, Gambo Gunjugu said, “As Nigerian youths, we believe that the president holds it a duty to personally react to the allegation of Babangida Aliyu as keeping mute over such weighty revelation will not augur well for the polity. This is because we believe that many of those who are speaking for the president might not be at the meeting when the agreement was signed or not signed as the case may be. “We are watching to see what our leaders can bequeath to us before

then. Governor Aliyu has made an allegation, let President Jonathan state his own side of the story before all Nigerians”. The statement further urged northern leaders to close ranks stressing that the division arising from the revelation of Aliyu on the single term agreement was disgraceful. “The youths who are keenly watching the political terrain are worried that instead of putting their heads together to advance the cause of the region and the country in general many of the politicians have turned themselves into unofficial spokesmen of Mr. President.”

NIGERIA IN BRIEF Many feared dead as violence breaks out in Taraba

Many people have been feared killed as violence broke out on Saturday in Wukari, Taraba State. According to online news portal, The Eagleonline, the violence was said to have erupted after an argument over a mosque turned bloody. Some men were said to have engaged in an argument over a mosque, though the details were unknown.

Sources at the scene said one of the men was holding a gun. In an attempt to forcefully take the loaded gun from the man, an accidental discharge occurred, killing one of the men at the scene instantly. This then resulted in a free-forall, with several persons already confirmed dead. The Eagle Online reports says the violence is still raging.

Musician, Lanre Teriba shot in S/Africa Musician, Lanre Teriba, has been shot. The incident took place in South Africa where he had performed alongside Dele Taiwo at a Valentine’s show tagged ‘Praise Night Concert’. The event which took place on February 15 at West End Theatre, G2 Entrance, Pretoria Show Ground, Pretoria West was a huge success but it didn’t end well. Teriba was attacked immediately after the show by some unknown assailants. While valuable items like Blackberry Porch, Ipad, gold wrist watch and money were taken away

from him . He was also shot in the leg. He was later rushed to a nearby hospital in Pretoria for prompt treatment. Information reaching us today is that Lanre has fully recovered and will be performing at Praise Night 2 which will take place at Luli Luli Hotel, Portgieter street, Pretoria, South Africa, alongside Dele Taiwo . The event is powered by Light Magic Entertainment Lanre confirmed the attack on him but was quick to add that he is better now and well in shape for tonight’s show .

Plateau killings: Residents, STF trade blames Residents of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State and members of the Special Task Force (STF), deployed to maintain security in the state are trading blames over Thursday’s attack by gunmen, which left no fewer than 10 people dead in the locality. Since the attack, which occurred at Koghum village, residents have continued to bemoan their fate with many accusing members of the STF of doing nothing to prevent the attack. Some of the residents who spoke with Sunday Mirror at the weekend in Jos wondered why the attackers were able to carry out their evil deeds successfully despite the heavy presence of security roadblocks in the area.


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ojukwu’s memorial library building demolished CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Ojukwu Memorial Library building in Owerri, the Imo State capital, was yesterday night reduced to rubble by unknown persons. The building, located at 2 Ralph Uwazuruike Street, Area G, New Owerri was being built by the leader of the Move-

ment for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Ezeigbo, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, in honour of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. The building, when completed, would have also served as a research centre on Igbo studies. The MASSOB leader, who was not around at the time of the incident, said he had gone to Oraifite for

the burial ceremony of Mr. Emeka Okwuosa’s father in company of Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu. According to him, it was on his way back that he received a call from one of his members informing him that the building had been pulled down by unknown persons. “I had gone to Oraifite in Anambra State with her Excellency, Iyom Bianca Ojukwu, for the burial

Visiting President Dilma Rouseff of Brazil (left) and President Goodluck Jonathan (right) at the Presidential PHOTO: STATE HOUSE Villa in Abuja, yesterday.

Nigeria’s system encourages corruption –Bolaji Akinyemi HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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ormer minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, has described corruption as a hindrance to Nigeria’s development, saying the nation’s system encourages corruption. Akinyemi stated this in Akure, Ondo State capital, during the inaugural lecture entitled ‘Leadership, democracy and development; a paradigm relationship’, organised to usher Governor Olusegun Mimiko for his second term in Office. He lamented that in Nigeria of today, values no longer exist unlike in the 60s and said the whole system embraces corruption and other vices. His words: “Parents not only encourage their children to cheat to beat the system, they aid and abet the children in the nefarious activities. No one believes anymore in the concept of society. “In my youth, to be accused of theft or any other criminal offence was tantamount to being banished from society. To be convicted was tantamount to suicide. But now, no one

asks for the source of the wealth. “People in jail, accused of murder, run for and win elections. More than a score of members of the Nigerian Senate have Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) court cases against them. Only in Nigeria do you steal billions and escape with less than a million naira fine. “To move forward, the political elite must make a conscious effort to arrive at a consensus that will be the outcome of negotiation, give and take compromises. “No one can be a billionaire in this present Nigeria without being corrupt. To be a millionaire is still alright but if you are a billionaire, you are corrupt; that means you are cutting corners.” The former minister, however, described the Ondo State Governor, Mimiko, as Obafemi Awolowo of the present day, saying the myriads of developmental projects being executed by Mimiko’s administration attested to the fact. Akinyemi pointed out that Mimiko’s concept of government, implementation and execution of devel-

opment-driven projects can be likened to Awolowo’s style of administration. The guest speaker listed some corrupt practices which some people enrich themselves to include, tax evasion, using government money for personal business, going through illegal means to win contracts from the government and host of other corrupt practices. “We must find a way to building a nation where no man or woman is oppressed, where no man or woman is marginalized, where there is hope for everyone, where a man or a woman through hard work, honesty and integrity will have the opportunity to achieve his dreams. When dreams are killed and vision dulled, the nation is finished,” Akinyemi affirmed. In his remark, the chairman of the occasion, Dr Christopher Kolade, commended the state Governor-elect for the various achievements he had been able to make during his first term in office. He advised him to see his re-election as an opportunity to further develop the state, serve the people and God.

ceremony of the late father of Mr. Emeka Okwuosa; on my way back to Owerri, I received a call from one of my members that some people had demolished the Ojukwu Memorial Library in Owerri. He said those who carried out the act were seen escaping in a 406 Peugeot car. “But I don’t know those who are responsible for this dastardly act but we intend to find out,” Chief Uwazuruike said. He further disclosed that in the past two weeks his security personnel had reported seeing some strange faces surveying the site but that he had told them not to challenge them to avoid clashes. However, one of the MASSOB members, Sunday Peters, narrating his experience, said that when they heard a loud explosion, they immediately rushed to the site only to see about four men scaling the fence to the back street where they parked their 406 Peugeot car with which they made their escape.

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Israeli expert tasks Nigeria on anti-graft war A n Israeli expert, Dr Joseph Shevel, has advised the leadership of the country to muster the political will by supporting the anti-corruption agencies in whatever form they take to ensure that indicted public officials, including ministers are punished in line with the provisions of the existing law on corruption. He said the war against corruption would have more bite if some of these indicted high profile personalities were sent to jail. Dr Shevel and his delegation who were hosted to media dinner by Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) said in Israel the war against corruption has no respect for anyone. ‘As I speak with you now, a former president and serving minister of Finance are in jail for corruption’. Dr Shevel, President of Galilee International Management Institute, a globally rated institution in capacity building development, was at ICPC headquarters in Abuja as part of efforts to help build investigative and crime detection amont the commission’s work force. He said there was no way Nigeria could realise its full socio-economic potentials and become a lead-

ing country if corruption continued to thrive and those who perpetrated it were allowed to walk away without appropriate sanctions. Shevel noted that Nigeria needed to learn from the experiences of Israel where punitive sanctions were meted out to any corrupt official without any regard for political power on influence in the country. While noting that corruption is not peculiar to Nigeria, he, however, pointed out that the challenge of fully repositioning the ICPC for operational efficiency was one of those that government needed to address in order to realise the country’s full potentials. He declared: “If the commission fails to win the anti-graft war through failure of the government to provide it all necessary supports, then Nigeria will fail. “I am sure that corruption is actually contradicting economic and social growth and if corruption will be widespread in Nigeria despite the wealth of Nigeria in terms of intelligence, natural resources, everything Nigeria is proud of, then Nigeria will not take off if ICPC is unsuccessful in fighting corruption.”

This Day in African American History

February 24: On this day in 1811—Bishop Daniel A. Payne, Reformer and Educator of the African Methodist Church is Born! Bishop Daniel A. Payne was born in Charleston, South Carolina to free black parents, London and Martha Payne. He attended a private school in Charleston, South Carolina and later continued his studies at Gettysburg Seminary in Pennsylvania. Bishop Payne was the first Bishop to have formal theological seminary training, and did a great deal of studying on his own. Payne was ordained an elder in the Lutheran Church in 1837; he was admitted to the Philadelphia Annual Conference in 1842. Payne later became the first African American president of a black college in the western world, serving as president of Wilberforce University for sixteen years. In this role, he advised that the school be purchased by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He was elected the Historiographer of the AME Church in 1848, and later as Bishop at the General Conference in New York City on

May 7, 1852. Payne was also a notable author, and his books, History of the A.M.E. Church and Recollections of Seventy Years, were his greatest works and have become an authoritative source of history of the first 75 years of the church. Payne went on to build churches in Washington D.C., New York and Baltimore. Bishop Payne’s commitment to education and self-improvement had a profound impact on A.M.E. church’s interest in trained ministry.


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Interview ENCOUNTER WITH A NEWS MAKER FEBRUARY 24, 2013

APC won’t survive 2015 –Ex-Oyo SSG Prior to the 2011 general election you were with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Why did you leave the party for the Accord Party? You know we were in the PDP together with Senator Rashidi Ladoja . But when we were there, we later found out that it was necessary for us to have an alternative platform in order to counter the problems of the PDP. We knew that the PDP lacks discipline. We knew they were unruly , we knew they were plan less but we thought they would change so he left before I left. When I found out that there was no change in the PDP I had to follow suit.

Mr Ayodele Adigun was the Secretary to the Oyo State Government during the administration of Senator Rashidi Ladoja. In this interview with Ayo Esan, he speaks about issues as they affect the state and the nation’s politics. Excerpts:

You are familiar with Oyo Politics having been involved in so many elections in the state” Of course What do you think is the future of Accord Party in Oyo State politics The future of Accord Party in Oyo state is very bright . The people have tested the PDP , PDP has floundered. They have tested ACN they have known that the ACN is not up to the task, apart from the sloganeering and unnecessary propaganda they brand all over the place. The people have come to realize that the ACN is an oppressive party. It has destroyed the people’s means of livelihood through the destruction of their properties through their brigandage . They go about to destroy people’s property . We are not saying that it is not good to beautify the cities, but you see in trying to beautify the cities you must take into consideration the plight of the citizens. You know that for their welfare they depend on this road side trading why don’t you give them adequate notice. Why don’t you relocate them before you bring in the bulldozers. After all, development should be aimed at the man not man for development. Only last week, the Oyo state government called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release the money and government properties recovered from Senator Ladoja . You were the Secretary to the State Government during his tenure as governor, how would you react to the call ? I only pity the Head of the government and the so called executive. To the best of my knowledge they are legal illiterates .If you have been following the case you will know that no money was impounded or embargoed in the account of Ladoja and none of his properties was seized by the EFCC. Conversely the fund in question was found in the account of Chief Adewale Atanda. It was found in Heritage Holding which belongs to Adewale Atanda and some of the properties were recovered in his premises not in Ladoja’s premises. So it would be wrong and libelous for the state executive and the Head of government to claim that the EFCC embargoed the account of Ladoja. It was never so. It is far from the truth and they should go and crosscheck in the court and get the legal position. Besides I will advise the Attorney-General , who should be very clear in the picture to advise his colleagues not to embark on any libelous journey.

Adigun

To many people the Local Governments election should have been conducted in the state. That should have been the real test to know the strength of the political parties. What is your feeling concerning the non- holding of local government election and if it holds today, how do you think the Accord will perform?. The non- holding of local governments election up till date is an admission of fear on the part of the incumbent governor. The incumbent governor definitely knows that if election is held today, the Accord Party will win not less than 30 out of the 33 local governments. I am sure of my facts. The fact is that ACN is not on ground now. If they doubt it, let them go and conduct the election. The Accord Party will win hands down. The PDP is in comatose in Oyo State and they can’t get their bearing again . They have about four factions and it is no longer at ease with them and the centre has fallen apart. I know there are four factions of PDP in the state. Arapaja/Jumoke Akinjide on one side; Otunba Alao-Akala one side; Teslim Folarin/ Hosea Agboola one side and Dejo Raimi/ Oyelese and co one side. So they are four. So they cannot come together to provide any solution to the myriads of problem in Oyo state . That is the way it is. So it is only the Accord Party that is busy welcoming new members. It is only the Accord Party that is capable of admitting new members now. It is only a foolish

man or somebody that has mental problem that will go and join ACN now, even though they are in power.. The people are fed up with the ACN government. That is the situation in Oyo state now. You have been writing many articles in the newspapers to condemn the Ajimobi government in Oyo state and many believe that being a technocrat you are doing Senator Ladoja’s dirty job. Don’t forget that I contested the primaries with Ladoja in 2003 and I know my onions . Yes. You said I am a technocrat I wouldn’t deny that , but I know my onions . I know what is wrong and what is right . At my age and with my level of education, nobody can dictate to me. So for anybody to infer that Ladoja is using me is wrong. Was it Ladoja that was using me when I was criticizing Alhaji Lam Adesina when he was governor? Go and ask Ladoja. He will tell you I have a very independent mind. I will tell you what I have in my mind and I would not cut corner in saying that . So when I criticize Ajimobi’s government I know what I ‘m doing . It was simple economics, and my criticism was aided by my deep knowledge of administration of the state for some time now. You say you want to collect N50bn bond for housing but we know that Oyo state people will not embrace any housing estate. They don’t want to live in barracks. If you provide sight and services to them they will appreci-

a it. They will patronize you but if you ate a are building housing estate they will not p patronize you. Late Lam Adesina built ssome units along Egbeda road in Ibadan, b between 1999 and 2003, the place is about a quarter subscribed now. Ladoja built ssome units on Owode road, that is Abeokutta road, if you are passing by the road you w will notice that most of the houses are unoccupied. If you are familiar with this part of the country, look at the one built on Ikire road by Alhaji Shehu Shagari several years ago, the houses are falling apart now nobody is looking after them. Nobody is embracing them. If you go to Oyo town the same thing, they don’t want to embrace housing estate. They want to build houses on their own . You say you want to take loan to build houses I will say you have got that concept from outside . You have not researched into the need of the people before embarking on that infertile and futile journey. You say you want to build agric silos, grain silos in Oyo state . The Federal Government has giant silos on Ife Road , it has silos in Oyo . The state government has giant produce warehouses in Igboora, Moore Plantation, in Ayete, in Oyo in Iseyin and Kisi. If you go to these warehouses and silos they are empty. There are no grains. The fact is that we don’t produce enough grains in this part of the country. I am a poultry farmer I know that if you need grains you go to Niger State , Katsina, Zamfara and Kano State to procure grains. So if we don’t produce enough grains here why are we now installing silos . The other time, the Commissioner of Finance was saying that we are going to soon import grains here and I just laugh at him. Instead of saying you want to improve the prices of agricultural products in your state so that you can produce enough grains, you want to put the solid first before you plant the grains which is myopic. You say you want to construct circular road with the proceeds of the bond. The fact is that, that road was conceived by Ladoja administration. The engineering design was awarded by Ladoja’s administration. That is a statement of fact. The idea was to involve Private partnership Let private people bid for it. If they win it, let them build. They will erect the toll gate there and then the state government will collect taxes. May be from N100 you take N20. You don’t say you want to build it on your own. You now contract the toll collection to somebody. By doing that you are encouraging embezzlement. There is this merger among opposition parties which has led to the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) . If the party wave the olive branch will the Accord join the party. I don’t think so. We don’t need any merger at this point in time. Let us go and try our individual effort. Those who came together are even strange bed fellows They have different orientations . When they started sharing posts now problems would come up. There would be big problems among them. Why don’t they just build their individual parties . They are likely to run into problems sooner than later.


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

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

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Ending the Oyerinde murder controversy

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e are once again compelled to revisit the Olaitan Oyerinde murder saga. The first time we did, it was the focus of our editorial on Friday September 7, 2012 entitled: The puzzling Oyerinde murder investigation. We made the May 4, 2012 murder of the late Deputy General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Private Secretary to Governor Oshiomhole of Edo State our concern because of our abhorrence to all forms of unlawful killing and the perceived shoddiness with which the security agencies were handling the investigation. Unfortunately, that shoddiness has persisted up till now, straining interagencies relationships; causing bad blood among functionaries of governments; and exacerbating social tension in the country. Just last Wednesday, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, betrayed the emotional agony he had been going through when he told his new Police Commissioner, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo, on a courtesy visit to him that he would not rest until he got justice for his late aide. The governor had last month caused a stir when he called for the dismissal of Peter Gana, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police that coordinated the investigation into the murder of Oyerinde, alleging the DIG was either shielding the real killers or he was a conspirator. Though the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, dismissed the indictment as unfounded, he was not forthcoming with supporting evidence beyond saying that since the case was in court, it would be subjudice discussing it. He promised that at the appropriate time, the police version of what happened would be made public. While agreeing with the IGP that discretion is expected from all the interested parties in the Oyerinde

murder case, especially against the backdrop of its being in the court, there are fundamental facts of jurisprudence raised by Governor Oshiomhole that cannot be glossed over. First is the apparent inconsistency in both the Police and State Security Service investigations. They made contradictory claims on the identity and motives of the perpetrators which cast serious doubts on their reports. The police said Oyerinde was a victim of a hit job, naming Rev. David Ugolor, Executive Director of African Network for Economic

IF ALL THESE INCONGRUITIES EXISTED IN THE INVESTIGATION CARRIED OUT BY THE

POLICE, IT STANDS TO REASON THAT THE WRONG PERSONS WERE THOSE ARRAIGNED FOR THE BRUTAL MURDER OF

OLAITAN OYERINDE.

and Environmental Justice (ANEEJ) and a friend of the deceased as the sponsor, on account of which he was kept in custody for one and a half months until a Benin high court ordered his unconditional release on August 16, 2012. However, the police case against Ugolor had earlier collapsed on August 1, 2012 when the SSS paraded a gang of six suspects in Abuja, which publicly accepted responsibility for Oyerinde’s death. The most damning repudiation of the police position on the case came from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Edo State Ministry of Justice. Responding to an October 29, 2012 request from the office of the IGP for legal advice on the use

of the evidences gathered on the murder case, Edo DPP had made the following observations. First was that some of the suspected killers and the gun allegedly were already in police custody before the May 4 murder of Olaitan. Second, two of the suspects, Danjuma Musa and Muritala Usman, were said to have been in the custody of the Edo Police Command since April 24, 2012 over unlawful possession of cartridges. And third, the cut-to-size locally made gun allegedly used for the murder was said to have been recovered on April 24, 2012 by Esigie Police Division, Benin City. If all these incongruities existed in the investigation carried out by the police, it stands to reason that the wrong persons were those arraigned for the brutal murder of Olaitan Oyerinde. Should that be the case, the question that begs for an answer is who were those behind the murder of the late aide of Governor Oshiomhole on May 4, 2012, and what was their motive? The House of Representatives has mandated the committees on Police Affairs and Justice to look into the matter to determine the veracity or otherwise of the allegation of coverup and professional misconduct levelled against the police in its own investigation. February 27 has been fixed for the public hearing and the following principal functionaries of the federal and Edo State governments, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Director-General of SSS, and the Edo State Attorney-General, have been summoned to appear before the law makers. We salute the courage of the House and commend them to do the needful so that the nation would be spared the perennial embarrassment of unresolved deaths and all aggrieved parties placated by the outcome.

Reminiscences FEBRUARY 24 IN HISTORY 1945: Egypt’s PM assassinated

The prime minister of Egypt, Dr. Ahmed Maher Pasha, was assassinated after reading a declaration of war against the Axis powers.

1961: Human-like bones discovered in Tanganyika

Dr Louis Leakey discovered humanlike bones in the Olduvai Gorge, Tanganyika (now Tanzania) which were believed to be the ancestors of modern man.

1968: S’Vietnamese forces recapture Hue

American Marines and South Vietnamese soldiers recaptured the city of Hue from North Vietnamese forces.

1971: UK announces new Immigration Bill

A new Immigration Bill was announced to restrict Commonwealth citizens’ automatic rights to remain in the UK, they would be treated with the same restrictions as any other person applying to live and work in Britain. This bill was in response to the public concern about a large number of immigrants entering Britain.

1981: Prince Charles announces engagement to Lady Diana

The Prince of Wales announced his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer ending months of speculation by the tabloid press.

1997: U.S. - FDA names birth control pills

The FDA named six brands of birth control as safe and effective “morningafter” pills for preventing pregnancy.

2006: Brazil art stolen in Rio de Janeiro

Gunmen took advantage of Brazil’s carnivals to steal paintings by Picasso, Dali, Matisse and Monet from a Rio de Janeiro museum. The thieves threatened the Chacara do Ceu museum’s security guards with a hand grenade. They then shut down the internal security cameras and slipped into the carnival. Pablo Picasso’s The Dance, Salvador Dali’s The Two Balconies, Henri Matisse’s Luxembourg Gardens and Claude Monet’s Marine were stolen.

2011: China - Shanghai declares one-dog policy

The city of Shanghai in China announced a one-dog policy. The city had abundance of unlicensed dogs and in 2010, over 140,000 people reported bites from unlicensed dogs. The new rule would force owners of unlicensed dogs to relinquish their pets to authorities.


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Opinion

Sunday February 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Illogicality of Centenary celebration Uncensored U nc

Sheriff S Folarin

E-mail: sheffie2004@yahoo.co.uk 08094217972 (SMS only)

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hat is Nigeria’s true age? 53 years? 100 years old? What? President Goodluck Jonathan and the legion of his predecessors would say Nigeria is 100 years since 1914. The members of the three arms of government would agree with them and roll out the carpets and the drums to celebrate 100 years of ‘Nigeria’s existence’. Ceremony and events contractors and their cronies in government would seize this ‘centenary’ opportunity to make fortunes, from billions of dollars of contracts. Every October 1, all Nigerians celebrate independence from colonial rule. On October 1, 2010, Nigeria became 50 years old since total decolonisation in 1960. The entire world joined us in the lavish ceremony of golden jubilee. But the authorities have said that by 2014, Nigeria would have become 100 years old since colonial amalgamation of the North and South. Logically, if we are to go by the colonial experience in calculating our age, then we may have to begin from 1897, when Flora Shaw, Lugard’s girlfriend, had the privilege of honeymoon with her imperialist strongman to invent and ascribe to our geographical entity as ‘Niger area’ (Nigeria). Or we could take it from 1900, when formal colonisation was established in the area called ‘Nigeria’. We could even take it further to 1906, when the fabrics of amalgamation were etched with the merger of western and eastern Nigeria.

1960 marked freedom from imperialism; it meant freedom from oppression, exploitation, discrimination, neo-slavery and undermining of cultural and national identity. 1960 was the year of liberty and emancipation from forced and suppressive hegemony. That was a symbolic year that a potentate assumed statehood and province became a nation. It is an unforgettable year in the annals of any nation. One can therefore logically say that Nigeria was berthed in 1960. And that, incidentally, has been the deal until now. 1914 is becoming the big deal. In 1914, Lord Lugard, acting on instructions from the Colonial Office in London, merged northern and southern protectorates, and then transformed it into a British Nigeria. It was neither an African invention, nor did it take into cognizance the cultural heritage or fundamental differences of the peoples. It did not care about the erstwhile sovereignty of the great empires and kingdoms such as Oyo, Benin, KanemBorno, Nupe, Sakwatto (Sokoto), Kororofa (Jukun), Itsekiri, Ijaw, and so forth. It cared less about their statehood before the colonial plunder. It simply cared much about the potentials of economic exploitation as well as administrative convenience of the colonial expedition. 1914 marked a horrible turning point in the political history of Nigeria. It was the year of the nightmare. Culturally, historically and politically distinct groups were lumped together without consultation. There was no principle of natural evolution. Nor was it a product of indigenous conquests which could have resulted in natural unity, such as was the case when Benin brought many states under its suzerainty. The amalgamation has been our albatross for ages. It is the cause of our eternal disunity. It was the reason tribal/ethnic political parties emerged at different stages of our democratic life. It has been the cause of ethnic balancing principles (federal character) in our

army, police, civil service, higher institutions, zoning formula in politics, contract awards, structural development, allocation of resources, coups and countercoups, etc; all of which have been counterproductive for us as a ‘nation’. The amalgamation of strange bedfellows resulted in the 1966 pogroms in which thousands of Igbos were killed in the north, and ultimately resulted in the 1967-70 Civil War. 1914 amalgamation is the cause of several cases of ethnic and regional skirmishes. The reason westerners (Yoruba) are crying blue murder today over exclusion from top national positions in government is a long-term effect of strange amalgamation. Boko Haram is today on the rampage because they are not enjoying any dividends from amalgamation. There are many calls for sovereign national conference today because of that strange amalgamation. Yet, we are celebrating ‘100 years of Nigeria’. 1914 was a sore year of completion of long years in servitude under foreign rule and heavy yoke of pains. The white man simply came and put the house in the shape of what would make things easy for him. What should a sensible people do when they inherit or occupy such house? They will re-arrange it to make things easy for them. They will not stay glued to what will not work for them. They will intelligently search out the best ways to reorder the structure so as to co-habit or separate peacefully. People celebrate years of breakthroughs and freedoms. No one remembers years of slavery, fiefdom or inglorious past. The United States has never celebrated the year the British established the 13 colonies. They do not even remember it. They glorify 1776 (year of Declaration of Independence), 1783 (year of victory over British overlords), and 1865 (when the nation won a huge victory over separatism). Nations, world over, do not celebrate 14451500 when the Trans Atlantic slave trade

began with the export of some blacks to Portugal from the Benin Kingdom. They celebrate 1833, when slave trade was banned in England and 1862, when slavery was pronounced illegal. Wise people celebrate freedom. So, what is the basis for the celebration of 1914 by Nigeria? We have been worse off with the catastrophe of 1914, than being blessed. When we try to balance the regions or ethnic groups in any situation, we fail. But when we act on merit and give no credence to federal character, we succeed. The Nigeria victory in the just concluded African Cup of Nations is a clear example. Keshi is a southerner. Amokachi, from the Middle Belt; Shorunmi, southerner; Okpala, southerner; 21 of the 23 players, southerners. If I am right, only Ahmed Musa and Yobo Joseph are northerners. And what happened? 1914 (federal character) was not a factor to consider and Nigeria succeeded! What we do not understand is that we should be calling a National Conference or Sovereign National Conference in 2014; rather than celebrating unintelligently. We need deeper inflections on our past and we need to dwell on the trajectories of our differences. Forgetting our differences is not ‘gonna’ work. Remembering our differences should be the game plan, so as to avoid offending one another and engaging in fisticuffs all the time. Let our leaders stop pretending that there is a lot of gains to celebrate. If there are gains to celebrate, we can pop up the champagne on October 1. 1914 and 2014 are certainly not good symbolisms for any elaborate ceremonies. 2014 should rather be a moment for sober reflection on the wastefulness of that 1914 amalgamation, and a period to re-strategise. •Dr. Folarin is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Political Science/International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria

Mimiko and the tasks ahead Kayode K Fasua

kayodefasua@nationalmirroronline.net (07043855192; SMS only, pls)

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amrod-straight governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Rahman Mimiko, mounts the dais of historic hue today, as he takes the oath of inauguration as the fourth civilian governor on a second mission in a state created 37 years ago. In the interregnums had been military governors or administrators some of who came from other parts of the country to mount the chummy duty post of governor. Besides the military rulers, other previous democratically elected governors of the Sunshine State are Chief Adekunle Ajasin (1979-83) and Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua (1991-93), both who governed before current Ekiti State was excised from Ondo State. Others who governed Ondo after the creation of Ekiti State are Chief Adebayo Adefarati (1999-2003), Dr Olusegun Agagu (2003-2009) and now, Mimiko. Out of the ex-governors, Ajasin and Adefarati are deceased.

For the Ondo Town-born governor, the

road to this day has been one coursed by a concatenation of events for which even before the perfunctory ritual of the terminal oath-taking, the governor cannot but look ahead in deep contemplation, both for his past activities and the challenges ahead. In arithmetic terms, the performance rating of Mimiko in the last four years can be adjudged as impressive on the strength of his victory at the October 20, 2012 governorship election in which he secured the mandate that begins today. But like football, politics is not mathematics per se. While some of the Ondo public see Mimiko as having performed beyond their expectation to deserve another term, others in the opposition loathe the works of his entire four years, describing them as fluke. The circumstances that brought Mimiko to power in 2009 were as emotive as they were spiritually benumbing. Here was a man who was declared a loser in the 2007 governorship contest against Governor Agagu, still refusing defeat and going ahead to challenge Agagu’s victory at the election petition tribunal. After bouts of legal fireworks, Mimiko came out tops as the tribunal, after cancelling election results in four local governments and some wards where it detected malpractices, recounted and declared Mimiko winner. The Court of Appeal, which was at the

period the final ‘bus stop’ for election petitions, affirmed the victory, thus sacking the Agagu administration to usher in a new comer. Four years down the lane, Mimiko and his Labour Party in the state are well under the klieglights as it were, as all can attest to the performance of the governor on the stump of a solo party that is the LP. Indubitably, the immediate attraction for anyone visiting Akure, the state’s capital after a long spell or even for the first time, is the sleek transformation of the erstwhile pedantic state capital. The legion of single-lane, bumpy roads have been expanded to double-lanes and are now a great component of a new-look, gleaming Akure city. A recent visit to other communities like Owo, Idanre, Ondo and Ile-Oluji also attested to the modest efforts of the governor to make long-lasting impressions on the locals through the presence of one social infrastructure or the other. Apart from building more school buildings now, than the first two years of his administration, Mimiko, a medical doctor, has helped reduced child-bearing mortality rate drastically through his ‘Abiye Care’ programme in which a personal physician is assigned to each pregnant woman and nursing mother, with toll free telephone

facilities offered doctor and his patient. Though the administration has also boosted agriculture in the interior, the recession in waterway transportation affecting the Ondo seaport is an avenue due for attention between the state government and the federal maritime authority. A major appeal, however, to Governor Mimiko as he assumes office for another term is the need to rally the federal authorities towards the dualisation of the Akure-Ondo-Ore road as this tricky road has been the Golgotha upon which promising road users had been slain. If the Federal Government continues to footdrag regarding the urgent attention needed by the road, the state government can rally its resources for the dualisation and then present the bill to the Federal Government for monthly reimbursement through increased federal allocations. Besides, in this second term, efforts should be geared at industrialisation through partnership with the private sector, to further reduce unemployment ravaging the ranks of the youths. Clearly, for a man who seeks to ride on the horse of power for another four years, there must be a purpose. So, today at the Akure township stadium, all are exultant to know what Mimiko has in stock for them. Welcome again, Mr. Governor.


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EDIFYING GOD

QUOTE is understanding understanding that that itit is challenges faith. You need challenges faith. You need understanding before before the the understanding word of of God God comes comes upon upon word you. you. –Pastor Bamidele –Pastor Bamidele

Sunday February 24, 2013

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s a boy, home was a tiny wooden bungalow shared with nine siblings; a life lived beneath a corrugated iron roof, playing outdoors in the dusty red dirt in a rural African village. As a man, however, he could be about to move into the most luxurious palace of them all. Cardinal Peter Turkson, born in a two-room shack 170 miles from Ghana’s capital, is currently the bookmakers’ favourite to become the next pope. If selected, it would make him the first African pope in modern times. And it is something that his family and friends in Nsuta-Wassa, a small mining settlement set amid rolling hills and lush forest in western Ghana, are struggling to believe. “It is quite incredible that someone from here could become pope,” said Dunhill Pawosey, 62, a life-long friend of Cardinal Turkson. “But we have total faith in him, and know he will do an excellent job. It is very exciting for us all.” Another family now lives in the tworoom house. Excitement spread through this rural district of Ghana recently, soon after Pope Benedict XVI revealed the decision that surprised the world becoming the first pope for 600 years to announce his intention to resign. The 85-year-old told a gathering of cardinals in Rome that he no longer had the “strength of mind and body” needed to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. He will step down on February 28, meaning that the 117 cardinals will gather to elect a new leader – likely to be in place by Easter. And amid the frenzied speculation as to who will take over from the ageing pontiff, the 64-year-old Ghanaian was marked as one of the early front runners. The cardinal himself seems amused at the speculation, saying back in 2009: “Why not? We’ve had Kofi Annan as Secretary General of the United Nations... he had his problems, but he did it. Now we have Obama in the United States. “So if, by divine providence, God would wish to have a black man as pope, I say thanks be to God!” Furthermore, he is known to be highly regarded by Benedict; to be a likeminded social conservative against gay marriage, condom use and abortion, and to share his interest in academic study of the scriptures. But unlike Benedict, who was raised in relative comfort in the southern German region of Bavaria, Cardinal Turkson’s childhood could not be further removed from adult life in the marble halls of the Vatican. “We would shimmy up the coconut

When you honour God, He reciprocates –Pastor Okereke 30

Briefly Anglican Church consecrates three new bishops Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev Nicholas Okoh will consecrate three new bishops today, February 24 at the Cathedral of St. Jude, Ebute Meta, Diocese of Lagos Mainland. The three new bishops are James Odedeji (Diocese of Lagos West), Simeon Borokini (Diocese of Akure) and Geoffrey Okorafor (Diocese of Egbu). One striking thing about the three bishopselect is that they were picked from within their dioceses. Until his election, Ven. Odedeji was the Dean of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja. The Very Rev Borokini served as Provost of the Cathedral Church of St David, Akure while Ven Okorafor was vicar of Zion Anglican Church and archdeacon of Okpala archdeaconry. The three men are already undergoing a one-week retreat preparatory to the consecration. The Church of Nigeria is the largest in the Anglican Communion with 165 dioceses.

POPE’S SUCCESSOR:

Mothers’ union donates beddings to hospital

Ghana prays for Turkson to reach marbled halls trees to collect the coconuts,” said Mr Pawosey, whose parents lived opposite the cardinal’s family. “We worked together at the slaughterhouse in the village, making small change by carrying the meat up to the market. We played a lot of table tennis too – it was his favourite. We were always together, right from when we were small boys.” The pair went to the village school together, which at that time meant lessons inside the Catholic Church. A purpose-built school was only erected long after they had left. “The students all know that the Cardinal studied there,” said Aaron Yorke, 25, an IT teacher, who was marking books in the

shade of a chestnut tree outside the school rooms. “It shows them that, if they put their minds to it they can achieve anything.” Mr Pawosey said: “He was very smart at school, and always good at Bible study. He was quiet and thoughtful. But he had a quick temper and strong principles. If someone was wrong, he would tell them.” But he added, with a chuckle: “He’s softened now, though.” The kind of music enjoyed by the young Cardinal Turkson was very different to the choral chanting of the Vatican. “We played in a band together - I was on drums, and he was on bass,” recalled Mr Pawosey.

How to identify a true prophet,

CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

The Church of the Lord Aladura, Lagos North Diocese last week donated beddings to the General Hospital, Ifako/Ijaye. According to the coordinator of the Mothers’ Union of Aladura church, Mrs Florence Abosede Owolana, it is part of the church’s contribution to the hospital. “We are celebrating Mothers’ Union week and we found it worthy to come here and contribute our own quota here. We don’t want to go and be throwing parties about instead we believe these materials are needed here”. Public Relations Officer of the Union, Elder Abosede Odelabu, said the contribution was part of the church’s sacrifice too. “We have been doing this for a lot of hospitals and motherless babies’ homes ánd we believe this will not be the last,’’ she said.

Sunday Mirror/Babcock University Bible Quiz: • Current and past winners can collect their prizes from the office of the Editor, Sunday Mirror, 151/161 Broad Street, Lagos anytime from Monday to Friday. Participants should always indicate their names when sending their entries.

Understanding

pure sex –Rev. Izuchukwu

by Pastor Samuel 33

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Ghana prays for Turkson to reach marbled halls

Cardinal Turkson

CONTINUED FROM 27 “We’d play Afrobeat stuff in the 1960s – James Brown, that kind of thing. He liked James Brown a lot.” When the young man told his friend he was thinking of becoming a priest, Mr Pawosey encouraged him. “I told him he should do it. I knew he’d be good at it. His father wasn’t sure – he thought he had too quick a temper! But his father was the same. The cardinal has a scar below his left ribs from where his father beat him with a saw. “Both got much more mellow with age. And the Cardinal is a very kind man now.” Nor has he forgotten his roots, it seems. As a gift to Mr Pawosey, he organised a blessing of his marriage at the Archbishop’s residence in Cape Coast – a huge honour to his old school friend. Mr Pawosey tells a story of how, on a recent visit, the Cardinal walked eight miles with him to visit a friend without thinking to hire a driver. The Cardinal’s younger brother, Matthew, 62, is the only remaining sibling to live in the village. The rest have spread far afield – several are in the capital, with some living on the coast in the town of Takoradi. His youngest brother lives in Canada, and a further brother, Dr John Kofi Turkson, a noted energy expert working for the United Nations in Denmark, was killed in a Kenyan Airways plane crash in 2000. “He comes back to see me, and he remembers everyone,” said Matthew Turkson, a retired miner, who lives with his wife, Vick on one of the hills above the village in a small bungalow surrounded by banana trees. “This is his home. Because our father was a miner, we were expected to become miners, too. I did. But it wasn’t for him.” The boys’ father, Kobena Turkson, was a miner in the manganese mine that dominates Nsuta. He was also a carpenter, making furniture in his spare time to help put food on the table. “He was a nice man, and very principled,” said Isaac Essel-Moses, procurement officer at the mine. “He worked at the Church, and everyone knew him.” Over 700 people now work on the site, which since 1909 Ogunleye has blasted

manganese out of the rock before processing it and sending it by rail to the coast. It is one of Ghana’s main industries – along with gold mining and, now, oil. Mr Turkson worked on the mine all his adult life. “He lived long enough to see his son made a cardinal, and it made him so very proud. He was a very religious man, and making his son a cardinal was God’s way of saying thank you for all his hard work.” Their mother, Maame Aba Dansowa, ran a vegetable stall in the market. “She would go out into the small villages and come back with vegetables and eggs to sell,” said Beatrice Dante, 58, a childhood friend who now has her own market stall. “I remember that the mother would go to the village and bring back bush meat, and we would all have a feast.” A few hundred yards down the road, a different family is now living in the Turkson house. As an employee of the mine, Mr Turkson had to vacate the staff premises when he retired. But the current inhabitants are delighted that the man who may be pope grew up in their house. “It makes me so proud,” said Rebecca Brace, 40, a mother of six, holding sixmonth-old Josephine in her arms. “And it proves that God makes the impossible become possible. Otherwise how could anyone from here go on to do that?” Ghana’s 25 million people are among the most religious on Earth. Music blasting out at 5am is more likely than not to be the infectious drum beats of Evangelical gatherings, rather than a late-night club. Every taxi and bus bears scripture quotations, kitsch softfocus images of Christ, or else moralistic urgings such as “Keep the faith” and “Trust in the Lord”. With per capita GDP at just over £900, a wide gulf between the wealthy elite in the capital and the rural poor, and a life expectancy of only 64, perhaps many Ghanaians have to put their faith in the Lord. Shop owners seek divine intervention: “Blessed Business Centre” sits beside a sign for “Holy Driving School”. Huge billboards promise salvation to those who go to hear a growing band of bigname preachers.

The country is well over two thirds Christian, and a further 16 per cent of Ghanaians practising Muslims. Catholics account for 15 per cent of the population of this former British colony, which is proud of its democracy, stability, and religious tolerance - and was singled out for Barack Obama’s first visit to Africa after he was first elected US president. And Ghana’s religious fervour left its mark on the young Peter Turkson. In 1961 he left Nsuta-Wassaw to study in various seminaries across the region; firstly in Saltpond, near Cape Coast, and then in 1973 moving to New York. Whilst in the US, he found a night job as a cleaner at a bank – where at one point he was almost arrested. Dr Joseph Marrota, an orthopaedic surgeon, recalled that a passerby had spotted the young man roaming through the closed bank and called the police. “It was 8 or 9 o’clock and they wanted to know what he was doing there,” Dr Marrota told the New York Daily News. “He told them the truth, that he was cleaning the bank. They were going to arrest him and he had to call the cleaning service. He almost got taken away.” On his return to Ghana, two years later, he was ordained at the cathedral in the town of Cape Coast – the country’s first capital, and the most important religious hub for Catholics. By 1992, he was Archbishop. “Without a doubt, he would make an excellent pope,” said Father Matthew Edusei, rector of the seminary in Cape Coast where the cardinal first studied, then taught. “He is respected on all sides for his objectivity and listening to everyone. And, of course, it would be wonderful for Ghana.” What would Cardinal Turkson bring

to the role? “One of the most important things is to have a vision of how you see the world,” said Father Edusei. “His strength is that he is fascinated by the basic questions of life, and has a way of putting it across and making it accessible. “He also has a huge range of experiences. And as an African priest, he sees the long list of material wants that people have, and realises that merely satisfying these is not the solution. “Provided there is enough for basic human dignity, he sees that getting all we want in life will not solve problems. He sees that there is a need for something beyond the material.” Sister Margaret-Rose runs the Archbishop’s house – where the Cardinal resided during his tenure, from 1992 to 2009. “He was such a kind man,” she said, beaming with pride. “Everyone loved him. He surrounded this house with trees because he loved nature. He was very humble and friendly.” Had she ever had the chance to go to Rome and visit him since he left? “I would love to,” she said with a huge smile. “Please, pray for me!” Back in Nsuta-Wassaw, the several thousand inhabitants are all praying for “their” man to be chosen as the new pope. “It would make us all so, so happy,” said Mr Pawosey, his childhood friend. Would he have another party, like the one he threw when Peter Turkson was made a cardinal? “Really, Madame, for sure!” said Mr Pawosey. “Try and stop me. This would be a wonderful thing for us. For us, for Ghana and for the world.” •Culled from The Daily Telegraph


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Passion

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Connecting

Vanessa with

Vanessaonsunday@yahoo.com

Practical ways you can say ‘I love you’ to your partner

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re you still basking in the euphoria of the Valentine’s Day? Do you still relish the sweet memories of those magical moments when the love of your life declared his/her undying love for you? Its wonderful being in love, isn’t it? Loving someone and being loved back in return is one of the greatest cravings everyone yearns for. So, if you are among the few people in life who have found true love, I enjoin you to do all you can to ensure that the oil of love in that relationship does not dry up. Just like the engine of a car cannot funcModels tion to its maximum capacity without constantly changing and topping up the oil; the same is applicable to the bonds that hold your relationship. You have to constantly find ways to top up the love tank of your relationship or else it stands the chance of getting knocked up and you wouldn’t want that right? Let me ask you something: How often do you actually say “I love you” to your partner? Is there any need to say “I love you” if it is not backed up with action? Although professing undying love to your partner is very important, unfortunately it is not just enough. “I love you” must not be “said” with words alone; but must be backed up with action if you want that love to survive the test of time. While this phrase is a powerful conveyor of emotion, showing your love in other ways is just as significant, and possibly even more effective, at keeping a relationship alive and healthy. Your love must be backed up with action before it can hold water or weather the storms of life. There are practical ways you can show how much you love someone without uttering those three little words. First of all, your profession of love must measure up in your commitment to that person. Commitment is the foundation in which any relationship survives. There is no need to say “I love you’’ when you do not even make that person or the things that concern him/her a priority in your life. Make him/ her the number one person in your life by demonstrating it through active support. Being thoughtful and taking the initiative to bring happiness to your partner is another simple and practical way to say “I love you.” It’s the small things you do for your partner that really counts and not necessarily when you buy the whole world and put it on a platter of gold. Take for instance, a woman whose husband is extremely rich and provides for her material needs yet he’s uncaring and inconsiderate will live an unhappy life or seek that happiness in the arms of another man. Happiness in a relationship does not only consist in the abundance of what you possess but in the demonstration of love and care from both parties involved. Another way of professing your love practically is to always show your approval, gratitude and admiration for your partner on a daily basis. We all want to be shown approval for the things we do, whether it’s the way we provide for our family financially, the way we raise our children, the way we take care of the house, the way we do our jobs, the way we look, or our other personal accomplishments. Don’t be stingy with compliments! Show appreciation anytime your hubby or wife does anything for you, no matter how small. Compliment her looks and make her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. While the woman responds with loving words loaded with

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respect for the man. Words are very powerful! What we say goes a long way to actually depict how we truly feel in our heart. You cannot say ‘I love you’’ in one breath and the next thing you are using hurtful and abusive words on your partner. Is that true love? Being constantly critical and only focusing on your partner’s negative attributes doesn’t say “I love you” very well. In fact, it’s demeaning and will drive him/her away from your life. Please recognize the damage your criticisms may be causing in your relationship. They are the little foxes that mess up a loving relationship; especially those that are petty and insignificant. Rather, choose your battles wisely and lovingly lay out any complaints you might have at the most appropriate time. Always respond to favours done to you by your partner with words of gratitude like “Thank you”, “I appreciate what you did” and “I admire you.” Such words can go a long way to straighten any ruffled feathers and give back the assurance that such a person is loved. Finally, endeavour to be your partners’ best friend, always willing to lend a listening ear and being there when they need you most. When you begin to say “ I love you’’ with action rather than with words, you will surely elicit a positive response from your partner that will reinforce the love both of you have for each other more than words can ever say!

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FRESH BUSINESS NEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Sunday February 24, 2013

L-R: Deputy Country Senior Partner, PWC, Uyi Akpata, Accountant General, Lagos State, David Sunmoni, Managing Consultant, Brandsmith Consulting, Akin Ambode and Global Public Finance/Accounting Partner, PWC, Patrice Schumesch at the conference on Global Accounting and Financial Reporting by Governments held in Brussels, Belgium recently.

CSOs fault FG on disbursement of N17bn flood recovery fund TOLA AKINMUTIMI

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ctionAid Nigeria, a non-government and non-profit organisation, and other civil society organisations in the country have criticised the Federal Government’s management of last year’s flooding crisis, which caused unquantifiable damage to lives and property in the country. They particularly frowned at the approach adopted in the disbursement of the N17 billion flood recovery fund. The groups called on various tiers of government to develop appropriate measures that would help them to respond proactively to any likely man-made or natural disaster occurrences this year based on the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s (NIMET’s) Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) 2013. Leading a group of other CSOs chieftains at a one-day Media Interaction on ‘Revisiting States Accountability on Emergency Response and Disaster Risk Reduction’ in Abuja at the weekend, was the ActionAid Nigeria’s Human Security in Conflict and Emergencies Manager, Gbenro Olajuyigbe. He noted that investigations on the strategies used in the disbursement of the N17 billion were not such that would benefit the victims of the flooding. Olajuyigbe believed that substantial part of the funds was devoted to provisions of commodity items, which in real terms will not really lift the victims from their traumatised state and reposition them socially and economically. “The question is, should our Emergence Response programmes in

the face of crisis be taken as charity as the last intervention by the governments during the 2012 flooding crisis clearly indicated or be seen by the various governments as a constitutional responsibility requiring proper planning and implementation on a sustainable basis? “What we have seen so far in Nigeria is that we have a suicidal adaptive capacity as a people. Rather that providing long term solutions to our problems, we develop adaptive measures. And our governments have continued to take advantage of the people’s docility in terms of human rights agitation for our constitutional rights for granted and by so doing, squandering our national resources on selfish agenda”, he stated. Others CSOs, who contributed opinions included, National Coordinator, United Action for Democracy (UAD), Jaye Gaskia and Coordinator, Society for Community Development, Abdul Atsegbua. In his comments, the National Coordinator of UAD said the disbursement of the N17 billion was done without carrying out a thorough assessment of the impact of the floods. According to him, those gathered were from aerial view, which included putting in place necessary mechanisms to guarantee against stealing of the fund. “The money was released without carrying out a thorough assessment of the impact of the flooding on the people but purely on the basis of what was captured from the aerial views of the disaster. There was no serious study carried out by experts at the villages where the real victims are based to determine what they actually need. Sharing of rice and other commodi-

ties may not necessarily be what is important to reposition the victims into their pre-flooding state. “What this approach implies is that public servants will steal part of the money because there is no accountability in the entire process. We need to start putting value into human lives in this country. For instance, the Senate just told us that 80 per cent of the N400 billion allocated to the Ecological Fund over the past 10 years were used to procure items that only benefit the officials managing the fund. The question is, who benefits from this? The contractors, traders, politicians and those who have the political linkages are the beneficiaries. I think the challenge for our governments in managing specially dedicated funds like the National Flood Disaster Fund and the Ecological Fund is entrenching transparency and accountability in the disbursement processes,” Gaskia said Atsegbua also agreed that the disbursement of the fund fell short of all accountability, monitoring and evaluation criteria since “only government alone is doing the disbursements without carrying along all relevant stakeholders, especially the civil society groups which can offer some support in areas of enlightenment and advocacy.” On the 2013 SRP by the NIMET and the level of governments’ preparedness to avert what was witnessed in the 2012 flooding crisis, the ActionAid report said that the disaster risk reduction plans at Federal and States’ levels remained totally inadequate to cope with the likely negative climatic and environmental challenges

that may be created if the predictions come true. According to the organisation’s selfsponsored nationwide, Hazard/Disaster Mapping exercise, there were no indications that any of the states is prioritising the five priority areas of the Hyogo Framework for Action adopted in 2005. Olajuyigbe, who gave participants insight to the report findings, said visits to many states across the country, particularly Delta, Kogi and Jigawa states, showed that although the state governments were showing some concern over the NIMET predictions but that largely there was little on ground to demonstrate that they will be able to build strong institutional base and create the professional manpower that can help in mitigating the impact of flooding disaster if it re-occurs. He explained that unless all stakeholders, including the media, work together to put pressure on government at all levels to accept the attainment of the five priority areas of the 2005 adopted Hyogo Framework for Action as barest minimum in our development agenda, “the hope of reducing disaster risks and catalysing development will be a mirage.” While recalling the various intervention initiatives of ActionAid since 2004 and its findings, which have always been made available to governments at federal, state and local government levels, the Human Security in Conflict and Emergencies expert re-affirm the need for the governments to implement the 10-point recommendations in the organisation’s 2012 Policy Brief in order to avert what was experienced in 2012. These include, the need by all governments to train officers at their response agencies by equipping them with skills, knowledge and technical competence for emergency-related response, developing systems and structures to ensure response to emergencies observe the concept of speed, quality and scale that assure human security and; incorporation of Disaster Risk Reduction component in their development agenda and allocating appropriate budgets for the activities. Others are, enhancing community capacity to carry out analysis of their vulnerability an coping mechanisms, setting up of State Response Desk and Relief Centres in high prone zones; de-politicising appointment into life-saving agencies; reviewing Emerging Dynamics and Conduct appropriate research into existing bodies of water and dams; training of communities on Conflict/Disaster Risk Reduction; and carrying out Disaster Mapping, Impact Assessment, review of and strengthening of coping mechanisms. In his contribution, the Programme Assistant, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), James Atusue, said there was also the need for the completion of the National Contingency Plan as well as replicating it at the state levels. He advised that “when these plans are developed, the governments must also have the political will of activating such plans as Nigerian governments are always better in responding to disasters rather than their prevention. This is because, according to him, there are people who benefit from such lopsided approach in disaster management.”


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Ex-CBN chief urges FG to provide effective guidelines for SWF

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r. Titus Okunronmu, a former Director in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday urged the Federal Government to provide effective guidelines for the take-off of the Sovereign Wealth Fund. Okunronmu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that there was the need for sharing formula guidelines to ensure transparency.

According to him, states will not need the same amount of money at the same time, so the Federal Government needed to devise a way of meeting each state’s demand at different times. NAN recalls that Mr Uche Orji, Chief Executive Officer of the fund, on Feb. 21 after the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja, said it would begin full operations in March.

``If the government saves the money for the rainy day, when do they share it and who gets what? ``Will it get to the states when they need it or when the Federal Government decides to share it?’’ he asked. He said a critical issue of concern was who would control the sovereign fund because the money belonged to the federal, states and local

governments. Okunronmu said that saving money for the rainy day was not a problem but what it would be used for, adding that experience in the past showed that such funds were not judiciously utilised. He urged the Federal Government to implement a sharing formula that would impact positively on the people’s standard of living when the fund became operational.

Sokoto govt spends N3bn on MDG projects T

he Sokoto State Government said yesterday it spent N3 billion to execute various Millennium Development Goals projects in its 23 local governments within three years . The state Commissioner for Local Governments, Alhaji Faruk Malami, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto

that the projects were on health, water supply, women and youths empowerment . According to Malami, several hospitals and primary health centres have been rehabilitated and constructed, while others were equipped. “Several other health facilities were also up-

graded to the status of general hospitals and others were expanded. “Assorted drugs and hospital equipment were also provided to several health facilities. Pregnant women and children under five years are also being provided with free drugs across the 23 local governments of the state.”

Malami further said the measure was aimed at drastically reducing maternal and infant mortality across the state. “The state government is committed to ensuring the attainment of the MDGs goals by the year 2015 in line with the efforts of the countries in the comity of nations.”

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Bauchi govt to establish new markets

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he Bauchi State Ministry for Environment said on Friday in Bauchi that it planned to establish three new markets within the metropolis.

A Director in the Ministry, Alhaji Umar Abulkadir, stated told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the measure was being taken to reduce congestion in market places. Abdulkadir said that the proposal, which was submitted few months ago, still awaited the approval of Gov. Isa Yuguda.

He said that the ministry intended to establish the facilities for trade in various commodities to make the environment conducive to members of the public. ``Three new markets were proposed and we are waiting for the approval so that the traffic and other congestion will be reduced in market areas. ``After the markets are set up, we intend to make each of them for certain commodities and all the petty traders will also have their stalls to de-congest other markets.’’

NGO enrols 200 female school drop-outs in Taraba

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Taraba-based Non Governmental Organisation (NG0), Youth Progressive Association (YPA), has facilitated the enrolment of 200 female school drop-outs in schools across the state. The Chief Executive officer of the Association, Mr. Boniface Koson, made the fact known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo. “Our investigation has

revealed that boys occupy 70 per cent of primary and secondary school enrolment in Taraba while the girls stood at 30 per cent. “It is in the light of this inequality that we deemed it fit to sponsor as many girls as possible to strike a balance,” Koson said. He said the NGO had already paid the school fees of the girls and would continue to provide learning materials for them.


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Politics

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APGA: The unending crisis

Babangida Aliyu and 2015 presidency

zone into the alliance, and he has allegedly vowed to deliver the good. But in Anambra State, Obi and his supporters flayed Okorocha’s romance with the APC, saying that the Imo State governor “is bed mating with strange fellows against the interest of the founding fathers of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Obi, who is spearheading a faction of APGA backed by the supporters of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu. Obi has maintained that APGA is determined to retain the identity and core values bequeathed to it by its founding fathers and would not join any merger arrangement. Obi in a statement shortly after the national caucus of the party approved the appointment of Mr. Maxi Okwu and Alhaji Sanni Shinkafi, to serve as acting National Chairman and Acting National Secretary of the party respectively, said: “APGA as a party is not in merger with any political party but individual party members can go for that, as a personal arrangement. There are no two versions of APGA, we are only one indivisible party and that one indivisible APGA is not involved in any merger talks with any political party. The merger condition is that you have to surrender your identity and logo but we are not surrendering our logo, we are not surrendering our identity. Individuals can do so on their own.” The caucus meeting, it was gathered, was summoned to holistically review the High Court of Enugu State judg-

have been talking about. “I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianised. I saw another one who has been talking like there would be war tomorrow. That statement should be taken on its own value. “All of us who are involved in elections – political parties, contestants and voters themselves – we must all be careful so that there would be a semblance of good in whatever we do. But, again, like I said, certain people are so much in that position, they should be careful with certain vocabularies they use. So, both ways let’s take it on our own strides and ensure that future elections are seemed to be transparent and are seemed to be good.” Aliyu’s outburst makes him the second governor being viewed as eyeing the presidency after his Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido, who is said to have been

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

ment, which ousted its embattled National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh; the merger and other incidental issues. Reacting to a statement allegedly credited to the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, that the real APGA was in support of the merger, Obi said the comments may have arisen out of sentiments of the environment. “I and Okorocha remain close as brothers and members of APGA. The governor of Imo State has sympathy for the opposition merger arrangement of the APC and he believes that it would serve best the interest of the party. I believe that APGA is an independent party and will remain so. And if I may quote our late hero, he says: ‘It is better to be a majority in a minority than to be a minority in majority, because nobody will hear your voice’. “We want our voice to be heard in this enterprise called Nigeria and we believe that APGA gives us that opportunity and we in APGA hold that reality so dearly to our heart,” he said. But Okorocha has maintained that whereas there are problems in his party, the party was committed to the merger. “Let me say that APGA is in the merger talks. We have our little challenges and we are just trying to sort out about who are the APGA-APGA and who are the APGA-PDP. But I can tell you that the APGA-APGA (the real APGA) is already in the merger talks.” While reaffirming his belief in APC, Okorocha said that the party would defeat the ruling PDP from the control of the central government in 2015.

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Amaechi

nominated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The former President, it was gathered had also tipped Governor Rotimi Amaechi as Lamido’s running mate. It will however be recalled that last month, Aliyu said that he had not declared for the 2015 presidency and also dismissed the purported commencement of his presidential campaign as untrue. He made the clarification in Minna when he received the Ethiopian Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr Ali Abdul Sulaiman, and the new Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Musibau Akanbi. He disclosed that the PDP at the national level had barred aspirants from all campaigns for the 2015 general elections till 2014, adding that he was complying with the directive as a loyal party member and law abiding citizen. He explained that it was the National Youth Leader of the party, Alhaji Garba Umaru, who incidentally was from Niger, who led a delegation to Plateau to thank the PDP members in that state for voting for him during the national convention of the party. “This has now been misconstrued as a presidential campaign flag off by me,’’ the governor said. At that time, Aliyu, said his clarification of the situation was not an indication that he was afraid to contest for the presidency when the time comes. “If it is God’s will that I would come out, believe me I am not afraid I will come out because what will be will be but I am not out yet.’’

PDP and the many challenges of Bamanga Tukur

Olagunsoye

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 soared relationship with the governors was when they again failed to honour the chairman at his 77 birthday anniversary. Only three governors namely, Theodore Orji of Abia, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi and the late Yakowa of Kaduna State that honoured him with their presence at the book launch of his biography, the ‘Global Villager’. The governors, it was noted, were all in Abuja as many of them turned up at the Presidential banquet that night and even Tukur himself expressed surprise. The frosty relationship had only intensified recently when the governors decided to challenge the powers of the national chairman over the suzerainty of the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, as regard the running of the party in the state. The governors wanted to sound a warning that they would not compromise any attempt by the party leadership to interfere in the control of affairs in their states. Naturally, they took sides with their colleague in Adamawa and had even visited the National Headquarters to register their displeasure about the situation in Adamawa. They also followed up with several meetings at the Villa with President Jonathan, warning on the consequences of not allowing the party at the states to be under the care of the governors. It would be recalled that the genesis of the frosty re-

lationship among the governors and Tukur predated the present NWC. Before the National Convention, the northern governors had met and chosen former acting National Secretary, Dr. Babayo Shehu, as their candidate but President Jonathan had preferred Tukur and had insisted on him. The governors agreed with the President but have sworn not to have anything to do with the chairman. The role of the governors in the party politics is massive and they have no intention to lease such powers hence they hold tenaciously to it. Tukur has in recently been making frantic efforts to appease the governor through proposed visits to some of the governors, including Governor Amaechi. Faceoff with Nyako over Adamawa PDP: the crisis, decisions On the surface, the crisis in Adamawa PDP is linked to the fact that Mijinyawa Kaugama-led state executive of the PDP was forced on the party members illegally, but beneath the scenario was the raging personality clash between the governor and Tukur, firstly, on who controls the party; secondly on who succeeds the governor in the 2016 governorship election, and thirdly, who controls the state ahead of the 2015 presidential election. The crisis rocking the Adamawa chapter reached its elastic limit when the party’s headquarters dissolved the state chapter. The National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said a Caretaker Committee had been set up to manage the affairs of the party in the state, pending further directives. He cited Article 31, Section 2(e) and 29, 2 (b) of the 2012 amended constitution of the party, adding that the dissolution took place after repeated breaches of the constitution by the Adamawa State Chapter. The party leadership said the action by the state leadership was “contrary to the provisions of section 50(1) of the Constitution of the party, which among others, states emphatically that the NEC which the NWC acts on behalf of in this respect, is the final authority for the formulation of guidelines and regulations for

the nomination of candidates for election into public offices at all levels and conveying same to INEC or any other authority to whom it may concern.” Rising from a meeting presided over by the Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, the 10-man NWC, in what could aptly be described as a palace coup, rescinded its decision on the caretaker committee and further screwed it in that the congresses it had conducted were null, void and of no effect. It said the ward and local government levels’ congresses in the state were never authorised. Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, said they rescinded the dissolution of the Adamawa State executive, as it was never the decision of the party in the first place to conduct the congresses. Jaja, however, said the NWC at its 315th meeting on December 12, 2012, had agreed to reverse the dissolution of the Adamawa State executive that was dissolved on October 17, 2012. He said but for the helicopter crash that led to the death of Kaduna State Governor, Yakowa, and others, it would have been announced. Said Jaja: “The NWC in its 315th meeting of Wednesday, December 12, 2012, had rescinded the dissolution of the PDP, Adamawa State executive. The NWC had earlier dissolved the Adamawa State executive under Article 29(2)(b) wherein we acted on behalf of Article 31(2) (e) powers of the NEC. But it is instructive to note that the ward and local government executives of Adamawa State were never dissolved.” But Tukur in his reaction said that he felt betrayed by the actions of some members of the NWC as he had opted to stay away in all matters that affected Adamawa State. “This is just a case of betrayal of trust. The documentations and correspondence in this matter will justify that the congresses in the state were approved by the NWC”, Tukur stated. Ever since then, the NWC has never remained the same again. Only last Thursday, Tukur restated his disappointment on the NWC and, as it stands, no one knows where the ill wind will blow.


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Sunday February 24, 2013

Court orders Kano govt to pay N20m damages for negligence

Kano State High Court has ordered the state government to pay N20 million as damages to the families of one Maijidda Aminu, now late. Maijidda reportedly died as a result of alleged negligence while on admission at the Abdullahi Wase Hospital, Kano in April 2008. The father of the deceased, Alhaji Ali BabbaDan’agundi, had instituted a legal action against the hospital for alleged negligence by the hospital’s staff handling Aminu’s case.

The family had alleged that when Aminu was brought to the hospital for treatment, the doctor on duty was nowhere to be found. The family stated further that the doctor was alleged to be in his private clinic on the day in question. However, before he could be called to attend to the patient, he had died. Delivering judgment on Friday, the Judge, Justice Aisha Mahmud, awarded the sum as damages to the families of Aminu.

She said in view of the evidence before her, she was satisfied that there was negligence on the part of the doctor on duty. The judge also ordered the hospital’s management to give the father of the deceased a copy of the report of the findings of the committee set up by the hospital’s management to investigate the case. During the case, two witnesses testified for the plaintiff while seven witnesses testified for the defendants.

NORTH CENTRAL

Emir urges religious leaders to preach peace E

mir of IIorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu-Gambari, at the weekend, urged religious leaders in the country to intensify efforts in preaching peaceful co-existence to ensure unity of the country. Gambari made the call in his palace in IIorin during the installation of an Iiorin-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Suleiman Dan Borno, as the grand Mukadam of Ulama of IIorin. He said that nothing

Provost seeks upward review of college capacity

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he Provost of Federal College of Education (FCE), Zaria, Dr Muktari Maccido, has appealed to National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to review upward the college’s carrying capacity. Maccido made the appeal at the weekend at the 2012/2013 matriculation ceremony of new students of the institution at the college premises. He said the call became

necessary in view of the fact that the college had recorded significant improvement in its staffing and facilities. He noted that the college had all it took to cater to sound teaching and learning of more students for the good of the nation’s education sector. The provost urged the new students to respect the college’s rules and regulations and shun all

forms of social vices. He also called on the students to imbibe the culture of discipline, especially as it related to examination ethics, dress code and attendance to enable them to succeed. The provost said about 46,127 candidates applied for admission into the college for the 2012/2013 academic session through JAMB and UTME but only 4,499 were admitted due to carrying capacity constraint.

could be compared with peaceful co-existence, adding that religious leaders should complement government’s effort to sustaining an indivisible nation. He urged them to always preach in line with the dictate of God. “When our religious leaders preach more peace, there is every tendency that the nation will overcome all its problems,’’ the emir said. He described Borno as

a diligent and trustworthy man, who had contributed immensely to the growth of Islam in Iiorin. Zulu-Gambari advised him to justify the confidence repose in him by further promoting Islam. After his installation, Borno pledged to continue contributing his quota to the propagation of Islam in Ilorin. The ceremony attracted many eminent IIorin indigenes from across the country.

Akwanga district head calls for security beef up T

L-R: Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Ishaku Makama; Chief of Staff, Alhaji Yahaya Aminu and Governor Mukhtar Yero, at the launch of distribution of relief materials to flood victims in Kaduna on Thursday. PHOTO: NAN

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

he District Head of Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Chief Anthony Yamusa, has appealed to the state government to beef up security to avoid a breakdown of law and order in the area. The district head made the appeal at weekend during the security meeting in Akwanga. Yamusa urged Akwanga residents to be mindful of

those they received as visitors, taking into cognisance the recent communal crises bedeviling some parts of the state. He called on security agencies to ensure that people caught violating the laws were punished no matter their standing in the society to serve as deterrent to others. Yamusa said it was necessary to beef up security in the area because of the

influx of people. “Different types of people are coming to Akwanga, so we would collaborate with other stakeholders and the security agencies to monitor situations so as to take precautions. “Akwanga is a very peaceful place so we cannot allow people from other places to come and introduce a culture of violence that is strange to us,” he said.

Speaker urges lab scientists to adhere to ethics

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peaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Musa Ahmed, has urged laboratory scientists to adhere strictly to their professional code of ethics. The speaker made the call in a speech at the sixth Annual Public Lecture of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria held in Lafia. Ahmed said the call had become imperative owing to the importance of medical

laboratory in the health sector. He said they should assist in building confidence in the health sector and always ensure correct results of laboratory tests. The speaker assured members of the association of the support of Nasarawa State House of Assembly in all their activities in the state. He said the assembly would not relent in its responsibility in passing resolutions that would have positive impact on

the health sector, stressing that “a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.” Ahmed further called for effective collaboration among health workers in the discharge of their duties. In his remark, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, represented by Abdulkarim Ajibola, urged members of the association to use their knowledge for effective service delivery.

Insecurity: Kaduna trade fair witnesses low turn-out A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he 34th edition of Kaduna International Trade Fair yesterdaywitnessed low turnout of exhibitors due to fear of terrorist attacks. Although tight security arrangement was put in place by the management for thorough stop and

search operations. Our correspondent who monitored the opening ceremony saw empty pavilions as only a few products were put on shelf. Speaking during the opening ceremony, President Goodluck Jonathan revealed that government had commenced the process of reviving industries for employment gen-

eration in the country. Jonathan who spoke on the fair theme “Combating security challenges and the way forward for Nigerian economic transformation” at the opening ceremony said government was working seriously on creating employment as a panacea to tackling the security challenge in the country.

Plateau State Polytechnic students protesting the strike of their lecturers in Jos on Friday.

PHOTO: NAN


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Over 250,000 benefitted from Delta health programme –Commissioner

ore than 250,000 women and children have been treated under the Delta State’s Mother and Child Free Health Care programme, Dr Joseph Otumara, the Commissioner for Health, has said. Otumara disclosed this at weekend when the National Good Governance Tour team inspected ongoing work at the 100-bed mother and child health care centre at the Warri Central Hospital. He said the services included the treatment of complicated cases involving women and children as well as provision of other services. Otumara said the free health care programme was initiated as part of measures to tackle maternal and child-related health issues. He said that the 100-bed centre being built at the

Warri Central Hospital would complement existing facilities and increase the hospital’s capacity to handle women and children cases. Otumara said the centre was sited in Warri because of the high rate of maternal and child health challenges in the area. He also said that the centre, which will cost more than N1 billion to build and equip, would be ready for use by April 2013. The commissioner said the major equipment needed for the take off of the centre had been procured and ready for installation. At Ubeji Primary School in Warri, doctors and other medical workers were seen attending to people who gathered there to receive free medical care. The commissioner told the team that more than 100,000 people had benefited from the services since

the programme was reinvigorated in 2008. He also said that more than 12,000 cases of cataract and many cases of fibroid, amongst other ailments had been treated through the scheme across

the state. Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Mr Chris Oghenechovwen, has said that the Regional Water Scheme project in Warri would be ready by

December. Oghenechovwen told the National Good Governance Tour team that the facility, which has capacity to treat 68,000 cubic litres of water per day, would serve communities in Warri North, Warri South, Ugheli and Sapele. He said the government,

which owes the contractor N2.4 billion of the N9 billion total cost of the project, was committed to completing the project. Mr Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information, commended the government for addressing the needs of the suburban communities.

Why Pope Benedict ‘really’ quit

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ith four days to go before Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the Vatican is being rocked by an explosive report that he decided to quit after learning of a network of influential gay prelates who were being blackmailed by gay outsiders. The revelation stems from Benedict’s ordering a committee of three cardinals to investigate the unauthorised release to journalists of Vatican papers the “Vati-leaks” scandal and to make the findings for his eyes only. Ironically, the two-vol-

ume, red-leather-bound cardinals’ report running nearly 300 pages was itself leaked. Pope Benedict XVI commissioned a probe that unearthed evidence of gay clergy members within the Vatican being blackmailed by gay laity. Italy’s leading newspaper, La Repubblica, reported this week that the report was turned over to Benedict on Dec. 17 and he decided that day to resign. The cardinals questioned dozens of Vatican officials and concluded the Holy See was corrupt-

ed by rival factions. “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the Sixth and Seventh Commandments,” the report said, according to La Repubblica. That’s a reference to “Thou shall not steal” for the alleged pilfering of the Vatican bank and “Thou shall not commit adultery,” which alludes to homosexuality. La Repubblica added that members of one faction were “united by sexual orientation.” “Some prelates are ‘externally influenced’ we

would say blackmailed by laity who are linked by bonds of a ‘worldly nature,’ ” the paper said. A similar report appeared in Italy’s news weekly Panorama, which named a Roman sauna where gay encounters allegedly took place. Other Italian news media reported that Benedict was shocked by the findings. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi had indicated the pope may meet with the cardinals who compiled the document before he steps down next Thursday.


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Tinubu, Fashola to grace magazine launch

ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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ational leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Lagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Raji Fasola (SAN) top the list of dignitaries that are expected to grace the launching of a new publication, Mentor Magazine today in Lagos. According to the pub-

lisher of the magazine, Olujimi Soetan, the event billed for 10 Degrees Centre, Lagos has former Justice Minister, Prince Bola Ajibola as guest speaker. “Several governors and lawmakers in the country have also confirmed their attendance. They will be joined by people in the private sector, ” Shoetan said. According to the publisher, the magazine is a proposed

rare blend of contemporary and classic issues that will fill the void on the desks and shelves of intellectual minds. “Our publication will feature stories of notable achievement of individual mentors, pathfinders, role models and change agents in our society. It is indeed beyond projecting a positive trend of influence through their inspiring lives and effort,” he further said.

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SOUTH EAST

C21 was right on APC –CIREN OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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n lgbo rights awareness group, Congress for lgbo Renaissance (CIREN), has described as path breaking, strategic and visionary, the pioneering role played by the Committee 21 (C21) in shepherding the true and authentic All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA/APGA), as opposed to APGA/Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into the Nigerian political rescue project, the All Progressive Congress (APC).

In a statement signed by CIREN coordinator of the group, Citizen J.C Ugwu, the group said that the courage in action shown by the C21 and its leadership in rising to the challenge of embracing a national rescue agenda as represented by the APC, is a vintage never say die spirit of the lgbo man that must be preserved, nurtured and projected anywhere and everywhere. Ugwu said: “We are once more liberated in our spirits and energised in flesh, by the hope that the serial political oppres-

sion and economic penury inflicted on us by the current lords and lackeys of leadership in Nigeria, will receive a decisive red card from the superior political armoury of the APC.” CIREN added: “We therefore call on the C21, all true APGA faithful, the entire republican lgbo men and women, and indeed all progressive Nigerians, to completely renounce and reject the servitude by ineptitude, we all have been made victims of, by the remorseless and clueless operators of our inclement democratic voyage since 1999.

Abia PDP leaders intensify efforts to frustrate Kalu’s return to party L

L-R: The Secretary-General, Yoruba Unity Forum, Senator Anthony Adefuye, addressing guests at the media briefing on the Jonathan administration marginalisation of the Yoruba, at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan.

Akinjide tasks Oyo govt on distribution of relief materials KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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inister of State for Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Chief Olajumoke Akinjide, yesterday called on the Oyo State government not to further delay the distribution of relief materials sent by the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Authority

(NEMA) to victims of last Sunday rainstorm disaster in the state in order not to prolong their suffering. The minister who spoke through her media aide, Alhaji Isiaka Kehinde, in a statement issued in Ibadan, the state capital, regretted that the Federal Government’s prompt response was being negated by the refusal of the state government to commence the distribution of the

relief materials with dispatch. It will be recalled that the Federal Government last Wednesday responded swiftly to the unfortunate incident by sending relief materials including 2,000 roofing sheets, 800 bags of cement, 600 bags of rice, 500 packs of roofing nails, 1,000 Zinc nail packs, 1,200 blankets, 2,000 mats, 300 mattresses, and 2,400 - 2x4x12 planks.

Group charges Mimiko to ensure even development in Ondo OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Rights Monitoring Group (RMG), a NonGovernmental Organisation (NGO) has challenged Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State to enhance his performance and spread developments to all nook and cranny of the state as he commences his second term in office. The National Coordinator of RMG, Comrade Olufemi Aduwo tasked the governor in Lagos in an in-

terview with journalists. Aduwo noted that Mimiko’s performance in his first term in office endeared the electorate to him by voting massively in the last gubernatorial election in the state for him and urged the governor not to rest on his oars by ensuring even developments in the state. He said, “On this special day, we recall the remarkable journey you have travelled to become the governor of this State. Through that journey, you

have inspired many young and old people, not only in the State, but also around the country with a strong message of hope and confidence in our democracy that the wishes of the people is the bedrock of enduring democracy. “From your performance you have shown that you a are man of great vision, determination and energy and moral purpose. The qualities that stand you in great stead while facing up to the challenges ahead of you.

eaders and supporters of PDP in Abia in Umuahia at weekend protested against the reported return of former Gov. Orji Kalu to the party. Orji was widely reported to have been readmitted into the party in Igbere ward in Bende Local Government Area, a development that has been denied by the leadership of the party in the state. Disturbed by the report, the leadership of the party in the state at weekend announced the dissolution of the executive of Igbere ward over its alleged complicity in the purported issuance of a new membership card to Kalu. The protesters marched round the precincts of the Government House, Umuahia, bearing placards with different inscriptions denouncing moves to re-ad-

mit Kalu in the party. Some of the inscriptions read: ``Abia grassroots say no to the return of Orji Uzor Kalu to PDP’’; ``PDP Igbere ward A: Orji Uzor Kalu is not our member’’ and ``PDP Igbere ward B: Ochendo is the leader we know,’’ amongst others. The spokesmen for the protesters, Messrs Felix Emelogu (Abia South), Ben Ibezim (Abia Central) and Emma Ukwu-Rocks (Abia North), said that members of the party in the three senatorial districts reached a consensus that Orji should not be re-admitted into the party. They said Kalu’s return would `truncate’ the peace and unity that currently prevailed in the party. They urged the National Secretariat of the party to

respect the wishes of the party faithful in the state. In their address, local government transition committee chairmen, who led the protesters, pledged their `unflinching support’ to the administration of Gov. Theodore Orji. They said that the governor had restored sanity, peace and unity in the party and had also provided infrastructure development and security of lives and property in the state. The state Deputy Governor, Chief Emeka Ananaba, who received the protesters on behalf of the governor, thanked them for their solidarity with the governor. He assured them that their message would be transmitted to the party leadership in the state and the national secretariat.

Infrastructural development: Money is not the problem –Obi

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overnor Peter Obi of Anambra State has charged the Bishops and pastors in charge of various missionary hospitals and institutions to double their efforts towards the completion of the various projects. He also extended this to contractors handling different projects in the State, ranging from roads to water projects. He said this yesterday during the routine visit to some of the hospitals, including St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu; Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi; School

of Medical Laboratory of Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters, Umuoji; Old People’s Home, Nkpor; Girls’ High School, Agulu, among others, where Government is building various structures. He Governor assured them that money is not the problem as his Government, through savings and prudence management of the resources of the State, as well as support from development partners, has enough money for all ongoing projects in the State as well as those that will be started In no distant time.

Obi, who distributed cheques totaling N100m to them, explained that Government’s support for missionary schools and hospitals were informed by the fact that those institutions render quality services to the people of the State at subsidized prices. Besides, he said, Since the Government started executing projects directly through the beneficiaries; the culture of endless variations has stopped. “I am even willing to deepen my collaboration with the Church and all organizations of goodwill.


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Afolabi, Huck discuss possible P. 62 re-match

Omotosho set for P. 62 Vargas challenge

Sport

KEEPING YOU ABREAST OF SPORTING NEWS February 24, 2013

EURO BRIEFS

R ld shrugs Ronaldo h off criticism

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ristiano Ronaldo says that criticism of his lifestyle away from the pitch “hurts” him and has played down reports of dressing room friction. Ronaldo revealed that he can accept what critics may say about his performance for Real Madrid and Portugal, but it is hard to deal with what is said about his life away from the game.

Pastore keen over Beckham’s debut

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aris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore says he is looking forward to playing with David Beckham, who is preparing for his PSG debut. The capital club faces a huge game today when they host Marseille.

Ochoa claims Liverpool interest

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jaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa claims Liverpool are one of a number of clubs to have expressed an interest in his services. Ochoa revealed that the Premier League outfit enquired as to his availability during the January transfer window.

Edinson Cavani (left) in a Serie A action for Napoli against Juventus.

Give me Cavani, Mancini beckons on City

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oberto Mancini has beckoned on the management of Manchester City to enable him secure the services of Edinson Cavani. The embattled City manager said he does not want the club to repeat the same mistake in this summer’s transfer window when the club is likely to go in pursuit of Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao. The Italian manager has never made any secret of his frustration at his club’s failure to secure his top targets in the summer of 2012 after winning the Premier League title. Mancini has tended to list transfer errors as a reason why

City currently trail Manchester United at the top of the table, a position which has led to speculation about his own future. But the 48-year-old remains focused on the job at the Etihad Stadium and wants improved business this summer, when Napoli striker Cavani and Atletico Madrid’s forward Falcao could be chased along with Santos’ Neymar and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. Asked about Cavani, Mancini said ahead of today’s crucial game against Chelsea: “I like him but the entire world wants him. There are big players. “I don’t know what can hap-

Quarter finalists emerge at NNPC/Shell Cup P. 63

pen. Suarez plays for a top team like Liverpool. Cavani plays for Napoli. There’s Falcao but, again, all the managers like him. “Neymar is a good player, he’s young, but I don’t know if he’s ready to play in England, because the football is totally different. “I think he will go to Barcelona or Real Madrid where the football is more technical. But Cavani and Falcao would work in England. “They have experience. Both players are 26, 27. They are good enough to play in England.” New chief executive Ferran

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

Soriano and director of football Txiki Beguiristain will be heavily involved in any transfer business having replaced Brian Marwood in a reshuffle at City. Mancini suffered a breakdown in his relationship with Marwood last summer and has again never hidden this fact. “It’s important to realise we have made some mistakes,” said Mancini. “I have made some mistakes and the players have made some mistakes. But the first reason is because we didn’t do what we should have done in the summer transfer market - we worked really badly in the market.”

Cowbell Football Academy partners foreign consultant P. 63

TEAM

P

GD

PTS

1. Man Utd

27

33

68

2. Man City

26

24

53

3. Chelsea

26

27

49

4. Tottenham

26

14

48

5. Arsenal

27

22

47

6. Everton

27

7

42

7. West Brom

27

2

40

8. Liverpool

27

15

39

9. Swansea

27

4

37

10. Stoke

27

-6

33

11. Fulham

27

-5

32

12. Norwich

27

-14

32

13. West Ham

26

-9

30

14. Sunderland

27

-7

29

15. Southampton

26

-9

27

16. Newcastle

26

-12

27

17. Wigan

27

-18

24

18. Aston Villa

27

-26

24

19. Reading

27

-18

23

20. QPR

27

-24

17

Home-based Eagles invitation should be on merit –Oruruo


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Sunday February 24, 2013

Pistorius’ conscience 08055829770 ifeduz24@yahoo.com will judge him, says Afolabi, Huck discuss possible re-match Steenkamp’s father T

Knockout W

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BO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (34-2-1,25Kos) and interim cruiserweight belt holder Ola Afolabi (19-2-4,9Kos) are to discuss the purse for their third fight which is expected to hold on March 2, in Germany.

with

The two powerful cruiserweight boxers have met twice in the past, with Huck recording a victory over the Nigerian in their first meeting while their second fight on May 5, 2012, ended in a draw. According to WBO regulations, the minimum bid for

IFEANYI Eduzor

the fight is $300,000. The WBO also stated that in a purse bid involving a contest between a WBO Champion and a WBO Interim Champion, “the purse division will not be greater than 80/20 and shall be calculated by the Championship Committee,

using a ratio based upon the average purse of each fighter’s last three fights. The purse discussion which will be presided over by the WBO President, Francisco Valcarcel, is expected to state how much each of the boxers will be paid at the end of the fight.

Omotosho set for Vargas challenge U Ola Afolabi(left) and Marco Huck, exchanging blows when they met last year for the second time. The fight ended in a draw.

Guerrero: I’ll end Mayweather’s reign F our-division and six-time world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-11, 18 KOs) has revealed that he is going to end the reign of pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26 KOs), when they meet on May 4, 2013. Speaking shortly after both

parties signed the contract for the fight, Guerrero noted that he is going to humble Mayweather whom everybody thinks is unbeaten, when they step into the ring. “Floyd Mayweather is a great fighter, but on May 4th, I’m going to end his reign as poundfor-pound king,” he said.

nited States of America Nigerian-based welterweight boxer, Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotosho (23-0-19 Kos) says he is ready to face fellow undefeated boxer, Jessie Vargas (21-0-9 Kos) to announce his readiness to go for a shot at the world title. The 27-year-old boxer, who relocated to the United States from Australia in 2011 after signing with Top Rank Promotions, will face his opponent on March 16, on the undercard of Timothy Bradley/ Ruslan Provodnikov fight. Speaking on the fight, Omotosho stated that he was fully prepared to face the 23-year-old Vargas whom he acknowledged to be a good boxer.

he father of Oscar Pistorius girlfriend, Barry Steenkamp says that the Paralympics’ champion will have to live with his conscience over the killing of his daughter, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius, 26, admits shooting Ms. Steenkamp, 29, but denies murder, saying he mistook her for an intruder. Speaking yesterday after the Paralympics cham-

Victory Group of Schools holds inter-house sports

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Omotosho

“I know that Vargas is a good boxer who has been undefeated in all his 21 bouts, but he is going to meet a better boxer on March 16, when his unbeaten run will be broken,”Omotosho said.

pion was freed on bail pending trial; Barry Steenkamp noted that only Oscar Pistorius and God know what really happened. “It does not matter how much money he has and how good his legal team is, he will have to live with his conscience. If it didn’t happen the way he says it did, he must suffer and he will suffer, but if he speaks the truth, I can forgive him,” he said.

he First Annual Unified Inter – House Sports competition of Victory Group of Schools will begin on March 1, at the school’s play ground. The Victory Group of Schools includes Victory High School, Victory Grammar School and two Victory Home Schools, in Ojota, as well as Victory Home School Ode-Omu in Osun State. According to the school’s Sports Direc-

tor, Somade Vincent, all the Victory schools, except the one in Ode-Omu will be having their Inter –House Sports competition together same day . Also speaking, Managing Proprietor of the schools, Chief C.F.Olaniyan said the event will kick off on February 26 with a media briefing at the school compound, Bank Anthony Street, Ikeja by 11.00am.


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Sunday February 24, 2013

Quarter finalists emerge at NNPC/ Shell Cup ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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ollowing the recent conclusion of the zonal preliminary matches of the 2013 edition of the NNPC/Shell Cup in nine cities across the country, ten schools have booked their tickets to play in the quarter-finals stage. According to the organisers of the competition, from the Osogbo centre, Government College, Ibadan emerged winners and qualified for the quarter-finals from Zone A ahead of their counterparts from Ondo, Lagos and Ogun states, while Henson Demonstration School, Benin qualified from Zone B in Ado Ekiti, where Kogi, Osun and the defending champions, Kwara Football Academy, Ilorin also participated. Others who qualified for the quarter-finals include, Annunciation School, Ikere, Ekiti from Zone C in Benin, Akunne Oniah Memorial Secondary School, Onitsha, Anambra State from Zone

D in Enugu, Purple Krown College, Enugu, from Zone E in Yenagoa and Government Comprehensive Day Secondary School, Bauchi, from Zone F in Lokoja. Others are Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State from Zone G in Jalingo and Government Secondary School, Wuse, FCT, from Zone H in Keffi. Two schools also qualified from Katsina’s Zone I, because there were 5 teams in the zone. The schools are Government Arabic College, Gwale, Kano State and Sani Dingyadi Secondary School, Sokoto. Meanwhile, in the quarter-final fixtures slated for February 28 to March 3, Oyo State will battle Edo State in Centre One, at Sagamu, Ekiti will confront the winner between Anambra and Enugu in Centre Two, in Port Harcourt, while Sokoto will clash with the winner between FCT and Bauchi in Centre Three, in Minna. The last quarter-final match will be between Kano and Borno in Centre Four, in Kaduna.

Eagles: Home-based players invitation should be on merit –Oruruo DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

A Henson Demonstration School, Benin, Edo State, looking set to confront Government College, Ibadan, Oyo State at the quarter-finals of the 2013 NNPC/Shell Cup at Sagamu.

AYC: Flying Eagles ready to fly, says Pyabara SAYO OGUNDEJI

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fter their 3-1 victory over their Egyptian counterparts in a tune up friendly in preparation for the 2013 Africa Youth Championship (AYC) which kicks off in Algeria on March 17, Flying Eagles and Sharks of Port Harcourt forward, Christian Pyabara, says the team is ready to take on the rest of the participating teams at the tournament. Ibrahim El-Sayed had

Cowbell Football Academy partners foreign consultant ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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owbell Football Academy (CFA) is partnering with Mr. Sunny Izevbigie, an American-based coach and former Super Eagles player as a consultant on overseas career development for the players. Mr. Dudu Orumen, Rector of the CFA disclosed this during a training session of the academy at the

main bowl of the National Stadium in Lagos recently. He said beside the development of the players for football, the academy is also interested in their educational development. Orumen further revealed that Izevbigie got a scholarship to study at the Harvard University in the United States (US) after Nigeria won the All Africa Games in 1973, and some of the players in the academy can still

get such opportunity. Already, one of the CFA players, Tony Amolo has a scholarship to study in an American University. In a separate interview, Izevbigie said there was so much training that could be done for children right from the age of five, adding that because of the exposure of African footballers to European football, Africa has grown so much compared to what it was in the 1970s.

From L-R: Dudu Orumen, Rector Cowbell Football Academy, Chief Keith Richard, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Promasidor Nigeria Limited and Seun Kuti, Afro-beat singer at a training session of Cowbell Football Academy players at the main bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos recently.

put the Egyptians ahead but a goal from Abduljaleel Ajagun and Christian Pyabara’s brace ensured the John Obuh-led boys stretch their unbeaten run as the tournament draws near. Flying Eagles are the defending champions of the tournament and going by the team’s impressive outings in their friendly matches in preparation ahead of the tourney, Pyabara is optimistic Nigeria will retain the title. “Going into an impor-

tant competition like this requires an improved performance like that against Egypt in the friendly which obviously has raised our morale and we hope to build on that in the next few matches. “I am quite excited scoring in the friendly game, but football is a collective game which means we must all work collectively to form a formidable unit capable of emerging champions again in Algeria,” the Sharks striker stated.

Alake tasks government on grassroots sports development ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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he Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Dr. Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo has called for concerted efforts at developing sports at the grassroots level in Nigeria. Oba Gbadebo stated this while speaking on the standard of this year’s Lisabi Soccer Competition among secondary schools in Egbaland, which spread across six local government areas of Ogun State. The Alake said, it is when all hands are on deck by various tiers of government, corporate organisations and philanthropists that sports at the grassroots can be given the attention it deserves, which will on the long-run have positive impact on Nigeria’s overall sports development. The paramount ruler who decried the attitude of focusing on sports development at the state and national levels, said unless emphasis are shifted

back to grassroots sports, Nigeria’s fortune in sports will continue to dwindle. He used the opportunity to congratulate the Federal Government, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Super Eagles players and their handlers led by Coach Stephen Keshi, for the victory the team recorded at the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nation in South Africa. Oba Gbadebo revealed that the annual Lisabi Soccer Competition has discovered several players who have gone to represent the state and Nigeria at various levels and called on coaches at the state and national level to storm the M.K.O Abiola Stadium to watch the semi-final matches.The two matches will be played tomorrow; Football College, OrileImo will battle Okenla Anglican Grammar School, Ifo, at 10am in the first semi-final, while Unity Grammar School will confront International Soccer Academy, Wasimi, in the last semi-final by 12:30pm.

board member of Rangers International of Enugu, Mr. Steve Oruruo, has advised handlers of the Super Eagles to ensure that injection of home-based players in future competitions is based purely on merit. Orurua described the Super Eagles winning of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the third time after 19 years as heart-warming and expressed his delight with Coach Stephen Keshi, and his colleagues for a job well done. He however, insisted that selection of homebased players during future international engagements should be gradual and on merit. He stated that the idea of giving the home-based players opportunity to showcase their skills was a welcome development, but cautioned against doing so at the altar of favoritism. According to him, the coaching crew should also learn how to show appreciation and recognition to our foreign-based players, regretting why a player like Osaze Odemwingie was not selected for the tournament. “For me, Osaze had always been a committed and faithful player when it comes to Nigeria’s international engagements, so, no matter what offence he may have committed, the coach ought to have given him a chance in the team,” Oruruo said.

Home-based Super Eagles striker, Ejike Uzoenyi


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N873 Vol. 3 No. 11

Sunday, February 24, 2013

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N150

bn, amount the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) alleged was missing in solid minerals’ fund.

I N

F I G U R E S

N350

bn, sum President Goodluck Jonathan, said Nigeria needs yearly to meet its water and sanitation targets.

Abuja power play and the rest of us

Back Page

Comment

E-mail: nwaunah@yahoo.com Unah is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lagos

with Jim Unah

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lbert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Unarguably, Nigeria and its people have never had any real respite, any golden era, to look back to with nostalgia since the amalgamation of 1914 and the inauguration of nationhood in 1960. It has always been a rumble in the jumble; a story of slavery for and collusion with imperial masters; of colonial exploitation and struggle to extricate the people from the yoke and trammels of external bondage; a struggle that culminated in the substitution of one form of exploitation and oppression with another – the replacement of colonial invaders with local potentates and political actors who perceive the country and its vast resources as a “project” to execute for private ends or a “cash cow” to milk to nurture the private estates of its masters; rather than opportunity to deploy the vast human and material resources to heed the old testament command to take dominion of our own part of the earth and turn it into a terrestrial paradise for human happiness, as the

Caucasians and the Asians have done in their own side of the sunshine to the glory of God and comfort of mankind. Virtually all political decisions and actions in Nigeria are calculated by the actors to enrich their private interest, rather than promote the collective happiness and wellbeing of the generality of the Nigerian people. The only sector deregulated to serve the general purpose – the telecoms sector – has been so poorly regulated and so poorly supervised that it is a nightmare using a cell phone service in the country. The regulators compromise their integrity and sell out so easily to the service providers who mercilessly exploit and fleece the people that it is absolutely hairsplitting getting telephone calls through. One need not replay the crises and corruption in the power sector, the petroleum sector, the road and rail infrastructure sector, the public pension sector, et cetera, to conclude that the political actors in seeming control – the legislature and the executive and the judicial arm inclusive – are in no position to give purposeful leadership to the Nigerian State. But this can change if we change our thinking. Take the ongoing power play between the National Assembly and the Presidency over budget 2013, for instance. In whose interest is it? Certainly not in the interest of the Nigerian people; and not in the interest of the fledgling economy that begs for genuine surgical operation and attention. A budget process that was hailed by all as a

turning point in the history of the nation’s budgeting, has now turned awry because of a shameful power play between the lawmakers and the executive arm of government over gray areas that have gradually snowballed into irreconcilable differences. When a nation’s state actors get to a cul de sac, a dead end, as they now appear to be, what happens to the rest of us, especially to the business community who need information from the budget to make business projections and calculations? Why would the animosity of the lawmakers against a single individual in government service – DG of SEC – result in the denial of operational funding in the budget for an important agency of state, the Securities and Exchange Commission – SEC; just when the deft moves of SEC is bringing back investor confidence into the capital market? Is the sack of the SEC DG more helpful to the economy than the quick recovery of the capital market? Apart from the SEC DG problem, another so-called gray area of the budget, which the lawmakers say is a do or die matter, is the Constituency Project issue. The legislators say they need funding for constituency projects put in the budget to enable them execute some pet projects for their constituencies which voted them into office; more so now that the executive arm of government has failed to provide service and infrastructure for genuine economic activities to blossom. The people are hungry, angry and frustrated, and

Sunshine denies placing price tag on Oboabona HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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ontrary to media reports that a price tag of one million euros was placed on the Africa Cup of Nations winning defender, Godfrey Oboabona, by the management of his club, Sunshine Stars International Football Club, Akure, the club yesterday denied the report. The Chairman of the Ondo State Football Agency, Chief Segun Adagunodo, who stated this in Akure, said the club only had an offer of one million euro from one of the top flight teams in Ukraine. Adagunodo disclosed that the club is still studying the offer in conjunction with the marketer appointed for the player

and added that the Ukraine offer was one of the various offers from international clubs seeking the player’s services. “It was a misconception on the part of the journalist that spoke with me. What I actually said was that an offer of one million euro came from one of the Eastern European countries, specifically Ukraine, and I told the person that we are still studying it because an offer for Godfrey Oboabona will have to be taken with due consultations with our consultant, Mr. Emman Obichi, who has been appointed to manage him on behalf of Sunshine. “We cannot go behind the consultant and start doing otherwise, that is the true situation,” Adagunodo said.

they need respite from social service provisioning to assuage them; and hopefully prevent the eruption of mass revolt which beckons. Unfortunately, even the much vaunted constituency projects are not defensible, because they are mere surrogate versions of social amenities – mere boreholes and a couple of solar power poles displayed here and there that never genuinely provide the sort of energy required for real production activities. Even the problem of the executive not performing creditably to the benefit of the people can be shown to be the outcome of bribe taking by the lawmakers in the cause of their oversight functions. The Hembe-Oteh matter and so many other allegations of corruption on the part of the lawmakers from agencies of state compounded and complicated the problem of holding public officers truly accountable. If the lawmakers can re-assert themselves, reclaim their lost integrity and transparency in regulating activities in the executive arm of government, the conduct of public affairs would become more and more transparent, and it would be easy to hold executive functionaries accountable for their actions. The way to begin this process, in my view, is not for the lawmakers to embark in unhealthy power play with the Presidency and stall the activities of state; but to re-assert themselves and perform their oversight and regulatory functions as they should in the eye of the law.

Give me Cavani, Mancini P. 61 beckons on City CAF SUPER CUP RESULT Al Ahly 2-1 AC Leopard

PREMIERSHIP RESULTS Fulham 1-0 Stoke City Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa Norwich City 2-1 Everton QPR 0-2 Man United Reading 0-3 Wigan Oboabona

He also revealed that other offers that were not up to one million euros had come from various clubs before the Ukrainian team came up with its offer, and added that they are envisaging more offers from other foreign clubs for the defender.

West Brom 2-1 Sunderland PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES Today’s Matches Man City v Chelsea 13:30 Newcastle v Southampton 13:30 Monday, February 25, 2013 West Ham v Tottenham 20:00

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