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THE

P. 3-6

Child-trafficking:

NEWS

P. 9

Three National Mirror staff clinch NUJ awards

How and why they do it

www.nationalmirroronline.net

Vol. 3 No. 14

Sunday, March 17, 2013

N150

2015: Sambo launches comeback bid

P. 7

Opens campaign office in Kaduna

The Goodluck/Sambo Presidential campaign secretariat in Kaduna, yesterday

Pardon for Alamieyeseigha

Nigeria may lose $660.5m P. 7

...As America threatens to cut aid THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED OVER THE RECENT PARDONS OF CORRUPT OFFICIALS BY THE

NIGERIAN

GOVERNMENT...

WE SEE THIS AS A SETBACK FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION AND ALSO FOR OUR ABILITY TO PLAY THE STRONG ROLE WE’VE PLAYED

IN SUPPORTING RULE OF LAW AND LEGAL INSTITUTION BUILDING IN

NIGERIA, WHICH IS

VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE

COUNTRY, OBVIOUSLY

–STATE DEPARTMENT

L-R: Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, President Goodluck Jonathan, Gov Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State at the fundraising ceremony for Otuoke community of Bayelsa State in Lagos on Saturday.

Reps got it wrong on 2013 budget implementation –Budget office

Tambuwal joins call for amnesty for Boko Haram P. 8

‘Jonathan has no respect for northern leaders’ P. 8

Rumours over revocation of DANA’s AOC

P. 8


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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What’s new Politics

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Seven Days

Can APC survive TALKING POINTS OF THE PAST WEEK registration Non-remittance: Reps query NNPC, ordeal? Argentina’s Bergoglio MARCH 17, 2013

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Oyerinde’s murder: Oshiomhole, Adoke in war of words

Yes, I’m single with a baby out of wedlock, but not searching –Grace Ama Grace Ama is a Nollywood screen diva who’s still making waves in the make-believe world. She left acting for a while to have her son. Now she is back. Ama, who received a degree in Creative Arts from the University of Lagos, tells why some ladies choose to have children out of wedlock and how motherhood feels like as a single parent.

Tempers rose at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa as Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), engaged each other in a war of words. The altercations nearly degenerated into fisticuffs shortly before the com-

mencement of the National Council of State meeting. Oshiomhole and Adoke had engaged each other in hot words over the poor handling of the investigation of the murder of the governor’s Principal Private Secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde, on May 4, 2012 in the heat of the governorship election campaign in Edo State.

APC registration: ACN accuses PDP, INEC of sabotage The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) engaged in war of words over the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a coalition of opposition parties. Specifically, the ACN accused the Independent Na-

tional Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP of working together to frustrate the emergence of the APC ahead of the 2015 elections. The PDP was accused of sponsoring the African People’s Congress (APC) as part of plots to truncate the merger.

the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Sam Nwaobasi. The statement said the removal followed “a careful consideration of Demuren’s unsatisfactory response to the numerous concerns of stakeholders in the aviation sector”. It added that President Jonathan wished him well in his future endeavours.

Fashola reopens Ladipo Market, as traders sign undertaking Lagos State Government has reopened the Ladipo International Auto Spare Parts market with conditions to sustain the environmental viability of the market. Several well-meaning individuals, including Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and

respected Igbo leaders in Lagos had appealed to Governor Babatunde Fashola to reopen the market. The reopening of the market, which came two weeks after its closure, was announced by the Ministry of the Environment after a six-hour meeting at the State Secretariat.

Mima Ikyor CEO , MIMA IKYOR MUSICAL GROUP

MON

Passion

ries included Gen. Oladipo Diya, the Chief of General Staff during the reign of military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha; former Managing Director, Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama; former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, the late Gen. Musa Yar’Adua and the former Minister of Works, the late Maj.-Gen Abdulkareem Adisa. With the development, the family of the late Maj.- Gen. Mamman Vatsa, has called on President Jonathan to grant pardon to their brother and nine others the same manner he granted Diya and other coupists.

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the removal of Dr. Harold Demuren from office as the Director- General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, with effect from March 12. The approval was contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Secretary to

Now that I’m out of white collar job and I’m on my own as the CEO of my musical group, I take my time to wake up on Mondays. In fact, Mondays are mapped out to go for proposals - those I had written for my music. I do this on Monday afternoon through evening.

TUE

Alhaji Abubakar Maman Dan-Musa was Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic. In the first dispensation of that republic, he was Speaker of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN)-controlled Kaduna House of Assembly that impeached the governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa. He speaks about a number of pressing issues, including the insurgency in the North.

It was a torrent of condemnations for President Goodluck Jonathan from Nigerians and stakeholders over his decision to grant state pardon to high profile personalities convicted for corrupt practices and military coups. But the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, clarified that the state pardon given by the Federal Government to some Nigerians was not a unilateral action of President Jonathan but a decision considered and approved by the National Council of State. The list of the beneficia-

recent report by the Auditor-General of the Federation. The legislators rebuked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS and the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, over an alleged non- remittance of N7.9bn, which was supposed to have been generated and remitted by the NCS to the Federation Account in 2007.

Jonathan sacks Demuren as DG NCAA

On Tuesdays, I take my time to write my songs. Right now, I’m actually repackaging my album. I spend much time witting songs that will make meaning to people and to the society.

THU WED

Dan Musa: President’s position on amnesty’ll complicate nation’s bad situation

Knocks for Jonathan over state pardon

tee of the House of Representatives has queried four government agencies over an alleged non-remittance of N680bn to the Federation Account. It also directed the InspectorGeneral of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to arrest and compel the appearance of the senior executives in the oil and gas sector to explain huge discrepancies in the financial records of their

Wednesdays are days for recording. After recording, I try to listen to my songs and see if there are things that should be improved upon. My schedule on Thursdays are same as Wednesdays.

FRI

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appeared on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica just over an hour after white smoke poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel to signal that a new leader had been chosen for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The choice of Bergoglio was announced by French Cardinal, Jean-Louis Tauran, with the Latin words “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam” (“I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope.”

On this fifth working day of the week, I start gathering momentum for my weekend. This is the day I start getting ready to perform the next day - Saturday.

SAT

Interview

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected in a surprise choice to be the new leader of the Catholic Church on Wednesday, and took the name Francis I. Pope Francis I, 76, is the first Latin-American pontiff in the history of the Catholic Church. In his first words after election, the new pontiff said his fellow cardinals “went to the end of the world” to find a new pope. After taking extra time to pray alone, the new pope

CBN, Customs over N680bn -12 The Public Accounts Commit- organizations as contained in a

This is my main day. On Saturdays mostly, I attend shows. I must be invited first and I attend without missing if I would have to perform.

SUN

emerges new pope

I go to church on Sundays. I don’t miss it. It is a necessity. After church service, I might attend one or two shows in the afternoon, till evening. *By Adaeze Amos (0802 301 2293)


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

THE

Big Read SUNDAY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION March 17, 2013

St. Anthony maternity home, Coal Camp, Enugu

Lorry load of children intercepted by the police

Child-trafficking: How and why they do it There is, no doubt, that profits made from human-trafficking are enormous. There have been reports, in many parts of the country, of unusual factories that churn out ‘special human products’ and the abduction of children, who are subsequently trafficked for monetary gains. How are these crimes organised? Who are those behind them and what has been the effort of the relevant agencies charged with halting the trend in recent times? This investigative piece by Head, Special Investigations, Isioma Madike, attempts to unravel these and expose the styles of those perpetrating the act

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hen the news broke in April 2012, that Ihiala, a village along the Onitsha-Owerri expressway in Anambra State, haboured an unusual factory that churns out special human products, many were shocked in disbelief. But, it turned out to be real. The factory, identified as Spormil Hospital and Maternity home, was registered as Iheanyi Ezuma Foundation. The discovery was strange because babies were produced and sold from that home. The massive complex was always a beehive of activities then, and teenage girls as well as flashy cars were said not to be in short supply around that neighbourhood on a daily basis. Yet, it was difficult to see what goes on in the compound from the outside because of its high walls. About that same time, too, the police made a similar raid on another ‘baby factory,’ which was registered as Divine Mercy Motherless Babies’ home, in Ibosi, also in Anambra State. Though, the proprietor allegedly escaped, 20 pregnant teenage mothers and eight babies were rescued and evacuated in the home. Not long after that, soldiers burst another home tucked inside the sleepy Ugwaku community in Okigwe, Imo State. The place was said to be a haven for child-tracking activities and situated along the Enugu/

Port Harcourt expressway. Incidentally, the raids and closures of those dubious maternity homes have not been able to deter others, who venture into this despicable pastime. Instead, as some are being closed, new ones are opening shop in parts of the country. Some of them operate under the guise of rehabilitation centres, orphanages and motherless babies’ homes. But, their owners convert such to avenues for the trafficking of babies. However, Enugu, known for its coal, appears to be the new destination for this group of merchants. One of such spots, according to Sunday Mirror investigation, is St. Anthony’s Maternity Home, located at No. 24 Chukwuani Street in the Coal Camp area of the state. An impeccable source at the Enugu State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, told our reporter that “the home was registered for the admission of social mothers and abandoned babies. But, what we discovered later was not part of the arrangement. The proprietor takes advantage of innocent girls for business rather than going into charity work which she registered the home for. She lures the young mothers to camp and sometimes subject them to unpaid hard labour while pregnant.” According to one of the victims, who preferred ano-

‘BUYERS ARE ALWAYS WAITING FOR BABIES TO BE DELIVERED’

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nymity, “the pregnant girls are kept and fed miserly until they put to bed.” A resident of the Coal Camp, who did not want his name in print also told Sunday Mirror that “the girls are sometimes seen milling around the centre but when they are leaving, after putting to bed, they leave alone. Their babies are sold and they are paid off. Buyers are always on queue waiting for babies to be delivered.” It is alleged that the babies are taken from the young mothers and given away for between N50, 000 and N100, 000 and they are paid pittance. It was gathered that while some pregnant girls found their way there, some hired deviant boys and girls are also invited to engage in sexual orgies to make the girls pregnant while the fruits of such exercises are left with the operators of the home. The young mothers come from various places and most of them are secondary school dropouts. They share a common destiny: they all carry unwanted pregnancy. Some married women, too, who get pregnant by accident and want to dispose of their babies, are welcomed in the home. Meanwhile, the married women would turn around to claim that their babies died shortly after delivery. It was gathered that the proprietor of the maternity home, Mrs Nneka Mortune, who is a lawyer and allegedly parades a police identification card she procured with N25, 000 as part of her antics for cover, has made a fortune from the illicit business. She uses both the proceeds and the police ID card, according to sources, to intimidate the hapless villagers. She is described as an untouchable, who is well connected in high places. It was said that her maternity home was once closed down in 2009, but that her high net worth friends moved in to give her assistance, which enabled her to reopen the home almost immediately. She was supposed to be interrogated for sharp practices and to explain herself the admission of social mothers and placement of abandoned babies without notification to the relevant ministry. But, that was not done. However, when Sunday Mirror called Mrs. Mortune on the phone to request for an interview on the issue, she demanded that our Enugu correspondent be sent to meet CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

‘MOST TRAFFICKED VICTIMS ARE LURED BY FALSE PROMISES’

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The Big Read

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Buyers are always waiting for babies to be delivered’

Teenagers being trafficked

Linus

Martina

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 with her in person. Before that demand, she had admitted being the owner of the maternity home but denied knowledge of sharp practices or sale of babies in the home. She said, “Yes, I am the owner of the maternity home but it was never used for what you are mentioning. In any case, because I don’t know you, you can send your Enugu correspondent to meet me one on one. In such arena, I would be more comfortable to tell my side of the story because I am sensing that someone somewhere is out to rubbish me.” Unfortunately, however, she never made herself available for an interview despite all efforts by our correspondent. Sensing she was only trying to dodge the interview, we forwarded a questionnaire to her to answer and send back online. That did not also work as she never picked her calls thereafter. Despite the proprietor’s denial, a source in the home told our reporter that “the workers are under a kind of siege in the maternity. People here see no evil and speak no evil because powerful individuals are involved.” The director, Center for Moral Mentorship, Chima Maureen, also puts a lie to Mrs Mortune’s denial. She told Sunday Mirror in a telephone interview that Mortune had on several times been indicted on the act of human trafficking of various categories. She said such indictments had led to the closure of the maternity home by the zonal officer of NAPTIP on October 27, 2009. “However, she reopened the maternity in 2012 on her own at the absence of the mother who usually play alibi once they are about to execute their mischievous games. This time, it is in the disguise of ear, nose and throat clinic with the fence of the compound raised up higher, which raises suspicion of their modus operandi. “Another worrying system of their operation is the act of gathering poor widows and mothers from the Catholic Church to a deceitful gathering, thereby taking their photographs for international fraud claiming it is a non-governmental or-

ganisation (NGO) that cares for the poor. Yet, she could neither provide job nor scholarship for the children of the above mentioned,” Maureen, who had written several petitions on the activities of the maternity home to the police, State Security Services, Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) and Parish Council of St. Patrick’s Coal Camp Church, Enugu, added. These revelations rattled the CLO, which is hugely worried and disturbed that such magnitude of crimes are committed by a citizen not protected by laws from being investigated and charged. “It is an indictment on the Police and National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP), and we join all men and women of good conscience to condemn this notorious action of the law enforcement agencies. More so, it is absolutely condemnable and we condemn the attitude of the police that awarded its identity card to a civilian to encourage her to commit crimes,” said Ibuchukwu Ezi, CLO Executive Director. When contacted, the estranged husband of Mortune, Okey Mortune, declined comment, saying that he had already instructed his lawyers to commence divorce suit against the woman. When pressed for comment, Mortune revealed that she had was tired of Nneka’s troubles since 2011. “That was the time she was threatening to annihilate me for telling her the truth. Yes, I instructed my lawyers, Uzoagbara chambers in Enugu here, to petition the commissioner of police, Enugu to safeguard myself. As it is now, I would not want to comment on any issue concerning her,” Mortune said. Child-trafficking in Nigeria and, indeed, the world over is a lucrative trade. This scourge is aptly described by many as “modern slavery”. It is ranked the third most common crime after financial fraud and drug trafficking. About 10 children are sold every day across the country, according to the United Nations statistics while global traffickers earn an estimated $33 billion yearly. In Nigeria, they are hardly ever caught, and even when they are, they eas-

Children intercepted by Police in Benue State

ily buy their way out. It is rampant in the country but prevalent in the eastern part of Nigeria. The practice of delivering pregnant mothers in these homes takes varying forms. In most cases, desperate teenagers with unplanned pregnancies, fearing ostracism by society, get lured to maternities and are forced to turn over their babies. The girls are intimidated so much that many of them can hardly relate their experience freely. Yet, there is the other type, where married women, who had been unable to bear children, arrange to buy illegally from these homes. This was what played out in July 2011, in Surulere, Lagos. A childless Yoruba lady, who was married for five years and facing family discomforts, was lured by her lady friend into buying a baby from a “factory” in Aba, Abia State. The lady went to Aba, met the owners of the baby market and was asked to pay N2 million for a male child. She was also given some medicines, which enabled her to deceive her husband to think she was pregnant. Towards the time of her supposed delivery, she told her husband she was travelling abroad to have the baby. The husband consented only for her to make a U-turn to Aba where a baby boy had been arranged and handed over to her after paying the full amount. Last May, the police raided one of the baby markets, at No. 3 Anyamele Street, off No. 10 Nicholas Road, by Brass Junction, also in Aba. The police command had rescued about 32 teenage expectant mothers from the clinic known as The Cross Foundation, where teenage girls were kept until they were delivered of their babies. The babies were sold and their mothers

discharged after being paid between N25, 000 and N30, 000, according to the sex of the baby. Another, Double Research Clinic and Laboratory at Iheoji Mgboko in Obingwa LGA, also in Abia State, run by one John Onyemachi, a lab scientist, was raided and 41 ladies rescued by the police through the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Soji Alabi, the Public Relations Officer of the Abia State NSCDC said, such raids have been regular in Abia State. “It helped to unearth the child-trafficking network in the South-East. It is something that has been ongoing over the years. Every community in Abia State is known to have one or so of such ‘baby factories’ as they are called. Teenage girls who get pregnant out of wedlock head there to get rid of their babies. Some of these so-called maternity homes even have agents who go about hunting for young girls to exploit,” Alabi said. The police in Onitsha, Anambra State, had also smashed a syndicate that specialises in stealing and selling children and arrested the alleged leader and seven other suspects, including a nurse. The leader of the syndicate, according to a police source, acted as an intermediary between the traffickers and the buyers. The source hinted that the traffickers had an operational base in Okigwe, Imo State, from where the child-stealing gang leader came to Onitsha and its environs to steal children after luring them with gifts. “The woman normally steals these children on Saturdays when they are at home after taking advantage of the absence of their parents to carry out her operation, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The Big Read

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Baby sales not our responsibility –NAPTIP Arinze Orakwue is the Head, Communication and Media, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related matters (NATIP). He tells Isioma Madike in this interview that human trafficking requires multi sectoral response and action and should not be the concern of NAPTIP alone. Looking that the menace of child-trafficking in the country, would you say that NAPTIP is winning the war? The war on human trafficking requires multi sectoral response and action. No one organisation can tackle the scourge alone. There are cross cutting issues bothering on the causes of human trafficking, the predisposing factors for example. One causative factor is poverty and NAPTIP is not a poverty alleviating agency. There are law enforcement corruptions at borders; NAPTIP is not at the borders. There are issues of collapse of social infrastructures like schools. NAPTIP is not involved here either. Other issues of collapse of social values, dysfunctional family position, pursuit of material things, abuse of traditional fostering system and most importantly weak adoption of child rights acts by states. In all these, you needed the whole of society response as the way forward. Are you saying that the war on child0trafficking is far from being over? To answer your question, we are winning the war of spreading the awareness to the nook and cranny of this country. We have secured a total of 183 convictions since the agency was created in 2003 with 23 alone last year. We have networked liaisons with destination countries and law enforcement agencies to tighten the operational space of traffickers everywhere. The agency has had to amend the law to include criminalisation of house help syndrome and target the finances and wealth of convicted traffickers upon conviction for the rehabilitation of victims through the forfeiture order in our law. What about those trafficked across the bor-

NAPTIP boss, Beatrice Jeddy-Agba

ders of this country? We have, in conjunction with the ECOWAS, driven a sub-regional agreement between countries to set up similar agencies and enact laws within the entire region. The agency has had to evacuate 104 Nigeria victims from Mali in 2011 and another 64 in 2012. The victims are all undergoing rehabilitation in different skill acquisition centres. NAPTIP is the only law enforcement agency that does not only combat crime but also rehabilitate victims of crime. Under the environment of numerous challenges of government, NAPTIP is redefining integrity in law enforcement. Since the inception of the agency, we have secured 183 and 23 for last year. What of those using their maternity homes for the purpose of selling babies. How have the agency handled those cases? The issue of baby sales is not our responsibility; it has come up as a result of sharp practices in our adoption procedure and rules. Adoption, as a fact is a matter on the con-current list, which both the state and the federal government can deal with. NAPTIP as a responsible agency intervenes just to disrupt the commission of crime in the process. We have drawn the attention of the Ministry of Women Affairs under whose responsibility this matter resides to tackle arising concerns. Bottom line is that it is a corruption of the legal adoption process and the police has overriding coverage on that matter.

‘We adopt the four Ps as our strategy in Lagos zonal command’ Joseph Famakin is a retired Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and was a desk officer human trafficking at the Force CID, Lagos before joining National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related matters (NATIP) as the zonal Commander, Lagos zone. He says, in this interview with Isioma Madike that NAPTIP makes use of the agency’s four Ps as a working tool to reduce the incidences of human trafficking in Nigeria. Famakin started by stating that the Lagos Area comprises of six zones, made up of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states. He also stated that the fight against human trafficking is being fought from different angles and dimensions. “If you look at the mandate of NAPTIP, which for the purpose of this interview, I will categorise into four. We have the one we call the four Ps: first is prevention: for every crime, that is the most important. Here, we take steps to ensure that our children are not trafficked. In carrying this assignment, NAPTIP has departments that are responsible for different functions that see to the prevention of human trafficking. One of them is the public enlightenment department. Their major function is to carry out sanitisation on the members of the public and to carry out advocacy. They go to schools and create vanguard brigades and NYSC camp, churches and market places in order to lecture the people on the evils of human trafficking. We must also understand that human trafficking is a transnational organised and syndicated crime. It is not a crime carried out in the open but uses a secret method in its operation and recruitment; so, this department has the ability to get to the vulnerable before the traffickers.” The zonal commander did not stop there but informed that after prevention, “we move to the next step, which is protection. We protect the people that have been trafficked by rescuing them from the hands of their exploiters. We do this because there is the tendency for them to go back to their parents with a view to get whatever amount that they might have agreed. So, we protect their families from reprisal attacks from the traffickers. The victims are brought in here first and then taken to our shelter where they would counsel and rehabilitate and finally reintegrate them into the society. After that, they are taught a vocational skill. When we finish training them, we also do what we call family tracing and sometimes it becomes necessary to counsel their families also. Once this is done, we now go to the process of empowerment before they are reunited with their families. We don’t stop at but continues to monitor their progress because the equipment given to them is to make them useful to themselves and the society at large.” The next, according to Famakin, is prosecution. To the agency, he said, “prosecution is the most important aspect because the traffickers cannot be left alone to continue their lucrative business. So, we have an investigation and monitoring department that goes after them. And once they are arrested, they are made to face the full weight of the law. In 2013 alone, we recorded three convictions. I am not talking about the previous years. And the last, he said, is partnership. It is essential to note that NAPTIP cannot do it alone; so, we partner with various agencies and NGOs including members of the press for information, assistance and corporation. This has been our strategy since we cannot eliminate the crime but working to reduce what has become a cancer in our society.”

‘Some are sold into modern slavery as prostitutes’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 often times she pretends to be a relative. When she observed that no one is watching, she will steal the children and take them to Imo State where they will be sold to unsuspecting couples looking for children to adopt. The police acted on a tip off and swooped on the woman and rescued five children, whose ages range between six months and two years,’’ the source said. Also in Benue State, the Police apprehended a syndicate that specialises in the abduction and trafficking of underage children between the age brackets of three and 14 years. Police PPRO, Daniel Ezeala, a Deputy Superintendent of Police disclosed this to Sunday Mirror in Makurdi. He said that a Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) had quizzed the suspects, who had abducted over 12 children in two separate vehicles at Otukpa in Ogbadibo Local Government Area. During interrogation, the police discovered that the abducted children who included five girls and seven boys were kidnapped from their homes in

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Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State and were being taken to Benin City for human trafficking purposes, when nemesis caught up with the perpetrators of the act. The PPRO further informed that the suspects confessed to being sponsored by a Benin-based woman, who is said to use the children for onward trafficking abroad. On Tuesday, June 6, 2012 in Lagos, NAPTIP also burst a major human trafficking syndicate involving a 32-yearold man, Makoju Olawale Fredrick, of Crystal Services. Frederick was involved in a Canadian and Australian migration visa scam running into hundreds of millions of naira and was always in disguise of offering employment and securing visas for unsuspecting Nigerians. He organises foreign travels that promote trafficking and labour exploitation and had defrauded over 8,000 Nigerians in the process. The Executive Secretary /CEO of NAPTIP, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, said the suspect was the sole director of the said company, which had been recruiting people CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

IGP, Mohammed Abubakar


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The Big Read

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Most trafficked victims are lured by false promises’

Chima

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 into the scam since 2010, investigations revealed. According to the NAPTIP boss, that the suspect collected N1, 000 (one thousand naira only) from each applicant as application fee and N50, 700 (fifty thousand, seven hundred naira) as medical examination fee. He collected their passports and made each applicant swear to an affidavit to pay double the amount of money he would spend for their travel to Canada. He also made them obtain a police report on character and claimed that the trip of each person would cost him N750, 000 and that on arrival in Canada all the travel documents would remain with him until they were able to pay N1.5 million each. She said that NAPTIP operatives recovered eight big properly sealed cartons containing over 8,000 Nigerian International passports and other documents. “The passports which contained Canadian visas and calculations showed that the scammer had swindled unsuspecting Nigerians of over N560 million (five hundred and sixty million naira) in the visa scam. It was equally a harvest of criminals at the Niger State Police Command as the command arrested a human trafficking syndicate headed by a lady who claimed to be a staff nurse in one of the government hospitals. She had an accomplice and they had both sold a set of twins and an eight-month-old baby for N500, 000 to one of their clients. The state’s Police Commissioner, Mrs Desire Diseye Nsirim, said that the human trafficking syndicate was being operated by one Martina Ohakwe, a 40-year-old female staff nurse with the General hospital, Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja. Kingsley Linus, a member of the syndicate, was said to be in the habit of usually travelling to states in the eastern part of the country where he allegedly lured unsuspecting young mothers and their little babies to Abuja, with promises of gainful employment. The suspect was said to have deceived a 20-year-old Oluchi Agachi and her eight-

Ezike

month-old baby from Enugu to Abuja with a promise of providing her a job, but her baby was later collected from her and sold to Martina for N100,000. Linus was also alleged by the Police to have lured Ngozi Nwani, a 22-year-old and her twins, aged seven months, from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State to Abuja. Martina sold one of the twin baby girls to one Joy Opara, a 46-year-old resident of Abaji Local Government Area, an outskirt of Abuja, for N400, 000. But, Linus denied the allegation, saying instead, “I brought them to the woman (Martina) so that they could be assisted. They begged me to give the babies to someone that could help take care of them and who will also pay them some money so that they can start doing something with their lives. Martina promised to take care of the children and assured that they would not be harmed or be allowed to be given to people who are in the habit of using human beings for ritual purposes.” Apart from the babies’ sale, other despicable trafficking is also thriving; these are those who are sold into modern slavery as either house helps or prostitutes. There seems to be no end to the humiliating act of human trafficking in the country. It is even more unfortunate that some of the victims, especially young ladies, are trafficked to smaller West African countries. Only recently, the Nigerian Ambassador to Mali, Iliya Nuhu, had cause to lament that the problem of human trafficking had grown in magnitude and sophistication to the extent that a good number of Nigerians in his country of posting seemed to be thriving on it. He described the development as akin to modern day slavery with some unscrupulous Nigerians now recruiting from their villages and towns young girls between the ages of 10 and 15, which are then sold into lives of misery. According to the ambassador, about 20 to 30 girls are trafficked to Mali daily, with the promise of securing for them good jobs, only to turn them to prostitutes.

Mortune

Incidentally, human trafficking manifests its severity in different dimensions and cuts across generations, races, cultures and religion. It has many elements, which include recruitment, transportation, transfer, habouring and receipt of persons. Strategies adopted include threats, use of force, coercion, abduction, deception, vulnerability and payments or benefits. The purpose is for exploitation in forms of prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery, removal of organs, and child abuse. The recruitment process is very deceitful as the traffickers do not indicate to the victims the reality of their intention. Most of them are lured by false promises while others are escorted by relatives. There are also those who are trapped out of sheer greed knowing full well the implications of their actions. In spite of NAPTIP and other stakeholders’ battle against the scourge within the shores of Nigeria, several unwary victims are languishing in other African countries, notably in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal as well as Europe and the Americas. There have been horrendous reports from numerous sources including the media and Nigerians in the Diaspora on the activities of these crime syndicates, which specialise in trafficking unsuspecting Nigerians out of the country. In many cases, thousands of them had been deceived and transported for sex slavery. Further investigations revealed that these victims’ passports and phones are confiscated by the madams so that they invariably lost touch with their contacts back home. Those that tried to escape would not because they are often stripped of all their finances and put under a kind of debt bondage. There are those who are held in severe exploitative and inhuman conditions, doing menial jobs and made to work as slaves; they are sold for about N2 million and resold many times over. People promise them a lot of things and when they get

to those other countries, it becomes a different story. In fact, there was a story of a girl that was locked up in a room and made to service her clients, after which the proceeds from her prostitution was kept away from her. But sadly, there are families who encourage it because they believe that proceeds will come from it. With the help of Malian authorities, NAPTIP was able to evacuate about 104 victims rescued in that country in 2011. There are chilling statistics, which suggest that human trafficking has become one of the biggest money-making businesses after drug trafficking today. It is, therefore, rather shameful that Nigeria is regarded not only as a transit route for this illegal trade but also a source as well as a destination with children and young adults, especially of the womenfolk, now becoming merchandise for what has become a cross-border crime. This, perhaps, may have led the Federal Government in 2003 to enact the Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act. It was amended in 2005 to prescribe more severe penalties for offenders as well as prohibits all forms of human trafficking. Despite that, human trafficking remains a major challenge in the country while the nondomestication of the Child Rights Act by many states has only compounded the problem. In what is clearly an organised crime involving international syndicates, human traffickers also move their victims to Europe through North Africa by caravan. They most often force their victims to cross the desert on foot. Many die in the process even as the survivors are subjected to all forms of indignity; in the bid to repay the heavy debts owed their “benefactors” by way of travel expenses. But the trade is thriving because most of the people involved wield powerful influence with which they circumvent the law. Additional reports by Dennis Agbo (Enugu) and Henry Iyorkase (Makurdi).


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NEWS

Sunday March 17, 2013

Nigeria may lose $660.5m K AYODE FASUA

KADUNA

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L-R: Managing Director, Daar Communications, Mr. Tony Akiotu; President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Malam Garba Mohammad; representative of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Aniete Umanah; Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and Senior Adviser to the Vice PHOTO: NAN President on Media, Mr. Umaru Sani, at the launch of a book in honour of late Ladi Lawal in Abuja on Friday .

future of the country, obviously.” Nuland also disclosed that cutting economic aid to Nigeria would not be ruled out to demonstrate that the US was not in support of what Nigeria’s Federal Government had done. Responding to reporter’s question on the possibility of imposing sanctions on Nigeria, Nuland replied: “We have made (it) clear to the Nigerians that this puts a question mark on the kinds of work that we’ve been trying to do with them,” “We haven’t yet taken the kinds of steps that you’re suggesting, but we’re continuing to look at

what’s appropriate.” Meanwhile, Nigeria was slated to receive $660.5 million in the president’s 2012 budget, more than any other sub-Saharan country except Ethiopia The U.S. embassy in Abuja also at the weekend condemned the pardon, saying it was “deeply disappointed. “We see this as a setback in the fight against corruption,” the embassy said. President Goodluck Jonathan had on Wednesday granted presidential pardon to Alamieyeseigha, former Bayelsa governor who was arrested in London by the Metropolitan Police in September 2005

and detained on charges of money laundering. The police found one million pounds in his home and later discovered that he had a sum of one million, hundred thousand pounds in cash and bank accounts. Alamieyeseha had then jumped bail in London, escaping to Nigeria amid reports that he dressed like a woman to beat security operatives. He was subsequently impeached, arrested, arraigned and sentenced to a two-year jail term under a plea bargain arrangement. Apart from the Bayelsa ex-governor, President Jonathan also pardoned other Nigerians who include

General Oladipo Diya who was jailed by the General Sani Abacha military government for coup plotting as well as the late MajorGeneral Abdulkareem Adisa, an ex-minister, Maj-Gen Tajudeen Olanrewaju, also an ex-minister, who were jailed alongside Diya. Others who received the pardon include, Major Bello Magaji, Alhaji Lima Biu and Bulama. Since the action, however, President Jonathan has been receiving criticisms from a cross-section of Nigerians, who include opposition party, rights activists and anti-corruption bodies in different parts of the world.

Faces behind controversial APC revealed OBIORA IFOH

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s registration drama continues to trail the newly formed African Peoples Congress, All Patriotic Citizens and the All Progressives Congress, Sunday Mirror investigation has revealed that prominent members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Presidency as well as some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission may be covertly linked to the formation of the political associations in an effort to frustrate the registration of the All Progressives Congress. According to Sunday Mirror findings, the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak may have indirect link to the formation of All Patriotic Citizens and African Peoples

2015: Sambo launches comeback bid A ZA MSUE

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he United States of America has threatened to cut off aid to Nigeria following the presidential pardon granted to former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, and a former Managing Director of Bank of the North, Alhaji Shettima Bulama, reports said yesterday Alamieyeseigha was impeached and convicted for money laundering and other corruption-related offences in 2007. In his own case, Bulama was convicted for defrauding the defunct Bank of the North. Earlier, the US government had said it was “deeply disappointment over the recent pardons of corrupt officials by the Government of Nigeria.” But in what came as a decisive action yesterday, the administration of President Barrack Obama threatened to impose economic sanctions against Nigeria, by cutting off aid to the country. A spokeswoman for the State Department Victoria Nuland expressed the US’ displeasure, saying, “We see this as a setback for the fight against corruption and also for our ability to play the strong role we’ve played in supporting rule of law and legal institution building in Nigeria, which is very important for the

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Congress even as the Presidential aide has continued to deny such allegation. According to a source who would want to be kept out of publicity for now, “The Political Adviser has been in touch with INEC officials to ensure that the new political associations are granted permission to be registered. Asked if Prof. Jega is in the know of the deal, he said “Prof. doesn’t have to know as the law permits listening to all association but like you know, indicating intention to register does not guarantee registration. A lot of things go into it, there is the verification of claims aspect and all that.” However, in a telephone chat with Alhaji Gulak yesterday, he said that such allegation is unfounded and a complete lie, warning that people should not peddle rumours that cannot be substantiated. According to Gulak who

spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Chief Perry Opara, “Any claim by persons or groups that the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs is involved in the registration or otherwise of a political party or association is false and should be disregarded. “The duty of the Adviser is principally to advise Mr. President on how to maintain political stability. It is the responsibility of INEC to register political associations. It is INEC that sets the standards not the Adviser. Efforts by disgruntled persons to disparage the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs should be discountenanced.” Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh has pushed the puzzle of the registration to the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) saying the drama

on ownership of the name APC may have been contrived by the ACN to attract attention to themselves. Metuh in a statement yesterday said the party’s attention has been drawn to unfounded, spurious and vexatious reports making the rounds in some online media claiming that it is behind the identity tug of war by groups claiming the acronym APC. He said that to the best of their knowledge, “no member of the PDP is involved in the formation of any other political organization, neither are we interested in the activities of any other Party. The alleged involvement of one Ugochinyere Imo Ikenga in the formation of the other APC has no bearing whatsoever on us. From our findings, Mr Ikenga’s recent activities, including his unsavoury attacks and illicit campaign for the dissolution of the Bamanga Tukur led

National Working Committee makes him an estranged fellow and therefore can never be an agent of the PDP in anyway. “Contrary to the allegations in the reports, the PDP email address has never been made available to any external body for the purpose of disseminating information. For emphasis, the PDP did not at anytime use it’s email address to circulate the so called APC’s press statement of 15th March 2013. “On the mailing list mentioned in the reports where names of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP and some staff of the Party feature, we wish to state categorically that the PDP circulates its statements to a wide network of email contacts and therefore has no control over who chooses to make use of them afterwards. The fact however is that the email in question did not originate from our domain.”

here is now some glimmer of hope for VicePresident Namadi Sambo that he would be picked as running mate to President Goodluck Jonathan if the President chooses to run in 2015. Before now, there was a rumour that the V-P could be dropped for not delivering his constituencies in the 2011 presidential elections. Over the weekend in Kaduna, however, the state governor, Alhaji Murktar Yero and Vice President Namadi Sambo jointly launched a new secretariat for the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential campaigns, thus reinforcing belief that Sambo would run again with Jonathan. The office is located near NEPA Roundabout in Kaduna city. The newly renovated campaign office was formerly the late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa’s 2011 gubernatorial campaign office. But recently, after Yakowa’s death, the state government re-opened the office for the Jonathan/ Sambo campaigns. Sunday Mirror gathered that the campaign office, apart from being used for series of political meetings has also been witnessing an influx of northern interest groups on daily basis. The meetings, it was learnt, were intended for grassroots mobilisations. While the Jonathan/ Sambo office buzzes with activities however, the office of the state’s chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, located behind Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, old Campus Junction, Unguwan Sarki, remain usually deserted as only occasional meeting by the party officials are held there. Vice President Sambo who is battling to retain his position in 2015 is working hard against the backdrop of a rumour that he could be dropped as the President’s running mate. The joint campaign office is seen as a morale booster for Sambo having lost his polling unit, ward, senatorial zone and state presidential polls to Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in the 2011 polls. This was also lent credence during Kaduna State University maiden convocation held yesterday when the campaign office picked up full political activities with the influx of thousands of politicians trooping in to pay solidarity to Vice-President Sambo who attended the event in Kaduna.


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News

Sunday March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tukur canvasses internal democracy in PDP DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ational Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday pleaded with members of his party to ensure that internal democracy reigned within the party. Tukur said the mem-

bers should always choose whomsoever they wanted as their leaders and candidates for elections. He equally called for unity, commitment and loyalty to country and to the party. Tukur, who spoke in Enugu at the party’s SouthEast town hall meeting, stated that God had given Nigeria good environment and that what was needed

was to empower the people with education to take control of the environment. “What we need is peace and to reconcile ourselves so we can have peace. Let’s build our party based on equity,” he pleaded with the members. The PDP national chairman noted that problems had always arisen from sharing the resources, add-

ing that if a better sharing formula was employed, agitation would reduce. “We need to find ways of creating wealth instead of sharing it. We need to create fairness, balance and equity. Allow people to choose who they want. There is party supremacy that gives ticket to people based on wishes of the owners. I am here to appeal

Tambuwal joins calls for amnesty for Boko Haram DANJUMA WILLIAMS, GOMBE AND AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST, K ANO

• ‘Jonathan has no respect for northern leaders’

ABUJA

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Arms and ammunition handed over by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Amnesty to 82 Division, Nigerian Army in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

torn apart by security problems, a situation where lives are lost daily and commerce destroyed, causing untold hardship to the generality of the people of the North and the country at large. “In fact as it stands now in the North, particularly, nobody can say he is immune from attack. This is despite the fact that the situation has caused untold hardship to Nigerians who now find survival very difficult.” He noted that the visit to Borno and Yobe by the president was one major opportunity he would have used to address the Boko Haram insurgency. “He would have used that opportunity to announce amnesty for the sect even if it was in response to the request by the Sultan of Sokoto, the most respected and highest Muslim leader in the country who pleaded with

Jonathan to grant amnesty to the sect members. “Another costly mistake the president made was turning down Borno leaders’ plea for troop withdrawal to pave way for possible dialogue with Boko Haram sect. It was a big blunder which shows lack of respect for northern leaders by the president and I assure you that this development will complicate the already bad security situation. “The leaders of Borno who would have played prominent roles in seeing the end of this conflict are the people whose views were being disregarded by our president and let’s see how it goes. I disagree with the president that the sect members are ghosts. They are not ghosts; people know them, see them but even if they are ghosts, why don’t you try for the sake of peace and stabil-

ity of the country and grant amnesty to the ghosts and see whether they will accept it or not,” he stated. In his view, the factors that gave birth to this insurgency, such as, “injustice, poverty and unemployment are still very much with us, with no practical efforts to address them; this will compound our problem.” Dan-Musa recalled that in the case of Niger Delta militants when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua announced amnesty for the militants, not all of them embraced it immediately. “Some did, others did not but with time the majority embraced the state pardon. You do not expect every member of the Boko Haram to accept the amnesty,” he stated. •See full text of Dan-Musa’s interview on page 15.

uity and justice. Akobundu explained that the party in the zone had achieved the milestones with sincerity, openness and genuine intent to rebuild and lunch out into a new path of rebirth. He disclosed that the reconciliation and rebuilding efforts in the party had won the confidence of stakeholders.

Budget Office refutes National Assembly’s allegation TOLA AKINMUTIMI

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ore voices have joined the call on President Goodluck Jonathan to consider the granting of amnesty for the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram that has been terrorising people and government institutions in the North for the past three years. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who joined other northern leaders in the call, said many of his colleagues in the House share the same views on granting amnesty for the sect. Speaking with journalists yesterday when he visited Gombe State, Tambuwal said many lawmakers in the House wanted President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to give the amnesty call for the terrorists a second thought. He said: “Many lawmakers want the president to give the call for amnesty for the Boko Haram sect members a second thought”. In the same vein, Second Republic Deputy Senate President and northern leader, Maman Dan-Musa, told Sunday Mirror in an interview that the president’s position foreclosing amnesty for the sect was a gross miscalculation and an action that could further threaten the stability and peace of the country, adding that it showed lack of respect for northern learders. His words: “That statement by Mr. President is very unfortunate, the president of a country almost

to you to forget about personal interests but to look at the objective,” Tukur appealed. South-East zonal chairman of the party, Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), said that in the past one year of his leadership, PDP in the zone had recorded milestones in reconciliation, reformation and rebuilding based on fairness, eq-

he Budget Office of the Federation has refuted allegations by the House of Representatives suggesting that the Director General directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, not to implement the 2013 Appropriation, but to await the passage of the Budget Amendment Bill Act, saying there was no circular issued to that effect. The Budget Office in a statement issued by its Director of Administration, Francis O. Ojiah, yesterday stated that the allegation was absolutely untrue; clarifying further that contrary to the position of the Legislature, its Circular on 6th March was specifically issued to guide the MDAs on steps to observe in proposing any amendment to their budgets, along with a template. According to Ojiah, the true position is that “following the passage of the 2013 Budget, a series of consultations were held between the National Assembly (NASS) and the Executive, during which observations were made on aspects of the passed bill that required adjustment, including personnel cost, overhead votes and critical capital projects. “It was agreed that an amendment should be sent to NASS for consideration after assent by Mr. President. “The Budget Office subsequently issued a brief Circular Ref No. BD/2000/ Exp/S.132/T/16, dated 6th March 2013, to guide MDAs on steps to observe in propos-

ing any amendment to their budgets, along with a template. They were to focus on the personnel cost, overhead and critical capital projects”, he added. He therefore reiterated that there was nothing in the Circular remotely suggesting that the 2013 Appropriation Act should not be implemented, as alleged, adding that was never the subject of the Circular. He pointed out that far from being disrespectful to the Appropriation Act, the Guideline took pains to stress the need for MDAs, in preparing their Amendment proposal, to respect the Act as passed, adding that the Office hopes that the clarification would clear the air for the general public and all stakeholders. It would be recalled that through a motion moved under matters of urgent national importance last Thursday by Minority Whip, Hon. Samson Osagie(ACN-Edo) which was supported by most members of the House summoned the Director General of the Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogwu to appear before it for what was termed a breach of the Appropriation Act that is “ capable of destroying the growing rapport and spirit of cooperation between the legislature and the executive”. One of the Legislators, Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba (PDP-Kaduna) during his contribution described the action of the DG as “executive recklessness” adding that a higher authority must have given him the teeth to carry out the directive.

NIGERIA IN BRIEF 2015 could be last elections in Nigeria –Junaid A radical northern politician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed yesterday said 2015 elections in Nigeria could be the last. Dr. Junaid also said any attempt to rig the forthcoming elections would witness violence across the nation. Junaid, featuring on Guest of the Week on Liberty Radio (91.7), Kaduna, said Igbo are not serious to rule Nigeria.

He further said challenges facing Northern region was caused by its elite and leaders. Junaid said “I can assure you that if they rig the next election, whether it is against Buhari or any other person, there will be violence in Nigeria and perhaps, the election of 2015 would be the last election in the history of this Nigeria.” He added that “The truth

of the matter is that it is not the North because the average northerner did not bring Goodluck Jonathan to power, not even Yar’Adua. We know who won the election of 2003, 2007 and 2011. It was General Buhari and the Americans and the rest of the world are aware that these people did not win the elections; but because they

are after their own interest and the oil, that is why they are treating us like this.” Junaid however noted that “the Igbo have demonstrated that they are not ready for the presidency of this country because to be a president is to be a leader. Look at what is happening with Ihejirika, the Chief of Army Staff and Okonjo-Iweala”, he said.

Rumour over revocation of Dana Air AOC OLUSEGUN KOIKI There was a rumour yesterday evening that the Federal Government may have revoked again the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) of Dana Air over the June 3, 2012 air accident involving 163 souls onboard and on ground. A source close to one of the government agencies in the sector confided in our correspondent that the letter to the airline was delivered through one

of the Chief Executive Officers in the sector. But the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi denied the rumour while the spokesman for the airline, Mr. Tony Usidamen said his management was yet to convey such information to the department. The source further said that the government was not satisfied with the return of the airline’s AOC by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the approval by the ministry.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Sunday, March 17, 2013

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Three National Mirror staff clinch NUJ awards

CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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t was another harvest of awards for National Mirror Newspapers at the weekend, as three of its editorial staff members won the prestigious Reporter of the Year award in the Ladi Lawal Journalist of the Year Award held Friday night in Abuja. At the event, which marked the 58th year of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, three National Mirror reporters were celebrated as best reporters in their various fields of reportage. They include Mr. Arhene Paul Osasunwen, who won the Diplomatic/Foreign Affairs Reporters of the year; Johnson Okanlawon, and Chinedu Emeana, who won the Business and Health Reporters of the year respectively. Meanwhile, Vice President Namadi Sambo, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon-

ourable, Aminu Tambuwal, at the event, tasked journalists on strict adherence to professionalism, saying that the maintenance of the highest standard of professionalism was essential to the growth of the nation’s fledgling democracy. Other media organisations that won awards include Leadership, the Guardian and Tide newspapers, in the print category; and African Independent Television (AIT), and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), in the broadcast category. In all ,21 journalists won the awards in both print and broadcast category, with the FRCN’s Emmanuel Adebayo honoured with the prestigious Journalist of the Year award, while the Leadership’s Louis Jude Orji-Ugbagha and Zandas Okeke, won the Beatrice Bassey Print Reporter of the Year, and Broadcast Reporter of the Year respectively.

…As Sambo, Tambuwal task journalists on professionalism The Vice President, who was represented on the occasion by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Umar Sani, while commending the leadership of the NUJ for organising such an award, noted that celebration of excellence would ginger healthy competition and generate positive results in terms of performance and effectiveness. He said the event was in line with the President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformational agenda in that, it tends to promote the propagation of good national culture. While urging that journalism should be development oriented, the VP noted that the Goodluck Jonathan administration recognises the relevance of freedom of speech and association, hence it ensured the coming into force, the

Freedom of Information Act. “This innovation is indeed novel and noble; I must particularly commend the leadership of the NUJ for organising an award for members who have excelled; this will motivate and challenge them to continue to apply ethical standards and excellence in the journalism practice across the country. “At this period when the pen profession is faced with great challenges of avoiding sensationalism and promoting ethical and standard reportage, the commencement of such an award will ginger healthy competition and generate positive results in terms of performance and effectiveness. “This event which aims to promote excellence is in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan which

is the propagation of good national culture. “As partners, we are proud to associate with any move aimed at attainment of the greater objective of institution building, to create a stronger connect and enlightenment of the citizenry,” he said. The chairman of the occasion and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, also charged the media to continue to take advantage of the freedom of information act and follow the process of verifying information as outlined in the legislation before going to press. While commending the media for projecting the image of the country in a positive light, the Speaker urged practitioners to sustain the positivity and deemphasise on unverified reports on situations that could project Nigeria in the

negative light. “We are all patriotic Nigerians, and we are all committed to this country, we shall therefore do everything possible to in whatever field we find ourselves to project the positive side of this country so that the rest of the international community would appreciate the fact that a lot of positive things are taking place here in Nigeria” Honourable Tambuwal further appealed to media owners and organizations to always endeavour to join NUJ in celebrating their own. The highlight of the award night was the presentation of a book titled: The complete Journalist: Portrait of a Media Guru. Authored by Ike Emedolibe, the chapter biography is a chronicle of life and times of Alhaji Ladi Lawal, in whose honour the award was instituted.

‘Alamieyeseigha’s pardon rubbishes anti-corruption fight’ AYO ESAN

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L-R: Founder/CEO, Africa Film Academy, Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe; President of the Republic of Malawi, Her Excellency, Mrs. Joyce Banda and MD/Editor-in-Chief, National Mirror and member of the African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA Jury, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, at the AMAA 2013 Nominations event in Lilongwe, Malawi on Friday

agos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Fred Agbaje, has said that the pardon granted to the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyesiegha, by President Goodluck Jonathan has rubbished the war against corruption being pursued by the government. Speaking with Sunday Mirror, Agbaje said, “You see, the name of Alamieye-

PDP demands Ekiti Dep Gov’s whereabouts K AYODE FASUA

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he Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday raised the alarm over the whereabouts of the state’s deputy governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, alleging that she is down with some ailment, prompting her absence from office for over eight weeks. The party in a press statement by its Director

of Communication, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, has thus given the state government a 48-hour ultimatum to clear the air on the whereabouts of the deputy governor or risk having the PDP to conduct searches and then tell the whole world where she is. According to the PDP, “the Number Two citizen has not been seen in the state for the past eight weeks.

“There is no official statement from the ruling government as regards her whereabouts…The ruling government has refused and does not deem it necessary to tell the people what has happened to (her)… This has given room to rumour mongers on the social media. “While some said the woman is on a sick bed in a London hospital, others said she has been taken to

a traditional healer at a remote village in the neighbouring Kogi State where she is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed illness.” The party averred that by keeping silence on the deputy governor’s whereabouts, “it shows that the Action Congress of Nigeria-led administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi has no respect for the people they govern.”

siegha has rubbished whatever good intention the president had in granting that prerogative of mercy”. He said the fact that Alamieyesiagha who was convicted by a competent court of record for economic crime was afterwards pardoned, would portray Nigeria in the international scene as “people who are unserious with fight against corruption; people whose government has embraced corruption.” He said such a policy by the Nigerian government to give recognition and honour to people who have been indicted for corruption has been the reason corruption is not reducing in Nigeria today. He said such a decision by the government might lead Nigeria to being treated like a leper in the international scene. Agbaje wondered why government should group the names of late General Sheu Musa Yar’Adua, Gen Diya and the later General Abdulkareem Adisa together with that of Alamieye-

siagha saying “ those are people that were punished for political offences . These officers were convicted for political offence-treason, unlike a man who was convicted by a competent court of record for economic crime.” “There is a wall of difference between an economic crime and a political crime. In fact, in the international scene, economic crime is viewed as a crime against humanity. I t is grossly irresponsible for anybody to just lump those people together under the guise of granting prerogative of mercy. “This is because the circumstances differ; the nature of the offence differ and the public opinion is not in support of that How do you justified such pardon with the fight against corruption . The court has convicted somebody and you are granting him pardon. The tide of public opinion now and public interest do not favour any form of pardon, to the like of Alamieyesiagha”, he said.

NIGERIA IN BRIEF

ITF boss attributes insecurity, youth restiveness to unemployment NBA not doing enough to combat corruption –Don The Director-General/CEO, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Prof. Longmas Sambo Wapmuk, has attributed the state of insecurity and youth restiveness in many parts of the country to unemployment and lack of formal education and employable skills. Speaking at the graduation of the graduation of trainees of the first phase of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Prof.

Wapmuk, who was represented by Director, Technical Vocational Skills Training, Engr. Ibrahim Lawal, urged government to start focussing on wealth creation and poverty reduction programmes to reduce crime in the country. His words: “It is noteworthy that 60 per cent of the unemployed are the youths who constitute 32 per cent of the population (representing 60 per

cent of the workforce). A large number of the unemployed include university and polytechnic graduates, primary and secondary school leavers as well as multitude of drop-outs. “What is of greater concern is the fact that 38 per cent of those less than 15 and those between age 15-20 have neither formal education nor skills, with the figure going up to 64 per cent in the North-East and North-West.”

Dr. Emmanuel Ojo of the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, at the weekend accused Nigerian lawyers of not doing enough in the fight against corruption. The political scientist told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that lawyers, through frivolous applications, frustrated anti-graft cases in court. ``The Nigerian Bar Associa-

tion (NBA), is not really helping matters in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. ``The lawyers manipulate the court system on grounds of technicalities to secure frivolous adjournments, thereby frustrating the polity and encouraging corruption.” Ojo advised the NBA to match its words with actions to fight corruption by advising its

members to desist from delay tactics while prosecuting corruption cases. He said that the immunity bill before the House of Representatives meant to protect legislators, was an indication of submission to corrupt practice. He urged Nigerians to imbibe a strong political will to fight corruption.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Man in the News MARCH 17,, 2013

ISSA HAYATOU

Again, the highest prize for the seventh time

ANDREW EKEJIUBA

O

n March 10, 2013, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Issa Hayatou, was re-elected without opposition for a seventh and final four-year term in charge of the organisation. Hayatou, 66, who was the only sole candidate standing, was voted in unanimously in Marrakech, Morocco. Jacques Anouma, an Ivorian, had intended to challenge him for the leadership but was prevented from doing so by a rule change that barred him from standing for election. However, Anouma’s attempt to overturn the decision to disqualify non-executive members from the election was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). After his re-election, Hayatou used the opportunity to make reference to Anouma’s challenge. “The presidents of the federations approved an amendment preventing a few of them from participating in the race for the CAF presidency, which now permits only those who have held positions of responsibility within the institution to run for presidency. “The conduct of the Executive Committee along with the members of national associations during this case was exemplary. The principle of sovereignty of the General Assembly was recognised by the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” Hayatou told delegates. Hayatou, who was applauded by delegates at the CAF congress in Marrakech, received a special certificate as a mark of solidarity from FIFA to commemorate the 25 years he has completed at CAF. Hayatou is the fifth CAF president and by far the longest serving. He will clock 70 years at the expiration of his last tenure in office. Hayatou has been CAF President for over two decades and has overseen particularly successful FIFA World Cup

ap a pearances by Senegal, Nigeria and an Cameroon. He also appearances pushed for African places in the fin finals to increase from two to five, with the 2010 World Cup C in South Africa seeing the hosts garner an auto automatic sixth spot for an African team. b and the organisHe presided over both the bid Wo ing committee for the 2010 World Cup, the first in Africa. expande the Africa Cup of Hayatou’s tenure expanded 1 teams, in a confedNations finals from eight to 16 i six zones and five eration of over 50 nations, in regional confederations. Club competitions have undergone a simila growth in both similar numb number and scale, with more clubs participating Afri in the African Cup of Champions Clubs, the CAF Confederation bega in 2004 for nationCup (which began al cup winners and high-placed league Cup and the CAF Super teams), the CAF Cup, Cup. There has also been an expanme football, with the sion outside men’s CAF overseeing Youth, Women, Fuss tal, and Beach soccer competitions. m One of the major aims of Hayapresidenc in the late 1990s tou’s presidency was to provide an incentive to Afriwh can football clubs which would stem the player to Europe; an iniflow of African players l tiative which met with little success. Hayatou has couched some criticism of the uneven flow of football ‘resources’ in colonial terms, saying that “rich countries import the raw material – talent – and often send their less valuable technicians”, an implied criticism of foreign coaching staff that were employed by most African national sides. A September 1997 initiative negotiated by Hayatou with UEFA saw the payment of fees to African governing bodies and clubs for African-born players working in Europe. This was followed by the Meridian Project signed in December 1997 with UEFA, which was to provide cash payments to African National Associations every other year, and created the UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup. The 1999 Goal Project created with FIFA gives 46 African FAs financial support worth one million dollars over four years. These negotiations, regardless of their impact on African club football, forged a close relationship between UEFA leaders and Hayatou, and led to UEFA’s backing of Hayatou’s nomination to replace Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA in 2002. However, Blatter supported by the American and Asian confederations, defeated Hayatou by 139 to 56 votes to retain his presidency. Just days before the end of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, Hayatou, found himself in the middle of a controversy after the CAF’s suspension of Togo national football team from the next two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. Hayatou charged the Togolese government with interference in the Togolese Football Association’s affairs when the team withdrew from the 2010 cup prior to its start. The Togolese team was victim of a January 8, 2010, armed attack while traveling to Angola by bus prior to the start of the Cup, resulting in two deaths in the Togo delegation. Togolese captain Emmanuel Adebayor and Togo coach Hubert Velud strongly criticized Hayatou in particular for the CAF decision, calling on him to resign from the CAF

presidency. Aside the aforementioned, in November 2010, Andrew Jennings, the presenter of FIFA’s Dirty Secrets, an edition of BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Panorama alleged that Hayatou had taken bribes in the 1990s regarding the awarding of contracts for the sale of television rights to the football World Cup. Panorama claimed to have obtained a confidential document from a company called ISL which showed that Hayatou was paid 100,000 French Francs by the company. ISL won the contract to distribute the television rights. Expectedly, Hayatou denied the allegations, saying that the money went not to him but to CAF and IOC announced it will investigate Hayatou, due to his membership of the organization. In May 2011, The Sunday Times published claims from a whistle-blower that Hayatou had, along with fellow Executive Committee member Jacques Anouma, accepted $1.5 million bribes from Qatar in order to secure his support for their bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But on September 21, 2011, it was announced that FIFA had appointed Hayatou as President of FIFA’s Olympic committee and approved his role as chairman of the Goal Bureau. This decision caused confusion in IOC because prior to the appointment, the CAF President was under investigation for alleged bribery. It was later denied by FIFA that Hayatou had been appointed President of the Olympic committee and sports pundits described the apparent appointment as “a technical error”. The re-elected CAF President is a former Cameroonian athlete and sport executive who was born on August 9, 1946, in Garoua, Cameroon. He was the son of a notable local Sultan, before becoming a middle distance runner and physical education teacher. The Hayatou family is the traditional holder of the sultanate (Lamidat, from the Sokoto Caliphate’s traditional Fula title Lamine) of Garoua. Hayatou had a successful career as an athlete, becoming a member of the Cameroonian national squads in both basketball and athletics. He held the national record many times in the 400 and 800 metres. As earlier noted, the Hayatou family wields much political influence in northern Cameroon and most notable is Issa’s brother Sadou Hayatou, a former Prime Minister of Cameroon and longtime high official under Cameroon president Paul Biya. In 1974, aged just 28, Hayatou became Secretary General of the Cameroon Football Association, and Chair of the FA in 1986. As chair, he was chosen the same year to sit on the CAF Executive Committee. And following the retirement of Ethiopia’s Ydnekatchew Tessema from the CAF presidency in August 1987, Hayatou was elected as the fifth president in the body’s history. In 2002, he ran for president of FIFA but was defeated by current president Sepp Blatter. Hayatou is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). And in November 2010 he was alleged by the BBC to have taken bribes in the 1990s regarding the awarding of World Cup television rights. The IOC has announced it will investigate him. On November 3, 2007, Hayatou was awarded an honorary degree from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria. He is married with four children.


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Politics PROVIDING FRESH PERSPECTIVES TO ISSUES MARCH 17, 2013

P 14 APGA Convention: Obi, Umeh in battle of wits

HAVE WRONGLY POINTED FINGERS AT ME FOR INCITING POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE. NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH –GEN. MUHAMMADU BUHARI (RTD)

Briefly

SOME COMMENTATORS AND PUBLIC FIGURES Yoruba are not asking for special treatment but P 12, 13, 14 fairness –Falae

Ikimi

Prof. Jega, INEC boss

MUYIWA OYINLOLA

According to the INEC spokesman, Kayode Idowu, the commission will await the application from the merging parties before deciding on what to do in view of the current application before the commission. Speaking to BBC Hausa, monitored in Abuja, a spokesman for INEC, Mr. Nick Dazang, said it would be difficult to register a party with a name already approved for another. “It is true that a group applied to register as political party with the name African People’s Congress (APC). And INEC has received the application but it is yet to sit down and work on the application,” he said. He said if All Progressives Congress comes with their request, INEC “will first of all look at the application, to find out if it meets registration requirements. As we say, those parties who are planning for merger have a lot to do. They are going to do national convention and after that, they will come with their application to INEC and it must do this within 200 days before the next elections. But if it is a new party there is no need for all this. The merging parties are yet to come to us with their request and there is need for them to come and tell INEC, ‘this is our request’.” But the merged parties have denied the claim of the electoral body, alleging the PDP of plots to ensure their new party is not registered. For instance, the ACN has accused the PDP of either suffering from crass ignorance or engaging in palpable mischief

Lai Mohammed

Can APC survive registration ordeal? F

or the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC), the challenges ahead are definitely more than those it has surmounted. No doubt, the merger of four political parties including the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), into APC appears to be the only major opposition party to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the return to democracy in 1999. While the newly formed party is still basking in the euphoria of its successful merger and it’s strategising to unseat the ruling PDP in the forthcoming 2015 general election, the ruling party is also doing everything possible to ensure it remains in power for at least 60 years as it had earlier announced. Apart from the threat posed by the PDP which enjoys the power of incumbency and wider spread, one other major hurdle before the APC is that of registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Presently, it stands the risk of not being registered. This is because the electoral body has said that another political party, the African People’s Congress (APC), had applied for registration while the former was yet to do same.

by saying the leaders of the APC should have registered the name with INEC before now, even as the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) also doubted the integrity of the INEC over its plan to register African People’s Congress (APC). In the same vein, the CPC has warned that it would be ready to mobilise Nigerians against the INEC and the PDP should they connive to deny the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The CPC insisted that it would not change the name of the APC, while accusing INEC of conniving with the ruling PDP to frustrate the registration of APC. Speaking on the development, the CPC’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, insisted that INEC was igniting fresh crisis in the country by its declaration on the APC, warning that the commission was just acting the script of the PDP, which he noted would be resisted by the merging parties. While wondering why INEC has refused to release the identity of those behind the African Peoples’ Congress, Fashakin maintained that no amount of collaboration from INEC and the powers-that-be would stop the APC’s registration. Speaking on the same development, the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the four merging parties have written the INEC over the sudden emergence of African Peoples Congress, adding that the latter is merely out to spoil the merger. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

Abolish party system, 80-yr-old lawyer urges An 80-year old Lagos lawyer, Barrister Oluwole Sholanke, has called for the scrapping of all political parties in the country, saying abolishing party politics is crucial to the peace and progress of Nigeria. Sholanke, in an interview with Sunday Mirror, said the political party system is a mere grand design to provide cheap jobs for the elite to get fat salaries or incomes to the detriment of the workers and ordinary citizens in the community. “Looking critically at the political system especially when there is a ruling political party, all governments formed by the efforts of such ruling political parties could only produce elected members of the people by a designed machination of the ruling political party, beginning from party primaries. “The ruling party is always secretive and has the tendencies to impose choices and appointments on the people; yet the people shall vote for these imposed persons whose loyalty is to the party and not the people,” he explained. He said with a well and properly constituted Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the already laid out constituencies as well as the properly supervised computer system which are in common place in most parts of Nigeria, election should take place joyously and results announced within 48 hours in peace and without the presence of the army or police at the polling booths.

Sholanke

Oyo Minority leader disagrees over PDP committee The Minority Leader in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Alhaji Adekunle Rafiu, has expressed dissatisfaction on the way the caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was constituted in the South-West by the national secretariat without consultation with members of the states’ House of Assembly. He made this known at the weekend while expressing appreciation to the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur who was in Ibadan, to foster peace and harmony among the party members in the region. Rafiu said though the visit of the national chairman to the South-West geo-political zone was an attempt to further boost the prospect of the PDP in the zone and country at large, he called the attention of the chairman to the fact that problems of the party in the South-West could only be solved by the stakeholders in the region. He pointed out that the constitution of the caretaker committee in the region was a good development but that it was drafted without due consultation with the party’s stakeholders in the region The Oyo State Minority Leader maintained that the marginalisation of the South-West in the allocation of political offices also reflected in the attitude of the PDP national executive to the elected PDP members in the state. Rafiu noted that the constitution of the caretaker committee of the South-West had no input from the PDP elected members of the House of Assembly in the region whereas they were the closest to the grassroots. He said this set of elected PDP members of the state’s House of Assembly remained the only party flag-bearers whose election prevented the total wipe out or extinction of the party in the zone .


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Politics

Sunday, March 17, 2013

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Yoruba are not asking for special There are complaints among the Yoruba that the ethnic group is being marginalised by the present administration; what is your stake on this? You know it is unusual for the Yoruba to complain. The matter got to a point that we have no choice but to complain. We are not complaining about marginalisation in respect of political appointments, to me that is less important. We are not speaker of the house, we are not holding big political positions at the top level but we are talking about marginalisation in career positions. I am a product of bureaucracy and I know that bureaucracy or management rules the world, the world of government and business. Those who run Shell Petroleum are not the owners of Shell, but they are professional managers who we call bureaucrats in public service. Where a section of Nigeria is marginalised in the management of the country, that is not acceptable, that is why we are complaining. I was trying to document to show it department by department, how the Yoruba are treated. Though we are not making noise, we are pushing facts across. We are not asking for special treatment but all we are seeking is fair treatment. We are also saying, let Nigeria obey her constitution, there should be federal character, and there should be balance and fairness. That is what we are asking for and we have documented it, in education, in the judiciary; there is a whole department where no Yoruba had been head for 60 years - the Immigration. This government had massive support from the South-West during the last general election. Yoruba people voted for Goodluck Jonathan massively and we thought if only because of that, something has to be done. We are not saying he should give us any special treatment but he should be fair to us. He should give whatever is due to us, by virtue of our numerical strength, by virtue of the political support we gave to him, that is what we are asking for. And every part of Nigeria has the right to say that and insist on that. But Obasanjo was at the helm of affairs for eight years, was that not enough time to correct the imbalances? Why did you expect something from Obasanjo? He never promised to do anything for the people of this region. He was to debate with me in 1999 and he ran away, did you people question him on that? He never made any commitment to you, so you have no right to ask him anything. He got elected without making any promise, without making any commitment. When he was the president, it was taking us two hours to travel from Akure to Ilesha. That was our own dividends of democracy. When people become sentimental about sectional candidates, I just laugh. When Obasanjo was the president, what did Yoruba get from his administration of four years? But that is no reason, that a Yoruba man did not do justice to his own people, is no reason why others must do injustice too. We have appealed to Mr President to do what is fair. Recently, there was a reunion of Afenifere groups, the real Afenifere and the renewal; is the group making headway in keeping this group under one umbrella We are extremely happy that the younger people who had left realised that those who led them away had concern for themselves and the members of their own families. They learnt that they had no concern for them; they were able to compare and contrast. As rational, educated beings they decided they had to come back to where they think they belong. We are encouraging the remaining few to come back. We are also encouraging other Yoruba sons and daughters to get involved in Afenifere. Afenifere has served the Youba nation well since 1951. The political platform on which the political parties that will do well in Yorubaland is being built, some party claimed to be Afenifere but they are not Afenifere. The political party in Afenifere today is SDMP (Social Democratic Mega Party) which is a successor to AG, SDP and others. We are encouraging others to get involved, particularly now that Nigeria itself does not seem to know where it is going. The Americans have said in their own prediction that 2015 may be the year of Armageddon for us. The ongoing developments are also pointing to that direction. But Afenifere must provide cohesion in the South-West regardless of what happens in Nigeria. It can play a positive role. Balarabe Musa, at the 70th birthday party of the late Lam Adesina in Ibadan, he was the chairman, said that “you Yoruba people are the ones responsible for the confusion in Nigeria. You are the natural leaders of the progressive forces in Nigeria who are the majority forces but because of the disagreement and disunity among the progressives in the South-West, Nigeria is in disarray. You must put yourself together and provide leadership for the country”.

Chief Olu Falae is a former Finance Minister and a chieftain of Afenifere. He speaks with Hakeem Gbadamosi in this interview about various issues affecting the development of the nation’s economy, politics, the Afenifere breakaway faction, among other issues. Excerpts:

Falae

Talking about the SDMP as a party, are you not thinking of joining the APC? No, you should have asked why ACN are not in the same party with us. They broke away from AD; they are our former governors, but because they thought the Afenifere had no right to monitor what they were doing, and we said look, when people were voting in 1999, they were voting for Afenifere. Nobody knew about AD, and therefore to preserve the Afenifere legacy for future generations, you must ensure that what you do must be in conformity with Afenifere’s philosophy of looking after the welfare of the masses. They thought they were too big to be monitored by us but we were not too big to raise their hands to make them governors. I have spent 12 years to form reconciliation. We held more than eight meetings here in Akure, at Pa Fasoranti’s house; we had dozens of meetings at Jibowu, our headquarters and some in Ibadan. When they did not return, we asked the late Justice Kayode Eso to head a committee of Yoruba eminent elders like Bishop Gbonigi, Bishop Ladigbolu and others; they ignored those men. Finally, we went to Mrs Awolowo and told her that she was the last person who they would not want to ignore. Mama called a meeting with them. They came before the day of the meeting, they pre-empted the meeting. They said they will never sit down with us again until two years ago that they took an initiative and invited us to a meeting at Premier Hotel in Ibadan. We were so happy and excited but they did not show up. Those who invited us did not show up: Bola Tinubu, Segun Osoba, Niyi Adebayo, and they were the people that invited us to the meeting. How much insult can you heap on elders like us because we wanted to maintain the consensus platform of Awolowo for the benefit of our people? With the coming back of Odumakin and others, does that not signal the end of the crisis? We hope this will lead to what we wanted. What we want is for the progressives to come together and form a big family, not only in the South-West but in Nigeria. We don’t want opportunistic politics, which is what we are experiencing now, and it will lead us to nowhere. I called the PDP an opportunistic gang-up for power, not a political gathering. What is the ideology that binds them together? The APC, many of them, are my friends, I was the chairman of Buhari campaign committee in 2007 and his party, ANPP,

did not give me one naira for that campaign. I singlehandedly raised money for the campaign. That tells you my commitment, though we were not in the same party but my party endorsed the man so they made me the chairman. I know that group well. ANPP’s Shekarau is a friend; he has been in this house many times. I know them but their coming together should not be opportunistic. It must be principled; there must be a programme which they are going to implement for the benefit of Nigerians that is bringing them together. Not that their coming together is just to take over from the PDP, so that it will not be a set of rogues taking over from another set of rogues. What are you going to do if you take over the government? I can tell you now those three months to the last election, I literally lived in Abuja trying to bring together Buhari, Shekarau, Ribadu and Utomi, the four candidates. They asked me to play that role and I played it. We met several times in Abuja. I told them that ‘before you can come together as a principled venture, let’s have a common platform’. For one week, I sat down with two nominees from the four political parties to integrate a new manifesto which will mean a new dawn for Nigeria. We now have a new principle which forms the basis of our coming together. If we come together, it is to implement this common programme. What is the rationale for the coming together of these APC people? The kind of things we want to see for our own group, the SDP, and we, the old SDP, are waiting to be part of this. SDP is the most successful party in Nigeria’s history. We controlled the Senate, House of Representatives and 20 out of 30 states and later produced Abiola as the president. That is the party that I think is acceptable throughout Nigeria. But there are some SDP members in the new APC now. Let’s wait and see. There will be realignment of forces. It’s not impossible for the SDP and APC to come together in alliance, but what is important is to meet the objective of catering for the welfare of the people. If this is missing, the coming together will be a mirage. The gang-up of the APC now is objectively to push PDP out of power and it won’t work because it is not for the benefit of the masses. Don’t you see APC displacing PDP in the future election? All I am saying is that even if they are going to push


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treatment but fairness –Falae PDP out of power, what are we going to get as replacement? What are the programmes they are going to implement that will better your and my life? Where is the programme? That should be number one. What are we going to do? That’s what should bring us together. For two years, I tried to bring together about 20 parties in 2009 and 2010 but it was too ambitious because how did I think PDP will allow that thing to happen to form a formidable opposition against the party? Of course, they are not bothered and did not allow the merger to work. For parties to merge, it is very difficult, and all they need to do is for some of the members to go to court and tell the court you are against the merger and once the process starts in court, it might take a longer process. The AD that went to court in 2001 is still in court till today and once a man goes to court to challenge the merger, it’s the end of the party. Do you subscribe to the call for amnesty for the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, by some eminent leaders from the North? My leader, Pa Fasoranti, Afenifere leader, has spoken. What he said is also my view on Boko Haram. Who are the members of this group? Nobody knows their grievance. Do you know it? Comparing their situation with that of Niger/Delta is unacceptable. We have known from colonial time that the people of the South-South had always wanted their own regional identity. That was why in 1958 when the Constitutional Conference was held in London, the Action Group delegation included people like J.S. Takar, Wennike Briggs, Arthur Pres to show the British that Nigeria was not just Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. That our minority as well have their legitimate interest that had to be protected. We have always known the concern and objective of the South-South is political. They always want to be recognised, to have their own state and control their resources. We know those things; we can debate those ones with them. They did not start by killing us, they started by a debate. The first time I heard about Boko Haram, I found out that they are murderous, killing people and we are yet to know why. They killed some of their own leaders, Muslims, killed Christians and attacked their Emirs. What do they stand for, who are they? We don’t know. How would they be granted amnesty? It is totally unacceptable. In your view, what do you think is wrong with Nigeria’s economy, and what’s the solution? There are many things that can be done but I want to ad-

vise you to read my book, ‘The way Forward for Nigeria’. There is a chapter on economy regarding ideas on how to revive our economy. At a time, foreign debt was a major issue in Nigeria and I said we should negotiate to buy out our debts and to raise the money to pay these debts. I advocated that we should sell some of our shares in oil companies to pay back the debts to raise the dollars, but because of the increase in price of oil we didn’t have to sell our share in oil companies, from ordinary revenue we were able to put together under the Obasanjo regime. I advocated five years, though that is no longer an issue. What is an issue is the economic development and crucial to that is power. Production depends crucially on power, and we are sweating now because there is no power (laughs). Many companies left Nigeria simply because there is no power. To generate their own power was too expensive. Companies like Dunlop, Michelin, Cadbury and many others had to leave. If old companies have folded up, are new ones going to come in? The answer is NO. So, essentially we must solve the power problem which I see as major constraint. We must focus on gas collection to generate enough power to move this country forward. In economic literature, power consumption per head on population is often accepted as good option for development. If your power consumption per head is very low, you are not developing. Many companies that had been closed down can be revived and reopened and when that happens, many people will be employed, products will come out of the factories, traders will buy and sell, and transporters will have things to carry, both raw materials and finished products. Power is the number one factor to be faced by our government. There is also training and employment generation. The danger today is that we are training out of our tertiary institutions hundreds of thousands of poorly educated graduates. These are boys and girls who have access to technology via internet who can manufacture bombs and plan all forms of strategies to destabilise the peace of Nigeria. Why would they want to preserve the peace of Nigeria when they have no stake in Nigeria? We must deliberately create employment and I stated in that book ways to create employment. Apart from power, to open up factories and create jobs, I have suggested National Apprenticeship Scheme where all master artisans, like welders, carpenters, bricklayers and the rest will be encouraged under the scheme to take up 20 to 30 apprentices with some financial contributions from the government, so that like two million people can go into training. We are building modern

houses, who is going to maintain them? I also believe that the agricultural sector should be encouraged. We have the land and we need the employment opportunity it would create. Thirdly, I advocated for what I called urban transformation, as a strategy to modernise our cities. Mimiko has started it in Akure and the next thing for him to do is the involvement of the private sector, that is, the individuals who are home owners in the cities. There should be a loan scheme to encourage home owner to improve their houses, expand them where they have extra land to create addition accommodation for the urban workers who use accommodation and also beautification of urban areas. If you go along Arakale Road in Akure, there is beautiful dualisation but some of the houses affected by the dualisation of the road look ugly. But give a little credit to the owner so that he can make it better and elsewhere in other cities in Ondo State and in Nigeria. Home owners should be given cheap credit to beautify our cities and town. If you have land beside the house, it is very easy to put up an extra flat or four rooms, it is cheaper and faster to do than to go to a housing corporation and clear a forest. I am not against building new houses by housing corporation, but they should do that because it is cheaper and faster for an existing house to be expanded. This will give the home owners additional revenue, it also increases its equity; it benefits the home owner, tenants and the society. Equally important, if you are rebuilding your house or expanding it, it’s a strategy to kick-start the economy as carpenters, bricklayers, welders, cement sellers would all be busy. What’s your position on oil subsidy removal? Any impact on the nation’s economy? My position on oil and subsidy has always been this: oil is not as important as food, do you agree? For instance, if I don’t leave my house, I don’t use petrol but I cannot do without food every day. So food is more important than oil and government does not get involved in the pricing of food. Therefore, government should not get involved in the pricing of oil. If government is involved in the pricing of oil because of its importance and oil is not as important as garri, rice, yam, beans and oil palm, government should hands off. However, given the strategic nature of oil, transportation in the economy and the fact that God Himself has given us an endowment called ‘oil’ and all nations use their natural endowment to push their development, we should not just hands off oil pricing without making per-

Can APC survive registration ordeal? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

He also said the procedure for the merger of political parties is different from registration, making the proxy APC no threat to the merging parties. He stressed that ACN, ANPP and CPC have complied with the Electoral Act to make INEC ignore the proxy APC. Mohammed, who spoke during a press briefing in Abuja, said it would be wrong for anyone to insinuate that the merging parties ought to have written INEC to prevent the emergence of the proxy APC. He said: “It has been explained that the procedure for merger is different from that of registration. Now I want to say it loud and clear that there is nothing we ought to have done, as merging parties in accordance with the Electoral Act, which we have not done. “If you go to the Electoral Act, it is only after we have conducted our various conventions and had our resolution that we can apply to INEC. We are not like those who are registering new parties. And it will, therefore, be wrong to say probably we ought to have written to INEC which we have not, we ought to have notified

INEC, which we did not. But on the 6th of March, we saw the mischief that the African Peoples Congress was playing; we wrote to INEC, reminding them even though there is no requirement for registration, we have seen them, as people that want to make mischief, that INEC should take note. “So don’t compare the process of merger with the process of registration of a new party,” he said. The Chairman of the Merging Parties’ Committee on INEC and Legal Compliance, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN), described the proxy APC as illegal. Ocholi said: “By virtue of the provision of the Electoral Act, there are different requirements for registration of a political party, different requirements for merger and different requirements for de-registration of political parties. What these opposition groups here are up to is merging. Also responding to some questions, the Chairman of the Merger Committee of ACN, Chief Tom Ikimi, insisted that the original APC by the four parties will survive. He said the merging parties have no problem with INEC so

far. He said the ruling PDP is afraid because a merger has never happened in Nigerian political history. However, while the blame game continued, the African Progressive Congress, on Thursday unveiled its logo and denied having any link with the ruling PDP. The controversy is also compounded by new facts that showed that the electoral commission has had two communications with the new party, aside the original letter of the new party dated February 28. INEC had, in another letter to the new party, dated March 7 and signed by Abdulahi Kaugama, forwarded 20 copies of the commission‘s prescribed Form PA 1 for completion and return to the commission, while the new party, in another letter dated March 13, required documents as prescribed in the INEC registration forms. Commenting on the controversy surrounding the name APC, the legal adviser of African Progressive Congress, Mr Kingsley Nnadi, said that the new party had not broken any law nor contravene the constitution by adopting its name and acronym, adding “that any

other group laying claim to the acronym APC had not made any official request to the Independent National Electoral Commission before us.” He debunked allegations that the African Peoples Congress was hurriedly floated by members of the PDP to scuttle the registration of All Progressives Congress, stressing that “if the PDP had performed well, there would have not been any need to float APC. “My party has no link with PDP; in fact, our intention is to take over power from the ruling party. If PDP is ruling well, there would have been no need to come up. We are out because PDP has failed to touch the lives of Nigerians. “We have just one APC (African Peoples Congress), the other one does not exist and INEC is aware of our party. The other APC only did mere negotiation, but we started our party over two years ago with the documents submitted to the INEC. We have met the requirements of the constitution and the Electoral Act. “I believe that the unveiling of our party today has finally put to rest the contention over APC, which one is authentic or not and we are waiting for

CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

INEC’s reply. We have our offices in over 26 states of the federation, including our national headquarters and our support is massive,” he stated. In another development, the ongoing controversy over the name APC assumed a new dimension, as a new group, All Patriotic Citizens (APC), on Thursday, approached INEC for registration as a full-fledged political party. However, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has challenged the INEC to make public the promoters of the African Peoples Congress (APC), saying the new party was an initiative of the PDP. The CNPP in a statement said the PDP’s bid was to frustrate the merger plans of the country’s leading political parties who had chosen to coalesce into the All Progressive Congress, APC. The CNPP in the statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Osita Okechukwu thus charged INEC to reveal the sponsors of the new party and to “resist the temptation of PDP’s covert move to register the African Peoples Congress; for prior to 6 February 2013 when the All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed, there was no such application in INEC.” “Therefore PDP’s intention to register African Peoples Congress is ignoble, subversive and meant to forestall the registration of the authentic APC, based on the flimsy argument that both possess the same acronym.” “CNPP needs to remind INEC that PDP’s intendment is to foist one party state in Nigeria and rule uninterrupted for sixty years, with or without performance.” “Consequently, we challenge INEC to publish the names of the promoters of African Peoples Congress to prove that it is not as alleged in merger with PDP.”


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Politics

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

APGA Convention: Obi, Umeh in battle of wits CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) recently reached a crescendo when the two feuding sides, each led by Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, and the embattled National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, gave vent to a fierce battle as to which side had the right to organise the national convention of the party. The struggle escalated soon after the Enugu State High Court presided over by Justice Innocent Umezulike had in a judgement delivered in the suit filed by one Jude Okoli against Chief Victor Umeh sacked the entire leadership of APGA, along with the national executive committee of the party of which Umeh was a principal member. Again, not long after the Enugu State High Court sacked the entire executive councils of APGA, the stakeholders came to Awka and appointed Governor Obi as the Deputy National Leader of the party during the one year remembrance rally held at Ekwueme Square, Awka in honour of the late Igbo leader, Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who was buried in his Nnewi compound on March 2, 2012. Few days after he was appointed the National Deputy Leader of the APGA, Governor Obi swung into action and proceeded to exercise the powers and rights conferred on him by applying to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for permission to organise the national convention of the party. And once the said application got to the INEC, it elicited mixed reactions from all the interested parties, particularly the INEC management and Umeh faction of the APGA. Reports indicate that once the application got to the INEC, the electoral body wrote back to the governor, informing him that his request could not be granted as the powers to convene the national convention of the APGA resides with the national chairman. This latest development has now introduced a new twist to the conflict in the APGA, to the extent that while the supporters of Governor Obi were insisting that they had resolved all the differences they had with the INEC that Obi was the leader of AGPA constitutionally empowered to organise the national convention, the group led by Umeh also maintained that Obi had no powers to stage a national convention of APGA. The rift is now escalating with no end in sight. The emerging conflict bothers on the issue of how the two key contending groups have defended their right and power to organise the contentious national convention of the APGA. Speaking to Sunday Mirror on the issue of controversy generated by Obi’s request to convene a national convention of APGA, a key party chieftain and National Chairman of APGA Stakeholders Forum, Chief Sylvester Nwobu-Alor, said that Governor Obi was duly empowered by both the court judgement and the constitution of the APGA to organise a national convention. Chief Nwobu-Alor who disclosed that they had resolved

Umeh

Obi

all the differences they had with the INEC on the issue, also stated that they had scheduled to hold a national convention of the party on coming April 18. Chief Nwobu-Alor who repudiated the report that INEC refused to give Obi approval to organise the party’s national convention also gave insights into the legitimacy of their claim and how they intend to organise the National Convention on April 18th. According to Chief Nwobu-Alor, “May be the INEC people did not understand the judgement of Enugu State High Court which gave a judgement that members and the dissolved executive of the party should come together and fix a date for conducting a convention, and if you look at the constitution of the party as it relates to membership, you will see that if the elected members of the National Executive is sacked, it follows that only the Governor and the Deputy Governor are still members of the National Executive Committee, because they were not elected; they are there by the virtue of the offices they are holding. And in such a situation, the governor in the exercise of the orders of the court can write to the INEC, notifying it of the date for convention for purposes of observing the proceedings. However, the party and INEC have reached acceptable arrangement and this matter is no longer an issue. On the issue of how they are going to organise the national convention, Nwobu-Alor said, “The local government, wards and state congresses would follow immediately but the dates are yet to be fixed; the ward, local government and state congresses must have been completed before the date of the national convention”. Nwobu-Alor further contended that what is clear now is that the former members of the National Executive Com-

mittee will come together and fix a date for the conduct of the elections to be held before the National Convention fixed for April 18, based on the party’s constitution. He stated that everybody is now happy that the APGA is being restructured, while advising the members to ensure its survival. Nwobu-Alor summed up their position on the issue saying, “Our position has been that of re-organising the party for effectiveness and to use our capacities as owners of the party to put it back to a strong position and once we have done that, we will go back to base and watch it grow. We have absolute confidence in the ability of Maximus Okwu to perform his duty; he is there for specific reason-to complete what the court asked us to do and if he is interested in the National Chairmanship post, he is free to contest. “What we now have is one solid APGA now facing restructuring at all levels”. Apart from the position taken by Chief Nwobu Alor on the issue, the APGA led by Governor Obi on Wednesday issued a statement denying that the National Executive Committee meeting held in Awka on Saturday, March 9, 2013 was a threat to go on with the party national convention whether the INEC approves it or not. In the statement which was issued by Benard Akoma, Interim National Publicity Secretary, the party contends, “However, the Awka meeting was rather in response to the directive of Enugu High Court which in its judgement of February 8, 2013 directed the NEC of the party to organise a credible convention to elect various organs of the party. The meeting was also in compliance with the INEC position that a request for a party convention cannot be written by the governor on behalf of the party. APGA constitution did not state that the national chairman of the party should convene a national convention, but in the absence of the national chairman as is the case now with APGA, that authority and power were rightly vested in the NEC of the party by the court”, adding that the Awka meeting was in total compliance to the court ruling and obedience to the INEC position. The statement further argued that INEC never said that APGA should stop functioning as a political party because it has no national chairman. As Governor Obi and his group consolidate their position and hold on the party, Chief Umeh has fought back, saying that Obi has no right to convene a national convention of the APGA. Speaking to Sunday Mirror, Chief Umeh repudiated Obi’s right to conduct the national convention of APGA. His words: “They have no powers to hold the convention and INEC has told him so. Obi is not an officer of APGA”. So far, the group led by Umeh is positioning itself for a sustained supremacy battle ahead of the April 18 national convention date, fixed by Chief Maxi Okwu’s executive, which has the backing of Governor Obi. It will be recalled that the group led by Chief Umeh at the end of their meeting in Abuja on March 6, issued a communiqué wherein they disassociated themselves from a meeting of the national caucus of the APGA which took place on February 16 during which interim National Committee members were elected. So far, as both sides fine-tune strategies to beat the other and emerge victorious at the end of it all, history is beckoning on INEC to come out boldly and do what it is supposed to do and ensure that normalcy is restored to the beleaguered APGA, bearing in mind the impending governorship election in Anambra State.

‘Yoruba are not asking for special treatment but fairness’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

manent the endowment factor and the economy. In other words, I am saying that before you can deregulate oil completely, it must accept a pricing policy that would charge us a price that would reflect the cost of oil and refining it in Nigeria plus a reasonable profit-making for the refiner and forget completely the price of oil in New York and the volatile international market. That’s what they call natural market. If you take my own paradigm, the cost of producing it here, mining it, refining it at the refinery, adding the profit margin of the refiner, what we will be paying will be one-third the price we are paying now. At the level, I will say, ‘government take off your hand’ but that price already contains the endowment that God has given us that we must enjoy the benefit of oil. The Japanese and the Chinese are the greatest savers in the world. The saving ratio in Japan is almost 70 per cent, so they have a lot of surplus money. The interest rate in Japan is not up to two or three per cent. Even when it was about seven or eight

per cent in Europe and the Japanese are using cheap capital to push their development, they didn’t say because interest rate was high somewhere, charge seven per cent, if you borrow money from Japan. As a country, you pay the same low rate, but when you are about to pay the principal, the Japanese money must have appreciated against your own currency. If you borrow $10 million because of the appreciation of the Yen, you pay a little higher. The point I am making is that every nation uses its endowment to encourage its development. We should use oil as our natural endowment to push our development. There should be no apology charging a price for oil, which is less than international price. International price is not natural, it is price that is partially economical, political and emotional because oil is to be found predominantly in a very volatile part of the world, in the Middle East, where all kinds of instability prevailed, so per cent of price of oil is due to that instability, not the economy. So why should we pay for the instability in the Middle East and

not just look into the real economic cost of producing the oil? You had held sensitive posts in the country. One is expected to see a very wealthy man, like the politicians of today. Are you a wealthy man? I am wealthier than they are; I am contented and I am happy. Honestly, I am a happy man in all ramifications. There is nothing I want to do today that I cannot do conveniently. God has been very kind to me. I live in my own house here; I have another house in Lagos, plus one or two other houses. I have a farm which I go to everyday; I have a factory which I closed down due to power. God has been so kind to me, even in terms of material things. I am very okay. I educated all my children, they are all married, so what else can I ask for? I am into farming as a choice, I decided to retire at the age of 50 and that I will never be a contractor or going to offices or ministries looking for contracts and to be humiliated by junior officers. I decided I would go into farming where I can earn my living by working hard.


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Interview ENCOUNTER WITH A NEWS MAKER MARCH 17, 2013

Dan-Musa: President’s position on amnesty’ll complicate nation’s bad situation You are among the northern leaders who have canvassed dialogue as a means of addressing the security challenges created by the Boko Haram insurgents. How did you feel about President Goodluck Jonathan’s foreclosure on amnesty for the sect in Maiduguri recently? That statement by Mr. President is very unfortunate; the president of a country almost torn apart by security problems, a situation where lives are lost daily and the country’s commerce affected, shouldn’t have said that. In fact as it stands now in the North, particularly, nobody can say he is immune from attack. This is despite the fact that the situation has caused untold hardship to Nigerians who now find survival very difficult. The visit to Borno and Yobe by the president was one major opportunity he had to address the Boko Haram insurgency but he missed it. He should have used that opportunity to announce amnesty for the sect even if it was a response to the request by the Sultan of Sokoto, the most respected and highest Muslim leader in the country, who pleaded with Jonathan to grant amnesty to the sect members. Another costly mistake the president made was turning down Borno leaders’ plea for troop withdrawal to pave way for possible dialogue with Boko Haram sect. It was a big blunder which shows lack of respect for northern leaders by the president. I assure you that this development will complicate the already bad situation. The leaders of Borno who would have played prominent role in seeing the end of this conflict were those whose views were being disregarded by our president and let’s see how it goes. I disagree with the president that the sect members are ghosts. They are not; people know them and see them. But even if they are ghosts, why don’t you try for the sake of peace and stability of the country and grant amnesty to the ghosts and see whether they will accept it or not. Don’t forget something gave bath to this insurgency and some of the factors include injustice, poverty and unemployment. These problems are still very much with us with no practical efforts to address them. This will compound our problems. We remember the case of Niger Delta militants when the late president, Umaru Yar’Adua, announced amnesty for them, not all of them embraced it immediately. Some did, ohers did not but with time the majority embraced the state pardon. You do not expect every member of the Boko Haram to accept the amnesty. In my opinion, the government should have also grabbed the one month ceasefire announced by a faction of the sect to initiate the peace process. But this did not happen because of wrong advisers and today, we are all suffering because nothing is working in Nigeria. Recent events in the country, particularly the abduction of foreigners in Bauchi and Katsina states, will not only affect our image internationally but will get to a time when foreigners, particularly from Europe working to help our people would avoid this country. Also, when the ones in the construction companies feel strongly threatened and shut their businesses, it would create more unemployment for our people and that will mean more insecurity and misery for the northern part of the country. There were still killings even after the ceasefire and again nobody showed up for dialogue with the government, either the Boko Haram sect or the appointed representatives. If you were in power, how would you have handled such a situation? That, in my opinion, is a baseless argument because the declaration of ceasefire was made at a press conference where the leaders made themselves available physically. They only masked their faces. In fact, prior to that ceasefire announcement, the Borno State government had been holding meetings with them. Even if you see them as a splinter group, why did the authorities not make ef-

Alhaji Abubakar Maman Dan-Musa was Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic. In the first dispensation of that republic, he was Speaker of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN)-controlled Kaduna House of Assembly that impeached the governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa. He speaks in this interview with North Bureau Chief, Augustine Madu-West on a number of pressing issues, including the insurgency in the North. Excerpts:

Dan-Musa

forts to penetrate this group, which has offered itself for dialogue? At least there was a chance to open up negotiations to see what the result would have been. The northern leaders have no blame in this situation and nobody should accuse them of being responsible for the conflict. The government should accept responsibility because it is a brainchild of bad and irresponsible leadership where very few people are richer than the country through the stealing of public funds. This would boomerang and the result is what we are seeing today. It all started around 2002, from Yobe when they were called Talibans and if you look at the composition at that time it was made up of unemployed university graduates. Rather than handling this situation logically, forces were employed with the impression that the group had been crushed. In 2009, this same group emerged as Boko Haram.

people, then it has no choice but to find a way to dialogue with these restive youths. If this is done then there would be hope but if the government insists on the use of force, hoping to crush the militants, there will be more problems because the factors that produced these elements are still predominant; that is injustice, unemployment and hunger. They are all present and increasing by the day, especially in the northern part of the country. In Borno, Kano, Yobe, Bauchi, Katsina, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kaduna where the cost of living has gone very high because of the security crisis, again the common people don’t even have money to buy these rising foodstuff. Now people can’t even take care of their stomach much less assisting their immediate families. You see the entire segment of the society is being destroyed. With this kind of situation, how do you hope for peace; certainly it is anarchy!

With this Boko Haram conflict in the North, do you see the feasibility of 2015 election in the region? Well, nobody can say yes or no, it depends on how the issue is handled before the election by the government. If the government is a listening one, willing to listen to the

You have consistently blamed injustice for this ugly situation. What specifically do you mean? These injustices did not start now, not even in the govCONTINUED ON PAGE 16


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Interview

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘I won’t be surprised if Jonathan pardons every corrupt person’ ensure that the merger succeeds to uproot PDP from power. As I said, the personalities involved in this matter have done it before and failed. I remember we tried this under the Buhari Organisation, TBO, with some North-West political platforms and the there was no success. Prior to the last election of 2011, the Buhari group formed a national democratic movement and I was one of the people who actively performed in the movement to the last day (February 18, 2010) at 47 Usman Street, Maitama-Abuja, we had two reports submitted on strategies and programmes as well as contacts but nothing came out of it. Members went their different ways. The question now is, who are the people promoting APC today? The same people, but in a worst situation because before ANPP was in the same camp with them and that is where we left to form CPC. We know the bitterness and treachery this caused the ANPP but today they are the leading figures in the APC. For the ACN, I will still remember what happened in 2011. We seriously negotiated with them even though they were never to be blamed for our failure then, yet what was disturbing was their sabotaging of their own presidential candidate, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. It’s only in Osun State where ACN won the presidential election but in the rest of the South-West states, PDP, by extension, Jonathan, won. You can see the conspiracy. How are we sure that these people will sincerely come together in the name of Nigeria and save Nigeria’s democracy. My prayer is that politicians should surmount their differences and work in the interest of the Nigerian people who have for long been deceived because God will not forgive us as politicians to continue with such deceit in leadership. Dan-Musa

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 ernment of Goodluck Jonathan or Obasanjo. It started during the military regime where public funds were fragrantly abused and openly stolen by the military leaders, and nothing happened to the thieves because of their contact with the military top brass. Stealing of public funds was seen as a normal way of life during the military under whatever guise. It only heightened in the days of General Obasanjo, so he must accept the chunk of the blames for the high level of corruption in the country today because he encouraged the stealing of public money through administrative corruption as was evident in his privatisation policy. The EFCC and ICPC are handicapped in dealing with corruption in high places. Apart from Olabode George, former Nigerian Ports Authority chairman, who went to jail for corruption, most people who had smelt the rod on account of their involvement in corrupt practices were in the lower class. This is because, for those big names, before their case files are compiled, there are interventions from higher authorities. Even when efforts are made to prosecute them, the cases suffer unimaginable adjournments until they are abandoned. No leading figure has ever been sentenced to jail in Nigeria before and after Bode George, and that makes the corruption level and campaign against it in the country mind-boggling. These our young men watch these people steal money that also should have gone a long way in catering for their welfare or creating jobs for them, and you expect them to fold their arms and watch. With this kind of situation, how do you think we’ll have peace; it’s not possible! What, in your opinion, should the government do in this regard? I have my doubt if President Jonathan has the capability to fight corruption. You are aware of the recent pardoning of the former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseiga and others who were jailed over corruption issues. So I won’t be surprised if every corrupt person is pardoned because they should ask for it as a matter of right following the treatment given to Alamieyeseigha. The late Shehu Yar’Adua and Oladepo Diya deserve state pardon because of the circumstances surrounding their trial. We agree that the way the former Bayelsa governor was removed by Obasanjo was not proper but that does not remove the fact that he misappropriated public funds. Corruption has remained a cankerworm threatening the corporate existence of this country. You can imagine a situation where a man who stole several billions of Naira was given a light sentence with an option of insignificant fine. This shows we are not a normal country because those in power are not doing the right thing and are not ready to do the right thing.

The build-up to 2015 is already on, with the merger of opposition parties to form All Progressives Congress, APC; what do you make out of this merger? I am one of those people who prayed fervently that Nigeria should have an alternative, strong and viable party capable of wresting power from the PDP. This is because PDP has failed Nigeria and Nigerians. If we have another alternative to that party, then Nigeria should be thinking of moving in a right direction. I am very happy to hear that an attempt has been made to form a new platform that will be an alternative to PDP. But whether this will succeed in the long run by giving the people hope for a better government in the future is another thing. Do you see APC as a party that will be strong enough to confront the PDP given the disagreements already being witnessed within the platform? Forget about these disagreements you are talking about, the composition of the leadership and membership of the party also make you begin to wonder if it will succeed. After all, the same people had tried this several times and failed; it was not once or twice; the question is, can they now succeed? Let’s look at the history of mergers or political alliances in the nation’s political culture. The first attempt at having a strong party through merger or alliance, so that those who call themselves progressives will take over, was in the First Republic between the NCNC and the Action Group to form APGA. Through this arrangement, they succeeded in boycotting the federal election of 1965 but then the NCNC left Action Group and there was election in the East and Mid-West. A unity government was formed excluding Action Group. You can see APGA did not succeed in its objective of ousting the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) from the central government; the attempt failed because of mistrust between the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, leader of the Action Group and late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, following events in Western region, so that merger did not succeed. In the Second Republic, the progressive governors, comprising UPN, NPP, GNPP, all came together and formed what was known then as PPA, Progressive Peoples Alliance, again this group did not succeed because some of the governors parted ways with their party leaders in some of the states, like Balarabe Musa and the late Abubakar Rimi of Kaduna and Kano states respectively who parted ways with the late Aminu Kano of the PRP. Only UPN owned by Awolowo was intact before the election of 1983; others were in disarray and as such they were not able to prevent the return of Alhaji Shehu Shagari in the 1983 election won by NPN. This analysis is just history to guide us. Whichever way we have been progressing in our political arrangement, let’s hope that this time round they will avoid the mistake of the past and work hard to

Do you see APC having the capability to dethrone PDP? If the leaders of the APC approach the game with sincerity and with prayer from God, it is possible. Again, it is obvious that Nigerians are tired and frustrated with PDP style of leadership. You can see the security situation in the country today which is caused by bad leadership resulting in poverty, graduate and youth unemployment, in a country with huge resources to cater for its people if properly managed. What is the fate of the 10 Katsina legislators who won the 2011 National Assembly election but were replaced on the directive of the leadership of the CPC; is that case still in court? It is sheer stupidity and an unfortunate situation because the other 10 who were ordered to replace them from the state never participated in the election. They were never members or candidates in that election and there is a provision in the Electoral Act of 2010, as amended, which specifically stated that no court can award a seat to a person who did not contest an election. It is quite clear. Again, aggrieved members of the party CPC went to court to change the replacement of the original occupants of the seats in the National Assembly, the case got up to Supreme Court, and the Court in its final judgement said the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and including Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to handle the matter because this is a free election matter and there is no consequential order by the Supreme Court that a specific action should be taken. Because it is Nigeria, with its peculiar nature, somebody in the legal department went and issued certificates to illegal occupants of National Assembly seats from Katsina State thus cancelling the original certificates that were legally awarded those who contested and won the election under section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. The only situation where INEC can do what it did is when the Court of Appeal nullifies the election. So there was no such order. If Nigeria were a decent society, the best thing to do was to maintain the status quo. The action of the leadership of the National Assembly on this matter, expelling our members, was questionable and since January last year, we have been in court. We won at the Federal High Court, Abuja, which declared null and void the action of INEC and the National Assembly. This order has been ignored since the 10 affected members are yet to be reabsorbed by the National Assembly because they are not favoured by General Buhari. Who do you blame for all these now? The Senate President, David Mark, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; they have been running the National Assembly like their personal property and this is very painful. The Almighty God is watching on their activities.


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

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Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari at 88

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elebrating the lives and times of a nation’s leader while alive, hale and hearty is widely considered a rare blessing. It is an honour to not only have the nation’s first Executive President, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, very much around, but to also see him add yet another year to his age. The octogenarian recently clocked 88 years; and has thus become the oldest living Nigerian Head of State. Shagari currently serves as a bridge between a relatively golden era in Nigeria’s political journey and the present tortuous 4th Republic riddled with daunting socio-political challenges. His presence ought to evoke a feeling of nostalgia in the nation. It is an eminent reminder of the architects of modern Nigeria in the First Republic; the political activism and exciting ideology that characterised the Second Republic; and, indeed, the evolution of contemporary political system in the country. Shagari, born on February 25, 1925, served as the Executive President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces from October 1979 to December 1983, an era when the nation still had political giants like Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Aminu Kano and Waziri Ibrahim, etc.; who defined for Nigeria a momentous political existence at the time, in active politics. Alhaji Shagari, though blue-blooded and currently holds the exalted title of Turakin Sakkwato, had a humble beginning. The sixth child of the Magaji Aliyu and Mariamu family in Shagari village, Sokoto State, he was given the middle name, Usman, which means “Companion”. He probably lived out the true meaning of his name, having been raised in a polygamous home. Before emerging as the Magajin Shagari, a very highly revered title for the head of a village in Fulaniland, Shagari’s father, Aliyu, was a farmer, trader

and herder. Unfortunately, Aliyu died five years after Shehu’s birth. The death compelled the young Shehu to seek the companionship of members of the wider Shagari family. His elder brother, Bello Shagari, was also handy to guide him. Shehu started his early education in a Quranic school at the age of four years, from where he proceeded to an elementary school in Yabo. From there, he attended the Sokoto Middle School and later, Kaduna College, where he trained as a teacher. He thereafter taught Science, History and Geography for six years in his alma mater, the Sokoto Middle School, after which he left to become the headmaster of a primary school in Argungu. The former President cut his teeth in politics in the late 1940s alongside one Gambo in the ‘Youth Social Circle’, a political organisation in Sokoto. Shagari was to be later elected to represent the Sokoto Southwest constituency in the then northern regional parliament when the organisation became a political party; and by the late 1950s, he had won a national parliamentary election. In 1958, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the country’s then Prime Minister; and subsequently assumed the positions of Minister of Economic Development in 1960, Minister of Internal Affairs in 1962 and Minister of Works and Survey in 1965. In 1970, Shagari served as the Minister of Economic Affairs, and later, Finance under the military government of General Yakubu Gowon. Providence eventually smiled on him and his political career when he emerged as the candidate of the then National Party of Nigeria (NPN), under whose platform he contested the 1979 presidential election, won and was sworn in as the country’s first Executive President. Yet, what makes Shagari’s life

worth celebrating is not his title as the first Executive President, but his exemplary simplicity and perceivable honesty in the midst of bad advisers, political wolves and exceptionally greedy party members, amid the rising corruption profile of the government he led. His administration made agriculture, housing, industries, and transportation its cardinal priorities; as well as attempted the diversification of the economy. The Shagari administration also completed the Delta Steel Complex in 1982, and tried to stabilise the perpetually ailing Ajaokuta Steel Company, among others. When oil prices began to fall in 1981, the administration initiated an Economic Stabilisation Programme to help secure the economy, which led to the reduction of import licences, government spending, and an increase in customs’ duties. The lows of that eventful era, however, were corruption, electoral violence and frauds, falling national finances, austerity, religious violence and weak political will, all of which culminated in the overthrow, late December 1983, of the Second Republic by the military. It is on record, however, that Shagari was not found culpable for corruption charges, nor did he live a profligate lifestyle years after being forced out of office. These we consider quite exemplary, considering the nation’s experience with the leaders in power presently, who, in their dozens, have proven to be ravenous wolves in sheep clothing. We celebrate Shagari today because of his genuine love for Nigeria, his sincerity and determination to steer the nation away from crises; as well as his clean records during and after service. We sincerely wish him longer and eventful years ahead in good health; as well as recommend his modest lifestyle to the many perfidious political crooks in ‘service’ today.

Reminiscences MARCH 17, IN HISTORY 1905: Roosevelt marries distant cousin

Franklin D. Roosevelt married his distant cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt, in New York City. The wedding was attended by President Theodore Roosevelt, FDR’s fifth cousin, who gave his niece away.

1931: Nevada legalises gambling

Nevada Senate voted to legalise all forms of gambling in the state providing the impetus for the growth of Las Vegas.

1941: Tangiers residence handed over to German consul

The residence of the Mendoub of Tangiers, who was ejected from Morocco by Franco’s Spanish forces, was handed over to the German consul.

1965: Farouk dies at 45

Farouk, the last king of Egypt, died at the age of 45.

1985: Again, Ramirez murders two women

Richard Ramirez, the infamous Night Stalker, started his killing spree when he murdered two women in separate attacks in Los Angeles.

2001: England - Eden Project opens

The Eden Project, the world’s largest greenhouse designed to help save mankind’s largest number of plant species from around the world, has opened. It has a number of domes each emulating a natural climate and geographical area of ecology. The project has over 100,000 plants and is now one of the UK’s most important tourist attractions.

2008: Kosovo becomes independent

Kosovo’s parliament declared independence from Serbia. The Kosovan Prime Minister promised a democracy that respects the rights of all ethnic communities, and the Serbian Prime Minister denounced the United States for its help there.

2010: Obama to pursue ‘aggressive sanctions’ on Iran

President Barack Obama said that the United States would pursue ‘aggressive sanctions’ to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. The US president, who had been pursuing dialogue with Iran as a cornerstone of his administration’s foreign policy, said he was successful in getting the international community to isolate Tehran.


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Opinion

Sunday March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The Nigerian State as a colony of anarchists Uncensored U nc

Sheriff S Folarin

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

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colony has been defined by the online Reference Dictionary as a group of people who leave their native country to form, in a new land, a settlement subject to, or connected with, the parent nation. The colony thus refers to a settlement of people created for, or by them, outside their original homesteads. The common feature of such a settlement is that it is a ‘marriage’ of convenience between overpowered groups, who may or may not believe in living together. An anarchist, on the other hand, has been described as a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power. He is a person who believes that government and laws are not necessary. The anarchist’s philosophy is like that of the Stoics in the Hellenistic Age, which succeeded the golden age of Greek political civilization, whose belief in government ended, after the endless interstate wars led to the collapse of the Greek city-states. Everyone thereafter, wanted to live without artificial borders created by the state. The anarchist, like the Stoics and Epicureans, does not believe in state-dictated law and order and wants the state abolished. The interface between the colony and anarchists is intelligible: the colony is not a product of the general will of the people. The colony is characterized by state excesses and abuse. The political concept of a colony denotes an artificial creation of a foreigner who has overpowered a group or groups of people. It is not controlled by the people and does not recognize their voice or aspirations. The colony thus produces multiples of persons weighed down by the state, whose

object is far from the varied interests of the groups in the colony. Such a settlement of people is more likely to produce a plethora of anarchists, who will see nothing profitable in identifying with or being lumped along with strange bedfellows in an unworkable contraption called ‘state’. This position is strengthened by Vladmir Lenin, who, like Karl Marx, had seen the state itself as a product of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms: where the ‘haves-not’ are in a perpetual conflict with the ‘haves’, and where the ‘haves’ who control the state, collude with established authority to manipulate the instruments of coercion to their advantage and use those tools to shortchange the ‘haves-not’. The problem of coexistence in such an entity is thus compounded and the state is devoid of human passion. Human passion can mean patriotism, nationalist feelings or good neighbourliness. The rich is attached to the state not because of any love for, or patriotic feelings towards it, but because the state has become the only conduit for wealth accumulation. The poor is detached from the state because it has become absolutely useless for him to meet his aspirations or to fulfill his destiny. The state is, for the poor, an instrument of oppression. The state thus becomes prone to violence and is susceptible to descent into anarchy; and when anarchy sets in, the state ceases to be a ‘state’. ‘State’ literally connotes order, and when life becomes nasty, brutish and short, like it is in Nigeria, the colony has become the Hobbessian state of nature. The Nigerian state is no doubt an artificial creation of the British, a sore point in history which has evidently continually haunted the people and has hindered seamless inter-group relations. The so-called nation was a colony of strange bedfellows whose inability to respect one another and live together without recourse to sectional and ethnic sentiments, is obvious. The ‘colony’ is replete with anarchists in different shades, including ethnic nationalists, ‘democrats’ with tribal instincts, lawmakers with primordial sentiments towards their geopolitical zones, leaders without a patriotic spirit and people who barely tolerate one

another. When Chief Obafemi Awolowo once described Nigeria as a mere ‘geographical expression’, not too many people gave him plaudits for this insight. The idea was lampooned and described as a product of a frustration because he never got power at the centre after several attempts. But Awo seemed right: Nigeria is a ‘colony’ of disunited people where only those who benefit from the system want it to remain a corporate entity. This group of people will naturally include (like Major Kaduna Nzeogwu once outlined) the ten percenters, state contractors, corrupt public officials who are recycled in government years after years, the political jobbers who feed fat on government, and all those who reap from violence and national misfortunes. Today, those to be counted among this category of ‘emergency nationalists’ are the Northerners who own 83% of the South-South’s oil wells, the crowd of empty-headed political appointees and advisers, and the political scions of godfathers and powerbrokers whose only source of income is parasiting in the corridors of power. The Nigerian State is thus beneficial to a few and rendered useless for the majority by that few. That majority seems not to believe any longer in ‘Nigeria’. The state’s susceptibilities security-wise, have opened the doors for the reign of gangsters and escalation of dangerous crimes. The Nigerian State is full of contradictions as it has rather produced and multiplied anarchists who seek out the porosities of the state to either pursue their self-determination objectives, or make money through unconventional means. The lack of faith in, and love for the Nigerian State has been responsible for not only the greed and corruption of the public office holders who are supposed to be the trustees of the state, cause of the fraud of individuals and groups in the organized private sector, a factor in the many splinter groups of insurgents who are laying siege to the state; but has also been the cause of numerous cases of domestic, civil, ethnic and religious violence. The Nigerian State- for many who have lost their sense of connection and patriotism

to it- is now considered as the cheapest conduit for quick and illegal wealth. Consequently, we have had cases of drug peddling, arms smuggling, oil bunkering, petrol smuggling, money laundering, cyber crimes, reign of occult practices, escalation of ritual killings, kidnappings, rape incidents, et cetera. And because the state is so weak, people take laws into their hands, such as we have had reported incidents of soldiers shooting policemen, a policeman killing a fellow policeman, police officer gunning down innocent passerby or peaceful protester, husband stabbing wife to death, mother killing own baby, father raping his own 10-year old daughter, monarch raping female youth corps member, taxi driver clubbing colleague to death, army officer driving against traffic, man using neighbour’s son’s head for money ritual, palm wine tapper setting debtor’s apartment ablaze, food vendor caught with human parts, cleric pouring acid on own convert, etc, etc. It is real anarchy facing us in Nigeria. No day passes by without one unimaginable crime or the other being reported. But the extent of the Nigerian statelessness is beginning to manifest in the way the ‘haves’ are now being increasingly affected. The contradictions of the state are beginning to consume the rich and powerful few who have rendered Nigeria a ‘useless colony’. Police Commissioners, DPOs, army officers, etc, are now being wasted by the anarchists that the same state has produced. The season of anomie is however, stretching too far. Someone must rise up and stop this. First, we do not need a PDP or APC to rescue us; we need a Samson for that mission. Second, we do not need a lucky person to lead us to the land of greatness; a God-fearing Joshua is the joker in that regard. And lastly, we do not require empty-heads in government for reinvention of the country from an anarchical colony to a united nation; a Solomon is sin qua non to that cause. Nigeria cannot continue like a den of robbers for a few godless •Dr. Folarin is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Political Science/International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria

The Abia politics of parochialism GEORGE OPARA

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he post-governorship time of former governor Orji Uzor Kalu, relatively, seems to be full of daunting challenges. At almost all fronts of his life, Kalu has been grappling to keep himself politically relevant or dust his name of shocking stains. Regrettably, the movement to eclipse the star politician is considerably coming from Abia, his home state. Subtly, however, the serial attacks come by state policy, political decision and or her institutions which impeach the credibility, public image and personality of the man who in recent past was famously acknowledged as unrivalled statecraft and political godfather of the incumbent governor, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji. Governor Orji and Kalu were trusted allies with abiding ties. In Kalu’s governorship, Orji served as personal secretary, principal secretary, permanent secretary and chief of staff, all spanning to a long period of eight years. But the intimate and trusted relationship between the duos broke down close to 2011 general elections. The crux of the matter was the second term ambition of the incumbent governor. It was unclear whether kalu would or not give his nod for the manifest ambition of Orji amidst intraparty political differences threatening Orji’s bid under the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA – the platform Orji rose to power under sticky circumstances in 2007 through the

instrumentality of kalu. When the PPA coast appeared darker than met the eyes, Orji boldly made successive defections. He left PPA to join the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and then to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP where he re-contested and won as second term governor in 2011 general polls. Ever since, the misunderstanding has been virulently alive. Orji and Kalu had inadvertently played themselves into the hands of their political enemies as they allegedly have been pulling the string from behind, stoking the acrimonious flame, exhuming their dirty past, taking over the direction of the unfortunate political mishap that now culminated in a dysfunctional conflict. The first casualty was the PPA, a political party that Kalu formed on his defection from PDP. When Governor Orji left PPA, he influenced almost all the majority members of PPA in the state house of assembly and overwhelming numbers of PPA appointees in his government into APGA and finally to PDP. This mass defection invariably affected the psyche of teeming PPA members at the grassroots who by the powers of the state were beaten into the line of defection against PPA. Significantly, PPA at the poll lost a greater number of their vibrant political foot soldiers, supporters and votes to PDP, arguably through state powers and security intimidations, leaving a void PPA structure to exist only in name. The results of the 2011 general elections could attest clearer to this situation. Besides, there have been persistent moves

to probe Kalu’s governorship. His opponents and detractors accuse him of foisting corruption in the polity of the state and ran a sleazy governorship administration. Governor Orji specifically accuses him of indebting the state with a whooping sum of about N29b. A huge debt said to have a bad influence in the development agenda of the state. Not only Kalu was accused of maladministration and corruption but his mother, Eunice Orji Uzor and his two younger brothers and, in effect, allegedly reducing the state to a fiefdom and family business empire. But watchers of the raging war of political supremacy said Governor Orji cannot be separated completely from the praises and blames of the Kalu administration given the key roles and positions he held under absolute trust. He was so trusted that as even when operatives of the Economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC, nabbed him into the Kirikiri minimum prison in Lagos as the 2007 PPA governorship candidate over an allegation of a conduit pipe and accomplice of a money laundering leveled against Kalu, PPA structure in his absence courageously gave birth to his governorship. Orji was the most trusted aide to kalu as governor and believed to know Kalu inside-out. So most of the actions and inactions pertinent to Kalu’s financial and human resources management as governor and even his personal undertakings, Orji is said to have been taken into confidence and was never an onlooker but a participant cum accomplice. Still rather than to experience abated fury, the political battle has even deteriorated and

shifted from the political front to academic. About three weeks ago, senate of the Abia State University came with a declaration as it rose from its extra-ordinary session that the degree result and certificate awarded to Kalu, Orji Uzor about 10 years ago was purportedly cancelled and withdrawn, citing the provisions of section 9 (5) of the university law, 1995 to justify its action. Further, it was alleged that Kalu rather than studying for six semesters only completed two out of the said six semesters to earn the degree certificate of the university and that his admission breached the regular university admission by transfer. Howsoever the perspective of the emerging fireworks could be situated, some questions have not been settled. Was Kalu admitted into Year Two or Three of the university? Were there any waivers granted him in any form during his admission? More so, why has it taken the university so long as now to discover the said inconsistencies and irregularities in his admission, study, graduation and award of the BSC degree certificate in government and public administration? From hindsight intuitions, there are simulated hands of Esau and visible voice of Jacob in the whole drama of an autonomous university senate acting in tandem with its extant provision of law that aims at protecting the hard-earned reputation and credibility of certificates it awarded as professed by advertorials in some dailies. However, it was uncovered that the actions of the university senate was al


19

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise Worship E-mail:richardeghaghe@yahoo.com

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EDIFYING GOD

QUOTE Take your family and life to be the house of Jacob and you shall be delivered and possess your possessions in Jesus’ mighty name. –Pastor Okereke

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Human rights abuse accusation

Briefly

Vatican rises in defence of Pope Francis KAYODE FASUA

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he Vatican over the weekend denied accusations that Pope Francis failed to speak out against human rights abuses during military rule in his native Argentina. “There has never been a credible, concrete accusation against him,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, adding he had never been charged. The spokesman blamed the accusations on “anti-clerical left-wing elements that are used to attack the Church”. Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, led Argentina’s Jesuits under the junta. Indications showed that like other Latin American churchmen of the time, he had to contend, on the one hand, with a repressive right-wing regime and, on the other, a wing of his Church leaning towards political activism on the left. One allegation concerns the abduction in 1976 of two Jesuits by the Argentina’s military government, suspicious of their work among slum-dwellers. As the priests’ provincial superior at the time, Jorge Bergoglio was accused by some of having failed to shield them from arrest - a charge his office flatly denied. Judges investigating the arrest and torture of the two men - who were freed after five months - questioned Cardinal Bergoglio as a witness in 2010. The new Pope’s official biographer, Sergio Rubin, argues that the Jesuit leader “took extraordinary, behind-thescenes action to save them”. Another accusation levelled against him from the Dirty War era is that he failed to follow up a request to help find the baby of a woman kidnapped when five months’ pregnant and killed in 1977. It is believed the baby was illegally adopted. The cardinal testified in 2010 that he had not known about baby thefts until well after the junta fell - a claim relatives dispute.

Differences between Holy Ghostt and consuming fire, by Pastor Adewunmi 21

FFBC holds Women Convention 2013 Ahead of this year’s Women Convention, Faith Family Bible Church (FFBC) is set to hold a four-day programme. The event, which has ‘Shining’ as its theme, is scheduled for Faith Family Auditorium along No. 17 Alhaji Kosoko Street, off Berger/Ojodu, Lagos. The programme begins on March 22. It is expected to continue through Saturday, the 23, with a breakfast meeting at 10 a.m., while the grand celebration comes up on Sunday March 24. Ministers expected at the event are Pastor (Mrs.) Kikelomo Aboderin and Rev. (Mrs.) Funke Adetuberu, among others.

Amnesty: Rev Adegbolagun faults Sultan A Christian leader and the founder of Centre for Righteous Living (CRL) a Christian-based, non-governmental organisation, Rev. Solomon Adegbolagun, has expressed disappointment over the call by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Saad Abubakar III, for the granting of amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect. The call was described by Rev. Adegbolagun as a confirmation of the insensitivity of “the Sultan to the plight of those who fall victim to the sect each time they strike. “It is on record that the Boko Haram terrorists have sent about 1,500 people to their early graves. The majority of them were Christians, and many of the attacks were unleashed on Christian gatherings, and churches even at festive periods. “The call amounts to injustice where the poor suffers at all times in the hands of the rich and the powerful. For the Sultan to call for amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists is disappointing,” he said. “Even if one of the religious groups had asked him to speak on their behalf, as a highly respected and noble leader he ought to have urged them to think otherwise,” the cleric noted.

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.

Pope Francis 1

How to receive from God, by Pastor Muoka

Service, the path to your next level –Pastor Bamidele 24

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Praise & Worship

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Exercise your power, live above Satan, says Apostle Utibe-Abasi General Overseer of The Rock of Salvation Church Ministries, Iju, Lagos State, Apostle Utibe-Abasi Emmanuel, in this message, stirs up the faith in the Christian, affirming that every child of God has authority over all the forces of darkness.Excerpts:

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uke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all power of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.” God has given you power over Satan and over all your known and unknown enemies; as he says in Genesis, ‘subdue and have dominion over them.’ God has given you authority from the creation of the world to be above and take charge over principalities and power, over everything that lives and breathes. We are made superior. 1Cor. 6:3 says, “That we shall judge the angels.” We shall judge the angels because we are God’s children, while angels are God’s messengers. We are special and wonderfully made, we are the children of the most High God, we are princes and princesses, the devil should be under our command. Eccl. 8:4 states, “Where the word of a king is, there is power, and who may say unto him, what doest thou?” You have been given power to speak without been interrupted by the devil, don’t allow the devil to take control of your life. I always hear people say, ‘the witch in my family is so powerful! What will I do?’ Some people run out of their homes, some of you cannot visit your villages, abandoning your project for fear of being killed, you are afraid of the witch more than God. You clothe fear as a garment, a little nightmare you get scared. Mark 4:40 says, “And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful?” How is it that ye have no faith? If you have faith in God you overcome, just a little faith can go a long way. A song writer says, ‘you don’t have to tell God how big your problem is, but you’ve got to tell your problem how big your God is’, the God that is in you is too big for you to be afraid of the devil. Solomon says, ‘heavens and heavens of heavens cannot contain Him’, this great and mighty warrior, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the king of all the earth lives in you, then why should you fear? Dominate and subdue them, believe in who and what God has made you to be and who is in your inside. God tells us in Luke 17:6, “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, be thou plucked up by the root and be thou planted in the sea, and is should obey you.” If you can only believe, your family enemies, principalities and powers will tremble and flee away from your presence. 2 Tim. 1:7 states, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of sound mind.” God has not given us the spirit to fear, if you have fear in you, know it is from the devil, because with fear in you the devil will always have access in your life. A fearful heart can never please God; it means you don’t trust his (God) ability to care for you. God has given us power to take control, to live above, subdue every problems and challenges that might want to raise its head in our lives. In my vision, I saw myself stand on a brood of snakes. I woke up and thanked God. Satan has no chance in my life, he cannot manipulate or inflict me with pains, I live above him, why because I have the word of God in me. The bible says resist the devil and he shall flee away from you

(James 4:7b). How can you resist the devil without the word of God in you which is the most powerful weapon that can pierce through thorns, pierce through the strongest hold of the devil. The word of God is a two edged sword, it’s powerful, it is also a healing balm that heals and gives comfort. What else can we then say to these, If God be for us who can be against us? Be of good cheer little children; I have overcome the world for you, that’s the word of God to you. Deut. 11:25 says, “There shall no man be able to stand before you, for the Lord your God shall lay the fear and dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon as he hath said unto you.” Ex. 23:27 states “I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” Deut. 2:25 states, “This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee. And shall tremble and be in anguish because of thee.” These are the promises of God to you. Only the word in you by faith can you challenge Satan. You delay your miracle and remain stagnant because of your ignorance. Isaiah 52:1-2 says “Awake, awake put on thy strength, O zion, put on thy beautiful garment, O Jerusalem, the holy city. For henceforth there shall no more come into thee uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from dust, arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem, loose thyself from the bands of the neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” You become tired and sleep off living space for the devil to penetrate into your life. In my vision, I was in a very big factory where the workers of evil were using human parts to satisfy their want, most of those captured souls were Christians, weak Christians that sleeps off in an active period, with the power bestowed in me I was able to rescue some of them, your enemies don’t rest, they work day and night for your destruction, why do you slumber? 1 Thes. 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” The Lord is calling you now, he says, ‘Awake Christians, shake yourself from dust, wake up from slumber and sit down.” Open your eyes and see what your enemies are turning you into, it’s not natural, nor coincidental, and the enemies have planted it, awake put on the beautiful garment which is the word of God and loosen yourself from the bondage which is laid on your neck and be free. When you have freedom, you have access to all things, succeeding in what you set your mind to do, for the Lord your God will put the dread and fear of you in the nations that are under the whole heaven, wherever you go people will be afraid and release to you whatever it is you require, witches and wizards will be afraid of you, a wicked person will not be comfortable around you. Ex. 12:31 states “And he called for Moses and Aaron by night and said, rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel, and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herbs as ye have said and

Utibe-Abasi

be gone and bless me also.” The Israelites receiving the word that Moses and Aaron have brought to them, woke up from their slumber and shook themselves, they then realised the measure of their bondage and tasted freedom, then they resisted the devil that was putting them in bondage (after having the word) The devil was no more comfortable with them around, he let them go, not just them also with all their belongings, and even asked for their blessing. Only by the word can you become a winner. God is your rock, your strong tower. When you run into him you will be saved. Always confess positively, failure is not for you, you are a winner, winners never quit, each time you pray, pray with faith, know whom you are praying to, he never fails. He says whatsoever ye desire when ye pray believe that ye have received them and ye shall have them, whatever the situation might be, always confess positively. The word of God says, ‘My children are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’ Idol worshippers believe so much in the power of their god, they study hard to know their god so they don’t make mistakes, whatever they are asked to do they do, they eat dead rats, faeces, if asked to sleep in the forest for weeks, months, they obey without complain because they are afraid of the judgement that will be on them if they disobey. But we Christians don’t believe and rely on the power of God, we do things the way we feel like, we don’t even know how to worship our maker because we know he is loving and patient. The word says, do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, some of you if the minister and his wife don’t come to visit in your homes, they won’t come see you in church, some on Sunday morning in the day you wash your clothes for the weekdays activities,

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tarry night and prayer meetings that one is for the poor, some a little misunderstanding with a fellow church member stops you from going to church, bible study to teach you to know more about your God, you don’t attend, you find excuses and faults in everything about people, you worship God in a way that disgusts him, why won’t the devil use you the way he likes? When you are empty with no word of God in you, you become the devil’s playground, sickness, failure, disappointment becomes part of your life, what others are doing to succeed when you put your hand into it, yours will always be different, you struggle and struggle instead of an improvement you decrease to a point where you feel like committing suicide, everyone rejects you, you are always left forgotten as the dead. All you need is the word, the bible says ‘For their rock is not like our ROCK’ (Deut. 32:31) their protection is nothing compared to ours, you were made to be a star to be seen and heard, to be honoured and respected, be fulfilled and celebrated, all you require to achieve it all is the WORD. Every night before I go to bed, I focus, principalities in the form of snakes and dragons I command them under my feet, bruise their head, then cast their remains into the sea, the WORD gives me power. If the devil should come to you now, what will be your weapon of defence? If you rebuke the devil carnally, he will slap you and that will be your end, but if you have the word, you have power, therefore every night before going to bed focus on anything or anyone you know is against you command them under your feet (it’s not the person but the evil spirit manipulating through the person) bruise his or her head and cast the remains into the sea, release fire to their meeting places. Send fire to wherever you know your problems are from. Heb. 1:7 says “And of the angels he saith, who maketh his angel spirit and his ministers flame of fire.” God has made you fire, if you believe you shall see the result, from then on the person involved will be afraid of you. Prov. 23:7 states “For as he thinketh in his heart so he is.” Know the word of God and live, let the word be your companion, be part of your everyday’s life, all the answers you need come from the word, it will heal and give you comfort, strengthen you when you are weak, give joy in times of sorrow, give wisdom in time of difficulties, guide when lost, be a friend when all despises you, hold your hand when lonely, be a husband to the widows, and father to the fatherless, bring solution when confused, be your light in darkness, lead you in path of truth, quicken you when weary, make a way in time of trouble, give you success, most of all bring you closer to God. Joshua 1:8 states “This book of law shall not depart from thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written, for then shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success.” When you observe to do according to all that is written in the book of life all the promises in it will be yours, when it comes and you start exploding with many blessings jealousy will come, enemies will increase, but they will not be able to harm you, the word of God will build a wall of fire around you. According to John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God“ God left his will for us THE BIBLE, the WORD, which is GOD HIMSELF, if you receive and believe in this word, who or what can be against you? •For enquires, call or send text to 08037187775


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Praise & Worship

Sunday March 17, 2013

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Differences between Holy Ghost and consuming fire, by Pastor Adewunmi Pastor Segun Adewunmi, presiding minister of House of Prayer Ministry, in this exhortation, distinguishes between Holy Ghost fire and consuming fire, as God’s weapon for putting an end to the enemy’s opposition. Excerpts:

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or the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God”. (Deut 4:24) Fire is one of the weapons used by God to destroy His enemies. It is indeed a dimension of God that put an end to hostilities. One very important attribute of fire is that the object consumed by fire can never be restored back to its original form. It is about total destruction, total victory and final solution to problems. It is important to point out to believers, the differences between the consuming fires in Deut 4:24 and the Holy Ghost fire of Acts 2:1-4. “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God”. (Deut 4:24) “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”. (Acts 2:1-4) I have seen situation where believers requested the Holy Ghost fire to consume their enemies. This is wrong in that the Holy Ghost fire is the friendly fire that helps to ignite our spirit and harness our physical, mental and spiritual potentials as it did at Pentecost whereas consuming fire is a weapon of total and final destruction of the enemy. We can visit some incidences where God used fire to accomplish destruction of the enemies; The City of Jericho “And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD”. (Joshua 6:24)

The City of Ai

“And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire. And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers”. (Joshua 8:19-20)

Enemies of Moses

“And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him” And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. So they got up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abi-

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Lanre-Oke

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here is actually nothing that exists without a purpose. The fact that the purpose of a thing is not known does not mean it does not exist. A larger percentage of the pursuit of man on earth is done out of purpose. Labours and pursuit of such is UN pleasing and burdensome. Understanding the purpose of a thing aids fulfilment and fruitfulness, ignorance of such breeds disgrace and dis satisfaction. Some people came across their purpose

ram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense”. (Numbers 16:25-35)

Tongue of fire

It is given to believers to set fire on their enemies using the word of God. By this I say whatever represent a problem to you today will turn to wood, while your prayer becomes fire that will consume the wood. “Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them”. (Jeremiah 5:14)

Authentic Prayer

The bible never said our word will become fire but rather said the word of God in our mouth. The content of the written word often referred to as graphic and the spoken word which result from quoting of the written word. Psalm 119:99 “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation”. (Psalm 119:99)

Authority to burn the Enemies

Jesus actually instructed that opposers of God should be delivered unto fire. “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”. (Matt 13:40-42)

For your Total Victory

I use this occasion to address people with problems that are traceable to spiritual attacks such as a curse, psychic attack, monitory spirit and bad dreams to use weapon of fire and release themselves from these bondages. Here, I will recommend a prolonged meditation in the word of God that gives victory referring once again to Psalm 119:99 “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation”. (Psalm 119:99) Daily Reading, Morning, Evening and Midnight may consist of the followings; •Authourity of creation. (Gen 1:1-end) •Authourity to bind and to loose. (Matt 18:18, Jer 1:10, Psalm 2) •Authourity over the enemy.( Exodus 8:17-19, Joshua 1:5-9, 1st Sam chapter 5&6, 1st King 18 and Jer 1:17) •Delivery of Judgement over the enemies. (Num 16:28-35, Joshua 10:12-26, 2nd King 1:9-10, 2ndKing 2:23-24, Acts 5:1-10, Acts 13:6-12, Psalm 109:6-20, Psalm 83:1-end, 1st Sam17;45-52)

Adewunmi

•For counseling, contact Pastor Segun Adewumi on 08039425631 Or Email: past orsegunadewumi@gmail.com

Understanding God’s purpose for creating man (1) by accident some by divine leading, some by mere imitating a mentor whichever way or means, life is not worth living when it is not lived in the context of purpose. Today, we shall be examing, God’s purpose for creating man. Man in this context means both male and female. Purpose in this sense means the reason why God created man. This understanding is essential as it will help you to understand and appreciate yourself much better and aid the repositioning of your life to doing God’s will on earth. This is more rewarding and fulfilling because this understanding will place you at the centre of Gods will for your life Gen 1: 26 “And God said; let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the

fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping that creepeth upon the earth” God’s purpose for creating man is clearly spelt out in the scripture. First of all – the person that should be called man is one that is made after the image of God, and after His likeness. To get things right we may need to Understand what it means to be an Image of God, To be an image of God is to possess the characteristic and nature of God. It means that the man God made is one who has similar or same nature as God. One, who thinks like God, loves like God, cares like God and does things like God. So if you are made in the image of God, it

means everybody should see you and see the attributes of God manifesting through you. They see you, the same way they see God, they have the same expectations of you the same way with God in speech, conducts and character They expect from you only what they are expecting from God, They may not know God, (those of the world) but would expect to know him by knowing you. In another word, God is expected to be known and seen in man. The next question should be how do we know what God is like? •For further prayers and counselling please contact Femi Lanre- Oke, P.o. box 1158, AgodiIbadan, Ibadan, Oyo state.


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Praise & Worship

Sunday March 17, 2013

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The wind of miracles, by Pastor Okereke The Bible states in revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death”. Leveraging on this, the General Overseer of Global Success Ministries (GSM), Pastor (Dr) Emmanuel Chima Okereke, shares some testimonies of brethren whom God had touched through the GSM church. Excerpts:

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ow, the reason for sharing in these testimonies is for you to know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrew 13:8). He is the unchangeable changer, the unmovable mover; the book of Malachi 3:6 says “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”. For us to conquer the world, we need to share our testimonies, by letting people in the world know about the wonders of our God. Many people are in expectation of one miracle or the other but little did they know that no matter how long it takes, their miracle must surely come through their faith, service and commitment towards the things of God. Today we shall share with you few testimonies from the deliverance section of our ministries because of our limited space. During our last Sunday service, Brother Saturday Izebhigie came to testify to how God opened his doors for business connection after a deliverance prayer from the man of God. He said that two Sundays ago during the service, the man of God prophesied that there is someone with a royal blood here that the enemies have vowed to frustrate and destroy completely, so the man of God called on everyone from a royal family to come out for prayers Izebhigie testified: As God may have it, I came out and my children also came out with many other people from royal families; then the man of God prayed and commanded the demon that had planned such for anybody here to come out and go; behold it was my son that the demon manifested through and it began to confess how it had tied down my business and vowed to make me and my family suffer; the demon said that my mother served it and promised that I would also serve it (the demon) but because I refused to serve it, it was going to make life unbearable for me and my family as a result of the covenant he had with my mother in the past. “The demon told us its name and disclosed that the covenant was encased in a white pot. Immediately, the man of God commanded him to let me out of that evil covenant and destroy the white pot so that I could prosper and begin to live well again. As the man of God confronted the demon in the name above every other name (Jesus), there was physical sign and the demon submitted, broke the evil covenant pot and left me and my family completely. The result of that deliverance brought my business back to life again because few days after the service, I had a call from someone I don’t know; he said he is interested to do business with me. So we discussed and at the end of the discussion, he sent to my account an advance sum of the business worth N500, 000 to commence work.” Brother Raphel Akunna is one among many whom God has blessed through African Development Movement (ADM), an arm of the church. He testified that after he was blessed with the sum of N100,000 in Global Success Ministries, his life has never remained the same again. The brother said that before he came to this ministry, there was no progress in his business but after collecting the money and using it to support his business, it has been prosperity all through. He said

now, customers are coming like never before; he also said that people are even coming to enquire from him the story behind the success and prosperity of His business. A sister, Felicia Elendu, also testified to how God restored her broken marriage as a result of false prophecy from a prophet in the former church where she worshipped, before she came into Global Success Ministries. She said that the prophet from her former church said that the man she is married to and has two children for is not her husband and that the husband wants to kill her. She said after the prophecy, she ran out of the husband’s house with her children. She said she believed in the prophecy from her former prophet because she suddenly saw her body depreciating. But after we prayed for her, we called the husband to also come for prayers and when the husband came, he disclosed that he traveled when all that happened and when he came back, he did not meet the wife in the house; when he tried to find out what happened, the wife refused to tell him but she said that the prophet said that if he (husband) comes back to meet her in the house, he will kill her, that is why she had to run away from the house before her husband’s arrival. We prayed for him; after the prayer, God reconciled husband and wife again and blessed them with the sum of N50, 000 to support the man’s business. The couple left the church with joy in their heart and appreciated God for leading them into this great ministry. We really appreciate God for using the ADM to touch the lives of many. It has been recorded that since the beginning of this year, good amount of money has been given as grant to many for various purposes, like house rent and to support their businesses; the joy in it is that today, these beneficiaries are smiling and praising God for doing a marvelous thing for them. Some of them said that in Global Success, they have found hope where there seems to be no hope. For more details on African Development Movement; follow us on the ADM website (www.africandevelopmentmovement.org). One of the tremendous testimonies was shared during the church service by a brother, Prince Uduma who testified to how God used His servant, my humble self, Dr. Okereke to intervene in the issue he had with his landlord. According to the brother, the landlord suddenly started disturbing him to pack out of his house but he pleaded that the Landlord should give him one month for him to sort himself out but the landlord refused. So he became confused and sent a text message to the church line. “ I got a reply from the church line that I should send the address of where I live and the name and address of the Landlord, so because I did not know the address of my landlord, I sent only my address and my landlord’s name,” Uduma said. After the brother replied the church line, we prayed. I want to let you know that you cannot be working for God and fear a mere man; I mean an ordinary man will be disturbing your peace? This brother that was about to be thrown out of his house is the Deputy Director of World of Love Bible Institute (WOLBI)

Okereke

of Global Success Ministries; he is doing a great work for God by training the Armies of God and the enemies wanted to use the landlord to frustrate and get him devastated and depressed. So we had to stop the enemies before it is too late and then we prayed a prayer of faith and God took over the situation. The brother said that after he sent the text, there was a reply assuring him of a testimony. “But the landlord still came but this time, he came with a vehicle to pack my properties out of the house; I went into the room while the landlord was in the living room waiting for me to come out. Inside the room, I picked up my phone and read the text message again from the church’s line assuring me of a testimony, then I said ‘God, if really this message is from your servant, prove yourself as God now.’ So I came out of the room to meet the landlord and the landlord asked me, ‘What can I do for you now?’ I said to him, ‘Please give me just one month and the landlord replied and said ‘I will give you one year.’ “ I thought he was mocking me and I repeated myself again and said ‘please give me one month’ and the landlord said again ‘I will give you one more year to stay, after the one year lapses, whatever I decide to do, I will let you know.’ Then the landlord left.” The brother said that he was marvelled at the greatness of God upon the life of His servant. He confessed that he had never seen such a miracle before, that someone at the verge of executing his plans suddenly changed his mind. I pray for you that whatever negative plans the enemy wants to carry out against you shall suddenly be reversed in your favour in Jesus’ name. The same brother also testified that since he started working in WOLBI, the ulcer he had been suffering from for years disappeared; he

said that now, he can eat all the food he could not eat before. He urged everyone present in the service to stay focused, as God is very much present “on this ground we all have come to worship.” Praise God! The book of Zechariah 4:6 states, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” It is the mercy and the goodness of the most High God that has caused the grace to rest on and abide in us mightily. Jesus Christ is here to bless and set you free from captivities of all kind for the book of Obadiah 1:17 “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions”. Take your family and life to be the house of Jacob and you shall be delivered and possess your possessions in Jesus mighty name. the Bible says in the book of Philippians 2:10-11 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. I am assuring you that today, this wind of miracle shall blow towards your direction today in Jesus’ name. Now for you to be truly empowered and sanctified by the word and as well receive more instant miracles, you can watch us in our Television station (Success TV¬). All you need to do is to re-scan your strong decoder for the station which was newly launched last week. Remain blessed. Love you with the love of Jesus. •For more enquiries; please send text messages or call the following numbers: 07038638984, 08101597149 for prompt attention.


PASSION A Lifestyle Magazine

Sunday March 17, 2013

How to make your marriage work

–Tchidi-Chikere >>27

Yes, I’m single with a baby out of wedlock, but not searching –Grace Ama

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Passion

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Yes, I’m single with a baby out of wedlock, but not searching –Grace Ama Grace Ama is a Nollywood screen diva who’s still making waves in the make-believe world. She left acting for a while to have her son. Now she is back. Ama, who received a degree in Creative Arts from the University of Lagos, tells Adaeze Amos why some ladies choose to have children out of wedlock and how motherhood feels like as a single parent. Many people know you as Grace Ama, the actress, but in your own words, who really is Grace Ama? Grace Ama is one of the four children of Chief Ogbonnaya Azu Ama, and a Nollywood actress. If my fans admire what I do and appreciate me with good sense of humour and commentary, I appreciate them too and it is an encouragement to continue to do more in the industry. Where do you hail from? I hail from Ebunwana Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State but we were all born and brought up in Lagos. Though, a proud daughter of Ebonyi State, we could as well regard ourselves as Lagosians. What did you study in the university? I studied Creative Arts in the University of Lagos. Why did you opt for acting and not billboard modelling since you have got the face? Remember that acting is not in many cases studied in the school. Even where it is studied, you must have it as your calling or vocation to be able to perform. I started acting, not necessarily as a career, but as a calling. From nursery school, my teacher had noticed the attitude in me and even had to write to my parents informing them that I had great potential in entertaining people and that I should be allowed to develop the skill in that respect. My parents never understood the letter until many years later. To simply answer your question, my acting is a vocation, a calling, a gift from God and I enjoy doing it. Most of the models you see on billboards are also actresses. There is nothing wrong with that. I have been on the faces of some products before and will not reject such offer if it comes my way. You are now a mother, how does motherhood feel like? Motherhood is sweet. It is the aspiration of every woman to have a baby and to grow such a baby for the service of the family and the larger society. My son is my bundle of joy and I’m happy he came at the time he came. Some women see motherhood as a huge task and very challenging; do you share same opinion? There is nothing that is easy to do. Even eating food is challenging. If you do not take your time, food might choke you when you are eating. You go to school, you struggle to read and pass your examinations. If you are into business, you think daily on how to make it grow and how to make profit. In the same way, motherhood is challenging to the extent that you now have to sleep less than you did before. You now have to pay attention to a child who needs your company and help at all times. You have to combine that work with fending for the family and taking care of their needs also. But the joy is immeasurable, especially when your child does not take

ill and you are always there together and he/she grows in your presence. During delivery, your baby slipped off you, did you feel a surge of love or a feeling that the burden is off you? The moment you have a child who stays with you all the time and with whom you share joy, play together and suddenly you have to travel to a location and other purposes, you’d find that you would be like a fish out of water. For the first few days, you will never get yourself together until you hear from the child or from those taking care of him or her. Children are reasons for being on this journey of life. They are the greatest gifts of God to mankind. Little wonder the Bible says ‘go and multiply’. Some ladies prefer to be married first before having a baby but you had yours out of wedlock, what do you say about this? Is it the fear of menopause that makes some ladies do so? I’m not sure if any woman would just wake up and say to herself, I want to have a baby and immediately she gets a baby. We have had Virgin Mary only once in history. It is not always the case that a woman just feels like having children out of wedlock. Most times, women had men in their lives who they loved so much and who might have made promises of marriage to them. The women, due to their tender and loving hearts, will trust the men and give themselves to them. Not knowing that like Jesus recognised in the scripture, “This people honour me with their mouths but their hearts are far from me”. The women would only find out too late that the men were only preaching the doctrine of their own hearts and not love to the women. In some of such cases, the women may have relied on the promises and allowed themselves to become pregnant. Some may even visit your parents and do introduction or even married you and still reneged. I do not buy the idea of saying some women get children out of wedlock to avoid menopause. The situation you find any woman has a reason behind it. What happened in your own case? Do you have any hope of settling down soon or are you occupied with other projects? Nigeria does not practise same sex marriage of women, neither will any woman marry herself. There will be marriage when a responsible man shows up. There is a difference between being single and being single and searching. I have someone in my life who is responsible for my son. If tomorrow he tells me that he can no longer continue with me, then I will take a decision. For now, my focus is to build my career and move higher than I was, then train my son. What are some of the works or movies you have featured in? They are Broken Tears, Can’t let go, Atlanta, Fishers of men, Cinderella, to mention but a few. Some of your colleagues have released their own movies; any hope of doing that soon? One does not release movie because another person has released. What makes this our job interesting is the creative aspect. You must be creative and come up with something people will commend and buy, which will make meaning in the life of the people because the whole essence of this job is not only to entertain but also to teach and be a role model for the children growing up. It is not enough to say because I have someone who has cash to sponsor me, I would just create anything in the name of movie and then begin to invite people to gather in the name of movie premiere. We need to do more. I do not imitate CONTINUED ON PAGE 27


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Applause

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How to make your marriage work –Tchidi-Chikere

‘Life as a single mother’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 people but I will do my things as God directs. What thrills you about acting? It is a source of knowledge and education to the youth. It makes you a public figure. You move around the streets and people recognise you as someone who takes up interesting roles and delivers them well. It makes me feel great knowing that people enjoy what I do. When you started acting, your parents kicked against it. How do they feel about your acting career now that you are a star? My parents are very religious people. I had a lot of challenges at the beginning. In fact, to convince them to allow me become an actress was a herculean task. But thank God they no longer stop me from acting or frown at any role I take. I respect myself knowing the kind of parents I have. What was the scandalous story that made you shed tears? One thing about Nollywood is that many people feel that you cannot be popular if you have not had scandals. I feel it is not true. Scandal is not part of the requirements in the industry. Some people come with a mindset that Nollywood is where they make money or where women easily meet men. When they come and they are not getting the money, the tendency is to begin to look for cheap ways of making it big. That way, scandals come in. I have never had to look for a cheap money or shortcut. So, I cannot remember a scandal that made me cry. As a public figure, it is understandable that the public, especially your fans, want to know what you are doing at each time of the day. By so doing, we do not really have privacy again. In this way, whatever the press sees around you will be reported, whether it is true or not. That may make someone feel bad but that is part of the crosses of the profession. When you had a hear-tbreak, what did you do to wriggle out of the pains? Heart-break? Well, I can remember one or two occasions when I had planned my life and someone with whom I planned it turned the other way. Of course, it was painful but then I took recourse to God. It is only God that can heal all wounds. Would you want your son to be an actor? God will give him what to do. It is too early to speculate. Many have died in Nollywood between last year and this year. How does this make you feel? It is very sad seeing our great talents passing away in the industry. What can we say than to trust God! I will only urge my colleagues to be more fervent in prayers. We should try to remove our hands from the things that do not give God glory. After all, if we have all the money, the cars, houses, great wealth and we pass away suddenly as in most of the cases without any preparation, how do we account to God on our mission on earth? Let’s be more prayerful.

Sophia Tchidi-Chikere is an actress and the wife of a popular movie producer-cum-director, Tchidi Chikere. This mother of three believes so much in the marriage institution. She tells Adaeze Amos what she has been doing right to ensure her marriage endures. Being an actress, a mother and wife is daunting naturally. Sophia Tchidi-Chikere has a way of handling the three tasks without one lacking adequate attention. “You know women naturally are multi-tasking sort of human beings. We can naturally do a whole lot of things at the same time. “I try to balance the three great responsibilities of mine so that none would suffer,” Sophia said. How does this super screen diva do this successfully? “For instance, if I’m working, I know I would take some weeks to shoot movies and get back to stay with my family. I don’t need to go out and all that. I try to balance everything. It’s not easy, I must say, but I try to handle it well so that none suffers,” Sophia said. Does this mean that her home-front or marriage is not facing some challenges? She disagrees. According to her, no marriage is perfect. Nobody is perfect. “The truth is that, basically, we as human beings, are not perfectionists. It can never be all that rosy. It gets good and bad. But all you need to do is that you tell God that you are in for it. ..you are there to stay, that you are going nowhere and you try to mellow down for each other.” This diva believes so much in the power of prayer. She says no marriage can succeed easily without prayers. “Pray more about your marriage. I’m sure by so doing, your relationship would work out better. There is no magic about it. We are all human. Tempers are bound to go up once in a while. But you know, how you manage it and try to comport yourselves matter a lot,” she says. The mother of three realises that some women are on the verge of a turbulent marital life owing to one problem or the other. She empathises with them. “In every situation you find yourself, you don’t give up. It’s your home, you fight for it. You pray about it; it is your man, try to win his heart. You don’t have to give up. Issues are bound to happen and when it does, take it as a challenge. Say to yourself, this is a challenge and you have to overcome it. You just try and face it like a reasonable woman. Manage it and take your marriage and its problems to God in prayer. But don’t be loud about your matrimonial problems. Telling everyone you see about how your husband scolds you would worsen your case. There are things about you, you shouldn’t tell the next person. You talk to God about it. Tell God your heart’s desires and no matter what the problem is He will see you through. But remember too to behave right.” Mrs Chikere is, however, discreet about what she is doing of late. “Actually I have been doing a whole lot of things, and because I have learnt my lessons, I don’t like letting the cat out of the bag. I love to keep everything I’m doing now secret. I have been shooting a whole lot of movies and I have been working on other things which I wouldn’t want to let out. I will just let it be un-

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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dude Style

‘I cherish jeans any day’

Naughtiest Thing The naughtiest thing I’ve ever done

Sonny Mcdon-W is a filmmaker. He has been in the industry for a long time. He speaks with Angela Davies on his passion for jeans. Define your style? My style is simple. I am a Rivers man so I have the ancestral privilege to look the way I am looking at least from my head-top. We are people of style. At every point in time, we try to maintain that. What’s your signature perfume? My signature perfume is called Verum. It is an Italian scent and it is not popular; that’s why I like it. It. What is that clothing item you cannot be caught wearing? That would be agbada because I find myself struggling in it. What are the kinds of clothes you love to wear? My traditional outfit is known as woko, etibo and, of course, my jeans. Which is your favourite piece of clothing? That would be jeans, T-shirts and face caps. But I like jeans any day. Who’s your best designer? My friend Mudi. He is a creative designer and I love his unique and beautiful designs. What is your most cherished fashion item? My belt. What’s your philosophy of life? Fear God and keep His commandments. Your likes Sincerity; I like when people are sincere with me. What are your dislikes? Lies; because I cannot stand people who lie. It is a big turn-off for me. What’s your best colour? Red. It keeps the enemy at bay. It also signifies the blood of Jesus. How much can you spend on a fashion item? As much as I have in my pocket at that particular time.

‘I played 007 with LASTMA’

Sonny Mcdon-W

I had fixed a meeting with someone earlier and we agreed to meet somewhere in Ikeja. On that day in January, I had to drive down from work to the meeting venue. When I got to the traffic light somewhere along Ikeja, I was optimistic that the light would still be on green by the time it would get to my turn. I was indeed running late. Luckily, it was still on green and immediately I drove past, I was stopped by a LASTMA official. He didn’t stop me per se, he jumped right in front of my car and I had to match the break. However, I was wondering what my offence was. Thank God I was not speeding and thus didn’t hit him. Another official later joined him. From within my car, I gesticulated with my hands, “What is the matter? What is my offence?” The LASTMA official said I had committed a traffic offence. “Madam, you committed a traffic offence. The light pointing to your direction had turned red and still you drove past,” he said. To be sincere, I didn’t know because the danfo in front of my car was huge. A motorist who noticed what was happening told me that the traffic lights at that junction behave very funny as they change at embarrassingly short time. I was so confused, however; I refused to open the doors to the car for them to get in in spite of their insistence. While we were arguing, I wound down the window a little because I had heard stories of how they treat traffic offenders. I knew the light was still on green when I drove past and I insisted on that. While I was thinking about how to get out of this unexpected trouble, my phone rang. The fellow I was supposed to have a meeting with was calling. I became confused because all my explanations fell on deaf ears. Also I was not ready to be extorted. I had to think and act fast. I remembered 007, James Bond. Just like 007, while they were still struggling on how to get into my car, I quickly drove off on noticing that the road I was going to pass was free. I drove as fast as I could. There were other LASTMA officials standing at a corner, probably looking for other innocent victims like me. Whenever I remember this, I laugh my heart out because that is about the naughtiest thing I have done. Zoe Chinaka is a television presenter and gospel musician Interview by Angela Davies


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

What to wear ‌ to an award ceremony MARCH 17, 2013

ANGELA DAVIES Doesn’t pretty Osas Ighodaro look breathtaking in this platinum, spaghetti evening gown with a deep V neckline and an even deeper back? The intricately designed and crafted bodice and waist, beads, sequins, stones and frilly long train are sure to make heads turn at that award ceremony, especially when you have the right figure to bring out the beauty of the dress. She harmonised her outfit with silver chandelier earrings, bracelet and a snakeskin clutch purse. I must say, this outfit is for the bold and daring.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Perfect Cut

Sunday, March 17, 2013

al dresses

High-heeled shoes and tips to know High-heeled shoes are fashion accessories that must be seen in every fashionista’s wardrobe. The reason is because there’s nothing sexier than a great pair of high-heeled shoes. These ‘sky-scrappers’ sure add panache to your style. But there are necessary tips ladies who are still considered as greenhorns in the world of heels should know. Below are the tips from shoe experts: *Make sure you try your new high-heeled shoes on in the shoe shop and walk around within the shop to be sure you can wear them before paying. If not, opt for the ones you can comfortably wear. Your comfort should come first. *Then for peep-toe shoes, check your toes before slipping into them. If they are ‘screaming’ for attention, please go for pedicure first. *It’s true that women do love their high-heeled shoes, but if you wear them all the time, health experts say that significant foot pain can ensue. The way out is to alternate with flat shoes, slip-ons and flat sandals.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ethnic Look MARCH 17, 2013

Gele: Timeless African crown ADAEZE AMOS Gele (headgear) is as old as fashion itself. Reason? Because it was never missing in the wardrobes of our grannies. And interestingly, till date, women still cannot do away with these ‘traditional crowns’ especially when they are gorgeously dressed

traditionally. Little wonder it is considered timeless headpiece in the fashion world. They are seen in different textures such as Aso-oke, damask, Akwa-ete to mention but a few and can be tied differently. For wrappers, it is expected to be tied flamboyantly but when you are wearing your long skirts and tops, your Gele is not expected to be that flamboyant.

Orbane.com Abiola Atanda

Nairaland.com

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pregnancy Talk with

Adaeze Amos

Single’s Bliss with

Akpomiemie …a peep into the world of a seriously searching sister!

Done with Simisola…my What to do over body changes during pregnancy life gets a major U-turn! Signs of constipation It was penultimate include having hard, dry Monday and the venue stools; fewer than three was the Lagos State Unibowel movements per versity Teaching Hosweek, and painful bowel pital (LASUTH), Ikeja. movements but not as It was one of the clinic painful as the contracdays for pregnant womtions of labour. Accorden or what is known as ing to medical experts, antenatal clinic. They Gently apply olive oil on your protruded tummy “don’t lose sleep over were many who came with different sizes and shapes of tum- this as it is caused by higher levels of hormies. Those whose stomachs were still mones due to pregnancy, which slows down not protruding were still within 16 weeks digestion and relaxes muscles in the bowor thereabout of their usual nine months els, leaving many women constipated. Also, journey. They sat chatting away and yours the pressure of the expanding uterus on sincerely was among them listening to the bowels can contribute to constipation. If you doubt this, ask your doctor.” What to their sincere talks on pregnancy. The six pregnant mums I sat close to do in this kind of situation? Health experts suddenly changed their topic when an- advise that you stand up slowly but avoid other pregnant woman came clutching her standing for too long. Don’t skip meals, lie file. With a little frown, she started inter- on your left side and remember to wear rupting the discussion. “Can you imagine, loose clothing. But when you feel like faintI complained to my consultant about the ing or have vaginal bleeding or abdominal fact that I was getting darker and all he pain, see your doctor. Many pregnant women do complain of told me was just to ignore my complexion for now until I had delivered my baby,” dizziness. Some faint, though this is rare. she said, as she searched hurriedly in her Health experts say, “There are many reasons for these symptoms. The growth of handbag for a small mirror. When I heard her complaint and how more blood vessels in early pregnancy, the worried she was about it, I laughed within pressure of the expanding uterus on blood me because having experienced pregnancy vessels, and the body’s increased need for thrice, I knew that alteration in complex- food, all can make a pregnant woman feel ion was one of the bodily changes of preg- lightheaded and dizzy.” Fatigue and sleep problems are some nancy. Nothing can be done to stop this until one would have delivered her baby other changes. You might feel tired even just as the consultant told her. She looked after having a lot of sleep. Many women at her face continually, using her mirror get exhausted in the first trimester. “Don’t until her handset rang. She then dropped worry, this is normal! This is your body’s way of telling you that you need more her mirror and went for her phone. Every woman, one way or the other, rest. In the second trimester, tiredness is expects that pregnancy would come with usually replaced with a feeling of wellbeonly an expanding waistline, but somehow ing and energy. But in the third trimester, other bodily changes pop up. There are nu- exhaustion often sets in again. As you get merous changes really, but we would only larger, sleeping may become more diffitalk about four this week. We’ll continue cult’” experts explain. They add that the baby’s movements, bathroom runs and an next week owing to space constraints. One of the major body changes you are increase in the body’s metabolism might bound to have while embarking on this interrupt or disturb your sleep. This is nine months journey is pains in your body. what to do, according to doctors, during Health experts say this is normal. “As your this time, “Lie on your left side, use pillows stomach expands, you may feel aches and for support, such as behind your back, pains in the back, abdomen, groin area, tucked between your knees, and under and thighs. Many women also have back your tummy. Practise good sleep habits, aches and aching near the pelvic bone ow- go to bed a little earlier and drink needed ing to the pressure of the baby’s head, in- fluids earlier in the day. Drink less in the creased weight and loosening joints. Some hours before bed”. Stretch marks on your tummy, bums or pregnant women complain of pains that laps are another common factor during run from the lower back, down the back of one leg, to the knee or foot. This is called pregnancy. That is why during antenatal sciatica. It is thought to occur when the clinics, nurses give practical lectures to uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve,” pregnant mothers on how to apply olive oil on the affected areas. Medical experts ada medical expert stated. In this situation, doctors usually advise vise that if it is on your tummy, get a good the women to lie down and rest. Should the bottle of olive oil and apply gently. Remember as a lady that it is only you pain persist, they counsel that you see your doctor. Another change is constipation. that has the power to nourish your baby till Many pregnant women complain of this. birth.

My phone started ringing all over again. It was Alex. At this point, I stood fiddling with the phone, pretending to be engrossed with what I was doing. Simi stood with arms akimbo giving me this bitchy look but I noticed that her legs had relaxed. I got her! That was what I intended- get her relaxed through my pretense while I worked on my major plan. She least expected it. All of a sudden, I dashed forward thrusting my entire gait at her; she got really scared because I took her unawares. With full force, I dragged her, and flung her on my bed. All the while that I was fiddling with my phone, I was actually calculating the distance between her and the key in the hole of the door. Confused, she tried gathering herself but I was faster, I aimed for the key, zoomed out of the room and locked her in there! Gush! A narrow escape. I took my time to brush my hair and cat-walked out of the house. All her shouts did not bother me. I am not heartless, I just needed to preserve what belongs to me- the brand new car, and at least, I have worked for it! You see, I love my friends and that includes that Simisola, I didn’t lock her in my room with wicked intents, I had earlier calculated that I had drinks, water, biscuits, cookies and cakes in the fridge in my bedroom; you now see why I easily did that? Well, immediately I got downstairs, Alex was already waiting for me. I was greatly relieved that I locked Simisola in my room; I couldn’t imagine the scene she perhaps would have put up with Alex right in my compound. I jumped into the car and we zoomed off. As a correct chic, it would have been wrong of me to have pasted a kiss on his cheeks especially with the horrible way he had discharged me earlier in the day. I simply wore a straight and cold look. He is quite a sharp guy; he knew that meant that I was cross. He immediately started explaining to me about what went wrong. He is not only the elder in his church but the treasurer. For some time, his pastor wanted to buy a new jeep and had demanded for N11 million to do this, the church could afford it, yet some other elders were seriously against it. Their reason is that the pastor already had four cars so he doesn’t need another jeep. The tussle had been on for some time and in order for peace to reign, they decided to vote. Can you imagine such arrant nonsense in God’s own house? Casting vote over the purchase of another jeep- the fifth for a greedy pastor! Chei! Wetin person no go hear for this Nigeria. And according to Alex, the pastor has just a baby girl and his wife as members of his immediate family. I still can’t help imagining what the guy is doing with those numbers of vehicles. Abi na for propagating the gospel too? Well, as I was saying, Alex had to rush down because the pastor alerted him that only three people from the opposition camp were coming to the meeting, others were ill, thus he needed Alex to be there at the meeting in order to have a fourth voter on his own side. With Alex’s appearance, the deal was sealed! Mr. Pastor’s cheque has been signed for the brand new jeep. Really, if this is how churches are run, then I must marry a rich pastor o! With this explanation, Alex started apologizing, but to support his apology, he dropped a gift pack on my laps. When I opened it, it was a very beautiful set of jewelry. With a gift as this, I had no choice but unmask my supposed anger. I plastered a kiss on his cheek, of course, leaving my signature- red lipstick there! He wore a smile and looked relaxed. We headed for a restaurant to have dinner. On walking in, it dawned on me that he had actually made a reservation for us. The three course meals were tasty and we talked about everything we could imagine. We later headed for the popular cinema right there on the Island to watch some matured movies and that was where another U-turn in my life occurred. We were at the counter about picking our tickets for the first movies when Alex’s old school mate walked up to us. Desmond is by far cuter than Alex in all ramifications- looks and obviously pockets as well. While chatting with Alex, I noticed he was looking over Alex’s shoulders. Your guess is as good as mine; he was eyeing me intermittently, while I gave him my best smile. He wasn’t wearing a wedding band, thus, a possibility that he might not be married. Wow! I was right. He isn’t married. Wondering how I got to know? Well, Alex asked after his wife and kids and he stated: “I am not yet married. Stuffs happened which held me back in bachelorhood. Hmmnnn…Desmond is a very sharp guy, he loudly said his phone number to Alex for me to take note. Next week, I’ll reveal all that happened with Desmond.


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Connecting

Vanessa with

Vanessaonsunday@yahoo.com

Money cannot buy love and happiness

N

o love without money is the mantra people exclaim these days! Where has true love gone to? Is there really a successful relationship without money? A lot of people do not think so and I strongly believe it is people’s attitude to money rather than the lack of it that causes rifts in relationships. It is true that money is an absolute necessity in life. At the same time it should not be used as the Models baseline in determining if a relationship will work out or not. If we use love as our platform and respect as our baseline, money will have its appropriate place in our relationship. It is therefore not wise to marry a man or woman just because the person has lots of money to throw around. What happens when the money flies out of the window either through a bad deal or robbers invading the house? What will then happen to the relationship?

Entering a relationship without an ulterior motive is the best way to prove that you truly love your partner and not after the things they could give you materially. It is therefore very important to learn how to resolve your money problems by communicating effectively. Communicate your individual attitudes and values about money to each other so you develop a joint strategy you are both comfortable with. Develop a clear, concise plan on how to you use your money; spend it and how you save it. Although all differences regarding the handling of money might not always be reconciled, you will at least be able to “agree to disagree” respectfully regarding money issues. Finally, let’s not forget what we all know to be true – money is merely a commodity in our lives. Money cannot buy love and it cannot buy happiness!

HELPLINE

Re: can you really be friends with an ex? Hello Vanessa, I read your article in Sunday Mirror titled ‘’can you really be friends with an ex?’’ and could identify with the stories you wrote. I dated a man for five years with who promised to marry me. I was with him through thick and thin and when it was time for us to get married, he started making excuses. He told me that his mother does not want him to marry from my village because of an old quarrel that has existed between the two villages for years now. When he got married to someone else, he still wanted us to remain friends. Initially I agreed but as time went on he wanted us to be intimate again but I refused and broke off every form of tie with him. So I think it is not proper to remain friends with an ex lover because old feelings never die. Nkechi, Jankande Estate, Lagos Dear Vanessa I don’t see any reason why I cannot be friends with an ex. It all depends on how we define that friendship. I don’t like breaking the hearts of women I have dated in the past but at the same time, one cannot marry every woman he has slept with can you? So the best I do is to still keep in touch with her and make sure she knows she can always count on me for anything and it has worked out for me perfectly because I’m still friends with all my ex girlfriends till date Jonah, Kaduna Dear Vanessa I think it is completely wrong for you to continue being friends with an ex. I mean how can you explain that kind of friendship with the new person you are dating now? That kind of friendship will always be suspected and your new lover cannot trust you 100%. Relationship is all about trust. If I know that my current girlfriend is still keeping in touch with her former boyfriend, I’ll still have it at the back of my mind that she might still be in love with him and this will make me not to be fully committed to her. It is very wrong and people should desist from it if they want to create a lasting relationship with another person. Kennedy, Awka

RE: Romance in the workplace may lead to marriage or loss of job Dear Vanessa I’ll like to comment on an article you wrote earlier this year on romance that takes place in the workplace. I’ll also like to remain anonymous because of the nature and sensitivity of my job and my boss’s popularity. You see I once had an office romance with my married boss and this caused a lot of trouble for me in the office. We tried to hide it from the prying eyes of people but somehow, it got leaked in the office gossip mill through one of the cleaners and this got me and my boss in big trouble with the company management. This is because my boss handles a very sensitive position in the company and they felt it was not proper for him to be having an affair in the office with his junior co-worker. They wanted to fire me out rightly, but my boss saved me and I was transferred to another branch of the company, but a lower position. That is why I’m writing this is to let people know that it is very risky to mix your work with romance because you are putting the security of your job on the line for just few moments of pleasure. Anonymous, Lagos

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Heart-throb ...Find your soul mate here

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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

presenters O.C Ukeje and Liz Benson

Guest presenters Uti Nwachukwu and Jocelyn Dumas

Appiah

Jay Jay Okocha and wife, Nkechi

eje

Arinze and wife

Faces & Events

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hafiz Oyetoro

Joke and Olu Jacobs

Hosts IK and Vimbai

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Karen Igho

Rita Dominic

Tunde Kelani

TuFace Idibia and Annie Macaulay’s traditional wedding in Akwa Ibom

T

he traditional wedding of Innocent Idibia, popularly known as Tuface and Annie Macaulay held on Friday, March 8 at The Apostolic High School, Esit Urua Community, Eket-Ibeno Road, Akwa Ibom State. As expected, the ceremony had lots of celebrities from the entertainment industry as well as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godsweill Akpabio and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa in attendance. Others include, Sound Sultan, Timaya, Kate Henshaw, Ini Edo, Julius Agwu, AY Makun, Iyanya, Chika Ike, Kween and many others.

Florence Ita Giwa and Timaya

Iyanya, a friend and Dayo

The bride, Annie, being led in by friends. The bride and groom

Kate henshaw, Ini Edo and a guest

Annie, the pretty bride

Mr and Mrs Idibia, parents of the groom


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

& ovies Music M Stories by Olumide Segun-Oduntan 08189418761 e-mail: lumidezy@yahoo.com

Nigerian Idol top 6 contestants bring it home with hit songs It was all about coming home as the Nigerian Idol top 6 were all about music from the shores of the country as they took their song choices from the current hits flooding the airwaves, all by Nigerian artistes. Popular on-air-personality, Femi Sowoolu, taking on the mantle of guest judge for the show, and for the first time, the contestants were paired up and singing duets. Seyi Shay was the first artiste covered, as Efezino performed her hit song Loving Your Way. It seemed she sold both the crowd and the judges on her performance because she was told by Jeffrey Daniel, “You were killing it on the chorus…a pleasant performance.” Yinka Davies followed up with, “It was more than pleasant I loved it!” And Femi Kuti gave his seal of approval, telling her that she seemed really comfortable on stage. Moses took a risk and sang Oliver Twist by D’banj, but his risk paid off big time. Yinka said with a dramatic flourish, “My people of the Democratic Republic of Nigeria, I have a confession… I love it!” Femi Sowoolu told him, “When I first heard the song choice I turned and asked Yinka, “wow can he carry it?”…With that performance, you have proven you are the biggest threat of the competition.” The show turned the heat on the contestants up a notch, by pairing contestants

with each other to sing duets. Efezino and Abasiakan were the first pair, singing Comforter’s Song by Asa and Jeremiah Gyang. Then came Debbie Rise and Moses—Bottom Belle by Omawumi and Flavour was their song of choice. Lastly, Sefeeyat and Jayfeel sang Without my Heart by Tiwa Savage and Don Jazzy. Debbie Rise sang Chude K’s Gaga and she received praises from the in-house crowd. Femi Sowoolu told her, “The music

industry is pretty intricate—your stage play is great, and with a name like Debbie Rise you’re half way there to being a star. I don’t think your voice quite carried your song, I don’t see how that song works for a lady as beautiful as you.” Femi Kuti was more lenient and told her, “You’re an African girl; you’re beautiful, you’re sexy. Your performance was brave and you’ve got what it takes for an entertainer. I’ll give you a pass mark.”

V-Channel team unveils fresh super presenters

In a carnival-like atmosphere that provided the guests with the feel-good experience, the V-Channel team on February 22 at Troy Lounge Ogba, unveiled their fresh presenters to special guests and the general public. It was a night of fun, glamour, and anticipation. The unveiling which started by 9 p.m. with red carpet, had industry stakeholders, media executives, agency heads, reporters, entertainment personalities and select special guests in attendance. The presenters, consisting of six ladies and five men were unveiled, and were obviously excited, eager to express themselves and to entertain the audience. The presenters would handle various segments. Annabel presents Comedy, Bridget hosts the Ladies’ Forum, April takes charge of Celebrity Interviews, Oyinda presents Musicals, Zaziya anchors V food/Lifestyle, Perpetua presents Fashion and style, Papasam does the Dance segment, Patrick presents Musicals, Jude hosts ECampus, Speens anchors Excite on TV, and Chemist boy hosts the Comedy challenge. V-Channel, on Channel 221 is a spanking new entertainment channel on Cable TV, Startimes that aims at changing the phase of the entertainment world, with its diverse and exclusive packages. It is an entertainment platform targeted at youths. It’s a blend of fresh African Movies, Drama Series, Celebrity Lifestyle Shows, Fashion & Style, Reality TV Shows, Kiddies Programmes, Comedy, Musical Content, Game Shows and other exciting television experiences.

JayFeel stepped onto the stage to sing Azonto (Freestyle) by Wizkid. Jeffrey Daniel told him, “The Naija pop song, club and dance scene, they are not really about vocal ability they are about entertainment, and you just gave us a great example of that.” Femi Sowoolu agreed, telling him “You hypnotised me. The juju wey you use hold my hand, must have been powerful because with all the other contestants who came out, I was writing notes!”


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Sunday, March 17, 2013

UN Peace Ambassador, J Martins, makes Africa a homestead Effervescent and multiple awardwinning song writer, singer and producer, J. Martins is living up to responsibilities saddled on him, first as a United Nations Ambassador for Peace and as a responsible Nigerian youth by employing the far-reaching effects of music to keep the kindred spirit in African youths waxing stronger. Need we remind you of his many hits, most of which celebrate Africa as a people with one colour, one voice and above all, one God? His ageless numbers and pulsating percussion Good or Bad, Oyoyo, Eva, Fine Fine Love, E No Easy, among several others still resonate a nostalgic ballad just as they remain listeners’ delight any day. This debonair lyricist is not one to rest on acquisition of many laurels and evidently enough, he recently made a frantic effort to flutter his fans’ hearts once again with a pan African video he shot across the continent. The new video, first from him in 2013, aptly dubbed;

Good Life, was shot by the master of the craft, Sesan, the same hand responsible for most of the captivating musical videos fans have seen these past few years. The song, a stimulant for divine appreciation, is such that provokes the will to thank God ultimately for the grace of life. Delivered in smooth English and pidgin rhythm, Good Life was shot in Abidjan, DRC Congo and South Africa. The nine-man crew effort was rounded off in S.A. “Good Life is a sequel to the single I did titled Good Time. And Good Life means that God means well for you irrespective of what you’re going through at the moment. “We all go through different travails, but the fact that the grace of life is still available to you, it means you have a life so good. You may be complaining of hunger, joblessness, financial hard times, but when you see those whose legs are hung at the orthopaedic hospitals, you’ll realise that you have a good life after all,” he explains.

The music and its focal point, lyrical blends and reflection of African culture make it an acoustic pleasure for Africans. He believes that “music is one of the things we do to earn respect and admiration of our brothers and sisters across the continent and for this singular reason, we must also employ this tool to teach them how best to put music together”. Interestingly so, the chorus of the song was taken off the music of a group from whom he heard the song when he was barely 17 years old; “they are called the ‘Les Garagistes’ from Ivory Coast. It’s a group of four men and they’re also part of the video. I fell in love with the song at age 17 and they sang it the best way they knew how. But now that I’ve grown up, I just made the decision to work on the song since it’s one I love so much. I had to go all out to get the original owners of the song for the copyright and get all papers signed last year”, his words read in part.

Gee Black rocks scene with My Baby Sensational singer, Gabriel Egere who records under the pseudonym “Gee Black” - is a Nigerian recording artiste, rapper, producer and a song writer. Born in Lagos and hails from Warri , Delta state. Gabriel taught himself how to sing and dance, also involved in church choir activities (member of Boy’s Brigade Band) and several street jamz shows. Gee Black is currently signed to 704 Entertainment; his unending passion for music is propelling him to a make a name for himself in the Nigerian music industry. He is inspired by nature and

also draws his creativity from Nigerian music super stars such as Tuface Idibia, Dare art Alade, Asa and Femi kuti. Having honed his music talents like French is honed in Paris by listening to great musical icons such as Nas, Tupac, Busta Rhymes, Wu Tang Clan, P Diddy, Notorious BIG, his desirous ability to do good music and perform it better on stage has grown topnotch. Gabriel hopes to work with wonderful and first-rated artistes such as 2face, Asa, Femi Kuti, Duncan Mighty, Flavour, Oritshe Femi, Shank, Wizkid, Waje, Chidinma, and the list goes on.

B.O.U.Q.U.I dazzles in new music video Fresh from winning the Best Hip Hop Artiste of the Year award at the recently concluded National Gospel Awards 2013, sensational gospel artiste, B.O.U.Q.U.I, has celebrated her birthday with the very first visual off her forthcoming double album titled Marks of a General and Eve of Independence. B.O.U.Q.U.I, having pulled a major weight in the Nigeria music industry this year with the Biggest Gospel Collaboration and playing host to the biggest contemporary Gospel concert in Lagos Love Hope War Tour is not showing any sign of slacking down the pecking order at all. This is as she throws in the video to her record-breaking single, Celebrate, featuring the multiple award-winning American star, four-time Stellar Award winner and twotime Grammy and Dove Award nominee, Da T.r.u.t.h. The Rapvangelist star could not think of a better way to appreciate God’s divine protection and fans mounting love for another fantastic year having narrowly escaped a robbery attack two weeks ago with a double barrel gun pointed at her head on her way driving home. B.O.U.Q.U.I’s double CD album Marks Of a General and Eve Of Independence will be available on the street this month as well as more videos on the album on your screen soonest. The video for Celebrate is directed by Akin Alabi Films.

Tillaman calls for establishment of music video screening board Just days after the ban of his music video alongside several otherartistes’, contemporary Nigerian artiste, Tillaman, has called for the establishment of a music video screening board. The sensational recording artiste has taken to Youtube to address the ban by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), speaking his mind on the ban and how it affects him as an artiste. Most importantly, he called for a screening board artistes can send their videos to before taking them to TV stations for proper screening/grading so they can make changes if necessary to avoid the incessant incidence of video ban. Also, Tillaman called for a forum between artistes and NBC so that both parties can better understand each other.

The Island to make a debut soon This is an exciting time for television viewers as waves of quality programmes continue to flow into the Nigerian television scene. The new weekly series to look out for now is The Island. The brand new television presentation is produced by popular music video director, Tola Odunsi, aka Bobby Boulders. The Island is a weekly hour-long drama that will start airing in few weeks. The story revolves around the lives of high flying Nigerians, the majority of whom live in the high brow area of Victoria Island in Lagos. Starring in the series are video vixen Venita Akpofure, TV host Tracy Nwapa, Somkele Iyama, Demola Adedoyin and Zainab Balogun.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

40

Lessons of Life

ANGELA DAVIES lessonsoflife2@yahoo.com 08023342083

TRUE LIFE STORY ON MATTERS OF THE HEART MARCH 17, 2013

‘I am torn between marrying Melissa and Jessica’

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ears ago, I was standing in front of my class a week after gaining admission into JSS 1 when I saw a boy slap a girl. Defenseless, she just stood at that spot and started crying. I got very angry because my father always sang it into our ears that we should never hit a girl no matter what she did. I quickly ran to the boy and demanded to know why he hit her. He harshly told me to mind my business and walked away. However, I warned him, “Don’t you ever come close to her or I will deal with you,” I screamed. I helped her pick up her school bag and then pleaded with her to stop crying. When she had calmed down, I began a conversation with her. “What is your name?” I asked. “My name is Melissa and I am in JSS 1B,” she said. “My name is Tekena. I am also in JSS 1B too,” I said smiling. From that day, we became friends and started sharing a seat in class. We went on break together. We as well read and played together. Later, I realised that we behaved like twins because we were always together. At a point, some of our friends started calling us husband and wife. But that didn’t bother us. I must confess that Melissa is my first love. We became childhood sweethearts despite the difference in our background. I came from a poor background while she came from a wealthy home. She is the last child and only daughter of her family and I am the only child of my parents. Thank God I was able to attend the same school with her because my uncle sponsored my education. As time went on, it was as if we could not do without each other. If I get to school before she does, instead of going straight to class, I would stand and wait for her at the school gate until her driver drops her off at the school gate. Similarly, if she arrives before me, she does the same. Once we see each other, we either hold hands or run together laughing and talking until we get to our classroom. Sometime during our SS1, Melissa didn’t come to school for two days and this really got me worried. I decided to check her at home. Luckily, prior to that time, we exchanged addresses as if we knew this would happen. On the third day, immediately after school I rushed to her house. I met her mother driving out. “Good afternoon ma,” I said. With my school uniform she could easily recognise me as someone from Melissa’s school. “Good afternoon, how was school today?” she asked. “Fine ma. Please I came to check on Melissa because we have not seen her in school for two days.” She looked at me searchingly and said, “Melissa is down with malaria but I believe she will be in school next week. She is resting right now but I will tell her you were here. What is your name?” “My name is Tekena and we are in the same class,” I said. I went back the next day and was very excited to see Melissa bubbling with life once again. We chatted for some time and on my way out, once again, I ran into her mother. “You again? I told you Melissa will be in school next week, so what are you doing here today?” she queried. “Mum, he is my best friend and he only came to check on me,” Melissa said. “Shut up and get into the house,” her mother yelled. It was

obvious she disapproved of my friendship with her daughter but that didn’t stop us from being close. It rather made our relationship stronger. At the completion of our secondary education, we made a promise to each other to get married after our university degree. We applied and gained admission into the University of Ibadan, although we enrolled for different courses. During the holidays, I visited Melissa at home but her parents told me unequivocally that I was not worthy of marrying their daughter since I came from a poor background. They warned me to stay away from her. They also called me a gold digger all in a bid to keep us apart, yet they did not succeed. Eventually, after our university education, her parents insisted that she would go abroad for her master’s. Even though I was happy for Melissa, I was sad at the same time because I felt it was a deliberate plan by her parents to finally separate us. We communicated through letters for some time. But when my parents died a year later in a car accident, I had to go and live with an uncle and his family while I searched for a job. Occasionally, I checked for Melissa’s letters at my former house. We exchanged letters for some time until she stopped writing and replying to my letters. I was troubled so I took the bold step and went to her house. That was when I discovered that her family was no longer living there. “How do I get in touch with Melissa; I hope she is alright?” I murmured. I went as far as searching for her on face book but, of course, given the kind of secretive person she is, I was sure I would not find her there. I was proved right. However,

I still had hope that I would meet Melissa one day and we would get married. I later secured a good job. Some months later I got my own apartment. About five years later, I ran into her elder brother who told me that Melissa was married to a black American and that she was very happy in her marriage. That news shattered my heart because I had never loved any other woman apart from her. I had a lot of female friends but none to point out as the woman I was dating. I had waited this long, hoping that she would run into my hands one of these days but that news made me started drinking heavily. I took to drinking because I was trying to forget about Melissa since she now belonged to someone else. My best friend, Jack, became really concerned about my new lifestyle because he knew I would never have touched a bottle of alcohol on a normal day. Luckily, I met a woman named Jessica one night, who later changed my life. Funnily, the day we met, I was heavily drunk. I woke up inside my car the next day around 6:00 a.m. and saw a beautiful woman standing beside with the key to the car dangling in her hands. “Who are you and what are you doing with my car key?” I demanded. “Good morning, I hope you slept well. My name is Jessica, the lady you almost hit with your car last night because you were dead drunk. I knew you could kill yourself in that state so when you came down to ease yourself, I took your keys. I decided that I would return them by this time since I live four houses away from here,” she stated. I starred at her momentarily and said, “Thank you”. We exchanged phone numbers, and I left. That evening,

she called to find out how I was doing and pleaded to check up on me if I don’t mind. I told her it was fine with me and sent her my house’s address. About two hours later, Jessica showed up at my house. She immediately asked, “How could a young man like you get yourself drunk? Please can you tell me what the problem is?” I told her all about Melissa. She told me to forget about her. About two months later, we started dating and she made me happy again. I stopped drinking and focused on making our relationship work. Eight months later, we got engaged. About three months after our engagement, we attended a friend’s wedding at Lekki in Lagos. And behold, Melissa was right there. I moved a little closer to have a close view of her to make sure I was not mistaking her for someone else. I moved even closer and tapped her behind. She turned and I saw how shocked she was to see me. She hugged me so tight and whispered into my ear, “I have missed you so much. I thought I will never see you again.” At that point, I had mixed feelings; I was excited and sad at the same time. “Tekena, quite a long time. How are you?” she asked. “Yes, quite a long time. I am doing great,” I replied. At that moment, Jessica walked up to us and I introduced her as my fiancée. “Melissa, meet my fiancée Jessica. Jessica, this is Melissa,” I said. I noticed that Melissa was shocked but she managed to exchange pleasantries with her before we went back to our seats. About 15 minutes later, Melissa sent her friend to me to collect my phone numbers. That evening, I got a call from Melissa. She said it was urgent that we should see and talk. She told me where she was and I dashed off to see her. When I got there, she began by saying we made a promise to get married in future so I should please explain the change in plan. I opened up that the last time I saw her elder brother, he told me that she was married to a black American and that she was happy in her marriage. I also told her how that news turned me into a drunk. However, meeting Jessica changed my life. “It is all lies Takena. I am not married to anybody. And that is because I believed in my heart that we would be together some day. I have never dated any man after you, my love. It was all a plan to separate us and they have succeeded,” she wept. The truth is that seeing Melissa again is shocking but wondeful. She is still my one and only true love. On the other hand, Jessica gave me life again. She is that special woman who made me realise that I could love again and move on with life no matter the troubles. Right now, my heart belongs to Melissa while my body belongs to Jessica. Do I call off my engagement with Jessica and marry Melissa, the love of my life or do I go ahead with marrying Jessica and forget about Melissa? This new revelation in my life is giving me sleepless nights. What do I do?

Please send your advice to the phone number or e-mail address above. No calls, please.


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Praise & Worship

Sunday March 17, 2013

Let God fight your battles, says Pastor Oloruntimilehin Pastor Juoshua Oloruntimilehin Daramola of Omnipotence Mission of God urges Christians to give God chance to fight their cause rather than trust in their personal abilities. Excerpts:

WHEN YOU ALLOW HIM TO HE

ENSURES THAT HE OVERCOMES THE BATTLE CONFRONTING THE PERSON

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here is somebody that can fight for you if you know how to handle Him. He will fight for everyone who enlists under His protection. If you put your trust in him, he will not leave you to hunger, suffer, be poor or allow wicked people to overcome you. When you allow Him to take up your fights, He ensures that he overcomes the battle confronting the person. Who is this person that can fight for you? He is God Almighty. The question then is; why are people suffering, hungry and in poverty and the problems are overshadowing them? Why do people request and they do not receive and they are shedding bitter tears all the time when there is somebody to fight on their behalf. God can only fight for a person when He knows the person to be righteous, honest and keeps His laws. He does not just fight for people. Imagine if two children are fighting and some people want to settle the fight; they first tell them to stop the fight. If after stopping the fight one of the children hit the other with a blow, then the mediators with their understanding will support the child so beaten because the other child has exceeded his boundary. In the same manner, God at times, when some people exceed their boundary, always leaves them to face the consequences. When God tells people not to do something and they disobey, He does not look at them again. God is our mediator and He knows everybody. For God to fight on behalf of anybody, the person must be obedient to Him. If people obey God’s commandments, no battle or problem will overcome the people. Many people are facing battles such as barrenness which is a great battle. It is not the person that fights for them that can do it for them and overcome the battle of barrenness for them. This battle is for God; money, power, physical strength, wisdom and being connected to people of substance cannot fight the battle for them. I pray that those seeking for the fruit of the womb will conceive, bear children and carry their children on on their backs in the name of Jesus. Amen. Another spiritual warfare that is for God to fight on some people’s behalf is for a person not to succeed in life. In spite of the person’s good physical appearance, he or she is facing problem of want. Some people are fighting a spiritual warfare of poverty; they and their families are facing

Service, the path to your next level –Pastor Bamidele

You can’t make real prosperity outside God. And life is God’s training ground; only those who stand up for Jesus will stand out in life. This is the focus of this week’s message from Pastor Lai Bamidele of Christ Glorious End-Time Evangelical Church. Excerpts:

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TAKE UP YOUR FIGHTS,

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Oloruntimilehin

the problem of hunger. These problems are great battles. There are some people that are begging and roaming the streets and whenever they are about to have a change of life for good, the wicked people of the world would prevent the change from occurring. This is a battle that these people cannot overcome alone. For instance, a man narrated his ordeal in the hands of the wicked people. He was suffering to the extent that he engaged himself in all manners of menial jobs but no breakthrough. Then a friend he assisted to travel to the US decided to help him after hearing his ordeal. In fact, he encountered several problems before he got in touch with his friend in the US. Eventually, his friend sent him some money and a bus for commercial transport business but the people who were in spiritual warfare with him did not allow the business to work. Whenever he wanted to use the bus, he always found out that the engine was always hot as if the vehicle had worked overnight. Husband and wife can inflict problems on each other while brother and sister can wage spiritual battle against each other. I pray that spiritual warfare will not overcome everyone in Jesus’ name. Amen. It is desirable for people to know and be saying these battles are not for them but God’s. A person who overcomes his or her battle or problem is crowned gloriously. Imagine David who was crowned gloriously because he committed his battle with Goliath in the hands of God who made him to overcome the battle. The Bible says in 1Samuel 17 verse 32 - 51 “...The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and of the paw of the beer, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine... for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you unto our hands...”. Brethren, let God fight your battle for you because you cannot fight the battle. I pray in the name of Jesus that God will fight for you so that you overcome all the battles. Amen

ervice is not coming to church on Sunday. It is your active involvement and advancement in the promotion of God’s affairs, with the gift God has giving unto you. Faithfulness is a major ingredient for kingdom service not face-fullness. Many of you, your services are face-full-services. That is why nothing ever works in the course of your pursuit. You complain, grumbling and murmuring. But how do you serve God? Are you really serving Him from the debt of your heart or are you serving your pocket? If you look at the book of Exodus 23:25-26, the Bible says, “Thou shall serve the Lord thy God and he shall bless thy bread and water; and take sickness away from midst of you. None shall be barren nor cast their young; the number of your days shall be fulfilled.” There so many good things attached to your kingdom service if only you want to move to your next level in the journey of your life. Listen to me. Service promotes and brings honour; service brings dignity. Until you stand up of God you cannot stand out in life. You cannot be great in life until you serve Him. Many of you say how about these people that are not serving God, who does not know God but God is blessing them. Hear me; whatever they gather is just for temporary. The whole thing will soon fizzle away; except if it came through the genuine way. Life has a mission and only those with passion can experience distinction. Listen to me. Where your heart for God stops is where your life on earth will stop. If you look at the book of Genesis; this book of the Bible stated the case of a man called Joseph. Joseph is one of the most faithful servants that followed God both through faith and did and he was able to rest in the Lord for good. It is kingdom service and commitment that are God’s grace upon my life that have not made me to crash since I have been privileged to serve in his ministry. Listen. In the last 12 years I have not had any cause to go and lie down in the hospital as in sickness. God has been so kind and faithful to me. There is no two secrete. It is service. You can also check the book of Psalm 39:56; you will see what that portion says. But hear this. There are three sets of people in church I will be showing you about service your path way to you next level. I like you to read this message attentively. You can then know the area that you belong and make amends if you are discover that you are on the wrong part. The first set are those who love what is happening in the church but are not doing anything to advance what is happening in the church. They are always too busy to do anything for God. Their job does not allow them to come to church. Anything about God and the kingdom does not bother them except their personal needs. They make God really sad. I am still talking about service, your path way to your next level. The second set is those who hate church and does not love what is happening in church. They criticize the pastor’s mode of dressing, message instruction and lan-

Bamidele

guage. They don’t show interest in rendering service to God. They disobey the instructions, use fowl language and don’t show interest in rendering service unto God. But they are only interested in destroying those who are serving God. Also, they hate soul winning and they drive people away from the church through their attitudes and remarks about the pastor. Hear me God is angry with such people. You better repent today or it might be too late. The last but not the least is those who are lost in the love of God and are sold out in His kingdom promotion. They love to be in church and seek to advance what is happening in church. They love kingdom prayers; they sow seeds into church programmes and projects. Mathew 25:21, “they are passionate about soul winning. The serve and seek God not of what they will benefit but because of their love for God. Listen; they don’t see kingdom commitment as punishment. They make God glad. Now, is God having control over your life? Is He having control over your work, over your money, over your time, over your material possessions, over your children and over the position you have been privileged to be? Most people today don’t go to church because of the love they have for Christ. They go to church to go and size people up; to go and know the type of dress they wear, the calibre of shoes they are wearing. But hear this; there is always time for everybody in His Kingdom. There is always a period that God answers. The same God that answers others will answer those of you that are reading my message, in the name of Jesus. Hear me; there is someone reading my message today, after today’s teachings, I prophesy on the life of that person that before the end of 21 days you will receive your letter of appointment, in the name of Jesus. If you look at the book of Job 36:11, the Bible says, “If they will obey and serve Him, they will spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures.” Life is a training ground. Before you move to your next level, you must get set to prepare yourself ahead of the assignment. It shall be well with you in Jesus’ name.


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Praise & Worship

Sunday March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Be mindful of kingdom purpose, says Olusore Pastor Israel Olusore of Livinglight International Church mobilises the saints for soul winning, saying it is one of the cornerstones of ‘kingdom purpose’. Excerpts:

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his year, God has said that for you to enjoy grace, you must cooperate with the kingdom purpose. Ephesians 12 says that ‘by grace you also saved’ and I also was saved through faith. So you also go out and extend that grace to others. “For by grace you are saved through faith.” And that is what we have received from God. And this is it. The purpose of God is all about you becoming a soul winner. The church has forgotten about the purpose; we are not bothered about kingdom purpose again. We are now concerned about how to make money. We are now concerned about how to be rich. You don’t think more about Jesus but he was rich. You want to live in luxury and get all the good things but you don’t want to have anything to do with the purpose of the kingdom. We are not prepared for where we are going. When you are dead, all those things we are spending more on, stays. Then where you are going is empty. So you get out of this world and you get to where you are going as a child of God. God did not say He would not pay us. He said ‘seek my purpose.’ “Seek you first the kingdom of God and all other things that the gentiles are pursuing shall be added unto you.” All the people who are rich are rich because they used their brain. They applied the principles. But when you become

a child of God, you are given a unique mind that works in Christ Jesus that now puts you at an advantage over them. You have an advantage that you begin to engage the master’s strategies. It is called extraordinary strategies to now prepare and the wealth they have amassed will now be transferred to you. Because your mind is anointed; when you become born-again you have anointed mind if you have faith to believe that. So by faith, all things are possible to you. Grace is God’s unmerited favour. So favour begins to speak for you where favour is not working for them. But then when you become a soul winner that your goal now is fasting and praying for souls God opens heaven over you. God’s presence supports you, because you are attached to soul winning. The words that are styled for soul winning, begins to occur to you. You don’t need any special qualification; the qualification for soul winning is being born again. Some years ago, one little girl led her Head Mistress to the Lord, because that Mistress was sick in the Hospital and she told her parents that she had not been seeing her Head Mistress, take me to her. And when she got to her she told the headmistress, Do you need Jesus, aunty? And because she prayed with her and she was healed that head mistress became born-again. May have course to get the grace to rest when we get to heaven? This

year, God is sounding an alarm to those who will become soul winners. May you tap into that grace today? Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship; created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” So, the purpose for which we are saved is to become soul winners. The good work you can do is to become a soul winner. What works would you have to show for salvation? The souls you won will speak for you. Not the number of houses you have built, not the amount of money you kept in your bank account. I kept asking somebody that now when I die make sure the money in my bank account are not get to the wrong person. Have you ever thought is this possible? Somehow it will get to the wrong person. When some people are alive, their family members are better than when they are alive than when they are dead. Today, you have applied perfume, put on nice clothes, and you are looking real good; but then what is the state of your soul? Are you prepared for where you are going? Is it all that is about life? That you just wake up in the morning, kit up, go to work, socialize, do face book, join social media and other frivolities of life. God is

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calling us back to order this morning. He says, “And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship; created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Somebody ministered to you and you became born-again. You too go out also and minister to somebody, fulfill that purpose. Kingdom purpose is soul winning. The harvest God is talking about is the harvest of the word. The bible says but now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far-off, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. •For counseling contact email: info@livinglightng.com or phone 08028425555

Men are born, kings are made Hope for Hopeless with Pastor Goke

Aniyeloye

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astor Goke Aniyeloye of the Headquarters Church, Redeemed Christian church of God (R.C.C.G), Throne of Grace, Ebute Metta, in this edition, pays special tribute to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God , Pastor Enoch Adeboye The Bible says we should not despise the day of little beginning. We are born equally into this world with the same mandate to have dominion over all that God has created. We all have a destiny- but there are many with a mission without a vision. Anyone who fails to get to his or her destination or goal would not have fulfilled his/her destiny. It is well said that men are born but kings are made. Many children were indeed born on the 2nd of March, 1942, but Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), stands out. It is also well said that the circumstances surrounding the beginning of a man’s life does not necessarily determine the end of his life. The mystery of God’s infinite wisdom establishes that mostly, He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak, the strong. 1 corinthian 1: 27. There is indeed no coincidence in destiny. This truth attests to the fact that no child born under and into any circumstance is a mistake- whether the child was planned or unplanned, expected or unexpected. That

again goes to Pastor E. A. Adeboye. Daddy GO’s father had a fairly large family: two wives and 10 children. Husband and wife had already made up their minds to put full stop to child-bearing when God insisted that He is the only one that has the final say. He reserves the right to impose His decision on anyone too. This decision by God brought about the destiny child, called Enoch, who, now at 71, is celebrated across the globe as one of the greatest ministers of God of our time, with an indelible print on his generation and generations to come as a role model and an embodiment of godliness and humility. Romans chapter 9: 16 says, ‘’So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” God truly proved this with the Pa Moses Adeboye’s family, a family far from civilization in a little village called Ifewara, now in Osun state of Nigeria, a village where there was no electricity ,pipe borne water, or good roads. But God decided to raise a man that will introduce the living fountain of life to everyone that is thirsty from these poor Adeboyes. What the multimillionaires then were looking for, in a child, the Almighty God gave to Enoch Adeboye to change the world for good. So, there is no force on earth greater than when mortal destinies fulfilled eternal purposes. The fulfillment of the destiny of Enoch Adeboye did not just start on the day he was born. It had been conceived in the mind of God in eternity. Heaven kissed the earth on that beautiful morning, 71years ago (2nd of March, 1942), when this legend of Christian faith, a pastor of pastors, conqueror of satanic kingdom, God’s axe head in liberating captivities and an apostle of holiness was wrapped up in disguise and thrown to the poor polygamous family of Pa Moses Adeboye. The story of this great apostle Enoch Adeboye cannot be waived aside as it stands a

trailblazer on the rough, rigorous and lonely path that leads to a colorful and glorious destiny. The geographical location and disadvantaged family circumstances surrounding his early life were directly contradictory to the magnanimous future God reserved for him. Unlike many who were born with the proverbial golden spoon or average comfortable families, Enoch walked the disadvantage route from abject poverty the moment he sets his eyes and legs on mother earth to the very top of his calling. Everything and everyone around him were nothing to write home about in the beginning. Growing up in the very absurd condition of their tiny mud house, which had nothing like luxury to point at- no bed, no chair, no electricity, even food was difficult to come by, the poverty-ridden family even had to call for a party when his father, Pa Moses managed to buy an Umbrella. But Enoch saw into the future with a vision that gave him a mission. He had a dream which he knew was given to him by God. When a man of God visited his Ifewara village, the entire community came out to welcome him. Enoch saw the man come out of his car with sparkling shoes. The scenario vividly caught the vision of his mission alive. And like Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr said: ‘A man who has not found a reason worth dying for is not worth living”. Against all odds, little Enoch keyed into the mission statement and was ready to sacrifice all to make his dream of evangelizing to liberate the world and be celebrated in the word of God a reality. Matthew 21:21 Says: “Verily, I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, e shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” He cast the

mountain of doubt and poverty into the sea and held on to faith with the word of God. He not only push the mountain, he moved it with that great faith to raise a standard in spreading the holy gospel to every nooks and crannies of the world by the special grace of God. Certainly, there is no coincidence in destiny. As rough as things were with him in the beginning, and even where he had to go through primary and, secondary schools without a pair of shoe until the age of seventeen, went through thin and thorns to pay his school fees and where even his mother, Esther, took several loans and his father had to sell his last investment to pay his fees, he remained focused, intelligent, held on to faith and never lost sight of his goal. Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. Again, Said the true measure of the stature of a great man is not whether he stands in times of comfort and convenience but in those moments of conflict and controversy. Enoch stood against all odds and kept pressing for the generational trend of poverty in his family and the world at large. He eventually graduated in flying colours in mathematics, from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and as God and fate would have it, his thirty years dream of coming out of his car with sparkling shoes to a rosy welcome as hero of faith started manifesting but not without series of trials with his amiable and God given wife that landed him in the Redeemed Christian Church of God as a university lecturer. He later became an interpreter to the Church founder and General Overseer, Rev Josiah Akindayomi. Today, the rest is history. The poor boy of yester years with no pair of shoes to go to school is now Daddy G.O. of the fastest church denomination in the world, spread across over 160 nations and one of the largest in Africa. He has acquired tremendous fame in diligently serving God.


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Praise & Worship 45

Sunday March 17, 2013

Understanding the root of financial fortune! (3) T The Voice o of wisdom

with Dr. David

Oyedepo E-mail: bishop@davidoyedepoministries.org Phone: 7747546-8

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elcome to your regular column. Last week, I taught on how to connect with thecovenant channels of blessings, why God wants you to prosper, among others. This week, I will show you some channels through which God blesses us and the root of true prosperity. Channels through which God blesses us: •Through the rain of divine ideas – God blesses us throughthe rain of divine ideas. How does this happen? The Spirit of the Lord is wisdom and power, which operated in Jesus, during His earthly ministry. So, in response to our giving, God pours upon us wisdom and power. That is God’s ability in man that enables him to know what to do at every point in time. When you give, God responds to your giving principally through the transmission of His divine ability and ideas back to you. God said He will open for you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing (Malachi 3:10). That is, He will pour out the rain of the Holy Spirit upon you, Who will give you divine ideas on how to create or generate wealth. The windows of heaven open to connect you with ideas that will in turn lead you into your blessings. Let us see a biblical example of this.

Abraham became very rich in cattle, silver and gold (Genesis 13:2). Through the rain of divine ideas which came in response to his giving, Abraham must have said to himself, “Let me dig wells and water my cattle.” So his cattle were not going about in search of water in the desert, but were being watered at one spot. Divine inspiration located for him what to do to get fatter and fresher cattle and sheep than others. Also, God gave a divine idea to Jacob and that delivered him from slavery in Laban’s house (Genesis 30:37-43).When you locate a divine idea from God, you will know what opportunities exist in the land of seeming poverty, and how to utilize them to your advantage. •Through the rain of divine favour – God commands His favourupon you in response to your giving. As a result, in spite of whatever economic crisis, political instability and pressures, there will be pleasure all around your life, because of God’s favour. For instance, God’s favour made a distinction for Israel even in Egypt. While the Egyptians were selling themselves and their lands for food, Israel enjoyed abundance in Goshen, in the same land where famine was destroying others (Genesis 47:13-27). In like manner, His favour will distinguish you! •Through the works of your hands – God blesses you in response to your giving through the works of your hands. Proverbs 10:4 says: He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. Just as some men become rich, some others become poor. Your choice is what determines your lot. Giving without working is like pouring water into a basket. This is because where-

as giving procures the blessing, working is what opens the channel through which the blessing will flow to you (Proverbs 18:16; Proverbs 22:29). If you are not working, you will not only become poor, but are actually signing for poverty in spite of your giving. So, financial fortune is a product of the blessings of God on the works of our hands. No wonder, Psalms 1:3 says: …And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

What is the root of true prosperity?

• True prosperity begins with your spiritual prosperity: Financial fortune is a provision that demands a quality walk with God. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth(3 John 2). God weighs our spirituality. So, get off carnality and become spiritual! Your covenant practice will only deliver to the level of your spirituality because, if it goes beyond that, you will crash. Spirituality is key to true prosperity; it puts you in command of supernatural supplies. To experience a change of level, it must begin with a change of level in your spiritual life. For instance, Jesus Christ was in command of the financial world in His ministry on earth. He is our ultimate example. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. He is the epitome of spirituality and that puts Him supernaturally in command of the material and financial world. • It is not a game of give and receive,it’s a quality walk with God. Financial fortune is a provision that demands a quality walk with God. And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father… (1 Kings 3:3). That was his launching pad into a world of financial fortune.

The Bible says God told Solomon, “I will give you even that which you have not asked for.”So, it doesn’t answer to those who ask, it answers to those who connect. • It does not answer to those who crave for it, but to those who crave after God. It does not answer to those who love it; it answers to those who love God. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing (Psalms 34:10).The love for God empowers you to be in command of true prosperity Friend, the power for true prosperity is available, if you are born again. You get born again as you confess your sins and accept Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. If you are set for it, please say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious blood. Today, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know, I am born again! I will continuewith this teaching next week! Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge. For further reading, please get my books — Understanding Financial Prosperity, Breaking Financial Hardshipand Winning The War Against Poverty. I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. We have three services on Sundays, holding at 6.30a.m, 9.00a.m.and 11.00 a.m. respectively. •I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with us through: Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; or call 7747546-8; or E-mail: feedback@lfcww. org

Commanding victory over the enemy Shepherd Life with Bishop Kingsley

Enakirerhi

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he minister of God in charge of Heroes of Christ Ministries, Bishop Kingsley Enakirerhi, in this homily, examines why many people fall prey to their enemies, as he gives the scriptural recipe needed to scoring victory over your enemy. Excerpts: Every human being on planet earth desires to walk in victory over their enemies. The fact that we are in constant warfare is not in doubt. Many will go to any length so as to be able to walk in victory over their enemies. This is the reason why many have joined secret societies and some have even bought witchcraft in an attempt to be able to overpower their enemies. However, they fail to realise that the greatest enemy and the father of all enemies is not their human adversary but the devil. Hence, it is an exercise in futility to run to one of the agents of Satan in order to escape from another of his agents. You will only get a temporary relief. Moreover, be rest assured that the devil will give you another problem in exchange for the one he is taking away. God who made man has the solution to man’s problem. The word of God has clearly revealed to us how we can com-

mand victory over our enemies. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to earth and showed us how we can do it. He came, He conquered and declared on the cross that it is finished. In the Book of Proverbs 16, we can see the secret on how we can command victory over our enemy. In Proverbs 16:6-7, we read “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. When a man’s ways pleases the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him”. In the above scripture especially in verse 7, we are told that when a man’s ways pleases the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Today we are so much afraid of men that we can do anything to please men at the expense of God. But I want to let you know that the only way to command victory over the enemy is to please God. A cursory look at some biblical characters will reveal that they commanded victory over their adversaries because they pleased God. Joseph was a young man whose brothers conspired against him and sold him into slavery. To make matters worse, his master put him in prison over a false allegation. But he nevertheless had this testimony in Genesis 39: 21 “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison”. The only reason why God was with Joseph was because Joseph pleased the Lord. Jesus said in John 8:29 that the father is always with him because he does those things that pleases God. This was the secret for his consistent victory over

the devil. Eventually Joseph became the second in command in Egypt exercising victory over his brethren and Potiphar. Daniel, Meshack, Shedrack and Abednego are examples of those of who walked in victory over their enemies. In Daniel chapter Three, enemies of Shedrack, Meshack and Abednego plotted to kill them by causing the king to make a decree that whosoever will not bow to his image will be burnt to death. But these three Hebrew boys refused to compromise their faith. Rather than pleasing the king and displeasing God, they said in Daniel 3:16-18 that they were prepared to die pleasing God than the king. The king in his fury commanded that they be cast into the fire but because they pleased God, God sent Jesus into their midst and the fire did not hurt them. Instead of dying, they were promoted in verse thirty while their enemies died. Also in Daniel chapter 6, the enemies of Daniel wanted to kill him and deceived the king to make a decree against praying to any other God but the king. The penalty for breaching the decree was death in the den of the lions. Daniel chose to please God rather than the King consequently; he was cast into the lion’s den. God vindicated him by shutting the mouth of the lions so that they could not eat him. Those who plotted against him were thrown into the den and eaten by the lions. We can see that he walked in victory over the enemy by simply pleasing God. Time will fail to mention the like of Mordecai or King David who had mastery over their enemies. They all have the testimony that they pleased God.

The question now is how do I please God? In Luke 15:7, we are told that there is joy in heaven over the repentance of a sinner. So if you want to please God, then make soul winning and preaching of the gospel to sinners a priority. It gives the Lord pleasure. Another way we can please God is when we live a holy life. 1 Peter 1:16 says we should be holy because our God is holy. Also in 2 Timothy 2:19 we are told “nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. God hates sin and cannot dwell with a sinner. Therefore, we must forsake sin in order to please God. Commitment to God’s work by means of rendering service and faithfulness in our tithes and offering is another way we can please God. Hebrews 6:10 says God is not unrighteous to forget your labour of love. Everything good we do in the house of God attracts the pleasure of God. So whenever we are faithful to God’s work, He is pleased with us. Living by faith is another way we can please the Lord. Hebrews 11:6 says for without faith it is impossible to please God. You must have the confidence that God is able to do just what He says He will do. Whenever you doubt God’s ability you displease Him. As you please God from now onwards, I see you commanding victory over your enemies in Jesus name. •For counseling or enquiries send an email to bishopnoproblem@yahoo.com


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Praise & Worship

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Sunday March 17, 2013

God remembers

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aylor puts this aptly: “the Lord is my Shepherd: not ‘was,’ not ‘maybe,’ not ‘will be.’ The Lord is my Shepherd--is on Sunday, is on Monday, and is through every day of the week; is in January, is in December, and every month of the year; is at home, and is in China; is in peace, and is in war; in abundance and in poverty.” God is always a present tense in our existence. God remembers us. “He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust” (Ps 103:14). Cicero describes memory as “the treasury and guardian of all things.” “God remembered Noah” and made the waters of the flood to subside and recede (Gen 8:1). The whole episode took over seven (7) months before everything dried for normalcy. God placed a rainbow in the sky to show He remembers His promise not destroy the world with water again (Gen 9:15-17). God remembered Abraham and saved Lot, his nephew, from the burning inferno of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:29). God remembered (visited) Sarah and she bore Isaac (Gen 21:1). God remembered Rachel, Jacob’s wife, opened her womb and she bore Joseph (meaning “The Lord shall add to me another son”—Gen 30:21). God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exod 2:24). He heard the groaning of the children of Israel in Egypt and delivered them from bondage (Ps 105:42). God remembered Hannah and she conceived Samuel (meaning “heard by God” –1 Sam 1:11, 19). Aren’t you glad that you serve a God who remembers? “Who remembered us in our low estate: for His mercy endures forever” (Ps 136:23). He will remember

Holy Inquiry with Pastor Paul

Nkirukah E-mail: pstpaul11@yahoo.com

Pastor, I really appreciate the way you treated this issue of bishops and pastors stuff. It really doesn’t go down well with me the way pastors take themselves before bishops; even notable pastors, as if they are all not ministers of God. I would have welcome a national debate on this but I think the Christian Association of Nigeria should come out to address it because many young faithful are missing it out as they see that position as an upper realm of faith. Thank you. Pastor Louis A. Brave, Lagos Dear reader, I thank you also for being one of my followers in reading this column. I really love to emphasise on this ‘bishop and pastor’ of a thing because we Nigerians are fond of trying to do whatever we see someone else doing without asking how and why? There is a story one of my pas-

you in every situation and circumstance. Human beings are bound to forget others. It is in our fallen DNA! In spite of our best of intentions, we still forget; but God will NEVER forget His own! The chief butler forgot Joseph (Gen 40:23; 41:9). A mother may forget her sucking child (Isa 49:15). Job said his familiar friends had forgotten him (Job 19:14). King Ahasuerus of Persia forgot Mordecai’s heroism in saving him from the deadly plots of the kings’ eunuchs doorkeepers, Bigthan and Teresh (Esther 2:21-23; 6:1ff). A poor man who delivered his city by his wisdom is forgotten (Eccl. 9:14-15). The Israelites forgot Gideon’s heroic deliverance, neglecting his descendants (Judges 8:34-35). “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb 6:10). Several people pleaded for God to remember them and He did. Samson prayed for the last time (Judges 16:28-30). King Hezekiah prayed on his sick bed and God granted him 15 more years! (2 Kings 20:3ff; Isa 38:3). While Nehemiah was building the broken walls of Jerusalem amidst daunting challenges and bleeding sacrifices, he prayed for God to remember (Neh 1:8; 4:14; 13:14, 22, 29, 31). So did Job (Job 7:7; 14:13), David (Ps 25:6-7; 13:1), and Jeremiah (Jer 15:15, 19-21). God is a covenant-keeping God. If we confess our sins, God says: “then I will remember my covenant with Jacob and

my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land” (Lev 26:40-42, 45). He is sure to remember His people (Ps 74:2); His promises (Ps 105:42; 119:49); and the poor and needy (Ps 9:18). He cannot forget you in your troubles (Ps 132:1). “His eyes are upon the sparrows,” He cannot forget you! (Luke 12:6-7. The LORD has sworn: “Surely I will never forget any of their works” (Amos 8:7). However, you must never take God for granted. If you reject knowledge you will be rejected. “Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6). God, in His love, has chosen not to remember some things about us. He will not bring them up again! God will not remember the sins of your youth (Ps 25:7) and other past sins which are confessed and forgiven (Ps 79:8; Jer 31:34; Heb 8:12; 10:17). You shall forget the shame of your youth (Isa 54:4). God exclaims: “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins!” (Isa 43:25). I call this the “Divine self-imposed blindness!” This is what made God to declare that there is no sin or wickedness in Israel, despite what the record says! (Num 23:21-23). This is consistent with God’s testimony about Abraham that he staggered not at God’s promise (Rom 4:20-21). Ultimately, when God has redeemed His people into the new heavens and a new earth: “the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isa 65:17).

Answer these questions and win a prize

God is preparing a “Book of Remembrance” for those who fear the Lord (Mal 3:16-18). This resembles the practice of kings that commonly keep a calendar or chronicle of those that have done them good service. Not that God needs a book. All things- past and future are “present” with Him. He is said to remember His people when He shows His care of us, and makes good His promises to us. We are said to be God’s “rememberancer” as we plead His promise and intercede for others and press God to perform. Not that we persuade God to do us good, but we persuade our own hearts to more faith, love, obedience, etc., whereby we become more capable of that good (See Isa 62:6). “God is not slack concerning His promise” of His second return (2 Pet 3:9). Two thousand years ago, Christ promised: “I will come again” (John 14:1-3). Jesus will return, as He has promised, to set the earth’s prisoners free. Until then, He promised: “If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth” (Ps 137:6). You are ever on His mind. “See, I have inscribed you in the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me” (Isa 49:16). He remembers everything about you in amazing details: “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt 10:30). Not just counted, but numbered. He remembers every strand of hair on your head. Whao! What a God!!! •Tunde Ojewole, PhD, is the Babcock University Pastor in charge: Division of Spiritual Life. For enquiries, contact: ojewolea@babcock.edu.ng or call/SMS 08058299434/08060376577

1.

Who said: “for what I want to do I do not, but what I hate I do?” Where in the Bible?

2.

Who received a double restoration of his former estate after praying for his friends in spite of losing all things he had? Locate the passage.

1.

Berea, Athens and Rome.

Who named all the animals at creation? Provide scriptural evidence.

2.

Song of Songs (Songs of Solomon).

3.

After the death of Saul.

3.

•Please, be informed that the first correct entry via text message wins the prize. See next week’s column for answers to the quiz. Send your answers with your names to 08054238905. Gifts: courtesy Babcock University.

Answers to March 3, 2013 Quiz

Still, is a bishop superior to a pastor? tor friends told me about the origin or how this bishop of a title came about. Let me share it with you: This Pastor told me that he was one of the ministers under Archbishop Benson Idahosa of blessed memory. He said one day, Bishop Idahosa told them while he was alive the reason he decided they should be calling him archbishop. He said this was because of the government attitude towards pastors anytime they go for prayer meeting in Government House. Lest I forget, he said that this bishop stuff came when the Pentecostal pastors began to emulate the Anglican and catholic bishops, because whenever they go for prayer meetings, the pastors were never recognised the way the bishops were recognized. Even if you preach the truth of the Bible more a bishop does. That, to those in the secular world, does not count. In fact, the pastors were not given any attention. Before they allow you to talk, you must be a bishop. So, if you have relevant things to say, you cannot unless you are a bishop or archbishop. So, when he came back one day from one of the prayer meetings at Government House, he called his pastors and

told them to be answering bishops while he will be answering archbishop. Thereafter, they began to allow him to talk and preach in Government House, Benin, Edo State. He said Idahosa pointed out that it is not that bishop is anything to compare with pastor and other titles of the fourfold ministry. This is why almost all the ministers of God think or believe that the bishop is the ultimate, and better than a pastor. But in clinging to this belief, they neglect God’s gift and prefer self acclaim or desired gift. Once again, let’s go study 1Timothy3, from verse one. In it, the Bible states some conditions that will qualify one to be a bishop. But in the five-fold ministry, there is no condition because God had anointed them specially for their ministries. He is the one that will direct them by His spirit on what to do and how to do them. And God, knowing that the bishops will be ordained by pastors, now gave them the quality that one would have or what a man must do to be ordained as a bishop; the instruction was given to the pastors on the quality a man must have before he can be ordained a bishop, even if he desired to be one.

Let’s meditate on the scriptures in Philippians 1: 1 which reads, “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” Taking a very good look at the above scripture, I don’t think there is anything more you would want to know or hear before you can be convinced that bishop and deacon are of the same degree. Don’t you see how he first of all named the prior servants of God who are either pastors or apostles, before he mentioned the bishops and the deacons? You could see or sense the gape there? My dear one, the thing is clear here, and that is, these people know the truth only that they are shying away from it, because they love men to praise them, and when men begin to praise you, you know that the person is on the way to destruction. Well, reaching the CAN cannot make any difference because all of them are educated; they have been reading all the relevant verses in the Bible, so they are aware of what I have been stating. But one thing they may fail or refuse to understand is that, no title will take anybody to heaven, except the way you live your life here on earth. Stay blessed.


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Opinion

Sunday March 17, 2013

Pardon me for politics’ sake

ne day, facts will emerge on the number of cows slaughtered in Aso Villa, in the event that a bash was thrown to rejoice with eminent Nigerian ex-convicts who were awarded presidential pardon by President Goodluck Jonathan. Were we to still live in the woody era when there were no electronic and print media, much less a cyberspace technology, some curious Nigerians would have strutted hard at the perimeter fencing of Aso Rock, to catch a glimpse of the pardon awarders with their pardon awardees, Wednesday, last week. That day, the gathering of modern lords of the manor would either have danced riotously to hip-propelled ‘makosa’ music or joyously bewitch one another with the shoulder-enamoured ‘yahooze’ dance. And an assemblage of that magnitude could not have been in want of mistresses, diligently farmed out by fecund pimps servicing the zenith of power. All such would only be concomitant with the pristine satire that is the book, Animal Farm, written by George Orwell. President Jonathan claimed that he consulted widely with the Council of States, whose composition includes the President himself, ex-Presidents, ex-Heads of State, the Senate President and the House of Representatives Speaker, among others, and that they all agreed that some highly placed Nigerians who had been jailed for graft, coup plotting and sundry criminal offences, be given presidential pardon. Among the Very Important Personality (VIP) ex-convicts who benefitted the Presidency’s misty gaze of mercy are former Bayelsa State governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha; a former Chief of Staff,

Supreme Headquarters, the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, alongside other military officers implicated in the 1995 and 1997 coup plots against the government of then military Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha; a former Chief of General Staff to Abacha, LtGeneral Oladipo Diya; a former Minister of Works, the late General Abdulkareem Adisa; a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank of the North, Alhaji Shettima Bulama and one Dr. Chiichii Ashwe. Alamieyeseigha, it will be recalled, was in September 2005 arrested and detained in London, charged with money laundering offences. The Metropolitan police had in the course of their investigations, stumbled on one million pounds cash, in the governor’s London home. At the end of their searches, the sleuths also discovered a total sum of one million, eight hundred thousand pounds which then amounted to $3.2 million, spotted in cash and in his bank accounts. He was also alleged to have possessed real estate in London worth 10 million pounds. The Nigerian governor, in far way London, befuddled the Metropolitan police as he eventually jumped bail and escaped home in what was seen as typical James Bond’s derring-do. Alamieyeseigha allegedly embroidered self in a native old woman’s headgear, posing a lachrymose mien of an ailing 90-year-old grandma on her way home to die. As that story went, the white policemen were moved with compassion and said ‘please, quickly take mama home.’ On getting to Nigeria, the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo was not amused by the governor’s clever escape, as Bayelsa lawmakers were successfully pressured to impeach Alamieyesei-

gha, following which the ex-governor was charged to court. After some long-drawn trial which eventually calibrated in a plea bargain, the alleged ‘ex-woman in transit’ pleaded guilty and was jailed two years. As for Diya and the other ex-military officers who once passed through the shadows of death as they were accused of plotting to overthrow the steely government of Abacha, reprieve came apparently for what the rumour mill chooses to see as largely political. Already in Yorubaland, there is seething discontent over the marginalisation of the race in the scheme of things in the country. And to worsen an already worsted scenario, Yoruba’s political dynamo, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu is one of the core arrowheads of the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) Therefore, if Diya et al. could, in gratitude for this pardon, team up with a somewhat queer political party called Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), formed by Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) founder, Chief Frederick Fasehun, they would, according to the Presidency’s calculation, conveniently checkmate the Tinubu ‘Tsunami.’ That is what buzzes in the streets now. And as for the deceased army Generals also granted posthumous pardon, it is natural for their families, which are still influential, to impulsively mount the stump, campaigning for a 2015 return of the Chief Benefactor. Again, it amounts to trying to attract the blind with a mirror gift, when presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe, explained to Nigerians the reasons Jonathan had to pardon Alamieyeseigha, his former boss. Okupe said the ex-Bayelsa governor had been silently working, help-

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ing the President to make a success out of the amnesty programme. Apart from that, a patently dialectic Okupe, who Hitler’s Joseph Goebbels stands to envy from the grave, added that Alamieyeseigha has become ‘remorseful.’ However, everyone knows the name of their mother before calling her ‘mummy.’ Jonathan, the conventional Nigerian wisdom demands, should only be a true human to re-habilitate and assist Alamieyeseigha whose downfall of those days set the man who is now President on his way to the top. When the Beyalsa governor was impeached, Jonathan, his deputy, took over as governor. And from there, Jonathan’s meteoric rise to the position of Vice-President and then President, though providential, had its taproot in the fall of Alamieyeseigha. Ideally, being the President’s kinsman and going by festering rumour that Alamieyeseigha now nurses the ambition of going to the Senate in 2015, will Jonathan not be demonised at home if he had failed to assist his former ‘oga’? But the overall lamentation remains that, for once, the anti-corruption crusade of government is fatally wounded, having been sacrificed on the altar of political ambition and horse trading. So when next you steal, remember to be politically relevant, in the aftermath.

Atiku’s enduring media structure ‘NIRAN ADEDOKUN

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lhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is an interesting personality. I may not fancy his brand of politics but any discerning person would agree there is something intriguing, trusty and almost compelling about the Turaki Adamawa. Love him or hate him, you cannot easily ignore this enigma. While debates are still rife about the likelihood of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathn contesting in the 2015 general elections, for example, I can tell you for free that Atiku is guardedly warming up to confront whatever challenge the 2015 presidential contest might throw up. Has Atiku publicly declared interest? No he hasn’t. So how could I be so definite about his intention? Well, I have watched Atiku’s moves, and the steps taken by his media office in the aftermath of the 2011 elections would tend to suggest a strategic preparation for something big. The Adamawa-born politician appears to have something brawny up his sleeves. I do not know much about the political structure that Atiku currently has in place but I do know for a fact that this man has one of the most formidable public relations machinery in Nigeria’s current political landscape. Two things appear to work in his favour as far as his media team is concerned. The first is its composition. Atiku’s media office, as the crack team prefers to be called, is a rainbow of accomplished professionals.

Names of media veterans like Chris Mamah, Adunoyi Onukaba-Ojo, Adeolu Akande and Garba Shehu are all on Atiku’s list. These are men of extraordinary professional pedigree and their presence in the Atiku team, at one time or the other, has proved hugely beneficial. The second significant thing about this group is that they have worked together for such a long time that they have tended to form a sacred code of allegiance to their principal. Apart from the former Lagos State governor and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, I do not know of any other political figure in Nigeria who would hold such a robust team together for well over a decade now! I asked a friend of mine a few days ago, whether Chris Mamah still works for Atiku and he replied that Atiku’s people work for him forever. Why that happens, we do not really know but that appears to be the norm. Mamah, for example, is believed to have been acquainted with Atiku while he was still a University student in the seventies. About four decades after his graduation, he has worked for Atiku in God-knows-how, many capacities. Excerpts from a book recently published by the “Atiku Media Office” indicates that what has kept these men loyal to Atiku is the loyalty of the politician to his staff. It, therefore, follows that if respect is considered reciprocal, then loyalty could be reciprocal, as well. The book reveals how Atiku at one time or the other gave lifelines to Akande, Garba , Adunoyi-Ojo and Prof Sam Oyovbaire who all got the short end of the stick during the infamous Obasanjo/Atiku face-off at the Aso Rock Villa.

The book entitled, “Atiku Media Office: The Wars, The Victories,” reveals how Atiku took these men in after their unceremonious sack by President Obasanjo. I am reliably told that Atiku, a man of immense means and founder of the American University of Nigeria, never abandons his own, he fixes them up and empowers them economically to be able to stand on their own feet. His investments have clearly paid off. What Atiku has is not just a Media Office, even if it calls itself so, what he has is actually an unprecedented Public Relations machinery in the history of politics in Nigeria. His men are professional, disciplined, strategic and not given to unnecessary propaganda, unlike some other politicians’. (That is a matter for another day). The Atiku Media Office obviously has excellent relations with the media. They always manage to get their man in the media as often as they want. News releases come out of every event at which their man makes an appearance. They issue statements on topical occurrences in the country, and in most of these, they tend to adopt a mediatory, sometimes dispassionate disposition, such that you really would not see them as anyone’s enemy. They are also proactive and ever ready to respond to any negative press on their big boss. I cannot forget their reaction to Nasir El-Rufai’s release of his Accidental Civil Servant. His claim that Atiku interfered in his job, stirred up intellectual violence in the “media office.” They issued statements condemning the book and its writer and went ahead to do the most innovative thing I have seen in perception management recently-

they went back into the archives and brought out a recording of El Rufai’s testimony before the Senate in 2006. Here, the man swore that Atiku never really interfered, except for once when he had asked for consideration for someone and he (El Rufai) told Atiku that the person should prepare well for the bids. The media office paid for spots on different television channels and for days, this video was on air. Now, you don’t even have to dig into the truth of this matter that was just an awesome Public Relations move by the office. When they published their book, they promoted the book as an effort from “the Media Office” nothing that has to do with their boss. In so doing, these strategists have, to my mind killed two birds with one stone. They have attempted a dent on the image of Obasanjo- the man who made it difficult for their principal to enjoy his second term in office as Vice President, even as they have also exonerated Atiku from being in on this attempt. So Atiku can remain Obasanjo’s friend claiming to know nothing about the book! It is a unique perception management piece for Atiku. This office does not rely on the media alone. I notice that they have employed all possible PR tools in their arsenal to Atiku’s advantage. I have seen one or two Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, I have seen strategic partnerships being forged, just like I have seen speaking opportunities attended by massive media coverage and I have, as well, noted Atiku measured silence on the 2015 general elections. To my mind, that measured silence in itself speaks volumes about the Atiku strategy. •Adedokun is a reputation management


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Wellness YOUR HEALTH AND HEALTH RELATED ISSUES MARCH 17, 2013

‘Busy schedule, biggest hindrance to healthy lifestyle’

VANESSA OKWARA

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ne of the biggest problems facing the modern man today is lack of activity. We wake up in the morning and hurry off to work where we stay a whole day sitting in front of the computer and probably consume junk foods while being busy with our jobs. This is definitely not good for our total well being. Health is wealth as the popular saying goes and it’s true in its entirety. It is only a healthy person that can attain whatever success he intends to achieve in life. If someone becomes suddenly ill and incapacitated; he/she will not be able to enjoy

the fruits of his toil. So it becomes very important to look out for ways to stay healthy and avoid those things that are capable of reducing our ability to function and perform at an optimal level in all areas of life. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The maintenance and promotion of health is achieved through different combination of physical, mental and social wellbeing, together sometimes referred to as the “health triangle”. In today’s world, people are more conscious about their health and want to get

Kaduna records 500 cases of measles Kaduna State Government said recently that it has recorded 500 cases of measles in 19 local government areas of the state from December last year to date. The state’s Rapid Response Team Leader, Dr Julius Gajere, told newsmen in Kaduna that no death was however

recorded. He said 83 per cent of the reported cases were in six local government areas. Gajere gave the names of the affected local governments as Igabi, Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Ikara, Makarfi and Kubau. He also said that 96 per cent of the cases had manifested in children between

nine and 59 months old. “The main clinical features of the disease are fever, cough, conjunctivitis, runny nose and maculopapular rashes. Gajere blamed the situation on low routine immunisation in the affected areas and urged the residents to embrace the immunisation programme.

a well-toned body shape. This is because when we are in good shape, it makes us feel fit and healthy. To achieve this feat, medical experts have constantly advised that we should always watch what we eat and exercise regularly so as to avoid diseases that come with sedentary lifestyles such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Yet people find it quite hard to adhere to these instructions. This is mostly because of the fast-paced world that we live in; people find it difficult to devote hours to exercise. It is not necessary that you have to spend a huge sum of money on special fad diets, herbal supplements and so on, to get the right body shape. There are simpler ways to get in shape

even with a busy schedule as explained by Mr. Okechukwu Anumudu, a health and fitness expert and the Director, Total Wellbeing Centre in Lagos. Why is it important to be healthy? Mr. Anumudu had this to say, “Being healthy allows you to keep your body free of the various diseases it is prone to developing, because of the fast-paced lifestyle that you lead. Moreover, health does not only refer to the physical aspect. A healthy mind is also essential to lead a healthy life. When we talk about the fitness levels of the body, we refer to our stamina, the ability of the body to resist various diseases and disorders. Issues such as obesity and sedentary lifestyle tend to hamper your fitness levels, and make you vulnerable to a range of health disorders. So following a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just help you in getting fit fast, but also ensures that you stay fit forever. The health and fitness expert listed lack of dedication as the biggest hindrance in our goal of getting fit and healthy within a stipulated period of time. “For staying in shape, the first thing that you need to do is to make up your mind. Let me tell you, losing weight and staying in shape won’t happen overnight. It would require consistent efforts, focus and a strong will power from your side. If people could be more committed to adhering to instructions about what they put in their mouth, then they are half way already in achieving a healthy lifestyle. Junk food lovers are generally the ones who suffer from health problems such as obesity and diabetes, while people who follow the healthy way of living tend to have a longer life, free of various ailments. If you understand the importance of getting fit and healthy, and that is what is on your mind, you need to resort to the two attributes of healthy lifestyle - a healthy diet and proper exercise. One of the most important ways to stay in shape, without which you cannot even imagine a healthy body, is a “balanced diet”, he said emphatically. CONTINUED ON PAGE 51

HEALTH NEWS Kogi launches free medical treatment for rural dwellers Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, has assured that more than 40,000 rural dwellers would receive free medical treatment in the state government’s free medical programme. Inaugurating the pro-

gramme in Lokoja, Wada disclosed that it was initiated to take healthcare services to the doorsteps of rural dwellers. He said the medical teams would give special attention to the aged, women and the

children, saying the teams would visit all the 21 local government areas (LGAs) of the state. He, however, said complex problems would be referred to general and specialist hospitals in the state.


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Wellness

Know your organs

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he kidneys are some of the most complex, beautifully “engineered” organs of the human body. They perform several essential tasks, including the excretion of waste products, the maintenance of homeostatic balance in the body and the release of important hormones. To achieve this, human kidneys have a highly developed, superbly refined anatomy and physiology. Human beings are born with two kidneys. Each kidney is identical in structure and function. Although they seem small and only represent less than five-tenths of one percent of a human’s body weight, they are complex, specialised organs with a great responsibility. Knowing the ins and outs of your kidneys may convince you just how important it is to keep them healthy. Their location The kidneys are located near the vertebral column at the small of the back; the left kidney lying a little higher than the right. Each is identical in structure and function. They are bean-shaped, about 10 cm long and 6.5 cm wide. Each kidney comprises an outer cortex and an inner medulla. The kidney is supplied with oxygenated blood via the renal artery and drained of deoxygenated blood by the renal vein. The kidney is the organ in the body that filters blood and produces urine. They also assist in the production of erythropoietin, a protein that motivates red blood cell production. The main functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. There are approximately one million nephrons per kidney. Filtering the blood is the responsibility of about one million nephrons located in each kidney. These serve as the primary tool behind your kidney function. Nephrons use a glomerulus and a tubule to conduct the filtering process. What this system determines as waste gets flushed out of the kidneys in the form of urine along with extra water that the body does not need. Waste products are produced from food and fluid intake as

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Kidneys well as normal tissue breakdown after the body has used what it needs for nutritional balance, energy, and self-repair. This process of food and tissue breakdown is known as your metabolism. Urine and the kidney The urine travels through tubes called ureters into the bladder. It is here in the bladder where urine is stored until it is excreted out when you go to the bathroom. Normal kidney function produces one litre of urine from approximately 1,000 liters of blood that is processed by these two tiny organs. About 20 per cent of the blood that the heart pumps each minute will enter the kidneys to be filtered. The remaining 80 per cent flows to additional areas of the body to meet other ongoing needs. Another, less familiar, mechanism for urine production in the kidneys is tubular secretion. Specialised cells move solutes directly from the blood into the tubular fluid. Tubular secretion of hydrogen ions, augmented by control of bicarbonate levels, is important in maintaining correct blood pH. In addition to its excretory and homeostatic roles, the kidneys also release two important hormones into the blood. These are: Erythropoietin which acts on bone marrow to increase the production of red blood cells and Calcitriol which promotes the absorption of calcium from food in the intestine and acts directly on bones to shift calcium into the bloodstream. Finally, the kidney produces the enzyme renin, an important regulator of blood pressure. Kidney diseases Some of the most common kidney diseases and conditions are: polycystic kidney disease, nephrosis, lupus nephritis, diabetic nephropathy, rhabdomyolysis, kidney stones, and renal tubular acidosis. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for more than 40 percent of new cases. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major factor in the development of kidney problems in people with diabetes.

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Your

BONE Health

with Dr. Olatunji Idowu

De-Quervain Tenosynovitis (3) Applying ice to the affected area You may also see a physical or occupational therapist. These therapists may review your habits and give suggestions on how to make necessary adjustments to relieve stress on your wrists. Your therapist can also teach you exercises focused on your wrist, hand and arm to strengthen your muscles, reduce pain, and limit the irritation of the tendons. The therapist may also make a splint to keep your wrist and thumb from moving if off-the-shelf versions don’t fit you well. Surgery If your case is more serious, your doctor may recommend outpatient surgery. Surgery involves a procedure in which your doctor inspects the sheath surrounding the involved tendon or tendons, and then opens the sheath to release the pressure and restore free tendon gliding. Prevention If you don’t need surgery, caring for your condition is much the same as preventing it: Avoid moving your hands and wrists the same way repeatedly. Wear a brace or splint if suggested by your doctor. Follow through with recommended exercises. Take special note of any activity that causes pain, swelling or numbness in your thumb and wrist, try to avoid it, and share that information with your doctor.

If you have any problem or question about your musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and muscles) do send me a mail at tunjiidowu@live.com for advice. Meanwhile, your comments and feedback on the issues discussed are highly welcomed.

‘Exercising regularly necessary in enhancing stamina, health’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 51 According to the fitness expert, here are some effective tips on how to stay fit by making a few dietary changes: • Eliminate all fatty foods, fried foods, fast foods and processed foods from your diet. Give up soft drinks as they give the body nothing but empty calories. • Do not starve yourself. Instead, make healthy food choices such as including lots of veggies and fruits in your diet. • Do not even think of undertaking any of the fad diets as most of their results are short-lived. Instead of three big meals, take five small meals. • To fulfil the body’s carbohydrate requirements, eat foods with complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, legumes, oatmeal and green leafy vegetables. Eliminate white foods from the diet such as pasta and rice. • Make sure that the diet has enough proteins, fibers and calcium as they all aid in fat burning. So, include lean meats, eggs, low-fat dairy products, lots of fiber rich fruits and vegetables and healthy fat foods like olive oil and nuts in your diet.

• Preferably, cook at home as home-cooked food is much healthier and low in calories, compared to outside, hotel food. Mr. Anumudu insists that proper exercising and healthy diet go hand in hand, and therefore their efficiency is at its best when they are done together in a well planned manner. Our busy schedule is the biggest hindrance when it comes to practising a healthy lifestyle, but you need to get over it to ensure that you stay fit and fine. Exercising regularly is a basic necessity when it comes to enhancing your stamina and health. Experts recommend that you need to exercise at least for half an hour every day. Even simple walking for an hour or so can help in burning calories and improving the metabolism of your body. If you are in the office, use the stairs than the lifts and during your lunch break, you can take walks round your office building to reduce stress and improve your mental state of mind. Stress has also been mentioned as a killer when it comes to healthy living. You can get a healthy body only if your mind is free from stress. Stress can also lead to other health problems like high blood pressure, upset

stomach, headaches, etc. For all these reasons, special efforts need to be taken to eliminate stress and relax your mind. Experts advise that to stay in shape, leading a stress-free life is essential. So, sleep for at least 7-8 hours, rest is as important as exercising for the body. Preferably, sleep early and wake up early to stay active and alert. The expert also mentioned drinking lots of water as one of the simple ways to stay healthy. He enjoins everyone to practise Water Therapy. This is essentially drinking up to one litre of water every morning as the first thing you do once you wake up. It has been proved as very effective in prevention and treatment of diseases, rehabilitation and improving one’s overall wellbeing since the early existence of humanity. These are some tips on how to stay in shape and at the same time feel fabulous about yourself, which will help you keep your health in the best possible condition. Besides these tips on getting fit and healthy, having a positive disposition is very important too as a positive, happy person has an altogether different aura which is hard to miss. In between taking care of your personal and professional commitments, pursue a hobby or go on a vacation once in a while!


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Business FRESH BUSINESS NEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Sunday March 17, 2013

Budget 2013: FG focuses on women empowerment

President Goodluck Jonathan

BY TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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hen President Goodluck Jonathan made a commitment to ensure that gender imbalance that had characterised public governance over the decades is addressed by giving opportunities to women to contribute meaningfully to national development about two years ago, political cynics believe that such a policy statement may never be backed up with the political will required to make good the promise. The President had during his electioneering campaigns criss-crossed the political landscape, calling on women to vote for him and that if elected, 35 per cent of political appointments would be for women as an interim political arrangement to correct the structural gender imbalance in public governance. Two years into his administration, the President has not only redeemed his pledge at the political level by appointing women into the most powerful positions in his cabinet and other public sector offices but is complementing the successes with a new women-focused fiscal regime intended to ensure that certain parts of yearly budgets and monetary intervention packages in the economy are allocated to women-oriented sectors. For instance, in furtherance of the political and economic empowerment of

Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

women agenda, the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS)amid fanfare and global players’ involvement, as part of the monetary policy agenda of ensuring that financially excluded Nigerians in the grassroots, the majority of whom are women, are exposed to financial services in the banking sector. The launching of the NFIS is expected to result in the launching of a new N220 billion Micro-Credit Fund, the larger chunk of the disbursement of which will go to women in business, agro-business owners and other informal micro-business operators whose contributions are estimated to be well above 60 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Speaking on the occasion of the formal launching of the NFIS in which the United Nations Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Princess Maxima of Netherlands, key ministers and hordes of representatives of micro-business operators and farmers groups, President Jonathan, while admitting that lack of access to finance has been one of the major factors militating against economic growth in the country, said the strategy would complement the goals set by the Federal Government in its transformation agenda. Specifically, the President, who was represented by the Vice President, Arch. Namadi Sambo, said the initiative was

among others, being championed by his administration to ensure that the atmosphere is right for Nigerians to find gainful employment, especially for the youths and women. In his keynote address, the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the strategy, was amongst others, being pursued in order to give women, who constitute the largest group in micro and agro-based businesses, access to funds and improve their banking culture in line with the current drive for improved financial inclusion of millions of particularly, the unbanked and under-served Nigerians in the rural communities. He explained: “The Fund that we were supposed to launch yesterday but which we hope to launch hopefully before the end of the year, specifically provides for about 60 per cent of the amount to be targeted at businesses owned and managed by women, and the objective is to help them get long-term funding at single digit interest rate; so there is specific incentives there for the women. “The N220 billion Fund will involve the Central Bank and other government ministries. Right now, we are at the stage where all stakeholders are looking at it and giving their own input into the structure. We will take it at the economic management implementation team and have the buy-in of all parties, then go ahead and launch it,” he said.

According to available statistics on financial exclusion, a problem which the strategy is designed to address, currently, is that of the 39.2 million or 46.3 per cent of the total adult population of 84.7 million Nigerians who are excluded from financial services. Out of these, women account for 54.4 per cent of the excluded population while 73.8 per cent are aged, less than 45 years,and 34 per cent is without formal education and 80.4 per cent of them lives in rural areas. Restating government’s commitment to creating more socio-economic space in public governance for women in the country last week, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said that adequate opportunities had been created in the 2013 budget to ensure that women are supported in areas of contracts and services jobs. According to her, to ensure the realisation of the laudable gender mainstreaming goals, N3 billion has been provided for in the budget to support the participation of women in contracts execution and other related projects and services in five major ministries, namely, agriculture, water resources, health, works and communications technology. Okonjo-Iweala clarified: “On gender empowerment and the development of sports, Mr President mentioned in his speech some initiatives as you know the Jonathan administration is very gender friendly and committed to improving the position of women in society. Therefore, we are just putting our money where our mouth is by developing innovative approaches for gender mainstreaming. “Beginning with five pilot ministries namely, agriculture, water resources, health, works and communications technology, these ministries have signed MoUs with the Ministries of Women Affairs and Finance to on deliver specific services for women. “The Ministry of Works for instance has said that they would encourage and engage more women sub-contractors in the works area. The Ministry of Water Resources is developing various income earning initiatives for women in water, ditto in agriculture. “ “Health is focusing on areas of improving maternal health with specific targets to be delivered and N3 billion has been set aside to support these initiatives. “Upon performance, these ministries will get additional resources and this is how we want to approach very specifically, the issue of supporting women within the country and gender mainstreaming”, the Minister assured.


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

STORIES THAT TOUCH YOU MARCH 17, 2013

Still more controversies trail extra-judicial killing of Ekiti undergraduate

•Co-passengers: We were together in the vehicle when armed robbers attacked •Distraught mother: I was brutalised by police

The slain student, Seyi Fasere

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he brutal murder by the police of 28-year-old Seyi Fasere, a 400-level Business Administration student of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti on March 1 came to the family as a cruel blow. The indigent family of the Faseres at Ilupeju-Ekiti had put all it could realise from grinding of maize and pepper on the education of the ‘boy’. Seyi, who helped the family with the seeming difficult aspect of the business, would have rounded off his five-year parttime programme by now, if not for the incessant disruption of academic calendar at EKSU. Family sources said he had always assured his loving mother that “my graduation would not be long, then we would celebrate and I should be able to get a job that would liberate the family”. But this was not to be as he now lay lifeless in the morgue, no thanks to the trigger-happy policeman that snuffed life out of the promising lad at Oye, an Ekiti community. A day earlier, when he got N100, 000 from home at Ilupeju, he had plans to pay his school fees and settle other miscellaneous expenses ahead of his second semester examination billed for last week, as he set out for school in Ado-Ekiti in a commercial bus. But as fate would have it, the commercial vehicle which had other passengers as co-travellers, ran into an armed robbery operation at Oye-Ekiti, which forced the driver to make a detour to a nearby sawmill to seek cover. However, the passengers were forced to escape for dear life when the gunshots became a menace to them. Fate, was, however, cruel to Seyi as the police, it was believed, later picked him up where he was hiding, tied his hands to his back and took him to the police station, and was later paraded dead, having been shot in the neck.

His mother, 60-year-old Mrs Florence Fasere, who had earlier thought Seyi would have got to his destination the previous day, could not believe her ears when news filtered to her that her son had been captured and killed by the police in the nearby Oye-Ekiti. Pronto, she went to the police station that morning. But she said she met the unexpected in the hands of the policemen at the Oye Divisional Police station on arrival. She said, “When I introduced myself as Seyi’s mother, they treated me to beatings and pushed me behind the counter. I was there till about 6pm in the evening. They dragged my son’s lifeless body before me, and said I should behold the body of my son. “One of the policemen who identified himself as Akobi Esu, (meaning, the first born of the devil) boasted before me that he was the one that pulled the trigger that snuffed life out of my son,” she said. The woman, who said evidences abound that her son was not an armed robber as the police were attempting to make the public believe, appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, to investigate the circumstances that led to her son’s death. According to her, evidence that her son was innocent of the robbery was the fact that the flood that accompanied the downpour on Friday forced the escapee but injured armed robber that the police were looking for out of his hiding place, under a bridge, where the police later picked him up. The woman added that the injured armed robber, now receiving treatment at Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti, who claimed to hail from Kogi State, told the police that he did not know Seyi when the lifeless body was shown to him. A 72-year-old woman, Mrs Victoria Adewuyi, who boarded the commercial bus alongside Seyi and three other passengers, told journalists at Ilupeju-Ekiti that

Ekiti State Police Commissioner, Wakama

His parents

the slain Seyi and other occupants of the bus escaped into the bush, where they lay face-down for about 45 minutes before the gunfire between the police and the robbers subsided. The septuagenarian, who exonerated the late student of the crime the police were now accusing him of, said “he was not a member of the armed robbery gang. We boarded the same bus and we escaped together when we ran into the armed robbers”. The Transition Chairman Committee of EKSU Students Union, Comrade Adeoye Aribasoye, said, “We have made our findings, and everything pointed to the fact that Seyi was never an armed robber. He only went home to source for his school fees and ran into a robbery scene on his way to Ado-Ekiti. Even the N100, 000 he was given by his parents while returning to school was not found on him after death. “With the photograph we saw, Seyi’s hands were tied to the back while he was stripped before he was shot. With this, it was apparent that he was arrested at the robbery scene while scampering for safety and taken to the station to create the impression that he was a robber,” the students leader said. Aribasoye, who said “after his arrest, we expected the police in a sane situation to prosecute him rather than resort to summary execution,” lamented that senseless and extra-judicial killings by the police had taken the country back to the dark ages. He suggested that comprehensive psychiatric test should henceforth be conducted on the

police personnel, and also on prospective cops in Nigeria to ascertain their mental stability before enlistment. The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has also vowed not to accept anything short of justice in the murder of the lad as it has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan; National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd); Inspector General of Police; Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Ekiti State Police Commissioner, Mr Sotonye Wakama, to ensure the matter was not swept under the carpet. NANS Joint Campus Committee, Ekiti Axis Chairman, Comrade Damilare Bewaji, had last week issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Ekiti State Police Commissioner to arrest, dismiss and prosecute the policeman that killed Seyi Fasere. The students said failure or inability of the police commissioner to produce the killer officer would compel them to “stage a mass action and mobilise all our students across all the campuses to occupy the police headquarters until our demands are met”. In the petition titled, “Extra Judicial Killing of Seyi Fasere: We Demand Justice”, dated March 11, addressed to President Jonathan and signed by Bewaji and others, the students “demand that the National Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force should immediately set up a panel to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the death of Seyi Fasere”. The students expressed NANS’ readiness to volunteer useful information to the panel with a view to getting to the roots of the

matter. In like manner, a governorship aspirant under the auspices of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Peter Obafemi, said “the summary execution” of the student by the police was a wake-up call for the Police High Command to rid the law enforcement agency of bad eggs. Obafemi, who said the killing of the student “has brought a huge sorrow on the parents, siblings and relations of the victim who toiled to educate himself,” called on the IGP to order a thorough investigation into this killing. He said, “Nigerians and people outside the country want to know how this boy was killed, the Inspector General of Police must ensure that the case is not swept under the carpet. A particular photograph of Seyi’s corpse the family said they took at the police station shows that his two hands were tied to the back”. According to him, what can be deduced from this is that he had been earlier arrested and if this is not true, who tied his two hands after he was killed or did he engage the police in a shootout with his two hands tied to the back?” The PDP governorship hopeful, who said the country’s constitution did not give anybody the power to execute another man no matter his offence, stated that “anybody who violates the law must be made to pay dearly for it”. However, spokesperson for the police in the state, Mr Victor Babayemi Olu, who said investigation into the matter was still on, expressed assurance that the police would definitely get to the roots of the matter, which was a fallout of the robbery attacks on the police station and a bank at Oye-Ekiti.


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Spinal cord injury patient needs N3.5m …abandoned by employer, wife CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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Process of achieving a clean hand wash

Nigerians don’t know how to wash hands –Investigation TOBORE OVUORIE

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Do you know how to wash your hands? Like other Nigerians who have been asked the same question, you may find this quite embarrassing but our investigations reveal that like most adults worldwide, many Nigerians do not know how to wash their hands. Sunday Mirror went round cities and villages in some parts of Nigeria observing and asking how people wash their hands. Their responses will amuse you. In Guma Local Government, Benue State, Louis Obande responded: “Haba! Isn’t it just washing of hands? I use water now. Depending on how dirty it is, I can then use soap. You know, some dirt will go with just water while the stubborn ones won’t go until you add soap”. Louis further disclosed that he ‘rinses’ his hands with water (doesn’t use soap) only when he passes out faeces because he doesn’t use tissue paper, and he doesn’t wash his hands whenever he urinates. Again, he ‘rinses’ (without soap) his hands when he wants to eat foods like pounded yam and eba and does same, after, because the soup would have stained his hands. When asked if there are other times he washes his hands, here was his response: “small journalist, your own is too much, apart from toilet and to eat, when do you wash your own hands again or do you wash your hands all day?” Louis is not alone; Omolara Adeyemi, an undergraduate of the University of Ibadan disclosed that, “My hands are hardly dirty. If not in school, I am always busy with house chores at home, so tell me, how can hands that are always in water be dirty?” Omolara and Louis are however better of when compared with Usman Abdullahi who lives in Jere, under Kagarko Local Government area of Kaduna State. Usman only washes his hands in the morning while having his bath! “I wash my hands very, very

well when I’m bathing in the morning. That morning wash is the most important. If they get dirty in the afternoon when I’m working on the farm, I use water to wash them when I’m done for the day,” Usman told our reporter in Hausa. Obviously, these explain why many Nigerians are contracting preventable diseases such as diarrhoea, food poison and other severe infections since they go around with germ-filled hands. Research, however, indicates that women are better at hand washing than males globally as a quarter of women worldwide and half the men populations were discovered to be ignorant about the proper way to wash their hands. Sadly, these adult populations were not just found to be lacking in this seemingly simple habit, but are at risk of food poison! According to a report by the Food and Drink Federation, London, not less than 5.5million adults are estimated to be at risk of suffering from food poisoning each year as a result of not washing their hands properly. Though medical experts say the simple act of hand washing is an important aspect of life, it is probably taken lighthearted, as was observed during last year’s ‘clean your hands’ global annual campaign, a major global effort led by the World Health Organisation to focus on the importance of improving hand hygiene in health care. According to the experts, hand washing could be an important factor towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by many nations as it could prevents pneumonia and nutrition related diseases, as well as helps in managing diarrhea and HIV/AIDS. If adopted as a family habit, Dr. Efunbo Dosekun, Consultant Pediatrician/Medical Director, Outreach Children’s Hospital, FESTAC, in an interview with Sunday Mirror stated that “hand washing is an easy and one of the cheapest ways to prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses and germs.

n the manufacturing sector, the frequency of industrial accidents has become very alarming. But the unfortunate side to it is that while managements and unions conceal some of the incidents and secretly negotiate compensation, some other organizations simply pay out paltry sums to families of victims as deaths and permanent disabilities, while some of the victims with no one to speak on their behalf are left to their fate, and these are in the majority. Mr. Fidelis Igbo, 58, from Owaelu Uratta in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, is one in the majority of neglected victims of work hazard. He has been going through occupational hazards without any compensation or being medically rehabilitated. Igbo is today paralysed from the waist, not owing to his fault, but that he worked for his company where he eked out a living for three years as casual worker. On December 13, 2010, he sustained a spinal cord injury while working on the company’s Mack truck No. XV 5035MK. The company, Eagle Haulage Ltd, based in Apapa, is into container haulage business which the company moves from the port to different destinations. On the fateful day, Mr. Igbo resumed his duty at 8 am, and was instructed to mechanically lift one of the faulty trucks so the mechanics could work on it. As he lifted the vehicle, the mechanical lift slipped and the truck fell on him. “I shouted as the truck fell on me,” he told Sunday Mirror in tears on his hospital bed in Owerri, the Imo State capital. He said when the accident happened, he was immediately rushed to Aishat Hospital at Idi Araba, Surulere, Lagos, where medical experts confirmed him paralyzed from the waist due to collapsed spinal cord. According to him, he stayed at the Aishat Hospital for two weeks without any signs of improvement. “When my situation deteriorated, my family took me to a local orthopedic (traditional bone healer) at Orile Iganmu, Lagos, where I also stayed for two weeks.” As his condition deteriorated, Igbo, who was a conductor at the Eagle Haulage Company, was taken to Living Faith Hospital, at No. 33 Tetlow Road Owerri, Imo State as help was not forthcoming from his employer. At the Living Faith Hospital, Mr. Igbo said he paid N20, 000 every week on treatment from January 18, 2011 when he was admitted. According to him, he has spent up to N40 million as medical bills as of date. “I was paying N20, 000 every week, before the bills accumulated due to inability to pay for treatment,” Igbo, who has been on sick bed for two years, lamented. Speaking on the patient’s deplorable condition, the Medical Director of Living Faith Hospital Dr. (Mrs.) F.C Osuji, told Sunday Mirror that Igbo was brought in on January 18, 2011 in a very bad state. “Though conscious, he was brought here in a bad state. He was toxic, anaemic, dehydrated, and malnourished and had High Blood Pressure (BP) and a very big ulcer on his buttocks and small ones in his lower limbs. She further explained that when the patient was brought in, he was unable to move his lower limbs. Dr. Osuji, said that after undergoing emergency surgery, “he was resuscitated, his general condition stabled and most of his decubitus ulcers healed due to God’s infinite mercy and the medical treatment he received here.” Although, Igbo’s speech has stablised when our correspondent visited him at the hospital, he still cannot sit, stand or walk due to what medical experts described as “abnormal healing.” Dr. Osuji, said that before Igbo can walk again, he has to be flown to India for further medical treatment, as failure to do so would mean that, “his life will be dependent and our goal and aspiration to have him live a normal life would be a mirage.” She explained that Igbo would need N3.5 million to go to India for more surgeries. Even when he returns, he still needs money for rehabilitation. Now, Igbo is not only incapacitated by injuries, having three square meals a day has become more herculean than travelling to India. “With the exception of my step brother, Onyekachi Ekenkwo,who occasionally comes to assist me, everyone including

my wife and children has deserted me,” Igbo said. Worse still, he said the company has also abandoned him since the incident, without paying any compensation or even enquiring his where about. “Not even a single kobo has been paid to me by the company I toiled day and night to serve diligently for three years.” But the company reacting through its solicitors described what happened to Mr Igbo as “very unfortunate”, even as they denied he was their staff. “We the solicitors of our client, as human beings, feel for him.” However, “Igbo was neither in the employ of our client nor did our client direct or instruct him to be involved in any activity that led to the unfortunate accident.” According to the solicitors, represented by one Barrister Sheriff Nwanedo Ugoeke, “there are usually hangers-on at the company’s large garages volunteering to do menial jobs so as to endear themselves to people for purposes of likely employment. He said, notwithstanding that Mr. Igbo was not a company staff, “upon becoming aware of the accident, our client, in her usual humanitarian disposition, immediately caused him (at our client’s expense) to be rushed to the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, Lagos, from where he was taken to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba and later to a private hospital, also in Lagos. He said, as there was no other person to help him, “so our client paid N200, 000. Thereafter, his relatives came and against medical advice, transferred him to a traditional clinic somewhere at Orile, Lagos and came to our client claiming lack of money and asking for further financial assistance, whereupon our client again paid N250, 000 to the clinic. It was at that point that Mr. Fidelis developed complications and his relatives transferred him to Owerri, even as he claimed the company sponsored the trip. “After sometime, one of his relatives, Onyeka came to inform the company that Fidelis had been discharged from the hospital and solicited for a wheel chair. “Our client happily bought and gave him awheel chair and cash of N100, 000. Aside these, other good spirited persons at the garage also helped Fidelis from time to time, but our client later learned that many of this assistance did not get to him. He said, it came as a surprise therefore, that a lawyer, Ikeokwu Kissinger- (claiming to be of the firm of Chyma Anthony & Co.) wrote our client on behalf of Fidelis, making spurious claims that it employed him as a conductor, and giving our client a seven day ultimatum to comply. He explained further “Our client, for instance, does not employ conductors. It was at this juncture that our client discerned that her humanitarian gestures had been misconstrued for foolishness and is being used as an avenue to rip her off.” But when Onyeka was contacted, he denied all the claims of the solicitors saying “with exception a second wheelchair which the company bought for N6, 000 and another N100, 000 it gave for feeding, there has been no further assistance in the past two years the accident occurred.” He therefore appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan, the National Assembly, governors, human rights organisations and public spirited Nigerians to wade into the matter and save his brother from the ordeal he is passing through. He appealed for help to save his brother whom he said needs N3.5million to travel to India for further treatment of his injuries.

Mr. Igbo speaking to Sunday Mirror on his hospital bed In Owerri


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Zonal News

Sunday March 17, 2013

NORTH EAST

SOUTH SOUTH

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Gunmen kidnap female lecturer

female lecturer at the University of Uyo, Dr Ime Udotong, was on Friday night kidnapped by gunmen in front of her residence on Idoro Road in Uyo, an eyewitness said yesterday. Udotong, a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry, was said to be returning home from work when she was blocked and whisked away by the gunmen to an unknown destination. The eyewitness who preferred anonymity, said that Udotong works in the same department with her hus-

band, Prof. Ime Udotong. He said that Udotong, was driving a jeep while her abductors followed her with a salon car and blocked her way when she was close to her house. ``I suspect she was trailed from school to her house because there is no other way her place would have been known by people other than those close to her. ``I noticed that she had observed the car trailing her and she attempted to rush into her compound, when the kidnappers crossed her car and forced

her into their own car. ``Immediately they got her into their own car, they zoomed off through a different direction,” the eyewitness said. It was gathered that following a distress call, the police arrived at the scene of the incident few minutes after the gunmen had made away with their victim. The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, Mr Umar Gwadabe said, ``we have just received the report of the kidnap and we are working on it.’’

Tambuwal lauds Dankwambo’s performance DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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peaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has laid the foundation for the building of a N2.7 billion International Conference Centre in Gombe yesterday. The Speaker who was in Gombe to attend the wedding ceremony between a member of the House, Honourable Yusuf Manu Swa and Maryam Adamu Sani commended the Dankwambo administration in the state for translating the real manifestos of the People Democratic Party (PDP) Government. He said Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo is surpassing what he is getting from the federation account with many basic, masses-oriented projects despite getting one of the

lowest allocations from the federation account. According to him, this shows how transparent the government is even as the state is only a step higher than the least paid state in Nigeria, in terms of allocations from the federation account. Speaking earlier, Governor Dankwambo stated that the building of the International Conference Centre which would be a world-class centre in every sense of the word would bring immense benefits to the state and attract the global community for seminars, workshops and conferences. He said the 1,500 capacity centre will have state-of-the-art ICT facilities, galleries, mini halls, administrative offices, restaurant, tea room, outdoor seating facilities, among many others.

According to him, “our genuine desire and commitment towards the provision of socio-economic facilities of this magnitude is to enhance the development of commercial activities and transform the state into a cosmopolitan hub, thereby creating opportunities for our people to effectively interact with other Nigerians and the international community”. In his welcome speech, the state Commissioner for Housing and Transport, Mr. Robinson Zebulun Wasa said the Centre, when completed, would be second in the country after the International Conference Centre Abuja, adding that the administration had taken many steps to meet the aspirations and yearnings of the ordinary people of the state.

Bauchi makes case for solid minerals development B L-R: Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole; Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Clem Agba and Commissioner for Works, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, during the inspection of the Igarra-Ojirami-Dagbala-Ososo road at the weekend.

Army receives 39,880 ex-militants’ guns DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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n inter-agency task force set up by the Chief of Defence Staff has handed over a total number of 39,880 assorted arms and ammunition to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army. A breakdown of the arms handed over yesterday at the 82 Division’s parade ground included 482 automatic arms; 20,132 ammunition; 295 magazines and 18, 971 locally-made guns. They were recovered from ex-militants in Delta, Bayelsa and Lacto Marine men. General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 82 Division, General Adebayor Olaniyi, who spoke shortly after receiving the arms from the task force, said it was part of the Federal Government’s amnesty programme which started in 2009. The GOC said President

Goodluck Jonathan had “reasoned that without security there can be no development; he also believed that if the arms had gone out of these areas, we would have done grievous harm to the nation”. While commending the task force, Olaniyi explained that, “these weapons of mass destruction will be destroyed openly just as they were openly collected from the militants”. Also speaking, Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, lauded the government’s initiative in setting up the task force. Chime, represented by the state’s Commissioner for Environment, Mr. John Egbo, urged the Federal Government and all security agents not to relent in ridding the Niger Delta of illegal arms. In a speech before handing over the large cache

of arms and ammunition, the coordinator of the task force, Air Vice Marshal Gbum, said the recovery was in response to new claims and agitations by some groups who felt excluded from the amnesty programme. Recalling that the programme was done in June 2009 and October 2010, he said: “Immediately after these two phases, there were serious agitations by some ex-militants, who claimed that they also surrendered arms and ammunition to JTF and other security agencies, but were excluded from the amnesty programme. “The task force was mandated to, among other things, carry out a proper reconciliation of the disarmament records, and effect a thorough documentation of the persons that truly surrendered arms to military formations.”

auchi State Coordinator for the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, (RMRDC), Alhaji Ali Abdullahi, has said that the state will be economically viable if the government develops the solid minerals in the state. According to him, “by the feats it has so far recorded, Bauchi State will soon become Nigeria’s most economically viable state, given its abundant mineral resources.” He insists that the state government only has to expedite action in the exploitation of the various mineral resources that

abound in more than 20 local government areas of the state, adding that the state is blessed with assorted minerals such as kaolin, tantalite, gem stones, tin and columbite. “Bauchi State will be very rich if it can exploit its abundant solid minerals; if that is done, the state will forget about waiting for allocations from the federation account, as proceeds from gems stones alone can sustain the state’s economy. “There are several mining sites in Bauchi State, particularly in Toro Ningi, Alkaleri and, may be, Ganjuwa Warji Local Government Areas. When you go to Alka-

leri and Gwana areas, many miners are mining lead zinc. Lead zinc is a metallic mineral; actually, you can have silver, lead, zinc from this mineral. It is used in batterymaking and so many other products,” he said. Abdullahi, nonetheless, advised the Bauchi State Government to make funding arrangements for small-scale entrepreneurs so as to encourage them to participate in solid minerals development programmes. He said government can also encourage potential entrepreneurs to develop the solid minerals sector by providing the needed equipment to operators at subsidized rates.

Executive Director, Child Protection Peer Learning Initiative, Hajiya Ashraf Tukur (right) presenting a trophy to the best student in this year’s Spelling Bee Competition in Adamawa State, Hadiza Musa of Elkanemi College, Yola, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN


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SOUTH WEST

Sunday March 17, 2013

Lagos reiterates call for state police

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he 9th Lagos State Exe c u t ive / L e g i s l at ive Parley rose from its deliberation at the weekend, insisting that state police is a preferable instrument for the enforcement of state laws and the maintenance of law and order. Recognising the enthronement of law and order as a pre-condition for economic prosperity, the Parley encouraged the state government to continue to make and enforce laws that secure society while also promoting enterprise. The Executive/ Legislative Parley, began by

the administration of immediate past Governor of the State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a forum for interaction between the state executive arm and members of the legislature, both at the state and the National Assembly. In an 11-point communiqué after the one-day Parley, the participants also urged the state government to take into consideration its enforcement mechanism in the process of law-making in order to secure compliance, adding that legislations passed to achieve good gover-

nance must meet the standard of common law traditions and practices. The communiqué, signed by the Communiqué Drafting Team chaired by Opposition Leader (Action Congress of Nigeria) in the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, also urged Government to continue with its periodic evaluation of successes of the road traffic law with a view to continually improving on the law and its positive impact on the society, adding that there was need to improve the quality and capacity of traffic enforcement officers.

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NORTH CENTRAL

Ahead primaries: Kogi PDP chair reads riot act WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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he Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Comrade Hassan Salau, has threatened to sanction any party officer aiding and abetting the imposition of candidates in the coming PDP councillorship primaries. Hassan gave the charge yesterday in Lokoja while distributing materials for the conduct of councillorship primaries across the 21 local government areas,

slated for next Friday. The chairman noted that for election to be credible, every aspirant should be given equal opportunity to try their popularity. He warned those saddled with the conduct of the elections to desist from encouraging thuggery , blood-letting and violence, saying that any official fingered will be sanctioned . “If we observe that a certain local government is involved in thuggery, violence and blood-letting, we will not hesitate to sanction the officials. We have

repeatedly warned against imposition of candidates. “We have put in place mechanism to ensure internal democracy,” he said. Comrade Salau warned returning officers to live above board, advising them to report to the Directors of Local Government who are the chief security officers if their lives are threatened . He advised aspirants to be prayerful and not to do things against the will of God, stressing that it is only God that gives power to who He wishes.

I’ll work with past governors, says aspirant governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State and a former Minister , Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi , yesterday said that if voted as the next governor of the state, he would constitute a state executive council forum where all past governors and the serving one irrespective of their different political parties will be meeting to discuss on how to make the state more viable. Olasunkanmi who made this known in his country home, Ode-Omu, while

speaking with newsmen after the end of his supporters’ tour of the 30 local governments and the area office at Modakeke, said he chose this approach so as to tap from the experience and knowledge of these past governors. The former minister remarked that knowledge and wisdom could not be bought with money and affirmed that if this is introduced, the state would move from a crawling stage to rapidity in terms of growth, good policy formulation and implementation. He said that the state belongs to all and that is why it is important for all stakeholders to stand up and contribute their quota to the advancement and de-

velopment of the state. The PDP chieftain who stated that though, key players of different political parties may believe in different political ideologies, principles and doctrines, this would still be good for the rapid development of the state, “because, if these are brought to one, it will help the development of the state. Speaking on what he has in stock for the people of the state, the former minister said that education, employment and development would be his watchwords, saying if these are given to them, they would become self-reliant, more productive and self-independent in any given society.

s part of activities marking the 2013 International Women’s Day celebration, the wife of the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, has empowered more than 6,000 women in the state, saying this would enable them to do more in the society by being self-sufficient. The wife of the governor gave out items worth over N20 million to members of Mission to Rebuild Ogun State (MITROS), one of the largest single groups of women in the state with a lot of different organisations. Speaking during the programme in Abeokuta, Mrs. Amosun said women-folk should not be relegated to the background in the scheme of things in

any society, pointing out that MITROS had become a formidable force to reckon with in the state. “In the past 13 months, well-meaning Ogun State indigenes have relentlessly supported the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun tremendously. They have demonstrated this support at the ward and local government levels. As part of activities to mark the 2013 International Women’s Day celebration, we have chosen to recognise their efforts and we are encouraging them by empowering them today,” she said. She added that the MITROS Empowerment Initiative was aimed at boosting the economic power of the beneficiaries and

to uplift them in a bid to enable them achieve their full potentials and increase their skills towards economic success. The wife of the governor affirmed that empowering members of MITROS was long overdue considering their selfless services and support for her uplifting initiatives, saying that MITROS had become a rallying point in unifying the people of the state in the quest to take it to the next level. Items such as sewing machines, head dryers, grinding machines, sterilisers, hair clippers, Coca-Cola branded items among others, were given to MITROS members from all the 20 local governments of the state.

ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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Electoral officials accrediting voters during the FCT Area Council Elections at Kubwa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Apathy, poor logistics mar FCT council poll

Amosun’s wife empowers 6,000 Ogun women Y A

esterday’s local poll in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja ended amid lamentations over logistic problems and low turn-out. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs Sarah Jubril, particularly decried the low turnout of voters during the elections. Jubril stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while monitoring elections in Area 8 polling units. She stressed the need for active participation of all Nigerians in the electoral process, noting that ``Nigerians should not give up, as things will get better with time’’. ``There is low turnout of voters, but it is still midday, since the closing time is 4 p.m. But it is obvious that some Nigerians are not willing to give up.

``Those that endeavour to come out and cast their votes, believe that the system will get better in the course of time,’’ Jibrin said. She called on all Nigerians, especially the youth, who are the most important segment of every nation to make useful contributions for the development of democracy Jubril attributed voters’ apathy in the FCT area councils to the security situation in the country. She expressed the commitment of her office to embark on massive awareness campaign to educate Nigerians on the need to imbibe good values. ``I will continue to encourage youths to take active part in politics because youths are future stakeholders and agents of national security,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, the PDP Chairmanship Candidate of Kuje Area Council, Mr Ishaku Shaban, said that the large turnout of voters during the FCT councils’ polls was as a result of adequate sensitisation of electorate. Shaban made this known yesterday in Yenche ward polling station, Kuje, while briefing newsmen on the turnout of people for the election. According to him, although, the previously conducted elections are free and fair, but there is voter apathy. He observed that there was rumour that PDP had planned to rig the polls, adding that the rumour was not true. Shaban said, “We employed one-on-one approach in creating relevant awareness for people to participate in the election and vote for PDP in our community.


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Sunday March 17, 2013

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NORTH WEST

2015: Ngwa politicians CBN, Aviation ministry to woo foreign airlines to Kano root to succeed Orji AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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entral Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi yesterday commissioned the remodelled international terminal of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport with a promise that the CBN will partner with the Aviation Ministry to woo foreign airlines to Kano airport as part of measures to improve human and cargo traffic. The CBN Governor also charged the management of the airport to adopt good maintenance culture in order to sustain on-going transformation being carried out in the nation’s airports. CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido, made this call over the weekend at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), where he commissioned the remodelled International Terminal, noting that if the level of progress made in the aviation industry is sustained, the country’s airports will be the envy of the world. “I am greatly honoured to be part of this event today because this is something we are all passionate about. At the Emir’s palace, he reminded that when the first air plane landed in Nigeria, and in the city of Kano, his father was the only one that agreed to enter it. “I am pleased to commission this project today, because my great-grandfather commissioned the airport, my grandfather commissioned the International

Terminal, and I am commissioning this one today; so please, like I said, we should imbibe maintenance culture, not only in MAKIA but in all the airports across the country,” he stated. Lamido who was the Special Guest of Honour on the occasion, gave reasons the CBN supported programmes and projects of the aviation ministry, pointing out that, “there is no way one can visit all the airports and say that things are not working. “With the level of commitment and diligence we have seen in the aviation sector, this country would have been better of if other ministries and parastatals were performing as such.” He further stated that the CBN would continue to partner with the Ministry of Aviation to ensure that airports across the country measure with international standard. Faulting arguments that the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, was not favourably disposed to the development of MAKIA, Lamido said, “if the Ministry doesn’t want international airlines to come to Kano, why building International Terminal; why approving the operation of foreign airlines such as the Turkish and the Emirate in Kano airport?” He added that he hoped that in no distant time, the minister will approve the operation of Sky and Ethiopian airlines. Lamido also praised the Minister of Aviation for her plans to build a Cargo Termi-

nal in MAKIA, which he said would facilitate the exportation of perishable goods and agricultural products. During Lamido’s courtesy visit to Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, the latter promised that his administration would continue to support the Ministry of Aviation so as to ensure that MAKIA regain its lost glory, noting that just recently, Kano government donated a baggage scanning machine worth about N24 million, to the airport. Kwankwaso, however, urged the Minister of Aviation to address urgent issues begging for attention at MAKIA which include the conveyor belt which is of low capacity, facilitating the functioning of the new Control Tower which equipment were brought since 2007 and abandoned; the run-way 05 which is not in use, he urged, should also be rehabilitated. The Emir of Kano, in his palace, expressed happiness over the face-lift in MAKIA and urged the Aviation Minister and indeed, the Federal Government to do even more so as to ensure more patronage of airlines and boosteconomic activities at the airport. The Minister, Princess Oduah said she was pleased that at last, MAKIA is restored to its old glory, pointing out that recent developments seen in the airports across the country were part of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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he concerned politicians of Ngwaland in Abia State have declared its commitment to rally round any candidate anointed by Gov. Theodore Orji. The group, through its leader, Rt. Hon. Christopher Enweremadu, a former Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, made this statement when speaking to newsmen in Aba, the Abia commercial nerve centre during his courtesy visit to the Oha Ngwa Traditional Rulers Council. “Today, we took advantage of the periodic meeting of traditional rulers in Ngwaland under the auspices of Oha Ngwa Traditional Rulers Council, to update them on current political developments in our area. “One, being that we see the need for the Ngwa man to continue to support the present administration in the state led by Theodore

Orji. We see that as a way to pay back for so many good things he has done in this state, it is only a man that is alive that can begin to enjoy the pleasures of life. “The numerous achievements of this state under Orji cannot be overemphasised. And we are also grateful that we are not the only ones that have acknowledged the importance of security in the state.” Enweremadu said he had received numerous supports from within and abroad and added that his people were also appreciative of the infrastructural developments going on in the state, such as roads, housing and human empowerment. He said for that reason, Ngwa people “are in a comfort zone for supporting the administration of Theodore Orji.” He reminded Orji of the reported agreement with Ngwa people where he was said to have promised that he would hand over leadership come 2015 to an Abian

of Ngwa origin. Enweremadu, therefore, sued for the assistance of the traditional rulers to mobilise the Ngwa people to ensure that they understand the importance of supporting the present administration. “And it is to this end that we want the traditional rulers to assist us to ensure that there is no division within the ranks of Ngwa politicians. And to ensure also that our people understand the importance of supporting the present administration,” he urged. Reacting, Eze Friday Ikpeazu, the Chairman of Oha Ngwa Traditional Rulers Council appealed to the Ngwa politicians who have started declaring to run in 2015 to take it easy. He observed: “Our stand is that they should take it easy, because it is only the almighty God that knows who is going to be the next Governor of Abia State after Governor Theodore Orji.”

Amnesty office lauds Kano on air pilot training

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he Presidential Amnesty Office has described the initiative of the Kano State Government to train youths of the state as aircraft pilots as very commendable. The state government at the weekend commenced a pilot training programme for 100 graduates of the state origin in a televised deployment of the beneficiaries. Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, said the initiative would go a long way in stemming youth restiveness in the state and in the country. He said it was heartwarming that a state gov-

ernment was taking after an initiative of the Federal Government, which through the amnesty programme is bridging the global shortage of qualified pilots and core aviation industry personnel. “The aircraft pilot training scheme of the Kano State Government is very commendable. It not only complements what the Federal Government is doing through the aviation training component of the amnesty programme, but it also contributes towards bridging the shortage of qualified pilots and core aviation professionals globally. Figures from Boeing show there is

a global need for close to 500,000 more commercial pilots by 2029, which is an average of 25,000 new pilots a year,” Kuku said. The PAP chairman, who is also Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, urged states in the Niger Delta, whose youths continually besiege the Amnesty Office to be engaged in its training programme, to borrow a leaf from Kano. In a related development, the Amnesty Office has warned some leaders of the former Niger Delta agitators making false claims of non-payment of travelling allowances and special salaries to desist forthwith.

L-R: National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime and his Ebonyi State counterpart, Chief Martin Elechi, at the party’s South-East Zonal Town Hall Meeting in Enugu, yesterday.

Council boss hails award on Okonkwo DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he caretaker Chairman of Ekwusigo Local Government council in Anambra State, Mrs. Violent Onyejegbu, has commended the meritorious award bestowed on Emma Bishop Okonkwo as the entrepreneur of the year. Okonkwo, an indigene of Ekwusigo Local Government area and Chairman of Ekulo Group of companies, was recently given the

award by the Sun publishing company limited. The council chairman said that Okonkwo’s award did not come as a surprise given his humble beginning which she said spurred him to impact on socio-economic developments in Nigeria. Mrs. Onyejegbu noted that Okonkwo’s trademark has been selflessness; focused on human development, hard work and the fear of God. She said that it was with such virtue that Okonkwo launched him-

self into recognition. She disclosed that Okonkwo as an entrepreneur is an employer of over 50, 000 staff, especially fresh graduates and as a philanthropist, has demonstrated love for the less-privileged. “It was for these rare feats that President Goodluck Jonathan conferred on him Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR). He has no doubt left an indelible mark as a meritorious entrepreneur in industrialisation and nation building,” said Onyejegbu.


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WBO: P. 61 Afolabi to settle scores with Huck KEEPING YOU ABREAST OF SPORTING NEWS

Sport

NNPC/Shell Cup: Semi P. 61 finalists set to battle in Lagos

March 17, 2013

Fallout of AFCON 2013 Etisalat assures on rewarding loyal customers ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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Sunday Oliseh (left) with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

FIFA appoints Oliseh into Technical Study Group SAYO OGUNDEJI

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ormer Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh, has been appointed by the world football governing body, FIFA, into its Technical Study Group and the ex-international says he is flattered to have been honoured at this time of his coaching career. The former Juventus of Italy midfielder, who was one of the SuperSport pundits at the last Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which held in South Africa, broke the news yesterday. He said, “It is with great honour that I share with you my appointment by the

world’s ld’ football f tb ll governing i body, FIFA as a member of its Technical Study Group amongst other functions. “I am flattered to be a part of this football family and I believe that this is a blessed period, not only for me personally but for my beloved nation, Nigeria!” Oliseh stated on his official website. Oliseh, a talented midfielder during his playing days holds a Uefa Pro Licence in coaching and made more than 60 appearances for Nigeria between 1993 and 2002. The former Ajax Amsterdam of Holland player has been touted as a suitable candidate for the Technical

Director’s Di t ’ job j b in i the th Nigeria Ni i Football Federation (NFF) as his name always crops up any time the issue is being discussed since 2010. Following NFF’s resolve to fill the same vacant position after the Super Eagles’ victorious outing at the AFCON 2013, a former member of the NFF, Shuaibu GaraGombe in an interview granted Saturday Mirror in February, described the former Julius Berger player as suitable candidate, capable of turning the dwindling fortune of Nigerian football around. The fiery critic however added that Oliseh may not get the nod going by

Olympics: Edeh-Eze cries out over exclusion of wrestling P. 62

his hi ffractured t d relationship l ti hi with the body. “As far as I’m concerned, there is only one Nigerian I feel that can handle this Technical Director’s job and that person is Sunday Oliseh. However, if you look deeply, Oliseh is having a long running battle with the NFF which I feel will affect his chances,” Gara-Gombe said. Oliseh who spent four seasons with Borussia Dortmund of Germany will be mostly remembered for scoring the winning goal for Nigeria in the group stage match against Spain in the 1998 World Cup, as the Super Eagles prevailed 3–2.

he Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Wael Ammar says the company will continue to reward its loyal customers with excellent services after successfully rewarding some lucky customers and their staff with an allexpense paid trip to South Africa to watch the Nigerian matches that were played during the preliminary round of the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). During the week-long trip, the lucky Etisalat customers drawn from different parts of Nigeria and from various walks-oflife had the opportunity to watch the Nigeria vs Zambia match at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, and the Nigeria vs Ethiopia match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, both in South Africa. The trip also included sightseeing tours of the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, the Wonder Cave, the Apartheid Museum and a visit to Soweto. Other perks of the trip were meals at top-rated restaurants in Sandton, Spa treatments at the Puri Thai Massage, and shopping at the Sandton City Mall and Morning Side Shopping Centre. At both matches, Etisalat customers were hosted in exclusive VIP Hospitality suites which gave them the best view of the pitch and allowed them enjoy a buffet lunch/dinner and drinks in the Etisalat hospitality suite as they watched the matches. Speaking on the reward program, Ammar said the gesture was part of Eti-

salat’s efforts at building customer relationships, whilst also recognising its deserving staff. “Etisalat is a customerfocused company that seeks to continuously delight its subscribers with quality of service, innovation and operational excellence. Our customers are at the heart of our business and so we take special care in listening to them and responding with tailor-made products and services that suit their lifestyles. We also celebrate and reward service excellence within our organization because these are men and women who have tirelessly worked to see that our customers are provided with the best service delivery year on year,” he said. According to one of the beneficiaries of the AFCON reward ‘Round Trip’, Miss Catherine Adeh, “I have been using Etisalat for the past three years. Prior to now, I never believed in reward programs. When I received the call from Etisalat that I was selected to go to South Africa for AFCON 2013, I told my friends and they didn’t believe it was real”. “I am very impressed that Etisalat would go the extra mile to treat and reward their customers. The trip was very exciting. We have read about Soweto and watched movies based on apartheid, so being there was amazing,” she enthused. Etisalat had in January announced that it had grown its subscriber base to fifteen million, a reflection of their clearly thought-out strategy which is founded on customer-focus, innovation, quality of service and excellence.

Barca tie excites Jallet P. 63

Etisalat Director of Customer Care, Plato Syrimis (second left), and Etisalat customers at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, before Nigeria, Ethiopia clash at AFCON 2013


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Sunday March 17, 2013

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Olympics: Edeh-Eze cries out over exclusion of wrestling Chief Austin Edeh-Eze is the President of Nigerian Wrestling Federation and since his assumption of office, he has embarked on many programmes aimed at re-positioning the mats-man game in the country. In this interview with IFEANYI EDUZOR, he expresses dissatisfaction with the recent removal of wrestling by the IOC from the 2020 Olympics.

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ecently the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), voted to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympics, what do you think are the implications of such a decision on the development of the sport? It is unfortunate and regrettable that a sport which has been part of modern day Olympics since its inception in 1896 could be dropped now that efforts are being made to develop the game in all countries of the world. Wrestling is one of the most popular sports with the freestyle and Greco-Roman styles enjoying large followership all over the world. Even at London 2012 Olympics, the sport featured 344 athletes competing in 11 medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman. Women’s wrestling was also added to the Olympics at the 2004 Athens Games because of the importance of the sport. So removing it now will affect not only the development of the sport but also young athletes who are involved in the game. Although the IOC cited some reasons such as television ratings, ticket sales, antidoping policy, global participation and non inclusion of a qualified medical personnel on the board of wrestling world body as part of its reasons for the decision, but it is hard to believe that such a sport which has provided many of the Olympics’ memorable moments could be so discarded. Are their hopes that this decision could be rescinded before the 2020 Olympics? To be sincere with you, it is not likely that the decision will be rescinded before 2020 Olympics. I want to use this opportunity to tell Nigerians that wrestling is still part of 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and we will still be featuring at the Commonwealth Games. But there is the need for the IOC to bring back the sport to enable young athletes to develop their potentials in the game. As President of NWF, what are some of the plans your Federation has put in place to develop wrestling in 2013? The Federation has mapped out some plans to make this year a successful one for the mats-man game and I am happy to tell you that 2013 will witness a beehive of activities for wrestling in the country. As I am talking to you, we have concluded arrangement with the government of Delta State which has agreed in principle to hold a National Open Championship in the country. You will also recall that Timi Sibi Preye National Open Championship could not hold

late last year because of the 18th National Sports Festival tagged “Eko 2012,” so we shifted that to the first quarter of this year. We are also working hard to have a championship hosted by the Federal Capital Territory and our discussion with the Minister of FCT has reached advanced stage. Apart from this, we are reaching out to some other states like Imo to see if they will sponsor female national open wrestling championship this year to enable our female athletes be in top shape for major international competitions. In addition to the national open championships, we also hope to participate in continental and international championships. Having said this, I want to tell you that we take serious the issue of training and retraining of our coaches and officials. So, these are some of the activities on the way forward for 2013 and in all these, we are preparing to make sure we select the best athletes in preparation for 2016 Olympics as well as the Commonwealth wrestling championship which will be coming up later next year. Reviewing the last National Sports Festival, would you say there was an improvement in the technical aspect of the game? I can only judge the last festival from the perspective of my federation and all I want to say is that technically, we achieved a lot in the sense that the standard was higher than what we saw in Port Harcourt at the 17th National Sports Festival. There are reasons why we made sure that the standard was improved because very soon we will be going for Senior African Championship in May and although we may have trials for selection of wrestlers that will represent the country in that championship, we will also give consideration to those that emerged champions at the last festival because we believe they can equally compete favorably at the continental and international level. So, I am happy and fulfilled with what happened at “Eko 2012” because every aspect of the game was of high standard and the officiating was also of international level. What do you think contributed to our wrestlers’ poor performance at the London Olympics considering their good showings at the continental level? You have to understand that Olympics is the highest sporting competition in the world and for you to have any meaningful impact at the Games, you must be at the topmost level. It is also on record that some of the gold medalists in Olympics has made about three

or four appearances there and it is only very few athletes that make it at the first trial. Another thing I want you to understand is that for you to qualify to participate in the Olympics, you are already a champion in your own continent and so, if one qualifies in Africa to represent his country at the Olympics, he is already a champion in his own ranks. Having said this, I want to say that what is important is monitoring the athletes to ensure they are fit to challenge the best from other parts of the world. In doing this, we must make sure that even those that have participated once at the Games are put in good shape for the second trial. So, some of our athletes have made it to the national and continental levels but on getting to the Olympics for one reason or the other, their standard could not match the best from other parts of the world. So, for them to do very well at competitions of that nature; they have to be exposed at various competitions. You do not wake up from the bed one day and expect to perform miracle at the Olympics. You must participate in some continental and international competitions so that by the time you get to the Olympics, the people you are meeting will be those you have met before. As a seasoned sports administrator, what do you think is the best way to reposition the country’s sports? The best approach is developing sports at the grassroots and that is why the Nigerian Wrestling Federation is hoping to organise zonal championships as a way of developing the game. At zonal championships, there are people who out of fear or out of lack of funds may not participate in national championships. We discover them at the zonal championships, from there we invite them for national championships and if they perform well, they become part of the national team which enables them to participate in other competitions to get more exposure. However, one thing is to develop the athletes, and another thing is to retain them. We have the Armed Forces, Police, Federal

Edeh-Eze

Road Safety, Civil Defense and so many sister organisations and we have told them that whenever they are doing recruitment, they should give us slots. We have people who are doing something for the country, but they are unemployed. I am happy they are listening to us because when you provide the athletes with meaningful means of livelihood, they will give you what you want. It is wrong to use them for festivals and after which they are paid for the medals won and later became unemployed till another festival. For us in wrestling Federation, in as much as we are planning to improve their welfare, we want to make sure they are gainfully employed and that is why we are making such approaches. What is your take on allowing elite athletes to participate in future sports festivals? What I have said is that if we make it open, let us also have a National Youth Sports Festival because in Olympics, we have Youth Olympics and you don’t expect elite athletes to compete favourably with the youths. So, it should be open because by closing it, you close the entire sports. If you close some sports at festival, where will majority of the youths participate, is it at independence celebration or where? If you close a sport, you have closed opportunities for a whole lot of people.

Nigerian wrestler, Sinivie Boltic (right) in action at the London 2012 Olympics.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Sunday March 17, 2013

Barca tie excites Jallet C

hristophe Jallet says Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League quarter-final draw with Barcelona is the tie of the round. PSG saw off Valencia to secure their place in the quarter-finals, while Barca recorded a stunning comeback victory over AC Milan, before the clubs were paired together in Friday’s draw - leav-

Jallet

ing Jallet pleased with the challenge ahead. “It’s a headline match,” he told reporters at a press conference. “This is not an easy draw. We are excited because this will allow us to gauge our level against the top world level. “We play football to participate in this kind of meeting, so we will try to take advantage of these two matches. We will have the mindset of a conqueror, and maybe we will exploit that.”

Lineker: Mancini rues transfer errors Bale M better than Walcott F ormer England striker Gary Lineker said Arsenal star Theo Walcott ‘is not quite in the same league’ as Spurs’ top-scorer Gareth Bale. Lineker went on to suggest Bale has the potential to be one of the best players in the world and that the Welsh player reminds him of Cristiano Ronaldo - in both his game and progression in football. “Spurs have got Bale. People talk about Walcott but I don’t think they are quite in the same league personally. “He could be right up there. You know he’s starting to remind you a little bit of Ronaldo in the way he plays and Ronaldo made the sort of similar sort of steps towards the ability that he’s now showing. “He’s phenomenally talented, he’s unbelievably fast and he’s strong and he strikes the ball beautifully as good as anyone around. “He’s also good in the air; he’s got all the attributes to be an absolute all time great. “If he can keep the consistency that he’s shown certainly in 2013, he’ll be right up there amongst the best handful of players in the world,” Lineker said.

anchester City boss Roberto Mancini has admitted the failure to acquire defensive back-up in January’s transfer window has proved costly. The Premier League champions have been without their influential captain Vincent Kompany since he suffered a calf injury in the FA Cup win at Stoke seven weeks ago.

Reflecting on the frustrations of Kompany’s stuttering rehabilitation, Mancini said: “Probably we made a mistake because when we knew of this problem we were four days to the close of the market. “Probably then we should maybe have bought another defender. Also, last year he had this problem, for one month he

Mancini

didn’t play. This is a big problem. For me we made a mistake in this case. “We had a chance because we had one good defender but we didn’t think that Vinny would stay out for 40-45 days.” The Italian manager is hopeful his Belgian centre-half will be fit for the Newcastle clash in a fortnight, although the prospect of required surgery remains a threat. “He has started to run and we hope that he will be ready for Newcastle,” Mancini added. “His calf was tired but he didn’t have any problems. “But we don’t want to take a risk at this moment because we have one game and after it is the international break. It is better we wait.”

EURO BRIEFS

Leonardo denies Rooney offer

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aris Saint Germain sporting director Leonardo has revealed that the club has not made a move for Wayne Rooney, but they do like the Manchester United striker. Leonardo admitted that PSG are in a fortunate position in terms of finances, and they could attract big players such as Rooney.

iorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi believes his team has what it takes to win the Serie A title in the near future. The club has not won the title since 1968/69, but the 26-year-old feels they could enjoy domestic success again shortly. Rossi also said Serie A is more competitive than other European leagues such as La Liga. “I believe Fiorentina could

win the title again someday. “Serie A is not like La Liga, where Barcelona and Real Madrid always dominate. There’s more balance in Italy. Teams like Fiorentina, Napoli, Lazio and Roma can all win the Scudetto as well,” Rossi said. The former Manchester United attacker praised team-mate Borja Valero for his tactical awareness. “In football, people generally notice tall

players first, but there are also guys with normal physique who have an extraordinary tactical awareness. “Valero is one of those players who already know how to move and what to do before they even get the ball,” he said. Valero joined Fiorentina from Villarreal in 2012 and has since become a key player for the Serie A outfit.

Rooney

Sneijder ready for Real clash

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Sneijder

alatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder is eagerly anticipating the Champions League quarterfinal tie against Real Madrid. The Netherlands international wore the Real jersey from 2007 to 2009 before leaving the club for Inter Milan, and he still has fond memories of his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Giggs confident in squad

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anchester United veteran Ryan Giggs believes his team has enough strength in depth to cope with April’s crowded fixture. United are set to face Sunderland and Chelsea in the space of 48 hours after Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were forced into an FA Cup quarter-final replay.

Giggs

Heynckes delighted over Juve Munich coach challenge Bayern Jupp Heynckes has

Rossi targets Serie A title

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Heynckes

praised Juventus’ strength in defence after the two clubs were drawn together in the Champions League. Serie A champions Juve defeated Celtic in the round of 16, while Bundesliga leaders Bayern got past Arsenal to reach the last eight and Heynckes expects the quarter-final tie to be a tight affair.

Seedorf sets sights on coaching

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otafogo midfielder Clarence Seedorf has revealed his interest in becoming a coach once his playing days are behind him. The former Netherlands international left AC Milan last summer after a decade with the club and hinted that he could return to the city one day, while keeping one eye on life after he hangs up his boots.

Tough schedule is taking its toll on Blues –Cahill Agbonlahor keen on Villa’s safety C G Seedorf

Cahill

helsea defender Gary Cahill believes the busy fixture schedule is taking its toll on him and his team-mates as the club compete on three fronts this season. Alongside their push for a top-four Premier League finish, Rafael Benitez’s men are also competing in the FA Cup and UEFA Europa League. After next week’s international break, Chelsea will take in a run of six

games in 16 days, including a two-legged Europa League quarter-final and the replay of their FA Cup last-eight tie with Manchester United. While reluctant to make excuses for the Blues’ inconsistent form this season, 27-year-old centre-half Cahill admits the congested fixture list is proving tough. “People criticise you if you say you are tired, and we know we have to get

on with it because the fixtures are there. “But all I am saying, as a general fact, is that players do not go into every game feeling 100 per cent fresh, it is impossible. “At a big club every single game is so important, but you might be going in 60-70 per cent fresh through no fault of your own. “Everyone is trying to recover but you just don’t have the days. It is not an excuse, but it is a fact,” he said.

abriel Agbonlahor is keen for Aston Villa to secure Premier League safety before their last game of the season in order to avoid a final-day nail-biter. The 26-year-old

striker gave his side’s chances of staying up a major boost last Saturday by scoring the winner in the 2-1 victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

Agbonlahor


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bn; sum the director of Hubn, amount the Accounman Development Group, tant-General of the FederRitva Reinikka, said the World Bank ation, Jonah Otunla, disclosed as what planned for youth employment and the Federal Government released for social support operations in Nigeria. capital projects from the 2013 Budget.

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Comment

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

with Jim Unah

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he legislator needs protection from harassment in the course of duty, that is, a guarantee that no lawmaker is molested by anybody for views expressed in the course of legislative action. This has been provided for by law in the clause on “parliamentary immunity”. Yet, with a chequered history of improprieties, from Salisu Buhari through Patricia Etteh down to Dimeji Bankole – all Speakers of the House of Representatives, with certificate racketeering and corruption charges, respectively, to contend with; and lately, the Herman Hembe and Farouk Lawan corruption saga – both Chairmen of House Committees, the lower house of the nation’s law-making body has opted to go for the legislative jugular – legitimising corruption. The development vindicates Jonathan’s swift satirical swipe on human contrivances such as the legislature, in Gulliver’s Travels, that “…ignorance, idleness, and vice are the proper ingredients for qualifying a legislator”; that laws are best made and unmade (amended) by those whose principal interest and abilities lie in cheat-

ing, confounding, eluding and perverting them, and thus, confirming the prurient notion that justice for many who happen to be in control, is a Thrysmacusian commodity affordable only by the rich and strong, consisting largely in getting more than others or in a smart exploitation of the trust which many put in convention and social institutions. The lawmakers of the lower house of Nigeria’s National Assembly have learnt nothing from history and have forgotten nothing from the annals of corrupt enrichment and criminal legislations. When was it that a lawmaker of the lower house actually proposed and canvassed a bill which was to make it lawful for public officers including elected legislators and executives to own and operate multiple foreign bank accounts; closely in the heels of the arraignment, for money laundering charges, of his political principal and godfather who practically acquired half of the state he governed for two terms of eight years! The Nigerian public and the watchful press raised an alarm, and the bill was shredded and cast into the dustbin of discarded pieces of obnoxious legislations. The immunity clause in section 308 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria meant to protect serving President, state Governors and local government Chairpersons from arrest and prosecution, while still in office, if one may state tautologically, is the leverage the neophyte legislators seek to smuggle in their appendage to ensure full protec-

tion of the law from criminal prosecution while still serving as legislators. The class of elected public officers covered by the existing immunity clause is the executive category, not the legislative class. Smuggling the legislative category into the immunity clause would be a costly legislative disaster. The weak logic of the lawmakers which summarises the bane of our democratic institutions is that if the executive arm of government is protected from arrest and criminal prosecution while still serving, thus enabling them to convert public funds into private accounts, enough to bankroll a state budget - a regrettable provision of the law in our own circumstances which we seek to abrogate - why should legislators not be availed that leverage for corrupt enrichment; and settle the problem of criminality of their actions after the end of their term of office when they would have looted enough public funds to buy even the silence of God Almighty. That is what our lawmakers are saying in unequivocal terms. If that bill is passed into law, God forbid, it will be one piece of criminal legislation too many. It could lead to the sack of parliament and the suspension of the constitution. If the lawmakers have any iota of love for their country, what they should be proposing and canvassing in the public interest is not inclusion of legislators in the immunity clause, but a constitutional amendment to expunge it altogether from the constitution, since the corrupt practices of chief executives have

AYC: Flying Eagles battle Junior Eagles in Oran IFEANYI EDUZOR

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igeria’s Flying Eagles will today begin their defence of the African U-20 Championship it won two years ago when they clash with the Junior Eagles of Mali in Oran, Algeria. The John Obuh-led team is in Group B alongside Mali, DR Congo and Gabon. In other group stage matches, the Flying Eagles will clash with Gabon on March, 20 and three days later, trade tackles with the Democratic Republic of Congo, who eliminated Cameroon’s Lionceux to reach their first African U-20 Championship finals. Nigeria and Mali are no strangers to each other having

met at the semi-finals of the championship two years ago, with the Flying Eagles running away with victory. And it is expected that the Coach John Obuh-tutored side will repeat the same feat in today’s match. Obuh who led the team to victory in South Africa two years ago has selected a balanced team for the championship led by skipper Abduljeleel Ajagun, who was part of the squad that lifted the trophy in South Africa on May 1, 2011. There is also FIFA U-17 World Cup silver medalists, Mohammed Aliyu, Aigbe Oliha, Edafe Egbedi and Olanrewaju Kayode. Although, the Flying Eagles are rated as favorites for today’s match, but the Malians

are no strangers to the tournament with 8 appearances during the past 20 years and have made it to the semi-finals 3 times, which is an indication that they are no pushover in the championship. However, Flying Eagles striker, Alhaji Gero is confident of victory against the ambitious Malians and vowed that the Junior Eagles will not stand between them and retaining the title this year. According to him, the team is physically, psychologically and mentally ready to pick the three points available in today’s encounter, even as he noted that the various friendly matches they played ahead of the tournament has prepared them for the challenge in Algeria.

rendered it obnoxious and repugnant to public conscience. The scheme, the conspiracy, of the lawmakers to smuggle themselves under the immunity clause, is a manifest indicator that the country is yet to elect men and women of candour, integrity and probity into what ought to be its conclave of filibuster idealistic puritanical legislative activism. The last time the legislature was attempting to legalise money laundering. This time it is seeking to legitimise corruption extraordinary without prosecution. With this sort of self-serving, corruptminded, legislators on the prowl there is no knowing what damage has been done to our system of laws. The 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), it was then alleged, had several versions, one authorising political parties to have unrestrained right to send any list of nominees at any time they liked, to be fielded for elections, to the nation’s electoral body — the INEC; and the other placing the final authority on INEC to determine the duly nominated candidates from the political parties. The resultant was that splinter groups of political parties were sending conflicting lists of nominees to INEC, thereby stalling the elections. There is urgent need to scrutinise our laws to see what havoc might have been done to them by hungry, avaricious, lawmakers; with a view to correcting them before they destroy us completely. The creation of legislative ombudsman has, therefore, become an imperative.

Oliseh flattered over FIFA’s appointment

P. 60

CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESULT

Kano Pillars 4 - 1 A.C Leopards

PREMIERSHIP RESULTS Everton 2-0 Man City Aston Villa 3 - 2 QPR Southampton 3 -1 Liverpool Stoke 0 -0 West Brom Swansea 0 -2 Arsenal PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES Today’s Matches Sunderland v Norwich 14:30 Tottenham v Fulham 16:00

Chelsea v West Ham 17:00 Wigan v Newcastle Utd 17:00

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Sunday, March 17, 2013